April was a month that saw me grind back into production. I don’t use the word “grind” lightly as the gears were somewhat rusty and out of alignment. Moving from the enclaves of Florida back to the freedom of our island created a serious dose of culture shock. (And not to put too fine a point on it – temperature shock for the person I live with.)
It’s also taking far too long to unpack (having sold the Southern place, my island office has two sets of office equipment in it – 2 printers, 2 chairs etc)
Cleanup time ahead…
As for grinding back into “production” – well, that may be a bit overoptimistic as well… [Read more…] about Author Report April 2017
Before you talk about not being able to pry your phone only out of your cold, dead, steely hands, let me offer a few thoughts.
My first mobile phone was the size of a shoebox. It sat on the middle car console, plugged into a cigarette lighter and had spotty coverage. The battery for the darn thing occupied most of that space.
My current phone is an iPhone. The battery size is something out of another world when compared to that big old shoebox.
Let’s look at some options that exist now. We’re not talking future tech here, we’re speaking of things that work and simply need organizing into an operating system. [Read more…] about How You'll Want To Replace Your Cell Phone In A Few Years
OK, when it comes to the January/February/March 2017 Author report, it’s “the less said the better” kinds of reports.
A dental surgical “event” in the second week of January pretty much took care of things for the next three weeks. The surgeon said, “You can resume normal activities in two-three days.” Yeah right. In my case, it turned out to be 2-3 weeks.
I wasn’t impressed but decided if my body was sending the “rest message” then I had really better listen to it. Part of that was a general fatigue caused by my workout program at the time. The resulting backlog in my non-fiction work and lack of motivation pretty much took care of the rest of the first three months. And very few fiction words found their way to life.
I confess I’m not pleased with this but it was also a quarter of some other major life events that aren’t relevant here. Adding them all together necessitated production in other genres of my writing world but took me out of the game in fiction. That has now been taken care of and a major pivot is underway.
Was put on hold. When you don’t have bottom teeth, your tongue doesn’t work and the mic picks up the “s” sounds so the resulting recording sounds very much like Voldemort when he’s in snake-mode.
The temporary bottom tooth went in last week.
We’ve Sold Our Florida Home
And we’re packing up to move back north to Canada. (It’s a long story) If you’ve ever moved – you understand the packing drill. Well, just add an entire pottery studio to your list (yes, my better half’s a potter.)
Thanks to whoever purchased them. 🙂
Word counts (numbers of word written) for this period managed to find the basement without much help from me. I don’t think I’ve written fewer words in a quarter for a very long time. (insert author whinging sounds here.)
Books and the KU program
I’ve withdrawn them from the KU program in any case. I’ll be uploading to other channels in the very near future.
Going for what they call a “broad” distribution rather than narrow.
It was an “interesting” quarter from several different perspectives.
The surgery obviously knocked me back further than I’d like to admit.
Along with feeling better has come a review of all my writing and objectives. I’ll have more to say on this in the near future (or at least in more detail) but from the fiction side of things, I’m expanding.
If I don’t take care of getting better in my own professional development, nobody else will do it.
- Took a course on podcasting. Will be making changes in upcoming podcasts.
- Finished a great course on Depth in Writing
Those were the highlights of my quarter.
So What The Heck Have I Been Doing
The short form is I decided to practice what I was learning in the workshop. And the best way to do this was to rewrite (one time) the two books I’ve already published.
Those who purchased them will get the rewrite free (there’s going to be enough there to trigger a redownload-alert from Amazon et al)
Not a sterling quarter for sure. From your own life you know there are times like this and hopefully you too found a way to bounce back.
I will simply say I expect April will start the turnaround and you can expect to hear more from me – some more short stories etc etc.
If you find yourself interested in the short stories or posts here, let me suggest you subscribe. I send out full summaries to interested readers.
Sunny, cold mornings in the midst of summer don’t stir memories as do the fires of fall or the stirrings of early spring. Fall days bring reminders of chores to be done, of days lost to staring at computer screens and trying to make some sense of the world. The spring days brings a renewed sense of hope and fresh air to my world.
I sit trying to understand a world where the old ways have begun to accelerate their demise – cracked in the world wars of the last century, and the incessant smaller conflicts. Chunks of our humanity have been removed in the technology explosion of the late century, the chip-driven, world we live in is far removed from those days of slow Sundays and pleasant parks.
It is a walled world; a world of fear on one side with immense but unusable power and the pounding of the mass outside the gates looking on. Gates don’t last forever, particularly electronic ones, and this one is crumbling under the pressure. There is a rush to get in on the final days of the empire – to get enough to protect oneself and family and to grab a taste of the good life while it still exists in all its excessive glory.
I don’t remember mornings like this from my childhood. I was blessed in that my childhood was gloriously normal, spent doing childhood things like building tree houses and fording swamps on the way to conquest and adventure.
It’s all a blur of things that children find important – that the neighbor farmer shot a crow every year and hung the carcass in one of the fruit trees to keep the crows away from the corn. That his wife was up every morning at sunrise to weed the endless rows of vegetables by hand – one elbow on her knee supporting herself as she bent over pulling weed after weed from the spotless fields of plants. Of carrying water from their well to our house before my dad dug our well by hand. Of my brother falling, fracturing his skull but living for another 30 years and being so proud of his bandage-hat. The horseshoe scar was a forever-reminder of that adventure.
I remember hot days beside the swimming pool playground (it cost a quarter to go swimming – big money in those days) and we’d sometimes swim in the pool and sometimes swim in the creek beside it. The creek had currents to float on (until you hit the shallows and bumped painfully across the rocks) and the pool was chlorine crystal-clear to hurt your eyes.
I remember those days and marvel at the end of them; lost in the progress of the chip. And I mourn that lost innocence.
But the wonder of these days entrances me.
- How fast we all move.
- How far our horizons could be.
- What separations we’ve created in our lives and societies.
If the printing press brought on a hundred years of civil unrest in politics, religion and society, how long will this computer impact last?
And more to the point, who will survive afterwards? And what will this world look like?
Even more to the point, what are you doing to make it more human?
As it turns out the title of this post isn’t a question. I should have ended it with an exclamation mark. For what may be the first time, I recognized the early symptoms of being overwhelmed (I haven’t in the past) and took steps to take care of myself.
My plans for this year are ambitious. From podcasting to publishing to fitness to…. Well, let’s just say I’m a Type A who’s had his fair share of winning over the years and really hasn’t known any other way of working other than flat out.
But Mortality Struck
I’ll spare you the details but my reality is that I don’t get sick very often but when I do, I go down. Hard. Dentist to orthodontist to periodontist later, a front tooth has to come out. Bone grafts etc. Only one of two cases like that the surgeon had seen. Oh happy day!
I went down. No energy, little enthusiasm.
You know the drill, you’ve all had it.
Well, I could power through it or I could simply admit I couldn’t do it all. In the past, I’d power on through.
Seriously. Life is far too short. Life is far too sweet to push through the way I was feeling.
Yes, there were great reasons to push. Yes, I’ve almost always pushed.
But not this time. Took a very deep breath.
And thought about the kinds of things that were important to me. The people that were important and the writing projects I still wanted to do.
Be Kind To Yourself Instead
I decided it would be better to be kind to myself.
- Two major projects were put on hold.
- Didn’t do any podcasts.
- Didn’t write any updates here.
- Didn’t write any fiction.
- Felt guilty at first but relaxed into it as the month progressed.
Fiction Is Important To Me And So Are You
Writing is an important part of my writing future and so are you brave few – those early readers who signed up for updates in the fiction writing world.
A measure of how important fiction is to my future is that one of the things I didn’t drop was a course in fiction writing. I hope you’ll see a big difference in future stories after this course is done.
Thanks for your patience as I get myself back on track and start sharing, writing and podcasting again.
Is There Something You Can Take From This?
I thought about this question quite a bit and whether I’d even say these things here or how I’d frame the thoughts.
I decided to share the post here because I think the message is important enough – be kind to yourself – and that most of us aren’t.
I decided to share it here because the fiction side of my writing has been the one that’s taken the brunt of my self-kindness.
This site is – and will be moving forward – exclusively for fiction and the publishing industry.
But the main question remains. Will you be kind to yourself too when you need to be?
And if not, why not?
As A Postscript
I wrote this part after I’d thought about this post and decided I’d report. Taking time for me produced some interesting results.
- The world didn’t end
- I didn’t lose subscribers.
- I took time to read and think – ending up in a much better sense of what should be done
- I’m feeling better about myself
- I took the time to heal physically
- Nobody wrote me complaints
The only failure was my self-imposed standard of excessive ambition.
You don’t have to look very far in the news or to think very deeply to understand the world is changing under our feet. The old rules aren’t the new rules. This leads to a great deal of conflict both on the political and the raw-fury physical level (from personal assaults to wars).
Change is now the new constant.
I’m not the first to state this obvious fact.
I invite you to think about your cell phone. [Read more…] about I Invite You To Think About Your Cell Phone