I finished scoring the last of my nearly 1900 GSP applications early this morning and will post more on them and a myriad of other topics as soon as I feel a little more human. I’ve had four hours of sleep each of the last two nights and, still recovering from a mystery malaise, I’m struggling to remain conscious, much less write a coherent post.

So, I’m taking off this evening, going to bed early, and will resume regular programming–writing, submissions, general hooptedoodle, etc.–tomorrow after work. ‘Til then,

I’m running off to pick up The Dark Knight. Also, my wife’s birthday is today, so I’m going to get a few hours of sleep before I get up and conduct my husbandly duties in that regard.

At least I’m off today and tomorrow. Nothing like working seven straight nights in retail during Christmas to make you appreciate your off days.

As an addendum to my post of yesterday, I would like to establish a couple more goals for myself to reach for in 2008.

First, I would like to become a more dedicated blogger. For a long time, I did not see what benefit having a blog would be to anyone who had one. I saw it as a way, mostly, for people to climb up on their cybersoapboxes and rant about whatever came to mind. To me, this seemed like a waste of time that could be better spent actually writing fiction. I figured that, while I have opinions about a great many things, most people would not care to read them, but seeing authors like John Scalzi and Cherie Priest dramatically expand their readership by combining excellent fiction with engaging blogs, I now see the value of having such an outlet. Now, if I could only sucker a few people into reading regularly, telling their friends to read regularly, and so on, I might have a few people ready to purchase a novel of mine should I ever get into print.

So, with that in mind, I intend on posting much more frequently on here. If I expect people to stop by on a regular basis, I need to commit to giving them a reason to do so. Hopefully, I’ll be able to particularly start off with a flurry of entries as I begin submitting The Dead and the Dying in hopes of landing an agent. I’m eager to share my experiences with anyone who cares to read them and hope that I can offer as much insight into the industry through my struggles as these aforementioned authors and others have to me.

I also plan on keeping track of my progress on the new story on here, as much as a motivational tool for myself as an informative piece for my readers. Everytime I log on and see that counter staring me in the face, I think it will spur me to make my foray into cyberspace a little shorter so I can focus on what I’m supposed to be doing–writing another damn book.

I have set my tentative goal at 100,000 words, but that is subject to change as the novel starts to take shape. In my first attempt at writing a novel, I completed it at 120,000 words, parts of which were decent and parts of which were God-awful, unreadable, and, worst of all, cliched. The second completed manuscript–far better in my eyes–is also far shorter at 61,000 words. I believe the first is probably an average length for a fantasy work, while the second is bordering on being too short. Still, the story is what it is. I will change whatever I need to in order for it to be published, but it is simply a more compact, simpler story than the first one. My current work should be much more complicated than that one, but I still want to stay around the 100k mark for fear of it being too long, too wordy. Sort of like this entry.

Since I made the fateful decision to start my less-than-regular LJ, I have worried over what I should call it.  I’ve seen other blogs out there with highly creative names and I have to admit some jealousy on my part.  Titles, whether for blogs or for my writing, have never been my strong suit and I confess limited creativity in my previous “Life of Smiley” effort.  Since the beginning, I have searched for some other name to call it and I believe I have finally found it.

I tend to use some of my pre-writing down time traversing the blogosphere for entries that will either inspire my fiction or provide me with more information on how to do it better.  This evening, I came across a piece by Elmore Leonard, an author I particularly enjoy reading and who often fills me with a great sense of hopelessness that I will never write as well as he.  This piece in question–Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing–is much like Leonard’s fiction, concise and brilliant, and can be found here.  While I would guess that any aspiring writer would have found this gem waaay before this blog, I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it.  For those that have, I recommend having it tattooed on your stomach, upside down, so you can refer to it as you write.  This would require writing topless and may not be suitable for particularly lean writers, neither of which are problems for me.

In lifting Leonard’s brilliance to head my own lack thereof, I must say that the term “hooptedoodle” is itself lifted from John Steinbeck’s “Sweet Thursday” and Leonard offers full acknowledgment of this fact.  Loosely defined, hooptedoodle is writing that, while perhaps pretty and eloquent, offers no true benefit to the story in which it is found.  Writing that, by its mere inclusion, takes away from the narrative.  Really, isn’t that what an author blog is?  Writing that takes away from writing that we should be doing?

So, with many thanks to Elmore Leonard and John Steinbeck, I hereby rename this thing “Perpetrating Hooptedoodle” and hope that multitudes may one day look upon these words and be inspired as I have by so many people on the internet sharing their secrets, their dreams, and, most importantly, their own hooptedoodle.