Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crawling out of my hole . . .

I'm sending my novel, NASTY, back out into the world again. A few weeks ago I was cleaning out my history files in one of my email accounts, and I came across my rejection folder. I like to keep these, so I thought I'd go ahead and copy them all over to my hard drive. When I opened the folder, I noticed that there were only a couple of dozen rejections. What??? Clearly I got discouraged and quit. I must have also exaggerated the number in my mind. Only that many, and I quit?

So, I went back through the manuscript and did another edit, and now I'm sending out the queries again. It feels good to be back on the mean streets of publishing again. We'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, I'm gearing up for the final push on my YA novel, and should have that done soon. I hate to commit to a date, but I'm shooting for the end of February.

So this blog was started with a look toward cleaning up some of the entropy in my life. I'm on my way . . . again. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So It Goes.

The other day I was delivering one of my many "follow your dreams" type comments to one of my classes, when a student asked me what my dreams are. That's not something I think about too often, as I've actually achieved most of my dreams. After a little thought, though, I said, "Well, I want to stand beside my son while we get our black belts together. I want to hold hands with my wife atop the Eiffel Tower, and I want to make a living as a writer."

The first two drew "Awwwww's" from the girls in the class, as if those were the cutest little goals they'd ever heard. Dress 'em up in bunny ears and post them to "I Can Haz Chezburger?" they're so cute. That third one, though, that was the sticky wicket.

"What's stopping YOU Mr. Wright?"

Friday, November 26, 2010


OK, so I totally forgot about this blog -- that shows you how things go with me. I'm going to start over again. I mean, I made decent progress, and then the crap hit the fan and I totally got derailed. So. Starting over. Yep.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Waking the Dragon.

Ugh. Sometimes doing things that I've put off is actually painful. I won't get into it too much, but today I did something that I've been meaning to do for about a year. The fact that I'm writing this on a very strong dose of Vicodin should make for an interesting blog post, lol! But . . .


There are things in this world that should not be fought. Actual trolls, for instance. Have you ever seen one of those? Nasty bits of work, trolls. Dragons, on the other hand, can sometimes be brought down with logic. Of course, I'm being metaphorical. My swimming metaphor should probably be carried over to this entry, but I'm more in the mood for dragons, actually. Much sexier, don't you think? I'll get back to the swimming thing next blog, but for this, I'm fighting dragons, or, more correctly, a dragon. This one surrounds my house, in fact he lies around and throughout my house. During the school year, he manages to follow me to my classroom and horn his way into my bookshelves and cabinets, storage shelves and closet. I'd say he closely emulates an oil slick (ooooo! Metaphor within a metaphor, sweet!), in that he manages to spread a thin sheen of himself wherever I reside for any period of time. This is his weapon. Boring weapon, I know. It's not sexy like fire or ice weapons.

"Oooooh! Ahhhhh! Look at the . . . what the hell is that? Is that a glove collecting dust? I'm shaking in my boots. No, really."

So anyway, the slick-dragon follows me everywhere. I walk into a room, and he mysteriously adds something to a shelf or the back of a chair. You get the idea. It's the "horizontally challenged" aspect of my entropy.

Over the last week, aside from a trip to Elitches, I've been trying to think about what to do here. The excuse is that the house is much too big to keep clutter-free. That doesn't wash when you look at the little 3'x 5' surface of my desk, though. Well, you can't actually see the surface of my desk, you sort of have to assume that there's a desk there by extrapolation (everyone else in the area has a desk. This pile of papers and interesting artifacts is roughly desk shaped, ergo: there is a desk here.)

The point is that I can't really use that excuse around the house. The dragon is there, and I have to deal with him in his lair, right? Now, I'm really good at not waking the dragon. I will tip-toe around the house and head outside to pull weeds or fill the pond, then remember a thousand and one things that I need to do for errands (all of which are either legitimate or semi-legitimate), and before you know it, the entire day has gone by and I haven't touched the inside of the house. I can nod and say, "Yes, but look at those new flowers I planted, and those weeds really needed to be pulled, too."

That's not waking the dragon, though. That's letting him sleep. At school, it's much the same thing, except I have lessons to plan, and papers to not grade.

So what am I going to do differently? I dunno. Seriously. I can make all kinds of promises to myself, but in the end I won't carry them out. So I need something doable, that I can implement a little at a time. I don't want to wake the dragon entirely, just maybe get it to raise an eyelid and take vague notice of me before drifting back off to sleep, never realizing that he just got a little smaller. Yeah, that's what I want for now.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So-so, but better

This is a quick entry, as I've got to beat the rain on some yard work. Two things I've found: 1) if given the opportunity, I will, indeed, fall back into entropy. It appears to be my natural state. 2) If taking the opportunity, I will do what it takes to overcome my own inclinations.

The operative word up there is "taking." I don't enjoy it much. Well, that's not true. Once I get started on things, I do enjoy it. It's the getting started that's the fly in ointment. (Except sorting socks. I don't think I'll ever enjoy that. Nope.)

My blood pressure is beginning to show some semblance of stabilizing, though I'm still nearly passing out when I go to Taekwondo, and have to stop often from dizziness. I'm finding the periods between breaks are longer and longer though, so that's a good sign.

I've had several good days, and a few not-so-good when it comes to taking care of the entropy. Good = I cleaned up and groomed the side and backyards. They both look much better. Of course, I like doing work outside much more than I like housework. Nope, don't like it, so I tend to not do it.

Goal for the day: Do some housework (because I have to, lol!)

Will update later this evening.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I'm not sure where this is going, actually. No, not sure at all. Of course, I'd like it to be a big turn-around in the way I conduct my life, a drastic series of epiphanies that turn my life upside-down and force me to re-examine every aspect of my existence.

Really? Would I really like that? I'm thinking no. If that actually happened, who would I be at the end of it? Would I even be someone I'd want to hang out with? No, I guess I'm not looking for any great epiphanies.

My son is taking swim lessons right now. I laid the law down and told him that if he wants to go on any camping trips next summer, then he has to learn how to swim. He's getting to be of an age where he likes to explore on his own. I asked, "What would happen if you fell into a lake or pond and couldn't swim?"

"I'd drown," he said.


In class, he's doing something called "streamlining" right now. Basically, it goes like this: put your arms straight out over your head and bring your hands together, close your eyes, take a big breath, lay face down in the water, then push off of the wall. Once you've got forward motion, kick your legs to keep going. This is all a precursor to learning the Crawl; throw in some arm paddling and breathing technique and -- viola! -- we're swimming!

If I look at my son's swimming lessons as a metaphor for my own endeavors, I guess I'd put myself at the floating stage. I haven't yet put my arms over my head and made that streamlining point out of my arms, let alone started to kick, or added in the arms and breathing.

I'm holding my breath and floating . . .

. . . or maybe I've run out of breath and have resurfaced, only to realize that the lake I'm in is much larger and turbulent than I'd first imagined.

Regardless. There's my metaphor -- my conceit, if you will. I'll use that as a guide.

My goal for this week: Examine what I need to do in order to get my hands over my head and push off into the water.

Today's goal: Do one thing I absolutely despise, and one thing I'd rather procrastinate on doing, but will do anyway.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 1 (maybe)

OK, so. I'm not sure if this is going to be an every day thing or not. Maybe. We'll see.

Here's why this is, and why it's called what it is. My friend Webster says that one of the definitions of entropy is: "a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder."

Er . . . yeah. Anyone who knows me will agree with that last part -- a trend to disorder. My house, my classroom, my career(s), my whole life basically. There are times when I take a certain amount of pride in my disorder, my scattered bits of creative non-conformity. Other times, it's a little embarrassing. Still others -- a lot embarrassing.

Rather than being some self-serving excuse to whine about my existence, I've decided that this blog is going to be a self-serving excuse to shrink the amount of entropy in my life. Now, I'm not going into this with any sort of plan (are you kidding me???) but at this point I recognize I need to do something. Here's the deal: I look at every part of my life, and I see how it could be better if I was just a little more organized and less, um . . . not.


Weight. I'm not huge or gargantuan, but, like many middle aged men, I've been investing in personal real estate for a number of years, and the acreage has definitely increased in the belly area. I know this, but I've not organized an effective assault on the extra twenty-odd pounds.

House. Yeah. I'm horizontally challenged. If there's a horizontal surface, I will place something on it and promptly forget about it.

Writing. What? I've written the books, why aren't they on the shelves at our local bookstore? Because I haven't marketed them effectively, that's why.

Those three are enough to get the point across. Let's just say that the rest of my life is in the same shape. Imagine how much more fulfilling it would be to be able to point to any one area and say, "Yes. This works. This is the way it's supposed to be."

My motivation: Three weeks ago I went to the Emergency Room. My blood pressure was through the roof. Seriously through the roof. 207/130.

(blood pressure chart)

Yeah. The last three weeks have been a blood pressure teeter-totter as my doctor tries to find something to get it under control. It's been headaches from too high, to dizziness and near-passing out from too low. It has not been as high as 207/130 again, however, thank goodness. But the medical issues aside, what got me here? Entropy, a trend toward disorder. I want to fix that, even if it's only in a few areas of my life.

So, this blog is about finding the direction for that. Just looking at it right now, I see that some of it is just laziness and procrastination, but is it innate or can I break out of it and reach farther? I don't know. Right now, there is no plan, but I'm hoping as this progresses, one will form that I can live with . . . literally. Right now, my goal for the day is going to be to do one thing that I would normally say, "Later, not right now," to, and do it anyway.