All posts filed under: Notebook

Random notes on-the-fly.

A Guitar Is Always Nearby

On the eve of Thanksgiving I was up in my bedroom alone while all the girls were downstairs watching this season’s Hallmark Christmas movies with their mom/aunt. I was getting sleepy really, having burned the candle longer this week than I should have. So I was starting to come to terms with the possibility that I was going to finally miss a day (night, really) of NaNoWriMo productivity after going a RECORD 20 DAYS STRAIGHT this year. I truly did not want to break the streak, which is just a personal goal of accomplishment, but I was a little too drained to muster the mental energy (I’m sure that whatever mental reserves I had left were exhausted after getting home from work and reading seven or so chapters of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis). An easy distraction for me in general is listening to music, whether it’s old favorites or discovering new-to-me artists and their tunes. Last night I was listening to various acoustic songs and since I have my two acoustic guitars in …

Art Junkie

We have art so as not to perish from the truth. — Friedrich Nietzsche Back in the early days of social media, and I mean way back to like 2002-03 when I was on Live Journal (and not yet on Friendster, then MySpace and later Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and Tumbler — sheesh), I went by the handle of “Artjunkie”. It was fitting because that’s exactly what I was and still am today: a junkie for the arts. My primary art jams are the literary arts (reading books and writing prose) and graphic literature (comic books and graphic novels) and, of course, music. Naturally, movies and television factor in as well, but Read! Write! Rock! is my mantra, they’re the activities I do most often in my spare time (wait, spare time exists?). I consume and create a lot art (although I hoard a lot of my own artistic creations). I’ve been writing fiction and nonfiction seriously for about 25 years and have been a musician/songwriter for 30 years as of this past Summer — the …

Brother, Can You Spare Some Prose?

~ Notebook #11 ~ When you’re looking to reincorporate lean muscle to your prose and you turn to the maestros of the minimalist, clean, no frills, straight-to-the-point (and straight-to-the-heart) narrative technique. I have a tendency in daily speech and writing to use a lot of complex sentences (and parenthetical asides) and when I’m not mindful of it, I tend to let that creep into my prose, especially when I’ve not been writing fiction narratives for a good while (an obvious drawback to mostly writing in a nonfiction capacity daily for so many years now). I’ve been reading both Elmore Leonard and Bob Thurber since the late 90s (starting with Thurber at an online workshop just prior to his entering award-winning publishing success). Both of these authors cite Ernest Hemingway as a major influence on them. Only makes sense that I finally dig deeper into the guy at the top of this literary family tree I’ve adopted, so I hit up my local public library for Mr. Hemingway’s collection, and since I don’t (for some odd reason) …

Bibliophilic Bookworm

~ Notebook #10 ~ bibliophile – a person who loves or collects books. bookworm – a person devoted to reading or studying. Guilty as charged. When you can swoon at the olfactory interaction of books–burying your nose in them to inhale their great scent–then you (I) might have a book-loving problem. I can’t get enough of them. I also can’t read them fast enough. I’m a bit of a collector–not quite a hoarder, but I do: 1 — prefer to have things in a physical, tactile form, and 2 – physically keep the things I like. I’m that person who would, if he could (and maybe someday) line a room in his home with nothing but bookshelves filled end-to-end with books, a collection of mostly yet-to-read books. Nothing represents potential quite like an unread book (just like an unfilled, blank page). And of course this all naturally extends to what I like to call my Comic Book Fetish as well. Speaking of comics, I saw this the other day (ignore the 2015 date — there’s no expiration on this kind …

Notebook 9 | Waving the White Flag

I’m baaaack! Yeah, I wasn’t gone long and as I stated last week, you know what this quick return means. Details below. How ’bout that NaNoWriMo experiment? So what did I learn within my first couple of days of NaNoWriMo? My new fiction prose is VERY rusty. I seem to be sharper when working on my previously written prose when revising and editing. And I can flow here in a nonfiction or even a journalistic mode with ease. I suppose my previous years in the role of a fiction editor as well as spending the last 5 years mostly writing nonfiction will do that to a fella’s fiction flow. Contrary to my optimism, I can’t use a first-person POV for a long-form prose narrative like a novel. Aside from very short fiction, I am far outside my comfort zone when stuck with the lack of narrative control that is 1st person POV. That lack of narrative authority. My best prose writing days might just be behind me, or so my mind, lacking confidence, has been whispering …

Notebook 8 | . . .

Shit. I’ve gotten into that weird mode of only wanting to write. I had planned on reading tonight and sat down with a couple of books, a novel and an anthology, and couldn’t bring myself to turn the pages. Grabbed a stack of comics and they couldn’t keep my attention past a couple of pages either. Maybe it’s just the stressful day at work that’s soured my mood and made me listless this evening. Month-end is always intense and the flurry of needy emails severely grate on my nerves. Friday and Monday at work will no doubt be their own special versions of Hell. Or maybe I’m just anxious about starting NaNoWriMo in less than a week. Since I’ve been trying to wrap and tidy up other things prior to starting, I haven’t exactly prepped myself for THE literary endeavor of the year, aside from mentally. Well, I do have a summary written and some other conceptual notes from the summer when the idea originated in my noggin. I need to tweak the summary some. Write a …

Notebook 7 | The Wayward Mind

~ This is a #notebook entry on #ruckology in which Brandon L. Rucker kinda, sorta admits he’s mentally unwell ~ Last weekend I had a plotting breakthrough on Project: One Shot (formerly Project: Crime Time), the codename for my developing crime comic with my artist partner and best friend Joshua S. Hooten. Finally actual scripting had commenced. The plan was to take Monday off and resume writing on Tuesday. Tuesday became another off day. The rest of the week was compromised by family obligations and work exhaustion from the day job. But the mind stayed active with some fine-tuning of the plot happening in my subconscious. That’s not the problem. The problem is my mind got more active on character and plot details for the romantic crime-noir novel I’m planning on finally starting in November during NaNoWriMo (codenamed Project: Dame Game, a project featuring an old character of mine in a new story I cooked up this past Spring — details in next week’s Workbook). So even if I had managed to sit at my desk and …

Notebook 6 | Write-or-Flight, the Phone Awaits Also

#ruckology #writeorflight Image: screenshot from my phone. So in yesterday’s Notebook the theme was about a writer (moi) finding himself in the compromised position of having to write on-the-go, out of office and out of his comfort zone using pen and paper rather than his trusty PC. Y’know, something normal people do all the time without quibble. Well, today’s entry is the sequel. Because … If you (I) have to, you (I) can also be productive writing … on your (my) phone??? Say whuuuut? IKR? Trust me, it’s not something I’ve ever wanted to have to do, but today I found myself doing just that out of desperation. While initially writing with the old school method of pen to paper today, I happened to remember a couple of things as I scribbled up a page with my chicken scratch: I have Microsoft Office on my phone, featuring first and foremost MS Word. My phone is also connected to my Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage account. So whatever I write on the phone can be retrieved on the PC later. …

Notebook 5 | Write-or-Flight, the Page Awaits

#ruckology #writeorflight When you have to be productive but you’re on-the-go a lot, not at home in your study, not in your comfort zone, yet if you don’t get those ideas out and down on paper you will lose them, possibly forever. I am usually loathe to do significant writing by pen and paper, but what’s a fella to do while on-the-go or at the day job during a slow week with story passages, plot points and lines of dialogue swirling around his noggin? Gotta put pen to paper and git ‘r dun. By any means. Because the Page awaits. I should probably hashtag that one too.