From the Ashes, Things Rise

Sure, sometimes those things are severely-charred zombies from the beginnings of some sci-fi Apocalypse, but just work with me on this one. It’s been a hectic day, and spending two hours in my car on the way home. The slightly snowy Pittsburgh roads weren’t the issues so much as the other drivers, but that’s another topic for another time. Continue reading

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This Week In Goals: Week One Recap

One week into the new year, and one week of goals tackled. It’d be easy to say I did great or poorly, but I’m stepping back as far as I can and trying to assess my progress this year in terms of efforts made versus efforts that could have been made.

Similarly, I’m also trying to give myself distance from my goals because I briefly toyed with the idea of doing a third Hundred Days of Blogging, but almost immediately realized that is a horrible idea that will only end in misery and sleep deprivation. Lord knows I need less of both of those things.

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New Year, New U(niverse)

Same bad puns. Honestly, it sounded better in my head than it reads in the header, but I also originally planned to write it as “You(niverse)”…until that looked dumb, also. So here we are.

Happy New Year to you all, since it is now late enough that everyone has crossed the arbitrary boundary between 2017 and the three weeks of incorrectly writing 2017 on things. I’m sure I will be among those people. I hope you all had a lovely night and didn’t wake up with hangovers today, or if you did wake up feeling hungover I hope it didn’t linger too long. Like many, many, many other people, I am using the new year as a means of setting goals for myself in an effort to talk less and do more. I still refuse to call them New Year’s Resolutions, as the moment that label touches something it transforms into an impossible goal for most people. Continue reading

(Pity) Party’s Over

Real talk, brought to you in part thanks to having a serious, much-needed discussion with the lovely lady in my life.

One day, I dream of being a moderately well-known published author, with at least one work available for sale at Barnes & Noble. I’m aware that this may seem, or in fact may be, shallow. The big, shiny, and seemingly-unattainable goal: to write for a living, or at least make some of my living from writing.

Here’s the real talk: I need to stop being so down and out about making a living from my writing, convincing myself it’s never going to happen, and double up my efforts on making it happen. That means I need to stop comparing myself to established authors. I need to stop looking at my peers and feeling like a failure by comparison. (You guys keep doing you, though; awesome work all around.)

I need to stop whining and making excuses. I am most certainly far too guilty of doing both of those things.

Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King happened at a breakneck pace not because of the job I worked providing me with time to write nor the fact that I had a specific publishing goal in mind. It happened because I said I was going to write, and then I wrote. Constantly, and without concerns for what I would one day do with that book.

And so I will write.

Something about better days ahead

Today was characterized by several moments that, without a doubt, could be considered seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel (although I must say the intermittent uncooperative nature of my laptop keyboard is not one of those moments). Typically, especially during weeks such as this, I am very suspicious of such days. Call it paranoia, pessimism, or whatever, but after a week like this one, I can’t help but assume that light is followed by a freight train.

Perhaps, I say in a show of cautious optimism, that may not be the case this time. I have the entire weekend off. That’s forty-eight hours of potential progress (or failures), and I’m about to carpe those diems so hard they’ll turn to diamonds.

I’m so sorry for that joke. Future generations will probably use that as the official definition of “awful”.

As part of my attempt at forcing positivity from the stinking shit-lump that I called this past week, I’m keeping my goals, plans, and so on for this weekend relatively fluid and open to change. This will hypothetically allow for less fear of, and feelings of, failure. Hooray for thinking ahead. A few new big ideas are also present in my brain-meats, but I’m saving those for later. I need to get through the remainder of this hundred days somehow, after all.

Goodnight, WordPress.

This weekend will feature less lazy posts. I (half-heartedly) promise.

Equal parts determination and madness

Or “I’m hitting all of the walls today so I’m going to rant a bit while still being positive about writing”.

Writing, on some days, is a completely magical experience. Those are the days I get completely lost in the words, not focusing on time or making sure I’m eating or anything else. Since becoming the joint-owner of three cats, I’ve gotten used to ignoring the occasional glimpse of cat anus as one of the two cats who don’t hate me will wander between my laptop and my line-of-sight. I lead a magical life.

Other days–days like today, for instance–are less productive. I have an idea of where I want to go with my writing, and then I proceed to flop around without any real progress. It feels like the cartoon depiction of falling down an up escalator, complete with irate people-as-obstacles and all. Days like this make me have serious doubts I could ever become a proper writing-for-a-living sort of writer. They’re not particularly enjoyable days, and I could probably chalk a lot of it up to the hilarious constellation of neuroses I have.

Fortunately for me, I happen to have a tremendous support system of friends and family, a spectacular girlfriend who tolerates my particular brand of crazy that shows up from time-to-time (don’t ask her, though, or she’ll say it’s around all of the time). I acknowledge that goals like being able to write for a living or becoming a best-selling author are lofty, and that’s putting it mildly, but I can also say I will never stop writing. Even on my worst days, I still add at least a couple words to something, or I tweak and adjust something I’ve worked on, because I need to keep at it. I am far from perfect at what I do, as evidenced by the proofread-and-commented copies I get back, but I have my strong points and my weak points. The ultimate goal, above all else, is to continue improving upon the weak points while refining the strong ones.

This post started off as feeling down and out, but I feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the entire world again. I’d throw together a shitty metaphor about feeling victorious, but I’m going to focus on fixing up Cordelia’s as much as I can so it can be that much closer to being publication-ready.

Happy Sunday, folks. I hope you all have a kickass week, devoid of doubts and frustration.

My pledge to no longer be bored

I think it’s safe to say that one of the most commonly heard phrases, especially in people around my age group and younger folks (You dern whipper-snappers and your selfie-sticks), is “I’m bored”. Earlier today, after having completed my tasks for the day and then-some, I found myself thinking exactly that. I’m bored.

Somewhere between stopping at the liquor store to purchase the other ingredients required to make a Blood & Sand–a decision I entirely support, especially after making one and enjoying it quite thoroughly–and contemplating dinner, it occurred to me just how awful saying “I’m bored” is given just how much I could be doing with my time. I’m not talking about endless writing or spending hours promoting things on social media, interspersed with the conversations I’ve grown famous/infamous/unknown for having. Louis C.K. said it better than I ever could, in fact, and so I found a convenient image on the internet with his words placed on it to share to make my point here.

louis-ck-im-bored-useless-world-endless

There’s a lot of fantastic truth in this quote, and it got me thinking even further. There is, at no point, really a good reason to be bored. I’m not going to preach about the miracle of consciousness. I think it’s more about finding the things that matter most in this sea of constant information and distractions.  Continue reading