Thursday, June 30, 2016

I either hurt, or have hurt, from top to bottom.  The soles of my feet to the top of my head, everything is sore, achy, or has been. It's 70 some odd degrees in the house, and I'm contemplating pulling out a blanket to sleep under today.

I don't like being sick. Intellectually, I know it's just a summer cold invading, but, there's always a part of me that worries I'm going to get sick with something and never get well. My as-of-yesterday 92 year old friend would remind me that such things will happen to us all.

Yeah, sure.  I get that.  I still hate getting sick.  Only thing is, I'd rather have it happen to me than watch it happen to my wife.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

You know...  I don't like to fight, in any way, shape, or form. But, I have to admit, I don't really care about fitting in, either.

I am so fortunate for influences in my life that have taught me to think outside of the box. I'm in a place now that professionally, I have to work inside of the rules, but previous to this, seeing solutions in places that no one else did made me successful, and once or twice, kept me alive.

I'm still working on writing out the story of me.  But, I just had a wild thought, even if it is paraphrased from a song I heard Eminem throw out on my iPod last night.  If one kid did survive the world because he read and found meaning in my words, that would be truly awesome. Don't get me wrong; I don't think I'm that incredible, but I am serious...  If someone identified with the stuff I've felt and know I survived so they will too...  Well...

There'd be nothing better. Maybe I should work harder to get my words out there, just in case.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I live backwards in time sometimes.

I can't help it - I was allowed to do some pretty cool stuff in my younger days.  I've been around trucks and tractors and combines.  I've watched the moon set over Kansas and I've seen the sunrise over Wisconsin. My career has been full of names like Monsanto, Freightliner, Agchem, Peterbilt (it took me a while to learn there isn't any U in 'Peterbilt') Case IH and Caterpillar.

I've also seen people and companies that I never thought would do either rise and fall, and many times, both. There's a lot of tension out there right now - some say more are fixing to head toward the 'fall' side of that equation.

I don't much care for the politics going on right now.  I don't like Trump, and I swore I'd never vote for Hillary. I don't even know how they're different when they're so fundamentally equal - they're both pretty scary.

When I drove home tonight, I tried to imagine our country if it all fell to pieces.  You know, really came apart and turned to anarchy. And I couldn't see it.

I'm a writer - I imagine things.  I've read plenty of books like 'The Road' and 'The Hunger Games'. I thought James Cameron's series 'Dark Angel' was completely epic. I've lived in those stories in pages of books and hours of television, and I couldn't see a future like that ACTUALLY happening for the U.S..

It's a grand country.  It really is. Full of big names, grand deeds, and experiences no one else in this world are allowed to live. Whoever gets elected won't be the first unfavorable president we've ever had, and they won't be the last, either.

We're going to get through this, and carry on.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

It's been a good night.  Tiffani (Amber Thiessen) here and I did a little practice artwork.  I'm the first to admit, my art...  Needs work, but it needs a little less than it did before I started to practice once in a while.  I'll put a first picture up some day - you'll see, I've made headway.

Incidentally, she was a beautiful girl on 'Saved by the Bell', and I think she's stunning now. *Grin* I hope she forgives me for using her for practice.

I've also done some much-needed work on my website.  It still needs work, but...  Not as much as it did.  I've also launched a new mini-project.

I've become interested in 'flash fiction' - telling a story with as few words as possible.  I've launched a series, kind of like a T.V. season.  I'm planning for 13 episodes, and depending on how fast you read, I see most folks walking through an episode in about 2 minutes.

Here's a link to the premiere: http://www.ticoproject.net/writing/flashfiction/aboutlastnight1.pdf . So...  Take a minute - live a story.

'Last' on my list this week, I'm incredibly excited, I have an appointment with an editor this next week.  I'm paying for her services, and I'm happy to do it.  I know I'll grow through the experience of having someone completely impartial help me with my writing.  I almost find myself hoping she'll come back and tell me I have oodles of work to do, but whatever the case, it feels like a real step forward.  I've never really had one of those in my writing before, so...

It's pretty cool.

Anyways - I hope you all had a great weekend too.

Friday, June 24, 2016

I'm not a big fan of old science fiction, in all honesty.  I've tried to re-watch classic Star Trek, and found it almost painful.  Battlestar Galactica actually isn't bad at all, and I barely made it through 2001: A space Odyssey

I stumbled across this on Youtube tonight - I remember seeing it on TV every so often when I was really little. I stumbled across 'Earth Star Voyager' from Disney the other day as well, and my boss and I had a brief chat about 'Flight of the Navigator' the other day.

*Grin* Compliance...

It's part of trying to write - you study what other people have done successfully, and also where they might have fallen a little short.  Signs would say, though, if they made it to the big screen, they probably had something going on.


I've been doing a little thinking about my website http://www.ticoproject.net/writing/writing.html and I've decided to change how I do my 'flash fiction' - I'm going to change it to a serial format, telling a story week by week until it's done.  I'll write the story as it goes - I have an idea, and by letting the character take it as it comes, I think things may be more interesting...  Should be fun to see where it goes.  There is some fiction up there already, and I'll add some of the pieces I've already written this weekend. I'll let ya'll know when the serial starts to drop.

Having a blog and building a website is turning out to be fun. I recommend it to anyone - get your words out there and spread them around!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the night is much brighter down here in the South. I'm a Yankee, I came pretty much from the other end of the country - it seemed like the nights were pitch-black up there. The tradeoff seems to be you can't see the 'cloud' the rest of the stars in the galaxy makes up so easily, but...

I do get to take some interesting pictures.  I just use my iPhone with an app called Nightcap Pro - I paid about $5 for it.

I got kind of addicted to looking at pictures of 'Star Trails' on the internet - it's pretty much just long exposure photography of the night sky, but think the patterns are really cool.

Another photographer concentrates on the ISS, trying to catch flyovers in innovative ways.  The middle picture here shows it, though not near with the artistry the guy on Instagram manages.  Incidentally, the more-or-less vertical line is the ISS, the horizontal one is made by a plane flying overhead.  I used the settings in the Nightcap app to 'boost the ISO' just a little - it brought out the trees.  The black cloud to the left is actually tree leaves, this picture was taken early this spring, when one tree was a little further along than the other.

One other little aside - I use a second app called 'Sky Guide' to help me understand what I'm seeing overhead.  It has a lot of cool features, including helping me spot the ISS when it's doing a flyover.  For another $2 in the app store, I highly suggest it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

So.. How random am I?

I get accused of being 'random' in my thoughts pretty often. To be honest, people really have no idea how far they really sway.  I'll give you an example tonight.

On my way home from work, I turned 'Dulaman' on my iPhone.  The version I have has Lisa Lambe as the lead.  We actually saw Celtic Woman live while she was singing with them, and she's this redhead with a really expressive face.  I've also watched videos of the same tune, so I remember how she always seems to point her eyes clear to one side or the other when she smiles.  It's the kind of thing that makes a woman a woman, and it's the kind of thing that my characters lack in my writing - the little gestures and glances that people have, just out of habit.

So, as it so often does, my brain swung clear around to an argument I had with my Dad during those teenage years when we seem to think we know everything.  I don't remember what we were squabbling over, but I remember grabbing ahold of a decorative rail on one of the cabinets in the kitchen and tearing it to pieces in anger. I remember how scared of me my Dad looked, and how ashamed he seemed.

I also remember how much I deserved both of those emotions.

So... From trying to capture a pretty girl's smile in writing, to remembering I need to write a piece of flash fiction about one of the things I'm the most ashamed of.  And...  The picture up above?  That's because I told a friend I'd show him it at work tomorrow, because we were talking about Cat bulldozers.

That's how random my brain is... That little trip around the block took twenty minutes...  I wonder what I'll cook up before bedtime???

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Calm Seas

I'm going to stay with the water metaphor a bit more I guess.  The last while has been, to be honest, pretty depressing.  It seems like everyone I know was having trouble of one sort or another. I try to keep a good attitude about stuff, but when everyone you know is having trouble, it's hard.

While I was driving home tonight, I realized that, if only for a minute, it seems like we've turned the corner. I'm not naive enough to believe it will hold out for long (it never does), but...  I think the impermanence makes it a little more important to stop and enjoy it.

*Grin* So...  Yes, when I saw my friend at work that was back after his Dad's funeral, I immediately snuck up behind the guy he was talking to and made 'Moose Antlers' with my hands behind his head, because I knew it would make him laugh. I called a friend on the phone, and tried to make sure and give my wife an extra kiss when I left her today.

Definitely not all the time, but...  Now and again, it's a pretty good world.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Well, welcome aboard...

I've tried blogging before, and frankly, I haven't had an awful lot of luck keeping it going.  But, as they say, if at first you don't succeed...

I'm in the midst of reworking my personal website right now.  I'm a writer *Grin* that's the first time I've ever said that, actually.  I try hard, and every once in a while, I get a good story together, and I want people to be able to enjoy them, so...  I'm trying to put myself out there, so maybe my words will be seen.

So...  This picture.  I love to cruise.  We've been on the same Carnival boat twice, both trips to the Bahamas. To a degree, when you're cruising, the getting there is actually a bit more fun than the actual destination, but...  I think that's how it's supposed to be.

I'll close this post with a bit of Walt Whitman I read in a Star Trek book when I was a kid:

Sail Forth - Steer for the deep waters only.
Reckless O Soul, Exploring,
I With thee, and thou with me
For We go where Sailor has not yet dared to go
and We risk our Ship,
Ourselves, and all.