The Writing Life: Distraction and Distillation

Well, I managed to travel and blog, but couldn’t manage it with a visitor in the house. Strange how that happens.

On the plus side, it was a fabulous visit, and I played a lot of pool, some of it even quite creditable at times!

It is very hard for me to maintain a consistently high level of performance playing pool, so to do well in any kind of setting I need some fortune and some rolls when my best game is decidedly absent (which it is most of the time!), and I’m reduced to my B or C game. Just like in writing, sometimes you have to gut it out and hope for the best! The past two weekends I got the rub of the green (or blue) just when I needed it, and had a lot of fun over a couple of long Saturdays playing local tournaments and pocketing a little bit of cash here and there. Many thanks to all the players who were so welcoming to a pair of odd Scots out to shoot US pool in northern Denver – you guys are all awesome!

My buddy has now departed for home, and my cue instantly gathered dust in his absence, because I’ve got stuff to do!

Eight days to Comic Con. Friday 15th June, 12 noon, room 404 at the Colorado Convention Center. Come see the show if you are in the area!

I’m still learning the new job, and picking up new skills tends to drain my attention and focus batteries even faster than trying to shoot pool, which has left me coming home to stare blankly at this screen thinking “I really need to get on with something right now…” and continue to think that until it seems like a better idea to just get some sleep instead!

However, I need distill my message on morality and culture in fantasy fiction down to a few minutes of easily understood glory. And resist my long-standing habit of randomly going off on tangents when discussing a topic. (Ha. Hahaha. No seriously, I’ll be fine. I’m on it.) I’ll leave my fellow panelists and the audience to do the exploring!

It is funny though, how you can know what you want to do, have the shape of it in your mind, even some of the key passages and phrases sorted out, and still find the process of getting it organized into something that works well very difficult. This week it is a discussion for a convention, other weeks it is key scenes or character moments, but the process is much the same, the search for the one piece that helps make everything else hang perfectly in place, and fit together into a satisfying whole.

The good thing this week is that my inner perfectionist can take a running jump – I don’t have the time to indulge his tendency to over-analysis, so what I come up with can be less a flawless framework, and more a child’s mobile – everything will be connected, but loosely enough that it may amuse and distract those who come in to view it while spending a long day conventioneering!

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