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Showing posts from October, 2015

Happy Halloween

Lk Mi @ Hagar Park

I was over at Whirlpool again today, doing my maintenance thing. With the wind being up over 40 mph the lake was in a state of upheaval. I took some pictures and a little video. It was nice and cool down on the beach and, damn, it sure looks like the ocean out there. Sorry about the sound, but between the wind and the water it was loud. There is not a lot of 'beach' at Hagar Park. I was no more than 10-feet from the water and it didn't go far in either direction.

Anatomy Lesson

I'm at the high school watching a Halloween concert tonight, so I'll leave you with this Anatomy of a Blog Post graphic that I thought was worth sharing. I found it over at Write To Done , and it's part of an article that I think is worth a read if you blog.

NaNo Exercise 2

The Last Summer of Grand Adventure Grandma thought a boy should be out of the house on a beautiful mid-summer day. So he had shut off the game, grabbed grandpa’s pocket knife, and stuffed a fistful of the leftover lady fingers into his shorts and went looking for adventure. The ladyfingers might be duds, he had left them on the picnic table after the fireworks and the morning dew had gotten to them. But they had potential. The pocket knife wasn’t really grandpas, it was his, but it had been a gift from his grandpa when he’d got out of elementary school. It’d been his inheritance. He’d carried it with him every day for the last three years. “A boy can’t find near as much adventure without a good knife,” grandpa had written in the note, “as he can with one. Be a good boy.” So Paul took it with him everywhere. And everywhere he went he looked for adventure. Paul found his walking stick where he’d thrown it, near the base of the black maple that marked the edge of the woods. It wasn’t real

NaNo Exercise 2

The Last Summer of Grand Adventure Grandma thought a boy should be out of the house on a beautiful mid-summer day. So he had shut off the game, grabbed grandpa’s pocket knife, and stuffed a fistful of the leftover lady fingers into his shorts and went looking for adventure. The ladyfingers might be duds, he had left them on the picnic table after the fireworks and the morning dew had gotten to them. But they had potential. The pocket knife wasn’t really grandpas, it was his, but it had been a gift from his grandpa when he’d got out of elementary school. It’d been his inheritance. He’d carried it with him every day for the last three years. “A boy can’t find near as much adventure without a good knife,” grandpa had written in the note, “as he can with one. Be a good boy.” So Paul took it with him everywhere. And everywhere he went he looked for adventure. Paul found his walking stick where he’d thrown it, near the base of the black maple that marked the edge of the woods. It wasn’t real

NaNo Prep Exercise 1

Grant lifted his cappuccino to the level of his chin, his mouth opened, and shut again slowly. His eyes crinkled into a squint and he tilted his head like a curious tabby. The cup drifted down and away, but didn’t reach the table. “What? Hold on a second. So you’re saying that we’re watching this on TV?” Cindy said. “No. That is precisely not what I’m saying,” Ares said, as he waved away her words like so many gnats with his free hand. “Let me start again.” “Our reality. This reality,” Ares said. “There are others?” Cindy said, with a glance at Grant who had managed to get his cappuccino to his lips only to pull it away again and shrug resignedly. “Yes, there are others. But for now, we’re only talking about this reality. And this one is like a house,” Ares said. “How can there be more than one? Things are either real or they’re not. Do you mean, like, heaven and hell or are you talking fairy land?” Cindy said. “Real and not real are relative to one’s perspective and I am talking about

NaNo Exercise 1

THE TV IN THE HOUSE Grant lifted his cappuccino to the level of his chin, his mouth opened, and shut again slowly. His eyes crinkled into a squint and he tilted his head like a curious tabby. The cup drifted down and away, but didn’t reach the table. “What? Hold on a second. So you’re saying that we’re watching this on TV?” Cindy said. “No. That is precisely not what I’m saying,” Ares said, as he waved away her words like so many gnats with his free hand. “Let me start again.” “Our reality. This reality,” Ares said. “There are others?” Cindy said, with a glance at Grant who had managed to get his cappuccino to his lips only to pull it away again and shrug resignedly. “Yes, there are others. But for now, we’re only talking about this reality. And this one is like a house,” Ares said. “How can there be more than one? Things are either real or they’re not. Do you mean, like, heaven and hell or are you talking fairy land?” Cindy said. “Real and not real are relative to one’s perspective an

Writing Conference at KDL

Saturday, I went to the KDL Writers Conference – Crafting Edition. It’s a spin-off of their annual writers conference. Only this one had a different focus, crafting your work. The event featured some Michigan Authors and publishing insiders sharing their insights on the craft of writing from capturing an audience, to constructing scenes, to editing. It was broken down into two sessions, morning and afternoon. The morning session started with author, teacher, and historian, Deb Moore, giving a presentation on memoir writing. Which wasn’t why I was there. I don’t really want to write a memoir of myself or anyone else for that matter. But it did get me thinking that it would be nice to do taped interviews with both my mother and my grandmother. It would be nice to have their life stories in their own words for any that come after who might be interested. My notes from her presentation were few: Did you know that, back in the day, they used ferrets to control the rats at the millinery in G

Saturday at KDL

Yesterday, I went to the KDL Writers Conference – Crafting Edition. It’s a spin-off of their annual writers conference. Only this one had a different focus, crafting your work. The event featured some Michigan Authors and publishing insiders sharing their insights on the craft of writing from capturing an audience, to constructing scenes, to editing. It was broken down into two sessions, morning and afternoon. The morning session started with author, teacher, and historian, Deb Moore, giving a presentation on memoir writing. Which wasn’t why I was there. I don’t really want to write a memoir of myself or anyone else for that matter. But it did get me thinking that it would be nice to do taped interviews with both my mother and my grandmother. It would be nice to have their life stories in their own words for any that come after who might be interested. My notes from her presentation were few: Did you know that, back in the day, they used ferrets to control the rats at the millinery in

Done with Deadwood

Tonight I finished watching Deadwood. I watched the last three episodes of the third and final season. It was an interesting show that I really wanted to like, but I'm not sure how much I did. I mean, I made it through three seasons; there must have been something there. But just like the show refuses to have white hats and black hats and muddies things up in shades of grey, I can say that my opinion of the show is muddy. I can't say I liked it, but nor would I say I disliked it. The show was too vague and uncertain for me to truly liked it. But there were definitely things about the show that I liked. And while I often found myself wondering what the hell was going on,  what the hell someone had just said, or shaking my head at the season finales; I did not dislike the show as a whole. I like westerns. I like Timothy Olyphant and a number of the other actors. I enjoyed the characters. I'll say that I'm glad I watched it, but I'm also ready to be moving on to someth

New Books

Funny thing. Today, I went into the local Schuler Books and what should I find newly arrived in their used book department? Why, Bird by Bird and On Writing . I picked them both up for $12 and I am happy to add them to my writing shelf at that bargain price.

Writing Coach

I started a notebook last night for Shadow's Play and put down my first notes about who, what, and even a little bit of why. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. But some things are starting to gel in my head. Saturday is the writing conference at the library and that should add further inspiration and motivation. I'm planning on starting some practice writes next week, probably a thousand words a night. Little bits of stuff that won't be in the story, but which may influence the story. I may or may not put that stuff up here. It kinda depends on what I get and the quality of what I got. I returned Star Wars Aftermath and used that audible credit to pick up something writing related. This is a book that I've heard good things about but didn't have on my writing shelf, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Finished it already, it's pretty short, and I enjoyed it and found it to be motivating, if not terribly insightful. By which I mean, I enjoyed it but didn't

Aftermath Returned

Chuck Wendig gives a lot of good writing advice, but I've never actually read any of his work. So I picked Star Wars Aftermath up on Audible thinking to get two birds with one stone. A Chuck Wendig novel and to read  listen to the journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But it was terrible. I hate all the sound effects and extras that Star Wars adds to its audio books, it pulls me out of the story. Although in this case, I was never much into the story. I didn't like the characters. The story was a discombobulated mess. And worst of all, it didn't do nice things to the Star Wars universe. Chuck didn't feel comfortable there and I didn't feel comfortable in the story. I returned it to Audible less than half listened to. That's only the second time I've done that.

Two Cents Worth

National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner. Something like 10 days away. I haven't heard from my buddy Doug, so I'm assuming that he's not doing it. But surprise of surprises, I did hear from my friend, Dawn, and she is. First timer. So cool. Dawn has already said that she's going to be a pantser, I'm more of a plotter. But having said that, I haven't done any plotting yet. Last year I pantsed and it worked for me, I may be doing the same this year. Fingers crossed that I'll get some plotting done here in the next few days and maybe even get some practice pages in. Anyway, here are some writing thoughts that I, or others, have had and that I'd like to share with you for inspiration and motivation. The first draft is always bad. The first draft of anything is shit. Don't worry about it, it is just the way things are. Give yourself permission to write shitty first drafts. Get the ideas down and you can polish and rewrite and edit as much a

Grilling

The fella at the Home Depot paint counter asked if I wanted him to put my ceiling paint on the shaker. I told him, "No. I'll just take it home and put it on the drill." Meaning, I would just stir it with my paint paddle and drill. But he just had the oddest look on his face that I was compelled to ask, "You don't think that'll work?" "I think it might explode," he said, mistaking drill for grill. Now, I don't know that the paint would explode. But I also don't know why he would think I was going to put the paint on the grill. Kinda funny.

White on White

This morning I finished the paint above the chair rail in the kitchen and then, because I didn't want to do all the cut in on the walls below the chair rail, I did some touch-up on the ceiling in the family room. Now, I'm wishing I hadn't. Seems that the Behr ceiling white that I had in the basement is not the same white as the family room ceiling. I mean it ain't even close. It is not a good look. So I guess either sometime during the week or next weekend I'll be repainting the ceiling in my mostly finished family room. Sometimes you just have to leave well enough alone.

NaNoWriMo 2015 Participant

Making my 2015 attempt at a 50,000 word official. Adding badge to side bar as well.

Be The Hero

Damn!

Somebody Gift Me This

Build the Millennium Falcon https://youtu.be/DXFA3gIP6pw This thing is officially licensed by Disney and Lucasfilm. It's a recreation, 1:1 scale, of the 32" studio model of the Millennium Falcon prop used in the Empire Strikes Back movie. Only this one  also features unique internal details, lighting and movable parts. So cool. They're doing it subscription style, so you give them twenty five $60 payments and you get twenty five parts deliveries. Each batch of parts comes with a magazine full of detail shots of the Falcon, a detailed Assembly Guide, plus The Starship Fact File, The Guide to the Galaxy and The Secrets of Spaceflight.   I've been watching lots of YouTube builds and I've decided I want one. I want to build my own. It'd look cool with my Kotobukiya Star Wars figures.  I'll do it myself, but it sure would be nice if someone else would do it for me. It sure would make a great gift for a husband or father.

We're All Getting Older

Sammy Hagar turned 68 today. Happy birthday to him, but damn does that make me feel like I'm old. I just checked a couple others: Tom Petty (64), Adam Ant (60), Danny Wilde (59), and Jon Bon Jovi (53).  Even Kid Rock is already 44.

Columbus Day

It's Columbus Day and the banks are closed and I have the day off. But still, not a great day. Tried to build that damn pedestal again... just not working out for me. And it's pissing me off. Work tried to get me, but I didn't go. Really, just not in a good mood today and not exactly sure why. I guess it's just one of those days. Here's a picture of Christopher Columbus... why not. And here's one of Gerard Depardieu portraying Columbus as some kind of action hero. And here he is portrayed in a Schoolhouse Rock cartoon.

Rock Band 4 Inspired

Rock Band 4 came out last week. I didn't preorder it. I haven't bought it. I probably wouldn't play it much. I haven't played Rock Band 3 in more than a year. But I still kinda want it. It's like that urge you get to get the band back together, only there is no band to get back together and I don't really have the time to pretend to be a rockstar or relearn to play a fake guitar. And I certainly don't have the money to buy all the songs I'd want to play. Ah well, let's do a flashback to those glory days of yore. Because I always thought, No Cover, would be funny on the marquee. That logo screams hair metal band. Album cover with wizard... can't miss cool! Not really sure where this one was going... Apparently, 1988 was the year my "I want to be in a band" mindset hit it's peak. The year my not-yet-wife bought me a guitar. The year I tried (halfheartedly) to learn to play guitar. And i'm sure the year I wrote lyrics to a hundred

Office Door

I've hung the new door in the office. It still needs to be sanded, primed and painted or stained. Still not sure which. And the plastic is still covering the window, until that is done. But I'm pretty happy with my $40 door from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.    I bought it knowing that I wanted to letter it and I was looking for something with pebbled glass. But for $40 you don't get a lot of choices. So I figure I'll use some of the adhesive pebbling to get the look and I think I've decided on the lettering and wording. It should look something like this when it's done. That lettering will be vintage gold.

Projects Update

This weekend I managed to get a few things done and still feel like, not so much. I put up the new door in the office and drilled it for a door handle and latch, but it still needs to be sanded and finished. I don't know if it's going to be stained or painted... I guess I need to figure out what the plan is for the office. Painted the walls in the living room, but I need to go back and repaint the trim and doors and probably a few spots on the ceiling. The color looks surprisingly similar to what was there before. Which is odd, given that it went from a dusty mauve/lavender color to a smoked tan. I mean it's so close if you didn't know we changed it, you probably wouldn't know. Patched the walls and did most of the cut-in painting in the kitchen, but haven't gotten to rolling it out yet. Big change in color there. No chance you wouldn't notice the change. Painted the hallway wall and the wall in the bathroom both of which I patched. And I started cutting the

Loveseat

Still working on the living room remodel, but my mother asked about the furniture,  so here's a peek at what we picked out. The pattern on those pillows is the same fabric that is on the chair. Also, the brick in this picture is truer to the color the stain turned out. On another note, I stained the top of it and we don't like it, so it's a good thing I didn't do the fireplace shelves. But the plan is to get rid of the fake plants and put a wood table top on there to match the new fireplace mantle, so that's a thing. Happy Saturday.

Robin Hood

This is my favorite Robin Hood image. It's from an old Dragon magazine, issue 45 I believe. I put together this collage of Robin, John, Will, and Tuck from images I pulled from a PDF file. Then I weathered it and put some other effects on it using a couple different photo manipulation/graphics programs. I had thought it would make a cool canvas print, but I have no idea where I would put it... wall space is becoming scarce in the office. So probably I won't get it printed. Oh well, I still think it's cool.