Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter 2011 Beard Update

It's in the trash can. Some of it may still be hiding out in the sink or escaped to the floor. Unfortunately, it is most definitely not on my face. In the great Face Grooming War of 2011, it clearly was the malfunctioning trimmer that won and left the most casualties in its wake. I tried my best to salvage my glorious beard (that I'd allowed to grow and flourish since about the third week of December), but my barbering skills were not capable of finding a way to make a beard with missing hunks of hair look fashionable. So, I pulled the proverbial trigger and allowed my beard to enter into eternal rest. Or more clearly, I shaved it all off and now only have stubble to showcase upon my face.

I would have alerted you of this tragic news sooner, but it was a Saturday and I had Saturday things to do. Things like helping some grand friends move into their new residence, shoveling the much begged for snow off my walk/driveways, enjoying a much deserved cold one (after a way too long week), watching me some of that sweet NHL All Star skills competition action, doing some writing that will cause some money to gallop into my wallet, and of course, mourning the passing of my beard. So, you can see why I wasn't able to provide a quicker update.

How has your weekend been?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday: A Status Report

There is actually a fair amount of snow falling upon the ground, which gives me hope that the snowshoes may be used this year and Summit may find a way to completely bury himself. These are all good things, because winter really shouldn't be all mud and puddles. Because neither allows for optimal tobogganing or flinging snow into the dog's face (mud is a much dirtier alternative with almost no side benefits). So, the snow is a welcomed thing.

My beard trimmer on the other hand is not welcomed at the moment. Apparently it was not properly charged before I commenced with the ritual and have now yanked out a rather hefty chunk of hair. I am not sure if my beard will be able to survive the day. I realize this is rather huge breaking news and I will keep you all updated on the future of the 2011 Winter Beard (which may not be able to see anymore solid snow falls).

I also did some writing work, but it is 'ad copy' which means you'll likely never see my name attached to it (and I can't really take credit for it). It is writing money nonetheless, which furthers the whole full time free lance writer aspirations. In some small way, may help the goal of getting some work done that can be sold to more public but non this blog reading sources.

But really, I know you all just care about the beard's future. I'll keep you posted. Promise.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Posting To Say I'm Not Posting Today

Yeah, I realize that statement is nothing but a big fat lie, because here is your post. But it isn't much of one. My week has not been a volcano of skittles and a road of plush pillows. No, it has not. It's more been a, 'Dang, so this is why I want to be a full time freelance writer and not do this job my entire life, but dang, it'd be nice to have more time to actually do more of that writing thing, but dang, it'd be nice if clients got back to me so I knew I had actual paid writing work, but dang, does saying dang really make me sound like a hillbilly.' So, I'm going to stop 'danging', and instead sip on some gloriously cold beer and actually try to do some of that paid writing work that all the kids are raving about. Or at least me. I rave about it. When I am not busy 'danging', of course.

I hopefully, will catch up with you this weekend. I still want to write up two book reviews and I'm about to finish another book that I want to gush about too. So, you can rock away in your chair with anticipation of those posts. Or if you want, you can also just go and have a life too. Whatever works.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Downside Of Being A Vocal Fan. . .

The days after a huge loss consist of many a little demons that like to plunge into a salt mine and aggressively apply its minerals onto your not quite healed gaping wounds. This is the week that I've learned that my little city has far too many Packers fans. Not sure if I've ever been more ashamed of the place I call home. And to make it clear, I may not be much of a fan of the Steelers but I really have no other choice to cheer for (and I'd expect the same from the apparent horde of Packers fans, if it had gone the opposite way). To all that have participated in the delightful 'Soul Crush 2011', thank you so much for making it abundantly clear to me who won and who lost this past Sunday. I clearly wasn't truly aware by just watching the game, but needed the song and dance routine to properly lay it out.

On a completely different note, I attended a 'town hall' meeting this week. I was rather disappointed that there was no song and dance routine about a monorail or some evil billionaire threatening to block out the sun. Why yes I watched a lot of Simpsons in the 90s, why do you ask? It was a good opportunity to get a better idea of the major issues of my ward and to get a better understanding of my council representatives' goals and passions. I definitely plan to get more involved in this great little city over the next many months.

Other than that, I've spent far too much time at the ol' doctor's office and way too little time at the magical writer's den (which is also a office, but with far less patient interruptions). Though part of this will just be a matter of me balancing my time better and really getting a solid writing schedule, plan and strategy together. Because the world must be able to consume Spicer written words (and I must consume Pop Tarts that were purchased by money made by those words).

With that quick rundown of my life that has been these two days, I will now retreat to lair of blessed sleep. Where I plan to sleep. Hope your week has been grand, and your coming weekend will be more fantastic than an island of ninjas that fart out cream cheese (because really, isn't that the dream of us all?).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pimping For A Good Cause

I've been getting a bit of a case of the 'Mondays' today, which is especially odd since it is Tuesday. But I'm still trying to work out my writing schedule for the next few weeks, and putting together the strategies to further this whole 'career as a writer' thing that I got my eyes on. Of course, the plus side of that means that I might have some delicious and nutritious words for your public consumption that are in places other than this blog. But this also means that some days this blog is forgotten in the corner and forced to play with its shoelaces in order to remain entertained. Today was one of those shoe lace days.

I still wanted to mention something on here today, and as the title alludes, it is a little bit of pimpage. I've got a really good and dear friend of mine that now works at Habitat for Humanity Brant, and so I wanted to do him a completely unsolicited favour in the form on giving the organization a shout out on here. Plus Habitat for Humanity is actually a really marvelous organization that should be brought to the attention of thousands and thousands. So, I'll do my part by alerting my tens and tens (and tens?). According to their web site (which has given me no reason to question it), the international parent organization has built homes for over a million people worldwide since its inception in 1976. The Brantford chapter has been kicking around since 1998 and has been able to provide homes for 8 families, which is a rather splendid thing. Because families need homes, but sometimes that is easier to type in a blog rather than make a real thing. Habitat for Humanity Brant has made it a real thing and will continue to do that.

If you're living or near Brantford then you need to check out their ReStore, where your purchases will help fund the organization further. If you're going to give your money to an organization, why not to do it to one that is giving real help to people who need it (rather than organization bent on ruling the world or draining the global Pop Tart supply).

If you prefer to do your perusing in web form, then you can also check out more information about Habitat for Humanity Brant on this wonderful thing called the internet. They have a website you can surf, and they also found themselves on the Twitter -- so you really must follow them (I am!).

There, go do that for a bit and I'll be here when you get back.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Addendum To My Moaning About My Team's Loss

Yesterday's game was really good, especially in the final quarter where 3rd string QB Caleb Hanie made a fantastic run (even more so when you realize this was only his 5th ever pro game). The excitement of that game is not enough to take away the rather bitter taste left with my team's defeat to their all time rivals. Now, I have to look towards next season, and hope the Chicago Bears can put together a similarly solid season, then hold out hope they can make an even stronger run in the playoffs. It is frustrating that my favourite team has only ever been in two Super Bowls and have only won one league championship in my lifetime (they've won several NFL championships prior to the existence of the Super Bowl, which was a few decades before I was even a possibility). But at the same time, there is some actual pleasure in rooting for a team that isn't a dynasty that gobbles up championships on a yearly basis.

I realize that previous sentence just comes off as a face saving measure. Sort of like saying, "It'd be boring to see my team become multiple champions and I prefer them scouring the bottom of the heaps." Yeah, that statement is equally ridiculous and not at all my true beliefs. Of course, I'd love to see my favourite sports team go on a two or three year championship streak, and I've actually had the pleasure of rooting for teams that have done exactly that. At the same time, there is something special about cheering on a team that struggles for a few seasons, but then slowly begins to develop and grow into a legitimate championship threat. You watch the players mature and refine their skills and begin to mesh as a team. You start seeing them compile more and more wins each season, until they finally clinch that play off spot and make a solid drive for the championship. I'd argue that there is truly an extra bit of sweetness when your dumpy team finally becomes the champions of the league. It gives you a bit more pride and excitement, when you can say that not only is your team the champions but you were a fan when they were the worst in the league.

I can say that about everyone of my favourite sports teams (maybe not to the extent of being the worst but at least putting up frustrating performances). I was a Toronto Blue Jays fan when they were consistently missing the playoffs or even being written off by the experts half way through the season. But it made the early 90s that much more grand when they captured two straight World Series championships. I was a Chicago Bulls fan the instant Michael Jordan joined the franchise, and I always felt they were destined for greatness. This meant I had to suffer through a few seasons where they were labeled as chokers or a team that wasn't meeting their potential. I remember watching them be knocked out of the playoffs by Detroit, and being so frustrated that they lost what seemed like their big chance. This all made it that much more awesome when the Bulls pulled of the 'threepeat' (a term which means they won the championship three straight years) twice in the 90s. I remember being mocked for being a New York Rangers fans because they had one of the highest salaries in the league, but often couldn't even make the playoffs. Putting up with all that teasing was worth it when I finally got to see Mark Messier lift the Stanley Cup high in the air. Of course, I've already talked about the pain of being a Chicago Bears fan, as I had to endure their horrendous run in the 90s. Now, they never won a Super Bowl this past decade, but I've got some enjoyable moments such as seeing them make it to the NFC Championship twice in the last ten years (one of which they won).

I can't promise the Bears will win next year or even within the next five. I am confident they will continually grow as a team and have several more strong runs. I do have faith that I will get my sweet moment where the Bears get to celebrate another Super Bowl championship (been waiting since 1986). It will make up for all the frustrating times I have had to endure as a fan, and will make that championship that much more satisfying.

Even if that doesn't happen, at least I'm not a Cubs fan, right?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

As Promised By My Previous Post. . .

Moan. Cry. Boooo. We were robbed, robbed, ROBBED! Boo hoo hoo!

There, I think that is enough pouting to please all the Packers fans.

But. . . it was a hell of a game just liked I promised. The Bears made an amazing run at the second half, and it was looking like they were going to tie it up. Not only were they going to tie it up, but they were going to do it with their third string quarterback Caleb Hanie. It was almost something right out of a Hollywood sports film, where the QB who only has played 5 NFL games was about to lead the team to the championship. Unfortunately, it wasn't a movie, so we (as in me) got a much sadder and less Hollywood ending. But Hanie really stepped up and proved he is a guy worth looking at for a few more games next season.

It was a fantastic game even though I didn't get the result I really want. I'll have to wait a little bit longer for my dream of seeing the Bears win the SuperBowl (which they've only done once in my lifetime).

Boo hoo hoo.

Though, at least I'm not a Jets fan. This first half isn't going so splendidly for them.

My Incredibly Biased View Of Today's Huge Game

So, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook (or in life -- please stop stalking me, by the way), then you got a pretty good idea that I'm what people call a Chicago Bears fans. You'd also have likely read or heard several of my comments about a little game being played today called the NFC Championship. A game where the winner is not only declared the NFC champion, but they also get to fly down to Dallas. And why would they want to fly to Dallas? Well, so they can play this fun game called the Super Bowl. You've might of heard of it before. It's played on TV and few several million or so people watch it every year, and pizza and wing joints leap for glee at the plethora of said foods that are purchased and devoured. A happy day for everyone, but we aren't at Super Bowl day yet. No, we are at NFC Championship day (and AFC Championship day too, but Bears aren't in that one). It is a rather big deal too, as I believe I've sort of already explained (psst. . . winning means you get to go to the even bigger deal thingy). It is an extra big deal for me because my all time favourite team is playing in this championship game, and just so happen to be playing against their biggest and longest rivals, the Green Bay Packers.

As a Bears fan, I am obligated to detest the Packers, just as any Packers fan must despise the Bears. This is arguable the biggest rivalry in NFL history, and these two teams have played against each other more than any other team in NFL history. Though they haven't met each other in many play off games, and this will arguable be one of their biggest match up ever. I know that there isn't a Packers fan or Bears fan that would have it any other way. Nothing is sweeter than winning a championship game against your most storied rival. It makes today's championship that more exciting and intense.

The 'experts' are putting a lot of their picks in for the Packers. Green Bay has been really hot these last few weeks, especially after their huge win over the number one seeded Atlanta Falcons. They definitely have the momentum, especially with their defense being really hot and quarterback Aaron Rodgers playing his best ball ever. The Bears have the home advantage this weekend for a reason, and they are the division champions. This is a Bears team that have grown and become stronger as their season has progressed. It is also a team that a lot of people didn't really believe had a decent shot this season, yet they're now in the NFC championship as the home team. The Bears have had the odds against them for this entire season and have excelled despite that.

Today's game should be a great one. Green Bay has been surging through the competition ever since clinching their play off spot by beating the Bears in Week 17. This not only started the Packers on the hot streak, but it also meant the Bears were going into the play offs with a loss. Luckily, Bears were able to bounce back from that and get the big win over the Seattle Seahawks last weekend. For the most part, the Bears looked like a really strong team last weekend as they were able to shut down Seattle's defense and the offensive line protected Cutler so that he could work his magic. The one scary thing is that the Bears got too relaxed in the final quarter and allowed the Seahawks to score several points (thus the final score made the game sound much closer than it ever was). You could argue that it didn't matter too much because Bears had it won. It definitely showed signs of a team that starts to let their guard down (which is odd since the Bears defense is known as a team that is about shutting down the opposition's offense once Bears get the lead). I have a feeling that this same attitude may have been what caused Green Bay to beat them back in Week 17 too. The Bears had already clinched their spot, and thus didn't have the same fire in that game. The Bear definitely can't afford any similar attitude in a game against such red hot offense.

I mentioned that Bears lost to Packers in the regular season, but they also beat the Packers earlier in the year. Today would be considered the big rubber match. The previous two games where very close and very low scoring. I still believe today's game will be very close, but I don't see it being as low scoring. I also think both teams have changed a lot since both meetings (especially the first game, since then the Bears have improved on their offensive line immensely). This game will hinge a lot on the performance of the quarterbacks and how the opposing teams defensive line will be able to rattle them. Cutler is a strong QB who has proven to be a little inconsistent from game to game. But I really think he will be able to shine as long as the offensive line can protect him and not allow him to feel too pressured. On both sides, you are really looking at extremely strong defensive teams, and both sides are going to bring loads of pressure to the offense. The other big part of the game is going to be Green Bay Packers' punter Tim Masthay kicking to Chicago Bears' punt returner Devin Hester. Hester has been an amazing returner this season and got some huge yards. It will be matter of where the punter can kick the ball in order to try to stop Hester. I think Hester has a good chance of putting the Bears in some good offensive positions as long as he can catch the ball in optimal spots (which Packers obviously would like to avoid). As you can see, there is going to be multiple factors in how this game plays out (which is the main reason they actually play the game first rather than just deciding who advances on stats and past performances).

I'm predicting the Bears, but I am positive nobody would be shocked by that. I really do believe this is a game that could truly go either way and has great potential for being a NFC championship classic. I am looking forward to some good football (but it will be much better if it is won by the good guys -- the Bears).

There is also an AFC Championship game between the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers. A match up that I am completely shocked by. I was not expecting the Jets to even get out of the wild card round, and was even more shocked when they toppled the New England Patriots, who I think where the clear favourites to win the whole thing before taking an early exit. I'd love the Jets to get to the Super Bowl because it'd be another upset, but this time I believe Steelers will stop them. Though I also think the Bears would have a better chance at beating the Jets than the Steelers, which would be another reason to root for the Jets.

Yeah, that was a much shorter preview for the second game, but what can I say, I warned you it would be bias. I am a Bears fan, and that is the main event match up today for me. It should be a great day of excellent football and I encourage you all to enjoy a few hours of action. If you decide to ignore that recommendation, then I'm sure this blog will at least reveal the results of the NFC Championship (either by unapologetic gloating or unabashed moaning -- either should be entertaining, I'm sure).

Of course, I can only end this post will two words.

Da Bears.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Absolutely Awful Tips For A Successful Writing Career

Immediately quit your day job (especially if you have no prospective writing clients lined up), then proceed to watch CSI and Golden Girls reruns all day and patiently wait for a publishing company to call (or e-mail) with a six figure contract for a book (or maybe to eat the company's surplus pop tart inventory).

Find a novel or book that has been on the New York Times Bestsellers List and proceed to write the exact same thing (though, maybe you can change the names of the main characters if you have time).

Never accept criticism and assume everything you've written is heavenly gold that will give birth to small heavenly gold babies that will grow up to birth more gold babies until the world it overpopulated with your amazing golden people (aka your flawless writings).

If you get one rejection from a publisher then you should totally quit writing and become an actor or a musician or a sumo wrestler instead.

Write about 200 words a month or so. You really should spend the rest of your time sipping lattes in cafes and surfing the internet on your laptop (this is what real writers do most of the time).

If you have a vague idea for a novel or book, then just automatically assume that it will be a worldwide best seller and earn you an 8 figure advance along with trillions of offers for movie rights (then just tell a bunch of publishers of your vague idea and wait for the money to fly through your window -- make sure window is open).

Don't do any research in the vast types of writing jobs that are available, because there is too many episodes of Jersey Shore that needs to be downloaded.

Acquire a debilitating habit like all the writing greats. The more it ruins your personal life than the more wealthy and successful you will become.

Don't ever, ever, ever read anything. It sucks.

Ignore copy right laws. There is no way your lack of knowledge will come back to harm you in any way possible.

If you have clients, then try to make sure you are as hard to deal with as possible. Everyone loves to work with pretentious, self righteous and egotistical assholes.

If you're interested in doing marketing or ad copy work or other similar free lance projects, then it makes sense to not set your rates or fees before hand. Always assume the client will pay you exactly what your worth and what you need to be financially healthy.

Be conniving, conceited, manipulative and cruel because it will probably help you get ahead in the short term and nobody ever remembers things in the long term (so, that guy you stole work from and then he ended up becoming a CEO of a major publishing company, will totally be cool with you).

Write your article and job queries with a purple crayon on a napkin.

Don't ever market yourself or your work. People will randomly find you and love you.

If you do have writing clients, try to make sure you are unavailable during normal business hours. Clients hate when they can get a hold of those doing work for them.

See all deadlines as very loose guidelines that are completely better to be ignored.

If you somehow found a way to write an entire novel, it makes the most sense to assume the manuscript will be sold, published and on book shelves by the end of the day.

Always assume a prospective client is just waiting to hear from you, and will be able to get back to you in under a minute.

Any magazine or journal or other client that doesn't accept, buy and publish your work after 5 minutes from when you sent it, is completely not worth your time.

Never bother to query your work or market your services, because clients hate it when opportunity for quality products/services is presented to them and would rather spend their whole day trying to scan for writers on Facebook.

Create a web site where you post nothing but cute kitten pictures.

Ghostwriting, technical writing, marketing work, SEO writing and ad copy are all jobs you should completely ignore and not work at, because likely you will not get publicly acknowledged for this writing. Fame is all you should care about, because it is what pays for your mortgage.

A sparkling zombie wizard who sends love notes to a female vampire he has never met, while preparing for the alien invasion of 2012 is the best idea for a novel ever. Write it now. Actually don't bother writing it, just tell people about it and they'll give you money for even thinking it.

If you wake up in the morning and are struggling with the feelings of 'should I write or should I play video games all day', then you know it just isn't the day for writing.

Always remember that you became a freelance writer so that you can go to matinee movies and drink at 2 in the afternoon. Writing is sort of something you do when you have time.

If you wanted to work hard, then you'd have become a doctor or one of those jobs where they expect you to work or something.

The motto you should always stand by, everything that is worthwhile in life comes from a box of Twinkies.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So, While I Was Gone There Was This Thing Called Christmas. . .

And it was mighty dandy, thank you very much. I got to eat my fair share of stuffed behemoth bird carcass, spend beyond spectacular time with those I love, and got to witness Summit attempt to open his wrapped gifts. The last one was incredibly cute and has been documented via the video camera. And speaking of gifts, I got my fair share as well.

My wife continued her reign of awesome gift giving by delivering to me a Walter Payton Chicago Bears jersey. If you're a Bears fan or have any notion of NFL history then you'd have a really good idea of absolutely how many kinds of awesome this gift was. It has already been worn several times, and I will definitely be outfitted in it on Sunday when I root for the Bear to maul the vile Green Bay Packers (as a Bears fan, I must on principle detest the Packers -- any Packer fan would understand and return the sentiment to the Bears). Now, if you don't know who Payton is, or why I'd want his name on my Bears jersey, then I'll just let you know that he is basically the player that caused me to become a life long Bears fan and even care about football in the first place. You could say, he's the Sweetness (and many do, since that was his nickname). Oh Payton, you're missed.

My 'boys' also got in the great gift giving spirit as Crosby bestowed upon me a Star Wars calendar. But not just any Star Wars calendar, but one that contained several classic Star Wars movie posters including the original Revenge of the Jedi poster (which was the initial name of the third film before Georg Lucas realized Jedis don't take revenge thus called it Return of the Jedi instead). But yes, this poster has caused me to erupt into full geek out mode on a few occasions. As it combines my love of Star Wars with my love of history (of pop culture). Summit joined in the gift festivities by handing out some slippers. Though I suspect he bought them for himself and he has already 'played' with them a few times before I get up in the morning. But I've needed slippers ever since Emily declared my previous pair to be toxic, so I am grateful for them.

I also got a new a computer, because my previous is doing a rather fancy job of imitating a fitness club for hamsters. It was definitely time for a brand new spiffy machine that allows me to write my glorious words, while also distracting me from writing more glorious words. What a machine.

Christmas was actually completely awesome without the presents, just in case you thought it was only about the loot. Yes, I appreciated the books and sweaters and candy and previously mentioned things, but the best part was just getting to hang out with people I love. Though you can do that without the need of a religious themed holiday. But something about stuffed snowmen, copious amounts of red, fake evergreens and ceramic angels makes the time just that much more special. I love Christmas time, and this year lived up to the expectations just fine.

Christmas is over. And it has been over for a few weeks. Now, I am looking ahead to this ol' 2011. It is a year where I want to get a lot of writing done. Even more importantly, hope to produce enough sellable work to begin making a rather hefty go at this whole career writing aspiration. But I also don't plan to spend this whole year strictly focused on work. I also hope this is a year I get to spend many hours with people I love and cherish, even when it isn't a holiday with a horde of television specials and catchy seasonal jingles. I really hope this will be a year where I get a bit better at this whole balancing 'family' time with 'working' time (and all the other important times that compose this thing called my life).

Jumping back to the holidays for the second, I also got to spend some time reading some fantastic novels, Stephen Kings novella collection Full Dark, No Stars and Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game. Both are absolutely fantastic works, but for entirely different reasons. Actually, it would be quite a feat to find two novels that are more juxtaposing. I enjoyed them dearly, and hope to write up a proper review on both in the coming days. I've now moved on to John Grisham's first novel, A Time To Kill. I was quickly reminded not only what a great writer Grisham is, but also how spectacular his first ever novel was (to the point that I am not sure he ever wrote a better novel than this one -- which is a compliment since I love his other tomes as well).

Anyway, I've got lots of plans for stuff to write here on the blog and hope you'll be sufficiently entertained as the days and months go by. 2010 was a fun year here but my goal is to make 2011 even better. Plus there is that whole goal of having some stuff for you to read in places other than this blog, such as magazines or story collections or Chinese menus. So, hopefully this is a year you get your fill of Spicer writings.

But enough about me, how has your last few weeks been?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Obligatory Announcement Of My Return And Reason For My Departure Post

So, it ended up being a little bit longer than a 'week or so.' I am now back, though really, I never really left. I just didn't type up copious amounts of words for your eye consumption. Even then, I may have done that in e-mail form or if you happened to be a client. I was just a little blog absent.

And that my friends, is probably the question that should be answered first. Why the heck did I go on a blog hiatus without any warning or reason? Well, let the moment of enlightenment begin now.

I started this blog back in 2005, with the main reason being it seemed like it would be a fun way to eat up a few minutes here and there. That was about it. I did it for fun, and I planned to stick with it as long as it remained fun. I didn't really have any deeper or more fulfilling purpose than that. Which is probably a good thing, because for a few years, I did rather good job of not sticking with the blog.

Then 2010 came stomping into the room, and along with my dream of finally pursuing a full time freelance writing career. I knew it would take a lot of time and effort, but at the start of 2010, it seemed like a worthwhile dream to try to turn into a reality (and yes, it still does now). I didn't really believe that my blog would be any massive assistance towards this dream. But I did think it would be a good place to continually hone my craft and also be a place for others to see my style of writing. I believed it would be a spot to test my persistence and desire to write. At the end of January 2010, I set the goal of trying to write a post a day, and see how long I could stick with providing daily content. And as my archives will prove, I did a rather splendid job of sticking to that goal. Of course, it helps that I stuck to my original intent of this blog, which was to have fun. I have had a lot of fun writing posts this past year, and allowing others to read my crazy ramblings.

Things started to change a little bit at the end of the year. I think a large part of it was due to the fact my 'day job' was suddenly getting extra busy, while I also was working really hard at providing content for my clients at my other job (freelance writing). Plus there was this little thing called Christmas and Emily's crazy desire for me to spend time with her. It was getting a little bit harder to blog on a daily basis, but I still wanted to do it considering I had a rather nice streak going on. The fact was, the blog started to feel more like a job or obligation and a lot less like a hobby or fun. When a past time starts to feel like a job, then it might be time to take a break. I am okay with writing not being fun or entertaining, but I'd rather reserve that type of work for something I'm getting paid for (because a good job is one that can help pay for the mortgage).

So, I took a break from the blog, because it just wasn't fun at the moment. I also needed some time to refocus for the new year. I really believe (and even more so, really hope) that it is going to be a rather big year for me. I've got some potential writing projects coming up, and some real opportunities to really start moving towards it being a full time career. This means that the writing that is going to pay me money needs to be the stuff that takes top priority.

This isn't to say that my blog can't be helpful towards some of these goals. It will likely never be a form of direct income (because I don't want it to be), but it can indirectly further some of my career aspirations. I do believe that the blog is still a worthwhile endeavor to pursue and put a good amount of time into. I also realize it can't come in the way of the work that actually will allow my freelance writing to be a real life job that gives me big people money.

All that to say, I took a break in hopes that I would start to miss blogging and get a desire to actually start writing on here again. And it worked. I did miss it. I was actually itching to start posting again at the very start of January, but things started to get a little crazy over here in the land of Spicer. So, I held off.

You see, my 'day job' has changed up a little bit, and I now have some new requirements and tasks at work. These changes have meant that now I am actually expected to be at work during the day. The plus side of this is that I am actually home in the evening to see Emily and able to spend some time together -- which I've heard is kind of helpful for a marriage. The downside of this means my work has got a little less flexible with the hours I can come in, which means it has been harder to reach and contact clients for my writing business. I am still trying to balance everything, and not cause my writing work to suffer from these changes. Though the plus side of the change at work is that I've become even more motivated and assured about making freelance writing my full time career. Oh yes, life's great motivator for success -- the crappy job.

I'm back. But I can't necessarily promise that I'll be popping something out every single day, but I will try to keep the blog rather active. If the blog does go a day or so without rantings and rambling, then rest assured it is probably because I'm doing actual paid writing. And wouldn't you love to be able to read an article in magazine by me or maybe even a short story from a collection of works? Sure you would. So, I'd say that type of thing is fair trade off for a few empty blog days.

I believe I've now compiled enough words to make up for my holiday and beyond disappearance. But don't worry, your next hot and tasty batch of sentences will be arriving before another two weeks pass.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

To Answer Anonymous Commenter

Almost.

'Soon' is just around the corner.

It's just been a little crazy the last little bit and it has been rather nice to take a small break from blogging.

But 'soon' will most definitely become 'now'.

Just not at this exact moment.

In order to distract you from yet another day of non-blogging, here is some cuteness -- in the form of sleeping pets.



I'll be back with blogging goodness soon enough. But gosh, aren't sleeping pets cute?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I'm Still Alive

Honest.

And I'll be blogging again real soon.

Promise.