Amanda Post Memorial Tournament 2018

Pipeline 2008 Boy's RedThe Amanda Post Memorial Tournament again marked Pipeline Soccer Club 2008 Boys Red’s spring outdoor season. Last year, I noted the boys won one game and lost two. This year’s result was the same, 1-2.

Weather plays its role

Two days before the tournament, a windstorm hit Maryland and the East Coast. It was called a “bomb cyclone.” There was gust exceeding 60 mph. Saturday, the wind was gusting between 40 and 6o mph.

The high wind created interesting times for the boys. Multiple times on throw-ins, the wind caught the ball and pushed it out again leading to re-throws. The wind rolled balls placed for goal kicks and corner kicks. The wind caught high passes making sending the ball to teammates challenging.

Pipeline Amanda Post Memorial

Pipeline boy’s 2008 Red team has eleven boys on the roster. Only nine were available for this tournament. This created rotation challenges putting boys into roles they rarely play. The boys accepted the rotation and showed their understanding of team play and the relationship of roles.

Saturday’s Games

The boys lost the first two games. They started slowly in the first game and fell behind 1-2 in the first half. They scored once in the second half while allowing one more. The final score was SAC United Gold 1-3.

It was warmer for the second game with the temperature nearing 45 degrees and the wind dropping a few miles per hour. The boys took time to get playing up to their potential. They fell behind 0-4 at half time. The coach provided encouragement during the break which sparked the boys to a 4-2 second half performance. The final against Tri County 08 Torpedos was 4-6.

Sunday’s Game

Sunday’s game was the consolation game. The temperature was again in the 30’s and winds only gusting to 25 mph. The boys scored first and often. The final score for the game against SAC Select Hammerheads was 7-1.

Coaches, boys, and parents had hoped for a better result. The boys expressed feelings that the extreme cold and wind had affected their play in the first two games during a post tournament meeting. They accepted they could have played better, highlighted by the play in the second half of game two.

The next challenge for the team is a tournament the weekend of March 17th. Wish us luck using the comment form.

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Retirement Party

retirement partyMy wife hosted a retirement party on Saturday to fix my retirement in my mind and those of my friends.

My wife suggested the party a few weeks after I announced my retirement date to my boss and family in early November 2017.

She and my children brainstormed the details. Where and when to have it. Who to invite. Food or not, and other details which I wasn’t privy. Periodically, one of them would ask when I wanted to have the party.

Serious discussions with my wife resulted in the decision to have it at The Lanes on Fort Meade on 24 February. We have been fixtures at The Lanes since we moved to Fort Meade in 1985. She worked there as a night shift manager, and, for a time, as an administrative assistant. Both of us have been league secretaries of mixed and men’s leagues for almost twenty years. Though not the only location considered, it became our choice.

I left the details to my wife. She made the arrangements. She reserved the venue, ordered food and refreshments, and issued invitations. Her coup de grâce was baking and decorating two cakes for the retirement party.

The party is a memory now. One that will not be soon forgotten. My wife and a core group of family and friends ensured the party’s success. The food was great and there was entertainment at my expense.

I received a floppy hat called “Retirement Survival Hat” from my wife. From friends, one couple gave me a tee shirt which I wore the entire party.

Another couple brought guffaws from the crowd with gifts including several dollar store gifts-a hand clapper for when my hands hurt too much to applaud, a coloring book and large crayons for periods of boredom, a Yo-Yo when things go up and down, artic cool pain relieving gel (guess what that was for), and more gag gifts.

retirement party

I am thankful to my wife, family, and friends for taking the time to celebrate my retirement with me. Thank you to everyone who made the day special.

Would you want a retirement party when you retire? Tell me your thoughts using the comments form.

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A Writing Milestone

writing milestone

courtesy of writinggooder.com

Every week is becoming a writing milestone week in my writing career. Those who are unaware, I began my first novel less than three years ago. Since then, I completed two drafts with the first over 100k words. The second written during NaNoWriMo and is 50k. The novels need editing or revision to bring them to publication.

Aside from the novel drafts, I wrote a microstory published here and a short short story submitted to a contest.

The milestone this week was completing a first edit of the shorter draft novel.

What did editing show me about my writing?

There are multiple areas for improvement as noted here.

I am a wordy writer. I enjoy using adjectives and adverbs at every opportunity. Concise sentences reduce the word count and require disciplined writing. Additionally, more scenes needed to get the word count to an acceptable level for the genre.

I have a particular love for the word that. I use it at every opportunity. How often is that? Approximately 300 times in the 50,200+ word draft.

I enjoy passive verbs. Given the choice of active versus passive verbs, I chose passive more often.

Vague or abstract words replace precise or distinct descriptors. This enables the reader to insert himself/herself into the novel visualizing whatever comes to their mind. Should I hinder their involvement?

The Point of View (POV) character is rarely named after the first sentence of a passage. The multiple uses of he, she, him, and her in the same and connecting sentences offer the user the challenge to figure out who is taking action in the passage. Don’t readers appreciate the opportunity?

Courtesy of Buzzfeed.com

Should I continue to edit or revise?

Most certainly others are required! Consideration for the reader in mind, another editing pass is mandatory. I suspect the second may turn into five, ten, or maybe twenty revisions.

Is my experience different from yours when writing a novel? Let me hear from you using the attached form.

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My First Microstory

mcrostory

rawpixel / Pixabay

I finished a microstory today. It is my first and proved to be a greater challenge than the short-short story I recently blogged.

 

What is microstory? YourDictionary defines it as  “an extremely short story.” Mythcreants defines it this way. “The traditional definition is a story that is 300 words or fewer, making it a subset of flash fiction.”

The article focused on a tighter definition: 100 words. Microfiction Monday Magazine only publishes stories of 100 words or less. I considered other sources and decided to attempt a story 100 words or less.

I am by nature a wordy writer. I envisioned a story and wrote it. The result was over 200 words describing an event that occurred in 30 seconds or so. After several revisions and word substitutions, it was less than 100 words long.

My granddaughter played soccer last fall for Pipeline Soccer Club. One game ended in a tie and a shootout held. This became the topic of this untitled short story.

3dman_eu / Pixabay

Elizabeth watched the soccer ball fly past her team’s goalkeeper into the net.

Her team was down one goal in the championship game shootout. Bugs danced in Elizabeth’s stomach at the thought she must score, or else her team loses.

Elizabeth raced to the penalty kick area and watched the referee place the soccer ball.  She silenced the bugs by focusing on making a hard strike on the ball. She must score. The sound of the whistle startled her. Three steps and ….

The bugs died with the roar of the crowd. Score, tied!

I enjoyed the time spent on it and found it an interesting diversion from editing my draft novels.

I encourage you to tell me your thoughts on microstories, mine, and flash fiction. Use the comment form.

 

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Sleeping in, Not!

geralt / Pixabay

Week One

The first week of retirement was interesting and not what I expected. My friends told me I could sleep-in mornings once retired. Little likely I learned.

My wife is the secretary to a Monday morning bowling league. Often, she asked me to take a day off and go with her. Retired, I had no excuse. Early rise to find me at The Lanes on Fort George G. Meade. No sleep in on Monday!

The benefit of Insurance

Although I stopped going to the office and getting paid on 26 January, my insurances continued through 31 January. The wife informed me she had a dental appointment on Tuesday morning. She suggested it was an opportunity to let our dentist know our insurance profile was changing. So, early rise to suffer traffic on the 695 Baltimore beltway at near rush hour.

The receptionist made the adjustments while my wife met her appointment. Fate intervened to ensure an appointment perfect for me to get a cleaning while still insured.

How fate loves me! If there is anything wrong in my mouth, it will raise its head during a cleaning. The beast reared as a filling sought a replacement. As I was checking out, the appointment receptionist pointed out an opening on Wednesday perfect for me. More work done while still insured. How could I refuse? A 9:00 a.m. appointment, of course.

Weekday three found me again in the Baltimore near-rush hour traffic at an early hour. Would I ever be allowed to sleep in?

Sleeping In?

creozavr / Pixabay

Thursday showed up on time. I passed the early hours in dreamland. 6:10 a.m., 30 minutes later than the 5:40 I woke when working. Finally, sleeping in! After feeding the dogs who are accustomed to eating at 6:00 a.m., I crawled back under the blankets for a short nap. Retirement is great.

We went bowling Friday night. Several people queried how I enjoy being retired. My stock answer was, “It has been like a vacation. I expect in a couple of weeks I will feel more like retired.” I have taken vacations longer than a week which had days as busy as this week.

My view of retirement is days in the row devoted to writing, reading, listening to music, or watching movies without feeling guilt. Those days are not far off, I hope!

Have you had weeks as busy as this one? Are your vacations just workdays away from the office? If retired, are you enjoying it? Tell me in comments.

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Retirement, a New Beginning

skeeze / Pixabay

Standing in front of the Military Induction Center in Chicago, Illinois at 6:30 am, I had no thought I would retire on 26 January 2018 after 51 years, one month and 28 days. The years either in the US Navy or contracting to Navy affiliated organizations. So ends a phase of my life and the start to another.

I retired all of two days ago, yet I received questions for a week about my plans and feelings about retiring. “Will I miss working?” “How will you keep busy?” “What are your plans for retirement?” “What does your wife think of you retiring?”

Will I miss working? No, I will miss the people but not the stress of the office. The task I was fulfilling has moved from the design, through the development, and into final implementation. I am happy to leave the fine-tuning and adding new capabilities to the incoming staff.

Retirement Rving

MemoryCatcher / Pixabay

My plans center on family and enjoying life. My two children and seven grandchildren live next door or within a short distance. Other family, my wife’s, and mine are within a few days RV travel. Funds permitting, we will see them. Besides travel, there is a myriad of honey-dos to keep me busy for some time. Oh, almost forgot my woodworking tools are feeling lonely and would appreciate the attention. There is plenty to keep me busy.

Two days into retirement and I haven’t tired of it yet. I suspect I never will. Are you retired? Are you glad? If not retired, are you looking forward to it or dreading the day when you do? Tell me in comments.

Posted in Fall of my life, RVing, Winter of my life | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Five Days to Retirement

ThePixelman / Pixabay

The flight from Las Vegas to Baltimore was smooth and on-time. It was the last flight before retirement and the culmination of an enjoyable week. Enjoyable not because I bowled well, but how does one not enjoy Las Vegas? My performance on the lanes disappointed me. My scores were the lowest in several years at this tournament. One of my teammates reminded me there is always next year.

Away from the lanes, the casino offered gambling and food. Gambling is not my cup-of-tea, but I do like food. At the breakfast buffet, I settled for a meat lover’s delight of an omelet. The evening buffet spotlighted prime rib. My wife and I had prime rib often enough we passed on it when we were out last night with friends. There were other options such as Mongolian, Italian, Mexican, and seafood. So much for eating.

vineszoocontact / Pixabay

My gambling this year was a few hours feeding the slot machines. When the week ended, I declared victory. I had money I left with a few dollars more having beaten “Lost Wages” (Las Vegas.)

The reason for the trip was to bowl in the Military Championship. I did not burn up the lanes this year. I could blame the conditions, but it was my sub-par performance. Excuses, none.

When not bowling, playing the slots, or eating, I was editing my novel or reading a favorite author. My work-in-progress is coming along slowly but surely. Of the aspects of the writing craft, the one I appreciate is how challenging it is to edit something I wrote.

The author is Joel Shepherd. The current read is the third in his The Spiral Wars series. Aside from the storyline, I am impressed with the descriptions of the starship, locations, and alien races. Space fantasy is not my preferred genre, but I enjoy this series.

retirement

geralt / Pixabay

I reach another life milestone the end of this week. 26 January 2017, I retire once more. It is the culmination of 51 years service in Navy and to the Navy. Time to stop.

If you have been to Las Vegas, tell me if you left richer than you arrived. Discounting for the cost of room and board, I did.

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Viva Las Vegas

The flight was one of the more interesting ones I have flown in years. We settled in exit row seats to prepare for the five-hour flight. A few moments later, a man in the row behind us called, “April.” She was in the row ahead of us. He inquired if she was ready for her first plane ride.

He was part of a large group making the trip. Others suggested she relax, and not worry about crashing. They related undesirable events that might happen to the flight. None of them seemed to upset April.

-gerry- / Pixabay

April expressed her only concern during the landing phase. As we descended, she noticed water drops coming from around the window. She said the window was leaking. Her seatmate told her not to be concerned. After we landed, the attendant called out April’s first flight, and everyone cheered her.

Gold Coast Casino

Now, we are here and enjoying the life of a transient in a Las Vegas casino. It is not like you see on television or the movies, at least not where we are staying. This casino is rows upon rows of money-taking slot machines and table games. Many have someone before them hoping to win a small fortune. Some dobut most are lucky to break even.

I am here to compete in the tournament. The side benefit is chatting with people I haven’t seen in a year. Among these are the four friends on my team. Each is from a different state. It was nice to catch up with them. I enjoyed “bragging” I am retiring this month.

Military Championship Bowling Tournament

laterjay / Pixabay

The tournament starts tomorrow. I hope to bowl well and win. The caliber of competitors makes it unlikely I will win an event. However, bowling well means scoring as well as I do at home. Winning is succeeding at bowling well.

Time to enjoy some fun offered at the Gold Coast. Wish me well on the lanes and at the slots. Breaking even on them is another way of winning, though that is less likely than winning on the lanes.

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Learning from a short-short story

short story

Free-Photos / Pixabay

Several months ago, I found a short-short story contest. The story had to be 1500 words or fewer. Entering  it was an opportunity to take a break from editing my two first drafts and write something new.

What to write?

I have confessed in an earlier post my jealousy for writers with great imagination. Suffering from the shortage, I was on the verge of skipping this contest.

Frustrated I lacked a topic; I went back to editing one of the first drafts. When I cut, if the amount exceeds a paragraph, I add the material to the end of the draft. It was here I found the idea for my short-short story.

How difficult could it be?

Owning an idea, time to turn it into a story. As with my novel drafts, I didn’t create a detailed outline. I wrote the first draft from introducing the cast to finale unconcerned for word count. The result was a 5000-word draft, exceeding the word count allowed by the contest.

Lessons learned

Editing the story to send to the contest was a trip as my grandson would say.

The first cut was to remove extraneous location description. I started the story with the protagonist entering the town. Instead, I placed her near her destination which eliminated hundreds of words.

Next, I revised the destinations description to add character to the building. In doing so, I could show elements of the antagonist’s personality. This saved more words later.

Reordering events eliminated more words and tightened the story.

Rewriting the conversation between the three cast members increased the conflict while losing words.

Now the word count was under 1500.

Beta Readers

Three friends read the story and each provided thoughts for improvement. Some of their comments made it into the submission; others didn’t.

The wait

Khamkhor / Pixabay

The story is with the judges. Is it good enough to win, likely not? But I would be ecstatic to place.

I am considering posting the story once the contest is over. Would like to read it? Let me know.

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Happy New Year

Maialisa / Pixabay

Happy New Year to you and yours. As the ball drops in New York City on 2017 and Baby New Year brings in 2018, my wife and I will be watching on television or sleeping through it. We will soon know which.

The Year 2017

2017 was an interesting year. I started the year with the goal of having a novel to beta readers. I missed because I underestimated the effort required to edit one to that point. Though I did send off a short-short story to a competition.

Retirement

I started the year planning ending it retired with 31 December as the last day working a full-time job. I didn’t keep it either. Now the day is 26 January. They hired a replacement ensuring I can leave without regrets.

geralt / Pixabay

Everyone who learns I am retiring either asks the same question or makes the same suggestion. The question asked is, “What will I do now?” The suggestion is, “I need to keep busy.” To the question, I reply I have plenty to do. I will continue my current activities and use some of the newly available hours to complete some house tasks, travel, and write. I answer the suggestion with the list of all I plan to do after I retire. Not forgotten is downtime. Relaxing!

The year 2018

I called my site, “Fall of My Life” because I think of the past few years as just that – fall of my life. Having passed 70, it is time to move on to the “Winter of my Life.” Sometime next year, I will revamp the website to reflect the image of one celebrating the white-haired days of his life. (Actually, the white hair has been around for more years than I admit.)

Happy New Year! I wish you the best in the coming year, be safe, and healthy. Thank you for your support this year and hope to see you visit in the next. I most look forward to your comments.

 

 

 

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