Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Where I Am, I Think...

The first day of a new year. I'm downstairs tapping at a keyboard to make this entry, though I ought to be upstairs tapping at the other (non-internet-connected) keyboard and adding pages to my novel. But there's people in the guest bedroom...and that's where my other (non-internet-connected-and-therefore-used-for-writing-so-I'm-not-tempted-to-check- e-mail-or-fiddle-about) computer lives. So I won't be novelizing until later in the day.

What I'm working on is a sort of follow-on to Shock and Awe...after a fashion. It doesn't use any of the same characters. And it isn't on the same topic. And the locations are different. And none of it happens at sea (at least as far as I can anticipate, which isn't very far).

So how's this a follow-on? Hmm. Dunno. I guess the flavor is vaguely the same. It's about political matters that disturb me (though I can't really see where it's headed yet). It's third-person multi-POV. It's a little on the grim side. And it's requiring a preposterous amount of research, including a whopping great amount of information about climbing trees. In fact, I may have to go to tree-climbing school (yes, there are such institutions, one in Atlanta and one in Oregon). Or I may just read about it and fake it. (We're all still liars here, right?)

So I'm 62 pages in, four POVs from four very different people, all of whom cart along massive backstories that I haven't really worked into the narrative yet. As one of the characters in the film This is Spinal Tap notes, "There's a thin line between clever and stupid." I'm probably balanced somewhere on that line. Perhaps toppling off of it.

Meanwhile, over the Christmas break, I was informed that I and my business partners had won an unlikely bid on a consulting project. And naturally this project has a short timeline--90 days, starting some time soon. The consulting study is for an energy project in Siberia. I don't think it requires travel (though I hear Vladivostok is lovely in February)...

Juggling this project and the book is going to be quite, well, to use a neutral word, interesting.

But, then, there's nothing like having a major work overcommitment to make your writing imagination explode with ideas you don't have time to explore. So I'll assume this is a blessing. (Just don't be surprised if suddenly my novel shifts locale to Siberia.)

8 comments:

Jeremy James said...

David,

I am in (SHOCK AND) AWE of you. Good luck with the new book. I wish I knew how you managed to be so productive.

Matt Curran said...

Hi David

Ah, another writer with multiple PCs dotted about the house for multiple uses... They get to be like note-pads, don't they? At the moment we have two PCs on the go, but to compensate I have a note-pad in every other room of the house, including the kitchen and the WC...

...On the subject of climbing trees, if you get a chance go to Australia, and try Pemberton, WA. I climbed the Gloucester Tree (61 metres) in 2002 and it was fun - apart from getting cramp on the way down. No need for harnesses there - you just climb the steel spikes driven into the tree. Kinda like some silly-bugger's daft idea for a stair-case.

See this link for more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloucester_Tree

Cheers

Matt

David Isaak said...

Hi, Jeremy.

I'm not really very productive. 3 pages a day, usually. I just keep slogging along...

And how's your stuff coming?

David Isaak said...

Hi, Matt.

The tree looks awesome. Sad to say, though, I've never had occasion to visit Australia's great west.

I won't even ask how you came to find yourself in the Shire of Manjimup--though there must be a story there...

Charles Lambert said...

Juggling is always interesting. Good luck!

David Thayer said...

You've identified a major cause of writers block: fear of tree climbing.
Glad to hear you're plodding along since your first drafts are better than my tenth.

BTW on a clear day in Seattle you can see Siberia.

David Isaak said...

Thanks, Charles. Though I'm one of those people who can't reliably juggle even one thing at a time. Indeed, I can't even be counted on to carry objects safely across the room. So this is petting pretty suspenseful...

David Isaak said...

"Glad to hear you're plodding along since your first drafts are better than my tenth."

That, of course, is a crock, but I'll take it as kindly intended.

"BTW on a clear day in Seattle you can see Siberia."

You're not fooling me. "A clear day in Seattle" is just a fancy way of saying "A cold day in hell."

Though I did see the punningly named Mt Rainier once, from the punningly named Rainier Avenue...