DLTDGB updates.

I updated the DLTDGB Dramatis Personae. I had been meaning to do this for quite some time. It was out of date, with some characters’ descriptions containing things that applied to them in Year 2 but no longer apply in Year 3.

At first glance, the Dramatis Personae seems like just a reference work, a place to look up short character bios in a work with an extremely large cast of characters. But, for a continuing story like this, in which I update the Dramatis Personae page periodically, I have to admit that I occasionally drop hints in the Dramatis Personae. For example, this latest update includes an entry for Carrie Valentine, despite the fact that she was only mentioned very briefly in one scene of one episode, and her last name has not been given in the actual story yet. So one would be correct to conclude that Carrie is going to have a bigger part to play in future episodes.

Also on my to-do list for this week is to post an organized episode guide of some sort. Then the next step is to continue planning for the rest of Year 3. I’m hoping to start posting weekly new episodes again by the end of November.

And, finally, I’m working on a guest post for someone else’s blog. It will be a Christmas-related story about character-Greg at age 9. I hope everyone enjoys a glimpse into Greg’s childhood.

Take care, have a wonderful day, and good luck to all of you who are working on NaNoWriMo. I am not.

So I dragged my butt to Bay City on a weeknight to see one of the bands I never saw back when they were popular.

As I have said before, I love listening to music, but I did not grow up going to concerts. In my 20s, I saw a lot of Christian rock bands, and there were a few short-lived local artists that I followed. There are a few bands that I see every time they tour my area, and I’ve seen a few somewhat big names at the fair here. A couple years ago, I was thinking about how I really should see more concerts. Live music is something I enjoy. What I do not enjoy is a lot of the big names that are popular now, but what I can do is see some of the bands that I listened to when I was younger that are still touring.

Then 2020 came along and you-know-what happened and everyone stopped touring, and I lost yet another thing to look forward to.

But now, bands are touring again. I recently dragged my butt to Bay City on a weeknight to see Toad the Wet Sprocket. The band had a few hits in the 90s, and I always liked them on a greatest hits level. I started paying more attention to them when I heard in the early 2010s that they were back together with the original lineup. (The original drummer has since left; the new album that was recently released, Starting Now, is the first without the original drummer.) Over the last few years, I have acquired used CDs of all their old albums as they crawled up my list of bands I’d like to see live someday. I’ve used their music several times in DLTDGB, including their most well-known song, “All I Want,” in one of the earliest episodes (#3, February 26, 1994) which also mentioned them in the text.

It was a great show. Not very big, so no one was very far from the band. They played a good mix of new and old music, including about half of the Starting Now album and all of their well-known heyday songs. The first song they played (“The Best Of Me,” from Starting Now) they did all around one microphone; that was a nice change. They added a long drum solo to the end of “Nightingale Song.” And their encore was the two remaining heyday songs that they had not played yet. It was just what I needed with everything that’s going on in the world these days. It was worth getting stuck in traffic in Bay City. It was worth having sore feet for days after standing for so long. It was worth standing through an opening act that, well, wasn’t my type of music. And I actually managed to get five whole hours of sleep, between getting home at quarter to 1 and having to work the next day.

(I have some opinions about concerts and stuff like that requiring proof of vaccination, and I would prefer not to discuss that now.)

I took this video on my phone. I don’t know who the other people in front of me are, since I went to the show by myself. If you have no idea who these people are, you might recognize this song, especially if you were born in the 1970s or 1980s.

Making plans for the second half of Year 3.

I always take a planned break from Don’t Let The Days Go By every six months or so. I feel like I need this current break from writing more than usual. I have a lot of big things planned for Character-Greg in the rest of his junior year at UJ, and I want to make sure the stories are consistent and well planned. I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed trying to figure all of this out.

I had a relatively light day at the day job today, so I got a great idea. I cut up a bunch of pieces of scratch paper (index cards would have worked nicely, but I was at work and didn’t want to use office supplies for personal stuff). I went through all of my ideas for the rest of Year 3 of DLTDGB; some of them were things I had typed in my notes document, and some of them were thoughts in my head. Each idea I had, I wrote on a piece of paper; I ended up with a stack of probably around 50 ideas by the end of the day.

My next step is to organize them. Put them in order by date, as much as possible. Paper-clip together the ideas that can or should be part of the same episode. Look up any information I need to look up. Then I can make a broad outline of episodes for the rest of Year 3. I’ll get to that soon, hopefully…

Until then, please enjoy this collage of my papers with ideas on them. As a reward for following me here, you get hints about what is to come on DLTDGB. (These are all vague, minor spoilers, by design; the major spoilers I kept off camera.) (Also, I had to do a lot of crudely blurring of things out, for privacy and anonymity reasons, because the scratch paper I used was printed on the other side, and some of it was showing through.)

Another blog… for things that do not belong on my writing blogs

Here I am, starting another blog…

I’m not going to post here on any schedule.  This one is going to be more for behind-the-scenes things, where I talk about writing, or share other short writing that doesn’t fit with my current continuing story blog, or if I get tagged in something on another blog and want to share it with others.  (One topic is off limits for sure, though: my day job.)

If you just found this accidentally, check out my current ongoing project, Don’t Let The Days Go By.  It is a continuing story set in the 1990s about a university student figuring out life.  I usually write new episodes weekly, but as of this moment I am on a planned hiatus.  I take a month or so off from writing every time Character-Greg takes finals in June or December.  (Currently the story is in December 1996.)

I haven’t decided how long this hiatus will be.  I might need more time to plan out the rest of the fictional school year, since I have a lot of pivotal moments in Character-Greg’s life coming up.  I’ve heard other writers on WordPress refer to being “plotters” or “pantsers,” meaning writers who plot out their stories vs. those who write by the seats of their pants.  I’m usually a plotter with the big details and a pantser with the little ones, but the next few months of storytelling might require more plotting.  As Greg’s frustration with the cliques in Jeromeville Christian Fellowship grows, he will find himself wanting to do something about it.  Greg will attend the conference in Urbana (that’s a real thing, by the way) and think about where God wants to use him in ministry… and he will get some unexpected answers.  Two of Greg’s favorite professors will approach him, prompting him to think about his future with a mathematics degree.  And, while Greg sets his sights on new romantic interests, he will continue to deal with the aftermath of Haley’s rejection.  With all of those important things happening in the first half of 1997, I want to make sure my storytelling is consistent and coherent.

It still feels funny saying “other writers on WordPress,” including myself in that group, because I really don’t think of myself as a writer. Writing is a hobby for me, but unlike a lot of the writers I’ve met here, I don’t plan on making money from writing or doing it full time. Maybe I should… I don’t know.

Now, over to you, those of you who want to follow my life behind the scenes… what kinds of things do you want to see here?  Other writing, most likely from my past?  My thoughts on stuff?  The stories behind DLTDGB?  I will definitely put up an About Me page and a page with links to my other blogs.  And is there anything you want to see on the DLTDGB site?  I’ve considered drawing maps of UJ and Jeromeville, but the problem is that since both places are based on real places, it looks too much like the map of the real place.  I also might make a master episode list, with episodes categorized by the major subplots addressed (school, Christianity, the Internet, Haley, etc.).

Thanks for reading!