Road Trip to New York City

I traveled to my old stomping grounds in New York City this past weekend for an epic engagement party. Yes, I’m still recovering.

Cool Koalas!
My Quest to Draw (Day 8): The topic is “Cool Koalas.” There’s something fishy about that guy in the foreground.

Ice Storm: Nearing the Final Stretch!

I took off Saturday and Sunday for the engagement party. But now I’m back on track with my “open novel” experiment for Ice Storm, aka my “Development Hell” book. I edited 3,000 words yesterday, bringing my redraft to a word count of 57,000. I’m guessing this will end up to be about 90,000 words, so that means I’m near the two-thirds point.

It’s been a difficult couple of days. The trip to NYC threw off my rhythm. And only editing 72 pages a week is taking its toll. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable. Ice Storm needs special care right now in order to bring it back to life. A lot of little problems will remain after this draft is done. But the larger story is finally starting to come together in a cohesive fashion.

Hopefully, I can finish this redraft in the next two weeks. Then I’m going to edit it again, shooting for 120 pages a week. The goal will be to smooth out inconsistencies and add in any final creative chunks. Then I’d like to do a few read throughs in a more concentrated time period so I can see how the story flows. The more I work on Ice Storm, the more I see the problems with my old writing habits. Specifically, my tendency to rewrite early and often. For my next book, I’m going to spend more time upfront developing characters and the story. But when I start writing it, I’m not going to stop until it’s done.

Road Trip to New York City

Julie and I drove to New York City on Saturday morning. I lived in Manhattan from 2004 to 2008. So, I always have mixed feelings about going back. On one hand, there’s a part of me that misses it. New York has a way of getting under one’s skin. On the other hand, I wasn’t particularly happy there back in the day. I worked too many hours at a job I didn’t like. And I can’t help but think I’d do it all over again if we moved back.

Anyway we were there for a party celebrating the engagement of our friends Mahbubul and Kelly. I’ve known Mahbubul for more than 15 years (we were fraternity brothers) and Kelly for a little more than 15 days. So, it’s been a lot of fun getting to know them as a couple. We went to a bar and met up with a bunch of their friends, including a few more of our brothers. I don’t get together with these guys very often so we pretty much ended up talking all night. Good times.

We stayed until maybe 2 or 3 in the morning. Then we went back to Mahbubul’s and Kelly’s apartment. We drank some more and watched a spattering of television until finally hitting the sack somewhere around 5am. Julie and I woke up a few hours later. We got some bagel sandwiches and coffee before hitting the road. All together, it was a good trip. Exhausting, yes. But definitely worthwhile.

Drawing: Day 8 – Cool Koalas

I finished my 8th lesson from You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler last night. The topic was Cool Koalas. This was an interesting change of pace and my first attempt at drawing a living, breathing creature. It came out okay but I put way too much effort into the fur. Looking at Kistler’s sketches again, it’s apparent he makes the most of his lines. Overall, this was the the easiest lesson yet which I appreciated since I’m still recovering from Saturday night.

Other Stuff

The Chaos paperback is now 10% off at Amazon ($12.56)! I see a few of you have taken advantage of the sale already. For the rest of you, act now before it goes back to list price. Other than that, I’m still thinking about making adjustments to my sidebar (that one on the right with Chaos in it). I might expand it to include international bookstores. And yes, the link to buy Chaos at Diesel (see sidebar) is STILL broken. Diesel has a revised version of Chaos but doesn’t seem to have posted it yet. I emailed Smashwords so hopefully I’ll have an answer for the delay later today.

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