Check below for information about my podiobook, "The Price of Friendship"

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The Price of Friendship by Philip 'Norvaljoe' Carroll is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I've decided to try it. Here it is the 12th of November, so I started 10 days late; I wrote my first words last night. I'm Norvaljoe at I kept thinking that I should give it a try, but with everything else that I am trying to get done this month, how could I find the time! Well, less time on City of Heroes, and Eve online, I guess. I have to do over 2000 words a day. I did 2000 last night and have gotten about 700 done this morning and at lunch, so we'll see what I can get done after the kids are in bed.

My story is "The Kings'Shoemaker. It is a fantasy story that I have thought about for the last few years, and since I have already started putting my "Scouting" story down, I didn't think it would be right to use that one.

What motivated me was looking at Nathan Lowells Nano site and saw that he is only 1000 words into his story. What is the worst that could happen? I could end now with only 2700 words. But that is more than I had yesterday morning, and if (when) I add more, that will be closer to the goal of finnishing a story.

We'll see what happens.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Goodbye anonymity

I got my 100 word story done early this week, and actually sent it in today. I am becoming the "Totally together guy". I actually excercised today. That's twice within four days. I think I might go floss my teeth.

I included this blog address with my entry today, so there is the small potential that someone other than myself will actually see this page. Of course that is likely to only happen once....but anyway, people who previously only knew me as the guy who wanted to be called Norval Joe will see that I am a 48 year old dork who likes to write blog notes to himself, and calls himself Norval Joe.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday and autism

I guess it's kind of comforting knowing that noone actually reads my blog. In truth, one person did read it and invited me to join in an international multilevel marketing adventure, sigh. So really, I can say what I want in total anonymity, even misspell anonmymity, and not feel like I am risking myself to unwanted public exposure.

Today in sacrament meeting I was filling in for the regular choruster. I had asked my adult daughter to keep an eye on my son Desmond, who has autism. Des and I have a regular church meeting routine. We get to church about 10 minute early so that we can climb up and down the stairs a few times. This is one of his all time favorite activities. Then we are able to sit and quietly read some of his books to get us through the regular announcements and business, the passing of the sacrament and sometimes even the first talk. Then it's back to the stairs for 20 minutes or so before we come back into sacrament meeting for the end of hte final talk, closing hymn and closing prayer.

I had lead the opening hymn, sacrament hymn and was leading the closing hymn, thinking that everything was running smoothly. My family hadn't come into the meeting, and since Jan, my wife, had recently had a back surgery, I assumed that they we all sitting in hte comfortable chairs in the foyer.

We were in the final few measures of the closing hymn when Desi came running into the chapel. I thought, well, that's ok, I can beat the last few beats with him here, but instead of running to me, he ran to help the organist finnish the piece.

Everyone tells me that it is ok, that it was cute, that it was....etc, but I still haven't gotten over it. I feel embarassed and frustrated everytime I think of it. I guess mostly I feel like my family let me down, that they couldn't keep track of him for one meeting.

But, like everything else, I am sure that this will pass.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My new hobby

I listen to a lot of podcasts. One genre of podcast I listen to is the creative writing type. Some of them are; Mur Lafferty's 'I should be writing', and I'll appologize now for mispelling names; Tee Morris's, 'Survival guide to writing fantasy'; 100 word stories; and the Podcastle, and escape pod, podcasts.

I have mentioned, previously, my aspirations to both podcast and write my novel.

The advice I hear on many podcasts and interviews with authors is to write consistently. That is part of why I am trying to be more consistent in writing on my blog; it forces me to put down coherent thoughts about a subject.

So, my new hobby is writing, and my excersize is writing 100 word stories. When I have a few minutes before I need to be somewhere or doing something, I grab a word or a thought and see if I can get that idea into a story in 100 words. I figure that someday one of these little bits will turn into 'My Novel'.

I have also mentioned that I have 'A story' that I am now trying to put onto paper, but one of the ideas that I get from these creative writing casts is that you can't have 'just one' story. We'll see.

The Grocery store stories

After writing my first two entries, which were two parts of the same story, I planned to write an end and an epilogue. But when the 'asylum' challenge offered me the chance to put my Ulnar Styloid story down, I decided to go with that story. I might add that it appears that the underlying idea that all the names and places were parts of the human anatomy was either lost to the reader, or so obvious that it elicited no great response.

So, in trying to finnish off the grocery store stories I am putting them here, since to put them into future competitions the signigicance of the quadrilogy would be lost without the continuity.

If you haven't read them, they are the first two stories of the previous post.


The grocery store - The end.

At the back of the store, the man remained, surrounded by the symphonic hum of refrigerators and freezers. The dim Light through the one, far off window faded.
He had to get back to the door, but he felt old now, old and tired.
Had he waited too long to return?
With extreme will, as if forcing his atoms to separate and pass, one by one, through a solid wall, he pushed himself down the aisle.
He reached the door and pressed his hands to the window.
The window opened its mouth and said, "Doctor, the patient is awake."

The grocery store - The end.

At the back of the store, the man remained, surrounded by the symphonic hum of refrigerators and freezers. The dim Light through the one, far off window faded.
He had to get back to the door, but he felt old now, old and tired.
Had he waited too long to return?
With extreme will, as if forcing his atoms to separate and pass, one by one, through a solid wall, he pushed himself down the aisle.
He reached the door and pressed his hands to the window.
The window opened its mouth and said, "Doctor, the patient is awake."

100 word stories

There is a podcast where the podcaster writes and posts a 100 word story everyday. Once a week there is a contest for people to write their own 100 word stories and send them in. There is a theme, usually one word or phrase. Here are my stories from the first to the most recent.

#129 - Light


Grimy black and grey tiles invited him down grocery store aisles of increasing gloom and darkened potential. Shadowed boxes and cans in layered dust offered hidden rewards.
Overhead the yellowed and brown stained plastic filtered the weak florescence, illuminating nothing.
He turned to look back and saw, far off, down a tunnel, or in a dream, a memory: the door.
When had he come in through the door?
Beyond the door was the city with its cars, and people, and places; and life.
Here was dark, an aisle, dust, and the door.
In the door was a window and light.

#130 - Then you put it in the blender

The Grocery Store, Part II

When he entered the dimly lit store the clerk was a statue; his ancient skin, pale grey as cement; chin on chest in apparent slumber.

The clerk hadn't moved when the young man passed him and ambled down the aisle to the frozen food.

A voice started him from his stasis, " ...then you put it in the blender...", and it trailed off down the aisle to his right.

He turned to the direction of the receding voice and in his minds' eye, followed it to the door, where it left him behind.

"Take me!" he screamed, but without sound.

#131 Asylum

Inner Space

Ulnar Styloid, clan chief of the Olecranon Process, glanced up from his desk. A harried guard informed him, "The distal Interphalangeal Epyphases have entered our system. Their vessels are forming up in the Glenoid Fossa."
"Attack on the the Dorsal Interosii will be next." Ulnar concluded, "Naturally, they will come to us for asylum." He pondered the back of his hand, then cracked his knuckles. He spoke to the guard, "Tell the Interosii they may land their vessels on Tibial Plateau and inhabit the length of the Vastus Lateralis."
Ulnar Styloid smiled grimly; his nemesis, Vas Deferens, would arrive soon.

#132 Ninja vrs. clown

Black. The assassin struck in the darkest hour of the night.

Red. The mark lay in a pool of his own blood.

Black. His clothes, to match the night, shrouded the assassin's entire body in black, except for his eyes.

Red. His hair, soaked in the blood where it pooled around his head, blood red.

Black. Yellow lights reflected in the assassins black eyes.

Red. Shiny, patent leather boots, not black, but red, below red and white striped stockings, on the lifeless feet.

Black. The black blade, invisible in the night, took down the mark. Ronald didn't stand a chance.

#133 Omission

Free Vacation

What had he misunderstood from the enticing advertisement?

He read the beautifully illustrated pamphlet again.

"All expenses paid
Two weeks in Hawaii
Ocean front condo on Maui
First class seating from any mainland airport
All at no cost. All we require is you.*"

The asterisk on the word 'you'. There was always an asterisk and you could never find it at the bottom of the page. He searched the advertisement again, realizing with horror that the bottom third of the advertisement had been torn away.

The omission of "*your soul" was what left him standing at the gates of hell.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Reactivating my blog.

It has been a long time since I actually posted something. Since that post, I have actually started getting creative again.

So moving forward my intention is to write about the following activities:

Ward Choir, of course. I have all the recording equipment, microphones, usb mixer, etc, to record the choir when we have our Christmas songs ready. Then I will upload them to youtube with some navitity scene slide shows.

My own podio book. I have gotten re-motivated to write that book that I have had in my head for hte last 18 years.

My podcast. In preparing to put my story on, I am practicing recording my self reading to improve my diction, delivery and comfort infront of the microphone. I have started recording the book, 'Mayor of Casterbridge' by Thomas Hardy. I have had to look up so much about the author, the country of England and the various archaic words that I thought, well, why not share this info with others who subject themselves to Thomas Hardy. I plan to produce my own podcast, reading the book and sharing background on the story and the artist. Even if no one listens to the padcast, I will have improved my skills for when I release my book. So look for the TomasHardyforAmericans podcast coming in the new year.

Finally, in hte area of improving skills I have started participating in the 100 word story podcasts weekly challenge. I will post those entries and other writing and thoughts associated with that.

Of course, I am writing this for myself, since no one has ever come across my site. So, Go me!!