Saturday, June 29, 2013
Well I'm putting today in the win column. I love breakthrough. Have you ever had those days when you try to do what you planned and something hangs you up, and then you discover that you need to do something you hadn't planned on which takes longer than it should and then next thing you know you haven't accomplished anything at all and you're beat anyway. Well it's been like that for most of the week. BUT today, was a breakthrough kind of day. The kind of day when things become unstuck. I was a little leery of today's task because I'd decided to update my project hopper and I knew I was waaaay behind schedule. So today I officially registered that I'm a month behind schedule. I have a ton of editing to do on my last project and I really want to draft something else for CampNaNo in July. I still have a couple decisions to make but it's looking like July's NaNo project is going to be editing my mystery. But I'm really happy with book I grabbed at the library called Novel Shortcuts, by Laura Whicomb. I'm getting a lot of gems from it that are going to pay off in this revising phase. So, as always, I feel better after updating my hopper because I get all that crap out of my head. When the hopper is clogged I know that I've been shoving things in there that are too big and they are sitting around while I chip away at them. I don't see the forward progress and the excitement leaves. So I managed to get those things broken up and I feel good about them. I have had a bunch of browsing issues lately and I noticed that my pop-up blocker icon would flash right when the problems occurred. These are trusted sites that would hang because of the blocker so I disabled it. Lately I've been thinking of sites that I gave up on because they weren't working and going back to them to see if they work now. It's like magic! They work now. I saw an item in the hopper about updating my website which has been pushed back several times because I couldn't make the editor work. So I was able to cross that action step off the list--it brought much satisfaction. Check out http://andyrbunch.weebly.com/ It's all new and working. Actually I was having trouble getting links to work on this site too and they work now too, WOOT! I also squeezed in a hair cut and finished reading the 4 hour work week. And I finally made pinterist work. Pinterest.com/SirBunch Which brings me to today's amazing thing. Check out this picture from my Pinterest page. It should be self explanatory, but basically you can carry some arrowheads in your wallet as part of a multi-tool and if you need to make some arrows for your survival bow the hardest part of the whole process is already done for you. You can also make an arrowhead out of the lid from a tuna can in urban survival situations. Just keep folding it in half and crimping it with a vise or hammering it, then use a hacksaw to cut away the excess of the remaining pie shape and you have an arrowhead shape. But that requires some tools and some time. Well not much else to report except that I have a poster for the upcoming July 10th Author Speed Date at the Tigard Library from 7 to 8:30, but it's in PDF so I don't think I can upload it here. I will try. PS I got Amanda Friteig of Chopped fame to send my mother a tweet. Win!
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Well a couple things are working finally. Despite the setback of not having a car again suddenly, I'm feeling more centered again. I think God has something better than that car in store for me. A better fit, maybe. There is always a blessing wrapped in a trouble. I'm always amazed at how hard it is to remember the lessons I learned when I'm overcome with disappointment. I took a step back and prayed about it, and as a result I felt strongly that I needed to go back to my planning documents and remember the bigger picture of my life. I needed to update it anyway. While I desperately need to perform my monthly update on the tour plan I'm really wanting to write up a checklist for writing/publishing/marketing myself and my books. It's been on my heart to do so for awhile, and it would contribute to updating the plan in this instance, because I have a hunch I'm falling behind because I've neglected to capture some of the steps I'm performing. As in I wrote down too big a chunks, and some chunks are missing. So when I get to those chunks I stop feeling progress toward my goals despite doing so much work. Then it becomes easy to get caught up spinning wheels and being busy instead of doing the things that move my project forward and then next thing I know I haven't looked at the plan in a while. It can be a vicious cycle. I also didn't realize how many of the things I'd been learning lately I hadn't captured, and the number of things I jotted down in random places but didn't combine into a usable document. Creating my own checklist has brought so much clarity and really cleaned out a cash of open loops I'd had floating about in my unconscious. I'm going to share a rough draft of what I've done so far. I still have about half a dozen resources to consult to add to this. I recommend that every Indie writer create a personal writing/publishing/marketing checklist at some point. Here's the rough draft... Writing steps 1. Idea (don’t start until you know the end and either the start or middle) a. Think of a working title b. Make a folder for project c. Build a playlist, find pictures of main characters 2. Composting (in your head 1st then on index cards) a. Resource base/motive, or problem to overcome b. Develop Main Characters (Protagonist, Antagonist, killer/victim/sleuth) c. Locations & objects (guns, cars etc.) 3. Outline (see writing a mystery.doc) (all acts have beginning, middle, end) a. ACT I (Hook, Middle scene, Plot Point #1) b. ACT II (Open scene, Midpoint, Plot Point #2) c. Act III (Open scene, Climax, Dénouement) 4. 1st draft (fast and rough) a. Take notes on changes and proceed as if you’d always intended it that way b. Omit unknown things that don’t matter (bit characters names, locations, etc) 5. Rough draft/author revision (address notes-to-self, fill in blanks) 6. Send to Alpha reader 7. Alpha Revision (respond to continuity, character feedback & plot holes) a. show not tell, cut adverbs and unneeded words b. verify all elements are present, continuity 8. Beta Reader/editor (focus on storytelling, pacing, audience appropriate language & realism) 9. Beta Revision (if needed verify that changes were successful) 10. Send to line editor (Punctuation, grammar, typo, spelling) 11. Edit revision Publishing Steps ( author bio, mug shot, book formatting, from marketing platform) 1. Create a folder to store finished formats (CS, KDP, Smash, ebooks, & audio) 2. Send off for reviews 3. Develop Cover art and back cover copy (consider paying a pro) a. High color contrast, eye catching, genre appropriate, 4. Format and upload to CreateSpace (Expanded Distribution $40) a. Order proof copy b. Approve and order books 5. Format and upload to Kindle a. Decide if doing select b. Upload to smashwords, (kobo writing life, iBookstore, nook press) 6. Fulfill kickstarter obligations Marketing steps 1. Marketing You--Branding (include nom de plume, font, color scheme, personal logo) a. Create folder to hold links/passwords to social media (short URLs http://goo.gl/) b. Get pro-photos of you c. Write Bio in Three versions: 75 words, 200 words, 500 words. 2. Build a Virtual platform (Community, visuals) a. Website for your book (Weebly $0 or wordpress $0, hosting $??/yr, URL $??/yr) i. Bio page, cross links to you and friends, link to blog, link to book retailors ii. Write book synopsis, three versions: One sentence; 50-100 words; 250-300 words iii. Optional Contact me page (capture contact info) iv. Calendar of events (google cal can be imbedded) b. Blog (blogger.com $0) (1 way conduit of communication) i. Pick your expertise to give away, draw/promote community c. Create Social Media Community (a 2 way conduit of communication w/ fans) i. FB Author page, (plus page for each book/series) ii. Twitter ($0 better conversion) iii. Pinterist for books targeting women d. Build a mailing list (Google.doc $0, constant contact $??) e. Amazon Author Central page can replace your website as a hub i. Need one for each country (.co.Uk, De, Fr, .co.jp, etc.) 3. Build a Physical platform a. An office/writing space & Inventory space for books, b. memorize elevator pitch (see back cover copy) c. Business cards, posters/banners, d. Mobile: Canopy w/ weights, folding chair, swag, change ($40 in 5s) trolley e. Credit processing (paypal, Square, etc.) f. Press package: clippings, video, pics, of you at events 4. Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/) 5. Book Launch 6. Events 7. Virtual Marketing (FB adverts, goodreads ads, bookbub, kindle free days) Upcoming events: I need to hear some live music to heal my soul so I'm going to hit an Amber Sweeney show either Friday (Fat Moose in Woodland https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fat-Moose/172310696113286?fref=ts) or Saturday (Malabu's downtown Vancouver: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Malibus/187345844684552?fref=ts). If I don't get to the Fat Moose Friday I'd like to go to Bards and Brews in Hillsboro (https://www.facebook.com/events/394831723968775/?ref=ts&fref=ts) to support my friends as they read their material. My next event is the Robin Hood Days in Sherwood, OR. (http://www.robinhoodfestival.org/) I'm also in the works on getting a part of a booth for Vancouver Sunday Streets Alive (http://sundaystreetsalive.org/).
Sunday, June 23, 2013
From Buzzfeed DIY we have some interesting do it yourself projects. Shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil are the ingredients you’ll need to make this natural shaving cream. http://foodformyfamily.com/manic-organic/rosemary-mint-shaving-cream-homemade-gift-ideas You’ll need hot water, sugar, and essential oils. http://www.ablossominglife.com/2013/05/diy-herbal-natural-hairspray.html One of the hardest things to do when trying to go all natural is trying to find natural hair care products that don’t cost a fortune. Normal hairspray is loaded with chemicals! You can just tell when you spray it and its hard to breath! Am I right? I grew up with a hairspray loving mom (sorry mom for throwing you under the bus :) and I remember her spraying her hair like it was going out of style! You could walk into the room and it was like you were hit with a wall of hairspray! Have I ever told ya’ll how much I love my mom! She’s the best! The best part of this hairspray is that it works g! I have been using it for over a year and love it. I especially love that it cost next to nothing (fits it my budget :) , is eco-friendly, and helps reduce waste. Plus, it is completely customizable and you can make it smell exactly how you would like! It’s so easy and cheap to make that you will never want to go back to the store bought stuff. Here is the super simple recipe: DIY Natural Herbal Hairspray 1 cup hot water 1 1/2 Tbs Sugar (White or Brown) 10-15 drops essential oil- orange, lemon, mint, rosemary (promotes hair growth), or any essential oil you like. You can use one or blend them. My favorite is lemon or orange. Fine mist spray bottle Direction: Dissolve sugar in hot water. Let mixture cool completely and mix in essential oils (if the water is too hot the essential oils may decrease in smell). Fill spray bottle and its ready to use. To use: Lightly mist over hair, wait 30 seconds to dry, and reapply if needed. Be careful not to over spray and soak your hair. Plus, this stuff is strong and a little goes pretty far. Side note: People have questioned me whether or not this would attract bugs. From my experience, I have not had any issues with this hairspray attracting bugs! Super simple to make, works great, and is all natural. Can it get much better that that? Have you ever tried to make homemade hair care products? What was your experience?
Friday, June 21, 2013
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
This is a picture of my new car, I'm very excited and blessed to have. Some have commented that I don't seem as overjoyed as someone should be when they get the most expensive/newest/coolest car ever. I can't really explain what's wrong with me. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, maybe. Waiting for the disappointment that seems to chase every really good thing that happens to me in life. Most of all I hate to even express such a stinky attitude. The closest I can come to explaining is to post a video about choice from TED talks. It sorta gets at what I think is going on with me. Anyway! Onto brighter subjects... I had a light bulb from God sort of realization this morning, and realized that I'm in a dry spot with my editing because I need to read a fiction/for fun book. I usually read one fun book, one non-fiction/self improvement type of book, and one devotional/inspirational book in the same time frame. I go through the fiction so much faster, I've been trying to catch up on the non-fiction pile. I'm just running dry with all the distractions lately. Sometimes life gets in the way. Often, its very good things that interrupt. I'm not stressed about the interruptions, but I'm distracted and struggling to regain focus. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I am most relaxed when I'm laser focused on something. I have a limited capacity to multitask and I don't enjoy it at all. So I'm excited to give myself permission to go get a book to read for fun. Along those lines: I must confess that I'm a paper book reader. I'm not put off by reader electronic and I've owned ereaders--I just find that if I have a stack of physical books to read and a folder full of ebooks, I'll read the physical books first every time. That's another reason I haven't gone to buy another physical book. I own some friends books that I "should" be reading so I can review them. Sadly, I need to just break down and hit a book store or library and grab physical book to devour. An ebook just won't hit the spot right now. Especially when I'm editing my own work electronically. Well this is a long post...the big update is that Josh confirmed that he's very close to having the audio done on my "Becoming Man" project. I released the short story "The Dark Djin" and got it added to my author central page US/IT/UK/DE. I'm getting there with my research on kickstarter. That looks like it'll be all consuming when I start so I may need to push it back till I've taken care of a lot of loose ends. So be it.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Soooo....I missed yesterday's update on here, but I was distracted by car shopping. Successful car shopping! I bought a Kai Soul. This will be the 3rd time I bought a car I swore never to own. My big challenge with this car, aside from Kia's bad reliability in its early years, is the mouse commercials that I detest. But if you are as picky about interior design as I am and you sit in it, you'll probably be impressed. So I'll update this blog if I run into mechanical issues, but for now I'm happy. Also, I got a call from my studio guy and the audio book for "Becoming Man" should be complete this week. I really hope so. Here's a link to the Kindle edition: http://www.amazon.com/On-Becoming-a-Man-ebook/dp/B008AZYOPY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371592900&sr=1-1&keywords=on+becoming+a+man+Andy+Bunch I'm also proud to announce the release of a short story: "The Dark Djin" I'll try to post a free sample tomorrow. Here's a link: http://goo.gl/F2S7d Onto the topic I wanted to write about for today. I've scrupulously channeled my political ramblings onto my Facebook page and kept this site for the three broad categories that I want to spend most of my time contemplating. Monday's post should be about physical/spiritual health, but I'm preoccupied of late with thoughts of the movie "We Were Soldiers." In that movie Lt. Col. Hal Moore must give a speech at the new airborne ranger division's formation/graduation from training. There's so many things he could say, or avoid saying, and I find it interesting what he chose to include. First, he stripped them of a nationality-based identity while in uniform, saying instead that they were now one race, American, and one color, Green. This is a remarkable and unifying sentiment and the right thing to tell people who must pull together to do what no one wants to do, but must be done. The next thing he says though, which is what I can't get past, is that he makes them promises. He can't promise that they'll be safe, or that they won't face atrocities, or that they will live through it. So he promises what he can, that his boots will be the first on the soil and the last to leave, and that dead or alive they will all come home together. The reason this touches me so deeply is the contrast with this administrations handling of Benghazi. I don't need to waste your time restating what you already can see. The movie exemplifies the five qualities of leadership that I believe in. 1st Honesty: don't make a promise if you don't know that you can follow through. 2nd Unity and clear purpose for action. 3rd lead from the front. 4th Loyalty: never, ever leave a friend or someone you are responsible for, out to dry. 5) Integrity: follow through is the foundation of honesty. I'm sick of being called racist because I'm critical of the current administration. I'm critical because the current commander in chief has demonstrated that he lacks any of the qualities of leadership. He is unfit for the job he's taken on. Thanks to IMBD for refreshing my memory: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0277434/
Friday, June 14, 2013
As you may recall, I'm inexplicably drawn to strange houses. Doubly so when they are small and off grid. This weeks find comes to us from England, The Exbury Egg Floating Off Grid house(?). More details can be found through gizmag: http://www.gizmag.com/exbury-egg/27895/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=8185181be0-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-8185181be0-90192181 Artist Stephen Turner thought up this crazy home and will be living in it for a year to observe nature. The house boat will be docked on the shore of the Beaulieu River, UK and accessed via pontoon bridge. The house was built by a boat builder named Paul Baker. It's roughly 20 feet by 10 feet. He plans to heat with a small coal stove and use solar chargers for his electronics. Doesn't seem like a bad way to spend a year, but then I'm really behind on my editing, LOL. Our next find, also from gizmag, is a prefab house that can be taped together. The process, created by German scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research and the Technische Universität Braunschweig would bond adhesive to a metal strap that could be placed on wood and then heated with electricity to activate the adhesive. The process would take a minute instead of hours. The other advantage to this is that houses could be made out of thinner materials because they won't have to be nailed together.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Well, this is working. I've never been successful at journaling before...I mean I do it, but it takes me more than a decade to fill a small note book. I can't stop myself from sorting my thoughts and keeping a journal for this and another for that, and I just don't enjoy doing it very often. BUT I love tracking progress, so updating this blog has become a fun way to externally process and record my plans and efforts. That's the upside--the down side is that progress on my projects has slowed. I'm playing catch up from my trip, yes, but really my birthday through me off. Not emotionally, but just sluggishness. Once I give myself permission to be lazy for a day, about half the time I get charged up and ready to tackle life again and the other half I just get more lazy. I'm not crippled with guilt mind you, I've pretty much overcome crippling condemnation. I'm just aware that my output has been underwhelming. Sometimes it's like that though. Sometimes you've got 10 simple things to accomplish in a day, and then the first 3 things all take 4 times as much time and effort. Then I start pondering if I should power through even if it becomes the only thing I get done that day, or if I should back burner that and try to whip out some of the other things I need to do. There's good arguments that support either decision. David Allen would say, "Never put anything back into your inbox" but he'd also say, "as long as you've captured your items into a trusted system its okay to deffer an action until the appropriate time." Tim Ferriss would say, "a lack of time is really just a lack of priorities." So it's days like these when I set aside the 450 emails I'm behind, and the chapters I need to be editing, and the planning I should be doing for my upcoming library presentation, and the last chapter I need to read to be able to cross "the 4 hour work week," off my reading list, and instead I'm checking out a brand new coffee shop on its grand opening and processing some priorities. So far I've decided to accomplish one action item out of each of my value categories before I allow myself to check emails. So this is your official warning--if you need something from me prior to 11am each day send me a text and tell me to look for your email. Okay, Upcoming Events! Thursday, June 13th at 6:30pm I will be joining Nancy Kelley at the Three Creeks Library to talk about Indie publishing. This event will include some great how to's and we'll answer questions so bring a pen and paper to take notes. 800 NE Tenney Rd. Vancouver, WA 98685 Saturday June 15th I'll be joining another local author Lee Thompson (https://www.facebook.com/fleethompson?fref=ts) at Krazy Kones in Vancouver, WA. (4903 St Johns Avenue in Vancouver, WA) starting around 11AM and going to it stops. I will personally be taking off a little early to head to another obligation (Wild Branch). I think that's my upcoming schedule. I'm looking forward to learning more about branding. I bought branding for dummies and will be reading it as soon as I catch up on email and read William Hertling's book on marketing (https://www.facebook.com/william.hertling?fref=ts) For more information about what I'm reading you can friend me on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/sirbunch). Finally, along the lines of branding, I'm looking for an artist who will do a logo for me inspired by this photo: not the words so much as the picture. I need a simple image that looks good color or black and white.
Monday, June 10, 2013
So the reason I couldn't update the blog last week...is because I had an awesome opportunity which I jumped on. It turns out that a friend of mine from grade school married a friend of my buddy Rick's from grade school. (I'm too relaxed right now to worry about the grammar of that last sentence). Anyway, this marriage of mutual friends has produced the Mighty Mathison family. As near as I can tell, they work from dawn to well passed dusk every day. They needed someone to bring a wheel chair van out from Kentucky so I got an all expense paid break from my normal adventure. I'm super relaxed and happy. Flying in cramped airplanes over night and then driving about 600 miles a day may not sound like fun to some folks but its a blast for me. I don't know if I'd want to do it every week...but I'd do it 4 to 6 times a year if I could. It was also a great test run for my coming US book tour. Here's my trusty stead for the journey. It drove great, but had no cruise control. Awesome, fun, adventure Highlights: Flew out of PDX at 10:30 Tuesday PM. 2nd bumpiest trip in a plane ever (and I've flown in some tiny planes). I sat right behind first class where I didn't have a seat in front of me to stick my carry-on under. But I had a little more leg room and I had packed extremely light. I landed in Charlotte NC 5 hours later at 6AM local. The Charlotte Airport is extremely spread out and I had to walk a good half mile between gates. That second plane was the first time I've gotten on a plane from a roll up ramp instead of a gangway (not including the single prop planes I've flown in or jumped from). I hopped a flight to Louisville KY. That flight was cool. Lots of banking. The Flight Attendant was chill. The disturbing things were the water dripping from the air conditioning, which didn't seem right, and the instructions on the back of the seat in front of me were typed on normal paper and scotch-taped in place. Oh, and there was gum under my arm-rest. We had some crazy crosswind landing too. The nose of the plane had to be 20 degrees left of runway center. Rich, the guy with the van, picked me up and then we drove back to his truck to go over paperwork. Then I drove through Indiana (okay), Illinois (ill annoy), and Missouri (surprisingly not miserable at all) on day #1. I stayed in a Days Inn, in Blue Springs, just outside KC. The night auditor was cool and would have let me swim in my short (didn't pack a suit), but I didn't pack any extra shorts and I didn't want to have that chlorine dried feel for the rest of the trip. That was the only time I stopped before a pool closed. Also worth noting, the shower in that hotel was odd as seen in the picture here. That round half column is shower. It's weirder in person than it looks in the pic. Free breakfast at the hotel makes a fast start to the next day. After crossing the entire width of Missouri on day one I drove half its height up to Nebraska City and then across. I had lunch at Taco John's and ended up having to buy a new battery for the door key dongle. It took the better share of an hour to get the old battery out. I had to get the jewelry counter gal at Walmart to help me, with a pair of tweezers. I suspect that she was really hung over, because she didn't get any of my jokes. I gotta say, I thought I'd like Nebraska and it wasn't that exciting. Then I got into Wyoming and decided I had been a little rough on Nebraska. Wyoming did have one really cool hill that I got a picture of, and tree growing out of a boulder that I didn't. Wyoming also had a fantastic restaurant called "Bucks" (in Rawlins) with mind blowing pizza. I suspect that all of the beautiful women in the state work at bucks and all of the flavor in the entire state is suffused into their food. Giant Menu too, see pictures: I finally stopped for the night in Cheyenne. I kept looking for another Days Inn, but couldn't find one and I needed to get gas so I stopped at a Ferryman's that shared a parking lot with a truck stop. I almost turned around when I saw the under construction signs on the door. Then I almost turned around when I smelled the cigarette smoke in the lobby and saw the water damage on the wains coating. I confess, shamefully, that a tiny part of me figured it would be cheap and I probably was too tired to notice if the room wasn't great. It wasn't cheap. BUT the room was very clean and I only calculated the odds of bed bugs for about 5 minutes before I passed out. Day 3 breakfast was awesome. Sap Brother's Truck Stop makes an amazing chicken fried steak and they'll let you have homemade banana bread instead of toast. The waitress told me this joke: How do you make egg fu young? You take a young egg and you fu it. Sap Brothers went a long ways to redeem Wyoming until I drove the rest of the way up hill to Utah. Utah wasn't bad. I don't know why, but I imagined roads lined with men on bikes in white shirts and black slacks. Something was blooming, so the entire state smelled of sage. I only cut across a corner of it so I didn't even gas up the van in that state. I did stop just shy of the Idaho border and had an awesome beef sandwich with mashed potatoes, served by a great waitress. It was nearly full of people and I was the only person who didn't know everyone else. Still, I felt at home--probably because my server was so personable. I really wanted to make twin falls for the night, but they didn't have a Days Inn and I wasn't feeling as adventurous after the Ferryman's (I'm just glad I wasn't sleeping with coins over my eyes that night). So I skipped Twin Falls and thought I'd grab the next exit that promised a chain hotel. Then I swore I'd stop if it promised lodging of any kind. That's when I pulled off at a town that I don't think had a name. It was waaaaay off the freeway but I needed gas (I promised Marty I wouldn't go below 1/4 tank). I did find a station and fill up, but I never saw the lodging. I was glad to be back on the highway. So 220 miles later I found a motel 6 in Boise and was glad of it. The night auditor was friendly and the bed was comfortable. The shower was an odd design that I really liked until I used it. Still, it was a nice night and I received a 20% discount at the copper kitchen next door for breakfast. Then I drove through a chunk of Oregon and met with Marty and Tami in Sunnyside, WA. Mom had driven over from Vancouver to visit her sister, and we met up at the McD's in Toppinish so I could catch a ride home. I hit my first traffic jam of the entire trip at the 205 bridge in Portland OR. Over all I spent a whopping $3 more than I estimated, I arrived within half an hour of my scheduled time, and I had a great time. I also got to see a friend I haven't seen since grade school. I saw amazing things, like the first help wanted sign I've seen in 6 years (in Missouri, but they were all over until I got all the way home). Some states had better gas prices, other's had better food prices, and some had both (Missouri). All of them cost less then here, and they had jobs. Also I didn't have any trouble breathing till I got back as far as Idaho--so whatever I'm alergic to is a NW thing. I also had some great time to process the thoughts in my head, which I've decided I need to do at least 4 times a year from now on. Until next time, Andy Bunch PS Anyone know what kind of bird this is?
Monday, June 3, 2013
I may or may not be able to Update much this week. I've got lots of awesome things going on, I can't wait to update everyone next Monday. Lot's of good things happening. Here's a funny to keep you going. This fortune preceded a couple hours of hard core bathroom time.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
I wanted to get a quick update out there for those who missed last night's reading at the Bard's and Brews event. My thanks to Primrose and Tumbleweeds (http://www.primroseandtumbleweeds.com/) for the awesome a location, my friends are still raving about your food. I also want to thank Tina at Jacobson's Bookstore (http://www.jacobsensbooks.com/) for your sponsorship and hard work, as well as Tonya Macalino of NIWA, who did a lot of the organizing. Thanks to all of you and also, a special thanks go out to (motorcycle) Brad Cameron for his brilliant work Mastering the Ceremonies and to the other readers for stepping up to the plate and swinging for the fence. You all did a fantastic job. I managed to give one of my best readings to date despite the presence of a microphone and a camera. I was encouraged near the end to look up and see Rick and Jeanine Jackson had made the long trek to Hillsboro to catch the event. I'm blessed to have good friends. The next Bard's and Brews event will be June 28 and every last Friday there after. The short story I read will be available through KDP Select sometime later this week. I woke up to more great weather today, which seems extra crazy considering that I was getting tweets from my sister in Oklahoma City last night. She spent part of the evening in the bathroom--the most secure place in her home--because the latest Tornadoes were much closer than before. I love Jeanette and her kids. My niece is back up here for college but me nephews, the Brothers Wirth (https://www.facebook.com/TheBrothersWirth) have a band in OKC. I don't talk much about my church fellowship, but today I'll indulge myself. Wild Branch Ministries is a crazy/fun group of talented and friendly people. We meet in Battle Ground, WA. Details at this link http://www.wildbranchministries.com/. People always ask the same questions like how many members we have and how long we've been around. I know in it's current incarnation WB has been around over a decade because I've been going that long. As for membership? Probably zero. I don't think you can count them. It would be like asking how many members Applebees has. In my ten years I've seen a number of regulars nearly every time but 40 to 60 percent of the attendees are new to me every time. Some I've known since age ten, and some just find us and try us out. Many people watch the live Ustream broadcast, and will attend in person once or twice a year. You could think of it as a house church with a hundred members or a failed mega-church. Today we had a potluck--the first since I've been coming. The food was awesome. I was blown away. The message was on Ephesians 1 which is the point I'm coming to in this installment. I've been contemplating perspective a lot lately. Christianity is a mysterious thing if you don't have the perspective to understand it. The central truth, that Christ died to defeat sin and restore all things if we accept the gift of forgiveness is baffling if we don't understand that we are loved perfectly, permanently. If you've seen a child hesitating at the edge of a pool, encouraged by his father to jump into his waiting arms, then you've seen the central challenge of walking in faith. As Mike Galeotti put it today, "So long as a question remains in the child's heart about his ability to trust his father, he can't overcome the potential danger he sees before him." Think about the fun a kid can have on a hot summer day in a pool, provided he takes a plunge. My buddy, Wally, said that someone walking past him nudged him into the deep end when he was a kid and he didn't get in again until he was 17. Ephesians 1 is full of things we get when we take the plunge as Christians and choose to walk in the more that's offered. I think a lot of people attending church do not have a perspective that allows them to see these as something meant for them. Verse 3, blessed be the Father who blessed us in every blessing through Christ which Christ is entitled to. Verse 5/6 he did this for his own pleasure, he wasn't required to do it. Verse 7 we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses. Verse 8 all wisdom and insight. 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will. 13 were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit. And it gets better from there. I want to change tack a little bit though so follow my train of thought In the book, "the 4 hour work week" Tim Ferriss asks a series of questions on page 300 (http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/). I want folks to contemplate their answers to these questions in light of the fact that we are loved perfectly. What are you good at? What could you be the best at? What really makes you happy? What excites you? What gives you a feeling of accomplishment? What shared experiences with people brought you joy? I'm not saying that if we have pain or sorrow in our lives, we aren't living right. I'm not saying that at all. I just want us to measure our current life trajectory against the reality that we are loved perfectly. This is why I don't stress about my upcoming birthday, June 9. I'll be single, 43, no IRA, no health insurance, no big income job, nothing on the best seller list, etc. But I'm loved perfectly, and I have some really exciting plans. This has been a more intense update than usual, but with tornadoes and sunshine, I was in a mood. Thanks.