Monday, September 05, 2011

Why there is a hiatus ... The Scarecrow Effect

To start with I must point out that a HIATUS should imply that I eventually intend to return to something.

I write things out long hand, rarely composing at a keyboard. The first typing up of a handwritten piece of material is therefore like a sort of first revision because I correct a bit as I go. It works for me. I like it.

However, much like with virtually everything there are drawbacks to my process. It's nice to be able to make notes on random sheets of paper, but I also have to not lose those little random sheets of paper. This is not exactly green of me.

My handwriting is actually truly "that" bad. There are times where it even gets worse as i try to keep my hand going as fast as my brain. Translating my own stuff can be therefore sometimes quite a challenge.

Timeliness is also an issue. Without having a computer at home I have to make the time to type and not get distracted while on the computer by other things. Easier said then done.

Keeping track of the copies of things I write or making certain I have backups is essential. This is hardly different than what pre-computer age writers faced but is different today than the norm.

I also need to manage all the different notebooks I have out there to make certain I have the correct one with me as I tend to have several in use at the same time.

At some point I do need to consider getting a computer. I know that. I am not a luddite i just like my home the way it is.

So, if I lose a notebook that has no backup it can be a real problem.

Guess what happened?

In the middle of June I lost a notebook that had no backup and had a number of pages and scene descriptions for The Scarecrow Effect. I use the word lost here loosely as my van was broken into and the bag that was taken included the notebook in question. I am guessing that about 20ish pages of material was lost. This accounts for several weeks or more worth of work on a project I have been chipping away at for a couple years now.

I can stand losing the items in the bag. Not to say it doesn't suck to be ripped off. It is irritating to be ripped off, but I can eventually replace what was lost. Not the notebook.

Losing this notebook is awful. I didn't misplace it and do it to myself. Having it taken is a violation that really messed with me. Someone has my work. Someone probably simply tossed it away.

There are a lot of things on those pages I can recreate quickly and I took an opportunity to try and at least get those ideas onto paper. I know I got some of it. After working on those pages for so long I can practically picture them. But, i know I did not get it all. And, I feel violated.

The Scarecrow Effect is a novel I am actually pleased with insofar as how it was progressing. The Shotgunprose blog has a number of excerpts and I had reached a point where I was actively seeking feedback from a variety of people on the material.

I know that me losing my notebook is not quite on par with Bono getting his songbook stolen in Seattle before the October recording sessions it still really hurt me in a way that was unexpected. It took me several tries to be able to take those pages of notes in order to set it aside.

I had wanted to get right back on the horse but it quickly became clear to me that I really cannot in this regard. It is going to be best to take a hiatus at this point.

So ... I return to to town of Lippincott. Lippincott is a novel I actually completed a draft of in 1995 that I have on occasion taken a peak at over the years. The story of writing Lippincott's first draft is in itself kind of funny, but will be another posting. Lippincott is dusted off and in the process of massive overhaul. Readers have already begun looking at it for me. At this point I am so far removed from it that it feels like reading someone else. Anyone who wants to help review a few chapters can feel free to let me know.

I will get back to and finish The Scarecrow Effect.