Setting Goals

Last week I was discussing goals with my 12-year-old son, Cal, specifically regarding his English class. He's a great reader and likes most of what he reads, but he's having trouble carrying a theme when he writes. That corresponds, I think, to the fact that sometimes he doesn't do well on his English testing (multiple choice, usually) because he rushes to choose an answer instead of thinking about what the most correct reply might be.

That brought to mind two thoughts to me. First, I remember disliking the days when reading was not just for fun, that I would be tested. Second, I asked Cal to start writing a little bit, so that he could better understand how themes and stories and characters work, the things he's falling short on at the start of this school year. Set a goal to practice, which can only make him better.

As we discussed that, I told him how I write a little something every few days, just to keep in practice. It may be a short story that I never intend to finish, a bit of dialog, maybe a poem. So he challenged me to set a couple goals. One of those I'll discuss later; but Cal challenged me to write something every day for a month - something I had previously discussed with the kids - and to put it on the blog. I told him that I intended for this blog to be mainly about battlefields and life lessons, that sort of thing, but he said that I really should be able to do whatever I want. He's right.

So, for the next month I will be writing and posting a little something every day, and I hope that you like it. The grammar may be bad and the style may be conversational. The look and format of the blog may be odd. I often struggle with making these things look nice, especially when I'm including pictures. Plainly, it will not be perfect, and I'm OK with that. Still, I hope that you enjoy these little bits of "flash writing." If you don't, then say "bless his heart" before you get too critical.

And, in the true spirit of a guy who always worries about reaching his goals, I'm counting yesterday's blog on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem as Day 1. This little blurb is Day 2.

As we walk on down this road of my trying to improve my writing, I hope you'll smile as you read this quote by one of the finest Southern authors, Flannery O'Connor, and try not to think of me: "Everywhere I go, I'm asked if universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them."

Bear with me, bless my heart.


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