Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No more Mr. Nice Guy

We seem to have issues in sync in my ACA group and right now a prevalent issue is caving in. People pleasing is one of the Laundry List traits, and quite possibly after our fears of abandonment, the most limiting and damaging one as it runs counter to the preservation of self and one's own rights and needs.  It also is one of the hardest things to modify for one simple reason: the people in your life like you caving all the time.

While most people are not Machiavellian enough to deliberately exploit this trait, we find life easier when people go along with what we want.  And if you're a pushover, people get to expect that you'll always go along with what they want.  So, as a part of your healing and growing, the first time you "push back" (as we say at work) against them will generally catch them by surprise.  And instead of accepting the resistance, they will push back harder, trying to get the old, caving you to resurface.

Eventually, while they miss the old, agreeable you, they come to respect better (if not like better) the self-honoring you, in no small part because you like the self-honoring you better.  And if standing up for yourself is the cause of the end of any relationship you have (friendship, family, business, or what have you), then you sincerely ought to consider whether you actually had the relationship you thought you had.

Alice Cooper

I hope you had the time of your life

I debated long and hard about whether I should write this entry and I have decided that I needed to. Once we get into it, you'll see why.

As it turns out, an old lover has a blog of her own (about other matters) and has seen fit in recent days to discuss (among other things) both me and why we broke up.

Before discovering ACA and working the program, I would have reflexively lashed out to defend myself, as I have had a tendency to do whenever I have felt threatened, justifiably or otherwise.

I am not doing that now and please do not take this post as my doing that (although I could see an argument could be made that I am doing it, hence my debate about this post.) In the end, there is nothing I need to defend myself about. We were ultimately not right for each other. That's the simple bottom line.

As to who was more justified in doing or not doing this, that, or the other, that's the drama addiction calling to me like a sea siren. But I shall not founder against those rocks. People who were privy to the facts of the matter have made up their own minds (as has she, as have I). And to the rest of you, it's merely an opportunity to show that I realized that something didn't work and I am now looking for something that does. And I believe that Kathy and I do.

It's something unpredictable
But in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

— Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day

For the record, I didn't remember the actual title of this song was what it was.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Master of Martian Arts

Monday short shot today. One way I know that Kathy is a keeper is that she said she'd wear one of these:

Martian Manhunter ©2011, DC Comics, Inc.

Shirt courtesy of

How can you let a woman like that get away?

A Martian's favorite word is "Boinga!"

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Whenever I call you friend...

I had the pleasure of watching my football team (lose, alas) in the company of a friend of mine and his girlfriend.  Even though he and I have been workplace sports friends for nearly three years, this was the first time he and I have been together in a purely social setting.  It was nice, but it was also a reminder of two problems for me.

Problem number one is that I don't have a lot of friends here locally.  I'm not sure the reasons, but even though I have lived where I live for nearly fifteen years now, I have had a lot of trouble making friends here.  Granted I think some of that is that for ten of those years, I was more invested in my marriage than any personal relationships and my friends back home could fill any gaps I may have had with a simple phone call.  But even after the wife left, I found it hard to develop relationships and to move them from their original location (work) and into my personal life.  But that may come from the other problem.

In growing up in my FOO with The Big Secret®, we weren't allowed friends over.  Can't have people knowing your business and all of that.  So I didn't have a lot of opportunities to learn the finer points of social interaction and I couldn't reciprocate in kind to my friends going up.  I went over my friend Felix's house for weeks when I was in grade school.  His family even fed me.  Felix came to mine once (just the outside) and I got chewed out for it.  So I generally don't know how I made friends and find them a sort of lucky miracle.

At any rate, while I am still a hermit, my socialization skills and my socializing has improved and while I certainly need my alone time, I am having the company of others more and enjoying it.

A song from the soundtrack of a movie I wrote:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Do you know what I mean?

In some of the ACA talk I have been following now that my novel is done, there has been conversations about people catching their spouses in behavior they would really rather the spouse not indulge in. And the logic of the conversations all seem to be of the variety "I dislike X. He knows I dislike X. He continues to do X. Therefore he must not care about / respect / love me." This is often not the case at all.

Sometimes people do X (whatever it is) because they are compelled in some way, either something fetishistic, something addictive, or to keep a promise. And yes, sometimes they do it simply because they believe, correctly IMO, that it's your hang up and not theirs. But the fact that they choose to do X (or in some cases are compelled to do X) is not directly related to their feelings about the complaining spouse. And it is the complaining spouse that ends up putting their relationship on the line.

In the book Getting Together and Staying Together, by William Glasser and Carleen Glasser, they talk about how complaining and nagging are real daggers to an effective marriage and that communication and listening are supporters of it. However, in order for that to happen, the complaining spouse has to be ready to alter their world view and understand what is going on (what their spouse really means) if they want the relationship to continue. This is apparently a more daunting challenge than I realized.

Do you know what I mean?

Friday, November 25, 2011


Well, I submitted the novel to NaNoWriMo's official word count validator and my novel has passed. This is no judgement of how good it is, just an acknowledgement that I have put 50,000 words into the validator. But I know that what I have written doesn't totally suck, as I am (or was) a professional writer of things.

One lesson I have learned from this exercise is that I have to get an aspect of being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic under control, and that's turning joyful choices into obligations.

I wanted to do this. I have wanted to tell this story pretty much ever since I finished the last novel. However, as I was going through it, as I was doing the thing a professional writer does, which was write even when you don't feel like it, I was starting to resent the choice that I had made.

I also made a choice at the beginning of the year to try to win every game badge at and I wanted to do that. But my wanting to do this interfered with my wanting to write the novel and my wanting to write the novel interfered with the rest of my life (including getting to know Kathy) and it all started to feel like one big pile of "have to".

When we met, Kathy reminded me that I loved both things that I was doing and to concentrate on the joy in them and to just remove from myself the burden of thinking that I had to do them. I ended up finishing the novel and I missed only one of the Pogo badges, which I have a chance to reclaim later.

Something Kathy said to me the other day made me wonder if she thinks I think ill of her because she doesn't overbook herself as I do. Well, I don't. Just as Kathy feels she could use a little more scheduling and direction in her life, I know I can use a little more looseness and going with the flow in mine, courtesy of ACoA, the gift that keeps on giving.

Speaking of flow...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving thanks

I have many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, the very least of which is that I have finished the novel (pending a NaNoWriMo word count verification).

I am thankful for my wonderful friends who have encouraged me in this (the novel writing) and other things I have needed to get done.

I am thankful for my grandchildren, my stepchildren, and even my ex-wife without whom they would not be in my life.

I am thankful for my health and my job.

I am thankful for ACA and for those of you who read this blog because of it.  ACA related material will now return.

But most of all, I am thankful that I have Kathy in my life.  She likes to say she doesn't make me happy, that she's a happiness enhancer.  And by the strict understanding of human psychology she's right.  But they don't write songs saying "You enhance my happiness," so she's just going to have to live with my saying that she makes me so very happy and I'm so glad she came into my life.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The end is in sight

I once again feel like I am running out of story, but this time it's okay because the novel is actually almost over. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and it's not a train.

I think I can make it now the pain is gone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's raining men!

Today's writing was very manly, chock full of testosterone. I changed up something from when I first started on this section and now it is entirely possible that I will go long because I have no idea how to get out of this slight detour back to the main story. But when I do, you know it will be manly.

Leave those umbrellas at home.

Monday, November 21, 2011

And then, a twist

It's not exactly the Sixth Sense kind of thing here, but I have finally unleashed the twist that I had planned since early on.  And I also unleashed the "twist" that I had introduced before that.  Cryptic, I know.  Read the book.  It'll make sense.  I think.

True fact: I once won a couple's twist contest dancing by myself.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Let's stay together

The most amazing thing to me about this book is that I have managed to write these pages while just inches from the most beautiful woman I have known.  But fortunately for me, she is a fan, and truth be told, the only reason I am writing this at all.

Our time together for now is almost at an end, but as I said to her before we even met, the end of this time together will be the beginning of a whole new life for both of us.  I love this woman.  The rest are just details.

Let's stay together.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hit me with your best shot

Well, after you have a fight, the only thing left to do is shoot somebody. So now someone has been shot. I guess I could drop an atom bomb next, but shooting people has the advantage of being able to type "Ow!" over and over again, along with "the" and "and".

You're a real tough cookie with a long history.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

Well, when in doubt start a fight.  So for the 857th time in the book, the hero is fighting someone.  I think it's a waitress this time.  I don't know for sure.  I'm too tired.

ACoA tend to overburden themselves with responsibilities, and so, even though I have a gorgeous woman who actually likes me at my elbow, I am writing stories and blog entries.  Silly rabbit.

Here comes the big boss! Hooah, hooah!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What does love feel like?

Finished the love story portion of the program, but that's not why love is on my mind for this edition of the blog. By the time you read this, I will be on my way to meet Kathy in person. And I love her, as the song says.

Yes, I do believe you can love someone before you meet them in person. Thank you for asking.

P.S., I have crossed the 2/3 mark. Yay.

But what does love feel like? Well, Daffy Duck has an answer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Unrequited love

I managed to get this far without there being any romance whatever in the story, so I decided that I would write some tonight just in case some girl would ever read it. Of course, there's no guarantee some human will ever read it.  So it might be pointless.

At least I have staved off the "and the" chorus for another night.

Lola Bunny sings of love...sort of.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

One thing leads to another

Well, I am on the other, weird side of this. Now that I am halfway and cooking on a particular part of the story, I am starting to wonder if I now have too much material to finish where I want to. But as they say about having four power hitting outfielders on one baseball team, it's a nice problem to have.

The Fixx

Comfortably numb.

I have a character with a substance problem in the book. Things that I have learned through ACoA I think have helped me write a credible back story as to why this character is as he or she is. This is an area that I have wanted to explore for some time now. In fact, I actually have another story with substance abuse and its effects as a major theme. There is a screenplay version of NaNoWriMo in the spring and I think I will do that then.

Right after I get finished typing "the and the and the and the..."

Pink Floyd

Sunday, November 13, 2011

We can work it out.

Well, I have figured out some things I can do to prolong the life of the novel.  And I have reached a crucial milestone.  I am actually halfway through.  It's not exactly downhill from here, but I can now start to believe that I might actually make it.  I didn't get nearly as many words as I wanted, but I did get another 2,000 and that might be enough.

Stevie Wonder

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Burning down the house

I periodically check my blog's stats to see where people are coming from that read the blog and this month I am having an invasion of Russian visitors. Not sure what it means, if anything. But...

Добро пожаловать, друзья.

After killing off the hero, the only thing left to do was burn down the setting of the story, so I did that.  And now the typing of "the" over and over again will commence.

If anyone actually ever reads this novel, the funniest part will be that all of these blurbs will actually be true (except for the typing of "the" over and over again; I'm going to switch to "and".)

Fighting fire with fire.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rest in peace

In a move that could possibly make getting to 50,000 words a tad more difficult, it appears I have killed off the protagonist of my novel Thursday night.  But, again, if I am going to type "the" over and over again for 30,000 words, I guess I don't really need him, do I?

While I will continue to update the in post counter for a day to day look at my word count, I have added a real time widget from NaNoWriMo in the right hand area somewhere which updates my word count in real time. Of course, I only update once a day, so not a lot of action to be had from it.

Good evening.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Back to the island

Well, there's an island in the story now.  And no, it's not the Island of Misfit Toys.  And now this novel is so action packed there are not one but two accountants in it.  You cannot beat the suspense of a balance sheet.

You're thinking I'm making this stuff up.  Well, read the thing.  You'll see.

Two *click* two *click* two accounts in one story!

Yes, I am losing my mind.  Thank you for asking.

Leon Russel, although Janis Siegel does my favorite version of this song.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What's going on?

Okay.  No idea what this novel is going to be about for the last half.  It looks like I am going to say everything I intended to say by the 50% mark.  So once again I am thinking about typing "the" over and over again.  But maybe tomorrow I'll figure out what's going on.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 17497 / 50000 words. 35% done!

Marvin Gaye.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Things are getting strange

Well, I am actually into the meat of the novel, the vast wasteland where things can grind to a halt, never to recover.  Characters have appeared out nowhere.  Plot threads are dangling all over the place.  But I got my 2K in Monday and if I keep moving forward, it'll happen.

Strangely.  But it will happen.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 13458 / 50000 words. 31% done!

Speaking of strange, here is the Bed Intruder Song played on a Tsugaru Shamisen.


Monday, November 07, 2011

Sunday will never be the same

One obsession put a serious crimp in my other obsession. I didn't do nearly as many words Sunday as I wanted because I knew that Sunday would be my only chance to get my badge at this week. But even with the setbacks, I got my 2,000 minimum in. But I am going to have to step it up next week.

I need more hours in the day.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 13458 / 50000 words. 27% done!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Th- th- th- th- that's all, folks!

Spent a lot of the day at the county fair with my granddaughter. Watched her ride the merry-go-round. It ran fine, but I have watched so many cartoons in my life that the only thing I could think of was "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down".

Oh. And I wrote. It's coming, in fits and starts. Got 3,000 words in. Not quite making my target, but close enough for jazz.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 11526 / 50000 words. 23% done!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Baby, what a big surprise...

I added a scene I hadn't originally planned and the next scene is writing longer than I expected. Got to love serendipity. I didn't get my 4,000 words in like I had hoped, but I am thinking I might be able to get 5,000 Saturday and Sunday to make up for it.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 8340 / 50000 words. 17% done!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Emotional Rescue

Some ACoA content today.  I took a moment to read more pages in a book I started a while back called Emotional Alchemy.  I started it before I had learned about ACoA and had stopped without finishing it when I began ACoA.  Lo and behold, the book talks about the reparenting method that I was introduced to as part of ACoA.  So it seems I was headed toward the right area without knowing the whole deal.

Had a good night Thursday night writing despite setbacks.  Of course, the story I had planned to write is already over, so get ready for 44K repetitions of "the".  Just kidding.  I think.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 6317 / 50000 words. 13% done!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Talk Talk

I'm only on the second day of writing and already I think I'm blabbing instead of getting to the point.  Fifty thousand words is a lot of stories to tell and my natural tendency is to be concise in my writing.  But unless I am telling all of human history, I have to make it a point to expand on what I am saying beyond the bare essentials or else I'll never get to the end.  Not sure I want anyone reading this one any more than the first.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 4239 / 50000 words. 8% done!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Only the beginning

Okay.  I'll put some songs here, Anonymous.  Had a good night Tuesday night but starting is never the hard part.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 2172 / 50000 words. 4% done!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

And the first two words of my novel are...

...(at least for now) “That hurt!”

A friend of mine has openly doubted I can complete this in the time I have allotted for myself. We shall see.

This event leads into the holidays, which is a tough time for ACoA because holiday memories are often tainted with drinking and other alcohol related issues. So I feel a little guilty abandoning content this month. But if I do what I am supposed to do, I will be back by Thanksgiving. Wish me luck.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 2 / 50000 words. 0% done!