Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In which I regret my laziness

I haven't posted anything in a while, which makes a kind of sense, as I haven't written anything in a while either. I'm not stuck like I was before; I'm just inhabiting a zone of non-motivation at the moment. It comes and goes, like malaria.

The last thing I wrote was a scene about Sam waking up after the surgery on her hand. Alex is visiting her, I wrote something that didn't quite work, and that was that. Fixing things is no more difficult than deleting and then re-writing those half-dozen lines, so you'd think I would have done it by now. I suppose if little writing "breaks" like this were explainable, they'd also be avoidable and fixable too.

Interestingly, the long problem I had with completing Chapter 10 has come back to strike when I least expected it. Those half-dozen lines were the payoff I was looking forward to while trying to figure out how to set it up without tossing a wrench into the gears, and if that's not irony I don't know what is. If my "writing break" lasts much longer, or goes completely off the rails, I guess I'll have no one to blame but myself.

I have, sort of, kind of, come up with a title. Samantha was on the cross-country team before her accident, so the phrase Running Towards popped into my head last week, as a sort of counterpoint to "running away," but it doesn't make a lot of sense of you don't get that, and is probably a little obscure. Then I mentally sized up Running Forward, but eh. Both titles imply that running is a large part of the plot, and it isn't, and that running might be part of the process that ends up healing her, and again, it isn't. I suppose I'll have to keep searching.

As I am wont, while not writing I've been thinking about writing something else -- specifically, that cool new idea that suddenly began percolating a few months ago. It's called Gone now, and I really like it. The protagonist is (at the moment) 13; her name is Anna Kosel; she has a little sister; there's a boy who likes her. And one morning she wakes up to find her parents are gone, along with everyone else in the world older than 15.

I'm pretty excited about this one, but unlike the current new thing Gone really will require an outline. I'll have to sit down some weekend and work on that, as I don't want to just start freewriting it and end up stuck somewhere in chapter 3 becuase I didn't know where the story was going.

And that's pretty much that, as far as the writing goes. I'll get back into the groove soon, finish Chapter 12, and get on with it. Promise.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Where the votes aren't

In January 2000, McCain won the New Hampshire primary and was poised to win in South Carolina too, until Karl Rove's vicious smear campaign derailed things pretty nicely for him:

Rove invented a uniquely injurious fiction for his operatives to circulate via a phony poll. Voters were asked, "Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain...if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?" This was no random slur. McCain was at the time campaigning with his dark-skinned daughter, Bridget, adopted from Bangladesh.

McCain later said there was a special place in hell reserved for the people who spread those rumors. Well, guess what? On Monday, McCain hired the guy who helped spread those race-baiting rumors!

That's nice. Obama topped 50% today, probably as undecided independents finally begin hopping off the fence, and instead of campaigning to the middle where the votes he needs to win lie, he moves further to the already-secured right by tossing meat to the base with the disastrous choice of Palin, then hiring the guy he once thought belonged in hell.

I suppose the point -- if there is one -- is that people already inclined to vote for him (or against Obama; those aren't necessarily the same things) won't care about this. They just want him to win; want the last eight years to continue without a break.

They can have him.