So that was February… and March… and most of April?

My how time flies! (he says tongue in cheek)

The time has passed in stress and change and some fairly productive writing. But I let it pass without posting and that’s not a “best practice”! The ‘quiet’ was not due to laziness or sleeping or disinterest, however.

1. Fairly Productive Writing

Three novellas have pushed their way to the top of the writing agenda.

Tina Inherits The House is done, a first draft read a chapter at a time by four trusted friends. It’s a light novella, not meant to be more than a fun read of 20k words. I think it works very well as a serial, one chapter (about a thousand easy words) a day in your email, every chapter ending in a cliff hanger.

Tina Falls for a Vampire—Almost! is almost done. It has been a much tougher book to write, due mostly to the circumstances in which I’ve found myself writing (see below!). It is another fun read, but I fear it will need a lot more editing than Tina Inherits the House. It’s a continuation of the first book and is not quite as happy a read, at least not at the moment. I’m tempted to lighten it up, just to match the first, but I’ll wait to decide.

Tina Gets Kidnapped—But Survives is the third and final book, again a continuation of the first. It will be the end of the series. Somewhat planned, only a few scenes written, and somewhat predictable if you know the other two books. But of course, it’s Tina: nothing goes as planned for her, in very fun and exciting ways.

2. Stress

Oh yes! The continual overtime that stretched from the beginning of October through February was good for the budget, but long about the fifth month of 6 day work weeks (that’s the so-called day job, not the writing job or other parts of my life) I got burnt out. But in true feast-to-famine style, after two weeks of ‘regular hours’ it was declared that there was no more overtime available for me. Huh?

Of course, in the meantime, bills had gone up, even as I struggled to not get used to the extra money. I did pretty good there, actually. Most of it went in the bank, even if it didn’t all stay there. Hey, it didn’t all go to pizza! But the stress of work morphed into the stress of ‘economical living’.

Apparently, that stress is also morphing into change. I’ll explain.

Back in November I moved out of a comfortable living arrangement to be able to save money and time. It was a move into less comfort and more discipline, I recognized from the beginning. O.K. by me. My schedule got much tighter (see above re 6 day work weeks) and my free time much diminished. O.K. by me again. My living quarters became MUCH smaller and less friendly. Still O.K. : I recognized the situation as a “discipline” from Above, as well as a self-imposed discipline. I had already set goals, written them down, added dates and details and intermediate steps.

Yep, this “pantster” when it comes to writing actually made an Outline for the Year of My Own Life Story. Well, for parts of the story. I am a pantster, after all! But I apparently made a mistake here. I told some people about my plans. That is called accountability when it works correctly. I have found out by error (and trial. Especially trial!) it can also be a perfect recipe for sabotage. There are actually some REAL people who, when they find out your plans, your very firm, committed plans, use the information to their gain and your loss. Sounds like the kind of stories I write, but this time it was… uh… my real life! WTH?!

3. …and Change

So, without going into naming names of the villains, without revealing the actual goals I have made firm, committed plans to accomplish (STILL!!!) , I will be moving from the Chicago area back to the Dallas, Texas area in May. At the very beginning of May. Which was supposed to be the end of September, but due to… [see above]. (que ‘I will Survive’, Gloria Gaynor or your favorite cover. :O )

I’m taking this philosophically.  Somewhat. Outwardly. Mostly. Ignore the faces my closest friends are making as they read this. I do see this as a further step in Discipline, both for life and for fiction writing. I see it as a way to get closer to family, both physically and emotionally (several live in the Dallas area). I see it as another step toward simplifying my life, because still I am trying to do too much at one time. To concentrate on a very few things is to become a master of them. I want to be that master. I would also like to make some money doing it! Writing is one of those few things.

So there is the last several months in three paragraphs. Stress, change and writing. As for what happens in the next several months, I will quote John Green, from the last line in Down Cellar:

“We’ll just have to be patient, and find out.”

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About Gordon DeLand

Author, speaker, ex-Navy and ex-preacher and ex-several other things. Grew up in the wilderness of Madison County, New York State. Officially retired, currently residing Chicago but have lived on all four coasts and Hawaii. Maybe someday I'll retire back to New York. But not yet.
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