Monday, February 24, 2014

Official Writing Day!

I do declare, ahem, I mean I make the following declaration:  Mondays will now officially be Writing Day.

I had been trying to write daily and that is great, but sometimes I don't get a chance and I fall behind, and I get discouraged.  It's not so much that I don't have ideas or stories to write; I'm working on three things right now including a novel.  It's just that I know the way I work and once I get stated I'm going to work until I finish or something external stops me.  I know once I sit down to write I'm going to be locked in.

Alternately, I can't just sit and write for fifteen minutes at a pop, or thirty or forty five.  For the most part anything I write is going to take me the better part of an hour at least.  I get in the zone, and to do that takes time, but as I said above, once I'm there the time just flies by.

Terry Pratchett, Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury all extol the virtues of writing everyday.  I can't argue with that, but I think at this moment in time the best thing for me will be to make one specific day a week my big writing day.

This concept has worked very well for me with the library.  Wednesday is Library Day at our house.  I get books and return books on Wednesday.  It's been that way for years and it keeps everything in check.

I think this could work for me with writing.  I think I would be more comfortable knowing that I'm going to spend three hours of so on one day.

I'll take Wednesday as an Auxiliary Writing Day.  I can't take every Wednesday because I do Scouting stuff on some Wednesdays in the month.

This is day one of this experiment.  Let's see how it works.

On another note, I've fallen behind in my writing goal for this year already.  My goal is to get Hidden Temple to the Lost Gods (my 2013 NaNo) published.

My first step was to finish fleshing out the book itself.  I planned to go back and complete all those areas where I left a note to add details and such.  I was planning on doing this in January and February.

This would have prepared me to be ready to participate in NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month).  This program is to edit your completed novel for 50 hours in March.  Now, filling in those parts is going to have to be part of my 50 hours.

How is this 50 hours going to work with Writing Day?  I'm still going to keep Writing Day going, and do actual writing production on that day.  I will also make sure I post on Mondays.  There are 5 Mondays in March (dang) so that leaves me 26 days.  If I edit 2 hours a day then I can make it.

I think I'm also going to count the new material I create for the novel in my Writing Day, which will ease things up a bit.

I'll keep you informed.  You will see something no later than next Monday, if not sooner.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Manly Valentine's Day

I love the smell of
romance in the morning
You smell that?  You smell that?  That smell...

It's V-Day my friends.

What you do not smell is Valentine's Day; it's tasteless, odorless, and one of the deadliest holidays known to man.

I've spent the last few years
building up an immunity to V-Day
I noticed yesterday that St. Valentine's Day is supposed to be romantic, about the love between two people, but it's become the flowers and chocolate and maybe diamonds holiday.  I think it is being used as a get out of trouble (or as Mrs. Prop calls it, the dog house) day.

But I ask you, doesn't it take two to tango (which in my opinion is NOT a romantic or sexy dance)?

The way to a man's heart is
I think my wife is the greatest and I think she does want to make it romantic for me too.  She suggested getting a pizza, a Chicago Style Pizza (that's right, all caps).  This to me is a very romantic food (see illustration from Lou Malnati's).

She suggested we get some wine, and while we did drink a bottle of wine at dinners when we were dating, I'm thinking I'm going to surprise her with Long Island Ice Tea.  That was the the drink she use to build up the courage to ask me out (that's right, she asked me ('cuz I'm to thick headed - oh never mind)).

She said we could just spend a romantic evening snuggling with a movie.

Okay, alarm bells, we have to tread very carefully here.  There are many dangers.

First of all, NO Notebook, absolutely, just no.  Hey girl, NO Ryan frickin' Gosling.  Okay, James Garner is cool; I can dig they die in each others' arms and he moves heaven and earth to be with her; through war, angry parents, rebuilding a house, climbing a ferris wheel (invented in Chicago, I must add); yeah, all manly.  I like the movie, I do, but I don't need to see it every single weekend.

I've talked about what movies are okay for men to cry at, but what about romantic movies that are cool for guys, for men?

I've got some candidates.  I know you will be surprised by some and disagree with a few, but some may just be viable options when your lady wants to snuggle.  In no particular order (not really, I've saved my personal choice for tonight until last, but otherwise there is no order, mostly):

  • The Sound of Music
    • Okay, this is a musical, but remember it must be romantic for both.  In this movie an older man takes in a young nun and in the end he marries her (plus one on the manly scale for getting a young beauty with the bonus points for her being a frickin' nun).  
    • My grandparents had a music box with "Edelweiss" on it.  I would play it when I had to stay overnight there when I was a kid
    • Who wouldn't want to be a father with the power to just whistle and your kids (including your DAUGHTERS) come running and get in line.  
    • Extra, extra bonus points for telling the Nazis where to shove it.
    • Mrs. Prop hates the song, but how DO you solve a problem like Maria?
  • Moonstruck
    "Where are you taking me?"
    "To the bed!"
    • Nick Cage at his absolutely angsty best, he lost his friggin hand for Crissake
    • Cher looks like Mrs. Prop in this movie
    • La bella luna!  It's a full moon tonight (really, 14 Feb 2014 is a full moon) - "That moon.  That's Cosmo's moon." - "The moon brings the woman to the man."
    • John Mahoney was born in England, earned his US citizenship in the US Army and is a Chicago guy
    • Love those eggs fried in the bread
  • Say Anything
    • Mrs. Prop likes John Cusack (a Chicago guy)
    • Kickboxing
    • Insane romantic gesture, stick a boombox in the air with Peter Gabriel (Mrs. Prop says that song is about my eyes)
    • 80's teen movie (I could put 16 Candles, Can't Buy Me Love (I very often do the African Anteater Dance at weddings) and Pretty in Pink and make it a marathon)
    • John Mahoney again
  • The Incredibles
    • I wanted to throw an animated movie in here and this is my favorite Pixar movie
    • Are we not, all, Mr. Incredible?
    • His waist measurement ends up the same as mine
    • It came out on my birthday while I was in Afghanistan
    • Elastigirl, nudge nudge (I'm not saying the cartoon gives any visual indication of that, but I have a very vivid imagination)
    • Giant robots!
    • Samuel L. Jackson ("Where is my super suit?" love it!)
  • Casablanca
    • If ugly old Boggie can get the girl we all have a chance
    • Sticking it to the Nazis again ("I hate Illinois Nazis" (I know, wrong movie, how about, "Nazis?  I hate these guys." (okay, okay, but Harrison Ford is a Chicago guy))
    • I love Ingrid Bergman (especially those eyebrows and that accent)
Now, as promised, the best for last:

BOO!  Boo!
No wait, that's not right, it just can't be...
  • Princess Bride
    Since the invention
    of the kiss...
    • ("See I told you."  "Yes, you're very smart, shut up.")
    • Where do I start?  Oh yeah, the theme song to Princess Bride was the first song at our wedding
    • How will I say I love you?  "As you wish?"  No, by not saying all the words along with the movie
    • This is a kissing movie, but it has fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles
    • The kid is wearing a Bears jersey (Walter friggin Sweetness Payton!!!)
    • I had the following ingraved in Mrs. Prop's wedding ring, "Even death cannot stop true love"
    • Romance by pirates is good
    • Coming back from the dead is even more impressive than climbing a Ferris wheel, Ryan Gosling
I hope you never fall victim to one of the classic blunders, the first is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well known is this: never get involved in a romance when a chick-flick is on the line, aha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Have a happy St. Valentine's Day
As you wish