Typos

The life and adventures of a first time novelist.

“No one will pay you for your words. We all use the same dictionary; you are paid for how you see the world. If you’re not writing about that, you’re wasting everyone’s time.” Jim Manos Jr., the prolific TV writer (who won an Emmy for solo-writing the “College” episode of The Sopranos) and creator/head writer Dexter.

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Oh my God …

Ok, I just ignored my family for the past hour figuring out how to get my Tumblr blog to post only to my Facebook AuthorJonNash page.  All my normal friends on my personal FB page don’t need to see my musings, right?  Which has now lead to the bigger question. How to I effectively use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pineterest, LinkedIn, and God (Gen Y version) knows what other social media tools. Bit overwhelming, but I will persevere … maybe.   

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So sad our kids will not experience the joys of an old book store.  

So sad our kids will not experience the joys of an old book store.  

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Will my book make it in there one day?

Will my book make it in there one day?

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When Do You Find The Time?

A sincere thank you to the many people I have run into recently who said they are enjoying my blog.  I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to hear those words.  (Especially after the break I took the past two months.)  Almost without exception, you’ve asked ‘how did you find time to write a book?’  Three kids, a full time job, exercise, kids’ sporting events, watching the Skins, Terps and Wizards, spending time with friends and family, doing the laundry (well, maybe not that).  You get the picture.  It’s a good question.

The answer that first jumps to mind is it took me two years to write the first draft.  472 pages divided by 730 days equals .65 pages per day.  Doesn’t sound that difficult.  The problem is, I didn’t write every day.  In fact, over the first year, I would start and stop.  Maybe write a few days each week for a couple of weeks and then life would catch up to me and I would miss a few weeks.  

Back then, I was searching for the perfect writing environment.  I needed seclusion. Away from the kids.  Away from the wife.  Away from the world. 

Over a year into it, I was much less than  half way done with the book.  I didn’t know much about the world of writing, but I could confidently tell that I was not on a recording setting pace. And I was getting antsy to get on with the story.  Although my writing was slow, my mind was fast and the story was always moving forward.  I couldn’t keep up.  So I had to change, but what?

The first major change was so obvious, I am surprised it took me so long to figure out.  My life did not permit me to find an ‘oasis’ away from my family and life to write.  At least not often engouh.  So I decided I would write wherever I could.  No matter who was around.  Or where I was.

Ten minutes at the kitchen island while the kids buzzed about.  Half an hour in front of our fire place while the kids watched a show.  On the back porch, on the front porch, at Starbucks, standing at the kitchen counter, in the living room, in the study, in bed ….

In fact, as I write this blog in my living room chair I can hear Graham down in the basement screaming about something.  Should I go check or will I miss the next great line?  Now Charlotte is here telling me that ‘Graham was trying to watch the movie, but that means Gavin is in trouble.  So you have to come down stairs daddy.  Now daddy! You have too!!!’  And see, I am writing while listending to Charlotte.  Multi-tasking! And I just ignored her long enough that she disappeared down into the basement and Graham is no longer screaming.  All is quiet.  That is what it takes. 

Is it perfect to write with all this activity buzzing around you?  Not perfect, but what in life is?  Does Jennifer get annoyed sometimes when I am locked into the computer screen and I don’t hear her?  Yes, but that happens only rarely.  Most times I’ll stop in mid-sentence and respond.  But on the rare occasion, when I am in the middle of a line or a few words that I feel are so profound they need my undivided attention, I have become a master of closing my ears.  Ignoring my family.  For a few moments. It’s the sacrifice of having a writer in the family.   

The second major change I made was getting my own lap top computer.  The 11” Mac Book Air has changed my life.  Or at least allowed me to write at a speed that made sense.  It probably took me 18 months to write the first half of the book and less than six to write the second half.  With the new laptop, I didn’t have to wrestle my wife’s mac book away from her. (And when your wife might be stronger than you, that is no easy task.)  Now, this lap top that weights just over two pounds is with me at all times. Every where I go.  It reminds me constantly that if you want to do something well, you need the right tool.  Anyone who has every built something knows what I’m talking about.  Right Steve?  Wherever you are!

So here is my latest run down:

What I am reading:  The Year of Magical Thinking By Joan Didion

What I am watching:  Touching the Void (Unbelievable survival story)

What I am listening to:  Have A Little Faith in Me by John Hiatt

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