I’ve been writing off and on, mostly off the last few weeks. It’s been really rough as every day when I come home, I am still looking for Gracie. Last week, as I have done for years, I kept a portion of my steak off to the side for Gracie. Then it hit me, that she is no longer here. I’ll have to admit my eyes teared up a bit.
The writing I have done has been divided between three projects. My memoir, my sci-fi book and my character driven book. Three widely divergent genres. This is probably not a recipe for success as an author. Most authors write in one genre only. Very, very few write and are successful in multiple genres.
It’s the same problem I had when I was actively woodworking. I would work on multiple different projects. Once I had finished, I never wanted to go back to it again. I liked the challenge of doing new things. In my writing, it’s the same way. If you go back and look at my short stories, most are in different genres. Some worked, some didn’t. Rarely did I continue a character in multiple stories with the exception of Harry Gruen. Will I ever write another Harry story? Doubtful as I’m pretty bored with him already.
The one thing I that I do enjoy is writing short stories, but I’m having a hard time finding the enthusiasm to write any. Hopefully, I’ll start writing them again, but for now, I’ll work on my projects.
Lyme disease, carried by ticks has affected one of my co-workers. He is the main delivery driver and is expected to be out for at least a week. This is why I’ve been doing delivery drives everyday. Yes, I’m the jack of all trades guy at work. Makes it a bit difficult to accomplish my job, but somehow, I’m mostly keeping up.
While driving, it is prime time for me to think of stories, but for the last week, I’ve invariably been focusing on my book. Even on days where I’m tired and don’t have a lot of time to write, I’ll still bang out a thousand words.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m compelled to write this book, but for now, I’ve decided to not fight it and just roll with it as long as it lasts. Eventually I’ll either finish the book or I’ll run out of steam. I’ve got to admit that I’m having a lot of fun with it while driving and it does make the drives go by much quicker.
One precaution I am taking now is to keep a close eye on any bug bites. I sure don’t want to be laid low by Lyme disease.
First of all, I don’t recommend actually writing while driving. This is obviously dangerous.
Today due to our main delivery driver being out again, I took to the roads and ended up driving over 300 miles in 9 hours! This also includes loading and unloading times of course. During my long drives, I had ample opportunity to think about stories to write. And I didn’t think of a single one for tonight. Instead, my focus was on my book that I’m writing. It’s the character driven book.
Faced with not having enough conflict to make it interesting, I developed several plot lines in my head. This is my normal way of writing. I’ll create a scene in my imagination and then run through it like a film. The dialogue, the mannerisms, the thought processes and reaction will all feature prominently in my thoughts. Then like an irate director, I’ll yell out “Cut!” and re-do the scene in a different way. If I’m still not satisfied, I’ll try it again and again until it feels right.
I feel good about a major portion of the book now. There is conflict and inner character angst to keep it interesting. Now I have to sit down and write it all down. Naturally, my memory may be a bit off and as I’m writing, I’ll make small changes here and there.
With all the driving I did today, I have at least three if not four chapters ready to be written. Finding the time and energy is another thing entirely.
Looks like I’ll be out driving all day again tomorrow, so I better get cracking on putting words to paper.
Did quite of bit of driving today at work. Usually this means I have time to think of stories to tell. Some of my best stories came to me while driving. My mind wanders here and there, going from one idea to another. I’ll ruminate on a promising idea and from that I have the framework of a story to tell. It’s not 100% foolproof as evidence of my thinking today.
Most of the ideas were a tad weird, which is an understatement. I quickly rejected one idea after another. Yes, I know I had given my mind permission to run amok, but the thoughts today frightened even me. I’m not sure they need to be brought to life in the pages of this blog or any blog.
Then I started thinking of yesterday’s story of Trust. I realized I could have done a better job, but as my wont, I figure out what I want to accomplish with the story and run with it. Due to the topic being trust or lack of trust to be fair, I started thinking of my book that I’ve been writing off and on for the last ten years. A huge storyline in the book is trust.
It’s been well over a year since I last wrote anything on that book, so I reread what I had so far. Ideas are bubbling up and I feel the need to write on the book some more. Strange thing is, long ago, I realized that I will probably never attempt to publish this book or share it. At odd times in my life, I feel compelled to work on it. It seems to awaken in me a spirit of writing.
This week started horribly and went downhill from there. Thursday it slowed down a bit, but today, the ride really got going.
A job opening in the corporate office was posted. It’s a new position and I fit the bill almost perfectly. Decided I couldn’t let an opportunity go to waste, I updated my resume and submitted it last night. Question on my mind is do I tell the boss I applied? After talking it over with Mrs. D and my daughter, we came to the conclusion it was better to wait. If I didn’t get the job offer, then my boss would be none to the wiser.
I was naïve to corporate structure. Got into work and opened up my work email. Bright and early was a response from HR. They wanted to do a phone interview, but before going forward they wanted to confirm I had notified my supervisor of my application. My heart skipped a beat.
A little background on my boss. She’s from New York and Italian to boot. That means she is loud, brash and highly opiniated. Once she sets her mind on something, it takes quite a bit of persuading to get her to change her mind. That being said, she is the best boss I’ve ever had. Detail oriented, smart as a whip and fair minded.
I knew she wouldn’t like me applying for this position, so slowly I went to her office and handed her the job description and said I had applied for it. She gave me a long look and asked why I thought I qualified for the position. Then she stated that she had the right to refuse to let me take the position. I did not know that and my heart skipped another beat.
Remember I had said that this week was stressful. Turns out she has been giving me more and more responsibility because she is grooming me for more of an operational manager role in the company. Here I thought I was just getting dumped on and taken advantage of.
She didn’t want to lose me as she sees me as a terrific asset to the company. I held my ground and told her I wanted to pursue this opportunity because if I didn’t, I would always wonder. She gave her okay for me to interview somewhat reluctantly.
A few hours later, I had the phone interview and it went well. They told me that they would submit my resume and notes they had taken to the Regional Logistics Manager which if I get the job would be my immediate supervisor. It would probably be Monday at the earliest before I heard from him.
Meanwhile at lunch time, my boss came to me and started talking about an incident in the warehouse with the shipping manager. Funny thing is, the whole approach was completely different from what I had experienced before with her. Instead of talking to me as boss to employee, it was more of like peer to peer talk. I thought it was surreal.
Then to top off the day, right after lunch, I get a message that the Regional Logistics Manager wants to schedule a video interview with me. That was quick! I take it as a good sign that my resumes and phone interview impressed him enough that he doesn’t want to waste any time. However, he is going on vacation next week, so the interview will be scheduled for the 16th or 18th.
This week has been probably one of the worst weeks at work since I was going through chemotherapy. No real reason for it, but it’s been hugely stressful. The past few weeks I’ve been clocking in thirty minutes to an hour early just to try to keep ahead of the work. I told my co-worker that I was seriously considering calling in sick.
This morning, I started to get dressed to get there early as I usually do, but decided that the heck with it. I’m going to be at work on time, not early. I spent the extra hour relaxing and drinking coffee. Then got ready for work and headed out the door.
Holy moly! Traffic is ten times worse at this time. It’s been so long since I left this late to go to work, I had forgotten the huge difference in traffic. Ended up being 10 minutes late to work. Boss asked why I was late and I simply replied, “Traffic”. My co-worker for the first time since he started working there was at work before me. His first thought was that I went ahead and called in sick.
The corporation I work for has this mantra, “A day’s work in a day”. Today, I lived up to that mantra and did my work for the full day and didn’t worry about what I didn’t get done. It’s amazing how a simple change in attitude can make a work day so much less stressful. I felt good about the work I had accomplished and how my day went.
Will I do that tomorrow? Probably not, as I don’t want to go through the traffic mess again to start my day. However instead of being real early, I’ll probably be fifteen to ten minutes early tomorrow.
Success! I managed to write every day this last week. Fantastic writing? Not so much. Getting back into the groove of daily writing will mean some days are going to be meh. I tried a few different styles of writing this week. Mostly to expand my writing. Still haven’t really settled on one genre, but I’m thinking I’ll never be able to be pigeonholed that way. That can be a good thing but also a bad thing. Quite a few authors write in a distinctive style and genre and build up an audience. If they go out of the prescribed style, then it usually isn’t received as well. Building an audience with an eclectic writing style is pretty hard to do. I do love a challenge!
This week, not only am I planning on posting everyday, but also start editing. I’m still not a fan of editing, but it is a necessary evil. I do know if I ever hit it big with my writing, I’m definitely hiring a professional editor. To me that will be money well spent as it will save me hours and hours of going over a manuscript. I’d rather be writing than editing and revising.
Health wise, I’m doing pretty darn good. I have about 80-90% mobility back with my shoulder. My last physical therapy session was last Tuesday. I had been scheduled for 3 more weeks, but my shoulder has responded to the therapy very well. I’m doing daily exercises to get that last bit of mobility back. But found out that I’ll need to continue the exercises probably for the rest of my life to keep the shoulder from freezing up again.
It’s been almost three months since I received feedback on my memoir, “My Cancer Journey”. I’ve not looked at the story or the feedback since my shoulder started hurting me.
First step is to gather all the feedback, copy/paste it into a word document. I’ve got email feedback, Google Docs feedback and even a Messenger feedback. I may have missed one or two, so double-checking. Next step, read the memoir with a notepad handy to write down anything that I need to rewrite.
Then and only then, I’ll read the feedback again. Finally, I’ll make my to-do list to rewrite and edit the story one last time. Then set it aside for a few weeks. Do one final read and correct anything that glares at me. I hate when words glare at me, don’t you?
Final, final step is to research once again how to publish it on Kindle. Then start the laborious process of formatting and checking and re-formatting until it is right.
Final, final, final step is to hit the “publish button”. That’s the scary time. Might have to gird my loins for that. Okay, I have no idea what “gird my loins” really means, but it sounded good.
Saw my physical therapist for the last time today. He said I’ve made remarkable progress. Mostly because I’ve been diligent in doing my daily exercises. My shoulder for the most part feels great. During the day, while at work, I’m back up to almost full speed. I still feel a little twinge or two while working, but it is very manageable.
At night, while sleeping, it’s another story. I’m still waking up in the middle of the night with my shoulder and arm in pain. Some nights are worse than others. It could be because I’m mostly immobile while sleeping in the recliner. My shoulder is trying to freeze back up. With time and a lot of exercise, this will pass.
The last three days, I’ve written a weekly writing challenge every day. Decided to give you all a break tonight. I know I can write better, but it will take a bit of time to get back up to speed. Meanwhile, I’ve been experimenting with different forms of short stories. I have noticed that unless I do a cliffhanger at the end, then the ending is usually weak. I’ll have to work on that in the coming weeks, so bear with me.
My next prompt is a simple one. Unfortunately, I tend to not do well with simple prompts. Too many choices as to where the story could go. Even when I do decide on a direction, odds are that before I’m done, I’m already regretting my choice and have thought of at least three different stories that would probably be better.