Update: I have officially lost my freakin’ mind.

This post is for my regular readers, who may be wondering what the hell is going on with me. It is, after all, less than nine weeks until Halloween, and –after a rather anemic start — my normal Halloween Countdown posts have stopped appearing on schedule.

Two things have happened:

Thing 1 (good):

I have been making excellent progress on my current novel project AND incorporating my brand-spanking-new copy of Scrivener into my process. (For those of you who don’t know, that’s a piece of software that simplifies the organizational aspects of a novel writing project.) I’m thrilled with the tool, but it’s got a steep learning curve. I’ve been refusing to let the time needed to familiarize myself with the program reduce my word count progress, thus, I am spending A LOT of time working on my fiction. The blog has suffered.

Thing 2 (insane):

I’ve realized that many of my original Halloween posts have grown unwieldy as I’ve updated them over the last couple of years. Getting some of them updated has made me realize that my system isn’t sustainable. The whole concept of my Halloween section needs an overhaul. I believe the countdown needs to be separated from the articles that have always accompanied them. Consequently, the countdown images themselves need to be redone. (I was getting tired of them anyway.) I expect to have a new series of images to share soon, but the countdown will be shorter than usual this year.

In the meantime, the Halloween-centric content that already exists needs to be repackaged.

Here’s a peek at the bones of the future Halloween index:

Halloween at The Paranormalist

So I’m gonna do as much as I can manage this week, in an attempt to salvage the season before we get much closer to The Big Day. It will actually be less time-consuming than forcing the current system into an even more Gordian state. (My alternative is to completely strip Halloween out of the blog this year, and we all know that would kill me.) The project is underway, but I’ve got a lot to do before I’ll feel like I’m managing things well. Posts may go up at wonky intervals and/or be backdated. They may not yet fit neatly into a framework. For short periods of time, photos may be placeholders for planned shots. In short, it’s gonna be a mess before it gets better.

Forgive me.


9 Comments on “Update: I have officially lost my freakin’ mind.”

  1. A novel will take over your life. If it’s going well, let it and don’t worry about the blog. That’s what happened to mine. Just go with it and “return with the regularly scheduled programming” when you are drawn to.

  2. That’s MOSTLY my plan. The timing is kinda terrible though. Halloween is a big season for the blog. I’ll do what I can, but I know where my priority must be. Good to hear you reinforce that.

  3. A novel and Halloween! I’m doing the same thing. It would have been easier if I’d been writing something with a spooky theme but no such luck.

    I’m looking forward to reading your book and spending some quality Halloween time right here with you on your blog.


    • Yeah, I wouldn’t have planned it this way, but I’ll never turn away the muse.

      If your novel isn’t spooky, then you’re crazier than I am 😉

      We’ll both get some fun out this season, despite being otherwise busy, I just know it. It is, after all, who we are.

  4. “For those of you who don’t know, that’s a piece of software that simplifies the organizational aspects of a novel writing project.” – As an organic novelist, even the concept of what this may be eludes me completely. Can you explain? I use MSWord. Sometimes I use a pen and paper. I’ve been known to jot down notes on napkins and the backs of envelopes as they hit me. I almost never outline. But, hey, a novel! Any hints on what it’s about? Maybe you’ve mentioned it before, if so, sorry for my obliviousness.

    • I’m an out-liner … or, rather, a section-mapper.

      As a slow writer, who wants to do too much editing along the way, I need a map to follow, or I wander off into dead-end canyons, which might well be bottomless.

      It’s only a suggestion-style map — more like a guidebook of options. Without it, though, I am lost.

      Also, I don’t want unnecessary backstory in my work, but I do better if I jot down (outside the novel itself) anything I learn about a character as I write him or her. I generate a lot of notations and documents that are really for my eyes only. Trying to keep track of all of it in a logical arrangement of word processor documents has been difficult and too time-consuming.

      What Scrivener does is give me a virtual office, from where my notes and scribbles can’t disappear, nor get buried under other notes and scribbles. There’s a place for everything, and all of that storage and my cross-referenceable information is in sight, but not intrusive, when I’m working on making words happen in the clean center of the desk.

      THE NOVEL:
      The novel is about Cody Douglas, an out of work, small town reporter who is writing a true-crime book about a serial killer, who was active, then murdered, in a nice little Minnesota town, 15 years ago.

      His project, and the paranoid, overly-protective, state of mind it evokes in him, stresses his already strained marriage. His wife insists he move out of the family home until he finishes the book (or gives it up.)

      He temporarily settles into the Crown, a seedy, rooming-house kind of hotel, on the edge of the serial killer’s old territory, to finish his research and write a saleable draft.

      At the Crown, he discovers — and eventually becomes emotionally entangled with — people who live in the shadows of the bright, suburban world he’s used to … some of them who are there because they have to be, and some of them who are there because they want to be.

      That’s the first time I’ve taken a stab at writing a quick synopsis. Lots of work to do with it, but the bones look alright.

      Now I’m going to go tuck that away in Scrivener, and get back to writing the damn novel. 😀

      • Anonymous says:

        Alright. Thanks! I’d get totally lost and bogged down using something like that, I think. I guess we’re polar opposite in the writing method department, but whatever works and gets the job done, is admirable. I was required to outline for the 2nd murder mystery I did, mainly to keep track of who was with who, when, and where – all those pesky alibis and lies that folks who are suspected killers come up with, don’cha know? Keep up the good work and good luck with all your writing projects!

  5. Hunter Shea says:

    So glad to hear that the novel is progressing. Hope you can focus even more on it, because I can’t wait to read it!

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