An Unintentional Hiatus, and Remembering to Breathe

Life happens, or so the saying goes, as does work and writing and finding time to exercise. Organizing parties. Dozing off in the middle of the day. And so on.

I’ve certainly kept busy, and sometimes I am kept busy. Sometimes I find myself time to simply be, and sometimes I am reminded to simply be (or, with a gentle nudge and much love from my wife, I am told to simply be). It’s during the downtime of being that I find myself thinking about what I should be doing and what I could be doing, and how I’ve not necessarily gotten any closer to accomplishing those things. On the plus side, I’ve gotten no farther from doing so either. Instead, I’m enjoying the adventure of being a father to two fantastic children, navigating the adventures of marriage with my entirely remarkable wife (who supports my writing far more than I do at times), and so on.

So what’s next, then? What misadventures wait ahead?

There will certainly be more Follow the Ashes sooner than later. Still plenty of distance to travel before we reach our destination with that story.

Introductions to Amira, and her Quest, are probably in order. We’ll see.

Then, of course, there’s a small matter of things to do with ducks, and if that’s confusing to read I promise it was just as perplexing to type.

Those, however, are misadventures for other days. Today, instead, I’m choosing again to simply be and remember to breathe.

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Good news, bad news

Hey, all.

Happy nearly-Thursday (or happy Thursday, depending on where you’re reading this from). Installment 4 of Follow the Ashes (spoilers: titled “Put on a Happy Face”) is coming along slowly but surely, and will likely be on time. If it isn’t, it’ll be up by Sunday. The goal is for it to be on time, obviously.

However! I have to say that this will be the last one for a bit. The reason? There is less than a month between now and the arrival of the baby known as Butterbean. I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to focus on preparing for that, which means taking a breather from Follow the Ashes. I do have some bonus material planned for when it returns to help take the edge off.

Meanwhile, expect the next installment soon. I hope it’s proving to be an enjoyable story.

T’is the Season

NaNoWriMo is now well behind me, and I successfully won another year (it only cost me quite a few days of sleep-deprivation at work, but I’m honestly pleased with the bulk of the draft it yielded). Christmas is less than a week away, which would be concerning if I hadn’t managed to successfully behave like an adult and get shopping out of the way ahead of time for a change. As the end of the year rapidly approaches, whether I’m ready for it or not (and, honestly, despite how good 2017 has been on a personal level I am all about those sweet, sweet 2018 mid-term elections and several other, exciting things I’ll get to later).

This post is a sort-of recap of my year since the last posts I made, a loudly-stated-because-it’s-on-the-intenet commitment to getting off of my ass so as to work harder towards getting more things published (self-published as well), and a return to WordPress…because I renewed my damn domain name, so I may as well make use of it. (Fun story: I had to open a new tab and verify this, because I honestly could not remember if I did or not.) Onward!

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Eating Halo Top Vanilla Bean feels like the adult equivalent of eating paste

Sure, that’s a long-ass title, but it’s catchier than my usual go-to of indicating I’m not dead, that I’ve not forgotten I have a WordPress, or some pop culture reference. Related: how the Hell do I have 18 drafts? I need to do some belated spring cleaning.

The Halo Top, for the record, isn’t half bad, but it has a weird consistency – just to set the record straight.

“What’s new in the land of Phil’s Misadventures in Fiction (and life)?” asks no one in particular.  Continue reading

Hello WordPress, my old friend

I’ve come to post on you again.

I’m not even a little sorry for that. Nope. Newcomers: I’m definitely sorry for that, but it’s been a long week and I just don’t have it in me to pretend I’m more than a golem constructed from bad jokes, neuroses, and the occasional good idea. I got briefly distracted because I made the mistake of trying to refresh my Facebook while working on this post…only to discover my WiFi has once again crapped all over itself. Thanks, Comcast. Forever holding your products to the lowest standards. Continue reading

A gradual journey to a new normalcy

Some of you folks may be wondering where the Hell I’ve been. May was, of course, my month-long hiatus from Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress, and it was definitely a learning experience. And then I didn’t blog for the entire month of June, which was a bit less intentional. Plenty of events transpired between the last post and this one; the world continued turning, people kept writing, and life went on (and I have so much to catch up on in my subscriptions that it actually gives me a headache thinking about it).

This post will be about the good, the bad, and the ugly, but not necessarily in that order. Don’t worry, though. A lot of this will be shortened up for everyone’s sake. Plus, really, the good outweighs the bad. It’s a lot more enjoyable to read the good stuff.

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Stormy weather, reflection, and personal growth

The weather for today called for thunderstorms, and the forecast was certainly spot-on in that regard. Proper thunderbolts-and-lightning, very very frightening, and so on. Oh, and grape-sized hail that scared the crap out of my cats.

I love a good thunderstorm. One of the things I miss most about living in Carnegie is being able to lie in the back room–my grandma’s old room–and listen to the rain hitting the skylights. Thought it wasn’t quite the same, I did take some time to sit out on the back deck to watch the beginnings of the storm. I snapped a few pictures, enjoying the crazy clouds and the increasing winds, wrote in my journal a bit, and then set both my phone and journal aside to appreciate the weather.

Fun fact: I used to be terrified of thunderstorms. Specifically, I was terrified of the thunder itself. By association, I would freak out when I saw bright flashes of lightning; I knew what they meant, and I didn’t like what would follow. The typical response? Find the nearest pillow and hide, as pillows were obviously the greatest protection from the elements. It’s a common enough fear, and so I don’t feel too bad admitting to it. If the thunder’s loud enough and the lightning’s crazy enough, really, it becomes a surprisingly rational fear, I’d say. It was during those times that I spent cowering under couch decorations that my grandmother would try to comfort me by explaining the thunder away as angels bowling. The louder thunder rumbles were, the more likely it was the angels got a strike. I learned enough about bowling during my formative years while still not finding thunder to be a great source of terror, but the idea that it wasn’t so bad stuck around. My grandmother actually spent a good deal of time watching storms, too, and it’s something I seem to have picked up at some point. I even, against what was probably better judgment, went with my stepfather to try retrieving my grandmother and great aunt after a tornado cruised through Mount Washington and wrought all sorts of havoc.

This is something I dwell on from time to time, as it’s something I’ve grown out of. Here’s the part where I get ridiculous, because I’m drawing parallels all ham-handed and shit. My writing is like the way I’ve gotten used to, and have grown to love, thunderstorms. When I started writing, it was all short stories with MS Paint and Microsoft Works. Lots of crappy writing, thoughtless snark, and…Well, it was my first attempts at writing. Over time, with practice and patience, I slowly got better. I found an audience that enjoyed my writing and I ran with it. I’m still, I’ve discovered, finding new audiences and continuing along the process of finding what works and what doesn’t, and I’ll probably have to keep doing that until the day I die (or, less likely, my fingers all fall off and I’m no longer able to write).

The comparison may have fallen apart there. Over time, these two things–thunderstorms and writing–became things that I didn’t fear (for different reasons, obviously), but things I enjoyed a great deal. They both old a special place in my heart, even when they are a source of frustration.