The Awakening

The following post was originally intended as a short story. The author R. R. Virdi mentioned that one type of character had become a meme in Urban Fantasy – the wise cracking wizard. I thought about a different way to characterize a wizard, and, when I got an iPad, decided to use this idea to learn how to use the iPad’s writing app. When I got to the end, I realized that it would be decent as the first chapter of a book. So, I’ve begun expanding on this chapter, but thought I would share what was originally written as a short story, and is now a chapter in what I hope will become a published novel. I should note that Mr. Virdi and E. A. Copen both looked at this story and didn’t hate it. I love their UF writing and those two made me want to write this. You may see why I don’t write many short stories! 😀

The Awakening

written by Bob James

all rights reserved ©2017 by Bob James

 

“Oh crap!” I knew as soon as I said that, Pastor was there. I looked up from my phone into his laughing eyes. “Sorry, Pastor,” I said, after looking down to make sure my shoes were tied.

Pastor Sanchez chuckled. “Don’t worry, Jim. What’s wrong?”

“My dad,” I sighed. I showed him the text. “He’s always trying to find some excuse to keep me away from church.”

“Jim, I know that you’re frustrated. But you need to respect your parents.”

I took a deep breath. “When does that rule end? I’m 23 and halfway to 24.”

“As long as they live, if they don’t ask you to do something immoral.”

I glared at him. It wasn’t often I was ready to talk back to my pastor. After a few seconds I thought better of it and checked my shoes again. “I don’t like it, Pastor, but I’m gonna listen to you. You’ll need to get someone to do the sound for me.”

Pastor Sanchez gave me a sour look. “Then again,” he began. When I looked hopeful, he chuckled, “Sorry, God’s principles don’t change. Go on. We’ll take care of the sound.”

I wasn’t happy that my loophole didn’t work. Dad was always pulling me away on one emergency or another. “Urgent!” It said. “Come home now! 911.” Sure it was an emergency. “Maybe mom didn’t finish her breakfast again,” I grumbled as I slammed the car door shut behind me.

It took all my self-control to avoid peeling rubber out of the parking lot. I exhaled slowly and drove carefully as more people started arriving for church. My phone chimed again. “COME NOW! NOT MUCH TIME!” I saw out of the corner of my eye. I shook my head, then slapped it as I realized I hadn’t responded to dear old dad. “On my way!” I sent at the next red light.

I turned onto our street and sped under the leaf covered canopy. Downers Grove was one of the older suburbs and the maple trees still provided shade during the day. I squealed to a stop in front of the house and ran up to the front door. If they wanted me to think it was an emergency, I’d humor them.

As I reached for the door, though, my dad pushed it open. “Quick, get inside. I have,” he looked at his watch, “7 minutes to prepare you.”

He slammed the door behind me after I got inside, almost shutting it a little early. “What are you…”

“Son, listen to me just this once, and don’t interrupt.” Dad took me by the elbow and led me into the dining room. The windows were blacked out with dark purple drapes. The old oak table had been pushed against the drapes by where the windows would have been. Candles scattered around the room provided the only light. Before I could open my mouth, Dad warned me again. “Just sit in the chair, and let me do all the talking. Do you understand?”

I nodded and headed to the chair. I kept quiet, but wanted to ask my Dad where he had gotten the throne. And what a throne it was. The chair was a high backed mahogany chair with dark red padded arms.  The padding on the back was the same deep red and the upper edges of the back of the chair were plated with gold.

As I sat down, Dad began talking. “In 5 minutes and 15 seconds you will be exactly 23 and a half.”

I had to interrupt. “Seriously dad? I thought we stopped celebrating half birthdays after my 5th birthday.”

His glare stopped me. “Today you come into your inheritance. Today, you take your rightful place on the throne.”

“What the…?” he glared as I began asking and spoke over me.

“You were born to be the leader of the wizards of Chicago,” he said. “That responsibility is passed on to you at the age of 23 and a half. I have not been able to talk to you about this until now, because your mother wanted to give you the chance to lead a normal life.”

“What if I don’t want the job?” I asked. I had my friends. I had my church. This sounded like it would take a lot of my time.

“There is no choice, my lord,” Dad said with a bow. “In,” he looked at his watch again, “3 minutes the power will come upon you. Your fate was determined at birth.”

“But, but,” I stammered. ‘What about my beliefs. The Bible says…”

“The Bible and those who follow it are not kind to our people,” Dad said. “That is why I tried to discourage your association with the church. The days ahead will be difficult for you.”

“In what ways?” I was still trying to figure out what kind of joke my dad was playing on me.

“When your power comes, you will have the ability to read through all disguises. There are many who walk among us who are werewolves, or vampires, or fae, or other supernatural beings.” I didn’t seen even a hint of a smile in his face. “This power is only granted to the high council members of each group. As leader of the Chicago group, you will be on that council.”

“Father,” I said trying to get him to stop with the nonsense. “This is cra…”

“Stop!” He spoke with amazing vigor. “You are no longer to call me Father. Once the power comes, I, and all other wizards here, will be but subject to your rule.” He examined his shoes and I realized where I got that habit. “I would ask the privilege of being your advisor as you grow accustomed to your new office, my lord.”

“And why would I need an advisor, slave?” I decided to play along.

“You will soon be meeting other powerful people who would use you for their own ends, my lord,” he said, still averting his eyes. “You did not grow up learning the customs of your people by order of your mother. If you wish, I will use my experience to guide you through the maze of power.”

I thought about all the old movies I had seen with kings and decided to play the part to the hilt. “Very well,” I said as I waved my hand with a flourish across my body from left to right. “I shall call you my advisor. Give true and wise advice, upon punishment of death.” I was proud of myself for not giggling.

Then, my dad, or should I say, “My advisor” prostrated himself on the floor and said, “I am but your humble servant, my lord. My advice will be as true and as wise as I may make it.” He pushed himself back to his knees, nose still touching the floor. “My first advice to you is prepare for anything. The time is now.”

I was about to laugh in his face. It was time to end this charade. Then, the candles flickered and went out. I felt an overwhelming presence of darkness that left me breathless. The darkness wrapped around me, making it impossible to move. I couldn’t even struggle, I was so bound. My heart was pounding as I desperately sought a way out, but there was no escape.

Wind started whipping around the room. The chair started rocking from side to side, and then started rising in the air. The wind blew the chair in circles so many times that I couldn’t count and then plopped me back down hard. The wind died. The blackness receded and the candles flickered and started burning brightly again.

I started to get out of the chair, only to be stopped by my dad. “Don’t! Stay in that chair!” I sat back down. A thin ray of light beamed down on my head from the ceiling, that soon turned into a full beam of light illuminating me as I sat in the chair. I was blinded by the light even though I was squeezing my eyes as hard as I could.

“Listen,” I heard my dad whisper.

I strained my ears, but I didn’t need to, the voice was inside my head. “Stand,” it said. “Stand and take your place.”

I stood, eyes still shut. “Open your eyes,” the voice said. “Experience everything.”  I opened them. My dad was on the floor, covering his face. The room’s lighting had returned to normal.

“Prepare to depart,” the voice said.

“Advisor,” my dad sputtered. “Ask for your advisor.”

I spoke with a confidence I didn’t fell, or know I had. “May I take my advisor with me?” I asked.

The voice sounded surprised. “If you have an advisor, he may accompany you.”

Before I could thank the voice, I realized that I was floating through the air. I looked back and my dad was following. We rose through the ceiling and moved east towards Chicago. We flew over the western suburbs, headed towards downtown. I didn’t go into the city much, so I didn’t recognize the landmarks. All I knew was that we were moving quickly and it wasn’t long before we started descending towards an old Victorian house in the Austin area. I didn’t know how to stop as we headed towards the roof. I covered my face, only to find myself in a dining room, sitting at a table with five others.

“Welcome, Master. We have awaited your ascendancy.” It was the voice that had spoken in my head earlier. I turned to look at the voice. It belonged to an older man, about 50-55 years old. His dark brown hair had gray highlights on his temple and above his ears. He looked like any businessman might in his navy-blue suit that seemed to accentuate his bright red tie. “You have chosen your advisor well.” ***

I looked back over my shoulders. Dad had survived the trip and stood at my right shoulder as if waiting for me to make a request. “Thank you,” I said. Again, I wondered at the confidence in my voice.

My dad leaned down and whispered in my ear. “Master, you need not thank your servants. They are merely doing their job.”

I looked back at him, then looked at the voice. “Your advisor serves you well, Master. Each man, and woman, exists to serve you. From the time we summoned you here, we stopped being a ruling council and have become your servants. It may seem like a cliché, but your wish truly is our command.”

I looked around the table. The others, three women and a man nodded in agreement. I thought about asking them to do jumping jacks, but what came out of my mouth was, “Now that I’m here, do we have any business that we need to discuss?”

One of the ladies responded. “Today was our chance to welcome your ascendancy and pledge our allegiance to you, Master. If you have any commands for us, we will welcome them. Should you need us to gather together for any reason, all you need to do is think about it. We will be here, ready to serve you.”

She may have been in her late 40’s, but she was beautiful. Her brunette hair hung down on the shoulders of her yellow dress. I was young, and I began thinking about what it would be like to be with her. She looked at me, a surprised look in her eyes, then smiled and shrugged. “As you wish, Master.” She began unzipping the back of her dress.

“No!” I said. “What…?”

She stopped and looked back at me. “Your wish, Master. Your thoughts speak to us and we will obey immediately. However, your words will also be followed.” She zipped her dress back up. She placed her hands on the table and looked down, shyly. “If I may speak freely, Master, I am honored by your thoughts.”

I felt my cheeks burning. “Since we have no business, I’ll dismiss you as soon as I get my question answered.” I was wondering how I would get home.

“Just think about where you want to be, and you will be there,” my potential lover said. “And include anyone that you would like to have accompany you. Your advisor,” she said, “or perhaps…” she let the thought linger, and I realized I could read her thoughts also.

“Perhaps sometime in the future,” I thought as I smiled at her. I looked at the others around the table. Their smiles told me that our thought conversation wasn’t private. “You may leave,” I said, dismissing them.

“Begging your pardon, Master,” the voice said. “We will not leave until you do. It is a rule of the advisory council.”

I nodded. “I understand.” Then, I thought of home with my dad. And I found myself sitting at the dining room table with my dad standing across the table from me.

“Dad,” I began.

He interrupted me. “No longer call me ‘Dad,'” he said. “If you wish to show me respect, call me ‘Advisor.’ If I displease you, ‘servant’ or ‘slave’ is expected. You have ascended.” He bowed.

“Then, it…it wasn’t a dream?” I asked.

“No, Master,” he said not daring to meet my eyes. “You are the lord of the Chicago area wizards.”

“Are there other responsibilities I should know of? Is there some kind of nationwide organization, Advisor?”

He smiled on hearing that. “Yes, Master. All the information has been sent to your computer.”

I heard him think, “…and you don’t have much time to read it.”

I thought back to him, “How long do I have to read it?”

He didn’t respond. He kept looking at me, as if he waited for me to say something. “Am I safe in understanding that my thoughts do not reach you?”

“Yes, Master,” he said. “Only the advisory council has that ability. If you wish, you may prevent them from hearing your thoughts.”

“How do I do that?”

“That information is included in what’s been sent to your computer,” he answered.

“And how long do I have to read that information?” I asked.

“There will be a convocation of leaders in Washington in a week, Master. You are expected. The meeting was set for one week after your ascendency so that you would have time to read and learn.”

“Why me?” I asked. “What makes me so special when I have been involved with my church and have never learned of the existence of wizards until today.”

“Your mother was a leader in the North American Council when she died in childbirth.”

“But,” I protested. “You’ve called me back from church to help mom on many occasions. I remember her as I grew up. What do you mean she died in childbirth?”

“When my first wife, your mother died, I was ordered to take Mandy as my wife. She was charged with your upbringing. Although I am your father, and a good wizard myself, I was to be her servant and raise you as she ordered. Now, I am your servant, Master.”

As if on cue, Mandy walked in. “What your father has said is true, Master. Now that you have ascended, my task is complete.” She bowed. “If you have no other desires of me, I will return to the North American Council and return to duty here. I am your servant.”

“Would it be asking too much to ask you to stay here, mom?” I asked, not able to break the habit of 23 and a half years.

“While you may call me mom, I am but a servant, my Master. If you wish me to stay on in your service, I will do that.”

I nodded, which she took for a dismissal, and she left. “Well, da…er…Advisor, is there anything you would suggest I do to become comfortable in my new situation?”

“You have another unique power, Master,” he said. “We might begin to develop it by taking a walk.”

“And what is this power?”

“You’ll be able to sense the presence of other supernaturals,” he said.

I stared at him, my jaw on the ground. “Other wizards?”

“Yes, Master. And other supernaturals – werewolves, vampires, fae. You will be able to see all. Only the leaders of their councils, those who hold similar positions to you, will be able to recognize you as a wizard.”

“Who can recognize me other than people on the councils?” I asked, trying to get a grip on everything.

“Only those to whom you choose to reveal yourself, Master,” he said.

“May I call you ‘Dad’ in front of my friends who know you?” I asked.

He bowed his head. “You are the Master. If it suits your purposes, I won’t disagree.”

I was still having trouble understanding what was going on. We walked out into the street and dad led us towards the business district. Not many people were out on this Sunday afternoon. It struck me that it was still Sunday. So much had happened today. Then, I saw my first supernatural: a werewolf. It was Donte Holmes, a deacon at the church. He was outside, watering his flowers.

“Afternoon, Donte,” I called.

“Howdy, Jim. Missed you at church today,” he responded.

I nodded towards my dad. “Dad needed me at the house today.”

Donte broke out into a big smile. “Oh! You’re Jim’s dad? Nice to meet you.” He put the hose down and wiped his hands on his pants before sticking his hand out to Dad. As they shook hands he looked at dad and said, “We really need Jim at church. He’s an important man.”

Dad held back his laughter and nodded gravely. “I think he’s pretty important myself. I understand your feelings.”

“Thanks, Donte, I’ll try not to miss many more services. Dad and mom will be needing me a lot, but even when I’m not there, you know where I want to be.”

As we left, dad chuckled. “He doesn’t know how important you are.”

I was still trying to process this new world. “He’s a werewolf. What do you expect?”

Dad raised an eyebrow. “Oh, your power works?”

“A deacon in my church is a werewolf and all you can say is that my power works?”

“I don’t know about your church. I know and serve you,” dad responded. “I knew that you would have this power and position where you might not be welcome in the church if they discovered who you were.”

I paused, trying to imagine how Pastor Sanchez might react to the knowledge that his sound man was a wizard. He chuckled quietly as he remembered that Pastor had joked about him being a wizard with the sound system a couple of times when he had dealt with some major issues quickly during the services. “Could he have…” I trailed off mentally, not wanting to go where that thought led me.

“What’s so funny, Master?”

“Nothing, dad,” I ignored his evil eye, “but let me ask you a question. I can recognize other supernaturals. Can I recognize them before they change like I did?”

“That’s an interesting question, Master,” I wondered if he emphasized the word Master for my benefit. “I don’t know. Why do you ask?”

“Just wondering,” I said. I started walking again.

We got downtown and started window shopping. Before long I had become adept at recognizing the various supernatural beings. Downers Grove had a few more werewolves than wizards, at least based on my quick observation. I saw a few vampires inside of the stores, but none walking in the streets. I had to ask my advisor about the ones who shimmered. He told me that they were were fairies, fae to use the preferred term.

I turned to head towards home. The sun was dropping in the west and there was a slight chill in the air as we walked. I looked at my dad. He was shivering, but tried to hide it when he saw me looking at him. “It’d be nice if we had some coats, eh?” I asked him.

He laughed. As I looked at him, there was a swirl of lights, and then he was wearing a coat. I almost missed it because I was trying to figure out how I had one also. When he saw the puzzled look on my face, he smiled and said, “You will be surprised at the extent of your power in days to come.”

“Not bad, Jim,” a familiar voice behind me said. He continued talking as I turned to look. “You might want to be a bit more cautious in the way you use your power.”

“Pastor, I can explain,” I said as I turned. When I faced him, I wasn’t sure what to say. Finally, I said, “We don’t all have our own fur coats.”


My first try at any kind of Urban Fantasy writing…feel free to comment!

Having a Moment

After posting yesterday, writer’s block set it. Some wit said that writer’s block happens when writers have nothing to say and the sad thing is, it doesn’t happen to them more often. Mine wasn’t based on having nothing to say; mine was based on grief and fear. As I studied the beta reader’s comments, there was a little bit of grief in losing the simple story I had. I knew that, for the most part, he was on target with his comments. I have heard him critique shorter pieces and that was why I was excited when he agreed to be a beta reader for me. Still, there was a sense of grief as I realized that all those plot holes and inconsistencies that I had learned to love had to go. I believe that what will rise from the ashes will be a much better story, but it will require a lot more work than a few small touch ups. And that’s where the fear came in.

I realized I needed to do a lot of foundation work before I went back to rewriting. I had to understand my characters in depth, including my living villain. I had to change the motivation for my villain while, at the same time, make his good character qualities stronger. I had to have a better explanation for the break in the family relationships of my main character. I needed to understand my world and place it in proper context on its planet – especially for future novels. I needed to understand my nameless, faceless villain and find ways to weave the background of that agency into the story so that tales of the current nature will make sense. I even realized that the changes I made for this book, would affect the other books – especially since the original title no longer made sense in light of the ideas I had for changing things.

So, I had a moment yesterday. I opened up the file for this book and stared at the character page for my male main character. I couldn’t even put down the height. I went away and looked at something else. I don’t know how many times I went to that page, and clicked away from it because of the fear of doing this right. I couldn’t work on some other writing that I had to do either. One of them is a writing challenge for 400 words a day. Later in the evening I finally passed 400 words, but not by much. So yesterday I had a moment. Today, I have hope. Today, I will begin reworking my characters and falling so much in love with them again that I want to be sure and tell their story – different as it may be. Today, I begin the process of falling in love with my better, more complex story as I progress towards becoming an author.

#ROW80 Check In and #5MinuteFiction Update

The Row 80 Challenge

The Row 80 Challenge

 

#5MinuteFiction is one of the things that I enjoy doing every Tuesday night, except I haven’t been able to participate the last three weeks due to various conflicts. Tonight the prompt was “Show the magical side of an everyday, boring object.” We had some interesting stories and circumstances. In fact, we showed the magical side of time! One of the fun parts of #5MinuteFiction is the voting. So, if you’d like to take part in that part of the contest, please feel free to go on over to Write on Wendy and read the stories and vote. My everyday object was a fan. I should also point out that the lady who inspired me to start out on ROW80 has a story in the voting as well.

 

Now, to the #ROW80 goals.

Goal #1 – Editing. I plan to do about 2 hours per week editing previous work.

Not much editing yet. Tuesday night is more of a new work night, especially with #5MinuteFiction. 

Goal #2 – Writing. I have a couple of short story ideas that I’d like to play with. So, I’ll do about 2 hours per week of short story writing.

I did an hour of writing, maybe a bit more. I also finished #5MinuteFiction this week.

Goal #3 – Begin cleaning up the mess that passes for my room at school.

State Testing is this week. I had to get some cleaning done so that I could test legally.

Goal #4 – Work on my reading. I need to spend about 4 hours this week on craft productive or other essential reading. 

Been working on this. 1 hour on prep for the State Test; 1 hour on the reading I’m doing for another group.

Goal #5 – no more than 1 hour per day on Facebook. 

While I was trying to get ready to work on this, I needed to talk to someone on Facebook. The talk went on for more than an hour in addition to the little bit of  time that I had already spent on Facebook Tuesday. 

So, I’m happy with the progress so far. I just can’t afford to start slipping! Besides, I have some major conflicts coming up in the evenings and I can’t afford to waste any time. So, while I’ve made progress this week, I still have to buckle down.

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Week 2 of #ROW80 and I’m Slipping!

The Row 80 Challenge

The Row 80 Challenge

 

Oh! This is so uncool! Here I am trying to write and edit and stuff…and distractions hit. I need to avoid … another Facebook message? I MUST get that. With my self-imposed holiday from Facebook over, distractions are even easier to come by. I’m thinking a new goal is to stay on task!

So, real quickly since I’m late after finishing grading.

 

 

 

Goal #1 – Editing. I plan to do about 2 hours per week editing previous work.

I got about an hour and a half done. I think it was productive editing. I just let myself get distra…the Hawks let another goal in with less than a minute left? Now, where was I?

Goal #2 – Writing. I have a couple of short story ideas that I’d like to play with. So, I’ll do about 2 hours per week of short story writing.

45 minutes to an hour written. Slow progress….

Goal #3 – get back where I need to be emotionally at school.

Grading done. State Testing coming up. Retirement plans pretty much put on hold for the time being…I should be good.

Goal #4 – Work on my reading. I need to spend about 4 hours this week on craft productive or other essential reading. 

Uhmmmm Photography and other things seemed so much more important than reading……the hummingbirds are in town! And…a summer tanager!

Ok…updated goals. Now that I am back on Facebook I need to limit my time there. Goal #5 – no more than 1 hour per day on Facebook. Goal #3 – Begin cleaning up the mess that passes for my room at school.

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Week 1 of #ROW80 in the Can

The Row 80 Challenge

The Row 80 Challenge

Well it’s certainly been an interesting week. Let’s not do that again. Sometimes writing has been a diversion from the pressures of the world. This week it’s been a necessary escape. Rather than dwell on this let’s keep looking to the future. So, as to my goals….

Goal #1 – Editing. I plan to do about 2 hours per week editing previous work.

I actually met this goal in an unexpected way. I write devotional thoughts on my daily Bible Reading each day. Someone put a bug in my ear about finding a way to publish them. So, I spent 2-3 hours working on editing those thoughts. I had planned to work on editing some past novels from my NaNo participation but this just struck me as what I needed to do. If you are interested, my daily writings can be seen at my devotional blog

Goal #2 – Writing. I have a couple of short story ideas that I’d like to play with. So, I’ll do about 2 hours per week of short story writing.

I just had a few minutes of writing to meet this goal and I got that done. I don’t know how much quantity I got done in that two hours, but I got a lot of research done by talking with my son. (I needed some help on military procedures.) Talking with him was the best part of that time.

Goal #3 – Use time wisely at school and get caught up on grading so that I have time to write!

I don’t know how wisely I’ve used my time, but I’m almost caught up on my grading. I’d better be by the end of the week since grades are due. To be honest, issues at school are what have made this such an “interesting” week. Without going into it, I can say that my stomach is still unhappy about things. I will get over it though. I’m working hard to prevent myself from making snap emotional decisions that will have long term effects.

Goal #4 – Work on my reading. I have two books I need to be reading right now. One for Sunday School leadership and the other for some group studies we’ll be doing. I need to stay caught up on those.

Let’s be honest. I didn’t touch the book for Sunday School and played hooky from that meeting. I don’t really like that book so it wasn’t a big loss. I didn’t get to the other book, but I still have time before the study. I did spend a lot of time researching some issues in publishing so it was sill worth the time. I consider the goal accomplished. 

Goal Updates for Next Week – Goals #1, #2 and #4 are good as they are, but I’d rather not be so specific on the books for goal #4. The reading will be craft productive reading or designed to keep up with other things I need to do. I need to spend about 4 hours this week. Goal #3 has to be met this week – it’s part of my job! I’m just going to try and get back where I need to be emotionally at school for Goal #3….

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#ROW80 – Experience is a Great Source of Ideas

The Row 80 Logo

The Row 80 Logo

I know that sounds like an obvious statement, but I was reminded of that the other night when I came up with the idea to use my experience for a series of stories on life in the emergency room. Without going into detail the doc told my wife that one of the medicines could make me a little loopy. She shrugged her shoulders and asked how she would notice a difference. Of course that came after the time I asked her which was worse – the er personnel having to put up with me or her having to put with me while I joke with the docs. (If laughter is the best medicine, all I can say is I was trying.) She said something about the humiliation of being called my wife while I joke with them. (She was, of course, kidding. I think.) Since I’m being kinder on myself, I can tell you it wasn’t failing in my goals for the week – I’m making pretty good progress! Here we go:

Goal #1 – Editing. I plan to do about 2 hours per week editing previous work.

This is a Saturday goal. I should be able to work on that Saturday which was generally my plan.

Goal #2 – Writing. I have a couple of short story ideas that I’d like to play with. So, I’ll do about 2 hours per week of short story writing.

I got a bit of a trade-off here. Tuesday night is a writing night when I get to include #5MinuteFiction. Life in the ER kept me from my writing. However, my boss ordered me to stay home, so I made up most of that writing…just not the #5MinuteFiction. I’m only short about 15 minutes which I should make up tonight.

Goal #3 – Use time wisely at school and get caught up on grading so that I have time to write!

I stayed away from school work today. Wife’s orders. Still have to catch up, but I did things that were relaxing for me today. Monday was the beginning of my problems so I didn’t work Monday or Tuesday on this. The pressure to catch up is still there but the rest helped.

Goal #4 – Work on my reading. I have two books I need to be reading right now. One for Sunday School leadership and the other for some group studies we’ll be doing. I need to stay caught up on those.

I do this reading either Saturday or Sunday. Will probably work some on Thursday too.

I’m making the progress I expected, except for the grading. I still have to do that. I hate grading, but that’s one of the reasons I get paid the big bucks! I try to teach my kids that sometimes jobs include things you don’t want to do but you do them because they need to be done. I won’t modify these goals until Sunday. I may keep them the same even then.

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#ROW80 – Round 2

The Row 80 Logo

The Row 80 Logo

 

I entered Round 1 of #ROW80 right near the end and got my feet wet in this challenge. Then came the family issues that prevented me from finishing our even that short time. So now I’m back for the beginning of Round 2. It actually starts tomorrow, but I think I’m supposed to post my goals ahead of time. First check in is Wednesday. I will be less ambitious this time, setting smaller goals until I begin changing my habits and recognizing how much time my work cuts into my writing. 

Goal #1 – Editing. I plan to do about 2 hours per week editing previous work.

Goal #2 – Writing. I have a couple of short story ideas that I’d like to play with. So, I’ll do about 2 hours per week of short story writing.

Goal #3 – Use time wisely at school and get caught up on grading so that I have time to write!

Goal #4 – Work on my reading. I have two books I need to be reading right now. One for Sunday School leadership and the other for some group studies we’ll be doing. I need to stay caught up on those.

With everything else I have going on, I can’t do much. I think I can achieve those goals and still have a challenge.

And, here is the link to look at other blogs taking the challenge.

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