The Sixth Time is the Charm

I did it. For the fifth year in a row, I was able to write a story from start to finish in 30 days.

30 days.

It stinks. It's not a very good story right now. But, as the good Dr. Nelsen used to say, "Writing is in the rewriting."

Which leads me to my next thing, which is, "Who has time to rewrite?"

Well, I'm going to have to, you know?

Which leads me to still one more thing, which is, "I have to quit everything."

Yes, dear reader (both of you), I think it's time to streamline, to reduce the number of activities I'm involved with, the amount of stuff I volunteer for and focus on writing. Have I talked about this before? I think I might have...

Anyway, I started reading a book about productivity and living life to the fullest, and so on. The sort of book written by someone who owns a lot of sweaters. And this writer suggested making a major goal and sticking to it to completion. Like, don't do anything else, don't pass go, don't collect $200, well, no, do collect $200 because money is money, just keep going and working until you finish.

So, when I was reading this book, I made a goal to publish all of the books I had written up to that point. And, at the time, I was about to start a short story challenge, I had the first five novels written, plus I was confident I had enough crap lying around on old hard drives and disks (so you know they're really old) that I could cobble together what would have amounted to a "rarities and b-sides" collection of stuff. Add the one I was confident I would finish in November (which I did, go figure) and I thought I had seven books I could publish. Not bad!

But then life got in the way. I took on some jobs that sounded fun at first but turned out not to be so much fun. I just didn't focus like I could or should have or whatever and here we are, six months in, and I have no books published.

Which is why I'm thinking of taking a long hiatus from everything that doesn't relate to writing. Which would mostly be performing. But, yeah, you wouldn't be seeing much of me, though you would probably be hearing a lot since I would spend much more time hammering away at this keyboard.

So that's where I am. Though you might like to get an update. Another update. Let's make this a status. That sounds better.


Updates? Yes, updates

Sometimes I think the only blog posts I'll ever make are updates. I feel like I always start these posts with "Sorry, it's been so long. Check this out!"

Case in point: this post here.


Sorry, it's been so long. Check this out!

Big things are happening and this is a good thing.

For starters, I'm about to start on my sixth NaNoWriMo. Six. As in "six more novels than I would have had had I remained a lazy old fart." I have an idea and it is a hoot. It's unlike anything I've done before. And that's all that I'll tell you.

Speaking of novels, I'm nearing the publication of my first one. I'll tell you the title and that's all: Behold! We May Rock You! I'm self-publishing through Kindle KDP. The Kindle version will probably be fairly inexpensive, a dollar or two, while the physical book will probably have a much higher price tag. The difference, of course, is that the physical book will be infused with hugs and kindness. Both will be hilarious.

To support this publishing effort, I've created my own Facebook page, which you can find here. That's where I'll post updates and events and all that jazz. It, too, will be infused with hugs and kindness, though of a slightly colder and more distant nature.

Speaking of "events," I'm going to be doing a fair amount of performing over the next couple of months. Look for updates and everything here and the aforementioned Facebook page and also maybe my Twitter account, which will probably be the least updated of the bunch. Don't worry. None of this performing will be of a dramatic nature. It will just be me and some other folks making with the funny. Which the world needs a lot more of.

Speaking of which, I'd like to take a moment to spew a ton of stuff that's been going through my mind after the events of this week and, well, frankly, the last 40 years or so.

We Americans, or about 99% of us, sit smack dab in the middle between two polls: pleasure and pain. On the one hand, it feels like half the time we're being inundated with bad news (Hate! Violence! War!) and the other half it's all about life's greatest luxuries (Better clothes! Better body! Better life!). As humans, we reject the bad and head for the good, which is always in our faces thanks to advertisements that seem to cover every square inch of everything.

And one of those "better things" is winning. We always have to win. Our sports teams have to win, our country has to win, our TV shows, movies, plays, and music has to win. Why? Because winning(Better clothes! Better body! Better life!) is good and losing (Hate! Violence! War!) is bad.

Now before you run off and post comments on my aforementioned Facebook page about how I'm completely into participation trophies, let me assure you that I am not. I do think that kids should know what it means to lose, that the idea of "you can have it all" just isn't true, that defeat is inevitable. I just think we need to keep things in perspective.

Should kids know the sting of losing, say, a basketball game? Sure. Should they feel defeated because their artwork isn't as "good" as some other kids? Ah, hell no. Which means, yes, I think "awards shows" are a waste of time.

And that's all I'll say about that.

What I'm getting at is this.

[Humanity spoiler alert]

Good and bad don't exist. Things may be painful or uncomfortable, but "good" and "bad' are human constructs that we all-too-often use to accept something or reject it. But how often does this happen: Something really, really "bad" happens, but a lot of people learn a lesson from it so "something good comes of it"? So then can the "bad" event really be bad? And if losing a game is a "bad thing," then why does the winning team celebrate? And vice versa?

It just seems like we spending so much time focused on winning that we don't embrace our defeats or enjoy the process or maybe, just maybe, we could focus on just the doing.

Problem is, a lot of this is coming straight from the top. We're being "lead" by a "man" who believes there are two types of people in the world losers, weaklings, minions, idiots, and himself.

I know this may not make sense and it's the sort of thing that you wouldn't be able to convince Job of. I'm still working on it. Just... try to keep things in perspective, okay? Okay.

More later.

If You Want Something Done

Y’all. This is huge.

As one or both of you may know, I have participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, check it out) for the past four years. I have finished five novels. I have zero novels published. I also have a bunch of short stories, personal essays, sketches, listicles, and other things, enough to publish a self-indulgent sort of collection of unpublished works. 

Fast forward to last week and I’m reading this book on overcoming procrastination (It’s called Eat That Frog, check it out) and Brian Tracy talks about setting a goal that can be accomplished over the course of a year and how you forego practically everything else in favor of that goal.

I’d love to sing at your retirement party, but I have a year-long goal, yo.

That sort of thing.

Well, you two, I have a goal.

Between now and September 1, 2019, I will edit and publish my seven (7) books. I have a good friend who’s helping me with the editing. I’ll make the changes, design a cover, self-publish them.1

Through the course of this journey/goal, I will no doubt rely on the assistance of maybe both of you. I hope you’re up for the challenge. I may add your names to the “Acknowledgements” section of one of the books. There will be room. And there will be seven (7) books.

Stay tuned!

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