Stabilized Zapruder Film

The Zapruder film always makes me so sad. Whenever I happen to see it, I get depressed.

It’s not just the loss of a single life, or the loss of a promising leader, but also the 60’s setting reminds me of old pictures of my parents, before the bad days, plus there’s something inherent in my reaction to the film that represents the death of love; seeing Jackie react and flee fills me with a deep sadness.

Now–hoax or not–there is an interesting new version of the film.

Allegedly “stabilized” Zapruder film.


I hit 52k in the novel today. Yay.

The last two chapters are skeletal, but at least I’ve hit the wordcount in the time frame. I’ll continue to flesh out those last chapters, at a slower pace, through Xmas.

I haven’t worked out at the gym in a month, due to this effort. I’ve consumed twice as much coffee as normal and slept much less. So it’s good to be done with the extreme phase of the project.

Caution: Dogs At Play

I finally finished writing an unholy difficult scene that I’ve been working on for days, consisting of a hunting trip. I kept wanting to rush through it, but managed to take it slow. (Not an easy thing for me…when I get impatient or excited, I want to move on to the next thing.) Several times, I jumped ahead and wrote bits of later chapters. But at last I’ve got a rough draft of the entire hunting incident, beginning to end.

As a bonus, here is another picture of Star, which is actually completely unrelated to hunting, except that sometimes she looks a bit like a deer and thus provides me with a decent subject line for this post.

Caution: Dog At Play

Catching Up

Tonight I caught up with the word count required for day 13 of the novel-in-a-month project. I basically sacrificed most of Saturday and the entire Sunday–except for walking my dog, Star–to get caught up. I blew off a bunch of errands. After that, I pressed on and wrote tomorrow’s word count as well. So now I’m ahead, finally. (Last year, I shot out ahead early and stayed way ahead of the count.)

One of the things I’ve learned is this: Writing the required word count (1,665 per day for 30 days) is not the hard part. Scene planning is the thing that makes this difficult. Once I actually have a plan for the scene I’m about to write, and I’m excited about that scene, it all goes very quickly. (Sometimes, all that’s required is a rough direction, like, “Goes to meet his brother in a parking lot.”) If I don’t have a plan for the scene I want to write, I am essentially dead in the water.

Now, tomorrow I have to go back to work, and I have a bunch of visitors in town from Chicago. Bah…I need another weekend.

Writing at the Green Muse

Ho, ho…my friend Ricardo and I are both working on our 30-day-novels at the Green Muse, a coffee shop here in Austin (in the South First area). Despite living here since ’93, I only recently discovered this place, after a friend turned me on to it.

The coffee shop is playing something by the White Stripes, off an album I don’t have. (Earlier, they were playing the Shins.)

In an hour and a half, I’ve written a thousand words. Not particularly fast, but looking back over last night’s scene, I really like it.

Not sure how long we’ll keep going, but hopefully for another couple of hours.

(Note: By the end of the night, I was at 15,500. Technically, I was supposed to be around 16,500. Some I should be able to catch up soon. Getting ahead of the word count is key, since that makes up for days when I can’t find the time to write or when some part of my life blows up.)