Attended a nice couple’s retreat this weekend amid the redwoods near Santa Cruz. Prayed a lot with my wife. Tried to get my head clear. After largely disappearing from this blog for most of the last couple months as we tried to sort out this whole health/unemployment thing, here, with my beloved’s blessing of course, is the plan:
For the next 2 weeks and for as long as I can keep productive thereafter, I will spend 5 hours per day 5 days a week researching and writing; at least one hour job searching, and one hour on household maintenance/repairs/cleaning.
This should help me stay sane. The two weeks is just to see if I can really keep up the writing. If so, I’ll keep it up as long as I can. If I turn up a job that sounds right, then that will happen. If not, hey, lots of delayed maintenance, cleaning and paperwork will happen. Financially, I can keep this up for maybe a year or two. The effect will merely be that retirement (if any) gets pushed back a year or two.
If I can’t do it, reallocate time to the job hunt.
As far as writing goes, there’s this book about Catholic education in America I need to write, which will require many hours of reading & research. Some of the stuff I need to research is really depressing, with not only war on the Church by secular powers, but war both between and among bishops, priests and laity, ever more inventive in form and with ever more subtle and disastrous results. I’ve stopped reading in the middle of books more than once.
So, when that education reading & writing gets too heavy, I’ve got half a dozen stories more or less complete:
- The White Handled Blade, a sort of YA Arthurian story. I’ve read excerpts to the kids, who felt seriously cheated by the lack of an ending (big fight scene, denouement). So finish it, clean it up, and ? Who published such things?
- It Will Work, the flash fiction that mutated into a story right here on this blog. Only about 1/2 through. It’s been very easy to write so far…
- Biosphere, a Darwin/Machiavelli mash-up in which a disposed prince is exiled to a planet made of living mashed potatoes. No, really, it kinda works. I’ve already written this story 3 times over the last couple decades. This time, for sure.
- The Measure of Our Days, an astronomical thriller that just isn’t quite thrilling enough. Shooting for Vance, not quite making it. This is either almost done or in need of a serious rewrite. I don’t know which.
- Rock, a story for which, months ago before health and work concerned proved too enervating, I asked for beta readers on. I will get back to you all, I promise! (Ya know, I’m obsessed with nano-machines at the moment. Mech, not so much – invisibly tiny & deadly beats huge, easy to target and deadly…)
- Threader, a space western of sorts, wherein our hero has got to lasso him one last good ‘stroid or he’ll loose his ship and his girl and maybe his life… All but done…
- Seed Music, a love story/commentary on modern art & education set, among other places, on an ice ball moon. Which is more hospitable than the university back on the colony…
Then, there’s always the Novel Which Up To This Point Has Not Be Named, for which I’ve got to come up with a working title sooner or later. What if the Medici, Henry Ford’s extended family, and Thomas More’s family were stuck together on a colonization spaceship with a bunch of techies and moderns for a couple-three generations? What could possibly go wrong?
I published a rough draft of an early chapter here.
n preparation for this great endeavor, I kind of cleaned and organized my desk: