Couldn't think of an original blog post, so decided to share an awkward moment I've had in my life for you to relate or make fun of! See, even authors (especially authors) have cringe-worthy points in their life.
>So when I was in high school I developed a crush on a gymnast girl that went to my same school. We rode the same bus together in the mornings and had one or two classes together (can't remember, high school seemed like a life-time ago). Anyways, prom was coming around and everyone went into this frenzy of trying to figure out who to ask and how to do so in either the most creative, cute, romantic, or funny way. Because I was an idiot (oh yeah, still am) and neither allowed myself to be associated with the words "romantic" or especially "cute" I decided funny would be my only hope of getting that mythical "yes". You ever seen an ant-hill kicked over by an unruly kid? Well that was what my school looked like in those final few weeks before prom. While the girls shrieked and giggled like flocks of deranged birds, making themselves as elusive and hard-to-get as possible, it was the boys that suffered the worse change. Something about the age, the floods of testosterone running through our systems, and our naive sense of what's cool-all of that, combined together: well, it was a mess. It was like every male in the school dropped 85 I.Q. points, which is really bad as I believe that more than half the guys didn't have 85 I.Q. points to spare.
"Hey man, I'm gonna stand on this lunch table and tap-dance while screaming out swearwords in Spanish. That'll make the girls laugh."
"Dude, check it out-I just drank a gallon-and-a-half of warm chocolate milk. I'm gonna go run outside on the track for an hour. That'll impress the girls."
"Hey, Cindy's looking fine today. I think I'll go slap her butt."
Yeah... sophistication was not the forte amongst the guys in my school. Being a tier above that level of stupidity, I decided that to impress the gymnast, I should do something creative, funny, yet not so painful that it would ruin any chance of me ever having a member of the opposite gender even look at me. So I created a brilliant idea. I would dress up in the school mascot outfit, a fat, jolly, swashbuckling pirate, roam the school looking for her during my lunch-break and give her a paper with the question asking her to prom. My plan continued to develop and I realized that instead of handing her any old note, I could give her a treasure map with clues, leading her to the question. So home I went, taking an old piece of paper, staining it yellow, drawing elaborate monsters and treasures on it and creating a riddle which when solved asked the question "will you go to prom with me?" I burned the edges of the paper to make it look old and found an old bottle to put it in.
The next day, I asked a few of the school cheerleaders (who thankfully were kind enough to help) to let me into their practice room where the suit was stored. With the help of a couple of my buddies, I stuffed myself into the suit (which had the strange smell of potato-salad sandwiches lingering inside it). I then roamed the school halls during lunch, and since I was hidden away in the suit and no one knew who I was, all the cool kids and popular jocks high-fived me, pretty girls took pictures with me, and I silently danced with a large Polynesian guy who I had never seen before in my life (I think he was in his mid-thirties, so I have no idea why he was in our school or how he danced so well). I felt good, but also as if I was on an acid-trip, faces blurring across my vision and strange lights filtering through the mask into my eyes and brain. It didn't help that the inside of the suit was hot, very hot and the smell of potato-salad sandwiches was growing stronger and stronger, fusing into my clothes and skin.
Eventually I found her, and with a swaggering confidence only brought on by the fact that no one knew who I was under the suit, I walked up to her with my treasure-map bottle in hand. She was sitting in the hall, back against the wall, laughing and talking to about twenty of her friends. That made my steps slow a little, but no big deal, I was still under my suit.
When she saw me approach, her face froze, and soon all her friends were staring at me as well, the conversations they had been having now frozen on their lips. I crouched down in front of her and handed her the bottle, still not having said a single word since putting on the suit (a mascot never talks, and I was taking my role seriously). She cautiously took the bottle and with hesitation, pulled out the map and read over it. All was quiet and I remember I had a goofy smile on my face. It was sucha ridiculous, stupid situation-and oh gosh, was that potato-salad sandwich smell leaking out of the suit? Ugh, it was intermixing with the B.O. I'd accrued in the stifling heat of my entrapment. Combined, I was starting to smell like an onion field overtaken by the backed-up sewage of a nearby canal. Yeah, not pleasant. After a few seconds, she looked up with a stone-faced look I'll never forget. Without blinking and with all her friends waiting with bated breath, she said, "No Raf, no I won't go with you." That's it, no "sorry, I have someone else", or "that's an incredible effort you put for me, but I'm not interested. Thanks Raf". I remember all of her friends started to snicker under their breaths, but everything else was a blur and I stood up as fast as lighting, turned, and wobbled back the way I came.
I put the suit back in the cheerleader's closet, receiving disgusted looks by them as the ripened smells within permeated their practice room. I didn't know who was the actual mascot, but unfortunately I'm sure the smell was blamed on me instead of whoever had eaten their lunch inside the pirate outfit.
My friends teased me for the rest of the school year over what had happened and I never stared that girl in the eyes again.
So that's an awkward moment I can think of. If you'd like to contribute, please comment an awkward story below!
The Evil Negative Review that Almost Made me Eat an Entire Bucket of Ice-Cream Until I Realized I wanted to Eat the Entire Bucket of Ice-Cream Anyways. Also This Title is Really Long.
Boys and girls, I finally got my first painful negative review. *slow clap* It's honestly a little exciting as it no longer looks like I'm just a baby author with no feedback. Although it feels like I just got stabbed in the head by a gang of internet trolls, I chalk it up as an achievement badge. Yet in the first 10 minutes of reading the review I was practically hacking the FBI headquaters to try and figure out who was the person who would dare hurt my precious fragile feelings. How dare they have an opinion against my perfect God-Given creation? Sigh... honestly, anonymous Amazon User, I thank you. I thank you for two reasons actually. I'm glad that you spoke truthfully and honestly. Your opinion does matter and it's just as valid as everyone else. Its real, it has grit to it, and yes, it does sting. But that sting gives me the second reason I'm thanking you. You motivate me. You make me want to do better, to write stronger plots. More powerful characters, to become a better me. And in the end, your review will have been the most cherished review I could have received in these early days of self-publishing because your review is what will dive me to push for success. So all of us self-published and traditionally published authors, lets raise out glasses and wipe our tear-stained faces as we acknowledge those hard-to-swallow reviews.
The God of Golf
So taking a break from my writing for one day, I was invited to attend a work party. Being a good little employee and genuinely enjoying the people I work with, I decided to go.
I was dismayed though, when to my horror I heard we were to go golfing. (I'm about as skilled at golfing as a blind man is at navigating through the Amazon).
Well, we get there and at first I assumed we were going to be in a large green field, all wearing little hats that looked like deflated bread loaves and doing tiny golf claps while a British man provided enlightening commentary, instead we came to a building both tall and skinny with multiple levels. (For those of you who know, the place was Top Golf). People would go right up to the edge of the building (depending on what story you were on) and putt off the side, watching as their balls launched out across an enclosed grass field where large netted holes in the ground were made targets. Each ball was retrofitted with a GPS signal to tell you exactly where your ball landed. I admit, I was very impressed with the tech, but still shaking my head, knowing the ungodly disaster to come when I finally was to pick up a club.
So we get up on the third floor and reach the balcony overlook where we can hit off from. The view is spectacular and exciting and I watch others (even old women and younger teens) hit incredible shots out toward those large distant holes.
My turn comes and I pick a club. I have no idea what the numbers on the club mean or how to even hold one properly. So I attempt to mimic what other people are doing. I feel confident that I've duplicated the technique correctly- put ball on little tee thing, check for wind by licking finger and sticking it up, angle legs and spread them out slightly, and take a few practice swings. (Later on I was told I looked like a man with elbows permanently fused in one position, chicken-walking to the edge of the balcony, Apparently the way I adjusted my body for the swing looked like an epileptic man with a horribly malformed spine trying to twerk-which is all made worse as my boss' boss was standing directly behind me. I guess I'll never see a promotion.
Knowing I was holding everyone up, I take a deep breath, steady myself, and swish! Whack! I smack the club into the ground, two feet short of where the ball is. I'm a lumberjack trying to crush a bug, a rock-and-roll star tripping over himself as he's slamming his guitar on the stage after a concert. "That was a practice swing." I yell over my shoulder with a fake swaggering confidence. The only reply I get is my boss laughing.
Alright, no big deal. I'm a beginner. Steady, jiggle my butt like I saw the old lady do in the booth next to me (holy crap, she just hit the ball 240 yards! The twerk-technique must work!) Okay, this one is going to go far. I'm a big guy, I got some muscle on me. I've played sports all my life. I've been in a college volleyball team, I understand pressure. This is nothing. Swing! Where's the ball? I look up, holding my hand over my eyes to cover the sun. I gaze across the field. Could I have knocked it over the netted walls? But the walls are 300 meters tall... Did i swing so hard I evaporated the ball? I feel a gentle bounce off my toe. I look down and staring back up at me is my elusive enemy, the immortal god who cannot be stopped by my pathetic attempts at hitting it, the stupid golf ball. I'd swung too high and the wind from the club brushed the ball off the tee.
Now I've got women from the company giggling and nudging each other, pointing to me. Some are more than twice my age and two feet shorter than me. They've knocked their balls out into the grass, some even into holes. I feel a heat come over my face and I squint down at the ball with such fury, Satan himself quaked in Hell, hiding under his bed. I put the ball back on the tee, half pleading with it, half swearing at it. K, here we go. Let's do this!
I'm familiar with the process now: swing butt and point it at my boss' boss, arch my back so far my chest sticks out like the bow of a ship, bend knees and point them in every direction but straight, swing!
Gravity gets confused. Physics break. Ten-thousand light-years away, a supernova farts. I'm aiming out toward the grass, yet as I strike the ball (Finally! Praise Tiger Woods and Happy Gilmore!), the ball goes backwards and up, curving in an arch that would make mathematicians purple-faced with excitement to calculate. It strikes the ceiling above my head with a resounding crack so loud that everyone jumps. The ball drops next to my foot, then gently rolls off the side of the balcony. My boss nearly falls off his seat laughing. My coworkers burst out like a chorus of hyenas, the old lady in the other booth chuckles out as she continues to shake her butt (I'm becoming more and more concerned that the twerk technique doesn't work) and I give an exasperated sigh.
Thank goodness I have my writing I can return to. I'm at least decent with that... or perhaps I'm failing miserably. I don't know, I've been shaking my butt desperately the entire time I've been in front of the computer. The technique has to work for something!
I went to a Brandon Sanderson signing! How cool is that? The guy wrote the now-finished Steelheart trilogy, Mistborn series, and The Way of Kings! I felt bad for him as he read an excerpt from his book—the guy was somewhat sick.—but he still did an incredible job. He signed some books for me and talked to me about a future in writing. It's been so cool to meet with so many successful authors and gain inspiration to work harder for my dream.
Yes, that is famous author Kevin J. Anderson! It was such an honor to meet him at the final day of the writing conference in Provo. He gave a really impressive lecture on some foundational rules of writing and even took the time to personally talk to me and snap a picture! I'm planning to see him again next February in the Superstars Event in Colorado. I grew up reading Kevin's books and he was a big inspiration for me to write, so overall the experience was very surreal. Definitely something I'll remember for a long time.
While on my three-day writing conference binge, I met M. Todd Gallowglas, a self-published author and his cover illustrator. The two were a lot of fun and talked to me for quite some time. It's quite nice being able to interact with other authors. Although I plan on publishing through traditional methods (a publishing company) instead of self-publishing, I can definitely still respect all the hard work and dedication it took Mr. Gallowglas to get where he was from scratch. Awesome Guy!
Heard about a three day writing conference held out in Provo called LTUE. I decided to go -try and network a little. Got a chance to meet with Michelle Corsillo (left) from Wordfire Press and Julie Frost (middle), a great author. They gave me a lot of sage advice and even let me practice my elevator pitch on them!
It pumped me up about continuing my networking as much as possible.
There's a first time for everything- that even includes blogging about my progress as an author. I'll put everything here as if it were a journal. From dealing with a tough decision on how to progress next on social media sites to how I felt about a certain rejection letter. Heck, I shouldn't even call this a blog -should call it 'dear diary' instead. Yuck. I've never been good at keeping a diary. But, like I said -there's a first time for everything.
All I hope is that someone, somewhere reads this. If you do- send help. I've been kidnapped by alien/goat hybrids.