Worked on novel, short story last night

Novel is titled Randy and Rhonda. I like that title, so for now I doubt I’ll refer to it as a “working title”. It’s a romance story with some strong Christian overtones. If I can write consistently, then I know that in the fall I can have a rough draft completed. Will tell you more about it as time goes by.

The short story’s working title is Garth, Texas. It is one of about 10 proposed titles I have. Wrote a creepy segment last night. It’s set out in West Texas and deals with unsual forms of criminal justice. I’ll leave it at that.

Wrote in my journal and wrote an essay. Overall, not a bad night of writing considering my layoff.

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

Should I ever write an autobiography?

Not a bad read so far. Fascinating format, in that it’s not told chronologically.

President Bush seems very humble in his storytelling, quite the opposite of the biography penned by one late filmmaker. The story goes that filmmaker gave a few friends advance copies of his “much-sanitized” autobiography, and one friend after reading it replied: “Great book. Who’s it about?”

Decision Points makes me wonder if I’ll ever decide someday to write my autobiography. I keep a journal and am trying to piece my early years together. Maybe I will, but after a while it gets boring talking about myself. I suppose if I ever become famous my publisher might ask me to write about myself.

What would I call my memoirs?

Restless: The Richard Zowie Story

My Life by Richard Zowie

Buy My Book, Please!!! by Richard Zowie

I Despise Justin Bieber and Other Observations by Richard Zowie

Boring I’m Not: Richard on Pens, Ducks and Anything Else He Finds Interesting by Richard Zowie

For now, I prefer to blog. And write fiction. And be a journalist.

Richard Zowie can be a smart aleck when the situation calls for it (the above titles were parodies of former president Bill Clinton, the late comedian Henny Youngman, comedian/senator Al Franken and former MLB pitcher David Wells). Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

Can dreams make for brilliant writing?

I read once that James Cameron came up with the idea for The Terminator from a dream he had*. Stephen King came up for the idea of his novel Misery while asleep on a trans-Atlantic flight.

I have had some weird dreams in my life, and last night’s was no exception. Actor Ethan Suplee was about five times his normal size and had turned into an incorrigible ne’er-do-well who was terrorizing people. At the end of the dream a frightened rabbit swam away from him.

Other dreams I’ve had I think now it is best to write the details down when you wake up and put them into a fiction ideas notebook. You never know what began as a strange dream stemming from spicy food or from a lack of sleep can turn into a best-selling novel.

* Apparently, sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison had that dream also: he later successfully sued Cameron, arguing that The Terminator plagiarized several of his own short stories.

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Writing sports preview stories…

…reminds me of how terrible an interviewer I am.

Questions we ask each pre-season include who’s graduated, who’s new, who’s returned, strengths and weaknesses.

Gosh, talking to the coaches makes me feel like Larry King, who may have asked one of the worst questions ever the time he had Jerry Seinfeld on his program.

I hope to get my own car soon, one with AM on the radio dial. If you want to hear a great interviewer, look no further than The Jim Rome Show. Outstanding. His questions show he puts lots of prep work into each show. 

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So, now I have my daily writer’s list…

I compiled it last night at work using my trusty slightly-larger-than-reporter-size notebook (my favorite kind–a firm cardboard back with a transparent plastic cover) and a Papermate Design pen. Ten items I intend to start tackling on a daily basis as a writer:

1) 2,000 words written on my novel(s)

2) 2,000 words written on my short story(ies)

3) Update my blogs (this one, From A to Zowie, Richard’s Two Shekels and Ponderings From Pluto); at the very least, this one and the Shekels one daily

4) Journal entry (at the end of the day)

5) 1-2 essays

6) Look for freelance writing work

7) Work on a screenplay

8 ) Read both fiction and non-fiction

9) Market my fiction

10) Write a poem or two if the mood strikes

A long list? Perhaps, but I need to be accomplishing these things on a daily basis. With sufficient time management, it can be done.

Richard Zowie is a writer who is working to get off his lazy butt. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

At the Frankenmuth Wickson District Library

FRANKENMUTH, MICH. — Just finished my newspaper work for the day. Tomorrow evening I will call some coaches about their teams and see if I can track down two kids who placed very high in the Genesee County spelling bee.

If you’re a writer, you probably are like me and love to write at libraries. Even in the absence of stern, Nun-style librarians who demand a library be as quiet as the vacuum of outer space, it is still a very tranquil place to be. Much easier to concentrate. You can type at a computer (such as what I am doing) or sit at a table with pen and paper.

Even now, a man is speaking on his cell phone in a slavic language. It’s not Russian, but sounds very similar. Bulgarian? Croatian? Possibly Polish? Russians are like Americans: they come in all different types of physical appearances (short, tall, skinny, heavy, dark hair, blonde, brown eyes, blue eyes, fair skin, dark skin). I don’t mind his banter at all.

Ahhhhhh.

I do hope I can get my laptop fixed so I can return to more writing freedom at home.

This library has one of two writers magazines that I love to read regularly. This leads me to a question: is it really worth it to buy that magazine or should I just spend an hour a month at the library reading it and taking notes? I will have to keep an even closer eye on my finances and eliminate wasteful spending…perhaps I should do this until I can assure myself I have the budget to afford the magazine.

Richard Zowie is a writer. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

What I’ve been up to as a writer (besides 5’8″)

…Today, while on lunch break, I resisted the urge to buy another pen–for now. It was a Zebra with a stainless steel barrel and a rubber grip. But it was fine p0int–which I’ve never liked.

I wish they had a “test drive” option where you could try out a pen before buying so that you don’t have to worry about getting into your vehicle, ripping the package open and then almost immediately getting Buyer’s Remorse. Oh well…

…I’m having to type this from another bedroom in my house since my laptop is doing something strange. Don’t have the money to get it repaired. I hope that will change in a few weeks.

As I look at my blog, I find myself hoping the day will come when I can buy a website or upgrade to a higher version of WordPress so I can design this blog to my specifications. Yes, I like to mix things up, but I often find one frustrating thing about WordPress’ formats: there is always one slight thing about it that ruins what otherwise is a beautiful look…

…This weekend I work to balance out my gasoline job with my writing jobs. By Monday night I’ll probably be very tired.

Richard Zowie is a writer–or so he says. We are actively investigating him and expect to post our findings very soon. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

Shaking the rust off my muse

About a year ago in The Writer magazine, they reprinted an excellent old essay by Lois Duncan (who wrote Summer of Fear and I Know What You Did Last Summer) about writer’s block. I e-mailed Ms. Duncan about it and she was kind enough to respond.

As I ponder what she wrote, I think about what I’d like to accomplish as a writer: each day writing 2,000 words on on my novel, short stories, writing an essay or two, doing a journal entry, a few poems and updating my blogs.

It really boils down to writing. No excuses. No recreational activities until you write.

Simple, isn’t it?

On Friday I work at the newspaper, but I’ll see if in my spare time I can accomplish this. I’m having to share a computer since my laptop isn’t working properly, so we’ll see.

Richard Zowie is a writer. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardzowie@gmail.com.

Changing my blog’s appearance…again

With as much as I change my blog’s themes in an attempt to reinvent myself as a writer who won’t put people to sleep, some might look at the many formats I’ve used and wonder if Madonna is blogging under the name Richard Zowie.

Well, I am currently in Michigan–Madonna’s home state. That’s where the resemblance ends, although the management of this blog thanks Madonna for showing a sense of humor by giving her blessing for “Weird Al” Yankovic to do the song “Like A Surgeon”.

I have lost track of how many themes I have played with, but I like this new one: it’s bold, eye-opening with a style that stands out and refuses to play it safe. The experiment begins. We shall see how it goes.

By all means, feel free to tell me what you think of this format. Drop me a line at richardzowie@gmail.com or click the comment bubble.

Cutting back on my writer’s budget

Soon I will be getting a divorce and my soon-to-be-ex-wife will live in a city a county away. We will share custody of our sons.

I have been thinking of ways to save money and see one answer on my writer’s budget.

The theme: Less is More.

I subscribe to two writer’s magazines. One is available at the Frankenmuth, Michigan library nearby and one at the Millington library nearby. Stuck in my book bag, it is far too easy to tuck them away and forget about them. But if I read them at the library, I make use of my time and read them and–best of all–it costs me nothing.

Good way to save a combined $50-ish a year.

As far as pens go, I will have to confine myself to what is needed. That might be a little more tricky.

Richard Zowie is a writer who sees the world differently. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.