Shifting Paradigms

Approaching Life, Five Subjects At A Time


November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve spent the last week or so preparing for the onslaught of cooking that is done in preparation for a single meal, on one of 3 holidays where my family gets together and has a full-out multi-course meal.  My mom’s mashed potatoes are made with precision that we know she would give her approval for, as well as some new ways of preparing things.  Cranberry sauce is done in the normal fashion, but this year we are doing a different preparation of rolls, as well as new (to everyone else) recipe for preparing cabbage…well…Brussel Sprouts.  Pumpkin pies have been made, the turkey is brining and will hit the oven around 10am so that we can make it over by about 3pm, with supper to be served around 5pm, perhaps a little early.

Like all other times when we spend an inordinate amount of time on things, we are giving ourselves a forced vacation away so people can’t harass us.  It always winds up better than we expect, simply because we get to sleep in and don’t have anything to clean up or whatever.  Other people cook for us, and we might even catch a hockey game or two, in person.  I’ll give you all the details when we get back.

As far as my writing is going, I’ve been working on getting everything sorted and put together, so I can finish up “Sand People” in the next little bit and get that sent off.  I am expecting to actually get some scene work done, while we’re away.  And then when we get back, I’m going to start spending some concentrated time on getting.  I started partitioning my time a bit better, starting this week, by doing a bit of a social experiment on myself with social media.  I used to have Facebook pop up automatically when I opened my Chrome browser, and I noticed that I would invariably keep going back and checking to see if anyone was doing anything cool or funny, all the while realizing that I wasn’t doing anything cool or fun.  So I decided to take it off the auto-load and only open it once or twice a day and just run through things and then close it again.  It’s amazing how much of a time suck that can be and I didn’t really notice it.  But, thankfully, I am pushing that a little more towards the utilitarian application that it is supposed to be, and a lot less about wanting to know what everyone is doing at all times of the day.  Time to start having more things for me to talk about by having accomplished the things I want to get done.  So far so good.

So I will get this published up and up on the blog, so you can enjoy it or comment on it.

I wish you all a great Thanksgiving and I will see all of you soon!!


Update for “Sand People”

I went to start on some writing, today, expecting that I was going to be working on developing more with “Nowhere”, but instead I decided to see what I could do with “Sand People” in an attempt to get that out of my hands and to the editor.  I ended up changing the flavor of two of the characters.  I didn’t like where it was going, and so in my revisions (later) I will have to make that work.  It’s really not a huge issue to deal with. I just need to make sure I keep track of it in my notes.

Which reminds me, that I need to make a “Notes” document for “Sand People” so that I can have it ready to go off to the editor with the first draft.

The image in the header is a working “thematic” image for the town of Naejen, a bordertown that is on the edge of the desert/mountain area in the Kingdom of Southwald.  I needed something to reflect some of the intricacies of the “world” that the characters are living in.  As things evolve and solidify, I hope to share more of these images that I am using to help shape the story and its setting.

See you soon!!!!!

Lying on the Foam Roller of Life….and Other Tales

In the picture above is one of the new things I get to do probably for the foreseeable future.

Because I work primarily from a desk sitting position and due to the condition of my military neck, I get to realign my neck and spinal column for 10-15 minutes a day.  But it could be worse, so I diligently get on the floor twice a day so that I can enjoy the comforts of a good night’s sleep which has avoided my grasp for several years prior.

The funny part is that I thought for the longest time that I had a recurring sinus problem.  But with the flexeril and the foam roller, I have had better ability to breathe as well as no pain in the sinuses.  Hard to imagine that the pain from my neck was reaching over the top of my head and pulling up on the muscles in my cheeks.

One of the other thins that I am doing is raising the height of my monitors up a good 6-8 inches, so that I can sit up a little better and not have a massive kink in my neck, while still being able to look at a monitor comfortably.  Just one of the little things that I do to alleviate any extra pain.

As for my writing, I am continuing to work on the overall Story Arc, as well as the Character Arcs for at least 5 of the more important characters.  So I feel pretty good about it, so far.  I’m trying to get the overall themes and treatments down for the story, so that I can zero in on how the story will transpire.  I want it to be computer-heavy without being cyberpunk.  I’m also trying to make it my homage to Frank Herbert’s Dune series.  Less about the rise of a new emperor and more about the philosophical overtones of the series.  Essentially, the search for “Freedom” in a land of tyranny, but in an alternate timeline of our history.  There’s a fair bit of making sure that my ideas work with the alternate timeline, as well as not breaking the suspension of disbelief for the reader.  I want it to work in the best way I can make it and see where it goes from there.  Once I have the themes, conflicts, and treatments all parsed out, I want to finish up my “Sand People” story and get it out for edits.  I know it’s going to suck, but that’s the point of the editor…to make it hopefully not suck.  That’s why they get paid the big bucks…hehe.  Sorry MJ.

My goals in life are fairly straightforward.  Keep on writing, hope my golf game gets better as I go, and never stop wanting to learn new things and get better at the things that aren’t as new.

That’s pretty much it for now.  I hope to eventually have some of my writing on here so you all can read it and let me know what you liked or disliked about it.  I might put up some of my thematic pieces for various stories.  Freewriting jaunts that help me to understand where I want to take the story or a certain character, going forward.

See you soon!!

Coming Up For Air!

I am really happy to report that I spent meaningful time in developing and writing, this past week.  The medication and exercises, have been helping me to sleep better.  Now my body is starting to recognize the sheer lack of sleep I have been dealing with for the past three years and so there are days where I will sleep 11 or 12 hours and still be pretty tired and ready for bed 10 hours later.  My body will eventually adjust and I will continue to gain energy and mental acuity and strength.  Which is awesome.  I have definitely felt better, mentally, than I have for awhile.  Now I just need to continue working every day to get some kind of word count and continue to develop the “Nowhere” story.  I have some solid characters for it and even switched the protagonist after realizing that the original protagonist was better served being a part of the story, rather than the main focus of the story.  It just makes the story stronger with having even more fully developed characters and the first few scenes will probably be used, but rewritten from a different point of view so that there isn’t any confusion by the reader as to who the main character is.

My reward, this week, for my efforts, was to be able to watch Blizzcon from the comfort of my own home.  I have been a gamer since I was introduced to computers almost 40 years ago.  From the early days of Cave Adventure and Crush Crumble Chomp to the current MMO’s and FPS games, and everything in between, I have always had an affinity for gaming.  In fact, my wife and I met through an online gaming guild.  So it is something we both enjoy in our own unique ways.  I actually help lead a 10-ish man raid once a week in World of Warcraft, so that is always an enjoyable thing to work on every week.  We obviously aren’t Mythic raiders, but considering we got such a late start on raiding with this particular group, I am very happy with our 10/13 progress. It’s a nice group of folks and I have made friends with a few of the people I raid with.

My wife and I are pretty excited for the newest expansion for WOW, Legion.  We watched both days almost from start to finish on our TV being Chromecast from my computer, and she was particularly happy with the closing concert with Linkin Park, as it is one of her all-time favorite groups.  She even said if she could get her health better, that she would love to go to Blizzcon, next year.  We’ll have to see when it is and if it conflicts with the Writing Excuses Cruise that we are already committed to, for next year.  It would be awesome if we could go to both, but we shall see.

Okie dokie, that is where things are at, for now. I’m hoping to post about once or twice a week, schedule permitting, to let you all know the status of my writing and anything exciting going on around here.

See you later!!!

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