Category Archives: Uncategorized

Back in the saddle.

Well, the blog is restored, and I have pushed all of the old content back up to the new host.  I’m going to make an effort to post at least once a week.  I’m hoping that content will be creative writing rather than a weekly update in which I apologize for not writing more.

I have been writing off and on over the course of the last couple of years. I completed a couple of drafts of a suspense/light horror short story.  I think I’ll post that today and maybe try to refine it some.

Duke

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To Begin Again

I’ve blogged numerous times over the years, mostly day-to-day musings or a weak version of ‘Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy’. My last blog was a creative writing endeavor, and I enjoyed it much more. I was also more consistent about posting.

This is a recreation and continuance of my last blog. I’ve just installed the framework–and being lazy–I’ve used and automated script from the host. I need to import all of my old posts and change my theme. I hope to have that done soon.

Duke

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Busy Year

It’s been a busy year.  We started last June with the birth of our daughter.  Raising a child is exhausting no matter who you are, but when you are just beginning your journey as a parent in your mid to late 30’s, you are really in for a surprise.  I’ve already harped about how tired I have felt, so I won’t rehash that information, but I will say that it is still absolutely worth it.

My daughter has been awesome.  She was a pretty perfect baby for the first year.  She just turned one and is suddenly starting to act out a little.  On one hand, it’s pretty entertaining, especially considering how mellow and easy a child she was for the first year.  On the other hand, we are unfortunately delving further and further into the realm of punishment.  It’s a tough question for any parent.  Obviously, I don’t think a lot of mileage is available with physical punishment at this point.  Seems the current rage for toddlers is psychological warfare in which you shun the child or in some other way negatively reinforce bad behavior.  I’m not sure what we’ll ultimately do beyond just roll with the punches.  My current favorite is to just mega-hug her and kiss her on the cheeks until she forgets the evil she was about.  Not sure it’s working!

The last bit of news is that we bought a house last week.  I’ve been painting for about four days.  Not a fan, I must say.  It’s kind of like mowing the lawn–it offers measurable progress as the unpainted space visually shrinks much like the size of the uncut patch of lawn shrinks with the passing of the mower.  Neither chore offer but the briefest of satisfying moments when you are done.  Maybe that’s my fault; I may have some internal damage that prevents me from properly admiring interior design for longer than it takes to find the fridge in a room, and maybe I have some long dormant inner resentment to lawn mowing because I grew up cutting and baling hay in the Oklahoma heat.  Either way, I have a house that my wife wants painted and a lawn with no goat to eat it.  So I really have no choices.

I have an idea, a loose outline and a number of scenes for a Steampunk novel or series.  I think I could write it as a YA novel much like I could with the wizard detective.  I don’t know for sure, but I think it will probably be an adult novel if/when I write it.  There are a number of elements that would really make the story better that will require language and situations that I don’t think will fly in YA.  Maybe I can work around that, but I don’t want to try to force it one direction or the other.  Regardless, that’s what I’m currently working on.

We are cutting the cable with the new house.  Only internet, which still allows plenty of streaming media, but both my wife and I hope that less accessible TV will make for more reading and writing.  Plus the house has an office just off the main room, so we can do our own thing at times while still taking care of our daughter and talking with each other.  Should be nice.

Duke

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Situation – Draft

I know I’m the worst sort of blogger/writer going. I’m the every-man of the personal blog . . . He Who Posts Infrequently!

Obviously, I am willing to use my baby as an excuse. It’s not nearly as good of an excuse as it was a couple of months ago, but I’m milking it. I have been writing bits off and on, but I keep clicking the “Save Draft” button instead of “Publish.” I have a number of drafts lingering that I will try to get up. I just feel addle-brained and tired so often that I stop myself from working on anything longer than a few minutes.

Well, I wrote this the other day, and I thought I’d at least put it up to start the process of working through the backlog. It wasn’t based on anything other than an thought I had of a distressing situation. I may try to flesh this out and see where it goes, but that’s likely dependent upon my mood.

Situation –

I can hear her in the other room.
She’s breathing heavily but not so frantic;
The panic has finally hidden itself away.

Thought and remembrance still lingers,
Dwelling on unpleasant things.
I don’t have the stomach to speak to her.

I’ve never seen her so upset, so unlike her,
Purple with mingled rage and fear.
She quaked without and spoke tremulously.

She was distraught, and yet again something more,
Something altogether frightening, nearly inhuman.
I hurt for her.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Update too

I will admit that I’m lazy about writing at times, but I’d really like to write a poem as sort of a birth announcement for her, but I’m finding it very difficult to pull together my thoughts on fatherhood and on my daughter.  That’s my way of saying I’m overwhelmed in the most glorious of ways.  Everything she does is amazing to me.  Just the things I’ve seen as she’s grown the last couple of months has blown me away.  My new life as a father is progressing nicely.  My daughter is pretty perfect, and that’s not something observed with a father’s eyes.  She eats and sleeps very well, she’s not fussy, and as a point of pride to me at least, she’s fairly gigantic as babies go.  Being fairly gigantic myself, I’m hopeful she’s tall and athletic.  Who can ever say with a 10 week old how that will play out, but for now, she’s off the charts, and I enjoy that.

I grew up in a close-knit family with a constant supply of fresh new cousins with whom to share experiences beyond those I shared with my two sisters.  I have older cousins who are like siblings and younger cousins I helped raise.  I’ve changed most of their diapers at one point or another and have now seen most grow up and have children of their own.  All of this is to say that I’ve experienced children and child rearing in most capacities since I was fairly young.  That wealth of experience still doesn’t prepare you for the constant care and nurturing of a child of your own.  I do believe that diapering has been a breeze for me because of my experiences, but there’s nothing in my past that required me to be the parent that soothed a tired child or shushed her to sleep.  I had comforted before, but it’s wholly different to walk circles in your living room with a baby because that’s what calmed her best when she was three or four days old.  There’s nothing you experience with any child but your own that comes close to the constant inspection and evaluation of everything your child does.

Every sound is scrutinized to make sure nothing is wrong.  The contents of every diaper are categorized and chronicled to make sure any changes are known.  It’s amazing how much reading into things I do with her, but I don’t think I’m doing anything out of the ordinary.  I think it’s hardwired into us to look at our own children that way, and that’s what makes the experience so new.  There is constantly something I’m at least somewhat unprepared for happening.  It’s amazing, and I’m exhausted, but I can already tell that the farther I get from the fussy newborn,  the more those still fresh memories of just a few weeks ago continue to sweeten.

Duke

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Update

Well, it’s been a while since I posted. My wife and I had our first child about six weeks ago. I hope that will suffice as a valid reason for my slacking. I do plan to continue, but I’ve found that working full time, coming home to help with the baby, then sleeping intermittently during the night makes for a special kind of exhaustion that’s I’ve heretofore never experienced.

In college, I’d pull all-nighters and occasionally roll a class to recover. I’d even have a little to much fun over the course of a long weekend. But there was always some way to make up for the tiredness with a nap or something. Baby’s don’t have off switches. You may think that when they sleep, that is catch up time. It’s not. That’s the time you sleep to try to ensure your body can maintain its life functions. It’s meat and potatoes with no dessert, and any current parent is probably wearing that annoying, all-knowing, told-you-so grin.

Believe me though, I wouldn’t change anything–unless I could have the opportunity to have done this ten years ago. Parenting definitely favors the younger crowd, at least in physical demands. I will admit that having lived a little and seen a few things, I’m way less likely to get frustrated or angry. I just go with it, and smiling at a screaming baby takes the edge right off.

And I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My daughter has already been almost perfect. She sleeps fairly well through the night, she’s not that fussy except for a couple of times when she was likely having a growth spurt, and she’s progressively getting into a manageable pattern of behavior. Hell, she’s only had maybe three boogers and no snot. That’s a perfect baby so far.

I’m still working on ideas even if I can’t seem to find the time to put them down. I’ll stay with it though, and eventually my stubbornness will outlast her whole “baby” thing!

Duke

Posted in Thoughts, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Anniversary

Today is my first anniversary.  Haiku time for my wonderful wife.

My lovely darling,
Soon the mother of my child,
I love you deeply.

Happy first of many!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Freewriting

Just thought I’d put a few lines down as a freewrite.  That’s about all I’ve got time for with work being so busy, but I’ll get something more involved up soon.

Covert glances precede awkward stares,
And uncomfortable silence passes endlessly.
Staring as if unsure of dream or desirous hallucination
At a figure of desire so lucid as to stir depths
Of longing untapped and ingrained in man.

A quickening pulse throbs as it courses
From heart to mind and back again;
A cycle or torment bore willingly.
Breathing in deep and calming breath;
Fighting to control the swim and sway
Of shattered equilibrium

Fear pounds relentless
Smothers an otherwise confident man
Breaks the will to hold something
So perfect,
So pristine.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Funny disconnect with the wife.

I thought I’d post this funny tidbit.  I was telling my wife that I really needed to do something “artistic” since it has been a while since I’d drawn or painted, and I’m not that good to begin with, so I need the practice.  She then says that I should draw her something.  I asked her what she would like me to draw her, and I got no response.  I thought she had decided to ruminate on the idea, and that she would get back to me when she had a more concrete idea of what I could do specifically for her.

Well, since I was actually allowing the creative impulse to drive me to open the sketch book and sharpen the pencils, I knew I was actually motivated enough to overcome my general laziness when it comes to breaking out the supplies and actually making some marks.  And since she hadn’t offered up a subject, I turned to a website meant for artists to study and/or practice called the Drawing Script.  It’s located here: http://lovecastle.org/draw/.

It’s a website that will display a configurable selection of images, either in a click-to-advance or automated slideshow.  The subject material is somewhat configurable, but lends itself to figure drawing.  You can view nude or clothes figures or a few body parts such as hands or heads.  I found the site through http://www.ctrlpaint.com/, which is a very cool website with a lot of free digital art instruction.

I elected to draw a simple posed hand since I seriously haven’t drawn anything in many months, and I am by no means a master of any media.  So, I check the Hands checkbox, set it to not advance so I could pick an image myself, and clicked the Draw! button.  To my delight, the first image that popped up was–in my estimation–pretty cool and had some elements that I thought would be fun to try to draw.  So I did.  This is the result:

Drawing of a hand holding a knife

Hand with a Dagger

The entire drawing process was great.  I was dialed in spatially, I was making good marks, I was getting good contrast and detail, and I wasn’t having to correct the image much at all.  I was ecstatic!  Granted, I know that’s not going to beat most middleschoolers with talent, but for me, that’s a really good result after not having drawn in so long.

Problem is that my pregnant wife thought I was intending to draw something for her.  So by not giving me direction earlier, she was giving me freedom to come up with a wonderful idea of something nice for her rather than free rein to just draw whatever.  I go into the bedroom feeling good about myself, wake up my pregnancy-napping wife, and show her a picture of a hand holding a knife.  First impression was not great!

After a measure of understanding drizzled in, I explained the disconnect and how funny it was.  I don’t think she agreed.  I must now learn to draw flowers, possibly inside of an apology card.

Posted in Art, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vacation is nearly over . . .

Well, my wife and I returned home tonight after a long weekend of visiting relatives for a Christmas get together.  It was fun, and since we are still newlyweds, and it was her family we were visiting, it was another good chance for me to spend time with them.  They are much more spread out as a group than my entire mile-or-so-apart–parents-to-third-cousins–mass of family in the country.  We had a great time sans driving six hours.

Sadly, though, I’m now down to only tomorrow as my last day of vacation from work, then it’s back to the job.  That might not be a bad thing for the writing however, since I often spend a little time on lunch breaks writing this and that.  I’ll try to post more diligently.

I just this very moment realized that I didn’t make any New Years Resolutions last night.  I was lying in bed watching a movie in a hotel room while my pregnant wife snoozed next to me (yep, that’s exactly how I get down–HOLLA!).  So I’ll make the same standard resolutions including getting in better shape, making more money/spending less/being smarter with it, and doing the best I can at all I do.  Beyond that however, I will make a few legitimate, “FOCUS” resolutions:

  1. Be the best husband I can, which at this point includes a lot of catering to my wife as she brings forth my progeny.
  2. Be the best father I can, so that my child might have a chance to know a little of what I had growing up.
  3. And continue to write and write more prolifically including, if at all possible, completing a manuscript and sending it off to a publisher.

That seems like plenty of work, and I hereby reserve the right to wuss out on resolution three if resolution two owns me for a while, which is very likely.

(I used what is very likely the most highly experimental punctuation above.  Feel free to let me know if you would present my family situation more eloquently.  Thanks!)

Posted in Thoughts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment