"Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house."
~ HENRY WARD BEECHER
A week ago, the 15th, a bunch of hooligans from work took me and my girls to the Corvette Diner for a retirement lunch. There were about a score of us there, and a good time was had by all! I had hoped to post at least one picture of that wonderful party, but though dozens were taken, I have yet to receive one. Same with my actual retirement ceremony itself. Pictures were taken, and I sure hope someone is enjoying them...
Anyway, I can't deny a certain pride in this spectacular surprise. They weren't allowed to socialize with me when I was their evaluator, and while I have no empirical data on how many Federal inspectors are given parties like this by the people they inspected, I don't imagine it's many.
So, what have I accomplished in the first twenty days? Primarily, I've given my "man cave" a complete makeover. We have two living rooms in our house. One is a small square, and the other is a long rectangle. The girls liked the small square because it's cozy and intimate, and has a fireplace and a dormer window. They call it their Tea Room. They told me to feel free to take over the big room, and so I did. These "before" photos show it as it has been for a couple of years.
Right picture looks north, back toward the kitchen. That bookshelf is actually a cube formed of three tall units, and the Big Comfy Couch was tucked in behind it so that no one in the other parts of the house could tell anyone was there... Except that the TV would be on.
Now, the after pictures:
In both pictures, you will observe a stylish new dining room table in the trendy "high" style, in which the chairs are the height of bar stools. The girls brought that home and set it up in their Tea Room, and barely had room to walk around it thereafter. The swag lamp still has to be centered, and lowered to a dramatic height, one of the several details left to be polished, but I think it's been a productive twenty days. How about you?
And this brings me to the point of this blog, my writing activity. I'm pleased to report that with the job pressures gone, and the big housework project that needed to be done completed, all that "block" that I've been moaning about for the last year and better has just dissolved. Beyond the Rails III: Slayer of Darkness is moving along nicely. I'm still in the note writing stage (I'm a recovering pantser and dedicated planner), but it flows smoothly, with no distracting thoughts dragging me down. In fact, the key word seems to be "distractions." With those out of the way, the creative channels have opened up, and all the things I've been so worried about in terms of my creativity just seem silly. That must come as bad news for writers trying to balance demanding jobs, unreasonable bosses, spouses, kids, friends, and in-laws, and I get that. I don't want to discourage anyone, that isn't my purpose. Remember, I wrote seven books (publishing two) under those very conditions. People do it every day, and so can you! I'm just thankful that I don't have to anymore.
In fact, I have so much creative energy flowing that I've created a new website. It's for my writing friends (maybe you!) to use as a resource. I'm the admin on it, but I don't plan on taking center stage very often; that's what this site is for. But I encourage you to go have a look. It might be right up your alley.
And that's the story of what I've accomplished in the last ten days without a hierarchy of bosses ragging on me. What have you been up to?
As always, read well and write better, and I'll see you on June 1st.