I’m Baaaaack!


It’s been thirty long days without you, but I return a successful man.  I completed my Nanowrimo task, and now have a 45,000 word first draft.

First draft of what, you ask?

A graphic novel memoir, title to be revealed at a later date.

I’m spending these next 2 months reading some supplemental texts, and on my weekends reviewing my draft and planning rewrites to dive into my revision process in February.

For appetite whetting purposes, this memoir is about my family, our multi-generational addictions and habits, war and fishing, Stevie Nicks and french orphans.  More details to come–

I am back to my weekly blogs starting this week, and November was a huge success in that I have a very solid writing practice down, clocking in at two hours each morning before work.  This last month has been enriching and full of surprises.  I worked hard, and lo and behold, it paid off.

I’m glad to be back to the ol’ blog!

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

An Excused Absence: NaNoWriMo

Hello Friends!

It’s that time of year again…NaNoWriMo!  For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, click this.

Official National Novel Writing Month crest.  Image courtsey of http://nanowrimo.org.

Official National Novel Writing Month crest. Image courtsey of http://nanowrimo.org.

Yes, my participation in National Novel WrIting Month last year was, ahem, abysmal at best, but this year I’ve got new resolve and a functioning plan.

That project I’ve been hinting at in my recent posts?  Well, it’s a writing project. A big one.

It’s not a novel in the traditional sense, but it is large in scale, and would benefit from some deadlines and structure.  And NaNoWriMo is just the place to get encouragement and resolve.

So far, I’ve created a Pages Doc with to-do lists for the days leading up to Nov. 1st.  I’ve also made a calendar with writing prompts for each day in November to keep me on track.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Between now and then I have the following to do:

Plan secret surprise for wife (this will be revealed in December…)
Organize notes into one Pages Document
Write blog post alerting readers to my impending and epic absence
-Research & fill out calendar w/ notes for each daily prompt

Yeah, about that last crossed off one…

I’m taking a month off the ol’ blog.  I want to utilize November and get a large chunk of writing done when I’m energized and excited, and I just can’t focus on both this project and MLWT at the same time.  I love you guys, and will still respond to queries and comments and emails, but the posts will have to wait.

You guys know how hard it’s been for me to find a good writing practice.  It’s been so hard I’ve made private most of the posts in which I’m bitching about my writing practice because I sound like a preening ass in them, and so I have nothing to link to for this reference.

And I have a great project right now, honestly, you’re all going to be so impressed if I can make the most of November and come back in December with something great to show for it.  So I have to go.  But I will be back.  And we all might just be really proud of me.

Trust me.

And, in the meantime, be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

Needing Is One Thing. Getting is Another.

I went to a wake today for a kid.

She was in her 20s, but really, for those of us who have made it out of our twenties, we know most of the best stuff comes after that decade.  Just a kid.  Didn’t even get a chance to make all the really great mistakes that don’t come along until our thirties or older.  And of course the converse of that: she never got to come to the really kind and satisfying conclusions we all get to after the terrible mistakes we make as kids.  And so, as death usually encourages, it got me to thinking about my own life, and about what I am doing with it, now that this other person no longer gets to live hers.

And this song has been rattling around in my head because of it:

The lyrics:

I’ve been waiting for months
Waiting for years
Waiting for you to change
Aw, but there ain’t much that’s dumber
There ain’t much that’s dumber
Than pinning your hopes on a change in another

And I, yeah, I still need you, but what good’s that gonna do?
Needing is one thing and getting, getting is another

So I been sitting around
Wasting my time
Wondering what you been doing
Aw, and it ain’t real forgiving
It ain’t real forgiving
Sitting here picturing someone else living

And I, yeah, I still need you, but what good’s that gonna do?
Needing is one thing and getting, getting is another

I’ve been hoping for months
Hoping for years
Hoping I might forget
Aw, but it don’t get much dumber
It don’t get much dumber
Than trying to forget a girl when you love her

And I, yeah, I still need you, but what good’s that gonna do?
Oh, needing is one thing and getting, getting is another

Why not now?
Why not me?
Why not me?
Why not now?
Why not me?
Why not me?

And so, of course this might make you think of a person, someone in your life, or rather, someone who used to be in your life that you wish was back in it.  Or it might make you think of something else altogether–

In this song, at this point in my life, the elusive you the speaker is pining for is writing.  What do I need?  What do I want?  I have to forge a writing life again, something creative and independent of this blog.  I need it to live again–my life is unfamiliar without writing, or, more directly, my life is not the life I am meant to live without writing in it.  I am a writer, and a writer without a writing life is a fish with no gills.  We can’t breathe.  I know the analogy is loosely apt, and disgusting–Jesus see what I mean!  I need to get writing again–my analogies are vague, and vaguely cliche!

I have made many excuses: grad school broke my heart and I turned my back on writing because of it–and now writing, in many ways, feels like a spurned lover–writing has become the one I loved best, the one that was always loyal, and was the one I turned my back on, and now, I can no longer look her in the eye.

But, I have to heal this rift somehow, and so, in honor of the kid who isn’t going to wake up tomorrow and have another chance, I will begin right now to look my writing in the eye (by acknowledging my wrong doing in this post) and say I’m sorry.  And mean it.  Because she has always known, even when I haven’t, when I was bullshitting.  And I can’t begin to write again until I have made my amends.  It’s time I start “pinning my hopes on a change” in myself.

Why not now?
Why not me?

And for that matter, why not you?  What do you need?  What do you want?  Why don’t you go get it?

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli