Monthly Archives: August 2011

Song Inspiration vol.75 (“Astoria”)

Brendan Hines – “Miss New York”


“Astoria” Opening Paragraphs…or something like them.

So this is what I have for the opening paragraphs of my new novel/manuscript/project Astoria. There will of course be changes, but just thought I’d share the first few paragraphs to give everyone or anyone or just one a taste of what I’m writing about for the next couples months, at least with respect to fiction.


“My world of self-loathing and its life partner self-pity was shattered when Erica Smith dropped her engagement ring on the greasy counter top of Marty’s Diner. Not shattered to pieces mind you and for that matter not instantly, otherwise my part of this story would most likely end in the next sentence. No, no. There is more to Erica and I than just this and I will get on to it shortly, but Erica Smith, in the diner, with the engagement ring would definitely be the game, er, life altering instant for me, Jack Dylan.

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Song Inspiration vol. 74 (“Astoria”)

The Ataris – “So Long, Astoria”

As you can probably tell by the title, this song is the one that pretty much inspired me to write the Astoria television pilot and hence, the novel adaptation of that pilot that I am currently writing.

“So long, Astoria, I found a map to buried treasure and even if we come home empty handed, we’ll still have our stories, battle scars, pirate ships and wounded hearts, broken bones and all the best of friendships. And when this hour glass filters out its final grain of sand, I’ll raise my glass to the memories we’ve had…”

Also, in case you didn’t pick up on it, I’m pretty sure Kris Roe wrote this song with The Goonies in mind.

Song Inspiration vol.73 (“Astoria”)

30 Seconds To Mars – “Attack”

You’ll notice that I put “Astoria” in the title of this post. That simply means that this song was inspirational to me while I was writing or plotting part of Astoria.

“Astoria” and Accomplishment

As every writer knows, what you set out to do isn’t always what you get done. At the beginning of July it was my intention to start a new writing project. I followed through on this intention, however, I hit a wall when I realized that I needed to do more plotting. Unlike Stephen King, I can’t just sit at the computer and pound it out until I have a manuscript. I need to know where I’m going which is why I usually come up with my endings first. That way I know what my characters ultimately want and then work back to where their story begins.

So after doing some plotting and some living, my mind wandered back to a television pilot (complete with a show bible) I wrote a few years ago titled, Astoria. I’ve flirted with idea of writing the story of these characters as a book before but never seriously until I thought about what voice to use. I had always thought I would have to write it in the 3rd person, but this time I looked at it and saw it as how it would be as a 1st person narrative (also I feel that I am following Jonathan Franzen’s advice and making sure my narrator is an interesting enough character to be able to tell the story in the 1st person). This has been “The Summer of Jonathan Tropper” for me with regards to what I’ve been reading (a full post about this to follow once I’ve completed his fifth book – probably somewhere near the end of August/early September) and Tropper writes almost exclusively in the 1st person. I’m not sure about the fifth book yet, as I haven’t cracked the spine on it, but, regardless, Tropper’s 1st person inspired me to look at my own work and characters and fiddle with the idea.

Long story somewhat short, I just had one of the best nights of writing I’ve had in a long time. A good night of plotting and a good night of writing (~1400 words). More to come.

T.O. STAR: “25 most misspelled words”

Is it misspelled or mispelled? This article from my hometown (and Canada’s biggest) paper, The Toronto Star, will hopefully help us all figure that out!

Song Inspiration vol.72

Neil Finn – “Try Whistling This”

One of the best outros in music:

“And my words are ringing in your ear, drawing your attention now to all the things that you ignore, if I can’t be with you I would rather have a different face, if I can’t be near you I would rather be adrift in space, if the gods desert us now I’ll turn this chapel into flames, and if someone tried to hurt you I would put myself in your place.”


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