not rootbeer?

I guess it’s been a while since I posted, huh? I was really on a blogging kick for a while there, then not so much. Maybe I ran out of steam, or content. Both.

It’s root beer, not rootbeer? I want it to be one word. I’m writing a scene in which the characters have root beer floats in a drive-in joint in 1971. Working personal memory for all it’s worth, and more. But according to www.rootbeer.com, it’s two words. Oh well.

I’ve been working on my novel quite a bit. Over the past week, I’ve edited several chapters, organized most of my manuscript files, and some of my notes. I wrote a new outline too. Lots of work. Want to see what a novel looks like before it gets finished, when the files are just sitting in the computer? Sure you do.

click to view

33 Chapters, all nice and neat. Just under 94,000 words in Draft 5. Up until this afternoon, I had it all in a single MS Word document, with headings and sub-heads, and I used document map to navigate.  I decided to try working in singe chapter files for a while, because Vista  – on my new computer – has tagging and stacking functions that let you sort documents by tags, or labels. Keywords, in other words. That might come in handy. Besides, the file was just getting so damn big, ya know?

Each file has an abbreviation, STH, and a number, 01-33. Those are the chapter numbers and STH stands for Someplace To Hide, the working title of the book.

Want to see the whole archive, all the drafts? No. You really don’t. There are hundreds of Word files in a bunch of folders. To get my current 94,000 words, I’ve probably typed a quarter million. E’gads.

Things are always changing. For example, chapter 30 is called Military Honors, because one of the characters is a veteran. Since I wrote that, I’ve decided that guy never did get drafted for Vietnam after all. Now what am I gonna do when I get round to Chapter 30 this time? We’ll see. Right now, I’m working on Chapter 7, again.

I’m interested in how other writers keep their work – projects, notes, files, etc. – organized. How do you keep track of your themes and problems? Network with me!

For Me

Excerpts from Chapter 25

Novel work in process

This section is narrated by the protagonist, Marty G.
Near the end of the book, he struggles to sum up his life and circumstances.

I like to have breakfast for dinner. I don’t know why. Once or twice a week, instead of frozen pizza or chicken pot pie, I have cereal and toast or scrambled eggs and sausages. Maybe it’s a way of starting the day over before shutting it down. It’s comforting, especially in winter. I like cream of wheat with gobs of butter floating. If there was anyone else around, they’d warn me I’m softly, silently killing myself. That’s alright. I never imagined I would live this long, or outlive so much. I believed I would die much younger – suddenly, dramatically…

Dad could explain it. He would tell you how he got straight with me about commitment at the lake, how he came to me on the hill north of the orchard and was forthright. Dealt with me man to man. And gave me half a dozen other chances through the years, to speak up and say what I wanted, what I was willing to do for it. Then since he had a wife, another son, and long declining years to think about, it fell to him to act in place of me.

Now isn’t that ironic. The son who stayed turned out to be the prodigal and profligate. For me the land was divided, the robe and ring brought forth; for me, the slaughtered calf. And since the tale is inside out, I stand here waiting to awake someday among the pigs. And not a word of protest from my brother, not a sound.

I was quiet as the wind in Papa’s Sycamores – which stand now on the northern edge of my remainder – when Dad took an offer for his and Bo’s shares. I said not a word except in refusing to add my own third to the deal. And so it went, and Dad might say it broke his heart to see it come to that, but that he was finally impressed by the action I took.

I would rather have had them see me waiving down from on high, bearing an enigmatic smile born in the lessons taught outside of time and space, of how perfect life is and how much better than life is death. So people die, but they keep watch on what we do and how we spend our fading days, but most don’t choose to stay too close. Everything looks purer in its blues and greens – even the dull brown between the trees and the ruddy drying tack of our blood on the land – from an infinite distance like heaven.

© 2009 by J. Kyle Kimberlin
All rights reserved

For Me

Excerpts from Chapter 25

Novel work in process


I like to have breakfast for dinner. I don’t know why. Once or twice a week, instead of frozen pizza or chicken pot pie, I have cereal and toast or scrambled eggs and sausages. Maybe it’s a way of starting the day over before shutting it down. It’s comforting, especially in winter. I like cream of wheat with gobs of butter floating. If there was anyone else around, they’d warn me I’m softly, silently killing myself. That’s alright. I never imagined I would live this long, or outlive so much. I believed I would die much younger – suddenly, dramatically…

Dad could explain it. He would tell you how he got straight with me about commitment at the lake, how he came to me on the hill north of the orchard and was forthright. Dealt with me man to man. And gave me half a dozen other chances through the years, to speak up and say what I wanted, what I was willing to do for it. Then since he had a wife, another son, and long declining years to think about, it fell to him to act in place of me.

Continue reading

Scene

Are you enjoying the blog today? Like the new color scheme? I’ve been changing it a lot, I know, trying to make it easy on the eyes.

I like blogging. I’m a poet and I like to post poems, and little rants about writing, and miscellaneous stuff. Just draining the swamp between my ears, you know?

Did you know I have another blog? Actually, I run several, but most are for groups I’m in. I have two writing blogs; this one and this one over yonder. So why does a guy need two blogs? Well, you don’t. I have two because I like them both for different functions. And I’m a nerd.

I’ve had the other URL – kimberlin.wordpress.com – for a long time. It  has served various functions; for instance, it was a blog about cruelty to animals for a while. 

Since I write fiction, I write scenes, which are just too big to post on a Blogger site. If you have to keep scrolling down forever, you can’t see the next post, which you might find more interesting. It’s a distraction, and writers have enough problems distracting their readers. So I needed another venue.

WordPress has a cool function that lets you break up long posts. You can do it at Blogger, but only with a big pain-in-the-butt html work-around. I thought about moving the whole show over there to WordPress, but I don’t want to right now. Maybe in the future. WordPress does have a nice set-up.

I also considered hosting a blog for everything at my static web site.  But I don’t want to do that. Too much work. Let the pros handle the blogging site business, says I.

So I decided to start a new blog for creative work product – Scene – and keep this old Metaphor where it is. There might be essays over there too. But there won’t be any videos or comics or random observations there. Just serious writing output; nothing not created by me.

So far, I’ve copied all the stories that were posted here over to there, so that site is caught up with the program.

Listen, check it out if you want. But you don’t need to bookmark anything, unless you want to. Whenever I post a story or a piece of my novel over there, I’ll post a link to it here. Just thought I’d … you know … blog it. 

My Novel – Excerpts

I’m writing a novel. Here’s some general information.

In addition to occasionally discussing the project on this blog, I may post excerpts of the draft manuscript for purposes of collaboration and networking. As these are draft sections, all rights are strictly reserved.

The following files are currently available.

Excerpt of Chapter 25, Draft 3

Marty talks about breakfast for dinner, sees himself as the lost son.

New Chapter

I’ve posted a new chapter of my novel, if you’re interested.

I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit, and I have misgivings. I’m concerned that the story serves the language, while the language should serve the story.

See what you think.