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I am NOT Distracted

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Monday, January 5th, 2009
9:21 am - Progress

I've decided to rework my BFudge pb ms into a chapter book. I'd rather do that than cut all the lovely descriptions which I had a rather good time coming up with.

Read more...Collapse )

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Monday, March 10th, 2008
4:48 am - Keeping tabs on Douglas
I decided months ago to focus my energies on my blogs instead of maintaining my journal here. I am so busy with my full-time Dad duties, plus homeschooling, and freelance web and graphics design. I was spreading myself too thin and needed to consolidate activities. The problem is that I forgot to tell anybody that's what I was doing. I don't have a great deal of friends here but for the few of you who wondered what happened to me, I apologize. Here's where you can find me being active. I'll keep this journal open so that I can comment on people's entries and so that I can keep on receiving that wonderful Russian comment spam.

The Splintered Mind - My ofttimes humorous blog about dealing with neurological disabilities with attitude, cheek, and maybe a wry smile or two.

Twitter - Microblogging at its best and the MOST up to date place to find out what I'm doing, or thinking about doing. I'm TheLaughingImp.

The Near Complete Online World of Douglas Cootey - Here is the Tumblr blog that I've set up to mirror almost all the blogs, Utterz, Flickr posts, etc. that I spend my time on. Everything should be here EXCEPT all my myriad tweets.

I don't think any of these links help prove that I am NOT distracted. If anything, they are evidence of the contrary.

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Monday, October 22nd, 2007
1:24 pm
I'm testing the Jott service and I haven't posted here in ages. I have been busy writing, I've even submitted a children's book manuscript all are working [...]. I'm working on the new one and I'm scared to enter NaNoWrimo. I'm just so busy.

Click to listen:

Powered by jott.com

Edit: That's supposed to read "submitted a children's book manuscript all over kingdom come". Other than that the Jott service did a great job transcribing.

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Monday, July 24th, 2006
5:15 pm - Wiped Out But Satisfied
What a weekend. My daughters kept me busy with performances and auditions during the end of last week while I rendered and rendered and rendered a DVD project for Conduit 16's Masquerade. I spent exactly one week rendering that project over and over again with error after error. Turns out I found a bug in Apple's iDVD. I had to free over 30gb of space on my hard drive for the swap file and let the project render for over 14½ hours. The hang up? A bug in iDVD 6 causes audio to take a small eternity to compress while giving the appearance that the program has hung. Even Apple tech support didn't know how to help me. They told me to reimport my audio as AIFF files, even though iMovie converts audio files into AIFF when you initially import them.

Geek speak, I know, but it is the only geeky rant I will humor in this entry. I'll save my wrath for Apple tech support tomorrow when I call them on a rampage. They owe me a week of my life back for being dunces and not knowing their own software. Oops, sorry. Ranting again.

So, the project is rendered and a two month ordeal has come close to an end. I am fairly proud of the results and look forward to sending it out to my paying customers. None of them will need to know how many bizarro events I encountered trying to get this video made.

And suddenly I am free to write again. Some of you know what a delicious feeling of relief that brings. I hope to continue my artistic progress, of course, as I retrain my mind and discover my "style". You can track that over on flickr, but the big goal is to finish my picture book ms and to continue the backstory work on my novel. Usually, I juggle these goals while working, but the DVD project was so demanding I simply could not afford to get distracted doing anything BUT that project.

Now I can bring Sneakers to life and walk Meridee around the fields of my imagination and still get paid. It's a good day.

current mood: optimistic

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Thursday, July 13th, 2006
5:24 am - Somnambulist Sonata
Lately my AD/HD has been out of control. So unfocused. So much time lost. I suppose it isn't any surprise that this peak in distractedness is accompanied by a bad spell of insomnia. I worry for the goals I have set. The year is half over and my deadline looms in the distance.

I have found the most unlikely place to find solace, and usually at the most unlikely hours. There is a pedestrian walkway down the street that crosses over I-215. One day I discovered to my surprise that there was an open WiFi connection in the middle of the highway. Right there in the middle of an eight lane highway I could connect to the internet and send email. It was the craziest thing and that spot became a fast favorite of mine.

Now, when I am restless, and when the night it growing old and morning is but a few scant hours away, I sit down in the center of the walkway, slip on my iPod's headphones, and either type away on my iBook or pull out my notebook and let my imagination soar while jotting down notes in the semi-dark.

I used to get a terrible sense of vertigo when I first began this routine, but I have become acclimated to the sense of space beneath me and lights and motion whirring past, but not before I recorded my feelings about the irrational fears. I plan on pulling from that one day.

Sometimes, my night walks lead me to strange places like unfinished houses where the thin plastic sheeting they use to cover doorways in lieu of doors billows eerily in the unseen breeze I generate with my passing. Very creepy, especially when the night is still and there is no sound of wind, but I will use that, too, one day.

I used to fear the dark, and fear solitude in the dark, but I have faced that fear and learned from it. And now as morning races into my future, I need to finish some drawing I had planned and get to bed. I enjoy the quiet of the night when the children are all asleep. I will sorely miss this solitude when I finally conquer my insomnia and end my somnambulist ways. I wonder if the early morning will ever give me joy the way a moonlit night on a summer's eve gives me now.

current mood: awake

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Sunday, July 2nd, 2006
12:52 pm - Oh How Big a Mouthful I've Chewed Off
I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that I've finished the second draft of my Picture Book MS. I hope to have it finished this week. I'm looking forward to sending it off into the wild to be ravaged by beasts or editors or whatever you call them as opposed to letting it stay at home to be overgrown by weeds. The working title is "The Secret Life of My Cat, Sneakers" which is more descriptive than entertaining so it will need work. I've conceptualized many PBs over the years, but none have kept my interest to the point where I would spend time polishing them.

(There was that one PB I finished where I was inspired to write the entire story with words that began with the letter "B". I really enjoyed that challenge. I even sent it off to one publisher who apparently hated it so much they didn't even bother with a rejection letter despite the SASE. I simply never heard a word from them. I didn't pursue the matter because after I sent the MS off I realized that by nature of the limitation I imposed upon myself, all the characters had alliterative names - the mark of a n00b. I'm not sure how I missed that. When I become rich and famous I will subject it upon the world like early Stephen King writings. Mwahahaha)

At any rate, I'm proud of "Sneakers" and happy to see the project come to completion. I will happily keep pushing this MS into the wild despite the pile of rejections it may keep bringing back home.

So what is the bad news? Well, I'm not making quick enough progress on the backstory for my MG novel. I wanted it finished before I turned 40 this December and I have to admit that I do not have the amount of time for writing I was hoping to have. I'm a full time Dad, as many of you know, and therefor I am so busy it hurts. We're going to have a family meeting tonight. They simply must let me write and draw and work before 12am in the morning. I can't keep burning the candle at both ends. I haven't attended church in ages; I spend all Sunday recuperating (I have disabilities). And I'm just not able to squeeze in writing time on top of all my other work. So something has to give, and I'm tired of that something being my health. I'm optimistic I will be able to work that "something" out tonight. My daughters' Summer schedules just finished their heaviest intensity. The rest of the Summer is wide open.

current mood: awake

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Thursday, April 6th, 2006
11:27 pm - Someday
One day when I'm rich and famous, will I want trinkets when they are easy to purchase as much as I do now when they are not? Consider this beauty. It has everything I want in a pocketwatch except a closeable lid and an affordable price. $1495 is a tad steep. I could set myself up with a new computer for that much green. And yet, how desperately I covet such silly baubles.

I used to fill my home with sundry tchotchkes - some more expensive than others, all gathered with the collector's mania. Then one day I didn't have room to display them all. They ended up in a box. Years later I came across them and wondered "Why on earth did I buy all this junk?" but I couldn't part with them because they had been so dearly pursued and purchased. Even more years later and I'm questioning my sanity. This summer they go the way of all the earth even if it kills me.

I could say that maturity is the reason I halted my mad pursuit of all things kitschy and collectable, but look at the price tag of that pocketwatch. Maybe my insane cycles of wanting and having have simply outpaced my income - to which, perhaps, I should breathe a sigh of relief.

current mood: curious

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Sunday, April 2nd, 2006
6:15 am - Ups and Downs
Up: Drawing

My experiment with Flickr has proven to be a phenomenal success. Not only am I generating interest in my work, but I'm interested in my own work. I'm not drawing daily yet, but I'm drawing every other day, which is a monumental change from days past. This is a good thing and I'm happy about it.

Up: Understanding

I may have figured out why I've been struggling with drawing. It wasn't that I was simply out of practice as I've been assuming for 14 years. It may have a lot to do with my disability. I'll share more later when I understand more.

Up: Writing

Finished my recent goal with days to spare. Notes are sorted, reread, and ideas are popping out of my ears. I'm ready for the next goal: Finish the Backstory before the end of April. If I want to finish this book before I turn 40 I need to push to the breaking point.

Down: Sleeping

I'm a raving insomniac again. It's 6:08:52 AM and I'm writing a blog entry that nobody, even my Mother-in-Law, reads.

Down: My Mother-in-Law

Last night Sandy had a severe heart attack. She was life flighted to Brigham & Women's in Boston. My wife is falling apart. She hasn't seen her mother in several years now because we live in Utah. Sandy has stabilized and we hope to know more later today. I can't describe the aching pain I am feeling now. With the growth of my blog, The Splintered Mind, we have grown closer together. She's been like an editor, cheerleader, and friend all in one. I hope she pulls through. We aren't ready to walk on our own without her yet.

current mood: accomplished

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Friday, March 24th, 2006
5:12 pm - In the spirit of Calvin, I offer the following copyright violation
Silly poll for a silly Friday.
A Bit Of Both

You are 50% Calvin and 50% Hobbes
Calvin & Hobbes, like a scruffy yin and yang, are in perfect balance within you. Like Calvin, you're weird, a bit insecure, and can be a trouble-maker. But like Hobbes, you're down to earth and sensitive. It's a risk to say it here, after just a ten question test, but I'll bet you're smarter than most. Both Calvin and Hobbes are crafty, clever characters, and any one made from equal parts of each is a force to be reckoned with.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on calvin
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on hobbes
Link: The Calvin Or Hobbes Test written by gwendolynbooks on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

current mood: chipper

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Tuesday, March 21st, 2006
2:57 am - Wildflowers during Winter
I was feeling a bit down tonight, but didn't realize it until I came across this photo on Flickr. It was so overwhelmingly bright and happy it exposed the blue funk I had been nursing. Well, we can't have that!

So if your day hasn't been going well, here's a burst of sunshine to perk it up a bit.

Today has been a good day. It is true that I suddenly came down over the past 24 hours, but I've made fantastic progress organizing my novel's loose notes. And I got to wear my Christmas present today. My daughter knitted me a seven foot scarf in the Slytherin colors and finally finished it yesterday. A little late for last Christmas, but just in time for the cold snap we're having here in Utah.

So, mood cheered up and now back to work.

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Thursday, March 16th, 2006
12:35 am - moleskine0002_060311.jpg

Originally uploaded by Kathrin2305.
As I explore with my own art journal, this is where I want my journal to take me. I really like how Kathrin's incorporated the text into her art. The page works as a whole. I especially like the snow covered scene. It evokes a feeling of nostalgia. Very nice work.

current mood: determined

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Monday, March 13th, 2006
11:11 pm - Things are looking up
A friend of mine and I have formed an informal writer's group and set goals for ourselves. It was just what I needed to get focused again. I have to admit I was floundering for a bit for the past few weeks. Sure, sickness has taken it's toll, and I don't have much time with fulltime Dad work and four kids from 14 to 4, but I could have made better use of my time.

All that is behind me now. I have only a few more days left for my first goal. So much work to do. I am sorting all my notes I have taken for the past three years. Once that is out of the way I'll have a better understanding of my story and will know where to put my fingers on any tidbit I need. Boring stuff, but necessary. I worry that I may not meet my deadline of the 15th, however. There is more work involved than I realized.

In the meantime, I may have just received the last royalty check for my scrapbook papers that I will receive for some time. The papers are a year old now and that's ancient in the scrapbook industry. The two year old papers are positively antediluvian. Sales are trickling in because of the long tail, but my last royalty check paid me forward a bit so I don't expect to be owed money until the Fall and that won't be much. I hate to think of all those papers sitting in a warehouse somewhere not being sold. Seems a shame, really. I rather liked some of them.

Lastly, my weekly column on ADHD is still doing quite well. I really enjoy writing it and especially enjoy the small following it seems to have created. I'm in the top 15,000 blogs over at Technorati. LOL I can't say that I'm a B-list blogger by any means, but as I rise out of the silt more and more people link to me. It's odd because I have no control over who links me or how they use my writings. I've been linked by some eye popping sites, but most are quite normal and actually interesting reads in and of themselves. The latest surprised me. A professor quoted me when discussing boring lectures. LOL Yeah, that sounds as bad as I intended. The boring lecture was hers and I had just written a column about boredom. Makes me smile to see my words take on a life of their own and be useful to other people like that.

current mood: cheerful

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Monday, February 27th, 2006
6:40 pm - You can count on me to waste time!
You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

current mood: chipper

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Thursday, December 29th, 2005
2:57 am - Success in Many Colors
Insomnia rages tonight. Can't sleep so I think I'll write. So much is buzzing in my mind.

Been so busy that I never mentioned I finished my coloring book! I made the deadline I had set, even despite the flu. It took help from my family and my friends Joe & Heather, but I pulled it off with minutes to spare. Counting by Critters is now available as a free download. What a relief to have that project finally finished.

On December 13th, The Splintered Mind became a busy hive. My funny little blog on overcoming neurological disabilities with humor and attitude became selected as a Blog of Note over at blogger.com. I had 3490 unique visitors on the first day. Once I rolled down the Blogs of Note list my daily visitors dropped to 700-800. Of course, those are just numbers and don't mean anything. What meant a lot to me was the large amount of people who stayed to leave comments. Such insightful and thought provoking comments! I've been in heaven for two weeks.

I've ended the year in a splash of color. I'm upbeat for a change and glad that I persevered and finished the goals I had set out for myself to accomplish. Now my slate is clean and I can do anything I want. I'm almost paralyzed by the vast amount of choices I have, but I can only focus on one or two of them. I need to make sure that the first steps I take in 2006 don't send me off in the wrong direction. A lot must happen this upcoming year. I need to be focused and driven to achieve what I want to achieve before I turn 40. Wish me luck.

current mood: awake

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Sunday, December 4th, 2005
3:10 am - Not letting it get to me...
It's a bad day today. Maybe the worst of the past three days. Not sure how to label this. I have Chronic Motor Tic Disorder, so that explains the ticking. But how to explain the neurological difficulties? The trouble walking and talking? The odd disconnect between perception and reality? I just seem to blunder into awkward situations and then a veil is removed from before my eyes and I suddenly see the mess I've made. I am not, however, going into details. Suffice it to say I specialize in putting the proverbial foot into my mouth, especially during these off days.

For a moment, I am at peace. The ticking has subsided and I seem to have some focus. I'd like to share with you my fractographs. I have been a fractographer since 1992 - a term I coined to refer to the artful exploration of fractal math. Fractals are mathematical equations that map the approach to infinity, but with beautiful and striking results. Not just simple number plotting, I use my skills as an artist to crop, alter, and color these images, taking snapshots of them as a photographer would with a landscape. I have converted my website (which has been online since 1995) into a blog of sorts. It is too soon to tell if this will increase traffic yet, but using RSS or email you can subscribe to my site and receive notification of any new images. I release them now on the 15th and 30th of every month.

As for my critters page, I have made the goal to have my coloring book finished by my birthday on the 23rd. I am confident I can meet this goal. Then I either produce more scrapbook papers or I take the plunge and launch a career as a children's book illustrator. Very exciting times. I look forward to them with relish.

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current mood: blah

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Sunday, November 20th, 2005
8:04 pm - Moving Forward
The logjam seems to have jostled free. I'm moving forward again towards my goals. Maybe part of the problem was that I failed to recognize how much time I spent as a fulltime father. My oldest daughter has occupied so much of my time in the past several weeks while we worked around her play and performance schedule. I somehow still expected myself to function as a young twenty something with heaps of spare time on my hands. The trouble is that I have no spare time. What parent does? I am Mr. Bus - running my kids to and from school, as well as dance and voice lessons. I help with homework, cleaning, and podcasts. I unrealistically expect so much from myself.

Interesting to note that the men and women I have admired who have accomplished so much don't usually have very stable or happy family lives. Ben Franklin may have been the nation's premiere inventor and statesman, but he was a lousy father. It seems we need to choose between being good parents and pursuing our professional goals. Unless we learn patience and balance.

I'll simply have to learn to be more realistic about my goals, factor in the time I will spend with my wife and kids, and be more organized. Heh. Of course, my ADHD may have something else in mind, but it's high time I used the "hyperactive" part of my diagnosis to my benefit. ;)

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current mood: cheerful

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2005
12:57 am - Critters, Phase Two
Time is winding down. I don't have much left before the Birthday Deadline. 45 days to go.

Aside from learning new geeky goodness over the weekend, I have a clearer head about me concerning my Coloring Book website. I'm excited to implement the new ideas this week as well as undertaking the new critter theme that will keep me busy for the next 52 weeks: Planet of the Alphacretters. I missed Friday's blog deadline, but the ideas are starting to flow. This will be good. Cootey's Critters will be a sort of live portfolio.

Of course, those cute little critters don't represent my entire lexicon of brush strokes and swatches of color. That is why finishing the coloring book is such a high priority for me. It stands in the way of my next big project: tailoring my portfolio for children's book illustration. Nothing illustrated this point for me more concisely than a conversation I had the other day. An elegant lady I know told me she had a story idea and wanted an illustrator to bring it to life so she could pitch it to Deseret Book. She was quite convinced that this would be a win-win situation for the two of us. I didn't bother telling her that editors usually assign their own illustrators to picture books they acquire. She was so enthusiastic and optimistic that I didn't want to be a tiny black rain cloud on her bright day. Besides, I was too busy re-realizing that my portfolio filled with plaids and stripes would hardly convince anyone that I was ready to take on a PB. Until I had a portfolio I could be proud of, filled with new images representing the style I've been searching for all my life, any talk of book deals and such was just that, talk. I wasn't ready, and I was tired of not being ready. Wasn't this the year I was going to take the plunge? Wasn't that what I was supposed to be working towards?

And so I've resigned myself again to meet that Birthday Deadline. I need my coloring book out of the way so I can make new illustrations. I need to cast my shadow for a change instead of hiding inside away from the sun.

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current mood: pensive

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Tuesday, November 1st, 2005
9:45 pm - Are We There Yet?
My coloring book update seems to be stalled. Maybe it's because I've done it already. I've already walked down this road. I know where it goes and I know that before I get where I'm going I'll be travelling through dozens of miles of the dreariest Arkansas swampland, the blandest Nebraska roadside, and the slowest spot of Route 6 traffic between Cape Cod and Hingham on Memorial Day weekend that I've ever had the misfortune to experience. Is it any wonder that I am stalling on this project when I look at it as the road trip from hell?

Instead of having fun creating new images for the NEXT project like my portfolio or Cootey's Critters I'm banging my head against InDesign. It's not like the other DTP software I've used so I'm bumping into my own ignorance. At any rate, it's not fun and I'd rather be drawing.

So what can I do about it? Well, the first thing I did was write about it here. No sense moping. And it has helped. Now I need to stop writing and just slog through it. Maybe I'll dangle a carrot out there for me. How about I get through ten pages and I get to make new critters for Friday's blog? That sounds like it does the trick. Wish me luck.

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current mood: bored

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Wednesday, October 26th, 2005
10:22 pm - Pushing Myself
I've recently turned my sleep schedule around after a very bad series of weeks at the hand of Chronic Motor Tic Disorder. Now I need to learn how to work in the morning when I wake instead of staying up all night the way I used to do it.

So before the sun sets on my day completely, I will draw and work on my coloring book. Then I will retire to my bed with my iBook and work a bit on my novel. I have faith I'll succeed, though sometimes I feel as if I'm in a dream - so unused to sleeping at night am I. I wonder if any other insomniacs out therewho finally freed themselves from the shackles of their zombie-like existence can relate with what I'm feeling.

current mood: contemplative

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Saturday, October 22nd, 2005
6:03 pm - Happiness, a Missed Date, and Flock
Been a busy day today. Lots of exercize and sunshine to offset whatever black mood may develop later. My battle with the bulge has been a stalemate for weeks, but I think I'm gaining the advantage. My blog, The Splintered Mind, has seen a serious boost in hits since I mentioned it over at Slashdot and subscriptions are at their highest point ever. Gives me some ideas for my online portfolio which has been a stalled project forever... Now all I'll have to do is draw, work on my coloring book, and write in my novel and it will be a perfect day.

Well, not quite so perfect. Robyn became ill so we had to cancel our date. When do I EVER ask her to go see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with me? It may be decades until the next time. LOL Too bad. I really wanted to see that Celtic concert with Ronan the Irish tenor...

My experiments with Flock have impressed me so far. I don't think I'll replace Safari with it, but I will replace Firefox with it. I can blog in it and tag my blogs into del.icio.us with it. That will be a great time saver. Can't wait for it to come out of beta.

Update: Turned out to be not so perfect after all. Company showed up so a complete miss on drawing, working, and writing...

current mood: chipper

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