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As I was saying...
Monday, 14 May 2007
"The situation was better under Sadaam Hussein," he said.
Now Playing: The computer's cooling fan
Topic: Realism
No, I am not dead just yet, although no one ever knows when he will be.

I was just reading an artricle about the deterioration of the school in Iraq...along with and in addition to everything else there, apparently. I was struck by one young gentleman's quote "The situation was better under Sadaam Hussein..."

I had often wondered how many Iraqis felt that way, if not as a constant belief, then as a passing thought. I certainly feel that way for them, if only as an outsider looking in on what's going on there now versus what I knew of it before. And certain old adages keep popping into my mind every time I see the destruction going on there. 1. You don't know what you got till it's gone. 2. It's better to deal with the devil you know than the one you don't.

Posted by scifi2/walter_r_milton at 11:34 PM EDT
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Monday, 4 December 2006
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Katy Be Mine - Tony Carey
Topic: Writing
Whew! Nanowrimo is over and I have successfully completed the challenge! It was everything I had expected and I was able to follow my plan through to completion. Of course, the novel is not complete and I have hardly written a word on it since a fwe days before the end of the challenge, which was November 30. I managed to complete the challenge despite a couple of personal health set-backs, and in the back of my mind, I wonder if the challenge contributed to them. The greater part of my mind says no, because, in spite of the grueling nature of the challenge, it wasn't very difficult. As I have said a million times, getting words out is never a problem for me. And if I can dedicate a time slot daily for any length of time, I can pump out a book in fairly short order. The time slot dedication was the hardest part, but once I did, all else went smoothly. I do wish I could type faster, and perhaps I will work on that in the coming year (I am a hybrid hunt-and-pecker and a ten-fingered typist), because, of all things, that's what slowed me down the most.

In any case, I am not close to actually finishing the book. It's going to be pretty meaty, considering how much territory I have yet to cover. But, most importantly, I like what I have written so far. It will need editing, as all works do, but I like the characters, the characterizations, the scenarios, the themes...all of it. I just hope I have the skill to pull off on paper (or binary code)what is in my mind.

Posted by scifi2/walter_r_milton at 9:53 AM EST
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Monday, 11 September 2006
"Et tu, Brute?"
Mood:  blue
Topic: Realism
Have you ever experienced a scenario in which there can be no good outcome? Regardless of what happens, it's going to be bad?

Have you ever wondered exactly how Julius Caesar felt when his good friend Brute joined in on his execution? Legend has it that he stopped resisting and surrendered to his fate. I wonder if it was disbelief that froze him, with his mind unable to reconcile such a seemingly improbable scenario. I do know that betrayal has a paralyzing effect on a person. The enormity of the disbelief--the shock!--of seeing a friend or a loved one aid in your undoing is like being pilloried in a suit of lead. The mind is addled and all thoughts retreat to but a singular "You too?" And of course, the obligatory "why" or "how could you."

Posted by scifi2/walter_r_milton at 1:34 PM EDT
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Saturday, 29 April 2006
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: Pink Floyd - Dogs
Topic: Writing
My the pendulum swings. These past few weeks have been the least productive in, well, weeks! I guess I haven't quite recovered from the Holy Week slow-down. The increased daylight hours don't help much either. When I have been able to write, I haven't been dissatisfied with the results. I know what I want to write and it comes out pretty much the way it should. I'm just not spitting out enough right now for me to meet my end of June deadline. I am sure it will pick up again. It's just the natural ebb and flow of productivity.

IOV is back out on the market, with the revision process FINALLY completed. What a clusterf*ck that turned out to be! For whatever reason, the printer kept printing copies of the pre-revision book for me to review. It took five tries and two months for them to FINALLY get it right. I still don't know exactly what happened.

Posted by scifi2/walter_r_milton at 4:53 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 10 September 2006 10:40 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 19 April 2006
Rejection?? Foul me instead!
Mood:  down
Now Playing: Device -
Topic: Writing
I received a rejection letter for Sweet Lil'one today.. Every writer who has ever submitted a work for publication has received them, so that's no big deal. In fact, often they can be very helpful, if the editor tells you why they are rejecting your work. What's ironic in this case is that one of the reasons stated for the rejection was sort of intentional. I wasn't intentionally trying for rejection, as they come readily enough on their own. As it was a narrative, in first person, I was having the narrator 'telling' his story instead of 'showing' it and I was having him 'explaining too much' much the way people who are guilty of something and seeking to justify their actions to someone tell much more than they ought to. So, in my failure to be accepted, I am consoled that I was effective in what I wished to present. So... now all I have to do is mate the manuscript with someone looking for just that technique.

On a lighter note, I am back to working on ' ...Ampersand...' after Holy Week. It was a worthwhile respite and I hope to be able to reacquire my pre Holy Week level of productivity. Personally, I think my productivity suffers during Daylight Savings time. Since I am an active day person, for writing, I welcome the night. With extended daylight hour(s), by the time night falls, it's after 8 PM, and I only have a few hours of time to write (I do have to get up mornings and go to my bills paying job, after all).

Oh... and don't think the "down" mood has anything to do with the rejection letter. You take those things with a grain of salt and move on, hopefully learning something from them to enhance the craft. I am down because you just don't have that far to fall when you are already down. How pathetic is that?

Posted by scifi2/walter_r_milton at 8:45 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 10 September 2006 10:46 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 28 March 2006
Half the Way
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Crystal Gale - 'Half the Way'
Topic: Writing
How apropo! half the way... I just thought about that I was wondering what to write. I just passed the 40K word mark on the first draft of 'Curves,' which, by all consideration at this point, is half way to completion. OK... maybe not HALF, but I am closing in on it. Doing about 3K words a week now, which is a fairly respectable clip. If I can maintain, which is a big IF, I will be able to complete another 42K words by my end of June deadline. That will bring me up to about 82K words, give or take, and that will be a fair sized manuscript. Not bad for a skeleton, huh? When I hang some meat on those bones, I expect a good 105 K words to be the final result. That's pretty meaty.

Playing now is "Scorpio" by Grandmaster Flash. Ummm.... I'll have to think of a way to fit that into the theme of 'Half the Way'

Posted by scifi2/walter_r_milton at 7:47 PM EST
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Saturday, 4 March 2006
Updating like Crazee
Now Playing: Silence
Topic: Web Page Update
I've been updating the web page like crazy these past few days. It's a good break away from writing. Writing rules, but just like anything else, you need to draw away from it for awhile, get your bearings, then get back to work with new drive, enthusiasm and direction. I set a deadline for "...Curves..." to be complete in first draft form, and that is June '06. It's do-able, but I'll have to really put the nose to the grindstone to do it. With the roll I've been on lately, it shouldn't pose much of a challenge to complete, provided that I simply sit down and write and not let other things (web page updating, for instance) distract me.

Posted by scifi2/walter_r_milton at 12:49 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006 8:40 AM EST
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Wednesday, 1 March 2006
Mood:  down
Now Playing: The Bee Gees - Love So Right
Topic: Web Page Update
Hello, again! I am back with a vengeance after a three week absence. I am just trying to find my way back to stability after my supervisor for the past 18 years at my bills-paying job retired. That's an amazingly long time to work for someone. I was a mere 22 years old when I started working for him. It also means that I've been in the same place for 18 years and that may or may not be good, depending on your point of view. But I, for one, like stability. Still, all things change. It is the universal constant. Adapt or perish is the corollary.

So in the theme of transitions and changes, I decided my web page needed another change. And to take this change thing even farther, I decided to add material that is not yet published. I designed a mock-up book cover for Sweet Lil'one and added it to the site. What's more! I added 2 chapters-worth of excerpts from the book. I think the splash of pink livens things up a bit.

Posted by scifi2/walter_r_milton at 2:37 PM EST
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Tuesday, 7 February 2006
I Must Be Dying
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: Prince - "The Future"
Topic: The Future
I must be dying. I feel fine, though. I say that I must be dying because I can't stop writing. Perhaps it's been so long since I've written anything of import, but I can't really recall ever being this productive. Therefore, like the man who scribbles out his good-byes before his coming death, I must be trying to put down as many of my thoughts as I can before my demise. I hope it's not the case, but damn! I can't stop!! I mean, poems galore; '...Ampersand...' has increased by 10% in the past half week... holy cow, I simply cannot even type fast enough to get all these thoughts down. It's frightening, exhilarating, frustrating, tiring... ugh. But onward I plug, huntin' and peckin' till the midnight oil runs low. Or the bladder gets full.

I've also just learned that one of my 'cover girls' is now a 'cover mom.' Well, I am happy for her and I wish her and her son all the best in the world. We kind of fell out of touch a few years ago as her life took her into new pursuits 'Oooorah.' Interestingly enough, her name came up this past summer when some MIB types were curious about my research methodology for my fifth novel. That peaked my curiosity and so now I finally got around to finding out about her. Awesome. My other 'cover girls' are doing quite well also, I have taken time to find out: one of whom is racing her little heart out; another of whom is hot on the trail of a career in medicine; another who is ivy league and studying some science major that I can't even pronounce; another who is b-ballin' and, of late, blowin' up on the courts with mad points and boards and blox; another of whom is married and back in her native land workin' hard as always. Awesome. I think one blessing in life--one true blessing--is knowing a diversity of people, from all walks of life, of all pursuasions. Even better is watching them strive for goals, and best yet is watching them achieve those goals.

Welp... back to work!

Posted by scifi2/walter_r_milton at 9:18 PM EST
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Monday, 6 February 2006
Monday After
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Journey - "Feeling that Way/Anytime"
Topic: Sports
OK... so I couldn't resist watching the Superbowl. At least parts of it. I'm hopeless, I know, but it IS the last meaningful pro game of the season. I thought the officiating was bad. Bad officiating always arouses my ire and that game was no exception. I am always reminded of certain sporting events of my youth where my team was victimized by bad officiating. It's a part of sports, but it did leave an indellible impression upon me. It also sparked endless debate at work (well, the debate ended when we finally decided to do some work!), regarding missed opportunities and taking advantage of opportunities given. How much like life is the microcosm of sports! I suppose that's one reason why I enjoy sports so much: the stories in them; the strive for perfection; the tenacity required to excel; the dedication to craft; the stories in them!; the reflection of life in them. OK, so that's more than one reason. But man o man... the stories! So if you ever wonder why I like them so much, I suppose that's as good a reason as any: stories. Lots and lots of stories. And for a person who sees stories all around (if I swore, I swear I can write a story about a rusty nail!), it's like a feast! Even if the officiating is bad. Just makes for another story.

Posted by scifi2/walter_r_milton at 9:26 PM EST
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