11:30 a.m. It’s a writing day and I have until 9:00 p.m. when this place closes to get something done, and only five cigarettes to get me through it.

(Really five is plenty, I don’t smoke that much, about one every two hours when I’m in the thick of a brain-slime trail, a pretty high pace compared to the rest of the time I exist.)

Two projects slated for today and the near future. The first: complete the second screenplay idea in first-draft form and show it to the prospective players. Have you ever written a screenplay? I have not, although I have converted a short story into one, which is exactly not the same thing. This one is a screenplay from the start, and it’s taking some additional footage to wrap my mind around it. I don’t get so much as two permutations deep into any given idea for it before I’m considering how much money we actually have to shoot the thing ($0) and where we are located (the belly button of Ohio) and what resources we have available to us (borrowed cameras, for starters, plus whatever else the people we know would be willing to lend us for props and costumes).

The second project: tear shit out of that novel. I’m serious, it’s time to gut the fucker and make it sing.

After that: short story, any short story, because I’m moving back south, back to the belly button of Texas, come July to finish this MFA once and for all. Then there’s the sort of lingering music project, wherein I am determined to write and record a listenable song, meaning one I am not wholly ashamed of playing for other people. My current hero in this regard is this guy:

He’s a solid satirist and writer and actor and comedian and his lingering side project seems to have been for the past several years to become a decent rapper. I envy the progress, and kind of hate him for it, because it’s going to make me continue to tick away at the Logic Pro tutorials and listen to hours of MIDI-based music and listen to the filter sweeps and the percussive synths and the over-compression that makes the music go hump hump hump. Just so I can be good enough to post a YouTube video one day.