Daily Log: 2018-09-19

Hey Crew,

This getting up at 4am is for the birds. I wish my brain kick started earlier. But hey, I’m getting much reading done and starting work earlier.

I’ve had one writing session already today. Not sure I’ll get a second one in. I’ll take the 1200 words and be happy for now.

So I promised you a story about My Favorite Daughter.

At the school she’s attending for media design (she’s freaking awesome), she got a job in the marketing department. She’s redesigning so much of their material. From flyers, to handouts, to part of the website. For a student to be doing what she’s doing and as fast as she’s doing it, is amazing the staff at the school.

One of her major projects was for the 30th annual celebration of the school being in the East Village downtown. She made signs, banners, a 56 foot long, six-foot high timeline, massive poster boards with the history of the school, projects for the future, highlights on the staff. Everything she did was submitted to the school board for approval including the president of the school and the president over the department she’s currently in. She’s done big boards for her classes, but this was a lot of work she put in to get everything set up. All of this was hung in the common area of the school and the Mrs. and I got to attend and it’s truly impressive the work she did.

That isn’t the story, but a set up for the actual story.

She took some summer classes to get her minor in architecture. She’ll also be getting a minor in product design.

In one of her classes, she was working on a group project and everyone needed to contribute. Some of the students in her class are 5th-year architecture students. For one of the classes, they all needed to make… a big board. Something that laid out the entire design for their project. She did hers knowing what previous teachers were looking for and also what the board had been looking for in her designs. BIG pictures. BIG text. Something you can read without being right up on the board. Larger headers that are concise telling you what the board is.

When she showed her board layout to the 5th year person (My Favorite Daughter is only a 2nd year Media Design student), he proceeded to explain how it was all wrong and the pictures were too big and the layout was all wrong. He showed her his board and said it needed to look more like his. He wanted her to give him her file so he could “fix it”.

She said ‘no’.

He demanded she give him the files because he wasn’t putting his grade in her hands.

She walked out of the classroom.

He followed her. Getting more upset. Telling her “I know big boards. I’ve made big boards before. I know what they need to look like.”

They were standing in the common area. Surrounded by dozens of big boards she’d made. She said. “I made all of this. I know what big boards need to look like and that’s why I’ve always gotten As on my projects. I’m not changing it.”

She walked away.

He kept sending her text messages asking where she went and when she going to give him the files. She asked if he intended to change her files. He said yes. She said, then you’re not getting my files.

She left school to clear her head and went back and printed her board on her own. They did, after all, need to present later that day. Together. The rest of the group was there with their boards, all done in ‘his’ style. Except hers. She didn’t change a thing.

They presented and she could tell ‘he’ wasn’t happy that she hadn’t allowed him to change her board.

After their presentation, the instructors looked at all the boards. They started with hers. They gushed over the use of large pictures and large text that made every so readable and the flow was great. Everything together so well and beautifully executed.

She stood, smiling.

They then proceeded to discet and complain about the other boards in her group. The pictures were too small. Much of the text illegible because it was so small and it was difficult to understand the flow and overall idea the board was trying to convey.

After the presentation was over, she didn’t wait to hear anything else. She got her A and left.

It brings a tear to my eye for a couple of reasons. One, that some bully boy thinks he can intimidate others. That’s just sad. This is 2018. If you can’t accept that you might not be right 100% of the time, you need to figure out why.

Second. Wow. My Favorite Daughter took the entire matter into her own hands. She didn’t back down. She did things HER way. The way she knew was right and didn’t let some boy bully her into doing something she didn’t want to do. She stood up for herself and for her project. In text messages with the others in the group, she told them to do the same, and none of them did. They all gave into the bully and let him have his way and change their final projects.

I couldn’t be more proud of her than I am. Every day she amazes me. From getting into that school, to getting the president’s award (which gives her a big chunk off her tuition), to working in the marketing department and them interviewing people and not finding a replacment for her so she’s been able to stay on well past the duration of the position and with the approval of the president of the school, to standing up for her work and making sure it’s presented in the way she knows it needs to be presented.

She did try to work with the bully and give her input, but was rebuffed every time she tried. That’s why she did her own board her way. She did try to work with this person, but he didn’t allow any input other than his own.

I smile, knowing that My Favorite Daughter is performing at the top of her craft, and she’s not even out of school yet. She’s got a bright future ahead of her. I know it.

It’s late, I’m tired. I think I’ll go to bed now. I had to share that story, and yes, I asked her permission before I wrote this up.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome! (like My Favorite Daughter!)

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Daily Log: 2018-09-18

Hey Crew,

Another short post tonight. Was up way too early, so I’m going to bed early to get a full night’s sleep. Will be up at 4am again tomorrow.

After getting up so darned early today, I thought I’d write. I was tired, but could still write, right?

Yeah, no. Had an awful headache and decided to watch an episode of the X-Files I had recorded and never watched. Started the day job early and got right at it. Did my workout, took a short nap before taking a shower. Dinner, dishes, some bass practice.

Then I say to write but couldn’t shake this headache. since going vegetarian, my sinuses have pretty much been under control. Not sure why they were so bad today.

Still, powered through the pain and got 1000 words before My Favorite Daughter (I still owe you a story about her) needed something from the store. Went and got that with the intention of continuing writing. The Mrs. got home shortly after I did and we talked for a bit and I decided to call it an early night.

Hopefully this headache will go away quickly. before going vegetarian these sinus headaches used to be debilitating. Now they’re an annoyance.

More words tomorrow. The end of this book is in sight and I’ll be jumping straight into V&A 3. It’s exciting to be getting this massive story arc going. Can’t wait to see what happens next. 🙂

Time to hit the sack.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-09-17

Hey Crew,

I need to get up crazy early in the morning so this will be a short post.

Today was up at a normal time (that was a shock to the system). Day Job, work out and went to my father-in-law’s to take care of my sister-in-law’s dog (his ear infection is getting much better). Back home, realized that I’d started making stir-fry for lunch, then never cooked out.

Gee, I was wondering why I was so hungry.

I watched about 20 minutes of news before the Mrs. got home. We talked for a bit, ate, and then I practiced bass for about an hour before firing up the writing computer. Only got about an hour in, but as I said, the story is flooding in, the characters have come back to life in my head, and holy wow! 2000 words tonight.

Still working my way toward the endgame. It’s in sight. The pieces are almost in place and then I can start blowing things up. in fact, as I type this, one of the things I was missing just fell into place. Ooo, this is going to be fun. 🙂

I’m off to bed.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-09-16

Hey Crew,

Long, long day.

We were with family yesterday evening watching the ‘fight’. If you’re not into boxing, this will mean little to you. It was a great fight with a (as I see it) predictably controversial outcome. Looks like they were setting this up for yet another rematch.

It was still great fun spending time with so many from my wife’s family eating great food and getting caught up.

My Favorite Daughter finished her latest semester. I still have a story to tell and I’ll get to that next week. She was out super late with her boy so it was a late night with many sleep interruptions.

I got up crazy early. Why? It’s Sunday. Why get up so early? Heck, wish I knew.

I went straight to the writing computer knowing the day could get away from me quickly. I banged out 1100 words fairly quickly and then, yes, the day ran away. So glad I got my writing in right out of the box.

Lots of morning activity. The Mrs. and I then spent the rest of the day with my sister-in-law. Got home late. Had a late dinner. Got the Mrs’s meal prep done for next week. Watched Big Brother. And now I’m here doing this post. Got to keep these streaks alive!

Suffice to say, after a restless night last night and interrupted sleep, I’m a bit exhausted. So…

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-09-15

Hey Crew,

Trying a mobile post to see how well this works. We are visiting my sister-in-law at the moment and I have a few free minutes.

Today we had some family time and went to get coffee (tea for Jay) and went home to make breakfast. I picked some more peppers from the garden. I need to post a picture of the plants. Some of then are getting huge!

After the morning was done, My Favorite Daughter and her boy cleaned out an old composter in the back yard so she can start composting. She’s growing all sorts of things in the backyard.

I went and practiced bass for an hour or so while the Mrs. was getting ready. Felt good to loosen up my fingers and listen to some fun songs to play along with.

Then I fired up the writing computer and got around 1000 words before the Mrs. nudges me out if my trance and reminded me I also needed to get ready to go. Whoops.

I think I found part of the formula I’ve been missing. I’ve been so stressed this week, I forgot that I needed to just relax and let things flow. Between what’s happening medically with my sister-in-law and stress at work and My Favorite Daugher’s stress from finals (of which I have an awesome story to tell about that), everything was keeping me from relaxing and enjoying what I was doing.

Today, I got out of my own way and just let the characters do what they needed to do.

Tonight we have plans with family. Bit sure if I’ll knock out more words or not. Tomorrow is another day andd I may hit it early before we go to my father-in-law’s house.

There is much going on and slowly I’m getting my writing mojo back. More words will happen. Of that I have no doubt. 🙂

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-09-14

Hey Crew,

Another strange day. I’m not sure why, but I had a tough time getting myself to sit and write. The day job was a struggle and I couldn’t get my mind off work once I stopped working. I kept finding myself on FaceBook or Instagram when I wanted to be writing. I also read some of a Paul Cooley book (you should read his stuff if you like twisted horror and inexpiable monsters.

I thin part of it was waiting for My Favorite Daughter and/or the Mrs to come home. I don’t know why, but I have a hard time sitting and writing when I feel like I’m waiting for someone to come home.

I did some cleaning. Made some dinner. Took the puppies for a short walk. Checked on my pepper plants. I did sit and looked at what I’d written yesterday. I don’t know. I couldn’t start to write until I’d seen both of them.

Shrug.

So the Mrs. got home, and we went to the grocery store. She got inspired after we got home and we cleaned the kitchen. She went to town on the fridge. I’m not good with throwing anything away. She loves to go through everything one-by-one and see what’s good, what’s bad, what’s taking on a life of its own, and determine what shall stay.

By the time I finally sat to write, it was after 10pm. I did write. I got about 500 words. I just wish I could figure out what gets in my head that prevents me from writing sooner. if I ever do figure it out, I’ll let you know.

It’s crazy late. Way past Jay’s bedtime. I’m going to get some sleep and hopefully spend more time in the chair tomorrow.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Dialy Log: 2018-09-13

Hey Crew,

The only way to get words down on the page is to sit and write. There’s no other way around that. I know that! I’ve known that for a long time.

So, today, I sat, I wrote, and I got over 2000 words today. Again, little things keep happening that I hadn’t planned. I love those moments. I still think the story will come in around the 90,000-word mark. We shall see. This book has 2 POV (Point Of View) characters and a whole cast of supporting characters. So many little threads to keep track of and I’m having a great time doing that.

Going to be fun getting to the end of this book! Hopefully within the next two weeks. 🙂

According to WordPress, this will be my 28th post in a row. I hadn’t been keeping track, but WordPress started sending me notifications “Hey, great streak! Keep it going.” It’s like my own bot cheerleader. WOO WOO! I intend to keep this streak going for as long as I can and I also intend to write every day for as long as I can.

My daily writing progress is now up to 21 days. Again, let’s see how long I can keep that streak going.

Last time I had built up a streak, I broke it for a planned vacation. I never came back to my writing after that vacation. I’d fallen out of the habit. I had devices I could have written on. Even a little. I always have my phone with me. No excuses. Right?

That’s what I’m going to tell myself this time. No excuses. Even on vacation, I can find 15-20 minutes to sneak away and write for a short spell. I can type up a quick blog post and maybe even post a picture of my vacation. Anything to keep the streak going.

Speaking of streaks. Let’s talk about a couple of people who have streaks going.

Before she started her 5 More Minutes video blog, I had planned on starting 5 A Day with Jay. I was going to do short, 5 minute, daily video blogs. I had no idea what I was going to talk about, but it seemed like a good idea to do something every day. Well, Christina Ellis beat me to it. She talks about a wide range of topics and reviews a number of toys, videos, movies, improv, and the like. She also had a D&D videocast which is hilarious with the group she’s playing with. If you need a laugh, she’s worth checking out. She also has a number of great books (and podcasts) you can check out as well.

https://www.youtube.com/user/christianaellis1

Next, My Favorite Daughter had a graphic design teacher in high school. He and I have kept in touch since she’s left high school and he was happy to see I was doing something every day. He’s also doing something every day and has just broken the 100-day mark. He’s doing graphics and posting them on Instagram (much like Beeple who’s been at it for 11 years! posting something every day https://www.instagram.com/beeple_crap/). Skocko was a great inspiration for My Favorite Daughter, and he’s an inspiration to me for all he does for the school and for the community he’s built.

https://www.instagram.com/skocko/

These are so many people doing things daily. I love the American Ninja warriors doing their #BackFlipEveryday. But this list must contain an author I have come to respect. He’s blown away many myths I’ve had about writing. He’s the main reason I started blogging daily to help get myself into the habit of writing something EVERY DAY! and to get into the habit of sitting in the chair and building a streak. Dean Wesley Smith has been a professional author for decades (before that a golf pro and a poker pro). He started blogging daily just to see how long he could keep the streak going and unless I’m mistaken, he’s crossed the 4 year mark and is well into his 5th year blogging. If you’re a writer, you must check out his blog and his books and posts on writing. He’s got tons of free material on his site, and he also has an incredible library of courses, lessons, and seminars you can sign up for at his site. They’re not horribly expensive and if you want to up your writing game, he’s well worth looking into.

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/

I could post a dozen more, but this will suffice for tonight. 🙂

I’m done writing for the evening. I’m off to watch Big Brother with the Mrs.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

 

P.S. I almost forgot! I teased you yesterday about the first line of V&A Shipping 3! Well, here’s what I had to get out of my head. I can’t wait to finish up ASH2 and get to work on V&A3: Rogue.

“Ten Minutes to get on the ship!” Vic shouted. “Grab everything of value. Impact is imminent and if we’re not off this rock in fifteen minutes, we’re done for.”

Daily Log: 2018-09-12

Hey Crew,

A rather strange day today. I had an early morning errand that got me stuck in traffic and a little later to the day job than I would have liked. The day was hot, it was breezy, it was cold, it was hot again. Couldn’t make up its mind. One moment I’m sweating, the next I’m shivering. I mean, come on! That’s October weather. It’s only the middle of September. Oh, yeah. I guess it’s close enough. Never mind.

Had a couple of errands after work. Took care of those. Had the writerly meet-up where we discussed much and a few of us hung over a little.

Had a couple more errands after the meet-up. Made some dinner, did some dishes, fiddled around the house for a bit.

Sat down to write, and My Favorite Daughter got home. Talked to her for a bit.

Sat down to write, the Mrs. called and was on her way home. Talked to her until she was home.

All in all, I got about 10 minutes of writing time in this evening. Even so, I knocked out 500 words.

Life will hand me challenging days. I need to roll with them and do what I can when I can. Would I have liked to write more words? Well, yeah. I’m busy blowing things up. These ships ain’t gonna blow themselves up.

The Mrs. and I watched Big Brother (season is almost over and I’ll have more writing time in the evenings once the season is over). As I’ve said before, I like my TV time with the Mrs.

Words are flowing when I sit. I’m liking that. Tomorrow is another day. More words will happen. I will be writing words every day, every chance I get. I have so many books I want to write. The more stories I write, the more I want to write.

I’ve written the first line to V&A Shipping 3. I even have a title. I know the major issues that will happen at the start of that story. Beyond that, it’s a mystery and I’m excited to see what happens.

Do you want to know the first line? Do you? Let me know. I’m off to bed.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-09-11

Hey Crew,

17 years ago, I woke up early because I had a lot of work that needed to get done. I got logged in and had an instant message from a co-worker that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York only a couple of minutes before. There was no other news and everyone had assumed it was a small plane. I got up from the desk and went to turn on the TV.

I didn’t leave the television except to wake up my wife. We watched in horror the entire day.

My mom always told me that she could remember exactly where she was and what she was doing the day Kennedy was assassinated. I never thought I’d have a moment like that in my life. 9-11-2001 changed that. It’s a day I’ll never be able to forget. It’s a moment in time that changed our country forever. Odds are, even if you’re not from the United States, you also know about this event in great detail as well.

Take a moment today to reflect on what’s important to you and make sure to let them know they’re important to you.

On the same note, my thoughts are with those on the East Coast this week. I hope the reporting is wrong as to the level of devastation the incoming hurricane may cause. Stay safe. Be strong.

On the writing front, 1786 words today. I’ll take it. Still short of where I would have liked to have written, but given how things are going, I’m happy to get any words. Lots of flux at the moment and hopefully things will settle down.

I had hoped to be done with ASH2 in two weeks. That was from a week ago. Doesn’t look like that’ll happen. Might be closer to three weeks. I’m just shy of 70,000 words and something happened.

I’ve said before, I’m not really a plotter. I don’t sit and plan my books for every little action scene and plot point. I have a vague idea of where the story is going and if it takes a left turn because that’s the way the characters want the story to go, I roll with it.

Tonight, I got hit with a left turn. In my mind, I’ve planned the coming battle scene. I had a good idea what would happen. I was wrong. That’s not what’ll happen. Not at all. This left turn, well, it was interesting and at the same time, EXACTLY where the story needed to go. I see that now.

Had I kept going on the track I was going, there was only one outcome for all the characters. This new twist, things changed completely for all the characters.

BUT!

The story is still headed in the direction I need it to head, just not in the way I had thought it would.

It’s this part of writing when a character doesn’t something you’re not expecting and you look at the page and think “Wait, you’re doing what? Hey! Let’s roll with that and see where it goes.” That’s what happened tonight and I’m now reinvigorated with this story. That excitement is what I needed and now it’s time to turn on the afterburners and see where this ends up. 🙂

For now, I’m off to bed.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-09-10

Hey Crew,

This’ll be a short post tonight. Was an active morning, followed by the Day Job, worked out, fiddled around the house for a bit, made some dinner. The Mrs. and I needed to go take care of a few things and some grocery shopping so didn’t get to the computer until later than intended. I did have a little time after dinner I could have written but wasn’t expecting to be heading out the door for a few hours. This will teach me to take advantage of those little snippets of time when they come.

I did, however, get around 600 words written. It should have been more. Could have been more. But tomorrow is another day and I’ll hit the keyboard sooner and for longer. That’s the only way these books will get writing.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a few links to others who are doing daily ‘things’. I follow a large number of people on social media and it’s neat to see what others are doing ‘daily’ and some have been doing ‘daily’ for quite some time.

As for now, I’m off to bed. 5am will get here far earlier than I think it will.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!