playing for keeps

the blog of g.a. matiasz

  • MY BOOKS FOR SALE:

  • Free 1% FREE excerpts

  • 1% FREE on sale now


    Copies of 1% FREE can be purchased from Barnes & Noble POD, and the ebook can be had at Barnes & Noble ebook. The physical book is $18.95 and the ebook is $4.99.

  • END TIME reprinted


    Downloads of END TIME can be purchased from SMASHWORDS.
  • Copyright

    The contents of this Web page and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 2007 - 2016 by G. A. Matiasz.
  • My Pages

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Category Cloud

  • Categories

  • Tag Cloud

  • My Social

  • Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘writing’

The creative rush

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on April 21, 2018

4/18: I’m working through my editor’s comments and corrections rewriting my story “The Death of David Pickett.” I’ve given myself a target of 5 pages a day, and I’m already there this morning. Everything else is just catnip.

4/19: Zipping right along. I’ve completed rewriting 9 more pages today. While not as exciting as the original creative work, the process of rewriting–correcting mistakes, inventing solutions to persistent problems, taking plot and character in new directions–is reinvigorating the story and re-energizing my writing.

4/20: I’m off to the gym. Afterwards, I’m back to continue rewriting “The Death of David Pickett.” I’m at the end of a section halfway through the manuscript, and I really have to rebuild that part line by line and paragraph by paragraph. That should be fun.

4/21:
Writing is a process of building stories and solving creative conundrums along the way. The same goes for rewriting to a lesser extent. I’m invigorated by working through the edits on my manuscript, so much so that I find myself racing along with the rewrite even though I hope it doesn’t end. I’m almost done which makes me excited and sad at the same time. Here’s to finishing today.

Advertisements

Posted in 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nothing works the way I want it to. Especially software!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on April 16, 2018

I’m trying to figure out how to use MS Word’s Track Changes option in going through my editor’s notes and comments for my manuscript “The Death of David Pickett.” At first glance it seems pretty straightforward. I have the option of viewing the document in full markup mode and then of going from one correction to the next either accepting or rejecting the proposed changes. But the markup is messy and confusing and there’s more than just corrections in the marked up document like comments and notes and suggested revisions from my editor. I tried switching over to the compare mode that supposedly allows me to view my original document side by side with the editor’s marked up document. To do so however, all the changes in the marked up document must be accepted in order for the two documents (original and modified marked up) to be viewed next to each other in a single MS Word window. To view my original document next to my editor’s unmodified marked up document means keeping two separate MS Word windows open simultaneously, which defeats the purpose of the compare option. I do have the option of removing my editor’s comments but again, that defeats the purpose of having those comments available for a side by side comparison with my original document. I want to work out a process of rewriting my manuscript which allows me to rework the manuscript into a finished document while maintaining a comparison between the original document and the editor’s marked up document. But I fear that will require keeping THREE damned separate MS Word windows open simultaneously. Aaaarghh!

Posted in 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Found weekend

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on April 16, 2018

4/14/18:
A man, a typewriter, a weekend. I got the edited manuscript back from my editor. You know where I’ll be this weekend.
[all photos are of Ray Milland from “Lost Weekend.”]

4/15/18:
I spent the weekend going over my editor’s notes and comments. There are a dozen problems with the manuscript, but she liked it overall. I’m jazzed. Now I’m setting up for the rewrite, and the more I organize myself for one thing in my life, the more organized I get in the rest of my life.

Posted in 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, life, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Once in the editor’s hands

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 24, 2018

3-23-18
Last week, I sent the “The Death of David Pickett” manuscript to several readers, one professional and a couple of friends. I used their feedback to rewrite it, at the same time I researched editors for an extensive developmental and line edit. Today, I committed to one editor, signed the service agreement, and sent off the deposit. Things are moving along.

3-24-18
I’m not good at editing my own writing. At the same time, I’m an inveterate tinkerer, always rereading and rewriting my work, changing a word here and a sentence there. So when I sent off “The Death of David Pickett” to the editor I just hired, I was at a loss. The editor insisted on “version control” where “[c]lient shall not make any revisions to the manuscript” once I’ve submitted it for editing. So now what do I do? Why, write something else, of course.

Posted in "What's Left?" by "Lefty" Hooligan, 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Writing Weekend

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 18, 2018

SATURDAY:

We concluded our six week Finishing School group last Wednesday and I’m solo this weekend reworking the long short story/short novelette (~11,150 words). Working title “The Death of David Pickett,” it’s a prequel set in the same universe as my novel 1% Free. I’ve sent it to a couple of readers for first impressions. But I have some revisions already in mind since I declared it complete to wrap up my Finishing School participation. So it’s minimal social media and maximal writing for the next few days at least.

I’ll also be researching editors who do scifi, short fiction, developmental editing, and line editing as the next step. My copyeditor and illustrator will eventually be commissioned for the project, and the whole process will take months before I have a digital “book” I intend to give away for free. The giveaway will be to promote the novel, but it’ll require a coordinated blitz using email and social media, and maybe a multimedia pdf/ebook for maximum effect. I’m thinking July or August.

SUNDAY:

There are a couple of classic writer’s block memes. One is of the writer staring at a blank page or computer screen in frustration while the other is of that same frustrated writer surrounded by piles of crumpled pages while pulling out his or her hair. I’ve never suffered from writer’s block, or from an inability to write when I wanted. For those who do I suggest Pat Schneider’s Amherst Writers and Artists method. It’s a little too hippie-dippie for me, but the non-judgmental workshop style of AWA seems to work for a lot of people.

I had more and more problems writing when I was a raging alcoholic prior to 2010, and for the nine months or so after I stopped drinking when I was clinically depressed. Before I stopped I was also somewhat depressed, and increasingly I skipped writing my monthly columns for Maximum Rocknroll. I didn’t even bother sitting at my computer pretending to write because I had essentially lost interest. In doing CBT-based therapy for my depression after 2010, I promised myself to write my column every month no matter what. And I’ve lived up to that promise.

There’s a big difference between writer’s block and depression. For writer’s block there are appealing writing programs. For depression there are appropriate therapies. The key to any solution is a proper diagnosis of the problem.

Posted in 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, Maximum Rocknroll, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Working on MRR columns

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 14, 2018

Happiness is an open, warm library.

I have my column back from my copyeditor. There are issues with grammar and punctuation which I’m working on now, but nothing problematic about content. Of course, copyeditors are not tasked with editing content, and rightfully so. I already sent the rough to my friend Comrade Motopu for comments and criticisms regarding the column’s subject matter, which is a defense of the ultraleft. He’s good with it. Once I correct my copyeditor’s issues, I’m good to go.

I’ve also got my first line for the next column: “Sometimes a globalist is just a globalist.” It’s a paraphrase of that famous quote attributed, it seems wrongly, to Sigmund Freud that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” With all the talk about globalists being “bad” I thought I’d make it clear that capitalism is a global system run by a capitalist ruling class. It’s open and above board, with its plans openly published in places like the Wall Street Journal. Of course there are conspiracies within capitalism, but capitalism and its ruling class is not itself a conspiracy. Therefore I take issue with conspiracy theorists who contend that a secret cabal of Masons/Illuminati/international bankers/lizard aliens are actually running the world and that globalist is their code for Jews.

Fuck anti-semitism.

Posted in "What's Left?" by "Lefty" Hooligan, blog, blogger, blogging, Maximum Rocknroll, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Winnowing the Wheat from the Chaff

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on November 26, 2017

I’ve written and published two books in twenty-two years. At this rate, I’ll be lucky to complete a third book before I die. In light of that, I’ve gone through several score of potential story ideas at various stages of development–from basic idea to completed rough draft–in my word processing program Scrivener, winnowing wheat from chaff to select out a handful of candidates to work on.

I’ve come up with four possibilities, all science fiction. Two are completed rough drafts of novelettes (7,500-17,499 words) I could try to boost up to novella length (17,500-39,999 words). One is set in a post-apocalyptic far future where the main character, an ex-soldier with various biological military upgrades, meets up with someone who claims to be her brother. The second is a time travel/alternate universe story premised on the early, complete assassination of Lenin in an alternate time line.

I also have two promising ideas for full-length novels (40,000+ words), neither of which are anywhere near completion however. One is set entirely in 1968, the year I got politics, which has the main character traveling around to various iconic/historic events, with a sci-fi twist. The second is near-future science fiction in which neanderthals haven’t gone extinct but live secretly amid regular humans on the verge of self-extinction.

The incomplete novels would take a lot of time to finish, but they have the greatest potential story-wise. The novelettes would require extensive rewrites, but they’re basically done. My plan is to concentrate on these four pieces. Which will be difficult because I always have fiction stories in reserve, like two possible, incomplete sequels to my latest novel. One is set five years after the current book, the other a century later, and both are novelette/novella in length. Also, in addition to the archive of fiction ideas and snippets archived in Scrivener, I’m coming up with new ideas all the time. I’ll continue to write my non-fiction MRR columns, of course, but narrowing my focus in the fiction realm seems best.

I’ve got to draw the line somewhere.

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, life, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

DRAFT: END TIME reprinted by 62 MILE PRESS

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 24, 2016

1st printing cover of END TIME drawn by TIM GONZALES

1st printing cover of END TIME drawn by TIM GONZALES

2nd printing cover of END TIME built by JOHN YATES at STEALWORKS.

2nd printing cover of END TIME built by JOHN YATES at STEALWORKS.

FOR FACEBOOK PAGES:

I am reprinting my prescient, near-future thriller END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE through my publishing business 62 MILE PRESS. Written in a slashing, evocative style, END TIME received rave reviews in underground and small press circles in 1994. (for facebook writer page)

62 MILE PRESS is reprinting the prescient, near-future thriller END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE by G.A. MATIASZ. Written in a slashing, evocative style, END TIME received rave reviews in underground and small press circles in 1994. (for facebook business page)

Reprint Date: May 5, 2016

California, 2007.

“The storm black Hooligans took Van Ness, but never made the jog off to the park, Instead, they massed, some one hundred thousand strong, up to the hastily formed police blockade on Van Ness and Grove, then east back around on Market. They stopped in fact. March peace monitors, realizing what was happening, evaporated from around the autonomous columns to beat hasty retreats up Grove, Fell, Oak and Page with the march’s stragglers. People pulled on masks, bandanas, ski masks and balaklavas. Sunglasses hid eyes. Adrenaline once more raced through Greg, somewhere in the middle of that black mass, as he pulled up his own ‘kerchief. He watched a gauntly beautiful girl, a rare, anti-war Null, put her large black scarf over her gold electroplated cheek plates, before putting on shades in synch with hers…”

It’s not just sex, drugs and rock’n’roll!

“A wing of fighter jets, low over Nimitz Field, shrieked toward Oakland. Toward Jack London Square and the dual battle laser positions on Oakland’s inner harbor. People were running around the tower then, running away from the Harbor as fast as was humanly possible. A second roar, and surface-to-air missile batteries leapt into action to lay up a defensive curtain of heat seeking rockets. The jets broke into evasive action. Battle laser auroras danced up ultraviolet into the descending sun as the weapons primed. Two jets looped back tightly and managed to let loose their own rockets before having to dodge again. The harbor erupted under the jet strike, counterpointed quickly by one jet taking a direct hit and another spinning off, minus one wing. The battle laser fired. The precise x-ray beam could not be seen. But it produced a sharp fold in the air as it pierced across the bay and stripped the top off San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid…”

Armageddon’s been in effect!

“For a brief moment Marcus witnessed a phantasm, bathed in the smoky light of its own making. The creature was humanoid, dressed in a form fitting, single-piece, eel-gray body suit. The hands were gloved, with thick seams running up the arms and shoulders. And the head was entirely, strangely helmeted. It was a type of skull-tight ski mask, fitted with shear goggles and headphones, and crested with a soft, gun-metal colored apparatus. The goggles pulsed with that on-edge-of-sight light Marcus had observed seconds before, from under the door.

“‘Freeze,’ Joe yelled, crouched and aimed.

“An invisible light, apprehendable by a sense more visceral than sight and tailored minutely to Joe’s shape,streaked with precision from the refractive goggles, cookie cutting Joe perfectly. Joe exploded backwards…”

END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE:

Greg Kovinski, the novel’s protagonist, lives in interesting times. War and civil war rage across the former Soviet Union and much of the globe. The United States is fighting a sophisticated high tech counterinsurgency war in southern Mexico, against a popular revolution claiming the tradition of Zapata, in order to preserve the North American free trade zone. In Alabaster, a small town north of San Francisco, a draft-aged Greg, and a group of anti-war college students, gain possession of enough bomb grade riemanium to build a nuclear weapon several times more powerful than the one detonated over Nagasaki. As Greg struggles to “do the right thing” with his deadly power, friends turn out to be thieves, civil unrest rages, and the City of Oakland rises in revolution to become the 21st century’s Paris Commune.

FOR WEBSITES/BLOGS:

I am reprinting my prescient, near-future thriller END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE through my publishing business 62 MILE PRESS. Written in a slashing, evocative style, END TIME received rave reviews in underground and small press circles in 1994. (for personal blog and author website)

62 MILE PRESS is reprinting the prescient, near-future thriller END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE by G.A. MATIASZ. Written in a slashing, evocative style, END TIME received rave reviews in underground and small press circles in 1994. (for publishing website)

Reprint Date: May 5, 2016

California, 2007.

The storm black Hooligans took Van Ness, but never made the jog off to the park, Instead, they massed, some one hundred thousand strong, up to the hastily formed police blockade on Van Ness and Grove, then east back around on Market. They stopped in fact. March peace monitors, realizing what was happening, evaporated from around the autonomous columns to beat hasty retreats up Grove, Fell, Oak and Page with the march’s stragglers. People pulled on masks, bandanas, ski masks and balaklavas. Sunglasses hid eyes. Adrenaline once more raced through Greg, somewhere in the middle of that black mass, as he pulled up his own ‘kerchief. He watched a gauntly beautiful girl, a rare, anti-war Null, put her large black scarf over her gold electroplated cheek plates, before putting on shades in synch with hers…

It’s not just sex, drugs and rock’n’roll!

A wing of fighter jets, low over Nimitz Field, shrieked toward Oakland. Toward Jack London Square and the dual battle laser positions on Oakland’s inner harbor. People were running around the tower then, running away from the Harbor as fast as was humanly possible. A second roar, and surface-to-air missile batteries leapt into action to lay up a defensive curtain of heat seeking rockets. The jets broke into evasive action. Battle laser auroras danced up ultraviolet into the descending sun as the weapons primed. Two jets looped back tightly and managed to let loose their own rockets before having to dodge again. The harbor erupted under the jet strike, counterpointed quickly by one jet taking a direct hit and another spinning off, minus one wing. The battle laser fired. The precise x-ray beam could not be seen. But it produced a sharp fold in the air as it pierced across the bay and stripped the top off San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid…

Armageddon’s been in effect!

For a brief moment Marcus witnessed a phantasm, bathed in the smoky light of its own making. The creature was humanoid, dressed in a form fitting, single-piece, eel-gray body suit. The hands were gloved, with thick seams running up the arms and shoulders. And the head was entirely, strangely helmeted. It was a type of skull-tight ski mask, fitted with shear goggles and headphones, and crested with a soft, gun-metal colored apparatus. The goggles pulsed with that on-edge-of-sight light Marcus had observed seconds before, from under the door.

“Freeze,” Joe yelled, crouched and aimed.

An invisible light, apprehendable by a sense more visceral than sight and tailored minutely to Joe’s shape,streaked with precision from the refractive goggles, cookie cutting Joe perfectly. Joe exploded backwards…

END TIME: NOTES ON THE APOCALYPSE:

Greg Kovinski, the novel’s protagonist, lives in interesting times. War and civil war rage across the former Soviet Union and much of the globe. The United States is fighting a sophisticated high tech counterinsurgency war in southern Mexico, against a popular revolution claiming the tradition of Zapata, in order to preserve the North American free trade zone. In Alabaster, a small town north of San Francisco, a draft-aged Greg, and a group of anti-war college students, gain possession of enough bomb grade riemanium to build a nuclear weapon several times more powerful than the one detonated over Nagasaki. As Greg struggles to “do the right thing” with his deadly power, friends turn out to be thieves, civil unrest rages, and the City of Oakland rises in revolution to become the 21st century’s Paris Commune.

Posted in life, writing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Year: Reviving This Blog

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on January 1, 2015

Yes, New Years resolutions! I do them, starting with resolving to revive this blog. Most recently, I stopped in September of last year because I was deep into finishing my second novel. More about that in a future post, for now I’m committing to posting at least once a week to this, my personal blog.

The idea here is not to get more hits or followers, but to write more. My other blog, my political blog, more or less takes care of itself since I made the commitment to write, and then to post, my monthly Maximum Rocknroll columns there. And my novel rewrite, which is going on its second year, is close to being done. The manuscript will go to the editor I hired for a final line-by-line edit at the end of January. So that leaves this blog, and my writing in general.

I write for personal pleasure, therapy, and expression. I’ve written since I was 12 years old and, except for a period of heavy-duty depression, I continue to write as often as I can. I hope to write until I die.
writing

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, life, Maximum Rocknroll, politics, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »