Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hello, December!

The craziness of NaNoWriMo has come to an end.  I was not sure if I would hit the goal of 50,000 words by November 30th but I was lucky and finished up on November 22nd. I'd like to say congratulations to everyone who participated whether you hit your goal or not.

What I wrote this year is not destined to be worked on more and turned into a book. Some years I know that what I wrote deserves an extended life and I begin to edit it.  Some years I know that a story I wrote does not get an extended life. This years story is not so lucky.

Things have been busy as I had to retire the dishwasher and install a new one. I am not done cleaning up the yard and putting items away for winter. The weather has been a bit of a roller coaster as it's been pretty mild most days.

I am not doing well in my Hockey Fantasy League but I wasn't expecting much to begin with. It's my first time being part of a league and the whole fantasy world. It's one thing to do March Madness and pick teams but the hockey has required a lot of my attention. There are only eight teams in the group I'm with and in last place. I do have to say that I'm tied for last with two others.

I have won two weeks back-to-back, almost won last week but I was beat by a lousy 10 points. This week I have a 30 point lead going into the final two days of the week so I'm hoping I can pull out a miracle win this week as the person I'm up against is in first place.

My team doesn't have a lot of star players on it as I went for more consistent players and ones whose names I actually recognized.  My knowledge of today's hockey world is slightly limited but it turns out I recognize more name than I thought. Just don't ask me to name the team they are on.

The Commissioner of my league introduced me to the rest of the group as a die-hard Chicago Blackhawks fan. I found that funny as I would not call myself a die-hard.  Do I watch games? Sure. Can I name more than one player? Yup. Do I know how to pronounce Captain Jonathan Toews' last name correctly? Yup.

I do own two Blackhawks t-shirts, one is a regular shirt and the other an Andrew Shaw shirt. I owned if for two months and then they traded him to Montreal. Bummer.

As the weather turns colder for some of us and retreat indoors, writing is a good activity to occupy one's time.  I hope that I have that luxury as this time of year my writing falls off a bit. Once I make it through the holidays I should have more time.

That's it for me.

Rock on!
~Maynard

Monday, November 6, 2017

NaNoWriMo is here!

Hi All,

The website is getting little changes made here and there. When things settle down a bit I hope to add more information.

NaNoWriMo has begun and unfortunately I am not off to a good start.  The goal is always to aim between 15,000 and 25,000 words.  If a huge chuck of the 50,000 word goal can be done in the first weekend it allows you to relax a bit for the rest of the month.

I have had that approach for the past 10 years and this year I finished the weekend with 10,000 words. Not where I wanted to be but I also didn't have the luxury of doing more than that as my time was spent dealing with work.

My job ends each day at 4 p.m. It does not follow me home. My work laptop stays at work and my weekends are free.  I am an hourly employee so anything over 40 hours requires approval and is overtime.  Something that my boss will not approve.  So anytime I work  more than 40 I have to compensate by taking time off early on another day.

This weekend I was asked to do software testing after we migrated several applications to new servers.  I spent five hours doing this over the course of the weekend.  The upside was that I was able to leave work early today and will probably do so tomorrow or one of the other days this week.

For NaNoWriMo this year I am not writing a traditional story like I normally do but an observational piece of the nutty things people do like walking into a glass door because they had their head down looking at their cell phone.  I have a list of topics already but not enough to get me to the 50,000 words. I knew that I didn't have enough but I will come up with it. I always do.

I hope those of you that are doing NaNoWriMo are doing well in the first six days of this crazy affair. It is a little nutty to write 50,000 words in 30 days but it is doable. I've done it for 10 years so I have no doubt that by the end of the month I will have done it again and so will all of you.

Next week I have tickets to see Joe Bonamassa for a third time.  As much as I like Joe's music and often play it when I'm writing, my schedule at the moment may prevent me from going.  If I miss his concert I won't be too upset by it.  The two times I've seen Joe have been unforgettable.  You really do have to see him live to realize how good he is. The videos on YouTube are good to watch but there's nothing like seeing him live. If you get the chance to see Joe in concert you will not be disappointed.

These days I've been working on my radio station so I haven't had a chance to listen to a lot of new music but the other night while software testing I had Seth MacFarlane's "In Full Swing" album playing in the background. It made software testing tolerable at 12:30 in the morning. It was the right type of music to have playing.

I own three other Seth MacFarlane's album that are really good if you need music in the background to work on a project.  I've listened to Seth while writing, cooking, laundry, cleaning the bathroom and working on various craft projects.

I'm going to share a song from his album with you all as a special treat.

Rock on!
~Maynard







Sunday, September 17, 2017

Halloween & NaNoWriMo Prep

Hi All,

The website improvements continue.  Things are slow in updating but I'm no hurry.

Halloween, my favorite holiday of the year is fast approaching and I'm happy to say that I have my costume and need to put it together.  I'm hoping to do another good showing in this years office Halloween costume contest.

My costume is a pun in the sense that I'm going as: Holy Cow.

I paid a visit to Lowes yesterday to get painter coveralls. I then have some black adhesive craft vinyl to make my spots with.  I bought a headband for my cow ears and a tail plus a Pope' mitre which I hope will fit well on my head even with the bandana.  I may have to make a staff but I'm unsure yet in how far I have to really drive home the point that I'm a Holy Cow.  As a Cubs fan I had thought about making a sign that said "Cubs Win! Cubs Win!" as that is what Harry Caray used to yell followed by a Holy Cow in there for good measure.

Unfortunately, living in Vermont there are only 3 Cubs fans in the office.  They're transplants from Chi-Town so only they would get the reference.  So I'm sticking with the Holy Cow costume without a sign.

The day after Halloween is the first day of NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month which I have participated in for the last ten years. I had been stuck for an idea but I think I have one now which will require a bit more planning on my part.

Thank you to everyone who comes to the sight, leaves a message or listens to my radio station. Even if you listen to my station for only ten minutes, thank you for tuning in.

For your musical treat today I'm sending you back into time to the 1970's.  Enjoy!

Rock On!
~Maynard






Friday, August 11, 2017

Website Redesign and NaNoWriMo

Hi All,

The website redesign continues.  I've added a special section about my online radio station and some of the artists I play. It's not a complete list of the music you'll hear but the list is to give you an idea. You can tell I have a thing for guitar players!

As my radio station is slowly starting to get listeners a little at a time, I'm always getting artists requests to play their songs.  So to be blunt if you ask me to play a song on my station, it has to be registered with ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.  Having your song registered means when I play it on my station the licensing is covered and as the artist and publisher you get the royalties due to you.

There is no guarantee that I'll add your song to play on my station either.  With that in mind, a Helsinki (that's in Finland for you geographically challenged folks) based indie-electro band called Since November reached out to me.

Unfortunately, Since November doesn't fit my format but they're starting out and so I am sharing their first single with you.  Finland has a great music scene and no dissing their hockey team.  Many a Finn has made their way to the NHL and I can think of at least three who donned a Chicago Blackhawks sweater.  It was awesome to see Kimmo Timonen get a Stanley Cup ring.




It's mid-August and I am usually prepping for the writing challenge in November through NaNoWriMo and uncharacteristically I have nothing planned right now.  Yikes!  I have toyed with the idea of not doing it this year but I'm sure something will come to mind soon. It usually does.

I have a lot of projects going on so I suspect that is why I have had a minor lapse about November.
I'll get my butt in gear soon enough. Take care everyone and enjoy more music from Finland.

Rock On!
~Maynard




Sunday, July 30, 2017

Website Redesign

Hello Everyone,

My radio station, Strike-A-Chord Radio is doing well at the moment. I hope you enjoy listening to it. There is a decent selection of soft rock, classic rock, hard rock and metal. Essentially you are listening to part of my music collection.  My tastes vary and I'm sure a few eyebrows will raise at some of the music.

This is the music that I listen to when I'm at my full-time job and often it is the music that plays when I'm writing. I cannot write in dead silence. When a good upbeat song is playing I tend type a little faster.

I wish I had typed faster when redesigning my website but it takes time to apply HTML coding that I recently learned.  After 12 years it was time to retire my website and give it a nice touch up. I will  have more information to add to the site in coming weeks.

I want to thank everyone for dropping in to read my blog, checking out my radio station or taking a tour of my station. I appreciate it. Now buy one of my books will ya?!

I kid. Sort of. My books are available through Lulu.com (I support independent publishing).  You can find them on Amazon and through other sellers but honestly if you really want to help me out do buy through Lulu.com.

That was my shameless plug for the day or was it...you know darn well that I'll leave you with some kind of music video. How could I deny you that?  So my wonderful readers I leave you with a song by Within Temptation and one by Sonata Arctica. I highly suggest you crank the Sonata Arctica song.


Rock On!
~Maynard






Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Strike-A-Chord Radio is Back!

Hi All,

I'm back on the air!  Strike-A-Chord Radio returns!  I have a lot of music to upload but I'm getting there. It's going to take some time to get used to the new Live365.com.  The new owners made a lot of changes and I'm still finding my way around.  So far, so good!

My new website is done but I don't like the look of it so I'm going to keep playing around until it looks the way I'd like.

It's hard to believe that NaNoWriMo is four months away!  I have no idea the moment what my story will be this year. I haven't had many story ideas floating through my head lately although one did come to me today.  I always come up with something so I'm not going to freak out.

Click the Listen Now button on the right to listen to my station or you can go directly to:
Strike-A-Chord Radio to see the running playlist.

Rock on!
~Maynard

Saturday, July 1, 2017

New Website and Radio?

Hi All,

I'm currently working on a new layout for my website.  Now if only the website editor would behave itself. It's been frustrating to say the least and I do know some HTML and CSS but not enough time to build a site again that way. It may take a few months but hopefully I'll have new looking site up soon.

In other news, I may be restarting my old Live365 radio station.  They are under new owners and I'm still mulling things over in whether or not I have the time and money to get back into it.  Last time around I ran a station that played rock, classic rock and metal which are the genres I listen to the most but my music tastes are all over and this time around I might do a freeform station. That way I can play whatever I want and it would be more representative of my music tastes.

In hockey news, my Blackhawks have made some surprising trades (Panarin, Hjalmarsson) and interesting signing (Saad, Sharp).  Sad new about Marion Hossa. Being allergic to anything sucks but to be allergic to the very equipment to play a sport you love is above just sucking. I hope they find him new medicine that will allow him to play again.

That's it for me folks.  Rock on!
~Maynard