2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 12,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 20 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

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How I Improved In 2012.

When I was younger I wrote for the enjoyment of writing. I got nothing from it, I didn’t do it to see how far I could go with it or what kind of money I could make doing it. I did it only for the writing.

Writer Wordart

Writer Wordart (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

A few things have occurred to me this year.

  1. I hadn’t been writing for myself for a while.
  2. I chose to write a novel that was very different from my normal stuff.
  3. I branched out in my writing and I contribute to The Today Voice once a week, Tuesdays, and have made friends and learned to do new things.
  4. I learned that bigger isn’t better. This goes for my blog as well as for my novel-writing.
  5. I’m a better writer than I believed, I’ve been told this many times by other writers and people I respect for their creativity.
  6. It’s more important to get the words down, even if the words suck because you can always fix in the revision/rewrite process.
  7. I’ve had times I doubted my writing, but my wife has told me to keep going. She has been my biggest cheering section, along with my son, who’s proud his daddy is a writer, he’s told his teacher in a paper and has told me on many occasions.
  8. I’m better at weird and “out there” type of writing than I thought I’d be.
  9. Every character has talked to me, whether in my dreams or while I’m writing, and I feel that comes through.
  10. I feel passionately about what I’m doing with my blog and my novel-writing and I won’t let anyone tell me I can’t be a writer.

Each of these things came to me at some point in the year. I remember when they happened and I think about them often.

My writing on the blog is who I am, whether you like my writing (otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this) or you don’t. But I don’t hold back on who I am.

As I said a few weeks ago, this is me.

Things for 2013

I’m considering using YouTube more in my blog and possible using the webcam my wife bought me for Christmas. I may use this in the coming weeks. I’m undecided, but I really want to do some different things next year.

I plan on my current WiP (Work in Progress) ready by early 2013. This is tentative, but that is my goal.

As for the rest of the year, I plan on having a lot of fun with my kids and spending more time doing things just with my wife, because we’ve been married thirteen years, and I think that’s important.

How have you improved this year? Answer in the comments.

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Why I’m No Longer A Slave To Anger

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. – Buddha

English: A metaphorical visualization of the w...

English: A metaphorical visualization of the word Anger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For a long time anger was a part of my life. I was angry at my parents for being divorced, myself for not following my dreams and at other smaller things I had not control over.

The angriest I’d ever been was a few years ago, when I received a letter from someone. The words were vile, untruthful and said in such an angry tone that I contemplated taking my life.

This letter came and my wife opened it and she didn’t want to show it to me, she knew how hurt and angry I would be over it. But, I read it and the words were shocking to me. The most shocking were these, “you’ll never be a writer, because no one cares what you have to say.” Well I can honestly say that when I read those words I was still trying to find my blogging and writing voice and it made me think about my writing.

In the end, those words were a catalyst to get me to not only write, but to write well. Since I received that letter I’ve written two novels, at least twenty short stories, one of them published online and my blog has never done better than it is now.

I turned the anger I felt into a positive. I still think about that letter often, and those words, but they are in a different context to me now. I’m no longer angry about those words, or any of the other things in the letter. I’m sad that someone felt that way about me, personally, and they had no other recourse than to write such a letter.

Their anger was at me, which began before the letter that caused the thing. I’m no longer angry at the person who wrote the letter, I feel sorry for them. They are angrier than I’ll ever be, but they don’t know how to deal with. I’ve dealt with my anger, through meditation and have come out the other side a better writer, a better human being and more willing to do things when someone says I can’t.

I’ve learned how to guide my anger and I’m no longer consumed by it. I can do things they said I couldn’t. I’m no longer getting burned by my anger, I’m putting that emotion to constructive use in other ways.

How have you dealt with your anger? Answer in the comments

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Are You Being A Slave?

Encadenados

Encadenados (Photo credit: fjprieto71)

When I was in my early twenties I was angry. Angry about what was going on in my life. Angry at my dad and mom for their divorce when I was eight at myself for being discharged from Marine boot camp and for not having someone to share my life with.

All of these things made me very mad at life and there were moments I wanted to die.

I think the jobs I had, or at least one of them, made me feel that way more than others.

The only job I really enjoyed after high school was one I had in a gym. The others were just markers along the road.

I felt like a slave to my life. It wasn’t until I quit my job, stopped attending my college classes and started writing that I felt alive.

When  I left my job and moved to Las Vegas with my sister and her family, my girlfriend who would be my wife followed a month later, life changed. I still wrote, but not as much as I’d liked. When my girlfriend and I got our own apartment things were really good, then I lost my job and started writing again, but only for myself. I never told her I was writing, it was something I did to keep my sanity as well as to comfort myself for losing the job.

When I got another job, one that I took because I needed a job, it was not something I enjoyed, but the people were awesome. When the opportunity to change jobs for one closer to home came, I jumped at it. I’ve been at that job for the past thirteen years. But, the job hasn’t felt right for a while. Like something was missing. I felt like a slave to my job, to my life, to everything around me. I wasn’t doing what I wanted for most of the last thirteen years.

It wasn’t until a few years into my current job that I started writing, mostly from encouragement from a friend.

Writing has never felt like a slave driver to me. It’s always felt like something I did because I liked it, not because I felt forced into it.

There many times I’ve felt like a slave to something, anger, regret, loss, suffering and pain. When any of these come up they occupy my mind for a long time, weeks, sometimes years. But through writing I’ve learned to get past them. Through writing I’ve found my way.

I’ve been a slave for too long and I’m trying to break that.

For the next few weeks I’ll be doing posts on breaking the chains of being a slave to emotions. Always on Friday. Won’t you follow along with me.

What are you being a slave to? Answer in the comments!

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Are You Living The Life You Want?

Unholy Confessions

Unholy Confessions (Photo credit: Philerooski)

Friday we had the whole, “The world is ending, Oh my god, what are we going to do”, thing.

But it got me to thinking about how susceptible we are to things we read, see and watch. I know people who missed work because they honestly believed the world was going to end. Is that really a way to live your life, is that living at all?

Every one of us goes through our lives living each day, but do we actually live? Are we doing everything we can to enjoy every day? I doubt it. We may think we are, but more than likely we’re going through life flubbing through it, only doing what we have to do.

What about doing that which you want to do. The one thing you’ve wanted since you became a grown up. When are you going to do that? Are you still going through life trying to figure out when you have the time?

Life doesn’t wait for anyone, I’ve learned that with my writing. If you don’t start what you want now, regardless of where you are on life’s path, you’ll never get to where you want.

Starting from now is when to do what you want, this moment. Every second you’re not doing what you want is a wasted moment doing something you don’t want to do.

Life doesn’t keep time, it only cares about the passing of time. If you’re time is passing faster than you like, slow it down and do what you want to do.

Create something, make something amazing. Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do with your kids. Make plans for that one trip, that one experience your kids will always remember.

If you’re still reading this, you’re not doing what you need to. You’re still staring at what I write and not doing what you it, which is what you most want in the world.

Are you living the life you want? Answer in the comments.

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How We’re Teaching Buddhism To Our Kids.

Novitiate faculty in the Buddhism is prayying

Novitiate faculty in the Buddhism is prayying (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve posted many times about my beliefs in Buddhism, but I’ve never discussed what we tell our kids about Buddhism or Christianity. Here’s a couple of recent stories about our life and raising our kids Buddhist.

A few weeks ago, my son who’s eight and smarter than he acts and thinks more philosophically than most kids, came home from school and was talking to my wife, as my wife told it the story went like this.

“Mom, my friend says that God made the wind blow today.” My son said.

“She did?” My wife responded.

“Yeah.” He replied.

“Well what do you think?” My wife said.

“I don’t know, maybe.” My son said.

“You’re not sure or you think he does?’ She said.

“I don’t know.” he said.

“Quinn, there are a lot of people who believe in this thing called God, which we can’t prove exists. They think this God controls what happens to them, just like the wind.”

“They do?”

“You know we haven’t really talked about a God, but we’ve talked about Buddha. Who we know was a real person who actually lived. So with what you know about Buddha, who controls what happens to you?”

“I do.” My son said.

“That’s right.” My Wife replied.

The other story…

A few weeks ago my wife was driving home from picking up our daughter from Daycare, our son was with her. My wife had picked him up earlier in the day after he finished school.

Out of the blue, while they were driving. My son says…

“Mom in my next life, I want you to be my mom.”

My wife responded with…

“Really? Why is that?”

“You know because, you’re my mom and I don’t want to have anybody else as my mom because that would just be weird.”

“Well, we probably won’t remember who were in this life when we reach the next. But, yeah I’d like to be your mom in the next life too.”

My son is very insightful about Buddhism. We’ve taught him about meditation, read him stories about Siddhartha and before he became Buddha and what his life was like. But we really haven’t touched on Rebirth and some of the other teachings.

I think he’s either heard us talking about it or he’s done some reading on his own.

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My Favorite Christmas’ As A Kid

Cella

When I was a little boy my aunt would stay with us on Christmas. Truth be told, she wasn’t really an aunt, but someone my grandparents were friends with and became part of their family. When my dad and his siblings grew up, she became part of their families.

Aunt Cella, which is what we called her, stayed with us on Christmas.
Christmas Eve, Cella would sleep on the couch in the living room, my sisters and I would sleep in our rooms, our parents in theirs.
Christmas morning my sisters and I would take turns getting out of bed to ask  if we could get up to see if Santa had come. Cella would do her best to talk them into it as well. My youngest sister, then, was too little to take part in this.
Once we were up we’d go in the living room and see whatever Santa had brought us.
After my parents divorced we’d still see Cella on Christmas, but it was always at her house where Santa would leave us a present as well, a small toy or a coloring book.
Cella didn’t stay with us for a long time after my parents divorced. It wasn’t until I was thirteen that she stayed with my dad and I. But never again at Christmas.
My fondest memories of Christmas were those mornings with Cella, my sisters and I trying to talk our parents into letting us get up and whatever we’d do Christmas morning.
My favorite Christmas’ as a kid were those. When my parents divorced we started new traditions on Christmas, though I don’t recall what they were.
Now I’m the dad with two little kids who I know will want to get up early on Christmas and I see the Christmas traditions my wife and I are creating with our kids.
Gingerbread houses with mom, my son helping me string the lights on the tree and putting ornaments that we’ve bought for the kids and for each other throughout our life together and I hope our kids look as fondly on the memories we’ve tried to create as I do on Christmas with Cella, my mom and dad still married and my sisters and I trying to let us get up to open presents.
Posted in Life, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments