Wagner Writer

Hi you!

Here’s my 5-pronged update:


Current Book

A couple of readers now have the third draft of my book. If I don’t receive a ton of feedback, then the 4th (and perhaps final) draft will be just around the corner.


New Book

I got back into the new book today. At first, I was like “ugh, this book is garbage” and my motivation was crap. Then I sat down and made myself read a good chunk of it. By the time I got to the most recent chapter, I was actually thinking, “OK this really isn’t so bad.”

A lot of authors will say not to go back and read until the book is finished. That way you don’t nitpick and start editing in lieu of actually writing. I agree with this advice (as I am a big time nit-picker). But, in this instance, reading actually helped me a lot. There were a LOT of cringe-worthy moments (in one part, I wrote ‘something’ three times in one sentence) but, overall, I rather enjoyed it.

Now that I’m back into it, I realized how passionate I am about this book. I really, really, REALLY want to finish the first couple drafts by the end of the year. Wish me luck!


I got the replacement microphone in today.


And it’s just as big a piece of s**t as the last one!


Seriously. Never buy the Audio Technica ATR6550. It’s the biggest piece of junk. The crappy microphone built-in to my laptop is FAR better. Now that the stupid thing has wasted a month, I’ll have to look at a replacement.

If anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears.


I’ve started working on a playlist for the festival (the one I’m performing at). I’m trying to throw in a mix of country, contemporary, 90s rock, and musical numbers. It’s a smorgasbord of songs. More like a mismatched casserole, with like green beans and meat and chocolate. But I want to hit a lot of audiences and try to make it fun. Also, I only know one country song and don’t really want to learn others.

Take that, country music!

Enjoying the Area

I spent some of Labor Day at the “Children’s Park” in town, eating dinner with friends.

Before I dive into anything else, here’s how to get to the park:

Go down a bunch of random residential roads til you’re in the middle of random neighborhoods. Then turn right down an alley between two random houses. When you’re halfway down the alley, park.

That’s it. For serious.

The park is between two alleys and has like 2 benches and a slide. You can see into backyards on both sides of it.

I admit I was a little scared at first – the place is ghetto. It’s like some people said, “There’s thirty feet of space between these two dumpsters. Let’s put in a slide and call it a park!”

But, once I got used to the location, I really liked it. It’s very unexpected (which I like) and as UN-touristy as you can get.

While there, we ate and played a bunch of games. It was fun. Here were some memorable moments:

1. My friend’s son (the one who wore the Ghillie suit) was there sporting all camo. That includes a long sleeve camo shirt and camo pants. I should probably mention it was like 98 degrees out (not the band, the temperature). Sigh. Am I really gonna have to buy this stuff to look good here????

2. We played a game on my iPhone called Phrase Party. It’s just generic Catch Phrase, where you get people to say a certain word without using that word. The app has different categories and I had them all selected. I’d forgotten that one of those categories is “adult.” So we were playing, and I passed it to my friend’s 14 year-old daughter for her turn. She looked at her word for a few seconds. Then she squinted, looked at us, and said, “What’s splooge?”

Random Insights or Stories

I found a website last night full of top 10 lists. I LOVE lists of stuff and this one had some great categories regarding movies – top 10 twists, top 10 openings, top 10 most controversial scenes, etc…

They were all fascinating, but one really stood out to me:

Top 10 famously limited actors who can actually act.

The list included Keanu Reeves, Kristen Stewart, The Rock, etc… in performances that weren’t half bad. They posted movie clips as proof.

I had to admit they were right. In the right movie, most actors on the list produced good work. Even Keanu Reeves (impossible)!

In the midst of it, there was one person that really stood out to me. You’re not going to believe this, but it was Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Apparently, he was in a French movie playing a fictionalized version of himself. I haven’t watched the movie but, according to the synopsis, criminals force him to go on a bank heist. I guess they figure he’ll be all bad-ass in ‘real life.’

At one point in the movie – when things are going bad – Van Damme literally ascends from the action, breaks the fourth wall, and delivers a 6-minute monologue to the audience. The monologue is done in one take (in today’s movies, that’s an insane amount of time for a single take).

The monologue is not even in English, but I was MESMERIZED by his performance. I watched the entire thing twice and felt everything he conveyed. It was elegant, it was real, it was wonderful.

I have to admit it really affected me and I was trying to think why.

Finally, I realized it got to me because I was watching someone unexpected produce something wonderful. That really strikes a chord with me. Here I am, a web developer trying to write books. I’m not saying they’re good. But it’s amazing when someone you least expect creates something memorable.

Here’s to defying odds, hoping, and trying!

Short Stories

I don’t have a short story to post this week. But I’ll definitely try to have one ready next time.

Leave a Comment