Category Archives: Misc

Oh man, what a day

While, legally, it is the second day of the new year, being 2:37 AM and all. For me, it still counts as the first day, because I haven’t gone to bed yet. And I still have a couple more tasks to complete before I can call it a night.

I’ve been busy today. Did five pages on a short story and ten pages on the novel, as well as all the chores on the list.

I made a few adjustments to my daily checklist on December 31 and I decided that would be it. There would be no changes made to the checklist once the new year started, That’s the rule I made for myself. I will keep the checklist the same all through 2017, no matter how frustrating it might eventually become.

Another rule I made for myself is, I can’t go to bed until every task on the list has been checked off. I’m going to do my damnedest to stick to that.

Hopefully, tomorrow, I’ll have everything done earlier.

Okay, now I can check  off “Blog”.

Happy New Year

Okay, it’s New Year’s Eve. I’m not going to party and I don’t plan on getting drunk. I have some resolutions for the next year.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

I think that’s everything. Happy New Year.

 

About My Reviews

I like reviewing books and movies, for fun and because I like having a Review feature on my site. I wouldn’t say I’m a good reviewer, I’m not even sure I’m doing it right. I try not to reveal too much about the book or movie I’m reviewing and just give enough to spark interest in the story. But sometimes I worry that I’m spoiling it for people.

I especially like reviewing books, I don’t review as many movies. With the books, it’s partly a public record for myself, to keep track of the books I read. It’s also to tell you about these fantastic books. I believe in telling people about books and authors. Word of the mouth can sell books and writers gotta eat too.

My reviews are mostly positive. A couple are not completely positive, but they aren’t entirely negative either. I’m not a picky reader and I enjoy most of the books I read. Some more than others, but I can’t think of too many that I really disliked.

I remember a project that Mrs. Cole, my Special Ed teacher at Elva Lynch Elementary School, had us do one year. Each of us had a bookworm on the wall. It was a circle-shaped paper head with two points on the top that I guess were antennas. I’m pretty sure everyone’s bookworm was smiling.

The head was what you started with. Then, for every book you read, you’d write the title, author’s name and something about the book on a red, blue, yellow or green circle. That circle would be stuck on the wall next to your bookworm’s head. The more books you read, the longer your bookworm would get.

My bookworm was only three or four circles long. At the time, I thought reading was torture and no kid should be subjected to it. I read as little as I could. Other kids in the class had great, long bookworms, while mine was a squished little thing.

These days, I enjoy reading as much as I enjoy watching TV and I’m doing something like Mrs. Cole’s bookworm project.  Expanding my list of book reviews.

And that’s today’s blog entry. Peace.

The Day After Christmas

20161226_113908

Christmas came and went. I got a few gifts. A pan, socks, towels, a flannel shirt, smoked sausage and cheese, a couple boxes of chocolates, a battery powered lantern, and this wooden box here.

I really like this wooden box. The painting on the front is real impressive too. The handles on the sides are pieces of rope. It measures 16 inches long, 9 inches wide, 10 inches high and 8 1/2 inches deep. A good sized box.

I don’t know what I’ll keep in it. Any suggestions? I don’t print up copies of my manuscripts anymore, so that’s not an option. But this looks like a box meant for holding things of importance, things that are special to me.

It makes me wish I had a collection of black powder pistols, because that’s where I’d keep them. Or maybe a single-action .45 LC pistol, preferably one made by Colt, with its leather holster and bullet loaded belt. I’d like to add those guns to my collection some day, but don’t know if it’ll ever happen.

But something needs to go in this wooden box.

It’s Christmas

Christmas is here again. When I was a kid, Christmas was the most exciting time of the year and I could not sleep the night before Christmas. My most memorable gift is that 20 gauge shotgun I got when I was twelve or thirteen. Think I was probably twelve, because the spring after that Christmas, I had my first hunting trip. I’m sure I was thirteen at that point and my birthday is in March.

I also got that pocket magnifying glass a few years ago and it’s something I never go anywhere without. The only time it’s out of my pocket is when I’m using it to read something that can’t be enlarged. I use the magnifying glass to read just about everything that’s printed on paper.

I just turned on A Christmas Story. In my opinion, it’s the best Christmas movie ever made.

I’ll be at Mom and Dad’s later.

Merry Christmas.

Looks like we’ll have a very icy Christmas

shovel

Well, it’s December 24, Christmas Eve. There hasn’t been a heavy snowfall since the last heavy snowfall. I bought a new snow shovel last week and I’d like to use it. But, instead of snowfall, we’ve been having snowmelt and there’s  ice.

I’m staying home today. Got beer and pizza. There’s a bunch of Christmas movies on TV. and I might watch a couple. TNT will start running A Christmas Story at 8 PM and looks like it’ll be rolling back-to-back for 24 hours. If you’re someone who has never seen A Christmas Story, you really should check it out. You might hate it, but you might love it.

USPS workers don’t get the day off, apparently.

20161224_121657

Landmines in Fiction

Yesterday I blogged about how shootings are often weirdly exaggerated in fiction. That brought to mind another thing I often notice, how landmines function in fiction.

How many movies have you seen where a group of soldiers are making their way cross-country and you hear a click? The soldiers stop and look around at each other, and then one of them says “It’s me.”

If the unlucky soldier is really generous, he’ll stand there until his buddies are a safe distance away, and then he’ll lift his foot. Boom, he’s dead.

It’s hard not to think that all the soldier had to do was jump to the ground, cover his head with his arms, and the blast wave might not have done much damage. They jump to the ground when grenades are thrown at them, why can’t they do it when they step on landmines?

Research shows that there were times in real wars when landmines did not function properly and you could stand on them without them going off. But a properly functioning landmine will not give a warning. You won’t hear a click. When you step on a landmine, it goes off. You’re not required to lift your foot for it to go off.

I think the people who create these scenes know this. They might even know that a 12 gauge and .44 Magnum won’t send a person flying backward in real life. Maybe they put those things in because it makes the scenes more thrilling for people who aren’t obsessed with the details like I am.

Personally, I wouldn’t do it that way. I’m overly obsessed with trying to get everything exactly right in my fiction And I’m still afraid that readers of my work will find so many booboos.

Morning, Sam

Morning, Ralph.

I’ve been getting up at 6 AM. I try to have a new blog entry written before seven, but it often takes me longer. And then I work on the novel. If I manage to get ten pages into the novel, I’ll work on a short story and try to get five pages. That doesn’t always mean writing, sometimes it’s editing.

I finish my day by reading no less than  one chapter of whatever book I happen to be reading. Right now it’s Finding Fish, by Antwone Fisher.

I have a checklist on excel, that’s divided into two columns. One column is blog, novel, short story and reading. The other column is chores that I can get up and do if I’m stalled on the stuff in the first column. I don’t always get everything on the list checked off, but I try to.

Think I got back ten years of my life

I shoveled my sidewalk and driveway twice this month. Over the years, anytime I shoveled snow or did any kind of physical work, I’d be coughing and gasping for air. Not anymore.

Since I quit smoking in June, I’ve been noticing how much better I feel. I don’t wake up in the morning feeling like I’m suffocating and I can laugh without breaking into terrible coughing fits, and I seem to have more energy.

I have not had a single cigarette since June 3rd, when I smoked my last one and announced on Facebook that I was going to quit. I don’t know how I managed to just quit like that. For twenty-three years, I failed, failed and failed again to quit smoking. All of sudden, I’m a non-smoker. How did that happen?

Thoughts on Transgender

Recently a friend announced that she is trans, that not so long ago she had the operations to change her sex from male to female. I think that’s awesome. If she’s happier as a woman, then that’s cool.

I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand why someone would have their sex changed. It’ll probably always be a little strange to me. But I don’t need to understand it to be fine with it. I won’t criticize you for it. In fact, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader.

This friend is married. Had been married to a woman for some years now. They got married long before the operations, and they’re still married. I understand it to be a happy marriage.

A common belief seems to be that a man would want to become a woman because he’s attracted to men. And vice versa, woman, man, because women. Maybe that is the case sometimes. But I think often it has nothing to do with whether you’re attracted to the same sex or the opposite sex.

It might not have anything to do with attraction at all. Maybe it’s that some people feel they should’ve been born as the opposite sex. I can, kind of, wrap my brain around that theory. But transgender is a complex subject.

If you’re transgender, whether you actually had an operation or not, you got my full support. If it makes you happy and it’s not hurting anyone, then I see nothing wrong with it.

Though my friend is now a woman, I don’t think her interests or personality have changed. She’s the same person and I’d still have a beer with her. My only complaint is, now I gotta get used to calling her by a different name.