writer

Novel: Father Figure (Week 3 – Friday, July 21st, 2017)

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Last time we chatted, I’d just finished week #2’s update for Father Figure, the new novel I began writing earlier this month. For a summary of the novel, scroll to the bottom of the post. We have arrived at the end of week #3, which has been another productive one; status follows below:

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Status:  Friday, July 21, 2017 – Week #3

  • 30-page outline has been completed, containing:
    • Overview
    • Character biographies
      • Physical descriptions
      • Relationships
      • Key emotions
      • Voice and perspective
    • Setting/Location descriptions
    • Timeline
      • By year and month
      • Major events for all characters included
      • Includes before the book starts / takes place so references to history exist
    • Chapter descriptions
      • List of scenes and locations
      • Minimum five bullets per scene
      • Goal specified for each chapter
  • High-Level Writing Timeline
    • Prepared approximate page count by chapter (based on goals and scenes)
    • Noted expected # of writing and editing days by chapter
    • Estimated 12 weeks of solid writing and first round editing with beta reader feedback included

Outline Complete!

 

Next Steps: Plan for Week #4

  • Research the setting locations and character personalities to incorporate very specific facts into the detailed descriptions and scenes
  • Write chapters 1 thru 3 (Note: I am prepared one whole week earlier than targeted!)

 

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • It was a productive week as far as outlining a lot of the details going into this book. I am very clear on the motivations of both primary characters, but I know it’s not complete. I will adjust as I go, but I have a good enough focus to start writing.
  • Diversity will be very important in this story. It’s not a story about the struggles of people who come from a diverse background, but a story of two women who handle situations in very different manners. And, oh yeah, they just happened to come from a diverse background. The central theme is discovering who you are, how you achieve your goals and where you draw your strength from.
  • I need to begin thinking about how to publish this novel. Will I look towards a traditional publisher through a literary agent? Will I consider self-publishing through Amazon or Lulu.com? Or is there an ideal in-between method?
  • When do I want to create a website for the book and start drumming up some hype?
  • Who will beta read the first 3 chapters in mid to late August?

 

Summary of Father Figure (if you’re new to it)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s attacked by a stranger and her life is never the same again. Amalia makes a few choices which will later have disastrous consequences.
    • 2018 – Amalia, going by Molly and living in NYC, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Just like her mother, Brianna begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns the shocking secret that her mother never knew who the father was because it could have been more than one man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future. But when the stranger who attacked her mother re-surfaces, not even Molly knows if she can protect her daughter anymore.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Novel: Quotes from “Watching a Glass Shatter”

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Although my attention has turned to writing my second novel, Father Figure, I thought it was time to share a few of my favorite quotes from my first novel, “Watching A Glass Shatter.” For more on this book, and to read 3 sample chapters, please go to Watching a Glass Shatter. For now, you’ll find some of my favorite quotes below…

Please feel free to share (as always) your thoughts on the quotes… bad, good or indifferent. I’d love to hear it all!

___________________________________________________________________________________

“And in Ben’s case, although they only lasted ten explosive seconds, those moments managed to include all sixty-nine years of his life, each image punctuated by a blinding flash of pure white light and deafened by the harsh snapping sound of an old-time camera shutter.”

“The slow, melodic sound sliced away at the newly loosened threads that had once kept her heart intact and sheltered from truly acknowledging a widow’s pain. Her battered eyes betrayed any remaining fortitude she’d stored deep within her body and as the chords of “Amazing Grace” resounded from the chanter pipe, the cords of her soul once intricately woven into Ben ripped from Olivia’s chest.”

“None of those ugly cows would even fit in this couture. It would be as if we asked Miss Piggy to model a new petite line of muumuus.”

“Despite summer’s early attempt to burst on the scene, the weekend ushered in dark clouds and a cool, heavy rain. For Olivia, the tattered noise of the drops hitting the window were simply another item she added to the growing list of reasons why she couldn’t sleep.”

“It was a comfort for him to see their confused faces, knowing he was already ahead of his peers. But he never acknowledged them as his peers; even his classmates were inferiors.”

“Too many people relied on cell phones to track time and felt little need to wear a watch these days. For Olivia, the watch you wore made a statement. If you chose something large and showy, you were an attention-seeker. If you chose a digital timepiece, you had no respect for history. If you didn’t wear a watch, you weren’t detail-oriented. She wore her 1940’s Waltham silver and diamond antique watch around her wrist as a badge of courage to give her the confidence she needed to confront her son.”

“…stepped forward to reach for the towel, suddenly losing his grip on the handrail, his feet reaching the drops of water that fell from his skin. Within seconds, his legs gave way and his body slipped on the final step sending him a few feet forward, landing right on the “Welcome” rug where Olivia firmly stood. When he came to a full stop, with his naked body sprawled across the foyer and his legs spread wide apart, he closed his eyes and tried to hide the faint glimmer of a smile.”

“I’ll never be that little girl who imagines falling in love, stripping petals off a forget-me-not until the last one says ‘he loves me so.’ I won’t ever get to see a magic that can heal the world. And my heart knows what darkness lies in wait each night, stealing a piece with every sun that sets and moon that rises.”

“A day to come seems longer than a year that’s gone. It’s an old Scottish proverb. Years may pass, but when ye have somethin’ difficult to do, a decision that is just around th’ corner, a minute, an hour, a day can feel like an eternity. Ye can choose to think that we ne’er have enough time. Or ye can choose to believe we are given just the amount we need.”

“The gift of life is unlike any other gift one can receive. To imagine that two people come together, each bringing a requisite piece of the puzzle, feels like magic to someone like me. When this happens, destinies and paths are set, hopes and dreams begin to grow and love takes course.”

“She stood in silence, feeling the wind gently blow across her face, watching drops of pure white snow cascade across her husband’s grave and smelling the cold of winter begin to settle in.”

 


 

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Novel: Father Figure (Week 1 – Friday, July 7th, 2017)

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I cannot believe it’s been an entire week since I announced the winner in the poll for fans, friends and followers to choose the second novel that I begin writing. But it’s here and there’s no denying reality. I’m proud to announce that it’s also time for the first weekly status update where I will share any progress I’ve made in the last week.

Based on the votes, you’ve chosen Father Figure as my next novel. I’ve created a small logo that I will tag on all the updates and posts so you know when the blog is about the novel. Both the title and the graphics are definitely subject to change as I expand and write each chapter. I also plan to create a separate website and let everyone know where to find the pages and updates once we’re further along in this planning phase.

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Summary of Father Figure

  • A young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances she’s placed herself in due to the choices both her mother made 18 years ago and the young girl has made on her own in the present. How well do you really know your parents? And do they truly understand you?
  • A mystery and contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Molly Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Molly has a boyfriend, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s attacked by a stranger and her life is never the same again. Molly makes a few choices which will later have disastrous consequences.
    • 2018 – Molly, going by Amalia and living somewhere new, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Just like her mother, Brianna begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man Amalia had a one-night stand with and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret that her mother doesn’t know who the father is because it could have been more than 1 man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change her future. But when the stranger who attacked her mother re-surfaces, not even Molly knows if she can protect her daughter anymore.

 

Status:  Friday, July 7, 2017 – Week #1 

  • I drafted a timeline of events for both Molly and Brianna, noting where each woman lived, key events that happen along the path and how there two situations will intersect at different points in the present.
  • I prepared a chapter by chapter rough outline with the 3 or 4 key things that I expect to happen in each chapter.
  • Decided to alternate chapters so that the odd chapters will be focused on Molly in 1998/1999 and the even chapters will be focused on Brianna in 2018. Molly will appear in the 2018 chapters from time to time, but the perspective will likely always be on Brianna.
  • Created list of primary supporting characters with names, ages and roles.

 

Next Steps: Plan for Week #2

  • Characters will be the focus for next week. I want to write a detailed biography on each of the primary and main supporting characters, flushing out their rough backgrounds, goals, personality flaws, voices and styles.
  • The narrator’s voice is also critical at this early stage. It will be third-person omniscient, as I’m jumping across two periods with two (2) primary characters; as a result, first-person won’t work in this situation. I’m touching on some difficult topics, and while I want the voice to have humor, it cannot be purely funny especially given the 3 climactic scenes I envision occurring. I might need to play with this for a few weeks until I decide how to balance each of the themes and plots.

 

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • When I listed the 6 or 8 ideas I had for the novels in the poll I opened to everyone, I had a couple of favorites. While this was in the top 3, it was not my primary pick; however, it was what had the most votes and I always follow through on what I say I am doing. I felt passionate about it, but I wasn’t certain what the message was going to be at the end of the book. For example, was it the quest of the mother to accept her past, was it the daughter’s search to find her father, or was it the bond between mother and daughter growing and shrinking? It could be any combination of these items, but I also needed to know why this was an important story. I had a few inklings, but nothing set in stone.
  • I sat this week at my dining room table office desk and just began writing the timelines. Little fireworks of ideas blossomed in my mind and I saw the connection between the parallel lives of mother and daughter. I knew this wasn’t about a girl needing to find a father. It’s about the relationship between parents and children. And that helped me define the major chunks of the plot, the moments I needed to deliver to readers to feel a connection in their own lives even when there seemed to be little in common with either Brianna or Molly. And it took off…
  • So I can happily say that my passion is quite high… probably almost as much as I felt when writing the first novel. This is a strong story. And I will have a few social issues that are going to be both hard to write and hard to read. But I think I can do it in the most appropriate way possible. So I am mad excited and thrilled to start writing in August. July is flushing out the details and the story’s vibe… I’m super excited you’ll be joining me on this journey. Thank you, Friends.

Open Questions / Thoughts

  • I have two thoughts on the ending. One has the novel actually coming to a clean close with all the secrets revealed and the issues coming out; however, I thought of a very interesting plot point and cliffhanger to end the novel on, thus turning it into a two-book series with a sequel that takes everything an entire step forward. What do you think? Prefer single books or a two-book series?
  • The novel is going to have several different cultural components, including explorations into romance, sexuality and mystery. I’m not sure how much I want to play up each of these, but I want the book to appeal across the board. I feel strongly about certain parts of each character which seem to sync with the story I want to tell. How do you feel about crossing genres?

About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 115 – Fervent

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Fervent: having or displaying a passionate intensity

fervent

 

Life is full of experiences, both positive and negative. Your perspective may interpret one action or encounter as a good thing while another feels it is bad. Within these constructs, there is a feeling of extreme intensity which we commonly refer to as passion. Passion can be a physical romantic and lustful experience, but it can also be a platonic desire and enjoyment. Although I could probably blog about a few passionate experiences that would make one or the both of us blush, that won’t be happening in this specific post. Today’s all about the passionate and ardent intensity we feel over things that make us happy in a non-romantic or non-sexual way; our word is fervent.

Yesterday was a celebration where many people had a fervent response to everything associated with America’s Independence Day. I was certainly happy and humble over all that we’ve achieved in this great country, as I choose to focus on the positive things on such a special day. We had friends over for our own version of a NYC Terrace BBQ rather than go out to any public event. And since I’m not supposed to have a gas or coal BBQ on in my outdoor space (electric might be OK, but who wants that?)… we made some traditional picnic salads and pulled pork sandwiches with a zesty BBQ sauce. I cooked it for about 6 hours in a giant orange Le Creuset pot on Monday evening, so we had little to do yesterday except have a few drinks, kick back and relax with our friends.

By sunset, we all went up to the rooftop to watch the fireworks on the East River, as we have an amazing view, given the apartment is on the East Side between 1st Avenue and the East River. We all watched for a few minutes, but about halfway through, I went back to the apartment to check on Ryder. I know he isn’t always thrilled with loud noises, so I wanted to ensure he was OK. And he was… but right before I left, I took a 35-second video of the lit up sky and posted it to Facebook and Instagram. I’d insert it here, but I’m too cheap to upgrade my site, so I can’t upload videos. Perhaps the link below to my Instagram account will work, and you can see the NYC East River Fireworks. If not, you should be able to see it from my main page on the right menu bar or go see me in Instagram.

Roof Top Fireworks!

A post shared by Jay Cudney (@jamescudney4) on

Watching them from the rooftop and then again from my own terrace, I felt fervent. Fervent about everything positive around me from my life at home to my writing to my blogging to my extended family to my hopes and my dreams. And I wanted to spread that feeling all around… to everyone who feels a bit down or disillusioned. I’ve been there before. I was there last week for a few days, as you might have seen in a few posts with a bit of a darker or sadder tone. After one of them, a friend picked up the phone and surprise-called me to not only check in with me but to ask how she could help. It meant a lot that someone cared enough to take action. And she reminded me that having passion for what you do throughout the day is important.

My passion, the fervent and ardent kind, has always been a tad fleeting. I love many things. I enjoy many things. I can become focused and obsessed with many things. But I don’t know whether I truly have an over-arching fervent passion in my life. Well… let me re-state that… I do have a few of them, but I’m not sure I have really pinpointed how it all fits together. And that may be why I haven’t figured out exactly what my next job and career-focus will be. But if I were to break down the top 5 things I have passion over, it would include:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Genealogy
  • Organizing
  • Motivating, Inspiring & Mentoring Others

fevefdf.jpg

And as I develop my plan and focus on writing the outline for my next novel, “Father Figure,” over the next few weeks, I am excited to watch this fervency explode like the fireworks in my earlier video. Push me. Remind me. Inspire me. That’s what I need from all my friends and family, and that’s what I hope for from all of you, too. But I want to turn the tables a little here, too… and remind you not to forget the underlying importance of being fervent in different parts of your life.

Maybe that’s how I can fulfill the last bullet I mentioned above. Do you need a push? Do you need a reminder? Do you need some inspiration? What’s working in your life right now? What isn’t working? How can I help? Is there a 365 Daily Challenge topic you’d like me to explore? Do you need someone to just share a separate online chat with? What’s your motivation like these days? What are your top five passions?

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Jo-Ann @ InspirationPie. I’ve chosen Jo-Ann for today’s word because of the passion she shows in her posts each day, whether it’s over books she loves, writing, moving forward or the daily walks she takes. Between the beautiful scenery she posts or the love she has for writing, you’ll always find something captivating on her blog. We’re helping push one another to write more and find our voices… so you can all read our work in the future.

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About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 107 – Idle

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Idle: without purpose or effect; pointless; avoiding work; lazy

idle

As an advanced warning, today’s post will be an exaggerated one to wake myself up. And it’s not about a car engine or someone patiently waiting for someone to arrive. It’s 100% about me, as I had a moment this morning where I realized I am absolutely, positively, certainly, and any other definitive word, being IDLE about something. You’ve probably read at least one post where I’ve talked about trying to figure out my next career, searching for a job or looking for an agent for the book I’ve written. And on the outskirts, I must seem pretty busy and prolific in all that I’m doing. Well… it seems I must confess that I’ve been lying to you, by way of lying to myself, by omission and tunnel vision, that is…

I claim to be smart. I pontificate about how focused I can be. I tell everyone how I’m determined to achieve my goals. Yeah, sure, that’s all true. But I’m not practicing what I preach, and I am starting to realize it more and more as each 365 Daily Challenge post is released. A few pieces of background information to set the stage… I actually am an extremely hardworking individual. I have an incredible passion for what I want to do. I usually achieve more than feasible in any given period of time. My former career and frequent promotions serve as evidence. The project plans I’ve kept to achieve so many goals clearly speak for themselves. That I wrote my 400 page novel in less than 2 months supports these statements. And the 500 book reviews I’ve written in the last year certainly show my stamina. But you know what? Somehow I got off-track in the last few months… and I became idle.

And here’s how I know why… for someone who claims to have needed a few months rest and re-focus so he could plan his future… for someone who wanted to make a giant leap into a new and different future… for someone who provides so many thoughts and advice to others in the 365 Daily Challenge, here are also some facts you deserve to know:

  • I am not consistently sending out my query letters to potential agents.
    • How will it get published if I don’t do this?
  • I have not researched the Amazon self-publishing route.
    • How will I have a back-up plan if I don’t find a traditional publisher?
  • I have not truly started the second book.
    • How will I have more works to be published without putting myself on a writing schedule?
  • I have not joined any writer’s groups or developed stronger relationships with writers.
    • Who is going to push me and help provide guidance?
  • I haven’t connected with publishers and online sites to get my name out there.
    • How will people know of me as more than just a blogger and book reviewer?
  • I spend at least 6 hours a day sitting on my ass, reading other people’s posts and reviews on all the social media sites but don’t have any sort of regular plan or approach.
    • If I’m so inconsistent, how will people trust me?

So… since I always put myself out there… it was important for me to say these things aloud — to recognize them and be fair and honest. It’s all fixable. I strayed. I went off track. But if I want to pursue a different future, well then I better get off my ass and get back to what has made me so successful in the past. I’m wallowing in my self-pity and it ain’t a pretty sight. No… this isn’t a pity party… and I promise you, I don’t need anyone to tell me “it’s good you realized it now and can change it.”

I need everyone to hold me accountable… to push me for content, to partner on changes for the future… and to ask to see some sort of a plan within the next 7 days. Because if I want something… or if you want something… how is doing the same thing every day hoping it achieves a different outcome anything other than the definition of insanity?

______________________

That’s the line in my sand. This week I write my project plan. It’s always made things more clear and organized in the past. And next Monday, I will start the second half of 2017 with my formal plan in place to achieve my goals in publishing, writing and reviewing.

I will get back to being me!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 101 – Sullen

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Sullen: bad-tempered and sulky; gloomy; depressed

sullen

“I did not get the job.” Most of us have said that before, and if you haven’t, it’ll happen one day. It’s rare to always get the things you want, especially when it comes to big things like an apartment, a house, a date, or a job. And when that happens, you probably get a little upset or depressed. That’s how I felt yesterday afternoon and was hoping it would dissipate by the time I woke up this morning. But it didn’t, and I was feeling a tad sullen as I arose from bed.

A bit of backstory to set the stage for those who don’t yet know me all that well. When I graduated from college, just as the country was preparing for Y2K, I had an English degree with minors in communication, Spanish, education and business. I wasn’t certain what to do with my career, but I wanted to be a writer during some part of it. The weekend I drove home after graduation, I faxed my resume to a bunch of jobs and was called immediately to come in for an interview as a project administrator and technical writer at a local company in my hometown.  Seventeen years later, I had parlayed that initial position into 6 or 7 promotions, culminating in the SVP of Technology role in one of the sister companies, owned by the same family. For a variety of reasons, not necessary to go into here, I left that company and role last year.

I was going to take some time off, finally do some writing and decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. In that time, I wrote a book and it’s been well received by some friends, family and beta readers I met via the Internet. I created a bunch of websites and blogs, connecting with thousands of people. I’ve read hundreds of books and drafted 500 book reviews. I’ve gotten a break from the insanity of the corporate technology life I was leading, where I worked 80 hours a week and could never put my phone down or ignore my email. I felt really proud and accomplished for all that I’d achieved since leaving my position to focus on the things I’d always enjoyed but never had time for.

The Christmas holidays came and left, and I started to get a bit bored. I began searching for a literary agent to help find a publisher for the book. I started looking for a job again, for a variety of reasons. Boredom. Money. Keep up the skills. Money. Connections. Money. By February, I had the resume in a good place. I started networking a little more. And I went on a few interviews. None of the jobs felt right, but it was important to practice the interview skills and to be open-minded. Nearly 4 months later, I’m still searching. I had a really strong series of interviews in the last month and I know it had come down to me and another person. A call was setup for yesterday to discuss next steps. I wasn’t feeling strong about it, as something told me this was a great job but I wasn’t going to be selected. Took the call late yesterday afternoon. “I did not get the job.”

Sullen. A bit sad. Tired. Depressed. Concerned. Scared. Lots of emotions and thoughts rolling around in the old cage at the top of my head. First, to set expectations: I’m totally fine. I’ve been told “no” before, and I’ve been told “yes” before. This isn’t about money. I’m not worried that I’ll never find work again. I don’t take it personally. I’m not looking for someone to help or even tell me it’ll be OK. Today’s post isn’t really about me feeling sad or depressed as much as it is a voluntary acknowledgement that my mood was affected by the call not because I didn’t get the job, but because it made me feel like I haven’t progressed as much as I would have liked in the last 11 months since leaving my former position.

And as I come upon the one year mark next month, I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned. I started the 365 Daily Challenge to push myself to be honest and truly analyze everything going on in my life. I wanted to be more open and connect with people around the world. I needed input on how everyone else made decisions in their lives in the hopes it would trigger a moment where I would figure out my own. I am a very happy person. I am very lucky. I have a wonderful and supportive partner. I am healthy. I have friends and family. I have a good outlook on all these things going on. But today I felt sullen over the call… sullen because after almost one year, I’m still unsure what’s next.

Do I continue looking for corporate positions where the money is good and I have a very structured life? Do I stay on a path for another year with writing and take short-term jobs to pay the bills? Do I truly try to break into a different career where I love my job and have passion all day? Where’s this 365 Daily Challenge going? I actually feel that maybe I do have something of value to say to my friends and acquaintances who read my posts. I’ve been so happy writing the book reviews and reading, maybe that’s where my heart is for the future.

Most of all, I am grateful that I have all these positive things going on in my life. It’s rare that people have this opportunity to step away from reality and give an alternate life a chance. And that’s why I am keeping my minor frustration, depression or disappointment in check. But I’m still human… so today I am sullen. Tomorrow it will get better. And well… that’s good enough for me. Sorry for the dull and possibly depressing post today. But you’ll always find the truth on ThisIsMyTruthNow.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 95 – Challenged

Posted on Updated on

Challenged: impaired or lacking a specific request

{Aside: That’s the worst definition I’ve found since looking words up for my post.)

chall.jpg

Ashley: “I’d rather just stay in bed today and reflect on where my life is. That cool?”

Dylan: “I’ve gotta shower and head to work. You should probably get up and do something, right?”

<<Ashley does a giant eye roll while Dylan slips off the bed and walks toward the bathroom. >>

Ashley: “I am doing something. Enjoying my life. What’s wrong with just watching TV, reading and blogging?”

Dylan: “Nothing. But is that what you want to do everyday?”

Ashley: “Maybe. Problem?”

Dylan: “Not at all. But how do YOU feel about it?”

<<Dylan turns on the shower while in the bathroom. Ashley turns over in the bed, face smooshed into the pillow. >>

Ashley: “Blah Blah Blah.”

Dylan: “What was that?”

<<Dylan steps out and looks at Ashley with a set of concerned eyes. Ashley’s head lifts from the pillow with a smirk. >>

Ashley: “I said it feels great.”

Dylan: “Well then why did you ask me if it was okay?”

Ashley: “Because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing anymore.”

Dylan: “You need some help. Maybe I should stay home today and get you out of here for a few hours.”

Ashley: “Um… no. I’m fine. You go to work. I’ll just lay here until I figure it all out.”

<<Approximately nine (9) hours later, Dylan arrives home. Ashley’s now on the couch. >>

Dylan: “I see you’ve made some progress today. How’s it feel?”

Ashley: “Didn’t we talk about our feelings already this morning?”

Dylan: “Yes. But since you’ve moved your ass off the bed and on to the couch, I thought maybe there’d been a change at some point today.”

Ashley: “Hilarious. Maybe you need to go back to work again.”

Dylan: “Ah, yes… I see your feelings haven’t really changed.”

<<Ashley throws a pillow at Dylan. Dylan catches it and smiles. >>

Ashley: “Nope. Still the same as when you left.”

Dylan: “There’s always tomorrow.”

Ashley: “You mean it’s still the same day?”

<<Ashley drops to couch, face smooshed into a different pillow. Dylan nods and walks away. >>

 

QUESTION ON YOUR MIND

Jay, have you lost your mind today? This is supposed to be the 365 Daily Challenge. What did I just read, and are you having a breakdown?

 

 

RESPONSE

Nope, I still have the same half a brain I had during yesterday’s 365 Daily Challenge. Just wanted to spice it up a little. I didn’t want to bore everyone and thought a little format change might do us some good. A few explanations:

  1. Ashley and Dylan are not me and my partner.
  2. We did not have this conversation today. Honestly.
  3. Ashley and Dylan could be two men, two women, one of each or any combination.
  4. We’ve all had these same thoughts before. Seriously.
  5. What’s the first word you felt after reading that dialogue?

 

For me, after re-reading what I wrote, I thought: “Truth.”

Then I sat back and thought some more. And it came to me. I think that’s the dialogue going on inside my own head every morning when I wake up. I can see the two people bantering away, oblivious to the others rattling around in there who are tasked with keeping my body running. For example:

  • Miss Scarlet ensures the blood is circulating while I’m sitting on my ass.
  • Colonel Mustard is thinking about what to eat or cook. Important stuff.
  • Mrs. Peacock is literally making bird noises to keep Ryder (the dog) entertained.
  • Mrs. White is keeping my skin nice and pasty.
  • Professor Plum is researching how to escape. He can’t stand to be around the others.
  • Mr. Green is dealing with all that digestion and growth. Someone’s gotta work.

 

Lesson

I have a few too many ideas in my head about what I should be doing right now. And after 95 days of trying to figure it out, I’m not all that much further; however, I feel like this is something I want to keep doing… minus that on-going conversation in my head.

 

So now I’m revising my own word to be: “Challenged.”

And that’s why this is appropriate for today’s 365 Daily Post.

<<Go ahead and laugh. A little humor can help this situation! >>

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.