Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Day 28!!!!!

Success.

Today I wrote 763 words.

That's 500 words or more on every single day in February.

So, for some word count fun.

In February, I wrote 20,307 words.

In my current project, Sunny & Gray, I have written 24,671 words. That is 7 chapters, 5 of which I wrote this month. Which, if my math is correct, is 98 pages into my first novel (that's at 250 words a page, which I have heard is how it is figured in the biz). My character is still in 7th grade at the point of the story I'm in, and he's supposed to be in his forties when the book ends, so I get the feeling that it'll be a long book just to get me there. Probably a boring one too, but that's the way of it, right?

I also wrote a story called "Door Approach" that runs 3,114 words. That one probably isn't very good either, but isn't that what writers always think about their stuff? If I keep this up, I'm actually going to be able to call myself a writer.

And I finished up a story that I started several years ago, a weird idea I had where I took the audiodrama called "From Another World" that Rish Outfield wrote, and converted it to prose. I put 1,386 words in on that this month.

So, with some creative accounting, I wrote two stories and five chapters in my novel this month. I'd say that was a successful experiment.

And, as I said yesterday, I'm going to double my word count requirement in March. We'll see how awesome that can get.


And man, don't I look fat in that picture (and every picture of me for that matter)? That might have to be a goal soon as well.

Day 27

Whoops! Forgot to do this last night.

I got together with Rish to record an episode of the show and just hang out. One of our new traditions, so new that this is only the second time that we've done it, is to sit down at the Wendy's and write together. Well, not together together. It's not a collaboration. Just a way to make sure that we both write.

So, we set a timer for thirty minutes, and just have to sit and write instead of talking. We did it last week, and I felt it was a big success. So, we did it again today...er yesterday. Once again, it was a success.

In half an hour, I got 580 words in. My late-breaking goal of getting 20,000 words in the month is all but guaranteed. I'm at 19,544. So, less than 500 words to go. As long as I do some writing today, I win! So, that's cool.

And today's the last day. I did it. And it has changed my outlook on life. I can't remember ever being more excited about writing. I'm going to make it. With these daily writing goals I'm going to conquer my biggest problem, which is doing the writing. I guess I can deal with other issues that come up after that problem is completely beaten.

So, starting tomorrow, I up my goal to 1,000 words a day. For the whole month of March. Gotta kick it up a notch.

After that, I'll start trying to conquer other goals, like publishing a book, getting together an author website, getting a Patreon up, getting a publishing business license or whatever the hell I need for that. You know, all the other things that need to be done.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Day 26

I was really tired today. It took me a long time to get going. I wasted a lot of time on Facebook and other things, like blog posts about lighted toilets. I really didn't feel like writing today.

Even after 500 words, I still didn't feel like it. I checked my word count after at least a half hour, and found that I was only at 507. I could have quit there, because that had beaten the requirement. But yesterday, I said I wanted to make it to 20,000 words on the month, and that meant I had to do at least 666 words.

I plugged away, and something weird happened. My mind added a twist in the story on me, and suddenly I was interested in writing it. Not long after that, I checked and found that I had made it to 943 words. Well above and beyond the number of the beast. I probably could have kept going for a while longer too, but it was getting late, and I was tired before even starting into the writing today. So, I called it a night. I only need 1,036 words to make it to 20,000 on the month now. That's barely more than 500 per day. So, I'm pretty sure I'll easily nail that girl...I mean goal. Sorry for the Freudian slip.

The Future Soon

I have a motion sensitive device attached to my toilet that turns on any time I come to tinkle in the middle of the night so I don't miss.

If there's anything that says that the future is here more, I don't know what it is.

Jesca Hoop's Got A New Album

Back in 2012, which is a really long time when you think about it, one of my favorite musical artists released her last album of new material. Although none of you have ever heard of her, I pimped her stuff as much as possible, both on this blog as well as on Facebook. Now, after a five year wait, she is back with another album called Memories Are Now. Allow me to share some videos with you of some of my favorite songs she's made, in an attempt to convince you to become her fan and buy her album.

This song is called "Four Dreams". It's really freaking good. I can't help but want to dance around crazily when it plays.

This one is called "Tulip". It's got a kind of fantasy novel feel to it.

Let's see, how about this one from her first album called "Seed of Wonder". This is probably my favorite song she's ever made, it's really powerful and driving in a way that I once thought only heavy metal songs could be when I was a younger, less-experienced man.

So, there's a nice sampling of her stuff. Check her out. There's a channel on YouTube that has all of her songs for you to test drive. If you like Peter Gabriel music, then you will probably enjoy her. Their stuff seems pretty similar in style. She even toured the world as his backup singer one time.

So, now she's got a new album out called Memories Are Now, and I'd like to pimp it for her some, because she's one of those artists that you probably never heard of. As such, each album sale she makes is a big deal. She makes a living off her art, like I'd like to do some day, so I feel in a way like we are kindred spirits--indy artists struggling along in a cruel, cold world.

She's from California (like me), but lives in Manchester these days (unlike me). So, she doesn't get out to the states to play shows as much as she probably used to do. I looked at her US tour that she's doing with her new album, and it doesn't come anywhere near me. I did see her back in 2013 though.

It was an amazing show, because it was just in some guy's backyard. Apparently, this rich guy brings in lesser known artists all the time and puts on concerts in his backyard, and by chance I found out about it before it actually happened for once.

Since it was such a small scale show, everyone who wanted to got to meet her on their way out. I bought a CD and had her sign it, and got a picture with her.

Despite being such a long time ago, Jesca debuted a few songs from her upcoming album at the concert. Eventually, she was going to get around to releasing them to the public to buy, and now is that time. My favorite song from the new album was one of the songs she played for us in 2013. I recorded some of it. I missed the start, but here's what I got:

The version on the album is even better...I mean you get to hear the whole song and everything, so that's a plus right?

All right. I guess I've said my piece. Check her out. Buy her stuff if you like it. She's given me so much joy over the past few years listening to her music that I feel obligated to give her a plug. Do with it what you will. Thanks.

Day 25

Maybe it is the lingering anger and bad attitude left over from having my camera stolen that was getting in my way today, but writing today seemed more like pulling teeth, healthy snug teeth that didn't want or need to come out. It may have been the most difficult day of writing this month. I had plenty of time to do it, but I just wasn't feeling it.

I managed to hit my word count all the same. In fact, I made it all the way to 716 before deciding to call it a night.

I'm at 18,021 words for the month. I'd really like to get to 20,000 before the month ends, but there's only three days left, meaning that I've got to get at least 666 words every day from here on out. That number would make Rish Outfield happy, but only if I landed right on it and didn't go any further.

I think I'll probably make it. Considering that today was a bad day, and yet I beat that total by some fifty words or so. If the next few days are better, then I should hit that easily, right?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Probably The End Of The Time Lapse Of The Day

I've been putting my (knock-off) Go Pro camera out on the property around my house since late January, recording time lapse videos of my house plus the crazy sky I might be able to get each day. I've been compiling them, and editing them together over music, to make a sort of ode to winter where I live. I wanted to get a bunch of winter videos, and then have it transition from winter to spring. That was my plan, but it looks like, barring some sort of miracle, that plan is out.

Somebody stole my camera off my tripod this afternoon.

My wife and sixteen-year-old son have already victim-blamed me for it. Apparently it's my fault for leaving it out there unsupervised. And sure, there are shitty people out there, so it was always a possibility, but I didn't steal it, and I sure as hell didn't force the fucker who did steal it to do that. So, I refuse to take the blame for their shitty deed.

There's a ton of teenagers in our neighborhood, and I'm all but certain one of them is the one using my camera now. Probably attached it to their fucking skateboard or some shit like that. When I said earlier that the time lapses were over barring some sort of miracle, the miracle I'm hoping for is a parent who knows their kid well enough to find it strange that they are suddenly in possession of a (knock-off) Go Pro camera, and forces them to return it. I know that's the longest of long shots, but it'd be nice. I've always tried to do good to others, so I feel that Karma ought to return the favor. But of course, Karma isn't real. It's just a nice fairy tale that some people like to tell themselves to feel good.

Anyway, I'm super irritated (if that hasn't been completely apparent by the amount of swear words I've spouted out during this post). I may buy a new (knock-off) Go Pro to finish my movie with. I'm only about a minute's worth of footage short of being done with it. I could probably wait a little while, since I need the spring shots now, and the weather has, after a few odd weeks of warm temperatures, taken a turn back towards winter again. These days, you can get super-cheap (knock-off) Go Pros from China. So, I'll probably do so. But I'd really prefer Karma.

Anyway, I went through my older shots that I have from earlier days, and picked one that would be my final time lapse in the series. I really like this one, and I hope you do too.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Day 24

It's getting really close to the end of the month, and I haven't slipped up once. I haven't even come close to slipping up. I've written every day, and not only that, but 500 words every day. Sure, one day it was only 501, but that was above and beyond my requirement, so it not only counts, I beat my goal.

Today was a really, really slow day at work. So, while I sat twiddling my thumbs, I wrote (which is impressive when you think about it--how do you type and twiddle your thumbs at the same time?). I got my highest total so far: 1,573, which beats my second highest from the 21st of 1,377.

Those are the only two times that I exceeded 1,000 so far this month. But starting in March, I was thinking about doubling my requirement--1,000 words a day, every day in March. That requires a lot more time...probably double if I'm mathing correctly here. Will it be too much?

I went to a panel at the writer's conference last week about making a living as an indy author. Yeah, I thought it was about something else too. Indiana Jones wasn't mentioned once in the whole hour, so that sucked. But they did talk about self-publishing, and the way you had to do it to be successful. One of the things they said was that you needed to publish something every 30-60 days. Some of us in the audience gasped, but the panelist quickly told us that it was no big deal. Now, to be fair, these people were full-time writers. Their 40-hour-a-week job was to write. The writer said that she published books that were about 40,000-50,000 words. There are approximately 60 days in any two month span. So, let me get on the chalkboard here and work this out...

So, in other words, if I could get myself to write 1,000 words a day, I could write a 40,000-50,000 word novel every month. Hell, less than a month. I'd have 10-20 days left over to take a vacation and then plan the next one. That means I could be a professional writer without having to give up my day job just yet. Doing the math kind of freaks me out. I didn't think that it was possible, but as simple as that, it is.

I am 21,669 words into Sunny & Gray, and I'm just getting started. This book is not going to be 40,000-50,000 words long, unfortunately, but I don't care. I just want to tell my story. It's my first novel, and everyone says that it should therefore be a turd. First novels always supposedly suck. I'd rather that not be the case, but I'm resigned to the possibility. But they also say that the second one is usually better, and I'm resigned to that possibility as well.

All I can say is that this month has been a revelation to me, and a revolution for me as well. I feel great. I don't feel at all like stopping when March 1st comes along. I only want to take it to the next level. I can finally see what is possible, and I want to make it happen.

That mountain has been waiting a very long time, but I feel like I'm finally on my way.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Day 23

We had some car troubles going on, so I spent the morning in the auto shop, but I brought my wireless keyboard with me, so I was able to write the whole time I waited for my wife to get off work and pick me up. I got in 954 words before I had to stop abruptly in the middle of a sentence because she'd showed up.

Snowy Day Today

You can tell, because you can actually see the snow flurries all through the time lapse. One thing I've learned about precipitation, unless you point the camera straight up at the sky so the rain sticks to the lens, then you mostly don't notice it coming down in high speed like that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Day 22

650 today. Finished Chapter 5 of Sunny & Gray. It's becoming a book here, people. This is crazy. I'm going to do this. One way or another. It may totally suck when I'm done, but I'll have that victory under my belt. I'll forever be able to say that...woah, I better not get ahead of myself. But I'm getting there.

What A Difference A Day Makes

Today's time lapse is not all that awesome...except in that it looks absolutely nothing like yesterday.




It was sixty degrees yesterday afternoon, and three hours later it was snowing. That's a weird shift. I guess winter isn't quite over just yet.

Day 21

I really got into it this evening. I wrote for almost a full hour, and I did 1,377 words. I like that. That's my biggest total this month. The first time I made it over a thousand.

That puts me up to 14,128 on the whole month. It also puts Sunny & Gray at 18,489 words long. I hope this book turns out to be something that people want to read. After attending that writer's conference over the weekend, I fear that it just might not be. There's all these rules that the writers presenting in the panels talked about, and I think Sunny & Gray breaks most of them. They tell me that means my book will be boring. I suppose they're probably right, but I'm still going to write it. It's just one of those stories that doesn't follow the normal three act pattern. But I think there are successful books and movies out there that didn't follow that pattern, so maybe things will turn out all right after all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Training Table

Looks like I trained my kid right. There's a lot of times when your child makes a certain choice, and you feel good about it, because you know it was at least partially your influence that led them to the decision. Not that I want my children to be little automaton copies of me, but I do want them to understand the goodness of certain things...

Like, for example, one of the most important things, that is just how amazingly tasty Brazilian food is.

It was my daughter's birthday dinner, and she chose to go to the Brazilian churrascaria (which is Portuguese for barbecue joint). So, I got to feast on Brazilian barbecue, beans and rice, cheese bread, and fried bananas, and it wasn't even my birthday.

You know, when you succeed with your child on the important things like this, the other smaller matters like drugs and safe sex and all that will surely just fall right in line...right?

Let's Do The Time Lapse Again

I Probably won't keep doing these every day, but I'll keep putting them up for as long as I'm not tired of them. Which may well be forever. It's such a cool thing.

Here's today's time lapse:

Video Question

I've been thinking about doing some kind of video podcast--maybe for the Anklecast, maybe for the Dunesteef, or That Gets My Goat...or all of the above--and so the other day I took some shots with two different cameras that I have. What do you think is better. Option one is a Go Pro (knockoff) that I have, so you have a fisheye kind of lens.

And then this other one is my old iPhone. It has a regular flat look to the lens. Is it better?

To begin with at least, I'm just going to use things that I already have access to, so these are pretty much my only choices. I'll use the Zoom H1 and my lav mic to record the audio, and luckily for me, I have a clapperboard provided to me by one of the great friends of the show, Justin Charles. So, I should be pretty set. Now I just need to try it. What camera should I proceed with? Comment below, or on Facebook or Twitter, or wherever you like...

Today's Time Lapse

We had good clouds again tonight, so I threw the camera out in the back yard to get another time lapse clip.

Day 20

Over the weekend, Rish and I attended a writers' conference. One of the panels Rish attended (without me, because I was still sleeping, and didn't make it until this hour was over) was called Full-Time vs. Part-Time Writers. One of the writers told a story about how he and his other writer friends helped each other to write. They met each other once a week at a coffee shop, but they weren't allowed to talk or hang out or any of that good stuff until they'd sat down and written for an hour.

Rish and I both liked that idea. After all, we already get together once a week. Why not force ourselves to write as part of that time?

So, we did. This week, we both sat down at the local Wendy's, and I set a timer on my phone for 30 minutes, and we wrote. I liked it, because, being away from my home computer I felt less able to waste time on the internet as I would normally be. I had to concentrate on the story I was writing and nothing else.

It was hard to know for sure how much I was getting done, because I was writing with a wireless keyboard paired via bluetooth to my phone, and the small screen rendered my paragraphs enormous. But I felt like I was totally flying through the story.

My total in the half hour was 613 words. Not bad. I think we may have to up the time to an hour instead, but I really enjoyed it.

Years ago, Rish and I both worked together. After work ended, instead of going home for the night, we both stuck around, and had to write for an hour. This feels a lot like that. I got a lot of writing done in those days, and wrote some of my best stories ever. I feel really positive about this experiment too. This is going to become one of our weekly traditions.

The writers' conference was worth the price for that piece of advice alone.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Joining The Loser's Club

I read The Dark Half, my first Stephen King novel back in 1990, and I've been a fan ever since.

A month or two ago, my daughter asked me to recommed something to read as her first Stephen King book. I pondered it, and suggested Firestarter, one of my favorites and possibly the most accessible for a teenager. I chose well, because SHE LOVED IT!

Now, immediately, there's a new hole in my SK collection.

She's got The Shining.

Welcome to the club, honey. I hope you love that one too.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Day 19

Squeaked in just over the line at 510 words today. I'm tired, so I'm gonna hit the sack. Maybe I can get up early in the morning tomorrow and get my words written then, so that I don't have to be up at 2:00 in the morning trying to write them after Rish Outfield and I finish our usual Dunesteef work session tomorrow.

Today's Sunset, On Steroids!

Last week, I came out of work, and after a very long and stressful day was greeted by this sunset:

It was a really nice way to end the day. The picture is only so so. I took it on my phone's camera, which is at about a 2010 level of quality. Sadly, it came out a little bit blurry, but as long as you don't try to look at it full screen on a large monitor, it's great.

Anyway, I love sunsets. When I was on vacation in San Diego, I made it a point to be on the beach for every sunset, and took as many pictures as I could. Here's a few select ones:









But now I found a way to take it to the next level. Today, the sky was filled with beautiful, puffy clouds as the sun was heading to the horizon. And here is what I got with my camera on time lapse mode.




I don't know if I'm odd for loving time lapses so much, but I don't think so. I am becoming a little obsessed. It won't be long before I've got a seven minute video just of time lapse stuff I've shot. I love it.

Day 18

784 words today. 250 of those words were written at the writer's conference when I got stuck in a boring panel.

Anyone Interested in a Collection?

Rish and I were attending a writer's conference all day today. There were a lot of very instructional panels filled with valuable information. In the end, though, the thing I was hoping to get most of all was a bit of an emotional boost. I wanted that feeling of excitement, that feeling that I could do it if I just put in the work, to help carry me forward with my goals for this month and beyond.

And I definitely got that. I feel great. I came home, and, because I was curious what it might look like and contain, I tried assembling a short story collection of my work to date that I am willing to share. I was surprised how it came out.

Going with the stories that I put in there, the book would be 116,684 words. That works out to approximately 466 pages of material. It would contain 24 stories. So, I'm curious who would be interested in purchasing such a beast if I published it?

Most of the stories are available elsewhere, including having been podcast on the Dunesteef. Would that dull your interest? Would the fact that some of them are still yet to have appeared there make it worth it? Should I make it much shorter, maybe make two volumes with half the stories? I'm curious what you all might have to say...

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sunny & Gray, Chapter Three

Back in 2014, I started posting the chapters to what I hoped would be my first novel. Chapter one posted in July, and chapter two posted in September. But then I dropped off the map, fell off the edge of the earth, and I never took it any further.

Until now! That's right, I've written a new chapter for Sunny & Gray, and I think I'm to keep posting the chapters, in case anyone who knew me in 2014 is still waiting to find out what happens next in the story. And if 2014 was way too long ago for you to have had any idea who I even was, it's okay, because you can still go back and read those chapters and then come read chapter three. Just follow the links above.

So, without any further delay, here's chapter three, in which nothing really happens.
Oh, and some of the formatting is goofed up, but I'm going to leave it, because I don't really know how to fix it. Hopefully you can figure out how it's supposed to look.






Chapter 3

Despite the fact that he no longer worried about losing his fairy sight, he still slept poorly that night. He was too excited about his burgeoning friendship with the fairy. It felt like Christmas Eve. The anticipation of what awaited him the next morning was too much to bear. Again he found himself waking every half hour only to look at the clock and realize he still had hours to go.
When sunlight finally did slant its way through his window, Brynlee stormed her way into his room like a tornado, an unpleasantly loud tornado.
"Wake up, midget," she shouted.
"Don't call me midget," Robbie groaned.
"Oh, right. You like to be called little people now."
"I'm not a little person. Leave me alone. I'm still tired. I want to sleep longer."
"I'm sorry," Brynlee said. "You have a dentist appointment this morning. Get up and take a shower."
Robbie groaned again. He'd forgotten about the dentist appointment. If he had to get out of bed, he wanted it to be to go and see the fairies, not to have his teeth scraped and his gums jabbed by his dentist who, despite all the time he spent with toothpaste and mouthwash, always smelled like pastrami.
"Let's go," Brynlee said, and strode out of his room. "Oh, and you are so a little person. Anyone shorter than me is by definition a midget.
Robbie blew her a raspberry. "Well, at least I'm not done growing," he shouted after her as he dragged himself from his bed and headed to the bathroom.
The dentist was as unpleasant as expected. Doubly so, because he had somewhere that he really wanted to be. As usual, they were running behind, so he spent a full thirty minutes in the waiting room. After the interminable scraping and polishing process done by the RDA, he had to wait another fifteen minutes before the dentist could finally step away from whatever procedure--filling, root canal, crown replacement--he was elbows deep in to take a look at him. All that time wasted for the dentist to spend one moment glancing at his X-rays, and one moment jabbing at his teeth with a probe, and then cut him loose.
“Good job, Robbie. No cavities again. Keep brushing and flossing, and one day all the girls are going to go crazy for that smile.”
Out the door they went, Robbie leading the way by a good ten paces. Brynlee was walking and swiping at her phone at the same time. She didn’t even look up when she stepped onto the blacktop of the parking lot. For all she knew, an inattentive driver could have been bearing down on her at unsafe speeds. It apparently didn’t concern her enough to get her to look up and check. At least she put it away while she drove them home. She knew Robbie’s parents would fire her on the spot if they found out she was texting and driving while Robbie was in the car.
When they got to 19th street, where they should turn right to go back to his house, Brynlee kept right on going.
“What are you doing? You missed the turn!” Robbie said.
“No, I didn’t.”
“Yes, yo--”
“I didn’t miss the turn, because we’re not going home,” said Brynlee, grinning at him.
“But, why not? Where are we going?”
“I feel like going shopping.”
“I don’t want to go shopping, that sounds horrible,” said Robbie, “I want to go home. I want to go play in the glade again.”
Brynlee scrunched up her face, displeased with his answer. “Yeah, well, you do that too much. We need to get you some culture or something. You’re always out playing in the woods, falling in ponds, you probably eat bugs when you’re out there don’t you?”
“What? No! I don’t eat bugs. I like bugs.”
“You like bugs? Or do you like like them?”
“What does that mean? Are you trying to say that I’m in love with bugs?”
“Why don’t you marry one?” Brynlee said with a high-pitched, whiny voice.
“I’m the one that’s twelve. You’re supposed to act like an adult.”
“I am acting like an adult. I’m making you be a part of society instead of letting you run around in a loin cloth in the woods like a wild man. Don’t worry, it’s the only time I’m going to do this. I just need to get a present for my boyfriend for our anniversary.”
“I thought you’ve only been going out for five months. Isn’t an anniversary only after a year?”
“It’ll be six months on Saturday, and that’s my day off. So, I’ll be going to see him, and giving him a present for our six-month anniversary.”
“Ugh, I don’t want to go shopping. I don’t want to pick a present for your boyfriend. I don’t want to--”
“I don’t want to. I don’t want to,” Brynlee said in her high-pitched voice again. “I’m going to hold my breath!”
Holding his breath might not be a bad idea. He really had no other options. He couldn’t tell Brynlee about the fairies, because she’d been there when he started seeing them, and she’d seen nothing. She’d only make things worse. She’d assume he was going crazy. She made fun of him now for being a wild boy in a loin cloth, imagine if he told her he was seeing fairies and--what was that other thing? A goblin?--out there, and he wanted to rush home to spend more time with them. He was going to have to grin and bear it for a day at the mall it appeared.
“Good idea. Hopefully I’ll pass out holding my breath. It’ll be better than being at the stupid mall.”
“Better than being at the stupid mall,” she repeated in her whiny voice.
Robbie sighed, and turned to look out the window instead.
He had no idea how long a quick trip to the mall could possibly have taken. They must have stopped in every single store the place offered. Each time, she would ask Robbie if he thought her boyfriend would like something like this...as if he knew the guy. Robbie had never met her boyfriend, and truthfully never wanted to. He’d seen some of the texts that they wrote back and forth to each other, and the guy seemed like a tool.
“Would he like this shirt do you think?” she asked, holding up a Deadpool T-shirt. “Would you like it?”
“I’ve never seen Deadpool. It’s rated R. I don’t really like super heroes anyway. So, I guess, no I wouldn’t like it.”
“Okay,” she said, and put the shirt down, and led him out of the store, and into the one next door, which was a women’s clothing store. Obviously, she wasn’t just looking for something for her boyfriend. She found an armload of clothes to try on, and Robbie had to sit outside on a bench and wait for her. At one point, she came out of the fitting room, and asked what Robbie thought of the shirt she was wearing. It looked like a shirt. That was the best he could offer. Exasperated, she stormed back through the door to make up her mind on her own.
As they walked to the next store, Brynlee noticed a girl about Robbie’s age walking with her mother. “What do you think of that girl?” she asked. “Do you think she’s cute?”
He was getting irritated with Brynlee, but he pushed it down, and tried to look at the girl with an honest eye. She was cute. She looked a lot like Tambrie Phillips, the girl he’d had a crush on at school the year before. Shortish golden hair and pretty eyes. She had braces, which he didn’t like a whole lot because they made girls’ teeth look like they were all black and damaged. He couldn’t really hold it against her though. They weren’t permanent after all. It’s not like she had tattoos on her teeth or something.
“She’s cute, I guess,” he said.
“I guess?” Apparently that wasn’t enough enthusiasm for Brynlee, because as soon as they left the next store--another women’s clothing store, not one for men--she pointed out another girl.
“What about her? Is she cute? Do you want her to be your girlfriend?”
He didn’t bother to give Brynlee an honest answer this time. He wanted to end her prodding.
“No, she’s horrible. A hag. A monster. A freaking gorgon.”
“A...a what?”
“A gorgon. It’s what Medusa was,” he answered.
“Okay, that doesn’t help me any, but I get the gist. I can’t believe you’d say that. I think she’s a cutie.”
“Right, well, why don’t you marry her?”
“Nice one,” she said, “using my own joke against me.”
“I don’t think you can call that a joke, Brynlee. Not if first-graders and kindergartners say that to each other,” Robbie said.
“Yeah, well, whatever.” She looked around the mall, then pointed again. “What about that girl, what do you think of her.” Robbie followed the direction of her finger and discovered that she was pointing at the supermodel in the window of the Victioria’s Secret window, nearly naked except for panties and a push-up bra.
He chuckled a little, but was also embarrassed. He knew little about sex, but he knew what was supposed to be sexy. He’d come along the road to puberty enough that he liked long legs, bare skin, and boobs. His cheeks reddened a little bit, he looked down, and then said, “Yeah, I guess she’s all right. She can be my girlfriend. Why, are you going to introduce us?”
Brynlee laughed, and said, “I sure am.” She grabbed him by the hand and dragged him into the store, a place he did not want to be. He stood there mortified, trying not to look at anything lacy and skimpy, but there was nowhere to turn to avoid it. Brynlee bought something for herself there. Robbie didn’t even know what to call it. It wasn’t a bra or panties, he knew what those were. It was something else, although he thought that stockings at least were involved. He could recognize those.
Then Brynlee surprised him by saying it was time to go. She said she’d gotten the present that she needed for her boyfriend. Robbie didn’t understand, because they’d only bought clothes for her, unless her boyfriend liked to wear tight dresses and...whatever it was they’d gotten at Victoria’s Secret.
They’d spent the morning at the dentist, and the afternoon at the mall, and Robbie couldn’t help but feel extremely resentful of Brynlee as he walked out to the car with her. The sun was already on its way down. By the time they got home, it would be too late for him to go out to the glade to find the fairy. He wanted to see his fairy. He missed her. Brynlee had wasted his entire day, and he despised her for it.
No, that was too much. He didn’t despise Brynlee. She was lazy and inattentive most of the time, but then there were days like today, where she tried really hard to establish a connection, to get through to Robbie and help him feel like there was love in the world and he was entitled to at least a little of it. She thrashed about blindly in every one of her attempts, unable to understand just what it was that mattered to him. She treated her surrogate parenting duties like a one-size-fits-all shirt, except that it of course doesn’t fit all. It didn’t work at all for him. But she was miles better than his own parents, because at least she tried...sometimes. So, he couldn’t despise her.
When they pulled into the driveway, he sighed. Not only did he miss the chance to go see his fairy, but now his mom was home from her trip to New York, and he would have to deal with the awkwardness that pervaded every interaction with her. He felt like walking in the door and saying, “guess what, Mom? Brynlee took me to Victoria’s Secret!” Then he would be able to go to his room and do his own thing while Brynlee enjoyed a stern talking to. But he couldn’t do that. It wasn’t fair to throw Brynlee to the wolves to escape their bite himself, and besides, Victoria’s Secret was probably the one store in the whole mall that he actually enjoyed visiting. They had great pictures on the wall. He didn’t understand yet what all the stuff for sale there was for, but something deep inside him told him that he wanted to.
“Hello, Robert,” said his mother as he and Brynlee walked in the door.
“Robbie, Mom. I like to be called Robbie.”
“I named you, and I will continue to call you by the name you were given. You were named after your great-grandfather, who was a prominent judge. One day, you’ll grow up enough that you will insist that everyone else call you Robert too. Then you’ll understand.”
“God, Mom, you’ve given me that same speech a dozen times. Is that all you brought me back from New York, a recycled lecture?”
“Well, I guess so. You have enough New York souvenirs to fill a whole closet, so I didn’t bother to bring you a new one this time,” she said.
“All right. Well, welcome home, Mom.” He kissed her cheek, and then squeezed past her and headed down the hallway to his room.
He closed the door behind him and went to his window. From here, he could see the path that led down to the glade. He blew a raspberry at the setting sun and the darkening sky, the things that were keeping him from venturing out to see his fairy today. He had a brief fantasy of putting on all black clothing, sneaking out his window, and making his way to the glade in the dark to spend some time teaching her English until they could have a real conversation, and he could learn a little something about her world. He shook his head. It would surely backfire. He’d be caught, and punished which would keep him away from the fairies even longer.
No, instead he settled in with a book about national parks that he’d bought with his birthday money off Amazon. It would be best to get himself in a good state of mind, because any time now his father would be home, and the fireworks would start again.
Tomorrow would be soon enough for the fairies.

Day 17

543 words today.

I'm more than 1,000 words into chapter 5 of SUNNY & GRAY, which has grown to more than 15,000 words. I think a typical novel is approximately 90,000 words, so that means I am 1/6 of the way done if my math is correct (which it probably isn't). That seems exciting.

But, if I don't up my daily word count eventually, then I still have 150 days of writing before I get there...which seems less than exciting. March will have to be a step up.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Day 16

I'm trying to get to bed earlier, so I can get up in the morning earlier, so I'm going to stop at 535 today and hit the sack even though I could have easily kept going and possibly written twice as much. The idea is to get up early enough that I can get some writing done in the morning before going to work, so that I don't have to keep writing late at night when I'm struggling to stay awake.

Today's Sunset

Leaving work today, walked out to this perty sunset. 



Nice greeting after spending all day in a box with no windows.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Day 15

I already fell asleep once this evening watching Ninjago with my son before putting him to bed, but I had to stay up, because I hadn't written yet. I just got 574 words in, and now I can go to bed for real.

It's just over the halfway mark in the month, and I still haven't blown it. I did have the chance to be a real policeman, and I blew that, but I haven't blown the writing every day for a month thing yet. I'll see if I can keep it up.

So far, I've got 9,766 words. I'll have to see if I can kick it up a notch and get 20,000 in the month. That'd be cool.

Also, today I finished chapter four of Sunny & Gray. I now have twice as many chapters in that book as I had when the month started, plus one story I started and finished this month, as well as another story that had lain fallow for more than a year that I finished this month.

This experiment continues to be a success. As long as I don't have a heart attack and die at the keyboard or something, this will be the best month in quite a long time.

Jeez, this post is probably 500 words by now.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Day 14

501. Ha! How bout dat?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Day 11

590 tonight, which puts me at 7025 altogether for the month.

Yesterday, I finished chapter 3 of Sunny & Gray. Should I keep publishing the thing on my blog? I published chapters one and two back in 2014 when I first started writing the story. But it's been an awful long time since I did that.

Also, there's the old saying that people won't buy the cow if they get the milk for free, and I'd like to sell the finished book someday when I finish it. Will people buy it if they already read it for free? What do you all think?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Day 10

604 is the total this evening. 6435 so far for the month.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Day 9

686 today. That flowed a little easier than usual.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Day 8

482 isn't quite enough is it? Damn, I gotta do 20 more words...hold on...there we go, did a few more, and now it's 642. Finished for day 8. Woohoo. Now I can hit the sack, since I'm really freaking tired today for some reason. Good night everyone.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Day 7

594 today. Finished a project that I started two years ago and then, for no good reason, abandoned at the 90% mark. So, that's two stories finished since February started, even though one of them was pretty nearly done already...it wasn't completely done, and never would have been if I hadn't done this. I also put 235 of those 594 words in on Sunny & Gray. Nice to be back on that story again. I think I'm going to try alternating back and forth with Sunny & Gray and The Gauntlet. A chapter on one and a chapter on the other.

Still haven't blown it. A whole week straight. I know that's a pretty low bar, but you gotta start somewhere.

Day 6

792 words today, and now I gotta get to bed. It's way past my bedtime. Gonna pay for this tomorrow.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Day 5

645 words today, two of them being those sweetest words 'the end'. Finished a story already, and tomorrow, I gotta move on to something new.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Day 4

I didn't want to write tonight. I was tired as hell, and just wanted to sleep. It had been a long, long day. But I promised, right? I had to get 500 words. So, I struggled to stay awake until I could get a moment at the computer to do my duty. (After a moment on the toilet doing my doodie). So, I started writing, and it was a struggle. I kept checking the word count every few sentences, hoping I'd crossed over 500, but no, 237...314...332.

Then, somehow, I got rolling, and now I'm quitting despite the fact that I could keep going. I made it to 780 today, the highest count so far in this young month, and on a day when I would have loved to just go to sleep instead of staying up to write. That seems like a pretty big win.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Day 2 & 3

Sorry, I forgot to do my update yesterday. That was 596 words. Today was 522. Tomorrow I'm starting into the finale of the flash fiction story that I started writing on February 1st. Probably take another 1000 words to finish it up. After that, I think I might write a third chapter on Sunny & Gray. Anyone remember that one? After that, maybe I'll write the first chapter of The Gauntlet. I don't know. I've only done three days in a row, but right now I feel like the sky's the limit. This was a good idea.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Day 1

I swore in the Anklecast that I was going to write 500 words a day every day of the shortest month of the year, and I guess I'll report in each day here as well. So, here's day one:

8:28 in the morning, and day one is a win already. I did 526 words so far. The scene I was writing only ran 433, so I had to keep going when I was hoping to quit. I had to power on, and type another hundred. Now, I gotta get ready for work and get out of here before I'm late.