duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
"She will still talk to people, but it will be in a withdrawn way."

--A priest discussing a new Scottish hermit, as quoted by The Press and Journal.


My professional work last month )
On 'The Eternal Dungeon' )
Writing in the fresh outdoors, research trips, and a rant about heavy furniture) )
Professional trips (mainly Waterman research) and personal trips last month )
Getting a handle on my introversion )
The inauspicious anniversary of my web addiction )

REPLY TO BLOG COMMENTS

As some of you will have noticed, I've been a little backed up in responding to comments to this blog. Unfortunately, I lost all my e-mails prior to April 2014 (yes, that's how backed up I am), but here's my replies to the rest. I hope I didn't miss anyone - if I did, let me know.


Reply to Catana on e-book covers and productivity )
Reply to Dianna Kay on my e-books and the m/m readership )
Reply to Musicman on narratives )
Reply to Angie Fiedler Sutton on Scribe Mozell )
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
"I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.

"I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. I’ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. They’re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me they’re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough – and finally forced me to get real. . . .

"When I write again, it will be for you, I hope – just in a different form. I need to decompress and get healthy for a while; but I won’t disappear as a writer."

--Andrew Sullivan.


I had some big changes in March in how I write stories, so that's what most of this entry is about.


New ways of writing fiction )
Waterman research )
My professional work last month )
My reading last month )
My decluttering and homemaking last month )
My personal life last month )
My web addiction and other health matters last month )
duskpeterson: (autumn acorn)
"We're all so concerned about making money and being successful.

"But no poet ever wrote to make money. No amateur painter ever expected to have his work hung in the Lourve. You don't throw a pot hoping for fame, and you didn't take piano lessons because you have aspirations to play Carnegie Hall.

"You do those things because you want to."

--The most sensible thing ever said by J. A. Konrath.


So it turns out that my surgery is on November 21st, not October 21st. Good - I need that extra time.



Writing and Watermen research )
E-book marketing )
So, about that decluttering )
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
"It used to be that I would clean the oven to avoid writing because traditional publishing was total bleakness interrupted by 10 minutes of happiness when your agent called to say she had sold your book. There followed a year of silence while the book was 'produced.' Publication was brief. The salesmen (you heard right) decided the print run and if it was in the low five digits, the book was DOA. Two years of your life had been eaten up. The Prozac months followed.

"Now I write avidly because I can publish what I write. Once written and edited, I can publish a book in a matter of minutes and sell it 24/7. I have satisfied my two passions: writing and commerce."

--Consuelo Saah Baehr, as qouted in David Gaughran's Let's Get Digital.


What I wrote this month, and what story is coming next )
Waterman research trip to Calvert County in Southern Maryland (illustrated) )
Counselling )
10:10 challenge: Reducing my carbon emissions by 10% )
Dusk's recipe for Vegan Chocolate Pudding )
Health )
duskpeterson: (summer night shells)
"It is not much good, transcribing part of your autobiography into your story . . . , it seldom fits, the ends don't mesh; but what you have read and what you have done and what you have felt and what you know are, after all, the only things you as a writer have to sell, and in some way they gurgle through the sloshy pipes of the brain, losing an amino acid here and picking up an enzyme there, and what emerges is part of you. Probably the best part of you. The best part of all of us is in what we write."

--Frederik Pohl.

How I reply to comments at this blog.


My Muse continues to wander off to stories I *didn't* ask him to write )
Writer's block continues; layout hell begins )
Life Prison research (actually, Triad research )
June wordage )
Writing and publishing and research trips, oh my (Waterman research, among other things) )
Recommendations and other links )
Reply to comments )
duskpeterson: (winter sled)
"Any assumption that gay men will write with most authority about gayness is immediately challenged by inescapable evidence - by the success, for instance, of E. M. Forster's women - and by the common-sense observation that the essence of imagination is its ability to enter into experiences beyond the writer's own. This being so, there seems no reason why the converse case, of a heterosexual writing about gay characters, should excite even the mildest surprise."

--Neil Powell in the 15 September 1995 issue of The Times Literary Supplement.

Background to my entries )
Simplicity and Writing: Starting afresh (Prison City research) )
Home: Snow in Maryland (now) and in Britain (in 1982) and Somerset village life )
Writing: New thoughts on e-book publishing )
Writing: Evidence that the publishing world has changed )
Simplicity: How the new 'Don't seek new stuff, don't add new stuff' regime is going )
Writing: C. J. Cherryh and my stuck Muse )
Writing: I get the go-ahead at Smashwords )
Writing: Football fever (Prison City writing) )
Writing: Working out my schedule for the next few months (including Prison City research and Life Prison research); plus, my additional thoughts on the omnibus e-books )
Simplicity: How the new 'Don't seek new stuff, don't add new stuff' regime is going (second update) )
Writing: So this is how historical research works (Prison City research) )
Writing: Finished 'Unmarked' (Prison City writing and research) )
Writing: Nearly fruitless day (Life Prison research and Prison City research) )
Writing: Lions and tigers and maps, oh my (Prison City research) )
Writing: Boarding school fiction (Prison City research); plus, Rosemary Sutcliff )
Writing: Fact and fiction )
Writing: A reason to love schoolboy fiction: Great first lines (Prison City research) )
Writing and Home: More of the Lawrenceville stories (Prison City research); plus, snow in our yard )
Writing and Home: Meme: What do you have on (or under) your desk right now? )
Writing: Update on the steamboat/lighthouse scenes (Prison City research) )
Writing: I think I've found the Eternal Dungeon (Eternal Dungeon research) )
Writing: Figuring out how Greenbelt Lake connects in with the Chesapeake (Prison City research) )
Writing and Simplicity: Wordage, schedule, and the Internet )
Writing: I think I've found Compassion Prison too (Life Prison research) )
duskpeterson: (autumn acorn)
An update for those of you who don't read my regular Daily Life entries: I've settled that the Calvert Cliffs cove near Cove Point in Calvert County is a suitable home for my protagonist. I've written the Hoopers Island watermen chapter. I've rewritten the Solomons Island chapter. I still have to write the lighthouse chapter and the Calvert Cliffs chapters.

But meanwhile (or rather, before I wrote the Hoopers Island chapter), I went off to Dorchester County again, this time with [livejournal.com profile] spiralred.

Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex (at Bishops Head Point) )
Hoopers Island )

Thanks to Spiralred and her willingness to tramp through uncharted marshland, this trip gave me the material I needed to write the Hoopers Island watermen chapter - not to mention a new scene featuring a marshland pond - though I'm still struggling with nature terminology. I'd really like to get someone from Hoopers Island to look over the manuscript - though how the heck I'd find that someone, I don't know. Maybe I can stand in the island store again, holding my manuscript and looking like a pathetic tourist till someone takes pity on me.
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
Calvert County is a peninsula in Southern Maryland, squeezed between the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River. (The lake across the street from my house feeds into the Patuxent River system.) The county is unfortunately fairly gentrified these days, but the inhabitants are proud of their historical ties to the water - hence our trip there.

Calvert Marine Museum and Drum Point Lighthouse )
Solomons )
Our endless quest for my protagonist's home )
Post-trip research )

So I still don't know for sure where my protagonist's estate is located, but for better or worse, that's my only trip to Southern Maryland this year. Now I just need to read the turn-of-the-century texts on lighthouses that I downloaded last weekend - which I can do throughout the fall - and I'll be all set to finish writing "Master and Servant."

Except that Spiralred has invited me to join her in a visit to Dorchester County next month. Yay!
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
On September 11, Doug and I visited Rock Hall in Kent County, just north of Tilghman Island on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It's an old watermen's community, and though the watermen have nearly been squeezed out, there are a couple of museums there that have watermen's devices. Then, two days later, we took a return trip to Dorchester County - in particular, to Hoopers Island.

Rock Hall )
Interlude in Lewes, Delaware )
Hoopers Island )
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge )

I'd love to go back to Hoopers Island in late October, which is when my character walks across the upper island - I'd like to know what wildlife is out, and how much bird noise occurs then. (Dorchester County is part of the Atlantic Flyway for migrating birds.) But that would be pressing Doug's patience, so I'm going to have to use my imagination to fill in the gaps.

Now I just have to convince him to take that much-delayed trip to Southern Maryland. "We just got back from Hoopers Island!" he said when I tentatively pointed out on Wednesday that I had only ten days left before the research portion of my year ended.
duskpeterson: (summer night shells)
"On the first Saturday of November the skipjacks of Tilghman Island were dressed for a ritual. The ritual was the Chesapeake Bay Appreciation Day skipjack race, which marked the beginning of the oystering season. This was to be my first season dredging oysters aboard a skipjack. . . .

"By 10:30 A.M. seventeen working skipjacks had gathered off the beach at Sandy Point. The Bay rippled with a light southwest breeze, and [Captain] Bart sent [his first mate] Bobby into the push boat to shut off the Cadillac. The skipper paid out the main sheet, motioned for me to take the wheel, and let Ruby Ford sail with the wind abeam. I turned the wheel tentatively to starboard what seemed two or three full turns, but the skipjack held her heading and drifted in the current with 1200 square feet of sails fluttering overhead.

"'Honey, come over[.]' Bart's right arm waved to starboard.

"Slowly his message sunk in: 'Turn the wheel, stupid.' I did."

--Randall S. Peffer: Watermen.


About the trip )
Talbot County, Maryland )
Lewes, Delaware )
Dorchester County, Maryland )
Your turn now )

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