(art by Boz Schurr)
I've put work on my novel project on hold since I started my new job. I seem to need at elast a few hours at a time to get work on a project of that size. I just can't support the time commitment it requires until everything has settled a bit. Fortunately, I've got a Moleskine addiction and an awesome artist girlfriend with the same compulsion. B designed a Moleskine cover for me, and had it printed on leather, gifting me with it shortly after I made my final trip to Hawaii. Above is the drawing, which exists inside one of her own drawing Moleskines, and is now represented on the outside cover of the Moleskine she gave to me. Apparently there's a guy who runs a bit of a business engraving whatever you like onto covers for Moleskines. And of course, he's based in that best of cities, Portland f*ing Oregon.
At any rate, having the Moleskine around, with its wonderfully inspirational cover, has been very useful this past week. I have dedicated this particular notebook to the first drafts of short stories, and have already produced one. I think I will stick with short fiction until EMT Academy is over. Ahh, the Moleskine... so mobile and useful! I can pick it up and write in it as little as a half hour at a time throughout the week, and then spend four hours scribbling in it, like I did on Saturday. 6,649 words from Sunday the 9th to Saturday the 15th. Now I get to edit it at my leisure! (I actually like that part.)
I would like to set a modest goal for myself of producing a draft of a short story every two weeks. If this proves manageable, I'll bump it up to weekly. Along with this goal, at least half of them must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words. So far, three of the four stories I've written this year that I think could be publishable are between 5,500 and 6,500 words. Most contests and many publications seem to require the length to be in the 2k-4k category, and I cannot cut these stories any further. See, I get my ideas and my characters, and I know where they start, and where they will end up. How they get there is the majority of the actual short-story-writing process for me, and for those favorite stories, it took over 5,500 words. Nine more stories written and revised by New Year's Day should be a good place to start.