Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Streaking Writer

Last week, I worked on my novel seven straight days. This may not seem overly impressive — especially considering I wrote a blog post every day in January — but believe me, it is.

The reason is quite simple: I'd never done it before.

Yep, even when I first started writing it years ago during NaNoWriMo,1 and worked on it almost every day for that first month, I never managed seven straight.

Four days? Sure. Five? Piece of cake.2 But the full week has always eluded me.

One factor has been my refusal to begin writing if I have less than an hour to spare. I used to think I couldn't get into a real rhythm otherwise, so anything less would be a waste.

Then last week happened. I only did a full hour two of the days, and on two others I barely wrote for fifteen minutes. Yet each day I made progress in the story, and that sense of accomplishment kept me feeling great throughout the week.

I admit I didn't make much progress, however. Those seven days netted me a scant half a chapter. Then again, it is the final chapter, so perhaps I can cut myself some slack. It takes time to figure out how to tie everything up and complete all the character arcs without it feeling forced.

Besides, you know what they say about slow and steady.3

So I'll keep plugging away. I don't know if I'll go another seven straight anytime soon, but since I'm no longer waiting for that hour-long block of time, I will be writing more often.

And from that, only good things can happen.4

1 If I told you exactly how long ago I started the novel, with you knowing it's not yet finished, you'd be embarrassed for me. And I don't want that. See, I'm doing this for you.
2 That's right, my reward for writing five straight days is a slice of cake. A huge slice of cake. The ensuing sugar hangover renders me pretty much useless on day six.
3 You get last picked at dodge ball.
4 Unless you're one of my characters. Mwahahahaha!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Me and My Doppelgänger

This is a little random, but I felt like sharing.

Back in elementary school, around 3rd or 4th grade, my friend Mark started calling me "Mahoney." He said I looked like Officer Mahoney from the Police Academy movies, played by Steve Guttenberg.

Guttenberg was seemingly everywhere in the mid-to-late 80s, starring in two Cocoons, 3 Men and a Baby, four Police Academies, and a stint with Johnny 5. I never thought I looked like him myself. And apparently no one else thought too much of the comparison (or no one else thought too much of the Police Academy movies), since the nickname never caught on. Soon enough, it was forgotten.

Fast forward to my mid-20s. I'm out at a bar with two friends, sitting at a table on the patio. A guy at the next table knocks into my arm, and when he turns to apologize I recognize him. Nick. We'd been classmates from about 5th grade on--friends for a year or two, then acquaintances the rest of the way.

Also, he's plastered.

He tells his friends I'm the smartest guy he's ever known, then starts rambling on about how he's really good at Jeopardy. How he can get many of the answers--only in the first round, though, not in Double Jeopardy, those are way too hard--when he stops mid-sentence, points at me, and yells.

"Steve Guttenberg! You're Steve Guttenberg!"

Yes, he was drunk. But two people picking the same doppelgänger for me fifteen years apart can't just be a coincidence, can it? Nick wasn't there for the nickname conversations. And I looked a bit different at 24 than I did at 9. For one thing, I had a goatee. At that point, to my knowledge, Guttenberg had never sported one.

Fast forward to today. A quick Google image search turns up just such a photograph. And yeah, now I see the resemblance. Hot damn, I am Steve Guttenberg.

There but for a full head of hair go I.