David Tiefenthaler Word Cloud (54/365)

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Writing a journal entry every day is a beast of a task.  I’ve been reading a book about blogging as an author by Kristen Lamb, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World, and one of the things she suggests is a word cloud.  Basically, it’s a brainstorm about who I am, what I’m doing now, and where I would like to go.

David Tiefenthaler

Husband, father of three boisterous children, son to two of the best parents a child could ever have, middle child between an older brother and younger sister, extrovert, creative creator, reader, writer, author, loves to draw, illustrator, middle school teacher, dreamer, loves a good time, former athlete, amateur wood floor installer, terrible drywaller, cat lover, makes random sound effects during conversations, admirer of stand-up comedians and secretly wishes he could do that, The Walking Dead fan, collected comic books as a kid like Wolverine, The Punisher, and The Uncanny X-Men, wishes he lived on a lake, brain always running in circles, only finds peace and calm in his head when he’s fishing or when he can hold a baby, listens to techno, alternative rock, hard rock, old school rap, but not much country, loves seafood but lives in a house with no seafood lovers, hates the cold but lives in Wisconsin, favorite teams in order are Wisconsin Badgers Football, Badger Basketball, Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, and the Milwaukee Bucks, loves playing baseball, no better feeling in sports than swinging hard and hitting the ball square, cross country runner, track runner, coached high school baseball and high school track and cross country, coaches little kids soccer and t-ball, needs to workout to get in shape, Tough Mudder, anti-bully, Minecraft player, perennial flowers, little vegetable gardens, built a playground for the kids, but made the monkey bars high enough for him to cross, desperately wants to move to Hawaii, producer of several YouTube videos from running informational videos to outdoor adventures, scared of fire, hates heights, raised Roman Catholic, middle name is Thomas, needs to be in nature, wants to do some kind of survival challenge, gets bored doing the same thing for too long, taught math, social studies, chorus, biology, special education for cognitively disabled, and now teaches English Language Arts, prefers shade over sun, comfortable with moderate discomfort, balding white guy, spends too much time on social media, wants to walk into the room like a WWE wrestler when he does an author talk, the sound of a purring cat makes him smile, wants to catch a 50 inch musky, lost his wedding ring years ago and is still upset, competitor, wants to find a good group of guys to play cards with, champion level sheepshead and euchre player in college, two time fantasy football champion even though I put minimal effort into it, afraid of international travel, never been outside of North America, vacationed in Canada, Jamaica, and spent one afternoon in Mexico, allergic to ragweed like something fierce, restless, determined, committed, honorable, friendly, worker of several different jobs before teaching like bus boy, roller rink attendant, lawn boy, landscaper, janitor, video store worker, grocery shelf stock boy, corrugated cardboard box plant worker, radio station producer, night club DJ, a fan of talking on microphones, need my slippers in the winter, chips and salsa, I like to pretend I can rap at talent shows and have the video to prove it, horror films scare me so I don’t watch them, does high school math with his wife for fun, and that’s about all I can think of for now.

Here’s a picture of me with my children, because family is probably the most important thing of all for me.

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I don’t really like putting my kids out there on social media or on my websites, but I love this picture of us at Al’s Run in Milwaukee.  It’s a run walk that my wife and I always take the kids to because it benefits the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

I Don’t Want to Spam my Facebook Friends (50/365)

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Of course, I analyze the traffic stats of my blog, like a red-tailed hawk stares at the slightest movements of grass in an open field.  That was a great simile because there is very little to no action on this blog/journal.  In my Wordpress Jetpack Site Stats I usually get about 1.5 visitors per day.

I’m tempted every day to post a link to this website on Facebook.  When I do, I get some more traffic, but I don’t think that’s polite.  I don’t want to spam my Facebook friends.  I’d like it if they would become fans of this page, but if I push the limit, I just end up as another annoying person screaming into the void.  Look at me!  Look at me!

I must remember the goal.  The goal is to improve my writing skills.  When I do, I create just amazing similes about hawks and blog traffic.  Riveting!

Remember the first Star Wars. Well, actually, it was the Episode IV: A New Hope.  The X-wing fighters were flying in a trench on the Death Star and they were going to fire these torpedo things to blow the Death Star up.  At one point, this one X-wing fighter says to the other, “Stay on target!  Stay on target!”   Yes.  I must stay on target.  I must write because I want to write, no matter who’s reading or not.

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Did I mention that the pilot that was supposed to stay on target got blasted to death?  The picture above is from my second book in the O.K. series.  Otis built an X-wing fighter out of cardboard boxes.

On the bright side, this is the 50th day in a row with a journal entry for Project 365.  I’m going to try to do this thing for the whole year, and after 30 days, they say you develop a habit.  I feel like I have done that, because multiple times during the day, I’m thinking about what I should write that evening.  That’s a start!

Lifetime Writing Goals – (40/365)

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I’m reading a book by this blogger lady, Kristen Lamb, that helps fiction writers, and one of her suggestions is to write down all your goals.  You start with your goals six months from now, and work up to your Lifetime Goals.  Let’s write ’em down. This will be fun to look back on, provided I am successful.  Otherwise, this could be the beginning of my personal trail of tears.

Six Months – August 2015.

1. I’ll still be writing one journal post per day.  2. I will have my first book either published or sold to a publisher.  3. The first book I wrote, “O.K. is Great” has an editor looking at it right now, but if it doesn’t get an offer, I’m putting it out there on my own.  Also, “The Axe” should be edited and ready to be pitched to the publishers.  4. My blog will have at least double the amount of followers.  I have six right now.  COME ON BIG 12!  5. The Brewers will be in first place in the NL Central (that’s just wishful thinking), and I will take my kids to at least one game this year.

Look at that serious home run face!

Look at that serious home run face!

One Year – February 2016

1. I will say the word “February” with out always pronouncing the “r”.  I like to annoy people by saying FebRRRUUUary.  I should stop that.  It’s annoying.  2.  I will have my fourth book written.  I’m not sure which book it will be.  It could be O.K. number Three, The Cross Country Running Realistic Fiction I’ve been thinking about, or a sequel to The Axe, but I better have another book written a year from now.  3.  I will have sold at least 1,000 copies of O.K. is Great if I self published it.  4. I won’t blog every day anymore, but I will blog three times a week.  I want to at least have 24 subscribers to the blog by next year.  Exponential growth!

Three Years – February 2018

1. I will have three books for sale, “O.K. is Great”, the sequel “The Beast of Boykinville Road”, and “The Axe”.  I will have sold at least 10,000 copies for my books by then.  2.  During the summer, I will visit schools and bookstores to promote my books!  3. I will have at least six books written, and at least three for sale.  The Cross Country Book will have been written by now.  4.  I will maintain the blog with at least one post per week, but I also will be doing at least one video per month on my Tips4Running YouTube channel to strengthen my audience for my realistic fiction Cross Country book.  I will have at least 50,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel.  The Blog should have 384 subscribers if it continues to double every six months.  This post is now turning into a math problem.  Yeck!

Five Years – February 2020

1. I will finish the “O.K. series”  I plan on writing five books in this series, and by this time, I will be putting out the last in the series.  The five books in the series will be titled, “O.K. is Great”, “The Beast of Boykinville Road”, “Money is O.K.”, “O.K. 4.O”, and “The Basketball Book (working title)”.  The total number of books sold by now will be over 20,000.  2.  One of my books, either “The Axe” or the first “O.K.” book will be picked up by a traditional publisher.  3.  I also will be working on the sequel to the Cross Country running book, and it will be about track.  4. The blog will have more than 384 followers.  I got tired of doing math and I don’t know where my wife’s calculator is.

Ten Years – February 2030

1.  I will be able to decide if I want to keep teaching or not because my books are making enough money to afford me that choice.  2.  I will have at least 10 books written by this point and eight of them will be published.  3.  I will still have a strong social media presence, but I will be flexible enough and work at least once a week on whatever medium I prefer (blog, YouTube, etc.).  4.  I will be a high school coach for either cross country, track, or baseball because my kids will be in one of those sports (That is assuming they like one of these sports).  5.  My books will have sold over 100,000 copies all together.  6.  I will eat caviar and drink things that require my pinky finger to be extended.

Twenty Years – February 2040

I’ll be 58 years old.  I’ll have the financial flexibility due to my book sales plus the money I’ve earned from teaching to decide if I want to retire or not.

Wish me luck!