Bullet Wisdom

I am an Active Duty Officer in the US Army. I am a Husband, father, writer, hunter, gamer, and SOLDIER. This blog is a forum for my many hobbies as well as my random musings.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Adventures of an Aspiring Author

It's Friday. Thankfully. It's been one of those weeks where the work/effort to payoff ratio has been skewed in the wrong direction. First, to the Texas Rangers. Boo. What the heck, guys? Score some freaking runs and try to get through the middle innings without getting shelled.

I'd thought I'd end the week with a quick play-by-play of a typical night in the life of an aspiring author. Let me rephrase, a typical night in the life of a working/parent-aspiring author. Sometimes I wonder how I ever finished a manuscript at all. Oh, wait, I was in Iraq!

5:00 pm - Horn blows, time to close up shop. Can't wait to get home and finish up the current chapter. I was on a wicked roll last night and there's some fresh ideas that need to be captured.

5:10 pm - Heading out door and phone rings. Higher ups want a copy of every purchase receipt going back to March. Wait, you need this today? Everone's already left... but I wasn't here in... I'm not... I... Oh, crap.

6:30 pm - Walked through the front door, threw stuff on the floor, kissed wife, and sat down for family dinner, a decent meal of leftover, then scolded son for playing with his during grace.

7:00 pm - Shower and change. Set up writing station. Open up Macbook Pro and launch Scrivener (if you don't have this you hurt). Review hand written notes from previous evening.

7:05 pm - Wife calls. My sh*t doesn't belong on the floor. Go and pick up. Assist with dinner clean up. Take out trash.

7:45 pm - Back to writing/man-cave. Put on headphones. I'm writing an action sequence, so I dial up assortment of Tool, Chevelle, Nickelback, and Three Days Grace. Focus Time.

7:55 pm - Tap on shoulder. It's the boy. He's holding a sheet of paper dated two weeks ago. Looks like its covered in dried juice and cracker crumbs. Apparently it's a reading project involving rote memorization, a substantial amount of illustrations, and a wing-board. It's due tomorrow.

9:00 pm - Homework completed thanks to parental intervention and large amount of yelling. Back in front of keyboard. Headphones on and tunes cranked. Another tap on shoulder. It's the daughter. Mommy requests my presence in the family room.

9:05 pm - Wife hasn't sat with me and watched TV all week. She'd like to watch some TV. Turn on TV and attempt to leave, but there's clarification. She doesn't want to watch TV, she wants to watch a movie WITH me. Power up BluRay player and sit.

11:00 pm - Wife is dowstairs getting ready for bed. Finally sit down and attempt to salvage some writing. Wait, I forgot something, something I wanted to do yesterday but didn't get around to accomplishing.

11:05 pm - Run down to garage and fire up irrigation system. I'm in the area, so pack up my sh*t and prepare clothes for next work day. While I'm in the area, trasfer wet clothes from washer to dryer, and fold batch of laundry while watching angry people on Fox News.

11:35 pm - Officially abandon writing/man-cave. Bring laptop downstairs to bedroom. Wife is already asleep. Conduct nightly hygiene regimen, then crawl into bed. Open laptop, review previous night writing.

11:50 pm - Correct numerous typos from previous session as well as some narration that made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Frantically type out cool new ideas (now a little stale) in bullet format so as not to forget them before next writing session. Hack through some awkward dialogue, then realize the entire bit is not germane to the plot. Shift-Fn-Up, Fn-Delete.

12:15 am - Word count for the day, 51 words. At least we have a few cool ideas for next time. Check alarm. Wake-up time is 4 hours and 15 minutes away. Run backup software (backups, people, BACKUPS!). Fold up Macbook. Go to bed.

Not every night is so crazy, but all have the potential. I wouldn't be able to write at all if it weren't for the support of my awesome wife, so I'll just take a moment to thank her for being amazing. As a working/parent/aspiring-author, I work when I have to, I parent always, and I write whenever I have the chance. Someday, I'll finish this damn rewrite, then reach for a glass of Scotch. A really tall glass.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Here's to you Mr. Reunion Name-Tag Reader

This weekend I paid $19 bucks for a glass of Scotch. It was a good single-malt, mind you, but I was a little chaffed that I paid for half the bottle with a single glass. A small glass. Of course, I had already ordered a second before I discovered the price. Caveat Emptor.

This weekend I had the privilege of attending my 20th reunion. My wife and I had a blast getting to re-know some of my oldest friends. My favorite part of the evening was some of the folks introducing themselves to my wife with something along the lines of:

(reading name-tag) 'Hey, *wife's name*, it's so good to see you again. You look great!' Yes, my wife looks great. I married a hottee. But dude, I'm the one in your class. Not my wife. And next time make sure you put some tanning lotion on the bleached wedding band line.

So yesterday I woke up with the flu. My voice is zero and my head is about to explode. For me, missing work is rare (like once every ten years rare), but this case was bad enough for the doc to order me home. I thought there would be a chance to work on my manuscript, but so far the only thing I've achieved is power-napping and stalking old classmates on Facebook.

I saw some interesting things this weekend. Some people who used to look great no longer do, while some people who used to not look great have matured into fabulous. Some people have done well for themselves, while others struggle with the rest of us. Not everyone marries their college sweetheart, gets the amazing job and the bulletproof 401k. We're human. Some folks wear their scars like a red badge of courage, others hide it amazingly well.

I wish the best to the class of 1990. We've come along way. For the folks who didn't go: Shame on you. It would have been nice to see you again. Several months ago, for a very brief moment, I debated attending. I had assumed that not all my close friends would be attending. I also assumed that my wife might not appreciate getting drug to an event that would be largely all about me.

That ended up being so-not the case. Everyone made her feel very welcome. Especially a couple dudes who mistook her for one of our class. And looked at her boobs. Several times.