Sunday, April 30, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Here's my chart:
Yeah, I missed two days in a row. I know! I can't really believe it either. The worst of all was that I just plain forgot to write those days. I had no other excuse. The first day was a Friday. I was really tired. It had been a long week. I'd actually gotten together with Rish twice this week, both Monday and Wednesday, and we'd stayed up till about 2:00 AM on both of those nights. The the Tuesday in between that, I'd spent the whole evening meeting with our real estate agent, who looked over our house, then had a sign a bunch of papers to get the process of selling our house in gear. Then Thursday, my in-laws arrived from Canada, so we spent the evening talking with them.
Come Friday, I was tired, and I really wanted to get a decent night's sleep. So, when I took my son up to bed for the night, I just fell asleep at his side, happily, completely oblivious about the fact that I hadn't written at all.
Then, the next day was the Saturday before Easter. There was an Easter egg hunt for the city that we always go to. Then a family get-together that included another egg hunt. We stayed at my sister's house for a long time afterward because someone was coming to look at our house at 6:00 PM, and we didn't want to be under their feet when they came. Then, when we got home, I spent the evening, well into the early morning putting together the Easter basket treasure hunts that I do for my kids for Easter.
It wasn't until morning came along, and my wife said, "have you been writing this week?" when I realized that I in fact had not. I'd completely forgotten that I did such a thing. I'd done it without fail for more than sixty days in a row, but somehow it had completely slipped my mind. How the hell does that happen? That's crazy!
Well, I did get back to it. I've written every day since Saturday. I was going to try to write 3,000 words on Sunday to make up for the days I'd missed, but I just couldn't find the time or the energy to do so. Maybe I'll manage to do that another day this month or something, but if I never do, I'll be fine with it. I'm back at it. I remember that I do it again, so that's what matters, I suppose. I'm a writer, because a writer writes every day.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
"I just wanted to say that I love the prequels, and if anyone doesn't agree with that they need to grow up!"
A bunch of people cheered and a there were probably a few boos. Rish sat there a little stunned and incensed, and though he didn't have a question, he almost got up just so he could say, "I just wanted to say that Star Wars is just movies, and if anyone doesn't agree with that they need to grow up!"
It's kind of funny to me, because it's such a silly thing, but it's the first quarrel that I've seen between Millenials and Gen-Xers. There's been countless blog posts and Huffington Post articles about how Millenials are feuding with Baby Boomers, and as a Gen-Xer, I feel left out. It's just another time that we haven't mattered. Hell, they called us Generation X because they couldn't come up with a real name for our generation.
But now, we've got a feud! And I am firmly in line with my generation. I don't think I need to grow up for not liking the Star Wars prequel trilogy. They were awful. Some people on the old end of Gen-X also hated Return of the Jedi because they found Ewoks to be ridiculous. I guess I can understand how they feel a little, because everything Star Wars between 1984 and 2015 was absolute garbage.
So, this has become a long winded load of BS for a stupid payoff. But here it is:
I found these Phantom Menace posters in the basement this week. We're getting ready for a garage sale, and I figured I'd put them up for sale. They're posters that I bought in 1999 before the movie came out. We were so excited about those films back in those days. I remember Rish Outfield nearly jizzed in his pants when he saw the shape of the shadow in the poster on the left. Should have known better, after all Lucas had already released those Special Editions of the original trilogy.
I thought, however, that I might be able to make double or triple off the posters if I put a sign on them that says: MILLENIALS LOOK!!! VINTAGE STAR WARS PREQUEL POSTERS! YOU LOVE THEM!
(If you don't want to buy them for triple the price, then you need to grow up).
Friday, April 7, 2017
What did that entail? A ton of yardwork, deep cleaning, sorting our possessions and deciding which ones go to the dump and which stays with us in the trip to the next house, carrying heavy things up narrow basement stairwells or down the other twisting stairwell, working outside in the surprisingly cold wind, and driving loads to the dump and emptying them. I'm sure I left a lot out too.
Each night, I had a really difficult time sitting down to write my words. I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open, much less write a story. And it was a challenging portion of the book too, so it took thought, and I could barely muster any.
After the road trip on Sunday, we worked the whole day Monday. We rented a trailer from U-Haul, and had to get our money's worth. So, we went to Ikea to pick up a new mattress for our bed, the dump to unload the old mattress (along with several other things we were done with), and then loaded fifty bags of black mulch into the trailer for the yard work planned for the next day.
That night, I could barely write. I checked the word count every few minutes, hoping I was almost there. It was well past midnight when I finally made it to 1,047, and could go to bed. Two days in a row without achieving my goal of finishing my words before 11:00 PM. But it was going to get worse.
Tuesday was the longest day of them all. We worked in the yard for probably eight hours. I was so tired by the end of the night, that I just about forgot to write my words. I went upstairs to take a shower before going to bed, and as I was getting in, I remembered that I still had to write. I didn't know what to do, because I knew I couldn't do it. I couldn't even stand in the shower. My wife has a plastic footstool that she keeps in the shower to rest her feet on when she shaves her legs, and I knelt down and lay over that thing while the water splashed on my back because I couldn't stay on my feet any longer.
In the end, I just didn't write. It's the first time in two months that I've missed a day, and I felt like a complete failure for doing it, but I just couldn't help it. My streak ended at sixty-two days in a row.
It's funny, because my wife is not very into my writing. I don't think she even knew that I was trying to write every day until I'd been doing it for more than a month. So, when I told her that I hadn't written on Tuesday, I was surprised when she told me that I had to work extra hard Wednesday, and do 2,000 words to make up for it. I think maybe she felt a little guilty for working me beyond my ability to do those words the day before.
So, on Wednesday, we knocked off the house work a little earlier, and she watched Netflix while I flailed away at Sunny & Gray. But it worked. I got 2,151 words written that night. It made up for the night before, and was a record total for me in all this time.
Since then, I haven't missed again, despite being very tired each night. On Thursday, I got 1,267 and today I got 1,409. I'm going to have to step it up at some point, because I said I would do 40,000 words this month. That means that I actually need to do 1,3333 words a day. I haven't hit that much so far, which means I actually need to do something like 1,500 or more from here on out. We shall see what I can do.
I guess I ought to get back to it.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Rish has been looking for something that we'd both enjoy like a Sting concert, or a Louis CK standup, or the traveling version of the Broadway musical Cats, but we just never found anything that would work.
He finally gave up, and said we could go to something that he would hate and only I would enjoy. I finally won. Immediately, I worked it out that we could take the drive out to a National Park for a hike. I went to Arches one time with my family last year, but the one thing we didn't do was hike to the Delicate Arch. It's the most iconic arch in the park, and we didn't see it. Instead, we made the mistake of going to the lookout point. At the lookout point, the Delicate Arch looked like this:
In case you're having a hard time seeing it, maybe this will help:
Yeah, a little less than spectacular. Especially considering that in every picture I've ever seen of it, it looks more like this:
Well, I wanted to go back and do the actual hike that gets you close. So, I dragged Rish along for the ride. He was glad to go on the ride, because we podcast the entire way. But I don't know how glad he was to go on the hike.
It took us about four hours to get there, and we podcast about a bunch of things. Several episodes of That Gets My Goat, including one that has a sort of big announcement in it. Then we arrived:
We drove straight to the Delicate Arch trail, podcasting the whole way, and then we hit the trail. First we stopped in at the bathrooms, because it was going to be a long hike. Somehow Rish didn't notice this sign in the stalls:
I'd hate to know just what kinds of things were going on in those toilets for them to have to create a sign like that. "DO NOT use the floor. Use the toilet." WTF? I feel bad for the guy who kept having to clean that shit up, until it got to the point that he said, "You know, we should make a sign that tells people not to shit on the floor. Maybe that will make them stop."
Anyway, we hit the trail. It didn't take long until I was huffing and puffing, and Rish was making fun of my extreme out-of-shape state. It was quite a hike though. You got about a hundred yards of flat ground and then it was a steep incline from there on out. This picture is from about the halfway point:
If you look close, you can see the parking lot way off in the distance. I'll admit that I had to take a few breaks along the way. Sometimes it got hard to follow the trail, because, as you can see, it was a lot of bare rock we were walking on. We discovered that in parks like this, though, they mark the trail by making stacks of rocks called cairns. One time we were lost, but then we found some cairns to help us along our way:
It was really hot out there, and it's barely April. They recommend that you take a gallon of water per person on the hike, to be sure that you don't get dehydrated. I saw a couple of guys doing it the low-budget way, each of them carrying a gallon-sized milk jug filled with water in their hands. No wasteful expensive backpacks or water bottles for them. Of course, I probably should have taken their example. Eventually, we got thristy, and had to resort to whatever means of sustenance we could find:
At last, however, we made it:
Rish said it was nice and all, but he just wanted to check out the attractive female hikers that had taken the trail along with us. The arch didn't interest him all that much. And I suppose I could see his point, but I also liked the arch too.
We struggled our way back to the car, and then drove home, podcasting for a little of the trip as well. We got involved enough in our podcast that we missed our turn, and had to drive several miles out of our way to turn around. Then several miles further along, we realized that if we didn't turn back and go to the town that we had just passed that we were going to run out of gas in the middle of friggin' nowhere. My gas gauge was lower than it had ever been before in this car.
Eventually, we got home, and then I still had to write my 1,000 words. It was the second day of April, and I totally failed and fulfilling my goal of writing my words before 11:00 PM. I didn't even get home until after 11:00 PM, so I really had no chance. But I did 1,021 words in before going to bed.
I had a lot of fun, and I hope Rish did as well. And I hope you guys enjoy the podcasts that come from it. Get ready for some That Gets My Goat On The Go episodes coming your way soon!
Saturday, April 1, 2017
In February, I pledged to write 500 words every day. I'm sure that plenty of people scoffed at that, but I meant it, and, surprise, surprise, I did what it took to make that actually happen. Then, to avoid the let downs that I've had in the past, where my writing progress peters out and drops back to nothing, I pledged to take that 500 word goal from February and double it. In March, I had to write 1,000 words every day. Truthfully, even I thought that might not be possible. It would be quite a stretch. I've never written at that kind of level ever. But I was going to give it a shot.
The first few days were difficult, but an interesting thing happened. As I saw that I could do it, even if it was hard, then I grew more confident. Soon, it wasn't as hard as it was before. After a while, writing 1,000 words was about as easy for me as writing 500 words had been. Some days were worse than others, but I'm here to tell you that last night, I wrote1,014 words, completing a full month of thirty-one days writing 1,000 words each and every day.
I wrote 36,809 words in the month. I have also written for 59 straight days. In the space of two months, I've written 57,116 words. Thus sayeth my chart anyway:
So, now it's April. What do I do to top it? Do I need to go to 1,500 words? Actually, no, I don't think I'm going to do that. I'm sure not going to try avoiding hitting the 1,500 mark or anything, but that's not going to be my goal. Instead, I'm putting a deadline on my writing.
I've been having an issue with staying up too late at night to get my words written. Often, I don't get my 1,000 words in before 2:00 AM, then I have to be up at 6:30 AM to get my kids up and ready for school. Lots of Diet Mountain Dew or coffee have been the only things that have kept me alive for this past month. Now, I love coffee and Mountain Dew...though not together...but it's just not healthy to do this to myself. I need some better habits. And that is what this whole process is about--establishing habits.
So, this month, the mark will remain at 1,000 words, but now, I have to have them all written by 11:00 PM, no later. So, you might notice that this post is publishing after 11:00 PM on April 1st. So, how'd the first day go? Well, I failed miserably. I didn't even write at all.
Nah, I'm just kidding. April fools, everybody! Here's my new chart:
Yeah, I got 1,052 words in before 11:00 PM hit. Now, it wasn't an easy thing, mind you. I didn't get started until 10:00 PM, and I got a little lost in the weeds when I was trying to find out a few things about horses on the internet to make sure what I was writing made sense. Eventually, I checked my word count at 10:55 PM, and found that I was still only at 964. I had five minutes to get in about forty words. I could do it, right?
Of course I could. As you can see, I got in about one hundred in that time, so I was fine. But I don't want to push it that close any more. Hopefully tomorrow will be even better. And the next day even better. I'd really like to get to the point that I get my words in the morning before I even leave for work, maybe sitting down to write them right after waking up my kids at 6:30 AM. Of course that will require making this before 11:00 PM thing a reality for sure. It's hard to stay up and do anything at 6:30 AM if you didn't go to be until 2:00 AM after all.
So, here's to another great month.
Oh! I almost forgot. I have one further goal for April. In March, I wrote 36,809 words on the month. That's 5,809 words above and beyond the required 31,000 that I had to get to achieve the goal every day. Well, I'm not going to be satisfied with that in April. My goal for the month is going to be 40,000 words. It's only about 3,000 more than what I got in March, but with one less day to do it. I think it's definitely doable, and I'm going to do it. If I manage, then that means that in just a few short months, I went from 20,000 words in a month to 40,000. That seems like significant progress. After I kick all those goals asses, then I'll think about possibly upping the count again.
Jeez, this post is almost 1,000 words. Maybe I should count this for tomorrow.