Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 27 & 28

Totally slacked off again, and found myself needing to write 1,000 words to make up for the missed day. I managed, getting 1,126, but I need to stop with the slacking. I only have two days left here, and I am going to make sure that I write 500 on each of those days.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 25 & 26

Boom, baby! This afternoon, I wrote 1,073 words. That was 500 for today, and 500 to make up for my laziness from yesterday. While I actually wrote 1,700 words yesterday, they were catching up on my family blogs and stuff like that, things that I've let slide all month long. Then when it came time to write on my story, I didn't feel like it any longer.

But now I'm caught back up, and it's not even 2:00 o'clock yet. That may be a record. I wonder if I'll be able to finish "Sepia Tone Prison" before October starts. Well, if I don't, it doesn't matter, because I'm going to keep on writing either way!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 23 & 24

Okay, I wrote 1,426 words tonight. That's not quite the 1,500 that I was shooting for, but I'm going to say it's close enough and declare myself caught up.

I'm one scene shy of the turning point in my story, which is looking as though it'll end up being a novelette, since it's already upwards of 4,000 words and not quite halfway done. Ah well. I never have been able to tell a short story. maybe I'll make that my goal with the next thing that I write. Or maybe I should just go all out and write a novel. Maybe that's what I should be doing here. I don't know. Anyway, I'm back on track. Tomorrow, I'll get my 500 in on time, so I don't have to do any of this crap again.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 22

Yeah, I know, it's not the 22nd. But I'm just finally getting around to getting my 500 words written for that day. This week has been hellish. A lot of stress at work, working a different (crappier) schedule, and have found it nigh on impossible to carve out the time for any writing. So here I am, with three days worth to catch up to.

Well, it's late, and I really ought to get to bed, but I think I'll see if I can write a bit more. So far, I've written 500 of the 1,500 words that I owe today. I'd like to cut that down a bit more. Maybe combining today and tomorrow, I can get all the backlog filled in. Unfortunately, I work tomorrow as well. Yes, boys and girls, I get a fabulous one day weekend this week. I could really use the day off, but someone else is on vacation, so I'm filling in instead. I just hope it's a quiet day at work for once. No more stress. My shoulders are so damned clenched I can barely stand it.

Okay, done with the whining. Upward and onward!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Haven't Done Them Yet Today, But I Will...

...Why? Well, I found a quote in an article by comic book writer, Ron Marz, talking about what a writer must deal with that kind of explains it, and gives me encouragement. He said that you are "a better writer today than [you are] yesterday," and you "will be a better writer tomorrow than [you are] today." But of course that will only happen if you are working on it, you know like by writing 500 words a day or more.

So, it's off to write 500 more. Like the Proclaimers said, "I would write 500 words, and I would write 500 more..." or maybe that's not quite what they said, but it's close.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 21

Woohoo! Managed to get all the way caught up and then some. Wrote 1,317 words today, and I'll have a clean slate to start with tomorrow. Nice.

Oooh, I Got A Better Picture

It's still a little fuzzy, because it was taken through the window screen, but this time the bird was on a flower that was much closer, with less other things around to steal the focus.


Oh, and I did manage to get some of my words written too. Still have to catch up for yesterday, but I'm already 450 into the 1,000.

Distractions

I'm trying to write my words for today...and yesterday, and right outside my window there are several birds fighting over the seeds in what's left of our sunflowers.


It's pretty cool to see them hang upside down from the flowers while they peck out the seeds. I tried to get some good pictures of it, but my camera's zoom lens is not really made for wildlife photography. Can't even manage to get the birds in focus rather than the plants.



Oh well, time to stop paying attention to that, and get writing.

Day 19 & 20

The 19th was a bad day for writing. I never got a moment to put any words down. I went straight from work to meet Rish, and we recorded our stuff all night long for the show. By then it was around 3:00 am, so I gave up and went to bed. I figured I'd write 1,000 words the next day, like I've done a few other times so far, to make up for it.

Only, on the 20th, I only managed to write 575 words. I guess that means I need to write 1,000 words today, to make up for my lack from yesterday. We'll see how that works, I guess. Here it goes...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 18

Oh, I came this close (imagine something that is very close) to just saying screw it, and going to bed. I was damned tired, but I hadn't written my words yet. So, I dragged my lazy carcass to the computador, and typed out 704 words.

Now that I fulfilled my obligation, though, I'm hitting the sack. Good night, everybody.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 17

Always with the last minute. I need to learn to write in the morning or something. That would surely make it easier, I'd think.

Anyway, I wrote 584 words today, finishing off scene two. Things are coming along.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 16

629 word into my new story, "Sepia Tone Prison." It's a ghost story, but not a scary ghost story, or at least not a completely scary ghost story. There is a little bit of haunting that does go on, but that's for another day. Today, I wrote the opening scene. We're on our way, and I think it's going to be a fun ride.

I think I might get two stories completely written before the month is out. That may well be a record. Goooooooo me!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 14 & 15

Last night, I was moments from sleep, when suddenly my eyes popped open in alarm. I'd just realized that I'd forgotten to write my 500 words. Crap!

Well, as important as my goal is, I was moments from sleep, and I was going to go ahead and stay in bed. I could make up for it in the morning.

And so I did. I did my writing for both days today, working on the characters for my next story, "Sepia Tone Prison." I'm excited, because I think I'm ready to get started now. I know enough about my characters, and the plot that they will follow, to start writing it.

So, tomorrow, I will start into the actual words of the story. That's the fun part, so, I can't wait.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 13

I posted the new episode, then sat down to write. It flowed much better than it has for the last two days. Work on the new story started as a trickle on Sunday, grew on Monday, and now, Tuesday, it is like someone turned the hose on full blast. I wrote 762 words on the step outline this evening, and had a great time doing it. I want to put in some more work on the character outlines still for the next couple days, to make sure all the characters are interesting enough to care about, and then it'll be time to write for real.

Writing is work, especially on days that the words won't come easy. But on those days when it flows like magic from your fingertips, it's just so damn fun. I just wish every day were one of those.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 11 & 12

Working on my new story now, but still just the planning stages so far. As I work on the character bios, though, the ideas are starting to flow, and I'm starting to see how this story might come about. I'm a little worried about how well I can write it, because the characters are, although living in the modern world, old fashioned or out of time even. I'm wondering how believable I can make that. I may have to rent a bunch of old movies or something and watch them to try to pick up some speech patterns and the like.

It's a really good idea, I think, I just hope I can execute it well.

Anyway, I'm still on goal, after 12 days. Last night, I almost said screw it. I had a bad sinus headache, and I was just going to put off my writing till the next day, doubling up and writing 1,000 words. But I just didn't feel right doing that purposefully. So, I stayed up, suffered through, and I'm still on goal.

Is it becoming a habit? Maybe. Just maybe.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 10

Waited till late again, which is stupid, but I still managed to type 505 words, two of them being the words THE END.

I'll have to start something new tomorrow, which daunts me, but I'm going to plunge ahead anyway. Tomorrow's words may only be character backgrounds and stuff, but they count too. My next story, I think, will be called "Sepia Tone Prison" or maybe "Sepia Tone Prison Break." That second one just came to me, and it might be better than the first. I'll have to see as the story is written.

Hopefully that one will be better than the one I just wrote. I'm proud of myself for finishing it, but it doesn't feel very original or special to me. But maybe that's just me being too harsh a critic of my own work. If you'd like to read it and give me comments on it, send me an email at editor at dunesteef dot com, and I'll forward it out to you. I'd like to see if other folks think the same of it that I do.

My Second 5K Race


I ran my first 5k back on May 21st. At the time, my goal was simply to finish the race, and I did. I was proud of myself for getting that far. I had just started working out consistently with my crossfit trainer in May as well, so I was on a good trajectory.

Now, after a whole summer of crossfit, I decided it was time to try another 5k. I was pretty worried, because I'd just bought some new running shoes, and they were giving me really painful shin splints when I ran. I didn't know what might happen at this 5k. I was worried that I might have to walk half of it, once my shin splints started hurting too much, but I was going to go for it one way or another.

All I really wanted, my goal this time around, was to beat my time from my first 5k. Last time, I ran it in 40:48. Anything less than that would be an achievement.

Well, I'm here to tell you that I again achieved my goal. My final time for this race was 32:36, a full eight minutes less than last time. I feel pretty good about that.

On top of that, my shin splints never bothered me for even a moment. I wore some long socks that I bought the night before. I don't know if that was what did it, or just the resting of my legs previous to the race, or what, but I did just great. No pain at all.

I probably won't run another race until after winter passes us by again. We'll have to see how I can improve by then. Excelsior!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 9

I was so worn out from podcasting until 3:00 am with Rish last night, that I wanted to just throw in the towel and skip my writing tonight. But I didn't. I forged onward, and managed to put in another 602 words.

Now, though, it's time to get some friggin' rest. I'm supposed to run a 5k in the morning after all. I might need a bit of rest.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 8

I'm sitting there on the couch, relaxing and watching the first NFL game of the season on TV, when I suddenly realize that I am running out of time to write my 500 words. Rish and I had been unable to get together for our normal Monday night podcast session, so we'd rescheduled it to this evening. The clock is telling me that I am supposed to be meeting him in about a half hour. Crap! Can I even get 500 words written that quick?

I dash to the computer, put in headphones to drown out the cartoon that the kids have now changed the channel to, and start pecking away at the keyboard. 30 minutes later, I've succeeded in typing 557 words. Sure it was just, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," over and over again, but I'd done it. I'd hit my 500 words for the eighth day in a row.

I was likely going to be fifteen minutes late meeting Rish, but I was willing to bet that he'd be less angry with me for that than he would be if I told him I'd left my words unwritten to make it to our meeting on time. So, I was not worried at all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 7

Wow, I've done this for a whole week now, cool.

Today was another busy one. We had free tickets to the minor league baseball team's game this evening, so straight from work, I took my kids out to see it. Which, of course, means I didn't get home until late again, but it didn't matter. It's starting to become a habit. Hopefully, there won't be another day where I just completely forget it like I did on Sunday.

I sat down to the computer, after the baseball game, and wrote another 696 words on my story. It's a fantasy story called "The Mirror Sometimes Lies," and I'm nearing the end of it. Which is good, because it now runs 4,230 words, and it seems that nobody wants stories that are even that long anymore, and this one isn't quite done yet. It'll probably be a bit over 5,000 when it's done.

I guess I need to start planning what I'll write next, because that's always the hardest part, starting the next one, and if I want to continue achieving my goal, I'll need to be ready.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 6

Does it have to be hard every time?

Today, work was much too busy for me to squeak even a moment's writing in. So, I figured I'd put in the time in the evening when I got home. I went out to my crossfit workout, and my trainer writes on the board that we will be doing 3 sets of 33 goblet squats, 33 push ups, and 33 abmats. The goblet squats and the abmats aren't too bad. Those are things I can handle, but push ups...99 push ups would be tough.

We're tough. By the end of the workout, my arms and chest were so tired, I could barely move. Now it was time to go home and write. Did I want to? I sure as hell didn't. I wanted to go home and sleep.

But I'd made the commitment. So, instead of sleeping, I wrote 543 words. Just enough to fill my quota, and now I'm going to hit the freakin' sack. My shoulders are killing me typing this post right now. Aaaarrrgh!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 4...and, uh...Day 5

I'm not sure how I totally blew it like I did, but I did. I was supposed to work the early morning shift on Monday morning, starting at 4am, in place of someone who took Labor Day off. So, when 9pm rolled around Sunday night, I figured I'd better get in bed. Hopefully, I could get a full night's rest that way.

Got up at 3am, and got ready for work and realized, on my way out the door to the car, that I never wrote a word on Sunday. I'd just gone to bed, and it had never occurred to me that I was totally blowing it. I could have been a real writer, and I bleeeeeeeewwwwww it!

So, I vowed to write 1,000 words today to make up for the day that I skipped. I got right to it the minute that I had my first chance, and I'm here to report that this morning I wrote 1,017 words. I redeemed myself for yesterday, and wrote my 500 for today, and it's only 9am. How you like me now?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 3

Had a lot of stuff going on today, so I was up late finishing my wordcount again. Not as bad as last night, but I guess I haven't completely learned my lesson. I could have done it sometime in the morning, but instead, I waited to the last minute again. Sooner or later that will bite me, and I won't manage to complete my 500 words in time. But for now, I continue to be successful. I wrote 533 words today, and I'm having a good time doing it. Weeee!

Day 2

Okay, it's really late, but I stayed up, because I had to write my 500 words before going to bed, right? I just finished typing up another 633 words on the story that I started yesterday. It's called "The Mirror Sometimes Lies." I've been telling Rish that I was going to write it for 6 months, and I hope that I'll actually succeed. Writing 500 words a day on it should finish it up in a week or so. I just got to keep at it.

I learned an important lesson tonight, though. Get the writing done early, when you have a moment. That way, it won't be after 2:00 AM when you're eyes are drooping, and you hate everyone and everything when you finally type you 500th word. I don't think I'll save it for last again.

But the streak is still alive. Two days and counting. I won't stop until I reach 30, and by then, I hope it'll be a habit, so I never stop again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 1

Okay, one day in, and I've written 784 words. I may still write more this evening, if I have time, but it's not likely, so I'm putting in my report now. Success for day one. Yay!

Hummingbird

We've got this trumpet vine outside our back door. It has lots deep, bell shaped flowers on it. The perfect shape for, say, a small bird with a long, narrow beak to get nectar from. So, it attracts a lot of hummingbirds. I've been hoping to get a picture of one of them all summer, but they're so quick, and they dart about so fast that it's almost impossible.

Just the other day, however, my wife had the camera nearby when two hummingbirds came to the trumpet vine at the same time. It was the perfect condition for picture taking. The pictures still suck, unfortunately, but they're likely to be the best ones that we can get. So, I share them with you.

I had to crop the images considerably, or you'd probably not have even noticed the bird in the picture each time. Enjoy.