Saturday, November 11, 2017

Another month gone, without updates? Not really.

We've had a stretch where there was basically no such thing as free time. Marching season for our daughter, rehearsals, game nights, and competitions on Saturdays.

It ended last week with an epic. The band marched a Friday night game, went home, got a couple hours of sleep, then we packed them on the buses and they drove off to San Antonio at 1am. for BOA super-regionals.

Then drove back home again after the competition was finished.

Now, the extra part of this, from my end, is that we didn't just put her on a bus and pick her up at the end. I'm part of the pit crew for the band, we load and unload the trucks and equipment for the kids. And my wife's a chaperon and "fill in the blank" volunteer as well, dog-jobber helping wherever she needs to.

We got about two hours of sleep in 36 hours, plus all the exercise. If you've got a step monitor, you'll know what I mean when I say I wasn't the only one whose monitor told me I'd met my goal at 7am last Saturday morning, and by 10pm that night I'd set my fifth(!) daily step record (23000+) just in the past couple months.

We've been a little busy is what I'm trying to say.

Not that I haven't been wondering about the things I was missing by not writing for the blog. Or, for that matter, for not writing as much as I wanted to fictionwise.

Not that I haven't been writing fiction. I did meet one goal, after I finished my last novel, I told myself I'd write eight short stories before I started in on another novel. I did it for a few reasons. One, to set a professional, here's a thing goal, sit down write finish, rinse repeat.

That's nuts and bolts stuff, just like working up to a marathon, or putting together a new concerto as part of your repertoire. You set little tasks, bit by bit, until the day you need to pull out the horn and go sit in front of somebody and play the silly thing.

The art goal, though, was to basically have a set time for a story, a short time since it's a short story, but no other barriers. I didn't know when I sat down what I was getting myself into.

It helps clear the pipes. Writing a novel, I'm discovering, is bathing inside a pool, over and over and over again. Shorter works are a skimming the waves.

Or riding the rapids. Same muscles, different context.

But, if you, dear reader, look back a few posts, you'll remember that I lost my mother in September, to metastatic breast cancer. I've found that keeping a consistent schedule since that time, in terms of daily extended focus across time, has been a rebuilding process.

No worries, I've been there before, I understand myself, I think, enough to know that my mind needed a break, and that getting myself back to that extended balance beam workout needed for my next long-term project takes a certain process.

What's up now? Well, no more marching contests for my daughter, she's got some holiday performances coming up but that's nowhere near as much work (for me at least, she's obviously got some practicing to do!).

I've a few goals for the rest of the year. Mostly, I started with a basic daily word count I wanted to work up to, like building up to be a 1.5 miler per day, or a number of practice hours per day if you're a musician. Same thing for words per day for a writer.

For me, it's a little more complicated than for others because I have a day job where I spend all day on the computer anyway, so I've got to be careful with my wrists, but otherwise it's the exact same process. Just a little more stretched out.

I also have some publishing goals, get books and stories out, get this web site a little farther along. I guess maybe I need to list all of them out somewhere, just to be able to look at.

But for now, I'm gonna sign off and find a good book to fall into. See, it's the first Saturday morning in a while where we're collectively not booked for anything. So, cartoons and quiet and no worries.

I'm gonna go enjoy it. You enjoy it too, dear reader!

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Please keep it on the sane side. There are an awful lot of places on the internet for discussions of politics, money, sex, religion, etc. etc. et bloody cetera. In this time and place, let us talk about something else, and politely, please.