Tag Archives: cleaning

Personal Update

I thought that today I would share a few things about myself. But first, an update on my writing.

My Tesla story is finished. It kind of sucks, but it’s done. The basic plot is a man who is visited by aliens from Venus. They tell him that they destroyed their own world with pollution and the greed of a few, and had to leave the solar system. But they kept an eye on Earth and have returned to keep it from happening to us. Their first attempt was with Tesla, but since he failed they are trying again with our hero. That was Story #28 of my Dirty Little Freaks collection. I updated my count meter, but there seems to be something wrong with it and it isn’t displaying the correct count.

Also, I’m up to 48 days in my writing chain on the Magic Spreadsheet. Things are going well, and this week I have decided to write a story in the format of a daily diary of someone who is an essential prisoner. She gets daily assignments, but once her task has been completed she can do whatever she wants with her time. Except leave.

Okay, now for the personal stuff. I have been on vacation this past week, celebrating my anniversary with my beautiful wife. I always take the week off for my anniversary, and this year it was actually a little more than a week, as I decided to take the 5th of July off as well. So my vacation started on July 4 and is over today, July 14. A nice, long, ten-day vacation.

We didn’t go anywhere for my vacation. I would have liked to have gone up to Wisconsin Dells for a day, but unfortunately we couldn’t afford it. Our car was on its last legs, with brakes that were hanging on by a thread, so we spent all of our meager savings and then some on taking it to a mechanic. He’s a really nice guy and he gave us a deal, but it still cost $886 to do the work that had to be done. There’s still a lot of work left to do on the car, since the exhaust is essentially gone, but we simply don’t have the money for it, so it will have to wait while we rebuild our savings. The important thing, though, is that I can now drive down the street without worrying about whether or not I will be able to stop.

We also did some cleaning over the last few days. We have recently decided to eliminate some of the clutter in our lives, so I started digging into the piles of boxes in our storage room and made some hard choices about what to keep and what should get kicked to the curb. A lot of what I threw away was old papers and magazines, but I also have a large stash of computer books and games that I no longer use. My plan is to take them to Half-Price Books so they can dispose of them for me. Many of them are so old that I doubt anyone will want them, but you never know. The important thing is that they won’t be taking up space in my house any more.

That’s all that I have time for today. I’ll be back next Sunday to let you know how my latest story came out. Until then, have a great week and keep writing!

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July 18 – Vacation is Over, Back to Work!

Today marks the return to my Day Job. I didn’t get a chance to do much writing during my vacation, but I did get a lot accomplished at home. I can actually have visitors over now without feeling too embarrassed about the piles of junk scattered around my living room. I also got a chance to watch the latest Harry Potter movie (it was brilliant!), finish the Terminator – Sarah Connor Chronicles TV episodes (I’m still upset about them cancelling that show), and take my wife out to dinner at her favorite restaurant (Red Robin).

So now that my vacation is over, I need to get back to writing. I’m still looking for a good short story idea. Ideally I would like to get a first draft written tonight so I can share it with my critique group tomorrow. I haven’t brought anything to the group in some time, and I’m feeling a bit guilty about it. I’ll have to do some brainstorming this afternoon to see if I can come up with anything. There are a few interesting things about my workplace that may be suitable for a quick tale. Hmmm….

I’ll check in again on Thursday and let you know if I came up with anything. See you then!

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July 14 – Work, Work, Work

I’m still on vacation, but the house cleaning that I have been doing has taken up so much of my time that I haven’t been able to get much writing done. On the plus side, I am getting rid of a lot of junk that I don’t really need. So far we have thrown out three chairs, a portable baby playpen, and a lot of old mail. We donated a load of clothes and curtains to St Vincent de Paul, and will probably be making another trip today or tomorrow with some old toys and more clothes. I’m also planning to take a bunch of programming books to Half-Price Books to see what I can get for them. We probably won’t finish the cleaning project this week, but we have made a lot of progress.

I’m still working on Finding Valhalla, usually before bed every night. I’ve been pretty tired, so not much writing gets done, but at least I am still working on it. I’m also looking for a new short story project. I’m registered for Duotrope, so what I was thinking was that I would sift through their lists and see if anything of the calls for submission spark any interest with me. I’m always up for a challenge, and I don’t have anything else poking at my brain right now, so having a goal to write to would make things a little easier for me. If you know of any good submission calls, let me know. Ideally I would like a paying market, with a word count between 3000 to 5000 words. I don’t really care about the genre. Even though I have been focusing on urban fantasy and paranormal, I’ll write anything. A couple of days ago I had an idea for a modern-day romance involving a man and a woman falling in love while trying to help a disturbed child. A little too detailed for a short story, but I may write it for NaNoWriMo this year.

I’ve got to get back to cleaning now, so I’ll see you back here on Monday!

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July 11 – Working Vacation

Today marks the start of a long-anticipated vacation from the day job. I take a week off every July to celebrate my wedding anniversary. So of course I am spending my time with my wife, doing all the little things that have been piling up for the last few months. It’s amazing how much there is to do when you don’t have to go to work.

Yesterday my wife and I started cleaning. Our house was starting to look like an episode of “Hoarders”, with piles of junk getting higher and higher on all available surfaces. We haven’t been able to use our kitchen table for months, and the love seat in our living room had all but vanished under piles of clothes and boxes. I have been using my laptop at a card table set up in the corner because my desk was overflowing with books and papers. Even our coffee table was a lost cause. Every time we cleaned it off more stuff appeared to fill it up practically overnight. I’m too ashamed to tell you what our bedrooms look like.

We managed to clean off the love seat and coffee table yesterday, and today I managed to clean off my desk while my wife started tackling a small pile in our bedroom. I expect that we will need to pile stuff temporarily on the love seat and coffee table in order to organize our bedrooms. I cleaned off the desk because I really want to be able to do my writing there instead of in the corner.

I plan on continuing to write during this vacation as well. I started rewriting the first chapter of Finding Valhalla over the weekend, and I think it is a bit better. My Valkyrie has gotten younger, and there are some new characters to work in, but I think the story will be better in the long run. I still have more research and planning to do, but I was inspired by the story of Brynhild and Sigurd in the book Nordic Gods and Heroes by Padraic Colum. I think it will serve very well as an example of a doomed romance, with sacrifice and betrayal, ending in death. I’ll have to play around a bit with the mythology in order to make my Valkyries descendants of Brynhild when the original myth doesn’t mention any children, but that’s called poetic license, right?

So that’s my update for today. I’ve got to get back to work now. There’s still a lot of piles left to sort through. Wish me luck!

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