Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Five!

It was a tough week trying to come up with something viable to write about for this post. Not that this is really "viable", but it's the best I could come up with, so be gentle. On the's short :)

Five things I do every morning.....without fail.

1. Make the bed: We have two bathrooms in our home. One by the guest room, the "public" bathroom, and one in the master bedroom....the "private" restroom. Our bedroom is closer to the game/computer room, so that's the bathroom I frequent....and have to walk past our bed in doing so. I've been (self) diagnosed with mild OCD and seeing an unmade bed all day would, probably, start making me twitch. Plus, it starts my day off with an accomplishment, as small as it may be.

A mug from The Keys
2. Drink a cup of coffee: My mom started me on coffee when I was eight years old. No kidding. She would always make some to dunk her toast in and, me being a kid, I wanted to try what mom was having. I started drinking the coffee after the dunking and, even with the floating crumbs, still found it to be something pretty tasty (yeah, I had weird taste). So, after getting up and getting my bearings, I fire up the Keurig and have a cup of java.

3. Kiss my wife:  To me, it's just as important to kiss your spouse goodbye as it is to kiss them goodnight....and welcome home from work....and "I missed you"....and 'Happy Wednesday...and,well, you get the idea.

Princess Jasmine
4. Pet the cat: Our landlord cat is pretty demanding. She demands a tribute, every morning, of treats....then "lovies". My wife gives her her treats and I supply the "lovies". She likes to stand, walk in a circle, then hunker back down to accept her tribute...purring all the while.

5. Write:  Whether it's something as simple as an email, social media post, blog post, or something to do with one of my current projects, I write something.....anything. The thing to work on, now, is to make it more of my projects and less of the other stuff.

So, there you have it. Five things I do every morning. Why five? Well, any more and I'd have to bring my other hand into it to figure things out :)

Anything you do every morning? Besides wake up, that is.... =D

Monday, July 28, 2014

Staying In Character

I've been thinking of doing this for a while, so I guess now is a good a time as any. A brief character sketch.....emphasis on "sketch"....for one of the protagonists of my ongoing project, Last Chance. It's sort of a mixture of The Avengers and The Wild, Wild, West.

Nothing really to do with the character (besides the Steampunk angle), but just thought it was a cool pic

Alistair (Albert Muldoon, in the States) Moore: A British expatriate on the run from the law for a crime he didn't commit. Deciding to use his knowledge of steam technology to fight crime, he poses as a 'Yankee' sheriff by day and a masked vigilante by night.

Born and raised in London, Alistair's father was an up and coming stage magician and his mother, a very capable escape artist and magician's assistant. He was raised in the wings of the stage and picked up various tricks of the trades from not only his father, but from visiting magicians, as well. By the age of 17, he was almost as good a magician as his father, though lacking the flair for the dramatic. His lack of dramatic flair was due, partly, in his grounding in scientific endeavors. A prodigy from a young age, he began working with the odd technology known as "Steam Tek" as soon as he was able.  

One night, while walking home from one of his father's performances, Alistair heard struggling in a nearby alleyway. Always one to do what was right, he investigated and found an abnormally large, brutish man mauling a young lady. Approaching the man from behind, Alistair hit him with a lead pipe he found lying against a building. The shock of the impact ran up his arms as he struck hard, waiting for the man to fall flat on his face. Instead, the man slowly turned to confront Alistair....a smile on his face. He quickly backhanded the young lady, caving her skull in before knocking Alistair across the length of the alley. Before the haze of unconsciousness took him, he saw the large man take the lead pipe and dip the tip of it into the oozing ichor of the girl's skull, then throwing it next to Alistair's, now limp, form. 

The next thing he knew he awoke in a jail cell, having been charged with the murder of a young prostitute. What was worse, they had an eye witness.....a frail, thin, and respected, doctor....a Dr. Jekyll...who had seen the whole thing. Not knowing what had really happened, he knew one thing for certain. He didn't want to be around when English law played this scenario out. Using skills he picked up from his parents, Alistair escaped and managed to grab some money he had been saving to open his own steam tek shop. Hopping a freighter to a "land of opportunity", Alistair made his way to the "colonies", then to Wyoming where he stumbled upon "Last Chance".

Ole' Alistair still needs a lot of work as well as a lot of fleshing out, but it's a start.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Social Media Fun!

The other day I was asking for some blog post ideas on Google Plus. I had a few, but none were really grabbing me and they seemed pretty bland. "How To Spice Up Macaroni and Cheese", "Rethreading A Zipper", and "Teaching Your Cat To Play Fetch" just weren't inspiring me. I needed something new. I needed something different. Basically, though, I needed an interesting topic.

I never got the post idea but, instead, got something much more entertaining. A, sort of, shared story made up on the fly by different commenters.

Each line was a comment from one of my circlers.

A shutter was banging in the back room

No, it wasn't a shutter banging.  Something was hitting the back door.  Hard. THUD-THUD-THUD!  The door slammed open.

At first it was just a glimmer in the window, but as the glow got closer, I realized it was............... 

He stood there dripping wet with a bleeding gash across his forehead.

and boom,there he was.+mark means

...Wearing a children's pirate costume off the dollar store rack. He had no idea how he wound up in those clothes. The last thing he remembered was...

...the last thing he remembered was a dripping wet, gargantuan man charging into his kitchen with the kitchen window's decorative wooden shutter in his hand.

It was the next door neighbor, Stan.

He had accused him of stealing his cat. He was clearly off his meds. Stan didn't even own a cat.

However, his wife was named Cat...... da da dum.......... 

And the Cat got his tongue.

And twisted it. While the storm raged. 

It's pretty safe to say that I follow some very witty, imaginative, and creative people on Google Plus.

Have you ever written a "shared story"? If so, how did it go?

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Big Two O....Oh!

Believe it or not, I just noticed the other day that this was going to make my 200th blog post on "Left and Write". It was August of 2011 that I decided to start up a "writing" blog and really "get serious" with my writing. I probably shouldn't put " " around 'get serious' because I have gotten a lot more serious than I was about my writing....just not as serious as I think I should be, at this point. That's another post for another day, though.

Anyway, I thought and thought about what I should do for my 200th post. I mean, it's a pretty big milestone for me and one that only comes along once in a blogtime.

I thought I might do 200 situps. And, then again, I might just puke my guts out.

I thought I might write about a 200 year old piece of feminine hygiene equipment that was recently found in a trash heap under Manhattan's City Hall Park. Nah, something smelled funny about that one...

I thought I might talk about when America turned 200 during it's bicentennial, back in 1976....

Nah, I'm sure its been done before.

Maybe talk about the Daytona 200? I've never been much of a gear head, so no.

Then, it hit me. A very simple solution and something I don't do near enough.

I could thank my 200 (plus 3) followers (as well as everyone else who stops by and leaves comments) for sticking with me, giving me great feedback and helping me along in this writing journey. I really appreciate the time, effort, and community you've all given me over the years and here's to 200 more. Blog posts, that is...I don't think I'll make it another 200 years ;)

Thank you all....I couldn't have done it without you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Friday Wrap....

It's been a hodge podge past few weeks around here and I thought, in lieu of writing anything substantial (ahem), I'd break out the dreaded "bullet list" to illustrate just how hodgey podgey (is that even a word?) and wrap things up.

On the writing front:

  • I've been doing pretty well with my 'top sekrit' blogging schedule and have actually managed to do some commenting on other's blogs as well as keep up with replies to my own....for the most part.
  • I broke out my old notes for Last Chance and have been working a bit more on that as well as alternating with my "Unnamed Lucha Libre Wrestling Mystery".
  • Some of the reactions to last Friday's post got me interested in checking out Stephen King's On Writing. I'm half way through it and really digging it. While I'm not a huge fan of his work (besides The Stand), this I like.
  • I continue to use Yarny for my main "cloud" writing app. Anyone else still using this or is there something better I should know about?

On the "everything else" front:

  • Updating a resume is a pain in the rear. Seriously. Especially when you're having trouble fitting everything on one page. 
  • My wife's niece has been staying with us and we're corrupting her in "old school" fashion. And, by that, I mean getting her hooked on old t.v. shows like "The Love Boat" and "The Honeymooners"....while I continue to preach about how In My Day, We Only Had Three T.v. Channels....Four, If We Were Lucky! She's a good sport though and a great guest in that she makes her bed everyday....a big thing, for me. Oh, we are also getting her hooked on the Nintendo 3DS (she's, usually, not so nerdy)
  • Speaking of "old school", we've been playing one of my favorite board games, Clue. My wife came home with some new, hipster version (it seems to be the only version available in stores, now), which just didn't cut it for me. I was forced to order the Vintage version and like it much better. And for those of you who don't think there's a me...there is.

Seems they have no clue...

That's more like it....

  • In the world of comic books, both Thor and Captain America are undergoing radical changes....that is, until the next movie comes out and Marvel switches everything back to how it was. Just my opinion, though. Who knows?
  • The Archie comic sure isn't how I remember it when I was a kid. All I'll say is that I'm glad I don't really read comics, that much, anymore. 'Nuff said.
  • Oh, and yeah, comics still cost over $3.00 an issue....sheesh. That's nothing "new", just an observation.
O.k, I think that's about enough shots from this "bullet list" and it's time to put a bow on this "wrap up", as well as a sticker saying "Do Not Open Until Christmas!".

How's your writing going?

Have a favorite version of a classic board game?

Does the world seem like it's, sometimes, passing you by?

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Office Space....

Where the magic happens....sometimes.

I've mentioned, before, my pseudo-voyeuristic appeal to reading other people's blogs and one of the coolest things I like seeing is other folk's "creative areas"....or "office space", as some might call it. I wouldn't call it that, though....I hated that movie :)

Whether it's the place where they read, write, or even game, I like seeing how people personalize a space and make it their own.

The above shot is my desk where I read, write,  It sits in the corner of our "Gaming Room", with my wife's desk facing the opposite wall. It's great for late night or weekend World of Warcraft gaming or just relaxing while we peruse our favorite social media.

The only bad thing about this certain space is that there's not a lot of privacy. There's no door to close should I want things a bit more quiet, so I can work on some writing. It's nothing a nice pair of headphones and Pandora can't help with, though, so I can't complain too much. Besides, at this point, it's only my wife and I so there aren't really that many interruptions.

The room from a few other views....
Not much wall space left...

The wife's side of the room.

A few objects d'arte...or however you say it...

Fun and games...
One of the main objectives of the area was to have a place where we could come to relax that also would also help in jump starting the imagination. The trade-off of privacy for creativity was one I was willing to make, and the space is much larger than the spare room where my "office" was before. There's also the added bonus of not having to relocate every time we have visitors (which is quite often). Plus I can always turn on the stereo (I, usually listen to talk radio) or t.v. if I need some background noise that's not music.

So far, it's pretty much done what I've needed it to do and I'm happy with the results.

What's your "office space" like?

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