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Getting ready to move

EDIT: When I started this post, it had the title “Getting ready to move on,” and it was intended to be a reference to our leaving California. Between titling and posting, however, the post transformed a little, but I failed to update the title. I’ve corrected that now, but if you came here thinking I had a huge announcement about work or life (move aside), it was an unintentional piece of click-bait on my part.

In a little over a week, packers will fill a truck with 75% of what we own. The remainder will either be driven up to Portland, or tossed. Despite the fact that earlier this week we officially closed on the house, I’m still in a bit of disbelief that this is all real. When we stopped being homeowners for the move to California, I thought it would be a long, long time before we were back in that boat. Living in the confines of an apartment cured me of that.

Believe it or not, though, this isn’t going to be a reflective post. It almost was – in fact, it was in a few drafts – but I think it will work better as just a note. I’ve spent part of the morning going through A Scent of Roses and fixing typographical errors and, as a copy-editor explained to me on another piece, my penchant for UK grammar and spelling. I can’t change the way I write, but I can at least make an effort to clean it up before you all are subject to it. Once those re-edits are done, I intend to add some front and back material (ie, a note explaining this re-release is just a clean up with no story changes and no significant text changes, and an after you read the book note about how to find me), and then post it up. I’m toying with switching the paper publisher from CreateSpace to the new Amazon POD offering (they’re both Amazon companies to begin with, so I suspect the former will be going away at some point).

That’ll be when the fun begins. I plan on releasing Chrysalis in a month or two, but you’ll have plenty of preamble. This time around I’d like to correct for some of my past mistakes and not just dump the book on the world and see what happens. The next two to three weeks is going to be busy in my real life – next week is prep for the move, then the move, then the whole waiting for furniture – but expect to see some sample chapters gracing these pages in the coming weeks, along with a cover reveal (when I get one), and maybe even a give away.

But wait, there’s more!

You can already order it on Amazon, but I’ll be taking part in a blog post exchange for the release of Enter the Apocalypse, the anthology where you can find my kaiju/vampire mashup. This was my first time working with an anthology release, and I have to say it was a pretty pleasant.

OK, that’s it from this corner of the world. Have a good one!

 

I do not travel light

I used to travel light. In my early twenties, while overseas for school, I grabbed a bag, put a few things in it, and traveled to Scotland for spring break. I’ve always thought of myself as a light traveler, taking only what I need.

Then I went to Portland last week to wrap up things on our new house and realized I have lost that gift.

I won’t bore you with the clothing half of the packing – who cares how many socks or shirts or underwear I took? No, it was the entertainment portion of my packing that I failed to keep a good grasp on.  I left California with all kinds of visions of what I would do with a week alone. Sure, during the day I’d be working or managing house related tasks, but at night I was free! I’d write, obviously, and when I wasn’t writing I’d read. Worst case, I could watch any one of the dozen or so shows I’ve been meaning to try out or catch up on.

So I packed. First, I packed my journal, because I wanted to get that going again (that was actually a success). I packed three books to read – The Warded Man (re-reading-ish – I’ve listened to the audiobook), The Temporal Void, and The Lost City of Z. In the weeks preceding my trip, I was reading an average of a book every three or four days, so this didn’t seem too ambitious. I had a flight out and back, plus all that free time for the week in between. I also brought my Fire, filling it with graphic novels and comics, figuring it could also act as a video player for Netflix, Hulu, Xfinity, and of course, Amazon Video.

None of that quite worked out in the end.

My flight out was probably great. It was my birthday, and I flew out first class. I’m only vaguely conscious of most of the hour and a half because after getting up at 3am and being on the move all morning, I passed in and out for most of it. The rest of the day was social meetups, which I’ve already blogged about.

The problem became that the rest of the week, I was never quite at a point with enough down time to read much. And why watch a small seven-inch screen when I had a large screen TV in my room?

So there I was, in Portland, with three books, a notebook, a Kindle Fire, and all of it for naught. Even the times I did have legitimate down time, I found myself doing other things. Sometimes, that was just sitting and thinking. Sometimes it was daydreaming, which if you haven’t done in a while, I highly recommend.

Why physical books instead of Kindle books? Lately I’ve had trouble with screens later at night (when I typically read). The good news is that while on this trip, I confirmed it’s from a lack of solid sleep. The bad news is the biggest interruption to my sleep is the big furry baby.

So it turns out I could have traveled much lighter, because I don’t need to be entertained as much as I thought I did. On the upside, I have plenty of reading material for the next few weeks before the move. What I found most interesting is that within hours of being home, I was back to sitting in a chair and reading. The mind is a mysterious place, my friends.

I am full of words

Flew up to Portland today to deal with some new house related paperwork over the next week. I’ll skip over the joys of getting up at 3, flying first class (worth it, probably more so if I hadn’t passed out for most of it), and my first Lyft ride (yeah, I’m an old man, I know).

Why was today full of words? I didn’t actually write any, let me start there. But I did get to have a nice, long lunch with Ken Scholes. I don’t know if I could recount half of what we talked about, partly because I was operating on less than three hours of sleep. I’m glad I was coherent. I think I was coherent? The best part of meeting with Ken was that it was like we were old friends reuniting.

Then came dinner.

Jennifer Willis and her husband took me out with Curtis Chen and Laurel Standley for some great Lebanese food. Did we maybe over stay our welcome a little after we paid the bill? Sure. But we had a blast doing it. Like lunch, there was talk of writing, along with everything else.

Today was the first time I felt a sense of community. This was one of my first in person, extended visits with other writers. It was illuminating, enlightening, and occasionally humiliating. I definitely walked away feeling more inspired, more motivated, both to write and to submit. And so as the end of my first day of my forty-second year comes to an end, I am full of words.

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