Saturday Evening Post

Get it? Because it’s Saturday evening?

Last night I was pretty frustrated with myself. Two days and almost no writing. I’ve gotten to the point where I start to get a little squirrely if I don’t write every day. But this is my son’s last week of Summer Vacation, and not a very great summer vacation at that. Last summer, we went to hot springs and swimming and visited grandparents and so many other things to fill his mind with new experiences and broaden his horizons. This year, as all of us know, we blew through Spring and are finding ourselves at the end of summer vacation without having done much other than sit at home and gain weight.

So for the last several weeks, we have been using our time together to ride bikes, go places, spend time together, and not play video games as much as he would like. Much to his frustration and disappointment. $45 at a farm supply store got us inner tubes a few weeks ago, and since then, we have been hitting several places along the river, tubing! It gets us out into the sun, it gives us a chance to exercise, and we don’t have so spend much money, other than gas and snacks for the trip.

This week we did a number of things, which I will write about on my travel blog. Unfortunately we have been spending so much time together and I have put my focus on getting him on a river or a bike lately that I don’t get a lot of time to write. Usually after he falls asleep. The barrier I am running into though is by then, I am tired. If I start writing at 11:00pm, then I know that my brain will continue to keep writing until about 2 or 3am. Then we have to get up, I have to feed us, and the whole process starts all over again. I don’t have the luxury of writing all night in a cool, quiet house when he is around, so I tend to play more with him and work more when it is just me.

I didn’t work much at all for the last few nights, and to my mental state, it shows. The other night my brain decided to work, but it didn’t produce anything. It just fretted over structure and which chapter would come next. I still didn’t have any answers. Then, yesterday, a really bad burn on my right hand delayed my writing for late afternoon and the evening. Just a reminder: if you are using a steel skillet as a broiler pan, just remember it will probably be very hot even a few minutes after you pull it out of the oven. Use an over mitt to pick it up. Not your bare hand.

Raw aloe does help. But it only does so much.

Last night I was up really late, just scrolling through social media, then reading a little bit. I finally fell asleep at about 3:30am and woke up at 10am. I had a series of nightmares which are pretty common to me…and BOOM, that was it! This was the next chapter I needed to write! This was the transition in the story! I picked up my phone and went into Notes and just started Writing!

Tonight, after a cat nap post-inner tubing again, I sat down to visit with a couple friends online, and once they faded out (as people usually do when you are visiting on Messenger), I decided to transcribe notes from my phone into Scrivener. As it turns out, I had six or seven files to move over from the last few days. Mostly little snippets of dialog or a theme for a scene. But the chunk that I wrote this morning was 1600 words. Boom. An hour’s worth of work using just my thumbs on a Notes app.

Today I actually feel good about the writing.

There are some days I feel like the book is demanding that it be written. These sleepless nights are usually the confrontation between an active mind and an exhausted body. In my case, the mind usually wins, but the body is useless and painful when it doesn’t get sleep at night. Sometimes the boredom of solitude gets to be a little too much. There is also the problem of money and what to do when you are looking at quickly running out of it. I have to heed to call to write and put the words down. I can’t worry about structure and plotting and all that because that kind of thinking is actually getting in the way of how the story is asking to be written.

It’s weird as hell.


Burning the candle at both ends

Since I left for the UK on May 12, I have been in Go mode.

  • 10k miles flown
  • 85 miles walked
  • Countless people met
  • London, England explored
  • 10,000 years worth of museums, sights, sounds, etc. experienced
  • Underground system, coaches, and trains figured out
  • Flight cancelled and re-booked
  • Several articles written
  • four-wheeling in the mountains
  • Headcold fought off
  • plans for the upcoming 1940’s Ball in Boulder
  • pictures taken
  • pictures posted
  • laundry done
  • social media caught up on
  • real social interactions caught up on–ish.
  • Bags unpacked

Since I left on my trip, and even while there, I realized this was definitely something I would love to pursue as a career.  Seeing things and having new experiences.  Writing about them.  For me, it’s the best of both worlds.  It also fueled my rapidly depleted tanks for fiction writing, which has been severely neglected as of late.  Also, it turns out that even with an iPhone SE, which won’t even be supported in the next year or so, I’m a decent photographer.

A year ago, my big achievements had been to book a hot air balloon ride and half of a weekend getaway to Ouray, CO.  At the time those were big achievements for me.  Baby steps, sure, but at the time they were big shaky ones.  Today, that would just be the warmup.


Yesterday, I must have still had ants in my pants.  Even though I just got tickets to the 1940s Ball in Boulder, I wanted to do more.  I decided to solo climb a 14er this weekend, even though most of the trailheads to them are still socked in and the ones that looked promising are a 3 hour drive, minimum.  I was going to drive to Dillon tonight, hopefully find a campsite, and then climb Quandary Peak on Saturday.

This morning, I woke up and mentally reviewed my schedule for the next month.  Considering the 1940s Ball and Cub Scout Summer Camp, this weekend might be the only one in June I have that means I won’t be running.  As much as it pains me, I think I need a lazy weekend.  One where I just sit still.  One where I sip coffee or one of the wonderful teas I bought in Bath, and maybe just write with a clear head.  Clean my house.  Fold two weeks worth of laundry.

No more distracting myself.  Because I have been doing plenty of that.

Just being present in the moment.  Being a little lazy.  Taking it all in.