Story Posted!

The 500 word story I wrote for Karen Lee Field’s writing contest has been posted to her blog. If you have a few minutes, why not go over there and give it a read. It’s a pretty fun story, I think. If you get a chance, why not read all seven entries and vote for your favorite?

Anyhow, here’s a direct link to my entry, titled Happens All the Time. Feel free to leave me comments/feedback either at her site or in the comments of this message. Or via smoke signals, but only if you live in Centre County, Pennsylvania. That’s probably the only way I’d see the smoke. ๐Ÿ™‚

Halloween – Mario and Luigi

For all of you anxious to see my costume for this year, here is this year’s Halloween photo. My only regret is that I didn’t get a fake mustache for Luigi.


The overalls I ordered on the web didn’t show up in time, so I had to make a frantic last minute run to the local Tractor Supply Company to pick some up. Also, I’m not too happy with my mustache. That bad boy cost me $7 and doesn’t even stay on. Next time I’m just gonna grow one.

So, tomorrow night at “midnight” NaNoWriMo begins. I definitely plan on writing a little at least at “midnight”. I’m still hoping for a miracle or a visit from the muse fairy. We shall see.

Halloween Medley

Seeing as how it is Halloween on Saturday, and seeing as how you all are probably sick of reading about NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d take a look back at some of my costumes from the last several years. Enjoy.

This one was from my first year in the office. I barely knew everybody there and was but a wee lad. Still, this is by far my best costume. That green leisure suit was straight out of my Dad’s closet, and I love him for that.ย  And no, he doesn’t wear it anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚


I followed that one up with my weakest effort. This was supposed to be an “N’Syc Guy”. Lazy. Moving on…


This one is pretty good. Yes, I even painted my fingernails black. It took meย  a LONG time to get that fingernail polish off. In fact, I bet I wore it to my hockey game the next morning. I wonder where that spiky necklace is?


King Arthur from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. My wife made this outfit. By hand. No sewing machine. Yes, I tell her every day that I love her. ๐Ÿ™‚


Clint Eastwood guy. This one wasn’t too bad. I wish I had a better picture of it.


This one was a store bought wizard costume. Not too bad, but lazy and expensive.


Below is my Monster Hunter outfit, ala The Crocodile Hunter. My daughter, seen in the picture, was given that costume before we knew if she was going to be a boy or a girl. My wife added the pink bows so everybody knew for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚



This is the best picture I have of my in my pirate costume. I may have altered it in Photoshop, slightly.



Last year I was a zombie. Freaked my daughter out a little bit. I felt very weird putting on all that makeup, but overall I think it was a decent effort.


I’m supposed to be Mario (from Super Mario Brothers) this year, and my baby son is going to be Luigi. However, my overalls haven’t come in the mail yet. That’s what I get for waiting until the last minute.

NaNo Prep – A Race to the Finish?

I have that wheels are just about to fall off when it comes to my NaNoWriMo planning. I have been trying to plan this thing for a month now, and I don’t really have a solid premise written. I would be happy with a one sentence on, really, telling me what this thing is about. Still, I have enough for four chapters or so, so that should get me almost through week one of NaNoWriMo.

The funny thing is I made some decent progress on the brainstorming this morning while trying to rock my eight-month-old back to sleep at 5:00 AM this morning. For some reason, the little guy wakes up around that time every day, like there is a little baby alarm clock in his head. That time is usually Daddy time, because I like to give my wife the extra minutes of sleep since she needs the energy to herd the kids throughout the day.

Anyhow, as I was rocking him I got some pretty good ideas. I had to keep repeating them in my head so I wouldn’t forget them. When he finally fell asleep at 6:00 AM, I put him down and typed up my thoughts as fast as I could, knowing he would most likely not sleep very long.

So, I’m tired (that’s my usual setting, so not a big deal) and a little bit frustrated. I keep telling myself I’m in better shape planning that I have been in years past. Still, if you are listening Muse, please visit me soon. It’s getting lonely here.

Power Outage and NaNoWriMo

Anybody need a little boost today? This song sure gives me one. It’s Affliction, by Pennywise.

We had a power outage in my building today at work. I had a laptop there, so I didn’t miss any work time. Luckily the power came back on before the looting started. ๐Ÿ™‚

This blog is funny, How to Write Badly Well. Kind’ve a what not to do, but in a funny way thing. Don’t worry about all that during NaNoWriMo, though. Remember, November is for the first draft.

Another helpful too to have for NaNoWriMo is a Report Card. By Report Card, I mean an Excel spreadsheet you can use to keep track of your progress. These are nice because they will tell you how many words you need to average per day should you fall behind or whatever. This way you won’t have to calculate anything yourself. Here’s a link to one NaNoWriMo Report Card I found on the NaNoWriMo message boards. That should work in Open Office too and if it doesn’t there are others over at the NaNoWriMo site.

One final thing before I go. I have been successful in kicking my pop habit. Haven’t had so much as a sniff of the stuff since I went cold turkey. However, I didn’t have any juice with me yesterday at work, and I wanted something other than water to drink. So, I bought a Pepsi. Drank half of it. It felt like my heart was about to explode.I won’t do that again.

NaNoWriMo – It’s On!

Less than a week now to NaNoWriMo. Technically you are able to start writing at midnight “Saturday night). Anybody else scared?

I have been thinking and planning for this story all month. That has gone OK. Not great. Just OK. I’ve probably planned more than I have before any other NaNoWriMo, but I’d still like to do more. Mostly, I just want a real concrete story arc in place before I start writing. I’ll work out the details in November.

Allow me the chance to point you to the NaNoWriMo message boards. Use them. If you are in need of some ideas you can lurk there in the “Adopt a Plot” sections or ask a specific question about your story. I have (note that I’m hooch66 over there).

Most of all, do as the good book says and Don’t Panic. Save that for next week.

Monty Python Friday

I’ve run out of blogging time for tonight. Sorry about that. I made a bit of progress at lunch on my NaNoWriMo planning, so that is good. How about a laugh, to make up for the quick post.

This past week XM Radio has been playing Monty Python clips. In fact, the have an entire channel dedicated to Python. Here’s one I particularly enjoy. The Four Yorkshiremen:

NaNoWriMo – How’s Your Planning Going?

NaNoWriMo 2009 is in ten days. How is your planning going? Mine? Let’s just say I’m glad I have ten more days.

I am very glad I’ve been planning and thinking about my story this early in the game (yes, this is early for me). It has forced me to look beyond my initial story idea and think about my story arc. Right now I have a pretty well defined protagonist and antagonist, I know how the story begins. What I don’t know yet, is the main problem of the story. Only the most important part, right?

I’ve come across a few more resources. This one is actually part of that nanowrimo young writer’s handbook I mentioned the other day. It’s called Creating Interesting Characters (warning: pdf file). This next link, How to Get Ready for NaNoWriMo, had a lot of good information. Some of it may be overkill, but it is worth a look.

So keep chugging away on that planning everybody. It will be so worth it in November. You’ll be flying along while everybody else is struggling with what to write next.

NaNoWriMo Advice – Keep Track as You Go

This post is going to be short and to the point, because I’d like to spend less time blogging tonight and more time actually planning.

I did think of some more advice for those of you doing NaNoWriMo for the first time. It is this. Keep some kind of record of what you write, be it an outline, a bulleted list, or whatever. Just keep track of what you’ve written. It will help with revisions later.

It sounds silly, for sure, to forget what you’ve written. But if you are working without an outline and writing around 2,000 words a day, you can lose track of some of the details.

This year, I’m really going to try to do keep track of at least what I’ve written in each chapter. To be honest, it’s almost painful for me to read stuff I have written. I’m getting better at this, but it is still a laborious process for me. If I keep track as I go, that will help me finish up my book after November, without having to read through everything.

Anyhow, just thought I’d share this idea. What do you all think?