08 August 2013

Reflection on: The Slow Down

The school year is about to launch my family and me into a whirlwind. Where did the summer go? I'll tell you: into tasks that needed to be done. However, my thoughts about slowing down all year round are taking root, and I want them to dictate how I operate.

They won't wear Buzz and Woody boots forever

I look at Thing Three as he sleeps in a heap of baby rolls and I wonder where our newborn went. His brothers are way older than I remembered they were last night - and with the winds of the school year approaching, I don't want to become the 40-year-old who looks back and laments the busy schedules.

I want to enjoy my wife. Life gets messy and hard, but she's still my bride, my love. Will we use all our time together to work out how bills will be paid, or how to scrap and save for college funds? I don't want to. And although the peak of romance in our busy house is letting her sleep in, I would like to hold her hand and savor a moment here and there.

I want to slow down.

I want to know this moment is the only thing I have. I can't exist in the future, and the past is gone. But right now, it's here - I don't want to ignore it!

I've decided this school year will be the year of digging in and working my tail off. Sounds like a great way to slow down, doesn't it?

But it is.

If I decide to exist in every moment the way I should exist in it, then I don't miss anything; I don't waste away a work day because I'm daydreaming about next summer; I don't fret about school the next day because I have my crap done and I can build a fort of sheets with my boys.

Slowing down isn't always about doing nothing. If my mind isn't swirling with the should-have-done's, then it will be able to focus on one thing at a time. That's slowness - one thing at a time.

It's time to slow down.

03 July 2013

IWSG: Sluggish June

The brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh, The Insecure Writer's Support Group runs the First Wednesday of every month. There's quite a hefty list of writers posting about their troubles, check some of them out and post some encouragement!

Last month was not a writing month, especially when I compare it to April! I always have huge plans for the summer, yet it seems I do less writing. It always makes me groan to reflect on a whole month and see little progress in any of my current projects, but I'm trying to be strong!

I've been working on another short story along with my second book, and I know exactly how I want it to end, I know what changes need to be made in the second draft, and still I can't find the time or the energy to finish it! I also know why I've been so slow - I completed our house painting project yesterday, which took all of June - but that doesn't seem to help my inner-writer any. I still look over at my neglected composition notebook and wish it was bursting with the ideas that are clanging around in my head.

So, now that the house is a lovely timber bark, July here I come!

19 June 2013

What's Up Wednesday: 6/19

The What's up Wednesday meme/bloghop is hosted by Jaime Morrow and her sister Erin Funk. Visit their blogs to see what they write about and what they're up to!

What I'm reading


I've been looking through Yeats's poems again, and I've started a short fairy tale called "Undine" that I've intended to read for some time. However, the busy schedule of late has prohibited much reading!

What I'm writing


I'm still working on my second book - I'm about ten pages in on my second try. I've been putting most of my morning energies into another short story, and I'm ten pages into that as well.

I missed out on the start of Read. Set. Write! last week (see reasons below), so here's what I would have said:

I don't have solid word count goals. Each morning, not counting the weekends, I set out to write on both my book and my short story. I try for at least a page each.

I'm glad to report that I've been writing at least 2-3 pages a morning, and yesterday I wrote six! (This is great for me, by the way, even if it sounds like a puny amount.)

The best part about my writing lately is that I'm still doing it. Usually I go in short strong bursts that fizzle out. I had a busy April and in the past that would have been enough for a year, at least. So I'm glad to just be writing consistently!

What else I've been up to


House scraping. Still.


What inspires me right now


Indie authors everywhere. The more I read about self publishing and what it takes to become a successful writer, I'm amazed at the work ethic and the desire to get their work out there. Their stories make me want to continue writing and follow in their footsteps!

05 June 2013

IWSG: Fill in the blank

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, again (!), for running the Insecure Writer's Support Group! This blog hop is a great platform for writers to find others who are struggling to make sense of this sometimes defeating calling.

This last weekend I was bemoaning the fact that I'm not like a certain writer, and not long afterword I realized I had my topic for today. Fill in this blank and you have one of the many blocks any writer faces: I am not __________ enough.

Haven't you done it? Haven't you said or thought: I'm not enough? I could fill in that blank with so many things, and these are the ones that only apply to writing!

What's Up Wednesday: 6/5

The What's up Wednesday meme/bloghop is hosted by Jaime Morrow and her sister Erin Funk. Take a look at what they're all about, what they're writing, and what they're reading - and then take a spin on the hop yourself!

What I'm reading


My wife and I are still reading Quitter, by Jon Acuff. We are both enjoying the encouragement and the practical advice he shares about following our dreams.

I'm also working on a daily Psalm and 1 Corinthians, too.

What I'm writing


"Dystopolis" is live on Amazon and is only $0.99! Read a preview beginning here to see what you think, and then download the story! Any feedback is always appreciated, and if you're so inclined to write a formal review on Amazon, I'd say thank you (and try and return the favor)!

I've put my book down for most of this week to work on updating my blog and to write a guest post on the A-Z blog. I'll let you all know when that's happening.

Also, check out my post for today's IWSG! It's titled "Fill in the blank."

What else I've been up to


We are beginning the painful process of painting our house. Sigh.


What inspires me right now


A young mother of three just lost her husband to complications of brain cancer last week. They had been fighting the cancer for about six years and he'd had a least four surgeries and tons of chemo. Our community is in shock, and so is she. What is inspiring is her reaction to it all. She is so strong in her faith, and is using this as an opportunity to share that faith. At the funeral she was able to stand up and talk about her husband and what he was about. That alone tugs at my heart. Please pray for this family - she is strong, but the coming days and weeks will push her and her children to places they've never been.

30 May 2013

Dystopolis Cover Progressions

My good friend and fellow teacher Derek agreed to draw a cover for Dystopolis. Here's the first two proofs and the final draft:

I knew I wanted a sparse pencil drawing with a point of view that encouraged a dark mood. For the second proof, I asked for more damage on the buildings:

Once this one was done, I wanted a darker feel - again, to accomplish a dark mood. Here's the final:

I'm working on getting the final draft of the story ready...stay tuned!

29 May 2013

What's Up Wednesday: 5/29

The What's up Wednesday meme/bloghop is hosted by Jaime Morrow and her sister Erin Funk. Check out their blogs, find the link to all the others who are participating in the weekly hop, or join in!

What I'm reading


My wife is reading Quitter, by Jon Acuff, to me. Besides the fact that I love to be read to, this book is inspiring. It's all about chasing your dreams, doing what you're called to do. The more we read, the more I'm convinced that I need to write.
I also just started The End of Christendom, by Malcolm Muggeridge. It's actually a series of lectures that were given in 1978 at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. The main theme is remembering Pascal and his contribution to the Christian worldview. It's challenging.

What I'm writing


"Dystopolis" is still in process. I'm in the final edit stage.

Two pages in on my second book. The slowness is maddening, but I'm trying to enjoy/tell myself it's okay/remember that it's better that things come slowly...like sipping coffee on a cold morning.

Those short story ideas sill need work.

Also, check out this post for the Get Healthy bloghop!

What else I've been up to


Trying to keep up with Thing One and Thing Two...


 What inspires me right now


From Blaise Pascal (Pensee 188):

"Reason's last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things which are beyond it. It is merely feeble if it does not go as far as to realize that."
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