Bubblin’ and Brewin’

Been sleeping a little bit better the past couple days. Well, last night, at least.

I’ve also been trying to brew up some story ideas. I have some brewing around in my head right now, but nothing solid yet. I do find, however, that once I truly get my head and ears back into writing mode, ideas eventually come. Just have to be patient, is all.

I’m the absolute last one of this bandwagon, I’m sure, but I’ve been watching the Firefly episodes for the first time. What an absolute treat that show was. Too bad there was only one season.

Many other ideas things churning around in my head right now, from the Steelers making another appearance in the Super Bowl, to success cleaning up my arcade game, to politics stuff. I’ll hold off on writing about those things for now, but you’ve been warned. They may come up in the future.

What’s Up With Me?

So I didn’t win the haiku contest. I’m not that disappointed, though, because my ego wasn’t big enough to think mine was better than the other 700+ entries. Yep, there were that many entries. My odds were not that good, even if my haiku was great (which it wasn’t), I mean with the subjective nature of writing contests and personal taste and all.

I’m glad I entered the contest, though, because I had fun writing that little haiku and also researching haiku a bit. A good exercise all around.

I’m still not writing, although I really want to. The kid just hasn’t been sleeping very well this month and so I’m exhausted when I get home. That leaves me little brain power to write. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up, just that I’m biding my time until he starts sleeping again.

That’s about all for me. Here comes the weekend. I really do hope to get some rest. We shall see if that happens.

Remember Dr. King

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Dr. King on non-violence:

I Wrote My First Haiku

I just wrote my first haiku.

John Scalzi is having a contest and the winner will have their name as a character in one of his novels. All you have to do is the following (according to the entry post on his blog here):

For the contest, write a haiku from the point of view of some who is either about to die or has just died, from one (or more!) of the following:

1. A spider monkey or monkeys;
2. LASERS
3. Poor GPS directions
4. And, of course, Spontaneous Human Combustion.

Rules!

1. One haiku per person. So make it good.

2. “Haiku” in this case means a poem in 5/7/5 syllable configuration. You don’t need to make a seasonal reference.

3. All entries have to be in by 11:59:59pm Eastern, Sunday, January 16, 2011.

4. If you win, the name used will be your last name. The person using your name may or may not be of your own sex/nationality/creed/sexual predilections, etc. You won’t be able to substitute anyone else’s name.

And there you are. Drop your entries in the comment thread.

Here is my entry:

A threatened monkey
Misplaced bag of taco bell
The sh** hit the fan

Man, I love a good poop joke. And yes, this is my first ever haiku. Kinda fun to write actually.

Perseverance

Bear with me. This post will eventually tie in to writing. I promise.

In September I bought a Donkey Kong Junior arcade machine that I found on craigslist. When my Dad and I went to pick it up, it wasn’t in quite the condition I had hoped. Over these past few months I’ve been slowly fixing it up and have it looking pretty decent. The thing that bothered me the most, and the thing that I had the most trouble fixing was the sound. There was none. And no matter what I tried, I couldn’t fix it.

In December I bought some party online in order to do some soldering on the sound amplifier. This is what everybody was telling me my problem was. Unfortunately I had never soldered before and was nervous to even attempt to fix it. I even considered buying a replacement board and not even giving it a try. Before Christmas, however, I had some free time, got up the nerve, and did the soldering. As far as I knew I attached everything correctly. I plugged it back into the game and nothing happened.

I didn’t touch the game the rest of December or the first week of January. I just didn’t have the energy to deal with it. Last weekend, however, we were having friends over and I knew they would want to give the game a try. So, I pulled out the amp again and looked at it, hoping to find something obviously wrong with it, but not expecting to find anything. Sure enough I did find one small part that looked loose. I hadn’t soldered it very well. Perhaps this was my problem.

And so, I soldered this bit again and popped it back into the game. Again, I didn’t expect anything. To my surprise it worked! Check out the short clip below. This is my proof!

If I hadn’t persevered and instead bought a new part I would’ve failed in a few ways. First, I would’ve wasted money on a new part. Second, I would’ve been wasting a perfectly good part (the one I fixed). Third, I wouldn’t have gotten this huge feeling of satisfaction knowing I actually fixed something. I earned the soldering merit badge!

On to writing. I had my monthly writing critique group meeting on Monday. It was such a good meeting and I always get a huge boost of creativity from these get-togethers. After the meeting I decided to take a look at a novel I started a few years back but had given up on. To my surprise, it’s actually pretty good. I might even use my new found perseverance and turn it into something great. Or at the very least, use it as a confidence boost. Because there is nothing more valuable to a writer than confidence. Except perhaps an infinite amount of free time and a corresponding broken internet connection.

8-Bit Holiday

You could call this late, or you could call this just in time for Orthodox Christmas. Or you could call it whatever you want. I’m too tired for a proper post due to some rough nights with the kid.

Either way, this features Legos, Mario inside Kuribo’s Shoe, Pac-Man, and other 80’s stuff. Did I mention Lego?

A Look Back

So it’s January 5th, and you’ve no doubt already read your fill of “year that was” posts, but here I am writing another of those. Cause I’m just that cool.

On the blogging and writing front, I have to say 2010 was a huge and utter fail. I lost major blogging steam and I wrote almost no fiction. It’s pretty obvious that the two go together. I mean, this blog is supposed to be about writing and if I’m not writing there isn’t much to blog about.

The question, of course, is why didn’t I do any writing this past year? Some of it can be chalked up to having a kid in the house that at the beginning of the year was just learning to walk and not even close to sleeping through the night. While that is a convenient excuse, it certainly should not be used to explain away why I got no writing done. Really, I didn’t write because I didn’t write. It’s all on me. Same with the blogging. It’s much easier to surf the net and watch television than it is to write. I let the easy way win too much last year.

My Grandfather has had some major issues this year but made it through fighting. That was the biggest down of the year, for sure. Here’s praying 2011 is better for him. Other than that, LIFE has been pretty good. It sure was nice to take another trip around our great yellow star.

On the parenting/life front, 2010 was a pretty great success. My son is now sleeping through the night almost every night (don’t ask about 1:30 – 4:00 AM last night) and coming up with a new word nearly every day. He’s also developing quite a personality, that one.

My daughter is in her second year of pre-school, with Kindergarten just ’round the corner. It’s nearly unbelievable, to be honest. From all accounts she seems to be a great help at school and also a good friend to her classmates. She also already knows how to read. And she has an amazing imagination and curiosity about her that I can only hope to help her cultivate.

Going forward, I hope to get more sleep, do more writing and blogging, and take another trip around our star. I hope you all will join me 🙂

2010 in review

Thanks everybody for a great 2010. Regular posting will happen again tomorrow.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 118 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1296 posts. There were 25 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 9th with 266 views. The most popular post that day was Wowio – Download Kurt Vonnegut’s Books for Free.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, google.co.uk, stumbleupon.com, Google Reader, and blogger.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for karate kid, peony, story map, pittsburgh penguins, and the princess who saved herself.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Wowio – Download Kurt Vonnegut’s Books for Free September 2007
4 comments

2

Death of Garfield – Bizarre Series of Comic Strips August 2006
20 comments

3

The Princess Who Saved Herself – Jonathan Coulton August 2010
7 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

4

Karate Kid Ate My Homework April 2007
2 comments

5

A List of fictional Swear Words July 2006
16 comments