Archive: Offspring


Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Amazingly I managed to get started today even though many things conspired against me.

I completed the discovery section of the One Pass Revision with little issue. I had pretty much done all that stuff before starting the story, and some of it even still applied. I worry that it may have been too easy. Maybe I did something wrong? We’ll see.

So I started the slog. I managed to be brutal. I hacked the entire first chapter right out of the book. It was a tough choice, but I think it was the right one. I’m holding on to it, because it could easily be expanded into a short story on it’s own, but the book doesn’t need it. Do I think the book is better without it? I’m not sure, but it’s not the solid start I want, so it had to go.

Chapter 2 Scene 1 didn’t need too much work. Chapter 2 Scene 2 wasn’t bad, but I rewrote most of it. Chapter 2 is light on dialog. Chapter 1 wasn’t. Since it’s gone, I needed to get some more dialog into the book earlier. This removed a bit of infodumping, and allowed me to improve some weak characterization.

Not a bad hour and half’s worth of work. Special thanks to the kids for letting me get it done.

Reboot Follow-up

Monday, June 12th, 2006

Denise took the children out shopping after dinner, so I was able to spend some time on the desk before heading out to training for the night. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough to use now.

Supplies: Desk (clean version)

As usual, I’m pretty busy, but my goal is to have the revision done by the end of July.

The Gift of Time

Sunday, February 12th, 2006
Yesterday was a very busy day. Even Kiddo1 told me it was a very long Saturday, and she hopes today is shorter. Today, it’s snowing. Denise said I could have most of the day to myself to catch up on the giant To Do I have hanging on a white board in the kitchen. She told me she would need me to watch the kids while she made dinner, and the rest of the day was mine. Isn’t she great? Yeah, she is, but it only took about 15 minutes from the time she said good morning until she started asking me to do other things, and watch the kids so she could do other things. So much for a guilt free productive day. I’ll settle for a guilt-ridden one if I can make it productive. She is in no way being unreasonable. Time is in short supply in our life right now, and that’s mostly my fault. I’m doing a lot. Well, I’m trying to do a lot. I feel that I’m failing at doing a lot, to be honest. I’m working eight to ten hours a day, taking Kung-Fu one or more times a week, revising a novel, working on the next novel, being a dad, and being a husband. When I look at that list and try to pare it down, the only thing I want to drop is working. I can’t do that if I want to keep the house and eat. I’m not sleeping excessively (six or seven hours a night). So I’m having to make do with the failing. Here’s hoping today is at least somewhat productive.

Chapter 8 done

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

I’m off from work this week, but it seems that it will be the busiest week of the year for me.  Everyone wants to see the kids (and who can blame them?), so we have a lot of visitors and visiting to do.  Today is a visiting day, so I Got up early and tackled Chapter 8 before we have to leave.


Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

It’s been a rough time since I last posted. My day job has changed again in ways I don’t fully comprehend yet (although so far, so good). My youngest daughter has been ill and after a trip to the ER and numerous doctor’s visits and sleepless nights we now have the pleasure of pinning her down to take nasty tasting antibiotics twice a day for the foreseeable future. She’s doing better now, and that is, of course, what matters. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to writing every day again soon.

Blogtagged: The Search for Joy

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

I’ve been blog-tagged by Holly.

I could take the easy way out. I did use “joy” in my last post, but that’s unfair, because I already knew I was tagged by the time I posted. I have to say, when searching the blog for the term “happiness“, it was a little disheartening to see what the internal search engine came back with.

Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.


I think of myself as a somewhat cynical person with a generally positive outlook. That might be completely untrue, as I haven’t really spent too much time in close self examination of late. I figure I know me pretty well, but I could be wrong.

So what’s my “One little thing that fills you with warmth, that bubbles you over with quiet happiness, or tickles you with its good-hearted hilarity, or makes you glad you just took a breath, and are getting ready to take another”? It’s pretty simple, really. It’s watching Vanessa when she’s watching her older sister, Rachel, play. The look of pure joy on her face when she watches her big sister is just indescribable. You get the feeling that there is just too much happiness for her little body to contain, and it’s beautiful.

Alright, I tag the following:

The rules are here, so get to it!

Kiddo 2

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

Photo of Vanessa Rose Penney

Weight: 9 lbs 8oz
Height: 21 inches

I Had a Great Birthday!

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

This year had to be one of my all time greatest birthdays. It started simply enough. I woke up in a hotel room next to my wife, with my daughter sleeping nearby in the hotel crib. We rose early, ate free breakfast and hit the hotel pool. I love to swim. I can not remeber a time in my life when I could not swim, and I really don’t get to do it very often. It still makes me feel like I’m four years old without a care in the world. Playing in the pool with my daughter is even more fun that just swimming around. She smiles, says silly things, and tries not to get too wet.

After that we went back to our room, showered and got ready to head on out for the day’s activities. Then my cell phone rang. It was my friend, Brom. I have to be honest, my first thought was "What’s wrong with his website.".

I answered it anyway. "Hello."

"Hey man, how’s it going?"


"Can you hold on a minute, actually."


The next thing I knew I heard singing. It wasn’t just Brom (who is quite an excellent singer when he wants to be), but also my good friend Dursin. They sang the traditional birthday song, and it was quite amazing. It’s great to have two such wonderful friends in the world. I’ve known Dursin since we were 5 and Brom since we were 10 or 11. Thank you both so much.

After that, the family and I headed off to the Third Annual National Buffalo Wing Festival. We ate a lot of chicken, and had an all around great time. If you like Buffalo Chicken, and you can get there, I recommend it.

Then we went to the Walden Galleria Mall, wandered around amongst masses of shoppers (it was "Tax Free" week) and Rachel had her first McDonalds cheeseburger. She asked for a cheeseburger out of the blue, so I bought a couple. We each had one, and we ate them together. Rachel then terrorized people by pushing her own stroller around. I good time was had by us.

Returning to the room after a long day I had "Happy Birthday" emails from my Mom, my Dad, and my Kung-Fu Instructors (which was a surprise). What could be better? Rachel was too excited to go to bed for quite a while, but that’s ok.

There wasn’t a moment of the day that I wasn’t having a good time (even when the two year old melted down). Thanks to everyone who made it so special.

Dinner conversations with a two year old

Wednesday, July 14th, 2004

We had a pretty crazy weekend around here, and I started back to work Monday to find a number of fires to fight right off the bat. I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about my daughter.

Sometime she really cracks me up.

One night last week I came in from the grill with some pretty nice looking pork chops. As the smell filled the room my daughter ran over and yelled "I want steak!" The night before we had, in fact, had steak from the grill.

"We’re having pork tonight. That’s pork," I replied.

She belted out, "Yeah. Pork is good steak".

Can’t argue with that.

Tonight we had pasta, and Denise and I also had salads. After the pasta was gone, Denise asked "Do you want something else?"

"I want my salad."

"Do you want something out of my salad?" Usually Denise and I will give her a few carrots or a cucumber, but she’s never had a salad.

"I want salad in a bowl!"

Denise shrugged, gave me a look that said, "she’ll never eat this", and handed her salad bowl over.

"This is my favorite dinner I never had."

Apparently it was, because she ate almost all of it while my wife hungrily looked on in amazement.