It really isn't all that easy being a writer. For me, this requires being left alone for lengths of time to get words on the page. I can usually futz about characters and plot during my commute. I've written before about commuting with Lorelei, the Muse. This is beneficial, because there are no other distractions, like WordPress, email, Twitter. I have a routine these days. I get up early on my days off, and write about all the things that came together during my commute hours. It isn't perfect, but it works.
My life changed radically over the weekend. Our 27 year old son moved back in last night. This isn't completely unexpected. He's been living unhappily with a girl for years now, and threatens to move back home regularly. He hasn't worked in years, and I do mean years. He claims back problems, but that's pretty hard to prove medically.
I don't know that I care one way or the other about proof. The fact is that he is here now, and I have my suspicions it will be a permanent change.
My wife and daughter had a major blowout last night. I only got to hear half of it, because it was over the phone. It's one every parent has on occasion. The child is a pig, and expects the parents to clean up after her. It's usually covered up with, “I'll do it later,” or some other fiction. It's not a life changing problem, but it is tension I prefer not to have.
As a result, my daughter stayed with a friend last night. She came home and slammed a door about 6:00 AM. This was my alarm clock for the day. She left for work at 8:00 or so.
Today is a national holiday in the US. I am supposed to be alone to work on my projects. But I'm not alone, and may never be alone again. To an introvert like me, this is poison.
There are some loopholes. My daughter did go to work. My son will spend 90% of his time in his bedroom. There will probably be some loud television, or music to contend with. Perhaps I can relocate to my own bedroom, or the back porch when the weather improves. I could even go to the storage lot and write in the camper.
I shouldn't have to, but that's reality.
My wife and I were pretty happy about being empty nesters. It looks like our happiness was short lived. We'll have to try finding happiness in some other way. We've always done date night, but it will be more important now.
I tried my best to work through all of this. I was even moderately successful. The Yak Guy Project has another 2200 words, and I got to a huge plot point in his adventure. I'd rather have added 10,000 words, but I'll take what I can get.
I also managed to add 1200 words to side project. This one is a science fiction short story. I have no planned word count for it. It will finish wherever it finishes.
I've come to the realization that finishing motivates me. Short form fiction satisfies me almost like a cookie as a child's reward. When I read a novella, I feel good to have finished something. When I write a micro-fiction, it feels good to finish. I read several books of short stories last year, and every story was like a little reward.
Speaking of treats, I dealt with the other story that really needed italics. I rewarded myself by washing out my Stipula Gladiator fountain pen. (Hail Cobby) It has an italics nib, and I filled it with a nice blue black ink. I've been using it to make notes on paper about characters, possible names, word counts, and more. I didn't need to, but it makes me happy.
Finishing could be why having a short side project is working for me. With the turmoil under my roof, the scales may tip toward more short form stuff. It isn't what I want, but it is a possibility. Right now, I'm not giving up on my 2016 business plan. I still hope to have The Playground out near the end of winter. I would like to get Yak Guy out before snow flies next year.
I managed part of an editing pass on The Playground last night. This was before everything landed. This story involves three alternating stories that weave together to tell a bigger one. One of the editing projects involves reading each story by itself to see if the continuity works. I've finished two, and am part way through the last one. This is the character that carries the burden of the speculative element to the story.
Once I get cover art, I'll ask for beta readers. I have an artist, but we haven't even tried to discuss it yet. I have him working on a Lisa project right now.
So, I accomplished a few things. I might have accomplished more, but that's not certain. I don't like my current situation, but I'm kind of stuck with it. It's still early today, and I might get more of that editing pass finished.
I have a busy week ahead of me at the paycheck job, and maybe that's just what I need right now. Fighting metaphorical fires requires me to turn off the part of my brain that dwells on crap. My imagination is usually worse than the reality, and maybe by next weekend the situation won't look so nasty.