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)

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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

 

Writing during a Holiday Season

A Quick Update

Good day to you all, I’ve missed you. Writing during a holiday season is a challenge for sure. However, I can tell you that all of you, my readers, fans, friends and family alike, I think of you frequently day after day.

We came out of a four-day holiday in November, and I managed to put it to good use, writing several chapters in my latest book, the sequel to ‘Perfect Prey,’ book 2 in the Consortium series. I’m excited about how this book is shaping up.

The Trafficking ConsortiumWhen I started writing this book, I knew how to start it and how I wanted it to end. The trouble was, I didn’t know how I was going to get you there. Alas, during that holiday period, I figured it out. I can’t be more excited by how I have laid out the story. Trust me, friends, it’s right up there with my best work and a perfect fit in the stories that began with ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’

I am having so much fun writing this new book.

New demands on my time

Alas, new demands on my time are against me. Writing during a holiday season feels like just another task to be done. Just when I thought I would have a breather for a couple of weeks, I didn’t. Almost as soon as it was over, I had to set up for the next holiday. For me and my household, that’s Christmas.

That means carrying boxes up from the basement, unpacking and arranging decorations throughout my humble home. Then moving the empty boxes back down, and bring up some more over and over again pushed me to a cliff.

In the midst of that, I had a scare with my lower back. I hurt it but not so much as I did 15 years ago. From my experience, I knew what I had to do, and I did. I fought off the bulk of the injury and helped it heal. Today, I’m still sore and find it hard to sit for long periods.

On the welcoming side, it’s forcing me to use my stand-up workstation at work more. Honestly, I was getting lazy sitting at my desk instead. The standing, the flexing, stretching, and walking is helping it heal faster. However, by the end of the day, I am most certainly looking forward to going to bed. I just can’t stay there. Up and at them is the cure for my back.

Let the party get started

Still, the house is decorated. Our out-of-town guests arrived last week, and it’s been fun ever since. Some days we share quality time together, such as last night when we all went out to dinner. Other days, we see each other for a few minutes, and then they are off to visit their family in other areas around town. It’s a right balance between partying and recovering. This pace will continue right through to the end of the year, oh help me, please.

What does this all have to do with writing? Much. Lately, the best I could manage was to start a chapter and periodically pick up after a bit. Mostly, I write notes so that I don’t forget how I want to take Avril’s story in the Consortium. She’s in for rough times ahead, and her emotions can no longer stay bottled up.

The big question ahead of me. Will Avril break under pressure or persevere and overcome the challenges that await her. Stay tuned and see for yourself. I’m determined to get his latest segment in her story out by spring of 2019.

Wish me luck. Afterall, finding it difficult writing during a holiday season can be considered just an excuse.

Yours indeed in storied imagination. Have a very happy holiday season.
Richard Verry

Perfect Prey first draft done!

Hunting Grounds for the Perfect Prey

Perfect Prey first draft

Perfect Prey first draftThe Perfect Prey first draft is done! Whoo Hoo! I’ve also completed reading it for continuity and fundamental grammar mistakes etc. Now I’m on to preliminary editing before I turn it over to my editor for in-depth review and corrections.

It’s been a long and weary battle, trying to get this book from concept to reality. The first book in the series was released last summer. I hadn’t intended to write a sequel, but honestly, I was overwhelmed by the feedback I received from my readers and followers, asking for more.

Really? I kept asking myself. You honestly want to know what happens to Avril, a prisoner, taken and abused by the whims of a sadistic tyrant? A monster who bought her and considers her his owned property? A man who may have fallen in love with the girl? A girl who suspects the truth and will do anything to stay alive, feed his passions to find a way to escape and maybe, at the same time, save thousands of others in the process?

With the Perfect Prey first draft completed, I’m well on the way to deliver it to you, my readers. I wonder how you will receive this next segment in Avril’s perilous dance with her owner and master. Before you ask whether there will be a third book in the series, of course. Her story is too intriguing to let it drop. But to get to a third one, you have to read Perfect Prey. It’ll be out this summer.

Storyboarding

Okay, it’s an intriguing concept. After months thinking about it, I came up with an idea. However, a single sequel wouldn’t do it justice. It would have to be at least a trilogy. Three full-length novels and possibly more to develop the storyline I have in mind.

Perfect Prey picks up about six months after the end of The Trafficking Consortium. If you have read that book, you know that the main character, Avril, had to make an impossible choice between life and death. Her faith in God made her decision for her. Choosing death, and in effect, she would be committing suicide, a mortal sin, forever condemning her immortal soul to suffer for eternity in hell.

By choosing life, she would condemn her physical body to a full lifetime of agonizing torment at the hands of her owner, while safeguarding her soul.

She negotiates a contract with her owner, walking a razor edge line with God, hoping for forgiveness, in an attempt to bring down the very organization that captured her and thousands every year, suffering the very torments she was an unwilling party too. Win or lose, will God forgive her for her attempt?

Looking over my shoulder

I have to admit after I wrote The Trafficking Consortium I started looking over my shoulder. Did I write and publish a novel that was too close to the truth? I don’t know. That novel simply came into being with a simple question waiting in a doctors office one day. I’ve written about it in previous blogs, so I won’t belabor the point. The question was.

Hunting Grounds“What could happen if the person behind the counter you’re freely giving all your personal information to is sharing it with some unknown person or agency who is not authorized to receive it.”

“What could possibly happen?”

That query developed into a world of intrigue filled with astonishing anguish, torment, and brutality that even I, the author, cringe at envisioning. How could I think up this shit? I have no idea. It merely comes to me and I write it down.

After publishing Trafficking Consortium, I began looking over my shoulder, wondering if someone was now watching me, wondering if I knew too much for my own good. I hope not. My stories are pure fiction. Hey out there, it’s all fiction. Do you hear me? Fiction. It’s all made up. Don’t blame me if I’m too close to the truth.

Where are they?

I wonder. In developed, first world countries, hundreds of thousands of adults reported to go missing and never found each year? So where do these people who go missing each year go? Granted, many go missing voluntarily and don’t want to be found. The rest disappear from the face of the earth and never seen again, or at least their bodies never recovered.

Stay tuned to see whether my stories have merit. I intend to keep writing. The writing bug is strong within me, and it just won’t stay silent. So, if I step on anyone’s toes, know this. It’s all FICTION, made up out of my feeble mind, on the fly, derived from stupid questions that begin with “What if?”

Thanks and keep tuned. With Perfect Prey first draft done, and it’s publication imminent, I can’t wait to get started on my next story. I have so many ideas for future novels, that I wonder whether I’ll ever get to them all. I hope so. Then again, with my luck, as I complete them, I’ll garner ideas for another ten books, so it may just be a losing battle.

This is your favorite author, Richard Verry, saying, have a great day and a better tomorrow.

Keep on reading.

Daydreamer and a Night Thinker

Daydreamer - nightthinker

Daydreamer Night Thinker

Hello, my readers and fans of my books, I’m going to write about being a daydreamer night thinker. But first, I have to say this. I’ve been thinking about you a lot, knowing that I haven’t reached out to you lately. I’m sorry about that. I could tell you several reasons why but really, do you care? I doubt it. Besides still recovering from the holidays, dealing with my post-concussion syndrome (yes, it’s still an issue), and other things, I have been working hard on finishing up the sequel to ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ I have maybe four or so chapters to write in the first draft.The Trafficking Consortium

Of course, you writers out there know that a book doesn’t stop there. The author must go through it many times cleaning up action sequences, dialog, inconsistencies, and basic grammar. Then, it’s off to an independent editor who will do it all again, shredding it and putting it back together. While that is going on, it’s getting your beta readers to read it and give you feedback. Once done, then it’s on to formatting the manuscript into something suitable for submission. It all takes time. Anyhoo, I’m working hard, and hopefully, I can finish the first draft this month. Knock on wood.

Daydreamer and a Night Thinker

My incredible girlfriend, patient as she is (not), supports my writing efforts and looks for ways to help me when she can. Over the years, she has heard the stories of how I wake up in the wee hours of the morning, dreaming up dialog and scenes to incorporate into my stories. She also is well aware of the imagery that flows through my head during the day, as I try them out on her or when they end up on my canvas or drawing pad.

Daydreamer Night Thinker

She found and gifted me for Christmas a pillow that has the phrase, “I’m a daydreamer and a night thinker” on it. How appropriate.

This is precisely who I am. By day, I’m the mild manner daydreamer, dreaming up stories, scenarios, and images that I can incorporate into my writing and painting. At night, I’m a night thinker. In my half away, half-asleep state, I write dialog in my head, fitting it into the scenes I daydreamed about over the past.

The pillow sits on my bed after I make it in the morning, and when I am asleep, it sits next to me on the floor where I can see it when reflecting upon my storylines in the middle of the night.

Honey, I love the sentiment and the journey it took to come to me. Thank you.

While I’m in a thanking mood, thank you also to my beta readers, and my friends that encourage and otherwise support me.

p.s.

Of course, while I was searching for an appropriate image, I discovered that this phrase is used quite commonly across the globe. Of course, in my little corner of the world, I had never come across it. Damn, now I have to be careful I don’t plagiarize someone. I hope I got it right. You’ll forgive me if didn’t. Right?

Of course, check out my companion site, maggicalexpressions.wordpress.com where I display my visual representations of my daydreaming night thinking turned into reality.