Saturday, February 27, 2010

Time Is Fleeting (Madness takes its toll)

Where does the time go?

Or, more appropriately, where does it come from?

I'm a writer, and if I ever hope to succeed as one, I need time to write.

I may not have much of a life, but what little I have also requires a great deal of time.

I'm a single dad, and my days can pretty much be summed up as follows:

Wake up (for the most part).

Get kids up.

Get kids fed.

Get kids dressed.

Get kids to school/day care.

Go to work.

Leave work.

Pick up kids.

Get kids home.

Feed kids (this one is kinda important).

Bathe kids (see above).

Be dad (most important of all).

Get kids to bed.

Sit down to write.

Get kids back into bed.

Sit down to try and write.

Get kids back into bed.

Sit down again.

Realize that my kids are not going to stay in bed, much less sleep.

Weep profusely.

Wake up in front of computer the next morning and start the excitement all over again.

Which presents the problem:

Where does the time to write come from?

I end up writing in stolen moments, those little scraps of time between breaths. Ideas, story elements, and sometimes entire conversations are written down in the notebook I keep with me, on receipts or envelopes, sometimes on the back of Hunter's old homework papers. I've discovered that toilet paper (oops...I mean bathroom tissue)is very difficult to write on and even harder to read from. More than a few ideas have literally gone down the drain.

When I finally do have the time to sit down and write, I stitch those little scraps of time together into a whole. A scene which takes mere moments in storytime may represent a year's worth of fragmentary moments woven together.

It works. Not as well as I'd like, but it works, and unless someone comes up with a way that I really can save time in a bottle, stolen moments are all I have.

To all you other writers out there, I'm curious:

Where do you steal your time from?

We all have lives to lead. Some of us have more available time than others, but we all need to have time to write.

Of course, I'll understand if you don't have the time to answer.

Thanks for reading my ranting,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Award? For Me?!? Woo-Hoo!!

First of all, many thanks to Jaleh for this nomination and for reading the rantings of my mind.

From what I understand, I need to pass this along to a few others whose work I consider noteworthy, and then come up with a list of ten "unusual"(now there's a loaded word) things about myself. Here goes...

Lydia and Joe--Your writing tips and insights have proven invaluable, and though we've never actually met, I consider you friends(actually, that goes for everyone on this list).

Kaycee--Your "Site of the Week" is informative and fun.

Kim--Your honesty in discussing your life and your writing is valued and important.

Brandi--I just plain love reading your writing.

Liz--I know you've been nominated very recently, but hey, I enjoy reading your writing about writing.

Tim--I haven't known you that long, but your intelligence is obvious in your postings, and without your site, the words "Thou beslubbering, toad-sotted pignut" would be meaningless.

Now, let's see. Ten unusual things...

1. I often think that the only reason my children love me is because I sometimes (not often, mind you, but sometimes) say "Yes. Yes, you can have cookies for breakfast."

2. I don't dance. I don't have the coordination for it, and even if I try to do the "White Man Overbite", it ends up looking like the "Why is that fat man impersonating a beached whale?". On the few occasions I have, it ends up like this.

3. I still love super-hero comics. No matter how many people look down on them and think they're just for kids, I love 'em. Always have, always will.

4. I've never been to a Ren Fair or a sci-fi convention, but would absolutely love to go.

5. I believe the donut to be a perfect food.

6. I sometimes stay up after I put the kids to bed just so I can play with their toys without sharing.

7. One of my biggest role models is Homer Simpson.

8. While I often refer to myself as "fat" and "bald", the truth is I'm merely "husky" and "balding", but that just doesn't sound as funny.

9. I believe that if Yoda said it, you can live by it.

10.Coming up with ten things to say about myself is a lot harder than it seems...

Thank you all for tuning in so far, and I hope you'll keep coming back.

Once again,
Thanks for reading my ranting,


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Five Years and Counting...

Five years doesn't seem like so long a time, does it?

I mean, in the grand scheme of things, five years is nothing. It doesn't even register on the cosmic clock.

And yet, on Blake's fifth birthday, I can't seem to remember a time when he wasn't here.

And I am so truly grateful that he is.

Because a little bit over four years ago, I almost lost him and his brother.

December 19th, 2005, my wife and kids were on the way home from visiting me in the office where I worked at the time when they were struck head-on by a drunk driver.

I got the call at the office about twenty minutes after they left; they were hit about a half-mile away.

When I got to the scene of the accident and saw the giant wad of crumpled blue paper that used to be my car, I was certain that my family was dead.

Fortunately, they weren't, but that doesn't make the eternity of terror I felt in those few seconds any less real.

The rest of that night was spent in what I can only describe as a "vivid fog", where everything seemed hazy and unreal, yet stands out in my memory with chilling clarity.

My wife lay on the side of the road, surrounded by EMT and police, and her cries of agony in a darkness puncuated by flashing red and blue lights will stay with me for the rest of my life.

My oldest son, Hunter, who was four at the time, was strapped to a stretcher being loaded into the ambulance. His head was immobilized by a strap, but he turned his eyes to me and said, without a tear, "Dad, someone broke our car."

Blake was barely ten months old, and still buckled into his car seat. He wasn't crying, he was only whimpering in an "I don't like this" kind of way.

Amazingly, both boys suffered only mild abrasions and bruises. They were released from the hospital four hours later.

Their mother spent the next ten months in a wheelchair, but did dance again.

Now, four years later, the marraige is over.

But I still have my boys.

That night comes back to me every so often, especially on July 27th, Hunter's birthday, and today, February 10th.

The day Blake turns five.

Five years doesn't seem like so long a time, does it?

But it's a lifetime.

It's his lifetime, and I cherish each and every moment of it.

Happy birthday, Blake.

Daddy loves you.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Peanuts, popcorn, and--GAH! GET THAT THING AWAY FROM ME!!!

The follwing exchange took place at the circus on Saturday:

HUNTER: Dad, why do you have your telephoto lens out?

DAD: Well, son, you said you wanted your picture taken with the clown, right?

H: Yeah...

D: That's fine, but I'm not going anywhere near that thing.

H: Dad, it's just a guy in make-up and a costume.

D: I know that. Now go stand next to the nice Evil Painted One and--BLAKE!! GET OFF THE STUNTMAN'S MOTORCYCLE!!!


H: C'mon, Dad. What is it with you? Why don't you like clowns?

D: Because thirty of them can fit in a Volkswagen. That's not normal. Plus, you
can't see their real faces.

H: You were fine with meeting Iron Man, and you can't see his face at all!

D: He's a hero, son. Big difference. BLAKE!! YOU ARE NOT A FIRE-JUGGLER!! PUT THAT DOWN!!!!


H: Dad, your own cousin is a clown.

D: That's why we don't visit that side of the family very often.

H: C'mon, Dad. The picture's gonna be better if you stand closer.

D: No, son. My place is here. Away from the monster.

H: Clown, Dad. Clown.

D: Sure, whatever. Now get your brother out of the tiger cage and smile.

That's right: I'm Bozophobic.

To those of you who say that clowns aren't creepy, I present the following:

You are wrong.

Thanks for reading my ranting,


Monday, February 1, 2010

Man, Those Ancient Chinese Curses...

You've heard of the ancient Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times", right?

I've recently taken a look at my world and realized that there must be another, more ancient curse, probably Babylonian:

"May you live in times so boring that you want to poke your own eyes with a stick simply because it's something to do."

"May you live in days so dull that you want to paint something that doesn't need painting just to watch it dry."

Yes, I know that's two curses, but I think that whoever made them up must have had the same problem that I face:

My life is exceptionally dull (Shut up, Rob).

I got a hair cut yesterday, and was remarkably excited about it. Those of you who know me well (Yes, Rob, again I'm typing at you) are probably coming up with pithy responses like, "Looks like they took a bit too much off the hairline", which I mention here because I'm so very bored and that amuses me.

I sometimes feel like my profile name on Facebook should be, "Move along, folks; nothing to see here".

Then I realize that my oldest son is so scarily smart that he could probably MacGuyver a nuclear accelerator out of potato chips and a soda can. And duct tape.

Then I realize that in the past two years, my youngest son has not only put himself into a week-long stay in the hospital by driving his bike off the edge of his grandfather's driveway, but also caused me to say (to quote Dave Barry, I am not making this up), "Thank God he only maced himself".

When I think about these two children growing up together and the trail of wreckage they will leave behind them, not only am I no longer bored, I'm actually looking forward to the carnage.

Bored? Heck, no:

I'm a dad.

'Course, I'm also terrified to go to sleep when the boys are home, but that's the price you pay.

Thanks for reading my ranting,