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It happened so quickly, I barely remember the details.  I’m talking like a Kim-Kardashian-wedding quick.  Like a Mike-Tyson-knock-out quick.  Like an average-reader’s-time-spent-on-this-blog quick.  It swooped in on the heels of daylight savings time as the clock menacingly stole an hour of our lives.  It left less than a day later, but what it left in its wake will not soon be forgotten.  That’s right, I’m talking about the stomach bug.

With the force of a tidal wave, it washed over our unsuspecting home.  After tormenting Iz a few days before, we thought it had spared the rest of us…apparently we were wrong.  It struck Jen first, in the wee hours of the morning, then promptly sucker-punched me in the gut leaving the Jakester for last.  Even our dog, Bailey, got in on the act (though considering the order of things, he was the least of our concerns).

18 hours, 13 sets of sheets, 8 loads of laundry, 4 packages of Saltines, 3 bathrooms on quarantine, 2 industrial size jugs of Ginger Ale, and 1 very unlucky T-shirt later, the bug left us ravaged and barely coherent.  In its wake, four very tired and worn out souls spent the next day and a half recovering the large quantities of fluids that had been lost in the battle.  The smell of Pedialyte and Lysol permeated the air yesterday as the Chaney clan slowly regained the strength to…you know…live.

I have to tell you, I’ve had some rough days following some epic nights of drinking in the past.  Some days where I spent the better part of the a.m. hours under the covers while the room continued to spin around me.  But never have I felt the fury of a full-on, Steven Segal and Chuck Norris tag-team beat down that this bug delivered this weekend.

Parenting went out the window as survival of the fittest set in around our house.  And the truth is, the kids laid the proverbial smack down on Mom and Dad as they did laps around our chalk-outline-style bodies lying on the floor.  Does it make me a bad parent that I was happy the kids were sick, only because it made them less eager to play games and enjoy general merriment?  It does?  Well then I’ll just have to live with that shame.  It’ll be tough, but I think I’ll get over it.

Thankfully, before this most evil of viruses rampaged through our humble abode, I found myself blessed with several moments of creativity and was able to finish up the outline for my novel.  After all of your helpful comments in response to a recent post about outlining, I decided to stick with it to the end.  In truth, it was the end that proved the hardest part.  I went on a 7 or 8 chapter run for a few days, thinking up scenes dripping with energy, angst, and emotion; but coming up with an ending to the story was more challenging than I thought.  I made it, however, just before my body turned against me and so I’m proud to say that step one is complete.

That means step two is about to begin and I’m very excited to bring this story board to life.  Over the past two weeks or so, I’ve been engaged in some back and forth with someone I’d consider an expert of sorts in the field of writing and publishing.  He’s given me some great feedback on my ideas, this blog, and my general attitude towards the process of writing, marketing, and publishing a novel.  He’s also provided several reality checks in the process.  One of which is that if I am truly focused on making this dream a reality, I need to put on the blinders and dial in to the writing.

I’ve been reading lots of blogs, following writers and agents and publishers on Twitter, and branching out onto any social networking site that would accept me; all in an effort to get my name out there.  As any writer knows, in today’s world it’s almost entirely up to the author to promote his brand and book.  So I’ve been doing my best to make The Wordslinger popular (something I failed at miserably in my high school years).  The problem with this plan is that without a completed, revised, and polished manuscript; there’s nothing to promote.

So now that the outline is complete and the writing is about to begin, I’ve decided to take a step back from the facebooking, tweeting, and triberr-er-ing (hmm…that’s probably not a word, right?) and focus my attention on writing my novel.  Which brings me to some news that directly affects things here at the ponderosa.  If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that if there’s one thing you can count on it’s that you can never count on when I’ll post.  Until the last few weeks (when I inexplicably maintained a Tuesday-Friday schedule), I’d been all over the board with blog posts.  Sometimes twice a week, sometimes four times, and rarely on a consistent basis.

So what you're saying is too much social media? Really?

Well, as part of my new focus on writing, I’ve decided to implement a blogging schedule.  Starting this week, you can expect a little nugget of entertainment from The Wordslinger every Tuesday in your inbox, Facebook page, or Twitter stream.  That’s right, once a week.  For some of you, this may be disappointing.  For the vast majority however, I imagine it’s a relief to not feel obligated to read my drivel more than once.  There may be weeks when I’m feeling extra witty or comical, in which case you may find a surprise post.  But at the very least, you can mark your calendars for some wordslingin’ every day-after-the-dreaded-Monday.

As always, I thank you more than my rudimentary words can describe for your continued support of my passion.  I hope you will continue to enjoy my posts and share them with friends and family who have yet to stumble upon my existence greatness.  See you next week friends!

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