Yearly Archives: 2006

Last Ride?

So I went out for a motorcycle ride last Sunday. I left the house and met Steve (FZ1) and Greg (ST1100) and we headed out the Whiteshell. What a blast, 8 1/2 hours of pure fun. Some twisty roads and small hills, on really bad concrete. What more can I ask for? Of course, as we started heading home, I saw a deer in the ditch. It freaked me right out, since if I hit one on the bike I probably wouldn’t be as lucky as I was in the van.

Now that I’m a stay at home Dad, I probably won’t be able to register the bike next year. $2000 for a 2003 bike is a bit steep for me. Now that I’m thoroughly depressed about that…

It's sometimes too much

I’ve been feeling pretty stressed out lately. It seems that I always have more work to do in a day than I actually have time for, and that includes the writing I want/need to get done. Sadly, the stress is being taken out on not only myself, but on those around me as well. I’m pretty short tempered on an average day, and when I’m as stressed as I feel now — look out!

So, with that in mind, I’ve decided to change some stuff around here. I will always be driven by the clock, since I have to get Jared to and from school on time. It’s how I deal with the clock that will change. And how I handle interruptions (for example, right now I have to read Jared a book. I promised, and now I have to squeeze it in before he leaves for school. So be it, I’ll be back).

Okay, it’s now almost an hour later. I have to leave to pick Jared up for lunch in 2 hours and 15 minutes. No too bad this morning. I’ll finish up my thoughts, and then head out for some grocery shopping.

I certainly need to be more flexible with with my time. Since ‘my time’ is essentially set by ‘kid time’ I have to be flexible. I think my priorities will look something like this.

  1. kids
  2. writing
  3. housework
  4. other stuff

Television used to be a big thief for me, but I now have that down to less than 2 hours a week (Survivor and Criminal Minds). When Battlestar Galactica gets started it’ll be slightly less than 3 hours a week. I think that’s pretty good.

As long as I can keep in mind that I need to be flexible, I think things will be better. I hope.

I’ve brought my WIP counter in house…
[pfmeter id=1 target=100000 progress=4491]

Saturday Bitchin' Blues

With Jared being in full time school, and Ryan in three afternoons a week, I end up getting about 2 hours at a stretch to do stuff before I have to pick either of them up from school. Most days, that is a bit shorter, somewhere around one hour and 45 minutes.

That gives me time to do some house cleaning, a bit of writing, yard work. Stuff like that. If I need to leave the house, I can get grocery shopping in, including the unpacking and placing on shelves all the stuff I bought.

What it doesn’t give me time for, is something like buying a winter coat for myself. So I end up doing stuff like that on Saturdays or evenings.

Last week, I went to Canadian Tire one evening and bought a Columbia Jacket with zip in fleece. Very nice. My only problem with it was that it was a waist length jacket, rather than a colder weather mid-thigh length one. I knew when I bought it that I wasn’t too comfortable with that, so I made sure to ask if I could return it at any Canadian Tire in Winnipeg (like, say, the one closer to my home). “No problem,” I was told.

Today, I went to return the damn thing. After 1/2 at Canadian Tire, I was told they would not take it. It wasn’t a regularly stocked item at this store, and they refused. Frakin’(1) great. I drive 25 minutes to the store I bought it from, get my money, and head over to WalMart for a cabinet they have on sale that the wife wants. The parking lot is fairly empty, so I go in an pick it up. By the time I get to the check-out stands, they are huge. I waited 35 minutes to buy a $29 cabinet. Yay!

I then drive to meet friends for coffee. The place recently switched to table service from ordering at the front counter. No problem. The place is half full with one waitress. A new waitress. A flustered waitress. A slow waitress. After waiting for 20 to 30 minutes, I went up to the counter to place my order, got what I wanted and sat down. My friends at the table had to wait at least 10 more minutes to get service. I can see that this is going to go well.

Okay. So far so bad. I am not a happy camper. On the way home, I get the boys skates sharpened (classes start on Monday), and all goes well. Things are looking up. I get home, the boys have been good and are playing nice. Marnie is happy, and I start to cheer up a bit.

After about 1/2 hour (is that a magic time-frame or what?) the kids stop playing computer and end up in Jared’s bedroom. Around two seconds later, Jared is bawling his head off, and he has teeth marks on his belly. Anger flares, punishment is delivered, and bad moods erupt everywhere. (Ryan started biting three days ago. I don’t get it).

Well, at least the day ended well. We went out for dinner with Grandma and Grandpa and the kids were good, though maybe a tad loud, and they went to bed just fine afterward.

I had hoped to get some writing in, but I am truly fried and must sleep. I’ll read a bit and then pass out, fresh and ready for dealing with the boys tomorrow.

Well, not too much, but some. It’s almost all crap (Show, don’t tell).

I am considerring lowering my expectations, and reducing the novels size to 90,000 words. We’ll see. I am also contemplating breaking one of my rules. With my short stories, I did not revise until the entire story was on paper. With the novel (considerring my poor morale so far) I thought I would take the prologue and do second revisions on it right now. I don’t know, it depends on the mood you catch me in. Aaaargh!

I found a cool on-line camera. It’s called Africam, and can be found right here: AFRICAM The sound quality is awesome, and I’ve already seen some sort of antelope creature come to the pond for a drink. Cool.

(1) Gotta love Battlestar Galacticca!

Very busy and nothing done

A very busy, non-writing day. Ryan and I did some fun stuff with some of the other parents and kids this morning, and this afternoon was pretty much wasted at the dentists office.

I had planned to write this evening, but my brother called and we talked for a few hours. It was okay, since I was feeling under-motivated and lethargic. I would have spent the evening clicking links on web pages anyway. Tomorrow will be a productive day!

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Speculative Fiction was given out.

And now for some solo rock climbing up The Nose in Yosemite. 3000 feet up, and no rope. Yikes.

So… Tired…

Whew, what a day. There ended up being 16 kids in pre-school today, and my job (besides supplying the snack) turned out to be mostly cleanup and the craft of the day. For the craft, I got 4 kids at a time, and they painted plain white bread with milk mixed with food coloring (in the fall colors). After the bread was painted I toasted it, and they were able to eat thier painted toast (with butter) along with the apples, grapes, and strawberries I brought.

All in all a good time.

By the time we got home though, everyone was tired. And that never makes for a smooth evening. Right now both boys are in bed, and hopefully they’ll be asleep soon.

None today, so far. I have a few hours left this evening before I crash into bed.

Did you know that there are 51 sub-genres in science fiction and fantasy?
Just for those that know how much coffee I drink, here is why.

Forward Motion

Tomorrow is going to be quite the day! Jared has a ‘hot lunch’ day at school, so I won’t see him for lunch. Then he has a play date at a friends place after school. The only time I’ll see him will be in the early morning, and again for dinner. I think he’ll be tired.

Ryan, on the other hand, I’ll see all day. Our pre school is a co-op, and part of the deal is that a parent must co-teach at least 5 times a year. When Jared was there, Marnie did all the co-teaching. Now that I am at home, that job falls on my shoulders. I have to admit, I’m a bit scared. Me around 19 three and four years olds for about 2 hours. I think I might go and puke now. Yikes.

So far so good, I did another 1,154 words today. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up to my planned schedule. My main problem is that I am 5 scenes into the novel, which by my estimates should be about 5000 words in. Being somewhere around 3000 words in, makes me think I may have a 60,000 word novel instead of 100,000 word one. If that’s the case, I’ll never be able to sell it. No one buys a 60,000 word novel anymore.

Where am I?

It turned out to be a really nice day here. Weather wise, we had 18C with a cool breeze. Family wise, it wasn’t too bad either. Jared has begin to dislike going to school in the morning. It’s all due to the fact that he wants to be able to play more in the morning. Lunch time isn’t too bad, since he knows that time is tight, but mornings can be a bit tough.

I’ve started doing homework with Jared everyday after school. Another thing he despises. He has to read a book to me, and then we work on his list of 5 words. Last week, he got them all wrong on Monday. By the time the test came, he got 100% right! This week, he got all of the words right, so I expect the same on the Friday test. Even though he got them all right, we still practice his words every day.

According to the teacher, she really doesn’t care how many they get wrong on a Monday. What she is looking for is the amount of improvement between Monday and Friday. Well, since Jared got 100% on Monday, his improvement will be 0. Last week his improvement was 100%. I wonder if I should tell him to throw the Monday words, so his improvement always looks great. (Just kidding, really!)

Well, 1312 new words today. Not too bad. I am hoping for about 1000 a day. Time limits, including those imposed by the boys, will always cut into my writing time. I just need to work around that. The last 400 or so words are really starting to sound like an infodump, disguised as dialogue. I’ll have to work through that for sure! The meter below shows 1%, but it’s really at 1.67%.  At this rate, I should finish the novel sometime around mid October, 2010 (assuming I started Sept 1st like I wanted to, I’m averaging 87 words per day).

Crawford Killian has written some stuff on how to write a novel.

The Late Post with Gerald Brandt

Man, this blog thing either has to become more of a habit or get dumped. Five days since my last post. Yikes. Something has to change here.

The weekend was good, well, Sunday at least. Saturday (during the day) was pure hell. Marnie had to work Saturday, so I had the kids. Normally, this would not be a problem, but it seems that the more I stay at home with the boys, the more I look forward to, and even need, a bit of slack time on Saturdays. I need to know that I can share the responsibilities of the boys with Marnie. Having them for the extra day makes me a tad short with them. Again, normally not a big deal, but this Saturday they both seemed to forget how to behave like human children. The day (mid-afternoon) ended up with us leaving coffee early, and Ryan having a forced nap in his room. The boy hasn’t napped in over a year, but I had more than enough!

After the nap for Ryan and a quiet time for Jared, both boys found thier human halfs again and life continued. We ended up at an outdoor wienie roast and chili eating evening at fellows writers Nicholes place. Fun for all.

As for writing, well… I seem to have had a tough time with the start (it didn’t help that I didn’t have much actual time). So, this is where I am…

It’s a good 382 words though (I think).

Isaac Asimov on computers.

Progress slows a tad

My current WIP is stuck again. I know that I need some extra scenes portraying my antagonist, giving his character more depth and reasons for doing what he is doing. I’m just not sure on how to do it, and where. I may have to keep this idea in the back of my mind, while I go on and start writing. I may need to do some revisions later to make everything fit, which I would prefer to do in the outline. But, I’m not willing to delay the start any longer.

In fact, I think I’ll start placing this word count in my blog.

Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
– yes, it is taking a long time.

Here are the six steps to writing a best selling Fantasy novel.

Once again, progress is made

You know, I truly hate being sick. That being said, I have an excuse not to do too much housework, which means I had a chance to re-read and modify my novel outline. I have a couple of more scenes to add, and I should start writing on Friday. That’s actually quite a relief. I’ve been working on the outline forever (or so it feels), and I either need to start writing the damn thing or dump it all together.

Going through the outline felt good though. It’s the first time I’ve looked at it as a whole unit in quite some time, and the plot felt solid and always forward advancing. The build up of conflicts and the resolutions felt well timed as well. We’ll see what happens once it’s written.

I actually took a break in adding the new antagonist scenes to write in the blog (I’m a bad boy), so I think I’ll be heading back to it now. Oops, what I mean is “Arrr Matey, I’ll be gettin’ back to task at hand… ya scurvy dog”. 😉

Soul of the Samurai (Thomas Cleary)
– yes, it is taking a long time.