Monthly Archives: August 2011

Missing What Could Have Been

This blog has given me the ability to write about some of the tough times I’ve had in the past.  And those that have read these posts & replied with encouragement have meant the world to me, so thank you.

In a prior post I talked a little about when I lost my mother in a car accident and what she meant to me.  What I didn’t talk about was the fact that my little sister was also in the car when this happened and didn’t make it.  This is a subject that is harder to write about so bear with me 🙂

My sister was seven years younger then me (I believe she was 17 years old @ the time), and that age difference meant that we didn’t have a lot of time together.  It sounds strange to say that as we did have 17 years together but that time consisted of us being kids and then myself being a teenager, which meant every waking moment was dedicated to my own needs and desires.  So when I say we didn’t have a lot of time together I mean that we didn’t get to have the relationship that I believe we were on the cusp of creating.

My sister and I were actually a lot alike.  Both very much into sports, reading, and writing.  Both shy & almost debilitatingly insecure.  I have memories of her and my other younger brother (5 year difference) outside playing football, basketball, baseball, or just jumping on a trampoline for hours at a time.

The reason I titled this post, Missing What Could Have Been, is that right before I lost her I began to realize all the ways we were alike.  I was finishing up college at the time but the last few times I visited I had actual conversations with her.  Not the “picking on the lil sis” type of conversations but adult conversations.  I had realized she was much better at sports then I was, better at school, and even though she looked up to me at that time, chances were I would soon be looking up to her for everything she was about to accomplish.  So when I lost her I ended up losing the chance to watch a beautiful girl grow into an amazing woman.  But most of all I lost someone who was probably going to end up being my best friend.

I lost her nearly 6 years ago and I still struggle with that to this day.  I will never know what we could have had, but I know what we did have.  I had a talented sister that looked up to me & loved me very much.  A sister that could look at me and make me believe I could do no wrong. She knew that I loved her and I know that she loved me.  I will always miss what could have been, but I am eternally grateful for every single day I was given with her.

To My Sister, Tabitha Danielle, I love you and miss you.

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My Fantasy Football Draft Made Me A Better Writer

Or at least that is what I am telling myself.  I had my very first live Fantasy Football Draft last night and needless to say after it was over I came home and collapsed.  Something about sitting around a bar for 2+ hrs with plenty to eat & drink seems to take a lot out of me.  Overall it was a really great experience but I have to admit I really do think it has made me a better writer.

Before I explain let me tell you a little something about myself, I’m anti-social.  Not in a mean “Stay Off My Lawn” kind of way, more in the “Oh my god there are a lot of people around me I feel very uncomfortable and am starting to feel really sick now they are starting to talk to me but I don’t know what to say” kind of way.  🙂  I have mild social anxiety.  It is far from debilitating, I just get very uncomfortable if I am around a lot of people in a small room.  Or I’m around a large group of people I don’t know.  Or there are a lot of people out of my eye-sight.  I can be in those situations and most people don’t know that I am uncomfortable, but I am.

Now the problem is that this affects my writing.  Since I tend to limit my social interactions to the workplace or very small social gatherings I can miss the intricacies of human interaction.  I have always struggled to create what I felt is realistic dialogue and in my writing I try to write around it whenever possible.  And I’ll admit I believe it is because of my avoidance of social gatherings.

Another thing that it hurts is creating interesting characters.  Some of my favorite characters are ones that the creator will admit was inspired by someone they know.  So by limiting the amount of people I interact with I risk missing out on a truly great character.

So by going out with a group of friends, having far too much to drink, eating way too much greasy food,  and staying out way too late for a work night, wasn’t simply for my own personal enjoyment.  It was a sacrifice I was willing to make in order to become a better writer and achieve my dream.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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What I Have Accomplished

Nutin.

Or at least that is what it feels like.  I have been noticeably absent from my “writing” laptop for the last couple of weeks. The oddly shaped mold of my butt in my writing chair is slowly disappearing,  the thin layer of dust on my desk is gradually turning into a thick layer, and I’m pretty sure I have heard my laptop weeping in the night due to my neglect.

I wish I could tell you the reason for this but I really don’t know.  I could tell you that it is because my lovely wife is learning that morning sickness has been horribly mis-labeled and is actually ALL DAY sickness.  I could tell you it is because my work place has gone crazy and is requiring soul-destroying amounts of overtime.  Or I could tell you that due to the wonderful weather in the mid-west I have been spending time “maintaining” my yard.  To be honest I think it is a little bit of all of that, but for the most part I just haven’t chose to sit my butt in that seat and get to writing.

I have missed staring at the screen intently as my fingers jump frantically over the keyboard and all the while my mind is in a far distant land of my own creation.  I would like to think that all writers have times like this where you just have to step away for a second, or a couple of days, that turns into a week (or two).  So much like a moth to a flame, or more accurately a fat guy to a bowl of ice cream, I know I will return to writing shortly and hopefully will have a burst of creativity that will help me make up for lost time.

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My Favorite Part(s) Of The Writing Process

One thing I have learned while surfing the blog-o-sphere is that some people actually enjoy the editing process.  This is a very foreign concept to me & is something I am still struggling to understand.  To me the editing process is a lot like getting beat up over & over & over & over & over again, then just when you think it is over somebody else walks over, kicks you in the stomach, and then spits on you. Now some of you might think I am exaggerating, I’m not.

Thinking about how much I loathe editing my work got me thinking about my favorite part of the writing process, and strangely enough it is right before my finger hits that first key on my keyboard.  At this point in time my head is full of this wonderful world, interesting characters, and this powerful tale that is just screaming to be put into words.  Before I type that first word I know the story I have in my head is likely to morph into something unexpected and take me down a road I wasn’t planning on traveling.  In that moment there are no worries or reservations, I don’t feel like I can do any wrong.

Coming in at a close second is when I type that last period, when the journey comes to an end.  When I finally take a step back and try to wrap my mind around where I have just gone.

I find it interesting (and a bit disconcerting) that technically my favorite parts of the writing process are not actually when I am writing  🙂   I enjoy the promise before I start and the satisfaction once I have finished.  What about yourselves, what is your favorite part of the writing process?

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The UnWritten Rules Of The World

There are certain things in life that should be common knowledge, yet somehow don’t seem to be.  I plan on periodically posting some of this uncommon common knowledge in order to assist those who may not be in the know.  I am well aware that by writing these rules they are no longer considered to be unwritten, but my hope is that they will be distributed to all those people who are clueless about the most important things in the world.

Thous Shalt Not Use The Urinal Next To A Dude If There Is A Further Away Urinal That Is Open

Seriously how is this one not known?  If there are five other urinals open why are you going to scoot up right next to me?  Now if you pick a urinal towards the middle of the pack then you are asking for it.  But if you (like me) pick the urinals on the fringe you should be able to expect plenty of elbow and leg room.  You should not have to fear that someone has an unnatural desire to be close to another while ridding his body of waste.  For the love of all that is holy do not pick a urinal next to another dude unless you have no choice. Thank you

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