Yesterday was a good day to write with over 2500 words achieved. I’m still behind on my Lent goal, but I’m getting there. I’ve go two weeks to get caught up, I just need to stop dragging my feet. Felt good to get words down. If you couldn’t tell by yesterday’s post I’m super excited to get cracking on Of Gnomes and Dwarves.
But first must come the finishing of works in progress, right? RIGHT! I need to finish up To Fall From the Sky. I need to finish My Teacher is a Werewolf. Those are the most important writing tasks at hand. I also have a bunch of recording to do this week. I’ll be getting on that tonight and do some editing work tomorrow.
Speaking of editing I need to get back into Jack Kane and do the edits in there. This writing stuff isn’t easy and isn’t for the easily distracted. I’m usually easily distracted. Take last night as an example. My favorite daughter was working on a mask and bow and arrow for a project and she also had to write up a script. That for the most part she did on her own.
Once I stopped writing to read what she’d written (it was really good and very funny) I lost track of where my head was at. I had ended a sentence with “and Stanley went to” and I totally forgot where he was going, what he went to go do. I drew a total blank.
My favorite daughter is really coming along with her writing. Her piece was intended to be funny, and it was. It’s about Artemis and Apollo and Artemis’s affair with Orion. She made up ‘Laugh’, ‘Awww’, and ‘Applause’ cards to be held up at certain times during the skit she’ll be doing with a classmate. I so want to be there when she presents it. She read through it and I gave little advice on inflection and timing, but 99% of it was her. This is one of those parenting moments where you know your kid will turn out alright.
Today needs to see another word count boost. It won’t be easy. I’ve got the day job, then I’ll be home for a bit where there’s house stuff to do then I need to write like a madman until I need to take my favorite daughter to volleyball practice. That’ll be a two hour chunk that I won’t be getting any writing done, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens. The coach wasn’t too happy after the last tournament because a couple of girls just gave up on the court and lost a game they were easily winning. It’d be nice to see if they can change their attitude and actually show up to play instead of just showing up. That’s enough said about that.
Well, speaking of being busy, I’d better get busy. So…
During the week I spend a great deal of time sitting in front of the computer. I work all day on my laptop, and I’ll write during the evening on either the laptop, netbook, tablet, heck, sometimes even on my phone.
This weekend I wrote very little. Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day. I slept in a little bit and finally got off my behind and took a surfboard over to The Millican’s house. Let me explain what’s up with the surf board as I’m not a surfer, you might wonder what the heck I was doing with a board.
Last year My daughter, The Millican’s son and daughter, all graduated (okay, okay, progressed) from 8th to 9th grade. They completed middle-school. So there was a ceremony. The wife and I were on the committee for all the events leading up to the completion including setting up for the ceremony. As a group we had decided to do a Hawaiian theme. We had a cool backdrop for the stage, fake plants, tiki torches, a grass skirt for the the stage and finally surf boards.
The Millican and I (on his suggestion I might add) decided to look for used boards. They didn’t need to be in great shape because we were going to cut, sand, prime, and paint them. Once all that had been completed, stands were build and each of the three ‘teams’ at the school had their own board. One for UCLA, Excel, and Dream Team. The boards were painted by one of the other moms in the group and they looked awesome. I know I have a picture somewhere and I’ll point them at some point.
So all that was last year. Back in October, I think, one of the teachers at the middle school contacted the ‘other’ mom and I about doing another board. One of the teams had changed their name (Dream Team went back to the Aztecs) and they were wondering if we could make them a board.
*note: We had donated everything to the school so they could be re-used.
Of course the task was accepted. Sadly with everything in my life in flux, and the holidays, much time had passed and I’d almost forgotten about the surf board living in my garage. So with such a great day yesterday I hauled the board over to the Millican’s house and we cut off the fins and tow cord, scrapped off the old wax (Not sure if it was Mr. Zogg’s or not) and sanded it to rough it up. Them a couple coats of primer and it was over to the ‘other’ mom’s house for painting. Once she’s done I’ll pick it up, I’ll go to the middle-school to fetch the Dream Team stand, and I’ll (with the Millican’s help) mount the new board. I will post pictures. 🙂
After this one hour job was completed (in about 3-4 hours) I was pooped. I headed home, took a shower, and the wife and the Millican’s wife made some awesome fish tacos. With a full belly and the need to do something that wasn’t sitting in a movie theater, the Millican and I headed off to a local casino and played in the poker tournament. I busted out when the shoved all in from the small blind with Q 10 diamonds on a flop of J 9 7 (two diamonds). The big blind called with A 7 and the race was on. I had an open-ended straight draw and flush draw plus two over cards to his pair. I hit my 10 on the turn. It was looking good. I didn’t have to dodge much. The 7 on the river sucked big time.
There was some slot play. The wife and the Millican’s wife dropped off the girls at the movies and joined us for slots of fun. I headed back in to play some $1/$2 No Limit Hold ’em. I was up, I was down, I hit a few good hands, and after about 3 hours of play I was up around $20. Heck, I was happy I didn’t bust out. I took no bad beats, but I did make some bad chases that didn’t pan out and cost me more than they should have. I haven’t played in a long time and it was nice to see some action. I saw a few people at my table get felted and I managed to nearly felt one person (Felt: To take the last of a players chips leaving him nothing but the felt of the table under his/her hands).
Got home and to bed around midnight. Got up at 4:45am because my favorite daughter had a volleyball tournament. The girls didn’t wake up for the first games and lost the match by making a few too many mistakes. They redeemed themselves by showing up for the second match and winning 2 of three. The final match they played well. They lost the first game, won the second game, and had an 8 point lead on the final game at 12 – 13. They managed to lose 15-13. It was quite depressing, but they did play well for the most part.
My favorite daughter is sitting next to me working on a couple of assignments for school. I typed up a great essay for her (she wrote it, I just typed it) and now she’s working on props for a report on Artemis. The wife is helping a little with the artwork (painting what my favorite daughter drew) and my favorite daughter is working on the bow.
Me? I’m writing up about this great weekend and the moment I’m doing I’m going to jump back into My Teacher is a Werewolf. Yes, I’m way behind on my Lent goal, but hey, I really enjoyed my weekend. I’ve still got the poker bug, but I have a lot of writing I want to get done this year. So if I’m going to get it done, I’d better say…
Yesterday started at 5am. We got up, got ready, and were out the door around 6am. Then we picked up one of my favorite daughter’s friends and our good friend Martha and headed for Rancho Bernardo. A 40 minute drive later and we were at the volleyball center.
As we drove up there some odd things happened with the navigator on my phone. First it took a while to connect. That was just annoying, but it did finally connect when we were about 10 minutes out. Then it showed me being on the wrong side of the road going in the right direction. Then off in a ditch. Then in a field. Then about a quarter mile away. The driving the wrong direction. Then I lost the GPS signal. The only plus was the map kept showing me where I truly was.
Oh yeah, Solar Flare. I laughed. Thankfully it talked me in once I got off the freeway.
They were the second seed in their pool. That meant Ref, play, off, play, ref, play. We were going to be there for all the games.That was fine.
We watched the 1 and 3 seeds play. It went to three games and the #1 seed won the third game. Barely. Very tight match.
The girls played the #4 seed. It went to three and the girls barely won the third game. Very tight match.
#1 played #4. It went to three games and the #1 seed won the third game. Barely. Very tight match.
We played the #2 seed. It went to three and the girls barely won the third game. Very tight match.
Are you seeing where this is going? All the teams were great and every match went to three games. Each game was high scoring. I think the biggest score gap for our girls was a 25 – 20 game.
By the time it got to the final two games, everyone else had left. It was only our group still playing. The refs split us up onto two courts. Normally one of the teams not playing will ref a game, keep score, things like that. Well, splitting them up meant parents got to volunteer. I got to flip the score and cheer from the floor. More than once I almost got trampled as we played the #1 seed. Because parents were doing things there were some delays.
The #2 vs #3 went two games. I’m not even sure who won. I was watching an epic battle between our girls and the #1 seed.
First game went 25 – 22, we lost. It was tough. The girls played at a level I’ve known they were capable of playing at. So many volleys went on and on and on that when the ball finally feel there was a collective gasp from all parents. Each point was a battle. There were so few mistakes made that losing the first game was draining.
The second game went very much the same except the girls pulled out a win. Again more epic battles, so great spikes, digs, blocks. It was a joy to watch.
I’m not sure what happened on the third match. I think the girls just plain ran out of gas. They’d been playing all day, it was hot, but they still battled it out. At one point the score was 7 – 1. The girls rallied back and soon the score was 10-7. Again each point went on and on. The other two teams had left. You could hear every squeak of shoe, grunt as they jumped or hit a ball, stomping of feet as they ran across the court. In the end, the score was 15 – 10. The girls had lost, but put up a battle to be proud of.
How did my kid do? She played every game. At one point as I sat keeping score she pointed to her her and I could see tears in her eyes. I motioned to the coach and he looked at her and pulled her out. The girl that went in didn’t know the position well and got a little confused, but still played well. After 5 or 6 plays, some water, a little aspirin, my trooper tapped the coach and went back in. It’s one of those moments that brings a tear to your eye. I remember the coach talking to Kasie before the match and I didn’t know what was going on, but apparently she was crying before the match. The coach thought she was upset, but she was really in pain.
This is why I call my kid my favorite daughter. She can be a real trooper. It was tough to see them lose, but it wasn’t due to lack of effort. Over the entire day there were a couple of mistakes, but they’ve really stepped up. Watching my kid block, stuff, RUN! hustle, and make plays was just amazing. I can’t say it enough. I’m proud of her. She even kept playing after taking a ball to the face! I wish I had gotten a picture of that.
As a team, they’re coming together a a unit. I’ve been to nearly all of their practices. I’ve been to all the games. I’ve seen their evolution. Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow.
I did manage a post early in the morning while we waited for the games to start. I accidentally posted it on the Action Pack blog. Whoops. I then deleted it. Thought, oh dang! Managed to get onto the web based version, recover it, copy it, and post it over here. Whew. That was all the writing I got in.
After the games we went back to my best friend’s house to drop off his wife and kid. We stayed there for a bit and finally packed up and went to eat lunch/dinner at T.G.I. Fridays. After a filling meal we went back to his house. We all sat around talking, the girls came and went, came and went. Finally Curt and I decided to watch a movie. Hugo was supposed to be great so we started watching it.
I will say this, the start I LOVED. The mystery, the build up, the automaton. The emotion.
Everyone else nodded off at some point because it had been such a LONG day. I did not. I loved the movie, but was sad to see them include so much about the filmmaker. It was like watching a documentary, not a movie. Yes, and interesting documentary, but it went from movie to documentary and stayed there. Lost were the steampunk elements, in was the reality of the man’s life. Incredible reproductions of the sets, yes, but I wanted more story and less history.
I see why the movie won so many film awards. It was a documentary, disguised as a movie, about film and a famous filmmaker. To be honest, even though I enjoyed the movie, I felt slighted. I felt duped into seeing one thing, and getting another. I would still rate the movie high and a must-see movie, but I would warn viewers before going in what exactly they are getting so they don’t feel tricked by the switch-a-roo in the middle of the movie. #justsaying.
We got home it was about 9:45pm and felt like it was midnight. I watched to write. I tried to write. I nodded off at the keyboard and that was that. Today will be a little different. There will be a little house cleaning, I’ve written my post. Then I’ll pack and be on my way to the airport. Knowing I’ll be doing much waiting I’ll have my netbook with me and knock out as many words as I can. I’ll ignore the person or persons I sit next to and write as much as I can. I should be able to get caught up today if I write as much as I’m able. I’m only a couple thousand words behind. I will let you know tomorrow.
I managed to hit my goal again. I’m still sluggish after Tuesday. I’ll get over it. At least I’m hitting my writing goal each day. I like that. To Fall From the Sky is coming along nicely. It’s moving in a different direction, but I was prepared for this. It’s not slowing me down at all and I like this new direction. It adds some threat that was missing if the enemy stayed put. Having him on the move is a big help and by doing so it may open up the novel to a sequel should the ending call for one. It could remain a concluded story, but leave a little question in the readers mind of “what happens next?”
I’m quickly approaching the 100,000 word mark on the year. I didn’t think I’d be here so quickly. I’m excited. I didn’t plan any celebrations for hitting that first marker, but we’ll see what happens from here. Maybe I should reward myself with a trip to Fry’s just to look around and spot something I’d like when I do finally hit my goal.
I’ll do an Unorthodox Writing Tip on rewards. I think it’s good to set a goal and a reward for when you hit that goal. Otherwise what’s the point of having the goal in the first place? Let me write that down, I’ll be right back.
Okay, did you miss me? Yeah, I didn’t either.
My favorite daughter had a great practice last night as did the entire team. They were mostly positive, having fun, and playing well. I’m hopeful for this weekend. Two pluses, they’re positive, and the game is close. So half the team won’t be getting up at 4am to make the game.
I haven’t posted about it in some time, but Sputtery Truck is running great. Beyond that the check engine light went off. I’ll need to see if it just burnt out or if the error code actually cleared. It’s been running smooth since the new engine was dropped in. March is marching on and soon it’ll start getting hot. I need to get the AC recharged so I won’t have to drive everywhere with the windows rolled down. The Wife and my favorite daughter can’t have their hair mussed up. 🙂 I kid, I kid.
I also haven’t posted about MixZing. I’m still using it on my tablet. I still use WinAmp on my phone. I use the tablet when at home and the phone when I’m driving. I’m mostly happy with MixZing. There are in app ads, but they’re short and I can get past them quickly enough to do what I want to do. I like the playlist feature, but it adds songs onto the playlist once you complete the songs you’ve added. Not sure if I like that or not. I’d almost rather have it either stop or go back to all songs ans shuffle. I’ll have to look and see if there is an option for that.
Next week I’m up North for some training. Work related stuff. I’m already planning in my head what I’ll do about my writing time. I will write while away. I will blog while away. I will NOT miss a day. I should probably plan on what I’m going to pack. Hmm…
First on my head, I’ve got a new story that has gone back and forth and it’s looking good. I’m really happy with the way the story has turned out. It’s a great blend. I can’t wait to announce this one. I’m bouncing up and down inside. I’m chomping at the bit. I’m an eager beaver. I’ll have to relax, but hey, there’s always time for relaxing later.
I was beat last night. I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. You read about the poker game, right? Yeah. Kept me up past my bedtime. BUT I still had to get my words done for the day. I’m proud to say that I did. I’m going to try and average 2000 words a day for lent and I’m 3000 behind that goal. I’ve hit 2000 a day most of the time and went over a couple, but those days I fell short are hurting. I’ve still got time to catch up. I can do this! right?
Of course I can!
Why can I do this? Cuz I’m tracking what I’m doing. I get antsy now when I don’t write daily or I miss my goal by a large margin. I don’t worry when I miss. I don’t get stressed, I just know that I’ve got a little extra to do.
Besides that, I’ve got a buffer on my annual goal right now. Now just a little buffer, but an 8 day buffer and it’s growing each time I hit that 2000 word goal. Knowing I have buffer has eased my mind greatly.
To Fall From the Sky is really taking shape. I’ve changed the ending in my mind more than once and an event just happened in the story that has me thinking I’ve come up with a far better ending. I need to rip the reader’s heart out, then hand it back to them. It’ll be awesome and I think I can pull this one off.
Work is work. I’m making progress on my project. Thank you for asking. It’s another big project, but progress is going well thanks to some great documentation and mock-ups. Gee, I wonder who made those? Hmmm…
I missed my favorite daughter’s volleyball practice Tuesday night. I’ll miss it again tonight due to a release. She’s got a tournament this weekend and Sunday I fly out for a training I have for work. Going to be a busy couple of days, but it’ll be fun all the same.
Speaking of work
My favorite daughter had another tournament today. They played well, but lost the first two matches. They rallied back and won the final match despite the line judges and refs being against them. It was nice to see them so happy after the win.
The family went to Bj’s Brewery and Eatery afterwards. I had an awesome pot roast sandwich. Oh yum. The wife and kid had burgers.
After we got back to our neighborhood we did some shopping and put the groceries away.
It’s been a long day.
Writing: Last night I stayed up as late as I dared to get in my 2000 words. I’m glad I didn’t stay up later as I slept past the alarm and woke up 30 minutes after we should have gotten up. We still got ready in short order. As for those 2000 words, I was able to complete work on my special project and I even added a few words to Golden West. It felt so good to hit my daily goal.
I had a lot of distractions over the past couple days and I don’t expect that to change over the next couple of days. My brother will be in town tomorrow and Tuesday. I’ll be heading downtown to visit with him while I can. It’ll most likely be He and I one day and the Family the next day. We’ll see how it goes.
Regardless of distractions, I have a goal and I’m going to do my best to stick to it.
Next week I’m going to post little stories about how I got to where I am today. I hope it’s a fun journey for you. I know it’ll be interesting to write it all out. I haven’t written an in depth vision of where I was so many years ago and how I got to where I am today. I’ll make notes of where to fill in gaps later. Should be a fun journey. If I bore you to tears, just let me know.
Right now I need to knock out some fiction. So…
Yesterday was a good day. For me.
Let me start with the bad news just to get it out of my head.
A friend of my wife’s (and co-worker) had her son disappear. At this point they’re not sure if he ran away or was kidnapped. He was on his way home from school yesterday and was last seen at a local park. If you’re local to San Diego/Chula Vista and would like more information, e-mail me and I’ll send you what information I have. It has the wife very shaken up.
On to the happier news.
My favorite daughter and I practiced volleyball for about an hour and a half yesterday and my arm is a little stiff this morning. I plan on getting her a jump rope today and we’ll be jump roping 15-20 minutes a day to help with her jumping. She needs to improve her vertical leap and another one of the player’s moms told me jumping rope will help. She has practice today and tomorrow so I think my arm will be getting a little rest. That kid is keeping the wife and I hopping.
On the writing front. I got a lengthy update post yesterday (you read that? It was kinda long). I also wrote a guest post for my cover artist Dan Dan the Art Man about my TV experience. That was a fun write. Beyond that I also got a good chunk of My Teacher is a Zombie written. Yesterday saw over 3000 words get written. I’ll be doing some writing in the little spots I find here and there over the weekend. That’s what I did yesterday.
Usually I fill these little snippets of time with getting caught up on reading blogs, playing angry birds, or playing around on twitter. It’s easy to say “I don’t have enough time to really get going” but I’ve discovered that even if I have a few minutes I can bash out a hundred words here or two hundred words there. I may not always do this, but two things are driving me. 1) I’m behind on my annual word count and I don’t want to get further behind and 2) I’m at an exciting part in the story I’m writing. Another thing that’s driving me at this point is the fact that I’ve made commitments to other people for work and I need to finish one before moving on to another. So far it’s fun being driven and pushing myself more than I ever have.
Will I suffer from burnout? If I do, then I don’t think I have the chops to be a full time writer. Even writing part time shouldn’t be as much of a pain as I’m making it. I’m just not taking full advantage of the time I have available. I know I can do better. Even though I wrote 3000 words yesterday, I still don’t feel I’m putting out as much as I can. I still feel like I’m not moving quickly enough.
I had a conversation with someone earlier in the week. As I put it, it’s like working out. You need to walk before you can run. When I started working out I was walking too quickly, then jogging too soon and I injured myself. I know I need to start walking about, but one thing I also noticed was that my word could was up and down but on a general upward trend. I was writting a little more over time. So I’m not going to go out on a limb and say I’ll be writing at Nathan Lowell levels any time soon, but as long as I’m steady and consistent I’ll be able to get a lot of work done this year.
Speaking of getting a lot of work done…
Shin Splints: The front of my legs still hurts after I exert myself doing activities such as helping out at volleyball, wandering around the grocery store, helping out at volleyball, walking to my truck too quickly (I park in the street away from the living quarters), helping out at volleyball, going up and down the stairs too many times, helping out at volleyball. The plus side is it only hurts for a short time afterwards and not into the day after like it had been. This is making me happy though I’m not ready to try out my ‘land legs’ any time soon. I still have yet to get up to the gym at our complex, but I intend to start going very soon. Hopefully this weekend.
Sputtery Truck: The check engine light is still on. The registration is due, but I don’t have to smog it this year. I know why the light is on and it’s nothing critical that cannot wait at this point. I’m happy that each time I go out I can start it up and it doesn’t look like Spy Hunter with a billowing cloud of smoke pouring out the back end. This was usually followed up with it overheating and that hasn’t happened either. I’ve kept an eye on the fluid levels and all looks good. It’s on the road to recovery.
Action Pack: Currently I have Mike Plested’s audio. I’m waiting on Scott Roche’s and I need to record my own. I’ll be recording the promo as soon as I get the audio from Mike. We have the cover art for the ebook edition of the stories that will be available at Flying Island Press. I’m waiting on my friend who shall be known as Mike Lafayette to produce music for me. He will be out after the 25th and assures me that I’ll have music before then. This will be just in time to drop the first episode on the 29th. Nothing like cutting it close, eh?
Writing: I’ve been going at it slower than I’d like, but I am catching up to my annual goal. At one point I was 5000 words behind. I’m now less than 3000 and gaining ground with every word I type. I’m having fun with both my research and my writing. If I wasn’t having fun, I’d be putting projects aside. It’s great to see my word counts going up.
Getting Caught up with Friends: I hadn’t spoken with Kimi Alexandre or Jack Mangan in some time. Sure we’ve exchanged emails, but it’s nice to get on skype and just chat with online friends that you don’t get face time with. Online chatting will keep you caught up with some goings on, but there’s nothing like hearing another person’s voice to get caught up on everything.
My Favorite Daughter: If you haven’t guessed, it’s been a lot of volleyball. I’ve been helping out at practices and it’s really great to see how the team is starting to really mesh and play as a unit as opposed to individuals. All I can say is my kid rocks 🙂 but I may be biased.
Jack Kane: Edits are progressing on book 1 and plotting is progressing on book 2. Mike and I have been using Google Docs crazy and the more I use it, the more I like it. I’m sure there are a lot more features in there that we aren’t using, and as we find them, we’ll use them.
Scriviner: I’ve been using scriviner to edit Jack Kane. I’m really liking the interface and I can see now why so many writers rave about it. As soon as I’m able I’ll be buying a license for it and I’ll be moving all my works into the tools. I’ll also use any notes I put into scriviner up onto the wiki page I created and am currently not using. I do have every intention of getting everything up and in there.
MixZing: I’m still liking this music app on my tablet. I haven’t run into any issues and the ads only come up when I open the app and I can live with that. I have the widget on my homescreen and it works great for a shuffle and for playing entire albums. So far, no complaints other than the EQ will cause the tablet to lock up so I just don’t use it.
Work: Work is going GREAT! Frickin love my job. I’ve been doing a big mix of paperwork and documentation and a little bit of coding and I think this is what’s been slowing down my daily writing output, but the job does come first. It’s been a great start to the year with only a couple of unexpected bumps along the way, but nothing we can’t get past.
Sorry this is such a long post today.
So my favorite daughter had another volleyball tournament this weekend. I’m the type of father that can’t sit down while watching and I think it’s harder on me than it is on the girls sometimes. I watch them play and each point for the other team just kills me and each point they get elates me. It’s an emotional roller coaster that wears me out.
Normally they play three other teams So it’s three games and done. Well, this time they had four other teams to play. I looked at this both ways. 1) it’s more games to lose and 2) it’s a better chance for them to win.
The first match they won the first game. It was tight, but they won. They lost he second game almost as close and then lost the tie breaker. The bright side was it was their first win! So much excitement. Well, by the parents anyway.
The second match almost went the same way except they lost the first game, won the second, they WON the tie breaker! They were 1 and 1. WOO WOO! Much excitement was had by all.
The third match was against the #1 seed in their group of five and it went as expected. they lost both games, but had a great showing and performed well.
The last match was against the bottom seed and the game went as expected. They won both games but they were a little closer than we would have liked.
So they ended the day 2 wins – 2 loses and played 2 tie breakers. They did great and I couldn’t be happier. It’s all coming together. By the end of the season the team will be a force to be reckoned with.
Writing. I’m getting on that as soon as this post is up. Mike Plested and I have continued plotting Jack Kane Book 2 (title coming soon). I’m cranking out words on My Teacher is a Zombie. Then it’s on to my secret project that I will announce as soon as I’m able. Finally I’ll be working on edits on Jack Kane Book 1 and Second Kance. It’s a busy month and I still need to get working on my audio for the Action Pack podcast and getting it all produced and ready to go.
So rather than blather on and on…