Monday, January 14, 2019

Call Me...Maybe?

I received the following writing prompt in my inbox this morning and knew exactly what I would be writing about.

A phone ringing in the middle of the night is symbolic of something terrible has happened. Everyone knows this. A phone call this late is reserved for emergencies. Unless you had idiot friends when you were a teenager who had no concept of manners time. I always hated having to go to my school to yell at some idiot who was inconsiderate enough to call my house in the middle of the night. In the '80s, we didn't all have cell phones. You called the house phone which woke everyone up and my dad would answer. I would then get in trouble for having stupid friends.

So, if you don't have idiot friends, then a late-night call meant something terrible has happened. The pulse jumps before the first ring has even finished as you imagine all the terrible news that is awaiting you on the other side of that receiver.

However, a middle-of-the-night call doesn't have the same meaning for me any longer. I have lived in Southeast Asia for the last two years. This means 98% of the people I know are on the exact opposite side of the world than I am. My hometown is 12 hours behind me in Vietnam. This means that midnight for me is noon where my parents and kids live.

A phone call in the middle of the night means someone forgot about the time difference. Plus, I don't have to worry about this because my kids never call me anyway.

Additionally, neither my wife nor I keep our cell phones in the bedroom. So, it becomes even less of an issue. If someone does call us in the middle of the night, we won't even know about it until morning. Plus, what good does it do to call us in an emergency anyway?  We are freakin' 12 time zones away! What can we do about it? A couple of extra hours before we get the "bad news" wouldn't make any difference.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


In my last post, I stated that I would be blogging every day (except Sundays) for the rest of this month. I also showed a picture that may guide many of my posts to make sure I have a topic.

Today is the 14th in my part of the world. So, my word for the day is ACCOUNTABLE.

This is perfectly appropriate for being my first day jumping into this new challenge. The entire reason I posted saying that I would be writing every day for the rest of the month was for a little accountability from other people. 

Not that anyone actually says anything to me. I just know that it's out there. I have said it publicly, so now I take making sure that it happens a little more seriously.

I don't know why this works for me, but it does. I can easily come up with excuses not to do something. It's one of the few things I actually work hard it, but I'm a natural so it's easy for me.

I've always had a love/hate relationship with accountability. Every jobI've ever had, I  have always felt like I was about to get in trouble at any moment. Even when I was doing jobs where I was confident and really knew what I was doing. I would be crushing it, but still always looking over my shoulder waiting for the shoe to drop. I always wanted to please my bosses but also felt like I just wasn't doing it well enough.

I don't perceive all aspects of life this way. Just work. However, making a public declaration of my intentions does give me more drive to make sure it happens.

So there it is. I'll be back every day. Just like hunger.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Maybe This Time

I have an issue with motivation.

It's something I have been aware of my entire life. My parents used to tell me I was lazy. And they were right. I have an extreme aversion to having to put out effort to do anything I don't want to do. I just don't want to do it. In fact, I often have an aversion to doing things I actually do want to do.

Right now, the thing I want to do more than anything else is to write a book. Several books actually. And I have done this already. Sort of. I joined this National Novel Writing Month competition last year and competed again this year. The goal of the competition is to complete a novel (50,000 words) within the month of November.

I accomplished this both years. It was so much fun to toil over the creation of my worlds and come up with the rules of how things operate in my reality. To come up with the little twists and turns the plot was to make. Thinking up the little idiosyncrasies of my characters and how they interact with each other. That was the creative part. I loved it.

So I have two novels sitting on my computer that no one has ever seen. And they have not been seen yet for a reason. They just aren't ready for that because now I need to go through and re-write them. Edit them. Re-edit them. Scrutinize the plot trajectory and the character arc. Check for plotholes and logical inconsistencies.

All of this stuff sucks.

However, it is part of what must be done if these writings are ever going to see the light of day.

 So, once again, I am working to develop the habit needed to get back to work and get this done. I am going to blog daily for the next few weeks (maybe even months) to kickstart the writing habit again. And to give me no excuse about not having something to write about, I will be using this graphic as a suggested daily topic.

On any given day, if I do not feel that I have a topic to write about, I will use the topic for that day from this list.

Now, I intend to write every day, but I may excuse myself from Sundays. Sunday is the one day that I work all day. Basically, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. I get a couple of short breaks in there, but may not use them for writing.

Let's do this.