Friday Evening Ramblings

Last weekend, I helped my parents clean up around their place.  It helped keep my mind off the holiday and kept me busy.  They had a dead tree that had fallen in their side yard that needed taken care of, and knowing that it was covered in poison oak, I wore long pants and gloves to drag it to their burn pile piece by piece.  Despite being very careful, I somehow managed to get a pretty good rash from it.  The first red splotches didn’t appear until Wednesday but by Thursday, I looked pretty bad and started itching like crazy.

On a different note, I got the final proof of the new poster from Rob Brown.  Let me know what you think of it:

Roskin at the vanishing trails.
Roskin at the vanishing trails.

New Appearance

Let me know if you like the new layout.  If not, I’ll switch back to the old.

Monday Afternoon Ramblings

I survived the holiday weekend.  I took off the 4th, didn’t even really think about the book, but Friday, Sunday, and Monday, I exceeded my daily page goal, so I’m making good progress.  Chapter six is coming along pretty nicely, and I like the direction everything is going.  I finish my summer school class tonight and turn in grades tomorrow, so my plan is to spend the next month really busting my butt to get up to chapter eight and maybe even nine before school starts back.  I’ll have to slow way down in the fall because of my teaching schedule, but if I can get up to eight or nine by then, I can still finish the rough draft by January.

Then comes the real work, the polishing and editing.  For this book, I plan to spend a good five to six months editing each chapter, each scene, and each sentence.  I want this book to be the best so far, and what separates mediocre writing from good and good from great is the willingness to polish and rewrite, so for this book I plan to work with a couple of editors and spend as much time as it takes to get it right.

I know several of you want it done as soon as possible, but I’d rather take my time and get it right, than rush it and disappoint.

4th of July Ramblings

I write at night and always have.  My creative window stretches from about 11:00 PM until around 4:00 AM.  I’ve tried writing at other times, but I just never feel comfortable, and the writing doesn’t flow very well.  Over the years, I’ve trained myself to work within this window and still function fairly well in my day-to-day life.  If I have to work early the next morning, I start as early as possible and lose an hour or two of sleep that night.  If I don’t have to work, I might stay up until four or five in the morning, and on those nights, I’ll sleep until noon.  That might sound strange to some, but it works for me.

My ex-wife never understood this.  She complained all the time that I should write in the day and sleep a normal schedule.  My parents don’t understand it, either.  They’re from that generation that believes people should rise with the sun.  Anyone who sleeps late must be lazy and good for nothing.  They don’t seem to understand that I’m very productive on that schedule.  When I’m working on a book, I will write five to six nights a weeks, and when I’m writing, I don’t sit around staring off into space.  I’m deeply engaged in concentration, and it’s exhausting.

If I can ever get to the point where I’m writing full-time, my creative window won’t matter very often because I won’t have to get up for a day job.  Until I get to that point, I’ll keep plugging away and losing a little sleep every now and then.  As long as the end result is a good book, it doesn’t really matter.

What I’m Looking For

If I ever decide to have another relationship, it will only be with a certain kind of woman, and I will not settle for less.  Here’s what I need from someone:

1.) A friend, a woman who accepts me as I am, a woman who forgives my flaws and my mistakes without being too harsh with criticism.  I need someone I can lean on from time to time.

2.) A partner, a woman who understands my creative side and encourages me to write and promote without feeling like I’m ignoring her or putting her second.

3.) An independent thinker, a woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind or have opinions or put me in my place from time to time.

4.) A football fan, a woman who enjoys the game, not someone who just tolerates me watching it.  I need a woman who understands zone blocking, man-to-man coverage, and zone blitzes.

5.) A lover, a woman who will spend a night on the sofa kissing me for as long as I want.  A woman who wants to talk and laugh and spend time together having fun.  A woman who is comfortable making love without her makeup on.

6.) A mother, a woman who loves her children as much as I love mine.

7.) A Strong Person, a woman who can give me space when I need it without feeling neglected.  The demons that haunt me sometimes make me sit alone for long stretches with nothing but my thoughts, and I need someone who can handle this.

8.) A Nurturer, a woman who can soothe me after a long, hard day.  Sometimes, the day-to-day is too much, and while I’m quite capable of being someone else’s rock, it would be nice to be loved on from time-to-time.

And here’s what I don’t need:

1.) Another mother, one is more than enough for me.

2.) A maid, I can take care of myself.

3.) A nurse, see above.

4.) A leech, my energy is my own and very precious.

5.) A coward, life is about taking risks and putting yourself out there.

6.) A cheater.

So there it is.  Applications are available in the HR office down the hall.

Wednesday Evening Rambling

So to continue my story about the birth of my first son, after seeing the first ultrasound, something in me changed, and that’s when I started writing again.  I felt in my heart like the only thing I could ever be truly successful at was writing, and I knew that I had to make something of myself to provide a better life for him.  So I started writing The Brotherhood of Dwarves.  I hadn’t written anything in a few years, and at first, I was very unsure of myself.  It shows in the first chapter, too.  I was finding my voice, my rhythm, my pace.

Crystal and I were never happier than during that pregnancy.  Everyone commented on it, and you can see it in pictures of us.  We both glowed.  We were a team, and we had endured a long, dark process together and came out the other side successfully.  During those eight and a half months, we were always together, playing games, laughing, talking, making plans.  It was one of the happiest periods of my life.  I read stories and sang to her belly almost every night, and life was good.

I’ll probably have to write an entire entry about his birth.  Too much happened to squeeze it all in here and do it justice.  So that’s all for now.  I’ll save that story for another day.

Staying Busy

It’s good to stay occupied with work.  I’m teaching summer school, working on book three, and promoting, and these things keep my mind busy and active.  I wish I could focus all of my attention on writing and promoting.  I wish I could travel every week to a new show and live on the road most of the year.  I can write from anywhere, and if I could make enough money to pay my child support and sustain myself, that’s what I’d do.

Back to grading.  Just wanted to share that thought.

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