Skipped the Warm-Ups

[cb_profit_poster Acting]Clinton, S.C., Friday, December 20, 2013, 2:35 p.m.

On most days, I blog bright and early, or at least I make it the first of my daily writing. It’s the way I get myself ready for the rest of the day’s duties. It’s like tuning the guitar or singing scales in the chorus.

(Editor’s note: I tuned my guitar, too.)

I went straight to fiction this morning, and it felt ... fictional. Or maybe fictitious.

I went straight to fiction this morning, and it felt … fictional. Or maybe fictitious.

I wonder if I’ve ever written as much as this week. Probably. Way back in 2000, at about this time of year, I was fighting unbelievable – for my former colleagues, imagine the Bristol Night Race every day for a month – deadline pressure finishing a book on Tony Stewart called Rebel with a Cause. That was a lot more stressful than now.

Then there were the times when newspapers were still close enough to their prime and I was covering one of the major events: Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600 at nearby Charlotte, early Brickyards. Those were harsh but also different. Novels are more complicated than columns, features, extra work for the preseason racing section, notebooks, rails (sort of the newspaper term for “notes ‘n’ quotes”) and, for that matter, blogs. On the other hand, back in the heyday, I didn’t have to tweet post and produce laughably amateurish “video blogs.”

I went right at the fiction this morning and have been engaged in siege warfare all week. Straightaway, as the English are fond of saying.

I haven't been anywhere near an ocean this year, but I'll be in Georgetown, S.C., in January.

I haven’t been anywhere near an ocean this year, but I’ll be in Georgetown, S.C., in January.

The reason was that I awakened brainstorming. Actually, I spent about two hours, half asleep, brainstorming. I got up and wanted to write before I lost the train of thought. Today I wrote the fifth chapter of a crime novel that doesn’t have a name yet. Yesterday I wrote the second chapter of a western. I’ve already written about how I can’t believe I’m trying to write two new novels at the same time. It works so far. This morning I realized I was using the name of the sheriff in the western for the sheriff in the crime novel, but a quick search-and-replace operation fixed that.

When I start a novel – a whole two of them are out – I write a very general outline, and my first draft consists of filling in lots and lots of blanks. The second draft straightens the fillings. The third is a general overview and correction. Some writers rewrite five or more times. Some claim they write 10 and really write five or six. Three seem to work for me.

The western may or may not wind up being titled Cowboys Come Home. That’s what I’ve got right now.

Opportunity knocks, and a man has to answer the door. (Actually, a friend of mine knocked, and I took a break from this blog talking to him in the front yard about our wildly dissimilar adventures.)

Now I’m going to clean up and head out to run an errand. Specifically, I’ve got everything I need except butter to make a stew that I can snack on this weekend watching football games. I’ll let it stew, naturally, in the slow cooker (previously the crockpot) overnight.

That’s the news from the Dutton Farm, not that the press needs stopping.

You can keep my cash flowing by buying The Intangibles and/or The Audacity of Dope (2011) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble,,, and several valued independent sellers.

[cb_profit_poster Beer2]

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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