Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween - 2017

This is our favorite holiday around the Bradford home, in no small part due to the fact that my daughter Emily was born on October 31st, sixteen years ago!

It's also a delightful time of year because our whole neighborhood really gets into the Halloween spirit. Here's a photo of my dog Lizzie checking out the decorations (and probably thinking that humans are nuts.)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Happy Friday!

We'll be spending our evening binge-watching a little Netflix show known as STRANGER THINGS!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Word Count Wednesday - October 25th 2017

Welcome back to Word-Count Wednesday my writerly friends!

What Have I Been Working On? 

Not very much. I tinkered with the dragon picture book a little bit more, and then I sent the newest revision to my agent. (Keep your fingers crossed. This was Revision #10 and I have a feeling I might scrap the whole project instead of crawling towards Draft #11).

I have also been drawing cartoon versions of my Dungeons and Dragons group. I might be making a little YouTube video, just for fun -- but also to get my illustration chops back.

Word Count: 0

How Do I Feel About the Process?

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, I have accepted the fact that I don't have the time or energy to create as much art as I would like... at least not during the nine months of the year when I teach. But I will always try to get a little bit done, no matter how busy I get.

Here's a little sample of the D&D cartoon...

What Am I Reading? 

I am still in the early chapters of John Dies at the End. Also, I just started listening to a new audio-book in the car: Lisey's Story... Yes, I am continuing my journal through ALL of Stephen King's books -- and I am loving it! 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

No Time for Art?

I teach four days a week. That means I have three day weekends. (Woo-hoo!) But because I am an English teacher, that also means that I will have lots of papers to grade. (Boo!)

In addition to my busy professional life, I have a busy family life. (Hooray!) My eldest is away at college, and we are at home cheering her on and doing our best to support her in whatever ways we can muster. My second born is taking community college courses -- and Cheri and I are her cheerleaders, up close and personal. Then we've got the usual assortments of chores, yard work, and bills to pay. All that grown-up stuff. And then there's quality time. Fortunately for us, our family life is a lot of fun and emotionally fulfilling. (Huzzah!) But it does mean that I am left with very little time to work on my creative projects. (Boo!)

Of course, there are times in which I could be working on the great American novel and instead I watch Netflix or read a book. (I'm still reading John Dies at the End -- can't wait to see what happens at the end.) And sometimes I work on projects that may or may not be creative -- such as this blog.

If I was Anthony Trollop I would wake up two hours before going to work (which would be 3am for me) and spend those minutes typing away on a big lengthy novel. I don't have the stomach for that at this point. For now, I like working on smaller things: picture books and plays. I do wish I could plug away at a novel, but I want more free time... I don't want to steal little moments away throughout the day. I want a big huge chunk of free time. The kind I get during summer vacation.

So, for now, there is very little time for art... but I'm making little stories, a little bit at a time. And that's worth a dozen woo-hoos, several hoorays, and one big huzzah.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Word Count Wednesday - October 18th, 2017

That's right -- Word Count Wednesdays are back!

Next semester I will be teaching creative writing again, so I want to get back in the habit of staying motivated and keeping track of my progress, or lack thereof.

What Have I Been Working On?

I've been tinkering with a couple of picture book manuscripts. (The dragon one, and an older nonfiction one about toys.) Also, while going through my morning routine of waking up, brushing my teeth, and taking a shower, I think I figured out what direction to take a novel that i haven't worked on in over six months. hopefully something is unlocked there.

Word Count: 500

How Do I feel About the Process? 

I am in a self-forgiving mood these days... My daughter has been away at college for nearly a month. I've got papers to grade, classes to teach, and family life to attend to... I am hoping that when winter arrives I will become passionate about a new project and the pages will flow. But for now, I am enjoying tinkering and fine-tuning existing drafts.

What am I Reading? 

Lots of stuff this semester! I finished the following...

And I'm in the middle of these two...

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hello? Who's There?

Halt! Who goes there?

Hey everybody... Thanks for reading another blog post.

I say "everybody," but I actually have no idea who reads these posts. I get stats -- but that doesn't tell me who you are. You get to be anonymous.

Unless of course, you'd now like to reveal yourselves...

I've noticed that an average post generates about 30 - 50 viewers. Every so often I create something that's a bit more popular (usually because I include a link on my Facebook page). One of my goals this season is to try to generate more interest in my books & develop a stronger following. I'd love to start by making my blog much more entertaining, rather than me rambling on about my fledgling writing career, and all the anxieties therein.

You could help by letting me know who's already reading these blog posts. If you'd like to leave a comment please let me know what you like about the blog... what you'd like to see more of... and what new things you'd like to read about.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Resolution Check-In: October Edition

It's getting very near the end, folks! As you may or may not know, this is the monthly blog post in which I revisit my New Year's Resolutions to see how we're doing. So let's get to it!

1) Take More Photos (at least two a week)

Lots of good snapshots throughout the month of September, including a photographic essay on the fact that there is far too much pumpkin stuff being sold at Trader Joes!

That's a lot of pumpkin foods. And as much as I love decorating Jack O' Lanterns, I have no interest in eating anything remotely pumpkin flavored. But I digress! The point is, I've been taking photos and therefore this resolution is coming along nicely. 

Achievement: 75% Complete

2) Write / Sell a New Picture Book

The picture book Papa Bear's Page Fright will be in bookstores in 2018. Now, I'm trying to go above and beyond to see if I can sell a second one before the year ends. My dragon book is being revised... and my kitten book is being read by editors as we speak!


3) Generate Idea for Next Big Project

Yep. Got this done over the summer. 


4) Work on Creative Project with My Daughters

Still not a lot going on with this one. Maybe we'll end up doing something at the last minute?   One issue that's now holding this resolution back: Mackenzie has gone away to college!!!

Em has been thinking of making a music video showing off her ukulele skills, so maybe that'll happen and I'll help her film it. 


5) Show my appreciation more often / Strengthen relationships and communication. 

The more I think about this one, the harder it is for me to quantify... but I've been more active in the last two months than I have during the first half of 2017. 

I'm trying to touch base with a wider range of friends / acquaintances both online and in person. 

I could still do a lot better, and hope to reach out much more during this oncoming holiday season. 

ACHIEVEMENT: 24% Complete

6) Lost ten pounds. 

Yep, still right at 164 pounds... which is 11 pounds lighter than I was back in January.