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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The wind stole my homework

I've never liked deadlines. 

Now that my freelance work has picked up, I've got deadlines up the ying-yang.  My most recent one demanded that I attend an event, write a story, and submit it in an hour and a half.  Talk about pressure! I thought my head might pop.

On the positive side, deadlines like that help me get the job done. They give me the kick in the pants I need to get energized.  Otherwise, I procrastinate.  It's too bad procrastination isn't a super-power because my sloth-like abilities could rival the strength of Superman.

My worst case of procrastination happened back in 4th grade.  I hated doing my math homework.  Ms. Clark used to makes us do too many long division problems. One, two, or three were never enough.

Oh, no.  She was never satisfied until we had done 20 or 30 each night.  It always felt like she assigned me a million.  Doing that putrid long division was torture, and I hated every second of it.  I'd put it off each night by making silent deals with myself.

They went something like this:

I'll do my homework after I watch my favorite cartoons. 

I'll do it right after dinner.

No, I'll do it right before I go to bed.

Hey, maybe if I wake up extra early, I can do it in the morning.

Yeah, right.

I once procrastinated so badly that I found myself doing my math problems during a morning recess.  It happened to be very windy that day, and when some kids on the playground distracted me, that wild air snatched the homework out of my hands and down into a nearby construction site.

Ms. Clark was plenty skeptical when I told her, "I don't have my homework because it blew away."

Thankfully several kids saw it happen and vouched for me.  That's the biggest memory I have of missing a deadline, and somehow it's sweet.

It's strange how some of our mistakes are far more memorable than our mundane successes.  I did that dreaded math homework for years for numerous teachers.

But none of those times is half as memorable as that one, wild occasion when the wind stole my homework. 

Maybe it hated math too.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sunday Songs

I'm planning to share a video of a Christian song I like every Sunday.

First up is Jason Lavik's version of "Come Thou Fount."  I never cared for this song before, but I love the contemporary feel Jason adds to this old hymn.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Technical Difficulties

It's been more than a week since I started this blog, and I have yet to master blogger.  Imagine that!

When I log on via my home computer, I see a beautiful water marked blog with an old word map tinged in brown in the background.

However, when I check the blog from elsewhere, all I see is a plain brown background that's about as interesting as a paper bag.

I have no idea why the blog looks one way at home and another way somewhere else.

Oh well,  I've long been told to stop being a perfectionist, and this is as good a place as any to start.  = )

Friday, September 17, 2010

One Worry Down

Back in 2007 when I first started writing for a local paper, one question haunted me.

What if I ran out of stories?

After all, the paper never ends.  It's a story-chomping machine whose hunger is eternal.  Every time I was published, I was certain it might be the last time I was published.

What if I didn't have any more ideas that my editor liked?  What if I ran out of ideas altogether?

Well, those days are long dead.  I now have two newspapers giving me assignments and not enough time in the day to get to all of them.  My day-job just takes up too much of my well... day!  Too bad being a freelance writer doesn't cover my bills & offer health insurance.  If it did, I'd have more time to do what I want to do--write!

As soon as I get home from being an office desk jockey, I usually have an interview scheduled, notes to go over, or someone to call. At times it can be stressful because I just want to relax.

That's when I have to remind myself of how I felt in 2007. 
Three years later, with more than 120 stories under my belt and a book on the way, the anxiety I had about running out of good ideas has subsided.  At least for now....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Icons & Me

I've been writing a series for Village Soup since April called the Icons of Maine.  It's been a terrific, though time-consuming, experience to interview so many famous people from my home state.

I've gotten to interview people like NY Times Bestselling author Tess Gerritsen, actress Victoria Rowell, former WWE Pro-wrestler Scotty Too Hotty and numerous others.

This week I interviewed UFC Fighter Marcus Davis.  What a great guy.  He was very humble and willing to talk to me as long as I wanted.  We spent about 1.5 hours on the phone.  He had a tough childhood, but thanks to some local police officers who befriended him as a teen, he turned his life around.

One thing I didn't mention in the article, due to time constraints, was how often he had been to the hospital after fights.  Anyone who saw his bout against Nate Diaz at UFC 118 knows that Davis' face was pretty messed up after the match.  Davis shrugged off his injuries and said it was "all part of the job" and felt that receiving the "Fight of the Night" award made it all worth it.  Despite that, he has been to the hospital nearly 80 times due to cuts above his eye.

Ouch! Talk about dedication.  You can check out my story with him at the following link:

Marcus Davis: UFC Fighter & Maine Icon

Monday, September 13, 2010

When it rains...

I've been reading everything I can about how to launch a successful book party.  I have a venue tentatively set, and I'm extremely excited.  I've never planned a big party before! From invitations to food, I've got a lot on my mind.

Just when I thought I couldn't think about anything else, the KJ called to offer me two assignments.  Why are the days so short, and why is my day job so long?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Blog Cometh

My first book is being published with Cedar Fort this November, so I'm looking into new ways to expand my readership.  Hence, this blog.

We'll see how it develops, but I hope to join the wonderful author community in cyberspace.

With this blog entry, I break new ground!  Maybe just a spoonful of ground, but it's still something, right?