Being A Winner

It took a long time to figure it out; there’s no manual on how to win. Sure there are a few great people who have written books and excelled in their field (Vince Lombardi, Peter Druker, Don Draper, Harvey Spectre) but I haven’t found a resource that says “this is how you WIN, in any situation, time and time again”.

My friend just published the first chapter of his book on Fiction Press. This has been something in the making for more then a decade. For years that I have know him, he has been writing. Years before I met him, he had been writing, attending workshops, seeking inspiration, grinding away to the clicking of keys – the things that most aspiring writers do. One of the things that holds up most writers is the fear of rejection – knowing that there exists a published out there who feels that their piece of work just doesn’t add up. My friend has overcome this by publishing chapters on Fiction Press – now he can gather fans, get feedback from readers, build a following – so when the time comes to go to a publisher the pitch is different. It’s not “please read my story”, it’s “2000 hardcore fans who will follow me to the fiery depths of hell to read about Stone”. This translates into “I got 2000 fans with no marketing; that’s how good this story is”. And this leads to becoming a best seller and winning.

A few weeks ago I wasn’t as obsessed with the thought of winning, then I realized I was unsure of what game I was playing. I realize that I can’t please everyone, some people are bound to be upset, but that if that is the case, then I should be winning at something, anything. Sadly I was not winning at the game that I was playing.

I was lucky enough to have a chance to step back for a week, gather my thoughts, read a lot, write a lot, bob in the water a bit, and feel the air through my hair as I flew over the water in a speedboat named Sidewinder – and I realized that it’s all about winning.

The other thing that happened is a friend suggested I start watching Suits. I’m now an addict and the show will probably not make it to a third season, much like Firefly (which didn’t make it past one season).

So that’s it for now. Congrats to my friend for taking the first step to winning.

Cottage Time!

Saturday
Arrived Friday and spent most of the time getting things ready.  Most of the people showed up on Saturday and I had the pleasure of cooking steaks to perfection.  Since I hate doing dishes and love cooking, I spent quite a bit of time cooking lunches and dinners.

Sunday
I’ve been hitting on the points that I made for myself – get in the water everyday, keep moving and write everyday. I’ve gone for two jogs since I’ve been up here, pushing myself each day. It has cooled off for the most part, but today I’ll avoid the jogging and stick with basic strengthening exercises.

Monday
The light hit the dock just right – throwing off the perfect amount of heat to put you back into a stupor after your morning coffee and breakfast.  The water had little waves in it, kicked up by the light breeze from the south. The fresh country air filling my nose with the smell of cedar and pine. I sit writing at the beer pong table, my espresso steaming in a mug and eyes drifting to refreshing water.

Three boats, three docks (one to be removed today), and eleven other bodies sunning themselves. Yesterday was the first day with everyone here, and today will be the first full day with the whole crew here. Last night we chose a team name (a play on the name for the tv show of Alaskan fishermen in the Bering Sea) and today will be the first round of beer pong.

I’ve kept my promise – ran 30 minutes yesterday morning and swam for another 15 out to the point and back, wrote over 500 words, and spent some time planning out work for August. Today I’ll spend some time working on new jobs, swimming farther and stretching sore muscles, and of course writing 500 words. I’ll try to take more pictures  today as well.

Tuesday
Dock removal today and we were in for a nice surprise.

Yes that’s a snake. Yes we had just removed the dock, aka his home.
Don’t worry, he found a new home in a tree above the motorboat.

Yes that’s a water snake and yes there were two people who were terrified of snakes, one of them being in the water at the time.  Long story short, the snake peacefully moved on, the dock was removed and order was restored to the universe.  Physical fitness for the day involved beer bobbing (explained below) and chasing the resident chipmunk – Chippy – around the cottage.

Beer Bobbing – take your ordinary PFD and turn it upside down.  Next you can either zip it up beforehand or do that once you have it on.  I opted for pre-zippage as it just made life easier and I don’t have a gut any more.  So zip it up then hold the PFD with the buckle facing away (back of the PFD facing your legs) and step one leg through each of the arm holes.  Pull up until you can feel your testicles in your throat.  Slide, jump, bellyflop into the water, swim back to the dock for your beer and let the current drift you away from the dock towards your friends.  A note of caution – ensure you are wearing lots of sunblock/sunscreen, sunglasses, hat and anything else you have to block the sun; after four beers you will forget about the sun and be having too much fun.  

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

In all honesty these days kind of blur together.  I do remember Beer Pong, missing out on 3 Man (I’ll have to learn how to play another time), a few boat rides and being part of several teams including Team Drunk and Team McDonald’s cashier (while playing Cranium).  I did go for a long run, suffered from heat stroke and had to avoid the sun for a bit.  In that time I managed to get some reading done, five days of the 90 Day Til Your Novel, and snoozed in a few Muskoka chairs.

Sunday and Monday
Most people left on Saturday so Sunday was a very relaxing day.  It was windy and rainy for most of the morning and early afternoon, cleared up for a few hours, then the sun dipped down and the remaining four people were sad. I remember kicking butts at Phase 10 and getting an amazing sleep in on Sunday.  Monday we packed up and were on the road by 11am back to civilization.

Summary

I needed the time off.  Things had been getting a little hectic, frustrating and my little brother had just left for the Town of Dawson City.  I got to meet some new people, had fun and forgot about my worries for a bit.  Now life is back in full swing and I’m looking forward to my time up to bat.  Until next time…..