So I’m sitting here contemplating my past and the mistakes I’ve made, especially for the last year, and I realize that I truly am my own worst enemy. One of my best and worst characteristics is that I look for the best in people. I see potential. It’s probably part of being a teacher, but I often see what people can become if given the right environment and the right encouragement. That’s sounds noble and idealistic, but it often hinders me from seeing the reality of what a person really is.
It’s the reason I remain in terrible, unfulfilling relationships. I see the potential of what could be if we just work on things a little more, and I usually ignore the reality that this person and this relationship are not working as they should. Instead of seeing the shortcomings and flaws, I see the potential and the good. It may sound like a good thing, but after this last year, I see that it is a real problem for me.
This is part of the reason I think I’m just not built for a real long-term relationship. My judgment gets clouded, and I get too focused on the potential and not on the reality. I really believe that I’m better off developing good friendships and staying out of anything serious.
My website has been evolving for several years, now, and it’s finally getting close to what I had originally wanted. My good friend and fabulous artist, Rob Brown, has done a couple of marvelous graphics for the site, and they really make it crackle. I’m very grateful to him for all he’s done. He’s also finishing up work on a new poster for me that is just amazing. The detail in it is unreal.
I still need to drive more traffic to the site, but it’s slowly but surely coming along. I’m glad I held out for the right artist instead of settling for someone whose work didn’t capture my vision. It’s good to have someone on the same wavelength as I am to help give a visual representation of the books. Thanks, Rob!
To see the update, please visit the site:
I’m up to chapter five on book three, and I’ve hit one of those plot points where I’m discovering what is going to happen as I write it. For me, this is both good and bad. The good is that it makes the work exciting. That process of discovery is one of my favorite aspects of writing a novel. The bad is that each night when I sit down to write at a point like this where I truly don’t know what is going to happen, I get filled with anxiety that maybe this will be the night when the well has run dry. I am confident enough in my process that I believe the story will unfold as it should and that I will find the right words and the right rhythm and the right pacing, but the anxiety is still there each night.
Chapter four was a different story, pardon the pun. I knew what was going to happen from beginning to end. There was a little discovery of details, but I knew the basic plot, so each night when I sat down and started my process, there was very little anxiety. All I had to do was sit down and concentrate on where I was in the chapter, where each scene needs to end, and what details needed to be focused on. It’s not as exciting, but it’s a lot less stressful.
So that’s a little about my writing process. Later tonight, if you have some insomnia, remember to come back and read this post. You’ll be in dreamland in no time.
I am a fool; this much I know for sure. I dive into everything head first and give everything I have to it without a second thought. As a result, I get burned and hurt, a lot.
I am at a point in my life when I no longer have the time, energy, or patience for those who can’t relate.
I am a good teacher. Too many students have told me so for me not to believe it.
I am meant to live alone; this much I have realized relatively recently, and I’m okay with it.
I am a good father; this much I know more than anything.
Other than those few things, I don’t know much of anything.
In a couple of weeks, I’ll be heading to Jacksonville, FL for a small convention. It’s held on Saturday and Sunday in the Hyatt Regency Waterfront, and the images of the hotel on its website are absolutely gorgeous. The show is relatively small and still fairly new, and there aren’t really any big names attending. Still, I’m excited about it because it’s an opportunity to spend some time with my children. I’ll be heading down on Thursday and not coming back until Monday, so it’ll almost be like a vacation. Hopefully, I’ll sell a few books and expand my reader base a little to help defray some of the expenses, but really, the time with Collin and Finn is all I care about.
I don’t get to read much for pleasure during school because of the amount of prep time and grading that’s involved, but when I do get to fall into a good book, it rejuvenates me. Recently, I found an old Lewis Grizzard paperback from 1989. It’s a collection of his articles from the Atlanta Journal Constitution where he wrote. The articles are all centered on topics relevent to the 80’s–Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker, Oral Roberts, radon, fiber–they are very clever, and have taken me back to my childhood in a good way. He was such a funny guy, very insightful, and always able to cut through the crap and get straight to the heart of a debate. Because of his wit, he was misunderstood by a lot of people. He offended liberals, conservatives, feminists, bigots, homosexuals, heterosexuals, unsuresexuals, and proponents of more fiber in breakfast cereal.
I’ve enjoyed reading him. It’s a shame he passed away so young.
If you’d asked me when I was younger how I saw myself at 36, I probably would have given some answer like successful, married, couple of kids, blah, blah, blah. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have said divorced, single, and still trying to establish as a writer, but that’s where I am. The funny thing is, I’m kind of happy. Despite all the negative things that have happened to me over the last few years, I like myself. I’m decent to people, a good teacher, a good writer, and most importantly a good father. I like not having a spouse to nag at or criticize me for things. I like not having someone trying to make me into a “better” version of myself.
Being single allows me to focus on the things that really matter to me: my writing, my career, my students. The only downside is being separated from my sons. I miss them terribly every moment of every day, and the times I do get to spend with them are never long enough. That’s one of my few regrets in my life, that I don’t get to be a full-time father to my sons.
But overall, as I sit here on Father’s Day 2009 thinking about my boys and hoping they are safe and happy, I am glad to still be able to pursue my passions and strive for my goals. One day, I will get there.