Out to Lunch

Sorry I haven’t responded to any comments the past two days. We’re on vacation for a couple days. Yesterday was “the drive”. Since we have a five month old who wants, nay demands, to eat every two hours, the seven hour trip took us twelve hours. Oh well. We’ve had fun now that we’re here.

Anyhow, I’ll share some pictures when I get the chance.

A Hero’s Journey

I have been batting around a new novel idea for a month. Yep, I’m cheating on the book that I haven’t even finished. Shame on me.

Anyhow, the type of story I want to write is a good old adventure story. The type of story I would have wanted to read when I was a kid. Good old escapism.

To this end, I’ve purchased the novelization of The Goonies, written back in 1985. Seriously.

The Goonies is one of my favorite movies of all time. I so wanted to go on an adventure like those kids in that movie. Think about it. The movie has treasure, and gadgets, and pirates, an booty traps, I meam booby traps. And Hobbits. Well, Sean Astin at least.

The novel has the same, although it is written in first person from Mikey’s point of view. It’s a pretty good book. I remember reading it back in the day, although my copy was lost. So, I picked one up from Amazon for a penny (plus $3 shipping).

Now, I’m not trying to copy The Goonies. I am, however, trying to learn a bit of how the story is structured. I’m also hoping to achieve a similar “feel” with my story.

Anybody else using similiar tactics to help their writing?

PS Totally unrelated, but the Pittsburgh Pirates are dead to me. What a sorry excuse for an organization. Had to say it.

Writing – The Time Lie

The Right to Write:
An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life

For Father’s Day, a few years back (well, it had to be less than three years 🙂 ), my parent’s bought me a book on writing titled The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life by Julia Cameron. It was a thoughtful gift and right up my alley (there is very little I like more than a book for a gift) but I put it on the to-read pile and forgot about it. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Well, sometime last month I spotted the book, still in the to-read pile, and got a little curious. It was about this time that I was feeling no inspiration at all. Absolutely no ideas were coming to be. This was also before the contest at The Clarity of Night. I’m glad I did get curious.

The first chapter is good. The chapter that really caught my eye, though, was titled The Time Lie. Hmm. Just read this sentence here:

One of the biggest myths around writing is that in order to do it we must have great swaths of uninterrupted time.

Isn’t that the truth? I know I’ve often thought that if I could just have a day to do nothing but write, I would get so much done. Well, that day never comes. And if it did, I would probably spend it doing anything but writing.

Ms Cameron goes on to say this:

The myth that we must have “time” — more time — in order to create is a myth rgat keeps us from using the time we do have.

That is interesting. So what do we do? The author has this to say:

The “if-I-had-time” lie is a convenient way to ignore the fact that novels require being written and that writing happens a sentence at a time. Sentences can happen in a moment. Enough stolen moments…and a novel is born — without the luxury of time.

The author talked about “morning pages”, about writing three pages in the morning about absolutely anything. It doesn’t have to be your work in progress. It doesn’t even have to be good. Just write. It will “prime the pump” for the good stuff.

Maybe you don’t have time for three pages.  How about one page? How about three paragraphs. Who knows, maybe you will find something great in the rubble.

Anyhow, that’s where I am in the book.  I consider this a great book on writing based on this chaper alone. I can’t wait to find out what else is inside. Anybody else read this one yet?  Are you thinking about it now?

Good Times


I must state again, for the record, that my sister’s wedding was a great time. They made a beautiful couple, and everything went without a hitch. And, everybody made it to the wedding (yay Pappy!).

Just some quick thoughts on the wedding. I didn’t cry during the ceremony, although I came dangerously close when my daughter, the flower girl, came walking down the aisle. There’s something about seeing your little girl walk down the aisle, even if she’s just three years old, that gets to a Dad. Didn’t we just teach her how to walk?

The whole walking down the aisle thing was a big question mark, as my daughter got cold feet during rehearsals and started to cry. Luckily, one of the bridesmaids walked with her (they did the same during the real deal too). The cute part was she only threw two flower petals down on the way down to the altar. When my wife and I were walking out with her at the end of the ceremony, however, she started laying down the rest of the petals. I guess she saved them for us!

Another funny moment happened during the photos after the wedding. All the groomsmen and my sister (the bride) were to do a “funny” pose. Somebody came up with the idea of all of us holding her while she did cute poses. Well, everybody was just standing around, so I just picked her up and the other guys filled in!

Unfortunately, the photographer would up positioning everybody and I was just stuck there holding her. I couldn’t put her down, because I didn’t want to her to think she was heavy. She’s a petite girl, but definitely weighs more than the last time I held her (age 2?). As sweat formed on my brow, they finally after five minutes or so took the photograph. I can’t wait to see that one.

The reception was a hoot.  I may have gotten a tad misty during the photo montage. My wife missed it completely because she was feeding the baby, so we’re gonna have to show her that once they get back from the honeymoon. The groom did a good job preparing that.

In the end, the baby and the three year old stayed up way past their bedtimes. We got home around 10:30 or so at night, exhausted but happy. It was a good time.

Well, since you’ve all been good, here’s a picture of me and the son at the wedding. I do a good job of not looking totally exhausted.


The Day of Rest – We Hope

It is Sunday. The whirlwind that was the wedding is over. We all had a great time.Sister looked great and of course happy.

Our daughter danced the night away. We got to see a lot of family, although I feel like I neglected everybody. Not enough time in the day.

Now we rest (I hope).


So, my little sister gets married tomorrow. Simply amazing. Things are gonna be quite busy this weekend, but in a good way. We’ll see tons of family and friends. And they are all coming to us. We don’t even have to travel!

I feel really lucky. Not only is my sister marrying a great guy, but they also live in my town. So, there will be none of those “I’m losing my sister” type emotions. They aren’t moving away.

That’s not to say I won’t get a little emotional. My kryptonite is the photo montage they always do at weddings. You know the one. They show a bunch of pictures of the couple when they were little, with family in happy times. Gets me EVERY time. I love/hate the photo montage.

If you’re all good, maybe I’ll post some pics of me in the tux with the daughter and son. That’s if any camera will be able to capture my mad dance moves.

Have a good weekend. I’ll be around. In the meantime, here’s Jackson Browne. Just because.

We Went There – A Ficly Story

Have you all heard of Ficly? It’s a website where you write stories 1024 characters in length (a character being a letter, punctuation, a space, a carriage return, etc).  Once you write a story people can add to your story with a prequel or sequel. Users also rate and comment on your stories.

Anyway, I used to be pretty active over there, especially when the site was owned by AOL and called Ficlets. Anyhow, I just started posting stories over there again. Here’s one I just wrote, titled We Went There. I hope you like it. You can see more of my stuff here: http://ficly.com/authors/strugglingwriter

We Went There

“40th anniversary of the Moon landing today,” said Walter, glancing at the night sky.

“Meh,” replied Tyler, as his thumbs pecked away at his phone’s tiny keypad.

“What do you mean, meh?” said Walter, fighting the urge to knock the phone out of his son’s hands.

“Big deal,” said Tyler, finally looking up. “A bunch of guys went to the Moon. Why go to the Moon, anyway?”

Walter wanted to scream at his son about President Kennedy’s challenge, about the Cold War, about the need at that point in our nation’s history for something, anything, positive. Instead, he said, “You want to know why we went to the Moon?”

“Yeah,” answered Tyler with a smirk. “Why bother.”

“Because it was there,” answered Walter, making eye contact with his son. “Because we needed to know.”

Tyler put his phone in his pant pocket, the one specifically designed for cell phones. He too looked to the sky. “Dad,” he said. “Do you think we’ll ever go farther than the Moon?”

“I hope so,” answered Walter. “I really do.”

Dreaming of The Moon

First of all, my Grandfather is home and doing fine. He had quite a scare and in fact told my Mom that his chest pain was the worst it has ever been, and he has had heart attacks before. My Mom told me that once he called the ambulance, he went outside his house and waited for him. Typical Pappy. 🙂

On to the Moon. I totally got caught up in the 40th anniversary coverage of the Moon landing. Particularly, I was fascinated with yesterday’s content at tor.com. I urge you to go check it out. They got a bunch of sci-fi writers, men and women, to write about their memories of the Moon landing. Reading some of those posts, was like watching an episode of The Wonder Years.

It’s a different experience for me, for sure. I’ve never lived in a time when man hadn’t been to the Moon. The idea is almost mundane now, until you really think about it. Just imagine trying to go to the Moon with a computer less powerful than the one in your iPhone.

Heck, when he landed the LEM on the Moon’s surface, Neil Armstrong had only 17 seconds of fuel remaining. He burned that up and he and Buzz Aldrin would have been stranded on the Moon forever. Crazy stuff.

The sad part is that going to the Moon was only supposed to be the beginning, a stepping stone to the rest of the galaxy. At least that’s the feeling I get from reading those author’s thoughts on tor.com. Turns out, we got to the Moon, and decided that was far enough.

A bit unrelated, but I also watched a few clips of the late Walter Cronkite, particularly his coverage of Martin Luther King, Jr’s and John Kennedy’s assasinations. As I watched these clips, I couldn’t help but hope, in my heart of hearts, that they would somehow end differently.



Above is my son. I call him T-Mike. This photo was taken at a party we went to on Saturday. Guess who was the life of the party?

My son gets his middle name from my grandfather, Michael (Mike), who is in the hospital right now with chest pains. My mom tells me he is OK and should come home today. Still, if you want to know why I have that stitch in my stomach today, that is why. He is in his 90s, after all.

Pappy, we have a wedding to go to on Saturday. I expect to see you there. T-Mike says so. 🙂

Music Friday: Sweep the Leg

Here’s is “Sweep the Leg”, a song by the band No More Kings. This is quite possibly the greatest music video in the history of the world, right up there with the Weezer video featuring the muppets. I mean you get Mr. Belding, Billy Zabka, many of the extras from Karate Kid, and you even get Ralph Macchio at the very end. The only way this could’ve been better is if they could’ve found one of those classic cars from the movie for Macchio to drive at the end. Anyhow, here it is: