Friday, March 31, 2017

Day 30 Of March

Yesterday, I sat down and wrote 1,178 words.


Now, today is the final day of the month. I'm going to go write my words to finish out a full month of 1,000 words a day.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Day 29 Of March

I'm still struggling my way onward. The last few days have been difficult. I feel like the stuff I'm writing hasn't been particularly good. I hope I'm wrong. Anyway, I got 1,050 yesterday, so I'm still going.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Day 28 Of March

I wasted at least forty-five minutes surfing the internet, checking facebook, and all the rest of the crap that you do online when you're not writing like you should be. I keep doing that. I sit down to the computer with enough time to write and still get to bed at a decent hour, and then I waste and waste and waste that time.

I think next month, I'm going to stick with the 1,000 word thing, but the new rule is going to be that they have to be done before 11:00 PM. I gotta get better sleep.

Today, I got 1,020 words. It's barely over the limit, but I wanted to sleep, I'm just exhausted. My back always hurts, and so does my neck. Maybe if I got enough sleep that crap would quit bugging me. So, I stopped right there, and am off to bed. Goodnight.


Day 27 Of March

We dorked around for a long time before ever going to Wendy's to write last night, and we almost ran out of time. They close the Wendy's at 10:00 PM, and at 9:55, I looked at my word count and found that I was still 100 short. Instead of deciding to finish it later when I got home, I put my head down and pushed forward. A few minutes later, I checked and I was at 1,089. Yay! Success once again. Boy, the end is getting really close. It'll be pretty neat to have done a whole month of 1,000 words a day.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Day 26 Of March

Wow, I really wasn't feeling it today. This one was a struggle the entire time. I kept looking for any distraction that I could find. I should have been done writing by 11:00 PM, but instead it was 1:00 AM before I finally got a positive result when I checked the word counter. I eventually got to 1,128 words.

Maybe writing with Rish in the Wendy's tomorrow will be easier.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Day 25 Of March

Yesterday we spent the whole day cleaning out the basement, and when the normal hour that I write came along, I was tired. But I wasn't done. Normally on Saturday, we do our grocery shopping, but because of the basement, we hadn't done that. So, I told my wife to make me a list, and I would get stuff. After that was done, then I sat down to write. The internet is back, so that offered a few distractions (I had to check how my favorite soccer team had done, bet you'd never guess, another 0-0 tie. The second 0-0 tie for them of the year in four games. Sometimes the haters are right), but mostly I did fine.

I wrote 1,058 words. Only six days left to finish out another successful month.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Day 24 Of March

Got 1,239 words today. Stayed up late to get them, but I got them.

Day 23 Of March

Yesterday was kind of weird, because our internet went out. Not that big of a deal for me and my wife, but my kids were devastated. It was the end of the world for them. Especially for my daughter who normally uses her laptop to get online with. She likes that better, and has mostly given up on her phone. I think she only uses it as a backup, in conditions like today. However, she couldn't find where she'd put it last night. She looked for an hour, and then gave up and decided that whining to me was the way to fix things.

We called the company, and it was an area wide outage, and technicians were out working on it, but there was nothing that could be done to fix it right away. No unplugging and then replugging in of the router was going to make a difference. Sorry, go find your phone, goofball.

Anyway, why the story? Well, instead of writing in my usual manner, using my desktop computer and Google Docs, which wasn't going to work because of the lack of internet, I just used my bluetooth keyboard and my phone, like I usually use when I write with Rish, last night.


It worked just fine, and I was able to get 1,150 words in.

Now that I think of it, though, I probably could have worked offline. Google Docs backs all my files up to my computer. So, I didn't even need to do that. I could have just written some words, and then when the internet service returned, it would have uploaded my progress to the cloud. That cloud computing shit is pretty amazing stuff. I love it.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Day 22 Of March: 50 Days In A Row!

I don't have the slightest idea why or even how this happened, but I wrote a new record high number of words today. I wrote for a while, and thought I ought to check and see where I was at, assuming that I would be somewhere in the 900's, probably fifty words short of my goal. My guess was wrong, though. I was already at 1,100. I could just stop, and call it a night, but I was in a weird spot to stop at. Right dead in the middle of a scene. So, I plunged ahead, and finished writing the scene. Then, just because, I wrote a couple of paragraphs of denouement for the scene, finishing up the chapter. By the time I was done, I was at 1,755 words. That's almost 200 words higher than my best output so far in all of this.


So, today is my fiftieth day writing in a row. That seems like a pretty big deal for some reason. Not sure why, but it does. Maybe it's because Sunny and Gray is now above 50,000 words. 50 days, 50,000 words. Sort of a symmetry.

That's a lot of words. That's enough to be a prize winner at NaNoWriMo...if I'd done it in one month anyway. But still, according to NaNoWriMo, I've written the equivalent of a full novel. Sadly, I'm nowhere near the end of the book. It's going to be really long, it seems. It's already something that no one is going to want to read, and now it's long as hell too. This is going to be such a triumphant first novel. Go me!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Day 21 Of March

Okay, another 1,210 words today.

The book is really coming along. Pretty soon, though, I'm going to have to use a day or two to make more outline for the second half.

My outline is really simple and small, but I'm not really a pantser, I don't think I could strike out on my own without at least some simple directions. I'd sit down to write and go, "okay, what's supposed to happen now? Shit, I don't know," and then stare for hours at the cursor flashing on my blank monitor.

I still find it crazy sometimes when I talk to people and say, like I did with someone today, "when I finish the book I'm working on right now, I think I'll write this other story next."

Yeah, I'm writing a book. Not a story, a book.

Here's my chart:


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Day 20 Of March

Rish and I got together last night, and instead of going straight over to the Wendy's bar, we went to see Split.


That was a good show and all, but when we got out of it, we had only about thirty minutes before Wendy's closed at 10:00, and we would have nowhere to write. We rushed over there, but didn't get enough time to do anything other than eat.

It was okay, though. we had a backup plan. The grocery store right by my house has a Starbucks in it, and up above the beer cooler is a loft seating area for those who get their coffee there. It's so out of sight in the grocery store that most people forget it's even there, so it's usually empty. But it had electric outlets for Rish to use his laptop with, so it would be perfect, and I was sure it was open until at least 11:00.

We set ourselves up, and started pecking away at our keyboards. When I knew we were getting close to out of time, I checked my word count...994. It was like yesterday, but the opposite. I had to at least type in six more words. I actually thought it would be fun to just come up with a six word sentence, and quit, just to hit the goal exactly on the nose one time. But I couldn't.

Instead I wrote another 207 words before the store manager came up and told us that they were closing and we needed to clear out.

It was a successful night, again. I lamented a bunch about what a lost opportunity it was that we never started this before...like eleven years ago when we first started our weekly hang out appointments, even before the podcast. Imagine what we'd have under our belt if we had! Rish just told me to shut up. There's no way to go back and change it, but we can keep doing it from here on. So, I guess that's what we'll do.

Rish started writing every day a few days ahead of me, so he's over fifty days in a row. It was only forty-eight for me last night, because February is shorter than most months. Couple more days and I'll have fifty in a row too. That'll be a cool milestone. But just a milestone, one that will disappear in the rear view mirror as I continue barreling down the highway on this journey that I swear I will not stop.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Day 19 Of March

Man, I just wasn't feeling it today. Not really sure why. So, when I looked at my word count and saw it at 1,002 words, I chuckled and said, "I'll take it. It barely makes it, but it makes it, so I'll take it."


Sunday, March 19, 2017

I Finally Found Some Friends Who Get Me

I should have known it all along. They've been there since I was young, waiting for me to understand who I am.


Thanks guys, for having me back.

Day 18 Of March

Today was a busy day, but I stayed up late so that I could write my words. I had a good one, and managed to get 1,563.


That's right up there near my records. Someday, when I check the word count, and I find that I'm within less than twenty words of my record, I'm going to just type another two sentences, and break the damned thing. I've made it within spitting distance of the record several times.

However, today is not that day. I'm going to bed today instead. G'night.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Day 17 Of March

My five-year-old somehow got his hands on some rice, and burned the living shit out of it in the microwave. I was about to write, when this horrible smell filled the entire main floor of our house. I started to get a little nauseated by the stench, and I knew I wasn't going to be able to write in such an environment.

But I was prepared. It was a lovely spring evening, so I grabbed my trusty bluetooth keyboard, and headed out to the backyard. I sat at our patio table, and wrote 1,233 words out there.

My chart says:


I'm only at day 17, but I'm over 20,000 words now. That's always exciting. Last month it took twenty-eight days to reach that milestone.

Also, today was St. Patrick's Day, and I wrote my 1,000 words while sitting on Paddy O'Furniture. Wah wah. (Sorry, I couldn't help it).

Happy Anniversary To Me!

St. Patrick's Day will never be the same for me again. I had a doctor's appointment that morning last year, because I was having some health issues. What were those issues, well, this is how I summed them up last year on a few posts on Facebook:




I chalked the eye problems up to getting old. The excess peeing up to kind of always having a small bladder, and the weight loss to...well, no, to nothing. That was the one thing that I couldn't figure out. I was eating as bad as I ever had, but still losing weight...why? Well, because I was slowly dying inside...and not in the usual depression-type way, but instead in the literal sense.

I knew that peeing a lot was a big indicator of diabetes, but I always discounted it. Finally, a few days before St. Patrick's, I looked up the symptoms of diabetes on my phone, and my stomach dropped. This is what I saw at this link:


I ticked them off the list, and realized that I most definitely had it.

I scheduled an appointment with my doctor, and discovered that I didn't just have diabetes, I was in a diabetic crisis. They wouldn't let me leave without shooting me up with some insulin.

In the end, I found out that I have type 1 diabetes. I finished up my series of Facebook posts with the announcement:


Usually, people who have that get it much younger, so I guess I can at least be happy that I got to skip out on a lot of years of living with the condition.

I went without sugar completely for probably six months or so. I was a model diabetic. I haven't had to start shooting insulin, because my pancreas apparently hasn't quite given up the ghost yet. So, I'm still chugging along on Metformin, which is actually a type 2 diabetes medicine.

Eventually, I broke down. I'm not as good as I'm supposed to be. It actually worries me a lot. I've got a pretty insatiable sweet tooth, and I haven't been as sedentary as I am now for years. I used to go running all the time and work out at a crossfit gym. Not anymore.

They say that having diabetes shortens a person's life by an average of 20 years. 20 fucking years! Diabetes may actually kill me before that car accident finds me.

After all this time hemming and hawing, I've finally started writing every day. I used to think that eighty years was more or less what I was probably going to live. So, I'm almost exactly halfway there. However, with diabetes, we can cut twenty years off of that, so I don't have a lot of time left anymore. If I want to accomplish anything, I better step it up big time.

But another thing I could do is take extremely good care of myself, so I can have all forty of those years after all, or maybe even more. Right now, I'm being ruled by my appetites, and doing a crappy job with my diabetes. Soon enough, I'm gonna have to have a foot amputated or something. It's time I get my crap together.

I think that next month, I'll stick with 1,000 words a day, and dedicate some time to developing good eating and exercising habits. I think I'll do another post in which I detail those things, but for now, I'm going to just leave it at that. And say, happy anniversary to me. Woohoo!

Day 16 Of March

I had to stay home with my five-year-old today, because he was sick. Well, marginally sick. He had issues overnight, but by midday he was doing pretty good.

I have to admit, after about five or six hours of being at his beck and call, I was ready to give him away. So, I found someone to give him to.

My daughter wanted to go to the grocery store and get herself a treat, then go to the park...the fancy new park that has this 30-foot-tall pyramid jungle gym to climb on.

I agreed, as long as she was willing to watch the little guy, and let me write while we were at the park. She was down with that, so that's what I did. I brought my little bluetooth keyboard, logged into Google Docs, and typed away. I got 1,035 while I was there, and didn't have to stay up till after midnight to get it done today. That was awesome.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Day 14 & 15 Of March

I never got around to doing one of these for the 14th, so I'm just going to do both days in one.

March 14th was a pretty big day as far as this writing 1,000 words every day thing goes.

I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I think it's the Daylight Saving Time thing that has been kicking my ass so hard this week. Sunday was okay, because I could sleep late. But, by sleeping late, I got too much sleep, and couldn't get to sleep Sunday night. It was past 2:00 AM when I last looked at the time that night, and I had to get the kids up for school at 6:30 AM. So, I was lucky if I got four uninterrupted hours of sleep that night.

Monday is when Rish and I usually get together to podcast. We usually go really late, but we didn't do too much this week. We split up at midnight, but, even though I spent the whole day with my mouth wide open in what seemed like one endless yawn that was actually a series of slightly shorter yawns separated by only tiny intervals of a closed mouth, I couldn't sleep immediately upon getting home. Instead, I was up till 2:00 AM again.

So, Tuesday the 14th, I was utterly beat. I was in a stupor the entire day at work. It was a miracle that I didn't upload video of two rhinoceroses having intercourse in place of the video of double murder-suicide story...or wait, did I? I wouldn't even be able to tell you if I had. I was completely beat. On the way home, I barely made it without drifting off at the wheel. I gave my five-year-old a bath before bed, and laid my head against the wall as I sat on the toiled lid waiting for him to be willing to get out, possibly sleeping for several minutes.

Then, I put him to bed, and went to write my words for the day. I sat there staring at the screen, and typed almost nothing. After thirty minutes, I'd typed two paragraphs, perhaps 150 words, perhaps less than that. I couldn't get it going. I didn't know what to do, because I couldn't go to bed if I didn't do my words, but without going to bed, I wasn't going to be able to do my words.

Finally, I went to Facebook, and typed up this status update:


Luckily for me, fellow writer, and friend of the show, Matthew Sanborn Smith happened to be online and standing by to save my life. He replied:


I looked at his reply and thought, okay, why not? (I live a why not life these days). I replied with:



I went into the kitchen, and filled up a water bottle with sixteen ounces of water and chugged it as fast as I could. And when I was done...I did feel a little more awake. I went and sat down at the computer again, and started pecking away. I finally got into the flow, and less than 45 minutes later, I replied again with:


It's funny how harrowing the experience felt. But I got to bed well before 11:00 PM, and got a lot of sleep. My wife even took a turn waking the kids up for school at 6:30 this morning, so I got more sleep than ever.

Today was a much easier day. Sleep really makes a difference. I sat down to write this evening, and really got into the flow. My total was 1,576. My second highest total in all the 43 days I've been at this. and only five words less than my record from March 8th. Today was triumphant compared to yesterday, although yesterday, actually finishing it yesterday, might be more triumphant.

Rish wrote a comment on the blog a few days ago when I posted about struggling through the writing even though I had a bad headache:


That comment was in my mind the whole time I was struggling through the sleepiness, running on two cups of water. It helped me to push through again.

Now if only I could do some real push-ups, and get myself into shape. Maybe I wouldn't always be so damned tired.

P.S. - This blog post is another 716 words. Maybe I should count them too.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Pi Day!

I hope your π Day was just as wonderful as mine:


Day 13 Of March

Got together with Rish last night, and we did our (new) routine of writing in Wendy's.


It looked like it might be a bust again, like it was last week when I forget to bring my wireless keyboard with me. This time, the keyboard didn't want to connect. I think the batteries might be getting low. I'll have to change them out. For the first ten minutes or so that I should have been writing, I was messing with getting my keyboard connected with my phone. Eventually, we both got writing though.


I love this thing. I wish we'd thought of it long ago. Can you imagine the amount we would have written over the years if we'd been doing this for the last nine years that we've been doing the podcast?

Way back in 2006, when Rish and I worked together, when our shifts ended, we would stay after work, and write for a half hour to an hour. I think Rish's story Sleep Talkin' Gal...or maybe it was the one about the possessed treadmill...was written in those days. And my story...you've never heard because it sucks was also written then.

Eventually, Rish and I stopped working together. We set up a weekly standing engagement so that a few years later we didn't run into each other at the Big Lots and say, "Hey, remember a few years ago when we used to be friends?" But for some reason we didn't find a way to keep the writing together thing going. What a missed opportunity.

Anyway, I set the timer for an hour, and wrote 1,112 words with Rish at that little bar. Here's my chart:


Still going. And enjoying myself in the process.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Day 12 Of March

Forty days straight of writing. That's a pretty decently long time.

Today I got 1,138 words. My monthly total is 14,011. My total in Sunny & Gray so far is 38,706.

I guess that means it's still coming along well.



I actually need to be writing more words a day. I haven't done anything on my personal blog about my family's exploits in too long. If I don't get caught back up, I'm going to forget what happened. The last post I finished was about Christmas Eve, and it's going to be St. Patrick's Day this week, so I really need to get on it. My goal this week is to finish all the posts through January. We'll see how that goes. That'll be a lot of extra words.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunny & Gray, Chapter Four

Okay, folks, I guess it's time for another chapter of Sunny & Gray. I think I'm going to post one a month or so until I get the whole thing done. In case you missed the earlier ones, here they are:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three

So, there's that.

One thing I would appreciate are comments if I have any typos. I haven't checked it over for them yet, but being forewarned would make that process much easier. Also, if I've contradicted myself from what I've said in earlier chapters, that would be super useful.

However, I don't want comments about whether you like or don't like the story. Nothing can derail me faster than having someone tell me that I need to make the characters more interesting or that the story doesn't flow like it should or whatever you might feel like saying. Even though you might do it in a constructive manner, I don't want to hear that. Please wait until I have completely finished writing the story. If I hear bad things before then, I probably won't finish it. It's happened to me before, so please don't do it. If you must, write your comments down, and save them for when I post the final chapter. I'd be happy to know what I did wrong then, but I really want to finish the story first. Even if it sucks, I'll be able to say that I wrote a whole novel. Thanks again.

Now, on with the show!




Chapter 4

Robbie made sure there was no chance that he’d be waylaid this time. He set his alarm, and was out of bed early, almost before the sun rose. He took a shower, made and ate some breakfast, prepared a lunch for himself as well, and left a note on the counter for Brynlee, who still wasn’t even awake.
The trek through the woods to the glade as pleasant as a journey could be when you’re desperate to arrive at your location. The still rising sun streamed through the leaves and needles of the trees with a soft amber glow. The wildflowers dappled the hills with color as if a careless artist had spilled his paints all over the world’s canvas. Steller’s jays squawked back and forth at each other from nearly every branch, and swooped and soared through the treetops, adding yet more color to the scene.
Robbie barely noticed. He had his head down, watching the rocks and earth he trod upon with intensity. He was probably hiking faster than he ever had before in his life. He wanted to avoid slipping or stumbling on a loose rock, because it might slow him down or force him to turn back. After yesterday, he was determined that nothing would keep him away. There could have been a bear in the path and Robbie would simply have swerved around it and kept going.
At last he arrived. The fairies were everywhere including _his_ fairy. He grinned broadly, and waved to her. Then he held his hand out to her for her to settle onto it.
“Robbie!” she said when she spied him.
She zoomed down from the branches and spun around him several times as he laughed with delight, before pulling up, and coming to rest on his hand.
“Robbie!” she said again, and lifted off his hand, flew to his chest and tapped it in imitation of his gesture from the other day. “Robbie!”
“Yes,” he said, laughing, “Robbie, yes. Man, I wish I knew what your name was. I’m tired of just calling you my fairy. Somehow, we’re going to figure it out before today is over.”
And so it went. He spent the morning strolling through the glade teaching the fairy every word he could find a representation of in the glade. Stick, rock, sky, cloud, weed, bush. He showed her the difference between a rock and a pebble, a tree and a bush, a log and a stick. He taught her concepts of language like bigger and smaller; over, under, and through; up and down, and alive and not alive. After a while he felt like he was putting on an impromptu episode of Sesame Street. He actually made a mental not to watch some episodes of the show before tomorrow so that he would know what to teach her on subsequent visits. As if Brynlee didn’t think he was weird enough, what would she say when she saw him soaking in episode after episode of Big Bird and Elmo?
The time passed much faster than Robbie thought it could. His phone chimed in his pocket to inform him that he had a text. He looked, and found that it was Brynlee checking to make sure he had taken lunch with him, and if he hadn’t, he needed to come back home to eat. He couldn’t believe that it was already lunch time. He texted back, and let her know that he had come prepared, then sat down on a big rock, and opened up his lunch bag. He upended it, and a Gogurt, a string cheese, a Capri Sun, and a sandwich tumbled out into his lap.
He opened the Ziploc bag on his sandwich first, and took a bite. He’d made this sandwich himself, so it wasn’t the bland numbers that Brynlee always prepared for him with Wonder bread and Miracle Whip. He liked to think of himself as a sandwich aficionado. Of course, being only twelve he didn’t really have that much experience. Living in Denver didn’t give him a lot of access to the varying cultures found in other big cities, not a bunch of Jewish delicatessens or Italian panini shops. He’d heard of things like Rubens and Cheesesteaks, but never really had the chance to try them. He’d discovered pesto, though, and he loved slathering that on his sandwiches.
The fairy hovered around his head as he nibbled away at his sandwich. She seemed curious.
“Eat,” Robbie said, and put the sandwich in his mouth for another bite.
“Eee,” she parroted back.
“No, eat,” he said again, putting a heavy emphasis on the T at the end of the word.
“Eee Tuh,” she said, copying his emphasis.
“Good,” Robbie said, and smiled.
She hovered in closer, and inspected his sandwich, reaching out and touching the bread with a tiny, blue-green hand. Robbie tried to hold it completely still while she looked at it. Then she flew away from the sandwich in his hand and up to eye level.
“Eat?” she asked, distinctly raising her voice on the tail end of the word to make it a question. Robert was mildly flabbergasted. He hadn’t taught her how to make questions. Somehow she had picked up the voice inflection trick through her own observations of Robbie’s speech. Wow! Soon enough, they might be able to have an actual conversation after all. Robbie was assuming that it would take much more than the whole summer before they could talk with each other like adults--although he was still years from adult and she was...he had no idea what she was. She was a fairy, whatever that was.
“Yes,” Rob replied, “Eat.”
He put the sandwich into his mouth slowly, bit an exaggerated bite, and chewed with his mouth open (despite how many times his mother, Brynlee, and his various nannies before her had told him never to do that) so she could see what was happening. Then he swallowed, and opened his mouth again to show her that it was gone. The fairy cocked her head, confused.
“You want some?” Robbie asked. He broke a corner of the bread off, as small as he could make it, because even a single bite that Robbie might take would be the size of her entire upper body. He held out the crumb of bread on the tip of a finger, and waited for her to take it. She flew in close and looked at it distrustfully. She looked up at Robbie, and he smiled, then mimed putting it in his mouth with his other hand holding the sandwich. She looked down again, then up again, and then back down again, and finally took it in her hand.
She put it to her face, smelled it, and finally opened her mouth and bit down on the crumb.
“That’s it,” Robbie said. “Just like that. Like this,” and he put his sandwich in his mouth for a bite that he again chewed with his mouth open like a barbarian. The fairy chewed as well in response. Then Robbie swallowed.
“Okay,” he said, “Swallow it.” And he displayed his empty mouth as inspiration. The fairy kept chewing, and chewing, and chewing. “ You don’t have to turn it to paste,” he said, “swallow it already.” He tried to act it out for her, pantomiming a swallow. At last, she followed suit, but clumsily. Her eyes widened for a moment, and Robbie was afraid she was choking on the crumb. How would he give a fairy the size of his finger the Heimlich? He had no idea. But, instead of dropping from the sky while she struggled for breath, she smiled broadly.
“Eat!” she yelled, and zoomed toward his sandwich again. Robbie pulled a second crumb off the sandwich and handed it to her.
“Eat,” he said, “bread.”
“Eat bread?” she repeated, making a question out of it. Robbie guessed that she was asking him to correct her pronunciation if needed, but she sounded great.
“Eat bread,” he said.
She put the crumb in her mouth, and chomped away with her mouth open. _Don’t these fairies have anyone to teach them manners?_ Robbie thought, and chuckled to himself. He took a big bite of the sandwich himself, and chewed on it as the fairy came zipping back to him for another bite.
“Be careful,” he said, “You don’t want to lose your girlish figure.” Robbie peeled a strip of lettuce off the edge, and handed it to her. This made him chuckle more. Her figure was way beyond girlish. She could give a twig a run for its money. A praying mantis, a daddy long legs, a walking stick were all fatter than she was. He needed to give her some meat for her next bite.
She looked at the lettuce suspiciously. It wasn’t bread. Robbie guessed she thought he was trying to trick her somehow.
“Eat bread?” she asked.
“No,” he said, “Eat lettuce.”
“Eat…” she faltered.
“Eat lettuce,” Robbie said again.
“Eat lettuce,” she replied haltingly. Then stuffed it in her mouth and again chewed with her mouth open. She seemed to like the taste of the lettuce.
When she came back for more, Robbie pinched off a chunk of turkey and handed it to her. She inspected it with the same curiosity, and said, “Eat lettuce.” She stuffed it in her mouth, but this time, she didn’t even chew for a moment. She spit it out immediately, and then flew over to Robbie and bopped him one on the nose.
It didn’t hurt, but Robbie was very surprised. “Whoa, What? What’s wrong? No eat turkey?”
“Eat tur...key?” she asked, and then shook a fist at him.
“No eat turkey?”
“No eat turkey!” she replied with a shout.
“I guess maybe you’re a vegetarian, huh? Okay, what about cheese?” He pinched off a dab of cheese and gave it to her. She looked at it for a long time, smelling it, holding it up to the lights, then finally touched it slowly to her lips. That was enough for her, she pulled it away from her face and dropped it to the ground. “No eat turkey!” she said.
“Cheese,” Robbie corrected her.
“No eat chee,” she said.
“Cheese,” he said, putting a lot of emphasis on the Z sound.
“No eat cheese,” she replied.
“Okay,” Robbie said, “You’re not just a vegetarian, you’re a vegan. All right, that will limit what I can give you here. I bet you probably won’t even do mayo or pesto.” He took care to pinch off pieces of the bread from the outside of the sandwich, so he didn’t expose her to any animal fat or oil. She enjoyed pieces of lettuce and tomato, but it was a good thing that she was tiny, because he could barely manage to get any clean bits off his sandwich for her. Robbie worked his way through his lunch, eating the string cheese, and Gogurt without offering her any, and also chomping down the majority of the sandwich that was drenched in sauce.
Then it came time to drink the Capri Sun. He wanted to share it with her, because he figured she’d enjoy it--it was vegan approved after all, but he wasn’t sure how to go about it. He popped the straw into the pouch and sucked down a swallow for himself, then pulled some juice up the straw. He held it in place plugging off the straw with his tongue, and pulled the straw out of the pouch. Then plugged the other end with the tip of his finger, keeping the juice trapped in the straw.
He pantomimed holding out his hand to receive some juice to the fairy, and luckily she got the gist easily and did exactly that. This was the tricky part. For her, a drop of juice would be plenty, but how to let such a small amount out? He’d have to be lightning fast with the tip of his finger, lifting it off and then sealing the hole back up like lightning.
“Okay,” he said, “here it goes. You’re gonna like the juice. I just hope I don’t completely soak you in it.”
He lifted his finger off and then covered the hole again as fast as he could, but the entire straw emptied all over the fairy anyway. She spluttered as the flavored liquid drenched her from head to toe.
“Oh no!” Robbie said, “I’m sorry!”
She quickly gained her composure again, and took one of the drops that still clung to her iridescent skin, and put it in her mouth. Her face lit up like a spotlight.
“Eat!” she said. Robbie thought she would like it, and she certainly did.
“Drink,” he said. “Drink juice”
“Drink?” she repeated, confused. “Drink joo?”
“Juice. Drink juice.” He sucked another strawful out, and held the straw out to her. This time he didn’t lift his finger off. He waited to see what she might do. She just looked in the straw, then looked back up at him, waiting. He decided to empty it out into his cupped hand, and let her drink from the puddle he’d make. That worked much better than opening a waterfall of juice onto her face. She knelt on his palm, and pulled drinks in her own cupped palms up to her face. She really liked it, and drank until she could drink no more. That still left some of the pool of juice in his hand. She was just so tiny. He dumped what was left, and packed everything that was left back into the bag he’d brought.
It was getting very hot, and he decided to strip off his shoes and socks and soak his feet in the pond. The fairy watched him with rapt interest. He narrated what he was doing, trying to teach her words.
“Shoes,” he said as he lined them up next to each other.
She looked confused about what she was seeing. She wore no clothing whatsoever,  so she probably didn't understand the concept. Her body was covered by nothing more than her iridescent blue-green skin. He imagined that she might be thinking that he'd just removed his feet and put them on the ground next to him, except of course he still had feet at the end of his legs.
He peeled his socks off too, and laid them on top of his shoes.
“Socks,” he said, and then pointing at them, “feet.”
“Shoo. Sock. Feet,” she repeated.
He dipped them into the water, and smiled, sighed, and laid back on the shoreline. The fairy flew over and hovered above his face.
“Hi,” he said.
“Feet?” she asked.
“Yes,” he sat back up, lifted his feet out of the water and pointed at them again. “Feet.” He started going through his body parts, naming them off to her. Then he pointed at each of her body parts and did the same. Then he went through them again on his body, but only pointing, and waiting for her to supply the word for what he was pointing at. The fairy named each one of them with minimal pausing to remember. The fairy was really catching on…
The fairy. All at once Robbie grew sick and tired of not having a name to call her. She was catching on so well, maybe she could supply him with a name finally. If not, or if it was some impossible to pronounce chirping sound, then he was just going to give her a name himself.
He pointed to his chest, as he had done that first day, and said, “Robbie.”
“Robbie. Robbie,” she reapeated.
“What’s your name?” he asked, pointing to her.
“Robbie,” she said.
“No, no. I’m Robbie,” he said, pointing to himself. “What’s your name?”
Something seemed to click in the fairies head. She glanced left, then right, then smiled big. “Fower!” She shouted.
“Flower?” Robbie asked. Then he pointed to a blue wildflower growing beside the pond. “Flower, like this?”
She shook her head violently. “No!” she shouted, and suddenly zoomed out of sight. Robbie searched the sky for her, but couldn’t see her among the other fairies and insects circling about the glade. He pulled his feet from the pond, and stood, still looking. She came racing back, circled his head, then grabbed his ear and tugged.
“I guess you want me to follow you then. Okay. Lead away.” He started walking the direction she had pulled his ear. She let go, and flew ahead. She didn’t fly slowly, and Robbie realized he was going to have to run to keep up. The water on his feet mixed with the dirt he ran through until his feet were covered in mud. He would have to wash them in the pond before going home, or Brynlee would flip out at him. Maybe it would help though. Could mud make a sort of protective barrier? He wasn’t allowed to run around without shoes on outside much, so his feet were pretty tender. Dashing through the woods like this he was bound to step on a rock and hurt himself.
Even running as fast as he could, the fairy flew out of sight. She circled back, tugged his ear, and flew on again. “Fower,” she said as she zoomed away. This same routine repeated four times before they finally made it to the spot she wanted him to see. It was a huge leafy green bush with perhaps a dozen large yellow petaled flowers on it.
“Fower,” the fairy said, pointing at the giant yellow flowers and then pointing at herself. Robbie didn’t know plants all that well. He could name a bunch of trees and a lot of human cultivated flowers like roses, tulips, daffodils, and irises, but wildflowers were a lot harder, because there was no adult to ask. Adults could tell you, because they were the ones who had planted them, and they could look on the seed packet to be sure. Wildflowers spread a different way.
The bush was enormous, several feet taller than himself. Robbie was just hitting puberty and surely had a lot of growing to do, but he was five feet two inches now, and was dwarfed by this wildflower bush. They almost looked like daisies, but daisies weren’t this big, and anyway, weren’t daisies white with yellow in the middle. These were yellow with brown in the center. He wanted to say that this was a sunflower plant. The flowers were smaller than the monstrous sunflowers that his grandpa and grandma liked to grow in their backyard. Those plants had been twice as large as his head, but they were the ones that would make the seeds that you could buy roasted and salted at the store. People farmed those ones. This was a wild plant.
He grabbed one of the flowers by the stem and looked at it closely. He’d seen these plants growing along the side of the road every summer his whole life, but he’d never thought to ask what they were. One thing he did know was that sunflowers were packed with a load of seeds right under the fuzzy stuff on the middle of the flower. He thumbed at the center to see if it would reveal the seeds to him, and there they were, not fully formed yet, but packed down in there was a bundle of black seeds.
“Fower,” said the fairy, hovering in close to his face were he examined the flower’s head. She pointed to the flower and then pointed to her narrow chest.
“Sunflower!” Robbie said, a huge grin spreading across his face. “Your name is Sunflower.” He started repeating the word, pointing to the plant and then pointing at the fairy. “Sunflower. Sunflower. Sunflower.”
She repeated after him. “Sunfower. Sunfower.” Then she even managed to get the L sound into the word. “Sunflower.”
“Repeat after me, Sunflower. My name is Sunflower. My name is Sunflower. You can do it. My name is Sunflower.”
And she did. “My name is Sunflower.”

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Day 11 Of March

Wow, super crappy day of writing today. I had a really bad headache the whole time, and just couldn't get any kind of flow to build. But I struggled through and managed 1,056 words. So, I'm still going.

Day 10 Of March

It's 1:00 AM again, and I'm just finishing with my words for the day. I need to stop staying up so late to write, but I don't know how to go about it. My wife wanted to stay up late and watch a movie together this evening. She usually sleeps early, so I wasn't expecting it, but I wasn't upset to have it happen. I figured she'd probably fall asleep before the movie went very far, but she didn't, surprisingly.

We watched Boyhood, which was pretty long (like fifteen years long, amiright?). The movie didn't end until 11:45 PM. So, then my wife went to bed, and I had to say, "No, I'm not going to bed with you, I've got to go write now."

Sucked, but I still did it. I could have told her no to the movie, but I refuse. I want to be able to live my life and write as well. A few weeks ago, I saw a comic strip by Zen Pencils posted on Facebook. It was an illustrated version of a few paragraphs from Stephen King's On Writing book if I remember right. It's called The Desk, and it talks about the importance of art being a support system for life and not vice versa.

When I first saw it a few weeks ago, I thought it didn't really apply to me. But only a few days later, and I already see how it works. If my wife wants to spend time together, then I'm going to do it. I can write later if I have to. Hell, tomorrow's Saturday. I can sleep in if I need to.

So, after the movie, I sat down, and spent an hour or so writing another 1,104 words. Kept with my goal, and had a nice time with my wife. I think this evening couldn't have gone better...except if I'd had time to get that Dunesteef episode posted. That's been waiting a little too long. Hopefully I can get it tomorrow morning.

Here's the daily chart:


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Day 9 Of March

I was really feeling down for some reason when I first sat down to write this evening. I knew it was time, but I couldn't bring myself to get started. I was saved, when a friend of mine who moved away to California called me up.

Talking to him pulled me out of my funk, and when we hung up, I was able to sit down and write 1,118 words without much trouble. Turned out to be another good day. Still burning my way through Sunny & Gray. It'll probably suck in the end, but I can't let myself worry about that. Just gotta keep plugging on.



This whole process has made me really excited about the possibilities. 1,000 words a day for the whole year means 365,000 words in the year. That's a lot of output. That's as many as six novels for the year! Considering that I've never written a novel in my life yet, it seems like a pie in the sky.

But I think I might be able to keep this going for that long. I might not be perfect for the whole year, but considering that I get a few hundred extra words each day, those will quickly add up to cancel out the missed days. I've written more than 10,000 words in only nine days. I'll probably finish this month with more than 35,000 as long as I don't blow it.

365,000 words. That just blows my mind. Dean Wesley Smith wasn't kidding when he said how easy it was for it to add up, and how he didn't want to hear the friggin' excuses from the crapheads like me who couldn't be asked to put fifteen or thirty minutes work to fulfill their life's dream.

It's been a lot of fun.

Day 8 Of March

Today, I tried my best to keep from needing to stay up late. I'm not sure why. I should have known better.

I wrote on my lunch break at work, and managed to get 450 words or so. That seemed like it would be a really positive development. But, my wife had a very important honey-do for me when I got home.

Our mailbox had been blown off its post in the windstorm we had a few days before. We'd gone several days without one, and I guess they gave her a notice saying that our mail was being held for us at the post office. The post office isn't close to us, and wouldn't be a simple errand to pick the stuff up. So, she wanted me to get the mailbox remounted tonight.

It wasn't really that hard, but I managed to make a few stupid errors (like leaving my wallet home when I went to the hardware store for a new mounting bracket) that made it take a lot longer than it should have.

On top of that, I didn't get any of the laundry done this weekend like I'm supposed to, and everyone was complaining that they had no clothes. I had to get things started at least, so people had stuff to wear tomorrow.

So, there goes my night. Even with a head start, I didn't finish my writing until midnight.

On the plus side, though, I wrote a record number of words for the year. Today's tally was 1,581, which beats my record from February of 1,573 by eight words. This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: huge success! It's hard to overstate my satisfaction.

So, I'm at 9,595 on the month. Just barely shy of half of my total for last month. That's pretty awesome, right?



And, I finished chapter eight of Sunny & Gray, putting me at 34,288 words. That's a lot of words. I don't know if I've ever written anything so long. I think there's only one possible story that might be longer. Hold on, I'm going to go check...oh, jeez, not even close. "Do Over" is 26,000 words. So, Sunny & Gray is now easily the longest thing I've ever written. That's pretty exciting. And it's still got a really, really long way to go. I probably won't finish it at this rate until June.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Day 7 Of March

I wanted to get to be early, to make up for my late night last night. Didn't happen though. I was too easily distracted today. I kept going off to look at Facebook, or to search for other interesting things, like this word cloud:



So, word clouds are things that take the words you write the most in a document, and arrange them by size. This is made from the words written so far in Sunny & Gray. I spent a lot of time messing with that to make it look like I wanted. Browsing the possible shapes it could be. I wish there could have been a fairy or at least a dragonfly, but a butterfly was the closest I could get. That was a lot of time not writing.

I should be asleep already. I need to find a way to get up early in the morning to write instead of staying up really late. The late night thing just doesn't work well with my daily schedule.

Anyway, despite all the screwing around, I finally wrote my 1,000 words. 1,074 to be exact. Here's the chart so far:


Day 6 Of March

Last night was nearly the end of my whole adventure of consecutive nights of meeting my goal. I made it all the way through February, and through most of the first week of March, but our plans for the podcast nearly finished that streak off.

I met Rish for our usual get together, with one important misstep. I forgot my wireless keyboard at home. For some reason, I totally forgot about our (now) usual writing session at the bar in Wendy's. I think it was because I knew we would be going to see Logan and expected that maybe we wouldn't have time to write before the show. I don't know. I really have no excuse.


In the end, I probably wouldn't have gotten that much writing done, because we only had about twenty minutes from the time we finished eating to the time that we needed to be at the theater for the start of the film. I did write 61 words using my phone's onscreen keyboard. So, I did do some writing, but it was a far cry from the 1,000 words I was supposed to be hitting.

We left Wendy's and went to the movie, then did an episode of That Gets My Goat afterward to talk about it. Then, instead of hanging out and talking for a while like Rish and I usually do, I rushed off for home. If I was going to keep up my streak, I really needed to get going. That was a bit of a bummer, but also kind of good. It was friggin' cold out, so I might have saved both our lives by making sure we didn't stand around in the parking lot for a long period of time.

I got home at 1:30 AM, and I really didn't want to do the writing thing. 1,000 words takes a while to achieve. I can pump out 500 words relatively quickly, but 1,000? Did I have to? Maybe I could just do 2,000 the next day, and say I actually did them on separate days? Or maybe I could just call the day a wash. I did write, after all. I did 61 words already.

Ugh! Grr! I sat down and started writing. At least I could make an attempt. I wrote and wrote for a while, checking the word count every few minutes. I made it to 500 fairly quickly, and I wished that it was still February and that could mean I was done. I struggled further, and eventually I made it to 1,000. 1,060 to be exact, which means I wrote 999 words after getting home at 1:30 AM.

It sucked, but I did it. That builds character or something, right? I'm really trying to establish the habit of writing every day, so I'm still going with that. I think Stephen King said once that a person is what ever they do every day. A writer writes every day. So, I can still call myself a writer at this point.

Here's my chart:


Still going.