My blog of half-important thoughts and consistent communication practice.
There was never much hope. Just a fool's hope.
I'm not going to lie to you I don't have a plan for this blog, but a purpose does seem to be slowly emerging. I'll give my thoughts on this and that: maybe politics, a little religion, and talk about cultural touchstones that are important to me. Overall though I am going to be as personal as I feel comfortable sharing with the internet. This is going to result in some raw ideas coming up that may need to be cooked for longer, but I am not trying to write a perfect tome at the moment.
Okay, listen up. Umm...You're a bunch of dirty misfits. But you're all that's left, so you'll have to do.
Writing is my passion and working on this blog has become a therapeutic source to me. I owe a lot to everyone who has read this blog; I don't know what interest first brought you here, however, I thank you for the time.
Do or do not. There is no try.
|A Uneventful day
Aside from the usual day-to-day duties, nothing out of the ordinary to report. I didn't have much in terms of conversation today, either. I couldn't be more disappointed with how today turned out. And now I am remarkably uninspired and unmotivated. Which is additionally horrible since I have been chosen to decide where the company Christmas party will be on Friday. It is hard to think about a future dinner when full, and now I have no spark of imagination on top of that.
I am going to put on a pot of coffee to see if that helps anything.
Let Me Ramble
With a little coffee in hand, I am going to talk as if you care.
That yellow suitcase beside my pen name caused me a lot of grief as much as it excited me when I first got it. I was struck with a severe case of imposter syndrome at the time, and that coincided with the arrival of lockdowns and the mass destruction of my social supports. Nearly two years after the fact, I have finally come to accept that yellow case. Part of my acceptance was realizing that I was already holding myself to the standard I expected of a preferred author, even if my full portfolio wasn't at the level I thought it had to be at. So now I have started ending my blog posts and reviews with the extra flair of
This was a long time coming, and I wish I hadn't let it get to me as much as it did. Yet I am fine with it now, and that is all I could want right now; everything else will follow as time goes on.
|A Surprise To Be Sure
So I know The Bard's Hall Contest wasn't in the earlier list of contests I had made for this month, but in my defense this is a contest that I passively look at as I desperately try my hand at poetry. All that to say, I have written for and entered this month's round of contenders. The poem is titled Star of the Night; written as a acrostic poem using the prompt of silver bells. You can imagine my embarrassment when after posting I read that one of the first entries already used the same prompt. Now, my lack of meter and desperate attempt to ryhme is in direct competition with a more confident poet.
I did take time to read through all of the competition, but I think it would be a conflict of interest to review. Especially, since I barely know what I am doing with poetry myself. I will forever bemon the fact that poetry was so neglected in my education. From my novice point of view I think I have aquited myself well, however, I don't think I will place in this contest. In the last poetry contest I entered I think I was against one other person, so the judging could have been done by a coin flip for all I know.
Still I think this may be the best poem I have written yet, and I think there is a marked improvement over my last poem.
The Bard's Hall Contest and Star of the Night are linked below.
The Silent Years of Christ
In a review I received on my poem, it was rhetorically said why there is no record of Jesus as a teenager (and I would also add there is also no record in His twenties either). I thought it would be interesting to address it in a little more detail than I thought was appropriate for an off-the-cuff remark.
I have always thought we have so little of His life because He lived a quiet life where His work and wisdom only impacted the small community around Him. During this time, He was working as a carpenter and not teaching as a rabbi, and He didn't perform any miracles either because the miracles were signs to bring people to belief. After all, Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "My hour has not yet come." Before His public ministry began, and when His first miracle was turning water into wine, the result was His disciples believed in Him. And it is essential to note that at the time He had done this, His disciples had just started following Him after John the baptist said He was the Messiah; His ministry hadn't yet started, but this made the first disciples believe what they had been told. Every other miracle Jesus performed was done to prove His divinity and claim as the Son of God.
Jesus' birth and the situations around it are likewise important to the reader of the gospels as evidence of His divine origins.
The one account of His childhood at the age of twelve is noted as a display of His wisdom, character, and desire to "be about His Father's business" even at an early age. It was probably the most amazing story in His mother's mind from His childhood, which is why almost two decades were skipped over until He was baptized at thirty.
For the Regulars at the Dreamweaver
In case you some how missed the latest announcement at "The Dreamweaver Lounge" and saw this post first, I shall distribute the news here.The Anothology Project is back after a long absence and I hope as many members that are active with join in. More information can be found here for any members that need a quick link to get started: "The Anthology Project - Reborn (December 2022)"
|It Has Been a Monday
I, unfortunately, have a bad headache today, so we will see what I can write while soldiering through it. I am self-medicating with coffee, so we will also see if that is a decision I regret. Otherwise, this has been a Monday. Not much to say about it; just disappointed by the lack of inspiration for today. This may be one of those posts where I simply bemoan the fact I don't have anything better to write, yet it can't be helped when doing a B.E.D.D. Thus is the slump I was talking about in yesterday's post.
I think I will have to leave it there for today. It is just hard to think and stay focused right now.
|It Finally Happened
A half-decade ago, I self-published a couple of children's picture books. At the time, I had put both through a few drafts and got multiple eyes on them; by the end of the process, I was happy with each book and paid the piper to get them in print. Something I was resigned to was the near guarantee I would not appreciate the effort of my past self and the depth of the lessons I had learned on the way. And now it has happened, I was reading both books as part of a pile of books for my little nephews, and the result was expected. I was very happy with the artwork that I had paid for—which is by itself worth the price of admission—and was disappointed with my own writing. My second book actually held up a lot better than I thought it would, minus a word change here and there, but my first book was a little more cringe to read back than I remember. And yet I felt like it was salvageable; there may be a second edition in the future.
This day of B.E.D.D. is a little harder to write as I am coming up to that old wall in my head that says I can't write new interesting things in rapid succession. This is a feeling that is likely to persist for a few days if I remember how this went last time I did a lot of posting. (It took me about an hour before I was able to get started today. Tomorrow will hopefully be better.)
|A Hard Saturday of Work
Today was a busy day of throwing studs up to wall off a basement. Sadly this means I haven't had any time for reading or writing today, but I am keeping my eye on the prize. After a week of painting and finishing work, I will say that it is refreshing to get the blood pumping by hulling lumber.
I hope to get a much better sleep tonight and wake up bright-eyed for the next day.
As mentioned, I have my eye on the prize even if I am not writing as much as I would prefer, and that prize is that if I can manage to make this self-imposed B.E.D.D., then I will commission a merit badge and make this a yearly challenge for everyone to engage with. But first, I need to stick to my goals of one day at a time, one week after another, and one month as a whole.
So far, this has been my best year for blogging, and I hope to close it out strong and begin the next year on the best footing I can. I feel the need to reflect on the time that has already passed, but it is late, and I sincerely need to sleep.
|End of Another Work Week
So, another work week is over, and the first weekend of December is upon us. My brothers and I started this weekend with an evening bonfire in negative-degree weather: nothing could be better for Canadian-born souls. The warm glow of the embers surrounded by the steam swirling up from the melting snow is a visual magic that quenches the soul's thirst for a relaxed evening.
Contests In B.E.D.D.
For this month, I have found three contests that I am interested in writing for. They are month-long contests, and I will provide updates on the progress made for my contest entries. The poetry contest is going to be the one that stretches my abilities the most; any advice for a novice poem writer is much appreciated.
"What a Character! : Official WDC Contest" E: Create a memorable character using the given prompt for huge prizes!
" Magic Words Contest " 13+: A fantasy short story contest. Fantastic Prizes. OPEN December 1 - 31st
"Magic Poetry Contest" 13+: A contest for fantasy poetry. Fantastic prizes. OPEN December 1 - 31st
|Making My B.E.D.D.
This year I have been trying to get better at blogging, and this month I have decided to blog every day: a Blog Every Day in December or BEDD. I am borrowing the idea from a video creator and modifying it for my own needs. I may try to put some writing challenges in here for myself, and if anyone wishes to follow along with me, I would be happy to shout you out.
And December Begins
It is December once again and winter is in full swing. Christmas is around the corner and I am looking forward to having my house decorated again. The local radio station is playing all Christmas music for this month and I love it... minus a few select songs (to be elaborated on further).
I did decide on this BEDD idea a bit late so I will have to keep this short for today and spend more time on BEDD for the rest of the month.
|Merry All Saints Day
Just a quick blog post to say Merry All Saints Day! It has been a good day for me as I reminisce about the past heroes of the Faith. This last Halloween I thought that it didn't make sense to celebrate the eve without celebrating the day for which it is the eve of. If I had made a better plan then I would have more to say, but I will have to save it for next year.
|Happy Canada Day
This may be the day after the fact, but I still wish everyone had a good Canada Day. I love this country and pray for the future of the nation. Looking out my front door and seeing the red and white flag flying this weekend causes my heart to swell with patriotism.
Happy July 4th America
As the days move on, I want to preemptively wish my neighbours a happy Independence Day. I hope you can keep the great project going there.
|Merry Mother's Day
I thought for this week I would push my blog back for a day so I could wish all the mothers a happy mother's day. I didn't forget to write and post yesterday instead of getting locked into a game of Stelllaris. I look forward to seeing my nieces and nephews doing things for my sisters when they are a little older. My own mom was kind enough to give me a reminder the other day so it wasn't as much of a surprise to me as in previous years. And yes, it is always mother's day that is the surprise and father's day. If I ever figure out why I will let you know.
Things Have Turned Green
After starting the month with a little snow, we got some rain and spring is in full swing now. About half of the planting is done with my family and the last planting will be in this week. I am not growing anything except grass this year. I just don't have the time or resources to maintain a vegetable garden right now. Last year, I had a tomato plant because my sister had grown one too many; I haven't heard of any extra plants this year so I just have to maintain the lawn.
W&R Update May 8th
I currently have about ten tabs open for WdC: two contests, three stories, and a couple of portfolios that have caught my eye. Haven't had a review request in about half a month, yet I remain open if anything should come up. I have reopened an old project that with luck should be ready at the end of the month. A short review came in that reminded me that I need to get back to rewriting the back two-thirds of a story I had started writing in college. It's not my best work, but it was immensely fun and I still love the core of what I was doing at the time.
|Houses, Birthdays & Catan
Well, that year rolled by pretty fast. I have officially been in my new house for a year now, which corresponds to my birthday (that really helps keep things simple). I am super grateful and thankful for this tiny house that somehow was being sold as cheap as it was. It's a small house built a hundred years ago when we didn't have to persuade people to live simpler lives. With its age also comes a wide range of fixes and updates that will undoubtedly keep me busy for at least a decade.
Today is also the first birthday party I have hosted for myself apart from my parents. I managed to crowd six people around my little table and play a good game of Catan with my homebrewed rules mixed in. All had a good time, and I was delighted to have the company.
For those wondering: I had homebrewed new rules for Seafarers and mixed it with Fishermen and Rivers. Sailing up the river and sending out fishing fleets was excellent. I think I have done a good enough job modifying the ships in Seafarers to work side-by-side with the ships from Explorers&Pirates. I am confident all the expansions will be harmonized with this latest effort this year.
Happy Belated Easter
Just because of life, I wasn't able to post for the Easter weekend. Since the Orthodox Church is celebrating it this weekend, however, I don't feel too bad in saying Happy Easter to everyone. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Happy St. George's Day
The 23rd of April is also St. George's day. You would probably know St. George for a particular encounter with a dragon. If you know the English flag, then you know St. Geoge's cross as well. Next year, I think I will be wearing red and rescuing a fair lady to celebrate—happy St. George's Day.
|Stress and Forgetfulness
Things have been a little stressful lately: taxes, daylight savings, out-of-town work. It's amusing because last year, at this time, I was stressing about getting all the paperwork done for buying this house I am living in.
Work is starting to ramp up, but I wouldn't mind if I were busier on the tools. I get better ideas when the work is busy during the day, and the house chores are finished on the weekend. Both have not been on the level I would have liked in the last two months. Though I have been promised it will get hectic in a hurry. I hate it when the paperwork of the pencil-pushers gets in the way.
The Crystral Keepers
I am both happy and disappointed to see that The Crystal Keepers is now published: happy that it is available and disappointed I wasn't only to notice until now. I feel confident in recommending this even though I am not done reading it myself. I read and reviewed chapters of it when it was on WdC, and I still stand by those thoughts. I doubt I will read the book version of [insert disappointing franchise here].
As soon as I can, I will get a review done and posted. Fear not, though; I do not believe in spoiling books in reviews. I had to avoid one of the reviews on Amazon because of its length and depth.
So, I unintentally took a week off from both my blogs and can only blame daylight savings for one of them. Last Saturday, my niece and nephew came over for a sleep over as my way of marking having finished unpacking and officially moving into my house. They are both born in the same year (one from my sister and the other from my sister-in-law) and play very well with each other. Together they ran me ragged before I had even had my first cup of coffee: played for half an hour in the basement, ate breakfast, then we went to the playground and ran around for an hour in the twilight of the rising sun. The thought of writing my blog didn't strike me until Thursday at which point daylight savings was had already messed up my sleeping habits completely.
Twice a year is the same thing: the clocks move back and I rant about how half the world doesn't do this. And every year I find fewer defenders of daylight savings and more converts to abolishing it. My girlfriend is from Indonisia (were they don't have daylight savings) and she finds the whole thing odd. Especially, odd is that the province beside me, in my own country, doesn't observe it and my province does.
Last week, I issued a challenge on this blog to review an item I saw that hadn't been reviewed. And to be perfectly honest, I got more of a response than I was expecting. It is humbling to know that I can put out a call and enough people are reading to respond. As promised, I will be awarding merit badges to those that submitted reviews.
Special thanks to Christmas Sox , Jeannie🦋 , and stolenthrones for their participation in my unorthodox contest. And a huge thanks to jonoprecel for writing such an amazing piece. (Links to the reviews and the item of interest below.)
Extra Words of Mine
Allow me to do a little post-review/post-contest commentary:
I am a bit of a blunt reviewer and tend to think five stars get thrown about a bit too much everywhere, not just on WdC. When I saw nothing but five stars appearing and read the first review, I was a little nervous about being seen as a stick in the mud. I give out very few such ratings since I am looking for the exceptional. So, when I finally sat down and read it, I was more than happy at what I found. For me, it ended in an odd spot; however, I still give it my full recommendation.
As I said before, this contest was far more successful than I anticipated, and I thank everyone who jumped in. This sort of contest idea has been in the back of my head since shortly after I joined. Seeing the proof of concept is very encouraging. Yes, I am hinting at the thought of making this a proper contest in the future. It is strange to me how some things go unrated and unreviewed for years. ("Two brothers (Working Title)" had been up since 2018 before I saw it.) I think a contest that highlights such items and incentivizes getting quality reviews to the writers has value to the community. Yes, I am aware that there are already contests for reviewers, but I specifically want to target unrated items. Hopefully, after a little more thought, I will have a full-fledged contest ready to go.
Review of "Two brothers (Working Title)" by KnightScribe
Review of "Two brothers (Working Title)" by Christmas Sox
Review of "Two brothers (Working Title)" by Jeannie🦋
Review of "Two brothers (Working Title)" by Past Member 'stolenthrones'
|Marching On (What else was I going to title this)
Welcome to March; we are now three months into this year, and it looks like the coldest part of winter is behind us now. That said, we did get about two inches of snow here, which the kids are loving. This is a historic first for me: my first time posting in March. This year has so far been my best run at blogging yet, and I also have a blog going on my website in addition to my output here. Now, if only I could translate that into my fiction writing.
This week, I got all my review requests done before they expired. (Yes, I count that as a win at this point in my life.) I can't really say off the top of my head when the last time was that I did that. It was a little easier than I remember: I think it has become easier for me to start as soon as I decide it is getting done.
Looking at what to read next, I realized that the afternoon was running short, and then an idea popped into my mind. Let's run a sort of mini-contest alongside this blog. For this week, I will share an item that hasn't yet received a rating, and I want all of you to read, rate, and review it. Next week I will hand out merit badges to those who send me links to your public reviews. If you want to leave a private review, I encourage you to do so and ask the user to send me a link to your profile so I can send you the merit badge.
For this week, I have in mind:
Remember to link me to your public review, or ask jonoprecel to let me know if you sent a private review.
I will be getting my own review done for "Two brothers (Working Title)" this week as well. jonoprecel has a way with words that makes everything easy-to-read, so I am looking forward to reading this story. And I also look forward to seeing how many merit badges I will have to hand out by the end of the week.
|Taking a Bow
No sooner do I invite my fellow writer to take a bow than I get a notification today that I have been featured in a newsletter this month. Thank you very much Wordsmitty ✍️ for the shoutout in February 2022 Blogging Bliss Newsletter - One Hundred Ten. The whole thing has me thinking back to the end of January 2020 when I was in the middle of my first consistent push at blogging (Well Colour Me Pink). Again I feel absolutely humbled and now honoured.
I do think it is funny that the entry that got featured in "Blogging Bliss Newsletters Published" was the one entry I was worried about being too spicy, and the topic of the newsletter was about "Controversial Blogs".
|A Well Deserved Spotlight
Among the list of review requests I processed in my need to catch up on everything I had dropped the ball on was one review request from J.M. Arlen , a writer I am fond of reading. His was, unfortunately, the last on my catch-up list; a fault of doing the latest first and working back. And even more devastating, my timing was poor and the opportunity gone. After a couple of clicks to see what updates he had made to his profile, I discovered Arlem had a short story available on Kindle. After a few dollars and a cup of tea, I simply had to turn on my spotlight so Arlem could take a bow.
Dance of the Twin Earths was attention-grabbing and exciting. Rather different from "The Crystal Keepers. Chapter 2." , yet similar in want I liked. The friendship at the core of the story is fertile ground for the best of the human spirit to rise to the occasion. I very much enjoyed it and was honestly disappointed that it wasn't longer.
An Update from Canada
As you have probably heard by now, the truckers are no longer in Ottawa, the Emergency Act was withdrawn by Trudeau before the Senate even voted on it, and now we Canadians are waiting to see what mandates and measures go with them. In Alberta, my home province, we wait anxiously to see if we are still mandated to wear masks or not in a few days. With the dirt, open secret being that nobody says anything whether you wear one or not. Truth is that the country is something like 90% vaccinated, and people would like to start living like how they were promised they could live if herd immunity was reached: life as normal.
I think I have finally settled on a format for this blog that is different enough from the blog on my own website. At last, both feel fresh to write for.
Did a quick update to this blog's description and introduction. I am coming at this blog now with a little more intent and thought that the blog description needed to reflect this new intention better. When I first started, it was to be a writing exercise and to stretch myself personally. Now, I am looking for consistency in posting on this blog. I've grown a lot, and I am looking to grow more, even though I don't quite know what that looks like yet.
Into the Meat of Things
Family Day long weekend has just passed here in Alberta, and it was a good time to do what the holiday suggests and gather with family. I spent the day playing War the Ring with my little brother and having a blast as my armies of Shadow failed to achieve my military objectives in a timely manner. Having spent so much time away from my parents' house, I made sure to enjoy the fantastic cooking that my dad made that day.
Unfortunately, the day ended with predictable disappointment; Parliament voted to extend the emergency powers late in the evening, and who knows when it will finally be repealed. Have to admit that I am hopeful, seeing the Bloc side with the Conservatives on a vote I wouldn't have predicted them to side with. With the Conservatives based mostly in the western provinces and the Bloc based in Quebec, it is a union of the east and west that I pray for whenever I think about the future of Canada.
I did have to laugh when I saw that people were upset on Twitter about Franklin Graham asking people to pray for Putin. This is literally something we are told to do as Christians; pray for your enemies and the people in authority. I thought everyone knew what prayer was, but apparently, I was wrong.
|Deus Vult Gratia,
Quite the year we have had so far. I feel like I'm going to get whiplash with how fast the restrictions have changed. Pray things settle soon and that they settle in good places for all of us. I am just tired and looking for some good news: news that I am not skeptical of when I see it.
I love my country; Canada is the best place in the world. But we inherited our freedom; there hasn't been a war fought to secure our liberties. Most of our struggle has been for the unity of all these different parts, resisting efforts to erase, holding against those trying to rip parts off, and assembling multiple colourful gems into a single mosaic image. Right now, we have a leader that doesn't believe in the mosaic of Canada. It hurts seeing the division that this pandemic has brought to my country. I'm holding to this flag that I love and continue to pray for the values that it stands for.
Sorry to have let my concerns bleed onto the page. I just don't have anything better to write at the moment.
|Deus Vult Gratia,
Well, it is finally done; I got all my books on the shelves now. So, happy to have that finally done. A few things left to do around the house and then I will be ready for my nieces and nephews to come over without worrying about what they are getting into.
After a week of night shifts, I still am not quite fully recovered from the late hours. It's been fun work, but I will be happy to get back to that normal routine I am trying to build since moving out on my own.
Please, forgive me for being a little short this time around.