Holy Toledo, folks! I started writing this and then was distracted by the newsflash that COVID has struck the White House. This is really the weirdest damn year I've ever lived through.
So there's plenty going on in the world of news to keep all of us Americans up and talking (and squabbling) for the next 5+ weeks, but here is my little corner of the world...just in case you are interested.
Mountains and Valleys
It feels like an endless succession of mountains and valleys over here, folks. Just when one thing sorts itself out, another issue pops up.
Win: Mr. Fartypants is in daycare
Hit: The city of Belton issued me a cease and desist on our Airbnb
Win: September was our best Airbnb month ever
Hit: And now it's fall and folks are cutting back on travel
And so it goes. Up, down, all around.
But here's the thing. That's life. It goes up, then down, and if you work at it long enough, back up again.
A few months ago, I set G581: Mars down and ran away. That whole saying "couldn't see the forest for all the trees" definitely applied.
Basically, I had stage fright, performance anxiety, or finishing avoidance - whatever you want to call it. I couldn't see the forest for the trees. I couldn't see whether I had a full story, or whether I was just meandering along with filler.
So I set it down. For months. I look forward to the day when this doesn't need to happen, when I can see a story, clear as day, and write it from beginning to end without these moments of insecurity and doubt. For now, however, I must bow to the reality of it. The fears are real enough that I must take time away before returning to it.
So return to it I did. I spent the past week reading over it and was pleasantly surprised by it. I read it through and came to a couple conclusions:
1. G581: Mars IS a book, it is nearly a full story as it sits right now. It needs an ending which I've got swirling in my brain - a couple of ideas and possibilities.
2. I also realized, while reading the copy I had through, that I don't have to stop and start my sequels where each one has left off. For example, I start G581: Mars some fourteen years before The Departure's main events with the first chapter, and then zoom forward to modern day with the next. This may seem silly, but there are times I adhere to mistaken expectations (this is a theme in my life, by the way) and when it suddenly occurs to me that I don't need to do that, things really open up!
3. Urf, I got all the way through the file and realized it was an incomplete, backup copy. So that took another day of comparing and updating to get the correct file to the spot where I was ready to work on it.
But, before I finish the ending, edit it, send it to a proofreader, get a cover made, and put it up on Amazon, I need to do a small project first...
War's End - Take Three
As I was lying in bed, my brain zipping along at a 1,000 miles an hour when it really should have been sleeping, I had an epiphany. Several reviewers have told me that they really wanted a Book Three of War's End. Which had befuddled me at the time, because I felt I had written the story I wanted to write and it was done.
But as I was lying there, I realized, it wasn't entirely done. After all, I had written seven short stories in and around the characters and events that were mentioned in the books. Backstories, fleshing out of bit characters, et cetera.
And heck, when I thought of that, my brain really started revving. So I got up, pulled up the files and did a little adding. It turned out I had over 50,000 words worth of short stories!
I have one more story I want to write and that will bring me to at least 55k and eight stories and then I'll edit it thoroughly, get a cover done, and put it up on Amazon. Hopefully within a week or two for everything. Heck, the hard work is done, why not get it up where folks can see it and buy it? I think I'll call it War's End: Tales of the Collapse.
It might be a fool's errand, but I'm going to take a quick look at Quit Your Job, Change Your Life and see if it is at all realistic to get it finished and put out by the end of the year. Life/career change books are popular at the beginning of the year (New Year's Resolutions and all) and if possible, it would be nice to have it out. I haven't worked on it at all recently, but it is worth looking at again while I'm slogging through the "almost done" pile.
Fall Clear Out?
I don't know if this is me wanting to clear out all of the "almost done's" and get them the heck out there (and hopefully earning money) or what. My brain feels full of cobwebs, which is appropriate I suppose for this time of year.
Enjoying the Little Ones
Having that sweet little boy in daycare, means my days feel far more productive, but I miss the little tyke. He pretty much lives in my arms from 5pm until his bedtime at 7-8pm. Same in the morning. He loves music, singing, and dancing. Today it was "Lunatic Fringe" by Red Rider and "Refugee" by Tom Petty. He was incensed by mandatory tummy time while I turned over the laundry, but he calmed right down when I picked him up and danced.
I read the best book of all time to Mr. Fartypants and Little Miss this morning. Horton Hatches the Egg had such an impact on my life and my core values - poor Horton really went through the wringer for that lazy bird Mayzie, but in the end, he was rewarded for his dedication and devotion. Both of them were hanging on my every word.
I mentioned it earlier, but our Airbnb in Belton was served a rather stern note from the codes division. This is on me. I tried several times to puzzle my way through the codes and thought we were in the clear. We weren't. Short-term rentals are not allowed. So we are converting back to a long-term rental and I've posted it on Trulia, Zillow, and FB Marketplace and I'm already fielding requests for more information.
Here's hoping that process is quick and relatively pain-free.
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