Authors Answer 72 – Writing Targets

Some writers have goals. Some just write. Here’s what Jay Dee’s authors have to say about their writing goals.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

A full-time author’s job is to write. For many of them, they spend a full-time job’s amount of time writing, editing, promoting, and doing many other things for their books. But many authors write only part-time, as they often have a non-writing job. But they tend to have their own routine, or some just do it whenever they can. How about our authors?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 72 – Do you have a daily or weekly target for writing? What is it, and how do you achieve it?

S. R. Carrillo

For the past 2 or 3 years, I have made monthly goals of writing, at a minimum, 10,000 words on any given project. It’s a realistic goal for me – especially since I was playing G.I. Joe when I made it.

As for how I make it happen – I simply make it a priority. I finish a scene, start a new…

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Hide and Seek


Get caught up with chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 78, 9, 10

Chapter 11

Call it mother’s intuition or call it paranoia, Brogan and I needed a weekend away. I found a cozy bed and breakfast in the Cape Breton Highlands. Naturally, as 3 years tend to love, he loved the water flowing by.

“Mum? Can we fwoe wocks?”

“Sure sweetie. There’s a sandy spot down there.”

The air was as clean as could be. The only sound was the river tumbling by.

He had thrown two rocks when I noticed something odd. That black car parked at the side of the road. Windows tinted so dark I couldn’t see in.

“Let’s go back in. I’m cold, ” I lied.

From our window, I watched it drive away.

Read chapter 12

This is a continuation of an experiment. It’s hard to believe this is the 11th week! Each week there is a 100 word short story photo prompt challenge posed by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. My challenge to myself is to connect these photos into one seamless story. Click the blue frog to read other stories inspired by this photo.

Go Ask Your Father: Prodigies, Screws, Rabbits, and Rocket Boosters

Racquetball is a fun sport. While living in Virginia I had a few racquetball buddies and I’d play 3-4 times a week for an hour or two. A couple years ago I discovered the racquetball court here in town. I haven’t met as many regulars, as many buddies, as I had down south. Plus, I don’t have as much time as did back then.

The kids discovered my racquetball equipment. “Can we go play racquetball?” was playing on repeat. I’m all for physical education and being fit and all, but I was kind of really nervous about putting two kids I call Crash and Bang in an enclosed room, arming them with rackets, and providing rubber balls for ammunition. I didn’t bode well.

So we played. Bang got hit once by Crash. Was just a tap and didn’t even leave a mark. I got hit in the back of the head. Again, just a tap (I’m familiar with the shots that leave bruises). Crash got hit on a butt cheek. That one left a little red mark and stung for a second.

One was mad because he kept missing the ball. The other was mad because the ball never came back to him and he didn’t want to go get it. These two are destined for desk jobs in a cubical where they don’t have to move all day.

1. What’s a prodigy?

  1. a person, especially a young one, endowed with exceptional qualities or abilities.

We were watching a new show called Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey. I highly recommend it. It’s not a competition. It’s more like a talent show without judges. Anyway, one four year old, Evan, had been practising the piano for a few months. Yes. A few months. Needless to say, he had a knack for it. Or ear, rather. And fingers. He’s Bang’s age! I can’t even get mine to keep the Legos in the bag!

That is a prodigy.

2. What are twisted inclined planes?

Is it wrong of me to illicit questions? Crash picked up a screw and said, not surprisingly, “I found a screw”. So I said, “It’s a twisted inclined plane.” I provoked this question. I’m glad he asked. He passed the test.

6377First off, an inclined plane is a fancy name for a ramp. It’s one of a number of simple machines. Like the wheel and axle. Or a wedge. Or a pulley. Anyway, if you take that simple inclined plane and wrap it around something you get a screw. (Completely different than getting screwed. Noun vs. verb) Think spiral staircase. Or an actual screw. Or instead of the playground slide that goes straight, the slide that goes around and around around until you reach the bottom, dizzy and screwed.

3. Can we get a rabbit?


We’re not rabbit people. We’re bird people. We’d be dog people if DW wasn’t so allergic. (I’m not blaming her. I’m blaming her allergies. Her allergies don’t care if I blame them) Once upon a time we were bearded dragon people. And turtle people. We’re not rabbit people. It’s one of those things the explanation is more difficult than it’s worth. Cats vs dogs. SUV vs Minivan. Superman vs Batman.

Plus we have a mean bird who would provide us with four lucky rabbit’s feet. Not sure why they’re considered lucky. I don’t imagine the rabbit feels the same way.


Piper – The 8 inch tall bird that would eat the rabbit

4. What if a rocket booster fell in our backyard?

shuttleboostersFirst off, this will never happen. The Toronto Maple Leafs have slightly better odds at winning the Stanley Cup than a rocket booster landing on our trampoline. NASA launches their rockets over the water and because they’re way good at math, they know exactly where they’ll land. Usually, they’re recovered and used again. The main rocket booster hangs on longer and burns up in Earth’s atmosphere. The space shuttle launches ended in 2011, though. Astronauts now hitch hike with the Russians to get to the ISS upon the Soyez rockets. But the US still sends supply loads to the ISS and satellites into space so there is still use for solid rocket boosters to propel rockets through the first stage of their ascent. But I suppose if one did happen to fall in our yard we could attach them to our truck so the cops could never catch me! Then we’d be twisted inclined planed!


How To Speak Irish Like You Were Raised By A Leprechaun

I know a couple Leprechauns, but I can’t talk like them.

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

irishOne of the really fun things about spending time with and getting to know someone from another country is learning all the interesting quirks about her language.

One would think that The Sweet Irish Girl would speak English properly since Ireland is so close to England, but apparently, her people speak a version of it that is peculiar and sometimes difficult to understand.

Thankfully, she says it all in this adorable accent that just makes it sound like the words are tickling my ears.

I have been doing my best to learn how to translate her intriguing turns of phrase so that the words go in one ear Irish and come out the other in American.

Despite my amazing efforts to improve international relations between our nations, The Sweet Irish Girl did admit this morning that she sometimes curses at me in Gaelic when I’m being difficult.

Even more reason…

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10 Questions I Asked My Kids (6)

1. Would you rather have a Kangaroo or Koala for a pet?

Crash: Koala – they’re way less destructive
Bang: Koala – they’re so cute


2. What is something that you don’t understand about grown-ups?

Crash: That they’re always staying up late talking about their kids
Bang: I don’t know what your talking about

3. If you had to give away all of your toys but one, which one would you keep?

Crash: Monkey
Bang: The helicopter with the hook (unfortunately we don’t have this toy any more)

4. If you wrote a book, what would you name the main character?

Crash: Atrastor
Bang: Fire

5. If you were a teacher and the kids in your class would not listen to you, what would you do?

Crash: Yell “QUIET!”
Bang: Holler at them
(Weird because I’m positive their teachers do not yell and holler)

6. If you were the parent for the day and mom and dad were the kids, what would you make us do?

Crash: Make you do a lot of math and get whatever I want
Bang: Clean up my own mess

7. What do you love most about your brother?

Crash: That he snuggles me sometimes
Bang: Playing Lego Star Wars City

8. What’s your favorite smell?

Crash: Lush Bath Bombs
Bang: Toast

9. Who is your favorite Star Wars Character?

Crash: Luke and Vader
Bang: General Grevious

10. What do you want for supper tonight?

Crash: McDonalds
Bang: Broccoli

As always, if you know any fun questions to ask please leave them in the comments section. I prefer open ended questions where anything is possible and there is no right and wrong answer. Thanks!

Windows 10 Start Menu Doesn’t Work

Did you download/upgrade to Windows 10?

Did you do it intentionally? I didn’t. I have a happy clicker 8 year old. He downloaded it for me. “Hey,” he said. “It was FREE”!

I like Windows 10. Mostly. The layout is very similar to that of a tablet. But everything is still in it’s familiar Windows 7 place. Mostly. It runs fine.

Except for the start menu. It tends to take frequent vacations.

Did your windows menu, the start menu, stop working, too? Does it restart your computer every time you click on it? That’s what mine does.

win10 err

I have found several ways to try to fix it. None of them worked.

This is only way that has worked for me. I’ve had to do it twice now.
1) Push control I (capital i) at the same time.
2) This bring up the settings menu. Click “Updates and Security”
3) In the left hand menu click “Recovery”
4) On the right hand side, click “Get Started”
5) Click “Keep my files and setting”

Then you’re off and running. It will reinstall Windows 10. It will not remove your personal files. It will, however, remove any apps and programs you have installed. So, if I were you, I’d make a list of what programs you have installed and what bookmarks you have on whichever internet browser you use so that you reinstall them after Windows is done reinstalling itself. If you understood that, welcome to the Geek Club.

I don’t have any games loaded on to my computer so I can’t confirm if it removes those. I know it did remove Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Skype, my WordPress App, and Norton Security.



Happier Than A Camel on A Wednesday

This has nothing to do with parenting.

Or kids. My kids are sick. I’m not going to write about that. Gross.

If you stretch your imagination it has something to do with a Dad.

My dad, specifically. The “Grumpy Frog” (That’s the nickname Bang came up with for him). His name is Mike.

When I saw the Geico commercial and saw that it wasn’t cavemen, I was tuned it. Then I hear, “Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike.” I laughed.

Happy Hump Day y’all. Hope you’re happier than a camel on a Wednesday!

(If your name is Mike, I apologize)


Teaching Subtraction

Last week we got a note from Crash’s teacher that he was having trouble in math. Apparently he was shutting down, not completing his work, not answering her questions. Unfortunately, she told us after the fact instead of when he was actually having trouble.

Anyway, I’m not here to rant about his teacher. I’m a teacher, too. Mistakes are made. I’ve made a few. Like that time I accidentally let a 5 year old go home on the bus instead of making him wait for his mom to come get him. It all worked out thankfully. I’m so sorry that happened.

But this was about a kid’s grade. My kid’s. I know a kid’s mark in 3rd grade isn’t make or break, but if Crash is allowed to slack off now, he’s going to think he can slack off whenever he wants. He does it during chores. He’d rather sit and do nothing for a half hour than take the 5 minutes to get the chore done. He applies this thinking to math. He’s good at math. He’s always earned A’s in math. Why does he shut down then?

Subtracting threw him for a loop. Borrowing regrouping in particular.

[Enter] Teacher dad

I started working with him on borrowing regrouping and he started fighting it.

I won.

Then he said, “I don’t get it”. I knew he was getting it, he was completing problem after problem correctly. “What don’t you get” I asked. “Why does this number (the tens place) go down one but this number (the one’s place) goes up 10.”


This I can do. I ran to the basement and frantically searched the Lego bag . I found a bunch of those flat
1 x 10 pieces and some “one-ers” to fill it up and some extras. Yes. I made ones and rods, ones and 10 sticks. Now I could demonstrate visually why that happened.

After solving a few problems this way, he understood. He learned the lesson.

So did I.

He had been applying his chore attitude to math class.

Just because he’s not getting homework doesn’t mean he’s getting his work all done. Just because the teacher hasn’t sent home notes, made a phone call, sent an e-mail, doesn’t mean he’s getting his work all done.

Be sure to ask questions. Even more important, be sure to ask the right ones. My goal now is not just find out how his day went. My goal isn’t just to find out what he did in school. My goal now is ask if he understood it. Then I’ll make him prove it.

Boy is he gonna hate me for those 20 minutes I make him do math.


A Blind Date (of sorts) A Guest Post by Eric Wood (StomperDad)

Michelle over at Lipstick and Laundry invited me to write a guest for her. I, of course, was all for it. This was back in January. I finally finished this in February and needless to say, I was a bit excited when she told me it’s publish date. Being a former math teacher, I was doubly excited to know she would be posting it on Pi Day!

Please take a minute to pop over to her blog. You won’t be disappointed.

Michelle R. Terry

My wife and I had discussed numerous times about inviting someone to come live with us. We knew it would be long term. We knew once they moved in they would be with us for many, many years. We also knew that they would not be able to care for themselves for many years. It was a commitment we felt we were ready for.

The process of finding this roommate wasn’t up to us. All we could do was take the necessary steps to ensure we’d be selected. However, once selected, none of the options would be decided by us. It would be either a boy or a girl. There was even the possibility we could get both a boy and a girl or two of the same gender. Again, it wasn’t up to us.

Our hope was that this person we brought into our home would eventually be able…

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The Bath That Was Meant to Be



This one makes your bath look like deep space

Have you ever thought “I was meant to take that bath”? Me either.

However, last night Bang took a bath. Mostly because he just wanted to use mom’s his bath bomb from Lush. We don’t make it to the big city very often. Once or twice a year, maybe. So when we go, we have to stop at the big mall. Mostly for the big escalators and the glass elevator. FitBit says I get 2 flights of stairs for walking up the escalator.

Back on topic…

One of the treats is to stop into Lush and pick up bath bombs. They’re basically fancy bubble baths. Without the bubbles. They fizz and turn the water really cool colors. And they smell really nice, too. They’re safe for sensitive skin. Both boys have skin that will react to the simplest substances sometimes. But, this isn’t a commercial for Lush. (Or at least not until they start sending us bath bombs to try).

Last night’s bath bomb was one DW picked out and was planning on using eventually. (I didn’t pick one. Dad’s don’t bathe) She gave it up and let Bang use it. It turned the water an interesting greenish color. To me it looked like someone dropped highlighter fluid in there.

green tub

Looks like Jello

He had a blast playing in it. After the bomb was done sizzling out and there was nothing left of it Bang hollers “Look what I found on the bottom of the tub!” He hands his mom a piece of paper. DW says that because of this piece of paper that bath bomb was meant for him all along.


A bath bomb with his name in it

That’s right. BANG is what was on that piece of paper. Bang, the nickname I have given him for this blog. He was destined to have that bath bomb. DW called Crash and I up to show us. We laughed and I said, “Hang on to that. That’s blog material right there.” So here I am blogging about Lush’s bath bombs that turn the water funny colors, smell  pretty and say BANG on the inside.

Naturally, Crash wants a bomb that has the word CRASH in it. While he might not have gotten a bath bomb with his name in it that day, he did get a fun game that is rightfully named after him. I’ll fill you in on that game tomorrow.