Closing the Door & Opening it Back Up

door.jpgIt’s been a couple weeks (maybe more) since I’ve posted. Fear not, I still pull breath. I’ve had a supremely busy month. Stephen King talks about the need to close the door when you work. Well, I didn’t just close it; I bricked it up.

I don’t have a lot of options when it comes to leveraging time. So when a 100k novel came along that needed a structural edit, I had to break the schedule to make the deadline. Unfortunately, this blog was one source I had to slice away.

hourglassThis last month, I’ve been toiling away on that 100k novel. My contract didn’t stipulate a timeline. The understanding was it would need to be done around Christmas. The timeline got moved forward to the first week of December.

Editing takes time (especially structural editing), and this blog is what I had to sacrifice to find more of the precious stuff. The good news is I finished the structural edit, and am now breezing through the final copy editing phase. I plan to be finished early next week. Then time, those precious grains of sand, will stop slipping through my fingers so quickly. On a positive note, the author was thrilled with the results of the structural edit — I hope sales reflect his enthusiasm.

Side rant, have you ever wanted to move to a new state during the holidays? Yeah, me neither. Regardless, this seems to be the way of things. Or, maybe we won’t be moving until January…

moving boxes.jpgYes, the life of the military spouse is one of constant questions and inconsistency. I probably won’t know with 100 percent certainty until a week prior of the move date. This knowledge will preface an explosion of moving boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape.

Let’s not even talk about having to dissolve my editing business and move it to new state to prevent being taxed by two states/cities at once…sigh

What about my own work? What of Wastelander? Well, the second I signed a contract to edit, my client took precedence. While normally I can divvy out the schedule, this was not one of those instances. I was barely able to finish the contract in time. With the heavy lifting of the structural edit out of the way, I now have the flexibility to write again (my books and this blog).

So, what’s happened since I’ve been out? Thor turned one, our families came to visit, my wife’s 12-hour shift rotation was extended, my friend MLS Weech prepared to get his book out into the world (Kirkus Review & Red City), I realized we’d be moving sooner than we thought, and I drank 27 gallons of coffee.

birthday bay.jpgAll said, it’s been a productive month, albeit a busy one. It’s also been a month where I have felt particularly isolated. I have lots of writers/bloggers to catch up on reading. There is a comfort in coming back here and seeing the cyber landscape remains basically unchanged.

I posted a while back about the schedule I would be keeping here on the QE page. Obviously, that didn’t work out. From now on, I’m just going to play it by clock. As this blog is often a reflection of my life, it can be assumed the future will be dotted by chaos explosions of activity followed by moments of eerie silence.

For those of you who were kind enough to email me, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your concern. I will be responding to those emails over the course of the next couple days. I’m excited to hear about what I’ve been missing out on in your lives.

All right, I’m all shared out. Future posts will be about writing, editing, and tomfoolery — promise.

nano.pngSpeaking of writing, how’d the NaNoWriMo go? Any of you manage to kick your word counts in the teeth? While this is always a chaotic month for those who partake, I do enjoy browsing the interwebs and seeing the mountains of ~50k books of varying quality and content. The sound of tables creaking as slush piles grow is echoing through the universe. Hopefully you let your book marinate a month or so, give it a rewrite, then edit it before you publish.

That’s it for today, I’ve got words to edit and coffee to drink. Now that I’m through the crucible of deadlines, look forward to more frequent posts. Truly, I’ve missed our collaboration. Until then, keep reading, keep writing, and as always — stay sharp!

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29 responses

  1. Ouch, sorry it was crazy for you!!! Least soon, when MLS Weech’s novel takes off you can say you’re an editor to the stars!!! Hope that move goes smoothly, but alas, the military has always been of the “hurry up and wait” until we want a years worth of work done in a day. Such is the way our wars are won and heroes are born. Bravo for coming out the other side alive!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hurry up and wait — some things will never change, huh? I’ve already started packing the things we won’t need. Either we’ll move in two weeks, or in a month. I’ll know with certainty in a week. If it’s the former, then I will have about a week to prep the house for the move. Life is a bit of chaos factory right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been a rough month and probably a rougher one next month if you have to move. But you are one of the strongest man I have ever met. The way you juggle work, Thor, Heathers schedule and keeping up the house. You just amaze me. Glad you got to right in your blog again. I enjoy reading them greatly. Love you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I was glad you were able to come visit us for a week. Hopefully, you don’t have to cancel your plane tickets and buy new ones for Heather’s graduation. We should know here this week. If the graduation date gets pushed, the new one will be January 27th (unless that changes too). I’ll call and let you know either way. The house is full of boxes, bubble wrap, and insanity right now.


  3. I noticed your absence but was working too hard on nano to come find you. Please forgive me. Glad you’re back and I just have to say, your Thor is freaking adorable!! Happy 1st birthday to him!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll pass him the warm birthday wishes. He’s just started stumbling around. Stands, takes a few steps, and topples. Our house is carpeted, but the kitchen is linoleum. It’s pretty stressful watching him tumble all over the place…but it’s also fun seeing him figuring things out. Glad you survived nano!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Who needs NaNo when you have your circle of writers and your word wars. I think hanging out in a hotel, eating a bunch of horrible food, and having a word war is more fun — and consistent — than crushing a single month out of the year. Maybe when, and if, we get settled into our new place I’ll be more consistent with posting. Right now, it’s just way too chaotic. Kind of stinks because the blog was my window into the outside world. Regardless, this is the adventure of military life. At least Thor is too little to wonder why we might be moving during the holidays. That’ll be a mess when he’s older. For now, I’m packing away the house and finding all kinds of forgotten treasures. Our cat loves moving, so many boxes to investigate!

      Liked by 1 person

    • He’s starting to develop a personality. It’s really a joy. Plus he’s starting to stumble around and walk, which is scary and fun. He fell a couple days ago and bit his lip and it was terrifying. It was the first “injury” I’ve dealt with. I’ve been around a lot of blood as a police officer and a veteran, but his little tiny bloody mouth was almost too much for me! Fortunately, he shrugged it off in a minute, while I freaked out internally and used half a roll of paper towels and wet wipes to clean him up. It’s crazy, because when I started this blog he was just a swaddled lump that couldn’t even roll over…


  4. Hooray! The wanderer returns. Lets us feast in his honour!

    100k novel and an pushed forward deadline? You, sir, are a stronger man than I. I’d get distracted by word thir… Oh look, is that snow?

    Moving.over the holidays is a scary prospect. I’m going to be moving but I only.really need to move the contents of a single room over this tiny island…

    Is it just me or does Thor look like he wanted a bigger cake? “I am one, dammit. I want a cake the size of me!”

    Good to have you back though. Stay safe and well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I could use a good feast! As for cakes, Thor had two. The one in the picture was his smash cake (I think that’s what it’s called). It was made out of applesauce with whipped cream icing. The idea being the baby smashes their hands into it and dines like some sort of beast. Instead, Thor took a single index finger and dipped it into the whipped cream, tasted it, smiled, and continued to do the same. The fact some 10 plus people were surrounding him with their phones to take pictures probably was unnerving him slightly. It was like some sort of strange human version of National Geographic. “Observe the human baby in its natural environment!”

      The other cake was for the attendees. However, he might of had a few bites of it too.

      As for the novel, it was a fun story to work on, and the author was easy to work with. The deadline is what made it a challenge. Regardless, I think everyone involved (the author was commissioned by another author) will be satisfied with the end result. Any chance I get to help write stories with alien races killing each on strange planets — I take. Especially when some of the alien races have four arms, twelve fingers (total), and retractable claws. Fun times!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Moving from Asia to the US mid this month, just before Christmas. Hope you don’t need to do this by yourself, whilst juggling all of the additional tasks you mentioned in your post. All the best with getting the work done & I hope you get some time to actually kick back and just relax. Best Wishes from Japan!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m fortunate for this move as my wife will be here to help me with it (this wasn’t the case for our last move). I lived in Sasebo, Japan for three years and moved from there to Califonia…so good luck with that! Of course, back then I was bachelor with about a room full of possessions.

      You had mentioned an upcoming addition to your family, hopefully the new addition isn’t coming anytime close the move! Best of luck to you during the transition. Japan was one of our relocation possibilities, I was relieved to get Virginia. As much as I loved Japan, I’m not sure moving there during the holidays with a whole family would have been very much fun.


    • “I’ve got this.”

      Funny enough, I have that mantra on repeat in my head as I box all of our worldly possessions. The bridge burner in me wants to get one of those dumpsters and just huck half our stuff in it. I always look at a move as a volcano preparing to erupt. A part of me wants to toss everything we own into the lava, and start anew at the new locale. However, Heather is a bit more sentimental than I. So burning everything we own while eating marshmallows and drinking beer is frowned upon…sigh…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good to hear from you again! I was a little worried as well, but I figured you were just busy, like the rest of us. ; )
    Happy first birthday Thor!

    PS. you're in trouble now, my little one started walking at one, haven't been able to slow them down since, good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It seems our kind is always full of ideas and short on time. I’m hoping things simmer down after the move, but it still might be a month-long evolution. I’ll certainly try to be more present.

      Thanks for the happy wishes for Thor, I’ll pass the word.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The PCS struggle is always interesting. We went over our weight allowance by more than 2000 pounds this time, so a new twist on an old story. Regardless, we made the move and snag the keys to the new place tomorrow! Thanks for the kind words and for reading. Looking forward to getting my office set back up!


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