I started out the month taking a long weekend trip up to Vermont with some friends to visit my alma mater, Middlebury College, in the rural wilds of that state. My one friend Cin and I met there a little more than 18 years ago, and we're still best buds to this day!
|I'm not sure we fooled anyone into thinking we |
were undergrads here.
While at the college we reunited with a very cherished faculty member who was like a second mother back then to us wayward city kids, for whom staying away from home and living in campus housing was a bizarre adjustment to say the least. It was a great trip, and we had a ton of fun! Brought back a lot of great memories, too. And of course Cin and I had to have a few drinks to toast the nostalgia, wouldn't you know it?
|Just as I thought: we didn't even get carded. The nerve!|
Anyway, forgive me for the long absence. I'm extremely, extremely busy at work during this, our busy season. I deal with State & Local taxation laws at the office, and Spring is the time when all the states' legislators are busy churning out new yearly updates to go into the books before Summer recess starts. We process those changes, explain them to our clients in easily digestible language, and maintain an extensive cross-referencing library and interactive website to disseminate it all to the masses. It's very exhausting work, especially when staff has been reduced by a significant percentage and I'm not being allowed to hire any replacements. Grrrr!
So that's what happens during my daylight hours. Then I come home and have to get in at least a decent hour of exercise. Free weights, bench, and treadmill. These are the tools of that particular trade. It can be difficult to motivate myself after such a grueling day at the office, but somehow some way I find the will to go through my routines and come out feeling better at the end of it all. And then I make a healthy dinner and veg out in front of the tube. The down side is that my time is very limited, and it's almost impossible to drum up the energy to blog after all that. The upside is . . . I'm in excellent health and very good shape. And you know what? That's the way I like it!
Of course, now I've started writing again as well. So there's that to take up the remaining portion of time. I'm thrilled to be doing it again after such a long time off, but it really does take a supreme amount of motivation to get me going. After coming home, working out, making and eating dinner, I usually have around 1 - 2 hours left of free writing time before my mind starts to shut down. In the old days, I used to be able to churn out 1,000 words a night. 2,000 on weekends. These days, though? I'm lucky if I can reach 500 words. Still, do that consistently day in and day out for about a week and a half, and you have yourself a decent-length short story.
I think my word count production is so low because I'm still slowly getting back into the swing of things. It's not so much that I'm rusty, but that I'm being extremely cautious. I try not to do too much for the sake of producing more Quality as opposed to Quantity. After all, I'm in no race here. So, for now at least, this is a pace I'm quite happy with. I usually write between the hours of 9 and 11 at night. I spent the better half of April writing my latest story on this schedule, in fact. Last night I put the first of many polishes on the piece, and sent the draft out to a few dedicated readers I have the privilege to call friends. It's still a rough draft, just with a single once-over by yours truly to make it somewhat presentable. I'm hoping to get general impressions back from folks before applying deeper corrections and modifications for submitting to markets. I have another story already set to got out as well.
So, yes, it's happening people. I'm getting back on the ball. Or getting it rolling. However that saying goes--you know what I mean! I hope you have been spending your April in good cheer and health, surrounded by wonderful friends and family.
On a side note, I find myself desperately waiting for the weather to get warmer. This winter has been very brutal even on myself--and I love the cold!!! But even I've had enough. Easter Sunday was pretty warm here in the city, though, and sunny to boot! So maybe the weather is finally transitioning to a real Spring. We shall see. *fingers crossed*
Ciao for now!