Saturday, September 23, 2006

Re-Writing, it's not just meat and potatoes.


Revising notes, re-writing pieces on scrap paper, and sometimes re-envisioning a lot of material can be pretty daunting. I am really working hard at getting Athebes ready on time after loosing a lot of material. I am reminded of writing short stories and plays back in the mid-80's, when the write out started on paper, scratching out this or that part and adding some improved phrasing or sequencing, got typed up on a manual typewriter where some more re-writing took place, to complete a first draft. And the writing mag's at the time suggested only sending off a story for consideration after three or four drafts. Luckily that never stopped me from sending out seriously improperly prepared works for consideration, otherwise I never would have any plays produced, nor the few articles or stories published, after my first three weeks of "writing." Then again as any of my "editors" will tell you, I am a horrible "writer", that just happens to be an interesting enough "story-teller" to sully their reputation by allowing me to get past them.

Athebes though is, if only by accident, benefiting from the re-writing process though.
I am averaging about a page and a half per day, jumping back and forth between the various sections of the work to keep myself from getting bored. Luckily I have four sections of very different tones and setting details to keep me from feeling like the project is work. And then Cream Trumpet and Dandelion or another artist will come along with a great drawing for it and amaze with me with their interpretation of an aspect of the Primal Land. Will it be on time, well it's probably going to be around 75 pages and I am getting out 1 to 2 pages a day, at about 37 as I type this, and I have a couple other works that must get done before November, one for Shippy's Hobbit Hole and a new adventure for the Ruin Quest play-tester at Con on the Cob,so it's kind of dicey. But it's fun trying.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Schedules...publishing, death, and sex


While working on Athebes about a month ago at work, the squad received a call, and I had to shut down my lap-top right away. I thought I had saved the work and everything was okay. But what actually happened is that I closed the lap-top computer, which put it on "sleep" or some-such mode, and Windows Nth degree saved the work as a "back-up" file. So for another two weeks, I kept hitting the shortcut on the Windows pop-up menu to get to the work to add more and more work. I printed out all sorts of stuff and posted bits and pieces on line. Then I started working on other projects...

After five or six different documents were pulled up, the back-up Athebes was removed from the short cut list. I went to pull up Athebes to start doing the final polishing, mostly cutting and pasting bits in a better, more presentable order, and discovered the document named "Athebes" was very outdated. And then I discovered that Windows does not really have a default back-up file system in place for easy retrieval after the initial back-up incident. Not even Flavia could find the damn thing. So somewhere in middle of BillGatesLand is some twenty-five pages of Athebes. I suspect it is right next to the crocodile that swallowed a clock and the "Terms of Service" agreement that I clicked when I started up this damn computer for the first time.

Really the set back is okay though. Dandelion, Creamtrumpet, Zach, and now another artist are all working on art work for the project and these pictures could really inspire me into avenues that I have not explored yet. And I won't have to rewrite as much as before, if this turns out to be the case, as when I had everything all-but finished. And frankly the ideas are flowing smoothly as I rewrite what I was patching together from before.

Still, I went to bed the other night with heart-burn. And now that I am 40 years old, I can't just shrug off this sort of thing. So while laying in bed, I wondered if the night was going to be the night I headed off of this world and rejoined the Cosmos. And I was sad because my fantasy world of "Elder" was still a bunch of meandering notes, paragraphs to pages to pantheons worth of them, and not published for kids 90 years from now to compare me to Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, and JRR Tolkien. Delusions of grandeur never hurt anyone not in front of a video camera, by the way. So I got up and took an aspirin, which only increased my heart burn, but at least reassured me that I was not having a heart attack as it would've helped if so-- just one of those weird Witch Doctor medicine moments in time that, as a Paramedic, I will "practice" on myself but do not recommend for anybody else.

The next morning, err afternoon, I awoke anew, and despite having to work the next night, started getting my schedule re-organized to complete the write-up for Athebes. Started nagging at Flavia for this or that format or inter-net favor I had to get done. Not only that I started looking at Flavia's own Peryton PRG game and what work I needed to do there to get things moving along her little creek. Oh the Wisdom Goddess has started raining upon our household again.

Now I promised to mention something about sex, but that's really just my business. Go have your own. Athebes is about as primal as we need to get here.