The way through…

There are moments in life when we’re taking our time, creating things, and something from our past rears its ugly head.

This happened the other day.

I’ve written since middle school. It’s only been in the last five years I decided to take my writing seriously. The main reason I decided to pursue my writing full-time is that of my wife’s encouragement.

Before that time I’d only done it on the side and never considered my writing worthy of publication.

Then, something happened. Someone told me I’d never be a writer.  That I’d never do what I love doing. It was a hard blow. Afterward, I contemplated a lot of things, suicide one of them.

Then, I realized something. That person didn’t know who I was and had no interest in discovering the person I was.

It wasn’t that they said those words, it was more that I took it to heart. I believed them. I felt like they were right about me.

Today, life is different. I understand that person didn’t know me and never cared to.

Without my wife’s encouragement, I’m not sure I would have continued to write.

I’m at a crossroads with my writing. Do I keep going, take a chance, and struggle a little more or do I quit?

After all, I’ve done in my life I only have a couple of things I’m proud of: My wife, my kids, and my writing.

I’ve written seven novels, over a hundred short stories but I haven’t published any of them. Maybe that person’s words influenced my thinking for a few years afterward. Now, I don’t feel that way.

The road used to be cluttered with doubt and fear. Today, I that same road is full of possibilities.

I’ve found the way through. I found it on my own and now it’s time to crush it.

Things happen for reasons we don’t understand.

In July of 2015, after we’d moved, I found it difficult to locate employment.

We didn’t plan for this.

After bartending in Las Vegas for 17 years, we thought it would be easy.

It took me until the end of August to find the job I currently have.

I love bartending weddings and events. You see people as they begin their lives together, learn about their family, and often meet some great people.

The other events are mostly corporate parties. They are fun, but the weddings are my favorites.

Going back to the start of this post, we were perhaps naive.

We thought, “Who wouldn’t want to have a Las Vegas bartender?”

Apparently every bar and restaurant I applied for from Salt Lake to North Ogden.

In the beginning, when no one called or those who were interested changed their minds for unknown reasons, I became depressed.

We lived with my mother-in-law in those early months after our move and I felt like a failure.

We never discovered the reason the interested places changed their minds. I gave up caring about it a few months ago.

In hindsight, I thought, ‘I’d failed my family.”

Today, I believe if I had procured one of those jobs, I wouldn’t be able to write full-time. I’d probably be miserable in any of those jobs. A year ago I sent my resumé out again, but I’ll never do it again.

Sure, my wife and I struggle, but I write full-time, and we can pay our bills. We were able to take our kids to Universal Studios this past June.

It was something, with our limited funds I had to plan a year out, but we all had fun.

I have a novel out to agents currently, will send it to more by the end of the week, and I’m starting revisions on another. I plan on submitting that one either in September or if more rewrites are needed January 2019.

I started writing a new novel at the end of June.

I write every day. Sometimes the words come easy, sometimes I struggle, but I get 1,000 words or more a day.

I’ve written seven novels. If we’d have stayed in Las Vegas that number would be stuck at two. If I’d had found a different job, I would have maybe three or four, but not the eight.

Keep working, keep grinding and remember things happen for a reason.

How I took over control of my life.

This year has been about regaining control over my life.

First, it started by fixing my writing.

I listened to myself when I was writing more often, thought through sentences more carefully, and paid attention when a story went off the rails.

Today my wife will be finishing her first read-through of a novel. I’ll start revising it next week.

I started a new novel yesterday.  I’m currently outlining it and creating a beat sheet.

It’s something different from my other stories, in structure and content.

Second, I’ve been exercising more.

The end of last year was a tough one. My brother passed away from an aneurysm.

Technically we weren’t blood, but he’ll always be my brother.

When he passed, I realized I wasn’t taking care of myself as well as I should.

I’ve worked to correct that.

I work out four to five days a week, restrict my caffeine intake and make sure I’m eating decently.

Third, I spend more time with my wife and kids.

Three years ago I lived in Las Vegas. I worked a job I hated and was stressed all the time.

The hours I worked made it nearly impossible to get any time with my wife and kids.

I’d spend a few days here and there with them but it wasn’t quality time. It was usually in a movie theater.

After we left Las Vegas our goal was for me to write more, spend more time with each other and give our kids a better environment.

We’ve managed to do all of those things.

I’ve written four novels since we moved, over a hundred short stories and with each I see improvement.

Our kids are doing better in school. My son almost made the honor roll, which was unheard of in Las Vegas.

We hike, spend time outside and sometimes we go to the movies. The movies used to be our family time. Now its secondary to doing other things.

I have no doubt I’ll be published soon. I know I’m in better physical and mental condition than I was three years ago.

My relationship with my kids and my wife is stronger than its ever been.

If we wouldn’t have left Las Vegas all of us would be miserable.

I fight my way through depression daily, my wife does too.

There are moments when life seems hard. At those moments I look around and compare the life I had three years ago to my current situation.

Things are better.

I took control of a lot of things this year. I’m also working harder at my prose than I thought possible. I never would have had the time to focus during our Las Vegas life.

Today, I have the time, the strength and the ability to push towards my goals.

It all started by taking control.

Becoming…

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There are days when life strikes, and writing becomes secondary.

When these moments happen, I close my eyes and take care of it.

A few years ago, I wasn’t as bold. When confronted by adversity, I would hide away.

I wouldn’t discuss what was going on with me. I didn’t want the world to know I couldn’t handle life.

As a male, this is what we’re taught.

I was never told not to cry by my parents, but when something went wrong, I would have to “grow up.”

The majority of this came from my father.

He’d use words he thought were motivating when in fact they were emasculating. As a teenager, I had poor self-esteem because of the things he said.

I didn’t understand that a father behaving that way wasn’t normal. Until I had my own son and realized the harm words like, skinny, wimp, and many others were.

A few years ago, I was stuck. I hated who I was. I hated how I treated my wife, kids, and myself.

I woke up one day and realized the horrible person I was to my wife and decided to change.

I knew it would be difficult, but I had to do it.

I couldn’t turn into my father.

I didn’t want my kids to look at me the way I looked at my father.

I grew up in fear of him.

Now, nearly twenty years after we went our separate ways. I’m a better man and a better husband and father for not having him in our lives.

At the beginning of my choice to change, I had to think through every interaction with people.

I had to consciously acknowledge my failings.

Becoming aware of who you are, how you’ve reacted to situations and people, makes you hate yourself.

It also is an eye-opening experience that shatters all the notions of self.

You realize you’re not a wonderful person. You think about all the times you screwed up and blamed others.

The offender stares at you every morning when you look in the mirror. Even today, I see him.

I know that person is still there. It will always be there and I’ll always fight it.

Change is difficult.

Understanding who you are and what needs to change makes all the difference.

The sudden realization that you’re not the good person you show the rest of the world changes you.

Today, I’m a better person than I was a few years ago because I decided to change who I am.

Its been a difficult road, but every day I look in the mirror I feel more confident in who I’ve become.

Busy and stuff 

I missed last week and this week isn’t promising either.

New project, a lot of bartending gigs and trying to spend time with the kids before school starts up next month.

We’re planning for Wizarding World next summer with the kids after school gets out all while I’m scheduling the publishing of 3 books.

A busy year, but well worth the effort.

Have a good week.

Christmas Hope

Today, we went to Brio at Fashion Place Mall. It was something to remind us of Vegas and it’s a place our kids always enjoy.

We went in expecting a good meal and came out with something else, hope.

We’ve struggled financially since our move and we’ve been trying to make ends meet have a good Christmas .

My wife works full-time and I’m trying to get a book published and bartend on the side to make ends meet.

Today, after we ordered our appetizer and drinks, the waitress came over and told us someone was paying for our meal and that we should order whatever we want.

I tried not to cry.

While we’ve struggled to make ends meet, I’ve gone hungry and I’m sure my wife has as well so our kids could eat.

I haven’t been able to help as much financially as I had hoped when we first moved and money has been tight.

To the person who paid for our meal today, thank you so much.

Your gift has meant so much to my wife and I.

Merry Christmas,
Brian and Anita

Teaching my son, that learns like me…

 

When I was in junior high, I hated school. I dealt with bullies; my grades sucked and whenever I mentioned the bullies to my father, he’d side-step, “how are your grades?”

What I recently realized through watching my son struggle with school is that I may have a learning disability.

He has issues with focus, I do too, but mine isn’t as pronounced as his.

This realization came to when we got his grades and how hard school is for him.

My wife doesn’t understand it because she learns the way teachers teach. I always hated those kids.

School for me was hard. I sat in front of the room, couldn’t have distractions and my son, he’s the the same way.

Now that I’m aware of this, I have to remember how I learned and teach him to learn.

Some teachers don’t care what your issues are; they’re in the classroom to teach those who don’t have the learning issues, this was obvious to me many times in school.

When I had a problem or didn’t’ understand something and asked for help, they acted put out by it, “Why can’t you just learn this?”

I know this is why I read so much as a kid, and still do. It’s the main reason I hide out to get my word count for whatever WiP(Work in Progress) is befuddling me.

Books were my escape from reality; video games are his. It’s his way to escape from the world and problems he’s dealing with, and I guess my wife and I didn’t understand why until now.

I think I wanted him to be more like my wife and get the grades and not struggle, but that’s not the case, and he needs that extra attention.

Do your kids learn like you or your partner?