Thursday, June 30

Thirsty Thursday #10

Thirsty Thursday is my own recurring meme whereupon I lift a glass (metaphorically speaking) to celebrate the triumphs I have experienced in the last seven days. They can be big, they can be small, but there has to be something because I believe life is all about looking at the positive. It's simply too short and too unpredictable to focus on the negative. So with that in mind, here is why I'm raising a glass today:

1. A special shout out and lead off entry to my best friend Dan. He and his wife have brought a brand new baby boy into the world and I couldn't be happier for the both of them. Congratulations you two.

2. We have pumpkins! I color this as a reason to celebrate because, despite the fact that it's several months still before Halloween, the pumpkin plant in our garden had done a lot of growing and taking over (to the point where I jokingly refer to it as the pumpkin infestation) without a whole lot of producing. That has now changed as we have two growing and a what looks like a couple of more on the way.

3. This actually took place over a length of time but it is only now that I feel like it is an actual accomplishment. My son has graduated into a full-time potty-user. If you're a parent, you understand the significance of this statement. Now we just have to work on my daughter, who has half the equation down and still goes to bed with a diaper on. However, we fully expect by this time next year, or even sooner, she will have broached this milestone as well.

4. We stayed within budget on our grocery shopping this month, but actually ended up buying much more in terms of worth. Our coupon-saving efforts have worked out and we're going to attempt to drop our monthly grocery budget down a bit since we don't need to buy as much for a bit.

5. I discovered something awesome last month that has me giddy and hopeful for my future as a writer. Over the course of about a month, in the Sony e-book store, The Plan, my failed contest short story, had been downloaded over 300 times. I have done no actual marketing on it, so people are basically coming into it on their own. It has also been downloaded a lot in the iBookstore, and while I don't have any numbers there, it has 19 "reviews" (current standing at 3-stars, which just reinforces my thought that I could have done better). I'm also interested in seeing the numbers on B&N when they come in. As an experiment, and to see if it'll help sales to Spiral X, I have permanently reduced the price of Split to FREE on Smashwords and its distribution channels. This was the plan anyway, for later this year, I'm just accelerating it a little bit. The sales were minimal at best, so doing this isn't going to hurt and might even help garner me some new fans.

That's it for now. I'll see you guys in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, June 16

Thirsty Thursday #9

Thirsty Thursday is my own recurring meme whereupon I lift a glass (metaphorically speaking) to celebrate the triumphs I have experienced in the last seven days. They can be big, they can be small, but there has to be something because I believe life is all about looking at the positive. It's simply too short and too unpredictable to focus on the negative. So with that in mind, here is why I'm raising a glass today:

Thirst Thursday

Today I want to highlight the following, which have happened at various points in the last few weeks.

1. As posted before, I'm a huge Dallas sports homer (except for the Stars... NO GOAL!), so consider this my fan post about the Mavericks NBA Championship. YEAH BABY! I got my sports cry on the next day watching the mini movie put out by the NBA on YouTube. The point I got choked up was when Shawn Marion and his mom were hugging and she was crying and saying, "We did it baby!" Indeed they did. The players are the ones who do the task, but it's the coaches, the trainers, and ultimately the family members who back them up. When they won, everyone won. *sniffle* Consequently, that's why I haven't been around for the past week.

2. Finished my previous classes, Small Business Management and Intro to Java Programming. I aced both classes. For my SBM class I had to submit an actual business plan, which I did for my business as an author. The professor (Dr. Fail!) said it was very well done and wished me the best of luck. That said, being able to see three years into the future and what the goal is by that point, I'm better able to put the present into perspective and realize that I have time before this become viable as a career.

3. Son finished pre-K and he's set up for Kindergarten. Looking forward to not having him around for a bit during the day. Won't be complete silence because daughter is still only going to Pre-K, but a couple of hours of childless silence might slow down some of the grey hairs creeping in (not really).

4. New Boss-Boss at work. I have a lot of confidence that he will bring about positive change to the culture around there. Which is a good thing, cause things haven't been all roses and kittens for a couple of years.

And that's it.

Thursday, June 9

June 9th Journal

Starting Word Count: 65,824
Ending Word Count: 66,867

Much better day writing wise but I was seriously distracted most of the day and could have gotten more done.

Line: I pulled the trigger, and in a split second the back of the vampire’s head disappeared in a spray of blood, bone, and brains.

Earned one hour of playtime from writing, but I also did some schoolwork and chores so I tacked on an hour for that as well.

Game: NBA 2K11

Summary: Two tough games. Miami game was a loss, mirrored parts of the series going on now, down in the 4th but fought to come back and came up short. Then a last second loss to Orlando as well. Ah well, can't win 'em all.

Wednesday, June 8

June 8th Journal

Starting Word Count: 65,614
Ending Word Count: 65,824

Didn't get a lot done today because of a couple of reasons. The first of which is that today was the first day of the new term, so I had to go through the usual start of term rigamarole of introductions and syllabus and such. Plus, at work we're doing a fair about of installs for a refresh project and I didn't have a whole lot of free time. Plus, when I did have free time I found myself looking up articles about the Mavs win last night.

Line: Father Harold had always said the vampires, at their core, are still human, and still thought much like a human.

No earned playtime but I decided to use my 'banked' hour after my Mobile Systems seminar.

Game: NBA 2K11

Summary: Game against the Suns. We killed them and won by 20. Next game is against the Heat. Let's see if I can beat them senseless. /smile

Tuesday, June 7

June 7th Journal

Starting Word Count: 64,596
Ending Word Count: 65,614

Close to being done with Chapter Twenty-One. Going much like I expected. Sometimes what you figure is going to happen ends up changing a little as the story is told, but there isn't too much deviation from what I had outlined. I did recognize something I need to change to sort of have things make more sense, but I'll get to that in the revision.

Line: For a long moment, the flash and blur of movement too fast to catch fully with the human eye was all I saw.

I did a little over 1000 words so that's one hour of playtime.

Game: None. Watching the Mavs in the Finals, so I'm banking this one hour for the weekend.

Summary: N/A

Monday, June 6

June 6th Journal

Starting Word Count: 63,570
Ending Word Count: 64,596


Line: "You and me!" I shouted to Brett. "Get in front of him so the way is blocked."

I did a little over 1000 words so that's one hour of playtime.

Game: NBA 2K11

Summary: Tough loss to the Trailblazers. Back and forth all game long, and it ended up going into overtime. Unfortunately, I had five fouls and was the only member of the team on a hot streak going into it. I fouled out a minute into the extra time, and they never scored another point. So we lost.

Sunday, June 5

June 5th Journal

Starting Word Count: 62014
Ending Word Count: 63570

Finished Chapter Twenty, and things are about to get interesting.

Line: Everyone here, even those without a lick of psychic ability, knew where we were going.

I earned two hours for 1500 words, plus I added an hour for getting the lawn done (front and back).

Game: NBA 2K11

Summary: Actually ended up only playing two games because after the third game, it crashed and I was forced to reload a previous save. No biggy. Two wins and one player of the game. Mavs sit 4th in the West.

Saturday, June 4

June 4th Journal

Starting Word Count: 60514
Ending Word Count: 62014

Started into Chapter Twenty and it's the calm before the storm.

Line: "I want weapons hot, but do not shoot civilians, even if you think they might be vamps. If you have to, pop a knee and move on."

I earned two hours of playing time for 1500 words.

Game: NBA 2K11

Summary: Been on a kick with the Mavs in the playoffs and now in the Finals. I also love Role-playing Games and the 2K games have something called My Player, which fits into that neatly. So I started a player a few weeks ago and have been having a blast. I'm on the Mavs (of course), and currently sit as their second best scorer behind Dirk. Right now I'm actually the #1 scorer because he's playing hurt and gets a lot of bench time, but normally he's the first option. Mavs are 4th in the West at the moment, and we're roughly 1/4 of the way through the season.

Something New

I'm going to try something new to keep myself motivated to write. I've always done what I could to balance out my fun with the things I consider work. And to know me is to know that if it's not fun, it's probably work. It's no real secret that work on Bitter Nights took a massive dive around the time of my vacation back in April. I'm at a loss to explain what happened, but I think it's best summed up as a need to take a break. I'm doing this writing thing while also being a father, working full-time, and going to school full-time. As tough as it may be to say it, the writing really does take a back seat to all of that. Family is obvious, work pays the bills, and school will eventually pay the bills. However, that's not all of the reason why I stopped playing. Because when I check out, I check out. So the rest of the truth in this is that I went on a gaming binge. When I had spare moments, I'd play games. But that, it seems has drawn to a close. At least, I've decided to do something to help me get the best of both worlds.

From now on, I can't play any games until I write at least 1,000 words for the day. Then, I get an hour. For every 500 words beyond that initial 1,000, I get an additional hour. And that's how it's going to work. When I don't have anything to write or edit, I will outline. The gist of it is that I need to put the writing ahead of the gaming. And so far it's working, as this is my 3rd day on this.

However, I think I need something else. I think I need to let you all in on what I'm doing. So at the end of the day, before I go to bed, I'll do a recap of what I've written (without spoilers) and something that happened in whatever game I'm playing. One, it'll put content on this blog, which I will admit has been woefully lacking. Two, it's a way to let you guys in on what I'm writing, a way to keep you informed of my progress. Three, I'm a gamer, so I like crowing about the things I do.

So let's give this a shot and see what happens. At the very least, you'll get a week's worth of something to look at.