Friday, March 31, 2023

Conundrum / Happenings In The Outhouse 31-March-2023


Most don't use this word, nor do they even know what it means.  It can be defined as a problem that has no clear solution.

Over the past several months, I have been writing a middle grade novel set in the 1980's.  I am currently around 73,000 words and--here's the conundrum--I have no idea as to how much longer it's going to be.  My original due date to finish it was the first of the year.  If you check your calendar, that's long past.  Then, I put April 1st as a due date.  Yup, you guessed it.  Still not done.

I do feel like it is winding down, but I don't know if I have 10,000 or 20,000 more words to put into it.  It's getting to be one long book, especially for a middle grade novel.

For now, I put May 1st as a due date.  I'm crossing my fingers that it will be done by then.  At that time, I will share more details on it.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Planning For The Future / Happenings In The Outhouse 24-March-2023

Ironically, today is my late wife's birthday.  She would've been 51.

It is selfish not to plan for the future, not to plan for your eventual demise.  It warms my heart to think about the words I'm publishing today producing fruit for my children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren and beyond for others to enjoy.

Do not put this off until tomorrow.  Do it today.

And do not--and I stress do not--instruct others to throw away your writing.  I can't think of a more idiotic way of disposing of your hard work.

If you don't know, there is a world of knowledge right at your fingertips.  Use Dean's post as a starting point.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Outside The Comfort Zone / Happenings In The Outhouse 17-March-2023

The best way to grow as a person is to do things outside of your comfort zone.

Now, this may seem easy for one to say, but not so easy to action.  Unless you make it a habit.  Make a habit of going outside your comfort zone.  My girlfriend and I go on frequent date nights--at least once a week, if possible.  When we go to a restaurant, I look for something I haven't had before.  One of our favorite restaurants in a nearby town I have had most items on the menu.  We have also gone to a variety of concerts, from heavy metal to country western.  Now, honestly, country isn't my thing, but I do love music in general.  And those country artists I have seen have certainly put on a great show.

Last week, we went to see the 80's heavy metal band Skid Row.  They have a new lead singer, Erik Gronwall, who was absolutely amazing!  I vividly recall the first time I listened to Skid Row with their former singer Sebastian Bach.  I didn't think the new guy would hold up to Bach.  Boy, was I wrong!

Even my current work-in-progress is outside of my comfort zone.  It is a middle grade novel and there are times I want to add something but given the potential audience I write it a little differently.  I'm not writing down to the audience--that's a huge no-no in my book, no pun intended.

I am also on the church council of the church I attend.  This is my second year and this year I am on a committee that is allowing me to stretch as a Christian.  At work, I am intentionally doing things that are outside of my comfort zone to stretch my mental muscles.

Find areas that give you pause and go forth with gusto!  If you've never gone grocery shopping, do it.  If you've never flown on an airplane, do it.  If you've always wanted to write a book, what's stopping you?  In the words of Nike . . . just do it!

Friday, March 10, 2023

Handling Negativity / Happenings In The Outhouse 10-March-2023

I read a blog post the other day and came across this saying:

How true this is, for some people to always come up with problems to potential solutions.

I run into this daily at my day job, when there are possible solutions and all the feedback one can give them is negative in nature.

What are your first thoughts when a solution is presented to you?  In what light do you see it?  Do you see the possibilities or all the ways it can fail?

Friday, March 3, 2023

Stupid Questions and Brain Farts / Happenings In The Outhouse 03-March-2023

"Can I ask you a stupid question?"

For me, the stupidest question is the one that's never asked.  I've held this notion for as far back as I can remember.  I've had numerous people come up to me, asking if they could ask a stupid question.  I always respond back in kind, repeating my mantra of what the stupidest question is.

99 times out of 100, the question is actually quite profound and I tell them so.  The look of shock makes me chuckle.

But what about the 1 time?  The 1 time out of 100 when the question is, what one would consider, stupid?  I keep that to myself.  I never tell them that the question could be considered stupid.  It could just be a brain fart--when you know the answer, but can't quite remember.  And just because I may feel it is stupid doesn't mean it is.  Ask it anyway.

Be brave to ask questions.  I maybe don't do it enough myself.  My method of learning is to sit back and let the knowledge soak into me like a water into a sponge.

So go ahead and ask your questions.

Just because you may think they're stupid doesn't mean someone else isn't wondering the same and is afraid to ask.

Friday, February 24, 2023

I Think I Can / Happenings In The Outhouse

I can't say I'm on the home stretch for my current work-in-progress, but I am certainly edging closer and closer.

I am over 64,000 words and I still have a lot more to write.  Or do I?

Last weekend, the love of my life and myself went to the Blake Shelton concert in the Twin Cities.  Man, he can put on a great show!  We had very decent seats too.

Well, back to work . . .

Friday, February 17, 2023

Surpassing The 60K Mark / Happenings In The Outhouse 17-Feb-2023

A quick update today on my current work-in-progress.

Earlier this week, I surpassed the 60,000 word mark and I am just plugging on ahead.  I have a goal to finish by April 1st, if not before.

Then, I am thinking about what to do next.  It'll be something different.

Stay tuned . . .