Quit Procrastinating!

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I have attempted NaNoWriMo in the past.  I thought it might be a great way to get myself in the habit of writing every day.  Alas, I fell behind in the first few days and gave up completely not long after that, just like every April A to Z Blogging Challenge I’ve tried.

But I did learn a few things in these attempts.  First of all, everyone has their own method of writing.  Some people are plotters, using post-it notes, storyboards, outlines, etc., to create.  Others are pantsers, allowing the story work itself out as they write by letting the characters lead the way.  There are also writers who have their own combination of these processes.

Along those same lines, I’ve heard that writing every day is the only way to be a “real writer.”  I disagree.  I don’t write every day, yet I have two–soon to be three–published books.  Am I not considered a real writer?  However, when I’m not physically writing, I am working out how my stories progress in my head.  That’s my process.  I also edit as I write, which makes it near impossible for me to keep up with the daily word count required to successfully complete NaNoWriMo.

For some, NaNoWriMo is exactly the shot in the arm needed to get your first draft complete.  Others, like myself, need to write one little piece at a time, which is why I adore writing for BigWorldNetwork.  There is no wrong way to do it.  Only your way, whatever works for you to get the job done.

So, in the spirit of encouraging anyone who may or may not be participating in NaNoWriMo, I wanted to share some of the images I use as my laptop’s screen saver to inspire me.  Happy writing, my friends!

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When I Delivered Time

959saI learned yesterday that a chapter of my life has officially reached its end.  AirNet Express, once known as U.S. Check, or simply The ‘Net to some of my fellow freight dogs, has all but closed its doors.

I wanted to share some of the stories and good times that I remember from those days.  Here are some of the highlights (in no particular order) of my freight hauling days.

Note: You have to click the link to read the story.  :)

The Interview

Snow Days

Checkrides

Air Traffic Control

Simulator Training

Pranks

Flying While Pregnant

Being Flexible

Hazardous Duty

My Favorite Airplane Ever

Being Patriotic

More Pranks

Ramp Checks

Delivering Time

Having fun

Initial Learjet Training

And finally, this AMAZING video by JJ Guerra that is sure to make at least a few old freight dogs cry.

So long, Airnet, and thanks for all the good times, good friends, and training that was second to none, as evidenced by our notoriety in other circles of aviation.  I have lost count of how many times I heard, “Starcheck? Those pilots are crazy!”  Yep.  Crazy good, my friend.  Crazy good.

Guest Post: A Man’s Most Prized Possession

Thank you to my dear friend Jim for letting me post this gem.  I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed it.  

DEAR DIARY: Sunday, July 27, 2014 “A man’s most prized possession”

Yesterday I posted the following on Facebook: “Tip of the day. Careful where you apply Icy Hot.” I now put the tale to pen, confident that my diary is always under lock and key.

[Tangent: Anyone that argues what the male, from toddler to full grown man, views as their most prized possession, hasn’t been around a male toddler and seen their unashamed fascination with their anatomy (sometimes to the embarrassment of their parents). And if a man ever denies it, he is just out right lying. For me, it has played a part in having three wonderful daughters, been the source of pleasure, poor judgment, and on at least several occasions in my lifetime, particularly in junior high, unscheduled mind-of-its-own embarrassment.] 

My incident with the Icy Hot (similar to Ben-Gay…is that still around?) wasn’t the first brush with disaster for my prized possession in my life.

As a youth growing up in Ohio, we would leave the house at sunrise and not return until sunset, exploring miles of woods, creeks and old barns all summer long.

[Tangent: I am tired of reading posts from my generation on Facebook saying how THEY didn’t spend their lives indoors playing video games, but would be outside experiencing life. It is usually said with a level of superiority over the current younger generation. Guess what? We didn’t because they didn’t exist! Don’t kid yourself, everyone of us would be inside playing the video games of today if they were any good back then. If you want your kids to go outside more, just limit their game time, but don’t deceive yourself with a false sense of superiority. We just didn’t have the same distractions. It wasn’t better values you held as a youth.]

One such occasion resulted in urinating in the woods, shortly after apparently touching poison ivy. Let me just say that Sunday in church resulted in huge embarrassment for my parents as I sat in the pew itching through corduroy dress pants, appearing to all others, to show, even for a preteen, an unnatural fascination with my prized possession. That was not a comfortable week in my life. 

The second brush with disaster was the decision to pee on an electric fence (a result of a dare from a neighbor) one summer afternoon. Not a wise choice I made that day.

And of course there have been several close calls with zippers through the years.

However, the Icy Hot incident began innocently enough. I have been suffering from lower back pain for several days. In desperation, I found an old jar of Icy Hot in a medicine cabinet. My intention was to self-apply it to my lower back and upper buttocks at my hip joints, both of which were extremely sore from muscular pain. 

With my boxers lowered and my left hand holding up my t-shirt, I used my free hand to scoop out a glob of the Icy Hot, reach around, and apply it. I’m sure it wasn’t a dignified sight, but neither was my old man walk the last few days from the back pain, so it was well worth it. Besides, I was alone. And, no one will ever know of this thanks to my crack diary security.

What happened next was even less dignified and graceful. The twisting required to apply the paste caused a sudden back spasm that would have dropped me to one knee. However, with my boxers around my knees and off balance holding my shirt up with my free hand and twisting with a bad back, I went down in a crumpled mess.

The pain to my back was excruciating. So much so that I loudly dropped the F-Bomb.

[Tangent: Remember in a Christmas Story when Ralph drops the F-Bomb? His mother asks where he learned the word, and he wants to tell her that he heard his dad say it on numerous occasions. But because of fear for admitting that, he blames the school bully (who is remotely punished when his mom calls the bully’s mom). Sadly, at moments of stubbed toes and severe pain, I have let it slip around my kids on several occasions.]

From outside the room, I hear third-of-three daughter call out, “are you okay, Dad?” with genuine concern, since I only use the F-bomb at times of severe pain.

I promptly thanked her for checking and said that I was. And for that brief moment I was. But, if you have ever used Icy Hot, you know there is a delay.

Somehow, mid mangled fall, I had tried to pull my boxers up from around my knees to aid in balance with the hand that, you guessed it, was covered in Icy Hot paste. Sadly as the boxers came up just as my fall completed, my hand made contact with the entire area of my prized possession. 

And for a very brief moment, I thought all would be okay. Until the medicine began to do what it was designed for. It started with a slow burn, reaching a crescendo of heat shortly after. This time, I let three F-Bombs in a row fly, in very rapid succession, not even having the mental capacity to question the poor parental skills I was showing. 

So, diary, that is why I shared my humorous warning on Facebook yesterday. 

P.S. Don’t take yourselves so seriously in this life and learn to laugh at the things we are faced with every day. And don’t forget to write for fun every once in a while. I was inspired to write this by Mike Rowe’s (of Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch fame) tales on his Facebook page, including an intestinal disaster while painting the Golden Gate bridge. Laugh at life, laugh at yourselves. And be careful where you apply Icy Hot.

A Zombie Christmas: Better Late Than Undead (A Work in Progress)

I’m not sure where this one is going, but since it’s been forever since I posted anything to my blog, I decided to give you a taste of what kind of stuff is rattling around in my head.  Enjoy!

 

She watched the snowflakes gently float to the ground, melting instantly as they touched the warm water oozing through the gutter. The air temperature was just below freezing for the first time in months, despite the promise of an ominously warm Christmas. Ever since Climate Change was finally regarded as an inevitability, the seasons had changed so drastically that snow in December was an exception rather than the rule. Evelyn was old enough to remember the words to White Christmas, even though she could no longer recall the melody.

Trudging through the barren countryside, Evelyn was not as vigilant as she once had been. She had lived a long life against tremendous odds to reach the age of thirty-four, and now considered this to be the twilight of her human existence. All that was left was the transformation. She just hoped that it didn’t hurt.

A man had once told her that humans were actually beings of energy hiding in a meat suit, that the transformation would free her, if she let it. Evelyn didn’t stick around long enough to find out if he was telling the truth or just trying to get close enough to rape her. That had been a lifetime ago, just past her nineteenth birthday, before the western seaboard of what had been the United States slipped into the sea – a result of a catastrophic earthquake culminating in a tidal wave of ungodly proportions due to rising sea levels.

Evelyn laughed out loud, unconcerned by who – or what – may hear her. Those people had been so sure that Climate Change had been a hoax all the way up until the sharks were knocking on their windows. She had known better. It hadn’t been much of a loss since that area had experienced more years of drought than anywhere else. The water did eventually return to its pre-tsunami level, but it had been just the slap in the face the deniers had needed to get them on board.

Not that it made any difference in the end.
* * *
“Unhhhh…” she groaned. All she wanted him to do is to carve the damn brain. It took forever to catch a fresh one of a decent size and she didn’t want it to be stale by the time the family dinner was over.

“Gaaaaa…” he responded murkily. He would cut the damn brain when he was good and ready. Jesus, didn’t he have enough to do, keeping the eyeball martinis fresh, and watching the game? He barely had time to put his foot up before she was squawking at him to do something else.

She lurched angrily toward him, losing a fingernail in the process.  Great! Just what she needed! Another fingernail gone, and here in the middle of a party. She would have been embarrassed if she wasn’t so dead.

He saw her lumbering his way and dragged his foot to the floor to stand. “Urrraahhh…” he puffed through the rotted stumps that used to be his teeth. In his peculiar hitching motion – owing to the loss of his left foot to the lawn sprinkler when he was newly dead – he rambled over to the rickety card table proudly displaying the main course, still partially encased in its previous owner.  Grabbing the cleaver caked in dried blood from being used to procure dinner, he threw a sour look her way and slammed the knife down into flesh. The pale salmon matter cleaved easily and the steel imbedded in the cardboard below. “Aaak” he quipped and snatched the severed piece for himself.

His actions had attracted the others and soon the sounds of grunting and slurping filled the small cabin until nothing else existed.

Kai’s Inquisition: The Blight of Shaddowfall, Season 1, Episode 1

Published on Jun 30, 2014

Author: Tawn Krakowski
Narrator: Tawn Krakowski

Kai Amari embarks upon her first mission as an Inquisitor of Naderu, but what she discovers threatens everything she holds sacred.

The only survivor of a ship swallowed by a sudden squall, Kai Amari was plucked from the Sevestrian Ocean by servants of Naderu. Her benefactors groomed her to be an Inquisitor of the faith, so that she might make use of her inner rage to bring justice to enemies of the dualistic nature deity. Armed with only a long bow, a slender, unadorned trident, and her wits, Kai begins a journey for which she can only hope she is prepared.

A Tribute to a Furry Friend

This was written by my aunt.  I wanted to share it with you in order to pay tribute to all the creatures that charm their way into our hearts.  They may not be with us for all of our lives, but we are there for all of theirs.

Once upon a time in the tiny town of Almond, in central Wisconsin, a Princess was born. This Princess was unlike any fairy tale Princess ever written about, pictured, or portrayed in movies. This Princess had no crown, no silver slippers, or handsome prince.
This Princess was only about 8 inches tall, smelled funny, and had 6 larger, but equally odoriferous siblings. This Princess was actually a dog; specifically, a collie dog. This tiny, extremely shy animal was the runt of her young mother’s litter. However, her beautiful markings and demeanor tugged at the hearts of her soon-to-be parents…us. This “runt” became the “pick” of that litter.
She was officially crowned “Princess Sadie Rose” in January of 1999, when upon walking into our house for the first time, strutted through the rooms and hallways as if she owned the place. And, of course, she did!
Sadie grew quickly, and through the years, we marveled at her intelligence and athleticism. We swear she could understand English, and often found ourselves having to spell things (like G-R-A-N-D-P-A, G-R-A-N-D-M-A, etc.) in order to avoid undo excitement. With terrific mouth/eye coordination, she could run down and snatch flying discs from the air, hundreds of feet away.
When Sadie was 3, a rescue collie named Casey joined the family. He was about the same age. And although the little Princess was rather unhappy at first about sharing her kingdom with him, they became very close companions over time. Casey passed away when they were both 13 years of age. A young little whippersnapper (8 months of age), Coby–another rescue collie–soon joined the family. Sadie was instrumental in teaching this young lad good manners and obedience. Coby adored his sister.
Throughout her life, Sadie was stricken at various times with illnesses. We feared she would not survive a battle with mites during her first year. But, regular “dips” and a maturing immune system eventually overcame the problem. A lifelong sensitive stomach required a special diet, and occasional medications. Whenever there was a problem, Aunt Kimmy & Uncle Jim (veterinarians) were just a phone call away for consultation. They are wonderful doctors, and Sadie loved them dearly!
Sadie’s health had been on the decline for the last year or so. What appeared to be dementia hung over her like a cloud, causing her to be more withdrawn; sometimes, a little afraid or confused. We had concerns about how she would handle the 1000-mile drive for our vacation to Florida in April. But, we hit the road on a Saturday morning, a smile on her face, and she soon cuddled up with Coby for the long drive ahead. She traveled well. One week into our 2-week vacation, and after one last walk on the beach where she has swam and played for years, she became seriously ill.
She was hospitalized for a couple of days. There were many long-distance calls to Kimmy. We had hoped for a somewhat common (in older dogs) diagnosis of vestibular syndrome, but when her condition did not improve, Kimmy and local vets concurred that a more serious problem existed. She likely was suffering from a brain tumor. It was clear that a decision would need to be made; something that had been in the back of our minds for some time, but something our hearts could not bear. We put our sweet little Princess to rest on May 7th. She was 15 years, 5 months of age. (Yes, truly a blessing to live to that age!)
Roger Caras once said, “Dogs are not are WHOLE life, but they make our lives whole.” Sadie certainly made our life whole. We will probably again get another dog, but there will be no replacing our little Princess. She was one of a kind.
Princess Sadie Rose
11/23/98 – 5/7/14
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