Those of you who come by this site often enough know that sometimes I feel compelled to write something personal - about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and how I feel about it all.
You also probably know that I TRY to post something at least once a week, if not more often, and that I’ve been pretty regular for almost three years. Now, scroll down and you’ll see that the last time I posted was January 27th - almost two weeks ago. And I haven’t been on vacation or away from my office. I’ve been here.
The lack of communication on this site is only a symptom of a larger issue. I’ve also been slack on a number of other fronts - promoting my published stories, editing my novel which is scheduled to come out this year, submitting to other publications, stuff like that. This little post I’m writing now is to explain why. I say it’s my excuse , but really I don’t NEED an excuse - I’m one of the hardest working cats you know. Really, I’m writing this because I need to organize how I feel about the last two months, and I need to share it.
Basically, all those things I listed above have been prioritized lower because of three circumstances which have come about since early December.
First, my wife’s grandmother died. Now, while this may seem sort of irrelevant (although it still probably strikes you as sad), here’s why it’s not. Irrelevant, that is.
You see, Granna had two daughters - Linda and Paula. Linda is my mother-in-law who lives about 20 minutes away, and Paula is my aunt-in-law who lives right around the corner. Whenever they come around, I can often take time out from the kids and house chores, and use that time to write, organize, and promote myself.
I didn’t realize how much I relied on Paula and Linda until they became distracted by their mother’s death.
Simultaneously to Granna’s passing, my own mother had a run-in with pneumonia and a hernia. Mom is a dedicated smoker with a history of emphysema and bronchitis, so you can imagine how nasty and scary a run-in with pneumonia might be for her. She also has severe osteoporosis and a lot of scar tissue in her abdomen from cancer surgery she had when she was in her 30s. So the hernia was pretty hellish, too.
Take my mom out of the “helping me out” picture and add the stress of nearly losing her, and you begin to imagine how touch-and-go the last two months have been.
The second thing that’s happened is that Aida (my wife) changed contracting positions. For a couple of years now, she’s been an employee of my company - the most gainfully employed employee, I might add. The shitty economy and the less in-demand profession I chose for myself means she’s been our major breadwinner in recent years, while I’m the “supplemental income” person. I do take pride in the fact that it’s MY company, but still….
This new contracting position has had two effects. One is that the company we’re contracting for has put us through a few more hoops than previous contracts ever did. Since it IS my company, that’s meant I’ve had to step up and install several business infrastructural things that I’ve never had to install before, and doing that takes time. Fucking bank and government bureaucracy can get ridiculous.
The other effect is that Aida’s putting in lots more hours than she did at the previous gig, which means that I have to pick up the slack at home. Without the usual help from Linda, Paula, and my mom, that’s a tall order. Thank God my kids are getting to an age where they’re more self-sufficient - I don’t have to wipe butts or dress anyone anymore - but I still have to cook and help with homework and harass the kids to do things. Pretty much after 3 p.m. on weekdays, my writing work is done.
Finally, I realized during the holidays that, while the published stories were selling admirably, while this web site has been doing what it’s supposed to, and while my presence in the world of social media and marketing has solidified, I hadn’t been taking enough time to CREATE. I’ve said it time and time again that the reason I DO THIS is because I feel a compulsion to create art and to share it - and while the sharing part has been satisfactory, I haven’t MADE much stuff. I have a two new novel ideas, a graphic novel, two short stories, two poems, and a screenplay that I started working on in 2011. None of them have seen much progress since September.
So while I’ve been a little remiss on promoting the published stories (and my sales have reflected my neglect), and while this site got spotty there for a while, I HAVE actually moved forward on some of those projects. I’ve created. In the nooks and crannies, when I find time away from the kids and the business and the internet, I make up stuff. And it’s good.
There you go. Probably more information about my life right now than you thought you’d get on a chilly Thursday morning in February, but I needed to put it out there, and I feel better for doing so.
That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.