And though I had slain a thousand foes less one,
The thousandth knife found my liver;
The thousandth enemy said to me,
'Now you shall die,
Now none shall know.'
And the fool, looking down, believed this,
Not seeing, above his shoulders, the naked stars,
Each one remembering.
--John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

The Asylum Director

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"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." - Russel Baker

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bad, Bad Habits

I’ve realized I got some bad, bad habits when it comes to my writing. Almost everyone I’ve talked to at length about my writing thinks writing is some sort of mystical process, that you have to write down on paper with a black ink pen while listening to Beethoven or Mozart or some other classical composer. They all seem to think of a lot of mystical, almost magical mumbo-jumbo and superstition has to be attached. To a degree, I can almost say they’re right. I, for one, know I’m highly superstitious about certain things as concerns my writing.

I admit that a lot of people think the best way to write is with a pen and paper. I won’t dispute that belief but I’ve never trusted the pen and paper medium. I don’t trust myself with a pen and paper, something about it doesn’t feel right to me. I use it when I have to but I’d much rather have it down on some digital format, pressing keys with my fingers through a desktop or laptop or with my thumbs on my cellular phone or Treo.

Most of the time, I write on a Compaq Presario M2000. Sure, there are better laptops out there but I think I got a good thing going with mine. It’s got enough storage for all the countless pictures and wallpapers I obsessively collect, a CD-Writer with a combo DVD drive for watching movies or making back-ups. I’m indebted to the USB drives that makes it so simple for me to make copies of my unfinished and finished stories on my old friend, a 256 MB flash drive that also incidentally contains the HTML back-ups of my site and my collection of books in various electronic formats. And, for the life of me, I can’t imagine using a laptop without a mouse, so I’m happy with the USB optical that I got for free with the Presario.

On the same table as the Presario, I’ve got a small platform that should serve as a place to put the printer on but instead, it’s used as a platform for a China Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft model, a defunct alarm clock and a telephone hooked up to the phone line tied around one of the table’s legs. Incidentally, I take that connection out whenever I need to plug my laptop in to connect to the internet, which is more often than I’d like. I’d rather have a DSL or wireless connection but I can’t afford the DSL payments and, frankly, I don’t trust wireless internet connections. I don’t have nearly enough software or hardware to protect my laptop from those sorts of things.

Beside the laptop table is another table, my defunct and hardly-ever used study table. Not that there’s anything there related to studying. Aside from a wooden cabinet I use to house PC CDs and a collection of VCDs and DVDs, the box for my Treo, a yellow and navy blue backpack, my wallet and a bunch of scattered wires and doo-dads, the space is nearly empty. However, I do have an increasing tendency to put glasses of water or some other beverage on it, right beside my Nokia 5210 and Treo 650.

And right beside the laptop? A TV that’s set normally on Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel whenever my kid brother’s around, on HBO, Fox News or the Discovery Channel when I’m alone or simply turned off whenever I feel like listening to some music. I don’t have a particular genre of music I like, having a playlist that has Limp Bizkit, Evanescence, Aerosmith, Live On Release, the full soundtrack of Final Fantasy VIII, several tracks from the Legend of Dragoon OST, a bunch of old love songs, Sinatra, a little Elvis, most of the soundtrack of the Phantom of The Opera, several anime themes and video game tracks included. I have developed a preference for listening to instrumental tracks lately, particularly the FF8 OST and some choice picks from Soul Calibur.

I’ve been known to sit in front of my laptop and write for hours on end – close to twelve hours once. Then I’d edit half or more of it out the next day because I figured out it didn’t exactly fit in with the rest of the environment of the story. Painful thing, that. Completing the most riveting conversation I’ve ever written and then suddenly writing it out because the character that the protagonist was speaking to didn’t fit in with my plans and would likely end up as cannon fodder later on just for me to find a way to get rid of him.

Anyway, moving on to other things then. Contrary to my expectations after putting up the last update, I’m still working on the same two projects that I was last time. First, The Da Benjie Code is still in progress, now at roughly a little over 10 pages, being written out mostly on my Treo since its being worked on in short quips and it doesn’t require the same flow that my fiction does. As for A Vampire Named Constance, it’s still in progress but I’ve taken the liberty of re-naming it after the fictional city that it’s set in – Charity, A Vampire’s City. Constance is still the lead but I’ve decided to add more to it and I’m sure the conflict (aside from Gustav’s Catholic vampires and Nikki’s hedonist vampires) will pop up soon enough. I’m a little more inspired as of recent days, thanks to my buddies at Wave 3.3 surviving, none of them getting the ax last Friday.

Currently Playing:

Dino Crisis 2 (PC version)

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