Thursday, June 30, 2016

Uff Da! (Summer - Day 43)

Uff Da, is right. My summer is half over! Drat you, time. Why must you fly whilst I am having fun?

This morning (June 29th) I dreamed that the girls were rock climbing in a ravine. Mackenzie fell and injured her ankle, so I tried to help her climb to safety. I'm sure this was all connected to our driving misadventures.

What did I do today?

  • Tinkered with the Radio Play
  • Took Mom to her doctor's appointment
  • Went to Boom Town and purchased way too many fire works
  • Took the scenic route home -- which happened to pass by my mom's boyfriend's house
  • visited The Uff Da shop in Stanwood (My mom has lived on Camano Island for decades, and this is the first time I've been in this little gift shop)
  • We visited my sister and her kids
  • The whole family dined at a Mexican restaurant. Jill picked up the tab despite my attempt to pay the bill.
Read another chapter of Stephen King. I tried to stay up past 11pm, just so the dogs could have more time outside their kennels. But by 11:15 I started falling asleep on the couch. Poor Emily was in her sleeping bag, when she was awakened by a giant horsefly. She even screamed and cried at one point. Mack, thinking her sister was having a bad dream, just said "shh, it's okay, go back to sleep." Needless to say, Emily moved out to the living room. The giant horsefly is currently at large. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Washington Adventures (Summer - Day 42)

Our first full day on Camano Island was relaxing and quirky -- exactly how I hoped my Washington vacation would be.

Cheri and I will be walking the dogs down a tree lined road every morning. At the end of the lane, there's a large property with Alpacas. They are old friends/enemies of our canines. Cheri, Mackenzie and Mom went grocery shopping while Emily and I hung out in the woods. She's been practicing archery. She'll reach Katniss level by the end of summer.

I spent some time brainstorming about characters in the Radio Play.

At a local frozen yogurt shop, we met my Mom's new friend, a very nice guy named Doug. He used to work on submarines.

Did I mention that Mack passed her Driver's Learning Permit test before we left? She did! So she's been driving on that lonely road where we walk our dogs. She's been doing great..l except when she drove onto the grass and almost tipped the car over. But I was coaching her in the passenger seat, so it was pretty much my fault.

In the evening (though the sun doesn't set until 9:45) we took the girls to meet cousin Maddy at a coll comic book / 80s arcade. That location was obviously my choice, but afterwards we went to Starbucks and then to a park,

At night, after the girls and Cheri went to bed, I wrote for an hour. Not much progress. I'll try to get more serious about this nonsense tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Road Trip, the Second Half (Summer - Day 41)

Woke up a little later than we thought we would... Hitting the snooze was too tempting because our hotel beds were too comfortable.

The drive through Oregon was pleasant. We love the green of the Pacific Northwest. It's one of the things I miss the most... Especially when there's a drought in California!

We arrived at Everett in the afternoon, and visited Cheri's folks for a few minutes. Then we continued the journey to my Mom's house on Camano Island.

It's Monday, which means it's fifty percent off the best pizzas in Stanwood -- Sahara Pizza.

The dogs are enjoying their new digs. Maybe they are just happy to be out of the car.

Road Trip, the First Half (Summer - Day 40)

We awoke at the crack of dawn, then drove for eleven hours. The dogs were surprisingly well behaved, considering they are riding in a packed Prius with two teen girls in the back seats, not to mention our survivor bunny, Mr. Knightly the indoor rabbit.

We listened to the following show tunes:

  • Into the Woods
  • Finding Neverland
  • Kinky Boots
  • Jane Eyre
We stayed at the Seven Feathers Casino -- which is a wonderful place for those traveling with pets. Cheri ordered room service -- halibut dinner. I was still full from my first experience with Sonic Drive Thru. Pretty good cheese burger, but I like In-N-Out better. 

The hotel's pool was closed! So we took a shuttle to the RV pool, which was smaller and colder -- but we still had fun. Except we didn't bring towels with us! So we ended up soaking the seats on the ride back to the hotel! 

PS -- I gambled very little. I had two five dollar chips left over from last year's visit. So I gambled that away. 

Prepping for a Road Trip (Summer - Day 39)

Cheri attended two performances of Hello Dolly. The show ends tomorrow, but we'll be on the road to Washington state. (Dear thieves who read this blog, please note that the house is not left unattended. Ninjas are house sitting and they will destroy you if you try to invade my home and steal my comic books.)

For me, the day consisted of packing and preparing for the long trip ahead. But Emily and I also went to Stonefire to pick up food for the festivities between shows.

At night, when everything was ready, and the only thing left to do was kill time, I watched some old home videos of the girls. So glad I captured those memories on film. Memory is really a flaky thing. Just another reason why I should still be taking more pictures/video now while my girls are still young.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Black Belts and Brainstorms (Summer - Day 38)

Spent the morning tinkering with part of the Radio Play. Wrote five new pages. Trying to create the finale sequence.

Cheri and I went to Costco. Shopping for tomorrow's cast hang out between the matinee and evening shows.

Met with Chris and Randy at Lucille's BBQ. In general, we know that the script is pretty good, not great maybe, but there's lots of potential. It's looking like I might get the part with very few lines (ala Harpo Marx). Assuming that's what happens, it's a welcome relief. I'll be co-directing "Around the World" with Cheri during the same months we'll be rehearsing the radio play -- so fewer lines is fine by me! I'll be busy enough as it is.

The girls were very impressive at karate this evening. They participated in the black belt testing of two of their friends: Jessica and Jasmine. Both of the new black belts passed, and did some impressive specialty performances, such as using an ariel flip to break a board that dangled from the ceiling, and smashing through bricks of ice.

Dropped Cheri off at Hello Dolly. Picked her up -- the girls rode along -- at
11pm. We saw Leslie Berra, visiting from Tennessee, but we didn't go out for dinner.  I think the cast and crew are saving their strength for tomorrow's double header.

During my spare time, either at home or at the karate studio, I brain-stormed a strange new idea for a daily comic strip. It's about a turtle and a mailbox. Perhaps next blog -- if I'm actually developing the idea -- I'll tell you more about it. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Radio Play Meetings ( Summer - Day 37)

Not very productive today, as far as writing goes. I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what I want my next project to be. I finally decided (at least for now) that instead of working on something huge (like a certain graphic novel with ducks) I would work on four smaller projects. Four new one-act plays.

Here are the tentative titles... but keep in mind that they are currently just vague ideas...

  • Binge Watch
  • Director's Nightmare
  • Phantom of the Cafeteria
  • The Twilight Cone
All of them are as silly as they sound. 

I am also going to revamp "12 Angry Pigs" for publication. It needs a little beefing up, or should I say porking up. And I think it's been my royalty free gift to the internet long enough. I'd like to see it officially published. 

Oh, I started reading Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King. It's the sequel to The Shining -- and since that book is very fresh in my mind I'm enjoying the continuation of the characters. 

The most productive thing I did today, creative wise, was meet with Chris. We read through the current draft which stands at 22 pages. I think it's on the right track. We'll see what Randy says tomorrow. 


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dog Rescue! (Summer - Day 36)

The Bradford Family finds lost dogs. Or maybe I should say, lost dogs seem to find us. If there's anyone in our neighborhood likely to stumble upon a stray or discover a lost pooch, it's us. It happened yesterday, when Mackenzie and I were on our way to register her at COC. We didn't get a block from her house when we discoved a pair of sniffer dogs (schnauzers). Fortunately, I knew which home they belonged, and the furry twosome were back indoors within fifteen minutes.

Today's rescue was a bit different. Mackenzie and I were following Cheri out to the car (she had her last water coloring class of the season and a lunch date with friends). Mack spotted this fluffy little white dog. he was adorable, and wagged his tail. He let Mackenzie pick him up. He didn't have a collar, but we were pretty sure he lived across the street. The only problem: the neighbors weren't home. So, we all took turns dog sitting throughout the day.

Cheri and I were going to hang out at Barnes and Noble and have a little date, but that didn't happen. While the girls were at karate, Cheri and I sat in our beach chairs in the front yard. The dog loved sitting on our laps. He's definitely pampered at home! All the time, our "real" dog Lizzie is staring at us through the living room window, outraged.

The neighbors reclaimed their dog, whose name is Louie, around 7pm. I should have taken photos! his dog was pretty darn cute.

 In other news, I finished a new picture book, based on the idea that was cooking yesterday. I don't know if this one is great. It received fair/slightly positive review from my critics. However, I had fun writing it, and was very grateful that it was such a smooth process. Usually it's a pain in the butt!

This means that so far this summer I have written: 3 picture books, the final chapter of my graphic novel, and 30 pages of a new play. Not bad for one month of summer break.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Favorite Critics (Summer - Day 35)

My favorite critics are my daughters. It's not because they are an easy audience. On the contrary, they are tough readers -- and they are very willing to point out the many flaws in my writing.

They are my ideal readers because, even though they are in their teen years, they are still very young at heart. Most of their positive traits were inherited from their mother, and the remainder of the qualities were developed by themselves through their years of martial arts training. However, a bit of my flair for whimsy and an appreciation for the imaginary seems to have rubbed off on them.

I trust their judgment, and that trust has served me well. If they love one of my plays or stories in draft form, it usually succeeds.

So, today I finished editing the second draft of a picture book (the one about paper airplanes). I read it to the girls. They gave it a pretty good review. Three out of four stars. They pointed out a couple "cheesy" areas that could be improved. I'll try to fix it before I send it to my agent next month.

The rest of the day (when I wasn't watching season one of Game of Thrones or the last twenty minutes of Star Trek: First Contact) I developed ideas for yet another picture book.

I've said this before, but picture book writing is surprisingly challenging. Most of my ideas need time to cook. I'll let you know if this one turns out just another half-baked idea, but so far I'm having fun. The girls will be my first audience, as usual.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Heat Exhaustion (Summer - Day 34)

Sometimes I daydream about moving back to Washington state permanently. That urge has been very strong today because the temperature has reached 115 degrees.

I dropped off the Prius at the service department -- since we're getting ready for our trip. That means that most of the day was spent without the one automobile that has air conditioning.

I made good use of my time at the dealership. I finished draft number two of my latest attempt at a Paper Airplane picture book. It flowed more smoothly than yesterday, as I hoped it would.

Mackenzie and I drove through the heat, on a couple errands -- and during the trip I asked, "How hot would it need to get before people just start to drop dead." It was a morbid question, but one that would prove tragically apropos

You see, when I returned home (around 1pm) I discovered that our two outdoor rabbits died of heat exhaustion in their hutch. I foolishly thought they would be fine in their shady spot -- especially since they've lived their entire lives in Southern California. I had been keeping an eye on them too, wondering if I should set the hose nozzle to mist and give them a break from the heat. But I didn;t do anything.

I failed them.

Cheri's Birthday & My Father's Day (Summer - Day 33)

Hopefully, my wife had a good birthday. The girls created adorable cards and delivered heartfelt gifts. I think Cheri was pleased with my digital offerings. (See previous blog post to find out what I got her.)

The girls served me breakfast in bed. (McDonalds sausage biscuit and oatmeal cookies!). I got some cute cards too! I received money from Mackenzie (to pay for my recent video game purchase). And Emily and I selected another new video game on Steam -- which she then bought for me. They are the sweetest kids I know.

Since it was a Hello Dolly matinee, I dropped off my family and then worked on my Paper Airplane children's book. Made some progress. Very slow, but I'm working through it. If I can lay some decent groundwork, the rest of the book will be easy.

After the show, we went to Yamato. (It's not only our a great place to eat, it's a great place to watch turtles and koi fish!)

Then, when we returned home we watched a movie from Rebox: Sisters, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It was crude and silly and highly entertaining.

All in all, it was a wonderful day for me. I hope my darling wife felt the same way. Happy birthday, honey!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Shopping for Cheri (Summer - Day 32)

Emily has been gathering a lot of neat birthday gifts for Cheri. (Her b-day is tomorrow! She'll be 52!)

We went to LUSH and Bath and Body Works. And the other day we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond. See a trend here? One of the cool gifts which she purchased was a throw blanket with a USC logo.

Most of my shopping for Cheri has been online. I'm getting her the film version of Hello Dolly, available on Amazon, and then a bunch of Broadway soundtrack on iTunes:

  • Finding Neverland
  • Jane Eyre: the Musical
  • Kinky Boots
  • Into the Woods
  • and Pink Floyd's The Wall -- not show tunes, but close... 

Today was another day of bringing the girls back and forth to the theater. They had a matinee and an evening performance. Cheri was still under the weather, so she stayed home and rested. The girls and I went to In-N-Out between performances. 

Oh, I forgot, I actually did something mildly productive today. Several board members and TimBen have been reorganizing the space behind the theater. Takes an enormous amount of work -- and I showed up to help for a short amount of time. Only from 10 am until 1pm... most the other guys started at 7 am! They are truly dedicated. The unseen, driving force behind our community theater. 

The sun was hating on us by 11am, too. When we took a break, I grabbed a coke, and it was probably the best sip of Coca-Cola I ever recall drinking.  

In the evening, while the kids were working at Hello Dolly, Cheri and I indulged in a couple episodes of Game of Thrones. I'm seven episodes in and I'm just starting to notice... This show is kinda violent. 

Looking for a New Project (Summer - Day 31)

It's Friday, June 17th. I haven't figured out what my next creative project should be.

However, Kenzie and I did have fun wasting an hour on my new video game, Dead Island. I learned that propane tanks can make excellent projectile weapons for throwing at zombies.

Cheri hasn't been feeling well, unfortunately. Neither has Kenzie. I did my best to take care of them. Emily was a trooper because she is working backstage on Hello Dolly to fill in for one of the crew members.

She and I went out with some of the cast to Denny's. That's the second time in a month I've eaten at that fine establishment. I hope my intestines will forgive me.

As far as new projects go, I think I'll be returning my attention to the world of picture books. They may be short but for me they are an incredible challenge -- even after a few publishing successes.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Finding Dory in Orange County (Summer - Day 30)

Today was strange because I woke up realizing that I don't have any writing projects to work on this week. (Since my fellow Big Sandwich Theater people will be developing the radio script until Thursday). So, during a bit of free time in the early afternoon, I revised my website (not that anyone visits it -- I don't even think it's mobile-friendly).

After Mackenzie's drone and alarm system class (she's the teacher assistant), we traveled to Orange County to visits our friends. We ate at a Mediterranean restaurant. I had shawarma for the second time in my life. It's quite delicious. The Avengers had the right idea.

Then we watched "Finding Dory," a worthy sequel. Director Andrew Stanton knows how to make the most of his setting. I love the world of Nemo, whether it's the open ocean, a dental aquarium, or in this film's case a rehabilitation facility.

The kids liked it too!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Almost a Month! (Summer - Day 29)

Uh-oh, we're about to hit that one month mark. That means one third of my summer vacation will be over! Noooo!!!! Just like when I was a school boy, I still wish for summer break to last forever.

I'm happy to say that the first month has been relatively productive. So far:

-- wrote / submitted a brand new picture book
-- finished the first draft of Duck Town
-- wrote 33 pages of the Radio Play

Not bad. I can do better. The summer ain't over yet.

What happened today? Quite a bit of family business. We dropped off Mackenzie at Learn Beyond the Book. She's still helping Johny Hyman with the drone building class. We took Emily to SCVi where she gave a presentation of what she has learned throughout her ninth grade experience.

(Note: she added intentionally cheesy transitions to her powerpoint, last minute, just for me!)

Back at home, Cheri went to her water color class. Emily and I went shopping for a certain someone's birthday present.

Then, I worked on the script a bit more, until it was time to take Kenzie to a school meeting, then to the doctor's so they could sign her health form for camp, and then back home, then to karate. I should be an Uber driver!

 I manage to carve about two hours more of writing and reading time. Emily served as a good audience for some of the material.

I arrived at the Big Sandwich meeting around 8 o'clock. The read-thru went okay. I knew there were lots of flaws, but I think the characters are starting to show promise. Chris is going to take a crack at it. We'll see what happens next Thursday.

Which means, I have a weird blank space in my writkng life. I wonder what (if anything) I'll develop in the next seven days.

Productivity > Ambition (Summer - Day 28)

Well, the words have been coming easily today. I've written a total of 30 pages of the Radio Play.

What else have I done with my day?

Emily and I played Minecraft for a little while. We were online with the Eklund children. Cheri and I went on a date to Chipotle. So you know it was a great afternoon.

I did spend some of the day frustrated, trying to get college stuff taken care of for the girls. Hit a few dead ends. Mackenzie needs prereqs that we didn't know about for Pre-Calculus and Physics.

I worked on the script late into the evening. It's still under-developed, and a bit cliche, but I'm enjoying my time with these new characters.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ambition > Productivity (Summer - Day 27)

So far, my ambitions have been higher than my productivity. Woke up at 9am. Puttered in the kitchen for a bit, doing the dishes. Walked the dogs.  

Ran some errands: 

-- trip to the bank.
-- stopped by the pediatrician for some Space Camp forms to be signed.
-- picked up Mackenzie
-- took her to karate
-- went back to the shoe repair place for Cheri's Berkenstock
-- dropped off a book at the library
-- picked up a video to amuse Cheri and me (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) 

Now I'll be taking Emily to karate. She's been hard at work on her French homework, preparing for a final. 

I did manage to spend some time working on the play. i may have written about four pages or so. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Tragedy and Daily Life (Summer - Day 26)

I don't read the morning paper. Instead, my modern day version of the daily news begins with me scrolling through Facebook to see what my friends and colleagues have been up to. One of the first posts I noticed read "Praying for Orlando." That's when I suspected that something terrible had happened -- yet again.

A quick jump to Foxnews and CNN, and that's when I learned that 50 people were murdered last night, thanks to a psychopathic gunman fueled by bigotry and a radicalized religion. On top of all this tragedy, I realized a terrible thing. I have come to expect these atrocities. It seems that about every 4 to 6 months something awful like this occurs. Now, the event that would surprise me is if more than six months passes without some act of massive barbarity.

So this happens. It shocks us (in a sadly familiar way), we process the grief, speculate on the destruction that can be caused by a single evil person, and vow to carry on. I'm not sure what else we can do, besides that. There's an ongoing debate about gun control right now. (And I have a feeling Trump will renew his efforts to disallow Muslim extremists to enter the country.) But we've already got millions of guns (and probably billions of bullets) in this country. They aren't going to disappear. And the shooter was American born, not someone sneaking in from overseas.

It sucks. I got nothing. All I know is that I should do my best to be a good person, and if possible, inspire others to be good. That's about all I know right now.


Life goes on for the living. I did my best to think positive (and to channel my lightheartedness despite such dark events) and worked on the Radio Play. Making slow but steady progress. I've reached page 8.

We watched the Tony Awards. Cheered for Hamilton. But more importantly, the well-spoken sentiments of the gracious winners (and host James Corden) were exactly what we all wanted and needed to hear.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Time to Strut Like a Duck (Summer - Day 25)

Saturday, June 11th was another productive day. I started the morning by tinkering on photoshop. To celebrate the completion of the first draft of Duck Town, I made this:

Cheri and I walked the dogs and watched one and a half episodes of Game of Thrones. The plot thickens!

Cheri and Mackenzie went to the performance of Hello Dolly! Turns out, they forgot their beet props, so I sliced up some potatoes and dropped them off.

Emily has been working on her French and enjoying the world of YouTube. Lately she's been watching the troupe YogsCast as they play video games and make funny comments.

I spent most of my evening working on the radio play. I'm having fun developing these new characters.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Dreams and Things (Summer - Day 24)

This morning I dreamt we were visiting a small town on the edge of the Sahara Desert. I wandered away from our hotel so I could see the sand dunes. After working my way past scraggly hills covered with sage, I found these pure, seemingly untouched dunes. I turned my head to the left and beheld these beautiful yet unforgiving desert mountains. It took my breath away (which probably resulted in snoring). On my way back to the hotel, I noticed a pack of brigands on horseback. They seemed like Taliban. And they seemed like they were waiting for idiotic American tourists to wander into the desert to be kidnapped. Needless to say, I woke up rather startled. 

Right now as I type this, it's 9pm. I'm with Mackenzie at the Canyon Theatre. She is working with grips and gaffers (movie folks) helping them get the lighting plot back to its original setting so that Hello Dolly will be ready for tomorrow night. It's really cool to see her working with such confidence. She really knows her stuff. And these professionals respect her. 

Cheri and I watched episodes two and three of Game of Thrones. I can tell early on why this show is so addicting. Lots of interesting characters and conflicts -- and this sense of foreboding. You definitely want to binge. Oh, and we had take-out from PeiWei, so it was a particularly indulgent day. 

Most of the business today involved turning the Duck Town jpegs into PDF chapters. I sent them to Abi my agent... So now it's time to play the waiting game, which might prove to be a very long game since my agent is on hiatus until the middle of July! 

Tinkering Time (Summer - Day 23)

Now it's time to format the jpegs into PDF chapters so that they can be easily sent to my agent for perusal. I found a couple mistakes that needed fixing. I also realized the approximate length of the graphic novel: 224 pages. That's a goodly amount. Twelve chapters in all. I'm very happy.

Mack has her very first date tomorrow night. She's all grown up!

Emily was swamped with homework most of the day. It's her last push before summer break.

Cheri has been working very hard on her Health Coach business. She selected a new photo of the "before and after variety." She has lost so much weight during the last eight months. I'm so proud of her. Sadly, her shoulder was a bit out of whack today, so she hasn't felt her best. I held both of the dogs when we went for our walk.

Since it was Thursday night, it was time to meet with Chris and Randy to discuss our Big Sandwich ideas. Chris came up with the opening scene. We're still not sure about everything, but I think the Radio Play is off to a good start. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Duck Town is Complete! (Summer - Day 22)

The first draft, including the text, illustrations, and photoshop formatting is at long last complete. Today was long but fulfilling. Most of it was spent at the computer, except for when we took the dogs for a walk or the girls to karate. 

The girls and I attended the Improv Workshop. Fun was had by all. Kier and I won with our newly formed duo, Poo Space -- the antithesis of the award winning "Pee Time," consisting of Marcus Langston and Stevie Beecher. Then, we did something new that Pat Mannion has come up with... A talk show. I thought it would be something fictional with wacky characters, but it's a host (this week it was Kier, last week it was Pat) and everyone just acts like themselves. It was surprisingly fascinating. 

When I went back to the task of finishing the last pages of Duck Town, I listened to a lot of Prince, which might seem like an odd choice when working on children's literature. The song that was playing when I finished the last page: Arms of Orion. One of my favorites. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Another Disney Day (Summer - Day 21)

I've been glued to my computer for days now, so even though today's outing it took me away from Duck Town, I was pleased to be at Disneyland. It gave my brain a rest. Sort of.

It was VERY busy. Which isn't surprising. Still, when you're surrounded by thousands of people waiting to get a piece of the Happiest Place on Earth, you don't feel all that happy.

We did manage to have fun, though. Highlights include:

-- finding a new part of Fantasy Land we didn't know existed (the princess area / fairy tale stage)

-- watching ducklings and their mama (research -- now this trip is a tax write off!)

-- getting the girls sweets at Pooh's corner

-- meeting up with the Eklunds (and riding on Indiana Jones with the boys)

-- riding on the Matterhorn for the first time in at least five years (and they made the Yeti even cooler -- pun unintended.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The End is in Sight (Sort Of...) (Summer - Day 20)

I'm getting very close to finishing the photoshop / editing portion of Duck Town. Completed most of Chapter Eleven. After that, there's only Chapter Twelve!

However, I also realize that when this is done, the book isn't finished yet. I'm going to read it over with my girls -- fix any (hopefully) little mistakes that they catch. Then I'll send it to my agent. And that's where the suspense begins. Will she like it the way it is? Or will she think that there needs to be any major changes.

I know they say "Writing is Rewriting." I get that. But at the same time, I've been on an adventure with these characters. What happened on the page happened in my imagination, and it's not easy or pleasant to take an eraser to all of that. It feels inauthentic.

At the same time, if she comes up with an idea that enhances the current plotlines and characters, I'd be on board.

I have my fingers crossed, though, that my agent will like the story enough so that nothing major needs to be altered.

So, what's happened around here besides me working on "Duck Town" all day? Cheri is growing her health coach business -- and looks more and more amazing each day, by the way. Mackenzie was hired by the theater to help a film crew with the lighting board (you know the one that's literally held together by a rubber band?). And Emily spent a lot of time on home work -- she's pushing to have several projects done by this Friday. But she does have good news on the academic front. She earned an "A" in her history course! She is two for two in her college courses!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Big Work Day (Summer - Day 19)

Very productive day today. Spent most of it on Photoshop. Put together chapters nine and ten. Only two more to go!

I've been listening to Stephen King's "The Shining." It's a little disconcerting to work obsessively on a creative project while listening to a novel about man obsessive writer who goes bonkers. Fortunately I am not staying at the Overlook Hotel!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Finished Chapter Eight (Summer - Day 18)

What did I do today? Why, I worked on "Duck Town," of course.

My year-long creative obsession continues. Cheri has been so accommodating as I try to make the final push to get this first draft into Photoshop. Chapter Eight is in the can.

What else has been going on? The girls had an assembly day at the karate studio. It was fun to see the little kids (new ninjas) breaking boards for the first time.

Cheri and Mackenzie are at Hello Dolly.

I have a cankersore under my tongue. (What else is new, right?)

Emily and I watched an episode of Friends. (She has decided to watch them all again from the beginning.)

I started listening to yet another Stephen King audiobook: The Shining.

Oh, and last night Cheri and I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones. So far, I like all of the characters, and I look forward to becoming attached to each of them throughout all seven seasons.

Slow and Steady... (Summer - Day 17)

Slow and Steady May Not Win the Race... But it seems to be the way I finish creating comics... Here's one of my favorite images from yesterday's production of "Duck Town."

Friday, June 3, 2016

Developing a New Play Idea... (Summer - Day 16)

As I write this, I am waiting for Randy and Chris to arrive. We are having another Big Sandwich meeting. I wrote a five-page scene for us to examine. It looks like we've zeroed in on a Radio Play storyline for our first show -- assuming there will be a "first show." Fingers crossed.

Most of my day involved editing/organizing Duck Town Chapter Six. It's a long one, almost twenty pages. I should be able to finish it when I get back tonight. 

Oh, I forgot to mention, I watched the film Ex Machina last night. Fascinating... But the mad genius was also a dumb-ass who invented female robots just so he could imprison them. Spoiler Alert: He gets his comeuppance! 

A Chapter a Day? (Summer - Day 15)

After two lovely days of Orange County fun, it's time to get back to work! Cheri can tell that these lapsed deadlines are making my ornery, so she has supported my latest endeavor.  I am going to edit/organize one chapter of Ducktown every day until this manuscript is complete! That means if all goes well, I should be done by June 8th.

I've got a few things on my plate in the boring department of Grown Up Stuff. I need to:

Smog Check the Kia
Register Kenzie at Moorpark
Decide on a birthday present
order books for Fall Semester

In addition to working on Duck Town most of the day (when I wasn't transporting children to and from karate), I listened to more Prince (the Love Symbol Album) and I finished listening to the audio book, Stephen King's 11/23/63. A very enjoyable novel -- I spent the whole time wondering how it would end, and I wasn't disappointed! 

So, Chapter Five of Duck Town is in the nest. Let's see how fast we can take care of the rest.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Darth at Disneyland (Summer - Day 14)

I think this photo journal will sum up our Disneyland experience...

Where is Vader going?

To Disneyland!

* * * 

Join me, and together we shall rule the Magic Kingdom.

* * * 

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride... to the Dark Side!

* * * 

Relaxing in Pixie Hollow

* * * 

That awkward moment at Disneyland when you see someone you know but don't like. (In this case it's Vader's obnoxious son-in-law.)

* * * 

The force is strong with this straw.

* * * 

Maybe Han's not so bad, after all. 

* * * 

Oh no! I lost my mask!

* * * 

I lost mine too!