Taking stock

Once every so often one needs to quiet oneself. Tuck yourself in a solitude spot and reflect on where and who one is in one’s life.

This is something I sometimes do. Every few years, I take stock of my life. I am someone who always strive to improve my life. I also someone who plans for the future. I have dreams and goals I still want to achieve. Yes, even at my age, I have dreams. I know life can throw curve ball, so I usually have different plans, or pathways if you like, to reach my desired goal: Plan A, plan B, et cetera.

solitude

For the most part, I like who I am as a person. I am a nice guy. I try to treat others well and I would never intentionally hurt someone. I am not perfect, but I try to be a good man. I do strive to improve myself. I read a lot. I try to learn from my mistakes and I try to adhere to the motto “Be nice to others.”

I also wish to be a professional writer. To this end, I have been writing for a dozen years, or so. I have taken a grammar refresher course and other creative writing courses. I maintain this blog where I attempt to write often and I attempt to keep the topics as interesting as I am able; however, I write what I write. To be honest here, I write for me and I hope it reflects with my readers most of the time. I figured that if I worried about the subjects my readers would like, well, I would never write. There is no disrespect meant here dear reader, but it is the truth of the matter. This thing called, “Writing,” while enjoyable is a tricky craft. I don’t wish to get writer’s block, or to form some kind of phobia.

I hope I inspire you the reader. I tend to write about life. Although we all have different lives, we are all human beings travelling on our journey. We share some of the same dreams and desires, we share some of the same fears and hopes. None of us is perfect, but we can always strive to improve. I hope I have inspired you to strive to be the best one can be.
—Robert Confiant 19 November 2018

Little changes and lifetime habits

I was out with my partner last night to catch the play Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. We walked, mainly uphill, from the SkyTrain station to the theatre (Something that nearly did me in – energy wise). This morning, I decided to do something about it.

Beautiful The Carole King Musical - June 2015 Playbill with Rainbow Pride Logo

For me, diets and dieting do not work. They never have. I lose weight for awhile and then slowly gain most, if not all, the weight back. I figured there has to be another way. I have decided to try a new way. It will be slower, but I think it could be more lasting. I haven’t gain weight, but I haven’t lost any either and this is imperative at this point in my life.

health-and-fitness

I am going to make a lifestyle change. I will start off small with little changes. Dependent on what study one reads, a habit can take anywhere from 66 days to 2541 days to become established. How much better would it be if one just made it a lifestyle change?

I have cut back on my drinking. As anyone who knows me knows, I love my beer. To be honest, I would have one or two a day after work and more if the day was stressful, and I would drink minimum a six pack on the weekends. All that changed this week. I haven’t had any. Frankly, it been a long time coming. Consciously or sub-consciously, I realized that my health was struggling; not so much the weight thing, but the walking part. I am out of shape. Last night, we the “Eureka” moment – the final nail in the coffin that I could no longer deny.

A few weeks ago, I switched to light beer and I cut back. I just decided one day that if I wanted to drink beer, then that is what I had to do. In-fact, I haven’t had one all week this week, so that is something. I don’t miss it.

The next phase will be more difficult, but I will need to do it. Incorporate more greens in my diet. I don’t mind fruit and some vegetables, but I really do not care for salads. My partner, unfortunately for me, feels the same about salads as I do. Sure, I eat them if I eat out at a restaurant sometimes, but if I buy the stuff and try to eat it at home, then most of it goes into the waste can. Salads are not the only difficult part. I need to get back into moving more. I am finding this difficult. My knees and hips are shot. I don’t notice it as much in the summer months, but in these fall and winter months. I am feeling more pain with my arthritis at this time of year. I have decided that since I cannot yet walk uphill without great difficulty. I can walk downhill okay. I may not start at a fast pace and I may not do so every day at first, but I can start.

Every morning, pretty much, I end up waiting 5 to 10 minutes for a shuttle bus to take me to the nearest SkyTrain station. This is the time that I could walk to the station. It may take me longer at first, but eventually I would be able to walk it that amount of time, so I will. I am promising myself that I will do so at least twice a week and then build up from there once it gets easier. It is not much, but it is definitely a start. At least, it is better than no walking.

Little changes.

—Robert Confiant 17 November 2018


1.      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habit, Habit.

It is going to be one of those winters

I haven’t done much of what I should be doing I should be writing. I claim to be a writer, but I haven’t done much writing lately. I been doing a lot of YouTube and some reading (there is that at least – reading), so it hasn’t been a total waste of time.

VanRain

I am not too sure why I am in this rut, but I definitely in a lethargic mood. I don’t seem to want to do too much other than surf the net. Pathetic really when one thinks about the amount of time being unproductive. I can’t blame the work load either since before today I have been off for four days. Perhaps it’s because I still have a bit of congestion and I feel not a 100%. It still feels like an excuse though. I know I will go home and other than cook, I won’t do much else. Actually if truth be told, I just want to sleep. I think it’s the time change.

Last evening, time felt off by an hour off. I kept thinking that the clock was wrong. Every hour on the hour felt later than the clock was showing. I dislike that it gets darker earlier. Is not quite “Dark when you go to work, and dark when you go home from work,” but it is close.

I find the late fall and winter months very trying. We’ve been generally lucky with the weather thus far, but I know the rain season is near. I guess it could be worst. The weather and time change shouldn’t bother me, but I think this year might be the exception – these get to me every five years, or so – this year is that year.

I will get through it. I always manage. I just won’t be my “happy” self. I may be more of an isolationist and a little bluer. It happens. I have the SAD light at work. I think I will start using it; that will help me.

Here I am plodding onward.
—Robert Confiant 14 November 2018

I feel like crap

 

frustrationI feel like crap, but I went into work anyway. I figured its Friday, so I might as well drag my ass into work. This being shorthanded thing is getting tiresome. And, it looks like they won’t be hiring anytime soon (In the New Year maybe). Oh well, I took the first week off in January.

I plan on sleeping most of the day tomorrow to shake it off. It’s nothing serious. It’s just a touch of congestion. Terra will like it. She will end up sleeping with me on the bed rather than her usual haunts: her box, the footstool, or my other half’s computer chair.

I hope to feel up to working on another chapter. I am still trying to balance the reading and writing tasks with my everyday life. I’ve already beat my Goodreads goal of this year. I will have to boost my goal to 40 books next year, but I may reach that goal this year. If I do, then I will make it.my goal to read, or reread 52 books next year.

Other than these, not much is new. It’s the same old routine. I don’t have an exciting life. It’s pretty routine (Work, eat, sleep with reading, writing and some socializing thrown in).

Well, back to my reading. I am reading “This is Kind of an Epic Love Story,” by Kheryn Callender, so far, so good.
—Robert Confiant 2 November 2018

I tackled the cat

I tackled the cat the other day, so that I could do her front claws (It’s a process as she doesn’t like me clipping her nails). I wrestled her in the bathroom because I didn’t want her to escape. I locked her in with me. After I wrapped her in a towel, I began to clip her nail. She squirmed a bit, but then she settled down and let me clip them (The two on the sides were quite big as she would not let me clip them last time).

Terra block

Terra’s a funny girl. Every time I go to clip her nails she fights me. And every time I tell her that if she didn’t fight me, it would be over in a few moments. She gets upset with me afterwards, and she keeps her distance from me, but I can tell that she likes them clipped the next day (Especially, if I let them get too big).

Terra’s been sleeping with me a lot them past few days. She won’t stay all night because I turn too much throughout the night. I think she is sleeping with me because it is getting cooler at night. I will have to turn on the heat soon. Well, in the night time for sure. The day doesn’t seem to be too cool yet.

I like it when Terra sits near me, or she lies nearby as she is not a lap kitty. She can be a funny girl sometimes – laying on my keyboard when I am working on my laptop or following me about the condo as I clean (I never use heavy cleaners on the floor because she tends to walk on the floor after I wiped it).

On review, I should have called this post “Terra’s Behavior.” Oh well, it’s would not have been as catchy as the one I chose.
—Robert Confiant 30 October 2018

I have been working on the sequel

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I have been working on my sequel. I haven’t written any new chapters, but I fixed up what I already had written.

It felt strange and wonderful catching up with my characters and revisiting Lendaw. I can now continue onward, so I will not be pu

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I have been working on my sequel. I haven’t written any new chapters, but I fixed up what I already had written.

It felt strange and wonderful catching up with my characters and revisiting Lendaw. I can now continue onward, so I will not be publishing as frequently. I will try for once a week maybe twice. I still want to read when I am on transit. I have purchased a lot of e-books that I haven’t gotten to and I feel I should read them before I purchase any more. It is tricky juggling all I need and want to do, so this is my compromise.

I have been off for two weeks and during that time I have been reading and writing and playing/surfing/socializing on/via my computer. I also took time to just relax. Work has been busy and hectic, and we have been (are?) shorthanded, so I needed the break.

I am back to work (the routine) this week. It was a bit of a struggle getting up this morning after sleeping in for two weeks.

I will keep you posted and continue to post my stuff.

Until the next time,
—Robert Confiant 22 October 2018

 

Off and writing

Well, I am off for a while. I have returned to the sequel. I took time off. I don’t really know why; I wasn’t stuck or anyrhing like that. I guess I just needed time away.

Anyway, I am back at it. Here is the Prologue:

Prologue

Keri looked contemptuously at Gerek.

It was a mistake to escort the Dwaran. Such a loathsome creature.

Keri called it a Dwaran, for there was no name for a creature such as he before, after this venture, she hoped she never would see another like it again. The half-human and half-dwarf mix made for a creature that, in her opinion, was an abomination. A little taller than a lad, his hands and feet were too big for his body. In fact, everything about him seemed wrong he had a crooked nose, a patchy beard, his crooked teeth were yellow and brown, his breath was sour with the rank odor of gouk, a thick leaf weed for chewing. He wore a cap to cover his balding head, he wore travel pants, shirt and tunic. His looks were not the only aspect which Keri abhor Gerek. To make matters worse, he barely washed himself the resulting stench was too much for Keri to bear. Most annoying thing for Keri were none of these. No, she could tolerate his appearance, she had seen many strange creatures in her many travels; no, it wasn’t his looks that irritated her most, its constant bickering and droning on and on. Since Keri agreed to escorted Gerek through the Dark Lands three weeks ago, he had not shut-up. His constant whining and bickering began to irritate her. She despised him. For Keri, this was the final insult.

What has become of the world, when creatures such as this are deemed of such importance? In her experience, it was one’s actions and deeds that determined whether one was a great leader, or not.

Keri shook her head disapprovingly.

Keri’s rough exterior was a result of her being a woman in a man’s world. The cutthroat existence that was customary of the roamers. Her black hair grew mid-way down her back which she often wore up tucking her tresses under her hat; she had an oval face with a small, dainty nose, brown eyes, and a wide mouth with thick lips. She was medium built, lean and muscular, she was stronger than she appeared earning her place as leader of her tribe.

Keri was Chief of her people. For the most part, her people considered her a respectable leader. Her expectations of others where high; though no higher than that she placed on herself. She could be quick to temper, especially when irritated; she knew to keep her anger in check. She was not one who acted out of anger. Her people considered her a fair and just leader. One who listened to her people and contemplated her next move before making any decisions before.

Keri regretted her current decision to guide Gerek and his men through Toirmait, or “The Dark Lands,” as it was known by outsiders. The lands were hers; to her and her people, these were sacred lands. The Shaemis kept its secrets.

The Dark Lands, Gerek now knew why people oft referred to this territory by that name. The land was barren, nothing grew in these parts: Charred trees and shrubs were all that remained, they scattered sparsely across the great expanse in a patchy form. The sky was with dark and grey with stratus clouds. Gerek and his men struggled under its gloom. Gerek knew of the dangers within the boundaries of The Dark Lands. Bogs of poisonous gases and water, quicksand and sinkholes, Gorgens and Snarecaps beasts of man-eating flesh. These traps lay scattered the countryside making their trek to Kirell even more dangerous. This was unmapped territory. Gerek relied on Keri’s lead to guide their way safely through the dangers, and for this, he paid her well.

Keri gazed at Gerek and his men, “Hurry up you slugs. It is almost night; we must be there before sunset.”

You cannot believe what fate awaits us if we delay much longer. If you believe you have paid a great price with the loss of half your men, if you do not hurry, we will all surely die.

Gerek shivered, the hair on the back of his neck stood up. He looked to his left, then to his right, and finally turned to the rear.

Nothing.

He chuckled to himself, You dunce, why are you being so foolish?

Still he could not shake the feeling they were being watched.

Gerek promised the men a share of the great treasure to secure their services.

Thieves and scoundrels the lot of them.

Gerek cared not whether they survived this quest or not. He only cared only to acquire The Cau.

The company marched cautiously onward. Occasionally, Keri backtracked before continuing in a different direction; she rarely explained herself to the others mumbling to herself before moving onward.

By sunset, Gerek spied a structure in the distance. Kirell, the Temple of Kael – The Destroyer. They had arrived. Gerek shoved his way forward as he raced toward the entrance of shrine.

Keri lit four torches distributing them to Gerek, two hirelings, and herself. Gerek and Keri took the lead, while the other two men covered their rear. Down and down, and down they went. The walls in the stairway were damp and grimy. They slowed their pace lest they fall off the side to their death. Once at the bottom, Gerek ordered his men to stay.

Gerek and Keri weaved through the corridors until the reach the inner-most chamber.

There ahead stood a statue of two figures, the first figure and the shorter of the two was struggling to reach and grasp the object in the taller figure’s hand.

Keri witnessed the exhibit.

It is as if they were imprisoned for all eternity. What a terrible way to go.

Gerek rushed over to seize the orb.

“Wait you fool,” hissed Keri.

Gerek snarled, “You only wish the prize for yourself.”

Gerek seized the stone from Kael likeness. The stone flared to life. He cringed in pain; the fire began to burn within the palm of his hand.

Gerek realized his mistake too late. Try as he might, he could not shake the stone loose. The fire continued to burn and burn. Gerek shrieked with pain. The fire intensified until it consumed Gerek. He wailed a final time.

The stone dropped to the floor, and Gerek was no more.

Keri grinned smugly.

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My goaI is to continue writing in the evenings and weekends until I complete the first draft.

It feels good to be back at it. In the next few weeks, I will have news that I hope will excite my readers further.

—Robert Confiant  October 2018