Monday, March 15, 2010

Gone Fishin'!

In case anyone stumbles upon this, clearly it's not being updated! Read my blog over at http://www.stephenemond.com!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I get stuck on details. I have 2 people, sitting together and eating, and I want them to start laughing together. But it's those little details - how do they start laughing, are they telling a joke, does something happen, is there any reason at all? I can't think of anything.

It's those back stories and build ups, those little in-story details that always seem to trip me up. I don't want to skip them because that's what makes the scene feel real and legitimate. If you skip over everything with narration, it seems phony: "She told a joke, and the next thing you know, we were both laughing and couldn't stop". It pulls you out of the action.

Writing can be very frustrating.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's so hard to find stuff to write about in here. I wanted to use this journal for blogging about creating my YA novel, but it's still early enough in that I don't want to talk specifically about any of the main ideas. The work I've done so far is creating ideas.

That said, I have been working daily, making frequent breakthroughs, triumphs and doubts. It's starting to come together, I think. I printed out a little 'sample chapter' and made a book cover just kind of to see how it all looks.

Anyway, in the interest of having SOMETHING to share, here's my August read-pile:

Saturday, July 21, 2007

5,000 words down for the initial pitch. It's not that vague image I had in my head, which I guess is always the problem when you start actually working on a project. It stops being what it 'could be', and starts being what it is.

Regardless, my plan is to keep writing until I have enough material for Connie and Alvina to give it a look over, and then go over it myself and see just how it isn't matching up to what I want in my head. I think there will be major rewriting, but at least I'm working and it's getting done at a good pace.

It's so hard to evaluate your own words.

Friday, June 15, 2007

8 Things Meme

Alright, I've been tagged by Alvina to come up with 8 interesting facts/habits of mine. After years of deep soul searching, here they are. 8 completely fascinating facts that will make everyone shake their heads and say in unison: "WHAAAAAA?" Leaving off the final 'T' for effect, of course.


1.In the early to mid 90's, I had moved and was separated from my best friend Woody. We spent all our time on the phone after that, and frequently called radio stations. We were heavily into rap at the time and would call the NY hip hop station Hot 97 and rap on various programs, and formed a gang "the Gangsta Homies" that would call into CT station KC-101 all the time. We became legend in CT, with girls wanting to hook up with us and our rival actual gang the Latin Kings challenging us to fights. We also met Mojo, the creepy DJ who would ask us how he could 'worship' us, and had me call his home phone number.

A few years later I would listen to Dee Snyder's radio show every morning, and he'd often read sarcastic emails I sent in. But alas, that was the end of my radio career.

2. My First Great Love was Ellen C, I chose her seemingly at random in elementary school when other kids asked "who I liked". She turned out to be very popular and pretty so she was a good choice. I tried to impress her by telling her I never peed. In the 2nd grade, everyone was asking her if she liked them, and she yelled out "No! I only like Martin and Steve!" My reaction was to slam my head on the table in embarrassment. I've always been very stupid that way.

Similarly, just before High School started, one summer day I was at the beach with Woody and my cousin Sara when we started playing Marko Polo with a girl we didn't know. She became obsessed with me and chased me all around the lake, climbing on me and kissing me and telling me she wouldn't leave me alone until I made out with her. I spent the day running.

3. My nickname preceding the still cringe-worthy "ragamuffin" was "Pencil Boy". This was in grades 5/6. I earned this nickname by never having a pencil. I would get in trouble every day and eventually would get sent to the guidance office daily because I never had a pencil. Their advice was "If you see one laying around in the hall, pick it up and keep it!" They also had to tell me to stop doodling in my notebooks and class papers frequently.

4. Around the 3rd and 4th grades, I used to scratch myself until I bled out of boredom. Early emo??

5. Through high school I used to crush on teachers often. Even ones who weren't really attractive. This culminated in the great year of Miss Carlo, a student teacher I was infatuated with. My grade in that class went from a C to an A when she started teaching. I'd stay after class every day to talk to her, and people started thinking something fishy was going on. Any time she told me any information the rest of the class didn't know, somehow it would come out in class a day later, I suppose to avoid any implication of a personal relationship. I drew her pictures that she used when applying for teaching jobs. In one assignment, we had to write a play and I used her as "The beautiful stranger". When I read it in class, everyone pointed out how she turned bright red. I probably shouldn't have done that.

Despite my crushes on older women, I've only dated women younger than myself.

6. My roommate Bob just got me "Welcome Back, Kotter" on dvd. It's one of my favorite old sitcoms. When I was going through my breakup with Elaine, I used to picture buying a ton of DVD's from 80's and 70's sitcoms and pretending I was 10 years old still and that the past few decades just never happened.

7. I'm a fairly positive person on the outside but inwardly am very pessimistic. By default I assume people don't like me and that eventually everyone I love will leave me. When I picture the future, I'm always alone and miserable.

8. In my 28 years, I've only had 2.75 girlfriends: 1 was Briana, for 3 months in '97. 1 was Elaine, who I dated for 6 years and lived with for 2. .25 was Lauren, because we liked each other and spent a lot of time together for a few months but it didn't quite happen. And .5 was Laura, who I 'dated' for 3 months but it was online/phone, and I only actually spent one weekend with her. But Elaine was 6 years so that counts for something.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I did do work! I did do work!

Tonight I transferred my old notes and ideas into a new sketchbook. The process was great and sparked some new ideas and fleshed out some old ones. It was good to revisit some of my older notes, as well.

I write small in a blank spiral-bound sketchbook. I wonder if most writers use lined paper, or blank paper like I do? It might be the cartoonist in me that likes to draw little diagrams and make clouds around some ideas and rays of light coming out of others. By the end of the page, it looks like a maze of boxed out little scribbles and lists and compartments. I imagine it would be tough to decipher to anyone but me.

Nonetheless, I took 3 pages and got it down to one packed page of themes and arcs and character pieces, and another page of scene ideas and quotes, and a third page I started with notes on what I still need to do and things to think about once a rough outline is finished.

Still a ways to go, but tonight was exciting, or as exciting as a night sitting in front of a couple sketchbooks can be.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

It's been a month since I've posted last, so surely I must have been emerged in writing, planning, plotting, researching, rewriting! Actually I had to take a small hiatus. Before I could really delve into my book project I had to finish up my 12th and final stand-alone "Emo Boy" comic book issue. It came out well, I think, and can in fact already be downloaded at SLG's digital comic site, http://www.eyemelt.com.

I wrapped that up last weekend, intending to bury myself back into my YA project. That didn't quite transpire, though. This Saturday was my buddy Bob's bachelor party. Being the Best Man, it was kind of my gig to attend. Only he and I went, actually - we took the day and drove down to Atlantic City to gamble and eat and be fancy. I played my first poker tournament, had a killer straight that knocked 2 people right out of there and finished 5th, which isn't bad for my first time. Anyway, I spent most of the week refreshing myself on how to actually play the game. There's other stuff going on, too. I have to move in less than a month. I finally found a little studio that I signed to on Wednesday. Nothing too great, but it's just lonely old me so I don't need too much. We can't all have Peter Parker's awesome room in Spiderman 3. Man, I want that place. So cool.

So there's moving, there's poker, I'm cat-and-chinchilla sitting til June, there's the new job I start June 1, there was some karaoke going on (I sang 'Daydream Believer' with my bff Cori [inspired by Dawson and Joey's karaoke song on 'Dawson's Creek' - I am geeky]), and things have been hectic in general. I keep getting excited to work on my book ideas but it's hard to delve back in lately.

Today, for instance. Today I went to Borders as I often do while my clothes are in the drier at the laundromat. I just finished reading a book, and have about 20 others in my 'to read' pile so I wasn't planning on buying anything, but RANT by Chuck Palahniuk and I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER both jumped out at me. I resisted the urge! I love walking around the book store, though. All the bright colorful jacket designs, all the stories, every book there having the potential to tell a great story, it's so overwhelming. I walk around excited at the thought of being a part of it all. The rack near the register with new recommendations; the '2 for 3' table, the new releases, I just picture having a book sitting there, ready to be seen by anyone walking by, it gets me so excited. Today I was going to go home and get back to work and make it happen.

So I was talking to my roommate (the aforementioned Bachelor Bob) a moment ago, who asked what I was doing, which was not working on my story. This is how I described my dilemma:

It's like I'm standing at a fence, or a wall. And on the other side of that wall is 'work world', it's nothing but me and papers and scribbles and notes and a book in the making. On this side of the wall is a mess. I see what's on the other side and I want to get over there, buuuuuut... let me just clean up some of this mess. If I clean my room, it'll help me focus. Let me just get everything ready for work tomorrow so I can really just dive in. Let me make a snack, so I'm not distracted by food. Let me just send a few emails. Let me see if anyone responded. Then I can hop that fence and get to work. Let me just update this blog, first, its been awhile. And then it's 11:30 and it's time for bed.

Tomorrow.

It's hard to get over that wall. And I know packing and moving won't be any fun, and I've got to prepare a speech for the wedding in July. There's always something in that pile, that mess to clean, that distraction at your feet. I know it won't all go away and I've got to just get over there and get to work, I understand how that all goes, but it's tough sometimes. Emo Boy's finished up, though, and the apartment IS clean, so tomorrow, for sure. No, seriously! Alright, you'll see.

I'm not joking, either. I've got better things to do, blog.

Let me just check my email one more time.