Hello and good morning. It’s Thursday, as you probably know, and‒as you probably also know‒because it is Thursday, it’s time for my weekly blog post.
This may be a somewhat unusual post, not so much in content as in style, because I’m writing it on my cellphone/smartphone/mobile phone using the Google Docs app*. Why am I doing that, you may ask? Well, it’s been a helluva week…
Through various misadventures, some due to my own failings, others due to the slings and arrows of truly outrageous fortune, I’ve been stuck commuting via various combinations of buses and trains (and a lot of walking), and though I do own a mini laptop, if I’m going to be walking around a lot, then having that little rectangle poking me right in my back surgery scar is just too much. Maybe when I’ve gotten as fit for walking as I intend to become it won’t be a problem, but during a week in which I’m already quite stressed out, I prefer to avoid the amplification of my baseline back pain that such poking entails.
So, I’ve decided to try writing on my smartphone, and for creative writing at least, it’s been working fairly well. The first day I did it, I wrote about 1700 words on The Dark Fairy and the Desperado even as I went through three bus transfers. The next day I wrote 1400 words, on bus and train**, but I think the decrease was partly due to the fact that I was particularly stressed out that day. As I said, it’s been a helluva week.
There is precedent for me writing books at least partially on my smartphone, of course. I wrote a good chunk of the first draft of Son of Man on a much tinier and less advanced phone than I’m using now (while still on work release!), and I think that’s one of my best-written novels. It’s one of the few for which I’ve received personal praise from a coworker who actually read the whole thing and enjoyed the twists and surprises in it. So, I’m okay with writing first drafts on the smartphone. It’s a lot easier to carry than a laptop, and I would have it with me anyway, whether I’m using it to write books or not.
In all this personal chaos, such as it has been and continues to be, I’m afraid I neglected*** to post the latest part of Outlaw’s Mind this week. My sincere apologies to any and all of you who were looking forward to it. I will return to sharing that story next week. In the meantime, if you want to reread last week’s part, you can go here, and if you want to see all that I have posted of it so far, you can go here. It will be listed there in reverse order I’m afraid, and for that I apologize. I need to go back and at least add a “click here to read more” tag in those posts to save on scrolling.
There is a potential extra benefit to writing on my smartphone, whether I’m writing fiction or nonfiction: I cannot write as quickly on my phone as I can on any normal keyboard, since I’ve been using those at least since I was eleven, and so it may force me to be more concise. Maybe it doesn’t; perhaps there’s no appreciable difference whatsoever in my writing length and style from phone to laptop. It feels that there is from the inside, of course, but as I had one of my characters say once, “The inside view is always the blurriest.” I don’t unreservedly agree with that character’s statement‒it’s too absolute in two places for my taste‒but I think it’s a good reminder of how difficult it is to be objective about oneself. In any case, I don’t think my stories will suffer. I may even decide to keep writing this way when I don’t need to do so.
And…that’s about all that I think I have for right now. I hope you all had/are having a good holiday, and that you got to spend time with your families and/or the (other) people you love. The world continues to be unsane, but who could expect otherwise from a place absolutely riddled‒nay, infested‒with naked house apes? Some of those apes are at least tolerable, though, and hopefully, being in the presence of those ones will make putting up with the rest of them likewise tolerable. Maybe.
*Which seems appropriate for me, since my nickname is Doc, and that’s the only name I go by at the office.
**I have been working to find the best route for me. The three buses are not the ideal choice, though I enjoy being able to look at shops and stuff while on the bus. I experienced a curious visual illusion while we were going north on 441 just before the Hard Rock casino the other day. Up ahead I saw a lit store sign. When we reached it, I think it was the quite ordinary display for a vape shop, but as we approached I could have sworn it read “Sliced Cod Live”. I don’t know how my brain produced that illusion, but it sounds like the name of an indie band. “Performing for one night only: Sliced Cod, Live!”
***i.e., I forgot.