Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Saturday, 13 December 2003

Life is good.

I'm prone to getting a little depressed at this time of year, but this year I'm holding up okay. I'm being successful at the day job, getting stuff done, so that always makes me feel better. I'm exercising--I'm definitely in the best shape of the past 10 years, probably the best shape of my adult life. I'm losing weight. (I seem to have crossed some threshold--everybody is noticing now, asking how much weight I've lost, how I've been doing it.)

And I have Jackie. That's best of all.

I got back to work on the zeppelin story, writing the first half of the new climactic scene--about 600 words. There's likely to be another 600 before I'm done. It's getting out of hand, but I'm not worrying about that now. I need to get the story down and then find stuff to cut.

Looking over what I've written, it seems very tentative and conservative. The guidelines make a point of saying "homage, not parody or pastiche," but I took that much too far. Even an homage to pulp needs to be much more over the top than what I've been writing. Fortunately, it's not too late. I've got the bones of a pretty good story, but I was all restrained and cautious. In the next draft or two I've got to get gonzo. Not gonzo-silly, you understand. Gonzo-adventurous, gonzo-sexy, gonzo-action-packed. But definitely gonzo. The line to draw, I think, is sincerity. If I'm sincere and serious about the story, I can be gonzo about almost anything that's in it.

I'm not quite sure how I ended up writing so much that was so dull. I'm embarrassed that my writing group saw the draft they did, but I'll fix it before anyone else sees it.

Life is good.

Aside from all that important good stuff--family, health, work--I've also got some minor stuff to be happy about. We've been watching Firefly episodes, and that's a treat. We watched two tonight. The local WB station has been showing season-6 Buffy reruns, but today they had some infomercial instead. Fortunately, our season-5 Buffy DVDs arrived the same day as our Firefly DVDs, so we had a Buffy to watch.

The closest thing to badness is that my writing group can't meet tomorrow to critique my latest finished story. We're planning to meet next week.

Jackie slept in this morning, sleeping later than me. And I slept in as well, until after 6:30. Unfortunately, I was planning on meeting some folks to go running at 7:30.

I scrambled and made it, a bit short on breakfast, and without time to make Jackie bed-coffee. It's the first time in years that I've gotten up before Jackie and not made her bed-coffee. She didn't complain though.

The run was with some folks who trained together last year for a fall marathon. They're running together shorter distances over the winter to stay in shape for next year's races. Despite my late start, I showed up on time and ran with them today.

I ran 3.96 miles in 44:21 for a 11:09 average pace. That's a pretty good pace for me. This run puts me up over 9.5 miles for the week, which is also pretty good. I had a few longer weeks during the summer, but this week's total distance is right up there with my average weeks over the summer.

A Saturday-morning 4-mile run is just the thing. If I can keep this up for just another couple-three months, I'll make it to spring in reasonably good shape. I haven't done that in a long, long time.


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