Dr. Crane, I presume

Yet again, there has been a long lull in between posts, and I know that we’re coming up on a period in which my blogging is bound to lull.  As we prepare for Autumn, a lot has been going on in both my professional and personal lives.  I will start with the professional, as there is far less to discuss, even though there has been far more activity in that regard.  I have been promoted from an editor to a project manager and analyst.  We’ve hired two new individuals, one to replace a good guy who was unceremoniously expelled two months ago, and the other to replace the spot that I vacated.  Needless to say, it has been busy, and I am amazed at how well we are all acclimating to the change as this business carries forward.  Despite it all, I am exhausted, and I have been going to bed earlier than I usually would, whether by twenty minutes or by ninety.

Almost a year ago, we received bonuses in the form of Amazon Gift Cards.  In trying to beat out California’s adoption of a Use Tax, I made a lot of headway into obtaining noveling music, as well as books and video games to serve as diversions from the craft of writing.  Among these items, I have purchased Spin Doctors’ “Pocket Full of Kryptonite,” and Neil Young’s “Prairie Wind,” which have served as a backdrop to several nights of planning and writing the beginnings of my third novel.

Moreso than anything else, I have been occupying my evenings by watching television – Star Trek: TNG, Frasier, and (oddly) King of the Hill.  There are two things that I have learned from my recent television viewing.  First of all, is the notion of creating endearing characters in a series, and I have been puzzling over how characters like Frasier and Niles, Daphne and Data, and even the brow-beaten Bill, can be so endearing that viewers would want to tune in to them week after week.  As I view my next novel, I realize that it is very much episodic – not in the sense that there are ten, twelve, or twenty-four separate stories that can be wrapped up in the span of twenty pages, but in the sense that there is a running narrative that spans multiple days and multiple intertwined tales.  While Zane’s day may not be interesting from start to finish, there are others that would fill in the gaps where Zane is merely daydreaming or sitting on the throne reading bathroom graffiti.  Then again, wouldn’t a scene involving a guy sitting reading dirty limericks be a riot?

One thing that has been reiterated through several episodes of Frasier and TNG (and maybe in KotH, though that’s largely white noise to me), is the need for friendship.  Frasier and Niles lament that they are their only friends, and I have often thought about characters and their friendships, as I have also thought about friendships in general.

Several years ago, I joined several websites, hoping to find communities of like-minded individuals to make friends.  Among these, I found NaNoWriMo, which has been a great resource and impetus for writing.  In challenging myself through NaNoWriMo, I have completed two novels, but I have done little in way of generating enduring friendships from NaNoWriMo or any of these sites.  In the meantime, my wife has recently acquired numerous friends through more organic means. Sometimes, I am left to wonder if I should share in Frasier and Niles’ lament.

I must close this rant, not because I have lost steam, but because I am minutes from sleep.  Perhaps I will amend this later.  In the meantime, I will share my overarching ambition for NaNoWriMo and other such communication sites – that I will continue to pursue enduring friendships.

Thanks for reading!

-Jim

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