It’s that time of year again.  We’re 12 days into the month of November, and authors and would-be writers all around the world are cracking their knuckles and flexing their story-muscles.

So far, I’m on track this year for a perfect NoNoWriMo.  That’s right: I’ve written 0 words of fiction so far this month, and if I keep up this pace of 0 words a day, I’ll be able to crack that 0 word total by the end of the month.

I’m being facetious, of course.  Can you tell?  In reality, if you were taking part in NaNoWriMo, you should find yourself somewhere around the 20,000 wordcount mark today.

Hey, I’ll level with you: if I had the opportunity to participate in NaNo, I would.  Heck, if I could find the time to put down five thousand words, much less fifty thousand, I’d take it.  I don’t really take pride in the fact that I’m not doing NaNo and that I’m not writing.  I take no pleasure in the fact that it has been 3 months since I’ve written a word of fiction (compounded with another 5 months of no writing before that solitary instance of activity).

But a blog where I complain about how little I’m writing is no fun to write, and an absolute killjoy to read.  So I make light, when I can.  Just one of the ways I put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward without losing hope that, yes, one day I will be a writer.  I don’t even mean necessarily a published professional writer, though I hope one day to be that too, but a writer as in someone who writes.  Right now?  I can’t really claim even that designation.

But you know what designation I can claim? A dad.  And not a half-bad one at that.  Not always a good one, sure, but more good than bad.  And I’m a husband.  Maybe a middling one, but at least I make the effort.  And I’m a an employee.  I like to think I’m an asset to my company and that I bring a lot to the table.  Right now, this trifecta takes the overwhelming majority of my time.  Most of the remainder (not counting sleep, of course) goes to a fourth thing which I am: a responsible homeowner.  The long-running projects Dear Wife and I have been engaged in are currently languishing for lack of energy to complete them, but I’m well on my way down another, more time-sensitive home owner’s project that’s eating a lot of time: reclaiming my yard from the unruly wild.  (Okay, so, currently the moles are sort of winning.  But new grass is one its way, and I’m still looking for new options on how to deal with the subterranean varmints.)

That’s the forecast for November 2013.  But tell me, how’s your month going?

From the Top, From the Heart

Blogging is hard sometimes.  You invest a lot of  yourself into the words you put up on the screen.  You release those words into the wild, hoping they’ll come back to you with the new friends they’ve made – comments from other readers.  Sometimes they do.  Sometimes they don’t.  Some words seem to make more friends than others.

It’s a lot like being a parent, I guess.

Except, you invest more of yourself into some of those words than into others.  As a parent, it’s kind of not cool to favor one child over another – at least that’s my philosophy; though I don’t have experience to back it up since B.T. is as-yet an only child.  But as an author, you can totally afford to play favorites among your wordlings.  Some of those wordlings come straight from the head.  Some come straight from the heart.  You want them all to be wonderfully successful.  But you want the ones from the heart, most especially, to be the most successful of all.

Of course, you try to stay realistic about which words are most likely to succeed.  But that doesn’t mean you still don’t have a lot of hope for the little blog post that could.

Man.  I’m really digging a hole with this extended metaphor thing.  Maybe beating around the bush a little, too.

The thing is, I don’t always know when what I blog is going to be a popular post.  I don’t know who’s going to comment on what.  I hope every blog post is great.  But at the end of the day, it’s like throwing darts at a board and hoping something sticks.  (I mean that literally.  Half the time when I throw darts at a board the darts bounce off.) Continue reading

Guest Post: Writing & Parenthood

Today I’m guest-posting it up over at Ollin Morales’ {Courage 2 Create} blog, where I’m talking about the challenges of being a parent and a writer (when you’ve already got so much else going on), strategies I try to use to succeed at both, and commisseration for the hard times – when being a parent means there’s just no time to write.

Ollin’s blog is a great place for writers to go when they need an inspirational pick-me-up.  If you’re a writer who also has one of those things called a life, you’ll find plenty to appreciate on {Courage 2 Create}.

If you’re a writer who’s also a parent, know a writer who’s a parent, or are a writer who might someday become a parent, hopefully you’ll find something of interest on my guest post there today.  So head on over and share your experiences!

Posing the Choice

So, over the weekend, we had an interesting presentation at church about parenthood.  The specific details of the presentation won’t be immediately relevant for Dear Wife and I for some time yet – B.T. having not yet grasped the fundamentals of spoken language nor, for that matter, the fundamentals of self-propulsion – but some of the ideas presented were interesting.  So, I thought I’d share a few thoughts.

The basic thesis of the presentation was that we, as parents, have as our primary role and responsibility the raising of children who are well-adapted to dealing with the challenges of their life.  Concomitant with that responsibility are the need for love and compassion and for reason and logic – these are the component parts that will help parents and children form the bond that will allow the children to learn what they need from their parents. Continue reading