Tag Archives: insomnia

Strange dreams anyone???

Greetings, readers. Last night I had one of my nights of insomnia where I finally got to sleep around 4:00 in the morning. Ouch. Still wanting to do my morning routine, like a brave little trooper, I kept my alarm on set for 6:45. This meant that I had the unwanted consequence of being awakened during REM sleep. And oh, what a strange dream I was having.

The dream was a mixture of David’s family and TV characters from a multitude of shows from the 80s and 90s. The part that I remember the most was searching desperately for a young girl to tell her something. But now everyone had aged several years and, just like my memory issues in real life, I couldn’t remember this girl’s name. Here I was walking up and down some kind of outdoor area covered by white canvas, making inquires to people such as Will Smith and Lisa Bonet, as well as several members of Dave’s family. Finally someone said her name. I said, “That’s her.” I turned around and there she was, also several years older.

She didn’t look the same; I could barely tell it was her. The kicker was that she doesn’t exist in my real life, but in the dream I knew her and we were really good friends. We had either worked on a project together, or we had been in a relationship at some point. That detail was a bit fuzzy. And as chance would have it, before I could conclude this dream, my alarm awakened me.

So let’s try to analyse. I was searching for someone desperately, could be my parents, or the circumstances I had as a child. The outdoor covered area probably represents that I am still safe today, even though sometimes I still feel lost. David and family are there, as the anchoring figures, so that little Joey won’t feel afraid or alone. Who the famous actors and actresses were … well, that is where the dream gets you. There is always some part of the dream that makes absolutely no sense.

I think I did pretty well analysing my dream. Dr. Sigmund Freud would be proud. Please, readers, if you wish to tell me about you recent dreams and what you think they mean, drop a note at Facebook or in this blog’s comment section.

Rebecca will have a blog entry either Wednesday or Friday, and I’ll have one ready for the other day.

Until then, take care, have a great weekend, hope your team wins the Super Bowl, and happy reading.


Why do my best ideas come to me at three in the morning?

Greetings, readers. For approximately the last month and a half, an interesting trend has emerged. Rebecca and I will work at our usual time, 12 to 3, three days a week. Then I will go on with the rest of my day, thinking of things to write about with very little success. At the end of the day, I will take my evening medication, turn out the light, and wish very desperately to go to sleep. When do my ideas for writing projects come to me???

As the title of this entry suggests, they come to me at three in the morning or thereabouts. I’ve heard that some really great writers keep pad and pencil by their beds for just such an occurrence. I should do that, but I don’t. I get angry at myself for not sleeping, turn on every light in the apartment, switch on the TV and Playstation 3, and play a game of MLB12 The Show until I literally feel like I’m going to pass out. I consider myself a writer for I do blog, but to be honest, lately that is all we’ve been doing. This past November and December were taken up with practice time for a Beatles performance, which in hindsight was a mistake. Not that the performance itself was a mistake, but the preparation time was more involved than I was expecting it to be.

Also, some personal problems which have mostly been rectified now, thank you, caused me not to be able to concentrate on my writing as much as I might have liked. After much time and many trials, it seems as though we will finally be able to pop it into that next gear, and get down to some serious work. I’m planning to put out a book from my first year of blogging as my new work for this year. A book of truly new material such as Camp Book 3, a romance novella, or other project will be at least a year and a half away. I know myself. I am not the type of person who can sit down and crank out 300 pages of a first draft in a month. Health and personal issues simply prevent it.

Lastly, here in State College, PA as is in most of the Northern part of the country, we are experiencing our first Canadian arctic blast of the season. 12° above zero with a wind chill factor of -1. Can you say brrr? I know, I know, people in Florida are now laughing at me.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I will not be blogging for roughly the next week or so. I need to take care of some personal things. We’ll be back with you ASAP. Until then, take care and happy reading.

So close I can taste it

Greetings, readers. By tomorrow at 3pm my second book, Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, should be for sale. My writing assistant, Rebecca, and I found only one minor mistake in the second proof. Unfortunately we did have to correct it. However, with CreateSpace.com’s new feature to review your proof on-line, once they approve the submitted file again, I will be able to quickly check it tomorrow with the feature and then approve the proof. Then it will be officially for sale!

This morning I sat my alarm for 8:00, forcing myself to get up early. Throughout the rest of this summer I am going to make some major changes in my life. For instance, last night I wanted to stay up and watch television as is my habit, but I made myself go to sleep at a quarter to eleven. It was nice that I had a long morning to get a few things done in the apartment before work time began. I know, I know … Most everybody sleeps during the night. I, as an insomniac, am usually quite awake in the wee hours of the morning. I think once I have made the complete adjustment, my insomnia will go away.

Later on this afternoon, getting back to my books, I intent to walk across the street to Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe to verify how many copies of both books the owner wants to have. Since it is extremely warm today, I dread the walk. Yet we must market and distribute the books ourselves.

That is the big problem in my eyes with self-publishing. Yet so far it has not been too big of a problem. The two local stores carrying my book have been more than cooperative and quite nice about the process.

Lastly, during July, I’m going to fine tune my writing skills and begin a children’s book project, which I thought up last night. It has promise and I think it will be fun to do. Also, in August I am going away for a week. I believe that wordpress.com has a feature to republish posts. Perhaps I will put up one or two of the most popular reads from my blog since I began blogging in December.

Until quite soon, stay cool and healthy, and have a great day.

Update for 6/20/12

Greetings, readers. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the second proof of my latest book. If my editor and I don’t find any major boo-boos, it could be for sale as early as Friday. This would certainly make my weekend.

To bring you all up to speed, sales of my first book at local stores, Appalachian Outdoors and Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, have been slow but I think they are about to pick up. As well, the owner of Bear Spring Camps is indeed interested in stocking the latest book. This was a big shot in the arm for me. With my vacation to Maine mere weeks away, I am very excited that the work is over, the proof process is all but done, and it will be time to sit back and reap the rewards.

On to a slightly different topic now. Today or tomorrow is the first official day of summer and here in central Pennsylvania it is definitely feeling like it with temperatures in the upper 80s into the low 90s. Thank goodness for the light breeze we have. Here in the office, the air conditioner is working overtime. It sounds like it could blow up any minute.

Yesterday I walked around town briefly trying to promote the books without much success. People I was looking for were either on break or not in. In that realm it was just one of those days. I have to learn how to promote myself better if I truly wish to make money at being a writer. Sure the gratification of knowing that someone has enjoyed my work is wonderful but a small amount of sales won’t pay the bills. I need to go out there and market myself. I need to be that salesperson. There are a couple of other small businesses here in town that have a small book area. Both are within walking distance and on a cooler day I think I shall go there and see if they are interested. The worst thing they can do is say no.

Next, my dreaded insomnia continues. I went to bed around midnight, woke up at ten minutes until four and that was it. I am so hoping that when I get to camp I will ease in to what I call my camp routine. Which includes sleeping from approximately eleven p.m. to seven a.m.

Not too long ago I switched my long time favorite beverage, my beverage of choice, due to health reasons. Coffee was beginning to upset my stomach and so now when I go to Panera Bread, or Panera as I call it, I partake of their delicious British Breakfast tea with a little bit of honey. It serves two useful purposes. It is tummy-friendly and it has caffeine. Which on most mornings I desperately need.

During the rest of this summer, with Rebecca’s help, I am going to work on my characterization skills so that when the new project(s) begin in late August, they will have more depth and more meat on their bones. As much as I like my two books about my experiences at camp, I’ll be the first to admit that description is not my strong point. One only gets better with time and practice. Until very soon, take care and have a great day.

Another night of insomnia

Greetings, readers. It seems to me that every early Wednesday morning is my insomnia night. I have a theory for this. I meet a buddy of mine at our local Denny’s here in State College and pig out on ice cream and coffee from 7:30 until 9pm. Even though I’m extremely careful to switch to decaf after only one cup of regular coffee, I’m still hyped up from the evening. If I’m going to have a night of insomnia, it will be the Tuesday night until Wednesday.

From now on I think I shall choose something else to eat and forgo even that one cup of regular coffee. With my self-imposed book deadline drawing nearer, I can’t be up until 7 in the morning, and expect to function later that day. I’ve also pondered this theory – that I psych myself out. I say to myself oh dear it’s Tuesday. I’ve had too much sugar and caffeine. Now I won’t sleep. And as some of you will attest to, first you say it, then you do it.

On to something work related. Rebecca and I are beginning our reduced hours schedule this week. I actually used part of the time I was up this morning to type out a work schedule. It seems to be going pretty well. Today after blog entry will be the first draft of the new book’s dedication page and acknowledgements page. While we are on the subjects of my books, my first book, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Springs Camps Stories, will be available in Kindle format in 12 to 24 hours. I’m not certain how many of you read on the Kindle, but if you’d like to read my first book, this is the newest way it is available. When my second book comes out around July, I imagine we shall have it go not only to printed form but to Kindle form as well from the start.

Lastly, I have been studying the official web pages of Mitt Romney and President Obama, and I have not forgotten about doing a blog entry on them. Just like the tribute to my father on this blog which took me a while to compose, this one needs more time. That blog entry will be posted soon. My writing assistant, Rebecca, brought up a good point that not only should I have good facts, but it should also include my point of view. So stay turned, happy reading, and have a great week. Next blog post on Friday : )

Back to work we go on a Wednesday

Greetings, readers. Today, the 25th of April, is a cool day here in Central Pennsylvania, though sunny. The local elections were held yesterday. As I understand it, turnout was extremely light. As promised, though later in the week, I’m going to write my first blog entry dealing with politics. This will be where you will see just how little I know on the subject. Haha.

I must use all of my powers of concentrations to keep focused today since the old insomnia bug bit me again last night. Oddly enough, and here’s a chuckle, this came only hours after I gave my dear Godmother advice on how to get to sleep. I didn’t work for me.

Here comes kitty cat Keekee to see me, looking cute and adorable as always. The only problem I have with her right now, is that she is going through her spring shedding. Around my apartment I can collect enough hair to make a clone of her. As most of my regular readers know, I have one picture of Keekee up with more to come. Sometime in the near future, I want to put my picture in the banner where the books are now, but I have to figure out how to make the photo not look stretched.

As for the rest of this week, writing assistant, Rebecca, and I are getting down to the nitty-gritty. It’s the last full week of work before reduced hours kick in. Starting next week and beyond, we’ll only be working 9 hours a week instead of 20. We shall have to learn to cram more work related things in a shorter amount of time. I already have some ideas on how to accomplish this.

I think what I shall do instead of straight dictation is either to write out or type a rough draft of whatever I’m working on and have Rebecca edit it when she is at the office.

In approximately 20 minutes, when this blog is edited and posted, we shall continue editing what Rebecca calls the A-Z file of my latest book. This means a complete read through and edit with the stories pretty much in the order that they will appear in the book. Thinking about my new project has made me a bit nostalgic. I hate when that happens because I spend too much darn money. I go to E-Bay and try to find the things that I used to have.

Until Friday, when my political piece will be posted, take care and have a good week.

Technology … Grrr 2

Greetings readers. Today it happened again. Technology bit me somewhere where I don’t like to be bitten. Allow me to elaborate. After a night of insomnia, I decided to turn on the lights, fire up the computer, and type a story for my new book project. No sooner did I have my soft music playing, my diet Coke on the coaster, and the word processor page on the screen, then I made my mistake. I opened up what my writing assistant and I call a formatted blank page. I got it ready to use and went to save it to my project’s folder. I was then going to save that to my thumb drive. Well, I hit Copy instead of Send To and then thought I was sending the original to the recycle bin, but instead the copy didn’t work and the original folder with notes included went off into oblivion. I wonder where things go when that happens. Do they go off to cyberspace?

While sitting here dictating this blog entry, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t say, Joseph Kockelmans … Grr. Because it most likely was due to my own fatigue and lack of computer experience – of not knowing what command does what. In any event, no work got done this morning. Luckily, however, this afternoon, Rebecca and I were able to quite effectively reconstruct our outline of notes.

I’m not saying that this caused my concentration gaffe, but I have been preoccupied with a personal issue and sleep has not come easy the last few nights. Things are much better now, and hopefully the sandman will return soon.

Lastly, a mild technological dilemma. My trusty refurbished PS3 is showing signs of wearing out. So far it has frozen three times during use, and the customer service rep at our local GameStop store said that it is beginning to die. According to him, it has no more than two months of life left. Time to start scrimping and saving. Yes, readers, I am a gaming and movie geek, and cannot do without my PS3 for very long. I shall have another blog post for you either tomorrow or next week on Wednesday when Rebecca and I return to work. Until then, happy reading and happy weekend.

It’s a Murphy’s Law type of day

It’s funny how life presents you with blog post ideas. Two hours ago, I had no idea what I was going to blog about today, then my day began to go wrong. A problem at the pharmacy, a big problem at the bank, and an unexpected phone call from a friend needing touchy advice. Well, I spoke to my friend and gave that person as much wisdom as I could. Moments ago, I received a phone call from someone letting me know that my banking dilemma has been straightened out. Once I get back to the pharmacy, all will be right with the world again.

Actually, I’ve had a couple of Murphy’s Law nights lately. As some of you may already know, I’m an insomniac. Last night I actually got five-and-a-half hours and that sufficed. The previous two nights, however, I played many games of MLB11 The Show on my PS3, after I flipped and flopped for several hours.

My trusty writing assistant, Rebecca, who is typing this blog as I dictate, is actually assisting me in editing on the fly. Usually, I dictate a blog entry and then edit and spellcheck later … but since I have to get back to the bank … time is short and every second counts. Yes, readers, Rebecca is invaluable. I never could have gotten my first book done as quickly or as well without her. {Aw, shucks, Boss. I’m blushing. Thanks.}

Oh! For those interested in Keekee, my kitty cat, all of her mouth stitches are gone now and she’s adjusting to soft food. Yes, she still has teeth, just six fewer. Rebecca and I are going to figure out real soon, probably with the help of a one-time digital camera or a good cell phone camera, how to get a picture of Keekee up on my blog page for all to see.

I have also not forgotten about the blog entry about my father. It has proven a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. I am sure once it’s done, however, it will be a shining memorial to Dr. Joseph J. Kockelmans, my Pop.

Until very soon, have a great weekend. : )

Virtual Sports Reality

Hi there, readers. As I continue to do research for the blog entry about my father, I’d like to share something with you, which to me is a personal revelation. I was thinking about this Monday night as I was having one of my frequent insomnia bouts. It finally dawned on me why I love Madden football and MLB baseball for the PS3 gaming system so much.

As a youth, I was completely uncoordinated, clumsy, and awkward. A star athlete, I would never be. All the highlights that school age young men get to do, I never did. For instance, I never tried out for the high school football team. Heck, I could barely run, much less tackle anybody. The only football I could throw any distance was a Nerf, and my balance was such that being a running back or a wide receiver was out of the question. I would have had my own personal stretcher.

I didn’t try out for the baseball team, or softball, or basketball. Same rules apply there, I just didn’t feel myself a strong enough person to compete, mentally or physically. So when school was over, I got in my mom’s car and we drove home. I entertained myself with records, TV, and the occasional touch football game with kids from my neighborhood who knew my physical limitations and took it easy on me.

The video games in the early days were laughable as compared to what they are today. As of the last three years, sports games for the PS3 system are ultra-realistic. I watched a video on YouTube yesterday for MLB12 The Show. It was their official trailer. I didn’t think the game could get anymore realistic. I was wrong. Can’t wait ’til March 4th! Well, getting back to the topic of this blog post, the reason I love these games so much is simply this: It allows me to pretend that I am the coach, the manager, or even one of the players on these great professional sports teams. When I hit the X button on the controller, it’s me hitting the home run or striking out the powerful batter.

The other night I actually said to myself out loud, why don’t you quit being a writer and go work for either EA Sports or Sony? Well the answer is simple. I like being a writer too much. Sure I’ve got some ideas for improvements for their games; that is what email and phone numbers are for.

Well, I’m off to email my Dutch cousin to hopefully get the final few puzzle pieces that I’ll need for the blog post about my father. Until very soon, take care and have a great day.

Getting ready for the weekend

Hi Folks. As I get ready for company coming in for the weekend, my attention will be on them and not on my writing. I do have some good ideas, so that when I return on Tuesday or Wednesday, blog posts will return with a vengeance.

From what I understand, the weather here in central Pennsylvania is not going to cooperate with any outdoor activities. But there will be plenty of food, beverages, tv shows, and PS3 games to keep us occupied. While I will be losing a couple of days of my normal writing routine, I think the break shall do me good.

The former head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, Joe Paterno, passed away this past Sunday. I have some feelings I’d like to share and will probably do so the first blog entry of next week.

I’m working on four hours of sleep today, because I just couldn’t turn off the brain last night. With my friends coming in I have a multitude of things to do to get ready. As I am prone to sleeplessness, thinking about things in the late evening is always a hazard. At 3am, I turned on Netflix and watched Cleopatra for a while. Wasn’t Liz Taylor beautiful back then? Then it was on to Madden 12 football. I lost.

I wish all of you a good weekend. Please feel free to leave comments and I shall respond to them. Until next week …