Remember When?

I’ll let you in on another detail about myself: I’m constantly looking at the past, my past, and thinking to myself, “Man, those where the days”. I’ll think back to the times my wife and I were living in our 1 bedroom apartment and think about all the fun times we had, ignoring the bathroom that was so small you could reach out your arms and touch each wall. Or I think back to college and remember all the carefree fun we had Friday and Saturday nights, ignoring all the time spent memorizing information or cramming for finals. Or I think back to High School and, well, you get the idea. Some day I’ll look back on now and think it was the most wonderful time ever.  Am I the only one here?
With that in mind, I have to tell you that I’m already having these feelings in regards to my daughter.  Here is where you will all probably call me insane.  There is a small part of my (something like 2% or me) that misses the times I had to drive my daughter around in the car at 3:00 AM to get her to go back to sleep.  I’m crazy, aren’t I (I’m sure Helen at least thinks so)?  She has been sleeping consistently through the night for the past few weeks, and I feel rested and it has been great, but I do miss those late nights we had together, lifting her out of her car seat, her little face resting on my shoulder.

Also, I came up with some pretty cool story ideas when I was driving around at 3:00 AM (here, here and here).  I guess there’s something about driving around on the freeway with only a sleeping toddler and a few truckers to keep you company that lets you think about things.  Maybe I’ll just set the alarm for 3:00 every night and try to think about stuff.  Or, maybe not.

Anyhow, do you all experience this nostalgia?  I doubt I’m alone on this.  After all, there would be no such thing as I Love the ’80’s without it.

In the meantime, I’ll be thinking about the good old days when I wrote this post.

“Pup”

I had a pretty nice weekend, I hope you did as well.  Right as I was about to leave for work this morning I heard my daughter cry, meaning she was awake.  Since my wife was still getting ready, I ran up the stairs to comfort my daughter and change her diaper.  When she was laying on the table she said “ba” which might not mean a lot to you but to me it meant she wanted me to sing “Ba ba Black Sheep”.  We have taught our daughter some sign language, including the sign for “more” so every time I finished the song she would put her hands together, telling me to sing more.  She was so cute and it was a nice moment.  I could post audio here, but I think I’ll spare us all the embarrassment.

On Friday night my wife and I were doing yard work and at first my wife was walking around with my daughter as I attempted to prune our impossible too large bush in the front of our house.  I nearly fell off the little stool I was standing on and killed myself several times while trying to trim the highest branched of the bush and nearly cut my face off a few times (some may say this would be an improvement) with the electric hedge trimmer.  I got most of them, but there are still a few sticking up I’ll have to get the ladder out for, but that will be another day’s adventure. I survived, though, and my wife  took over on some of the lower stuff.

At this point, I brought my daughter inside because she kept wanting to climb the concrete stairs, which she is not ready for.  Unfortunately, when she got inside she cried because she was away from her “mamma”.  In a moment of weakness, I popped in the Baby Einstein “Neighborhood Animals” DVD, and she loved it.  There is a little dog pupped throughout the video and my daughter kept laughing, saying “Pup”.  It was really cute.  The video obviously change her mood.

I’ve created a Baby Einstein monster now.  She will walk up to the TV, turn it on, and say “Pup” and then do the sign for “more “.  The hard part is that she doesn’t do it in an overly demanding way.  The girl is just too sweet.  Just so you know, we’ve held strong and haven’t shown her the movie every time she asks.  We try to limit her television viewing.

It’s just so neat to see this person who last year communicated in cries, smiles, and farts, to turn into someone who steals our hearts with her giggles, words, and yes even her farts.

Thanks and The Future of This Blog

Thanks you all for the feedback. I really appreciate the time you took out of your lives to add a comment to this blog.  I really do cherish the friendships I have made here.  Remember, every time you comment it lets me know someone is reading this stuff, and that is what keeps me going.

As for the future of this blog, I will continue to write about my life and my family (I wasn’t sure if you all liked that stuff, but it seems you do), about writing, and yes I will still post the writing contests, even if that only helps me remember to enter them.  Also, you will even see posts here on weekends from time to time, as I’ve been working on posts ahead of time lately and scheduling them to appear at times I’m not available to post. In fact, I have a quick little post scheduled to run here this Saturday. Enjoy!

As a follow-up to something I wrote last week, I’m really getting into Stardust by Neil Gaiman.  I’m so glad now that I bought the graphic novel version.  It is just an excellent book. In fact, I have become so enamored with Mr. Gaiman I’m thinking about changing my name to Neil Neil.  The guy just owns me right now.

Indiana Jones 4 – Karen Allen Returns!

According to this article and various reports from this year’s ComiCon in San Diego, Karen Allen will be returning for the next Indiana Jones movie!  For those of you who don’t know, Karen Allen was the female protagonist in the first Indiana Jones film and has been in other films such as Scrooged with Bill Murray, and of course the classic Animal House.  They have a photo of Karen up at the official Indiana Jones web site, so check it out.

This news just makes me happy. For one, I like Karen Allen in all the movies I have seen her in. Two, I just love when movies like this bring people back from previous movies.  This makes me even more excited to see Indy 4, and it at least appears that this one will be faithful to the other three movies.  Now, if they can just keep George Lucas away from, well everything, I think they’ll be ok.

What Would You Like To Read Here?

If you don’t mind, I would like to ask you all for your help. See, I would like to make this blog better and I think you can help me. I get roughly 70 unique page views here per day, and I know those aren’t always the same people, I do know I have at least a few regular readers. These are the people I think can help, my regular readers, people I would gladly call my friends. I’m not asking a lot, just for a moment of your time.

My question for you is this: what do you want me to write about? What types of posts do you like best when you visit my blog? Excerpts of my fiction? Posts about my daily life? Posts about my daughter? Posts about writing contests? Writing advice? Something else? If you have any thoughts on this matter, please leave them in the comments of this post or use the “Contact Me” link at the top of this site.

I appreciate all of you who visit here and those of you who leave comments, because without you, this wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

Thanks!

Free Books

Writer and frequent commenter S. William Shaw  is giving away free E-book copies of his two novels. He published these novels via Lulu and has made them available via Amazon. To get your free electronic copy of his books simple send him a email. His address is at the above link. He has received some positive reviews, so this a treat.

Why is he giving stuff away for free? Here is his explanation:

“Writing a book is a very hard thing to do, but spreading the word about your book is even harder. I have been humbled and amazed by some of the great reviews my books have received so far, and like every writer, simply want more people to read my books.”

So, why not support a fellow writer and check out these books. After all, it’s free!

Writing Contest at The Clarity of Night

Jason over at The Clarity of Night has announced this morning another short fiction contest over on his blog. This is his sixth contest and they are usually pretty competitive, with one of the contests having 100 entries (I even earned an honorable mention that time).

The way the contest works is that Jason posts a picture and entrants write a maximum of 250 words using the picture as inspiration. The picture he chose this time is a particularly good one. Here is a link to the post announcing the “Halo” short fiction contest. Good luck to all of you who enter.

Here is a list of rules directly from the site:

  1. 250 words maximum.
  2. Titles are optional, but encouraged. Titles do not count toward your word count.
  3. One entry per person.
  4. Any genre or style is welcome. If you choose to submit poetry, you must have narrative movement within the poem if you wish to compete with the prose pieces for the prizes.
  5. The copyright remains with you, the author; however, you grant me worldwide first electronic publishing rights to post your entry on this blog.
  6. Judging will be conducted by me, Jason Evans. For an explanation of judging and helpful hints, see A Note on Judging.

Finally Got My Book

I would first like to say that I pre-ordered the Harry Potter book as a just in case they all sold out. Obviously there was little chance of this happening, but I still didn’t want to risk it. Also, I got a little discount by pre-ordering. Who knew the whole process would be so harrowing?

When our saga left off, our hero (me) returned home from a 450 mile car ride only to discover his book was nowhere to be found. After a frantic search, our hero discovered his book was to be delivered at his work address and not his home address. Comfortable in this knowledge, our hero was able to sleep soundly that night.

When I first got to work on Tuesday I immediately looked for the brown Barnes and Noble box in my inbox and wouldn’t you know, it was nowhere to be found! Crap! I searched around my office and asked any co-workers if they saw it, in case they were playing a prank on me. No, no one saw anything. According to tracking on B&N’s website, the book was delivered. Talk about a bad start to the day.

It’s not like I was worried I couldn’t get another copy of the book, it was just that I’d rather not have to PAY for a second copy. As a last resort, I sent an email to my office to see if maybe someone had received the book by accident. Nope! So, I started to work, telling myself I would give it a few days before contacting B&N. Soon after that, my book was delivered and a few of my co-workers cheered 🙂 .

In a way, the whole debacle made me appreciate the book more. Now I just have to wait for my wife to finish the book before I begin reading. Luckily I have yet to read any spoilers, though I don’t know how long that will last.

Eight More Thingies About Me

Since I’m just getting back in the swing of things and I was tagged by Mellifluous Dark, I thought I would post eight more things about myself. As you surely remember, I did this meme before.

Here are The Rules:

1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

1. I don’t consider myself a creative person, which is not really a good thing for someone who wants to be a writer of fiction. That said, I try to not let this slow me down and do think I’m getting better. I have come to believe creativity is something everyone has at least a little of. Creativity is also like a muscle, though, and does need exercise from time to time, otherwise it will atrophy.

2. I have a minor in Mathematics, which also on the surface doesn’t seem to fit in with the whole writing thing. However, I think the two can complement each other if you look at it more closely. Math often involves problem solving and if you think about it writing is a form of problem solving. Writing usually involves answering some type of What If? question, and the job of the writer is to figure out how to get to the answer.

3. I have all my toys from the 80’s at my parent’s house. I’m talking Transformers, G.I. Joes, and Star Wars. I have an old Millennium Falcon, Optimus Prime, the Cobra Rattler, and a bunch more. People always tell me I should sell all that stuff on eBay, but that is like asking someone to sell pictures of their beloved friends, the ones who stood by them when it seemed like no one else would. I just can’t do it. Besides, let’s just say all of these toys are “well loved” and may not be in mint condition.

4. When I was in college, my summer job was Camp Counselor for a Summer Camp for a local YMCA. Every day we would travel from the YMCA to a state park, roughly 25 minutes away. There we would play games, do art projects, and swim in the lake. I learned a few things on that job. First, there are few things in this world more noisy than a bus full of five to ten-year-olds on their way to play games, do art projects, and swim in the lake. Absolutely ear-annihilating. Conversely, there are few sounds in this world quieter than a bus full of five to ten-year-olds on their way home from playing games, doing art projects, and swimming in the lake. Secondly, for whatever reason they make juice boxes out of some type of material that is impossible for a kid to penetrate with a straw. I think I was hired simple for my ability to put a straw through the little foil hole so the kids didn’t die of thirst.

5. Man, this is a lot of stuff. I don’t think there I know 8 more things about myself. Hmm. Let me think.

6. The first CD I ever purchased was Starship – Greatest Hits. This album included the song We Built This City which I personally liked at the time, but which many consider one of the worst songs of all time. I’m not sure how I feel about it now.

7. I was once involved in a sports rivalry that would make the Yankee-Red Sox feud feel like a game of patty cake. I come from a pretty small town, but when I was growing up we had enough kids interested in soccer that there were two Under-8 soccer teams, who were both pretty good and who played each other once a year. We were all friends most of the time, except on the week before the game. I remember there being quite a bit of trash talk in our Elementary School classes, mostly consisting of “We’re gonna beat you.” and “Nuh-uh, we’re gonna beat you.” I remember feeling on top of the world when we won, and feeling heartbreak when we lost. I also had a yearly sleepover for my birthday and players from both teams attended my party. Amazingly, no one was killed at these shindigs.

8. I find it really hard talking about myself for this long, as I’m not one to really think about myself or analyze myself very much. I guess that’s why I’m really not that good of a blogger. Oh well, at least I made it through this one.

I’m breaking the rules and not tagging anyone, since I already did that last time. Actually, I tag whomever wants to do this, so I guess I’m tagging the world. Don’t let me down, World, I hate breaking the rules.