Category Archives: Parenting

I'm… so… tired…

What a week. My boys both had their birthdays this week. On Wednesday I spent the afternoon in Ryan’s pre-school class, and baked 24 cupcakes for them. On Friday, I spent the afternoon in Jared’s grade 1 class, with another 24 cupcakes. Friday evening Ryan had his party with his friends, on Saturday, Jared had his. Sunday we had dinner for the whole family and the family birthday party. Today I have to clean up from the dinner.

It would all have been okay, except that my bro came in from Calgary, so to top it off, I climbed into bed at 3:00 AM Sunday morning. Ugh.

So, no writing in a while, which kinda hurts. I’ll catch up this week (I promise).

First WIP Milestone!

So, it’s the young ones birthday today. We’re not doing too much special today, but the ‘kids’ party is on Friday, and the family party is on Sunday. Even my bro will be here for that! I’m very much looking forward to his visit.

Anyway, the look on Ryan’s face was priceless this morning. For the last year, he’s always heard me ask ‘Who’s my favorite 3 year old?’ This morning when I asked ‘Who’s my favorite 4 year old?’, he grinned, went kinda shy, and pointed at himself. Wheee!

I’ve noticed something. When I’m neck deep into my WIP, the blog languishes by the wayside. Interesting. I’m guessing it’s just because of the limited hours in a day. I hope y’all (yes, y’all can easily be translated to ‘my single reader’) don’t mind.

And speaking of the WIP, it’s progressing. I’ve officially brought the word count down from 100,000 words to 90,000. At this point, I don’t think I’ll reach 100,000. Heck, at this point I’m not sure I’ll reach 40,000. I’m hoping my ‘instincts’, as much as I can have them on my first novel attempt, holds true. This being draft zero, there are a lot of sections of simply telling. And, as we all know, when the showing starts, the word count goes up. Saying ‘Bob was mad’ could easily turn into a paragraph showing that Bob was mad.

I’m hoping anyway. I’ve decided not to worry about it too much (only about 100 times a day), and just complete draft zero. I’ll worry about everything else later.

You may have noticed I’m calling it draft zero. My personal opinion is that the first draft is such a hodge podge that it can’t really be called draft 1. There is tons of telling, a few POV issues, and I seem to be moving from 3rd person present tense to 3rd person past tense at random. What I will call my first draft will first and foremost solve those problems. Draft 2 and onwards will start looking at other things.

I’ve passed what I will call ‘The First WIP Milestone’. I have over 10,000 words in 11 scenes. I’ve outlined 41 scenes, which is why I’m concerned about word count. Still, I’m happy!

[pfmeter id=1 target=90000 progress=10826]

Time Management? What Time Management?

Jonathon Sherwood recently posted a question on his blog. This is my response:

Juggling the time to write with the time for kids or work is one of the most difficult tasks I have to perform.

Some have told me I should have no problem juggling my time, since I am a stay-at-home dad. Personally I find that my personal/writing time is scarcer than it ever was. I’ve actually written a bit about this in my blog recently.

What happens is that the stress really starts to pile up. I look at my WIP and the kids start clamouring for attention. I play with the kids and the WIP languishes at the wayside. By the time I sit down and start writing, it’s mostly bad (okay, so it’s still first draft).

I tend to be an organized ‘by the clock’ kind of guy. I had my days scheduled to play with the kids in the mornings, while doing housework. In the afternoons, monitor the kids play and write write write. Hey, it actually worked for a month or two, until the pressure built too high.

My decision in the end is closely related to my ‘by the clock’ method I described above. The main difference is my attitude. I have decided to prioritize my work, and be much more relaxed about the whole process:

1. kids
2. writing
3. housework
4. others

A short and simple list. If I am working on item 3, I allow items 1 and 2 to interrupt at any time. If I am working on item 1, nothing is allowed to interrupt.

Do I get any writing done? Surprisingly yes. In fact, I get more time than when I stressed over it.

Is my house clean? Sure. Not as clean as before, but it’s still good.

I told my wife about my priorities, especially that the house may not be as clean as normal, and she was all for it. I’m more relaxed, the kids are happier, and the world continues to spin.

I’m still writing mostly bad, but that’s a different issue entirely! 🙂

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.