Write...or Die Trying

I used to work in a factory. Now I work in an office. Either way, my writing was dying. So now I must: Write...or Die Trying.


Wireless Hi-Speed Internet Rocks!

I'm getting totally spoiled. Here I am, sitting on my living room floor, blogging away, connected to all you great folks through my nifty, hi-tech, hi-speed Internet connection, with a wireless network in my house.

You'd think that, having to work with technology like this every day, all day, I'd be a little less enchanted by the capabilities of technology. See, I've never had stuff like I have at work, at home. I've never had hi-speed internet at home because we live in the country. Our local electric co-op recently added wireless internet access. It's priced about the same as my dial-up, taking into account that I have to have a separate line for it.

The newness will wear off, trust me. But for now, I'll just open about 4 or 5 web pages at once and marvel at the coolness of big bandwidth :-)

New Internet Connection

I got my new high-speed connection set up this weekend, so I didn't have any time to post.

The fair was in town the latter part of last week and I've got some good material to post about it...now just to find the time...

French class

I've got a few minutes here before French class to let you know that school is a lot harder than I would have imagined. It's hard to get back into the swing of things. I've never studied much before (never needed to, really, since I could skate by without it) but now things are a lot more difficult. That's a good thing, don't get me wrong, but it does make for a more interesting experience.

Okay, so I'm an idiot

Yesterday I said it had been a week since I blogged. I really thought it had, because when I pulled up my blog in a browser, the most recent entry was last Monday.

After I reloaded my browser today, I realized I was looking at a cached version of the page! I actually have been performing my bloggerly duties. That was a relief.

This whole school thing has really thrown me off. I think the stress over it has made the synapses in my brain start firing randomly and causing me to exhibit erratic behavior, similar to a psychotic maniac. I'm not. I'm not psychotic. No way. It's impossible. Shame on you for even suggesting that!!


Time flies when you're having...ummm...fun

It's been a whole week since I blogged. I didn't even realize it until today.

I started class today. I was late. I absolutely hate that. I couldn't find a parking spot that was less than a half-mile away, and that's no exaggeration. I had to beg the forgiveness of my instructors, which I also hate doing.

It won't happen again, but it's embarassing to walk into class when they're already well into discussion. You feel like the jerk who can't get it together enough to get there on time.

Of course, I'm the oldest in my classes by ten years and, as far as I know, not a one of them has a job during the day. Not that it's any excuse, mind you. I accept responsibility for not having planned appropriately.

I'm ready for tomorrow, though!

Crazy Week

This week has been very crazy for me. I've been making preparations for school to start on Monday and trying to finish up a number of projects before I run out of time to work on them.

I've got a couple of good links to give you, but I'll have to wait until Saturday or Sunday to post them.

Have a good weekend!

I Feel Like A Nerd

I've been reading my Craft of Fiction textbook ahead of time. I know, only really annoying little brown-nosers read their textbooks before school actually begins, but I can't help myself!

I'm spending hard-earned money (albeit the government's) to pay for school. I want to learn something useful. I want to apply myself. I want to make good use of my time. If the other slackers in the class (of which I used to be one, once) want to gripe and complain about me actually being interested in what I'm learning, then let 'em. I'll be laughing all the way to the bank with that first advance check!

Since I am using financial aid, I feel like I should work a little harder than if this was all coming out of my pocket. I owe it to myself--and every other tax payer--to take school seriously and not waste that money which could easily have gone into someone else's pocket, instead of to the tax man.

In this day and age, I will concede that this attitude is far out of favor with the mainstream--much to our misfortune.

Back to School

It's been a very busy weekend, what with the kids going back to school today. I don't get started for another week. My kids think I'm weird for wanting to go back to school, but I'm rather excited about the prospect. I really feel like I'm headed somewhere now. Like I have a goal that is acheivable, realistic, and enjoyable. I've never wanted to climb the corporate ladder, so working in an office puts me in that large group of writers who work at something they don't enjoy just "to pay the bills," while pursuing their writing on the side. Within a couple of years, I hope my writing is no longer on the side, but in the forefront.

Flannery O'Connor

I've always been intrigued by the writing of Flannery O'Connor. If you insist on attaching labels, she could be called the first (and only real) Christian Gothic writer. Not only is her work respected in literary circles, her insistence on portraying elements of faith, grace, and God through her violent and fascinating fiction is inspiring to the budding writer that thinks there's room in mainstream fiction for someone interested in issues of spirituality.

She's difficult to understand if you've never read her work before. Here's an interesting essay that should help: The Dark Side of the Cross: Flannery O'Connor's Short Fiction

Literary "Censorship"

There's an interesting e-book over on holtuncensored.com. Although I disagree with the notion that society (not government) actually exercise real censorcism through their own personal choices of what they will tolerate or not by voting with their checkbooks, the study of authors and their controversial works contain great insight into the turbulent and sometimes pernicious relationship an author has with their readers.

Here's the link: Literary Lynching.

What bothers me most about throwing around the word "censorship" is that great deference is given to the writer, while the reader is painted in broad strokes with the brush of ignorant bigotry. I'm a reader, as well as a writer, so I reject that notion entirely. So what if people choose what they like and don't like, even if those decisions are poorly made? As an artist, my job is to paint the pictures in my head using the palette of techniques I have the ability and desire to master. I can be as wrong in my judgement of the human condition as a reader, having misread me, can be about what that portrayal means. In the end, I have every right to be "censored" if I misrepresent the truth.

I'm not suggesting that writers aren't sometimes treated unfairly by a populace of readers that don't "get it." But if the writer is truly an artist, then that shouldn't matter. If they've presented a truth, whether or not people want to see it, such a thing can stand on its own two feet. If it is a truth, then I can't add to it or subtract from it. It is simply what it is: a truth.

Anniversary Vacation

Since we didn't get an anniversary vacation last year because of my crazy work schedule, we've decided to revisit Eureka Springs, AR. We're staying at the historic Crescent Hotel.

Don't expect any blogging over the weekend, as I'll be out shopping (I'm just so excited) and wandering the winding streets of Eureka with my wife of 11 years (without kids, no less.)

I'm actually taking my camera out of the bag for the first time in several months. I'll post some photos when we get back.

Vote Early, Vote Often

As a writer, I'm usually a little more circumspect about things than I probably need to be. As I was exercising my right to vote this morning, I thought about exactly what it costs me to be able to directly influence the direction our government chooses to go. Even though my vote is only one among many, I have an obligation to weigh in on those issues that are important to me because too many people have given everything, including their lives, to allow me the privilege to be part of this democracy.

Does one vote count? That's the common excuse for not taking the time to vote and it's an absurdly selfish notion. You're not supposed to have so much pull in the process that you can single handedly influence the direction of this country. You're only supposed to do your part.

Missouri is the first in the nation to allow voters to choose whether or not to amend the state constitution to define marriage as existing only between a man and a woman. I voted an emphatic "YES" to protect the definition of marriage that has existed for all human history. It's unfortunate it has to be spelled out so plainly.

I also voted against allowing more riverboat gambling as our state has experimented with this too much already. States, in general, are spending about $3 in social expenses for every $1 in tax revenue generated by gambling. Our state is already strapped for cash and our Democratic governor is robbing Peter to pay Paul by raiding the money that's supposed to go to our schools.

There is no excuse for anyone to not exercise their right to vote. It may take some forethought on your part, in the way of an absentee ballot, but if you don't take the time to respect the deaths of millions of Americans, then you have no foundation from which to complain!

My Shoulder Is Still Sore

I talked about my grandfather's Springfield rifle the other day. I finally screwed up my courage enough to shoot it on saturday.

I'm not sure how those doughboys and WWII enlistees did it. That Model 1903 30-06 kicks like a Missouri mule. It was a lot of fun to shoot, even though I was shooting something like a four inch pattern (I won't say how far away, it's a little embarassing), sitting down, without a steady support. If I was really wanting to shoot it accurately, I think I could do very well with that gun. I was worried that, by shooting prone, all the kick of that gun would go right into my shoulder. Plenty of people had broken shoulders in basic training from these guns and I wasn't too anxious to push the limits.

The thought of getting into a shooting competition dressed as a WWI sniper intrigues me. Not many people shoot those old guns any more. Not only would it be educational, but those little leggings they wore are pretty cool, don't you think?