I know balance is important, but so is completing projects and meeting goals. Work, family, and various bucket list hobbies have a way of skewing everything out of whack, meaning I neglected all of these things to finish edits on a book I have been polishing six months past my self-imposed deadline. In my defense, I took a break to complete book two in the Dragon Badge series and outline a few projects for later.
I hate the term “bucket list” by the way. My life has always been one big bucket list. My motto: Live in the Bucket.
Try this experiment. Learn to play the guitar. Count how many times people say to you, “I wish I could learn how to play the guitar.” When you reach 1,000 you can stop counting. Maybe it is just a polite thing people say to artists / writers / musicians. “I would like to write a novel / play an instrument / paint a children’s book, but I’m responsible and you’re crazy.”
“Forget all about that macho **** and learn how to play a guitar.” (John Mellencamp)
Next week, I will be more organized. (This is not a personal affirmation; this is what I am going to actually do.) Next week’s Google doc is prepared by subject and I will divide my time accordingly. Work and family get the most, whether they like it or not. Writing takes the vast majority of the rest, but the April 12th Crossfire gig must be addressed—more guitar practice please.
Most of all, I am going to spend more quality time with my family.
This week I pushed hard to complete revisions of Enemy of Man. It has been a long journey, starting with the first (and only) screenplay I wrote and then novelized. Backwards? Of Course! The original novel was 55,000 words and a lot of fun. I published on Lulu, the most recent edition being in 2006. Years later, I pulled it from Lulu and started again. Many people, friends and family enjoyed it, but I thought it need more.
I edited and revised, but after learning from the many books on writing I have studied since then, I decided on a complete re-write. I focused the plot, strengthened the characters, and wrote this book like it owed me money (in a fun way).
Now I am putting the final touches on EOM before sending it to my editor. I feel I have come a long way on this self publishing journey. Every step is fascinating and I am fairly sure the road ahead winds through magical realms (or science fiction in the case of EOM).
On a side note, my computer auto updated as I sat typing, having risen early before the family’s regular spring break reveille to complete chapter 36. Let me just click over to my thumb drive and make sure everything saved. YES! Everything saved.
I think I will now work backward from chapter 36 so that editing fatigue does not leave the first part of the book more polished than the end. Serenity Editor: go!
I drink too much Diet Coke. My philosophy has been that if drinking diet soda is really that bad for a person, I would be dead by now. A case of Diet Coke a day is not uncommon for me; less than six 12 oz cans gives me a headache and lethargy (big time). Many sources suggest that diet soda causes sweet cravings by skewing a person’s sense of what is and what is not sweet.
A few weeks ago I radically cut my diet soda intake for two days. When I returned to drinking diet soda, I realized that I was always craving chocolate and other sugary snacks. There may be something to this argument about diet soda and the sweet tooth. In the past, I recognized the plausibility of such arguments, but dismissed them as mildly annoying. Today I start drinking more water and less soda.
For my next trick, I will stop eating all the free snacks that magically show up at work. I tore up some rice crispy, chocolate, marshmallow things someone brought in.
I began this week determined to work on joint mobility and flexibility, because patrolling in a squad car for hours and going home to sit at a computer for hours does bad things to your back, knees, feet, and basically everything that bends or holds weight.
The first four days went well. After that I stared at a computer screen, reading, editing, running the Serenity Editor, and reading again. This week should be different, I have a plan and fresh determination to find balance.
ST 3-16-13 Cardio Recovery 33 min (Bare feet/ mat)
SN 3-17-13 Pure Cardio 38 min (Bare feet/ mat)
M 3-18-13 Plyometric Cardio Circuit 42 min (Bare feet/ mat)
T 3-19-13 Rest Rest
NOTE: I really feel like I have accomplished something at the end of each workout. #Increased #confidence
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu took a back seat to writing again this week, but I made time to study instructional videos (Roy Dean Blue Belt Requirements) and watched some MMA on television.
Why is earning a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu such a big deal?
The standards are high in most BJJ schools. A practitioner must actually be able to make the techniques work to advance in rank. Competition is part of the evaluation process, but a good instructor makes day to day assessments of students and guides them toward solutions. Winning a match, even a big match, is not the only way to earn the next belt up, but it helps.
Time on the mat counts. Most schools I have visited suggest that a blue belt takes one hour of class time, three times a week, for a year to earn a blue belt. That is roughly 150 hours of hands on practice. Many other martial arts will give you a black belt and allow you to start your own school in the same amount of time.
BJJ is also an excellent self defense tool, the advantage being the ability to restrain an individual without hurting them more than is reasonable necessary. Striking and weapons are martial arts skills needed in a life and death fight, and you must always be ready to mix it up, but many confrontations can be handled on a lower level, i.e. holding an aggressive individual down until authorities arrive.
This week: more drills, videos, and books.
Many people have told me they could not sign up to follow my blog at www.Scottmoonwriter.com even though I have an RSS feed widget in the blog. One of my newest tweeps, @KL_Toth , did some research and found a Weebly email subscription help link for my problem. We had been discussing the issue on Twitter and I decided to explore Blogger or Wordpress for my blog(s) and use Weebly more for my web site landing page. Then, without my having to ask, she found the Weebly help link I had searched for but never located. You can meet some great people on Twitter. I started following her Creative Expressions blog.
The Weebly link led me to Feedburner, which I have never really understood or appreciated until now. I first tried it on my Wordpress blog, Scott Moon's Blue Belt Blog and was rewarded with a pop up follow by email option. So cool!
I am still working on the widget for Scott Moon’s Blue Belt Blog. My Wordpress site is a work in progress; I’m am still learning the platform.
I am also working on my Scott Moon Blogspot. This is the Google / Blogger platform and I have made slightly more progress with the template system. Right now, you can only follow by email (no RSS feed). The gadget will not load and the RSS feed does not seem to function properly in Chrome (though it looks okay in Explorer). The Google gadget application may not be installing correctly because I took Java off my computer. So now I will need to research the safety of Java and decide if Java code is worth the hassle.
Now, all of this started with my desire to make my blog at www.Scottmoonwriter.com easier to follow. The Feedburner instructions worked fine for www.DragonBadgeBooks.com so I am not sure what the problem is. When I send emails to the help section, they say they cannot replicate my problem. (I resisted the urge to reply that I wanted it fixed, not replicated, but they can’t help me if I can’t explain it.)
Future blogs will contain a straight forward list of solutions I have found to various internet problems. I never set out to be a web expert. All I want to do is write, workout, play music, and have adventures. But there is something satisfying about fixing a technical problem.