Monday, April 21, 2014

This Kid Is A'iight!

This month is just flying by, isn't it? I wrote that April Fool's Day post last thing I knew, and then I look up and it's already 3 weeks later! The hell? It's been busy, to say the least.

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!


  1. Sounds like over work and not hiring to fill vacancies is a common work theme these days, not just confined to BC government :)

    I think 500 words a day is a pretty decent rate, especially when you're squeezing writing into such a busy life. That rate will get you a full length novel in six months.

  2. Spring...a time for new beginnings. Sounds like you're in the right mood for the season.

  3. I've missed you! I'm really happy that you're writing again, it's been far too long for you. I hope to get read some of your short stories when you are done. Seems like being healthy is on both of our minds as I went to the gym for the first time in a long time today. It was brutal but soooo worth it and I feel great! (minus a few aches and pains along the way) :)

    Hope your weekend was a good one, sweets!

  4. Ian -- I think for a novel I would write a little faster. Especially on the weekends when I can output closer to 2,000 words per day. I take a little more care with short stories because you have to be so much more economical with your prose and get more bang for the buck, so to speak. :)

    Kim -- Yes, it does feel like a fresh start. This is why I love living in the Temperate Zone with actual seasons.

    Yvonne -- As usual, you're so sweet! :) And maybe I'll send you a copy of the latest story. It has a bit of Spanish sprinkled throughout, and I would love to get a second opinion to make sure I didn't goof on that. Haha! And good for you on getting out and hitting the gym. I hope those good endorphins keep you coming back for more!

  5. 18 years? Has it been that long since we met? God that makes me feel old. LOL. Lucky for you I was a freshman with no sense of direction or else we would have never met. Sadly I am still bad with directions. :)
    Vermont was super fun! I had a great time and I am almost finished knitting your socks. Don't be surprised if I repeat this sentiment for the next few weeks or months. Socks are hard. :)
    I am glad to hear that you are back writing. I promise to share a chapter of my romance novel with you when I get back home. But u better not laugh! :)

  6. Cin -- Lucky for me? Lucky for YOU! Or else you would still be there, stuck in Ridgeline Woods! :)

    And ... socks, socks, socks. You've been knitting that pair for YEARS! Okay, maybe just months, but it feels like years. I'm sure they'll be lovely, though, and maybe I'll get them in time for Christmas?

    Oh, and of course you better show me some chapters! I won't laugh . . . to your face. ;)


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