Monday, October 30, 2006

Definitive Plan

The plan is this: normal episodes this week, next week and on the 15th of November. This will put us just before the climax of the novel. THEN... then I'll take a week off for Thanksgiving. Sorry, has to happen. Wife's orders. Such is life. AND the good news is that while I'm on a break I can and will work on an extra-special, long climax episode that will be #18 and will air on the following Monday. So you'll be able to get your JWU fix right after the big holiday weekend and get back to work in style.

(I'm realizing more and more that listening to podcasts in the car is the best way to take control of the morning commute hours (all in-car hours) instead of listening to whatever random stories NPR puts on or searching endlessly for good music. (Here in the Bay Area, it's pretty rare.) So take control!! Listen to Jack Wakes Up in your cars, people.)

Anyway, that's my plan, the good news and the bad. Then there'll be that big episode and one final novel episode on the 4th of December and it will all come to an end. Oh my God!! What will we do with our time and ears? Don't worry, more podcast and stories to come in the new year. I'll also have a wrap-up and interview episode in mid-December where you can write in to have your questions about the novel and my writing process answered.

Sound good? Ok. Good.

One vote today for Mark Wahlberg to play Jack Palms in a movie.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

This week's best

The best posts and emails this week were about two things: 1 was that this week's high vote getter was Mickey Rourke for the movie version of Jack Wakes Up.
So that means Rourke has two votes, Kieffer Sutherland has two votes, and my vote is still a toss up between Clooney and Brad Pitt, with neither of them satisfying me. Joelle votes for Clooney or Thomas Haden Church. How about Ben Rothlisberger to play Jack Palms?? That's be cool. Broken face and all.
Terrel Owens to play Junius Ponds? Write in and tell me what you think if you're up for the all-NFL-player production of Jack Wakes Up. Polamalu as Freeman, but he'd have to bulk up. Clearly the best person to play Freeman is Mosie Tatupu from the old 80s era Patriots.
Tony Eason just in to play Ralph.

Another couple of emails this week from across the pond, in England. Well, I guess now that I live in California, I can't call the U.K. "across the pond." Now it's more like around the world. Literally. Across the pond is now Japan, I suppose, but oh what a big pond that is.

The story gets really into the meat of it this week and I'm looking for a good episode. If I can get Tony Vitelli's voice striaghtened out and keep Junius consistent, we'll all be happy.
Anyone remember what Tony V. sounds like? I have to go back and check. He's kind of like a softer versin of Ralph, kind of my best Joe Pesci. So we'll see. Hope you're there to hear this week's ep. and will in fact love it.

Another email this week came in to tell me about a new podcast novel, "One Among The Sleepless," by British author Mike Bennett. Check him out at

And I'll be back soon with more info on Jack Wakes Up.

PS: The second Jack Palms novel has been started. Thanks to Scrivener for the free drafting software. (Check it out if you haven't.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Blogs on a Plane

On the flight back from a great weekend wedding in Detroit. Congratulations to Cousin Rachel and husband Aaron. Go Tigers. We did a lot of flying and while I was, I started trying out this new program, Scrivener Gold. It’s word processing, but it makes Word look like you’re working with paper instead of an actual computer. Thing is, of course a computer can help you write much more than a simple paper and ink system, but I don’t think Word has figured this out yet. Scrivener has. The bad news is that it’s Mac only (for some of you). The good news is you can get it free from their site now in beta mode and start using it on your Mac right away, if you have one.

So I’m using it on the new novel, the new writing project, and transferred what I’ve done so far into it over the trip. Wasn’t that hard. Scrivener lets me track my progress in word amounts, look at an outline view that’s generated almost automatically, shuffle chapters around, and do some various kinds of plot outlining as I go. There’s probably more, but that’s what I’ve figured out so far.

Yeah, I said I’ve started something new. About time, really, as this is the real work, but it does take some time to come back off a manic rewriting stint like I went through last year. Kind of a rut maybe. Now I’m hoping to have a better process on this time around and as long as my teaching holds up like it is, I should have the time (mornings) to keep banging out the draft well into the new year. And that’s what it’s all about, the great and the work, the plan and the implementation.

The blog? I’m open to suggestions about what I should be writing about, but also it’s hard to find time for this in places when a lot else has been going on. The podcast’s on ep. 14 this week and just over 200 pages. (80 pages left to go!!) I think I’ll have about four or five more episodes and can finish before thanksgiving!! Time to start planning my Q&A session/episode. I’ll put out that news this week. The Detroit fanbase (mostly relatives) already gave me some starting points for that this weekend.

The other option/possibility is to work on a series of entries with Steve McDermott where we each interview one another about the revision process and writing. It’s a plan but he’s been super busy judging his first-ever Storyglossia contest ($1000 prize to the winner!) and I’ve been doing all this above.

Monday, October 09, 2006

And today...

Today went a lot like that post below about last year's day. I was fucked up all morning. Couldn't sleep last night from 4 to 6:30 or so, and then when I got up it was hard to do anything significant. Luckily it was "Indigenous People's Day" here in California. Party like it's 1492!!

The good news is that Steve McDermott posted another great analysis piece about my story "What Happened to Everything." He even talks about the revision process and starts to get into what writers (us) are supposed to do there. Hoping he'll go into that more...

My thoughts on it? Let me think it over and get back to that.
For one: there's a difference between revision (major changes for theme and plot, reader interaction), editing (making sentence level changes), and proofreading (dotting the i's and all that, checking your commas). So let me leave it there and come back to my thoughts on revision soon.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Over a year later

Here's where I was last year on August 8th, writing Jack Wakes Up and very close to the beginning.

I am really fucked up today. Writing something I care about, the Jack story, is going about as slow as I could ever imagine. I’m a train wreck in a chair, definitely not firing on many cylinders. The question becomes then, what to do with myself?

I’m OK. Had breakfast with Joelle, starting to pick up our stuff in the house, contacted [a contact with a copy-editing job I didn't get] and she’s overnighting the Saturn brochure for me to proof this week/tomorrow, I have the appt. with Chabot on Wednesday, and we’re working on packing up. Little writing today, but I’ll get back to hitting that tomorrow.

That's what it was like. I did not get the job proofing ad copy (deep sigh of relief) and Chabot wound up being a good deal. With the writing? That wasn't a good day. So it goes like that. Here today the weather was beautiful and I watched the Blue Angels buzz over SF from our deck in the afternoon. Awesome. It was a good weekend. Tomorrow back to the page. Few things happening: getting the proofs of a story together for a magazine called Ecotone. They're publishing "Walden" in their winter issue, after some holdup for a while. But it looks like the issue's going to have some great writers in it: Aimee Bender and some others who sound like heavy hitters. Working on that.

A question at this time is: When is a good time in the year to query an agent?