Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Halfway Man

I'm not very happy with myself at the moment. I think I'll start calling myself "Halfway Man." Since the end of summer I've been spinning my wheels. I've got a short story about Orcs halfway done. I've got a memoir about my beer drinking days that I hope will be both funny and suitable for a Kindle/Nook publication. It's halfway done.

I'm halfway through the galleys for In the Language of Scorpions. I should have been "full done" long before this. I'm halfway or near that on the erotica collection I was talking about here a few weeks ago. I've only about half way decided to publish it to begin with.

I've had a sword and planet story published that I want to promote but I'm about halfway to getting around to that. Hell, I even opened a beer the other night, drank about half of it, and put it in the fridge that way. There was a halfway finished can of Clamato already in there. Now, those two are visiting with the half eaten Quarter Pounder I stuffed in there from a few days earlier. If I can't even finish a beer, what hope is there for my writing?

What isn't halfway done is less than that, and I'm about halfway decided to chunk it all and play video games. Let's see: I'm about halfway through Red Dead Redemption. Should I go on with that one or buy a different game. No doubt, Halfway Man will buy a different one.

Progress, thy name is not Charles Gramlich.
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48 comments:

Paul R. McNamee said...

Keep on truckin', Charles.

I know the feeling.

I was thinking the other day of the martial (samurai?) maxim of "death by a million little cuts" and I thought about rewriting it.

Domestic entropy by a million little messes and to-do lists.

David Cranmer said...

Your post hit home this morning, Charles. I have many projects that I need to bring home and what am I waiting for?

Angie said...

Ick. Yeah, been there, done that, got a copyright on the T-shirts. :/

There are some upsides here, though. If you only drink half a beer or eat half a burger, you're only getting half the calories. Even if you finish them later, spreading it out is a good way of cutting back in total. And if you quite a computer game halfway through, you can go do something more productive, then come back to your game later if you want.

I always have like twenty WIPs on my hard drive, though, so I know how frustrating that can get. Hang in there. [hugz]

Angie, who, speaking of computer games, asked her husband to hide Skyrim when it arrived, 'cause if she gets ahold of it before 1 December, NaNo will be trashed O_O

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am suffering from the same problem. I think in my case, I have too much time on my hands at the moment. I just drift from one story to another.

Charles Gramlich said...

Paul, maybe that's my problem. I've got to heal some of the damn cuts.

David, crazy. I gotta get focused.

Angie, I like to think at least that I'm making progress, but even that seems like something of a rationalization at the moment.

Keith said...

It's that time of the semester, Charles. I don't want to even think about the number of projects, writing and academic, that I haven't finished. I keep finding myself fiddling around on the internet, reading and responding to blog posts, when I should be working. (Like now. :) ) There are times when the most efficient thing you can do is goof off, and when I start acting like this, that's when I know it's one of those times.

Hang in there.

Randy Johnson said...

You'll pull out of whatever funk you're in. It happens to all of us at times. I have faith you'll do it and flood us with wonderful stuff.

Tom Doolan said...

Ok, first I will apologize for giggling the entire time I was reading this. :)

Second, this seems to be an epidemic among my writer friends lately. But, as for advice, I got nothing you haven't already thought of, I'm sure. Keep pluggin' away! I'm sure things will straighten out eventually. It may take a step back and a reboot.

Chris said...

At least you're all in when it comes to doing things halfway, man.

But that beer? That's not wrong, that's sick.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Being halfway there is an occupational hazard, never mind the occupation. Faced with a similar predicament some years ago (not that I ever multi-task), my mentor had this reasonable solution: take a break, or vacation, every few months, recharge your batteries, and come back feeling alive and kickin'. I never heeded his advice.

Don said...

I hear ya brother. I write all day at work and go home and write and ... man, I'm going thru a little burn out.

On the other hand, the memoir of your beer drinking days sounds like a hoot. Work on that! :-)

Re: the 1/2 finished beers, you just gradually mix the flat beer in w/ the newly opened beer until it's all gone...

Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, I don't have enough time, which is why I need to be far more efficient than I have been.

Keith, I know what you mean. Sometimes your brain is telling you that you need a break and need to fiddle.

Randy, I have in the past pulled out of this kind of thing, so the hope is there. :

Tom, I was at least hoping to get a half laugh or two from the audience so thanks for giving me that. :)

Chris, I know. I feel pretty bad about it. What must the beer be filling to be so rejected.

Prashant, I'm sure I do need a vacation. I'm hoping for some rest over Thanksgiving.

Don, I just hope I can finish the 'new' beer man. What if it gets 'half emptied as well?" :)

David J. West said...

Right there with you - so many halfway projects finished right now - stuff that NEEDS to get finished so I can progress but its been a slow year for my writing.

I'm halfway through Wings Over Talera - (got misplaced in the move) but I'll plan on posting a review fairly soon.

BernardL said...

Holey Moley, you left the beer too?! :)

Deka Black said...

Keep going. I know the feeling. And in fact, i'm suffering it just now. I have two stories right now... half done. And don't know what to finish first!

Look this way: You have half of all done. Think about what thing is quicker to do

Erik Donald France said...

Hey, that's a complete expression in itself ~ excellent post!

Human nature seems to rest at halfway at least half of the time. Which is at least better than society's stopping point, usually after having trailed off following an impatient & "half-assed" effort.

Charles Gramlich said...

David J., reading has definitely been slow for me lately. Took me a month to finish that Shatner bio

Bernardl, I know. That's not a good sign.

Deka, I try to keep that in mind and it helps a little. half done is better than none done.

Erik, maybe it somehow expresses the normal curve. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Half a beer? That's alcohol abuse to waste the other half!
If it makes you feel better, I'm Not-Even-Started-Yet Man on my next project.

Steve Malley said...

For what it's worth, the condition is a problem on this side of the Pacific as well... :)

Cloudia said...

You have SUCH a hyper-productive 'normal' that you don't realize when you are simply experiencing what us normal mortals ALWAYS cope with, LOL!


Go for a walk. . .


Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

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Ron Scheer said...

Anybody check to see if Mercury is in retrograde?

There's also the Theory of Octaves, that no goal is directly achieved that doesn't require readjustment at the Third and again the Seventh out of Eight steps.

Greg said...

You're about halfway done on a lot of projects, which is more than I (and many people!) can say.

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex, I know and I really hate alcohol abuse, at least beer abuse.

Steve Malley, a cosmic reallignment is necessary.

Cloudia, you are sweet to say so!

Ron, I might start to consider those theories if things don't get better soon. :)

Greg, it will be all well and good if they progress beyond the halfway mark.

sage said...

Is the glass half full... oh, never mind.

laughingwolf said...

nuke the burger once you combine the beer/clamato in a big enough mug... if beer and tomato juice [redeye] work, no reason why clamato won't!

i'm back in the doldrums, again, not writing much but got a thousand ideas....

Charles Gramlich said...

Sage, odd that, I was talking about that issue in class today.

Laughingwolf, I ended up mixing most of the clamato with my V8. Hope the doldrums pass soon.

eric1313 said...

You overload yourself with work, but you seem to thrive that way, given your past record. Something will break through sooner or later, you'll find that thread, or chain, or rough woven hemp noose, or whatever you envision as your inspiration.

As for the games, Red Dead is pretty good. My band wrote a song that goes 'There's a Black Cloud Hangin Over Me' somewhat inspired by the blackness that gathers before your character kicks the bucket in that game. Finish Fallout3 if you must withdraw from Red Dead. I'll tell you where all the Vaults are, I still remember, in spite of the fact that I have drank much, and slept many times since last playing that one.

laughingwolf said...

that'll work :)

thx bud... wish i had an solution :(

Travis Cody said...

Well, half done is better than not started at all.

Oh...if you happen across half a bag of McD's fries in that fridge, throw them away immediately!! Fridge fries do not re-heat well.

oceangirl said...

Kinda cute post and I like the sound of half-way man., which is not bad at all and very normal.

the walking man said...

Just think how accomplished you'll feel when that quarterpounder is all green and smelly and you finish it with that half beer! You Will Be Whole Again...empty a few hours later but wholly empty.

ivan said...

...or, you could go all the way, all the time, and burn yourself out.

My doctor used to say, "Manage yourself as well as you manage other people."

I had been an all-the-way man through my youth and middleage, always on the brink of breaking down, but somehow never quite going nuts beause of home, family, hearth, their support for the resident madman who happened to be a writer. When I'd get lapses and slip-ups in my family life, "Ivan's just being 'Ivanish'--that's the way he is. Nerd. Geek." And the money just kept rolling in.

But fulltime professional staff writing for a slick magazine requres a mini-masterpiece of at least 800 words every couple of weeks, prostituting youself, if you will, and there comes a time to pay the piper for being "on" all the time. Manic, manic, manic. It was eventually bound to lead to depression.
It did.
Myself by nature a good-time Charlie with a love of revelling and carousing, I don't know why I'd ended up in a field that requires discipline and some intellectuality, at least in the style of writing like a hipster.

And one day the crack-up. Mental block...Could not write a single line.

So I tried the usual palliatives and antidotes of drinking drugging and, well, something else....Anything to get that old feeling of omnipotence back (even if in bed you were far from that).
Blew a deadline, blew the job, and if it hadn't been for my wife's resourcefulness, would have blown my middle age.
Eventually, I got a job with a quiet provincial magazine and this time taking it step by step, I regained my career.

So it strikes me Charles, that you may just be managing yourself. It's wisdom, I guess....Why "roman candle" too quickly?

Slow and easy does it, I'd say.

Charles Gramlich said...

eric1313, I haven’t really been able to make much progress on Fallout 3. I haven’t played a lot though. I think it would be better if I could get out of the underground but so far no luck. I need to pay attention to clues better, but I tend to prefer just to shoot shit.

Laughingwolf, I didn’t care much for the clamato, not quite beery enough or tomatoey enough.

Travis Cody, Lana has informed me of that fact, about the fridge fries. She’s a connoisseur .

Oceangirl, I was hoping I could at least be halfway funny. :)

Mark, If it’s all right with you I’ll probably not think about that. :)

Ivan, you get to a certain level of accomplishment and opportunities open up, and people also find they need stuff from you, and in those situations something has to give because you only have limited resources. I’m still trying to learn to manage that give and take. Sometimes I handle it well, sometimes not so well. And the not so wells seem to be winning at the moment.

Oscar said...

Doing things half-ass is better than no ass at all.

jodi said...

Charles-Somebody needs to take a break! You've been crazy busy too long. You need to reboot your head before you 'tilt'. Don't do anymore work on your projects for at least a week. You are getting on your own nerves! R n R and mindless head clearing will do the job. Go back, refreshed and see what pops in. P.S. half a quarter pounder is all anyone needs! Oh, and Half way man is still better than Nowhere Man!
Good luck, bud.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hang in there -- I toally get that feeling, all too well! By the way, my editor Ginger at Storylandia wants me to suggest someone for the next issue who writes sci/fi/futuristic/experimental stuff so I thought of you. I don't have your email, but mine mbrooks7@juno.com so if you have any interest, email me your info and I'll give it to her.

G said...

At least Halfway Man is better than Subliminal Man.

Or Ladies Man.

Or the "I Love You Man".

Charles Gramlich said...

Oscar, I suppose that's true.

Jodi, great Nowhere man reference. I wish I'd thought of that. :)

Michelle, thanks, I will do that.

G., I'm a long way from a ladies man. and I'm not very subliminal either. :)

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

Well, once out of the underground, there is a lot of shit to shoot.

The clues are here: http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout_3_walkthrough

It's a great game filled with horribly ambiguous moral choices, I'm sure you'd like it.

Also, I hope you've located some affordable sources for The Invisibles graphic novel. Can be a tad expensive I noticed recently, making me glad a friend of mine had them to borrow.

Carole said...

You might be a little hard on yourself. You have been extra busy. And I would say you are only halfway right. Most of the time you are completely productive. Or at least your blog posts make me tired with all you do.

Charles Gramlich said...

Eric1313, ah thanks for pointing me toward some FAllout tips. I will check that out.

Carole, It's hard being between finished projects at times, but I know it is necessary. I whine a lot. :)

Lana Gramlich said...

Hey! It sounds like you're giving my husband crap! I don't take kindly to such things, you know!

Charles Gramlich said...

lana, you don't tek kindly to my kind! Is that what you're saying?

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like you've been busy with all kinds of stuff; hang in there. Things have to progress eventually!

Charles Gramlich said...

Golden Eagle, I hope so. I did finally finish the galleys. Got to get those sent in tomorrow, though.

Richard Godwin said...

Charles I am sure all your halves will come together. To form a satisfying whole.

Charles Gramlich said...

Richard, I appreciate that!