Busy Today

Not much of a post today as things are busy.

I have made some progress on the story contest entry for local newspaper I mentioned on Monday.  That’s good because it is due on Monday.  The good news is you will be able to read it here soon.  I promise!

My daughter visited me  at work yesterday while my wife had a dentist appointment.  It was nice and fun, but she did not want to stay in my cubicle with me.  She wanted to use the computer to look at pictures of Odie and Garfield.  Everybody at my office loved her of course, and they all were impressed with her speech and sentence structure.  I chalk that up to my wife spending so much time with her talking.

Well, that’s all for now.  Have a nice day.

The Hobbit Cartoon from the 1970s

I stumbled across The Hobbit cartoon adaption from the 70’s the other day on YouTube and just had to watch it. I remember seeing this on television when I was a kid and being absolutely creeped out by it. I’m not sure what really got to me, but I think it was the dark colors in the animation and the part with Gollum. I’ll be honest and tell you I felt a tad reluctant to watch it, even now, but I decided to give it a try and see if it really was creepy or I was just a wussy kid. Plus, I’m currently reading The Hobbit and am looking forward to the live action movie in a few years.

I did watch it, and guess what? I only made it about five minutes into it and had to turn it off. I was a bit creeped out by it. Having read the book, I’m not sure why they went with a dark, melancholy tone, right from the start. Maybe that was the trend, maybe I am viewing it differently than everyone else, or maybe I’m a wuss.

Anyhow, here is Part 1 of The Hobbit. Let me know what you think.

Where Are My Ice Skates?

Well, I nearly fell on my butt several times this morning, just attempting to walk to my car to go to work. It’s hard enough to have to go to the office every morning without having to risk my life for it. Apparently we got quite a bit of freezing rain last night because everything was coated in a sheet of ice that is undetectable until you step on it, at which point your feet get the bright idea they want to be in the air rather than planted on the Earth.

All I was trying to do was put some rock salt down so my daughter and wife wouldn’t trip on the ice. Luckily, each time I felt myself fall I was able to catch my self. It was close, though.

I attempted to be a good citizen and watch the State of the Union address. I made it this far: “Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined” . I switched it off after that. It’s not worth the increase in my blood pressure.

An Eventful Weekend

Yeah, I was plenty busy this weekend. It all started off Saturday morning, with a nice game of ice hockey. This one was at 9:00 AM, which compared with the normal 6:30 AM start times was great. If you remember, my team lost 9-1 last week. This week we won 3-2, with my team scoring the winning goal with only five seconds remaining. The best past was that I finally scored a goal. I had been on an enormous drought, having zero goals for the season. To illustrate just how bad this is, only two years ago I scored twenty goals in a season, and wrote a post lamenting that I didn’t make it to 25.  Scoring a goal took a huge weight off my chest.

After the game, my wife, my daughter, and I ate brunch at one of my teamate’s house.  He and his wife have a young baby.  We had never been to their house and are just getting to know them, but it was a good time.

After that, we went home to get the house ready for a birthday party we were having for my wife.  Her family was going to stay at our house and my parents and sister were also going to drop by.  That’s thirteen people in all, all in our not so large house.  My parents came early to watch our daughter as we got everything ready.  Everything went smoothly, although we didn’t get to bed until 11:15 PM (my daughter included).  By Sunday we were beat.

Sunday I opened the newspaper to discover they are doing their annual reader written story.  The newspaper starts the tale and then readers submit the next chapter of 500 to 700 words.  A panel of judges choose the best entry, the winner gets a $25 Barnes and Noble gift certificate, and they are published in the newspaper, along with a picture and short bio.  This contest is what originally got me writing again a few years back.  I’ve actually been “published” via this contest four or five times, and was even an honorary judge the one year. Here are some examples of entries I have written in the past: Example 1 Example 2.  One or both of these were published (I can’t really remember).  I think I’ve gotten better since then.  Yes, I have an idea ready for this year’s contest, and I hope to write that up today.  Since I’ve “won” a couple times already, I plan on having fun with this, not really worrying if I get picked or not.  I’ll share my entry with all of you when I done.

Sunday afternoon I laid on the couch with my daughter and read her a story while my wife was in the shower.  I think the weekend caught up with us as we both fell asleep. She rarely cuddles up with me like she does with my wife, so it was a nice feeling and a prefect end to a busy weekend.

A Touching Story

I came across this video the other day and I just had to share it. I watched it at work and had to stop it a few times due to “tear duct malfunction”. It’s the story of a young boy who has cancer and his chance to meet his heroes, the Toronto Maple Leafs. I warn you that you will probably get choked up, but I think you will be glad you watched it.

Just the Three of Us

My home life has been going through a subtle change the past few months, a change that has been hard to notice when it was happening, but one that is quite obvious now that I look back on things. Let me explain.
For the longest time, it has felt that there were two people living in my house, my wife and myself, and it felt this way even after our daughter was born. To be honest a baby really doesn’t do much. They eat. They sleep (if you’re lucky). They pop. If they are in a really good mood they might smile at you or say your name. This will make you feel like the king (or queen) of the Universe. Still, they’re just kinda there.

These past few months have been different. My daughter, who is now a year and a half (20 months to all you parents out there), has really been putting concepts together. She tells jokes, completes sentences, puts Hello Kitty stickers all over the house (including my dress shirt I wear to work, which I of course forget about until a co-worker spots it), and tells us what she wants. It is such a fun, brilliant, wonderful time. It truly feels like our little house now has three people living there.

In the mornings I usually wake first, get my shower, and then either wake my wife for her shower, or switch kid-watching duties with her because our daughter has already awakened her. My daughter watches The Wiggles on TV while I try get ready for work, trying to transform my hair from “oh dear lord, what is that thing growing/not growing on his head” to the much more presentable “I feel sorry for him” look. A cute thing she has been doing lately has been to pat the bed beside her and say “Dadda, sit”, wanting me to watch The Wiggles with her. Her favorite characters are Jeff (“Wake up Jeff!”) and Wags the Dog.


Anyhow, I guess this post doesn’t really have a point. I just wanted to say that I’m in a good place, even if my writing is not.

A Writing Rut or a Brick Wall


This post is going to be a bit of me whining, and I’m sorry for that. I just need to get it off my chest.

I’m currently working on a story, or trying to work on a story, that should only wind up being 1,000 to 1,500 words long. Compared to NaNoWriMo, that is nothing. I’ve been working on this story for probably a month and a half. I have only 500 words so far. I feel so pathetic.

I’m not really sure what is holding me back. I have my story idea, I know where the story goes and where it ends, and I have shared my idea with my wife who thinks it’s a good idea. I just can’t get myself to write the dang thing!

I don’t think my internal editor is holding me back. Sure, he is chiming in from time to time, offering helpful tips such as “you suck” and “do you really think you’re a writer? who are you kidding, really?”

I also don’t think it is a lack of time. I have at least an hour a day to write during my lunch hour at work. That should be plenty of time for me to bang out at least draft one in a week. It hasn’t happened, though.

Maybe it’s procrastination? I have been known to have a problem with this, after all. Diane has written about this recently, and can probably relate. I know I want to write this story, and I know time is running out, but I can’t get myself to write the stinking thing. Arghhhh!

Yeah, that last one is probably my problem, mixed in a little with the internal editor thing. Any of you out there experiencing similar issues lately? I desperately need to snap out of this soon because it is killing my writing confidence…

What I’m Reading – The Mysterious Benedict Society

I thought I’d take some time to tell you about a book I’m currently reading, and really enjoying. I picked this one up the same day as my trip to the library. Actually, on the way home from the library my daughter fell asleep in the car and when we got home I asked my wife if I could head down to the library quickly to get a book for myself. She of course said yes. Since my NaNoWriMo is shaping up to be a “Young Adult” or Kid’s book (I find all these genre classifications confusing) novel, I figured should actually read something in the genre. The book I chose is The Mysterious Benedict Society.
I’m fifty or so pages into the story, so I suppose it could take a turn for the worse. At this point, however, it is very entertaining. The plot of the book follows the protagonist as he has to take this test to determine the answer to the question: “ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD LOOKING FOR SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES?”. It turns out the test is more than just something done with pen and paper.
The book contains puzzles throughout the text. For example, the three characters have to cross the room without stepping on a blue or black square, even though the floor is almost entirely made up of blue and black. One characters walks across on his hands, one uses a tightrope type setup, and the third simply walks across the room. All three characters pass the test. It’s not revealed for a few paragraphs why they all “passed”. I found myself trying to guess why.
Anyhow, I can’t wait to see where the story is headed. It seems like it is going to be great fun. As I read I’m making mental notes of why I’m so into the story and plan on incorporating these techniques in my book.
Now onto something completely unrelated. During my lunch hour at work yesterday, I had the opportunity to hear a man speak about “the viscous cycle of poverty” as part of a monthly luncheon series my office attends. The luncheon series works as follows:
(The luncheon) is event that is open to the general public. The luncheons, modeled after the National Press Club Speaker Series, include a presentation by an invited speaker, followed by audience questions.

Here was a man who came from poverty, became a physician, and is now working with a foundation he created to make sure all people have a chance to see a doctor if they need it (think free clinic). Not only do they help people when they are sick, but they also play a role in preventative medicine. Anyhow, it was a great talk and was of course eye opening.

One of the things he said was that America is #1 in the world in being able to wage war and to kill people, but only #37 when it comes to health care and helping people stay alive.  This really stuck with me. What a sad, sad, state of things, especially in a “Christian society”.

Free Doctor Who Novel and Acknowledgements

So, ever since I got my Sony Reader (eBook reader) I have been lurking on the MobileRead Forums. For anyone who has an interest in electronic books, that’s a good place to hang out. Anyhow, the other day someone posted a link for a free Doctor Who novel titled Who Killed Kennedy, which according to the site is a much sought after book originally published in 1996. The author of the book has agreed to allow readers to download it.

In addition to that, the BBC has several Doctor Who books available for download as well.
I have received a few awards in the past couple days that I thought warranted mention and acknowledgment. I would just like to say these type of things really do mean a great deal to me, partly because it means you enjoy what I’m doing here and partly because you like me, you really like me 🙂Taffiny awarded me with the Colors of Friendship award.Vesper gave me the Mwah! award.

Neil gave me the A Roar for Powerful Words Award.

Thank you three for thinking of me. Everyone else, if you have the chance check out their sites. All three are writing some great stuff. While you’re there, tell them I said hello 🙂