Sunday, January 31, 2010


Yep, I've written more than 2K words in a week. I'll probably write a little more even before I go to sleep tonight. I also have another 10K words that I've written about events in the book that I just haven't gotten to in the story yet.

I feel like I know the characters well enough now that I just put them in a setting and then see what happens.

This week I also discovered a wealth of information out there on the blogosphere for the aspiring writer. I find it admirable that published authors and dreamers like me who want to be published are so helpful in dispensing their wisdom in blogs.

After reading through some of the tips other writers have shared, I've now recruited Carrie to read what I've written. She sad she'd only read what I've read to her. Fair enough. Between me reading to her, her reading and my writing I'm really moving on this work in progress.

Carrie's great at feedback, tells me things like "this character is too perfect, no one's going to be able to relate". I can, I joke before fixing it. I love the honest feedback. I wish there was a way for more people to give me feedback. "You look at pacing" "You check out the characters" sort of the divide and conquer method.

Just thinking about the wealth of published books out there that aren't very well done and thinking about all the submissions editors must receive, makes me glad I'm not an editor.

Enjoy the week, hopefully I'm a few more scenes into my journey by this time next week.

Oh, personally I think Tolkein has Frodo completely beat when it comes to epic journeys.

Monday, January 25, 2010

38,277 Words

For the past few years I have been slowly writing a story. I have started, re-worked and edited only to begin again anew probably a half a dozen times. It was always okay, alright, good even, I just felt like, like the characters haven't been satisfied with the way I told their story. Their story that they are allowing me to tell. This time I feel like I have it right and I am 38,277 words into the tale. That's 67 pages single spaced. Sometimes I have to work and dig at it, most of the time it just flows.

I'd love to get it published some day and am fairly confident it is good enough to be but ultimately getting published is not my goal. Finishing the story is. Having something of my own that I can read to Tyler, to my daughter and to my wife. I'm up because I couldn't sleep and as I write this post, well into the quest of mine, I wonder whose journey was more epic Frodo's or Tolkein's?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You won't see my face on television, but you can hear my words everyday.

You may see me in the grocery store and never know you watch my work night after night.

To you, I have no race, no gender, no age yet my work is both timely and timeless.

I stand as the gatekeeper for much of what you learn about the events around you and my words help shape what you know about the world, influence what you talk about and impact the way you live your life.

You may praise my work, but I won't be thanked.

You may hate my work, but you'll only change the channel.

Hundreds, thousands, millions may see the culmination of what I do each and every day, but I have no adoring fans, no cheering stadiums, no red carpet celebrations.

I am a professor of life, constantly learning, constantly teaching, constantly publishing.

I write and edit a book of information every day so two people can read it and countless others can hear it.

I will warn, I will inform, I will inspire.

Without me, a television just becomes a bunch of wires and lights in a box.

I produce your local news.

The following was sent to me via email and taken from a facebook post, thus inspiring my post:

You don't know me, but you've both cussed and praised my work.
You have no idea who I am, but you've listened to what I have to say every day.
There have been many before me, and there will be many more after I leave.
We don't get recognized, we won't be thanked, and we'll never hear how big of an impact our job has on you.
Some of us are working towards something bigger, a few of us however are where we want to be, and take more joy and pride in the fact that we help tell everyone what's happening than anyone can imagine.
You don't have to thank me, you don't have to know me, all I ask of you is that you continue to get your information from me.
I am the producer of your local news.
I help inform the public in times of need, in times of danger, and in good times.
I only wish to continue doing what I'm doing so that you may stay informed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Frozen North: Winter Wonderland

We have a great view out our living room window. Trees covered thick with leaves during the Summer, blanketed in snow during the winter.

As cold as it is, I try and get out and play in the snow with Tyler at least for a few minutes.
Tyler all bundled up. He's more down than dude at this point. Every time I get him ready to play in the snow I think "Good thing he's not potty trained yet". Why? Can you imagine getting him all layered and then hearing, "I need to go potty Daddy".
No, that's not the two-year-old out there jumping around in the snow. It's the little kid trapped inside his Daddy's body. The only thing better than playing in the snow with Tyler, is playing in the snow with Tyler and pretending you're a kid again. As you can see, I have a very vivid imagination. Too bad the snow was too dry to make a snowman.
The second major snow fall. In case you are wondering, no, that's not a wrapping paper roll stuck into the snow. That's Opa's (Grandpa Hillier) snowgauge made from a wrapping paper roll stuck into the snow. Tyler and I set out to dig out a fort.
He's a good helper, though I had a strange feeling he was just trying to make a snowman out of his Daddy.
So no snowman, but I did make a snow angel. But then I got stuck because the snow was so deep. Tyler thought that was really funny.

How anyone can smile so widely in such cold weather is beyond me, but Tyler wants to stay out and play long after I've turned into a popsicle.
As I write this, it's snowing again and I can't wait to go dig out our fort again and get burried in the snow by Tyler once more.

Visitors On The Northern Plains

Since Carrie's been so sick during her pregnancy (she's feeling much but not completely better now) we've had a lot of family come visit us to help take care of her and take care of Tyler. Not only has it been an incredible blessing, but it's been a lot of fun to see everyone and for Tyler to get to know his family better, here in our little house (ie apartment) on the prairie.

We got to celebrate Grandma Hillier's (Laurie's, Mom's) birthday with her. Tyler wanted to use his pumpkin to wrap the present. I added the tissue paper. I'm still not sure who enjoys watching Caillou (PBS kids programming) more, Tyler or his Grandma ...

Grandma Joyce (Mom, Joyce) was adventurous, she'd take Tyler on walks. One day Tyler talked her into going down the big hill, to the river and the park. The hard part is coming back when you have to go back UP the hill. All in all, probably close to a mile walk. She didn't take the stroler. (Pioneer children sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and ...)

Tyler wouldn't wear his Superman PJs until his Uncle Matthew showed up wearing a Superman shirt. I think the most frequent sound I heard while Matthew was here was "weeEEEEE". Either from Tyler or his super hero Uncle.
"This one's Tyler's" the little bounder would say as he popped a cookie in his mouth. Tyler loves cooking, I think it goes back to when I would cook while Carrie worked and had to strap Tyler in the baby bjorn to do it. He loves baking even more, especially baking with "Aunt Be-anne" also know to some people as Brianne. Tyler also learned how to say, and Brianne learned how much she says "Darn it". Ha ha ha.
Tyler's Opa (Pops, Dad), who Tyler says has "lots and lots of fuzzies on his head", made sure Tyler had some cars and trains to play with. Usually it's Tyler who asks for "more story" at night but I have my suspicions that his Opa wanted more rocking time too.
Uncle Justin and Aunt Michelle braved sub-zero temperatures to visit. In case you can't see, there's a flowing river behind them. Okay maybe it and the waterfall are frozen solid ... They snuck out for a quick picture before diving back into the warmth. Tyler made forts, destroyed lego towers and tipped over his aunt and uncle with enthusiasm only a 2-year-old could muster.
Lisa also came to visit but I spaced it and didn't take any pics (Lisa, send me some and I'll edit this post). "Lisa mere" (Tyler speech for "Lisa come here".
Thank you everyone for giving up vacation time, holidays in your comfy homes, frequent flier miles, etc and braving the South Dakota weather. You did it all just so you could come out and deal with tantrums (sorry I'll do better next time, I promise ;) ), hospital/doctors visits, middle of the night wake up cries, early morning wake up cries, cooking, cleaning ... I could go on and on. The truth is that we needed help and were blessed beyond measure. You are all our angels. I was thinking about it and realized that we have either visited or been visited by family at least once a month since June. Tyler probably thinks everyone lives just a couple of streets away, not a couple of states away. Wether you helped by taking a turn out here, by praying for us or in any other of the numerous ways we've been helped, I thank you on behalf of my little family.