Thursday, February 20, 2020

Taking A Little Afternoon Walk...

I had to run an errand this afternoon. It wasn't far--normally, I'd hop in Donk the Subaru and drive over, but today, I thought I'd go for a walk.

What a beautiful day for a walk.

Since I began my career, I worked in offices, except for the past couple of years when I've telecommuted. Don't get me wrong--I LOVE working at home. I highly recommend it. But, when I worked in an office, I used to take public transportation and I'd take breaks as much as I could. In short, I was more mobile. Now, my commute is me walking from one floor to the next.

I have some exercise equipment close by and I try to use it, but I don't work out as much as I should. I keep thinking I should go outside and just walk around. For the past couple of months, I can use the excuse that it's too cold outside, but as the temperatures rise, I hope to take more breaks out of doors.

I only snapped a couple of pictures today. Just walking, I wasn't focused on taking pictures. It's not that there's a lack of things to see. I've lived in the same neighborhood most of my life, more than four decades. Much has changed and there'll be more changes. Homes being renovated and even a couple of new houses going up.

Yes, it will be a goal for me to get outside more. And if I do, I'll be sure to snap some pictures.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

My Little Valentine's Day Photo...

Last Friday, I thought I'd inject a bit of humor with my Pic Of The Day. While it seemed everyone on social media was posting pictures of floral arrangements, boxes of chocolates, and Valentine's Day cards, I snapped a couple of pictures of a loaded dishwasher.

Don't know if it hit its mark.

And, to be honest, I hesitated a bit before posting the picture, and I worked on the caption over and over in my mind before I settled on:

This Valentine's Day, may I suggest something a little more practical...and cheaper than both flowers and/or chocolate.

I wanted the picture to be something fun, something light. Then I started to wonder if it would be taken the wrong way. I mean, was doing the dishes supposed to be some "gift" to my spouse, like that's her job? Because, doing the dishes is not her job, nor is it my job--it's our job, or the kids job. It's something that needs to be done.

I guess I was trying to say that instead of going out and buying stuff, why not do something nice for your significant other--not necessarily dishes--but something, anything. There's so many ways to help and serve, all you have to do is look around. There's an old saying that a wife loves a man with dishpan hands. Sure, it's dated (and sexist...), but the underlying sentiment is the same--do nice things for each other, be it flowers, chocolate, cards...

Or dishes.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Light Goes On...What Now?

I noticed the light as my wife and I drove home last night, the little symbol of a tire with an exclamation point inside.

Tire issue.

But, what does it mean?

The newest car we have (before I picked up Donk, the Subaru...) is a '07 Toyota van. Love it--I highly recommend the Toyota product. Over the years we've had the tire sensor indicator light show up on the van's dashboard. When that happens, I'll check the tire pressure, fill up whatever tire's low, then the light will go off.

With Donk, I just don't know the car well enough. I checked the tires and they seemed okay, not any noticeably low. I then referred to the trusty owner's manual. Reading that, it made it sound like if the tire light goes on, you've got a flat--or almost flat--tire. Well, I know that's not the problem. The manual even states if the light goes on, do not panic. Keep driving straight ahead and move off to the side of the road.

I did an on-line search. I sort of got some answers. Turns out the sensors in the tires can be affected by cold weather. Yes, it's been cold, but from what others have written on-line, the light should go out once the tires warm up. My light hasn't gone out yet.

I guess tomorrow, I'll check the tires to see what the proper pressure should be. It's possible they're all low, even though they don't look it. If they're low, I'll inflate them then hopefully, the light will go off for good. There's a pro/con whenever you get a new-ish car. The improved features are great, but more features mean more chances for things to go bad.

Like the van, I'll get used to the car, try things, keep doing what works. It's a trial-and-error system--just part of the plan.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Immortal Work's "A Mighty Fortress"...And Then There Were Four

A Mighty Fortress (A Mormon Steampunk Anthology Book 4) by [Anderson, Holli, Givens, Nate, Collings, Michaelbrent, Beattie, Bryce, Stephens, Berin, Mueller, Elizabeth, Hayward, Roy, Eatough, Jenna, Folkman, Kevin, Pyles, James]

In the end, it took four volumes to contain the stories, and truth be told, I'll bet they could publish a few more when it's all said and done. The call went out years ago for stories containing two things: Steampunk and Mormonism.

They were pleasantly surprised.

Now, the fourth in the collection is available tomorrow. A Mighty Fortress can now be yours after 2/18/20. Just click: HERE to preorder now or wait until tomorrow. Either way, it'll be a great way to complete your collection. And if you haven't got them all, just follow the links on the Amazon page. You can also go to the publisher's page, Immortal Works. You can access that site: HERE for these and other amazing books.

In A Mighty Fortress, I know many of the authors personally, one I met while living in Denmark in the mid-1980s. Crazy world! I have a story in Book #2, Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel. I recommend that book, after you order and read A Mighty Fortress, of course.

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel (A Mormon Steampunk Anthology Book 2) by [Taylor, Scott, Moore, Bryce, Rupp, Megan, Baxter, Christopher, Moore, Darrell, May, Kim, Lofthouse, Finlay, Kammeyer, Kurt, Taylor, Angie]

And, if you'd like to know more about several of the stories, check out this YouTube video preview. You can get there by clicking: HERE.

A Mighty Fortress available 2/18/20. The perfect thing to get you through those winter blues, or summer blues if that's where you are.

Please check out these other Mormon Steampunk anthologies!

All Made of Hinges (A Mormon Steampunk Anthology Book 1) by [Butler, D. J., Olsen, John M., Allred, Lee, Tarbet, Scott, Barnson, Jay, Monson, Joe, Peck, Steven, Payne, John D., Hamblin, Amanda]

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel (A Mormon Steampunk Anthology Book 2) by [Taylor, Scott, Moore, Bryce, Rupp, Megan, Baxter, Christopher, Moore, Darrell, May, Kim, Lofthouse, Finlay, Kammeyer, Kurt, Taylor, Angie]

Press Forward Saints (A Mormon Steampunk Anthology Book 3) by [Butler, DJ, Smith, Sean, Shumate, Nathan, Jepson, Eric, Lofthouse, Angie, Buck, Beth, Caine, Nicholas, Bradley, Graham, Kneale, Heidi]

Sunday, February 16, 2020

When The Storm Hits...Got To Get Water Drop Photos

I watched the storm roll in, it's been raining/snowing all day. After the rain ebbed, you could see water drops hanging from branches, pine needs, leaves. I ventured outside to see what I could see. These are just a few of the pictures I took. There's something (for me...) that's beautiful, tranquil, soothing about seeing the aftereffects of a storm. I tried to capture that feeling today.

There's also the smell that accompanies a storm. Unfortunately, I can't do anything about replicating that here. It was one of those "had to be there" things. Next time a storm rolls past, go outside and look around. It'll be worth it.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Saying Good-Bye To Goodly Parents...

I attended a viewing this morning, a viewing for one of the first people I knew from "Old Farmington." Those of us form Old Farmington know what that means. Our family moved to the town in 1970, newer than some, older than most.

Old Farmington now only exists in our memories.

Nelda was the wife of our first bishop and the mother of a childhood friend. In these later years, she was so kind to come up to me at church and ask how I was doing. We'd talk about this and that, and she'd always arrive and leave with a smile. I found out earlier in the week she had passed. It made me sad.

Another parent of a friend is no longer with us.

Unfortunately, it's happening--and will continue to happen--more and more, until none of my friend's parents will be here. The price of getting old, I suppose.

I will always associate the Oakesons with Farmington. In my mind, they can't be separated. We grew up, attended school, attended church in Farmington, and even though so many moved away and were replaced by others, many will always be residents of Farmington. There was a time when I knew almost everyone that lived within a mile radius of our house, and if I didn't know them personally, I knew of them. It's such a great place to live that many remained, so much so that one of the only ways to buy a house in the old part of town is to wait until people die. It sounds crazy, but in many ways, it's true.

My father passed away when I was eight years old. I had friends being raised by single parents--mostly due to divorce. I don't remember a lot of kids who had a parent die. My mother (who was seven months younger than Nelda...) passed away almost thirteen years ago. I'm now left to watch friends go through what I went through. I know the experience of losing a parent is different for everyone, but there are some things I know they'll face, feelings they'll have, emotions they'll need to experience. It's not that I have a ton of wisdom, but I do know about that.

I am glad many of my friends still have the chance to call and talk to their parents, or go and visit them for holidays or to drop in just because. It's a blessing they still get to have to be able to take their children to visit the children's grandparents. Today, a wonderful family gathered in a church to say good-bye, the same church where we did the same thing for both my parents. It's an important day, a sad day, but also a day of release, of joy. It's a day another part of Old Farmington will forever exist in our memories.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Writing Without An Outline...And Hitting A Lull

There are as many theories of how to write a novel as there are writers. Maybe even more, since many people who have never written a novel have opinions on how novels should be written. From a macro view of suggested ways to write a novel, there are two main camps and they go by the names of Plotter, or Pantser.

There's even books written on the pros and cons of each style. They have their strengths and their weaknesses. If I had to choose a side to describe my style, I'd have to go with Pantser, or "writing by the seat of your pants" over Plotter, or one who outlines the story before they write the actual story.

Personally, I like just running with a story and seeing where it takes me. The problem is, I run out of steam, sometimes at 5000 works, sometimes at 20,000. The story I'm currently writing has over 33,000 words. That may sound like a lot of words (and, to be honest, it is a lot of words...), but depending on the genre, that could be halfway, or just a scratch. For my story, it's about a third of what it needs to be.

I've had this story in my mind for years. I'm excited because I've gotten farther in the story than ever before (I've re-written the beginning several times...). I'm pleased with the progress and I do like the characters. I can see several novels coming from this universe. Of course, I've got to finish this one first.

One reason I don't do a lot of plotting is because my mind thinks it's unproductive, even though that's not true. I could spend weeks writing several hundred words of outline. If I were writing the story, I could write tens of thousands of words in that same time. But, then I hit walls where I'm not sure where I want it to go. And thus, I hit a lull.

I think I'm going to have to do some serious outlining on this story so I can finish it. If I can pull it off, I could write the remaining 60,000 words relatively quickly. So, maybe plotting isn't for me, nor is pantsing, but a combination of both. I wonder if anyone's written books about that...