A Year Later

For many U.S. citizens, the most tragic news to report on September 11, 2002 is that Johnny Unitas has died of a heart attack at age 69. However, I think many more U.S. citizens are breathing a collective sigh of relief that the anniversary date has come and gone without a significant terrorist event taking place. At work today, a few people with ties to the east coast were understandably emotional. Aside from that, it was a pretty normal day for me, and I’m thankful.

The Writer’s Circle group met this evening at a member’s home in the mountains. Rain fell the entire time, and a significant thunderstorm developed; it was wonderful. It was also a bit synchronistic; two of the stories we critiqued dealt with rain and lightning themes. I committed to having a story ready for next month’s meeting, which means I need to finish “Chesterfield Gray” in the next couple of weeks. It’s not a genre story, but the group is willing to read it anyway. As Ed jokes, “Sure, you can submit a non-genre story. It just has to be twice as good!”

One of our members is making significant strides in publishing, with several different white-hot irons in the fire. I won’t go into more detail than that, because it’s not my place to do so, as Brian Plante has ably demonstrated with his Chronicles of the Garden Variety Writers. But I will say that it is inspiring to see one of our own climbing the rungs. It’s also clear that he’s working very hard at it — much harder than I am. It’s probably not fair to compare our situations, because we have completely different schedules and family requirements, but it does make me look at my time and efficiency, as well as my commitment level.

Yes, I think it’s safe to say that I will be a published writer someday. But the examples have made it clear that this won’t happen at my current level of quality or output. I need more practice, and I need to lick some stamps.

Sophie’s World

I almost finished Sophie’s World today. It’s amazing to me how a book can have such high worldwide sales and be so little known in the U.S. That’s probably an indicator of just how egocentric we are as a nation. I should have the book finished by tomorrow, and I will write a review for this site shortly thereafter.

Other projects on the burner include redesigning the West Side Books website, reading and reviewing several different books, finishing the first draft of “Sphere of Success,” revising “Saint and Cynic” and trying to find a home for it, doing the homework for Melanie’s class next week and critiquing a long story for the Writer’s Circle group for the week after that. Oh yeah, painting, wainscoting, and wallpapering, too. Oy.

It’s probably not smart for me to rattle off a ton of things like that. It’s daunting. It’s like saying, “I need to lose 150 pounds in three months,” when a more realistic goal would be to lose 15 pounds in three months. That said, let me revise my project list.

  • This week, I need to write a review of Sophie’s World and complete a basic redesign of the West Side Books website.

  • The week after that, I need to work on “Sphere of Success” and “Saint and Cynic,” as well as doing the homework for Melanie’s class.

  • The week after that, I need to critique the long manuscript for The Writer’s Circle.

  • Home improvements can come on the weekends.

Well, I didn’t drop anything from the list, and I only slightly reworded it, but it does seem a little less daunting now that it’s broken up into weeks with specific goals.

Somewhere in there, after I get broadband tomorrow, I will need to work on the network at home, but that’s almost a relaxing activity for me.

Writer’s Circle Writing Group

The traffic gods smiled on me today. Even after staying at work late to do some last minute critiquing for the group, I still managed to make it to the meeting on time.

Painting and prepping

Okay, almost the whole upstairs is now painted. I ran out of paint and had to rush to Lowe’s before they closed, but we got enough to finish the bedroom upstairs and got all the furniture back in so we would have something to sleep on. All that’s left upstairs is touch-up work, which my wife says she will finish this week.

I’m glad she said that, because I will be very busy this week. John from Dante Spumante did call, and I told him I would play with them on Tuesday. He wanted to know when we could rehearse, but I told him we might not have a chance due to my tight schedule. Today, I painted. Monday, I’m supposed to attend the monthly Old Possum’s writing workshop. Tuesday is gig day, and I have to work both Monday and Tuesday during the day. That doesn’t leave much time unless I forego the Old Possum’s workshop. I don’t want to do that, but it looks like I might have to.

Wednesday, I have the Writer’s Circle writing workshop, and Thursday is the day for Melanie Tem’s writing workshop. It only happens occasionally that I have three workshops in one week, but when it does, the whole week feels swamped. Friday is relatively clear, except for a potluck and BBQ at work, but that means I will need to make something Thursday night after the workshop. Oy. Saturday, my nephew is getting married, and then we are driving to Colorado Springs to see Dot Com open for Jack Russell, the former lead singer for Great White.

Sunday, we get to start painting the downstairs. Joy.


The Old Possum’s Writing Group met tonight. Two new members showed up, and one old member who had been in absentia for a few months. My right ear started throbbing during the meeting due to an ear infection (another one! What’s up with my ears this year?) so I kind of wavered in and out of the meeting, but I think I was mostly present. I told Ed Bryant that I would not be able to make it to the Writer’s Circle group this Wednesday due to my workload and upcoming manager’s meeting on Friday.

That will probably force these creativity journal entries to be a bit thin, as well.