Write In Weird Places II – The Metro

Have you ever been so entirely snared by a story idea that everything else immediately takes second place?  I’m not talking about a bolt-of-lightning idea – one of those rabbits that comes out of nowhere and invades your thoughts for a day or a week – I’m talking about something more long term.  A story idea that came to you a year ago, built upon itself by occupying your free thoughts when you didn’t even realize you were daydreaming, and came to become a wave so large it blotted out the sun.  It pushed your current WIP, day job, social life… everything… into the back seat of the car.

Yes?  No?  Stop saying weird stuff, Dave? Continue reading “Write In Weird Places II – The Metro”

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Why You Should Wake Up Early

Divisive post, I know, especially to a group of people that (probably) mostly consists of night-owls.  Here, I’ll post your reply for you: “Shut up, Dave, I work better at night.  Don’t tell me how to live my life!” But I’m here to tell you that if you’re looking for an extra boost, that surge of productivity that’ll help you get more done than you ever have before, … Continue reading Why You Should Wake Up Early

Working On A Beautiful Spring Day

It’s been cold in DC for the last few weeks.  Not just chilly, but bone-biting, wind-driving, snow-piling cold.  The bulk of people in the city have spent their time hiding indoors, layering like they live in the North Pole, and Ubering places they could easily have walked.  I Ubered 4 blocks the other day.  It was embarrassing.

Not anymore, though.  The sun came out this weekend, we hit the mid-60s, and people have been running around like it’s the middle of summer.  All anyone wants to do is join in the outdoor fun, but what if we have too much work to get done? (Yes I know that rhymed.  No I didn’t do it on purpose.  Yes it was still awesome.)

On days like this, when warm weather is still fresh and novel, it’s important to take advantage of what you can.  It’s important to get outside.  It’s important to breathe the fresh air.  It’s important recharge your batteries like one of Elon Musk’s solar panels.  The question is: How? Continue reading “Working On A Beautiful Spring Day”

The Third Dimension Of Character

I’ve been working on my characters a lot lately.  You know, those people who walk around your stories and never end up doing what you want them to?  (And no, I don’t mean my character, though that could probably use some work too).

Characters are fun to work with.  It’s easy to think of them as real people, fun to make up their pasts, their triumphs, mistakes, flaws.  And there are lots of ways to build them out, whether you want to detail every aspect of their personality and see where they take the story, build out the story first then figure out what kind of character you need, or make them up as you go along.  You can be as weird or creative with them as you want.

I pretended (please don’t tell too many people about this) I was talking to one of my characters the other day, and wrote down the interview as if I was transcribing what she was saying to me in first person.  I asked her questions out loud.  Never, in my entire life, have I felt more like a lunatic.  I pray to god that nobody ever reads that full character sheet – her name is Alice, and her interview starts like this: Continue reading “The Third Dimension Of Character”

Broken Promises

One Sunday morning a few months ago I woke up with this story buzzing around in my head. On most mornings I wake up, take a shower, make a cup of coffee or grab breakfast, and spend some time just relaxing before I do anything remotely productive. Not on this Sunday, though. On this Sunday I rolled over, grabbed my computer off the ground, and wrote this piece in about ten minutes.

I found it again some months later. It was only after I spent a bit of time editing and tweaking it that I realized where the inspiration had probably come from.

So here is my (unconscious) take on this flash fiction story, which is usually attributed to Ernest Hemingway (even though nobody really knows where it came from): Continue reading “Broken Promises”

The Morning After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is for friends and family.  It’s for eating turkey, and mashed potatoes, and mac & cheese and stuffing and pie for dessert.  For loaded down tables and creaky chairs.  For laughter and thankfulness and more hugs than you know what to do with.  Thanksgiving is a day when we get to take a break, take a breath, catch up with those we love, reset … Continue reading The Morning After Thanksgiving