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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Ringing in the new year with the power of laziness …

and it’s very powerful, isn’t it?

The rest of the family goes back to work this week, and I have a week until my next round of classes starts. 19 hours! gack! So I was looking forward to having this week to work at home on the writing and get a really good start on the project for this year. And I am writing, but an empty house just begs for an efternnon on the couch catching up on all the episodes of Heroes I’ve been putting off (don’t judge me!) or stalking the cat with a camera so he can finally make his debut on I Can Has Cheeseburger.

But I am making myself write, and doing all those things that never get done while everyone is home. Which is … everything. We did do a lot of cleaning to get ready for a New Year’s ever dinner party we hosted for some family and friends. So, the house is at least clean now. Really clean. I actually took a scrubber sponge and got the dried yogurt off the walls of the living room, finally (it’s a long, long story).  And I lack the attention span for risk, and my wife is a gfanatic, so she had a chance to play finally with a group of her former high school students who have, in the years since, become something like de facto family. But that didn’t stop them from ganging up on her and kicking her off the map in the first few rounds. Maybe she should have had a more lenient homework policy.

And while they were doing that, my son and I printed off a bunch of super-hero pictures on cardstock and made an AWESOME super-hero war game involving teams of heroes and villains and power levels and die-rolls. Even the risk-players were jealous.

But today I’m back on, trying to follow the GTD method to actually get things done. I have to get back into good habits again so the avalanche of schoolwork coming my way doesn’t keep the book from getting done.

And somewhere in all this, I need a job.

Oy … I was feeling good, but 2009, I love ya but you’re starting to bring me down.

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Posted by on January 7, 2009 in life, writing

 

Why I write. An exercise inspired by Margaret Atwood

To record the world as it is. To set down the past before it is all forgotten. To excavate the past because it has been forgotten. To satisfy my desire for revenge. Because I knew I had to keep writing or else I would die. Because to write is to take risks, and it is only by taking risks that we know we are alive. To produce order out of chaos. To delight and instruct. To please myself. To express myself. To reward the virtuous and punish the guilty. Vice Versa. To name the hitherto unnamed. To defend the human spirit, and human integrity and honor. To thumb my nose at death. To make money so my children could have shoes. To make money so I could sneer at those who formerly sneered at me. To show the bastards. To justify my failures in school. To justify my own view of myself and my life, because I couldn’t be a “writer” unless I actually did some writing. To make myself appear more interesting than I actually was. To rectify the imperfections of my miserable childhood. To pass the time, even though it would have passed anyway. Graphomania. Compulsive logorrhea. Because I was driven to it by some force outside my control. Because I was possessed. Because I fell into the embrace of the muse. Because I got pregnant by the muse and needed to give birth to a book. To serve the collective unconscious. To justify the ways of God toward man. To act out anti-social behavior for which I would have been punished in real life. To master a craft so I could generate texts. To subvert the establishment. To demonstrate that whatever is, is right. Or wrong. Because the story took hold of me and would not let go. To speak for the dead. To celebrate life in all it’s complexity. To allow for the possibility of hope and redemption.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2009 in writing

 

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2008: a post-mortem

As a new year starts, I think it’s a good idea to look at the last year, and see what happned. Sure, there were problems, but I don’t want to dwell on them, so, for a change, I’m going to talk about things I accomplished this year.

I published my first short story. In a paying market, which felt really good, especially since it was a story I rather liked. Now, of course, I can see flaws, but it’s still my story and it’s out there for the world.  Shameless plug time: you can get it in the Barren Worlds anthology published by Hadley-Rille Books. “This Abandoned Sky” is on page 63.

Additionally, I finished two other short stories and submitted them to markets. One rejection, but one is still out there. Who knows? I also got a good start on my next novel, and hopefully will finish that sometime this year.

I spent the year back in school, training for an entirely new career (a daunting task when you’re in your 30’s). This, plus the writing, makes me feel like I’m starting two new careers at once.  But they’re both things I love.  My grandpa’s advice remains true: Find something you love, find a way to make a living at it, and you will never work a day in your life. So far, the “make a living” part remains elusive, but I’m on track. At any rate, I am a much more useful human being than I was before, able to actually help people, not just critique their grammar. Don’t worry, I can still do that too.

I finally got my head balanced out, by the grace of God, Dr. Kinney,  and the pharmaceutical industry. Sometimes you don’t realize you’ve gone off the rails until you get back on them. I have no desire to be a normal person, so to speak, but I would like to be in charge of the abnormality. Now I feel like I am.

for 2009: continue the work, become employed, remain balanced, find a way to keep the house cleaned and the laundry done, try not to fall to pieces during the last few eps of Battlestar Galactica (which starts again on my birthday).

And as I was wring this, the song that came up on my ipod? Beautiful Dawn by the Wailing Jennies. Hope that’s an omen.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2009 in life, writing

 

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