All posts filed under: Workbook

Old monthly work update.

Workbook 10 | July: Time for Crime

This is a #workbook update on #ruckology by Brandon L. Rucker in which he reports on the productivity and counter-productivity of his author/musician life. Not a whole lot to report in this working update because I’ve been busy living (more on that in tomorrow’s The Evening Muse). Let’s get right to it. Comics Project: CrimeTime (with artist Joshua S. Hooten) – Nearing the end of preliminary work and beginning actually scripting this week so that Joshua can start producing actual pages this coming weekend. The plan is to compose a breakdown of the plot Sunday, and then actually script out the page-by-page plot beginning Monday. That is what I will present to Joshua as his guide from which to illustrate his story pages, a method known as the “Marvel Method” which was pioneered by the great and legendary Stan Lee as a necessary means of expedience because at the time in the 50s and 60s he was the editor-in-chief as well as the head writer, charged with the task of providing multiple scripts in short order …

Workbook 9 | June: Criminal Intent

The end of June flowed nicely into a holiday weekend, so with that now out of the way, I can take a quick moment to reflect on the previous month’s productivity. Spoiler alert: not a whole lot accomplished. The main takeaway from June is right now I am, again, all about crime (and suspense) fiction. I suppose I’ve always been about suspense since I first started writing more than two decades ago, inspired by the suspense (and horror) novels I’d borrowed from my mother as a young man. Usually with suspense fiction a criminal element is often present. In the mid-to-late 90s as a neophyte writer still fairly new to reading prose fiction regularly, I started to seek out straight crime fiction. That meant the stuff that wasn’t considered mystery fiction (they try to trick you, understand). Of course a mystery element is natural in crime and suspense fiction, even horor, but I quickly came to realize the stuff that was overtly mystery fiction simply did not scratch the itch I had for the seedier …

Workbook 8 | May: Gentleman, Restart Your Engine

Ahhh . . . May! Probably my favorite month of the year for a few reasons: one, the residue of Winter isfully shaken off and Spring finally in full swing; two, usually great weather (tho we didn’t get it until later in the month this time), and the NBA Playoffs enter the more competitive second and third rounds. You can usually count on the temperatures not being too extreme either way with lots of sun and blue in the sky, sometimes with those big fluffy pillow-y clouds. Regular readers here know the weather plays a bigger role on my general disposition than I’d like, ideally. Last month’s Workbook made that painfully clear. As I write this monthly update on this fine Memorial Day morning, we’re in our second straight day of mostly blue sky and 80+ degree temperature. I foresee a cookout on my horizon (this is posting after said cookout). For May there’s more actual activity than April to report. It still wasn’t as productive as advertised or desired, but in the spirit of …

Workbook 7 | April: Ramping Down

Spring is in full swing and the weather has been as moody as you might expect a Midwestern Spring to be, which unfortunately does a doozy on my overall disposition, rendering me aimless. I am one of those people who simply do not do well when the weather is especially crappy – endless days of clouds, rain or overcast just tend to replicate themselves within me. I wish I was not so susceptible to these negative effects, but alas. Hell, as I write this on this lazy Saturday it’s currently gloomy outside with a gray monochrome overcast and relentless rain. That said, this unfortunate condition does not excuse my lack of productivity. It may certainly help explain it, but I fully acknowledge it’s not an excuse. So instead of doing a rundown of things I accomplished since the March update, I can amass more words here with a rundown of what I didn’t accomplish in the month of April. Current Project: The All-New Ruckerpedia The new companion site intended to showcase the story author aspect …

Workbook 6 | March: Ramping Up

Hello, Spring. You’ve been missed. And I’ve been busy. Sorta. Been a while since I’ve done one of these so let’s get right to it. Current Project: Comeback The past month or so has been devoted to making a comeback in a couple of different ways. A kind of rebirth. Emerging from the dark cold winter with a better outlook on what it is I’m supposed to be doing with whatever talents I may have as a writer and musician. I’m addressing the writer aspect first. First and foremost, I had to upgrade my primary computing and writing device with a new laptop. That was done about a month ago. Updated hardware and software, crucial tools for working smarter, not harder. Current Project: Ruckerpedia Creating a self-publishing venue for my writing – that’s currently underway as I put together the all-new Ruckerpedia: The Magazine & Archive of yours truly, which will house all of my fiction, poetry and lyrics – old and forthcoming. In the process of the just mentioned, this particular blog became rebranded …

Workbook 5 | Quick Musical Update

There is much to update from the past two months or so, but I’ll just touch on the musical aspect because that requires less words to summon before I head out for the day. So my rock band of 10 months, Neglect the Alarm, has been putting the finishing, polishing touches on the five songs that will form our first release of new music into the wilds. We have slated our as-yet-untitled (though likely will be self-titled) 5-song EP to be recorded at the earliest part of November at Azmyth Recording studio in Indianapolis, IN, not far from the practice space we use every other week. The mini-album will be financed, produced, mixed and mastered by us D-i-Y style, and likely released digitally for free. (not final graphic) Group photo by Jason Fredriksz

Workbook 4 | July 26-August 1, 2015

Current Project: Me (my confidence, my outlook, my purpose) The week that was . . . Started the week off in a bit of a funk. Lacking confidence in my ambitions and lacking conviction in the possibility of actual achievement in my goals. Began to wonder if I should simply forgo writing fiction, which over the last few years has truly become hard work, and just take the easy way out and opt for nonfiction since that has been so much easier to do the last few years. Exorcised some of those negative demons in a Journal Juice entry and felt a little better after the expulsion of negative emotions. Agreed that even though I have serious doubts about my ability to pen a complete novel at this current juncture, I should still continue to work on my fiction, long or short, at any opportunity that I can, but should remove some of the self-applied pressure from myself so that I can still at least enjoy life while I continue to struggle. Current Project: Operation Remember Me? …

Workbook 3 | July 19-25, 2015 – Late Vacation Edition

All current creative projects The week that was . . . Created redundant file backups in the cloud for a more flexible and seamless workflow (or so that’s the idea). Reworked a couple of guitar riffs for a n/t/a song written back in March. Tried to fit new lyrics to it but the cadence isn’t quite right. Made zero progress on novel work. Had a serious bout of doubt about the prospects of novel writing given current conditions and lifestyle (but received counselling to the contrary from a writer friend to be named later in a separate post). Contemplated ditching long fiction in favor of writing long nonfiction. Went on a family vacation for an extended weekend on which naturally I did not write nor read. The week to come . . . Who the hell knows? Kids are still out of school for another week.  Much prep work to do. Have neglect/the/alarm band practice scheduled for this Wednesday and maybe next Sunday as well, during which I will completely lose myself to my unbridled love of music.

Workbook 2 | July 12-18, 2015

Current Project: Blood-Borne (codename) The week that was . . .  Continued working loose details into the skeletal outline, adding structure to the spine of the plot. Came to the sad realization that while the kids are out of school for the summer, and with a family vacation looming in a week, efforts on writing progress would largely be thwarted. Also realized while at a local live show featuring members of my musical brotherhood that with music always being the first artistic love and primary means of artistic gratification,  writing will take the occasional backseat as my own band activities increases in the coming months. That said, I aim to first-draft this puppy some time by year’s end to maybe February of the new year. The week to come . . . Document character motivations and resolutions. Lay out character place positioning stating where the main characters are at, where they’ve been and where they’re going. Create listening music soundtrack for the themes of Book One. Take tablet PC on vacation so that more of this can be continued during …

Workbook 1 | July 5-11, 2015

Current Project: Blood-Borne (codename) The week that was . . . Re-engaged the “new” Book One on Sunday night, July 5th as planned. Quickly realized I was coming back to the characters, their story and their world – on the page – almost cold turkey after having been away for so long, aside from brainstorming and rearranging things in my head the last couple of years. Added previously written parts of Goran’s origin to the “Preamble”, the new world-building intro portion to open the book. Did a quick research refresher on the historical timeline and the customs of the South Slavic region of Europe. Re-purposed “pre-narrative” and supplemental material for the new narrative “Prelude” section, as well as actual chapter material. Began to construct a new loose outline. The week to come . . . Continue loose plotting of new skeletal outline so I have a serviceable map. Continue work on world-building intro “Prelude” and narrative “Prelude” intro sections. Consider incorporating some of the “bible” material into a reader-friendly “glossary of terms”. Take long scenic drive …