Wagner Writer

Hi you!

Here’s my 4-pronged update:


Three people currently have the most recent copy of my book.


They are going to read over the next few weeks and provide feedback. I’m looking for two additional readers and will hopefully have people lined up soon. (UPDATE: I just found another reader, so I only need one more).

I’m not exactly sure what to ask of the readers, so I told them to review the manuscript and note awkward sentences, confusing plot points, inconsistencies… Basically anything that bothers them. I’ll then see if anything bubbles up to the surface. Like, for example, if all 5 people comment on the same thing, then it needs changing, regardless of what I think. That’s according to Stephen King. He said, if multiple people call something out, you change it. However, if the verdict is split, the odds to go the writer. It’s kind of like gambling 🙂

In the meantime, I’m trying to decide exactly what to do with my time. I definitely don’t want to sit on my hands for two weeks. Although literally sitting on your hands is kinda fun and warm.

I’m honestly not sure of the proper thing. Do I continue editing the book in ways that feel better to me? Or do I put it away completely and wait for feedback?

For now, I’m leaning towards the latter. I mean, what if I work at changing something they love? Or what if they suggest a revision so big, it makes the stuff I’m working on pointless? It could happen. So, with that said, I’ve started the initial work on my next book project!


I’ve had the idea for several months now and it’s kind of a passion project, so I’m going to blow it out. Actually, I thought I was going to start writing today. Then, I realized, the idea was incredibly generic. It was like “I should write about trees” and that’s it. So when I sat down to write, I knew nothing. I didn’t know the tree’s name. Or what kind of tree it was. Or what its purpose was in life. I just knew I wanted to write about trees. LOL! So, instead of writing, I’m spending a couple days brainstorming ideas that make sense. What is this tree going to do in the world? Hopefully it will be interesting (and don’t worry, it’s not really about trees….. it’s about flowers).

Regarding my skits, Windy and I sat down last week and did some run throughs. It was hilarious. Windy kept brain farting and saying her lines wrong. Even when she caught herself and we’d start over, she’d do it again. We were laughing really hard. This is pretty much how it went:

Me: OK, Windy, your line is “His eyes are blue.”

Windy: Got it. OK let’s start.

Me: OK (pause to get into character). What did he look like?

Windy: His eyes are brown.


Windy: Shoot! Let’s try again.

Me: OK (pause to get into character). What did he look like?

Windy: His eyes are brown. I mean blue! I mean brown!

Me: BLUE! Start over. OK (pause to get into character). What did he look like?

Windy: His eyes are brown.




I haven’t started the second singing video yet. The circumstance actually kind of sucks. I have the song on a CD somewhere – it’s the only perfect copy I’ve ever found. But I can’t find it. I mean, who keeps CDs anymore? I have one of those giant cases lying around. It used to be in my car but I swear it weighed 300 pounds and worsened the mileage, so I moved it to some unknown location.

I really hope I can find it and begin working. Otherwise, I’ll have to piece together the different parts from other sources.

I haven’t talked much about church singing so I wanted to address that real quick. I found out that the woman in charge is moving to Phoenix in October. I can’t tell you how sad that makes me. First off, she’s really sweet and helps me a lot. Second, she’s asked me to take over. What does that mean? Well, I’d essentially be responsible for putting together the music AND singing every Saturday and Sunday. ACK!

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against helping out. And I don’t want to sound selfish. But my voice SUCKS in the morning. It’s the reason I’ve avoided Sundays like grandmas avoid straightening their hair. I’ll have to be in my car at like 2 in the morning warming up.

Enjoying the Area

This past weekend, we took the dogs out the Lone Rock. It’s a section of Lake Powell with a huge beach and a giant, lone rock standing out in the water:

I bet you can’t guess how it got its name!

We spent most of the day there swimming and playing Frisbee and kayaking. It was really fun! Here were my favorite moments:

1. Windy was really self-conscious about her bathing suit. Every thirty seconds, we’d hear “Can you see my butt? Can you see my butt? Seriously, can you see my butt?” It was like a semi-gross Verizon commercial…

2. I took the kayak around by myself for the first time. I admit I was really nervous because, with two people, steering is REALLY difficult. Typically, we spend the entire time correcting and over correcting. It’s a great workout but kind of frustrating. The kayak is big and just doesn’t handle that well. The second it begins changing directions, it just wants to keep going. I was worried that it would be about impossible alone. Well, when you rearrage the seats for one person, something magical happens. The kayak suddenly because like a race car with precision steering. I don’t know how it happened, but it was so amazingly easy to steer alone. Maybe it just means that I’m horrible at keeping in sync with another person. Or that they’re bringing me down!!

Random Insights or Stories

The six month point passed a couple weeks ago. Which, for all you mathematicians out there, means the year is half over. Man, that’s so crazy. I feel like I’ve done a lot but I have soooo much more to go!

I promised myself I wouldn’t start thinking of jobs or anything during the first half of the year. I said I would focus on the work and not worry endlessly (something I have a tendency to do) over jobs, the future, etc…. Well, the year is half over, so I’ve gotta start doing some light thinking about what’s next.

The thing is, you don’t become a published author overnight (and sometimes not at all). At some point, I’m going to have to get back into the job market. Isn’t that a scary thought?

So I’ve been asking myself what I would want to do. Currently, it’s broken up into 2 buckets:

Bucket 1 – Something similar to what I was doing before. That would be the realm of web development.

On one hand, it definitely has its pros: It’s something I’ve got lots of experience with, it can pay well, and I would do a good job. Additionally, with Skype and all the tools out there, working remote would be a definite possibility. And with that might come a more variable schedule.

On the other hand, I’ve been in that world and it can get crazy. Client expectations can drive timing through the roof. I’ve worked 7 days a week for months at a time before and it can be exhausting. Especially considering the writing/creating that I MUST continue doing.

Bucket 2 – Something lower maintenance. I’m thinking something like the night shift at a hotel desk or something.

It also has its pros: a more lax schedule, the possibility of bringing a laptop and working on the job, etc…

On the other hand, the pay would be lower. And, depending on the job, I might be getting into customer service. I love people, but I’m not sure how I would handle something like that.

I’m not sure what the best choice is right now. And, heck, who’s to say I’d find a job to begin with. I may end up having to take the first thing out there for awhile. It’s really, really scary to think about. Especially because I haven’t been unemployed and job-hunting since I was 24.

Anyway, that’s what’s going through my mind right now. If anyone has any thoughts, I’d love to hear them!

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