(Continued from CKR: February 2006, Part 2...)
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Started Chapter 5, the strip club scene, and I’m wondering if I shouldn’t do some research. After all, I’ve NEVER been to a place like that. (Right.) If I talk to the guys who run the club down the street, I can acknowledge them in the book and maybe they’ll help with promotion when it’s finished. I wonder if any of the girls do a routine to Cowboy? Would it freak anybody out if I took notes? Maybe I should just stick to my imagination. But, I have to say, writing from a man’s point of view doesn’t get any easier when you stick him in a titty bar. What goes through a man’s mind? What goes through other regions of his body? Surely he’d feel something, even if he didn’t want to be there.
Thursday, March 2, 2006
I finally bought the new Kid Rock Live Trucker album. It’s been out for a few days, but I’ve been busy writing. I think I’ve heard it three times already, because I’ve spent so much time in the car. It’s everything I expected and then some. I also polished Chapter 1 today and brought it to my writer’s group for a critique. The Bloody Pens, of course, tore it to shreds, but liked the idea, despite knowing nothing about Kid Rock, and they agreed I should run with it. As if I could stop!
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
All I’ve done for days is write. No decent sleeping. No decent eating. And the chain smoking is getting to me. Five chapters in five days is overload. I feel obsessed. I need a shower and my twelve-year-old needs a mother, but I can’t seem to pull my head out long enough to tend to either one. To make matters worse, I worked on sex scenes today (Chapters 11 and 12), and Scott’s out of town on business. No matter what I write, I’ve gotta put myself in the scene, because if I can’t feel it as the writer, the reader won’t feel it either. Thank God for Duracell. (And, for clarification, the batteries come into play AFTER I've written the scene to combat the frustration, not BEFORE to get me in the mood.)
All the scenes in these chapters take place in Orlando, specifically Disney’s Pleasure Island, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Universal Studios. They’re touristy, I know, but I’ve always had a great time there, plus I thought it would be ironic to put these characters in family-oriented places, considering what they’re up to.
Ted couldn’t understand how his friends expected to pick up women with Annette Funicello smiling at them.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Worked on Chapters 13 and 14 the past couple of days, which are set at the Daytona 500, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to write much for a while. Too many family events and things coming up. But I’m thinking the break will be good for me. I haven’t taken Live Trucker out of the car’s CD player yet, nor do I see it happening any time soon. The music reminds me not to let this idea grow cold, because I believe in this story. I’m also finally getting to know the characters, which most writers can relate to as a turning point, because, once the characters become real, they almost write their own thoughts, actions, and dialogue. Think that’s strange? Then imagine a fictional character you know well, like Sherlock Holmes or Tony Soprano, and put them in a scene. Any scene. You’ve got a pretty good idea how they’d handle themselves, right? And the kinds of things they’d say? That’s because the writer did a fantastic job of revealing (developing) the character to you. The concept works the same for the writer as the story unfolds.
One of the most memorable things—for me—about the physical construction of Daytona’s grandstand is that, despite its height, the bleachers aren’t enclosed. And, since all the vending activity takes place beneath the bleachers, the guy standing in line at the beer counter (or the bathrooms, or the snack bar, etc.) can, at any moment, get drenched by something that spilled in the stands above him. It’s priceless.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Life’s been getting in the way a lot lately, and tonight the Pens critiqued other stuff, so I got no feedback on chapters from CKR. They’re still liking the idea though (I told them about the “Most Threesomes” idea and they loved it). And, since I can’t get my head into serious writing and because it’s never too early to plan ahead, I’ve started working on the Acknowledgements and filling in details on the outline. I know what the Dedication is going to be, too.
Friday, March 24, 2006
It’s the one-month anniversary of starting the book and I’m half-way there already. It took me over a year to write my first novel—of course, losing our roof in a hurricane was a lengthy distraction—so I can’t believe how quickly this is coming together. I’m expecting about thirty (30) chapters in all, which could change, but at this rate I’ll be finished in a couple of months. Maybe then I can get some sleep. How long can a person survive on coffee and cigarettes?
Saturday, March 25, 2006
We’re taking a much-needed break this weekend. I forget sometimes that I’m not the only one living in my house. Scott’s been frazzled at work lately and our daughter is starting to feel like an orphan. And then there’s our oldest, who’ll be turning twenty in a few weeks. He’s really getting the short end of the stick because he doesn’t live at home anymore, so he isn’t even afforded the luxury of staring at the backs of our heads while we work at our computers. So we’re canoeing the Peace River this weekend with a group of friends and sleeping in a tent for a couple of nights. Scott and I are hoping four cases of beer will be enough to get us through ‘til Monday.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
At the risk of minimizing my sincerity, I have to say something about the importance of good PR. (And Beth, if you’re reading this, please forgive me.) With beer in hand, I sat in a folding chair on a river bank all day today, chatting with someone I met only yesterday about books, writing, parenting, marriage, cats, and every other subject heading in the table of contents that is life. And I realized I had a fan. Not just a new friend, but an actual fan. It wasn’t my intention. She’s never even read any of my stuff. But she says she will and I believe her. And, if she likes it, she’ll tell someone else. Aside from my mother, I’ve never had a fan before, but I know it’s coming, and it’s a huge commitment with a lot of responsibility. If I put myself out there and try to be something I’m not, people—fans—will see through that. So how do I promote myself and my work without coming across as egotistical? And, from a PR standpoint, when should I be conscious of my public image and when should I be just me? But, considering I’m sleeping in a tent tonight, miles from “real” civilization, I figure I’ve answered my own question.
(to be continued...)