Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Progress Report, Day Sixteen

If only Matt had posted his numbers last night, I would have known we were so close again and been able to do the same plus-one-word stunt he slammed me with.

Prose Writing: 5,130 Words.

Comics Writing: 0 Pages.

Notes: I promised Matt that I'd get my remaining pages for our fifth JSA issue done yesterday, so that we could have it waiting on the editors' desks when they came in for work this morning. But I didn't do that, because I got distracted. Before I switched over to an all comics pages day I just wanted to get a few ideas down for the Martian Anthology story that I'd recently been invited to contribute to, Edited by the esteemed George R (and then another R) Martin, doncha know?
     But I got into it and spent the entire day on Mars. This was all free-form writing, without an outline, because it was the outline -- rather the notes and scribbles that should later be used in an outline -- that I was supposedly writing. Instead I went for actual text, with ever only a vague idea of what would be coming next. When I'd finished pouring everything I could come up with out onto the digital page, I was still shy of 129 words to make the minimum 5k. It's at that point that Matt would have gotten spanked with the plus-one-word deal that he did unto me a few days ago. But Matt didn't cooperate by posting his numbers, did he? That skunk.
     So, with only a few words to go before I could go watch an episode of the Complete Friends Collection, I switched over to the superhero story. As you can see by the word total, I did a bit more than the 129 I needed, but not that much more. This was the episode where Ross tries to flirt with the pizza delivery girl and that one's just far too funny (and far too personally poignant) to pass up. Here's one fun short paragraph from the wee bit of the superhero story that I wrote last evening:

        "I'll take them," he said. He pointed his laser finger at the approaching figures and slowly fanned a bright red pencil-thin beam back and forth through their ranks. Pieces of metal bodies began to rain down from the sky.

     As I've said often before, I'm actually almost always working. But I'm almost never working on what I should be working on, which is why I get into deadline trouble from time to time. Matt, I'll get those final JSA pages done today -- unless I don't.
     And it looks like Bill -- the other Bill -- takes the day again.


  1. That's really exciting! I love Martian stories! One of the songs on The Lionheart is called "Telepathy on Mars?" and one of the best paintings I've ever done is called that also. Ray Bradbury is the man! He was so nice and cool to me when I had the honor of meeting him in person.

  2. Telepathy on Mars plays a big part in my story. In the book Swords of Mars, the first ERB mars novel I read -- I was limited to what order they showed up in at the few libraries I was able to reach on my bike -- there's an almost throwaway comment that, "Martians don't lie." (John Carter had just met Rappas the Ulso -- which translates as Rappas the Rat -- at the time and immediately pegged him as a scoundrel. How can I forget so many important things and still recall that, even though it's been thirty years since I'd read an ERB Mars book?) I remember thinking at the time that that would be a difficult concept to maintain for a series of adventure books. Turns out, like too many things (alas) it didn't hold up, not even for the entirety of that story. But I did wonder if the never lying thing had something to do with the all Martians have some level of telepathy thing -- which is another concept that ERB forgot whenever it was convenient to do so. Linking those concepts together forms one of the underpinnings of my story -- which isn't an ERB Mars tale, but inspiration will often have its way, and its day.

  3. That sounds really, really cool, Bill. I'm way looking forward to reading that story! Willingham on Mars...I love it.