My fourth book just hit the (Internet) streets!

29 June 2014

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I was surprised to realize that I hadn’t posted anything since the release of my third book, “The Glory of a King” (still available for only 99 cents at Amazon.com and BN.com!). In my defense, I’ve been busy … working on my fourth book. And now “One World, Infinite Possibilities” is done, and it’s out, and its beautiful bold cover is staring you right in the face! Yayyyy!

And of all my books so far, I’m kind of happiest about this one. Not because it’s the latest, or that it’s intrinsically better than all my other books (I love ALL my books equally). But because it’s representative of a lifelong love affair with science fiction.

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Thinking inside the box(es): the blessing of a schedule

16 August 2011

I’m coming up on three years of being unemployed now.

Now, I will admit there are a couple of asterisks attached to that statement.  I did a three-week temp job riding public transportation for a consulting firm.  I’ve also done a little freelance wordsmithing (business letters and the like) for a couple of friends who needed such things done.  And from August 2009 until last month, I was spending several hours a day caring for a severely disabled child.  But still, I haven’t had semi-permanent, full-time employment since just after Lehman Brothers went splat.  (Probably not coincidental.)

All that time NOT spent on a 9-5 or similar schedule has been rough on me.  I’m someone that needs to be busy — even if I’m doing nothing much, it needs to be a “doing nothing much” that keeps me focused and occupied.  (Prayer isn’t a problem; that’s “doing something,” and I have to be focused so I don’t miss what God might say.  But no silent meditation for me, thanks.)  Which means that I end up finding things to fill the time, but without the requirements of a job, filling the time can end up meaning looking at funny captions on pictures of cats for two hours at a clip.  And that sort of thing was beginning to happen more and more.

Clearly, I needed to get myself on a schedule.

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Projecting 2011

4 January 2011

So here we are, four days into the new year.  I’m sure that you or someone you know has made some “New Year’s resolutions,” statements on how you’re going to do things differently in 2011.  Maybe you’ve even broken one or more of them already.  Me, I don’t really do those anymore, for two reasons:

  1. My tendency is to constantly make resolutions for myself year-round, so setting aside one time of year for them would just be excessive.
  2. It doesn’t work all that well.

I look back at my resolutions for 2009 and just laugh — what with my son Sean’s Leigh’s disease, my mom’s death and my lack of willpower, none of them lasted to Labor Day.  It’s just like the bit in James 4:13-15 — you can make all the plans you want, but if God has other plans for you, your to-do list is dust in the wind.  So, no N.Y.R.s for this little black duck!

However, I’m not the type who can simply burrow through the days with no measurable long-term goal.  I used to get those from my job(s), but with being Sean’s full-time caregiver/physical therapist/doctor wrangler, that’s simply not in the picture at present.  And you can’t really set personal goals for someone else’s medical recovery, especially when said recovery is as off the charts as Sean’s is (and hopefully will continue to be).  So I realized as 2010 wound down that I needed some projects, some things that could provide goals (however unimportant) to keep the goal-shooting-for part of my personality occupied and out of trouble.

And given the events of the last couple of years, I figured picking them myself was probably the wrong move.  So I needed to talk to God and find out what He wanted me doing.  Only I wasn’t quite prepared for what He had to say …

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Out on a literary limb

26 October 2010

I did it.  Yesterday afternoon, I clenched my teeth, summoned up my courage, went ahead and did it.

I still feel nervous about it.  I know there will be people that will think I’ve been wasting my time and energy.  I’ve got a good chance of facing rejection by some very respectable people.  I did it anyway.  I had to.  If I was going to obey what I perceive to be God’s will (not to mention keep my sanity), I needed to do this.

Simply put, this wannabe novelist is back on the horse once again!

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Well, I said I was tired …

10 October 2010

… yeah, I did.  But I had no idea how tired I was until I finally had a chance to really rest!

After this last year-plus, I’ve needed nothing more than a good long vacation.  Even though things have stabilized greatly (I haven’t had any more moms die lately), there was still this residual backlog of fatigue, so to speak.  I was trying to chop it down to size as best I could, and more recently applying the “no competitions – no challenges – no cereals” credo I mentioned a few weeks ago.  (Not perfectly, of course — I’ve fallen back into more than a few games of Risk at Pogo, albeit playing against the computer, which is a lot easier.  And pizza is still my kryptonite when it comes to keeping the carbs down.)  Slowly, my energy tank was getting filled back up again.

And then along came an unexpected blessing: the local school district’s screwball sked.

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The problems with critics

23 July 2010

For the last few months, I’ve been looking forward to the release of the film Inception, director Christopher Nolan’s latest mindbender.  The first teaser I saw blew me away, not only with its special effects (and I’m not normally impressed much by gaudy F/X) but with its basic premise of planting and extracting thoughts from minds, of playing games with perception and reality.  I like movies that mess with my head a little (Being John Malkovich is still a favorite of mine).  And if said movie features an all-star cast of great actors — Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page and Ellen Page, to name a few — so much the better.

Oh, and did I mention the movie has Ellen Page in it?  That’s a big point in its favor too.  (I’m fully on the “Ellen Page is cute” bandwagon.  My wife of 11 years is tolerating it wonderfully — probably because she knows that if all else fails, she can bring up her long-standing feelings about Brian Boitano or Joe Montana and leave me in knots.  Of such checks and balances is a great marriage made.)

So I was pretty stoked leading up to the July 16 drop date for Inception … only to have an early review of it set me back on my heels.

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Laughs and lessons from the “Satellite of Love”

18 July 2010

Two trends in my life have collided recently.  One is that with all the busyness of taking care of Sean, the rest of the family, the house and grounds, this blog and what-have-you, I have to find some way to relax at the end of the day.  Preferably one that doesn’t cost any extra money.

The other is my on-and-off relationship with popular entertainment, which means that I’ve often missed entire waves of pop culture because I’m simply occupied elsewhere.  (There’s only so many hours in the day, after all.)  For instance, I was largely unconscious of the entire grunge movement in the early ’90s and the Alanis Morrisette thing a few years later.  I’ve never watched a single episode of The West Wing, The Sopranos or Six Feet Under, and only one each of Seinfeld and Frasier.  These were part of the lives of millions of people, but had little or no impact on me.  Sometimes I get caught up after the fact; other times, I’m simply left mystified at the appeal of this or that trend and move on.  (Alanis falls into the latter category for me.  Sorry, ma’am.)

Recently I’ve discovered a one-time pop culture phenomenon that is also serving as a method of relaxation for me.  It’s a little low-budget TV show of recent vintage with the unlikely title of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

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