A Public Library

I wrote in the library this morning. Well, more like edited, but same thing, right? It was quieter than usual. Most days children swarm around the kid’s books making all kinds of noises while the adults goof around on the computers, doing pretty much anything other than reading. Libraries have become all things to all people, I guess. The books stare longingly at the children and adults who would much rather stare at an illuminated computer screen.

I’m one of those adults. Somedays I’ll go to the library to check out books or look at their “For Sale” section, but it’s rare. Whenever I’m in the mood to check out books, I usually take way too many than I actually need. The librarians probably think I’m crazy with the stack of books I run off with. And yes, I’ve racked up quite the fines in my day (mostly college), but I do better at returning them on time now.

Facing Death in ‘Pet Sematary’

Some time ago while I lay on the couch, a wave of thought came over me – What is the nature of death? Our own existence is what we’ve known since birth and contemplating the end of existence feels like a foreign invader. The idea that all of this will cease struck me, it struck me to the core. I felt hollow inside and numb. I lay there for almost an hour, still, staring up at the popcorn ceiling. Boy, was that a horrible feeling. There’s nothing productive about those kinds of thoughts and I haven’t delved back in since, but I did come to one truth: Death is scary and it’s assured.

Pet Sematary deals with this very topic. The main character, Louis Creed, faces it at every turn throughout the novel. A general physician working at the University, Creed believes death is the natural order of things. However, when his neighbor, Jud, takes Louis and his family out to the pet cemetery behind their house, his journey with death begins. It feels only natural that a story about cemeteries would deal quite heavily with the topic of death, and King provides. Death is the central figure in the entire story if not the main antagonist.

Two Down, Four More to Go

I finished the first draft of Part 2 of Orphan’s Hollow. And I’m still behind. It’s an odd feeling to finish something and still have plenty left to do. I want to celebrate, but that feels premature. Maybe I’ll get ahead in the next few weeks but it’s hard to say. When all is said and done and the last words are written and the final part is published, then I’ll celebrate.

I’ve been sleeping better which is a plus. I think it’s the warmer weather. Anytime it hits below zero it’s like my body goes into shock and struggles to sleep.

Next, I plan to hop into the editing process of Part 2 while I simultaneously write Part 3. Switching gears could prove treacherous. I’m hopeful, though. I don’t have much of a choice.

As time goes along, I’ll share a little more of my process with everyone. Spreadsheets and all.

Until then, I hope you enjoy Orphan’s Hollow: The Raven – Part 1.

True Stories on Friday the 13th

Superstitions come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes you have to knock on wood or throw salt over your shoulder. Somewhere along the way in human history, Friday the 13th kept getting passed down from generation to generation as a bad, unlucky day. Many point to Christ, the 13 disciples, and Good Friday as the beginning, or the Knights Templar and their horrific torture, but the most likely explanation point to William Fowler.

The movie Friday the 13th, of course, probably helped reinvigorate interest for today’s modern sensibilities. I remember growing up always hearing from classmates about how “tomorrow was Friday the 13th. Better watch out! Something bad might happen.” I didn’t believe it, but kids love to play pretend. For the longest time, I always thought no one really bought into it. Apparently, I was wrong.

How to Silence Your Internal Editor

In my past article How I Write 3,000 Words Per HourI talk about the idea of keeping the door closed when you write and keeping it open when you edit. Of course, the phrase is not entirely literal. When you’re writing your first draft you shouldn’t bother yourself with critiquing and editing every last sentence. Too many writers think the first draft should be perfect, and if it’s anything less, they have to start all over. Other writers trudge through a bog of their own making, continuously re-writing their first paragraph. They get so drained and exhausted. It’s no wonder why they give up.

Believe it or not many, many writers do this (and have done this) throughout the ages. J.R.R. Tolkien plagued his first drafts with overt perfectionism and would throw dozens of copies away because he wasn’t satisfied. In the meantime, his best pal, C.S. Lewis, wrote book after book with ease.

You’re a writer. If you want to finish your projects like Professor Lewis, then it’s time you started acting like one. Here are five tips for writing faster and silencing your inner editor: