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author’s note

well, i’m finished with my novel.  it seems strange, but there you have it.

when i got to the end, when judy has her last words, i was really depressed, because the only other thing i could write was all of the biblical crap that mom adorned judy’s literary efforts with.

but someone had posted a joke on facebook earlier, and i passed it on, and when i was talking to jim about why i was so depressed just to leave it like that, the joke suddenly occurred to me, and it fit right in.

little serendipities, little miracles.

so it’s done now, and swells the ranks of actual novels that i’ve actually completed.  there’s splat, and there’s this one that i’ve finished.  there’s construction news, cathy eats her words, lazy is good, my pirate novel, the starving artist guide, bad grandma, and my memoirs.  they’re unfinished.  hey, it’s a great average.  so far none of them are published.  my dad ran that kind of average, and he never stopped writing.

you do it because you love to do it.  you do it because you have to do it.  it’s an internal pressure.  it’s an addiction.

so now i’ll let it sit until i feel like reworking it. and then i’ll either rework it or write something completely different.  the fun is in the writing.  i don’t really care if they’re published, unless i live for a long time and end up making a living as a writer.  i’m not making a living as a painter, and that doesn’t stop me, so we’ll just have to see.

it’s been fun.  it’s been difficult at times, but when the flow started all i had to do was sit back and type as fast as i could, record as much richness as i could of the stream of scenes and dialog that streamed past my mind’s eye.

i love to write.  there’s something more direct about my connection to the flow when i’m writing than when i’m paintings.  i don’t have to think as much about my materials when they are words as opposed to pigments, binders, and implements.

i hope to be writing for a long time to come, as long as i have ideas.  maybe i should start with short stories, but i don’t like stopping at the end of the chapter.

start here to read the story…


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author’s note

well, i’ve been working hard on the ending chapter of my novel, and i would have posted it tonight except it’s already late and i haven’t had dinner.

not that anybody’s reading it live, so i don’t care.

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author’s note

well, i’m now on the last chapter.  judy’s on death row, and everybody else (that’s left) are getting on with their lives.  it’s all epilogue from here.

i’ve had some trouble the last few days, winding it all up.  when i was dealing with the trial, i wasn’t sure how to arrange it, what tone to take in certain parts.  i ended up putting it all in a short little outline, filling it all out, and then rearranging the parts until it read smoothly.

like i reversed the order of mom’s and allen’s testimony, and took judy’s point of view out of the whole trial.  and then i summed up the other charges in third person omniscient.

but now i’ve just got to fill out stuff that’s already been written, mainly.

except yesterday i came across this very moving radio podcast interview given by a woman who was to die several weeks later of cancer.  and it was all about death and living and dying, and her point was that when the joy goes out of life you might as well be dead.  and i was so moved by it that i took her attitude straight to judy and wrote her musings as she waits for her execution.

so, that was good.

i’ve got lots of little bits sitting at the end of my document; stuff i’d cut and pasted into the back of the story because it was too good to throw out immediately and not appropriate for where i had written it originally.

and i may or may not put it in.  but since i’m at the very end, it may well get left out.

and then it’s on to the second draft.

except i’m going to spend the rest of my nanowrimo time (half a month) working on my memoirs, which i won’t be posting.  just so you know.

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author’s note

it surprised me yesterday morning when i realized i had to leave go telling it from the courtroom transcript point of view, because there was still things that happened after cindy dropped dead that had to be covered before we could get to the courtroom.

or, to say it differently, i didn’t want to have to bring everything out in testimony.  it would be boring, and i don’t really know how lawyers talk except for on tv.

so i sat down and pictured the scene after everybody stopped dying and the cops got there.  and started with that.  and got all the way to judy sitting in jail having one charge after another laid on her.

today i finish writing the courtroom scene, i hope.  and by the end of the weekend please god i will have maybe finished with the first draft of my novel.

and turn my hand to writing something else for the rest of nanowrimo.

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author’s note

i wrote a bunch today, but haven’t published because i’m in the middle of writing it.

as i was lying in bed this morning, i thought about how what the survivors would have to say would then be parlayed into a courtroom scene, so it seemed i might as well cut to the courtroom scene instead of continuing to describe what was happening.

i don’t seem to be all that comfortable inside the characters’ heads.  i’m going to have to do more of that in the rewrite.

so when i got to the computer this morning, i laid it out.  laurie.  cindy.  gordon.  then underneath these i put allen.  mom.  judy. for each death.  and then i went and found earlier plot notes about what has to happen next, and divided them up into their respective dead people and put them underneath the sadly departed’s names.  and then i sat allen and mom on the stand and wrote down what they had to say about the defendant’s relationship with the deceased, and how  the lawyer twisted it – or just let them run on because both mom and allen would hang themselves on the stand, never mind helping to hang judy.

and that’s where i left it.  they haven’t gotten around to rick yet.  or bill.  or the serial killings.  or the attempted murder of a strip club full of chocolate-loving dancers and shot-up customers.  that’ll take a few days to get to.

tomorrow i’ll be filling out the testimony and arranging it the way a court would handle it.

but i’m stuck there, because i don’t know how a court would handle it.  for some reason, tho i’ve been called to jury duty once a year for the past ten, i never get picked, so i don’t know how they would handle calling the witnesses for a multiple murder trial.  just once and run them thru all the dead?  or call them for every body?  let me just look it up…

okay, witnesses are only recalled to contradict earlier testimony, so it’s get the guy on the stand, run thru all the deaths, and then excuse him.  that’s going to be overwhelming.

allen has to answer questions about rick, gordon, laurie, and what he saw when judy shot laurie and electrocuted gordon and poisoned cindy.

and mom has to pronounce judgment on judy’s enmity toward her siblings, as well as confirm that she watched her own daughter shoot laurie.

how can i break that up?  does judy testify?  does she comment mentally?  do i sum things up from her viewpoint?

maybe i should leave it broken up this way, into testimony excerpts as if collecting the good bits.

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author’s note

well, i’ve just killed off most of my family.  and it feels accomplished, but not good.  necessary, but not satisfying.  i don’t hate my family, after all.  they’re all fucked up, and have caused me endless trouble, but so what?  i still love them.  they’re my family.  and i’m just like them.

but this means that i’m at the end of my story.  and that’s the problem.

until now the story has pretty much written itself.  and will continue to do so, i suppose.  things tend to do that when you watch them closely.

it’s not that a watched pot never boils.  it’s just that if you’re watching the water heating up, then you can’t say exactly when it starts to boil.  it seems as if it’s almost boiling but not quite for the longest time, even tho the candy thermometer says 212.

i’ve just killed off laurie, and cindy, and gordon.  it was too challenging to figure it out intellectually, so i just sat there and visualized the scene (thus the game of statues) and then figured out what was going thru each character’s head and what they were going to do next.

but i was undecided how to proceed, and so ended up photoshopping a whole bunch of pictures of jim’s nudes for a show he wants to apply for.  and that took all day.  so i thought about what i wanted to do instead.

whose point of view should i write the next part with?  i figured judy, of course, since she’s the one who is most impacted, but on a dog walk, jim suggested that i write what happens next from everybody’s point of view.

that’s just mom, allen, and judy.  sam and dave have already split, everybody else is freshly dead, and the ambulance and police haven’t arrived.

i can write it that way.

there’s judy, holding the gun, standing in the middle of the back yard surrounded by bodies. there’s allen, faced with another crazy woman with the power to hurt him.  there’s mom, most of her children dead, and nobody’s told her about rick yet.

sitting here thinking about it, i’ve got a couple of inconsistencies i’m going to have to deal with in the seond draft, like why mom doesn’t know rick is dead yet.  it’s only the day after, i’m pretty sure, but someone should have called her.  who calls the non-immediate family in a case like that?  and how long would alice have to wait before starting proceedings to get her kids back?  maybe it’s alice’s responsibility to notify everybody else and the cops only mention it, or maybe the ambulance crew, without knowing rick is mom’s kid.

anyway.  after i’m done taking the bodies away and arresting judy, i’ve got to wind everything up, with the investigations and the trial and then however this tale ends up being written (and by whom) – i haven’t figured any of that out, really.  just shadowy hints.

but all i have to do is sit down and visualize the scene, and they’ll show me what happens next.  they’ll repeat their lines until i memorize them, or at least write them down.

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author’s note

i’ve posted two bits of my novel in process, and haven’t had a single hit.  it feels just like it did when i had a radio show in college, at 5 am.  theoretically it’s out there among the people, but it all sounds like snoring to me.  of course, you don’t actually want to read what i’m writing, because it’s pretty nasty shit, especially now at the climax.  and it’s not well written or anything, just a first draft.  but i’m having fun with it, and have no idea how i’m going to get things to happen.

that doesn’t bother me.  if you pay attention to the process, the story writes itself.  just like the physical act of typing.  once it becomes reflexive, i  can shut my eyes and wail away at the keys, and hit the furthest keys accurately, without thought – or as fast as thought.  typing becomes a quantum activity, where it appears instantaneously, out of nowhere.  i don’t recognize the words when i proofread later.

that’s why i’m writing.

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