May 26, 2015

Post Memorial Day Blogaround


It's the day after Memorial Day...and yes, I've been busy writing and doing actual paid work. (Which has meant that there's been little attention paid to the blog, but has done wonders for launching my marketing consultancy). However, think of things as starting to crank up for me....with potential grist for the mill for this very blog.

It's official - with the impending release of Dreamer's Syndrome: New World Navigation (now availble for pre-order!), I now have my own Amazon Author page. Anything I've written (and which is available for purchase) will be posted on the site. Please feel free to check it out....

...and if you read my Chicago Now blog, I've announced that I will be participating in Chicago Care's June 27th Serve-A-Thon. Between this and preparations for Chicago TARDIS, I will have a slightly more active next few months (but one without the stress of "where's the next job gonna come from"....even though my current gig's temporary, I've been laying the groundwork for more work).

I'm also quite glad to get a mention to pal Roger, who celebrated his 10th blogiversary earlier this month. Although I admire a guy who can blog once a day - every day - I'm glad that I can take pride in my own writing efforts, which have expanded for the better.

So all in all, pretty good stuff. Now, I just have to remember to write here about it once in awhile....

May 17, 2015

Coming June 1st: Dreamer's Syndrome - New World Navigation


I'm glad that I'm finally able to announce that, coming June 1st, my short story "When Angels Fall" will be published in Space Buggy Press' Dreamer's Syndrome: New World Navigation anthology.

The Dreamer's Syndrome universe (created by Mark Bousquet) has a very simple premise: one day, everyone wakes up to find themselves doing what they wanted to do when they were ten years old. In fact, the entire world has shifted its landscape, so entire areas can be Wild West territory, superheroic utopias....and everything in between.

In Los Angeles, a failed screenwriter wakes up to find himself a hard-boiled detective. In fact, he finds the corpse of an angel in his office, and....well, that leads to a case involving demonic rituals, power struggles, and a former heroin addict turned cartoon bear.

(Yes, you read that correctly - a heroin addict turned cartoon bear)

It's a story I'm particularly proud of writing, and am grateful for its inclusion. (Yes, I'll be writing another Where Stories Come From post closer to publication). 

If you're interested in reviewing this book, contact me and I will provide the appropriate contact information.

Yes, it's official - I've been published twice. Maybe I should see a doctor about that.

May 15, 2015

Eleventh Blogiversary (And Then Some)

Today is a very....well, it's a confluence of anniversaries. And when anniversaries collide, they spark reflection and rumination over a variety of issues.

The first is that eleven years ago, I began blogging. As many of you will note, this blog hasn't been as active in the past few years, but has seen a nice uptick in activity. Combined with a burgeoning writing career (as well as a healthy increase in paid freelance work/consulting), this has meant a regular commitment to time management, as well as monitoring my workload.
On the other hand, two years ago today I had to take Dax to the vet for a final visit. Ironically, next month would be the 20th anniversary of my adopting Dax. So there's a bit of grief work that I am continuing to do - I'm in a better space about it, but it's still a bit challenging.

But it's that work that's led me to the greatest insight about my current life - I actually have a life.

Thanks to Dax's passing - and a friend's suicide - I began reevaluating my life. Taking inventory of my activities, I realized that I needed to let go of activities that were burdens rather than blessings. I also needed to focus on what I valued....and even this very blog came under the potential chopping block.

(Yes, that's a really bad metaphor, isn't it?)

But what happened when I began looking at my time and establishing priorities, I realized that I had much more time to...procrastinate. Do nothing, if I so wished. But rather than fill my time with job seeking and networking, I actually began working. It meant a shift in how I perceived paid work, and accepting that paid freelance work might be more amenable than getting a traditional full time job. (So much so that I'll be formalizing my new marketing consultancy in the next month). It meant that I could actually socialize much more than I have, approaching my St. Louis-era levels of activity.

Or if I so chose, spend my time doing nothing and getting some rest. Socializing with others. Even (gasp) dating. And those activities have improved my psychological health immensely.
So much so that I have a much healthier approach to time management: focusing on a few smaller projects rather than big ones. Committing myself to cutting down and/or leaving volunteer commitments. It means not ranting or reacting when people act....well, goofy, and realizing that there's room enough for everyone in this big old world. It means separating what I need to do from what I have to do. In short, I've concluded that if I don't stop to smell the roses, they might end up on me.

(Yes, that is a quote from one of my favorite albums).

But when it comes to the blog....it's still going to be here, and I will still post when I can. But with a thriving writing career (portfolio available via my personal site, as well as stories to be published, I may not get to this blog as frequently as I would like....but I will be spending my time doing other things.

Like living a life. Seeing friends. Perhaps, if things go well, adopting another cat in a month or two....

Because life goes on outside of blogging. And for the first time in awhile, I feel like it isn't passing me by.