Friday, November 16, 2018

Lessons learned from Clingmans Dome / Happenings In The Outhouse 16-Nov-2018

In early June 2017, my in-laws took my family on a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee.  We stayed at the Grand Timber Lodge near Pigeon Forge, and if you click on this link you get a snapshot of the gorgeous scenery.

While we were there, we visited Clingmans Dome, which is the highest point in the Smoky Mountains.  From the parking lot, there is a 0.5 mile hike up to the dome.  Now, you would think that walking a half-mile could be so grueling.  Periodically, there are benches along the semi-steep path, which I utilized every chance I could.

But I made it. All 800 meters (or 0.5 miles).

Reflecting on the grueling hike up now, I also think about my writing career.  While hiking, there were people who passed me, people who quit, and plenty who didn't take the journey at all.  There were also others who passed me and then quit--why, I have no idea.

Where are you on the journey?  For myself, no matter where I am, I will still continue to climb, one step at a time.

(For more information on Clingmans Dome, here is the link to the Wikipedia page).

Friday, November 9, 2018

400,000+ / Happenings In The Outhouse 09-Nov-2018

The number is estimated to be between 200,000 to 400,000, and depending on what reports you read that number could be well over 400,000.

Why such a high number?  For budgetary reasons.  It's honorable that some of the world's wealthiest have banded together to fight such diseases such as malaria and AIDS.  Even fighting the evils of cancer and diabetes brings the battle closer to home.

But what is this number I'm talking about?

Untested rape and DNA kits.  The evidence linking victims with the perpetrators.

Imagine for a moment, you're the victim of a violent sexual assault.  Or your daughter, son, sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, father, brother, uncle are the victim of a brutal murder or rape.  Horrible to imagine, right?  Imagine for a moment that this vicious act took place years ago, decades ago, and the evidence of the crime is sitting, untested, in an evidence locker, waiting to be chosen.

In a simple rudimentary search, the cost of testing these kits range from as little as $600 to $2000.  That's a rough number of $240 million to $800 million just to clear the books.

How many crimes could be solved, and how many future crimes could be prevented, by having these kits tested and the perpetrators sent away?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Power of brainstorming / Happenings In The Outhouse 02-Nov-2018


I've covered the topic of brainstorming before on this blog.

But I came to a realization this week, about something I've been struggling with for much of this summer.  As you know, I've started writing the second romance book (under a pen name) and then put it aside to write a completely new story.  Even though the new story is going well with over 8,000 words, I've been hitting roadblocks on where the story is going.  I sat back one day to reflect on my writing career up to this point, not once experiencing what I have been now.

Oh, sure, I've hit a rough patch or two in my writing life, but the stories I want to write just don't seem to want to be written.  Reflecting on my past, I knew what I had done before that I somehow quit doing.

Brainstorming.

Not quite outlining, but some may see it as such.  I went to work one day, armed with a notebook, and wrote out a few pages of thoughts.

If you ever find yourself in a rut, reflect on what may be the issue.  Brainstorm your thoughts.  You may be surprised what may happen.