Sunday, October 28, 2018

This Week In (my) History

Are there weeks in your personal history that have significance?  This week is one for me.  28 years ago, this week, I started my first job as a copier field technician.  It was the start of my second career which has taken up the majority of my adult life.

This is not what I had planned in college.  I was planning on being a teacher and maybe a writer.  Then money ran out, I did not make it into the education program at UC Santa Cruz, and job opportunity arose (in my first career in audio/visual).  One thing led to another and I found that I was able to use my talents in fixing things to make a living.  In the meantime, I have also been able to teach and lead children and youth in church and write as a hobby.

I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if I had decided to switch to San Jose State and gotten my teaching credentials.  I honestly don’t know.  Would I have been a good teacher?  Would I have enjoyed it? 

All those questions are, of course, moot now.  I have had many “woulda, coulda, shoulda” moments through my life.  I can’t change those, and regret would only put a cloud over my life.  Instead I choose to look to the future.  I intend to pursue a career in writing while maintaining excellence in my current career.  Instead of dwelling on the missed opportunities of the past, I will reach for the opportunities out there in the future.

Where are you in your history?  Are you living in regret over past decisions?  Are there goals that you still want to strive for?  Let me encourage you to reach for the stars.  The sky is not the limit.  After all, we’ve already sent people to the moon (thanks Adam Young for that thought).  Think beyond the possible to the miraculous and you might be surprised what will happen.

Speaking of the impossible, I did manage to complete the revision of the already done first two-thirds of Wil Clarey: School of Hard Knocks.  I am excited to be able to move on to complete that book during NaNoWriMo in November.  I encourage all you writers out there to join in and work on your next great novel!  Let me know how it is going.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Indian Summer

     What inspires you to write?  This evening we have steaks and burgers sizzling on the grill.  That could be inspiration enough.  But then, we are in the midst of a beautiful “Indian Summer” day.  That could be inspiration enough. 

     But here’s my real inspiration.  I got to spend all day with my family.  Even my oldest daughter hung out with us this afternoon (that break in the writing that you did not see was to give her a goodbye hug).  I am a truly blessed man. 

     I don’t say this to bum you out if your family life is not great right now.  Trust me, mine has not always been great.  In fact, there were years when the bad far outweighed the good.  Through it all, I have held on to the good and have been thankful for all the little victories or sometimes just survival.  Some of those tough moments have made for some of the best parts of my books (like being forced to move to Virginia against my will).  For now, let me revel in this beautiful day.

     I will keep this short, so the food doesn’t burn, and the family doesn’t go hungry.  Just want to encourage you.  When the moment inspires you, write it down.  When your moments seem all wrong, write that down too.  You will get through it.  Someday, those moments will encourage others.

     I am wrapping this up quickly after dinner and before an evening of games with the family.  I am curious what you are writing about or are interested in writing about.  Please share here in the comments or on my Facebook page (search for solanowriting).

Friday, October 12, 2018

We the People of the Lincoln Highway

     Last weekend I took a quick trip to California (which is why I did not post a blog last week).  I decided to take the Lincoln Highway (US 50) through Nevada on my way home to Colorado.  I had never driven that route before and had heard that it was something to experience.  I had no idea!

     It was Sunday afternoon by the time I left Carson, NV.  I had a large late breakfast with my extended family back in Grass Valley, CA so I didn’t need to stop for lunch.  Armed with snacks and a full tank of gas, I hit the truly open road.  The middle of Nevada is one of the few places in America where you can look out on a 30-mile-wide valley and not see another soul. 

     In the midst of that isolation I saw something that took some real commitment.  Okay, I’ll be honest.  I didn’t see it until I looked back at one of the several one-handed random photos I took as I flew down that two-lane ribbon.  Along the shoulder the Preamble of the United States Constitution was written out in stones.  A little research told me that it took Michael Iacovone five days of work in the hot desert sun to complete that statement 20 miles east of Fallon.

     In the evening of my drive in the desert, still in Nevada, I saw something extraordinary.  SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 rocket and it created an amazing light show on the southwestern sky.  I had to stop and take pictures and watch in awe.  What a cap to a unique day!

     I have to stand in awe of the efforts that each of those sights took.  I also wonder if I have ever put that kind of effort into any one project.  What comes to mind are the long-term commitments of my everyday life.  My faith, my family, my friends, and my professions occupy the bulk of my time.  What if I took time to do something truly out of the ordinary?

     Tonight, I struggle to find the words to convey the wonder of it my experiences last Sunday.  That is my commitment.  I seek to enrich other’s lives through words that hope to convey the wonder of every aspect of life.  I am committed to completing “Wil Clarey: School of Hard Knocks” by the end of November and moving on to the next project.  I am not yet sure if it will be book three of the Wil Clarey series or if it will be completing one of my other stories.  Maybe I will ask your help in deciding.  For now, I will ask you this – will you join me in writing for the National Novel Writing Month?  Sign up and share your words and your wonder!