Back From the Dead

OK, its been three and a half years since I’ve posted here. I guess I should let you know what’s been going on.

I’ve transferred from the local community college to San Jose State, and have one semester left (assuming all goes well) and should graduate in May. YAY!!! I have made two New Year’s resolutions:

  • get healthy
  • finish my church’s “late vocations” program

I have started up on the Ketogenic Diet in order to loose weight and get healthy. I’ve been on it for four days now, and the results are pretty good so far. The key to the Ketogenic diet is to limit carbohydrates (bread, grains, potatoes, sugar, etc), and eat most of my calories in fat, with a fair amount of protein. According to the Ketogenic calculator I’ve used, I need to limit myself to 1875 total calories to loose weight, with 155 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs, and 90 grams of proteins. I want to loose 50 pounds by the end of the year.

I’ve been starting my day at 4:30 to drive for Uber. I eat a fatty breakfast – keto coffee (coffee with coconut oil, butter, cream and vanilla) and a hard boiled egg. Believe it or not, this will last me until the early afternoon. I’m only eating two meals because I am just not that hungry anymore. If I do get hungry, I’ll eat a large salad. By large, I mean an entire bag of salad. Dinner is whatever I want. Last night I had corned beef and cabbage, a couple of nights ago I made crack chicken.

I am an Orthodox Christian, and for some time, I have felt the need to serve. I have been working on this for years, and am now at a place in my life where I can work on it. The Orthodox Church in America has a late vocations program that is supposed to take about 2 years to finish. I started at the end of 2017, and while I doubt I can finish the whole thing, a resolution should be a challenge. I am also transitioning from the choir to serving in the altar as an alter server/acolyte. Once I have that learned, I will see about being tonsured a reader (the lowest level of clergy) in the church.

You will notice that this blog is not one of my resolutions. Nor is my writing. I fully intend on doing more of both. I want to focus on just the two big goals right now, and devote time to my last semester at SJSU. After that, I will (hopefully) land a nice job and be able to start paying off my school debts. I think that the blog will help me to keep track of where I am, and keep me on task. We’ll see. Hopefully my next post won’t be in 2021!


School’s In Session

So, the first week of school is over! I got into most of the classes I wanted to. Unfortunately, my Astronomy class was canceled last minute, and I had to take an online computer information class instead. So here is a breakdown of what I am taking:
Cardio Cross Training
Argumentation and Debate
Business Law
Computer Information Systems
English Composition “B”

I spoke to a transfer councilor, and my grades are good enough that, assuming I keep them up, I can pretty much write my ticket into any Cal State school, and any of the U of Cal schools, except Berkley (They require an extra 4 semesters of math!). I’m at a California community college, and my GPA for transferable classes will be in the high 3s, around 3.6 or 7. I am very excited about all that. Three of my classes are online, and I finished the last of this week’s homework five minutes ago, so I am sitting in the coolness of my in-law’s back yard enjoying a very fine cigar my wife bought me.

Naturally, school forces my writing to the back burner, but I am still managing to do some. I am working on an old story I’d abandoned called Charlotte and Caldor, after the two main characters. For some reason, my writing process involves starting, stopping, and restarting a story line before I get to the point where I actually get something finished. I also think I like to write an essay about what I want to happen, before I outline. I am still not sure if I want/need to do a formal outline or not. I did for the Bastard Prince, but somehow it just does not feel right to me. We will see how this goes. I am trying to take just a few minutes a day to expand the plot essay, and when its done, we’ll go from there. I am also working on the Undying, set in yet another universe.

While ‘Bastard’ is set in a low-fantasy world, the others are high-fantasy and are more in line with classic sword-and-sorcery. I am thinking of reopening a science fiction story about a cold-sleep ship that lands on a planet already colonized by humans from a collapsed FTL civilization. My unknowing mentor, Sarah Hoyt, recommends having at least three universes going, just to stave off the boredom.

Lastly, tomorrow is Labor Day in America. I will be off with my family and friends for an annual BBQ. I hope your day is as fun and carefree as mine will be.

The Bastard Prince

I finished the fourth revision of my short story, A Bastard’s Choice. As promised, I’m going to post both the first and final versions of the story to show how much the editing process has changed things. After that, I’m going to set it aside for a bit and come back to it with a fresh brain in a month or so.

A Bastard’s Choice and

A Bastard’s Choice v 4

Feel free to make any comments or suggestions to make it more enjoyable.

School Looms on the Horizon

My internet died on Thursday. So today, I am at my in-laws to give you a post. AT&T is shipping us a new modem and is supposed to be here within a week. I spent most of Friday in meetings and/or at the doctor’s office.

School is coming up soon. My job at the elementary school starts on the 18th, and classes at the college begin on the 25th, so I am trying to savor these last couple of weeks of relative sanity. I have my schedule finalized. I just added a PE class to try to address my gut. The good news is that all but one of my classes are in the morning. I’ll be done with my day by 1:30 every day, except for Wednesday, when I have my Astronomy lab.

I’m taking 17 units this semester, which is close to the maximum the school will let anyone take. Only two look like they’ll be hard — Business Law, and Elementary Statistics. The others look to be more fun. Astronomy, Argument & Debate, and English Composition. Then there is the PE class, which will be mindless, but physically exhausting. Assuming I have enough energy and time, I will be continuing semi-regular updates for this blog.

I haven’t had the time to write for the last couple of days either. I still need to go and rewrite my short story “Bastard Prince” That’s a working title, but may end up being the title, at least of the series. I’m pretty excited about it, because it is really the first story I have taken so far into the process. When I am done with it, I think I’ll post the first and final draft just for a before and after comparison.

Life Update

Aw, crud. I’m sitting here watching the Giants (my wife Maria’s team) beat the Brewers, after my Mariners got the season sweep of the Braves. Then I realize that today is Wednesday. I owe you a post.

I did not sleep well last night. My wife and I were working on school related stuff until one in the morning, and I decided to wake up at 5 in the morning. When I wake up, I almost never can go back to sleep, and today was no exception. We had church at nine for the Transfiguration, and after that I spent the day running errands with my mother-in-law. I literally sat down about five minutes ago.

We also found out that Maria and I are getting our jobs at the elementary school back when the year starts. It’s not much, but it is fun and easy work. Every little bit helps. I’m getting ready for the new semester, which starts on the 25th. I decided to add one more class, a PE class to help with my weight. I’m looking at one called “Total Fitness – Men” but haven’t made up my mind yet.

Not much else to report from the home front, and I didn’t get any writing done. I’ll go work on it now.