Notebook 7 | The Wayward Mind

~ This is a #notebook entry on #ruckology in which Brandon L. Rucker kinda, sorta admits he’s mentally unwell ~

Last weekend I had a plotting breakthrough on Project: One Shot (formerly Project: Crime Time), the codename for my developing crime comic with my artist partner and best friend Joshua S. Hooten. Finally actual scripting had commenced. The plan was to take Monday off and resume writing on Tuesday. Tuesday became another off day. The rest of the week was compromised by family obligations and work exhaustion from the day job. But the mind stayed active with some fine-tuning of the plot happening in my subconscious.

That’s not the problem. The problem is my mind got more active on character and plot details for the romantic crime-noir novel I’m planning on finally starting in November during NaNoWriMo (codenamed Project: Dame Game, a project featuring an old character of mine in a new story I cooked up this past Spring — details in next week’s Workbook). So even if I had managed to sit at my desk and write this past week, it’s very possible I would have been writing notes for that project rather than the one I should be actively working on (which I’m doing today immediately following this missive).

By week’s end this got me thinking about how the mind is a wayward thing, wild and unbridled, doing whatever the hell it wants and not necessarily what you need it to do, when you need it to. I’ve always conceded that I have what I like to call creative ADD. As a highly active thinker I’ve always been hardwired that way, juggling an insane amount of information and ideas in one sitting than the average bear would. There are definitive pros and cons to it, no doubt. One of the cons is as I get older and more forgetful (hush, you) many ideas become like transient ghosts if I don’t get them jotted down quick, fast and in a hurry. And that’s the other rub — a notebook is not always handy, the ability to stop whatever you’re doing to jot down notes it’s not always an option. In fact, more than often it is not.

The silver lining I suppose is that I am almost always in a creative state of mind and at the end of the day I cherish this overactive gray matter of mine, no matter how wayward it may be at times.

You know that old proverbial saying that writers are slightly insane because they entertain multiple voices in their heads while also muttering to themselves when they think no one else can hear them? Yeah, it’s true.

I’m willing to bet you knew that already, didn’t you?

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Workbook 10 | July: Time for Crime

This is a #workbook update on #ruckology by Brandon L. Rucker in which he reports on the productivity and counter-productivity of his author/musician life.

Not a whole lot to report in this working update because I’ve been busy living (more on that in tomorrow’s The Evening Muse). Let’s get right to it.

Comics

Project: CrimeTime (with artist Joshua S. Hooten) – Nearing the end of preliminary work and beginning actually scripting this week so that Joshua can start producing actual pages this coming weekend. The plan is to compose a breakdown of the plot Sunday, and then actually script out the page-by-page plot beginning Monday. That is what I will present to Joshua as his guide from which to illustrate his story pages, a method known as the “Marvel Method” which was pioneered by the great and legendary Stan Lee as a necessary means of expedience because at the time in the 50s and 60s he was the editor-in-chief as well as the head writer, charged with the task of providing multiple scripts in short order to multiple working freelance artists who needed the work in order to maintain a steady income. Of course I only WISH I could be in that same situation with a cadre of artists clamoring for the opportunity to illustrate my stories. Dream on.

Alas, I’m using this method, in lieu of the “full script” method (which does panel-by-panel directions) for a couple of reasons. One: I want a more flexible means of composing the dialogue that a full script does not really allow. Two: in the spirit of ultimate collaboration, I want to give Joshua plenty of creative space with which to compose his pages. This is our baby, and if I am the father of it, then that means he is its mother, doing the heavy lifting and giving graphic, physical birth to it. This project does not become a fully formed comic book or graphic novel without his creativity, talent, skill and workman’s effort.

And now I present to you his most recent piece of digital art, even though it has nothing to do with our project. But who doesn’t like Conan the Barbarian?

JSH Conan - b&w JSH Conan - color

Says Joshua:

“Bro…. I cannot wait to have a story to start drawing. I don’t even know who this dude behind the stylus is anymore.”

See why I’ve cleared my calendar?

Prose

Since finally partnering up with my best friend and creative partner this summer to work on creating comics, prose is very much on the backburner while I focus on the comic. However, since I’m not writing in full-script format I will be able to keep my prose faculties somewhat in working condition as I use them to a certain extent in plot-style scriptwriting.

Whenever I do get to refocus my efforts on prose I will look to finish updating and completely revising the short story “All Things Considered” which has been begging to become a novella, at the very least. It could be that great mainstream American novel given its subject matter and themes, but I’m still probably not quite the author to pull that particular feat off just yet.

I’d really like to get to “The Monster Under the Bed” short horror story this Halloween season. It’s a creepy tale I conceived on my birthday last year that I should have written last October after I wrote up the synopsis.

Other than that, the novel series that’s codenamed Project: Blood-Borne still waits (im)patiently for me to return to it with umwaverimg commitment and a final decision on whether it’s going to be young adult, new adult or just general adult fiction. I’m pretty sure no other would-be novelist overthinks that kind of thing, right?

Music

So my rock band Neglect the Alarm (more affectionately known as NTA) finally reconvened for practice this past week, after three months of inactivity. Hopefully we’re getting back into a groove of regular practices with the intent of expanding our roster of songs. We have a goal of achieving a total of a dozen completed songs by the end of the year. We’ve pretty much solidified Song #7, which we began before our break. And I think I may have the workings for what would become completed Song #8 with the three riffs I put together on Saturday.

Also, we absolutely must put the finishing touches on our 5-song demo EP that we recorded in December. Aside from the one and only show we played back in January, no one else on a public level has had the pleasure of hearing our music. That’s a damn shame.

Journalizing / Blogging / Archiving

So a few changes are afoot around here at #Ruckology. In July I fired off three Thinkbooks, my weekly download of brain juice leakage logs. Beginning this month I’ll be adding more new series. So coming real soon: Artbook, MusicBox and ComicsBox. A little later I may have Photobook, Tunebook, and Quotebook. They will all be self-evident once they’re up and going. Just keep an eye on the menu to the left to help ya with navigating this crazy blogsite. Tomorrow brings a new Evening Muse in which I gripe about the writer’s plight.

And that should wrap this up. I have a busy, busy August ahead so I expect to be broadcasting a rather robust Workbook edition in some thirty days as I get more hardcore into the business of writing and rocking.

Be good my people.