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Happy New Year!…wait, my wife just told me I didn’t sound excited enough, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This is of course the time of year everyone makes those fascinating lists of the “Top Ten (put subject matter here) of 2011.” We have everything from Albums to Movies, Tweets to Odd-ball stories and one of my personal favorites; Ridiculously obvious studies. (All those links lead back to Time Magazine but I am sure you could find the same lists on almost any website within the next few days.)

In keeping with the flow of flash-backitus here is my list:

The Top Five things myself and members of my family have learned about life in 2011.

5) Always be sure your credit card is secure in your wallet after making a purchase. This one is entirely on me. After making a purchase at a local store I thought I placed my card back into my pocket, but I missed and a person with no morals picked it up and went shopping—spending about $5000.00 in less than an hour.

4) Be careful where you place your fingers when closing a garage door. When our automatic garage door decided to become possessed—it would open and close by itself or not close at all—we disconnected it and began using the manual control, actually bending over and picking the door up. One early morning I wasn’t paying attention to where I was putting my hand and my finger tip got caught in the hinge. I would have screamed if it wasn’t 4:30 in the morning.

3) Never try to push a stalled car up a hill or never push a car period—you choose. When the kid’s car died during rush hour on a two lane road she attempted to move it off the road with the help of her friend. The car decided the only way it wanted to move was downhill and she ended up running over her own ankle. She’s a screamer.

2) When letting out the dogs make sure the gate that would release them into the world is secure. Enough said on this one, we were reunited within 24 hours at a cost of almost $300.00.

1) If you and your mate wish to spend more time together—make sure you get the kids their driver’s license as soon as they are eligible. Trust me, it works.

The Top Five things I figured out about writing in 2011.

5) Don’t rush it. This one is on me, when I published The Set’la last year there was a nagging voice in the back of my head telling me she was not ready. See number 4.

4) Don’t pay a lot of attention to negative reviews. I’m not saying don’t read them, but if you need your ego stroked read the positive ones. The negative ones usually point out some minor flaws in basic editing along with other more important issues like character development. Just fix them, and move on.

3) You can write a novel in a month. My little 31 days of writing did not fry my keyboard in November, but I did manage to put together a good story which still sits in a file on a computer somewhere and still needs a lot of work.

2) Write every day. I am really bad at this, but the more I try and the more I do the better my writing and typing becomes.

1) Try not to work on more than one project at a time. If you have any ideas floating around in your head—write them down and save them for later. At present I have three running projects plus a major edit (see number 5). If you keep your mind on one thing you have a better chance of actually finishing it. Priorities are important.


Life in the fast lane?

MOVIE: We had two movies on our list to watch this weekend, Friday was Little Fockers. To be honest, I was playing Civilization V and didn’t even watch the movie. The wife said it was cute. I always loved Robert Di Niro when he plays tough serious guys, and the humor he does in those roles makes me laugh, but I thought the first one was stupid and I knew this one would probably be worse. I find it hard to believe they made three of these movies. I never could get the humor of Ben Stiller and I simply hated Zoolander. I know sometimes a silly stupid comedy is what you need. I suppose this is something I never really got into. I have always gone by the theory that if a movie doesn’t make me laugh in the first ten minutes I won’t like it. Maybe I should change that to thirty. I bought Civilization two nights before just so I would be ready.

LIFE: Saturday morning, as I was trying to conquer the world instead of writing, my mom called and said she wasn’t feeling good so I took her to the ER, alone. To make a long story even shorter than it needs to be, she was admitted and is currently having a large amount of tests done to figure out why. The thing about Medicare is that since she doesn’t have to pay for it the hospital insists that they run every test they can, she doesn’t pay for it but they get their money either way. And they wonder why Medicare is having financial problems. She has improved since she has been in. This isn’t the first time she had heart issues that the hospitals never seem to find anything when she goes in. I was there from 10 AM until 5 PM, and I needed to be. When I got home – the wife couldn’t come because she was playing taxi service – we settled down and watched another flick:

MOVIE: Unstoppable (2010) is the tale of a runaway train speeding through Pennsylvania. (This is based on the true story of engine 8888 from the CXS stables which ran away in May of 2001. It traveled from Walbridge, Ohio to a town about 55 miles north of Columbus reaching speeds of up to 47 MPH.) This had enough nail biting suspense I had to stop playing my game and actually watch it. Chris Pine and Denzel Washington star as the two heroic engineers, actually Washington was the Engineer and Pine was the Conductor. (Is that type casting from Star Trek?) They ended up stopping the train and saving a city from almost total destruction. Type casting again? This is a great movie with enough action and suspense to keep your heart racing and your toes tingling. Writers did take advantage of a few plot twists I am sure, like making it go faster and carrying more than just two cars of dangerous chemicals, not to mention a steep curve they had to negotiate. I’ll have to dig a little deeper to find out more and wonder if my favorite line in the movie was real dialogue:

“How’s Will (Pine)?” Connie asked when he made it back into the cab.

“He’s ahh…He’s different. Over” Frank (Washington) replied perfectly straight.

Guess you will have to watch it. I did find this new clip from the real incident:

And this trailer:

TELEVISON: Sunday was a little different too. This time the wife was gone all day and I was stuck at home. You would think I would get more writing done wouldn’t you? I watched my Star Trek marathon; I’m just now finishing up the second season since the kids have an issue with Sci-fi, as I continued conquering the world on Civilization V. I think I have three more nations to kill before I manage it.

WRITING: As I might have mentioned in a previous post, I signed up for the NaNoWriMo, the grueling month of November when the only thing I will be doing is writing. I have three plot lines in mind:

1)      A sequel to Journey of Tara where Dirk and Tara search for someone behind the killing of thousands of people.

2)      A Sci-Fi story that involves time travel and dimensional shifts.

3)      A Fantasy that sends a Prince on a journey to find the murderer of a King that leads him into a land of dark black magic (maybe – I think this has been done before.)

One thing I have been trying to do is type at least 1667 words per day, that is what you need for 50,000 a month, and I got close Friday on a small piece I was working on, 1250 words. Need to do better.

As a side note, I would like to thank everyone that downloaded my books last week – it was a record breaking week for me and that always makes me feel good, as do positive reviews. (Hint) {If there are any negative reviews please send them to me so I can add comments as needed and I will return them.

Just kidding…


It was a joke. }

Answer me this;

Are you signed up for NaNoWriMo? I’m looking forward to it myself, just need to do it!