Dear Pegasus – Being Fair

Dear Pegasus,

A lot of people and media will tell you that life isn’t fair. It isn’t always, but your Mum and I will try to be.

We understand that your sister is a strong personality and demands a lot of attention. She’s adorable and uses that to get her way. It’s her strength that makes her both impressive and a little frustrating.

We will try our best to make sure you both get our attention, you both get to do what you love, and most of all, that things are fair for you.

It might not always seem that way. If you need more sleep but refuse to get it, we might give you an earlier bedtime. That will make you feel like it’s not fair, but it would be unfair of us to let you be tired all the time. (Trust your Papa, it’s not fun being tired all time.)

There will be times where one of you demands that you deserve something (bad idea – I don’t like demands) but we’ll try to make things work.

The absolute most important thing is to talk to us. Not yell at us, throw a fit, but actually talk and discuss. I’m sure you’ll hear this a lot (your sister certainly has) but we have reasons for what we do and we will gladly explain.

We want you to have everything you need to make you the wonderful man I know you’ll be, but sometimes you won’t get what you want. You’ll feel it’s unfair but we always have a reason.

I love you Baby Pegasus,

Your Papa

Top Five Ways to Argue Like a Toddler

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

This could easily be an article about how to argue on the internet but it’s not. I’m here to teach you the valuable skill of arguing like a toddler.

5. Where is…

I was prepared to answer why, what, whom, and even how… but repeated instances of where, I wasn’t ready. Here’s the way it typically goes.

Dragon: Where is Granny?

Me: At home.

Dragon: Where is Granny home?

Me: Same place it always is.

Dragon: Where?

Me: *Says address*

Dragon: Where is that?

Me: If we go down the street and turn left it’s at the end of that street?

Dragon: I can’t see it. Can you show me?

The trick with this is to keep asking the same question no matter how absurd it sounds. Really throws people through a loop.

4. Scream louder

Trying to talk to my wife from another room is now followed by, “Don’t yell at MUM!” the same thing happens if my wife replies; “Don’t yell at PAPA!”

If I say something to her sternly my daughter sometimes counters with, “Don’t yell at me.” Then she yells louder over me, ignoring what I’m saying.

This is advanced, and definitely common online. The goal is to just keep saying what you’re saying while telling people to stop being mean.

3. Walk away and pout

When she knows she’s done something wrong but doesn’t want to admit it, she’ll pout and walk away. Stand in a corner or just glare at us from across the room.

Me: Please pick up your toys before dinner.

Dragon: No.

Me: Please pick up your toys.

Dragon: No.

Me: Now.

Dragon: *Walks away and pouts*

You wouldn’t think this was useful in adult life or online, but suddenly turning around and ignoring someone throws all the power to you for a small amount of time.

2. Ask again… and again and again

She normally does this if she really wants to eat or do something. She’ll say, “I NEED candy!” I’ll reply with, “Not now” or “no.” She then says, “Can I have candy?”, “Candy?”, or she’ll repeat I need. The less attention we pay to her the louder and more repetitive she gets.

This is similar to 4 but more insistent. When using it, make sure everyone knows what you want. Over and over again.

1. Because Yes/No

This is quite possibly the hardest possible thing to argue with.

Me: Why did you throw your teddy bear?

Dragon: Because Yes.

Or

Dragon: I NEED orange!

Me: You just ate 2 oranges. Do you really need another one?

Dragon: Because yes?

Because Yes and Because No, will stop the conversation and make the other person question why they’re arguing with you. It’s a wonderful way to argue when you don’t really care about educating but really want to annoy.


Okay so arguing with a toddler is very similar to arguing online. I think I might start using #1.

Later days,

Éric

Éric’s 2019 Resolutions

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s 2019 and I’m setting my goals for the year. I did really well with last year’s goals.

I’m toning it down a little for this year since I want to concentrate on baby Pegasus.

I make these resolutions to push myself and to do more. Even if I only accomplish half, that’s more than I would have without them. Let’s hope this year is fruitful.

Writing

1. Write a Monthly Serial Story

I like writing these, they don’t stress me and they’re a lot of fun. It forces me to think on my feet and learn not to plan too hard and let the story go where my weird brain sends it.

If you haven’t already voted for the 2019 Serial story, go do that now.

2. Write the Bookend Material for the Short Story Collection

I need to get this finished. It’s not a lot of writing, but once I’m done I can submit to my publisher and see if they’re interested.

3. Finish Paragenesis

I need to finish this book. It’s at halfway now and I really want to see how it ends.

4. Get to the 2/3 mark on Mystery of the Dancing Lights

Once Pargenesis is done, I’ll dive back into this one. It’s at 1/3 now and I finally know what’s going to happen next.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

5. Continue to ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs

We’ve been going for six years now with content every weekday on JenEric Designs and I’m very proud of that. Jen and I have worked hard not to miss a day. I’ll do my best to ensure we keep that streak going.

6. Test, Design, and Produce 2 new coffee flavours

I have one flavour already finalized for debut at Geek Market in March. The second will be tough to choose since I have 2-3 strong contenders.

Editing and Marketing

7. Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing beta reader

I failed to finish this last year. I just need to work up the courage and get at it.

8. Submit Everdome for blurbs

I really want to get a blurb from authors I respect for Everdome. So I’ll do the research and write some letters to a good half dozen authors I respect and ask them to read my book and write a quick blurb about it. Most will say no and that’s okay but hopefully I’ll be surprised.

9. Playtest the higher levels of FADDS

There are still some mechanics that need testing and that’s what this year will be about. Building opponents, testing higher levels, and trying out superheroes.

10. Figure out how to market and sell CoasteRPG

I don’t think this is a good idea as it is. A character sheet as a coaster sounds awesome until you realize that it needs to be waterproof and reusable.

I’ll think of something. Hopefully.

Personal

11. Read 20 books

I succeeded at 30 last year, barely, and hopefully I’ll do 20 this year. I love reading and it’s important to me that I keep doing it.

I love reading and it’s something that makes me happy.

12. Don’t Burnout

Last year I overdid everything; work, coffee, and a lot of other personal things.

I need to calm down and scale back some things. I’ve taken some steps to make things easier. I also have to learn how to say no.

It killed my mental health and destroyed my writing productivity.

13. Be More Patient

Part of the burnout was a complete loss of patience. My wife and Dragon took the brunt of that and I need to be better. It’s not always easy on 5 hours sleep but I can/should do better.

14. Play Some Video games with Dragon

I wanted to try and play some simple games with Dragon this Christmas but time and health weren’t on our side. I’d like to play some this year though. Maybe Lego or Disney Infinity.

I hope that list is manageable.

What are your goals?

Éric

Blush: Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Back in August, I asked the moms of Keladry’s due date group if they had any super early warning signs that they were pregnant. I’m talking about before a missed period and before an hCG test would show a positive.

It seemed like an appropriate time to ask, as many of the moms were announcing second (or third) pregnancies.

I got an excellent response. Many of the moms had unusual early pregnancy symptoms, as the only symptom mentioned pre-week 4 in any of the research I did was mild cramping/spotting.

Keladry chose the colour. Image from amazon.

Common

  • mild cramping and spotting can happen as early as 1 week after the last menstrual period (LMP)

Uncommon (according to my informal research done on the subject)

  • tired
  • ovaries hurt when sneezing or coughing
  • breasts hurt/get hard/sore
  • pimples
  • abdomen hard/cramping/pulling feeling
  • bloating
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • couldn’t drink/taste coffee (taste sensitivities)
  • extreme lower back pain
  • tasting blood (copper taste in mouth)
  • vivid dreams
  • sensitive skin
  • sensitive to smells
  • there are tons more

Lots of these “uncommon” symptoms show up later in pregnancy-related research. So why is there only one symptom listed pre-week 4?

There are a couple reasons for this, one being that it is hard to study people who don’t know they’re pregnant yet. Another, in my opinion, is that every pregnancy is so different, even in the same family, so the results are varied that it’s hard to publish because there’s no consistency.

Or you could be like me, and have no symptoms at all until I see a positive on the pregnancy test. Does that mean my symptoms are psychosomatic? Perhaps. And that is pretty hard to prove.

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/early-symptoms-timeline

https://www.kidspot.com.au/birth/pregnancy/signs-and-symptoms/first-symptoms-of-pregnancy-what-happens-right-away/news-story/2683c7eed8bb3fe71f95599078bddea5

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853

Resolution Review 2018

I had so many resolutions this year that I need to make categories. Here’s the list of them on my Resolution Redux post.

Let’s see how I did:

Writing (4/7)

Write 2000 words a week for The Mystery of the Dancing Lights (Fail)

I failed at this one. I have 30000 words when I was hoping to have twice that. But I did manage to add another 5000 words to Paragenesis so yay?

Write a Monthly Serial Story (Success)

I’ve been writing the serial story every month since January and I have one bonus episode to post on New Year’s Day. Start reading Devices of Desire.

I learnt this year that I’m not great at making romance the forefront and that I hate love triangles.

Finish the new content for FADDS and playtest it (Success)

I finished the extra content early this fall and Playtesting is going well. Almost done the current campaign and I plan on running a new high level campaign to playtest the later levels.

Pitch Everdome and the Super-Secret Project (Success)

I managed to finish this early in the year. Unfortunately everyone involved is ridiculously busy. I’m hoping it’ll gain more steam when the book is published but I have plans for something new next year.

Start getting a short story collection together (Success)

The collection is ready for editing and I need a few filler bits, but overall this is a great success and I’ll hopefully be pitching it in the new year.

Write the Bookend Material for the Short Story Collection (Fail)

It’s been a slow writing year for me and I’ve barely started on this. Pushed to next year.

Rewrite the introduction to FADDS (Fail)

This should have been the easy part… I forgot. Next year.

JenEric Designs and Coffee (3/3)

Continue to ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs (Success)

There is only a week or so left in 2018 so I’m safely going to say this is a success.

Test, Design, and Produce 2 new coffee flavours (Success)

I’ve tested and created 3 new flavours for JenEric Coffee. Minty Mountain, Beanpool, and Waking Dead. I’ve also started work on next year’s flavours.

Look into pricing and interest in CoasteRPG (Success)

Interest is great, pricing not so much. It’s extremely expensive to print double sided coasters that can be dry erased. I’m going to need to think more on this.

Editing (1/2)

Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing beta reader (Fail)

No excuses here I just couldn’t bring myself to even look at this manuscript. It’s too sad and personal and I had a bad year for stress.

Edit and Submit A Case of Synchronicity to my publisher by end of summer. (Success)

Not only did I submit it but it was accepted! 

Pleasure (2.5/3)

Read 30 books by authors I have interacted with (Success)

I will fail my goodreads book challenge but unless something terrible happens I succeeded at this. The difference is 2 books. Since I beta read 2 books for the fantastic S.M. Carrière, I consider this a success. 

Play more Videogames (Partial Success)

I have played a lot of Lego Incredibles with my wonderful wife. We’re almost done the game. It’s not a lot more but it is more.

I plan on trying some Disney Infinity during the holidays with my daughter and seeing how that goes.

Finish Star Trek: Discovery (Success)

I succeeded pretty quick with this and I’m glad I finished. I enjoyed the last episode and have adored the shorts they’ve released. I’m even willing to give season 2 a chance.

Final Tally (10.5/15)

Wow 70%, that’s possibly my best score since I started doing this. *Runs to blog to check* Second best result. In 2014 I had 3 resolutions and succeeded at all of them. 2015 was 65%, 2016 was 55%, and 2017 was 65%.

So I guess this means I need a lot more resolutions for next year? Maybe not, we’ll see.

How did your 2018 resolutions go?

Éric