Saturday, October 17, 2009

Treaties and treatises

Have you missed me? Good.

Work has been crazy busy this week and I've been playing catch up with little success. Now it's the weekend and I still have a load on my schedule, including finishing revisions and edits on a novel I have to send to an interested publisher on Monday. At least it's never boring here, not even when I'm comfy in bed in my own room. Spiders have decided to break our treaty and have moved in en masse.

Not your little spiders, but big gray and brown spiders that spin webs and hide under window sills and in the covers of my bed. Not cool. And not tolerated. When Mary Ann and I were on the phone the other night, one of them raced across the bed and over the book from under my covers, covers that had been on my legs. Two nights ago, another one raced across the bed toward me and the safety of the covers and I stunned him with a book. Ha! Gotcha! I thought I'd killed him until I slid a magazine under him and he stirred. Oops. I crowned him with a bigger book several times and appendages went flying, after which I scooped him and his severed limbs onto the magazine and dumped them all into the trash. I then went after his mate hiding under the window sill and let her broken and smashed corpse fall to the floor to be picked up with the vacuum.

Tolerating spiders isn't a problem and I welcome them, especially in the summer when they feast on ants and other vermin that wander in through the gaping spaces around my doors, but my bedroom is off limits. I have a no tolerance policy for spiders in my bedroom and this is the second time I've had to enforce it ruthlessly and without mercy. I do have my limits and it's best not to test them or go beyond them because termination with extreme prejudice is the result. After all, if I don't enforce the limits, spiders will take my reticence as an invitation to join me in my little sanctuary. That's not going to happen.

I'm tolerant of many things, including deadlines, but as I get older I am less and less willing to tolerate what I consider to be generous limits, with the except of spiders and vermin in my bedroom. For a year I have reminded the landlord the roof over my office leaks and nothing has been done, so I keep reminding him each time I send my rent payment. For eight months I have waited for him to fill in the hole in the planter and cover up the sewage system, but the dirt mound remains, getting smaller and smaller with each rain as it washes out across the parking lot and into the street and with the neighborhood boys on bikes who feel the hill is an invitation to ride over it an jump their bikes. I'm half tempted to fill it in myself and pay to have the roof fixed and take it off the rent. I may still do that. If I can't get him to do it, then I will have to do it myself. It's how I got the toilet fixed in February -- by calling Roto Rooter.

In the meantime, I will likely be more absent than present here in LJ because I do have to finish the revisions on one novel and begin writing the next two novels. I have been stuck on the post apocalyptic vampire story because I didn't have a clear motivation, or hurdles, for that matter. Then I did what most writers do, I talked to another writer and asked a question. I chose Mary Ann because I consider her an expert on vampire lore. It was a short conversation from my question to her answer. As we were really getting into it, she had to go because dinner was ready. Like she said, there's nothing worse than eating cold quiche. I turned to my journal, as I do when I need to work things out (personal, financial and literary). As I wrote, building on what she and I had discussed, it all came clear. I had not only resolved the problem with the motivation and hurdles, but I have moved in a direction that will make one or two more books possible. Bonus!

That conversation led to something else I was working on, a murder/mystery/ghost story/romance (light on the romance), and solved a small problem on that one, giving me everything I need to write the book. I'm still waiting on one piece of information, having requested assistance from a specialist in the field. Now I have a new problem.

I have revisions and work to do (the job that pays the bills) and all I want to do is get busy on the new books. I can have both of them written within a month now that I have all the problems and kinks worked out. But I have other obligations. That's what I hate most about having a day job: having to put my writing on hold to earn a paycheck. At the end of the day, I'm so wrung out it's difficult to muster the energy to write. I've expended it all on work. That's why weekends are so important to me and why I end up refusing a lot of invitations, especially lately. It's the only time I am not bound by obligation and responsibility, except to my writing. It's also the time I use to read books I need to review and do critiques, both of which add money to the coffers, much needed money.

All of this is really a long-winded explanation of where I'll be in the next few days and weeks and why I won't be able to devote as much time to LJ as I normally do. I'll still make the tarot posts on Wednesday, or thereabouts, and try to at least drop in to read, but my posts may be scarce. It depends on my writing and whether or not I need to take a break to clear my head and writing gears. In the meantime, I'll be happily ensconced in the zone, intent on putting out another two or three books by the end of the year and finding homes for more of my short stories.

Find your bliss and let nothing get in the way of making it yours. That's what I intend to do.

That is all. Disperse.

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