Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Did I Blow It?

I didn't manage to write yesterday. I sat down in front of the computer with that goal in mind, and then I realized that the episode, our first episode in two months, was edited and in my dropbox, waiting for me to assemble it and post it.

So, Episode 147 of the Dunesteef is available to listen to now, but I didn't get any writing in. I spent my time working on that instead.

Did I blow it? I don't know. It's hard when you have multiple goals that can't always go hand in hand. I mean, it's easy to write and not drink soda, they don't conflict with each other, but writing, running, blogging, working on the podcast, etc. all take up some of my time, and there's just only so much of it.

I'll write today, and try to make up for my lack, although, there's a bootleg version of Episode 147 that I need to prepare as well. Not to mention the special gift to those who donated during our donation drive.

So many things, so little time...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Today's Word Count: 586

Total Word Count: 5,030

I thought it would be really hard to get some writing in yesterday, because of the fact that I go straight from work to meet Rish for our podcasting session. However, I found myself in a waiting room before that, and, as Rish started doing and told me I should do too, I had a notebook for writing with while I wait.

Things took a while, so I managed to dash off 586 words onto my notebook, while I waited. I was pretty excited about how well it went.

My notebook story is different than my NaNoWriMo novel. I haven't come up with a title for it yet, but it will probably have something to do with Bumblebee. Maybe Boinking Bumblebee or Bewitched By Bumblebee or something like that.

Maybe I'll talk about that story on an episode of Anklecast or in a blog post when I have more time in the future.

For now, suffice it to say that I wrote yesterday. Hooray!

It's kind of a shame that I've failed so miserably for NaNoWriMo. Maybe I was right in not attempting it in the past. But I don't think it's a total failure. At least I wrote.

My deal is that I hope to keep this up all year. All my lifetime through even.

So, I'll call it NaNoWriYe, because it doesn't end for me when the month does. I'm going to keep at it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanks For The Nudge

Today's Word Count: 1055

Total Word Count: 4366

Special thanks to Herb for getting on my case...I think it was Herb. That's what I remember, but I can't find the comment any more. He wrote a comment, saying, "come on, Big, it's been three days and still no word count."

It was the motivation I needed. I should have gone to bed hours ago, but instead, I stayed up and wrote. And I'm glad I did, because I really got in a groove, and managed to write more than a thousand words for, I believe, the first time since November started.

That comment was exactly what I needed.

I'm still having a hard time fitting the writing in. I think tomorrow will be difficult if not impossible because of my commitments that await me.

That, and trying to fulfill all my goals is making me work a little towards each and fall short on all.

I've been using my time that I could be writing to go running instead, because I really want to make it to 500 miles before the year is out, and I have a good chunk of change still to go.

But I'll keep working. Because it's worth it.

So, thanks for your help and comments, Herb, and everyone else too. It means a lot.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NaNoWriMo No Excuses

I haven't been giving my daily updates for more than a week, and frankly, I'm a bit ashamed. I started letting things get in the way last Saturday. Instead of getting up and getting right to writing, like I knew I should, I loafed around the house all morning, expecting to have all the time in the world. But then my sisters, who were in town visiting, called wanting to come see our new house. They informed me of a get together we were doing that afternoon, and soon, I found myself running from this to that with nary a moment of rest in between.

On Monday morning, after all the sisters-in-town excitement had subsided, my keyboard on my old computer flipped me the bird. The entire bottom row of keys stopped working from Z all the way the "? /" key. I couldn't even log onto my computer, because my password required some of those keys.

There it was, the perfect excuse to skip out on my writing duties. And I took that ball and ran with it. I ran so long with it that I scored several touchdowns, damnit.

Our donation drive from last month was a huge success, and we're really glad to be able to say that we were able to get that old computer replaced with a new one. It arrived yesterday morning. So, now I can get back to it. Thanks again to everyone who donated. You guys are the best listeners there are.

But now comes the part where I admit to the shame. While having a broken keyboard is a legitimate excuse for not writing, it's still not okay. I could have looked around until I found the keyboard that I can attach to my old Samsung tablet, and used that to write. I could have shouted angrily at my kids until they released our laptop from their clutches, and wrote on that. Hell, I could have gotten a damned paper and pencil and wrote with that. It wasn't a valid excuse, and I'm ashamed of my use of that excuse.

Have you ever heard of Maria Kang? This is her:

She put out this picture of herself on Facebook to try to encourage her followers to be healthy. Proving to them that having been pregnant a lot and dealing with really young children is not really a valid excuse. Of course, given the way our modern world works, she was attacked for doing such a thing. She was accused of fat shaming, and called a villain. Some people stuck by her side, understanding what she was out to do. It became one of those viral stories that landed on all the talk shows and so forth, so it eventually made its way to my attention too.

I don't know if it makes me a villain too, but I was inspired by her message. It's so damned easy to make excuses for yourself. "Hey, I can't be blamed for being fat, I have this thing that gets in the way of exercising and eating right..." But, in the end, most of those excuses aren't valid. I know it's true for me. I'm fat, because I allow myself to be fat, because I eat too much and exercise too little. I've even managed for short periods of time to win the battle, and dropped a lot of that fat. But I let my bad habits sneak back in, and gain it back.

And I'm similarly woeful when it comes to writing. I don't write, because I'm lazy. No excuse is good enough, at least not yet. I'm still completely able to write, I just don't because I'm lazy.

I think I need to feel that shame once in a while...maybe more than once in a while, so I stop letting my excuses get the better of me. I've got goals that would make me very happy if I achieved them. And no excuse, not a broken keyboard, not anything is good enough.

If what I want is important enough to me, no excuse is valid.

I only wrote 208 words while the keyboard was broken. I wrote them on a story that I've been working on slowly on a notepad. I should have completely finished that story in that time. It was the perfect chance, but I let my excuses win the day.

Today, I'll get back to it. Tomorrow, expect a new word count update, not a new discourse about my excuses that have kept me from fulfilling my goals.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #8

Today's Word Count: 869 Dude

Total Word Count: 3311

When your word total on the day is yesterday's total plus a 69, then things must have gone well, right? Well, they didn't go well like that, but I did wind up with a respectable total, and that's cool.

It was actually this close (my fingers are close together here, you'll just have to imagine it) to being another no words written at all day. I had gone the entire day with no words written, night had come, everyone had gone to bed, and it was my chance to get some writing in. But instead I spent perhaps an hour looking at old pictures that my dad gave me the other day. He's scanned all our old slides, so these are pictures I haven't seen in forever, if at all, and I was interested. Then I thought I'd better get a couple of episodes of That Gets My Goat uploaded and posted before Rish decided to kill me for not doing it all this time. So, I did that. (If you haven't listened to those outtakes I uploaded last night, you should. Rish made this amazing montage of outtakes that you have to hear to believe). I wrote a blog post after that for my family blog that none of you all are invited to, so don't look for it. And that was challenging, because it was hard to figure out how best to tell the story that had happened.

But finally, I decided that I had wasted as much time as I could get away with. There was no more ducking it. I opened my story file, and started pecking away. It only took me a half hour to write nearly 900 words. If you're really enjoying the point of the story you're writing about, it's easy to write fast. I guess that's the key. Make the story something you really want to write about, and you can write 1,600 words without much trouble at all. I could, if it hadn't been 1:30 AM by this point, have probably made it to 1,600 without too much of a struggle.

I suppose that I got lucky this week, and the baby didn't wake up and stay up all night, like last Friday. So, that was good.

It was a lot of fun, and I'm almost done with chapter one. Just a couple of words about how he can see fairies still on the walk home, and then it's on to chapter two. That's exciting. The idea that I could actually write a novel, a book, not just a short story, but a friggin' tome, is really exciting. Especially since I have several ideas for books, but I've always felt they were out of my reach, since I couldn't even keep it up long enough to get a short story written. I guess I'm going to go and see if I can get my words in for today now. To bad I can't count all this diarrhea of the, keyboard as part of my word total. I'd be at 500 already.

Friday, November 8, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #7

Today's Word Count: 8

Total Word Count: 2442

Yes, I really did write eight words yesterday.

With my head aching the way it has been all week, I've been trying to get more sleep to see if it helps. Which means I haven't gotten up early to write since Monday.

My lunch break is one of the other times I try to write each day, but on stressful days at work, I need an actual decompression period before I can do anything of worth. Yesterday was one of those days. It just happens sometimes when you're doing a live television show...actually it doesn't just happen sometimes, it happens a hell of a lot. This week has just been bad for that.

And I had to meet Rish right after work to see Thor: The Dark World. We podcasted an episode of TGMG right afterwards, and I got home at about 1:00 AM, so instead of writing, I went to bed.

Eight words is not the kind of total I'm looking for, so I'll be sure to improve it tomorrow.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #6

Today's Word Count: 530

Total Word Count: 2434

I probably could have written more yesterday, but I just didn't feel like it. I've been complaining about this headache that's been plaguing me all week, and last night, it was pounding, and I just didn't care about anything anymore. I'd written already, and I said, "screw it I'm going to bed."

And I don't even feel bad about it. I'm in this thing to get in the habit of writing every day. So, as long as I accomplish that, I feel good. Well, except for the damned headache, anyway.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #5

Today's Word Count: 305

Total Word Count: 1904

Disaster! That's what yesterday was. Remember how I've always said that I don't participate in NaNoWriMo because it's a bad month for me because of sweeps? Well, yesterday was one of those days that gave me that opinion in the first place.

I didn't get up early to write, because Rish and I had been out late the night before, so I needed that time for sleep. I managed to get 305 words written during my lunch break at work. And then, as I was walking out the door to go home, I was told that there was a very important thing that needed my immediate attention.

So, instead of trying to write further last night, I spent the evening working three hours of overtime. By the time I finally got to leave, I was wrung out. I've had this headache that has been plaguing me since Sunday, and it was probably at its worst by the end of that overtime. I felt physically ill. I felt on the verge of vomiting. I think that it might be some sort of migraine headache, but I really don't know. I've never been to the doctor about it, so I really don't know what a migraine is and whether I get them or not.

Anyway, despite arriving home at 10:30, I didn't even consider writing further. I just went to bed and quivered in agony...okay, that might be an exaggeration, but I did just go to bed.

Hopefully, today will be better. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #4

Today's Word Count: 783

Total Word Count: 1599

Well, it took me four days to get in one day's worth of writing. But I'm still moving forward, and that is what's most important to me. Whether I succeed in getting 50,000 words written in a month is actually inconsequential to me, as long as I write every day and make it into a habit that continues after the month is over.

Maybe in December I can get 50,000 if I can't in November.

I knew yesterday would be a hard day for writing, because I have less time most Mondays than other days of the week, owing to the fact that I meet Rish on my way home from work, and we record and goof off until the wee hours of the night.

I got up at 6:30 in the morning, took a shower, and went downstairs to write yesterday, and that's where I got the majority of my words in. A little at lunch, and a little in a waiting room as well.

I'll keep on keeping on. Maybe today will be the first day I achieve my daily goal.

Story update: Robbie has been bitten by the fairy, and today I will write about how his eyes have been opened.

Monday, November 4, 2013


See, progress! Keep at it!

-Jason Kivela

Jason, friend of the show and all-around good guy, just commented on my last post about NaNoWriMo with this encouraging missive. My third day of NaNoWriMo was better than my first or second, and that's good. And it is progress, as he said.

As I said in the last Anklecast, I have a bunch of goals that I have formulated for me to fulfill by the time I reach my next birthday.

One of them is losing weight down to my ideal size. Now I'm not certain that this is my ideal size or not, I suppose we'll see when I start getting close, but my goal is to arrive at 200 lbs.

Today, I started in earnest to reach for that goal. I weighed in at 273 this morning, which is a little depressing, since it's already ten pounds more than I have been weighing for the last few months, but I gave in and let myself go. Now I gotta get it back.

So, here I am, trying to eat good. Monday is always a difficult day, because I go out to eat with Rish every week. But, as long as I'm good the rest of the day, I should be able to deal with one naughty meal.

This was my breakfast today:

That's two eggs with green peppers, onions, and mushrooms diced into them; a slice of deli ham; and some chopped tomatoes and avocados on top. It's part of a diet that I have followed to some great success in the past. I need a protein, a fat, and a carbohydrate in each meal. The eggs and ham are the protein, the tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, and onions are the carbs (they're much healthier if you can make your carbs vegetables rather than cereals), and the avocados are the fat.

This was my mid-morning snack:

That's pears for carbs, almonds for fats, and a ham and cheese roll-up for protein. I had something similar for my late afternoon snack.

Then at lunch I had:

A great big salad with no dressing on it. The salad had both butter lettuce and romaine lettuce, spinach, red cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and cucumbers (maybe more, I can't remember what all I cut into that this morning).


That's chicken done up in some sort of sweet-and-sour-vinegar-something-or-other sauce by my wife as protein, more almonds as fat, and broccoli. The broccoli was really unnecessary, because I had the salad already, but we had it as a leftover from yesterday's dinner, and I knew I'd be the only one to eat it, so I went ahead and brought it.

I've been good all day, despite temptations like people's leftover Halloween candy being set out for whoever wants it.

And it was even the good stuff, not a bunch of Smarties and Tootsie Rolls or anything.

Hopefully, I can make progress on more than one front. Please, cheer me on, and I'll treat you with more photos of my unexciting food. After all, isn't that what iPhones are for, taking pictures of your food?

NaNoWriMo Day #3

Today's Word Count: 816

Total Word Count: 816

If it wasn't for the time change, I probably would have failed altogether again today. But with an extra hour I managed to get some words in. Still not enough words, but some.

I only made half of the day's goal, and none of the last two days' goal. So, I'm pretty far behind my required pace, but I'm learning things.

I wrote pretty much everything that I did on Sunday before noon. After that, things got more busy, and I wasn't able to find the time. Also, I was already feeling burned out. Not sure what is up with me, but I had a massive headache, and a bit of a stomach ache too. Feeling like crap is not conducive to spending time sitting in a chair for a long period.

So, I'm halfway to my first day's goal. I have a lot of words to pick up somehow to catch back up to the proper pace. I'm supposed to be at 5,000 and I'm at 816. We'll see what I can do.

Today, I got up early to write. We'll see if that helps. I'm going to quite wasting my words here, though, and go write some on my story.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #2

Today's Word Count: 0

Total Word Count: 0

So, I think I've figured out a little something about how I need to go about this. Leaving the writing to the last thing at night is just plain not a good idea. Most days, it just won't happen. Last night was another good example.

I messed around all day, writing blog posts instead of writing on my story. Jogging and grocery shopping and that kind of stuff. We got home from grocery shopping pretty late in the evening, and once I'd gotten all the stuff stowed where it belonged, I meant to go into the study, sit down in front of the computer, and tap away at my story. I had to do two day's worth of writing today after all.

"Okay, kids," My wife said, "everybody upstairs, Daddy and I are going to watch a show together."

My eyebrows raised in surprise. This was news to me. When I said as much, she said, "But I haven't got to see you all week. I want to spend some time with you."

We sat down, and watched a couple of episodes of New Girl on Netflix. The episodes just played one after another, automatically starting the next one. After an hour of TV, I was without any motivation whatsoever. So I just laid there and let it continue to play.

Before I knew it, it was almost one in the morning. I was starting to wish I'd never told anyone that I was thinking of doing NaNoWriMo. I was sure I was going to hear it from several people for letting another day pass without writing.

To win NaNoWriMo you have to write 1,666 words a day for the whole month. Which meant that come Sunday, I had to write 5,000 words to catch up. That probably wasn't going to happen, but hopefully I could chip away at the deficit. I didn't want to quit, even though I'd blown it twice in a row.

One thing that I think I'm going to start doing is getting up early in the morning and writing instead of running or going back to sleep. I can run in the evening if I've done my writing. That will probably work out a lot better. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #1

Today's Word Count: 0

Total Word Count: 0

Wow, I had hoped for things to start out better. Sometimes, I have time enough at work, that I can use my lunch break to write. Not today. Friday's are usually bad, so I wasn't too surprised. I figured since it was Friday, I could easily write at home. I could stay up as late as I needed to to get in some writing.

So, Friday evening, I put the kids to bed, and sat down to write, when I heard the baby crying from his crib. I groaned, and went to get him. I tried to get him back to sleep, but he seemed to worked up and awake already. I think I was too slow in responding to his cries, and I gave him time to wake up all the way. Now, he didn't want to go back to sleep.

My wife will often just take him to our bed, and let him sleep beside her, so I dumped him off with her. But it didn't last long, when I went into our room to change into some pajama pants (I wanted to be comfortable while I wrote), my wife begged me to take him. She needed to be at work in the wee hours of the morning, so she had to sleep. The baby wouldn't be good, wouldn't even lay down, so she couldn't keep him with her.

I knew I was in trouble. Hopefully I could get him to sleep so I could write, but I was worried that it wasn't going to happen. And I was right (not write). I tried everything, but the only thing that seemed to work was time. He was tired, but he needed to get back to that sleep-ready state that he'd been in when I put him to bed the first time that night.

I wound up watching Cars on the couch with him. I fell asleep sometime in the middle of it, and I think he did too, although still fitfully. When it ended, he was at last good and asleep, but so was I. I took him up to his room and conked out myself. I would have to double my efforts the next day.