Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pee and Lies.

Like a lot of parents, we thrive on routine. Bath time is at seven, then bottle & bed. As we're filling the tub, we get the humidifier filled, get the towel, and undress Chickerdoodles.

Like a lot of toddlers, she delights in running around in the buff. She jogs about, chasing the dog with all the glory of her freedom. But occasionally, the sound of running water affects her as it does the rest of us. Sometimes, she feels the need to squat and piddle.

Since her functions are usually (thankfully) confined to the diaper, she can get fascinated with her product. On Friday night, she left a puddle on the hall carpet, and was fiddling with it. Ew. I grabbed a towel from the laundry to deal with it, and Andrea said, “she gets upset when you interrupt her.” Ladies and gentlemen, my offspring. She did walk away, but she returned with a facecloth and wiped the carpet right along with me. That. Was. Precious!

Awhile ago, she peed on the linoleum in the bathroom. It wasn't funny, until she slipped in it. Even then, it wasn't until she was trying to get up and continued to slip, getting frustrated as only a toddler can, that I was truly laughing. OK, it isn't funny in theory, but honestly, she was minutes from a bath, so no harm done.
For many of you, this is a first, second or third impression of my site. Well, urine luck.

It took awhile – about a week – but I finally got to Following all of the Crusaders. I fear that I still only have a limited amount of time to surf, so my apologies if I'm not by as often as I like. But a HUGE thank you to everyone who came by to Follow me! You're all more awesome than bacon-wrapped scallops, and I think that whoever invented those should get a Nobel Prize!

For the First Crusader Challenge, I had to do a Search on “Bloviate” and “Fuliguline,” as neither were in my Dictionary (the 3D, certifiably dead tree variety). I found “Fuliguline” to be a Sea Duck, so I told of when I proposed, there were ducks nesting at the waterfront – all true. But my city's waterfront is on a lake, not a sea, so that was my lie. Not the Bon Jovi part;I really do have a soft spot for them, though I can't listen to that many ballads in one sitting. I was more interested in astrology a few years ago, but it's still at the back of my mind when I learn someone's Birthday. So, like a lot of you, my “lie” was an insignificant detail in the true tale.

Monday, February 21, 2011

First Crusader Challenge

For your reading pleasure, I present the first Crusader Challenge. My word count is running a little long, so I'll jump right into it.

-I've got a soft spot for Bon Jovi. I don't listen to them much, but when I first heard “You give love a bad name,” I'd only listened to Top 40, like most 12-year-olds. I thought “This is metal! But it's pretty good!” It opened up a whole world to me, and much of what I listen to now is on the heavier side.

-When I proposed, it was at my town's waterfront, and it was quite appropriate to find a family of nesting fuliguline by the pier.

-If I can, I interact with people with their astrological associations in mind. The night before my first date with the woman who would become my wife, I looked up the attributes of Pisces and her Chinese attribute, Rabbit.

-In many social situations, I can be pretty quiet, but when I get a little polluted, I tend to bloviate like there's no tomorrow! When I've had a third beer, those who know me (see: Wife) just settle in for the twenty minute rant.

-I asked my wife about a “Best Character trait,” because I'm not sure what's a great trait, and what's irritating. She mentioned my thoughtfulness. Well, I am a “Karma Junky;” “doing unto others..,” and all that. At work, I move like a rabbit on Red Bull, 'cause others are waiting, and I want to keep the flow of customers moving.

-One of my favorite things in the whole world is religion. I find it to be a fascinating way to relate to a culture, to see how they relate to the eternal and the Divine. The variety of perspectives can give endless insights into the human condition, though I resent how dogmas have been spread with force and blades.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More Sweetness.

JC Martin at The Fighter Writer has kindly awarded me with the Irresistibly Sweet Award. The rules are

1. Thank the one who gave you the award (Thanks JC, that's awesome!)
2.Award five Bloggers that you've recently discovered. Sadly, I've recently discovered over 200 through Rachel Harrie's Bloggers' Crusade, and I have LOTS more to Follow, so it's taking up a lot of my computer time. I'm afraid I'll have to pass on the nominations until I have more hours in the day.
3.List seven things about yourself.

Alright, here goes. First, my wife has recently acquired a Super Sniffer, and with her new enhanced sense, I need to shower TWICE a week!
Second, Rach's Crusade has me Following more Blogs than I can regularly Comment on, so please forgive my sporadic appearances, but really, 200+? That's a pretty tall order.
Third, I have a designated driver for the summer, but if I abuse it, I'll wind up with a black eye and a limp.
Fourth, I may be joining a local Metal band soon, but at the moment, it's a big “We'll see...”
Fifth, There will be a lot more Decaf coffee in the house, and a lot less pop, due to a short-term caffeine intolerance.
Sixth, We will be preparing a new room for Snookerdoodles over the summer.
And Seventh, just in case you haven't put the clues together:


We found out EXACTLY two years after we found out about the first, Feb 4th. (Cool, eh?), and we're pretty excited. We've been trying for a few months (and a couple times since we found out, just to be sure), so it's quite a relief. Doing this with a 2-year-old in the house will be quite the challenge, but millions have done it before, and if (did I really say “if”?) it gets overwhelming, well, that's why God gave us grandparents!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Have a Lovely Day.

Happy Valentine's Day, one and all! But is it happy for you all? I remember just how miserable it can be for single people. If you're having a miserable day, for God's sake, find someone to talk to about it! If you need a night to get wasted and vent about how awful the other gender is, so be it. And let me apologize on behalf of Western Culture for rubbing all this sweet stuff in your face. If it's any consolation, there will be tons of cheap chocolate available tomorrow.

We're not doing much today, 'cause we're both working. So I made a special dinner last week to surprise her on Wednesday. Ta-Daa! Including chocolates, and all the trimmings. The only snag was that the Lemon Garlic Lamb wasn't ready until 45 mins after the potatoes and veggies. Oops! Fortunately, I also has a pretty spiffy cake, so that made it all better. Then on Sunday night when I got home, Sweety had chocolates, a card, and a bag of Starbucks Beans – MY FAVORITE! And a wonderful Chicken Pot Pie to boot! We decided not to exchange gifts, because we both have Birthdays in March. We're not even doing much for those, since we're putting a new floor in our living room and dining room this weekend. Well, me, my dad and a couple buddies are, Andrea's taking Chickerdoodles to best friend's house, so we can work. I'll bet you know how kids are when there's a parent available who isn't really available; it's all they can think about, am I right?

We did have our night out, though. We went to a local place called Crazy Fox Bistro. If you're local, I'd highly recommend it! Then we went to see Just Go With It. Usually it's the kind of movie that makes me say “I'm sure that you and Michelle will really enjoy that!” But hey, it's Valentine's Day, and it's an Adam Sandler movie, so it was pretty good.

Hope that ya'll are having a great day! Spread some love, in whatever kind of relationship you're in!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How do you handle your drafts?

Wow, look at us go! Did you have any idea that this Crusade would have such an impact? Well, some of you did this last year, so I'd imagine that you did, but I'm surprised. I've got 11 new followers in half a week, and I've found some great Blogs.

So, since there are so many writers here, I've got a revision question. Here's how I understand the process:
First Draft: Get it all out there, considering only the main points. “Letting the children out to play.”
Then you shelf it for a while, I've heard two weeks to six months.
Second Draft: Plot considerations. Making all of the Plot Arcs and Character Arcs make sense and co-ordinate. “Sending the kids to school.”
Third Draft: making the writing good. “If you meet an adjective on the side of the road, kill him.” Trading good word choices for perfect ones, etc.

After that, it's time to take it to critique groups and Beta Readers, and eventually, agents.

That's how I've come to understand it from the hints and partial revelations from more successful authors who Blog. How do you understand the process?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bloggers' Crusade

One of the Podcasts that I subscribe to – Adventures In SciFi Publishing – has a quote at the beginning of each episode; something like “you should not begin a new project unless it scares you a little.” There's a wisdom to this. I learned from public speaking that if you're nervous, it shows that you care about what you're doing, and that will be obvious to the audience. When someone speaks to an audience without such fear and concern, it will show, and the audience won't be any more interested than the speaker is. Zzzz...

So what's scaring me now? A Crusade. Rachel Harrie over at Rachel Writes is hosting a Blogger Networking event. Best of all, contributors will be categorized by genre. Is this a good thing? That depends. I like to see what others in my genre are doing, because it's good for honing my craft, and networking. It also familiarizes my with the publishers and agents that are more likely to represent the kind of work I'm producing.

On the other hand, most writing has something I need to learn. I'm not writing romance, but if there isn't any in my books, I'm neglecting a big part of the human experience. I'm not writing mysteries, but I have a lot to learn about suspense, and making the reader want to keep turning those pages.

The scary part is the time involved. We're all following a lot of Blogs, and finding the time to read & comment can be daunting, especially with the rest of life calling for attention. I often remember something Donald Trump wrote in Think Big and Kick Ass (it got re-named to “Think Big” when the sales were disappointing) If you really believe in what you're doing, then you should have no problem finding at least two hours a day to contribute to it.

We all still have a lot to learn. And many of us would like to continue using our platforms to network. Rachael has provided a great opportunity for us, so if you're so inclined, swing on by and join the Crusade!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Small Print Piranhas

The other day, I was listening to my favorite Podcast, “I Should Be Writing,” and the host, Mur Lafferty was talking about something really scary. Naturally, I said, “*gasp* I need towarn the masses!” By “The Masses,” I'm referring to the dozens of you who stop by here regularly ;)

She spoke of a contest that's preying on writers. In the fine print, it's stated that by submitting your work, you forfeit your copyright to the work. So if you don't win, they can still use your story in whatever fashion they so choose. AND, if you sell it elsewhere, they can sue you for the profit, as the rightful copyright owners. SINNERS!

And, just in case your ass isn't hurting enough from this deal, there's a submission fee for the contest. Can you believe the gall of these bastards? Legitimate publishers don't even ask for such fees! Legitimate contests might ask for submission fees, but they aren't requiring your copyrights!

I kinda wish that she had named these perpetrators, so I could metaphorically drag their asses through the streets.

So read all the boring fine print. It's painfully dull, but it could save you a lot of grief.

On a lighter note, I'd like to share a conversation that I had with my wife. She said something about the book she was reading, a vampire romance (not THAT one. She's already read the Glitter thing.)

ME: I thought that it was just a standard romance.
ANDREA: It's called “Blood Born”
ME: I didn't see that. I was distracted by the guy's pects.
ANDREA: wide-eyed, laughing in disbelief
ME: Well, they're damn near boobs!
ANDREA: I don't know who that's homo-erotic for, you or me!