Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Moving Woes

Miss L and I are getting ready to move from her studio apartment in downtown Baltimore to a slightly larger place in Catonsville, a suburb of Baltimore just south of the city. It's a one bedroom with a decent-sized living room, a small kitchen and something sold as a dining room---but it's really a wide hallway outside the kitchen we'll probably use as a home office space.

So the last ten days or so has been spent buying some new pieces of furniture, moving some of our things from storage or our current place, and figuring out how much of our stuff we can actually have in the new space. Not surprisingly, the big thing for me are all my books. My mom has four of my large bookcases, each roughly 70 inches tall and holding five shelves each.


While I can leave some things at my mom's house, it becomes an issue of what I want to keep on hand. What titles and authors do I absolutely have to have in the apartment, and which ones can I leave behind.

So far I've prioritized it like this:

1. Necessary reference books (an unabridged dictionary, different writing style guides, grammar books) just because you never know when you need them.

2. Art history and literary theory books. Although I don't read these all the time, I do read through them at random points to nudge my brain a little. I probably wouldn't look for them if they weren't sitting on my shelf.

3. Books by some of my all-time favorite authors: Murakami, Philip K. Dick, Paul Auster, John Bellairs, Kathy Acker, Stanislaw Lem, H.P. Lovecraft, Poe, Samuel Delany, Lance Olsen, Ray Bradbury.

That's as far as I've gotten so far. Just this bit makes up seven boxes, and I probably have another 15 or so to go. Next I'm thinking necessary literary "classics", followed up by all my literary mags and graphic novels. After that I have no idea. I'm pretty much making this up as I go.

Although I am culling some things out, it's hard. Everything I don't want I plan on either selling on Ebay or donating to the library, so hopefully everything will still manage to find a nice new home.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008


By NaNoWriMo's standards, I was a success this past month. I ended up with 52,580 words, just over the bottom limit for what they consider a "novel".

Skimming through things this morning, I saw lots of great moments: an origin, fun little battles, and making new friends and enemies everywhere he went. But the whole doesn't really add up to anything. I guess that shouldn't surprise me. Writing this way, where word count trumps everything else, doesn't really leave much time for editing or reflecting. Just go, go, go ninja boy. And overarching plots have never been my strong suit.

Now I guess the real work begins. Playing with it, developing it and seeing if it can be transformed from a pile of nonsensical scenes into a coherent story. Miss L and I are still talking about doing it as a webcomic. I think I'll start with his origin tale and see where adapting that takes us. It's a concrete mini-storyline with good guys, bad guys, an obvious conflict and would probably take up about the same space as your standard monthly comic book. We'll see what happens.