All posts by Rob Darnell

A Blank Wall

This is the back of my office. There used to be a small desk and an end table with a lamp on it. But it felt pretty crowded with that stuff in here, so I moved it all out a few weeks ago.  So, now there’s just a wall.

I want to hang a picture there. I’m thinking the picture would be five feet long and three feet high. But not just any picture. I want a picture that would give the impress that you’re looking out the window of a tall building (not necessarily a skyscraper) in an urban area. The view would be of the streets and buildings, even houses, restaurants and gas stations, things like that.

I guess I’m looking for a picture that would show more of a community/residential area and less of a downtown commercial area. And something that’s not really artistic, but just a simple view.

I haven’t found the right picture yet.

ETA
Maybe “urban” isn’t the right word for it, but I’m not sure “suburban” is either, or maybe it’s a combination of both, “urban” and “suburban”.

…and by God, I will blog

I blog a lot. Usually once a day, sometimes a few times a day. and sometimes days go by without a peep from me on robdarnell.com or either of the social media sites I’m active on. Lately I’ve been crossposting my blog entries from robdarnell.com to Facebook and the Joke A Day Forums where I have my own personal thread, as do many other JAD Forum members. I don’t feel like explaining what JAD is, but many of us have known each other online and in person for years.

The main reason I blog is I want to keep up an online presence. I try to blog at least once a day. If I don’t already have something in mind and blogging is the next task on my checklist, I’ll just pick something random and write the hell out of it. Blogging is usually fun for me. I treat it as a hobby. It’s also good writing exercise.

There are times when I feel self-conscious and I think the things I’m posting are stupid, that the people reading them are rolling their eyes and wondering what sort of mental disorder it is that I suffer from. But often, it’s the posts that I’m self-conscious about that receive the most positive reactions.

There are people who try to tell you what’s okay and what’s not okay to post online. Don’t listen to those people. There’s a lot of things about myself that I don’t share online. It’s just stuff that I’m not comfortable sharing. But some people will share things about themselves that I won’t share about myself, and that’s fine.

You might get negative feedback, but if you want to post about it, go for it.

Another Sleepless Night

I went to bed at around eleven last night, but barely slept an hour. At around 4:30 AM, I was tired of lying awake in bed. So, I got up and went right to work.

I got five more pages into the short story. I’m on page 36 now and the total wordcount is 7,821. Seeing how it’s 6:25 AM right now, It only took me about two hours to get those five pages down. That’s pretty good. I’d like to be able to do that more often. Usually it takes me about an hour to get one page, so five pages usually takes closer to five hours to get down.

I’m going to rest for a bit, and then I’ll go at the novel.

Another Novel Submitted

I couldn’t sleep. So, at 5:30 AM, I rolled out of bed and found a publisher that might like the 60,000-word crime thriller I wrapped up a while back. I threw together a submission package and sent it off.

This is not the international conspiracy thriller that has been at another publishing company since December 16, 2016. That one is 91,000 words. I still haven’t heard anything on that one. But that’s okay. I’ve done work for publishers and I know why it can take a long time for editors to respond to submissions. It’s nothing personal.

So, now I have two novels on the market. Let’s see what happens.

How Are My Resolutions Holding Up?

On December 31, New Year’s Eve, I blogged about five resolutions that would go into effect January 1, 2017. It’s February 17, 2017 now. Let’s see how my resolutions are holding up.

RESOLUTION #1: I will stick with my current work plan. My daily checklist may not undergo even the slightest adjustment after today. It will stay the same all through 2017.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Miserably. I practically broke the damn thing off. As with all the adjustments I’d made ever since I’ve been using a daily checklist, it works great for a while and then it becomes difficult to complete all the tasks. Eventually things aren’t getting done. My workload and chores start piling up and I start feeling overwhelmed and depressed.

So, I decided to make adjustments as I need to and forget about sticking to one plan through the entire year.

RESOLUTION #2: Beer and pizza are now rewards for finishing novels. Therefore, I may not purchase beer or pizza until a draft is finished. I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Solid. I have not purchased a single beer or pizza since the new year began. Never mind that I’m very thirsty and my pizza craving grows stronger every day. Beer and pizza will be awesome rewards when I get this novel wrapped up. I’m already fantasizing about it.

When I finish this novel, I’m going to buy five different six packs, each one a different beer. One six pack will be Corona, another will be one of Samuel Adam’s blends, and probably one will be Budweiser (just because.). I don’t yet know what the other two will be.

Also, when the novel is finished, I’m going to order the biggest pizza I can get from Elba Corners, along with breadsticks and whatever else goes well with Pizza. When the pizza and beer is all gone, I’ll begin the next novel.

Although I have not bought beer or pizza myself, there were a couple times when I was at my mom and dad’s house and they wanted to get pizza. And once when my brother was over here, he wanted to get beer and pizza. So, I have had some beer and pizza since the new year started, but that falls under “I will, however, accept beer and pizza if you’re buying.”

RESOLUTION #3: I will not buy anymore guns until I get my credit card paid off. I will have my credit card paid off before the end of 2017.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Feebly. I haven’t bought any guns, but there are times when I feel like I’m going to cave, contact my FFL dealer and have him order one for me. I’ve been eyeing a Mossberg pump shotgun that has a 20-inch barrel and an 8-round tube, a Smith & Wesson AR-15 carbine, a Ruger 1911, a Savage Arms bolt -action .308, an SCCY and a number of black powder pistols that are copies of those that were used in the Civil War. Lord, help me.

It’s still possible to have my credit card paid off before the end of the year, as long as I refrain from buying guns.

RESOLUTION #4: I will continue on as a non-smoker. I’ve been clean since June 3, 2016. Go me.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Still going strong. Haven’t had a cigarette since I quit in June.

RESOLUTION #5: I will get a buck during the 2017 deer hunting season, either with a gun or a bow. I’ve already picked out places on my walls where I want to hang racks.

HOW IS IT HOLDING UP?: Deer hunting season is still eight months away, but yes, I’m going to get a buck this year. I know exactly where I’m going to hang my first rack. It’ll go in the living room, above the arched threshold that you walk through to get to the kitchen.

Two Michigan Basketball Games in One Day

Well, looks like this is my first NCAA Basketball post. I thought there was already a subcategory under Basketball for NCAA, but nope. There’s a subcategory for NBA and a subcategory for High School, but there wasn’t a subcategory for NCAA, which means I haven’t blogged about NCAA Basketball before tonight.

So, with that subcategory now made, here’s my first NCAA Basketball post.

Today I caught two Michigan basketball games. First I watched the women’s game.  They played Indiana. It was a tough game. Michigan was behind by about 20 points through much of it.

I laughed out loud when I realized how often the players were knocking each other down. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a basketball game where the players knocked each other down that much. It was like watching bowling pins fall after a cannonball crashes into them.

I’d say there were so many collisions and falls in this game because Michigan was really fighting hard to get ahead of Indiana. Indiana was putting in just as much effort to keep Michigan from getting ahead.

It was a pretty exciting game, but Michigan didn’t make it. The game ended with Michigan 61 and Indiana 72.

After the women’s game, I watched the men’s game. The men had better luck, beating Wisconsin, 64-58.

Your Song

(Edited because it just occurred to me that I shouldn’t post any portion of someone else’s song lyrics.)

Oh, sorry. I always get caught up in that song. Anyway, the train went off the track again, but it’s back up and running now. I pulled graveyard shift tonight to get both projects leveled off, which means getting through the next fifth page on the short story and the next tenth page on the novel. I don’t stop until I’m on the 6th and 11th page.

So, the short story is now 6,748 words and 31 pages. It’s getting pretty long and might end up reaching novelette length. The writing is going well and the words are coming easy. I had some ideas on how the story would go, but it has taken an entirely different direction. At the moment I don’t know where the story is going or how it will end. I’ll just keep plugging in the words until it gets there.

Now, the novel. It’s now 14,656 words and 71 pages. I just wrapped up Chapter One and got a start on Chapter Two. The writing is going well, but I have to constantly look back to make sure everything is on the right track. I guess that’s how it is when you’re writing a novel that has multiple Point of View characters.

Okay, it’s 6 AM. Night.