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Daily Update: Happy Birthday Dad

Today is March 10th. My dad would have been 69 today. We lost him a couple of years ago to cancer. He put up a brave fight but in the end it got him.

My dad was always filled with a smile even up to the end. I spent much of the last month of his life working from his home and helping to take care of him. It wasn’t easy to watch him waste away. He would get up and greet me with a smile and I would help him to a chair where he’d promptly fall back asleep after his medication. He would always wake up with a smile and we’d talk as long as he was able and then he’d fall back asleep. This cycle was hard to handle for both of us.

It’s hard to say what I miss most about my dad. My parents had divorced when I was very young and my relationship with him didn’t begin until I was in ky teens. Even then I was more into my life and thinking about my freedoms instead of spending time with dad.

Once I graduated from high school all I wanted to do was be out of the house and on my own. I did that. I would call monthly, but I was never close as I could have been. I don’t think it was until I got married and had my favorite daughter that I really appreciated my dad.

One of the thing I miss most about my dad is his storytelling. Funny how it wasn’t until I was older that I figured out he was either telling me an urban legend putting himself in the story or he was just exaggerating the truth. He love to do that. He also loved telling shaggy dog stories. Those really long jokes that lead up to a really bad pun.

Beyond the jokes and exaggerations he always had stories about people he’d met or done business with. He had started the same business three times in his life and made it successful each time. The first iteration had him traveling the world making contacts in the business. This gave him a comfortable and confident presence whenever he came into a room filled with people.

I try to emulate that confidence when I’m faced with crowds or big groups. I don’t try to be the center of attention, but instead try to insert myself into a situation that helps me be memorable without going overboard. I don’t always succeed but hey, I try 🙂

I will post more on my dad in the future.

As for writing: I managed to get 4000 words out yesterday. Not just 4000 words but a good 4000 words. I hit a flow yesterday and I wasn’t going to stop until I had to. To Fall From The Sky is really shaping up and I love the direction.

I am now 10 days ahead of my annual goal and it seems that the more often I write the more and faster I write. Gee. Imagine that. LoL.

I have been using and am still getting used to scrivener. I think now that I’m understanding it a little better I’m liking it more and more. There are a few things I’ve found that will take getting used to and I’m sure I can adapt.

Today my favorite daughter has a volleyball tournament. They are starting soon so I’d better go.

Until Tomorrow!

Woo Woo!

Daily Update: Pumpkin Pie and Words

So I was hungry and old Father Hubbard went to the Cupboard and lo and behold the cupboard was bare. I did, however, find a frozen pumpkin pie in the freezer and it looked like something good to cook. I also found some noodles and some cheese and made some mac & cheese as well as a box of stove top stuffing.

*note: I did go to the store after the wife got home from work

So I cooked a mish-mash of different things. It was pretty cool having pumpkin pie even if it wasn’t fresh or all that good.I love me some pumpkin pie but we didn’t have whipped cream which I should have thought about getting when I went to the store. Perhaps later today.

So I wrote nearly 2000 words yesterday. I feel pretty good about that. I’m hoping for another 2000 word day again today. Tomorrow will be stressful as I need to drop off sputtery truck to get his guts replaced. Nervous about not only having to get it towed, but the process and the money. I’ll get over it.

Saturday my favorite daughter has another volleyball tournament but this one is in Temecula. That’s only an hour away so we won’t be sleeping over this time. That’s a good thing as Friday night they have practice from 7pm-9pm. I’d hate to drive up to LA after practice getting there super late and having to get up early to go to the tourney.

Speaking of my favorite daughter, I’ve been helping her at night practice her volleyball moves out in the parking lot. This hasn’t done good things for the pain in my lower legs. Although the pain is lessening during the day, when I have to chase after the ball it only takes about 30 minutes before I’m in pain and limping back into the house. Next week I’m going to start going up to the gym in the place where we’re renting and start working out again. I now know I cannot do any impact exercises until I strengthen my legs more and maybe not even then. <sigh>

So the picture I posted is of a small, pewter griffin. Yes, yes I know they’re mythical beasts. I bought this a long time ago and it always reminded me of my father. It reminds me of him because the logo for his company, Murdock Laboratory, is a griffin. It’s changed over the years and is more stylized now, but it’s still a griffin. I keep this little figure next to me when I write because it inspires me to write and it inspires me to think about the business of writing. My father always taught me you can never have too much on your plate when it comes to work. You’d rather have too much, than go hungry.

What does all this have to do with angry birds? Oh, wait. I didn’t mention angry birds yet. Anyway. I solved all the Angry Birds latest seasons levels in one sitting. I was sad, but I did. It got me to thinking of my dad in a weird sort of way. As I played the levels I thought they should build an angry birds level builder so people could make their own. I thought this would be so awesome. There would still be the official Angry Birds levels, but people who want to play more could find other people’s levels and those who want to join in the fun could build their own.

Awesome idea, right? Well, there was a game I love way back when called Lode Runner. The idea was to avoid the bad guys, collect the treasure, and a hidden ladder would appear that you’d need to take to the top. Simple 2D graphics. You could burn bricks (but not solid areas). There were hidden bricks that were really traps.

Anyway, the guys of Lode Runner built in a ‘build your own level’ area of the game. I solved all the Lode Runner levels in all versions of the game and played them over and over. I even got my dad addicted to the game. It was great fun. We’d have contests to see who could progress further in say 15 minutes. Things like that. When I discovered that I could build my own levels, it was game on! I’d build a level, my dad would solve it. I’d build a harder level. He’d solve it. I’d build a level with one solution. He’d solve it. I’d build a level with a trap, he’d get angry and say, “Hey! That’s not fair. Not traps on the next one.” I built somewhere around 70 levels and my dad solved them all.

It things like this that run through my head when I send those little birds screaming along to knock stuff over. It’s little things like the griffin that keep my dad in my memory. It’s inspiration like this that have me taking on as much as I can handle…and then asking for more.

Until Tomorrow!