Not going to make a big deal of it, but I’m going to try to spend less time on Twitter and Facebook and post my errant thoughts in blog posts. Twitter is an increasingly toxic environment – much like booze – and I have to limit my access to it – much like booze. I follow Caitlin Kiernan on some social media and in addition to being a brilliant writer, she can be somewhat of grouch which endears her to me (I tend to prefer grouches), but whatever the case, I like how she uses LiveJournal – weather, recap of the day’s events, some thoughts. Nothing too in-depth, just notes on the day, so maybe I’ll try that instead of constantly Tweeting my often juvenile and ill-informed thoughts. (It’s hard not to make butt jokes.)
So, the weekend was wonderful, and I can’t always say that. I work hard all week at the day job (a job I love as a partner and senior art director at an ad agency) yet I often come home exhausted by Friday, and my wife is ready for me to take over since she’s been wrangling two teenagers all week. But for the last six months I’ve been sober – I made a rule that I’ll only drink out of state and so far I’ve been out of state once and didn’t – and focused on living healthy, and my energy and attitude has increased dramatically.
Allowed myself a sleep-in on Saturday, managed to make it until 8am and then just popped out of bed, raring to go. The girls, Lily (17) and Helen (15), usually sleep in late during the summer and we allow them. For many reasons I won’t go into today – some other journal entry, maybe. My wife was at Two Rivers Park, walking the dogs. She likes to walk them before the heat of the day. Having the house to myself, I sat down at the computer and wrote two thousand good words on a chapter that had been stymying me for a week or so. My Heart Struck Sorrow is coming along nicely, though if I want it to remain a novella I’ll need to do some heavy editing and come to an end in another 10,000 words. I’ve been leaning into my Southerness, if you will, since the world seems to want me to be a southern writer. There’s a simultaneous responsibility and freedom when you bow to expectations. The past few things I’ve been writing, I feel like I’m really doing some great work, defining my style, playing to my strengths. A sample:
Something grew in me, as he sang in the failing light. Some sense of order, descending. It’s said that music is a ritual with the power to transform both the singer and the listener. Steck’s stature grew as he sang in my mind, his mouth became cavernous and dark, and I felt a heaviness descend on me. Hairs stood on my arms, and I looked at Bunny and Vester who both also seemed enthralled by Steck’s music. When he finally let the song die, I raced to the SoundScriber to make sure acetate had cut properly and played it back.
It was such a small sound compared to what had come before, echoing out above rows cotton. A flight of crows erupted from the far tree line and wheeled in unison, passing overhead and then diminishing into the west for what seemed like an eternity, their caws drowning out the sound of the disc playing. When their avian vocalizations finished, the recorded song ended. He’s a bad man, Stackerlee.
I’ve been leaning into my musical experiences, as well. When I spar, I try to use my strength and size to my advantage. When I write, I’m learning to accept that certain subjects and themes are right in my wheelhouse.
After writing, I went down to the dojo to work on katas. I train at martial arts, I’m not very good at it, but I’m okay at sparring because I’m big and faster than most of my opponents think, at least the first time we go at it. I enjoy the camaraderie of everyone at the dojo and I’ve really lucked out – at Unity Martial Arts, there are no meatheads, Foot Fist Way guys, just smart people. Doctors, professionals, writers and artists. Gamers. So, a community I feel at home in.
Anyway, it was my intention simply to run through my katas and pinans but I got cozened into joining the high-intensity, higher rank class: doing burpees-thingys, tossing medicine balls around, grappling. At times I felt like I was going to vomit. After class, quivering in exhaustion and drenched in sweat, I went down to Rob-Bell, and swam in the lake to cool off. It’s getting so very hot though, the top foot of water at the lake is warm, and you have to dive to get to the cool shit. Mosquitos teem in the shadows, ravenous. You have to walk in the sunlight, beware the shadows, or you’ll go home with a million welts.
Had my favorite keto meal that night, courtesy of my wife – salmon, coconut-curried kale, shirataki noodles – and hung out with Helen and watched Brooklyn 99, played Witcher 3. When I die and discover there is a heaven, and strangely I’m welcomed there, Saturday will probably be the day that plays over and over, or some variation of it.
Saturday – Father’s Day – hung out with my kids, dealt with soreness from the previous day’s class. They gave me wonderful and hilarious letters, some ‘Merica boxers, which are pure ridiculousness. Saw The Incredibles 2, which was fun! Not as good as the first, but still great. I guess I didn’t remember that The Incredibles was set in the 60s. For some reason, that fact jumped out at me.
Cooked two lovely strip steaks, Gordon Ramsay style, for dinner. Holy smokes, they were good. Blew through my calories – normally I try to keep a 15-25% deficit to decrease my body weight. Still, I’m down over 40 pounds since the first of the year. I could feel it this morning, though.
Wrote some last night. But didn’t feel any pressing need to make a lot of progress. Haven’t decided if I’ll work to keep My Heart Struck Sorrow a novella or just let it be a short novel. If the story needs more than novella length, I’ll let it have it. I hope the lords and masters at Harper Collins will be fine with that.
Excited for The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky to come out in ebook, but I’m more excited for it to be bundled with My Heart Struck Sorrow in hardback. Equally jazzed that David Pomerico signed off on the title of the… duology?… A Lush and Seething Hell. That title really encapsulates both stories.
At the Cranford Co offices now and people are demanding things of me. “It’s going to be a busy week.” I wish I could show you my daily to-do lists. They’re not pretty, but I’m glad we have so much work. Especially when profit checks are dispersed.
This journal entry turned longer than I thought it would. I guess if I do them more often, they’ll be more perfunctory. Hope you all have a great day.