Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Back in the Saddle Again

I am (I hope!) back in the normal swing of things now though it may be just wishful thinking at this point. I am coming off two back-to-back 65+ hour work weeks, and a ridiculous amount of family commitment mixed in with it. The family junk will keep me running through July but I think the workload may slow down to something approaching reasonable levels again now. (Though that's subject to change without notice, of course!)

Very strange thing happened last night - the wife asked if I was getting back to writing now that the work press is easing up. I said I was and she was actually glad to hear it! (I Damn near passed out!) Seems she thinks I am a wonderful writer and believes I'll be succesful someday. Her only problem with my writing has been the on/off again relationship I've had with it in the past. The wife has a distinct: "Shit or get off the pot" attitude about most things. The woman has little patience with folks who talk instead of doing. All this time I thought she hated my "little hobby" and it turns out she just wanted me to stop talking about it and do it. She was super supportive; telling me how proud she was of how much hard work I've been doing lately and asking if there was anything she could do to help.

Well, that just about proves I'm a frikkin' idiot, huh?

Have to tell you: that really meant a lot to me. Wives can be very cool things to have (unless of course they are shopping with your credit card and/or requesting lawn maintenance!) It was really nice to hear that she believes in me and thinks I really do have talent. Hearing that from her was (almost) as good as being published.

I'll be working through lunch at work for a while so my routine will shift to writing at night exclusively but I don't think it will slow me down too much. It's summer now which means TV sucks anyway so I shouldn't get too distracted & I'll be able to get a good bit done (one hopes!)

My son marched as part of the Color Guard in the local Memorial Day Parade yesterday. He took it very seriously and thought it was a great honor. I'm glad to know that even at his age (11) the boy understands the level of sacrifices that have been made for him by folks wearing uniforms. All in all, the weekend was nice, despite working Sunday & Monday both. I managed to go to my brother's bachelor party (nice to see the bro's. but decidely lame.) Went to a BBQ at my best friend's on Saturday. Haven't seen him in over a year. That doesn't matter much though. We're tight enough that time and distance don't mean a hell of a lot. Thirty seconds after we hook up it's like we never were apart. I don't have many friends really, I'm too into my family for that, but he's the one I keep and the one that's most important to me. He's really more of a brother than a friend. It's always great to hang with him. (Though I'm a bit jealous - the SOB has a brand new Harley . . .)

Ah well, work summons me. I'll be back tomorrow with more of my fascinating life.


Friday, May 27, 2005

Overridden by the Muse

Does anyone else have a loser mentality?

I have this terrible habit of getting down on myself and becoming very upset when I don't do all the things I think I should be doing. The last two weeks have been hell and I've had no time to write and my exercise routine has slipped quite a bit because of the long hours at work. Now, I know that's beyond my control but I still feel like a complete failure. I've gotten to a point in my life where I can recognize the feelings as unfounded and temporary but that doesn't stop them. Strange, no? Ah well, at least I know it will all fade once I can get back to writing and exercising. Sad that it took so many years of my life to realize they are two legs of the tripod I need to keep my life balanced (the third is wife & child. Yea, I know that's two things but they're sort of a matched set, ya know?) If I can't keep those three things going solidly I tailspin into a vortex of morbid delerium and self-recriminations that has (More than I like to admit) pushed me close to the suicidal edge. Seems extreme, I know but it boils down to this: in order to be happy all humans need three basic things . . .

1. To love/be loved.
2. To know there is a purpose to their life.
3. To feel good about themselves.

Those are (in order) my family, my writing, and exercise for me. Any of those get out of wack and I am one very scary camper. (As if you hadn't already guessed that from this blog, huh?) It took almost thirty six years for me to realize those three simple things were what I needed to make me whole. I don't know about you other folks but it was a long (and painful) journey of discovery. I always had one of those things (occassionally two) going for me, which I think kept me from the truly dark places of the human condition but I was never happy or satisfied. It was only when all three of them came together that I realized what I'd been missing. Now, as you all know, I desperately want to be a Big-Name-Author one of these days. That's my favorite dream and I'm working toward it as hard as I can but it's enough for me that I just write. Don't really need the money or the readership (though I would REALLY like to have both!) all I need is to know I am accomplishing what I was meant to do: tell stories as best I can. I used to laugh at the people who'd say "I don't write to be published!" (Okay, I still do. Most of them are using that as a cover because they aren't good enough to publish and don't want to put in the work to improve themselves. Sort of like a kid saying: "I didn't want to go to that stupid old party anyway!") For myself, I say that: "I write to be published but I also write just to make myself happy."

Sad, but true. The terrifying, eye-burning, headache causing, loss of sleep inducing process of putting words to paper is the only thing in my life I have ever truly wanted to do. I have worked many (many, many!) jobs, owned several businesses, tried countless hobbies and through it all I'd have sold my soul just to be able to sit in a room by myself and type my little stories out. Guess that makes me a writer, huh?

I imagine if you're reading this: it makes you one too. Congratulations and condolences all at once, my fellow lunatics!

Don't know where that all came from really. I just meant to sit down and type up a quick note that I'd be busy this weekend and not likely to post until Monday (foul, foul day that it is!) The muse took over on me. Must be the depression over not writing or exercising. She's (yes, my muse is MOST DEFINITELY female!) reminding me that I need to get back on schedule after this weekend: not matter what.

Good weekend to all!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Quick and Dirty

Hail and well met, fellow follower of the word written!

It is late, I am tired, and I am just a wee bit punchy so I'll keep this short and sweet. Worked 23 hours out of the last 48,, got into a fight with my boss, sat in on an Eagle Scout Board of Review (Very cool! The young man made Eagle with flying colors; he truly earned it!) had a two hour discussion over the fate of two other potential candidates, spent 9 hours traveling in a car -in the rain- and managed to get in about seven hours of sleep.

Fun Fun Fun!!!!!

No writing, no type-in and not likely to be this weekend either. I'm going to my younger brother's bachelor party tomorrow night, a BBQ at my oldest friends house Sat., working from home all day Sun. and (if all goes well!) running to a parade, mowing the lawn, and about 40 other small things on Monday (See? Even when it's a holiday, Monday sucks!)

Anyway, there's a great write up about blogging over on Holly Lisle's site. You should check it out. I dropped a comment in there myself to add my $0.02 about why I keep this blog. She has some interesting points to make, as do the folks who left comments. That's it for now, I gotta get some sleep.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Unexpected Apologies

Got more work done on GS last night than I thought I would. I managed to get in nearly a full two hours (yay!) before stumbling off to bed. I am so tired it's not even funny, but the writing must go on, yes? (Of course, yes! If you didn't think 'yes' you wouldn't be here to read my ramblings!)

So, no sooner had I posted my wife bashing post last night than the woman walked through the door and apologizes. Yup, you read that right: she said she was wrong and apologized for everything she'd said. What an underhanded, sneaky, trick! How am I supposed to maintain a solid annoyance when she goes and undermines my anger like that? Wives are just completely unfair. They don't understand the rules of engagement and battlefield conditions at all! Have to say, that's the first serious apology I can remember getting from her. I damn near had a coronary on the spot (actually put a hand to my chest and pretended to collapse when she said it. That of course earned me a slap in the head. Still funny though. I amuse me.)

Still way too much to do at work. Good thing is they hired me a summer intern to help me out and the kid's gonna work out well I think. I've got him working on some stuff I just have not been able to get to for nearly a year and he's chewing through it. (Thank God!) The hours and deadlines are still nuts, but I did get a chance to stop in at FM and do a quick Crit for Lee. (Sorry for the delays, ladies!)

Here's a strange thing (maybe) that I've never mentioned. No one in my life knows about this blog. Not the wife, the boy, friends, family, co-workers . . . nobody. That just occured to me last night after I went off about the argument the wife and I were having. I wonder why I haven't mentioned it? No real reason, but it's just never come up in conversation. It's not the sort of thing you can just throw out there, ya know?

"Hey, how about them Yankees? Oh, and did I mention I have a blog?"

Nah, doesn't work. I haven't mentioned it to the wife because I know that to her it'll be another of those "little hobbies" that I get side tracked with and I'll get all bent about it. I like the anonymity of this blog and that I have no need to censor myself for anyone who might be reading. It's nice to just have a place where I can be myself. (Too bad for you that it's such a scary self!)

Well, back to the grind and craziness. Boy Scouts tonight & tomorrow night so I'll have to be satisfied with what little writing I can squeeze in before work & at lunch. Unless one of you kind readers would care to send me the winning numbers for next week's lottery . . . Anyone? Hello, anyone? Hey, where'd you all go?

Damn, I hate when they run from me!

Later, all!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Monday Can Go Piss Up a Rope!

Christ Almighty, what a friggin' week it's been and today (Mon-frikkin-day, of course!) has been the worst of them all. The workload is getting worse by the moment and there is no end in sight. To cap it all off, the wife and I are currently in the midst of a screaming match because of the time I spend working with the Scouts instead of working on her house. Just what I need on top of a 60+ hour work week, 16 new hires to train, four ridiculous deadlines and NO GOD DAMNED WRITING GETTING DONE AT ALL!!!!!!!!!

Okay, whining and bitching done now.

I am exhausted. The workload (as you perhaps guessed from my subtle hints above!) is seriously getting to me. It's been non-stop for months now, but I've been rolling with it. Now, the office is dropping insane requirements on me and I am fraying just a bit about the edges (There! You see? Just along the arms there . . .) Having to go around and around with the wife on top of it is sucking the little bit of energy I have left out of me. Honest to God, for the first time ever: I was GLAD to get away from her for the weekend! Usually I miss her when I'm away with the Scouts but she just won't let up on me over this whole thing and I needed the space just to catch my breath for a minute. What is with women? (Okay, I know that's an unfair generalization but I'm bent at the moment so bear with, alright?) Why do they feel that they have the right to order their men about like field hands then become terribly hurt when we refuse to shuffle, dance and tip our hats with a smile and a: "Yes'm Ma'am!"? I swear that wives start to think of their husbands as live-in contractors after a few years. We're supposed to to what the boss says, when she says it, the way she says it and if we dare disagree or (GASP!) refuse, they pull out the "You don't love me anymore!" card. I swear to God, there are days I wish I was gay. Men can NOT be this unreasonable!

Wow. That was harsh, huh? Tip to all: never blog when pissed at the spouse. Much ugliness ensues.

Anyway, the weekend was a big success. We helped clear a mile of trails, scrape and paint a counselor building and ready an athletic field for use at a summer camp for handicapped children. (Heartless, inconsiderate bastard that I am. How dare I let such things interfere with mowing the lawn?)

Sorry. No more spouse bashing. I mean it this time.

The Scouts did an unbelievable amount of work for these kids and they were happy to do it and really proud of themselves when they were done. They should be, it was a hell of a lot of work for a dozen or so 12-13 year old kids. (Our older scouts were involved in a fund raiser for their summer trip this weekend) I'm really proud of them too. My boy and one other Scout did the bulk of the scraping and painting. He was shocked at how hard it was. He thought he'd gotten the easy job when we started out but he soon discovered otherwise. Poor kid's back and shoulders are still killing him but he did a great job. He even helped clean the fields when he finished with that. He's a great kid!

Ah well, nothing writing wise at all last week. I'm about to set into doing some type-in for GS right now so I'm gonna sign off and get to it.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Work Can Kiss My . . .

Rampant Insanity is the order of the day at work! I have no time to do anything with writing, or even to properly handle the posts here (sorry!) The deadline I had five weeks to meet has been bumped up to four days. (Woo Hoo!) So I'll be in the office till 10:00/11:00 every night this week. Heading out to camp this weekend as well, so I don't know how many posts I'll be able to get in between now and Monday (evil day!) so it'll be sparse reading around here the next few days.

Please bear with, Loyal Reader, I shall return with many a tale of writing woe and corporate insanity once I have slain the fell beast called: Deadline!


Monday, May 16, 2005

Of Museums and Mondays

Monday once more. How depressing is that? Of course, work is being a typical Monday: seventeen waiting e-mails, four voice mails, two new trainees, three seminars I need to write up and two interviews. All of this of course, before I had even sat down and gotten my first cup of coffee for the day. In case I haven't mentioned it before: Mondays Frikkin' Suck!

The weekend was good (though a complete bust writing wise!) We made it into the city -and the oldest niece blew off her friends to come hang with the old folks! It was a very pleasant surprise! We did much walking (and shopping -yuck!) of the city and visiting of tourist type sites. Then we hit the Metropolitan Museaum of Art. The oldest niece loved it but the boy & the younger nieces were so-so on the whole thing. They dug the Egyptian exhibits and the hall of weapons & armor but the paintings did nothing for them. My wife was showing them Van Gogh and Monet and all my niece said was: "But they're ugly and blurry!"

An art critic in the making!

Now, I'm no art expert but I have to say that I am a big Renoir fan. In particular his painting "In the Meadow" always blows me away. The online image doesn't have near the effect of the original but it's still pretty cool. I also was fascinated by the examples of Kentucky Long Rifles the museum had. One of them had a barrel nearly 6-1/2 long. No wonder they were so deadly! I am also a big fan of sculpture. I am fascinated that anyone can take a big chunk of rock and create such wonderful things with just a hammer and chisel (I can create little rocks that way!). I love artisans and craftmanship: it's inspiring to see what humanity is capable of.

So, no writing at all this weekend (and tonight's not looking hopeful!) I have a hellish week ahead of me and I have a feeling I'm gonna get damn-all done. I'll actually have to take work home and cut into my writing time to get all my stuff done (how unfair is that?) Ah well, these are the things we must do for our regular paychecks, I suppose. How nice would it be to get a paycheck for the writing? Dreaming . . . keep dreaming . . .

So, it seems the poem I did for the contest on Holly Lisle's site is doing fairly well (much to my surprise!) at the moment, I am in first place. Go figure! I have actually received some e-mails this morning from folks complimenting me on the poem. That was (almost!) enough to offset the fact that today is Monday. Ah well, I have to get back to the grind. Be well, all!


Friday, May 13, 2005

Silly Putty Clowns

It has been Friday the 13th with a vengeance around here! A major artery on the local rail line caught fire overnight, so I don't know if we're going to make it into the city tomorrow. Part of one of the major highways collapsed, so ditto on driving there in any reasonable time limit. The primary DNS server at work has been totally wonky all day, throwing people off for no apparent reason. My system is (yet again!) infected with spyware that none of my killers seem to pick up. And of course, there's just the usual, last minute, Friday dead line crap to deal with. Ah well, a few more hours and I'll be free! Free, do you hear? Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!


Actually, I have some work I need to get done around the house when I get home. Most notably: the hanging of a new door in my bathroom. The family's been using a tacked up sheet but the nieces are coming to stay and I don't imagine they'd be particularly comfortable with that arrangement. (the elder is now 16 and very particular about her privacy, as you can imagine!) I'm not sure she's coming though, there was a conflict between what we had planned and something she was doing with friends. Bummer. She's not a kid anymore & she prefers hanging with friends rather than the boring aunt and uncle. :-( Luckily, her sister is still young enough to find us amusing, so that's a cool thing!

I didn't get to any type-in last night, I cooked dinner then got caught up in a string of long phone calls from friends and family. (how inconvenient for the inner writer!) Even the TV junkie in me was ticked off: I missed most of "The Apprentice" because I was on the phone. Oh well. I did another 2,000 words on "Fish" today. I'm rapidly approaching the big climax wherein one of my two MC's is going to have to die. I've been building it up (lightly I hope) that MC "A" is going to die, while in reality (maybe that should be: "fantality"?) it's MC "B" who cashes in his chips. I'm a bit nervous about that scene. It could come off really cheesy if I'm not careful.

Completely aside here: I am snacking on Butter Snap pretzels right now. Never had 'em before but damn! These things are good! I strongly recommend - but be careful, I can see them being addictive. For the sake of the waistline, buy only small bags!

Speaking of waistlines, the exercise is still rockin' . . . though I think my body shape is a little weird at the moment (okay, weirdER!) I'm losing weight in strange place first, while others remain untouched. I hope to hell this all evens out at some point or I'm going to look like a silly putty rendition of a demented clown. (Okay, I'm not sure about that visual but that's what came out when I typed, so there . . .)

Probably running again all weekend so this will most likely be the only post until the return of THAT-DAY-WHICH-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED! Have a great weekend, folks!


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Poems, Publishing, and Mummies

Damn, is it Thursday already? Cool! Bring on the friggin' weekend!

This is going to be a very fun weekend. The wife and I are taking the boy and two of my nieces (absolutely wonderful girls!) to hit the major museums in the city. ("the city" is Jersey-speak for NYC) My oldest niece is a complete freak for Egypt in any form and she's dying to see the exhibits at the Met. She and the wife are already planning on paying whatever ridiculous fee they charge to see King Tut when he comes around this way. I'm not thrilled at forking over major dinero to see a gold plated box with some dead guy wrapped in kleenex inside it but sometimes (okay, most times) you have to give the ladies in your life what they want.

Knocked out another complete chapter of type-in on GS last night. Almost screwed up royaly though: I added two paragraphs at one point because my line edits didn't make sense, only to discover just as I was finishing up that I'd already written four paragraphs in my notebook to fill in there and forgot to mark it on the manuscript. (My genius staggers you, doesn't it? Come on, admit it . . .) No writing on "Fish" today. I just didn't have the words inside me for such dark doings. Instead, I wrote a poem (Yea, I do that sometimes. Not well, but I do it!) to submit for a contest over on Silent Bounce. Holly is giving away a signed copy of her Advanced Reader Copy of "Talyn", her latest and greatest. I thought that would be a very cool thing to have so I quick threw together a short poem on the subject she laid out for the contest and submitted. I have no delusions about winning (I'm a novelist, not a poet!) but what the hell . . .

I'm planning on doing more work on GS tonight (the TV junkie inside me is fighting though. It wants to see "Survivor" and "The Apprentice") Ah well, I'm sure I'll find a compromise position in there somewhere. I'll try to get on the computer right after dinner, and then finish out after the shows are over. I was looking over my Writing Diary (an excel spreadsheet actually) that I keep on the home system last night and I was thrilled to see that YTD: I have written over 500,000 words! That is 3-1/2 novels and counting. I like this writing every day thing. It really makes a big difference! (Well, duh!) Now I need to move on to publishing. Still terrified of the potential rejection there, BTW . . .


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Real ID Conspiracy

Alright, I realize this is not a political blog, but this Real ID bill has me foaming at the mouth. The bill passed unanimously through the Senate today as an included Rider on a bill to provide funding for the military in Iraq & Afghanistan that no elected official in their right mind would vote against. The very fact that the bill was hidden in this way, so that it never came to the attention of the public and did not allow for review or debate should tell you all you need to know of the government's intent here. There are two wonderful write ups on the bill here and here that do a finer job of explaining the issues thatn I can. PLEASE take the time to read them both! This simple sounding "security measure" has frightening implications for this country. Once enacted, you will be required to show this card at any public facility (airports, federal building, parks, etc.) where it will be scanned and checked against a national database to verify your identity. In effect, your whereabouts and travel habits will be known to the government in an instant. Also, the cards will have all of your personal data: age, weight, photo, SS#, address, etc. embedded into the card for scanning into a public database. Just think of the fun for I.D. thieves and professional marketers with all that data! Please educate yourself on this act and contact your representatives to let them know you oppose it. I'll be keeping you posted on what I read on this regularly.

Okay, on to the writing: Boy Scouts last night, so no type-in on GS. I did 1500 or so words on Fish today but I was running from meeting to meeting at work (Big Fun!) so I only had a short lunch break to work on it. I dropped my latest chapter of "Clans" for review by the Crit Circle over on Forward Motion. Ouch. Lee found some major issues with the chapter that I'm going to have to fix. I haven't gotten Mel's input yet but I have no doubt she'll find some logic flaws for me. (She always does! :-) ) We're also confusing each other over the difference between a synopsis & an outline. Well . . . I think I'm confusing them more than anything but they should be used to my idiocy by now!

Watched "The Amazing Race" finale last night after I got back from Scouts (Yea, I know I shoulda been writing but I was tired, okay? Sheesh!) I loved the couple who won the million bucks. The fact that they stood outside the last gate, begging for money to pay their taxi driver his $50 at the risk of losing their big pay day said volumes about their character. Any of the other teams would have just bolted inside and worried about the taxi driver later (if at all!) I love to see the decent, honest, folks come out ahead once in a while!

Okay, it's late in the day and I'm tired. Meetings (I had five today!) exhaust me. I'm gonna go get my son, go home, cook dinner, do some type-in (hopefully) and go to bed early! (yea, right!)


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

National Identification

Okay, before I get to anything personal, I saw this post on Bruce Schneir's website (picked up the thread off of WWDN) and I damn near hit the ceiling! Seems the U.S. Government is about to pass a law requiring National Identification documents for all citizens! Jesus-frikkin-Christ people, am I the only one who sees the sudden resemblances to Nazi Germany that are coming about in this country? Look, I understand the need for National Security. I live in New Jersey. My oldest brother missed being killed on 9/11 by a ten minute (Lucky!) traffic delay. He had a 9:00 meeting in Tower One. The problem is, legislation like the Patriot Act and this piece of unconstitutional crap do more to further the terrorist's cause than to prevent it!

Osama bin Ladin was not just trying to kill people when he planned that attack. He was trying to demoralize a nation, to take away the underlying belief in ourselves and our system of government that is such a threat to everything he and his conspirators stand for. Can't we see that when we become completely paranoid and uncaring of human/civil rights in our attempts to destroy the terrorists that we are playing right into their hands? WE ARE ALLOWING OUR FEAR TO TURN US INTO THE VERY THING WE ARE FIGHTING AGAINST!!!! A free, open, democratic society DOES NOT need papers, identification cards, security checkpoints and armed guards every twelve feet. We DO NOT need to hand over search/seizure rights to the government without recourse to due process! We DO NOT need to torture suspects or keep them incarcerated without outside contact for as long as the authorities wish. We are the United States of America. We're supposed to be better than that. Take a laundry list of what I just said:

1. Travel papers/identification required at all times
2. Government entering homes without judicial approval, based on suspicion alone
3. Incarceration without a hearing for unlimited periods
4. Security checkpoints at all public facilities
5. Rampant fear and distrust among the polulace
6. Neighbors turning each other in to government authority on suspicion of treason
7. Military torture of prisoners

Does that sound like the U.S.A. or does it sound like Afghanistan and Iraq? I have news for you people, if this is how we react to the terrorist's attacks, THEN THEY WERE SUCCESFUL!

Alright, off the soap box now. Sorry.

Okay, back to the regular blog now. I got a lot of work done on GS last night. I discovered (much to my chagrin!) that I had not finished one of the insert chapters. Somehow, I'd stopped writing it and never got back to it. I picked it up for type-in and realized I still had a lot of work to do. (Alright, so I'm a dumb-ass!) I had to write up another 3,000 words to finish out the section. Couple that with the 2,800 words I did on "Fish" yesterday: and I was a very busy little writer-bee! I realized today (after another 2,500 words!) on "Fish" that it's going to be longer than I thought. I figured it at about 85k but I just passed that mark and I still have several more chapters to go so I may wind up above the 100k mark after all.

Still exercising every day. The scale (finally) showed me some weight loss! I dropped 5 lb. last week but more important, all my clothes are getting verrrrry loose. (that's a good thing!) I have to say (though I probably shouldn't!) that I'm liking my life very much at the moment. The body is going in the right direction, I'm writing every day (almost!) and the job/home life are both running smoothly. All-in-all I am feeling very good about moi! Now, if I can get an agent and/or publisher to bite on one of my novels life will be perfect! (Damn, I bet I just jinxed myself completely!)


Monday, May 09, 2005

The Hell of Mondays

I've been thinking about it and I've come to the conclusion that Hell must be one long string of eternal Mondays. No, really. Imagine it: a never ending existence of the most vile day ever created by the twisted Overlord of the Nether Dimension. (Of course, since all Mondays seem eternal, would we notice the difference?)

Enough whining.

Sorry I didn't get to post this weekend (told ya' not to hold the breath!) I forgot all about Mothers Day. (Thank God, I remembered Friday night or I should not be here to type these lovely words of wisdom to entertain you!) I made the mad, last minute, dash to get the cards, presents, etc. for the Mrs. I wound up spending most of the weekend shopping (shoot me now!) and mall hopping with her and the boy. Such events are nearly as hellish as Mondays for the males in this household. We grin-n-bear-it once a year, as a thank you for all the wifey does. (and believe me, the woman does a lot!) My options for Mothers Day are either extensive Landscaping, or shopping. I usually opt for the yard work but it rained here all weekend so it was off to the mall. (sigh.) I did take the boy to see "Hitchhiker" while the wife was bra shopping (hey, I draw the line at standing in the ladies unmentionables stores, alright?) He absolutely loved it. It was just the right amount of silly for an eleven year old.

Called my own Mom for M.D. of course. She's doing fine. I would have driven down to see her Sunday, but she works at the local church as Sacristan. (That's the little old lady who takes care of everything needed to run the church for you non-Catholics out there) It's tough to get down to see her nowadays because she works all weekend and -of course- that's the only time we have available. So, I called her instead. Talked for about an hour. I'll get to see her in a few weeks because my younger brother is getting married (attempt #2). I don't really know the woman he's marrying, I've only met her twice -briefly- but she seems a pleasant enough person. My mom likes her and so do my brother's kids, so that's a good sign. Hope things work well for them.

The shopping this weekend seriously interfered with my type-in work on GS but I did get in a few hours, which let me pump through the first two chapters (which were major re-works so I was actually fairly productive). Today I jumped back into "Fish", with the intention of letting the MC's mother (from Friday's post) revert back to old, evil, ways. Well, she decided she didn't want that. The whole scene turned into a bizarre confrontation with incestuous overtones. (Creepy!) Ya know, whenever I write scenes like this I wonder about my own mental health. I know that writers have to go places they wouldn't go in their own lives to find the truth of a character but sometimes I just creep myself out. Oh well, I imagine I'll survive.

Had fun watching my son yesterday as we were driving all over the state from mall to mall. I have a hard bound (and signed!) edition of the "ElfQuest" graphic novel that covers the first five storylines done by Wendi and Richard Pini. (If you have never read EQ, I can't recommend it enough. The artwork is remarkable and the stories wonderful) The boy brought it with, just to browse through as we drove but he became completely hooked after the first page! He got pissed every time we had to get out of the car. When we finally got home last night, he plopped his butt into the nearest chair and read until bedtime. He was down to the last 20 pages or so of the book and the wife had to threaten him with bodily harm to make him take a shower and hit the hay. I love watching him read like that! The boy is a book addict. (wonder where he gets it?)

I'll wrap with a favorite joke of mine:

Two guys walk into a bar . . . which is really stupid, cuz you'd think the second guy woulda ducked after the first guy hit it !


Friday, May 06, 2005

Lovin' and Livin'

Lovin' life and livin' large: that's me today!

It's Friday and I'm pumped to get the hell out of work and do the whole weekend thing (even though the weatherman says rain Sat. & Sun.) Rain means no yard work and that means more writing time for me! YAY!

Holy Crap! The Sugarhill Gang is on the radio, doing "Rapper's Delight" right now. Damn, I haven't heard that in years! Sad thing is, I'm singing along (badly) with the song and I still remember every word. See, that was when rap was good, back with Run DMC, Curtis Blow & TSG . . . (Beasty Boys were cool in the day too!)

I have another trainee in at work today, so no writing at lunch for me. Summer sucks in that regard, we have all new interns and such starting and it really eats into my writing. My Evil Overlord (read:boss) thinks that I should be doing his work, just because he signs a paycheck for me every two weeks. Damned inconsiderate, if you ask me! I think the world would be a much happier place if the EO's would just pay us to do whatever we damn well please!

Taking the boy to see "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" this weekend. I saw it already and I found it entertaining. Not the best film ever made (and nowhere near as funny as the books!) but worth a few chuckles. He's been reading the books and he wants to see it so we'll leave the wife at home (Woman has no sense of humor! She doesn't even smile at Monty Python! I mean, really . . .) and do a dad/son day. I love the fact that I have thoroughly corrupted the boy. We share a single sense of humor. The two of us can sit and watch hours of "Stooges" re-runs with tears in our eyes while the wife just sighs at the pair of us and goes in the other room to turn on some old Audrey Hepburn film. Kids are so cool!

PBW has an interesting post today on the relationship between writers and publishers. If you follow out through the links she supplies, you'll find some very unpleasant stories by published authors who got hosed by their publisher. It's depresing as hell. The odds of becoming published in the first place suck, and if you make it you figure things are good from thereon, right? Guess not. Seems like there are assholes in every industry. (Gee, and I thought they all worked with me!) I also just finished reading her "If Angels Burn" novel last night. Damn good book! I wound up staying up until 1:30 a.m. because I couldn't put the damn thing down. I even turned down some . . . uh, you know . . . from the wife because I needed to see how it ended. (Figured we'd return to that after I was done, but she was snoring by then. Damn!) Now if that's not a testimonial to quality writing, I don't know what is!

Hoping to get a lot of type-in done tonight and during the rainy weekend. I'll be home (for a change) so I may even get a chance to post here (don't hold the breath). If not, I'll be back on my usual (gagging on the word) Monday (uuurk!) to keep you up to date on my remarkably fascinating existence!

Good weekend to all!

P.S. I just noticed that I had nearly 100 new visitors to the site yesterday from all different locations. Strange; I have no idea how they got to this blog. I've been holding a steady 30 or so regular readers with another 15-20 intermittents. Don't know where you others are coming from but I hope you like it here and decide to stick around a bit. Welcome!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Solid Ass Kicking

Howdy, all.

Sorry for no post yesterday, but the day completely kicked my ass! (I swear, if I didn't know better I'd think Wednesday went on vacation and got Monday to fill in for it!) The seminar I went to was a complete horror. It took me 2+ hours to get there with traffic and 1/2 way through the day the presenters laptop simply died. He couldn't get the damn thing back up so we sat there while he told us about the software we were there to learn how to use. A complete waste of a day. It's a shame too, the software is very cool stuff (Civil 3D & LDD/Map 2006) though I don't expect most of you folks (except for Mr. Hart) to be familiar with it. It took another 2+ hours to get home.

I did get to start the type-in for Godslayer last night (Yay for me!) but I didn't get too far. I was just too damn tired from the day so I cashed it in after about 1/2 hour. Still, it's a start! I did get back onto "Fish" today. I got a solid 2700 words of pretty good stuff. I left it on a point where I can't decide whether to leave the MC's mother as a redeemed character or to let her revert back to the original attitudes that estranged her and the MC to begin with. Ah well, I imagine she'll let me know which way she decides to go tomorrow . . .

I stopped in over at the Crit Circle and got caught up on stuff for Lee & Mel that I'd been behind on. We're starting a separate thread for looking at our synopses & queries. I can't say enough about how useful it is to hook up with other folks who are in the same boat you are. Just knowing you aren't the only loon out there clacking away on the keyboard till all hours is often all it takes to keep you going. The feedback you get from people who understand writing, and the fantasy genre, is head and shoulders above what you get from friends and family. "You need to foreshadow the battle between the MC & the Evil Overlord back in chapter two, before he finds the Weapon of Unimagineable Power" does a lot more for the writing than: "I liked it. The bad guy was funny."

Work is ramping up to present me with a ridiculously busy schedule over the summer. I hope it doesn't interfere with the writing, but no lunch & O.T. will definitely screw up my plans. I'm hoping to get GS done & out the door by June 1st (mark you calendars!) I also want my first round of Agent queries out the door by May 14th. Barring unexpected tragedies, I think those are both do-able time frames. After that the work thing is going to turn ugly and slow me down.

Have to say, the only drawback I see to the regular exercise thing is how tired I've been lately. Tired as in: "I need sleep" as opposed to the: "Blah, I haven't got the energy to move my fat ass out of this chair" tired I had before. Definitely an improvement but I need to get more sleep. Of course, going to bed earlier would mean less writing time, so that ain't gonna happen either. At least I'm sleeping well when I do get to bed. I'm out in a matter of minutes and I don't move until the alarm screams in my ear the next morning. Then it's out of bed, do the exercises, eat a quick breakfast, take a shower and dress, then grab a quick 20 minute nap before heading to work. Why the nap? Damned if I know, but I need it after working out. Something in my system wants to shut down after exercising and it just gets worse if I don't take the nap. I'll be exhausted all day if I don't. A quick power nap does me wonders though. After that, I'm ready to go for the day. Weird, huh? (Would you expect different from me?)


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Bigger and Smaller at Once!

Oh man, the award banquet last night was a killer (not in a good way!) Four straight hours of awards and back patting. Even getting an award myself didn't ease the pain very much. The folks were all very nice and deserving of their awards but the MC thought he was Jay Leno doing a roast and did a five minute monologue on every recipient (even me, and we'd never met!) It would have been fine if they'd have just given us the food, said thanks, congrats, and goodnight!

I have two meetings tonight, so yet another day with no writing done. I should be able to start my GS type-in tomorrow but that'll depend on how my day goes. I have to attend a work seminar tomorrow & it's a two-hour drive each way, so I may be too whipped by the time I get home. Speaking of work, I just found out that one of the engineers I work with has been indicted for corruption and accepting bribes by the State. He's facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Can't say as I've ever known a felon before . . .

I was watching the news last night before bed and saw that the fiancee' in the Runaway Bride case in Georgia still wants to get married to the fruitcake woman who bolted on him. Now, I have to wonder which of them is the real loon here. On the surface one would say the woman who faked her own kidnapping to get out of the wedding (why not just say "I changed my mind"?) but after this latest revelation, maybe she had a reason. If this doofus can't figure out just how very much she wanted to not marry him, she might have a good reason for running! Would you want to spend your life married to a guy that desperate? Hell, it took police from two states, handcuffs, and a national manhunt to make her come back and he still is delerious over the prospect of marrying her. (Am I the only guy who saw "Sleeping with the Enemy" and "Fatal Attraction"?) Hell, I might just skip town myself if I had this asshole panting after me . . .

So, I have some good news on the exercise front (no, the damn scale STILL hasn't moved!). I have been working out every day for three weeks now and I feel great. I am very much stonger than when I started and I have finally (thank God!) managed to ditch the horrid back ache I had each morning as I rolled my fat ass out of bed. I am finally accepting that my body is changing for the better despite what the scale says (Bad, evil, nassssty scalesssss we hatesss them! Doesssn't we Preciousss?). I went shopping for new pants a few days before I started the workout routine and I bought jeans that were (quite frankly) too tight for me. I had to suck in the gut and squeeze to get them snapped. I also bought some cargo pants that were a size larger and only mildly snug. Yesterday, I discovered (to my pleasant surprise) that the cargoes are all way too big for me and the jeans not only snap easy, but I have to wear a belt or they'll slide right down to my ankles! That is a very cool thing!

In that vein, I made a startling discovery yesterday about myself. It seems that I am a large man. I never knew that. I mean, I knew I was fat but I never thought of myself as a large person (in the broad shouldered, big chest, way). I've always thought of myself as an average sized guy with a gut. When I got my award yesterday, the MC was talking about seeing me at the camporee this weekend and thinking what a large, forbidding, guy I looked to be. After, I asked my wife if she thought I was big and she looked at me like I had three heads. "Of course you are, idiot!" was her gentle response. (gotta love wives; they're so considerate!) Honest to God I never thought I was. She also says that with the shaved head and my size, I look like some ex-marine drill instructor, turned biker. I can live with that! It was a strange mind shift. I always felt like I should be down in the slender 170 lb. range but knew I'd never get there. My wife laughed at that and said I'd look anorexic if I ever got down that low. She figures the 200-210 range is about right for my size. That boggles me. I remember being 170 lbs and in perfect shape when I was younger so I figured that's where I belonged. It wasn't until my wife asked how old I'd been at the time that I realized I was only 16! I was a late bloomer and didn't really finish growing until I was 19-20. I had already put on some excess weight by that point so I just assumed it was me getting fat, not necessarily "growing".

Okay, so a genius I'm not. It is really cool to me though. I'm looking around today and for the first time ever noticing I'm at least tall as -and usually broader in the chest and shoulder- than most of the guys I work with. Guys I think of as being "big" are really about the same size as me. Don't get me wrong, I'm still way overweight; just not as badly as I thought. That is definitely a thought to lighten your mood. Especially when the damn scales aren't moving a millimeter!


Monday, May 02, 2005

Monday Again

Frakkin' Monday! (thanks to BSG for a fine curse I can post without offending any of my delicate readers!)

No writing today. Too busy at lunch -new trainee today- and have an awards ceremony to attend when I get home tonight. Typical Monday. This day should not be allowed! It should be excised from human existence with great prejudice and even greater pain!

Ah, well.

Camping this weekend was a blast. It rained nonpstop from Friday evening until 20 minutes after we left (of course!) on Sunday afternoon but that didn't phase us one bit. The boys were stomping through mud, laughing their asses off at the bizarre events we had put together for them, and cheering each other on as they tried to hit targets with paintballs through driving winds and sheets of rain. The event was flawless despite being held during the Great Flood of '05. It's a great testament to the kids that they had such fun despite the weather.

Was more than a little upset when I got home because the wife was pissed at me for not returning the three messages she left on my cell phone. The phone died on me (no idea why) but she was pissed and didn't want to believe that. I gave her the phone so she could see for herself but she refused to take it. That might interfere with her heartfelt belief that I was an asshole who didn't want to return her calls. Women are nuts. Later, when she realized she'd been wrong she was especially nice to me (though she never apologized - that is just not in the woman's DNA!) Have I mentioned women are nuts?

Anyway - very busy, so a short post today. Just wanted to let you know I was alive & hating Monday as usual.