St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day celebration at work was one day early–today. A wonderful lady in our organization had returned from an extended trip. She suggested celebrating her return with a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. She volunteered to shepherd the affair. Her idea of a celebration included bacon (regular color) and many selections in the traditional green. There were green pancakes, green French toast scramble, green crumb cake, green eggs, and green cookies. One of our coworkers turned the ham slices green. Green-colored orange juice sated thirst after partaking of the entrees. Everyone had a fun time and I doubt the event will fade from memory soon.

st. patrick's day

My wife is secretary for two bowling leagues. Last weekend she made 150 cupcakes marking the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day for her Monday league.  She used three designs on the cupcakes. One was a leprechaun’s face, two versions with rainbow and pot-of-gold at its end. They were a hit as testified by only eight to bring home. Tonight she is finishing up 28 for me to take to work and 60 or so for her Friday league. I haven’t told her there may not be enough for the other league bowlers. I will be there to bowl and will claim a good share for me. *Her cupcakes are really great as are her cakes. They are kid and grandkid approved.*

 

She will celebrate the day with a corned beef and cabbage luncheon. I am not fond of corned beef so I will luncheon on her cupcakes. I may even make cupcakes dinner. Splurge while they are there. Dieting comes later to get rid of the calories gained on St. Patrick’s Day.

How will you celebrate the day? Will you wear green? Let me know using the comment form.

 

 

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Nor’easter of March 2017

snow 'n winter

I sit in my recliner waiting for the nor’easter of March 2017. When I left work at 1530 (3:30 pm) the sky was blue. At 1630, the sky is cloudy, wind is growing and the temperature is slowly dropping.

The meteorologists are still unsure how much snow we will get. The estimate is between 3 to 12 or more inches depending on where the rain-snow line falls. Two inches would be more than has fallen here so far this winter.  The snow will come with 40 to 50 mph winds tomorrow which could lead to blizzard-like conditions. Regardless, I will wait for the winter blast to settle and then… Then take my labs for a playful snowy walk. We enjoy when it snows, lots of snow.

Listening to the news channel is depressing. They are talking as if this nor’easter will be the snow event of the century. Roads are pretreated. The governor has stated that ‘they will go all out’ to keep the roads open. Airlines have already canceled 2000 flights. Stores are being raided for staples. Yet, the worst might be 12 inches plus north of Baltimore. I wonder what the verbiage would be if the forecast was 26 inches which occurred January 2016 while my wife and I were in Las Vegas.

nor'easter dumped snow

Will a snowblower help?

Will there be enough snow to use the snowblower? I will learn in the morning. In the meantime, relaxing and listening to the frenzied reports on the local channels.

Would you welcome a good snowfall or would you dread it? Comment below to tell me your preference.

 

 

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Posted in Fall of my life | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Amanda Post Spring Tournament

pipeline soccer

Pipeline Soccer Club 2008 Boys Gold competed in the Amanda Post March 2017 soccer tournament. The results were less than spectacular, one win two losses. But the win-loss does not reflect the growth in the boy’s technical skills or understanding of team play.

The first opponent was the weather. We’ve had many unusually warm days this winter but Mother Nature decided to toss us freezing temperatures for the tournament. The first day was barely at or above freezing when the first game was played. She threw in a nice breeze at no cost. The second day was colder but with less breeze.

The team composition changed from the last fall tournament. The lead scorer from fall season moved up and we picked up a new player. We had one player missing because of illness the first day and two the second day. This affected player assignments and subbing rotations. The boys adjusted quickly and played aggressively.

The larger pitch, larger than used for the indoor season, allowed the boys to showcase their growth in skill and understanding of positional play.  The two games we lost were hard fought with our defense and goalkeepers stopping more scoring attempts than they allowed. Unfortunately, more scores than we made. The defense continued their fine play and the offense found the goal for the win in the other game.

pipeline soccer club logo

courtesy Pipeline Soccer Club

Several of the boys played as guest players for the 2007 boy’s gold team. These boys played as hard in those games as they did for their team. They were amazing. The stamina and determination to play hard in seven games across the two days they showed were inspirational.

This tournament was a good introduction to the spring season. The boys can be proud of their efforts against the weather and skilled opponents. I know that we as coaches and parents are proud of them.

You can learn more about the Pipeline Soccer Club and its programs at Pipeline Soccer Club. Leave me a question or a comment using the form.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Fall of my life, soccer | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Writer’s block, when it strikes

Writer's block

Writer’s block, the bane of every writer *so I have read* struck. All day, off and on, I struggled to find a topic for this week’s blog.

I considered an update to Kiliane’s Rage. I am working the revision with the goal to send it to beta readers in July. The problem with that topic is I did an update recently and not enough is going on in the novel to warrant another post at this time.

Another possibility was to tell everyone that yesterday my oldest granddaughter, who plays soccer for Pipeline Soccer Club, tried out for a summer program called “Super Y”. Her father said she did not play with enough energy and might miss selection for the program. Later at dinner, we discussed her performance. He said her effort was comparable to the other young ladies at the tryout. Perhaps she noticed the others and played to their level. At ten years old, it is enough she was at the tryout enjoying herself. There is time enough to get serious.

Pipeline SC 2008 Gold

Our current team +1

I could write about my team. Tomorrow, Brad *my son-in-law* and I will be evaluating two new players at our team’s soccer practice. Really it will be him since I am the assistant. This should be interesting since we are also preparing for the first tournament of the year this coming weekend. Our leading scorer fleeted up to the red team at the end of the fall season. Without him, we had a less than stellar winter indoor season. Looking forward to spring play, we are working hard with the boys to create a scorer. There are talents on the team that could become that scorer.  Regardless, we will do what we do best, concentrate on player development. We like to win but we want the boys to be getting more skillful. Wins will come.

Dang writer’s block. Frustrating not thinking of something to share! Have you ever experienced writer’s block?

 

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Posted in Fall of my life, my novel, soccer | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kiliane’s Rage’s Antagonist and his place in the novel

Kiliane's Rage

The antagonist in Kiliane’s Rage, my work-in-progress, created an interesting problem for me. He is an egotistical individual with aspirations to greatness. The problem is how to introduce his backstory which is important to understanding his aspirations.

I considered writing his early story in a prologue. But I have read several craft writers who recommend against a prologue. They have varied reasons but the one I note most is that the prologue could be woven into the story proper. This seems valid but the pacing of a story might not allow for a timeout to do backstory. The places where the antagonist appears in the Kiliane’s Rage are forward moving appearances. His desire to relive prior experiences taunts me to slow the pace just to suit him. They would bring the storyline to a timeout. I did not include timeouts in the outline.

the muse

Another option I am exploring is to present the antagonist first and protagonist later. A delay in bringing the protagonist allows the antagonist the opportunity to establish his space in the story. The present story has the protagonist introduced in the first scene. The antagonist also makes an appearance in this scene but is seen through the protagonist’s eyes. Once story rolls, he has a problem finding a good time to tell me why he is not totally evil.

Writing this post has introduced a prospect that I had not explored. I mapped a story where the protagonist solves the plot problem and the antagonist is vanquished. The story is told from the protagonist’s point-of-view. Telling Kiliane’s Rage from the antagonist’s POV may have merits. He has the opportunity to show why he is destroying the world and create concern he will not be stopped. Is it mandated he be stopped? Maybe the world he lives in deserves to be destroyed.

Have you had a WIP where you changed the POV from protagonist to antagonist or other way? I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on the value of prologues. Use the follow to be informed of new posts. Comments also welcomed.

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Posted in Fall of my life, my novel | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Soccer and the Gym Floor

soccer ball

Soccer is a young person’s sport! A hard-learned fact, at least for me, is that I don’t heal as quickly as once did. Another hard-learned fact is that my body has more places to hurt than I remember.

I assist my son-in-law, Brad, coaching soccer. He is the coach…I am a student and his assistant. We were holding a practice last Thursday in a local school gym. We were sharing it with my grandson’s team. As Brad is wont to do, we arrived early.

We completed setup and I had time to kill. Trying to be funny, I tried to steal the soccer ball from my grandson. Note I have never played and he is quite an accomplished goalkeeper and field player. He shielded me away before sending the ball past me. He ducked around me to give chase. Not one to be outdone, I gave chase also.

soccer flop

He retrieved the ball while I slipped and went face first to the floor. A positive was my face did not contact the floor. I managed to absorb the impact with both forearms and both knees. Knowing the spectacle I made, I climbed to my feet and walked it off. The pain in one forearm and both knees went away quickly.  The other had a nice floor burn and bothered me the entire night.

For the hard-earned facts. The next day and every day since the burn has not been a problem except when it comes in contact with a surface. However, the left knee has a good size egg on it and made itself known when I scaled stairs on Friday. Additionally, it seems that I used muscles not used in some time for they are voicing their discontent with not being properly prepared for exercise. An ankle twinges now and then and the lower back groans as it requests stretching. It is Sunday and there has been progress but as I noted, healing is slower when you are well past 60 years.

If there is a lesson, what would it be? Should old men challenge your kids in sporting activities? No! Maybe, old men shouldn’t fall face first onto a gym floor? Yes! The lesson really is that one should be aware of their capabilities and strive to remain within them. I am an active senior who refuses to let age deny me activities I enjoy. I do accept that I cannot do them as I did years ago. Well, most of the time that is. Sometimes I forget and have to go through a long healing stint.

What hard-learned things have you learned? Do they involve gym floors? Tell me about them.

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Posted in Fall of my life, soccer | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Kiliane’s Rage Update

 

blogging

Kiliane’s Rage is my work-in-progress written during NaNoWriMo. I rarely visited it during the holidays. In mid-January, I brought the draft out and began working with it again.

I joined a critique group about the time I took Kiliane’s Rage out of hiding. I quickly learned a critique group can affect your morale or self-esteem if you are sensitive to criticism. It is frustrating to read the critical comments that point out shortcomings to story delivery on a work you think you have aced. I read and reread the comments on my first scene with disappointment. Then I bucked up, accepted the input but did not rush to make changes.

Instead, I completed the second scene with the first reviewer’s comments in mind. The second set of critiques pointed out different things as concerns. Some contradicted the first set of critiques. The problem I decided was the second set was by different readers than the first. At this point, I decided to concentrate on a full read-through and revision without involving a critique group.

not good enough-rewrite

Let me confess to a fault. Yes, I have one that is likely shared by many writers. It is the “not good enough” fault. I spent several sessions reworking the first scene before I submitted it for critique. The first scene introduced the protagonist, the antagonist, and several secondary characters at a banquet. I worked with the draft from NaNo WIP. As I mentioned earlier, this scene went to the critique group. I wrestled with myself not to immediately incorporate their comments. I had the same issue with the second critique. Move on or the poor babies in the ninth scene would never enjoy my attention.

I stopped revising content to complete a read with a focus on plot. *Sometimes I do things out of sequence and have to do over. This should have been first!* I found plot holes that would take a dump truck full of asphalt to fill. No need to worry about adverbs, adjectives, or passive voice when there are gaps in the storyline.  Or how does backstory fit?  Does it get worked in or, most likely, excised.

kindlecourtesy: Amazon.com

That brings things up-to-date. Kiliane’s Rage draft is coming along and this version has a home on a Kindle. I recently learned how to get docx and epub books onto my kindle. For the longest time, years, I thought you could only read mobi files on a kindle. *Techie, that’s me!* This weekend I uploaded Kiliane’s Rage docx file and I am reading my story on my kindle. How different the same words read when the WIP comes up on an ereader vice in Word or Scrivener.

One day in the, hopefully, not distant future, Kiliane’s Rage will find a home on many ereaders.

Have you ever uploaded your WIP to an ereader? Did you find your WIP read differently?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Fall of my life, my novel | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments