Sunday, June 10, 2007

Been Scrappin'

I was hit with a bout of scrapmania today, putting together one page within an hour of its original inspiration:

And then, with a little push from Minda, decided to scrap the story of my father. Turned out, not surprisingly, to have a lot to do with Andrew:

The father one was tough...I had to journal something that was a bit hard to relate without a lot of nasty words flying around. Because I have come to realize, I am angry at my dad. Angry because he left me to fend for myself when I was a toddler. And angry because now that we've connected he doesn't seem to give flying *&^% about me still.

Oh well. I'm asurvivor and as I put on my layout, Andrew and I, quite frankly, are a masterpiece!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Miscarriage (abortion?) of Justice

Below is a copy of the email I just sent to the Minnesota chapter of the ACLU. As mentioned in my request for assistance, I believe many American citizens will be happy to join in this cause and it may qualify for Class Action status. Please email me if you are interested in joining the Class. It will help to have a preliminary list ready when they contact me to begin discovery and other foundational work. Over the next few days I will be posting the precedents for bringing this action to the court system. If you have other examples to share with the Class and our ACLU provided legal team, please email them to me quickly as I am certain my counselor will want to begin investigations as soon as possible. Thanks!

Dear Sirs:

I am presently seeking legal counsel for a matter that affects many if not all citizens of the United States of America. I believe this issue will require a law suit to resolve and I am not in the most advantageous of financial situations at this time, thus my request for your assistance. Perhaps when it’s all said and done this should be considered for Class Action status; I am certain there are many American citizens who will agree this is a matter worthy of the attention of the legal system of this country.

With your organization’s record of righting wrongs no matter how obscure, unusual and baseless, I feel certain you are the people to involve in this matter.

It is my hope that, with the ACLU’s assistance, I can as an American citizen, force the American Civil Liberties Union to drop the “American” appellation from the organization’s name. It is my firm belief that at best, this appropriation of the name is a misnomer and at worst it is injuring the dignity, integrity and respect our country has earned and continues to earn as the most desirable country in the world in which to live.

It should be quite easy to show in a court of law that this organization has little if any claim or right to use the American-designation to further their agenda of continued subversion of the ideologies and sensibilities of most rational American citizens.

Please advise me on my next steps to take in obtaining assistance from your organization in pursuing this important and long-overdue legal course of action.


D. Scott Shultz

Monday, May 28, 2007

Scrapbooking and Noveling

I've been busy creating lately, primarily telling stories. My #2 novel has taken center stage, and I've managed to sustain some serious input on it. I think I've added well over 6,000 words (2,000 Saturday night!) in the past week, with quite a few scenes that caught me by surprise. My #1 novel is on the back burner; I'm trying to decide if it really needs to be written. And #3...I've decided to sketch it out, maybe even outline it (NO, not the O-word!!) and then see what I can do with it in Novemeber during the NaNoWriMo.

Most of my creativity this weekend has been directed at my scrapbooking. Here's a few layouts, past and present. The first two are from this weekend, the second two from months ago.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

My Wife

My wife hassles...I mean encourages me to eat healthy. This coming from a woman who hasn’t lost any of the weight she wanted to lose during the time that I have lost nearly 40 pounds.

My wife rolls her eyes and moans when I start talking about my dreams. One of my dreams was to be my own boss by selling bungee-jumping squirrel feeders. After 5 years of six-figure sales, you’d think the eye-rolling would stop.

My wife encourages me to help with our son’s homeschooling. I like to point out that I was the guy behind the early reading success.

So, now that I’ve thoroughly trashed my wife in a very public forum, what I’m really trying to say is this: I Love You, Minda!

See, I figured out in the last couple of years how woefully ill-equipped I am for life in the modern world without Minda by my side.

For example, when Minda heads out of town on a scrapbook retreat, I am inclined to delve heartily into the Chocolate Food Group. Fortunately the retreats are few and far between or I would be a blimp.

Another example: Sure the home-business was a success, but only because I had a partner to bounce ideas off of—while we worked our fingers raw hand-assembling the 1000’s of Squngees we’ve sold over the years.

And yes Andrew’s a great reader…or as he recently put it, “Sometimes I wish I could look at something and not read it!” The phonics program we used when he was 4 was the easy part. What Minda has taught him with very little input from me is truly amazing.

I would not be the man I am today if it wasn’t for Minda. Let me put that another way:
I WOULD NOT BE THE MAN I AM TODAY IF IT WASN’T FOR MINDA!! (Sorry bout the exclamation points, Hon). And I thank God for His decision to put her in my life on a regular basis.

Recently I started ramping up my next big business idea. I didn’t see Minda roll her eyes. Instead she did what she does best: she quietly encouraged me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Smaller Pants

Well, it's official: I have dropped two sizes in jeans! I don't mind saying it...I feel sexy in tight jeans! Well, okay let me rephrase that: I feel sexy in jeans that don't look like I could hide a pillow on my backside!

Also got the go-ahead on another magazine article pitch.

Heading to Seattle tomorrow. See ya!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Catching up...

So I began this blog as a way to help me survive my overactive "creatal gland" (it's a lot like and located near the adrenal gland. In fact, sometimes when the creatal gland secretes creataline, it triggers the adrenal gland to secrete adrenaline and you get all fired up with creativity. Sleep tends to suffer.) So what have I done with all this creataline?

—>I pitched 4 magazines with 4 different articles. So far I've received one "yes, send us your manuscript", and one "no, but good luck". I'm waiting for an answer on one of the remaining 2 before I send him yet another query for another article idea I got from their last issue.

—>I've created the first draft of a brochure, letterhead and biz card for my new business idea. The whole packet of marketing tools is in the hands of Good Friend Debbie, a marketing-type person (with an angelic singing voice). I'm awaiting her feedback before I proceed with that end of the new business.

—>What I haven't waited on is creating a website for the new least a rough beginning. A bit premature, perhaps, but I needed to reserve the domain name and it came with a free website. It will be a strictly informational/comtact us website.

—>What I also haven't done is worked much on my novel, which is what I really "want" to do, but instead I do what I often don't want to do (like take 16 hours worth of Hazardous Materials training for work). I have jotted down a few scenes and ideas for the novel.

—>I upgraded 2 pages in my "Remember the Future" mini-scrapbook.

—>I finally bought a moleskine notebook for myself (and one for Andrew). I've tabbed it with colored, labeled tabs. The first page contains a snippet of lyrics from my new favorite song, Renaissance by Mat Kearney, which I also consider my "theme song" for this whole re-awakening I've experienced. (Is this sounding too much like a 16 year-old girl's diary?!?)

—>And last but not least, and certainly not creative but definitely related to my renaissance is the fact that I am 1/2 pound away from my April weight goal of 245. Whoo-Hoo!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Real Writing

"The emergence of web services and service oriented architecture (SOA), combined with powerful business process analysis (BPA) and enterprise architecture (EA) modeling capabilities connects you to a world of opportunities. By aligning strategy, business and technology, your enterprise has the ability to know more, move faster, work more efficiently, and achieve true visibility, flexibility and agility."


That little gem is part of a marketing piece designed to convince you to purchase their product…or service…or technology…or something.

Silly me, I thought writing was all about communication! I just had a conversation with Andrew about just that. He was making a thank you card for a friend who gave him an Easter gift. More and more often he wants to write independently by sounding out words (Yay!!). He conversationally informed me that "Linda" would know that "LD" was her name. I explained, in not so many words, that if you want to communicate you have to use a language that you AND your audience understands. So he added N and A to come up with LNDA. Good enough (for now).
Now Proforma, on the other hand, would like you to know that their "…integrated enterprise modeling solutions enable effective visual collaboration for Business and IT, empowering the agile enterprise."

What? (As my brother-in-law would say, "that’s a buncha $1.50 words in 50 cent sentence"—or something like that!)

Perhaps I’m not the intended audience for this particular piece of business literature, although with my latest business idea I am having a bit of trouble visualizing effective collaboration between customers and invoices. But in business, isn’t the bottom-line the bottom-line? If they desiderate to inveigle the highest aggregation of CWWs (customers with wallets), would it not be propitious to communicate to the largest possible congregation of potential adherents to their proffered divulgence?

Seems to me they’d get more bang for their buck with a fifty-cent sentence.