Summer, Sausages, Scotch, and BBQ

So on Memorial Day, Mark and I finally got to do a trial run on a day of writing at the office, and I’m going to refrain from exaggerating and just say it was the Best Day Ever. Alright, maybe not Ever ever, but, damn did it feel good.

It’s not that we wrote the next great American novel in our 7 hours of work or anything like that. In fact, if you broke it down, we had a couple good conversations about our current fantasy novella. Mark knocked out a longer than average act (about 4300 words) of that novella. I got through an outline for the next act of that novella, which I’ve already since discarded, and the act after that, which I’ve mercifully kept fairly intact (for now).

And we had lunch at Ringer Hut. And that was it.

So a good day of work, no question, but nothing truly world shattering. Only it was. Or it must have been. Because since then, neither Mark nor I have been able to stop thinking about it, and it’s made doing writing outside of it, much more difficult.

For people just checking in, Mark and I have decided to take a big step in our writing career and lease an office space for the summer where we’re going to clock in something like a 40 regular hour week while Mark is on summer break, and just write write write.

Well techinically, it’s gonna be more like write, revise, revise, revise, curse, revise, revise, and print.

But hey, we say tomato, and you say tomato. Right?

Hmm. Actually, that tomato thing totally does not work in print. But you get the picture. We’re getting our writing on this summer.

And it all starts June 8. June freaking 8!

WHAT WE’RE GOING AFTER

And in honor of our impending, glorious start, I thought I should say a few words to mark the occasion, and to, at least, give a better idea of what we’re going after this summer.

One of our all-time favorite game and world creators, John Wick, from Legends of the Five Rings and Seven Seas fame, had a great post a few weeks back about Laws and Sausages. He references an oldThe West Wing episode where Leo McGarry, played by the late great John Spencer, talks about how the two things people never want to see made are laws and sausages. Of which, I have to say, seems really really true for laws, and especially true for sausages.

But where we may have not really been interested in how they were being made, we were very interested in the characters making them. Or at least, in 1999, if you were tuning in every Wednesday night on NBC for the latest episode, there’s a very good chance you were there to check out what President Bartlett, Leo McGarry, Josh Lyman, CJ Cregg, Toby Ziegler, Sam Seaborn, and company were up to.

I know I was.

I loved the relationships between them, the camaraderie, the richness of their history together, and the attention to detail to the world they were populating.

And I loved their relentless quixotic attempts to create a better world that were met over and over and over again with resounding failure. I wrapped myself in the warm embrace of their failures. Found comfort in it. Because even though they were failing, we were all failing together, weren’t we?

But every once in a while, Aaron Sorkin, the writer and creator, would let us in on one of their successes. When verdant idealism and bullheaded determination would somehow magically align with the rugged, seemingly unassailable machinery of cynicism and antagonism that is the modern political system to create… a sausage. Err, a law.

Ah, shit. I just enjoyed watching a law get made.

And you know what, I think he had that planned all along.

Damn you, Sorkin! Damn you to hell!

SUMMER, SAUSAGES, SCOTCH, and BBQ

The truth is, like Aaron Sorkin, like John Wick, like Mark Gelineau, I love how things get made. I love how things come together to create something so much bigger and more exciting than we could have ever imagined when it started.

And I guess that’s what I’ve always been after. More than anything, I want to tell a good story. I want our readers to enjoy it. And I love it when they don’t always see it coming.

And this summer, more than anything, that’s what we’re going after.

We’re going after the perfect sausage.

Scotch and BBQ at my place afterwards.

Stay tuned. Stay frosty.

Joe

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