And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands. -Psalm 90:17
And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom,
To devise cunning works, …
… and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom,
The heavens declare the glory of God;
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made;
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. - Psalm 90:1-2
Thou, even thou, art Lord alone;
For, lo, he that formeth the mountains,
About Me Header
About Me Text
Gathering and uniting the Forces of STEAM with the Warriors of Spe C'f Iic.
Bringing understanding. Lighting the darkness. Defending mankind from ancient evil.
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me,
and horror hath overwhelmed me.
I will call upon God;
and the Lord shall save me.
Evening, and morning, and at noon,
will I pray, and cry aloud:
and he shall hear my voice.
Sometimes, way too often, I fail God, but He picks me up, cleans me off, and helps me to continue on the journey of living life and writing for Him.
My childhood home was Alaska, where I had a fair share of adventures, and misadventures, including surviving the largest recorded earthquake to hit the North American continent.
I attended college in Oregon, and currently reside in the Seattle area. Many of my Works in Progress take place in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
In 2nd grade I became an avid reader, and in 7th grade I began the struggle with myself, and God, of whether or not I wanted to accept the title "Writer."
Since JAN 2016 I've been taking Prozac and I use this blog as a way for me to get myself to work on self-assigned writing projects,
a way to encourage myself to get on with the adventure of being a Spec Fic writer.
31 December 2009
Books, Books, Books
Well, as I start working on this post, I just finished reading Leviticus, this last day of 2009, and I also wrapped up the year with some weights and a short walk. I thought I'd also try to wrap up the year with a post here at Ruggles' Wanderings.
My New Year's Resolutions are to keep up with the weights, walks, reading, and writing, oh and continuing to study more math own my own. As far as my Bible reading goes, I'll keep working on getting Exodus, then Genesis read, but I am also going to try to get started on another round of reading through the Bible. I've read Cannonically - that is Genesis to Revelation, OT interspersed w/ NT front to back, and in reverse Cannonical order - that is Revelation to Genesis. This time I think I will read the books alphabetically, that is Acts, Amos, ... Timothy 1 & 2, Titus.
Why the variety of reading plans? So I don't get into a rut, basically - same reason I am going to read a different translation this time 'round. In the past when I started on a reading plan I only had the King James and New International Versions. Since then friends from my old church were dismantling their libraries, and I inheirited some of their books, including a collection of Bibles in various translations.
So this will be finishing up reading through the Bible for the 4th time, and starting a 5th time - not the first time I've done double-duty like this. Also, the Bible is not the only book I have read 4 times, although I don't read most books that many times because I have so many I want to read the first time. I have read many of my writing resources more than once, but other than books like that, probably the only books I've read through as many as 4 times are The Hobbit, and The Lord of The Rings, and it's probably time I read those again.
Although as a teen I never saw the value in reading through the Bible more than once, I've been a bibliophile since second grade. I originally hated reading - or at least reading aloud to the class, and because of this reticence I was diagnosed as a "slow reader," and placed in a class full of slow readers. Quickly I learned that whatever the problem was it wasn't an inability to read. I quickly started sucking down books as fast as I could check them out from the school library.
Used bookstores, book fairs, garage sales, anywhere I could find cheap books in good condition, and I became good friends. Books quickly accumulated around me faster than I could read them.
My first love was science fiction, mythology, and tribal folk tales. Later Tom Swift, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew joined my bedtime reading list. Then I joined many of Jim Kjelgaard 's and Walt Morey's characters on a tromp theough the woods. There were, oh-so-many-others as a child learning the love of reading, so many in fact I got in trouble for spending too much time reading instead of playing outside sometimes.
As I got older Alistar MacClean, Robert Ludlum, Clive Cussler, and Tom Clancy, among others, were added to my reading. My interests grew to include Ancient History, Greek and Roman history, the Middle Ages, the US and foreign intelligence services and militaries, shooting, weapons, the Bible, photography, writing, math, and computers.
So, even though I was diagnosed as a slow reader in 2nd grade, once I got put in an environment where I could read what I wanted, how I wanted, when I wanted, I became the voracious reader I am today. It was the books I spent a lifetime reading that have impacted my own writing, but like reading there was a time I wanted nothing to do with writing.
27 December 2009
I watched my grandpa read the Bible every evening when he got home from the sawmill, and he read it every morning while eating breakfast and getting ready for work. As a youngster I couldn't see the interest in reading the Bible more than once, after all David still kill's Goliath, Noah still builds the Ark, Abram is still told to "go west young man, go west," and Adam still eats the forbidden fruit. So I couldn't see what the big deal was. Grandpa usually read throught he Bible in about a year, and sometimes more than once I would guess.
When I went off to college I found out that my church's denomination had (has) a yearly Bible quiz, and my brother and I ended up participating on the Bible Quiz team that first year in college - my brother ended up being the captain, and I was the team coach. The small town church we grew up in had nothing of the sort, and this was the first year our church had had a Bible Quiz team, and so none of us knew what we were doing.
This experience caused me to want to start reading the Bible through (in a year like grandpa had done), but I'd get started in Genesis, read through Exodus, then get bogged down in Leviticus. I'd put down the reading for a while, and then when I picked it back up I had no idea where I had left off in reading. So I would start over, rinse and repeat.
Eventually I picked up a Bible reading plan, and it had check-off boxes to put a tic mark in for each set of chapters you read. I eventually did read through the Bible, using that plan - didn't make it in a year, but hey. So now I've read through the Bible almost 4 times - quite the accomplishment for the boy who couldn't see the worth in reading the Bible more than once. I now see that every time I read through the same passage I am going through different things in life, and because of that I see different things that I hadn't seen in the previous reading.
Well, I have to run to Sunday School - we are studying Systematic Theology, right now we are looking at the Holy Trinity and some of the heresies that sprung up in the early church. I will leave you with this thought: What about you? How's your own Bible reading plan doing? Making New Year's resolutions? I'll challenge you to add some daily (or at least as often as you can get started with) Bible reading to your schedule.
May this Lord's Day be blessed.
25 December 2009
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:6-7
I had more to say, but decided not to to say it today.
May you all have a Christ-filled day.
24 December 2009
After the main computer is done booting I follow my long-ingrained habit of checking my mail. NOTHING that can't wait. I start to wander off to Facebook, and my other favorite websites that keep me distracted. Something snaps inside me. NO! my soul cries out. I need to work on some writing in the morning, so I can develop that as a habit, I remind myself. I need to break that habit of browsing the internet, getting lost on the digital frontier, meandering unexplored "terrortory." So what do I write about, I ask myself. Write about what's important to you, I tell myself.
Yesterday I started the day by trying to get some more resumes and cover letters sent out to apply to some jobs I saw posted. I have been working as a substitute teacher at Bellevue Christian School, where I worked lat year part-time, teaching two classes - one Introduction to Computer Proggamming Fundamentals class, and one Math-lab class. I've also been trying to get more hours as a tutor at some of the local tutoring centers. I've decided that maybe I might have to go back to working as a software tester, or as a phone support tech.
So, I start to send out cover letters for some positions I found, only to realize that although I have copies of my cover letters for subbing/tutoring, that in all the furor of my having had computers crash, backing up files, trying to organize those backups of backups, I have managed to lose all the copies of the s/w testing cover letters I had had. Nothing on the main computer, nothing on the backup computer, nothing on the external hard drives or the pocket drives.
This sends me into an "organizing frenzy," trying to search out where any old copies of the cover letters might be. Some of you might think it would be quicker to re-write the cover letters, and for yourselves you may be correct - for me, well.... Anyway, so I finally find copies of some emails I had sent out sometime ago, and I snatch those to use as templates to create the new cover letters - those I need to work on later today.
So what's the point of this particular Ruggles' Wandering? It's not only important to keep backups of all your writing projects, but it's important to keep them organized. Even now, as I type this treatise on the main computer, my backup computer is in the process of doing, well backups.
So, I'm trying to practice what I preach - if you are making regular backups, hurray for you. But how well are you doing at keeping track of what's the most current version? How many backups do you have scattered around on various media?
I was reading yesterday's post at Author Culture, where K.M. Weiland writes "Organization takes a little extra effort, but once you have a system in place, it saves untold minutes you might have spent hunting down research notes, sorting through scribbles to find your latest burst of inspiration, or running searches through your computer’s hard drive in pursuit of that outline your wrote last fall."
So, since it's the new year in 8 days, I'm going to try to make it my resolution to spend more time writing, and in order to enable that, I need to get better organized. And with that thought - I need to go see about doing some critiques for next month's meeting of my NCWA critique group, and getting my own work submitted.
Tomorrow's Christmas, so Merry Christmas, Happy Chunnakka, and Happy New Year.
22 December 2009
One of the reasons, I believe, that I find it so difficult to get into this daily habit of sitting down and writing is because I have so many various idea about which I want to write. Ritalin where are you when I need you??
I do try to give myself some encouragement by remembering my successes. I am currently working on a short-story entitled “The Ayes Have It.” This story came to me in a dream in FEB of this year. It is about 9,000 words long, and I submitted about the first 1/3 to my Northwest Christian Writers' critique group. I need to finalize part two and get it submitted this week. I’ve also been “working” on (more like hiding from) a rather complicated novel entitled “Blood of Patriots,” part one of my “Twilight’s Last Gleaming" series, I need to get back to it.
As I sit here at the computer I try to bring to focus some of the other thoughts I’ve had about things to write about. As I’m editing this I am reminded of having worked on something like five articles in one week at one point of my writing. (I wasn’t kidding about having thoughts racing through my head about myriad topics to write about). If only I could focus on just one of these articles and finish it and move on to the next. I’ll be happy if I can bounce between them all and eventually get them all completed with out adding any more to the list (but I don’t think that is possible – ideas fly at me from all directions, some may be usable in current WIPs, others must be noted for future use in other projects).
Developing the habit of writing daily is something I find to be very difficult. I must give up doing other things that I’ve done in the past – not because they needed doing, but just because I’m in the habit of wasting time doing these things. Watching too much TV is certainly a culprit, one thing I do is select a very limited number of shows to put on DVR, and then watch later – TV on the Internet is another problem that I must deal with.
I also have to be careful about getting on the Internet to look up some piece of info I want to use in my writing and then getting side-tracked reading other stuff (news, etc.), I need to find what I need and then get off the Internet instead of looking for something else to read, because I am trying to avoid writing.
Too much browsing of websites like Facebook – and even good sites for authors, sites like ChristianWriters.com, other writing sites, or other author’s blogs can take up time that would otherwise be spent on writing. However, authors do not exist in a vacuum and need some human interaction – even if over the ‘net, it just needs to be rationed, not rationalized. But it was, in fact, tonight’s blog browsing that got me started on re-working this article, that and the fact I have been futzing with my own blog, trying to figure out what else to write.
Listening to some soft music – Classical, or Christian instrumentals on the other hand does seem to increase my writing. In college this type of music helped me with my studies and so I need to change my music listening habits as well in order to induce more writing labors.
One thing I have a big problem with is the sitting alone in my room and just applying pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) – the soft music I listen to really helps with that. I do have a list of action points I need to get done by getting on the Internet to look up some information. Another thing I have issues with is staying up late, just for the sake of staying up. If I’m actually working on some writing, that’s fine, but if I’m just avoiding going to bed because – again – I’m in the habit of staying up watching TV, etc., I either need to use that time productively with my writing, or I need to get to bed and then get up early enough in the morning to get some writing done before doing my other daily activities.
I like writing – NO! I need to write, it is something I must do. I’m not exaggerating – I really must! Really, I’d rather be able to not spend time writing – but it drives me, as if I have no control over it. I must write – I need to write or I’ll explode from the creative pressures building up in me. And that wouldn’t be a pretty sight. So write I do in order to avoid that ugly ending. And so I sit down during the day and scribe my thoughts, or in the evening and try to organize my ideas and come up with action points I can actually move on and see some progress in the idea I have for a story. (Just one of the ideas – I actually have several works in progress. As I get stuck on one I can return to another. And so, even though bouncing back and forth between multiple ideas may cause each of them to take longer, I’m hoping that my writing will be better because I won’t feel like I’ve got to focus my characters into a situation, or force them to react in a certain way just to make the plot move forward and to “hurry up and get finished.”
I am noticing as I try to distract myself from my writing by pursuing old habits I’m not enjoying those old activities as much as I used to – or maybe it’s a matter of I never really enjoyed them, it was just a habit to participate in those activities, a habit to try to avoid writing. So it seems to come back to – HABITS – good ones are hard to form, bad ones are difficult to break.
I can choose to watch TV because I’m in the habit of doing so, or I can choose to spend the time writing. I can choose to avoid going to bed “just because” because I’m in the habit of doing so, or I can either work on writing to develop that habit, or go to bed early and get up in the morning to do my writing.
I am re-writing this article to post on my new blog because I am trying to develop that very desirable, but very difficult habit of writing daily, a habit I must develop if I expect to succeed in my writing
21 December 2009
Thoughts race through my mind faster than I can type – or even record them on tape, as I tried earlier. I started attending a writing group at the Bothell, WA library Friday, 07 SEP 07, and Saturday, 22 SEP 07 I started going to a group called “Reflections” at Cedar Park Assembly of God Church. It is for people who want to leave a written legacy to their family. Those who have already been regularly attending had written, and read, several interesting stories about what they did this summer, and I am hoping to use these ramblings to get my thoughts in some semblance of order to present to both groups.
Thoughts race through my mind covering everything from childhood to recent events, and I am having a very difficult time focusing on what to write about. I believe this is from both having started attending these writing groups recently, and also from having stopped taking melatonin / valaerin to help me sleep. I have always had an over-active imagination and someone suggested taking melatonin, and it did indeed help me sleep. However, and this is a big “however,” when I take the melatonin (or valaerin, which somebody else suggested) not only does it help me sleep, it has the side-affect of killing my creativity. So I have stopped taking the pills for the last two nights, and indeed I am back to being kept up half the night with my imagination running wild. I will just have to decide whether or not this is the price I am willing to pay in order to do creative writing again. I tried before to stop taking the pills, but at that time I had not been trying to get back into doing any writing, so I just decided it wasn’t worth being kept up all night.
Thoughts race through my mind faster than I can organize them, thoughts about the numerous stories I have left in various states of incompleteness, ranging from a mere idea I jotted down a slip of paper, through some assignment for college that I handed in and never tried to do anything else with, through projects that I have snippets from various scenes recorded but I have not worked out plotting or characterization, through what am I going to try to write about to leave as a legacy. I am hoping that attending the writing groups and trying to spill my thoughts in these ramblings will help me to get my thoughts organized and headed in a specific direction, in order to get going on some of these ideas / projects.
So since these ramblings are partially a result of joining a group where we are supposed to be writing a legacy to leave to our families, and 2 of my 5 nieces enjoy writing (and know I enjoy writing, and have therefore asked me to read their work), I’ll start by telling you all about my interest in writing. I first started to like writing in 7th grade while attending Seward Grade school in Seward, Alaska, let’s see…that would make it 1972, 35 years ago. But wait, the story actually starts 5 years earlier in 2nd grade when I got placed in a remedial reading class (of all things – when I was in 9th grade I was tested and found to have a 12th grade, 6 month reading level). As I sat and listened to my classmates reading, stammering and unsure of themselves, I was leaping ahead in the book (“See Dick and Jane “), keeping the page being read aloud bookmarked with one finger and every time I heard the rustle of leaves, I would pause in my own reading, and flip back and make sure I was still keeping the correct pages marked, then plunge ahead with my own reading. Every so often the teacher, Miss Enatti, would call on me, “DeWayne, would you read the next page please.” With a sigh I would mark my own personal pages, and go back to read where the last student had left off, and then when finished go back to where I had been in my own adventures in reading. Ever after I was a voracious reader, reading everything from “Tom Swift,” “The Hardy Boy’s” and “Nancy Drew,” to science fiction (please it is not “sci-fi” unless it is a grade “B” movie from Hollywood), and yes - comic books, to Greek, Roman, and all mythologies I could get my hands on, folk tales, Aesop’s Fables, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales, to eventually getting my hand’s on Tolkein’s The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings,” and inhaling them 4 times (so far).
It is certain that all this reading affected my writing during that 7th grade writing assignment. The assignment was to write a short (2 page) science fiction story. This assignment was not handed out by my writing teacher, but by my science instructor of all people. My story ended up being eleven pages long, and
Although I have enjoyed creative writing since 7th grade, I never tried to do anything with what I wrote, but my councilor told me that I should try submitting my work. She also said her friend had had problems getting any writing done until joining a writers group, and suggested maybe I should try finding a writing group to join that would give me a swift kick to do more writing, and to do something with what I write. Well, here I am – six months later (procrastination is a terrible thing to waste) having joined two writing groups that I had not looked for, but found despite myself.
Thoughts race through my mind, thoughts about the writing groups. Will they do me any good?? Will they do my writing any good?? Will I do anything with what I write?? Will I ever finish these ramblings?? Only time will tell. In another 35 years (if this world is still around) we’ll see what kind of legacy I will have managed to leave my 5 nieces and 2 nephews.