Back At It – August 15, 2019

Hello, again 

I’m trying to get back to making these posts on a regular basis, more for myself than for you, faithful reader. I’ve found that keeping a writing blog or journal helps me to process all of the events going on in my life, and helps to keep me on track and accountable with my writing goals.

It’s been a bit over a week now since I finished the first draft of my novel, and I’m still riding a big high on that milestone. I’m trying not to be overbearing about it, but I have to admit, I have been crowing a bit.  I’ve stayed true to my word and haven’t touched the novel since finishing the draft. I’ve put it away to let it sit and to hopefully get a fresh perspective on it when I do start editing it in a couple of weeks.

I’ve been back to work for a few days now and trying to get used to living like a vampire again. While layoffs are generally never great, I have to admit having five weeks off in the middle of summer wasn’t a hardship.

The time off has let me finish or come close to finishing, several projects around the house that had been languishing. I’m just about done with the kitchen with just one more set of cabinet doors and drawer fronts to complete and install, I’ve renovated our bedroom, which was seriously in need of some updating, I’ve made a lovely concrete walkway winding through our back yard around the fire-pit and to the greenhouse, and the greenhouse itself is just about finished and ready for some winterizing.

I have a couple more “fun” things to attend before summer is out – the Manson/Zombie concert, as well as the Korn/Alice In Chains concert and I’m hoping to visit the Science Museum in Cleveland so I can see (and touch) one of the Apollo capsules that went up to Skylab in the ’70s.

Otherwise, I think I’m just going to spend some time finishing the lingering little projects around the house, begin editing my draft and start getting ready for NaNo ‘19 in a couple of months.

I also do have to get back to working on my health. Unfortunately, the five weeks off from work and the desire to finish projects around the home made me back-slide a bit. I’ve started working out again, but I do have a lot of time to make up for. I’m hoping that we won’t get too much more downtime before the end of the year, and I can build a consistent routine up again, but I have a feeling I may see another week off or two before long. The tariff war is killing auto sales across the board, so it’s likely I’ll be home a bit more before the end of the year. Though they have now extended the life of our third shift, which they originally announced they were canceling, until January.

On the personal front, while I’ve had my ups and downs, things have been relatively calm and, other than work-based anxiety, fairly quiet. Taking a bit of a hiatus from organizing “community” events has been a welcome respite, and given me a bit more perspective on where I want to go with that. Part of me still wants to provide events for the group I belong to, but a bigger part is happy to be away from the drama and backbiting inherent in the group, and unsurprisingly continuing in my absence. I’m going to have to make a decision soon about continuing my involvement, and while I’m very sympathetic to all of those in the group that are having to deal with the petty people who seem to cause all the drama, I’m coming to feel that it’s not my job to save everyone.

One of the good things to come out of my recent extended layoff was that I got extra time to spend with my family. Last weekend we got the kids to come with us to our local Pride festival, and we had a great time. It was a bit awkward introducing the kids to some of my more “colourful” friends who were also there, but there were no real issues with that.

As far as the writing is going, I’ve put the first draft of the novel away for a bit, to give myself some distance from it so that I can go at it with fresher eyes when I do begin editing. I figure I’ll give it another week or two, maybe take the upcoming long weekend to give it a read and see just how bad it is. In the meantime, I’ve started a couple of other small writing projects. I’ve written what I hope will become an article, and started on another, for a hobby blog-roll that I subscribe to. Once it’s edited and polished up a bit, I’m going to submit it and see if I have any luck getting them to publish it.

Writing non-fiction is a bit different. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had to flex those essay writing muscles I built up back in high-school and university, and having to re-learn those skills has been an interesting experience. But, it’s kept me writing, though it has been strange not being able to just make things up as I go along.

I’ve already started doing some work on outlining my next big writing project as well. NaNo ‘19 is only a few months away, and though I know that starting on another novel when my first one hasn’t even had it’s first edit yet is probably a bit unusual, I think the goal of writing one a year, starting every November with NaNoWriMo, is a good step towards maybe someday actually having one published. We’ll see if my first attempt taught me anything that will help me write my next one.

Making this post was delayed a few days for… reasons, and now it’s the morning after the Manson/Zombie show. We took the kids, and my daughter’s boyfriend, and a good friend of mine who lives near the city that the show was held in. My friend let us all crash at his place after the show, as it’s about two hours from where we live. We all had a great time. Manson was much better this time out than the last time I saw him, I’m not sure if it was because he was a bit more or less sober than the time before, but he did manage to put out a good show. Zombie’s always a great time, he knows what the crowd wants and doesn’t have a problem giving it to them.

It was great seeing my friend again. Living two hours apart makes it difficult to get together very often. He’s one of the few people in my life that doesn’t have a problem being honest with me and pointing out when I’m being a bit of an ass. I always have a great time with him and his wife, and last night was no exception.

As wiped out as I am from the show and all of the driving, I’ll have to do it all again tomorrow. I work tonight and hope to get a few hours sleep in the morning before driving to Cleveland to see Alice In Chains and Korn. I’m starting to regret not spending more time relaxing on my time off.

I’ve decided to stop attending my bi-weekly writer’s meetings for a bit, at least until I’m a bit farther along with my editing. I felt a little uncomfortable submitting my work when it’s still in such an unpolished state, and I don’t like feeling like I’m wasting other people’s time. It’s a good group, and I did learn a lot from attending and offering my critiques, but I think my work needs a bit more seasoning before I’ll be ready to have anyone else evaluate it. Hopefully, in a couple of months, I’ll be ready to start attending again.

Well, that’s it for this update. As I said, I’m hoping to get back to making these updates on a more regular basis.

Hope you’re all well.

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