Archive for the ‘Main’ Category

My Best Post Ever

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Yes, I am pandering to my blog reader.

What I meant to say

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

This is what I should have said yesterday.

Cat In A Box!

You Say It’s My Birthday?

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

It’s my birthday. What did you get me?

I wrote last week. That’s kind of exciting. Not really, but sort of.

Writing is a practice thing. It’s the sort of thing you get better with the more you practice. I sort of feel bad about it. I signed up for a critique from my writers group. The main reason I did it was to give myself a deadline. I signed up two or three months ago.

I was hoping the deadline would get me writing sooner. It didn’t. It turned into a last minute cram session. This isn’t unusual for me. I’ve been like that my whole life.

I’m glad I got some writing done and am hoping to build on it over the next week or so, but at the same time, I feel bad, like I wasted the time of my fellow writers. They are a good and supportive group, so I don’t know that they would really feel that way, but I know I could do better.

Writing is a practice thing though. Someone mentioned that it was really good for a fast first draft. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I know I can write better at the same speed, if I am writing regularly. You know, practicing.

It’s that way for me in golf. I play golf probably about five times per year. Mostly it is a schedule thing. I am busy. I’m not a great golfer. I’m not even decent. My handicap is around double bogey golf, so, I am not good. Because I play five times per year.

Here’s the thing. I’m really not that bad at golf, either. I know how to swing. I can do it quite well. Often times, I play several holes as a par golfer. I out drive people with a Five wood to their driver. They ask why I don’t use a driver. I point to my ball and ask why I should. Then I am forced to demonstrate, which is when I show them how far I can launch a ball off the course, because when I don’t practice, I slip. I roll my hands over and hook the crap out of the ball. So I use the five wood, because I am more likely to control it than the longer driver.

Writing is like that for me as well. I write fast. I am not a multi-drafter. I get most of it on the first pass. When I am practicing, I remember my tricks like all five senses every five hundred words. When I am out of practice, I forget that. In the eleven pages I had critiqued, I don’t think I had one smell or taste. Though I tend to use smells of food for taste. It’s a cheat, but it’s hard to eat every two pages. And really, how often should one taste blood. Ok, vampires are different.

So, you’re thinking the obvious thing. Why not go to the driving range once per week? Why not write every day, or at least every week? Well, the driving range thing is a priority issue. Just not high on it.

Writing? Well, that’s something Brenda Novak touched on in her presentation this past weekend. (She’s awesome, BTW) She talked about emotions. One of the things she mentioned is how a writer’s emotions can seep onto the page subconsciously – how a scene that is the perfect set up to be comedic just doesn’t work. It can be a subtle thing, hard verbs and such, that even though it reads funny, it just doesn’t work.

Writing takes a lot of my mind. To do it well, to remember all of my tricks, to keep the emotion on the page that I want, I need my brain. I’ve had a lot going on over the past year(s) and I haven’t been consistent at writing because of that.

Brenda didn’t say don’t write when you’re stressed. She was just making us aware that it can happen. I know it can and does. And it keeps me from writing. But there’s no better feeling than being around other writers and having pages written. I know that.

I’d keep writing more, but I’m getting to the point of telling you plans and that never works for me. If I just do it, I can tell you when I am done. I’m not losing another trip to England because I decided to brag about it on twitter and karma laughed in my face. I have plans. SECRET SECRET PLANS!!!

I am still waiting for my presents. This post was long. I should have just posted a picture of a cat.

I’m Back!

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

I have to admit, I was sort of joking when I said I would be offline last week. Not that I wouldn’t be mostly offline, because I was going camping with my best friends from high school. Just the guys, no wives or kids.

We all ran into some travel delays and arrived at the campsite at 11pm and the conversation went something like this.

“Hey Pat, you got phone reception?”
“I don’t know. Why?”
“Well, we don’t.”
“I have Verizon.”
“Me too. So, uh, no phone this week.”

So there we were, really offline. Personally, I thought it was great. Sort of like the cruise I went on in April, when being online is cost prohibitive.

It was a fishing trip. If you really know me, you know how much I love fishing. Look how happy I am at catching this monster! Also, let’s not talk about that hat. It was an experiment in hat wearing that shan’t be continued.

I take more photos than catch fish.

Here’s a couple more photos from my trip.

Ok. I caught a few pictures with my new camera, which I like very much. I like it so much that I want to buy a new DSLR camera too!

Those pictures are not just to make you jealous of my fishing trip. Wait. Yes they are. I’m just saying. Sometimes you have to get in the river if you want to catch fish.

BTW – if you are going on an awesome trip and need someone to tag along and take pictures, call me.

Offline

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

If you notice that I am absent from Twitter, that’s because I am offline for the next few days.

Don’t throw yourself to the ground and scream.

Well… Not all at once at least. And yes, I really do want you to throw yourself to the ground and scream. I am using reverse psychology. Now I am using mind control. Put that down.

ACTING!

Monday, July 25th, 2011

This past Friday my son had the end of summer play for the drama camp he was attending.

As much as I want him to be interested in baseball, football, and soccer, he loves acting. I think that is half of being a parent – exposing your child to all the different things that they could do and then seeing which ones they really really like and then encouraging them. I mean, he really takes to acting. I don’t know if he’s talented at it or not. Seems to be to me, but I’m just a parent watching.

I don’t know. It’s just fun to watch him grow. And since I am just here talking about how awesome my son is, I mention his piano playing from time to time. This is what I listen to him practicing in the house.

watch?v=nd6fBdxFj3o

It’s Monday and I think my kid is pretty awesome. That’s the kind of day I am having. This really should be some sort of motivational post, like LIFE IS ABOUT FINDING WHAT YOU LOVE AND THE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO IT, but you know, it’s just me posting pictures and videos of the most awesomest child in the world. So, it would be silly to try to find some deeper meaning in this post other than HEY LOOK AT MY KID!

I’m sorry this post was not about Kristen.

Incidentally, the play was the Tortoise and the Hare. He was the Hare, which isn’t really him. He’s built like the Hare, but thinks like the Tortoise. I’m the Hare. That’s probably pretty obvious by now. Hakuna Matata.

The Cats ARE Smart!

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Ok, I just need to share an exciting update.

The cats are learning to use the cat door! Chris and Tom have been able to get OUT of the laundry room since the first day of locking them in. George has been sitting in the room after we lock him in and just yowl, which would make Tom and Chris wait just around the corner so if he did come out, they could pounce.

Well, last night, I confirmed that Tom went IN on his own and after George stalked me whining, I shoved him through the door, heard him in the litter, then a little bit later, he came shooting out of the door, completely panicked all on his own!

There was definitely some concern that George was never going to figure it out, especially after his toe pinching experience, but they all seem to be figuring it out. Chris and Tom aren’t really that surprising. Not saying they are smart, but they are the cats who break into closets, pawing at the bi-fold doors until they can wedge their nose through. George is a bit more laid back and expectant of his humans, well, me.

I have a new camera! That’s also fun for me. I need toys. It’s not a replacement to my Nikon DSLR, it’s a point and shoot for when I don’t want to carry the DSLR, which is most of the time. It’s great for what it is. The trick to picking a P&S camera is knowing what type of photos you want to take most often, because they have certain advantages and they are fixed lenses. Can’t swap them out.

I have the Nikon Coolpix S9100 now. It was a tough decision for me, because I like two things, Outdoor Zoom and indoor low light photography. The S9100 is a great compact zoom. It has a longer zoom than my current longest DSLR zoom. But, it’s not the best for indoor photos. The Nikon P300 is a much better indoor, low light camera. The S9100 is decent indoors. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve taken a bunch of test photos with it and they are pretty good, but it also misses a lot of shots due to blurring effects and higher ISO. It’s taking them mostly at 800 ISO.

Amazon sold another copy of my self-published short story. That makes me smile and giggle and want to finish other projects. I hope they read it and enjoyed it, well at least I hope they chortled or spit out their drink. I don’t know.

I have to say the statistics available to self-published authors is pretty cool. You can think about it too much, but it’s still interesting. I mean, I don’t do anything at SmashWords. I don’t really mention that it is there, but still I get ‘views’ on a regular basis.

I wish Amazon would give these types of statistics, not that it helps anything or changes anything, but STATISTICS!

Things seem to be in a positive place right now. In the next two weeks, I have my 14th anniversary and it seems like we’re going to try for 15 years at this point. I can tell you when we got married, the highest bid was four years. Also, I am going for a camping trip with my buddies from high school. Likely they will try to get me to do a nine mile hike over the white mountains again. I would be risking death. I almost died of fat man hiking over mountain last time. My son is performing in the play he has been practicing at drama camp all summer. So, that’s what I have. Hope you are doing well. Sorry for the boring post about me. Next time it will be an exciting post about me. Or maybe not. I can’t believe you read this far. I started skimming once I got to the fourth sentence.