Archive for August, 2010

I’m still working on the Soho chapter, though I’m at the tail end of it now, the part where I arrive in Saudi Arabia for Christmas. I’d forgotten just how draconian the Saudi customs can be. While one customs dude was pawing my computer magazines looking for naked women, another handling the other line went nuts because some guy had wrapped Christmas presents in his luggage. “Whiskey!” the guy shouted, ripping open one of the packages. Turned out to be a box of liqueur chocolates. “Whiskey! Whiskey!”. My guy found an “offensive” picture in my computer magazine, took out his big black magic marker and went to town.

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Put pencil to paper

Gearing up for something completely different. Yesterday I put pencil to paper and scratched out my first conceptual drawing.

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More on Computers

I figured out what I needed in the current chapter. As it was, there were two different, unrelated ideas happening. I needed to link the beginning to the end, and I’ve now managed to do just that. Whether what I came up with is any good or not I won’t know until I do the read through, but it has the right ingredients.

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Moving from Soho to computers and giving the transition some thought. Came upon this ad that made me chuckle.

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I revamped a visit to Soho and improved it quite a bit, but there’s still work needed. Still too much tell so I’ll be working on that today.  Also need to add that Soho is not just about sex, and not everyone in Soho is looking for sex. Could be Soho is simply over rated? Na, but could be. 😉

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Dog is home

While I managed to get a lot done yesterday, today was a different story. Took the dog to the vet bright and early this morning to have a tumor removed. We’ll know in the near future whether it was benign or not (we’re obviously hoping for the best). We also went ahead and had a wart-like grown removed from her eye-lid so regardless of what the test results come back with, she’ll at least be more comfortable. Right now Fubar is very chilled out (as expected), lying beside where I’m sitting.

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With me current project getting ready to head into marketing mode, I’m finding time to think about other projects, and I’ve had a revelation about one of them. After finishing James Owen’s Here, There Be Dragons, and keeping in mind the ever illuminating shadow of George Lucas and Star Wars, I think I have found a path to move forward in a quick and inspired way.

I’m less clear on my other major project. I’ve some chapters written and much of the rough outlines done, but I’m only feeling a mild spark of creativity rather than the pot of coffee or three inspiration mode I can get into. The biggest issue I’m having is the time line. Not to give too much away, I’m trying to decide what to put where.

Looking forward to it all.

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Took the dog to the vet this morning to get her BSL checked – it was 53 which is on the low side. So the vet cut her insulin back to 8U (from 13U). Fubar has gained about a pound since the last visit, all good news. But Monday she goes in to have a tumor removed. I won’t know its status until after the biopsy, but doc says she has a 60% chance it’s benign, so I’m hopeful.

As for my writing, I worked on the Soho chapter yesterday – made some substantial improvements with just a tweak here and there, but I feel there is still work to do (especially since I didn’t get to the end of the chapter yet – doh!).

There are so many challenges when writing a memoir. First and foremost, if one intends to sell it, it has to be interesting to others. Then there is the memory/recall aspect. There’s what I don’t remember at all, what I don’t remember clearly, what I remember incorrectly, and finally, the little bits that I remember right. That’s why it’s been great finding and talking with those in the book, not only to get their take on events but also to make sure the writing isn’t completely insane.

There’s another challenge that’s hard to deal with at times. Bringing up memories that may or may not be pleasant, or even ordinary ones that you’d never imagine remembering so many years after the fact. I can hear my mom chittering away all excited to tell me the latest news as my dad is making the coffee in the kitchen. I’ve just got off the British Airways flight to Dhahran and it feels so good to be home. The sounds and smells, the nuances that had been lost to time, come seeping back in. What makes it harder is realizing how much time was wasted in looking to tomorrow.

Ah well, time moves in one direction only. While authors like Norman Ollestad teach their kids to never give up, I’m teaching mine to savor every moment to the fullest (while reminding myself of Norman’s excellent advice).

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Soho W1

Grooming my adventures in Soho. What a time – adult films, topless pups, girls calling to me from passing cars, getting ripped off, and being awed by the wisdom of elders. This section is going to need a little work, I think, but there is a lot of potential waiting to be realized, too. It’s only going to be better than it is already, and that’s a good thing.

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I’d have my book published by now and be living happily ever after. The reality is that I’m only about 86% of the way through my latest edits, and though I think I’m getting near the end, I’ve been here before. What’s different, this time, is that the edits are much, much smaller. So I may really be near the end. Good.

But that’s just the beginning of the next phase. You know, that part where you reach out and put your work on display for the first time to hook an agent? And what do agents do for their 20%? Well, they are the ones who know the ones in the business, so you really have to hook one. Unless, of course, you already know the ones in the business – then you can probably skip this phase. Of course it would be a little easier if agents were at least consistent in their opinions, but no, that would be too easy. Instead, there are a zillion different agents who have their own requirements. Sure, you can blanket them and hope for a hit, but one of the top rules is the personal approach – each agent wants to feel like you’ve gone to them and no one else.

And would I really be living happily ever after? Odds are no. But I’d gain some confidence in answer to that nagging saying about life being too short. I’ve invested years in this book and the last thing I want is to find out it’s all been a waste of time.

What amazes me is the fact that the right word from the right person could launch this project into orbit. Who you know makes all the difference in the world.

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