Blog No. 249
Usually sometime at the end of August or the beginning of September, I start to get really nostalgic and get caught up in thinking about the past. Inevitably I write a post about it that ends up being almost the same as the corresponding post form a year before. Still, I feel the drive to write it in an attempt to purge that action most dangerous to productivity, wistful daydreaming. Thankfully, this year, I’m just too busy to do much more than work and complain. The pressure is on and all those great accomplishments I was planning on achieving after last year’s final push disappeared into smoke surrounded by the day-job, new projects, obligations, organizations, and my own overwhelming lethargy. All is not lost, however, for I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
My hurdles are September and October. That doesn’t leave me much in the way of 2017 left, but it’s something that I hope will be all mine. Right now, top of mind is the Crime Anthology. With the layout done (except for any last minute fixes) the book should be off to the printers imminently. Now I have the launch to worry about. I’m not going to lie. This one has been a struggle. The layout actually went well. Building off the experience from both No Light Tomorrow releases, I think I did a pretty good job with it. I even took a lot of time and care to do the master pages properly and set up the layout so it can be used as a template for other books. Just remove the content. Add in features specific to that book, maybe a little resizing, and Bob’s your uncle.
The book itself was a bit of a parasite for the middle of this year. Really for some of the start too. Coming off of No Light, the idea was to be more of a publisher and release a series of anthologies (something Christian and I had experience with) with other authors we knew. The process turned out to be much more complicated and involved than initially expected. the initial idea of writing a book and doing some design work turned into trying to figure out how to be a publisher, pay people fairly, make contracts, and work with others. I liked the idea last November, but in January when I had to switch gears and write my part, it all started to unwind. Now that the book is almost done, I am happy with it. I’m actually excited for it to be out. I’ve needed something new and it’s a pretty cool package. I’m just not looking forward to any of the administration side of it. Thankfully (besides Christian and myself) the other author is Edmond Gagnon. Not only is he a solid crime writer, we’ve had a good working relationship with him for a few years now.
Hot on the heals of the book launch is this year’s BookFest. I joined the committee after tagging along behind the scenes of last year’s event. I thought it would be a good way to become more a part of the city’s book culture. I didn’t expect it to be so much work. To be fair, I have taken on roughly one percent of the total work required to put on the event. Some of the other people involved have done so much I don’t know how they manage to do anything else. Still, that bit that I’ve done has been enough to push me over the edge. With everything else going on this year, that little bit may have been the straw. Even going to a meeting and voicing an opinion seemed to be a strain. I’m glad the event exists in the city. It’s not really geared towards a genera writer, like me, but even as a piece of culture it’s a welcome addition. I’ll be glad when this one is done though. I’ll be putting in my resignation and maybe just volunteering to help out the day of the event next time.
That leaves me with Flags and High Fives. The thing I’m most conflicted about. I’ve absolutely loved so many aspects of the podcast. From working with Arvin again, connecting with some of the old fans, excising the demons of failure over Wii Like to Podcast, and doing something I’ve been creatively interested in since Journalism in College, it’s been a pleasure. Seeing this thing we’ve created out of nothing and get to share with strangers has been as fulfilling as when No Light came out. More than anything, the best part has been working with Arvin. It tickles that nostalgia thing while pushing us forward. There are a lot of things about Flags that I’m proud of (mostly making up for my lack of ability to do any work on Wii Like To Podcast) but the added workload has been tough. It’s going to be bittersweet when it ends in October. We plan on doing more things, probably more podcasty things (any maybe something else) but the initial run, learning curve, and strict schedule will gladly be ending. At least for now.
The biggest issue this year has been letting my obligations, stress, and the temporary overload at the day-job keep me from writing. Really, other than some limited exhaustion, it was an excuse. I somehow found time to play plenty of video games and join a gaming night. I know those stress relievers are important, but some of what I was trying to write this year was a struggle. If I’m being honest, I was avoiding it as much as I was trying to relax. Humans are funny animals. Sometimes when we are faced with a challenge we hide, even if that ends up making things worse. I did some hiding this year and used my legitimately overloaded schedule as a scapegoat. Now, when I’m finally ready to tackle those challenges, I’m saddled with the busiest part of a lot of obligations. So, I’m working on all those jobs and picking away where I can, getting ready for that moment in November when all my excuses are coming to and end. Except for the ChiSeries Reading that month, but I’m looking forward to that one.