Wednesday, August 30, 2006

So Long, Barbie

Do you ever get mad at society in general at something that really is rather pointless? I'm not talking about the big issues, but small things that, in the grand scheme of life, amounts to very little?

Well, I'm in that boat right now. And I suppose part of this is because my daughter is getting old enough to make frequent visits to the "pink aisle" in the toy stores. It used to be I'd follow my sons down row after row of action figures and light sabers and Legos. But now, I have to throw in dolls, and doll furniture, and doll books, and clothes that you can dress up in to make you look like your doll.

And it is there, in the pink aisle, where society has gone inexplicitly wrong. Okay, so it was a bit upsetting to learn that Barbie and Ken broke up a couple years ago. What's up with that? Isn't there commitment? Why couldn't Ken just pop the question?

But it isn't Barbie that I'm concerned about. Barbie is old-school. I'm talking about Barbie's commercial nemesis, the Bratz dolls.

I'm sure you must be aware of them. They are everywhere, even popping up on t-shirts these days. Where there used to be a rull row of Barbies, you now have Bratz.

The name alone infuriates me. Who, in their right mind, would want their daughters owning a doll that seems to glorify "brat-dom"? But, no, that's not bad enough.

Remember all the complaints about Barbie? About her impossibly perfect figure? Well, magnify that with Bratz, with a figure that is downright insulting. And the clothing? We might as well start teaching our girls the art of becoming a prostitute! Dress like a slut, live like a brat. It is the "me" generation, and this doll...

Okay, calming down. See, it truly does infuriate me. But I'm not just mad at the sick minds that decided Bratz was a good idea. They, at least, had the almighty dollar influencing them. What really makes me mad is that the public seems to be rewarding that decision. Bratz are enormously successful, and that only happens because people are buying them!

Can't people see the problem with these Bratz? It is instilling a mindset in young girls about how they should dress. And the clothes they, themselves, dress in follows. I, frankly, can't believe the clothes young girls are wearing these days.

Where are the protests? I would think both the conservative Christian as well as ultra-liberal feminist, and everyone in between, would be outraged at these things. Sexualizing girls like this. It is crazy!

And so what does this mean for Barbie, who I always felt dressed a bit too provocatively anyhow? It means she is losing ground. So, what does Mattel do? They come out with a new Barbie that looks suspiciously like a Bratz doll!

Well, so long, Barbie. Your days are numbered. Bratz are planning to take over the world. God help us all.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Strange Symptom

In the twenty-four years that I've been a diabetic, I've learned a thing or two. Or three. And one thing that still amazes me is that there is always something new.

I love to preach about being aware of your symptoms. Pay attention to the signals your body gives you, because even the slightest thing could mean something.

And so, I think I've learned another. A strange symptom that I've never heard listed in any "high blood sugar" symptom list, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced of in myself.

But before I tell you what that strange symptom is, I'll tell you what isn't a strange symptom. At least, not for me. When my blood sugar is high, I get one or more of the following: frequent urination, extreme thirst, excessive coughing, feeling sluggish or depressed, restlessness in my sleep, or a sticky taste in my mouth. Oh, I'm probably missing some others.

If I notice any of these, symptoms, it is a sign to test my blood.

But I've become aware of a pattern. See, I frequently wake up in the middle of the night with an extremely painful and/or stiff back. Sometimes it is so bad, I have to take some ibuprofen. Now, admittedly, we don't have the best mattress in the world, so naturally I've been blaming this on my bed.

But the thing is, if it were just the bed, why is it sporadic. Shouldn't I have back stiffness and pain every night?

Then recently I began to notice that my back is worse the higher my blood sugar is. So, I've been explicitly paying attention, and sure enough, pain in the back equal a high BGL.

There you have it. Another strange symptom. To test this, one night last week I was having trouble sleeping due to my back. So, I pumped out a couple units of insulin. I didn't even bother testing. (Not recommended, by the way, if you aren't keenly aware of your lows when you sleep. Fortunately, I am.) Guess what? My back stopped least, enough to sleep.

So, I'll urge you all (at least, those with diabetes), yet again, to be mindful of what your body is trying to tell you. Don't dismiss anything. It might be nothing. But look for patterns. Look for any and all means you have for judging your BGLs based on how you feel. The more symptoms you are aware of, the better care you can take of yourself.

I've got a little secret to share. And don't tell my endo, please. But my last A1c was a 7.0. Okay, my endo knows that part. But what my endo doesn't know is that I achieved that by testing my BGLs no more than once a day. I'm bad, I know. I should more often. So should you. But I was lazy, and the battery died on my meter, and I was trying to save money on strips. Amazingly, I was able to keep my A1c at the 7.0 level, however, almost entirely through being self-aware of my symptoms.

Now that I shared that secret, however, let me tell you that going very long without frequent testing does jeopardize your ability to accurately judge your BGLs. So, this three-month test is over, and I'm back to more frequent checks. Yet, it goes to show how much your "Spidey-sense" can help you keep good control. Of course, I still look forward to the day that I can afford the new Minimed Paradigm Real (or whatever it is called) that continuously monitors your BGLs for you, if only because it is cool!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Writing For Boys

A couple weeks ago, I took my son to the dentist. He was nervous, because he had to get his first filling, and I scared him to death telling him about the shot of novacaine, which it turns out he didn't even need.

Anyhow, to calm his nerves, I handed him a book I had brought along to read. A book for young-adults. He read it for maybe a minute (if I'm being generous) then put it down.

"You don't want to read it?"

"No," he said.

"Why not?"

"It's boring."

"But you barely read it!"

"Yeah, but there were no explosions on the first page."

Explosions. That's what happens when you let your boy read Star Wars books. Not only do you have to have action, but the action must be on page one, paragraph one. And it must be an explosion.

Flash forward to today, where someone asked about some young-adult thrillers geared toward boys, or perhaps books similar to those by Meg Cabot, except targeted to boys. It seems her son is much like my own, as well as like myself when I was a boy.

And now the wheels are cranking in my head. It seems more difficult to attract boys into reading than girls. So, what would it take to get boys interested? And can I write books that I think boys would want to read even more than girls?

I'll admit my novel Mindburst is targetting myself. It is based on my own childhood playtime, and my love affair with superheroes. But I also made the main character a girl. Why? Well, the reason is many-fold, but one reason is that I figured that it is more likely a girl will pick up my book than a boy. Boys would like it, I think. Then again, they may be turned off at the female protagonist. Who knows?

And the book I'm currently writing is most definitely targetting girls. Think Tuck, Everlasting and you'll have an idea of what my new book is like. (Or may be like, since I'm only about halfway done.)

The question becomes, how to write for boys? How do I appeal to the kid that I was when I was, well, a kid? How do I write something filled with the action that boys like, but also isn't just another Star Wars wannabe?

I have no answers. But it is worthwhile for me to consider it, because I think more needs to be done to attract boys to reading. We are seeing a lot of progress there, actually, with authors such as Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl, etc.). Maybe some day I can jump in.

So, those of you with boys...what do they like to read? Give me some ideas, because I'd like to find out who is doing the whole "writing for boys" thing right, and maybe learn a thing or two from them.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Deciding a path

There was a discussion about websites on a forum I frequent. It was mostly about what links to include where, etc. I'll admit I'm trying to figure out the future of my website. I don't like sites with too many links. And if you put links on, how can you be judicial enough to include the best ones? I have a lot of published (or soon to be published) friends, and as much as I would like to just include links to their sites (writers helping writers, and all that), I'm also faced with the reality that I want my own website to, eventually, appeal to youths. Which means I can't include links to authors of books definitely geared toward adults.

But a very inciteful...err...insightful person mentioned how you can't be all things to all people with your website, and how as a young-adult writer, I should start working on defining my on-line persona.

I've been trying to do that, actually. But the way he put it got me to thinking. He gave the example of Lemony Snicket, aka Daniel Handler. His website plays off of this false identity he created to promote his books. Brilliant, if you ask me. How can you not want to read his books when they start out with a warning telling you not to read it?

Anyhow, I don't plan to create a false identity. I like who I am, frankly. And I'm not really good at being something I'm not.

So, then, who am I? Or rather, who do I want to be? Where will this blog take me? My writing? My website? How do I shape how people will view me as that author?

There are many paths to take, I suppose, and I'm only just beginning to form where it will ultimately lead. One frontrunner is to play up a particular weakness I have. Or weaknesses, perhaps. Because people like to relate to other's weaknesses more than their strengths, I think.

Take, for example, the dichotomy I face with reading. I love reading. I love books. But I'm also a very slow reader. I'm a very hard-to-please reader. Which means, for me to actually finish a book (when it is not in audiobook format) takes either a lot of work on my part, or must be an absolutely tremendous book on the part of the author.

What can I do with that? Well, I think kids need to understand that they are not alone in this. Being a slow reader hasn't hindered my dreams of becoming a writer. Being slow at anything shouldn't hinder their dreams, either.

Well, anyhow, that's the idea. Creating that persona...a persona that appeals to my audience, and yet is still me. So, I have a goal ahead of me. In the next year, other than having a book on its way to publication (I hope!), I also would like to decide on and define the path I will take here. I need to start now.

So, I ask you this. What are the weaknesses from your own life, or the weaknesses your kids see in themselves? What are the areas that they must work at, struggle with, whatever? These should be the place I focus my attentions, and see how I can relate myself to that in any way.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Running the 10K

I think this blog entry will do it. At some point, somewhere, a reader of this blog entry will become the ten-thousandth visitor. Well, okay, not visitor. They will be the ten-thousandth time someone views my blog. I was secretly hoping this significant event would happen on September 8. Why? Because that would be exactly one year. My blogiversary. It would seem kind of cool to reach 10,000 hits at the one-year mark. Then again, now I can say, "more than 10,000 hits in less than a year." Sounds more impressive, I suppose.

It is hard to believe I've been blogging for almost a year. And what have I accomplished in this year? Well, I finished the final draft of a manuscript (three times...because "final" on one day isn't necessarily "final" a couple months later). I wrote a bunch of stories, and even managed to get one published. Another story has been accepted for publication in a print magazine, though I'm still waiting to find out which issue it will appear in, which makes it not quite feel "real" yet.

I also made improvements on my goal. Remember that, everyone? Do you remember what I planned to learn through this blog? Five stars if you do...

...That's right. I wanted to learn how to be funny. Or at least write things that are funny. And, more or less, I made some strides there. I'm no David Letterman or anything, but thanks to everyone who put up with my silliness at times in the past year, I have a better feel for writing something humorous. But I also learned that I'll, for the most part, stick to what I know. At least I can toss in some humor now and again. I even wrote a script for a banquet that was nothing but humor. That was quite a challenge, but somewhat liberating. (Then again, we haven't actually had the banquet yet, so it might still turn out that my script won't generate a single laugh, in which case it's back to the drawing board.)

I'm still trying to find an agent. The good news is that I've had some agent interest, so that is a positive thing. Just not enough interest (yet!) to offer representation. Soon. Hopefully. In the meantime, I think God is teaching me that while I might be a patient person, I'm not patient enough.

Oh, right...I also set up a new website.

What is disheartening, however, is that I have more trouble figuring out what I accomplished as a father and husband this year. I mean, really, who cares if I have a story published or new website? Have I grown closer to my children, shown more love to my wife, strengthened the familial bond in any way? I like to talk about the importance of family, but I realize, now, that I don't really have a measuring stick. I've run 10K on this blog, but being a husband and father is more like running a lifetime ofl 10Ks back to back.

How many times did I hurt my boys with the things I've said...or the things I haven't said? Could I have spent more time with them? Done more with them? I'm sure the answer is yes. But, like too many men, I often get caught up in my own ambitions to notice until it is too late.

I come home from work, and my boys are excited to see me. My daughter tells me the most intimate parts of her life (which, for a two-year-old, pretty much amounts to the fact that she didn't have an accident in her pull-up) and wants me to put nail polish on her nails or get her dressed in pretty clothes.

I suppose that means I'm on the right track. At least when I come home, they don't hole themselves up in their rooms or disappear into the backyard. Still, I fear I may squash them too often.

"Hey, Dad! Look at this spaceship I made!"

"Not now. Not until after you clean up the playroom!"

So, I have another 10K to run. Another chance to make a positive difference in the lives of my children, and while I'm at it, minimize the negative damage I might inflict at the same time.

Thanks to all of you who have taken this journey with me this far. Ten-thousand views of my blog is only the beginning!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Contemplating Friendliness

I'm not a friendly guy. Just ask my wife.

Okay, I'm friendly. I just don't look friendly. Or necessarily act friendly.

Thing is, being friendly, or at least looking friendly, takes effort. I can't speak for others, but my face just isn't naturally smiley. To lift those corners of the mouth can grow tiresome, so why bother?

And beyond looking friendly, acting friendly...well, that's even harder. It is an act, after all, right? I mean, you have to work at that, too.

"Hey, there, how's it going? Good to see you!"

I feel like a greeter at Wal-Mart or something, except that it is really awkward. It feels fake. Oh, sure, people like it. People are attracted to friendliness. Me? Well, they aren't attracted to me.

It doesn't help, either, that I try to avoid eye contact. I mean, come on. If you make eye contact, you have to either smile, or say something polite, or at least give a faint little nod that says, "Hey, there, hi, there," and be done with it.

It makes me kind of wish this was more like the Asian custom of bowing to greet people. To me, bowing is far easier than smiling. A bow doesn't feel fake.

So, I walk down the sidewalk, or through the halls at work, with my eyes staring at my feet, glancing up just often enough to ensure I don't run into anything or anyone.

But then I feel guilty. What if I pass someone I know? Would it appear like I'm just ignoring them? And just how painful is it really to brighten someone's day with a little smile from a stranger?

I admire those who are naturally peppy, who seem to be perpetally bubbly. How do they do it? Are they really that happy? Is it an act? Are the muscles in their face just sculpted differently? Whatever the reason, I think my wife secretly wishes I were more like that. Because it would reveal some emotion. Well, some positive emotion. Now, she always thinks I'm depressed. Or at least I look depressed. Personally, I prefer to call it "contemplative". Yes, that's it. I'm just thinking about something. Really hard. About being friendly.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Man of the House

I try not to be controversial on this blog. But I'm going to make an exception today. Although, hopefully, in the end, you won't think it controversial.

But recently I heard a story about a husband and his wife. A true story. One going on right now. Now, this husband and wife are Christians, and as any good Christian knows, the "husband is the head of the wife" and "wives, submit to your husbands." And so, in good Christian form, this husband is over-bearing and controlling.

Thing is about this that makes me mad is that while the words are from the Bible, and therefore mandated in Christianity, there seems to be a bit of misunderstanding as to what it means. It is the interpretation above, however, that turns a great many away from Christianity, or at least turns people away from truly accepting what the Bible has to say. They become selective, picking and choosing what parts they will follow. Wives and submission, however, don't make the cut.

But this husband...and a great many other husbands, Christian and not alike...has it wrong. Because when the Bible talks about the husband being the head of the wife, it isn't placing man into a place of control. It isn't giving a man permission to dictate that his wife waits on him day and night. It is placing responsibility on the man. It is saying, "Listen, you man, you...straighten up. You have a responsibility, so you'd better take heed."

Imagine a business where the man running the company doesn't actually do work. He simply orders people around. Sure, he is the man in charge, but that kind of behavior isn't really being the head of a company, is it? And if he keeps it up, all he'll accomplish is annoying his employees. The company will go nowhere.

A marriage works the same way. A husband must lead by example. Just as the company president leads by example. He has moved up through the ranks, learning as he went.

Which brings us to that little issue of submission. See, the problem is that the Bible doesn't just say wives should submit to their husbands. It actually says everyone should submit to each other. Not only that, but in the original Greek, it doesn't actually say, "Wives, submit to your husbands." Rather, it is a continuation from the previous sentence that should read more like this:

Submit one to another. Wives, to your husbands...

Wives had the unfortuate honor of being the first example given of that "submitting". But jump down a paragraph, and you get to the next example. Husbands. Yep. Husbands are to submit to their wives. Not only so, but the explanation of how a husband is to submit is actually more severe. It alludes to a self-sacrificial love. It talks about that responsibility with being the head. The one who will face the consequences of choices made, even to the point of death.

Nowhere in the scripture do we see husbands ordering wives around, being controlling, etc. And nowhere is submission a one-way street.

It ails me when I hear about relationships that justify all kinds of power struggles, or wives being squashed under the thumbs of their husbands. Come on, men. Step up. Be a man. If you aren't loving your wife every day, being self-sacrificial on her behalf, being responsible enough to ensure your marriage is stronger today than it was yesterday, then you risk jeopardizing the truly beautiful relationship you should be having.

And, of course, it goes beyond the husband/wife relationship. The Bible seems to recognize the struggle with power men have, even with their own children. It talks about fathers not exasperating their children. Exasperate. I cringe when I think about that, because I can't help but think to times in my own life where I'm certain I've exasperated them, when I briefly lose sight of the fact that I'm dealing with little people, not just "kids".

Listen to your wives and children, men. Listen to them, love them, encourage them. Help them to grow, to be stronger people. When you are doing that is when you are being the "head" of the household.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Matters of Health

Well, yesterday I had my four-month check-up with my endocronologist. Yes, four months, not three. Thing is, I go to my endo for two main reasons. First, to get my A1c and other lab work done on schedule, and second, to get my prescriptions. I don't really need my endo for matters of improving my control. I pretty much handle all that on my own...and frankly, anytime my endo gives me advice on what I might try to improve things, it usually ends up not working.

Take, for example, the "formula" that 50% of your daily insulin intake should be basal insulin. For me, it is more like 25%. His advice is to increase my basals and decrease my bolus factors. Only problem with that is then if I don't eat on a certain schedule, I'll end up low. My way, I can go all day and never eat a bite and my BGLs stay in range. I'm guessing the whole 50% rule comes from people coming off of a old-school diet for Type 1 diabetics who have traditionally had set times they ate with set exchanges or carbs.

So, I handle it myself. I've managed to keep my A1c's at or below 7.0 now for quite a while. This time was no different. A1c was 7.0. Woohoo!

And this time around, my endo decided not to schedule my appointment for five months out instead of four (which was instead of the usual three). I'm glad about that.

He still pushed statins on me, which I declined. I've been trying to stick to a low saturated/trans fat diet, etc., so I think my next cholesterol test for LDLs will be even lower. In the meantime, he did tell me that I should at least start taking 81 mg asperin a day. Good for the heart, even at my age. I can handle that. (And don't you just love the taste of baby asperin?)

In other health matters, however, I'm falling apart. Well, not really. But I think my age is starting to catch up to me. For the past couple months, I've been experiencing joint pain in the hips, and this weird, apparently related, "burning" pain in the top of my leg just above the knee. It doesn't hurt for most normal movement, but if I move my leg just the right (or wrong?) way, it is painful.

My first thought is that it is cancer. Then arthritis. Then I think it is an injury from me walking up and down the steps constantly at work. (I avoid the elevator in the name of exercise.) Then I go back to thinking cancer, and then I think it is gone, but then it is back and I have no idea what it is. But whatever it is, it has grown to the point where I'm pretty sure it isn't just a temporary injury that will heal itself. So, I'm forced to make myself a doctor appointment. I didn't raise the matter with my endo because despite the fact my endo is a medical doctor, typically he doesn't like to deal with anything that isn't diabetes-related.

It is funny, because my "primary care physician" I see maybe once every few years. So infrequent, in fact, that the last time I saw him he shook my hand and said, "Pleased to meet you." Nevermind I've been seeing him for about fifteen years! So, it'll be interesting to know how it goes this time around. I'm expecting the whole, "Take some ibuprofen for the pain," routine. But ibuprofen nor Tylenol seem to do much for the pain, so I'll have to press for more.

What then? I've been watching too much House, MD lately, because I imagine having to strip naked and they'll run me through one of those MRI machines. Then I imagine I'll have forgotten to take off my Medic Alert bracelet, and the MRI machine will rip it from my arm, and I'll have lost my right hand as a result. Or maybe they'll have to do X-rays, find nothing, admit me, and I'll be on the verge of death twice before they finally realize that it was a reaction to a change in our laundry detergent or something.

Nah, I know. That's not really how it will go, I know. I'll keep you updated as to what I find out. First I have to make an appointment though, which means making a phone call. I hate making phone calls!

Okay...finally, another reminder. E. J. Knapp still needs your help. He is partway to his goal of $3000 to get his car back. (See my "Down, but not Out" thread below.) So if you haven't already, go buy a story. And just to make it more enticing, more personal...there are a lot of stories there. But one of those stories is mine. [i]Butter Knives and Sun Spots[/i]. Very different from anything I've posted on my website. More literary, I suppose. So go buy my story. Or buy someone else's story. I don't really care! He only has a few weeks before he loses any chance of getting his car back.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Keep Trying

We have a pool where I live. A fairly decent pool, as well. Thing is, we rarely use it, despite all the times my sons say, "Can we go swimming?"

My response is usually, "Maybe." And, of course, we never do. Trouble is, neither of my boys know how to swim, and the pool is four feet deep at the shallowest point. So, until they learn how to swim, I don't see a lot of point.

Ah, yes. I know. They'll never learn to swim if I don't take them down to the pool, so stop getting technical with me! If I told you that I took them swimming yesterday, will you leave me alone?

Good, becaue I took them swimming yesterday. My oldest claimed he had learned to swim in the three foot pool that some friends of ours own. Turns out, that was only half true. He knows how to swim underwater. But when it comes to staying above water, he floundered. So, we spent 45 minutes holding onto the edge of the pool practicing kicking techniques and eventually how to do the doggie paddle. By the time we left, he was doing pretty good, able to swim unaided across the short length of the pool.

But it is my second son that is truly fascinating. Or frustrating. Or maybe infuriating. My second son is the emotional one in the family. He wants to do everything as well or better than his brother, despite being more than a year younger, and he beats himself up if he can't.

So, after nearly drowning three times in a desperate attempt to swim by himself, he finally decided to listen to me and hang onto the edge. Then, for the next 40 minutes he spent the entire time crying... or on the verge of crying. I'd ask him why, and he'd say he wanted to learn to swim. I tried to tell him that he shouldn't expect to learn to swim in one day, it wasn't like riding a bike. (And yes, he actually learned to ride a bike without training wheels in a day. In under an hour, actually, from start to finish.)

But that wasn't good enough. He kept getting frustrated that he could kick his legs and paddle with his arms at the same time, or that he couldn't tread water, or that when I held him on his back to try to float, he couldn't let go of my neck so that I could actually breathe. Of course, by the time we left, he had learned to kick pretty good, but it didn't matter. He couldn't swim, so he was a failure. At least in his own eyes.

Failure, however, is not trying but failing to achieve some preconceived expectation or level of proficiency. Failure is trying and giving up.

My oldest son does the same in other areas. He is used to things being easy for him, especially academically. So if something is hard. If something takes work, such as learning a particularly difficult passage in a piano piece he is working on, he wants to give up after just a few tries.

I think everyone has some area of their life they do this. But think how much more successful we could be, how much more self-esteem we would have, if we recognized the attempt as a step forward. If we could look at our "failures" and say, "Hey, perhaps it isn't good enough yet, but I'm learning, and I'm better today than I was yesterday." I think any highly successful person will tell you that they didn't get there because everything was easy for them. They got there because they worked hard at it.

Sure, for some, certain things are easier than for others. God gave each of us unique strengths and weaknesses. It isn't necessarily because we are to only work with our strengths and avoid our weaknesses, but because it is through overcoming those weaknesses that we are tested and refined.

So go on. Try something difficult. Try something you have to work at. And when you fail, look at what you learned...then keep trying!

By the way, don't forget to stop by E. J. Knapp's page and buy a story or two to help him get back on his feet. (See my previous blog entry on "Down, But Not Out" for details.)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Down, But Not Out

Have you ever been in a situation and couldn't see a way out? Perhaps depressed, unable to think clearly, and perhaps a solution to the problems are obvious to others, but not to you? Or, maybe the solution isn't obvious to anyone?

There is a fellow writer-friend (E. J. Knapp) in need right now, and so I'm soliciting your help. I've known EJ for a few years now through Backspace. He has been struggling, financially, due to a number of circumstances, the most significant of which is that he is on disability. And now, he has lost his car.

But EJ is a fighter. He needs his car back. He needs to make it to appointments. But what do you do when you don't have the money?

Well, he turned to his friends. Fellow writers. He has put together "1500 Story Sales in 20 days". The idea is to sell 1500 short stories in 20 days at $2 each. Not just his stories, but stories other writers are willing to "donate" to the cause.

As of this blog entry, he has seventeen different stories or poem collections available from several different authors. I've read many of the stories before, and they are quite good. And guess what? I have a story available as well. For each story, you can read an excerpt, and if you want to read the entirety, there is a option to do that.

So, I'm hoping some of you would consider helping out EJ. Buy a story. Only $2. But it will be immensely helpful to get him back on his feet.

You can read more about EJ's plight on EJ's blog. Or, you can go look at the list of stories on his 1500 Story Sales - 20 Days page.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Where's the Story?

If you click on the little "Stories" link, you'll notice that the last story I put up was in June. Today, it is August. It seems I missed July altogether.

It isn't my fault.

Okay, it is my fault. I actually had two stories I started working on, with the intention of one of them being finished in July. Didn't happen. I've been working on a script for a banquet at my church, as well as doing editing of my manuscript. The stories were sort of left alone to amuse themselves. Unfortunately, neither story made any progress without my attention.

So, there will be no July Story of the Month.

But, I'm beginning to wonder if there is any point. Are any of you actually reading these stories? Maybe you don't care. And if you don't care, I'm certainly not going to go out of my way to get stories up. When there is story I think deems worthy, I'll post one, but forget the whole "a new story every month" idea. (Especially since I wasn't able to really keep up with that anyhow!)

What do you all think? When I check my site logs, the stories are getting some hits, but not many. If I were to post another story today, would you even bother reading it?

Come on, now. I want feedback. Honesty. So fess up!

Your choices are:

  1. Yes, I like to see a Story of the Month.
  2. I like to see stories, but just post them as you feel inclined.
  3. It is great that you write and all, but frankly, I just don't care enough to read your stories!
  4. Are you kidding? I only popped in here because I did a search for numb fingertips and ended up at your blog, angry to find out it doesn't have anything to do with numb fingertips!