Wednesday Evening Rambling

So to continue my story about the birth of my first son, after seeing the first ultrasound, something in me changed, and that’s when I started writing again.  I felt in my heart like the only thing I could ever be truly successful at was writing, and I knew that I had to make something of myself to provide a better life for him.  So I started writing The Brotherhood of Dwarves.  I hadn’t written anything in a few years, and at first, I was very unsure of myself.  It shows in the first chapter, too.  I was finding my voice, my rhythm, my pace.

Crystal and I were never happier than during that pregnancy.  Everyone commented on it, and you can see it in pictures of us.  We both glowed.  We were a team, and we had endured a long, dark process together and came out the other side successfully.  During those eight and a half months, we were always together, playing games, laughing, talking, making plans.  It was one of the happiest periods of my life.  I read stories and sang to her belly almost every night, and life was good.

I’ll probably have to write an entire entry about his birth.  Too much happened to squeeze it all in here and do it justice.  So that’s all for now.  I’ll save that story for another day.

Staying Busy

It’s good to stay occupied with work.  I’m teaching summer school, working on book three, and promoting, and these things keep my mind busy and active.  I wish I could focus all of my attention on writing and promoting.  I wish I could travel every week to a new show and live on the road most of the year.  I can write from anywhere, and if I could make enough money to pay my child support and sustain myself, that’s what I’d do.

Back to grading.  Just wanted to share that thought.

Monday Afternoon Ramblings

I realized I’ve never really written about my marriage and that part of my life.  I was with her for right at 12 years, and while things ended about as badly as they could have, the marriage overall was pretty good.  We were both kids when we met.  I was 23 and she was 17.  We dated until she turned 18, and then pretty much moved in together.  The first three years were fun.  We moved to Memphis where  I went to graduate school, and we had our routines that we both loved.  Our favorite was our weekly trip to the zoo.  We got to know several of the animals pretty well, and some of them even recognized us when we came by.

Then, we got married, and the first thing that happened to us as a married couple was a miscarriage.  She blamed me for it because we had moved back to East Tennessee after I received my Master’s, and she had wanted to stay in Memphis.  She felt like the move caused the miscarriage, and maybe it did.  That first year of marriage was rough.

Then, we worked things out and got back to being very good friends.  We decided to try again to start a family and found out that she had some fertility issues that needed to be resolved.  That first pregnancy was a total fluke.  We spent three years trying with very little success until one morning, she woke me up and told me that she had a positive test.  We were both elated.  I bet my feet didn’t touch the ground for a week.  A couple of days before Christmas, she started spotted pretty badly, so we rushed to the OB/GYN, and he broke the bad news to us that we had lost that one, too.  It took two weeks for the miscarriage to happen, and having to go through Christmas and New Year’s like that was a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

The next four or five months were bleak.  The doctor convinced us that if we really wanted children, that was the best time.  A woman’s body is very fertile after a miscarriage because it still believes it’s pregnant.  So we took January off and then got back on the treatments in February, March, and April, but we had no luck.  In May, we decided to take time off from the treatments.  Emotionally, we were both drained, and the idea of another disappointment was too much.  She continued charting her body temperature, however, and on the day of ovulation, she asked if I wanted to give it a shot.

If I wrote a book like this, it would be laughed off as too much, but of course, we got pregnant.  On July 4, 2003 she started spotting again, much like before.  That year, if memory serves, the Fourth was on a Friday, so we had to go the entire weekend without knowing anything.  She was convinced that she was losing this one, too, but somehow, I knew we weren’t.  Not sure how I knew, but a little voice was telling me that everything would be okay.  Still, it was a painfully long weekend.

July 7, 2003, we went to his office for an ultrasound.  That day will stay with me forever.  Few sounds have ever been sweeter than Collin’s little heartbeat fluttering away at 140 bpm.  I became a man that day.  I was 30 years old.

I’ll write more about the next seven months later.  For now, I’m gonna go enjoy that memory.

Sunday Afternoon Ramblings

So I’m sitting here contemplating my past and the mistakes I’ve made, especially for the last year, and I realize that I truly am my own worst enemy.  One of my best and worst characteristics is that I look for the best in people.  I see potential.  It’s probably part of being a teacher, but I often see what people can become if given the right environment and the right encouragement.  That’s sounds noble and idealistic, but it often hinders me from seeing the reality of what a person really is.

It’s the reason I remain in terrible, unfulfilling  relationships.  I see the potential of what could be if we just work on things a little more, and I usually ignore the reality that this person and this relationship are not working as they should.  Instead of seeing the shortcomings and flaws, I see the potential and the good.  It may sound like a good thing, but after this last year, I see that it is a real problem for me.

This is part of the reason I think I’m just not built for a real long-term relationship.  My judgment gets clouded, and I get too focused on the potential and not on the reality.  I really believe that I’m better off developing good friendships and staying out of anything serious.

Website Update

My website has been evolving for several years, now, and it’s finally getting close to what I had originally wanted.  My good friend and fabulous artist, Rob Brown, has done a couple of marvelous graphics for the site, and they really make it crackle.  I’m very grateful to him for all he’s done.  He’s also finishing up work on a new poster for me that is just amazing.  The detail in it is unreal.

I still need to drive more traffic to the site, but it’s slowly but surely coming along.  I’m glad I held out for the right artist instead of settling for someone whose work didn’t capture my vision.  It’s good to have someone on the same wavelength as I am to help give a visual representation of the books.  Thanks, Rob!

To see the update, please visit the site:

Friday Afternoon Ramblings

I’m up to chapter five on book three, and I’ve hit one of those plot points where I’m discovering what is going to happen as I write it.  For me, this is both good and bad.  The good is that it makes the work exciting.  That process of discovery is one of my favorite aspects of writing a novel.  The bad is that each night when I sit down to write at a point like this where I truly don’t know what is going to happen, I get filled with anxiety that maybe this will be the night when the well has run dry.  I am confident enough in my process that I believe the story will unfold as it should and that I will find the right words and the right rhythm and the right pacing, but the anxiety is still there each night.

Chapter four was a different story, pardon the pun.  I knew what was going to happen from beginning to end.  There was a little discovery of details, but I knew the basic plot, so each night when I sat down and started my process, there was very little anxiety.  All I had to do was sit down and concentrate on where I was in the chapter, where each scene needs to end, and what details needed to be focused on.  It’s not as exciting, but it’s a lot less stressful.

So that’s a little about my writing process.  Later tonight, if you have some insomnia, remember to come back and read this post.  You’ll be in dreamland in no time.

What I Know…

I am a fool; this much I know for sure.  I dive into everything head first and give everything I have to it without a second thought.  As a result, I get burned and hurt, a lot. 

I am at a point in my life when I no longer have the time, energy, or patience for those who can’t relate.

I am a good teacher.  Too many students have told me so for me not to believe it.

I am meant to live alone; this much I have realized relatively recently, and I’m okay with it.

I am a good father; this much I know more than anything.

Other than those few things, I don’t know much of anything.

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