Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's Down For Now

Me and "THE TREE"
It was a tremendous lightening bolt followed by a deafening crash of thunder that brought me out of the house and onto the porch last year. Bits of bark were scattered across the porch. I picked one up, it still steamed a bit.
Across the road, the large red oak had a stripe down it where the bark had been stripped off by the lightening strike.
My neighbor decided to have the tree cut down, since it was too close to their house and posed a threat of crushing it if it fell. A very real danger down here, since we have tornadoes and high winds in the Spring.
It's an old tree. We haven't been able to figure the age yet, but it's got to be close to 100 years old. I did a rough measurement on it and it's about 4 feet across and 80 feet tall. Or it was 80 feet tall.
So far, it's taken me over a week to cut the smaller branches off and work down to the big stuff. I'm talking limbs that are over a foot in diameter. Lots of tree left to process.
Most of it will wind up as firewood, keeping the old home warm when the cold winds blow.
The trunk, that's another story. I've always wanted to carve a large chair. Something about 10 feet tall, big enough for two people.
That or about a dozen nice coffee tables.

Do You Research or Just Write It?

I spend a lot of time at the local library. A couple of weeks ago, my friend, the librarian, asked me, "Do you do research for your books?"

The question caused me to stop for a moment, "Can't write a book without doing research."

We got into a discussion, since that had been a topic brought up by some other librarians.

Even when I did my memoir-mockumentary (there's a new word for you), "Going Dutch, Trials of a Wage Slave" I did research. I checked on quotes, regulations, business topics and liability. Getting sued is no fun.

The novel I just completed took me almost 5 years to write. It's on a complex topic, cyberwar, and there aren't too many references out there. The subject is so leading edge, most people can't comprehend the topic.

It led to me creating a 4 drawer file cabinet full of background information. This doesn't include the movies, videos, library books, Internet, blogs, etc. that I reviewed to gain an understanding of my subject.

The worst thing a writer can do is put out a book that doesn't have all the latest info on the subject. Sure, it might be wrong in the future, when the technology advances or society overtakes the concept.

But for right now, it better be as good as you can make it.

Faking it will get you burned, every time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April, Who's Getting Fooled?

Time flies by, when you're working all the time.

I've been doing farm work, started the outline for the follow-up to the novel I just finished. Shouldn't say 'finished' because there will be revisions, edits, etc. when it gets sold to a publishing house. Let's just call it done for now. Doing the 'waiting on the agents' thing.

Dragged the Baja Bug off the trailer the other day. Can't believe it'll be 30 YEARS in June since I bought the beast. It was a typical, simple, red VW Beetle at that time. Got it from the second owner. The car has sat for about 10 years now. Stored while I worked in Europe and haven't had time to do any work on it since I've been back here. Too many other toys and irons in the fire.

May start yet another blog, to follow the rebuild work on the Baja Bug. I'll get some photos up in the next week or so. I started a video the other day to document the rebuild process. I've only built, rebuilt, modified, customized about two dozen VWs in my life, so I should have it looking good in time. Notice I didn't specify how much time...

Other than that, just enjoying the July weather in April. This can't be good, no matter how much we all love it. If it stays this way, will it be 130 in July?

I got a nice start on a sunburn yesterday, rototilling the garden with the tractor, before I realized that I was turning into a TOMato.

Enough of the bad puns, later.