• Writing

    Return to Writing

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    So as the complete lack of content on my blog might indicate, I’ve been very focused on my primary career so far in 2018. To be honest, I could say that about 2017 and the end of 2016, but it’s paid off. I’ve had a couple of promotions, raises, and significant increases in responsibility and freedom, to the point where I now have the ability to take the largest department in my building and start to mold things into the shape I’d like instead of merely following the direction set. All of which are pretty cool, but taken together mean that a lot of other things in my life have had to give ground.

    I’ve had to rearrange schedules and family items and work hard to make sure that the kids I still have living at him still feel like they have a father who lives in the same home. Not always easy, and one of the girls does occasionally remark that I work a lot, generally a clue that I need to reign in a bit, and I’m glad for the reminder. I think I’ve done okay by the family, and the latest job change has made up for some of the wacky schedules I’ve had to put up with over the past year and a half or so.

    But my writing has also suffered a bit.

    A lot.

    To be completely honest, the sum total of my writing in 2018, from January 1st through July 29th, was barely more than 22,000 words, counting everything, and the bulk of that was in January. This year’s original goals are completely toast. But that’s okay. Really.

    When we started planning a week-long summer getaway, writing was on the top of my list of things to get back to. Even taking the first full day just to enjoy the scenery and the local outdoors, here’s what I managed for the week:

    1. 4 blog posts, including this one.
    2. Dusted off the outline in progress for Seven Days a King, read through it, and added chapter-level detail for Chapters 21-31 of 40.
    3. Took a 358-word story fragment, hashed out a plot, and added 2,160 Working title is “Replaceable”, and it’s a science fiction tale that is probably about 40% done at 2,518 words. Maybe 35%. A couple of the scenes are not quite developed in my head.
    4. 2,502 words on Shrine, though only after being disturbed out how horrible the last couple of chapters I wrote were. Not going back. They can be fixed in later drafts.
    5. 5 chapters of the third draft of Arena.

    Grand total, 9,106 words contributed to the writing gig across five of the six full days we spent at the cottage. I’m not willing to say they were all good words, but I do think they were all coherent words. And that was in among all of the cottage-y activities of the week.

    The trick will be rebuilding a daily habit that my primary job doesn’t interfere with. Right now, this level of word count isn’t maintainable, but it would be nice to build up again.

    Stay tuned and be well.

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  • Life

    Interview Limbo

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    There’s nothing like having your future be partially in limbo to get you to overthink everything.

    Although, I suppose that’s kind of normal, depending on your point of view. Under the logic that no one ever really knows what’s going to happen, that there might always be fewer days ahead than there are behind, that everyone’s future is always unknown.

    But I’m in a moment where I might be less than 48 hours from a job offer that will mean a major career change, that will, in some ways completely overturn the life and routine I have right now. And I have absolutely no idea if I have a chance the job or not.

    You see, the final interview in the process was the least interview-y interview I’ve ever had. There were practically no interview questions. It was basically an hour-long, business-based conversation between myself and the General Manager, with the HR manager participating here and there. He’s building team, to open a new facility, and he was quite open about the way he sees the process: it wasn’t the conversation to see if I was qualified—the screening process to that point, he was sure, had taken care of that—but a conversation for him to figure out my basic personality and to decide where or whether that basic personality would fit into the matrix, the jigsaw puzzle he’s putting together.

    I like to think I’m personable, presentable, and can get along with anyone. Most of the time, I’m fairly certain that’s even true. But it was a strange, strange interview, even if I left more comfortable with the process than I entered. The best I could do was to be myself and speak honestly, and if that’s always the right thing, it’s not always the best thing.

    I left the interview having had engaging conversation, and developing idea of the direction he wants to take for the team, and some of the qualities he was looking for. The question is, how well did I personify those qualities? I suppose the next question is, how well do I fit into the thing he’s building?

    I should find out somewhere between now and Friday afternoon. Until then, I still have a job to do, and I still have family that needs me. Either way, both of those things will continue, even if the job changes.

    Be well, everyone

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