Little Time in the Morning: A Tale of Whoa(!)

Each morning I wake up before everyone else in my house, get my shower, and then get dressed. When I’m done in the shower my wife wakes up and gets her shower. We do all this with the hopes our daughter will remain sleeping, so we can get ready without having to “referee” our little 16 month old daughter who loves to pull things off tables and have fun. She usually wakes up right as my wife gets into the shower, and I have to quickly get dressed and then attend to her. This is all important background information for my story today.

Anyhow, yesterday my daughter woke up, of course, while I was getting ready. It wasn’t too bad, though. I was able to get dressed, take her downstairs for her milk, and read her new Elmo book to her, all before driving to work. When I got to work I booted up my computer, made a nice cup of Tea, and checked my email. All was right with the world. After a while, I made a trip down the hall to the bathroom, only to discover I had been sitting there the whole time with my underwear on backwards.

Yep, you read that correctly. It’s not every day one wears one’s undergarments the wrong way, and no I’m not trying to start a new trend. Anyhow, I think this perfectly illustrates what it’s like to be a parent.

Just for the record, my underwear is on correctly today.  And now I feel I’ve shared too much!

My Pirate Story Excerpt

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had been working on a pirate themed short story a while back but lost interest. In looking for that story I came across something else I apparently wrote but don’t remember writing. Have you ever done that? Have you ever written something, given up on it, and then a few months later read it and say to yourself, “Did I really write that?”

Anyhow, the title of the story was “Robotic Pirates” (I doubt that would’ve been the final title). I post it here, because, well, I don’t know why.

“Just give ’em a shove,” said Davis pointing to the man standing near the edge of the insert ship name here. “Think of your family, man.”

“I ain’t got a family,” replied Johnson. “I’m a pirate.”

“Think of yourself, then.” said Davis. “They’ll have our jobs if we don’t do something.”

“Right,” said Johnson as he took a few tentative steps and then charged at the unsuspecting man.

At the last instant the stranger stepped casually to the side without turning around. Johnson fell with a splash into the shark infested waters below. His motion detecting sensors had functioned properly.

………..

As it turned out, Al Gore was right, not about inventing the Internet, but about Global Warming. The Earth’s temperature rose 4 degrees in sixty years, causing the planet’s face to change significantly. As the ice caps melted, the sea rose forming new bodies of water, opening up new sea routes, ushering in a new era of piracy.

At the same time, the United States economy continued to trend globally, . As competition became more and more fierce, with enormous companies, dividing and conquering each other seemingly daily, corporations turned toward a more historic form of competition: piracy.

As the use of piracy grew, governments looked the other way, too busy to worry about international trade, or too scared to disrupt a strong economy. As the years went by, one thing became all to clear to corporations: you can’t trust pirates.

It was at this time, that the RDU90 project was first developed.

Obviously that’s a first draft and it has some cliche’s. However, I think I could’ve done something with that. Ah well.

Pirate Edition of Shimmer Available for Pre-Order

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, speculative fiction magazine Shimmer Magazine has made their pirate themed issue available for download. Today on her blog, Mary Robinette Kowal has posted the “trailer” for the issue. Shimmer also has one of the pirate stories from the issue available for a free download.

Those who have been reading my blog for a while may remember that I was working on a submission for the Pirate issue a while back.   I had around 1000 words of a story, but just couldn’t get it finished. I believe I still have the fragments of the story lying around somewhere, but I doubt I’ll ever try to finish it.

I think I’m going to buy this magazine, just to see what types of stories people came up with.  Besides, who doesn’t like a good pirate story.

Writing Links

I just thought I’d share with you all some writing related links, after a couple days of talking about myself.  First is Serendipity, a monthly online journal dedicated to magic realism and light fantasy fiction. There are some pretty good short stories posted there.  I particularly liked The Folded Page and In the CloudsThey are also accepting story submissions, so I’m going to give that a try.   The funny thing is that my daughter has a head cold again so I had to take her for a drive at 3:00 AM last night, but it was worth it because I had a story idea while driving around.  It will be perfect for this Serendipity, I think.  If and when I finish this piece (short story), I may ask some of you to be beta readers. I’ll let you know.

I also came across a post at Paperback Writer’s site (not our Paperback Writer, a different one)  about outlining a novel.  This was a very timely blog post as I would like to start planning for NaNoWriMo, which is only a month or so away.

Enjoy!

A Game of Footie: I Think I’m Growing Up

I’m a pretty big sports fan, and have been since I was about five years old. I’m one of those types who obsess over every team’s games, but I am the type who obsesses over MY TEAM’s games. I guess my fandom peaked in college especially for football (American), when I would not study or do any of my homework until after the Steelers games on Sundays, no matter how far behind I was in my studies. If the Steelers lost that week, I would let it affect my mood for at least a few days.

I tell you all of this because I think I’m growing up, or maturing, or whatever. Why do I say this? Well, there was a Steelers game Sunday and I didn’t watch it. This would’ve been unheard of a few years ago. I’m not sure what has changed. Maybe it was when the won the Super Bowl a few years ago, their first since I have witnessed (seeing it as an infant in 1980 doesn’t count). Anyhow, I remember being really into the playoff games, nervous during the Super Bowl and then when they won thinking, “That’s nice. Now what?” It’s not as though I really gained anything personal when they won.

Or maybe I’m just getting more mature since I’m now a Dad? Nah.

Anyhow, instead of watching the game my wife, my daughter, and I hopped in the car and went to see the Penn State Women’s Soccer team play Texas A&M. We had a great time. We live only 10 miles from the stadium, entrance into the games is free, and the weather was so nice (it will soon be Autumn here, so it’s not too hot anymore). My daughter sat on my lap for a good portion of the game and I would hold her with one hand and slap my other hand on my leg to clap and she would clap along. Every now and then I would say, “Look at the ball” and she would get excited.

Penn State wound up tying the game with 4 minutes remaining. At that point our daughter had her fill of sitting still and made sure to let us know. We watched the two ten minute overtime periods standing near the fence outside the playing field while our daughter played in the dirt. The game finished tied at 1, but Penn State was lower ranked so I think they’re happy with the result. When we got home, I checked the score of the Steelers game. They had won. That was nice, maybe I’ll watch the game next Sunday.

In the evening, we were all pretty tired. My wife and I sat on the carpet in our Living Room as our daughter played, handing us toys and then taking them back. Actually I was animating two stuffed animals(Ted the Teddy Bear and Elmo), and my wife was animating two others (Paddington Bear and another Elmo) and our daughter would give each of us something and then rotate it between all of us. So cute.

At one point my daughter stopped, bent down, and patted my leg and said “Ball!” and then pointed at the door and said “Door!”. I guess she really enjoyed going to the game because she remembered me patting my leg to clap. We’ll have to take her to another game.

Anyhow, that was my day. I hope you had a nice one too.

Comment Weirdness

I just wanted to let you know I saw all of your comments in my previous entry, so thanks for all of those.  For some reason they aren’t showing on the site.  I’ll work that out when I get the chance.  Some of you posted twice, though, so I got extra comments.  Yay!

One Loss, Almost Two

Well, I didn’t win the contest at Small-town Big World. Another devastating blow for Ye Olde Struggling Writer. I’m OK actually, though I really wanted to win so I could pick up the new Terry Pratchett novel that’s coming out next week. Instead I’ll just have to wait until Christmas or see if the local library gets it. I thought I had it made, since my one writing talent is humor. No big deal, though. I enjoyed writing my story.

The day started out on a smelly note when I thought it would be a bright idea to change my daughter’s diaper on our bed. I was wrong, but I guess the positive thing is we will sleep on nice sheets tonight.

In the afternoon we went to a birthday party for a little boy in my daughter’s play group. He turned two years old. My face hurt afterwards from smiling so much. They were all so cute eating their little chocolate cupcakes.

We wound up eating dinner at 8:00 PM tonight, getting back late from buying groceries after the party. We had some pretty good macaroni and cheese, but my daughter wasn’t too into it. So, I decided I’d cut some honeydew for her, which she loves. I got out the mellon cutting knife, the one that could take out a tree if I tried, and started to cut. It wouldn’t cut, wouldn’t cut, then all of a sudden it sliced through and into my middle finger on my left hand. My first thought was a swear word, but my second one was “we’re going to have to go to the Emergency Room tonight.” Luckily, we stopped the bleeding and everything is ok.

Anyhow, it was an eventful day.

Sister to the Serious Octupus Contest Entry

I could’ve sworn I posted this on here. Anyhow, here’s my entry for Kaitlyn’s Contest. The task was to use the phrase “I am sister to the serious Octopus”. I think I accomplished that. Let me know what you think.

Sister to the Serious Octupus 

Despair filled the air in the cold, decaying, windowless basement in a building whose crowning achievement was it’s status as a bomb shelter during the Cold War. Women cried and men wrung their hands at the utter hopelessness that filled their very beings. Off in the distance a baby wailed. So it goes at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

 

“Next,” said the woman behind the MDF-topped folding table. Her manner was so bland and forgettable a moment later most in the room would not even remember that someone had spoke. An old lady, 4’9” tall if measured while standing on another old lady’s shoulders, looked left, then right, then slowly stepped forward, her smile a sight more rare at the DMV than an Oil Executive at an anti-war rally. The woman behind the desk sighed.

 

“Name?”

 

“I am sister to the serious Octopus,” replied the old woman.

 

“OK Sister Octopus,” said the woman behind the counter, scribbling on an official looking form. “Fill this out and give it to the photographer when your number is called. You’re 4,242.”

 

“No,” replied the old woman, still smiling. “I am sister to the serious Octopus.”

 

“I’m sure you are. Next.”

 

The woman sat at the front of the mass of gray steel folding chairs, her hands resting gently on her lap. Occasionally, someone would be called up to the camera, attempt a smile, then gloomily watch as they were presented with the worst picture of themselves they had ever seen. The old lady simply sat and smiled.

 

Occasionally someone would introduce themselves, but the reply was always the same. “I am sister to the serious Octopus.” This was usually followed by the questioner slowly getting up from his or her chair and quietly sitting as far away from the old lady as physically possible. Still she smiled.

 

“4,242?” said the photographer, in a tone that could be likened to Nails on the Chalkboard’s Greatest Hits. “Do we have a 4,242?”

 

The old lady stood, took a few steps forward and said, “I am sister to the serious Octopus.”

 

“That so?” replied the photographer. “Says on your form you’re 4,242.”

 

The old lady closed her eyes and when she opened them all that remained of the photographer was a steaming pile of dust. A great cheer rose up among the gathered, rejoicing in their collective victory over “the man”. A record number of sixteen year olds passed their driving test that day, buoyed by a hope that was surely present, but could never be explained. Rumor has it that a single ray of sunshine impossibly penetrated the darkness of the cold, damp room.

 

Never again did the old woman, who was sister to the serious Octopus, receive mail from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Friday

Not a lot to write about today.  I am nearly finished with my entry for Kaitlyn’s writing contest and will post that sometime today.  My wife read my first paragraph last night and really had a good laugh, which I intended.  It’s nice when you try to be funny and actually are.  I have heard from SzélsőFa and she is also going to post her entry on her blog tonight.

Check out Much of a muchness if you get a chance.  Diane there makes really nice books and posts pictures on the site.  There is some really nice stuff there.

Harry Potter Links

Since I’ve finally finished The Deathly Hallows, I’ve been able to surf around a bit on the Internet and read some stuff about the book without worrying about spoilers. Here is a list of some of the cool stuff I’ve found. My post here doesn’t contain any spoilers, but if you click on the links you will see spoilers. Again, most of these links ** DO INCLUDE SPOILERS **. Check these out after you’ve read the book. You have been warned.

Those are just a few of the really good articles I’ve read in the last few days about the Harry Potter books. If you’ve come across anything worth checking out, please leave links in the comments here. I’ll rescue any comments with legitimate links that end up in the spam catcher.