Super hang over

I was planning to do an update post today and let you know about the project I’m working on (Vapor Day a Stewards of Humanity origin story) but I’m feeling a little banged up after the Patriots big win last night.

Image courtesy of Serge Esteve via Unsplash

 

When the Patriots were losing 28-3 I had my first glass of wine. I promised that if they lost I would go to bed sober and get up ready to work. After Hightower stripped the ball, I had another glass because I knew things were about to get exciting.

After that well, let’s just say there is more than one empty wine bottle in the recycling bin today.

So the good news is that I’m about 20,000 words into Vapor Day. Not quite half way but it’s coming along nicely. It’s a little more timely than I originally planned, but sadly I was working on a dystopian story and I think the times have changed a little more than my idea. I think you’re going to like the two main characters. They’re real and they struggle with flaws and aspirations.

I’ll share more on Friday, but for now, I want to thank Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for an entertaining football game last night and congratulate them on another championship!

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Trying to be the best me

Patriots helmet bicycle hubcaps

I’m a big New England Patriots fan. In the late ’70’s I had Patriot helmet hubcaps on my bike (like the ones above) and all I wanted for Christmas was a “real Patriots helmet like Steve Grogan wears.” So I’ve still been fan for more years of hoping they lose the last game of the year so they get a better draft pick than years of expecting them to win the last game in February.

Still, the Patriots success since 2000 has been fun. But what I like more is the evolution of ‘The Patriot Way’. This video, http://www.patriots.com/video/2016/01/16/what-does-patriot-way-mean does an okay job covering it but there’s more to it. After watching the team and listening to coach and player interviews for the last 15+ years you just get a sense of it being bigger than can be put into words.

It doesn’t matter where you were drafted or what your contract says, if you do your job and help them win you’ll have a home. They never talk about being the best ever or being better than anyone else, it’s all about being great at your own thing.

My kids are sick of me referring to the Patriots when I’m trying to teach life lessons.

When they win it’s a team effort where they executed better than the opposition. The other team doesn’t suck or lack skill because they lost. Sometimes it “feels good” or “it’s nice to beat those guys” but it’s never about what the other team did or didn’t do that makes the Patriots proud. It’s all about what they did and how they did it.

In the relatively rare occasions that they lose it’s also on them. They alone are responsible for failing to execute or understanding a scheme or assignment.

Haters out there have plenty to complain about. What’s funny is that those complaints are the exact opposite of the Patriot way. Don’t get twisted up about what they do or don’t do, focus on yourself.

I’ve been trying to remind myself of this lately. It doesn’t matter how someone else has gone about earning their success. While it’s nice to look at other people and uses them as a baseline to measure against I don’t need to be better than anyone. I want to be the best me possible. I want to do my job and help my team (family & friends) win (be happy and healthy).

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I love the underdog

G. O. A. T.

I grew up as a New England sports fan in the 70’s and 80’s so it’s no surprise that I’m a fan of the underdog.

With the exception of a nice run by the Celtics in the 80’s I can remember watching the Red Sox and Patriots battle for last place in their divisions while the Bruins just did battle. In the fluke seasons when the hometown teams made it to the playoffs no one expected them to win, and they never failed to live up to expectations. Even with the Patriots current string of success, it’s not behind a first round draft pick or a lifelong blue chip, it’s an underdog with a 199 chip in his shoulder. There is something special about watching the unlikely succeed.

Now that we are in the midst of another season of college football there are weekly chances to root for a new underdog. Like many people, I’ll watch unranked Iowa play #19 Wisconsin just to see if there’s going to be an upset. When my kids walk in on me checking scores or watching a game between two teams we have no ties to we have the same conversation.

Kids: “Who do you want to win?”
Me: “Doesn’t really matter.”
Kids: “Well then who are you cheering for?”
Me: “Whoever is not supposed to win.”
Kids: “Why?”
Me: “Because it’s fun to see the underdog win.”

This sentiment definitely surfaces in my stories. I like to write stories about people who survive or thrive based on hard work and a little bit of luck. A betting man would never pick my characters to be the last ones standing after the apocalypse but there they are; scared, confused, and plugging away. They may have survived by accident, but they carry on with intent and adapt to their new roles as heroes.

If you like this type of story, in addition to my own books you might enjoy The Complete Deadland Saga by Rachel Aukes. Cash is an officer worker with few survival skills. When the world ends on a Thursday she’s probably not the one you’d expect to make it until Friday or longer.

Who do you prefer, the perennial contender or the scrappy underdog?

 

 

 

 

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