Tag Archives: kimberly

I am sick and tired of life

Greetings, readers. I have felt very strange over the last couple of months and until recently I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what was bothering me. Well, the picture is becoming a little bit clearer now that the fog has lifted, and I don’t like what I see.

My desire to write is at its highest point in two years. When I say to write, I obviously mean work other than the blog. My problem now is that I have no time or energy from working at the fast food job to do said writing. I am 52 years old and I feel like my life is a waste.

On the positive side of the job,  I am an extremely outgoing person at my cash register, and my regulars love me. I do get a lot of enjoyment and self-esteem from this work. I feel, however, that I must give serious contemplation to either quitting or, at the very least, taking a few months off.

This winter has been brutally cold and walking to and from busses to go to work has already become a hated chore.  I get up at 4:00 in the morning to check Facebook, have some coffee, and listen to music before I have to get ready to go. I blink twice, and it’s 8:10. There goes that morning. I come home from work, dreadfully tired, with feet aching, I put a little food in me, watch an episode or two of something, and usually have lights out by 9:30.

On my three days off from my fast food job, I write with Rebecca for roughly three hours, and I must also do all the chores that need to get done and I had no other time to do, such as appointments, laundry, shopping, etc. When in the hell do I have time to sit down and write? Some might say at 4:00 in the morning. Ah, no, my functioning brain is barely active at that time. In the evening? I’ve actually caught myself falling asleep during my TV shows. Again, the brain is not in creative mode. You can see why I’m depressed.

Do my therapy sessions help? Yes they do, for a short time, but then I begin to look at my life in general and I come to the conclusion that I have wasted most of it. Three quarters gone and only a quarter to go. I have three books to my name, which if you put all three together, don’t equal the pages of Darren’s novel adapted from my play. I would have to say, Dear Readers, that my biggest accomplishment has been this blog, and that is primarily thanks to the help of Rebecca’s typing and editing skills.

Now, don’t worry folks, even though this entry is full of red flags, I am a fighter and a survivor and will do whatever I need to do to get this situation under control. Tomorrow, I’ve cleared the docket to read and edit Four’s a Crowd, either in the morning or, if I have Rebecca come in, after she leaves. I always try to leave each entry on a bright note, and here it is. I ordered speech recognition software for the computer. Once it comes in and I master that, I won’t have to type anymore. That could solve many problems quickly. Cross thy fingers.

Until next time, stay warm, have a great day, have a cup of coffee or hot cocoa for me, and happy reading.

Advertisements

From Rebecca: Editing Four’s a Crowd from proofs

Greetings, Joe’s readers. Joe, my husband Darren, and I are doing the unusual practice of doing heavy edits in the proof copies of Four’s a Crowd. Usually this would be done before the proofreading work, but we got blocked and needed a way to push forward. As regular readers know, Joe wrote a play, Kimberly, which four years ago Darren began adapting into the novel Four’s a Crowd. Darren and Joe would get together every few months and touch base with what Darren was doing with Joe’s characters and plotlines to expand them, and make notes on moving forward.

Darren finished writing the first couple of drafts, then we printed off copies so that the three of us could do edits. We did a couple of rounds of that, in starts and stops, and then sometime in the last year the progress just got stuck. As the three of us worked at different stages, we would think that one of us was doing something with the book, only to find out that the person thought that someone else was doing something, so all three of us would be in waiting patterns. And then nothing moved forward on the project for many months and Darren gave up.

Someone, I think it was me, suggested we just jump to the next step, which was getting proofs, and edit from there. Which we did, and the project is moving rapidly now. We are using the print-on-demand publisher CreateSpace for the novel. Joe had a good experience with them when he published his three books, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories, Beyond North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, and Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger. I downloaded the CreateSpace formatted templet, and started plugging in the content. We had to wait a couple of days for the review, but then we were ready to order proof copies.

For Darren, this was the first time he held a bound book with his name on it as author, and he was pleased. The book is thicker than we imagined, and has a heft to it. We are all really proud of it. We will be changing the front cover photo, we still need to put in author photos, and make a few more cosmetic changes, but it is already an impressive achievement.

We got four of copies for editing, one for Darren, one for Joe, one for me, and one for Darren’s mother who agreed to read it and give us feedback. Darren’s mom read the book in two days and loved it. She pointed out a few things to change that helped a lot. I was going to say that Darren finished his editing yesterday, except he is sitting on the sofa right now with a pencil in his teeth and the book in his hands making more changes. Joe plans to do some editing with his copy today, while he also rests from a very busy week. I am on page number 232 out of 300 in my copy, so I don’t have much left.

Except for Joe who is using a sheet of paper, we are making our changes and suggestions right in the book with pencils. I am not sure why, but it is so satisfying to write directly in the book. The novel feels so much different in bound form than in loose sheets of typing paper, and editing in that form feels different too. Darren has already put his mother’s changes in his copy, then when I am done he will put my edits in his book too. In early January, Darren and Joe will have a meeting to go over Joe’s changes and put those in Darren’s copy too.

Then we put the edits in the manuscript computer file, upload the book to CreateSpace again, get another proof (which should read a lot smoother and faster), edit and change and upload again, and when we are ready, we will hit the publish button. And then Darren and Joe’s book will be out in the world ready to buy, hopefully by the end of March 2018. We will keep you posted.

Joe will be back next week with a new blog entry. Until then, as he would write, take care, have a great week, and happy reading

Things in my world today, November 30, 2017

Greetings, readers. A bizarre thing happened last afternoon and evening that I wish to share with you in case any of you know what it might be and can give me advice in the comment section. I woke up from a nap to find both my hips and lower back stiff as a board. Occasionally I would have a sharp pain on one or both sides. It did not keep me from walking down to my appointment, though I was uncomfortable. Later, when I was watching television, I got a knife jab in my right side that made me consider going to the E.R.

I woke up in the middle of the night to find that the pain was almost gone, much to my relief. I don’t remember making a false move or lifting anything heavy, but obviously I strained something. Thank goodness this morning the pain is gone. I still wish I knew what it was and will it come back. Now on to other news.

Rebecca, Darren, and I are proofreading our copies of Four’s a Crowd. I’ve already found one scene that there is going to be head-butting about. It involves the female lead character saying a word I’m not comfortable with. The question is, with Darren the author of the novel, and me the author of the play it is based on, who should get the final say? Hopefully we can compromise.

More news. My Beatles sing along show is tomorrow, but at 3:30pm, not 1:00. There was a slight mix-up in the entertainment schedule and my show will start after the country line dancers are finished. It should make for a wonderful day’s entertainment. I will be singing along to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl CD, and my friend Mike Weaver will be singing a few Christmas carols while I take a break between my two sets. I’m a tad worried that Mike and I have not had a practice session yet, but we’re not professions and if a clunker is made, it is okay. I’m sure folks will love the show.

It will be very odd not to go to my other job tomorrow and I do thank my manager Savannah for giving me the day off to do the show. I will work at my fast food job on Saturday, probably have off Sunday, and return to my regular schedule next week.

After Rebecca and I are finished with this blog entry, I am going to go on the Zipcar website and reserve a vehicle for the my Christmas Eve Light Ride. This year I want to book early to make sure I get a vehicle. I believe my other job will be closed that evening, so a work shift should not get in the way.

On a sadder note, I was in a bit of a funk yesterday when I learned about NBC’s Matt Lauer being fired for sexual misconduct. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade has lost its shine for me now. He was the co-host of it for many years and that team was part of my special day. I watched part of it at David’s this year and have it set in my YouTube queue to watch anytime, but will probably not watch it after this. Next year it will be Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and ?. If the allegations are true, Matt Lauer deserves to be locked up. I guess you never know about people. It is getting harder and harder to trust anyone in this world, but with my jolly personality, I shall try.

Lastly, I’ll be doing my show tomorrow and most likely be doing my own write-up about it for a blog post. Rebecca is unable to attend and if memory serves this will be the first show she has missed since we began working together. I just know that I am going to criticize my every mistake as most artists do. I promise I won’t be too hard on myself and cut myself some slack.

Until next week, which should be a two-day work week for us, have a wonderful weekend, take care, wish me luck on my show, and, as always, happy reading.

Making plans for a Thanksgiving visit

Greetings, readers. The bus tickets have been purchased and I am going to be on my way. Dave and family invited me to New Jersey for Thanksgiving weekend and I gleefully accepted. After checking out Zipcar and Hertz I figured out that Megabus was the way to go. For a modest price, I will be able to enjoy a five-day mini-vacation.

I am able to go because of generous friends who offered to take my work shifts on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Two people offered and I hope my manager doesn’t schedule them both because one will be angry at me. If either one of you is a regular reader, you have just saved my weekend and I owe you a favor.

I’m going to have to look at the Megabus website again to see if I can bring a suitcase and a carry-on. If it is one or the other, the computer will be staying home. In the late evenings at David’s, after our brotherly chats are over, I like to go upstairs to my guest room, crawl under the blankets, and check my email or listen to music. The one thing I am worried about is that my body is programmed to wake up at 4:00am; that will not be happening at David’s house. I will be sleeping in.

I can’t wait to get there and enjoy the family’s hospitality. The Thanksgiving meal itself will be in the dining hall at Geri’s church and it is big enough for the entire family. I will probably ask David if I can say Grace or make a speech, as I always tend to do. I’m looking forward not only to the feast but also to be with family once again. I shall treasure every moment.

What are the things I am thankful for this year? With my life looking up at the moment, here is my brief list: I am thankful for my kitty-cat Keekee, who is in good health, besides perhaps a slight eye issue; she’s doing great for being almost 13 years old. I am thankful for my family and friends and the possibility to travel and see them. I’m also grateful and thankful that my job has worked out and that most managers think I am doing an excellent job … and making a little extra scratch doesn’t hurt either. Lol. Last but not least, I am thankful for Rebecca and Darren for their years of not only friendship but of hard work to help me put these various writing projects together. As I told my friend this morning, I don’t care if Darren’s book doesn’t put me on the map, I’m hoping it will put him on the map. Kimberly was a cute play. Was it polished? Not by any means. Darren took a good solid skeleton with some meat on the bones and turned it into a literary breathing human being.

I wish to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and readers. Your support over the last year has meant so much to me and has kept us going. The recent upswing in view numbers is continuing and we like it.

I said yesterday that this entry would be a top ten list, but other work earlier this morning took time away from our working hours here at the office, so the promised top ten list will come as soon as I come back from vacation. My mistake.

Next week Rebecca will post two blog entries, most likely re-posts of her choosing, as I will be on the bus and in New Jersey, cramming myself with turkey and trimmings.

So until next time, have a wonderful holiday, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe is relaxing and resting today

Joe has worked a lot at his other job this last month and he will work from tomorrow through next Tuesday, before working with me again next Wednesday and Thursday, so he took today for a personal downtime day. And I have to confess, I worked an extra shift for my other job last Saturday, and at the time it didn’t seem to tire me out, but now I am enjoying having an unexpected extra day at home. So far, it has been nice.

After I publish this blog post, my husband Darren and I are going to play a section of a board game called Descent. It is a game he had for a while and we started playing it off and on a few months ago. Darren likes strategy games that are complicated and take many hours to play all the way through, like Axis & Allies, while I like simple games that can be played in less than two hours. It is therefore difficult for us to find games that work for both of us. Descent seems to be a good in-between game. It has sections that can be played in a few hours, and while there is a whole booklet of rules and takes a bit of strategy, playing it was easy for me to learn and is as simple as I need it to be. I play the easier side, the overlord, which helps. Darren plays the two hero adventurers who use weapons and powers to fight my monsters and gather loot. Enough complication for him, while I have enough simplicity with my monsters and their spelled out powers. A nice way to spend the afternoon.

Four’s a Crowd, the novel that Darren adapted from Joe’s play Kimberly, is one step closer to being published. Yesterday I uploaded the file to the CreateSpace site, and later today Joe will look at the interior review page, then click save and continue. He will fill out a few more boxes, then send it to be reviewed by the site, then we can order proofs. We will edit the proofs, make corrections, then do the process again. We expect to have the finished book ready to sell early next year, hopefully by the first of March.

Well, that is my day. I hope you are all having a good time, and that soon you have a chance to step out of routine and refresh too.

Until next week, take care, have a great week, and happy reading.

A welcome to new readers and it’s chore day for me

Greetings, readers. Before I begin today’s blog entry, both Rebecca and I highly suspect that we have some new readers on board. A hardy welcome goes out to each and every one of you. The last few weeks we have seen a lot of ones next to a variety of entry titles, suggesting that people are exploring the site, which adds up to a lot of views in a day. In almost six full years we are finally seeing our daily view numbers go from the twenty range to the thirty to fifty view range. These are the numbers I’ve been dreaming about. I realize that some of my views might be bots, especially one day last week when one entry got a large spike out of nowhere, but to me a view is a view. We love our numbers. Rebecca and I check them every work day.

With this being my second of two days off from the fast food job, it is do-everything-I-need-to-do-at-home day. Such tasks include laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and probably some more paper shredding. I don’t want to wear myself out too much, before going back to the job tomorrow.

Switching topics, Rebecca showed me the title page that she has done in the CreateSpace formatted blank for Four’s a Crowd. I must say it looks great. I think this novel is going to be a hit. I can remember working on the play it is based on for years and years, on and off. I’ve often tried to pin down the date of which I began the project or even the year, but it is difficult. I’m going to say that the play Kimberly was at least six years in the making through its four complete drafts. Then after that, Darren took almost four years adapting it into a novel. I am most proud of not only my work, but his work too, and Rebecca’s. This project is truly a team effort.

As my readers from yesterday may remember, we had an R.I.P. to Robert Guillaume, but I also learned that Fats Domino also passed away, yesterday or the day before. I’ve been told by many people that famous folks seem to pass away in threes. It is odd how that usually comes to pass. We’ll see in another day or so if another famous singer or actor dies.

This Saturday the Penn State Nittany Lions will play the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio State in what I expect they are calling the revenge game. Ohio was number two last year when we beat them here at home; now we are the second ranked team in the nation and Ohio State would love nothing more than to ruin our dream of a national championship. This is the only game I am truly worried about. It is funny that Penn State plays better when I don’t watch them, so I think I will let the bar crowds let me know who is winning. The fact that I live downtown, makes that easy; if I hear loud cheers, whoops, and screams, I know that Penn State just did something good. If it is eerily quiet, I can deduce that we are probably losing by three touchdowns.

On that day, Saturday, my work shift ends at 3:00 and I will probably be home around 4:00. With a 3:30 kick off, I should be able to enjoy most of the game, but as soon as I see Ohio State winning, off it goes. LOL.

As far as I know, next week will be a normal work week for Rebecca and me. It will all depend on if they need me to come in to work on Thursday. So until next week, I bid all of you a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

P.S. I’m going to do a little research for Wednesday’s blog topic about a YouTube video I was told about. I don’t want to give my opinion on it until we have both seen it and know exactly what it was all about; but it better not be what I think it is … [Update: 10/26/17 After doing some research today, I found out that the incident in question happened in 2009. Since it is so old, I decided that I will chose another topic next Wednesday.]

I survived six days in a row at my job

Greetings, readers. I am enjoying my first day off in a week from my fast-food restaurant job. I usually only work four days a week but we are short-staffed and the extra pay will come in handy. I can’t wait to go on-line Saturday morning when my next paycheck comes in automatically with direct deposit and see the total. I got a raise this past pay period, so I should be seeing a much bigger number on the screen. Exciting.

I thought I would be drop-dead exhausted by yesterday, but I seemed to have hit a groove. Sunday had an onslaught of steady customers from 10:15 am to 2:00 pm. Nobody got a break. The consumers consisted of the Penn State football crowd getting breakfast before leaving town and Sunday church goers having their quick meal before or after services. I thought that by 1:00 pm most people would be home watching pro football. Nooo. I was grossly mistaken.

Monday and Tuesday’s shifts were “easy” by comparison. I’ve been at my work place now since May and I know the register pretty well. I don’t need to ask for help nearly as much. Oh, I’ll make a mistake once in a while, and have to call for one of my managers, but they are more than willing to come and help.

On to another topic, my friend Traci is letting me purchase her paper shredder, something our office desperately needs for all the documents I receive. This morning I was hard at work shredding old papers with my name and address on them. I had to be very careful not to put any staples through it. So far it works great. It might just be the best $20 I have spent in a long time.

I am fighting myself today, my readers, to not erupt in flames verbally about President Donald Trump. I constantly have to bite my tongue and sensor myself on this blog. If I said half the things I truly feel, I would probably be put on some internet watch, so I will leave it there.

Rebecca and I are working together both today and tomorrow, so we will have a regular work week again. She gave me a report on her progress this last week on getting Four’s a Crowd ready for publishing in a few months. Regular readers know that her husband Darren adapted my play Kimberly into a novel. She downloaded a formatted templet from CreateSpace.com, filled in information such as the ISBN numbers we got from CreateSpace, the title and author sections, expanded the number of formatted chapter slots, and then cut and pasted each chapter from Darren’s files to the formatted file in the appropriate chapter slots. She said she still needs to do a few final touches, then we can upload the file and order proof copies. We will do a last edit from the proofs, make corrections, then approve it to go live and start selling books. We are all excited to get this project going forward again.

Lastly, an R.I.P. to one of my favorite actors of the 1980s, Robert Guillaume. His work includes the TV shows Soap and the extremely popular spin-off Benson. I watched every episode of Benson and quite a number of episodes of Soap. You did a wonderful job, Robert.

Until tomorrow, have a wonderful day, take care, and happy reading.

Rebecca and I have been working together for 7 years tomorrow

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe it has been seven years already since Rebecca agreed to be my typist and editor. That job quickly morphed into personal assistant, but that is okay. The main job is writing. After almost seven years together, we have put out over 600 blog entries, three books, and part of a book (written by Rebecca’s husband Darren) based on a play I wrote before we started working together. Oh, and by the way, that book is coming soon.

Yes, we’re very excited about Four’s a Crowd. Although we still have one or two edits to go, I’ve read the project and it is awesome. You’ll love it. Very soon Rebecca is going to begin putting it into the CreateSpace formatted templet, cutting and pasting each chapter in place, and we need to write a book description, before uploading the file to the publisher. Then it will be time to order proofs and we are going to do our final edit right on the pages. Proofs are never for sale, so what the heck, let’s mark them up.

When the book comes out, I’m going to go to Webster’s bookstore across the street and ask the owner, a personal friend of mine, if she would take several copies on consignment and push them. The worst thing she could say is no. I already have a few people from Facebook who I will go out on a limb and say will be guaranteed buyers. I have one phrase for you folks: Spread the word … please.

I’m extremely excited about this project, and Darren, who had lost all hope when things were moving slowly, has renewed enthusiasm as well. I’m not going to set an exact release date, but let’s just put it in the ballpark of January or February of 2018. I think we can do it. Updates as they happen.

Finally, prayers and good wishes go out to those families affected by the California wild fires, and by Hurricane Nate. I don’t know how long those fires will burn, but from what I saw on TV, they have already ruined several wine vineyards. Expect the price of wine from California to skyrocket. Also, an R.I.P and condolences to Tom Petty, a great singer, and his grieving family and friends.

Until tomorrow, have a wonderful day, take care, and happy reading.

The 52 year old kid

Greetings, readers. I’ve often told myself and other people that I’m young at heart and I feel like a big kid. I really have not taken life seriously, upon reflection. At age 15, I should have gotten the job that I have now, which is a cashier at a local fast food restaurant. That is the time I should have learned the importance of saving money and having my own. Still my favorite recreation is playing video games or watching them on YouTube. I don’t sit down and write for hours and my hands have not had 35 years of hard labor. What does this say about me?

I’m about to open up a little bit and share. My mom, God rest her soul, loved me and yes, overprotected me. I was basically taught that everything would be okay and that I would be provided for, I think because of my disability. To young parents: This is a mistake. While I had a happy childhood, and young adulthood, I’m still trying to straighten out the curves thrown at me later in life.

At this point of my life, I had envisioned myself writing several books, a couple of plays, and maybe even a pilot for a TV series. Well, only a fraction of those things actually came to pass. I guess I’m alright with that. But at age 52, with a brain that’s been slightly damaged by seizures and dulled by medication I don’t know how much creative writing I have in me for future projects.

When I sit down to play my games, I can lose myself in my own little world and forget all my worries, such as my handicaps, and my monetary situation. Then the phone will ring, or I’ll have to put laundry in the dryer, or go buy that jug of milk, and back to the real world I come. I can do it. Sometimes I just don’t like to.

Is this escapism? Or just a single guy wanting to have a hobby? There’s a question for you. If I were to ask my therapist, she would probably say it is a little bit of both. Am I going to change my ways and become Mr. Ultra Serious Man? Hell, no. I don’t want frown lines on my forehead. The Lord made me the way He wanted me to be, and that is good enough.

I again have a work shift tomorrow, so Rebecca will be putting up the blog from home, either a fresh one from her, or another re-post of a previous blog from me – most likely from my third year of blogging.

Now we have some good news to share with you. I have decided, with Rebecca and Darren’s go ahead, to begin final editing work on our novel, Four’s a Crowd. As my older readers may remember, it is based on my play Kimberly from several years back, which Darren adapted into a novel with my imput. I think Darren was excited when we had our conference call this morning. It was bugging me no end that my work from days gone by and his recent very hard work had stalled in the mud. I see this on CreateSpace for sale by February 2018 … earlier if we get our butts in gear. 🙂

Before we close, prayers go out to the families and survivors effected in the senseless shooting in Las Vegas. There are people like that in the world who do monstrously terrible acts. As I understand it, he committed suicide. What a coward. He didn’t have the courage to serve his jail time and pay for his crimes. Now he will have to deal with a Higher Power and face his final judgement there.

Well, that is the news from today. Until next time, have a great day, take care, and as always, happy reading.

If I had a time machine

Greetings, readers. I know that I have spoken before about things I might change in my life if I could. Well, today, let’s take that old time machine and see what you or I would do. For instance, if you could, would you go back to Dallas in 1963 and prevent the assassination of President Kennedy? I would like to, but it would be a tough task. First I would have to get into the Texas Book Depository, find Lee Harvey Oswald, and stop him without getting shot myself. An almost impossible task.

One thing I would love to do is go back in time and visit the Ingalls family. Yes, they really did exist, living in many places including Walnut Grove. I always loved the TV program and its depicted simple way of life, with love of family and moral values.

Another thing I’d love to do is go back to any certain Tuesday evening when I was a child and have my mom take me to the Bellefonte, PA. YMCA for my swimming lessons. As I recall, I hated that experience at the time but, as it often seems to happen, I look back on that event with much fonder memories. I would like to walk around and watch myself as I got a plastic football helmet from a vending machine after the lesson. I would like to experience the evening through someone else’s eyes.

One of my biggest regrets, and I’ve said this before, is my lack of readiness for life. I would definitely apply for that job at McDonald’s or Burger King as a teenager and put half my paycheck aside each week. If I had learned the value of saving my money rather than being a spendthrift I would be in a much better monetary situation now.

A second thing I would do back in my schooling years would be a little more risky, but possibly worth it. I would be much more of a romantic person with my 11th grade girlfriend Marilee, and see if any kind of passion would have budded in that relationship. In real life we went through that whole year basically as good buddies. I was so shy back then. The risk would be that she would reject me and I would have lost that whole year of friendship with her. The reward would have been a chance to have a longer relationship with Marilee and the possibility of a long-lasting romance.

Now let’s turn the dial forward. Where to go and what to do in the future? I think I would set the dial for the year 2217 just to take a look at what technological advances the world will make. Would there be anything close to the Starship Enterprise? Or, heaven forbid, would there be a nuclear disaster and would I find myself alone? I know Rebecca likes time travel stories and I’m hoping that this entry is intriguing to her.

On a side note, I’ve been reading Four’s a Crowd, Darren’s book, and I’m finding it quite good. Oddly enough I started with chapter 9. That is a chapter that Darren wrote with all new material, none of which was in my play Kimberly. I’m enjoying it immensely. I am reading the novel for pleasure the first time through, then I will go back and read it again with a fine tooth comb and make notes. After that, I’ll set up another meeting with Darren and we shall be very close to finishing the book. I think it will be a winner.

That’s today’s news. We will be working out of the office tomorrow and we will write blog entry #600. So until then, have a great day, get out of the snow if you are buried in it – we got eight inches – do take care, and happy reading.