By day I work 60 hour weeks. At night I am a devoted father and husband to the world's greatest family. Somewhere in the non-existent time between the two, I am a writer. Join me from the beginning as I chronicle my adventures to become a successful published author.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 39 - Blogger Friends, Tough Progress, and Prize Winner! - Week End Summary

Another long week behind us! Progress has been spotty in terms of writing and blogging this week. For writing, I literally had to force myself most of the time by sheer willpower I didn't even know I had just to write a single line. I actually lost track of where I was at in the story, realized a few timeline issues, and spent most nights making corrections and additions to the brief novel outline for the Militia. All was not muddy waters however! I still had some great non-sequential scenes running around my head, so the other night I plopped down and started writing. It's amazing how much you can write so quickly when you aren't worried about timeline! I know some editing may be needed later to ensure a smooth fit in the narrative as a whole, but hey... can't get to the editing without the first draft. 

On blogging, you may have noticed that my posts were shorter this week. I gave general reasons why already. So many changes are happening right now it's hard to keep up with it all. Add on top of that the ridiculously gorgeous weather and a family I can never get enough of, and you end up with me posting well after the midnight oil has been spent. It's that tough sacrifice writers sometimes have to make! So yes, I am tired, but it's worth it on all counts. Additionally, this has been the first week that I have not gained a single follower to the blog. *GASP*. I am not worried, but instead motivated. I have a lot of ideas for this blog yet to be implemented, and there is a lot more networking to do. A challenge is before me! Can I gain 29 more blog followers in 21 days to keep at my one a day 30/day average set in my first month? It's a tough one, but hey, shoot for the stars and you may just land on the moon.

And... I was pleased to have my first interview and contest this week! They generated a record number of comments, especially for the interview with Cindy M. Hogan, who has been wonderful to assist in promoting her phenomenal achievements. Look for an awesome blog blast and contest next week with Cindy, myself, and multiple other blogs. Lots of prizes everywhere!


Donna K. Weaver, a fellow writer and blogger (you've seen her comments here too) also passed on a cute award to myself and a few others: The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. The award of course has no value, but it is a recognition award and therefore pretty cool. And the photo has strawberries. You can't beat that, and you know it. See for yourself: 

As a minor note, I am going to bet that 99.9% of you do not recognize the dessert that is shown. I recognized it right away because of my time in Australia and because it is my favorite dessert ever. I am also a master of making it. It's called a Pavlova, and is, to put it mildly, sweet. It's essentially a baked meringue: Crusty on the outside, marshmallowy on the inside. Cover it with freshly made whipped cream, add fruit. I like sliced grapes, strawberries, bananas, and kiwis. If I can find it, dribble passion fruit juice over the whole affair. You will die, both from taste and from calories. Just had to share how cool it is that a pavlova was used in the photo. This means whoever started this chain-mail style prize was probably from Australia or New Zealand. Cool beans! 

So there are a few criteria with this to play along. Because of this, you'll get to learn some really unique things about me!

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
Check. View her blog, which has great videos and grammar moments (among other things) at
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.

    1. I was born in a chicken coop. No, really. My dad was in the Air Force and my family was stationed at Misawa, Japan (that's in the Aomori prefecture for those who care). In WWII, the hospital had been destroyed, so when the base opened up, they put together a bunch of chicken coops previously used to feed the Imperial troops and made it the temporary hospital. about 30 years later, it was still the (run-down) hospital. It's gone now, but it gives me a great introduction.
    2. Not a big fan of skiing, but I love to snowshoe. That said, I can't stand living in snowy weather, and this year in Utah has been... difficult. When it snowed heavily again in April and May, I almost moved back to the south (namely Texas) right away.
    3. In the course of my work as a property manager, I have been called the Devil, son of the Devil, sold my soul to the Devil, told I am murdering children, threatened fairly regularly with lawsuits (never with any legal merit, just people puffing themselves up like peacocks), and in general take it in stride and laugh. I have a very high level of tolerance for stress and insults. 
    4. I read biblical Hebrew proficiency (but not fully fluently... some words only occur once in all of the Tanakh!)
    5. I have a dog (dachshund), two cats, and an awesome son. All of their names are tied to the middle east in some way. My son has a solid Jewish name for the first and middle. My dog is named after a Persian emperor, Cyrus. One cat is named Asherah, which is the name of the Canaanite (and possibly Hebrew) wife of El/Baal/Yahweh. The other cat is named Archon, which has multiple roots in the Middle East, but in this context is taken from Zoroastrianism (a Persian religion) where they represent demi-gods, both good and evil. 
    6. have visited most of the states of the US (some stopping, some driving...), spent a few weeks travelling around Turkey, two years in Australia, had automatic rifles waved at me by screaming soldiers in Dubai (in the United Arab Emirate) airport who apparently were unhappy my shoes set an alarm off (of course, I couldn't understand a word they were saying, but their actions were fairly clear...), escaped from a secured area in Istanbul's international airport with the help of a baggage claimer where I was being held in customs (it wasn't dramatic, just sneaky and time saving!), was born in Japan, and so much more. The world is an awesome and exciting place.
    7. I love Celtic music. A lot. It helps me work and write. My favorite radio station for it is Celtic Moon on It's free, and it's awesome.

3. Pass the award along to 5 deserving blogging buddies. Please check out their blogs and follow them if you're so inclined: There are so many great blogs I follow, so if you're not here, don't feel bad! It said limit it to five, so these are the five most recent that stuck with me for a few days. I always read these blogs when they post something new.

    1. Ted at He's done some great interviews. He deserves more followers! Plus, he's a pretty cool guy.
    2. RaShelle Workman - Colorful, full of pictures and photos, and she just has a great posting style. I might also mention she has fantastic tastes in books and games.
    3. Deirda Coppel - You can tell she sees the humor in life. Again, great interviews, good info for writers, and more. Everything she posts is fun or useful to read.
    4. Two for one: and Canda and Deanna write together often, hold contests together, and really I think are a shining example of how writers, friends, and family can work together to create awesomeness. Check them out. They are doing book giveaways right now too!
    5. Shelly - The post about Disney Land and It's a Small World makes it all worth it. The rest is pretty cool to! 

And... Finally... WE HAVE A WINNER for our first contest!

And the Winner...



The drawing was performed by little slips of paper accidentally scattered everywhere rather than being mixed in the hand. Random chance has chosen! 

Canda, send me an email to and I'll send you info about scents and arrange to get you bath bombs or shower tablets sent to you!

Thanks everyone for participating! There will be another prize given out next week in conjunction with Cindy Hogan's blog blast, so be sure to keep stopping in.

* Correction: I had initially stated the award came from Deanna Henderson, which was an error. It came from Donna Weaver. I listed the correct blog (, but mixed up names! Sorry Donna! You are awesome! I blame it on the fact your and Deanna both post here, names start with a D, and end with "nna"!


Sorry you're having such a week. Congrats on the award and to Canda for winning the prize.

Not sure you noticed what I posted back on Day 29:

Congrats, Canda! And Matt, what a fun blog. I'm doing the blog contest with Cindy Hoagan as well. It's gonna be fun. Maybe we'll pick up a few more followers? That would be awesome!

Fun post! It was great to learn more about you. And thanks for the Celtic Moon tip. I love Celtic music, so I'm looking that up right now.

Hahah, Donna, it was a mistake on my part. See the correction note at the end of the post now. Thanks Again!

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