Sunday, November 30, 2014

In A Span Of Two Years

In a span of two years, my wife Meghan and I have had two children. Our oldest, originally baby owl and now big girl, is just over two years old. Our youngest, originally baby moby and now little guy, is almost six months old. I'm not sure at what point time jumped to warp speed, but every day seems to be a little treasure that comes in the form of pictures, videos, or memories. At some point, it would be nice to say we have a time capsule and will bury it to open it up again in the future, but the very thought of doing something that would take so much time makes me feel a little sad to pull away from the moments I might be missing with my wife and little ones. Granted, it would be easier to dig in the summer when the ground isn't so hard, but that's not the point.

I guess I love the moments I have with my family so much, especially the fewer ones with my kids because of their sleep schedule and when I get home from work some days, I often think of the days that have already passed; last week, last month, a year ago. It's sometimes how I make up for lost time when I look at photos on my computer. I often think about how much my daughter has changed over the span of two years, how much my son has changed in the span of six months, or how similar they are or aren't at similar points.

I don't post pictures of them, unless it's on my private social media pages. Maybe I will someday, but I guess I feel a need to keep them protected even if it's unnecessary. Heck, I didn't post pictures of myself until recently. Maybe it was the thought of anonymity that made me feel safer or it's somewhat of my nature to be more closed off until I get to know people.

Fortunately, I feel I've made some pretty cool connections online. I love to talk about my kids, and my love of food and movies, but it's so fun to share how they are doing. Even saying it now, I probably still don't do it enough. I know I don't brag enough about my wife either. She works full-time as a teacher, picks up the kids and takes care of them until I get home to help, and finds time to take care of our meals, clean up the living room, and whatever else she somehow finds time to do.

I have found as I go further along in my life as a husband, father, and writer, I like to (when I find time) to post online about my family, respond to other people's comments of their families, movie watching, or dining experiences, or just try to post simple comments that my wife or I find funny. Maybe I'm the only one that really thinks they're funny...hmm.

In a span of two years, I have loved my wife more than I thought was possible and I have loved two children more than I thought was possible. I knew that I loved my wife far before we got married, but the love she has for our children and they love they show back make it so easy to be grateful she said yes. My children; how wonderful they've made my, our lives. I expected a gaping hole to be filled when I married Meghan, but never did I realize there were other empty spots that have been completely overflowed with love; love for them and seeing the love they have for us.

In my "social" life, I wonder what my kids' lives will be like in the future. Will they be open to others? Will they be apprehensive or guarded, but still be able to be completely free of any self-conscious thoughts? I hope so. It's something I try to do, so I can be a positive example for them. I want to interact with friends online. I want to tell people how excited I am about my family, or even progress on my next book, or how much I respect other writers, or even how exciting it is for some people to follow me on several different social media outlets; I can't help it, but it's really exciting for me that James Rollins follows me. He is such a good writer and it feels great, especially since I'm a writer. Check out his books, it's good stuff!

In a span of two years, I have realized how important my wife and kids are to me, but also how much succeeding as a writer is as well. I want to show them that living your dream is possible and sometimes it takes time to completely fulfill that dream. I am on the path to writing full-time, but I know the path will provide the example I want to show them one day. If anything, I want them to know that I will not expect anything less or reject any ideas that they consider their dreams. I want them to reach up, grab stars as if they only had to use a ladder, and ride them at light speed so their futures burn brightly.

I can only hope my tales of being and evolving my status as a writer will encourage them once they're old enough to want to strum a guitar, learn to surf, study anthropology, or wherever else their paths lead them, perhaps even using a particle collider.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Inspiring Writers for Me: Bonnie Burton

Bonnie Burton is a phenomenal writer. Her "I'm going to write and post every day" mentality (my quote, not hers), is one reason why she is on my list of writers who inspire me.

Bonnie's ability to write entertaining articles on a wide variety of topics not only increases her value as a writer, but shows a fervent desire to stay involved and share current events. Perhaps this passion, as well as her talent, explains her presence in so many different organizations; CNET, SFX Magazine, and Geek and Sundry to name a few.

Out of all of her articles, it wasn't her piece about Trent Reznor discussing his opinion on streaming music that got my attention. It wasn't her Fiasco appearance on TableTop. It wasn't even a very recent tweet sharing a video of Star Trek: The Next Generation outtakes. What got my attention and led me to the world of Ms. Burton?

It was a #parent episode, "Geek Crafting with Kids" on Geek and Sundry that made me realize the depth of her creativity. I watched the episode as it streamed live, which happened to be shortly before I became a father for the first time. I watched Bonnie and three others have fun discussing their creations and creative ideas to make wonderful crafts for kids. My first thought was, "How can I do these things?"

I want to be able to do something like this with my kids one day and the enthusiasm from this group made me realize it's the same mentality I want to bring to my parenting. Soon thereafter, I followed @bonniegrrl on Twitter and this eventually led me to the daily wealth of her writing. As much as I like her writing, it helps tremendously that she is genuine, funny, and an advocate for women and overall decency, which I believe translates in the tone of her work.

The writing is fun, easy to follow even with tech stories, and her good spirited nature makes it that much easier to continue following her stellar path. When I think of my kids growing up (now father of two) and looking up to people as role models, it's obvious Bonnie Burton is an individual that loves what she's doing and makes an effort to speak up on important topics; like anti-bullying. Sometimes it's the kind of person that enhances the appeal of someone else's craft, so it makes me hopeful my kids will have someone like this to look up to one day.

As a writer, I sometimes wonder when my next book will be finished, whether I'll blog about my favorite TV show or my life with my wife and kids, or if I'll find time to send a tweet. Bonnie's commitment to writing and ultimately having fun while doing it makes me hope for my own successes. She makes me realize why I put in the time to do what I do.

Bonnie Burton can also be followed on the following sites: