Daily Update: I’m awake and feeling great!
Last night’s writing session was filled with awesome. I had put a note in the last written chapter of To Fall From the Sky <!—Insert more here —> and last night I finished off that chapter, wrote the next chapter, and started another. I write short chapters. Makes the book punchier and it will feel like it’s moving faster if the viewpoint keeps shifting. That’s my personal opinion.
I wrote 2200 words last night and a majority of that was new fiction. I had thought I would be too tired, too mentally exhausted. I almost didn’t write and I was going to just veg out and watch TV, but decided to instead play a level of angry birds, and though. Why am I doing this? And jumped in and started editing the previous chapter because it sucked and then dove in feet first once I had an ah-ha moment while going through some of the older material.
It just happens like that some times. I used to sit down and eat an orange or two and for whatever reason, I began to associate the smell of oranges with sitting and writing and pretty soon a glass of OJ would have me firing on all cylinders.
That’s changed. Now I can sit and just start typing. Like this post, for example. I’ve been doing the daily posts for two months now and they’ve become easier and easier to write. It’s like getting up and stretching. I just do it and I try not to think too hard about it.
I mentioned yesterday that I’d mention how I got here today. Well, I’m not going to start too long ago. I’ll skip the childhood back in the woods (though there are many fun stories from those days).
My brother had joined the Navy. According to him, it was the best thing since sliced bread, so rather than head off to school, I decided to go into the Navy as well. I had scored very high on the ASVAB (finishing all sections long before the timer dinged) and with a 98% I pretty much could decide to do whatever I wanted to do. I did not qualify for a Top Secret clearance due to some trouble as a teen (I won’t go into that here, but it was teenage stupidity) but I did qualify for a secret clearance. That got me in as an Electronic Warfare Technician.
The title sounded like fun. I did my ‘A’ school and had to memorize a lot of codes, configurations, and I knew a lot about missiles of the 80s as well as ships of the 80s. For the most part my job was passive detection.
When I finished my school, I took it because I became E4 out of ‘A’ school, the Navy decided they now had too many EW Petty Officers and sent my class and the class before me (we graduated a class a week) to security duty. The class ahead of mine went to Fallbrook and my class went to Seal Beach. The Navy had gotten rid of the Marines who had been performing the security duty and put us in there.
It was a job. I learned to shoot a lot of different guns (my dad had already taught me how to shoot) and I took some basic courses to help me gain some college credits. All in all I didn’t like the lifestyle of the Navy. The most fun I had was being the drummer in a band during ‘C’ School. Speaking of ‘C’ school.
After nearly 3 years doing security duty, I went back to ‘C’ school . I loved going to school.
*note: I’m a test taker. I take tests in record time.
Each week we had a quiz and 15-30 minutes to take the 10 question quiz, but the instructor gave us as much time as was needed. I would finish in about 10 minutes and be on break until the rest of the class finished. Normally that was around lunch break or 4 hours later. This frustrated me to no end. On test days we could go home after we finished so I was normally back in the barraks watching Star Trek reruns after an hour or two while the rest of the class would come back almost at the end of class time.
I completed my ‘C’ school with one of the highest grades the school had even seen. 98.9%. One person in my class had done slightly better. I graduated. The other person did not. Here’s why.
They had cameras in all the classrooms. They had one camera on me, and one on the instructor. They were convinced that I was cheating because I did my tests so fast. We had a stack of manuals to look everything up in and all you had to do was learn which manual to look certain diagrams up in. To me it was a breeze as was the actual troubleshooting.
They never caught me cheating, but what they did discover was the person with the highest scores in the class sat directly in front of the instructor. So when he would grade my quiz or test, the other person was marking the correct answers, then just looking them up. He was given a BCD. Bad Conduct Discharge (or Big Chicken Dinner) and left the Navy with a dishonorable discharge. Me, well, again they decided they had too many EW Petty Officers. Upon completion of school we were given a choice. Leave the Navy with 4 years under our belts, or carry on for the remaining two of our contract. I chose to get out. Like I said, just wasn’t my lifestyle.
As I mentioned, many of my friends came and went. It was sad to see them go and I’ve never been good about keeping touch with all the guys from Seal Beach or from Cory Station. I always wondering what happened to all my friends who were married by 20 and some having kids. I’m guessing some became lifers. I did have contact with one guy who played guitar and sang in the band I played drums in. He now does landscaping and is still married to the girl he met in Florida. I think that’s awesome.
My remaining time I spent working in the commissary checking IDs. I had 2 months to go for my four years and then it was time to go home.
More on this story tomorrow.