First order of business. I want to apologize for missing last week. No excuse, but I will explain that we were moving, and that weekend was the bulk of the move. I have now moved an entire household with a small SUV and a 4’x8′ utility trailer. I don’t remember how many trips I made that Saturday (it’s about a 15 min trip from the old house, to the new) and although I’d intended this move to be a slow, leisurely one, there was a point where external forces expedited it… On the other hand I’m happy to be sitting at the new house, in front of my big desk, knowing that the only boxes yet to unpack are the ones full of miscellany. Even had I remembered what day it was, and written something, I’m not sure it would have been coherent. It was late when I sat down and sent a message to a chat, making sure that friends knew all was well, when I was reminded I hadn’t posted here.

Routines are important. Disrupting them can lead to forgetting a little something, which can cascade into the whole situation we’re familiar with from the elementary school history lesson of ‘for the want of a horseshoe nail, the kingdom was lost.’ Order is also important. I was reminded of that, not only in my own internal pressure to get my house unpacked and organized (so I could actually find things like my socks, and my husband’s underwear, and forks in the kitchen), but as I told my teens that this weekend we will work on getting their room ship-shape. As soon as I said that, I wondered internally if they knew what ship-shape really meant. Living on a moving dwelling, one that doesn’t have much space to sprawl, dictates a whole ‘nother level of tidiness.

None of this, perhaps, is related to writing. Except inasmuch as the author wants to throw little obstacles at her characters, along with the big ones. I found myself perturbed at this move – it ate my time, it ate my brain, and I was desperately trying to keep up with homework (and gave up on blogging, sorry y’all) while we were undergoing the shift. It was really, really difficult. I found myself wanting to ‘play house’ and get the rooms unpacked, when I ought to have been studying (like now, when I have to memorize the dratted Krebs cycle, enzymes and all). I don’t know if it is because I am older – I was, after all, a military brat and we had moved a lot by the time I left home. Then, early in my marriage, there were again several moves before I finally settled on the Farm for 11 years of stillness. Something about being a middle-aged woman is different than where I was before.

Age really does make a difference, not only in writing, but in reading, I’ve noticed. Weirdly, this was not only part of my musing about the move, but listening to classmates present on a paper about aging in Drosophila and how it affects their ability to recover from environmental stresses. The study subjected the flies to a shock (elevated heat) and then saw that they were unable to fly again. However, younger flies (4 days. I’m not sure how that translates to a human lifespan, but they did say that the flies can live for up to ten weeks) would recover from the shock without losing any physical abilities. Fruit flies and humans are nothing alike, yes, but they are used as an initial model in studying humans (and then mice, and so-on). As we get older, we are less able to recover from shocks and changes. And as my knee and back are telling me this morning, we’re less able to lift and tote like we used to. I did have a giggle-worthy moment in this move, though. We have two furnaces in the new house, one propane, the other wood. I went to pick up a trailer load of wood, and was met by am elderly Japanese gentleman, who wanted to know how I was going to get the wood on my trailer. After a couple of minutes of watching me pitch firewood (unsplit) he mumbled ‘you strong’ and went back inside. I put too much wood on the trailer. Poor little thing won’t carry much in a load.

I’m rambling. It’s been a really long couple of weeks, and just as I’m looking forward to settling into a routine, next week is the Thanksgiving Holiday. For which I am giving fervent thanks. I’m grateful we found this little house out in the country with room for all of us. I’m grateful that I can write for this blog, it’s a good outlet for me. I’m grateful that while we were sitting around the table having family dinner night before last, my whole family was helping me plot a book. That was… I needed that. I’ve been really worried I’d never write again. But I’d had a flicker of story coming to me while driving, and when I mentioned that, my family ran with it. And while that story is not first in line, there will eventually be a third Children of Myth book, because my children demand it. And there will be a baby elephant in it.

What are you thankful for?

28 thoughts on “Miscellany

  1. I am most thankful for my wife, and I am thankful that I was blessed with the skills to work with my hands, I am not sure that the part of my mind that reads, “Krebs Cycle” and instantly substitutes, “Maynard G. Krebs Cycle” is always something to be thankful for, but that part has made life interesting.

  2. Family. Husband, children, parents and a sister who picks up so much of our elderly parents’ monitoring.

    An open mind. I’m still flexible enough, I hope, to consider evidence and change when I’m wrong, and stubborn enough to stand my ground when I’m right.

    I’m thankful for this beautiful fall weather we’re having.

  3. Family and friends, work to do and people who appreciate that work, living in a world where people are willing to pay me for my stories, living in a place where I can go walking at night without fear (so long as I take basic precautions). And last night’s hard freeze, because it means one more massive rake-n-mow cycle and then the trees are stick-a-fork-in-’em DONE. And the gnats and skeeters are history.

  4. Well, now that you’re broke in, you can move like I did last time… 11 round trips of 2200 miles each, towing various loads and trailers…. I need my head examined, please…

    Someone gave me an exceptionally ugly little 3.5×7 (wtf?) trailer I use for firewood and scrap… 60+ years ago some very creative person cobbled it together from bedframes and the front end from a 1940s pickup truck. It looks dreadful and dangerous, but it’ll haul 2000 pounds with no strain. There’s a lesson in there somewhere…

  5. I’m particularly grateful that after 15 months of health issues (kidney stones and a necrotic gall bladder), my health is rapidly returning to at least a semblance of normal. What’s even better, my writing muse is returning, after vanishing into a mist of painkiller haze and nastiness. I’m currently 70,000+ words into the latest Maxwell novel, which I expect to finish within 10 days, and I hope to have it out in early December. Yay!!!

    1. Indeed! I’m also thankful that Peter’s been supportive and kind when I woke up with Impending Doom resonating through my sinuses, and made the call that I was just going to take the entire week off work.

      I’m thankful for the readers who borrow and buy Peter’s books, and recommend them to friends. Their enjoyment and financial contribution means I can take the week off when the 12-hour cold & flu medicine is only halfway effective, for half the expected duration, but the side effects are fully present and stackable.

      By the way, does anyone else have an issue with complete lack of creativity when on antihistamines?

      1. I have heard of various drug-related creativity issues. Author Rick Cook apparently can’t write fiction anymore because the maintenance drugs that he’s on change his thought processes just enough to make fiction impossible. He writes nonfiction with no issues, though, so he has an income stream.

      2. I can’t write fiction or architect software on antihistamines, and various other home/yard/craft work also suffers. I can program, do non-fiction writing, and do cleanup/maintenance while on antihistamines. I didn’t notice this until a few years back when somebody mentioned this over at Sarah’s place – I had figured it was just mild depression or something until I noticed it correlated quite closely with taking Claritin. So I now take that as sparingly as possible.

    2. This will mark the first time in three years I haven’t had major surgery scheduled over the holidays.

  6. Your pitching wood episode reminds me of my thankfulness for a wife who, early in our marriage, helped me while I was cutting wood (mostly by being there in case the unthinkable happened and I needed immediate assistance), hauling and stacking it, while she was pregnant with our first child. Both that incident and yours shows that the pioneer spirit is far from gone in our nation.

    1. Wound up my day by pitching a cord of wood, with the whole family helping. Ordered it delivered, split and seasoned. But it had to be stacked… all safe in the basement now. Teaching the kids what it’s about!

  7. I am thankful for a granddaughter who, even through the stress and strain of school, teenagers, moving, and pitching firewood, can speak with grace and humor–and plan to write again.

    I’m thankful that I have food, water, heat, a bathroom–and I plan to write again.

  8. I am thankful that I have my family, and that I am who I am, because if I weren’t, I don’t think I would’ve survived my life as it’s gone so far.

    Am also thankful for “Mummy, is there going to be another book with Sparrowind in it?”

    And am definitely thankful for the fact that the kids enjoy reading.

  9. I’m thankful for blog sites like this one, for one thing. And as to the “baby elephant” (having read the synopses of the first two Children of Myth books on Amazon), am I far off in thinking “Ganesh”?

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