Sunday, July 10, 2011

Progress on Ignition

So I started this blog not just as a way to share my writings with the world, (hello world!) but also as a way to keep myself on track in regards to my own projects and writings.
As many of you know, I've been working on the sequel to my first book which was recently published via Brighter Books. The first book is entitled "Catalyst" and has been getting some very good feedback which is always new and exciting.
On the second book, I've hit major road block after major road block and have been having massive challenges in overcoming writers block. A part of it was that I was so tied up in the first story that I was unsure of how to make what I know needed to happen, happen in book 2.
So book 2 is entitled "Ignition" and my new stance on it, and the only reason I'm actually succeeding in writing it right now, is that in order for me to start my day right, I need to reach the next page. If I'm at page 14, I write until I'm at page 15.
Now I know what I'm writing right now is not my usual standard of writing. The dialogue is clumsy, the action scenes are unpolished, the writing is quick and bad... But at this stage I know that it's perfectly okay. The important thing isn't how the writing comes out, it's what we do to the writing in the editing stages.
My first draft of this book will be rough. My goal for this project is to have book 2 be approximately 50,000 words, but expanded to 60,000 in editing.
At this stage, my priority is to tell the story. I know now that afterward I will make it prettier, and more glossy and perfect, but right now? Just get it out. Just throw it all up because I know if I don't do this now, it wont get done.
So one week ago my story was at 5,000 words after six months. Not a great track record. I started and rewrote the story at least 3 different times before, so I just wanted to make sure that this time, I just need to get it out. Get it all out. Write it. Just do it. Worry about it later, but for now, just do it.
As a result, I'm now sitting around 10,000 words. A significant advantage.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


For one of the classes in prose we had to write a fable. After struggling with the idea for a while I based it off of a character from the class and wrote about his favorite pastime. As a sidenote all of the stories I wrote for the class had only one word titles. Something which I inadvertently continued with my books... We'll see how long this trend continues.

By Matti McLean

There once was a man who liked marijuana. He really liked it. His clothes were made of hemp. His decorative necklaces were made of hemp (which he wore much more frequently than the clothes). His decorative bandana was made of hemp, his sandals were made of hemp and even his furniture was made of hemp. In fact, this man loved hemp so much that he grew enough of it to make an entire house of hemp. His name was Weedy McHempington, and he was king of Hempingway.

Now Weedy McHempington had a very close group of friends and every night they would get together in his house, which had come to be known as the hemp house and the four of them would play a game of poker.

One week, during a game, one of his friends was bragging about how he could blow smoke rings bigger than any of them. None of them believed him, so to prove his point he took a drag of his funny cigarette and blew a smoke ring so big it stretched from floor to ceiling! Everyone was very impressed and McHempington felt a twinge of jealousy stir in his stomach.

Then, another friend piped up and told them all that he could make animal shapes with his smoke. No one believed him, so he took a drag of the funny cigarette (or more specifically, two puffs), and when he released the smoke a snake appeared and slithered through the air! Following the snake was a smoke bird, a smoke rabbit, and a smoke moose! Everyone was very impressed and McHempington felt a flickering of jealousy ignite in his throat.

His final friend sat up and told them all that he could do better than that. He claimed that using his lighter, he could actually light a candle using his smoke. No one believed him, so he took a drag of the funny cigarette and let out a long stream of smoke. To everyones amazement, the smoke carried a flame from one candle to the other. Everyone was very impressed and McHempington felt a deep jealousy that reached down to the back of his knees. He would not be outdone by his friends!

Once the others had settled down, he declared that he could do better than all of them. He claimed that he could actually create a firework out of nothing but smoke. No one believed him, so when no one was looking (Look! A distraction!) he sipped some of the lighter fluid and took two drags from the funny cigarette. When everyone had turned back around, which had taken an exceptionally long amount of time since there had been something shiny on the far side of the room (Ooh! Shiny... Where was I?), he put his plan into motion. He breathed out a long line of smoke and flammable materials into the candle that sat in the middle of the table. In a beautiful explosion the candle burst into a giant flame bigger than any the four stoners had ever seen. Instead of ducking like normal people, all four of them were hit by the firework, as well as much of the flammable house. Luckily only one thing caught fire; McHempingtons' thone, which he had also made of hemp.

The four of them rushed to fight the fire, but the heavy amount of weed in the chair made that feat much more difficult than it should have been. A heavy, rancid smelling smoke filled the small hut making it impossible to see, and even more impossible to stay sober. The four of them stumbled around like doofuses and eventually collapsed on the ground in a heap. Within minutes the roof had caught on fire and the entire house had gone up in smoke. McHempington escaped with only minor burns, but the other three died. But don't worry, you never learned their names so you should feel no emotional attachment to them.

The moral of the story: People who live in grass houses shouldn't blow smoke.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Toronto Blues

So living in Toronto has been interesting. It's been a heart of healing, of torture and struggle, and a period in my life that will go down as being one of the most difficult I have ever faced. But it's been good. Things are progressing, and progress is good.

And Untitled Or Another
by Matti McLean

Last night was that night.
The night you reach out to clutch at the strands of the shroud of turin
Seeking healing from a heart that’s broken.
A one-sided, beer fueled confession of half-truths
and full hurts
That gnaws the insides of our emotional breadths.
I mourn the loss as a beggar
Clutching at the foggy headed memory of two men
Who once did love each other,
and now smile through them.
A heart beats
but is not silenced by the sounds of an acoustic guitar
That plays Landslide and Maria Mena
And other songs of epitome beauty.
Perhaps the world is spinning
Because we’re moving forwards.
We propel the world with unrequited forgotten love.

Not my best poetry, but I really enjoyed some of the lines so I felt I needed to share it.