Chapter XLIV

This chapter, I dedicate to my Mom. And not just for obvious reasons. I’m spending my birthday this year in the 216 because she’s been in the hospital for the past week and some change. It’s been a long, tough week–mostly for her. And thankfully, there is a road ahead. It’ll just be bumpy. In any case, considering there wouldn’t have even been a Chapter I of my life without her, I’m glad to be here for her. THANKS, MOM!

That aside, what a year! I went through Viable Paradise and lived to tell the tale! I went to cons and survived their controversies. I renewed some friendships, made some new friends, and now I’m looking at some dayjob changes that might actually benefit me (as well as adding more responsibilities of course).

What’s to come? Your guess is as good as mine, but I feel the answer is wrapped up in a Luis Buñuel tribute, inside the lyrics of a New Pornographers song…

Vade ultra!

Chapter XLIII

Sorry I’m getting to this a day late, but it’s been a hectic couple of weeks. Chapter XLIII of my life began yesterday, and I’m hoping for some big things. I ended Chapter XLII with two major accomplishments: a promotion at the dayjob to a managerial position which not only gives me an office with a door I can close, but also the funds to attend the 2016 Viable Paradise writing workshop. That’s VP20, everyone! Or, is it VPXX? I’m partial to the latter myself, because it reminds me of a Chicago album.

Speaking of which, the song below is from Chicago XXXVI. With things to look forward to, I’ve been wondering if a new year requires a new attitude…

I think it’s time for you to lose that cynical suit, now.
You’ve worn it out and man, the jacket don’t fit you no more.
–Chicago, “Something’s Coming, I Know”

Let’s give it a shot…

Chapter LX

From Heavy Metal

We’re still 18 years away from 2031 when, if I’m still around, I’ll be 58 but still look the way I do now depending on what sort of genetic and/or cybernetic modifications I’ll be able to afford.  But that doesn’t stop me from feeling like an ancient relic now.

But believe it or not, I’m in a better space than I was this time last year. Just.

Let’s just say that I’ve now lived long enough to get to the point where I can completely relate to what the late, great fellow-Clevelander Harvey Pekar says…

Don’t fret.  Our man isn’t that hopeless.  Granted, I’ve never been one of those people who fully appreciated the whole “adversity makes you tougher” idea.  But I’ll tell you this–adversity has sure made me shrewder.  It’s made me smarter.  It’s made me hungry for the things I want in life.  And it’s damn sure taken my patience away from the things that would stand in my way.

So, I take the ups and downs.  Because as Robert Lamm sings…

We’ve all had our highs
The lows we can’t command
Sleeping through insomnia
It is more than you can stand

Boy, is that right.

I have a day off tomorrow.  But not the day after.  In the meantime, I’ll not be taking comments from the peanut gallery just now.  In fact, I’m likely fast asleep.  I love time-shifting this stuff.

See what I mean?  Shrewder!

Chapter XXXVIII

Today, Chapter XXXVIII of my life began.

After having survived past the midpoint of a year that’s really been more bad than good so far, I got to spend some time with some good friends, and had a chance to take a good look at some stuff on the horizon that makes me smile…

  • I’m starting a new dayjob on July 15th.  I’m working for the same uni health center, and I’ll still be pushing paper.  But, as I joked to a friend today, I’ll be pushing higher-level paper at a higher pay rate!
  • I just submitted my first piece of fiction for 2011 today.  Given that (a) life has made it very hard to get into fiction-writing lately and (b) most of my writing time has been spent preparing for my presentation at this year’s Rod Serling Conference, I think it’s quite the accomplishment.  It’s like a dam just broke.  Which is good, ‘cos I got a lot more fiction planned for this year.
  • In just 11 days–Readercon, where I’ll get to renew some friendships and revitalize my writing mojo like I did last year.  

Y’know, things may just turn out all right.

Chapter XXXVII

Today, Chapter XXXVII of my life begins.

“I’m 37. I’m not old.”
-Dennis, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I’m starting this chapter off right with a two-and-a-half week vacation from my dayjob, a trip next week to Readercon, a camping trip with friends the following weekend, and after that, my next NSO gig at the next home derby bout.

Role ModelsFor the past couple years, I’ve tried to obtain writing-related birthday gifts. This year, though, I dusted off my Audible account, and treated myself to Role Models by John Waters.  I quoted it a lot recently, having read snippets from it and heard various podcast interviews and readings.

I’m listening to the first few chapters now, and thinking about my own role models.  I’ll blog about them some other time.  But this book is making me give some thought to who’s influenced, not just my art, but my life as an artist.  In Waters, I think I’ve found a new one.  Just look out the quotes I’ve used recently as well as the links below.  If you’ve been paying any attention to how I feel about writing and how I pursue it, I’m sure you’ll understand why. 

Chapter XXXVI

Kinda like last year, I got some of the best presents a writer can get.

My favorite, I have to say, was the one I got for myself–the newest productivity tool. It’s not tech. I finally got the Moleskine Planner cover I wanted from Renaissance Art, which is the most stylish hPDA case you could ever ask for!

Other presents included…

1
Two vintage Doctor Who novelisations: Earthshock by Ian Marter, published by Target and Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks by Terrance Dicks, published by Pinnacle. The Pinnacle books were the ones with the cool introduction by Harlan Ellison.

2
Birthday love from family and friends via phone, email, snail-mail, messages in bottles, etc.

3
And as another present to myself, the opportunity to help the cause of highlighting the work of writers of color. Like me 🙂

Not a bad start, I daresay.

Chapter XXXV

The best birthday presents a writer can get, and I got them both today: a new 600-page leather journal from the wife and a contract for the story I mentioned a little while back.

And it’s not even 9:00 AM yet.

I’m waiting on some non-writerly news as well, though it could impact my writing. You’ll know when I (and my wife, and several of my friends) know.

###

Edited to add: Sent the contract back and I gots the money!