Ine – Chasing Cats

My good friend and favorite model has made a photo book with a selection of the art and erotica images she has created during the last five years with fifty photographers from around the world. I am extremely proud to have several of my photographs featured in the book.

One of the photos from our first shoot in 2008

Buy the book here and make sure to be quick about  – there are only 200 copies! You’ll also find luxury editions which include prints signed by both Ingvild and yours truly.

Cats chasing Ine

THE FIRST DRAFT BEAST

I’m currently editing my second novel: An Obelus Wheeze, the follow-up to Embers at Dawn. Before I started editing An Obelus Wheeze I completed Embers at Dawn, and then jotted down the first draft for the third book in the series The 9 Lives of the Outlaw known as Crazy Cat. I find that this method works well for me (write a draft, and then edit the forerunner). It gives me distance to what I have previously written before starting the process of editing.

Writing a first draft and editing are two very different kinds of beasts. I have realized that there is no point in even trying to write a perfect first draft – I tried it with Embers at Dawn about four years ago – it just ain’t gonna happen.

The first draft is the story in a hairball form, coughed into words by a rambling author. You will commit logical flaws, unsavoury purple prose and less than cohesive sentences. Your characters will be rag-dolls failing at the seams and with too little stuffing, exchanging halting dialogues and performing a series of mundane tasks in between the actual story (that you will later edit out). But that’s fine. That’s exactly what a first draft should be: a rabid, bastard of a beast.

It took me two first drafts of novels before I figured out that a first draft is just that: a first draft. The important thing is to get the story down. The polishing comes later. What I found out after drafting the second book, and then returning to the first book to edit it was:

  • My writing had improved
  • I had somewhere along the way found “my voice”
  • I had gotten to truly know my characters (the only way to truly get to know them is spending time with them)
  • I had made absurd flaws in the story that I didn’t notice while writing
  • I had made absurd flaws that I didn’t notice until someone else pointed them out to me
  • It doesn’t matter if I write by hand, type on my computer or tap it into my iPad – the words and story will be the same
  • It doesn’t matter if I’m at home, on the bus, or on a lunch break. I don’t need a room of my own to write… sort of speak

I have also learned that:

  • Wordcount is a curse. Trying to fill whatever metre you’ve set yourself will only result in a whole lot of mundane noise – that you’ll banish during the editing process anyway
  • There is no point in commencing the editing process as soon as you’ve completed the first draft – you’ll be blind to the text and wrongly think that the rabid beast is not in need of medical attention
  • Paper is king. Red pen is the mighty queen. Get the beast out of the computer and let it breathe – it is so much easier to spot sore paws and the bubblegum stuck in its fur that way

A friend of mine recently finished the first draft of her debut novel. I told her time and time again to quit fiddling with the first few chapters – to get on with the damn story – but of course she didn’t listen. I wouldn’t have listened to me neither, but this is what she wrote on Twitter after finally completing the first draft: “Rewriting is so exciting! If I’d known how much it’d change and how much it would improve, I’d have jotted down the draft sooner!”

I guess that that very first of first drafts is something every author has to face alone and come out of it facepalming herself just like every other noob before her. Seems like none of that “just get it done” business makes any sense until you’ve started editing the damn thing.

What I’m trying to say here is that the first draft is a feral mongrel, as well it should be. Spawning that beast will not teach you how to write, teaching it to sit and not shit on the floor will, or in other words: editing will transform that wild puppy into a (hopefully) nicely groomed champion.

High Chaparral

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I just got back from my second visit to the Swedish western theme park High Chaparral. It’s a splendid place to spend a few days on holiday, and I’d dare say it’s just as fun for the grown-ups as  it is for the kids.

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Vaqueros in Main Street.

The constant presence of actors mingling with the visitors create a wonderful atmosphere.

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Get around the park by train…

hc50…or steamboat.
dil01Take a ride in the diligence.

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I’ve got my -I’m on a horse face- on.

Or just take a ride.
hc41Lots of friendly horses in all varieties.
hc62Several shows run daily during high season.

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A busy day in Old Mexico

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Bison!

I realize that this post reads like a commercial, but it’s not – I have truly enjoyed my stays at High Chaparral.

The Wildest Cat in The Crazy West

I’m busy editing the second book in the The 9 Lives of the Outlaw known as Crazy Cat series – I’ll get back to you about that particular process in a dedicated post. The Cowgirl photo project is also coming along nicely. I expect both books to be ready for release in more or less six months. I’m also working on a book trailer for Embers at Dawn, that I’m hoping to reveal to y’all within a few months.

In between editing words and photographs I’ve found the time to take a few pictures of Lee/Ingvild Eiring – I realized that I needed more images to represent my novel and series. I’ve had the idea of making a fake dime novel cover for quite a while and finally got around to put it together.

I’ve added a few items featuring the dime novel cover to the Crazy Cat Dry Goods & Sundries shop.

100 Western Movies

Well, I must admit that although there are 100 titles on that list; I ain’t done gone seen 100 western movies yet – there’s a few series, a couple of short films and a documentary in there too – but I’m pretty darn close. In the event of my (almost) 100th western movie I figured I’d share a few of my favorites with y’all. To view the complete list of western’s I’ve seen, head on over to IMDB. I’ll keep adding to the list.

I’d love to hear what y’all favorite westerns are too, or any recommendations you might have!

Deadwood (2004 TV Series)

I couldn’t find a proper trailer, so I picked a scene from the series instead. Enjoy ;)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Ravenous (1999)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

Clint Eastwood. Sergio Leone. Ennio Morricone. Nuff said.

The West (1996 TV Series)

A fantastic documentary. Anyone interested in the Old West ought to watch it.

Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)

My 100th western! The trailer is too cheesy to do it justice, so here’s the main music theme, which is no short of awesome.