Home » 2006 » August

The Zoo

Here I go through all the effort of converting to WordPress, and then I never use it. Hmmm.

I left home yesterday for a dentist appointment for Jared at 9:30 AM, and we never got home until about 7:30 PM. I’d call that a full day.

After the dentist appointment, I took the boys to Marnie’s work, and we all had lunch (I had the best meatloaf, I’m going back!). After that was a trip to the zoo including a ride on a steam powered train, and then I dropped them off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house while Marnie and I went to Chapters. Bed time was okay, though Ryan had a tough time sleeping.

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- If anyone can point me to an authors web site, I’d appreciate it.

Gardens of the Moon (Steven Erickson) (link 2)

Writing
Yesterday was a research day. I definately need more background and ‘flavour’ in the outline, so I can put it in the novel. I’ve currently got so many minutae stuck in my head that I don’t know where to start.

Jonathan Sherwood has a good article on sex in fiction here.

Misc
This is a cool picture link

WordPress is up

The WordPress blog is up and limping.  Most of the main pages look good, and display the infromation I want.

First, I tried to take a WordPress theme/template and convert it to look like the rest of my site.  Sadly, my CSS is not up to par, and I failed miserably.  I then attempted to take my CityDesk template and shoehorn it into WordPress.  It has worked, kind of.  I think I’ll still work on getting CSS working, since my nested tables are a bit of mess.

At any rate, I can get on with my life.  I’ll work on the remaining pages over the next few weeks.

The boys were wonderfull while I was doing all of this.  They played quietly and barely got into any fights.  I made sure to thank them personally throughout the day.  So often, we only give negative feedback.  I’m working on re-enforcing the positive as well.

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- If anyone can point me to an authors web site, I’d appreciate it.

Gardens of the Moon (Steven Erickson) (link 2)

Moving to WordPress

This blog is being moved to WordPress. Please be patient as articles are transferred.

Comments work, but the formatting is way off. Working on it.

Actually, formatting on a lot of pages is messed up. Doh.

Back from the camping weekend

Back from the weekend! It was an… interesting time. The boys and I had some good times, and some bad times. I think the good times far outweighed the bad, and fun was had by all.

We arrived on Friday, and it looked like rain. So, I tried to put up a tarp. I ended up flat on my back, bruised and bloody, and mad as hell. That was when Jared open the van window (the boys were inside watching a DVD) and asked why the tent wasn’t up yet.

Not a good way to start a trip.

I finally got the tent up, without the tarp, and hoped it wouldn’t rain. The boys and I played and had supper, and then settled down with a bag of chips in front of the fire. By the time we were done, it was dark and we were all very tired. All of us slept until 9:00 AM.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the sun beat down on us pretty darn good. The boys had been wanting to do a hike, preferably one longer than their current record of 3.2 kms. I, naturally, obliged, and we were off on a 5 km jaunt over rocky knolls and brush filled valleys. In between were cold lakes and tall stands of pine and juniper, with the occasional Aspen trying to get some of the filtered sunlight. And boy was it hot. We were about 4 kms in when the thunder started. Continuous low rumbles, punctuated by sharper blasts. The sky still looked clear blue, but it didn’t take long for the clouds to show up. We had about 10 minutes of our hike left, when the clouds opened up and dumped their load on us. We were soaked to the bone in seconds, and cold. Ten minutes later, at the end of the trail, the rain stopped, the thunder moved off, and the sky was a brilliant blue. We dried off on the way back to camp, and enjoyed a day of swimming and sun tanning.

Sunday started the same way, bright and clear, and stayed that way. It took a couple of hours to clean up camp, followed by a quick swim in the lake and a 2 1/2 hour drive home. Glorious.

Changes
I plan on changing the blog from CityDesk (which, although it is working out quite nicely, is beginning to show some limitations for a blog). I’m looking at WordPress right now, and hopefully I can fit things into it nicely. I plan to keep Citydesk for the rest of the site, just not for the blog.

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- If anyone can point me to an authors web site, I’d appreciate it.

Gardens of the Moon (Steven Erickson) (link 2)

Writing
Only in my head, but I worked out some scenes in there

I met Scott Lynch at KeyCon this year, and now sffworld.com has interviewed him. Scott placed 40 pages of his first novel (ever) on his website/blog for his friends to read. An editor in England read it, sent and email to Scott, and a three book deal was signed. Some people are lucky!

Just too busy…

Yikes! Jared is going for his first sleep over tomorrow. I’m worried, thrilled, scared… the regular parent stuff. I know he’ll have a good time though.

After he gets back on Friday, we’re off to camping at Rushing River again. They enjoyed it so much (as did I) that I figured we’d try for one more trip. This one will be a bit cooler than last time, with daytime highs predicted to be about 21 C, but I’m sure we’ll have fun. Also, it’s a boys only trip. Marnie will be staying home due to work functions that she must attend.

The boys had a new babysitter last night while Marnie and I went out for a Dinner Theatre. They both seemed to do well. In fact, Ryan is still sleeping. Hopefully he’ll last until 8 AM or so.

Life should slow down a bit next week.

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- If anyone can point me to an authors web site, I’d appreciate it.

Gardens of the Moon (Steven Erickson) (link 2

Writing
Not really, though I kicked myself a couple of times.

Not what you think, but I liked the pictures!
http://thenonist.com/index.php/thenonist/permalink/hot_library_smut/

Is this just Filler?

Well, looks like its been a few days since I did a blog entry. I’m not sure if I’m interesting enough to keep this up to an entry a day!

The week so far has gone pretty good (it’s only Tuesday though). The boys are behaving and the house is clean, what more can a stay at home dad ask for?

I’m thinking of heading out camping for the weekend again… we’ll have to see. It can be expensive, about $120 for 5 days. It’s cheaper to be at home, but not as much fun.

We’ve got a dentist appointment for Jared today, and since I can’t dump off Ryan anywhere, this will be his first one without Marnie or I in with him. He’s looking forward to it. It’s only a cleaning, but still…

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- If anyone can point me to an authors web site, I’d appreciate it.

Gardens of the Moon (Steven Erickson) (link 2)

Writing
Monday was shot for writing. I did manage to incorporate some of my character and setting sketches into the outline, but not enough to make me happy. With some luck, I’ll be able to get a couple hours of work in later today.

I found this on Digg, a nice detailed picture of Naboo.
http://www.dusso.com/pages/EP3/sac.html

A Quiet Day

A quiet day.  I spent the morning with the boys and Marnie, and the afternoon with Gav.  First we had coffee with the gang, and then Gav and I went to Earls for beer and girl watching.  A quiet day.

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- If anyone can point me to an authors web site, I’d appreciate it.

Gardens of the Moon (Steven Erickson)

Writing
Not today.

Thank God It's Friday

I never noticed, but I’ve now gone past the one month mark on this blog.  True, a couple of weeks of that was while I was on holiday, but I’m still counting it.  It hasn’t yet (and maybe it never will) become a habit.  We’ll have to see.

Raising kids is a tough job.  I knew that before I took over this job, but I keep getting reminded of it everyday.  This week, especially, has been tough.  It seems that when ever the boys are at home, they start to bicker and get into trouble.  I can’t seem to keep them busy enough.  I’m glad this week is over and Marnie will be home for the weekend.  I need a break, before I lose it again.

Yes, again.  I pretty much lost it this afternoon with them.  They both got a smack on the bottom and timeouts.  The timeouts were okay, but the violence and raising my voice at them (for a prolonged period) is definately not okay.  I ask them to work on things with me, but I know it’s really my job to keep my self in check… not theirs.  I’m working on it.

I’ve become a REACTIVE instead of a PROACTIVE parent.  I react, usually badly, to the things that happen in my household, that the boys do.  When I started, I was proactive.  I helped create the situations that stimulated the boys, and guided them a bit more.  I’m hoping it’s the stress of summer.  They say that knowing the problem is half the solution.  I hope so.

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- If anyone can point me to an authors web site, I’d appreciate it.

Writing
I’ve finished going through the outline, and started integrating my story evolution into the outline.  So far, I’ve identified three new scenes, which will probably end up in a prologue of sorts.  Personally, I don’t like prologues, but it certainly starts the story with a kick, without having to mess up the timeline.

I’m starting to get ansty.  Although I’m reading, editing, and writing the outline, I don’t feel like I’m WRITING.  I feel like I should just get in there and write the damn thing.  I’ve felt this way when I starting speccing a piece of software.  At some point in the design, I’ve always felt like I should just be coding it for chrissakes.  Ahh well….

Jonathan Sherwood is posting about the process he used to write his novel.

Just another day in Paradise

A slow day around the house. Just the regular stuff, misbehaving kids, yelling, etc. We did drop by the kids old daycare place, where they played for about 4 hours. That was fun. Once we got home though, the bickering started again.

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
- If anyone can point me to an authors web site, I’d appreciate it.

Writing
I’m going through the outline a scene at a time and checking for coherency and buildup of suspence and conflict. So far, not too bad, though I still think I’m going to be 20K words short of a novel. Hmmm.

I have put a temporary title on the project though… The Anshi Legacy.

Birthday and School Prep

We had a fairly cloudy/cold day out here today, and I was not looking forward to having the kids in the house all the time again.  So, I did what any sane parent would do: get out of the house.  We spent about 2 1/2 hours at the mall during midday and did some shopping for birthday cards, Marnie’s gift, and school backpacks. 

Tomorrow, I’ll sit down with the boys and figure out a craft they can make for Marnie’s birthday.  I’ll see if I can get them to make her some birthday cards as well.  All I have to do is try to keep it a secret from Marnie (who doesn’t read this blog anyway).  More than likely, one of the boys will start telling her all about it! :-)

I’m actually finding things a bit weird.  When summer holidays started for Jared, I was panicking about how to fill the days so they’ll be happy.  Now that Jared is going to Grade 1 full time, and Ryan is going to pre-school three afternoons a weeks, I’m worried about what to do with all my time.  Just weird.

Reading
Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
   - If anyone can point me to an authors web site, I’d appreciate it.

Writing
I outlined scenes 40 and 41, which is pretty much all I have right now.  I should probably add at least 20 more scenes, but without an additional sub-plot, I may not be able to.  I’ll start fleshing out the outlines a bit more tomorrow, and see where it gets me.  Right now, the antagonist basically stays in the background.  He’s a plot motivator, but not a central character.  I think if I can bring him to the forefront a bit more, I’ll get a more solid story, and my extra scenes.I outlined scenes 40 and 41, which is pretty much all I have right now.

Here are a couple of things I found on the net today.  This is a cool speed test for your Internet connection.

Clarkesworld is a new (for me) online magazine that pays about 10 cents a word.

And finally, a piece of advice I found on the Asimov’s board.  There is a thread talking about the best thing any one has said to you, as you were leaving their employ, and this one just stuck with me:
“You must never be above telling a bold faced lie.  Now off with you!”
It was told by a boss to his employee on the employee’s last day.