Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas, and Other Distractions

By Keith N Fisher

I was going to write a depressing tirade about how 2012 didn’t measure up and Christmas didn’t make the list of memorable events, but I need to give thanks for last minute blessings.

It’s true. It’s been a hard year, culminating in the devastation of a dead car. How could things get worse? No money, and we had to carefully orchestrate the use of our one good vehicle. "Ah," you say, I should be grateful for the one vehicle, and you’re right.

I’ve been discouraged. Even writing has suffered. I’m still writing, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I’ve been at it so long and others are much more successful. I needed an attitude adjustment.

We took a leap of faith with the car. Sold the old piece of crap for pennies and looked into another. Payments, and how they will be made, are scary, but we trudged forward. Thinking I had a reserve, I offered a certain down payment. The paperwork went through and I had no reserve.

That’s when the Christmas miracles began. We received several anonymous gifts of cash and my family gave us money for Christmas. We had the down payment. Now, God willing, circumstances will change so we can make the payments.

I bet you’re about to jump to a conclusion. No, my writing circumstances haven’t changed. I still plug away at it. I’m getting close to having several manuscripts ready for submission at the same time. I’m waiting to hear from a publisher on one, and I have several more in different stages of being finished.

Until now, submitting manuscripts has almost been a distraction. It took time to edit, and I hate editing. Still, I’ve been faithfully submitting. Now, I’ll have several to fall back on, while I write more. I’m about to enter a new phase in my career. I will be in salesman mode. Along with writing, submission will be a daily task.

Anyway, now that Christmas is over, I can turn my attention to amending my circumstances. I’m hoping for a great year in 2013, and I pray yours will be also.

Happy New Year—good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Doomsday. How is Your Writing?

By Keith N Fisher

My apologies for posting a similar blog as Gaynell's. I already had it written and there isn't any time to write another one.

You might remember my post from December 31, 2011 when I wrote about the Mayan calendar and the forecast of gloom and doom. I heard a cute analysis the other day that says it all: "The Mayans didn’t predict the invasion of the Spanish, how would they know about the end of the world?

Still, It’s interesting that even though our logic prevents us from believing there is still something in the back of our head that asks, what if? What if the Mayans were right and the asteroid hits us? How will we deal with the zombies?

My friend asked a question on Facebook the other day, which got me thinking. He said he wondered how many ward members would be visiting his bishop this week. You know, to take care of for unresolved sins, just in case? His sister wondered, in the comments trail, if he had anything to confess.

I suppose for some people, the night before the end came, would be a good excuse to party. I joked about sending greeting cards to everybody, stating I didn’t buy Christmas presents this year because the world was supposed to end. Then in a postscript I’d add, Merry Christmas, you didn’t die.

Sure, it was all a bunch of hype and mystery, but what if? What if the Mayans meant that the twenty-first would be a last day, and the world would end on the next? Hmm. Maybe we haven’t taken leap year into account.

I wonder how many of us will use the next few days to thank God for letting us live longer?

How is your writing? Are you finding satisfaction in your hard work? Tis true there will always be those who find success without really trying, but that applies to every endeavor. Writing should always be more than a career. It’s a way of dealing (or not dealing) with a world of trouble, and the possibilities of zombies. It should be part of you, and you should find joy in doing it. If not, it will become drudgery that never pays enough to survive.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Donny Osmond

By Keith N Fisher

I had a birthday last week. It was one of those days when, according to the law of averages, you realize you’ve lived more days than you have left. And that was a long sentence. Now that I’ve reached this milestone, I think its time to make peace with something.

Years ago, I discovered I have the same birthday as Donny Osmond. Not only the same day, but the same year too. A girl who I liked made the fact known to me. It probably happened on my birthday. She was gaga over him, and I never got anywhere with her.

My research over the years told me that he was born in Ogden, Utah. I was born in Provo, Utah. I used to claim I was a little older than he, but I don’t trust that information any more.

About that time, I heard a few stories (probably rumors) about his junior high experience. He had a tough time, like I did. I learned to defend myself and developed an attitude. He wasn’t allowed, due to image and publicity.

Newspapers ran stories about his birthday over the years and I threatened to demand equal time. It probably stemmed from that rejection I mentioned, but I was jealous. He was a singer and TV star. I was not. When I turned twenty, he turned twenty. When he turned forty, I did too. The local paper did a big story on him. I wasn’t famous.

As the years have gone, I’ve had a good life. I have a great family, and I’ve achieved many things. I’ve been on TV, and been applauded by youth groups. I write pretty good fiction, and I’m still breathing. Donny hasn’t got a clue about me, or our connection. I watch him sing and I’m proud that we share a birthday. He really is a good man.

So, now, I pause on the downhill slope, to let go of the past. That girl that made me jealous has long since passed from my life. It’s time to move on. Happy birthday, Donny, I hope you are blessed with much joy.

As for you, my dear readers, good luck with your writing—see you next week.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Accepting Invitations

By Keith N Fisher

I think I’ve written about it before, but I loved to play make believe when I was a kid. I got to exercise my imagination and it was fun pretending I was anything I wanted to be.

We spent hours, my friends and I, losing ourselves in our game.

Later, when I grew up a bit, make believe was pushed aside for other recreational activities. Some of my friends kept it up only we call it drug abuse and alcoholism today.

Now I sit for hours in make believe sessions and I call it writing. I realized the implication, while writing, the other day. You see, dealing with real life and the horrors that go with it is hard. It’s much easier to escape into a world where I can be anything I want I can do anything I want and not think about real life problems.

So I sit on the fringe. Characters I’ve created call to me. They hold bright invitations of solid gold. Offering a chance to come play make believe. You’ll have to excuse me. I’ve gone away—I escaped—I’m with my friends.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week—maybe.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Computer Ate My Homework

By Keith N Fisher

Like an obedient computer operator I saved after every paragraph. Don’t you think I deserved a positive outcome? Read further. During my writing session the other day, I’d found the zone, and I felt golden. That’s when my operating system arbitrarily decided to close my word processor. I’d written a whole scene of great stuff and was in the middle of the next one, when it quit.

Normally, it wouldn’t be a problem. I could just reopen the program and all my saved stuff would be there, but not this time. The writing gremlins or a sadistic operating system had other ideas. I lost the whole thing up to the first paragraph of that session.

In the old days, I could rescue a document by opening the temp files in the register. Of course the old days taught me to save frequently, so I shouldn’t need to do that now. I couldn’t even find the temp files in the new system. It has caused more problems than its worth.

Have you noticed I’ve avoided mentioning names? I’m trying to keep from being arrested when I mention my plans for murdering the software engineers. In an effort to clarify, let me tell you about my problem. I have a word processing program developed in 1997. My current operating system, developed recently by the same software company, is not friendly to my older stuff.

I can almost understand them making the system so that old DOS based programs don’t work. After all, it’s hard to make a do all application that takes every situation into account, but wouldn’t you think they should at least honor their own programs?

Okay, I admit I’m holding onto the old tried and true applications and perhaps I should jump into the twenty-first century, but I don’t have that kind of money. Besides, when did we become a disposable society? Are we supposed to change computers and software like toilet paper? Should I have to purchase a new car when I get gas?

So, after I ranted and raved about the loss. I tried to rewrite the wonderful prose I’d written, but it was gone. The ideas were there, but the perfect arrangement of words had slipped from the pages and my mind. It didn’t help to reflect on what the software company had done to me, so I opened a new document and wrote this blog.

Don’t worry, I’ll get over it, but I hope you’ll understand when I threaten to kill the engineers. I won’t really do it, but then again, maybe I’ll get a light sentence. Who would convict me? I'm sure the jury has the same problem.

Good luck with your writing---see you next week.