What are you Writing?

Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by MikeKardec, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. HistoryCopper

    HistoryCopper New in Town

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Southeast Texas
    In November I finished writing a novel titled So Others May Live about a German firefighter in World War 2 Berlin.
     
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  2. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,815
    Location:
    The Swamp
    Finished the high fantasy/mystery short story, 5300 words. I'll send it through the workshop this month.
     
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  3. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Finished my synopsis and sent it off to my agent. Working on the novel itself now.
     
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  4. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    The Audio Publishing project is coming together piecemeal. Individual stories will be cast and recorded over the next few months and old recordings done by the late great Richard Crenna will be added in. I think, with the addition of Crenna we'll have three to four different narrators. Sometimes it costs less to have more, depending on how you are paying them. The top guys get paid by the day while these days I think the minor players get paid by the "side" ie. how many CD disks they appear on. I haven't done one since the AFTRA rules changed.

    I'm writing the script for the historical material that goes between the individual stories and then will cut in some stuff from archival interviews. There's some back and forth in this as not every cut I can imagine in the archival stuff will be possible and so the "historical material," which I'll be recording myself, will have to be rewritten on the fly to allow everything to fit and make sense.

    Thirty years ago, when I first got into doing Audio Dramas and Audio Books, I built a small recording studio. It's been updated over time and has become a fairly state of the art editorial facility; which is a lot easier and cheaper to do now with digital technology than it was back then. At least five times over those years I have "retired" from doing audios and wondered what I'd eventually do with the studio and EVERY DAMN TIME an unforeseen project, like this one, pops up almost immediately. It's kind of weird.
     
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  5. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    MK, do you ever wish you could just work on your own stuff? It seems like you do a LOT of work on your dad's stuff which is AWESOME, of course, and I'm sure you love doing it!

    I managed to write three nights in a row - 1,000 words each night - and made some nice progress on the novel. Took last night off, though, but hope to get some more done.

    I try to give myself motivation to write. One night, I told myself if I wrote 1,000 words, I could watch the classic movie I'd been wanting to see. Bingo! It worked. The next night, I didn't really have a good reward for myself, so one of my friends suggested I started rewarding myself by saving a dollar amount every time I met my goal. I'm headed to Colorado for the 1940s ball in June (it's listed in the events section here at the Lounge) and need to figure in gas money and hotel accommodations, as well as dresses for both my daughter and I. Putting away a little every time I reach a writing goal is a pretty swell idea!
     
  6. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Good work! I always have to just get my butt in the chair every morning and slug it out. I'm terrible at bribing myself!

    Working on Dad's stuff is a complicated equation. Much of the time I make it mine, I'm doing creative work, it's no less if I don't get credit or take partial credit. I've spent enough time around people who need to be the center of attention to know that's not me, I just like doing the work.

    I have stuff I'd like to do someday (getting closer and closer whether I like it or not) but I get paid far better to do this work than I would doing my own by several orders of magnitude. There are publishers who pretend to take care of author's estates but there's a LOT of myth in the popular culture about what they'll even bother to try.

    I've been able to spin this job into opportunities in the worlds of Audio Drama, magazine publishing, Art Directing, copy writing, a Graphic Novel, lots of fiction and non fiction writing, internet marketing, and a brief return to Film making. If I was "writing my own stuff" I'd be fighting hard to produce (probably in just one genre) enough to eventually get the chance to finally do just a few of those things and I'd probably be too old to really enjoy doing them.

    This is going to seem kind of backwards but I also hate being "owned" and publishers are very good at getting you hooked on low and despicably divided advances. Though Dad's work is all with one publisher and there's no getting it free I, on my own, always have the opportunity to break away and do other things. I have yet to take advantage of that safety valve but it's there if I need it.

    Doing "my own stuff" (what I do always feels like it's mine no matter what it is) often seems like a bigger deal for other people. I don't feel like I'm missing all that much when it comes to the day to day work and creativity of it all. There is also a sort of a sense of mission or being part of something greater than myself. Dad took care of me. I take care of him.

    Now that I have most of the current project in the bag I've only got three more books to write and it's probably all over anyway. It's been a lot of fun, it has deep meaning and, not having a family of my own, it allows me to support my extended family and keep them from having any legal or managerial mess to clean up when I'm really the only person who understands it all.

    Probably more than you wanted to know but it's good to think about all that occasionally!
     
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  7. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    MK, this says it perfectly:

    "Dad took care of me. I take care of him."

    I admire you a great deal. And it sounds like you are being fulfilled creatively by doing this work. Good for you!
     
  8. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,815
    Location:
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    I've hit one of those dull flat spots in my creative work: Nothing is crowding everything else out for my attention. Time to re-open the "Notes for Future Stories" document and see what jumps out at me.
     
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  9. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I was doing great on the novel and then got sick over the weekend. Haven't written a word since. Hate that.
     
  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Banging out a 2700-word essay on Jack Benny's work as a sketch comic. Trying to picture Mr. Benny being cuffed and dragged into a patrol wagon during a police raid on "Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1930" for his performance in a smutty "farmer's daughter" sketch has caused me to lose my train of thought.
     
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  11. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,634
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Who are you writing it for? I have a warm spot in my heart for Jack Benny. Mainly because he always made my father laugh out loud.
     
  12. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The "Radio Spirits" company -- i've been doing booklets for their CD releases for years. Theirs are the only Benny releases authorized by the Benny Estate itself, so you know the quality is always first rate. And you get a booklet!
     
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  13. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Done with the Audio script which turned into the finished manuscript for the print version too. I didn't think I would but I found a way to simplify the Audio elements so now they are pretty identical. This makes the publisher happy because they like to put "unabridged" on the box. It's a fun book with short stories about San Pedro, Shanghai, Paris and other places around the world and set ten or so years prior to when they were written in the late '30s. Four of the stories were on the "Best American Short Stories" list and one was published in "Story Magazine" which was sort of the Best of the Best in those days.

    This is one of my favorite collections of short stories, even though I've done a minimum of work on it.

    Now I'm into more "the story behind the book" postscripts. With any luck I can finish this project this year and then get into another co-authoring of a novel with my very quiet writing partner.
     
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  14. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Started writing the nonfiction book over the weekend. Solid start. Have to keep going as I have a pesky deadline to meet.
     
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  15. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    If you have good health, please, please be thankful! My crappy chronic illnesses (rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, plus throw in a few migraines here and there) keep me from doing SO much. No, this is not a plea for pity or sympathy, but just a wish for you to be thankful if you're a healthy individual! :)

    The past month has been very hard health-wise, so I'm not making ANY progress on the novel, and the progress on the nonfiction book (the one with the deadline and the publisher!) is slow going. Honestly, I'm putting the novel on the backburner for awhile as I don't have the energy to do both. I think I need a long break from fiction anyway. I feel like I'm at a weird time in my life where history is becoming more of a passion than writing fiction, and so I feel kind of discombobulated and unsure where my career path is heading. I've toyed with the idea of getting my PhD (but not here in the states - I'd go to England as there's a program there I REALLY want to go to), or perhaps moving to a different part of the US to get a history job, or, finding a history-related job that I can do FROM HOME because my health sucks!

    Anyway. Sorry for the mini rant. I'm fine. I'm thankful for all that I have!
     
  16. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I keep hoping that adult line stem cell therapy will become more common for some of this. There are docs in the US that refer patients to an American run clinic in Panama who do a good deal of work on auto immune diseases but I don't know the cost or how the referral works -- https://www.cellmedicine.com/

    There's also something at Northwestern but I don't know the range of what they work on.

    It's pretty damn expensive but I've heard that, in the long run it's often cheaper than other treatments ... at least for dramatic issues like spinal cord injuries. The jury is still out on how well it works though I've heard that careful analysis of the results greatly improved the effectiveness of their cell lines just a few years ago. Anyway, hope for the future!
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  17. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I'll grab onto that hope! Auto immune diseases truly suck.
     
  18. HadleyH1

    HadleyH1 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,240
    just the shopping list

    with all respect....I used to write a lot ....in journalism and all that... I had a life diary too ...million of years ago

    but today it's ony the shopping list to the supermarket.
     
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  19. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Waiting for the last pass of No Traveller Returns to hit the mailbox. The book is coming out in Oct. and it will be interesting to see the reaction. It's very different from the usual Louis L'Amour fare. Right up the alley for any Loungers, however. Here's the tentative jacket copy:

    Fate is a ship –

    As the shadows of World War II gather, the SS Lichenfield is west-bound across the Pacific carrying eighty thousand barrels of highly explosive naphtha. The cargo alone makes the journey perilous, with the entire crew aware that one forgetful moment or the smallest mistake could lead to disaster.

    But a different sort of peril haunts the Lichenfield —Beyond their day to day existence, the lives of this crew are mysteriously intertwined. Though each has his own history, his own dreams and jealousies, longing and rage, all are connected by a deadly web of chance and circumstance.

    Some are desperately fleeing the past, while others chase an unknown destiny. A few are driven by the desire for adventure, yet their shipmates cling to the Lichenfield as their only true home. In their hearts, these men, and the women and children they have left behind, carry the seeds of salvation or destruction. And each of them—kind or cruel, strong or broken—are bound to the fate of the vessel that carries them toward an ever-darkening horizon.


    We are also re-releasing an expanded edition of a book called Yondering in November, this is a collection of similarly themed short stories, some sharing a few of the same characters. I did a lot of work completing No Traveller and did a bit of work on the Yondering collection, but it is mostly original work done in the era. Three titles were Best American Short Stories selections in the 1930s and one was published in Story, probably the pinnacle of the fiction magazines at that time.

    REALLY looking forward to getting this stuff off my desk and out of my "in" box. Somehow it isn't real until it's published!
     
  20. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,818
    Location:
    Nebraska
    WOW. That sounds like a fantastic novel! That jacket copy is superb (and I used to write jacket copy so I know how hard it is!).
     

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