I’m coming down to the terrifying wire for Famished: The Commons.

That’s piano wire, not a finish wire, mind.

To be blunt, I’m not certain I’ll make even the extended deadline – at least not with a product by which I’m satisfied. Part of that’s fear of making mistakes, part of it’s a heavier schedule at the dayjob than I’d like, but most of it is … distractions.

Some distractions are everyday pieces, like reading facebook. Or an idiot cutting me off on the commute. Or the gin necessary to forget said idiot.

But some are more insidious, because they feel like productive pieces of the creative effort.

Beware these, O Children of Men!

  1. 2013_12_12_21_04_11_The_Black_Pacific1. Blog posts. I know that keeping the blog going is important. All the writers I admire – well, okay, all the younger and more technically adept ones – have a regular posting schedule. Like clockwork! It doesn’t seem to get in their way.Sadly, for me? Figuring out what to talk about can take more time than writing the verdamnten thing. 
  2. 2. Music. I have a wide and eclectic musical taste, but hardcore anarchist punk has never been one of them. Regular punk, absolutely. Classic, without a doubt. Ska-core, I’m in. But hardcore’s never been my thing, and yet one of the main characters in The Commons was very clear with me: She digs it.I interviewed a friend at work who was in the scene before he became a father, and got some names and bands. Now I’m listening to lots of hardcore – but it’s really hard for me to write to. 
  3. 3. Research. Granted, it is important to research. I’ve talked to more people for this story than any I’ve done before. But in the end, that doesn’t put words on the page. I can’t consider the day’s work done just because I had an hour-long conversation with a park ranger in South Carolina to boost a five-sentence scene.
  4. pinterest4. Pinterest. I use Pinterest to keep track of photos, maps, images and music that I find which inspire or inform the book. As the launch gets closer, I’ll make it public. It’s a way of sharing with my readers what inspired some of the scenes, without it being a dry recitation.It is, however, a timesuck. Like all social media. 
  5. 5. Google Maps! Thanks to technology, and presumably Satan, today I’m able to see a street scene anywhere in the world to make my descriptions more valid, more alive, more true.Except when I realize an hour’s passed and I’m looking at a street in Slovenia  and …Roanoke_Island_Google_MapsOH WHAT WAIT THEY CHANGED GOOGLE MAPS TODAY!  LITERALLY JUST NOW.

    I am timely, people. Timely.

    Time. Is what I don’t have to play around with this cool new toy.

    But look at it! It’s so shiny …


So now that I’ve burned a half hour, I need to get back to the Commons. After all, these characters aren’t gonna eat themselves.

Well …

You know what I mean.