Rewrites and edits

Holy smokes.  Writing is tough.  Even when I write a grocery list, I can get worked up.  I want it perfect.  My list is based on what store we are hitting, and which aisles in the order we go through them.  Alphabetizing the list is just crazy talk though.  And to-do lists are equally as important.  I’m constantly adding and re-writing my lists.

Speaking of edits… Angry social media posts, texts or emails should always be curbed for a bit before you hit share/send.  Those things are very difficult to undo if you happen to write something you will eventually regret.


Writing my blogs, that’s something else entirely for me.  I am trying to share with the world some insight into who I am.  I’m trying to peel back the layers, and expose my inner self.  I’m essentially trying to look good naked- figuratively speaking.  


Through edits, re-writes, erasing and reviews I finally polish off something that I’m proud to share each day.  A little bit of my life gets the limelight so to speak.  Giving a little bit of myself to the world.  

But not before my wife proofreads it.

Mr. Short Term Memory

I often forget what I have written about in previous blog posts.  Not because my musings are boring- far from it.  I think what I write is pretty dang awesome and totally worth reading- you should think so too.  (Shameless self promotion.)  So keep supporting me.  I almost forgot, now back to what I was saying…

Future posts

For days on end, ideas float around in my head.  A title or the first few lines get quickly jotted down as they pop into my mind.  When I am ready, or the time is right, the post comes to life.  I subsequently take the time to perfect my musings, often re-writing sentences & editing paragraphs.  My brain focuses intensely on getting the words just right.


Periodically I start on a blog post only to realize part way through that I’ve already written about it.  The beginning may be different, but the content is abruptly repetitious.  Ugh.  TABLE FLIP FRUSTRATION kicks in and I delete entire passages.  The feeling of all those minutes and hours wasted typing overwhelms me.

SNL funny/not funny…

Only, they’re not wasted and I shouldn’t think like that.  The synaptic activity causing a relapse is beneficial to my health.  It means my brain is functioning normally.  It means I am getting more and more comfortable writing & sharing.  

More SNL? I should just quit writing now.

This week, I drew from the depths of my memory what made me laugh as a young teen.  That brought me back to Saturday Night Live skits.  Some of the humor is dated.  Some of it isn’t as easily accepted as it once was back in the 70’s and 80’s.  Some of the skits just don’t hold up upon reflection.  The majority of my blog posts won’t hold up over time.  But even the greatest writers had some bombs.  Just because you can find a “Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe” doesn’t mean it’s the “Greatest Works of Edgar Allan Poe”.

Forgive me if it seems as if you’ve read this before.  You’re probably going to read it again.  Unless you stop following me.  Then you won’t.

Today’s Appealing Designation to Entice Analysis

It’s not going to go over appreciatively once you’ve realized that I don’t have anything poignant to communicate today.  Alternatively, I am going to employ a vast multitude of synonymic wording to express my diurnal contemplation.  

Commencing upon arrival at my place of residence, I concocted breakfast for my consumption.  I perched at our dining table to masticate my meal as I perused the online communal publishment sites.  Upon completion of my meal, I proceeded forthwith to my bed for horizontal slumber.  Recurring periods of overnight laboring occupation have proven to be arduous.

I nuturingly finalized today’s exasperating announcement, post slumber awakening.  I am grateful to have completed such a daunting task utilizing synonyms throughout.  It was feasibly epigrammatic.

I’m perfect.  Or so it seems.

I love writing my daily blog posts. I have a few devoted followers who read and comment nearly every time on my Facebook Page.  That’s pretty awesome because it’s encouraging to know that there are people actually reading it.  I’m also pretty sure that there are “bots” that search out tags and instantly “Like” my posts.  That’s ok as well because that info helps me in deciding what tags to use in future posts.  

The tie says it all.


The only thing I’m not getting from any of this is advice or constructive criticism to help my writing become better.  This may be from the fact that people may think I will be easily offended or that I will disregard their opinions.  At this point, as far as I know, everything I write is perfect.


I’m a Spell Check fanatic and Grammar Nazi.  Only recently have I stopped really being “that guy” on social media.  I found people just don’t care.  That saddens me. If I am making a mistake in how I structure my sentences or use the wrong form of a word, such as strait or straight, please point it out to me.  My wife does it to me without any worries of repercussions- and we’re still married.

I’d also like more critiques on my work.  Some examples of what is good criticism:

Does the story flow?

Do the images used help in what I am portraying?

Are my facts correct?


Criticism that isn’t needed:

You suck.

I disagree because you suck.

Your story sucks and therefore you suck.

I am also on the other side.  I have friends /family who also create art and writing.  At times I REALLY WANT TO SAY SOMETHING, but I am unsure how they would react to my criticism.  I don’t want to hurt feelings, but I also don’t want to read or see garbage all the time.  (Just kidding about the garbage comment.)  If any of my friends who create works of art have a tough skin, or want my opinion on what they have created, let me know.  Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.  I try to not be an asshole when offering my opinion- but only if asked.  


Biting my tongue or deleting my comments before hitting “enter” has probably saved more friendships than I could imagine.


I would like feedback please.  If you aren’t comfortable with others reading it, by all means private message me or call me.  If you would like feedback (my opinion) let me know.  I’d love to help.  Whether you take my advice or not is up to you.  I have a certain style and it may not meet your standards.  That’s ok, because doggone it, people like me.

WordPress 200


I’ve been enjoying using WordPress for a few months now.  It’s fairly easy to use for a beginner such as myself.  Wordpress offers a convenient app that I use 90% of the time.  This is mostly due to the fact that my cellphone is hardly ever out of my reach.  It’s great to be able to pull out my iPhone, jot a quick draft, save it and set it aside.  I like the PC as well when I’m trying to edit a more important (to me) piece.  I am impressed with being able to save on the mobile app and crossover to the PC and vice verse.  The save is almost instant allowing for me to switch over with ease.


It started slowly, but I am receiving more badges for my accomplishments and that’s very encouraging.  I’ve also been receiving feedback and compliments from other blog writers.  These strangers, out of the kindness of their hearts, take the time to read and respond to my musings.  It’s a wonderful feeling to be welcomed into this online universe of creativity.  After a “Like” or comment by a fellow blogger, I usually take the time to read what they have written on their blogs.  This has drawn me to many subjects and ideas that I otherwise would have overlooked in my daily life.  Making my internet browsing a more fun adventure these days.  Like getting sucked down the rabbit hole…


Wordpress has many more features available that I can utilize.  I have only really used the basics- write a post add an image or two and maybe a website link.  This week, I am going to try a few more features and hope that they work in my favor.  If not at least I can write movie quotes and post pictures for my own enjoyment.  


Thanks again to all who follow me and have left me feedback.  I feel like I don’t say that enough.  I even have a Facebook page all to myself where I share these blog posts and the occasional image or link to other bloggers.  Feel free to “Like” that page as well for up to date musings: Josef A. Havelka

I am a writer.

Yesterday’s blog post pretty much wrote itself.  I’m a sucker for nostalgia and love sharing stories of my youth.  I’m like a forty year old going on ninety.  The old man forcing his stories of glory on anyone within earshot.  Luckily for most of you, I’m only writing my stories down and you can choose to read them or ignore them.  I am hoping you read them…


One reason I started sharing via blogging is because I don’t tend to talk much in large social settings.  I enjoy listening to others weave tales and share experiences.  It’s their time for the spotlight.  Some people need an audience that they can see and gauge their reactions and what story to tell next.  Sometimes there are too many storytellers and they all want to talk and be the center of attention.  When that happens, no one listens.  Except me.  You can always count on me to listen.  My silent smile means I am thinking of ways to have you killed… In a glorified horrific manner… For a story.


I am an avid people watcher.  I sit back and watch the interactions between my friends.  It astonishes me how quickly I can figure out emotional connections (good or bad) just by watching.  I don’t judge.  However, I have predicted fallouts, breakups, dating, and new friendships.  When my friends share personal details of their lives with me, I keep it to myself.  Usually when I speak of a mutual acquaintance- I stick to the basics.  Like when I last saw that person, where we were, what their job may be, how their family is.  I try not to spread negativity.  

 
If I’m out in public, I will judge strangers on their behavior and how they act.  Not always how they interact with me.  Most of the time it’s how they move through this world.  What’s their backstory?  Why are they where they are?  Where are they going?  Human interactions are a curious thing.  

I enjoy being overly kind and friendly to people I don’t know.  I don’t need to get angry at a cashier because the price came up wrong.  Or throw a fit and demand free food if my order is incorrect.  I’m quite happy to just wait while it gets corrected.  During that time, I’ll create a back story in my mind about the person’s life, leading to the distraction of the mistake.  


I’ve always been a writer.  But sharing my stories has been the hardest part.  I’m very selective about what I speak about.  Oftentimes I just throw in a joke or two in order to remain a part of the social circle. My friends are great people and I’m really lucky to have them… If only they knew how many times they’ve died inside my mind.

More Excuses

A little over a month ago I wrote that I was going to write short stories every Saturday.  I wrote two and they weren’t even back to back weeks.  Today is Saturday and I don’t have a story. All I have is excuses.  Excuses of being awesome.


I know I shouldn’t be down on myself.  The goal I set was for me.  I’m not disappointed that I didn’t write a short story this week.  The week was full of my Anniversary, a Union meeting, nightshifts and my daughter’s birthday.  Not a typical week by any means.

200! Not too shabby for being a nobody.


I’m proud of the fact that I am still doing a daily blog post.  It’s also nice that I receive “Likes” and comments that encourages my writing.  Even today’s excuses one makes me happy because it means I’m still making an effort to write every day.  Besides pushing myself to do a short story once a week, I need to figure out how to reach a broader audience.  I know that there are millions of people out there missing out on my awesomeness and they don’t even realize it!


No more excuses.  I need to get back on track and write some short stories.  

Next week…

Commitment to myself

Patting myself on the back today.

100! Go Me!


I made 100 posts over 100 days.  Today is number 101.  

It was challenging to say the least.  Oftentimes I found myself struggling to come up with a topic or I found myself repeating something I already wrote about.  I think my writing style is getting better.  As well, more people are reading what I write.  I’ve had a few posts hit numbers I never thought would happen, and I’ve had a few posts that I am really proud of but they never got the attention I had hoped for. That’s ok.  What I voice is a look into who I am.  Not everyone will appreciate it, not everyone will care either.  But this has been a fun journey.  I’m going to keep my daily posts going.  


If you enjoy them, find me on Facebook at Josef A. Havelka and like my page.  I can also be found on Instagram & Twitter under the name Binarydigit01.  I tend to post more on Instagram because there is so much to see in this world.  Twitter, I usually retweet stories that interest me.

Thanks again to everyone who reads this blog.

Make. Good. Art.


Nearly four years ago, Neil Gaiman gave a commencement speech at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and it went viral.  Every so often I look back and watch the speech in order to draw more inspiration from it.  Watch it here

I love the arts.  From books to film to drawing to handmade creations- people are talented.  I’ve always wanted to write since being in high school.  It has taken over twenty years for me to be courageous enough to pursue this endeavor.  Choosing to post in my blog everyday, has been a way of putting myself out there.  Some days only a dozen people read what I wrote.  Other times 1200 people read what I have written.  I’m not successful, nor is that my goal.  I am writing for my pleasure.

 

Two stories of art in our front entry.

We have seen great art by attending all sorts of Comicons in Western North America.  Our collection started small with a few postcard sized art work (that’s all we could afford at the time) to what has now become a beautiful array of imagery in our home.  Each artist we have purchased from was sitting at their table, selling their art, & still drawing while talking about their passions.  There is a certain amount of courage it takes to be able to showcase and sell your beloved art.  My wall is happier than it ever was.  People enter my home and something will catch their eye, and they’ll ask where we got it from.  Our wall is almost filled, so we will be expanding to the other three walls as time goes on.

Not all art is two dimensional.  We have made purchases of clothing and crafts as well.  People who take their time and put attention into the details- show pride in what they have created.  It makes me happy to own a part of their handiwork and showcase it to my friends.

The art I create is my art.  I’m choosing to share it with the world.  Good or bad, I created it and I am holding it out there saying, “Look what I can do!”

Perhaps one day I can give an inspirational speech based on my journey.  But until then-

Make.  Good.  Art.

Reading because of writing

I began writing again about three weeks ago.  It brought back a flurry of emotions and ideas which I wanted to share with the world.  It also renewed in me a love for reading.  A couple of days ago I picked up a new book, opened it up, cracked the spine, and began indulging in its filling.  It’s delicious to be reading again- it feels like it’s been far too long.

 


I enjoy reading sci-fi (not pronounced skif-fee as I remember hearing it at a writer’s conference from a person who had no idea what Science Fiction was.  WTF?) and I recently started a novel titled: “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline.  We received this book from Lootcrate (use promo code SAVE10 for 10% off if you want to join).  We’ve been Looters since it began a few years ago, trust me- it’s awesome.  So much good geeky merchandise now fill my home and bring me joy.  Anyhow, this book is well written and I don’t want it to end.  It has a perfect blend of futuristic ideas and retro pop culture references.

However, my favorite genre has to be biographies/autobiographies.  I enjoy reading about the lives of people and the stories they wish to share.  It brings them to a down-to-earth level that we can relate to.  The struggles, the hurdles, & the obstacles they overcame to get where they are today (or were in past tense, as the case may be).  It all started when I read Mankind: Have A Nice Day! Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks back in 1999.  I was really into WWE at the time, and it was a fun way to become a part of the fandom.  I’ve also had an opportunity last year to see Mick Foley at Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo do a panel where he shared more about his life.  He is a very humorous man and quite the story teller.

 

There’s actually books on these bookshelves!

 
Besides reading “Ready Player One“, I am also in the middle of reading NPH’s “Choose Your Own Autobiography“.  It’s written in a way that you can read it from cover to cover or by choosing the next path in his life, as the title indicates.  It’s an interesting idea with a throwback to the 80’s books of the same style.  Choose Your Own Adventure was one of my favorite series growing up.  It was like a mix of reading and role playing games rolled into one.  As a child, it felt like I had control of what happened next to the characters.  These books had excellent re-reading ability that I haven’t seen since.

The biography about Steve Jobs simply entitled “Steve Jobs” is a fantastic look into the life of one of the world’s most influential men of our time.  Most people know who he is, so I won’t go into any depth or detail about it.  I read it a couple years back and will probably pick it up again some day and re-read it.

Another great biography that I’d recommend is Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up.  Not only is he a great comedian, but he also plays a mean banjo, so pick up his album “The Crow”.  It’s not a comedy album, but rather a bluegrass style in collaboration with some other great country artists.

Perhaps it’s my enjoyment of these biographies that has inspired my writing style as of late.  Most of my posts are about me and my thoughts.  This allows me to share with the world who I am in a way that makes the most sense to me.

The old adage is “write what you know”.

I know about me- now you can too.

Getting my thoughts out

I’m often finding myself sharing my writing in the late evening or even overnight.  It’s currently 1:15am as I work on this entry.  I’ll be continuing upon my awakening.  This entry will most likely be posted by noon after some revisions.

My writing style is simple.  What I write about is whatever comes to mind.  I’m currently on a mission to write everyday, because I’m worried that if I miss one day, it’ll become easy to miss a second day, and another…  My inspiration comes at random moments throughout the day.  Sometimes I’ll be in the shower, other times I’ll be scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, but often times I’m driving.  The ideas always seem to start while I’m in my car listening to news radio and driving the same stretch of roads doing my daily commute.  Funny thing is, I don’t have the same commute every day.  Most mornings I drive my children to the Fine Arts school about fifteen minutes from our home.  Afternoons, I pick them up and bring them home.  Then they get driven all around our town for the various after school activities.

My work commute has me driving between two different locations, depending on where I’m needed.  Some days I drive towards the North Shore where I see the mountains and the river and have the joy of being stuck in traffic for an hour or so (we can talk about road rage some other time).  Other times, I drive to a location near the river under a bridge, tucked at the bottom of the hills.  My commute to work can take place any time of day, afternoon, or night.  I’ve done all of these drives numerous times over the years.  Even though I travel around, it’s always the same routes, which causes my mind to wander.  It’s during these drives that ideas come to me.

The ideas start on these journeys, but often times it is when I get home that the ideas get completed.  My home fills me with joy.  There’s an air of tranquility here that is needed to finish my thoughts.  When the sun is out, there are beautiful trees with various animals scampering about to focus on.  If it’s late at night or dreary, I can sit by my fire with a drink and focus on the stone wall & wood beams to bring forth inspiration.

 

Panorama of my home.

 
I don’t know where my musings will take me, but I am enjoying writing them and sharing with everyone.  My fears from a couple weeks ago of whether my writing is worthwhile have subsided.  The energy and excitement of getting my thoughts out keep me going.  I have drafts ready in case one day I won’t be sure of what I should write.  I am using the mobile app of WordPress to have handy as thoughts bounce through my mind.

Getting my thoughts out is my way of sharing with the world my love and appreciation for everything and everyone.