And I’ll never have that plan again.

I took a vacation day today to finish a couple of projects. While the bookmobile tour was on, there were still projects that needed tending.

My truck needed to be serviced, so I made the first appointment of the day – 7:30 AM. I decided not to change my alarm clock, and left it like any regular work day at 4:00.

I have a party post to write for the Rave Reviews Book Club's month long blog party. I also have a couple of fresh new Lisa Burton Radio posts to work up. I decided to route home past Staples to buy some shipping boxes. I'm going to be giving away a couple more coffee mugs during my party stop, so I decided to buy extras.

There is also a book I want to finish reading. Besides that, I promised a friend a beta read, and another friend an ARC read with the intent of a review. I only mention this to illustrate that I need to kick it in gear. New writing has come to a standstill, but manuscripts don't spoil. They'll be there when I get back.

My whole life seems like one broken plan after another, and today was no exception. After enough broken plans a guy gets experience at dealing with it somehow. The only smart thing I did was to take my iPad with me to the dealership.

Turns out, my truck was overdue for several odd pieces of maintenance. You know the ones I'm talking about; flush the brakes, power steering, etc. They were available to do it right then and there. The desk kid said it would take another two hours. He was wrong, it was more like three.

I managed to finish Type & Cross, by Staci Troilo, while I waited. I left her a five star review about an hour into my wait. Staci did a fabulous job on this book, and I recommend it to all of you. Tell me if I'm unique here, but as an author, I tend to read more critically these days. I intend it as a compliment to her writing that I haven't been so absorbed in a book in years.

Hey, not just the finished book, but the review too. I still had hours to wait, but didn't know that at the time.

The dealership had absolutely terrible wifi. This seems to be a trend with businesses, and I don't understand it. It's like they offer it, because everyone else is offering it, but it feels cheap not to have it functional. It can't cost them any more to have good wifi, but it feels that way. Some commercial wifi will not function with email either, and this was one of them. I wound up linking to my phone's signal and working that way.

Never underestimate the hours that correspondence and social media takes either. This involves trying to support those who support me on Twitter, Facebook, and others. Eventually, I moved on and managed a partial shtick for one of the radio interviews. By pigtailing into my phone, I got it sent to the author too.

That's about it. I should have worked up the other Lisa Burton interview. I could have started my RRBC post, but I just didn't.

I stayed up until midnight playing video games with my son, then got up at 4:00. Quite honestly, I ran out of gas.

When I left the dealership, I headed for Staples to get my shipping boxes. About half way there, I realized I'd forgotten my coffee cup. This is one of those metal thermos style cups, and I didn't want to abandon it. I called the dealership and they promised to hold it for me. I decided to go to Staples and loop back for it.

Things are spread out in Boise, and I wound up spending a lot of time on Eagle Road. Eagle Road is always bumper to bumper, and the loop was about twenty miles. I pulled into the garage at about one o'clock this afternoon.

Funny thing, the last time I had my truck serviced, I left the exact same coffee cup and had to loop back for it. Maybe I should buy one of those belt loop things to keep track of it.

At the paycheck job every single day is like that. I commute while forming a plan of attack. By the time I boot up my computer that plan is out the window. It really stresses me out, and I think it's part of the reason I have high blood pressure. When it comes to my vacation time it's intolerable.

One of the things I try to do is avoid days like this in my writing career. The only deadlines are the ones I set. I vow not to start another manuscript after I finish Yak Guy. The Enhanced League has a cover and promotional posters are in the works. I need to edit, seek betas, make adjustments, and get it out the door. Yak Guy is right on its heels. The realistic time to start the next project seems like once those books are available on Amazon.

I give you permission to kick my butt if I post about writing The Hat prior to that time.

I have the two promised reads to get through, and I'll start the beta project right away. After that, I need to read some things of my own choosing. Every book I've read for nearly two years has been something for a friend and supporter. They support me – I support them, that's how it's supposed to work. I fear the day when I have to say no. Does anyone else out there struggle with that?

So here I am, updating my blog while watching a baseball game. The Diamondbacks look like they're in trouble this time, but I took great glee in seeing them in first place this morning. That hasn't happened in years, and it's probably fleeting, but it felt nice. I think I'll take my own Lisa Burton mug, make some grandfather style tea, and start formulating a plan for those two blog projects.

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50 Comments

Filed under Writing

50 responses to “And I’ll never have that plan again.

  1. Whew! I’m exhausted after reading all you’ve been doing.
    And I hear you about free WiFi. It’s offered all over the place these days but in so many places its basically worthless. I find hotels are the worst.

    Type and Cross was a book I loved and I agree with you completely about how well written it is. It remains one of my favorites among Staci’s wonderful stories.

    I can’t believe you were up until Midnight and then got up at 4AM. I’d be comatose by 7.

    When it comes to reading, I read a lot of RRBC and the books of those who support me. They’re awesome, but I also have that “other list” of NYT bestsellers or fave authors who attract me. I always make time for those as well, usually every 3rd or 4th read. It keeps me happy. I’m getting ready to start one of those tonight 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have to make an effort to turn off my ‘editor’ when I read for pleasure. If it’s an engaging it stays off, but it never really sleeps … like dragons! 🙂 …

    We’ve left coffee mugs at our dealership too … OMG! It’s a diabolical plot! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Up til midnight then up again at FOUR? That’s like havin babies again! lol Thank goodness you had coffee to save you. I don’t know about attaching to your belt, but if I had all the travel mugs I’d lost, I’d have twice as many, so maybe it’s a workable plan.
    If I’m reading you right about work, I feel the same. I love my job because I never know what the day will bring, but the one guarantee is that there will be new stuff to push my old stuff back, back, back. Sometimes I’ll spend weeks with a folder on my desk and drive to work thinking, “Today is the day! Imma do Mrs Doe today!” (But no.)
    I’m a moody reader. I like having lots of choices, regardless of the author’s status in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think need to go to bed now. I’m exhausted from reading about your day. Looks like you got a lot done though. I am so grateful for my personal hot spot. Too often I have been caught. I have even done radio shows from the hotspot and was thankful I have it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Best laid plans of mice and men. Yet mice get it right a lot more often. Honestly, it’s just breed, sleep, find cheese, and avoid the cat. I know what you mean about the critical eye of an author. It drives me nuts at times, but I find myself directing it more toward franchises these days. A standalone book or movie will get more leeway since I expect world building and a few stumbles.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Vehicle maintenance sucks the life out of me. Why can’t they come to you to do that in the parking lot wherever you are while you are doing something interesting and/or productive? Why must we instead go wait in a bleak waiting room with nonfunctional wifi? It is unbearable.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It sounds like you had a Monday! At least it was productive. And yes, Type and Cross is fantastic. Now you have to read the other two of the series. Staci did a fabulous job!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Even on a good day, I don’t get as much done as you, I am exhausted just reading about your day!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hear you on the free so-called wi-fi… I’m finding blogging and social media a trial just now, but that’s mostly due to the rapidly worsening cataracts I have in both eyes (one is getting zapped in 2 days so at least things will improve vastly very soon as it’s the worst one 🙂 ).
    Anyhoo – I hope that your bug-bears start making themselves scarce. At least you have a spruced up truck now and can concentrate on more important things. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, at least you can say you crossed some things off your to-do list… Even if it wasn’t as many as you’d hoped.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes, I’m a wicked critical reader. And sometimes, I just want to get lost in the book rather than admire a specific word or sentence. As a result, it makes me such a slow reader.

    I made a similar vow. This week, I’m crawling into the writer’s cave and not emerging till it’s done. Happy writing!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Craig, you know I don’t get much sleep, and my “best laid plans” are laughable because other things always intervene, so know you aren’t alone.

    I’m also blasting through a TBR list for a lot of RRBC authors and other friends. But last night (when I wasn’t sleeping), I took the time to read James Scott Bell’s new book about marketing for authors who hate marketing. It was well written, had some good points, but I didn’t learn anything new. Made me wish I had read a novel instead.

    This week is a busy one for me, trying to get ready for Easter. Then it’s back to the grind. Hopefully I can finish my WIP and get some pleasure reading done. Wishing you a productive future, as well.

    And many thanks for the review online and the shout out here. It’s always nice to know a reader of your genre enjoys your work, but when you can interest someone who doesn’t typically read that kind of novel? That’s a really special feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You did get your coffee cup back, right?

    Seriously, my job is like that, too. I’m supposed to work with groups of kids, but there’s always something absent, or the class is out and about so I can’t find them. Aargh.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Don’t you hate it when that happens? You have a plan for the day and something happens to screw up everything. I recently read Type & Cross too – completely sucked me in from the first page.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I feel a little stressed just reading what you planned to get done. I think it sounds like you got a lot done even if most things didn’t go according to plan!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sometimes you have unexpected events that cause you to become unexpectedly productive. I was stuck in Albuquerque this week due to the Delta Airlines/Atlanta Airport debacle. I was able to get some serious writing done and finish up some tasks I had been pushing aside. I also took time out to tour the International Hot Air Balloon (who knew) museum which just happened to be having a food truck and craft beer festival on the day I visited. The best thing was sitting outside in the pleasantly warm and dry weather with mountain and desert views all around me while I write. Albuquerque just might be a setting for one of my future books and it’s all because I was stuck here for a weekend and not trapped in a hotel or client office for two whole days.

    I hear you about reading more critically. My current strategy is to read works by established, best-selling authors more critically and just sit back and enjoy works by indie authors. I just finished His Revenge, by John Howell and I’ll be diving into Our Justice, also by John, just for the pure enjoyment of the story. I’m concerned with ‘reviewing’ fellow indie author works as I don’t want to come off as pompous or arrogant by making suggestions or observations.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I hear you, Craig, about the reading and the social media and the plans taking off and then falling apart. A writer’s life, especially when you have another life with family and a paycheck job, is one that doesn’t seem to allow a lot of actual writing at times! And you sound like you’re incredibly busy – don’t know how you get it all done. Hope today was a better day – that full moon makes things a bit loopy as well 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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