A Disciplined First Draft

Like many writers, I am my own harshest critic. Because of this, my novel’s first draft has been a slow, arduous process and I’m only roughly one-third of the way through.

Since my last writing post, I have pushed my word count over 34,000, but I still get stuck analyzing every word, revisiting, revising, and not just letting the words flow. I am reading several books on writing at the moment and they all share the same message that with first drafts, you should just keep writing and not interrupt the creative process by self-editing and laboring over every single word. Unfortunately, it goes against my inner-critic nature to approach writing this way.
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Parents: The Ultimate Multitaskers

If universities ever wanted to teach their students how to multitask or if corporations ever wanted to train their employees in effective time management skills, all they would have to do is offer hands-on work studies or off-site training seminars in parenting. Looking just at this past week, my job functions included being chauffeur, short-order cook, soccer coach, artist, woodworker, housekeeper, teacher, accountant, nutrition specialist, etc., etc.

I’m not saying this to pat myself on the back, but to collectively pat the back of all active parents. Sometimes I wonder how parents have managed this since the dawn of mankind. I will admit, however, that much of my free time lately has been spent planning a mostly kid-free vacation.

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How to Approach Writing a First Fiction Novel

In my first blog post, I referenced that writing is a passion of mine, both as a hobby and as a profession. Simply having an active blog is a testament to that, but my interest goes far beyond blogging about my adventures as a stay-at-home dad. I have also spent most of my professional life as a technical writer and communicator.

So, welcome to a new section of my blog dedicated to the writing craft. My personal focus currently lies in fiction writing, but I will not limit my discussion to fiction alone. I’m interested in talking with you about all types of writing styles and any topics involved with the craft: fiction/nonfiction, novels, short stories, and publishing to name a few. If you have a topic you want to talk about, please let me know!

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This is How I Do Friday Nights

It was another rockin’ Friday night in the active dad household. Cameron got the hook-up with Ninjago Lego sets for Christmas, so I promised him that we would start knocking them out this weekend.

It quickly turned into a family affair, which basically meant I was building all the individual sets (Samurai X, the Temple of Light, and the Golden Ninja) while I had four kids climbing on top of me and each other, wanting to “help.” The process would not have been so painful, had Cam decided not to open all the boxes and dump all of the thousands of individual lego pieces into one big pile, which I then had to re-sort in an effort to keep my rapidly slipping sanity.

 legos

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“Clare!” It’s More than a Name, It’s a Battle Cry

I’m back after an extended winter break at home with all four kids. I’m sure many of you also experienced the arctic cold weather that swept across the US. Honestly, in my 34+ years, I cannot remember it ever being as cold as it was this past Monday: -30 wind chills. I still cringe just thinking about it.

The weather also caused two consecutive days of school closings after the kids had already been off for two weeks. On top of that, since it was so cold, the kids and I were trapped inside the house for the most part. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that I spent the majority of those two extra days planning a kid-free vacation for myself this summer. Continue reading

Why Does the Turkey Taste Better After Being Dropped on the Floor?

The post title asks the question I have now asked Clare (age 1) several times this past week. Of course, she is being stubborn and refusing to answer. So, maybe you can help me. Does anyone know why sliced turkey (and many other staple meal items) are seemingly inedible when on the high chair tray, but suddenly become delicious after they have been thrown onto the kitchen floor? Continue reading

AA Batteries: the Next Big Thing

I am going to start with a brief update regarding my knee, but then quickly move onto more entertaining news (i.e. stories about my kids). I know that the last post was a little bit of a whine-fest, and I’ve done plenty more whining about it offline (just ask the wife), so no need to repeat here. To the point, I have a bucket-handle tear of my right medial meniscus (cartilage in the knee). It requires surgery to remove the torn region as that part of the meniscus cannot typically be repaired due to a lack of blood flow. Continue reading

Active Dad at Home: the MRI Edition

So, as I sit here at the orthopedic and sports medicine doctor’s office awaiting an MRI on my knee, let me give all of you parents a friendly piece of advice. Never, ever play with your kids and their toys as it can be extremely detrimental to your health.

Wait, what? Don’t be too quick to disregard this pearl of wisdom. I know that at first glance, it might seem counter-intuitive or even bizarre, but let me assure you that it is not. Continue reading