Friday, February 17, 2012

Checking in on my 2012 goals

Like a lot of folks, when January 1st hit about a month-and-a-half ago, I had a number of goals for the new year I'd laid out for myself. I didn't post them here - the start of the new year was a busier time for me than I planned for with everything going on with my family - but I'd like to take a moment to look at those goals, and then look at where I am with them 48 days later.

Writing. My intention was to write a lot more. And I am. And I'm very happy about it. Thing is, I was a little concerned that bringing Mail Order Zombie back would slow any writing momentum I'd built, but the opposite has actually happened. I'm feeling more creative, more driven and more able to put something solid together. Within the next couple months, I anticipate having a series of short stories finished, and I'm excited by what I have planned for them. And a novel-length work? Something is brewing . . . oh, yes . . .

Podcasting. Mail Order Zombie is back from our hiatus, and in the downtime, I went back and forth trying to figure out what to do with the show. More segments? More produced? Weekly? Monthly? More structure? Less structure? I like where we ultimately ended up (I used the phrase "loosey goosey" a bit too much in our return episode when describing our mindset moving forward with the show). It fits, and has allowed me to feel a bit more energized about non-MOZ projects.

Like 1951 Down Place. Scott, Casey and I are having a lot of fun producing this podcast. The approach we take is different than the approach any of us take with our other podcasts (Scott is one of the head Mousketeers of Disney, Indiana and Casey produces Dad and His Weird Friends and co-hosts the Bloody Good Horror podcast over at Bloody Good Horror), so it lets us flex our production/creative muscles in a slightly different way. And the response has been incredibly flattering. Nigel Burke at The Northern Echo mentioned us in his article "Podcasts: put something interesting on your iPod" (I'm particular fond of the line "...1951 Down Place is high professional – easily the equal of a commercial station – and required listening for British horror fans."). Horror host Dr. Gangrene also had some nice things to say about us over at his site (which is doubly cool for us because we actually cited him as a reference in Episode #002 of 1951 Down Place when we covered The Curse of Frankenstein!).

Both Mail Order Zombie and 1951 Down Place were nominated for Rondo Awards, as well. This is MOZ's third time honored with a nomination, and for a show that's less than half-a-year old like 1951 Down Place to be nominated makes all three of the hosts feel mighty fine . . .

I've also been contributing a bit of voice acting for Darker Projects' Star Trek: Lost Frontier, and that's been a lot of fun.

All in all, my podcasting has been going well.

Health. And here's where it all falls apart. I feel like I'm on a good path writing-wise and podcasting-wise, but health-wise? I need to put in some solid work. I could make excuses (and some of them are even valid!) as to why I'm not more active right now and all the things I need to have done and waiting to address until I tackle the weight-thing, but the bottom line is that I need to do more.

I've got a bad back (here's one of those excuses). Several years ago, after months of searing pain running down the back of my right thigh, we discovered that I have degenerative disc disease. Three of my lower vertebrae are crushing together and pressing against my nerve stem. Over the years, we've done a steroid epidural, physical therapy, acupuncture . . . I can function with no problem.

If I don't exercise too hard.

Which is ridiculous because I need to exercise more to get some of the weight off my back. I've yet to find, however, any continued exercise to which I can commit that doesn't aggravate the problem. Last year, I tried the C25k program, and found some success . . . until my back started acting up again and sidelined me.

I also struggle with finding/making the time to take of myself/my health. I'm lucky in that I really enjoy spending time with my wife, so a lot of my time away from work (a typical work day has me away from home for around 10 hours when travel to and from is taken into consideration) is spent with her enjoying each other's company, spending time with each other, etc., etc., doing happy couple stuff, etc., etc., etc.

I initially wasn't going to discuss my health issues here at Plan D. I'm not proud of where I'm at health-wise. I've taken some grief from some people about it over the past year or so. But I just listened to the inaugural episode of Fit-2-Write podcast, and I'm taking some courage from that show's co-hosts (Scribe, Tee & Justin) here. (I don't think they'd mind.)

Bren and I have a Seattle trip this weekend, but this Monday, I'm going to try to get back into some sort of exercise routine. Maybe this time it will stick.

So that's where I'm at with my various goals for the year. I think I'll drop in on these once a month to keep record of what I've managed to accomplish through 2012. I hope you all are on track toward your goals for 2012!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'm on Star Trek (Lost Frontier)

I haven't talked too much about it here at Plan D, but I'm an old school Star Trek fan. It started for me in grade school when I discovered the original series in syndication, and would watch it whenever I had a chance. My dad said he liked Star Trek, too, and one year, I gave him a Star Trek trivia game for Christmas, but he didn't seem nearly as impressed with it as I was. (I never got to play that game with him . . . )

I was a fan of "Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine" (and, damn if I didn't try to enjoy "Voyager"), read some of the novels, played a lot of the FASA role-playing game, and watched the movies a LOT.

And I listen to some Star Trek podcasts, both fan podcasts covering the franchise, as well as some of the original fan-produced audio dramas.

Over the years, I've provided some voices to various projects over at Darker Projects, and a few weeks ago, I was contacted by producer Chris Williams. A new episode of Star Trek: Lost Frontier was in the works, and the character of Knight was set to appear in the story.

I was thrilled my character was coming back. He's part of the bridge crew, and while he doesn't have a lot of lines in the latest episode, I would love for producer Williams and writer Jules Ismail to want to bring him back in the future.

Star Trek: Lost Frontier Episode #17 - The Rift was released 1/31/12, and, Knight or not, I really enjoyed episode. I'm looking forward to future episodes (hopefully soon!).

(And, hey, Darker Projects folks? I'm not forgetting how much fun it was performing the role of the Klingon Korath in Star Trek: The Section 31 Files . . . I'm just sayin' . . . ! )