Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Monday Musing

Good morning, all. Hope you had a pleasant weekend. No super-coherent post today (as opposed to any other time, hah hah), just some random bits and pieces from the brain.

*Don’t you just love it when you get a new idea? I was reading a book yesterday afternoon that sparked a line of thought, that led to what could be THE NEXT BOOK. I wrote a page or two during my Writers’ Circle yesterday. It’s all very vague and mushy in my head, but there’s something there. Time to let it drift off to the Back Room for a while – I’ve still got Barton’s Women to sand down and I’m reconsidering certain elements of Parallel Lives (I re-read it – it needs some help), so I’ve got plenty to do while this idea matures, but it’s nice to have.

*I can’t remember the last time a spectacular, hour-long, series finale concluded a television program on a satisfactory note. Last night’s Weeds finale was another disappointment. The concept was good: showing the extended Botwin family roughly ten years in the future. Sadly, the execution just wasn’t there. The episode provided some laughs and a tender moment or two, but much of it felt forced. It does not leave me feeling hopeful for the upcoming finales of 30 Rock and Breaking Bad. It seems the more networks hype up finales, the more likely they are to fail. A few notable exceptions: M*A*S*H, perhaps Newhart. I think Cheers ended pretty well, though I don’t really remember. It was a long time ago.

*Music note. Have you seen the video for Bob Dylan’s new song, Duquesne Whistle? It’s…disturbing. Musically, it’s fine (and I like the Louie Armstrong vocals; it’s an improvement over some of Bob’s more recent work), but the ‘story’ in the video is kind of creepy.

*I’ve been considering a new look for the blog. I liked this template when I chose it, but it’s time for a change. I’d consider asking my wife to design a fancy schmancy website (that’s what she does, after all) that cuts the cord from Blogger, but it feels a bit presumptuous.

*Anyone have experience with online submissions managers? A short piece I sent out at the beginning of the summer went from ‘Received’ to ‘Second review’ at one of the markets (can’t remember if there was a ‘first review’ stage or not; I had kind of forgotten about it). It has since dropped back to ‘Received’, which makes me think a rejection notice is heading my way. Oh, well.

*Funny thing with words: I’m listening to a radio station as I type this. They’re plugging an End-of-Summer ‘Cornholing’ tournament. To borrow a phrase from The Princess Bride: I don’t think that word means what I think it means. I’ve read too much Stephen King; it has a very different meaning in his work.

That’s about it for me for today. Enjoy the week, all.

11 Responses

  1. Yeah, endings can be rough, for TV and for books. We all being our own images with us and it they don't match, we're disappointed. Of course, some are just lame, period. I heard some people rave about what a great job they did with LOST whiles others complained about it.

  2. I think people expect too much from series finales and thus they are always disappointed. You should rehab your look but I wouldn't cut the cord from Blogger. I have my own website and it gets no traffic but I post my blog on blogger (as well as my website) and that's where all my traffic is. I tried only doing it on the website with comments and the only people who ever stopped by were Nancy and my mom.

  3. I would just spruce up the blog a little. Blogger is where the majority of your audience 'lives'. The following widget encourages them to come back and interact, you know?

    If you create a website, just use it as a central hub. Help your readers keep track of where they can find you on the web. 🙂

  4. I LOVE having a new idea for a story bubbling up in the back of my head. The beautiful moment when it stops being mushy and finally becomes clear… it will be so worth the wait and it's awesome that you at least have something to do with Barton's Women and Parallel Lives while you wait for the pot to boil! 🙂

    Aaah you can't spoil the ending of Breaking Bad for me. I just started watching it with my boyfriend. Two episodes in and I'm already pretty into it. But it is an awful shame when a finale isn't as satisfying as it should be… The end of a whole series should be crafted with absolute care! Which is why I'm in a love/hate relationship with Nickelodeon, who left the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender with one very big unanswered question. I've probably ranted to you about this before. Hope the ending of 30 Rock and Breaking Bad aren't too bad and live up to some higher expectations.

    New blog looks are cool. Mine is way different to when I started here. Go for it! Just make sure to leave a link so we can find you if you move to a new home away from Blogger.

    What did Cornholing mean in Stephen King's books? What does Cornholing mean at all??? I do not know this word and neither does my spell-check!

  5. I will not spoil Breaking Bad. I may actually be caught up to it when the finale airs, as I'm almost through season 4 now. There's a tendency here, especially with popular shows, to stuff the final episode with super special guest stars and the like, and I feel that often detracts from the show. And stretching out 30-minute shows to 60 often messes with the pacing and feeling, which I think was part of the problem with Weeds.

    Stephen King (and others) has used 'cornholing' as a euphemism for, err, violating a young man's rear end. So, the first time I heard someone on the radio talk about a 'cornhole tournament'…well, I nearly choked on my coffee. In this sense, it refers to a beanbag tossing game.

  6. Always nice when a new shiny idea bubbles up. I'd stick with Blogger if I were you. Because its so widely used & uses GFC, it encourages others to follow along. Not so with stand alone sites. I rarely follow those or even WordPress blogs. There's nothing to encourage reciprocity, which, like it or not, is a big draw. Sorry about your submission. I, for one, love your stories. I'm still thinking about Last Man Standing!

  7. Yeah, I think we'll stick with blogger after all. Just me blowing off steam on it, because it frustrates me at times. Of course, all platforms will frustrate at times. I'm glad you liked Last Man. I'll be taking another pass through on it soon then see if I can find a home for it.

  8. Oh, how I love that initial infatuation with a new idea, even it it's "vague and mushy" (wonderful way to describe this, by the way).

    As for cutting the cord with Blogger, I think you can incorporate Blogger into your website. Okay, this is where I point out that I am no expert, but the expert who designed my website created a blog page on it that is connected to Blogger. Thus, the best of both worlds.

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