Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Under-the-wire Birthday Post

It has been a long, long month. I’ve been sick for the majority of it with a nasty cough that still hasn’t totally gone away (there were two doctors trips and a round of antibiotics, along with codeine laced cough medicine – as prescribed by my doctor, of course). I also missed three days of Day Job due to it. I feel better now, and continue to get better with each day, which I suppose is all I can ask for at this point.

I also spent the past month wrestling with my first novel, as noted in my first post of the year. No, still can’t let the cat out of the bag as to what it is, as my publisher still hasn’t formally announced the property we’ve licensed. But with a few bits on my part to finish up tonight, and a few bits for one of my co-writers to finish up for his part tomorrow, we should be turning in the first draft to our licensor on Tuesday, and I should be able to announce it here by my next monthly posting, if not sooner.

While there is a sense of accomplishment in reaching this hurdle and making it past, it was a hard one to jump (more so than I had anticipated). I had trouble at times finding my way into the story, that door I need to open behind which the words are waiting for me to plunk them down and make sure they are properly ordered. Usually this happens and the whole thing comes freely. For this project it was more a series of doors I had to find, some of which lead to nothing more than the janitor’s closet, if you catch what I mean.

On one level, I think it’s because, while the property we are writing for is spun from a movie I have watched many times and enjoy, it’s not a world which I am uber-passionate about, so I had a more difficult time generating the spark I needed (or finding the key, to continue the metaphor above) than I have with my own stories. It wasn’t that I thought the property not worth doing or that I couldn’t contribute to it, I wouldn’t have agreed to work on it if I thought that (and I have passed on participating in other licensed projects for one or both of those reasons). Indeed, I think there are only a few things I could say I have that kind of passion for where I would be able to slip into the story with any ease.

That was the hard part of the month, and while I await the response back from the licensor and our various readers in the coming weeks, I look forward to round two of the process to work out all the rough spots I know are there, excise the bad, and make the next incarnation as kick ass as it can be.

The best part of January was Catherine and I getting to see Jason Webley perform in New York City on the 6th. He played the Zipper Factory with guests Sxip Shirey and Corn Mo (who has an awesome voice). Jason and Sxip have an album coming out in March, the fifth in a series of eleven collaborations that Mr. Webley is producing with friends over the next few years. It was an awesome show overall, and one of the cooler parts was the fact that they shot a video for the title track, staging a faux New Years Eve celebration on stage before Jason played his set. Catherine and I jumped onstage to join for the filming (something I never do, but I am such a fan I was actually happy to be a part of it – we hung out in the back of the crowd, but you may be able to see my sequined top hat) and danced around, sang along (another thing I don’t really do), and generally had a good, silly time of it.

All right, I’ve got some writing to do, and some sleep to get. Next time on the Manifesto I should have a couple of announcements to make, a few discoveries to share, and hopefully a better month to report on.

Be well.

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