Jigsaw Puzzle Follow-up

Completed jigsaw puzzle

Jigsaw Follow-up

Well, I had an unexpected day off from work due to weather, so I worked on my jigsaw puzzle.

Completed jigsaw puzzle
Completed Jigsaw Puzzle

The arctic vortex currently sitting over much of the northern hemisphere dropped outdoor temperatures to well below 0 fahrenheit (-20c) or worse with wind chill twenty to -50-60f (-45c) in many areas, keeping me indoors today.

Voila, I finished it. Click on the picture to see the full-sized completed effort. Whoo hoo!

Now what ???????

Oh right. I’ve got a book to finish writing.


The Setup

Over the holidays, my girlfriend/partner gave me a jigsaw puzzle as a gift. I don’t know whether to be ecstatic over the thoughtfulness of the gift or cringe by the vast amount of time it’s taking to solve the jigsaw puzzle.

But first, let me backup.

Last fall, we went over to a friend’s house for dinner and conversation, catching up since we last saw each other. At that occasion, our friends had a jigsaw puzzle of their own they were working on. Interested, and with their permission, I found and placed a few pieces and thought nothing of it.

Jigsaw Puzzle box photo

Apparently, my girlfriend noticed and arranged to get me a jigsaw puzzle of my own which she presented to me over the holidays. I was delighted with the thoughtfulness of the gift. I hadn’t worked on one in decades, probably since I was a kid.

Plus, it was a puzzle involving one of my favorite subjects, mermaids. In this case, a Disney rendering of Ariel, the Little Mermaid, and her family and friends. Not that I am into the Disney character that much, just that it was a mermaid scene. Thoughtful or not, I hadn’t considered that I’d be all that interested in solving the damn thing.

Oh, how I was ever wrong.

Solving It

For three weeks now, I’ve spent significant time on this complex 750 piece puzzle. Oh sure, I could have been working on a 1000 piece puzzle, but 750 is a good number after such a long time. I’m about 3/5th done with the jigsaw puzzle.

As I place piece after piece, I’m finding it easier to find others and fill them in. I just hope that I’m not missing one. That would really piss me off. Either way, I’m having fun solving the puzzle. The big question is, when I’m done with it, feeling good about my accomplishment, will I be satisfied and go back to writing? Or, will I be on the hunt for a new one eventually building a collection of dozens of puzzles. It’s a dilemma for sure.

Wasted Time ?

Sometimes I think that I’m wasting time by solving the jigsaw puzzle. It’s taking a lot of time to work it, time that may be better spent on more productive things, such as writing, drawing or painting. Then, as I consider that thought, I realize that as I do this jigsaw puzzle, I am having fun, and I am exercising my mind. You may ask, how am I doing that?

jigsaw puzzle upside down
Solving the jigsaw puzzle upside down

That’s a good question. I’ve done the bulk of the puzzle upside down. That’s right, the top of the puzzle is closest to me, and the bottom is furthest away from me.

Why? It’s a technique I learned ages ago in creating a drawing or painting from a photograph. Turn it upside down, and your mind stops trying to fill in the gaps with imagery that does not exist. Did you know your brain will do that? Be it music, images, data, or just about anything, the human mind will fill gaps with what it thinks makes sense. Turning the picture upside down forces the brain to stop doing that. It is forcing me to look at patterns, shapes, and colors to find the missing piece. In short, it’s an alternate way of looking at life.

Application to Everyday Life

When I decided whether it was worthwhile to write about solving my jigsaw puzzle, I realized something. The methods I use, or learning to use, in the solution to this problem are the techniques I use in everyday life and in writing my novels. If you think about it, coming up with a plot that makes sense and plausible, is kind of like solving a jigsaw puzzle.

I create characters that interact with each other to tell a story. The story could be about anything, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is enticing the reader to see enough to keep reading, provide conflict and drama along the way, to reach a believable ending. In short, I try to write my stories as if you, the reader, were living the plot, by escaping death, loving life, solving a problem or enjoy themselves in bed with a favorite partner.

It’s the journey that matters.

So, as I sit in front of my jigsaw puzzle or write my next great novel, remember this. I will relentlessly search every elusive piece that hides from my intense gaze. I will find you and put you into your place in the world. You cannot escape, and you will be assimilated.

And when I do, all will be fine in the world.

Feedback

What are you thoughts? Care to comment? Do you agree or disagree? Send me a note. I’d love to hear from you.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

For more about me

For more about me as an author/writer, check-out my website RichardVerry.com, highlighting my novels and stories available to read or purchase.

To learn more about me as an artist, check-out my online art gallery at maggicalExpressions online art gallery

 

Jigsaw Puzzle

jigsaw puzzle upside down

The Setup

Over the holidays, my girlfriend/partner gave me a jigsaw puzzle as a gift. I don’t know whether to be ecstatic over the thoughtfulness of the gift or cringe by the vast amount of time it’s taking to solve the jigsaw puzzle.

But first, let me backup.

Last fall, we went over to a friend’s house for dinner and conversation, catching up since we last saw each other. At that occasion, our friends had a jigsaw puzzle of their own they were working on. Interested, and with their permission, I found and placed a few pieces and thought nothing of it.

Jigsaw Puzzle box photo

Apparently, my girlfriend noticed and arranged to get me a jigsaw puzzle of my own which she presented to me over the holidays. I was delighted with the thoughtfulness of the gift. I hadn’t worked on one in decades, probably since I was a kid.

Plus, it was a puzzle involving one of my favorite subjects, mermaids. In this case, a Disney rendering of Ariel, the Little Mermaid, and her family and friends. Not that I am into the Disney character that much, just that it was a mermaid scene. Thoughtful or not, I hadn’t considered that I’d be all that interested in solving the damn thing.

Oh, how I was ever wrong.

Solving It

For three weeks now, I’ve spent significant time on this complex 750 piece puzzle. Oh sure, I could have been working on a 1000 piece puzzle, but 750 is a good number after such a long time. I’m about 3/5th done with the jigsaw puzzle.

As I place piece after piece, I’m finding it easier to find others and fill them in. I just hope that I’m not missing one. That would really piss me off. Either way, I’m having fun solving the puzzle. The big question is, when I’m done with it, feeling good about my accomplishment, will I be satisfied and go back to writing? Or, will I be on the hunt for a new one eventually building a collection of dozens of puzzles. It’s a dilemma for sure.

Wasted Time ?

Sometimes I think that I’m wasting time by solving the jigsaw puzzle. It’s taking a lot of time to work it, time that may be better spent on more productive things, such as writing, drawing or painting. Then, as I consider that thought, I realize that as I do this jigsaw puzzle, I am having fun, and I am exercising my mind. You may ask, how am I doing that?

jigsaw puzzle upside down
Solving the jigsaw puzzle upside down

That’s a good question. I’ve done the bulk of the puzzle upside down. That’s right, the top of the puzzle is closest to me, and the bottom is furthest away from me.

Why? It’s a technique I learned ages ago in creating a drawing or painting from a photograph. Turn it upside down, and your mind stops trying to fill in the gaps with imagery that does not exist. Did you know your brain will do that? Be it music, images, data, or just about anything, the human mind will fill gaps with what it thinks makes sense. Turning the picture upside down forces the brain to stop doing that. It is forcing me to look at patterns, shapes, and colors to find the missing piece. In short, it’s an alternate way of looking at life.

Application to Everyday Life

When I decided whether it was worthwhile to write about solving my jigsaw puzzle, I realized something. The methods I use, or learning to use, in the solution to this problem are the techniques I use in everyday life and in writing my novels. If you think about it, coming up with a plot that makes sense and plausible, is kind of like solving a jigsaw puzzle.

I create characters that interact with each other to tell a story. The story could be about anything, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is enticing the reader to see enough to keep reading, provide conflict and drama along the way, to reach a believable ending. In short, I try to write my stories as if you, the reader, were living the plot, by escaping death, loving life, solving a problem or enjoy themselves in bed with a favorite partner.

It’s the journey that matters.

So, as I sit in front of my jigsaw puzzle or write my next great novel, remember this. I will relentlessly search every elusive piece that hides from my intense gaze. I will find you and put you into your place in the world. You cannot escape, and you will be assimilated.

And when I do, all will be fine in the world.

Feedback

What are you thoughts? Care to comment? Do you agree or disagree? Send me a note. I’d love to hear from you.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

For more about me

For more about me as an author/writer, check-out my website RichardVerry.com, highlighting my novels and stories available to read or purchase.

To learn more about me as an artist, check-out my online art gallery at maggicalExpressions online art gallery

 

Labor Day weekend in the United States

Wistful Look

Good afternoon all. It’s the Sunday before Labor Day here in the United States. For those who don’t know, Labor Day is a holiday celebrating the workers in America. It is always on the first Monday in September. It is also the unofficial end of the summer season.

Wistful Look
Source: portrait-photos.org

Just yesterday, I noticed fall and Halloween decor in the stores. Damn, I commented to myself. My full-time job gives me little time to enjoy the summers. For the last month, I worked my ass off getting ready for next week. It’s not important as to why, but trust me, it was.

On July 31, I was sweating bullets thinking that I couldn’t get all my work done in time. I was distraught that there was just too much to do. Somehow, along with my co-workers, we pulled it off.

When my shift ended on Friday, I was content. What I needed to do had the big [ DONE ] stamp on it with big RED letters. Whew.

So, now, I’m enjoying the time off. I’ve slept in both days, and I plan on doing it again tomorrow. I met with friends on Friday night, had a couple of beers over good food and great conversation. Yesterday, I caught up at home, sweeping the floors, dusting, and well, all of that housekeeping that no one wants to do but we have to do anyway.

I also wrote a scene for my next book, and since I couldn’t stop there, and did some massive editing. By the end of the day, I had written and edited 6,800 words, in a scene that I absolutely love. Chatting about it with my girlfriend, she’s excited and can’t wait to read the final version of the book. I’m excited about this book, and I believe you will be too.

This morning, I wrote another 2,800 words in an initial draft of another scene. It’s unrefined and choppy, but it is just an initial draft. When incorporated into the book, I will flesh it out and use it to draw the reader into the character. Her name is Misty, and her life is about to take a sharp left turn. I’m smiling as I write this.

Later, I am meeting another pair of friends for dinner, which promises to be fun. Tomorrow, I plan on sleeping in again, shake off the hangover from tonight, and write some more. Then, there is my new website design. I like it, but I don’t like it enough. I’m debating about releasing it now and then updating it again, or work on the design more and release it later. I’m leaning towards the former, but we’ll see. My job and my writing are my focus at the moment.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Until next time, Ciao.

Rich

Life’s learned lessons

Elicit a confession

Life’s learned lessons

Good Day Everyone. Looking at my site, I just realized that I haven’t posted in a week. I knew it had been a while, but I didn’t know that it was that long. Sorry about that.

To tell you the truth, I’ve been seeing a lot of doctors and going to Physical Therapy (PT) lately. I’m working on my post-concussion issues, and I have made some progress and learned a few things. The two biggest things that I learned are:

  1. I’m still not ready to go back to work. (Shit!)
  2. I’m dwelling too much on my headaches and other issues, and not enough on life.

Number 1 scared me until I learned about number 2. I must accept it and deal with it while living my life. I’m sure that my colleagues at work won’t be happy with number 1, but I’m not in control of that aspect of my life. ‘It is what it is.’ As I write this, David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ is playing in the background and I just realized that I identify with many of the verses in the song.

To deal with number 2, I’ve been advised to change things up in my life. Change the venue so to speak. What does that mean? Well, for one thing, get out of the house more often. Now that the holidays are over, I can do that on my terms rather than on someone else’s terms.

My psychologist asked me an important question. “What are your go to items that make you happy?”

An easy answer for once, “Drawing and Painting, Writing, and Sharing intimate time with my girlfriend.” (I don’t necessarily mean sex, but that’s an important part.)

The problem is that all are suffering. I don’t yet have my painting studio setup which prevents me from putting paint to canvas. My injury stopped me from working on it for several months. I muddle through it at times, but I usually ran out of steam before getting far. I’m now motivated to get it done.

The Trafficking ConsortiumThen there is the writing. Without my creative stream running through my head, I am struggling to come up with a storyline. What I do know is that last October, I put pencil to paper and came up with several new compositions that I am very happy with. Drawing them put me in a headspace that made me happy and I forgot about my chronic headache. Checking my headache logs, I discovered that during those days and the following weeks, my headaches were relatively mild. And guess what? That’s when I had my inspiration for ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ Writing it consumed me, and after looking at the logs, the headaches never surpassed a four on a scale of zero to ten. What do you know?

I can draw almost anywhere and yet; I prefer either my studio or my office. They represent my personal space and allow me to dive in without distractions. Until last night, my office was not configured to allow me to draw easily. It is now. 😉 Starting later today or tomorrow, I’ll finish a piece I started months ago and move on. Perhaps that will be the avenue to find inspiration for a new story. In fact, I’m betting on it.

That leaves the last of my goto’s, my girlfriend. Due to my injury and other issues, which I am not going to go into, our relationship has been strained. She is concerned about my condition and often frustrated that she can’t help. So, I was advised to change things up, do things differently and do it in new environments.

So, change the venue, right? Last night, the two of us went for a walk around my neighborhood. The first time since last fall. I usually do it alone. It was nice. Later today, we’re planning on doing a couple of errands together and then go to the movies. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie in a theater. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve also made plans to go out more, see friends in other venues, rather than have them come to our house. I’m also looking forward to playing cribbage or other games together which we’ve not done since last summer. Playing games at the table gets us away from the TV, and conversing in an intimate setting which is something I crave.

What does all this mean to you, my fans and followers of my blog and readers of my books? Despite what my marketer muse has told me, I’m going to stop forcing myself to write a daily blog. It is stressful to think of topics to write that you are interested in and it takes time away from life, my girlfriend, and my happy place. But don’t fret, I will write you at least weekly and maybe more as things settle down. Yes, it will be true that I will miss your interactions and responding to your comments. You can comment all you like. I will read, and I will write back.

In the meantime, just know that I love and appreciate all of you. Thank you for your support and reading my books. Be sure to look for my latest novel ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’ which I will be publishing on Amazon in early Feb.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow!

A note of appreciation

Every Way We've Tried To Fix Email (And Why It's Not Working)

A note of appreciation

Every Way We've Tried To Fix Email (And Why It's Not Working)
Source: lifehacker.com.au

Good afternoon all you fans. I write to you today as a frustrated writer who may now see the light at the end of the tunnel. Why do you ask?

Since August, most of my posts have failed to make it to my email followers. While it royally sucked, the resolution may be in the works.

The publishing company that handles distribution of my posts to all of my followers uploaded a patch to server yesterday. This company handles all distributions, including social media as well as my email subscribers. So far, two days in a row, my email followers have received my posts. Whoo hoo!

However, I must admit, I am still hesitant to say that they fixed the problem. Only time will tell.

One good thing that came out of all this. I was forced to find a simple type of post that followers would like to read, rather than just the same only ‘buy me’ crap that often happened. That is when I stumbled upon the Word of the Day feature. It’s a hit as I have received many positive responses to my posts. Most of the responses tell me that they particularly like the ‘My Take’ portion, which I love doing, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of time. Time that I am using to writing my next story.

Trafficking of Women
Source: epthinktank.eu

So, be on the lookout for my next novel, that I hope to publish next month. It’s tentatively called ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ The story is inline with the ‘Her Client’ but with many differences as well. If you liked any of my previous novels, you’ll love this one.

Now, a big thank you to everyone who is buying my books. Sales for the ‘Her Client’ series is phenomenal, as well as I have seen an increase in sales of my other books ‘The Taste of Honey,’ ‘Broken Steele,’ and ‘The Breakup.’ A big thank you to each and every one of you who bought and read them. Please, do me a favor. Write a review on the site from where you purchased the book(s). It would to a lot of good to get the word out.

Thanks for being patient with my publicizing problem. And, oh, by the way, winter is still here. Snow is on the ground as we had a record snowfall on Sunday, blowing the old record away by 300%. Wow. Now, if I could only blow away my sales by 300%, I could retire and write full-time. Hey, it’s all up to you, the reader. Thank you for your support.