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Category Archives: Grand Announcements

Just a quick (non-ranting) note.

I’m considering possibilities for the future of this blog.

I certainly didn’t set out to be a Timbers blogger but that’s seems to be what’s happened. There’s little else I write about that brings about this amount of passion – from myself or from those around me.

I’m grateful for the response. Truly. You all have reminded me of a time when I thought I would grow up to be a writer. Turns out I did. Just in a much, much different way that I had ever considered.

I posted a piece last night on Slide Rule Pass. I consider it an honor to be given space on SRP as I respect the work Kevin’s done there covering the Timbers and the soccer world as a whole. His knowledge is vastly superior to mine and I’m humbled to be in any way associated with Slide Rule Pass.

For the time being, I think most of my Timbers-related posts will go up there first and be reposted here later for archival purposes. Unless there’s some time-sensitive Timbers thing that happens, new content here will be back to normal. Whatever that was.

Heads up in October. That’s when it all gets wacky. I start posting recipes for apple sauce and talking about Halloween lore.

 

Okay, so here’s March.

For those of you who’ve followed along over the years, you recognize the pattern: I post something about writing more and then there’s a long pause.

There’s a long pause because – guess what! – I’m not writing anything.

This is a problem for me. Writing is mostly a solitary business, done under the cover of darkness, separate from those around me. When I’m focused, I live mostly in my head. I can shut everything else off and the words just come.

But I’m finding it increasingly difficult to turn everything off. Maybe it’s the excitement of the first few weeks of the new MLS season. Maybe it’s the stress of not knowing if I’ll have a job a month from now. Maybe it’s the popping noise my left knee keeps making. Perhaps it’s the lack of a muse. Could be any or all of these things.

I’m a slow writer at the best of times. I consider it a victory if I can settle down long enough to write a couple hundred words for a blog post every couple months. The only time I really knuckle down and go for volume is in November, when I know my community of writers is all working toward the same goal. I know that if I don’t show up for a write-in, they’ll call me on it. And I can’t fathom the embarrassment of not making my wordcount for NaNoWriMo.

But what about now? Middle of March. No accountability in sight. Except, maybe, for the eight of you who read this blog.

So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to start on the goal I had been considering for this year. I’m starting three months late. Because I like a challenge.

A thousand words a day, on average, for the year. 365,000 words in total. The blog doesn’t count.

I’m already 80,000 words behind. This should be ridiculously entertaining for everyone.

 

The January Curse

Well, here I am.

I should just expect that the cosmos will punch me in the gut each January, steal my keys, clean out my bank account and crap in my kitchen.

I thought this January might be different. I thought I might make it through without any major crises or catastrophes. I was wrong.

Last January, I lost my job of seven years and, almost immediately, had my wisdom teeth pulled. In fact, I had a dentist appointment less than an hour after I found myself unemployed.

The January before? Gall bladder surgery. This followed a month and a half of eating rice and drinking chicken broth because, well, the results of eating anything else were a nine on the pain scale. Fun!

The one before that was a really good one. I woke up New Year’s Day barely able to walk. Herniated disc. The neighbors had to carry me to the car to go to the doctor. That’s right. They carried me.

A lot of you have carried me over the years, both figuratively and literally. For that, I’m forever grateful. As it happens, it looks like I’ll be leaning on you a little more in the near future.

As I see it now, in the haze of “how am I gonna pay my bills?” and “I wonder if I’m still eligible for unemployment compensation?” and hours of looking at Craigslist job postings, I can go in two different directions.

This was the conclusion I came to last year, after several months of mopey unemployment (early retirement?). I can continue to grieve for opportunities lost or I can make new opportunities.

I wrote a lot last year and didn’t finish a single project. Not one.

So, unemployed again, I can’t help but see this as a second chance to get it right. Use the time, the cosmos tells me. Use the time to create something.

Funny that. As I sat at my desk today, doing someone else’s work, I thought to myself,”I’m not making anything. I’m not creating anything. I’m not putting anything into the world that will outlive me, that will be my legacy, that will carry my name when I am gone.”

I’ve wasted a lot of time. I’m not going to do that anymore.

I’ve got another week at this job but I’m not going to wait that long before I start putting the words together again. I’ve got plenty of editing to do on last November’s NaNo project. I’ve got the little Valentine story I started about this time last year that became a story about werewolf royalty (you read that right). I’m thinking about writing fairy tales since they seem to be all the rage in Hollywood right now and probably will be for the foreseeable future.

I’ve got lots of words and lots of time. I just need to use them both wisely.

 
 

I’m writing.

It’s been a month and a half since I lost my job. In that time, I’ve sent out scores of resumes, done easily a ton of laundry, reconnected with some old friends I hadn’t seen in an age and I’ve been writing.

That’s the exciting part. Writing.
I hear myself say it like a grand announcement. Like other people say, “I’m getting married!” or “I just won the lottery!” I say, “I’m writing!”
Some people take it as just that, the announcement they’ve been waiting for years for me to shout out. Others, mostly those who haven’t known me for decades or don’t know me as well, don’t seem to get the importance of this statement.
“I have something to tell you.”
“What is it? Are you getting married?”
“No.”
“Are you pregnant?”
“Still no.”
“Ahh. You’re a lesbian!”
“Wrong again. I’m writing.”
“Oh.”
I completed the short story for the competition and, once it was accepted by those folks, posted it on Smashwords. I’m working on another short and, when that’s done, I’ll work on a follow-up to the first one since the people who’ve already bought it are asking about what happens next.
The novel is still on my plate. It seems to have taken on a life of its own and I’m just along for the ride. The main characters seem to be doing things I didn’t anticipate so that’s turning into a bit of an adventure. It might be a series of novellas so heads up for those.
I’m writing.
The blank page is every writer’s greatest adversary. We complain about not having a place to write, or time, or peace and quiet so we can think. We use these things as excuses not to write. “Oh, I’ve got tons of errands to run, dirty dishes in the sink, we’re almost out of dog food, the back yard needs to be raked….”
But, when it comes right down to it, we’re just scared of that blank page.
Here’s the next part none of us will admit: when we do actually manage to get the words on the page, we’re terrified that they’re not good enough. That you won’t read them. That the effort we put into getting them there in the right order won’t matter.
Lemme tell you, I’m reading a book right now that’s an okay book. Interesting premise, easy to read. Not great. Won about a gazillion awards. And, as amused and entertained as I am by said book, I can’t help but thinking, “I could TOTALLY have written that.”
So, I’m going to. Not that particular one, but another one. A better one.
 

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