The Payoff


As you all know, I’ve had way too much time on my hands since being unemployed. So much time, in fact, that I had to find something else to do in addition to my daily rituals of exercising, eating right, etc.

Don’t get me wrong–I love blogging and all of the creativity it affords me. But for the sake of keeping my sanity I decided I needed to branch out a bit more and expand my creative horizons just a bit (which is no knock on you, peeps).

And that’s exactly what I did.

Tirelessly, I sat in front of the monitor and feverishly struck keys into the wee hours of the morning in order to create a cohesive, credible story that someone other than myself would enjoy. It may have taken a year but I’m proud to say that the hard work has finally paid off.

But as any writer worth his salt will tell you, writing was only a portion of the work: it took much editing, proofreading and at one point, starting all over in the hopes that the next draft I produced would catch the eye of a publisher. At least that’s what my literary agent told me.

Woah, wait. Literary agent? Publisher? Back up the truck, Mabel! WTF is going on here?

As if I need to explain any further, I’m taking my writing more seriously than ever before since the economy sucks and I was starting to feel like a bona fide loser sitting at home watching The Steve Wilkos Show all the time. Put simply, I threw myself into my work and did some online research regarding publishers, literary agents, etc.

The payoff has arrived.

After submitting several drafts for review, my agent gleefully informed me today that my story has been sold to a publisher. Of course they’re happy–they get a cut of what was offered to me, which will keep us in the curry for a while. And you know, of course, I won’t be the only published author in the family. My Uncle Lou just has his second book published not too long ago.

Imagine that: unemployed to published author in just one year. It’s just…odd.

I’m not quite sure how to take this since it seems a bit surreal for the moment. And I have to admit that it will be really, really strange to see my name on the dust cover of a book in the Barnes and Nobel New Releases section. I don’t think any of this has quite sunk in just yet.

And before you go asking what the story’s about, well, I’m contractually bound not to release any of the information just yet. Maybe tomorrow I will get the word from my agent on when I can spill the beans on this momentous life event. Should that happen, you’ll hear of it.

Before I go, I have one last thing to say about how the writing process can affect authors. Hours and patience pay, yet a person risks inevitable loneliness, feeling outcast, or like some, daring and youthful.

Believe me when I say I experienced all of those things in the process. But either way, it’s finally happened. And I’m excited 🙂

UPDATE 2010/4/1: Hey peeps, here’s an update on what I posted above, and it’s my first video posted here on the blog! Note that the audio and video start to lose their sync about halfway through so…now you know. Enjoy!

Related articles mentioned in the video:

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One Year Later…


It’s strange how I can go from one extreme to another in just a few posts.

Yesterday, I was recalling the proud moment six years ago when our son Anthony entered our lives. It was something I’ll truly never forget.

And to celebrate his birthday in 2009, we spent the day at Disneyland:

But don’t let the smiling faces in that picture fool you for one bit because as it was being taken, my life was being changed. This was evident by the e-mail I received from a former co-worker, who had just been given her “former” status.

The very next day, March 31, 2009, I trudged my way to work like I had done for the previous three years. I hopped on the train, made the transfer, exited the train, walked to our building, went up the stairs, put away my lunch, sat at my desk, clocked in at 8:30 using Lotus Notes.

By 8:31, I was being called into the HR office and by 9:00 my desk was free of all personal artifacts.

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6!


You see the time of this post? It was at that exact time six years ago when my life changed.

I went from some guy with little or no direction in my life to Daddy, a man with…still little or no direction in his life.

And it was all caused by this little bundle of joy I’m holding (and no fat jokes, peeps)…

…who eventually grew into this handsome young man, whose birthday is today.

Happy Birthday, son. Daddy and Mommy love you more than you’ll ever know 🙂

See an entire slideshow of his first six years in this Flickr set.

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Condomania


Trojan, Ramses, Magnum, Sheik!

–Bart Simpson, The Simpsons’ THOH III, “Dial ‘Z’ for Zombies

So hey, check this one out.

I had to take Anthony to the doctor today since he seemed to be coming down with a cold or something. It turned out to be nothing serious so the doctor didn’t even give a prescription for his ailment. But since we’re heading to Las Vegas next week (more on that later), we figured it would better to be safe than sorry and have him checked out.

Despite not requiring a prescription, I agreed to take Anthony down to CVS to buy him a small pull-back car since we tend to do this when we do have to go there for prescribed medications. There are plenty choose from and naturally, being the dawdler he is, Anthony couldn’t decide which one to buy.

So as I stood there waiting for him to pick the one car that would make his life complete for the next 10 minutes (and forgotten soon after that), a guy walked into the place and approached the cashier. He was agitated and in a hurry, and appeared to be dressed for a day at the office. It was 10:15 am.

“Where are your water-soluble lubricants,” the dude asked hastily and not removing his sunglasses. The cashier, seemingly unfamiliar with any of those words, involuntarily asked him to repeat his request with a simple “Huh?”

Dude grunted and slowed down his rate of speech slightly.

“Where are your water-soluble lubricants?” Again, the cashier had a blank stare on her face. Dude was getting even more agitated.

“Look, is there a manager here that I can talk to about this,” he then asked. By now, he was all huffy and puffy. The cashier went over to ask the manager who was on the phone. Dude had enough.

“CONDOMS! WHERE ARE YOUR CONDOMS?”

“Oh, Aisle 11 near the back of the store,” the cashier replied. Dude then made a beeline straight to Aisle 11. I continued to wait for Anthony to pick out that one special car.

A few minutes later, Dude comes back to the cashier. You thought he was pissed off before…

“Is there ANYBODY in this store that knows where ANYTHING is or do I have to go somewhere else?” The cashier proceeded to tell him that what he was looking for was definitely in Aisle 11. This was obvious by the sign dangling above it which read “Family Planning.”

But it didn’t matter. Dude had had enough and without uttering anything else, he flew out of that store and back to his car.

Shortly afterwards, Anthony decided on the one car–finally. We paid for it and then left the store. But ah, I wasn’t going home just yet. I decided I’d be nosy and drive around the lot and see which car Dude had gotten into.

And there he was, sitting in the driver’s seat and speaking with a woman–dressed well enough for the office but not for a night on the town–in the passenger’s seat. Now I’m not trying to pin anything on this guy, but several thoughts raced through my mind. And no, they didn’t hurt my brains.

  • It was 10:15 am. While there’s no definite right time to buy a condom, either you have some on hand or you just don’t do anything. But 10:15 am and by a guy who was in a hurry? Doesn’t that seem rather…strange?
  • Why so agitated, man? Ya hiding something or what?
  • If, in fact, this guy was cheating, then I applaud his efforts to prevent the spread of or risk contracting STDs, or avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. But seriously, dude, it’s 2010 and buying condoms hasn’t been embarrassing for decades. Hell, we even have local stores named Condomania (which inspired the title of this post) and Condom Revolution that were designed to make buying condoms and other things easier. No shame, man.

So it seems that this guy’s quest to buy condoms ended up leaving him a bit limp. And I would have hated to be the person sitting next to him when he got back to the office.

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Keeping Things in Perspective


I may have failed to mention this in some of my more recent posts but believe it or not, I’ve managed to gain a little of my weight back. While it’s not a ridiculous amount, it’s still something I’m not entirely proud of considering what it took to get where I am today.

I’m still not near my eventual goal weight of 190 lbs. but I’m not exactly where I was before the holidays. In short, I’m just a tad under 200 lbs. and haven’t been near my pre-holiday weight of 195 lbs. for some time now.

Sure, it’s only a few pounds. But I must keep things in perspective and remember what I’ve lost so far.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present 100 pounds of fat:

Courtesy mypetfat.com

I think I feel better. That, or even more disgusted than before.

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