Learning how to write… again.

I was seven years old when I wrote my first book.  The main character wandered along the street, asking others “Would you be my friend?”  It had a happy ending, although I can’t remember much more about it.

Over the course of my life I’ve gone through cycles of writing fiction intensively for several years, then completely dropping it for a few more years.  My most recent writing cycle was 2005 through 2011, when I was a regular participant in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and got to the 50,000-word finish line six times in six successive Novembers.  On my last outing in November 2011 I only got about 5,000 words into the story before stopping.  Life had staged an intervention:  I had slipped on some stairs and fractured a leg bone; my car had been rear-ended at an intersection and I was hobbling around town trying to locate a replacement; and Wednesday nights were off limits for writing because by then I was a dedicated participant in the local community band scene.

Well, I’m back.  And this time I’m actually going to publish something. Continue reading “Learning how to write… again.”

The day I finally cleaned that floor

Keeping house has never been my strong suit.  I enjoy having a nice place, but it’s a lot of work to maintain it in that state.  Every once in a while, though, the urge to clean something strikes, and assorted tools and supplies come out of storage.

Today it was the downstairs bathroom’s turn.

Finally. Continue reading “The day I finally cleaned that floor”

The people I don’t want to be (any more)

Life is embarrassment.  There, I’ve said it.

It’s just as well that most memories fade with time.  Some of them have sharp edges, made even sharper by our whetting and stropping of that inward-pointing blade.  When I was still in elementary school, it was virtually impossible for me to let go of something stupid I had blurted out or that I had done.  Even after everyone else had forgotten the incident, it would spring back into my thoughts and I would experience it all over again with all the unpleasant emotions intact. Continue reading “The people I don’t want to be (any more)”

The usual suspects

I take the bus to work, partly because of the cost of parking, but also to avoid the nail-biting stress of rush hour traffic.  In exchange for being at the right place at the right time every morning, I get a lift to the office.  It isn’t quite door-to-door service, but it’s close enough.

The bus stop is on a suburban street punctuated by bursts of traffic, but relatively quiet at 7:30 in the morning when the Bus Gang assembles.

Continue reading “The usual suspects”

Fourth time’s the charm

The spring of 1998 was a nightmare for me.  I was nearing the end of a one-year training program to get a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) designation, and having an epic struggle with an elective that I needed for graduation.

I failed the SQL Server Administration examination three times in a row.

When success follows success, when wins come too easily, you become inured to the process and start taking the wins for granted.   All it takes is one stumble to smash everything to pieces, and it takes a bit of time to pick up the pieces and figure out what the hell went wrong. Continue reading “Fourth time’s the charm”

The power of no

I just got through a rather busy weekend:  There was music to play, music to listen to, a pot luck supper, and a ski lesson.  After hauling food, instruments, sporting gear, various passengers and myself back and forth across the city for two days, I finally stumbled into the house at 10:45 on Sunday evening and had a bowl of leftover stew for supper to celebrate surviving it all.

The weekend was a success, but until I made a critical decision early Sunday afternoon there was a very real chance of things going horribly wrong.  In short, there were too many events in too short a time. Continue reading “The power of no”