Sick Week

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Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve been sick since Sunday. It’s a typical spring cold with coughing, sore throat, stuffy nose, aches, pains, and a total inability to think. It has effectively rendered me useless all week beyond eating, sleeping, and Dragon wrangling.

Speaking of Dragon, she’s been sick about the same amount of time. Add that to her teething, we’re at 5 and can feel the 6th, and no one is getting much sleep. Jen also got sick as of Tuesday.

With my severe allergies, spring until early July is a really bad time for me.

Long story short I have a lot of work that I should have done this week that wasn’t done.

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WARNING BLOG HIJACKED BY DRAGON

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Sorry about that. I should get back to cuddling the sick little Dragon.

To a healthier and more productive next week,

Éric

Dear Dragon – Monsters

Hi Dragon,

Watching the news today, I held you tight and warned you about the monsters. They don’t have bolts in their neck, and they don’t get burned by sunlight. They look like us and walk around in daylight, but they exist.

This will be history for you when you read this, but one of those monsters shot at innocent people in a place of worship yesterday. He killed six innocent people and hurt a lot of others. His actions are inexcusable and monstrous.

That’s the difference, my little Dragon, between fictional monsters and real ones. Fictional monsters do terrible things because it’s in their nature, or they were made that way; real monsters make themselves from their actions.

Of course, there are other factors that help create real monsters. Hate, fear, intolerance, and anger help feed them, but in the end, it’s their actions that make them monsters. This means we are all capable of being monsters.

There are ways to help prevent monsters and they are so simple they seem silly. These ways are simply to keep love in your heart and share it with others. Treat people with respect, even when they don’t deserve it, help your neighbour, and be the kind of person who helps others.

Help, not through grand gestures, but through small acts of kindness. The small acts add up to bigger ones. We are all capable of being monsters, but that means we are also capable of being the opposite; Helpers.

It may be optimistic and it may be naïve, but I believe we can all make the world a better place by helping more.

Be a Helper and, as always, have hope!

I love you so much my little Dragon,

Your Papa

Results: JenEric Holiday Contest – Win $25

Hello Everyone,

Last month we ran a contest where you needed to match the picture with either Jen, Eric, or Keladry.

The winner was Roseanne B, who was chosen at random from the 6 people that guessed correctly.

They can use the $25 for anything from:

Answer

Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3

  1. Éric
  2. Keladry (Baby Dragon)
  3. Jen

We expected everyone to get it right but we had a success rate of 40%.

Stay tuned, we will have more contests.

Éric

2016 Resolution Report Card

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Hello My Imaginary Friends,

So 2016 is almost over. A lot of good things happened to me and my family this year. The best of which being Keladry, AKA Baby Dragon.

Let’s see how well I did with my resolutions for 2016:

1. Write 500 words a day – Pass

I might not have written every day, but between the blog, stories, and novels, I’ve written approximately 120,000 this year. It’s not quite 500 a day, but I wrote most days and that’s a good thing.

2. Complete Everdome before April – Fail

I finished before July and I’m still editing it, but at least I’m not a total slacker.

3. Start and finish a new novel – Half Pass

I’ve started The Copper Tarnish and I’m roughly a third of the way through, which is pretty good. I won’t have the time to finish it this year.

4. Read 30 books – Fail

As I’m writing this, I’m at 23 books for the year and I don’t think I’ll make it. A combination of Pokémon Go taking up my bus rides this summer and not having bus rides since September.

5. Write a Monthly or Bimonthly Serial Story – Pass

Wargrave Island was the most difficult serial story so far, but I’m happy with what I learned during it. I’m also happy that I managed to finish it without much trouble.

6. Test, Produce, and Develop a total of 16 Coffee flavours – Pass

At JenEric Coffee’s website we have 16 different flavours available and I have another 5 potential ones for next year. So yay coffee!

7. Develop a simple concept for a Youtube show – Half Pass

I have the concept but not the enthusiasm to actually make it. I think I may need to rethink how much I want to have a YouTube show.

8. Playtest the various stages of FADDS and prepare it for submission in 2017 – Fail

I played two games a week of FADDS and managed to get the system to a wonderful balance. Then in September I came up with 3 new power types for players and ran out of time before Baby Dragon came around. It’s close but it’ll have to go into next year’s resolutions.

9. Update JenEric-Designs.ca and add a proper webstore – Pass

I updated the look and feel of the website and built a total of 3 webstores before settling on the one we’re using for coffee.

10. Prepare Memories of Faust for submission (Added Mid Year) – Pass


Looks like I managed six out of ten resolutions. 60% is a pass in my book. I make these in order to push myself and to be completely honest I don’t expect that I will finish them all, but I’m extremely proud of what I have accomplished this year.

Stay tuned on Thursday for my 2017 New Years Resolutions.

 

How’d you do this year?
Éric

Things Nobody Tells You About Babies – Sounds

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Everyone talks about the screams and eventual giggles from babies. Sometimes they’ll mention cooing noises etc., but no one mentions all the weird and creepy noises that they make on a near constant basis.

These are, of course, only a few of the weird sounds Baby Dragon has made.

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1. Puppy Pant

Like an over excited puppy, she suddenly starts to pant when she knows she’s going to be fed. It’s adorable and kind of makes us wonder if we got a puppy instead of a baby.

It’s sometimes paired with a whine or whimper that is a lot like a new puppy.

2. Growling

She doesn’t just do a small growl but a guttural near feral growl that can be a little intimidating.

She does this when she’s falling asleep or fighting sleep. Maybe she’s taking her nickname too seriously.

3. Happy Printer

While feeding, she makes a high pitched contented whirring noise that is reminiscent of an old printer. The kind that had holes on either side of the paper.

4. Demon Summoning

Late at night as we’re about to fall asleep, her growling turns into a weird chant like noise. I keep expecting to hear the word Chuthulu in there somewhere.

5. Impossible noises

When she feels like it she’ll make noises that should be physically impossible for a human voice. Some of these include:

  • A deflating balloon
  • A tropical bird
  • Kitten meowls
  • Creaking door

Everyday she seems to add a few new sounds… It’s fascinating and a little scary.

 

Later Days,

Éric

Facebook Quiz Thing – My Better Half & Me

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Hello Imaginary Friends,

Still no Dragon sightings. I’m starting to think she’s going to wait to be induced.

I’m doing my best to relax and hang out with Jen as much as possible while we wait.

Tuesday no matter what you’ll get a great new story but today you get a sappy facebook quiz thing.

Later Days,

Éric

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My Better Half & Me

1. What are your nicknames?

I call her Pumpkin and she calls me Teddy Bear. (We also use sweetie, baby, and hey you)

2. How long have you been together?

11 years in December

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?

We met on our first date and started going steady after a few weeks

4. Who asked who out?

I clicked “Woo” on her profile thinking it was the equivalent to “Like” on facebook but instead it sent her a message. She replied with something along the lines of, “You’ll need more than a woo if you want to chat.”

I think I’m the first one to suggest a date.

5. Whose siblings do you see the most?

We see Lindsay the most. Dan is really busy; and Derek and Jessica are far away.

6. Do you have any children together?

Not yet… any moment now.

7. What about pets?

Nope. I’m allergic.

8. Did you go to the same school?

Only for University and even then she was in different faculties.

9. Who is the most sensitive?

We’re both pretty sensitive. I’m not sure.

10. Where do you eat out most as a couple?

Does our in-laws house count?

If not it’s definitely Asian Stars. Such good food.

11. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

Florida. Unless you count our yearly trips to Middle Earth.

12. Who has the craziest exes?

No comment. (It’s probably me.)

13. Who has the worst temper?

We both have pretty intense tempers. Thankfully we both burn off our anger quickly.

14. Who does the cooking?

Me. I love to cook and Jen loves to let me.

15. Who is more social?

I think she’s more social. I’m sort of standoffish. I’m always in awe of her in a group, she can make friends anywhere.

16. Who is the most stubborn?

Jen’s a little more stubborn but not by much.

17. Who hogs the bed?

We have a king sized bed so that neither of us try to hog it.

18. Who wakes up earlier?

Pre-pregnancy it was always me. Work on weekdays and reading on weekends.

19. Where was your first date?

We met at the Rideau Centre and went to Chapters where she ignored me for a while. Followed by the Highlander pub and ending at Oh So Good desserts.

I walked her home that night.

20. Do you get flowers often?

No. They die too quickly.

21. How long did it take to get serious?

A few weeks.

22. Who eats more?

Me.

23. Who sings better?

Jen has a beautiful voice.

24. Who does the laundry?

We alternate, depending on when we run out of underwear.

25. Who’s better with the computer?

If we’re talking tech, it’s me. If we’re talking typing and social media, it’s Jen.

26. Who drives when you are together?

Jen. I don’t have my licence.

27. Who picks where you eat?

Normally I give Jen 3 options and she picks one.

28. Who wears the pants?

We both do.

29. Who has the better sense of humor?

Jen laughs at my jokes so neither…

30. Who eats more sweets?

We both love our baked goods and sweets.

Dear Dragon – Names

Dear Dragon,

In case you didn’t know, I fancy myself a writer. One of the hardest parts of developing a character is choosing a name.

I firmly believe that a character’s name should reflect aspects of their story or personality. Let’s take my first novel, A Study in Aether; there are three main characters and their names reflect who they are.

Elizabeth means “My God is an Oath,” or “My God is Abundance” between the classical definition and the historical, it’s a name for a strong-willed character who is more interested in reaching their goals than anything else.

Jackson (Jackie) means “Son of Jack”. Since he’s Jackson Jr., it shows the strong resemblance (character not physical) to his father. The fact that he shortens it to Jackie instead of Jack shows his stubborn non-conforming streak.

Angela is the female version of Angelus. It’s original meaning being “Messenger” or “Messenger of God”. I’ll be completely honest and tell you I just liked the name. There was a character on Bones, who managed to be both artistic and brilliant with technology. I liked the idea of a character trying to balance two aspects of her life. Balancing two parts of herself is a long running theme with my character Angela.

I almost always name a character based off who they are and what they’ll grow into. That works really well for characters, but not so well for Baby Dragons. (If only I had a time machine.)

We’ve had several names for you chosen for a long time. They’ve changed and moved around, but we never really worried about it. Now that you’re on your way, it feels a little more urgent.

There were a few things we wanted in a name: it needed to sound okay in French and English, it needed to be something that didn’t sound weird for a lawyer, doctor, teacher, judge, prime-minister etc (The Right Honourable Yoda Desmarais wasn’t an option), it needed to be something that wasn’t ridiculously common, and it needed to be something people wouldn’t make fun of.

That’s a high order, but we ended up with five names that we liked. One we sort of lost interest in. Another we told to someone and they reacted so poorly that your Mum didn’t want to use the name anymore. (I’m contrary and almost insisted on the name, but decided that was a bad reason.)

That has left us with three names. Two are relatively traditional but the third is different. It’s still easily pronounceable and follows our guidelines above. I made the mistake of mentioning it to someone (I’m contrary and learn slowly) and they don’t think it’s a good idea because it’s not a traditional name. I’m not sure which we’ll pick. I’m procrastinating by saying we’ll wait to meet you, but that’s just an excuse.

A lot of people, articles, etc. have pushed the importance of picking a name and it’s stressful to think about.

Fortunately, no matter what we name you, you’ll grow into it. It will become you and you’ll become it.

Hopefully we pick well, but worst case scenario you can always change it.

Your Loving Papa

35 Days

Shinning Armour from My little pony

Baby Dragon is due to arrive in roughly 35 days. That’s when I’ll look like the gif below… so I’m told.

Shinning Armour from My little pony

It’s also roughly 35 days until I’m on parental leave for 9 months. It feels like a really long time to be off but also feels like no time at all. I hate that I’ll be missing parts of her life.

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I have copies of my first book. It’s beautiful and I’ve already found mistakes… sigh. If you’d like a copy, come see me at Can-Con or go to Renaissance’s website.

Please like my new Facebook Page!!!

I’m working on editing the second book in the series. I’m only a little ways in, but I really like this story. It’s wild and all over the place, in a good way… I hope.

Posts are probably going to be a little shorter this month since I’m concentrating on editing and getting things ready for the Baby Dragon.

I also have a few more really exciting projects on the go and we’ll see if I can get them launched this year.

It’s an exciting time!

 

What’s new and exciting with you?

Éric

Dear Dragon – Looking forward to meeting you

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Hello Baby Dragon,

It’s the end of July and that means you’ll be here in a month and a few days. (Probably. Everyone keeps telling me babies arrive when they want to.) I’m extremely excited to meet you, to see who you’ll be, what you’ll like, how much you’ll sleep.

Everyone else is just as excited to meet you. You already have fans among our friends. It’s amazing to see people who we don’t get to talk to much get really excited about you.

Right now the person who seems most excited to meet you is your grandfather. He’s making sure that everything will be perfect for you. Even stressing your mom and I a little with his excitement. You’re really lucky to have him. He seems gruff sometimes but he has the biggest heart and will accomplish impossible things for those he loves. He’s a wonderful father, father in-law, and he’ll be a fantastic grandfather.

It’s going to be amazing to see you grow and become your own person. It’ll also be amazing to see what happens in the world and with technology during your life.

You’ll always think I’m old, but in my 33 years I’ve seen some astounding scientific and technological changes. The Chicken Pox and HPV vaccines, the internet, the discovery of the Higgs Boson, interactive media, and so many music and video formats it’s not funny.

Right now the world is obsessed with a game called Pokémon Go. You might remember it (I’m sure we’ll play it for at least 2 or more years.) It a game that players walk around and look for digital things in the real world. Using GPS and a map of landmarks, the game randomly generates Pokémon (cute pocket monsters).

For you, this will be an old idea but for the rest of the world it’s something new. I predict that when you look back at 2016 it won’t be 4k TVs or another feeble attempt at virtual reality that is the big tech news, but the dawn of augmented reality. It has the potential to change the way we interact with our world.

We live in exciting times and you’ll see your old Papa geek out a lot over new technology. I hope it’s something we can share.

I love you Baby Dragon,

Your Papa Éric

Dear Dragon – The World Today

Hello Dragon,

I hope you’re afraid of monsters under your bed, boogeymen, or (like your grandmother) of Freddy Kruger. It’s not that I want you to be afraid but that I want you to only have fictional things to scare you.

I hope you never feel the fear of going out to a public place, or going to school.

I hope you never fear for your life walking down the street or traveling to other countries.

The world right now is on the cusp of something. I’m not sure what it is yet. Optimistically it’s the movement towards a united and peaceful world. Pessimistically it’s the movement towards another great terrible war or series of wars.

Weekly in the news, we hear about bombings. Sometimes more than one a week. In the UK they just voted to leave the European Union. Some for economic reasons but mostly for racist reasons; and hate crimes have risen to historic highs. In the US, the argument of politics seems to be more about skin colour and genitals than actual policies.

All over the world people are afraid. Afraid for their lives, afraid of others, afraid for our world.

The earth isn’t dying. People will tell you we’re destroying it. They’re wrong, we’re making it uninhabitable for ourselves. Just another thing to fear. Some people deal with that fear by trying to change things, others by ignoring it.

“I would never bring a child into this world, why would you?”

Someone asked me how I could think of bringing children into such a broken world. My answer to them was simply, “Hope.”

You, Baby Dragon, represent hope to me; a hope that you will have a wonderful life that you will see a world free from hate and fear, that you’ll help make that world.

And the truth is it’s not all doom and gloom. The Ozone Layer has started to heal, infant mortality is at its lowest in history, life spans are longer, more people can read, food production is more efficient than ever. Every day we as a species invent, discover, and create something amazing.

 

The world we’re bringing you into isn’t perfect, far from it, but it has hope and that’s worth a lot.

I love you, Baby Dragon!

Your Loving Papa