Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Getting back into it

Well by "it", I mean I am looking to resume one of my old hobbies: skateboarding.

It's decent exercise, but more importantly it's fun.  The way I see it, trying to stay physically fit is pointless if you don't enjoy it.  And since I do need to lose a little weight, it's time to bust some ollies (basic skateboarding trick).

I'm definitely no Tony Hawk.  I can't really even do most tricks, except for the basic ones.  It's probably going to look silly, a grown man just riding around and occasionally doing something.  But hey, if I was afraid of looking silly, I probably wouldn't have started this blog.

Besides, it's silly just to give up on a hobby.  I figure it's kind of pointless to start something that you don't actively pursue.  Be it a career or hobby, sticking to it is the key thing.

I think that's probably the main difference that separates quality writing from non-quality writing.  The people doing the former don't give up, and it shows in their work.

While there were points when writer's block hit me hard during the writing of my novel, I kept plugging at it.  There were a few days where I ended up only writing one or two sentences.  But I kept going, and here I am, finalizing the legal/logistical stuff before releasing it.

Persistence pays off, and hopefully by getting back on a deck with four wheels, I can make it pay off in multiple ways.  A good lesson for anyone looking to get into writing (or any other career), let me tell you.

Now, since it wouldn't be this blog without a MLB derail, the wild card races right now are tight coming down to the wire.  Braves with a one game lead on the Cardinals.  Rays tied it up with the Red Sox.  Two games left for all these teams to play.

If nothing else, if the Rays or Cardinals come out on top, it's another example of persistence paying off.  (Yay, I found a way to tie this back to the main topic!)  Even though I'd like to cheer for the Braves, may the best team win.

Now, about being more persistent in updating this blog...heh.

Chris Mitchell the Author, signing out.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The un-joys of editing

Sorry for the delay between blog posts, but I've been busy.  Between my brother's birthday and all the editing I've been doing to the novel, time has been a little short.

Ugh, the editing...as I've explained to what feels like dozens of people I know (not that many, but still), it's not really all that hard.  However, it is very tedious work getting all the indents and styles and chapter transitions and...you get the idea.

However, the process is almost complete.  I can see it taking maybe three more days at the very most, and then all I lack is a cover image.  And I might (emphasis on that word) just have someone lined up to help with that.

I've got to say, it's such a relief, knowing the end is in sight for this thing.  There's a small part of me that just wants to hang up my writing hat and declare this over, but I can't.  Not until the book is out there, getting read hopefully by lots of good people.

In other news, I'm not the only one who's got to be satisfied.  Congratulations all around for Mariano Rivera for setting the new career saves record.  Well earned and deserved; only the most ardent anti-Yankees fan could deny that.

Now we get to wait and see if Craig Kimbrel (the Braves closer) is good enough to begin chasing that record down.  If he pitches every season like he did this one, he'll leave Rivera in the dust.

Relax, I'm not going to bore you about baseball any more than that.  I guess since I can't think of anything else to say right now, I shall bow out for tonight.

Have fun, and don't let your blog reading go at an angle.  (With all apologies to Josh Jepson of Youtube fame.)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

An anniversery

This is the part where people figure I'm going to talk about 9/11.  The answer is: yes and no.

Ten years ago on this day (September 10th), my family and I were vacationing in Panama City Beach, Florida. We'd been down here before on vacation, but this vacation trip was not going as well as the last time.

Then, that afternoon, my mother got a sudden phone call. As it turned out, in the wee hours of the morning, my great-grandmother, Essie Whitley, passed away in her sleep at the age of 93.

She was an incredibly sweet woman, the kind who could get away with calling her great-grandchildren silly nicknames, and we'd love her all the more for it.

Naturally, the next day, we had to drive all the way back up for the funeral.  About an hour into the trip, someone (I don't remember who) suggested we turn on the radio and listen to some music.

 What we heard instead (paraphrased): "...and there it goes, the second tower has just collapsed..."

Fast-forward to today.  It's well worth remembering her, because as of this day, I have finally finished a complete draft of my novel.  While I certainly will go back and edit it, the hardest part of the work of writing it is now behind me.

It's somewhat fitting that ten years after she left us, that I finally begin to bring this chapter of my life to a close.  I know it's a little too late to dedicate this novel to her, but I'm certain that, even though she never read many books, let alone fantasy, she'd appreciate the gesture all the same.

And if she's somehow able to look down on what I'm doing, I can safely comfort her with the knowledge that her "Sugardump" is doing well.  Very well.  Hopefully, for her sake - and the sake of all the other people who were taken from us ten years ago - I can continue to do so.

Essie Pollard Walker Whitley
August 8, 1908 - September 10, 2001
R. I. P.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The countdown to MLB playoffs

Well, September is upon us! And this means that we are down to the wire in the baseball season.  For those that don't follow the MLB, I'll break down the likely contenders (barring an upset):

NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
NL Central: Milwaukee Brewers
NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks
NL Wild Card: Atlanta Braves

AL East: Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees (too close to call)
AL Central: Detroit Tigers
AL West: Texas Rangers
AL Wild Card: Whichever team doesn't take the AL East

While normally I'm a Braves fan, I like cheering for the underdog. In this season, that would be the Diamondbacks, who went from bottom of the league in 2010 to having a comfortable lead this year over last year's championship team, the San Francisco Giants.

So if either of those teams makes it to the World Series, I'll be content.

In non-baseball news, I've decided, much to my annoyance, that I won't be able to attend the course I mentioned in a previous post after all.  The logistics of getting up there (it's an evening class) make it rather difficult, given my current schedule.

It's not a big deal, as the internet should have plenty of information along the lines of that course.  The only thing lacking is other would be authors, and the chance to meet them.

One final point: no one reading this so far has taken the time to leave a comment.  While I am getting only a small amount of views, I'd still like some comments on how I'm doing so far.  Am I too serious?  Too silly?  Let me know.

Also, I probably need to start looking at other people's blogs.  If anyone knows a good one to look at, let me know that as well.  Help is always appreciated. 

Signing out, this has been Chris Mitchell with Chris Mitchell the Author.