Winning and Losing

Some updates:

I broke a tendon in my middle-finger of my left hand. This sucks. It makes typing a real bitch. I do not like. The story is supposed to be some kind of awesome sporting accident, like jamming my finger while doing a monster windmill-jam over some poor and unsuspecting NBA center deep in the key. Or training bullfighting horses or something.

I tripped on my stairs. Whoo. Awesome way to end up with an immobilized digit (the one that types the ‘e’ key on the keyboard no less) for six months. Yippie.

I submitted something I wrote here to a magazine…and they asked me for edits. That’s…that’s SUPER COOL guys. SUPER COOL.

I won NaNoWriMo for the first time since I started entering back in 2007. Only took five years. I’m honestly SUPER stoked about that accomplishment. But in some ways it was bittersweet. I won buy writing half of the 50k words in a style that anyone who reads this blog would instantly recognize. It took me 23 days. I wrote the remaining 26k words about some ridiculous story with preposterous characters and inane situations. It took 5 days (well…more like 3 full days and two halfhearted half days). This caused me more self-reflection than I’d really care to comment on…but it led me to talk about it with a couple of writers I respect and who I didn’t think would answer my emails.

And I’ve realized something. I’m using this site as a really horrible crutch, and it’s killing my creative output. I didn’t want to admit this, or believe this, but it’s true.

I write here as a sort of reminiscence-therapy. I get to process some of my shit, and people come by and tell me nice things. And God-forbid they not say nice things. Talk it out therapy is a wonderful thing. And I love this space, and I have no intention of giving up this space. I fully intend over the next year to finish some things that I started long ago…but my plans here are very secondary to some new plans.

I’m about to break the first and second rules of Write Club, but let me just say that in the last couple of months I’ve written more creative output than I had in YEARS before then. My co-conspirator knows who she is, and I suspect we’ll add some additional Writers to Write Club in the months ahead, but 1000 words a day, NO EXCUSES has been a complete game-changer for me. I have a novel with a full plot, a synopsis, completely set up in Scrivner (you have NO idea how much work THAT is…) and more than 25k words that I’m REALLY happy with. That’s something that needs my continued time and attention.

It’s not that I don’t like blogging, and I’m gonna keep doing it, and I’m gonna keep doing it here…but I’m not going to put a lot of time into it in the short term. I really doubt I’ll post again before we’re deep into 2013. I’m just being honest.

But I’m not going to stop writing.

A couple of years ago I bought the domain and fired up a blog over there. And then I did NOTHING with it. Well, I’m going to use that space to sort of “track” my ongoing becoming-a-novelist process. I’ll probably mostly just post fiction snippits and quick bits of what I’m working on. And provide a way to see how my progress is coming on my various projects, because I’ve discovered that progress bars are really addictive.

If you’re interested in seeing my “fiction” stuff and my fiction progress, and perhaps some occasional tall tales from my epic bouts in Write Club, then please feel invited to follow along over there.

If you’re just interested in the more personal anecdotes and life notes, then never fear, more will appear here. Eventually.

Brand new same old same old

I spent the holidays with Sarah here, and as such I didn’t do much beyond be dad and do chores around the house. I think the most exciting thing was putting a new 20 amp breaker in the panel and wiring up power to the cottage near the new horse pasture. Well, that wasn’t all that exciting, but testing the new electric-tape fence was at least somewhat amusing I guess. As I couldn’t find the fence tester I got last year for Christmas, I figured I’d just do what I did last time and use my hand.


The jolt from a solar-powered box with a 2500 milliamp battery is basically equivalent to the zip you get from a 9v battery on your tongue times two. The jolt from an AC fence energizer that can power ten miles of fence and runs dedicated off a 20 amp breaker over 12 gauge wire is…stronger. Like, “red scorch mark on your hand” and “knee buckles out from under you” stronger. Let us just say that I didn’t have to test it a second time.

Anyway, the thing I didn’t do over the holidays was write. Anything. At all.

Crippling self-doubt and authorial insecurities…

1827 days

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In a few hours I will have completed thirty-five trips around the sun. This isn’t a tremendous accomplishment, for the most part I was just along for the ride and hanging on for dear life; and based on the average maximum age of the men on both sides of my family, I’ve got about ninety years in me, so I’m still a decade away from half way there.

Still, a friend of mine pointed out a few days ago that thirty-five is “the age when even the elderly don’t think you’re young anymore.” That kind of hit me.

Birthdays Past and a list for the future…

I’m In Too!

After reading about the “Post a Day” or “Post a Week” challenges at wordpress (via Allison’s post), I’ve decided that I need some kind of kick in the pants and I’ll join too. Even one post a week would bring me to fifty-two posts in a year, which is nearly double what I managed last year.

So…if I’ve gone five days with no new posts, I encourage you all to metaphorically beat me soundly about the head and shoulders until I get something into your feed readers or RSS do-hickys or whatever it is that you use to read new posts.

Feed-Readers are a bit mysterious to me, as I just use the links running down the side of my page to open each blog in a new tab…I’m sure there’s a better way to do it, but in general I’m just old-school when it comes to blogs I guess.

Any way, here’s to more output in 2011!

[Word Count: 158]

Send in Rambo, I’m MIA but not dead yet…

Just kidding, please don’t send in a ‘Nam vet with unresolved PTSD.

A couple of people noticed that some links and comments went…missing. I thought I would address the question a couple of people had and say categorically “NO, we’re not having issues.” Let me explain.

Someone related to someone related to me found my blog, and liked it. Liked it so much they’re paying me real money to write some related articles for a local news magazine. That’s cool. Not so cool, is that full disclosure required talking the development over with my parents. Which led to my mother visiting my little slice of the interwebs.

While I’m not at all ashamed of what I’ve written, it did prompt a couple of things, including a quick whitewash of links and comments that someone didn’t want readily visible while my mom was clicking around…because people should have the right to write a personal blog without their in-laws showing up and taking a peek…

All comments and links are back up, I don’t expect to have any more visitors anytime soon.

I will admit it had a bit of a chilling affect on my own writing. It’s one thing to split open your soul and spill it gently onto other people’s screens over the internet, it’s something else to know that the screen where it’s showing up next is your mother’s.

As I said, I don’t expect any more visitors for a while, so I hope to get back into the swing of things and start posting regularly again. I’ve got about a dozen drafts in the works, so hopefully I have enough material to get deep into November. Which is good, because I’ll be participating in NANOWRIMO again this year…you can follow that over on Serial Storyteller if you want to watch me train wreck in week two again. How’s that for positive thinking?

Change of Plan

I’ve spent the last four hours struggling to write a blog post that’s about 50% done but just won’t solidify into something ready for me to actually hit “publish” and send out into the world.

So, in order to not fail on day four of my personal challenge, I’m pulling out something that I’ve been working on for more than a year.

When I first started to work on it, I thought I’d post the whole thing as one long blog post. I thought it would be about 3500 words or so. It’s currently half-done and clocks in at 5800 words so far.

So I’m going to post each section, in a row, until it’s finished. I won’t get 1000 words a post. I’ve thought about it and I don’t care. When it’s finished, I’m going to collect the whole thing into one long page along with the original music and that’s how it will ultimately live on the blog. I’m probably going to post more than one a day, otherwise it’ll take more than a month to finish.

Things I Like

Recently I’ve been writing a lot in two categories:

  1. Emails, whitepapers, SQL and Perl for my “day job” for about 12 hours a day.  Now that the other Core Technical Resource has left our group, I’m the Lone Ranger, and the Lone Ranger is BUSY.
  2. Ten chapters of a new “post-steampunk-proto-rocket-age” novel.  I’ve actually rewritten and re-plotted and redone these chapters 2-3 times.  I hope to get them out to my pre-readers later this week.  We’ll see. There will be more details about this over on in the coming days as I start to ramp that up again.

What I haven’t been writing is a lot of blog posts.  Ok, any blog posts.  Or comments.  Or even very many tweets. You know you’re busy when you’re too busy to tweet…It’s funny how that sentence works equally well if you substitute “lazy” for “busy” as the verb pair.

I spent today re-reading every blog post I’ve ever written.  Both for missedher and deadcharming as well as everything I’ve written here.  A lot of my stuff for here kinda sucks.  I used to write because I had something to say about myself.  Sort of a review and analysis.  Then I became afraid of analysis and I stopped writing self review.  Then, what I was writing got so bland that I stopped writing all together.

I actually started this blog to be a sort of family story/essay collection.  Divided up into real chapters and essentially ready to be some sort of family record of tales I’d heard as a kid and always wanted to tell about the people and places I’d come from.  A record of things genetic and environmental.  That’s actually why I picked “my bad pants” as a title.  I spoke to exactly the kind of stories my family tells, stories that are as much about who we come from as where we come from.  As much about the genes I come from as the jeans I wear, and about the shoes I try to fill and the miles I’ve walked in them.

More about Writing, Movies, and the prophecies of Nora Ephron…