I have decided to split my old blog into two. Tim’s Road Noise began as a string of emails to friends while I was on a vacation, travelling through wine country in Washington, Oregon and California. Writing similar emails to several friends was silly, and uploading the same photographs through sketchy hotel internet services (through a cable, this was the old days) was downright tedious. So I hit on Blogger, and although I lost some of the personal touch of writing to my friends individually, everyone got to see a fuller report that I like to think revealed more of the real me. Each reader got more frequent updates, too. I was tickled when the first stranger followed me, but hey, if my friends like reading about my travels, tribulations and the wine and food that ends each day’s quest, then why wouldn’t there be others who find it interesting, too? They’re just friends I haven’t met yet. I only go on one or two road trips each year, so Road Noise was always a kind of sporadic thing. For two weeks or so, I’d post twice a day: once about the day’s drive and events, and once about dinner out, because we’re foodies. Then there would be a hiatus for up to a year between holidays.
However, once in a while, I would be moved to blog about something else. One of my hobbies is writing Science Fiction, and a few years ago, I began working on a book. Actually, I began by sitting up all night and writing a story. It was kind of frenzied, I couldn’t type as fast as the words were spilling out. It haunted me for days and weeks afterward, and I revisited it, making changes and, although I didn’t realize it at the time, learning about writing. Expanding on my story produced a peculiar series of vignettes – interlinked stories that shared the same world and made it evolve. Trying to make sense of the interplay between those disjointed scenes led to a realization; I was writing a novel.
At about the two-thirds mark, between bouts of writer’s block, I found a beta reader. A friend of my brother’s called Jeff. This man was amazing. He read an incomplete story in a very rough draft form, not once, but twice (!), and saw through the chaff to the wheat. He has moved away now, and my brother has taken on the job of being my primary sounding-board. He is my Alpha Beta. Like me, he has written stories, so he knows how it is. He reads widely in the SF genre, and has followed many authors from their early appearances in print, especially in Analog, which he has been reading, unfailingly, for a long time. I grew up reading his back issues.
I started hanging around with other writers, starting with Kenora’s Word on the Water festival in 2012, and that led to me moving the blog to WordPress, because other writers seem to like it here. For an idea where I stood last month, see this post from Road Noise: Writing Update That brings us almost to the present, so I’m going to start a new post to talk about the C4 Lit Fest in Winnipeg.