Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Not a lot to report this week.

Just doing a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a whole lot of nothing. I've been a little under the weather, so the house started to get away from me a little bit. It's not bad, but it needs to be caught and corralled before things get worse. So my Weds is already sort of planned...mainly catching up.

I really wish I had more to report, but since I have sworn off reporting on anything writing related until I have a draft in hand I really have to reach to find things to blog about. I'm a writer (theoretically) so much of my activity centers around that. But while I have been playing around with some things, and making a little progress here and there, I really don't dare talk about it...so I won't...therefore please disregard this paragraph and pretend I didn't say anything.


On a happier note, my son Sheridan finished the school year by making straight A's in all classes all year long. He then aced all the tests at the end of the year to see how much he had mastered his subjects, so the school decided that next year they will put him in the gifted and talented program for all his classes. Cool! I am so very proud of him!

So my secret plan of having my kids support me in my old age has taken a giant leap forward. 

Oh well, until that glorious day arrives, I suppose it's still up to me to see that this house doesn't sink into a quagmire of laundry, dishes, and discarded toys...so I better get to bed so I can start catching up on the house tomorrow. G'nite!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Drive In Fun.

The school year has only one week left in it. Soon it won't be just me and my feline fan club hanging around the house. Soon, I will be infested with munchkins...and I will be expected to feed and entertain them as well. The cats have already informed me that I'm on my own in this project, and that they will be hiding in nearby, out of reach places and only coming out for food and water. I guess I'll see them again in September.

Oh well, summer has officially begun anyways. Karla and I took the kids to the drive-in to see Kung Fu Panda 2 and Thor, and my sisters family accompanied us. We have been to the drive in enough now to know how to do it right. 

Yep, to heck with sitting in a car. Spread that blanket, get those folding chairs, and grab a couple of big portable radios for the sound and you are set for quality movie watching. The wind was a bit of a factor, and the kids were starting to get cold by the end of the first movie so we DID end up watching Thor from the comfort of our cars. Still, it's a good way to do things.

And if you have never been to the drive-in, here is a slow pan of the one we were at (the Showboat, near Tomball) to give you an idea of what they are all about these days. This was taken from a vantage near the front screen. The rear screen also has a playground.

As you can see, Saturday night at the drive-in is plenty busy. We got there a good hour before the show started and the line of cars already stretched out onto the highway. So Sunday night might be the better idea for future shows.

And it does look like a good summer for movies.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Life This Week

It's been a week of stuff...

Rowan decided my car was disgracefully dirty and announced it needed to be washed when I picked her up from school. So we did.

Sheridan graduated to Bear Scout, and made us all proud.

The summer is almost upon us, and I find my mind turning to formulating plans on keeping them busy this summer. They will be staying home with me, instead of going to various summer camps and schools, and so my plate is going to be full. I'm going to have to be creative to keep them from going stir crazy in this house. Only one more week of school left.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Manly Art of Something Something

See, here is me reporting on a completed project.

I have been on a bit of a crusade to lower the clutter inventory in my house and garage. Due to my CMT (and the fact I'm old and fat) I have been going at a bit of a relaxed pace, but I have still made quite a bit of progress.

During one such illustrious foray to reduce the clutter in the garage, I came across an old table fountain. It was a sad sight. The bowl was limed and calcinated pretty badly, and the metal candle stand was covered in rust. Plugging the pump into the nearby wall socket produced nothing. So naturally I headed for the trashcan with it.

But my fair wife caught me, and insisted that she treasured it above all things and that it should somehow be saved.

So the fountain was spared.

Now this is the part where I knew exactly what was going to happen unless I did something different. The fountain would be tucked away in some remote spot of the garage, out of sight, where it would continue it's dismal course to becoming a lump of rust and lime.

"Nay!" said I, "Not this time! I have set out to improve yonder garage, and by thunder I shall! If this relic of table decor is to be spared, then it shall be restored to both form and function at once or consigned to the rubbish as is only right! No longer shall it litter my garage in rusty indolence!"

So I girded my loins and set course for Lowes and Home Depot where I picked up a wire brush, spray paint, some dishwasher de-limer, and a small 70 gallon per hour pump. Then I set to work. It actually ended up taking two days, but the bowl was cleansed, the stand restored, and the new pump inserted. Now it sits grandly on the end table by the couch, gurgling happily away in it's restored glory...and my garage is one piece of junk cleaner.

So it's win-win, and my man card gets extra points. Go me!

(on a side note...it's actually a 70-130 GPH pump thats turned all the way down. I've been tempted to turn it up for improved gurgling action but fear this might turn into a Tim the Toolman moment involving launched candle holders and spraying water...so I haven't. Sometimes it's best just to take your victories and not push things.)


Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Walk in the Arboretum

Some sun dappled bricks
       A May scented breeze drifts through
       I will take this path

The heavy bee drones
Toiling in a spring playground
The flowers don’t care

I sit by the pool
The fountain’s song delights me
A flute would sound nice

A still garden pond
The song of a frog nearby
Twilight comes early

Friday, May 20, 2011


So I'm just sitting back and letting ideas come.

I'm making no concrete decisions at this time, but simply letting concepts for future projects come to me. I'm kind of mulling each one over, and refusing to get too excited about any of them at this time. Most of them are kind of trivial, half baked ideas anyways, but they are being dutifully recorded for future consideration. But for the most part I'm just taking things easy on the creative front and seeing what happens.

I've been playing with my camera lately. I've had a few ideas concerning that as well, but I'm going to apply the same new philosophy towards these as I'm now using on my writing...I'll ,mention something once I have a finished project to show. I'm hoping this reboots the creative dumps I'm in at the moment, and I think it will...but it will take some time before the results are visible.

That kind of leaves this blog in a bit of limbo, so I'm debating what to do with it now. I might go to a weekly format over the summer. I might just go the route of other writers and only post when I have something to announce. I don't know. I guess it will come to me. I'm not really happy with the quality of posts I had been making over the past few months anyways.

Anyways, nothing is for certain right now. I'm just musing out loud. I've can do that because I've got ten more days until school lets out and I  lose all musing time.

Happy Weekend. Enjoy the rain!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blogging With Fear

So, what do I blog about?

After discovering how much blogging has been sabotaging my works in progress, I can't take a chance on blogging about any of those. Heck, even blogging about writing has me nervous in a general sort of way. At the moment, there hasn't been a lot of writing going on anyways...and perhaps that has me a little superstitious.

So for now, my motto is . . .  "Deeds, Not Words."

Yeah, yeah, I know....it's been done. But it's about to be done again. So I will have to limit my blogging to finished projects and non-writing related things for a while. At least this way when I post something writing related, you guys will know that it's at a stage that it's guaranteed to reach your hands if you ever want it. No more teases and false promises.

I just wonder what I will blog about until I get some projects to an acceptable level of completion?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rowan's Picnic

Sheridan had a Cub Scout event at a wolf sanctuary, and attendance by siblings was discouraged. So Karla took Sheridan and I stayed home with Rowan. Karla packed a "picnic lunch" for the two of them that morning, but Rowan heard the word "picnic" and thought that was what we were all doing. Needless to say, she wasn't thrilled to see Mommy and brother head out the door while she got left behind with Dad.

I was informed we were having our own picnic...

...so we did.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Everything is Zen

          So I’m still kind of reeling from the discovery that blogging about my writing may have actually been sabotaging my writing. A more in depth review of my blog revealed that by announcing a project, or posting a snippet from it, before I had a rough draft in hand resulted in a far higher than fifty percent likelihood the story would never be finished. 


          As a matter of fact, the only two exceptions to that rule were “The World in Strips,” and “The Mushroom Man.” And I’m not sure The World in Strips should count since what I posted was just a bit of “stream of thought” writing I did that morning, and wasn’t even a real project until I decided to turn it into one later. As far as Mushroom Man goes…I posted a snippet, and then ended up shelving it for months before reclaiming it later and having it go a completely different way than originally intended.

          So, I think it behooves me to study those results and draw conclusions from them for future use. There seems to be some kind of principle at work here. It’s like prematurely sharing a project somehow takes its momentum away. So the first decision that is obviously called for here is to not discuss any new projects until I have them in rough draft form. At that point, prior experience suggests it is safe to discuss the project. Whatever it is that is about blogging that is screwing up my writing, doesn’t seem to interfere with the editing and rewriting process.

          Anyways, my zen is all screwed up at the moment and I’m not hardly writing at all. I’m kind of focused in other directions at the moment, and I’m allowing that to happen to see if I can undo the damage I’ve done to the momentum of my current project. Hopefully, it will be like Mushroom Man, and I can reclaim it after a short time.

          Anyways, that’s what’s going on at the moment. Happy Weekend, folks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Perils of Blogging

A recent birthday of sorts recently passed. I started posting on this blog just a little over two years ago. I really had no idea what I was doing, and initially I had this lofty idea of talking about “things” regarding writing. This kind of shows in my very first post…which is me ruminating over “what is scary.”

As time went by I adapted to blogging and I started talking about a lot of different things. Sometimes I would announce a recent success in selling a story, at other times I would announce a recent success at capturing raccoons in my attic. It all worked in it’s own way. But at the same time, problems started to creep into the system.

The first problem that started to give me trouble (that I was aware of) is the fact that I had set a pace of publishing at least one post a day. This is actually a phenomenal rate compared to most blogs. At first it wasn’t too much trouble, and the fact that my life can get pretty weird meant I had plenty to report. But over time I started having to spend more and more time coming up with something to say. The blog started taking on a life of it’s own that ate up my time for other things as I struggled to come up with that daily post. So I finally accepted reality and cut down to updating it three times a week. This is still a fast rate compared to many, so I don’t feel to bad about that.

The other problem I have started to notice is more insidious.

When I first started blogging, I had already written my first novel. I later edited and rewrote the whole thing from top to bottom, but the story was done. All the reporting I did on The Ways of Khrem was essentially in regards to a finished story. And at first, I really only reported on other stories once they were done as well. Then at some point, I changed strategy. I started posting snippets of projects under construction. Snippets from stories such as Argiope, Dagguerotype, and The Flight of the Lark were all posted as I came up with them. All were stories I was excited about…and all sit unfinished, shelved or dead.

I’m beginning to realize that there is a danger in sharing an idea and a project while you are doing it. It takes something out of it. It takes something out of the impetus to write. Somehow it actually starts to take the steam out of the project. Looking back, I had more success when I simply posted snippets after the rough draft was finished. So I’m not sure what is going on here, other than I seem to have stumbled onto something.

It bears thinking about.

Friday, May 6, 2011

So, My Dryer Went Kaput...

The last couple of days I have been very focused and productive. Oddly enough, it hasn't been in what you might think. I have been working very hard on getting caught up with the housework, and taking care of some household matters that have been allowed to slide for far too long around here.

One of those things was the laundry.

As somebody who grew up poor on a farm, and married to somebody else who grew up poor on a farm, I have a few habits that I'm just now learning aren't really conducive to modern suburban life in the 21st century. Such as the fact that we never throw anything away. We hang on to things long past the time we are no longer using them, and they accumulate over time. For instance...clothes.

Over time, as I got older and fatter, I occasionally bought new shirts and shorts to accommodate my new, curvier shape. Naturally, I hung on to my older clothes because I was confident that my new weight was a temporary condition and that soon I would need those smaller sizes again. Au contraire! As it turned out, after another year or two of good living, I now needed even bigger sizes, and those former upgrades joined their older brothers in the "someday" side of the closet rail. Then I had to buy more hangers. Then there were more clothes. And then I realized the other day that I simply could not cram any more clothes on the  long rail of my walk-in closet.


And as I sat there and mused on that situation, I could see how the same thing was happening around the house in other areas. So I got busy.  Old clothes of mine that I haven't worn in years were bagged and are now sitting in the garage awaiting a trip to the Goodwill. The kids closet, and their wildly overflowing toybox that still has toys from when they were babies, has also been noticed.

Then I got all the laundry together from all our rooms that I had let kind of get away from me, and I started washing clothes. Load followed load, followed load, followed load... And after a day and a half of solid laundry work, I was only two loads away from being completely done. And of course that's when my dryer died. At first I thought it might be a breaker, but no dice. I have one dead dryer. Oh well, I'll adapt. If I have to, I'll just find  a laundromat and get some quarters for that. I will not be thwarted.

So at the moment, I'm being more of a househusband than a writer, but that's okay. Stuff is getting done. And some writing has gotten done as well. So that's been my week. I hope everybody out there has had a good one too.

See ya Monday!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Going Quiet

I'm about to "go quiet" for a little while.

I'll be off the internet for all but the most basic functions (email, blog) for the next week or two. I'm going to focus as exclusively as possible on getting things done during that time, with as little distraction as possible. So I'm going to shrink my world down to writing and taking care of the house. That means although I won't be making much noise, hopefully a lot will actually be getting done.

Hmmmm...makes me kind of ponder the nature of silence.

It's the things left unsaid that often matter the most...and sometimes silence is the most powerful forms of replies (although in my case it might simply mean I wasn't paying attention). But it does sort of hearken back tot he old action vs words conundrum. Words without deeds and all that.

Of course I'm a writer so words matter a lot.. But I think in writing the same principle still holds true. Sometimes it's the things left unsaid that allow the reader to build the more powerful image, or gives them the longer lasting impression. That's always a choice a writer should face with care...what not to say. Try to make sure the words don't get in the way of the story.

Anyways, so there will be no facebook for Nate for a little while. He's going to be going where the words don't intrude, and and silence is the sound of things that matter getting done.