Still here, mostly

brainlessI don’t like single-daddery, guys.  We’re doing fine– the boy is still alive, as far as I know– but I’ve been in motion pretty much constantly since Sunday night.  Wake the boy up, get him dressed and fed, drop him off at my parents’, 11-hour work shift, pick him up, bring him home, put him immediately to bed, make sure all the pets are fed and watered, do one or two tiny things around the house, go to bed, spend the night getting kicked in the back by a horizontal five-year-old, wake up early, start again.  Wednesday I got out of work early but I actually had to go to a customer’s house for a service call afterward, which was… well, fun ain’t the word but it wasn’t as big of a deal as it could have been.  Today was my day off but I’ve spent most of it either napping or wandering around the house like a zombie, unable to figure out what I was supposed to be doing at any given moment unless that thing needed to be done in some other room.

To be clear: I just sat on the sofa in front of the TV with my laptop in my lap, wondering what I was supposed to be doing with it, for twenty solid minutes before remembering I hadn’t blogged in a few days. That kind of brainless.

Luckily for me, my wife is on her train and on her way back home, so if I can make it through tomorrow and Saturday everything will be fine.  It blows my mind that there are people who pull this off all the time.  Mental note: do whatever I need to do, for the rest of my life, to ensure my wife never leaves me.  🙂

Saturday pre-sleep post

A couple things.

First, Balremesh and other stories is available in print now.  Right now it’s on a separate page from the digital edition but they’ll sort that out too.  It’s $7.99, which (I think) is a perfectly cromulent value.  Go grab it!

Second: when I got to work this morning, I discovered that my only good sale of the week had had their house purchase fall through on them and had called and cancelled the furniture they had ordered.  This wasn’t my only cancellation of the week and my other sales were shit so I was sitting on $149 for the week walking into Saturday.  This is a problem.  I can’t really have a week where I earn $7 from sales.  That’s not gonna work.

So I sold $12,000 today to make up for it, which is my second best day ever.  I’m now on track for a decent week, and if I can keep the momentum up it’ll be a great one.

And now I’m home, and the boy is at my parents’ place, and my wife is still on a train heading for California, and my general mental state is roughly Louis C.K. at about the four minute mark of this video.  I’m going to go sleep like the dead now.  Y’all behave.

In which I drive

My wife is out of town for the next… God… eight days, meaning that not only am I on solo Daddy duty all week, but that I had to drive to Chicago and back today to get her to the train station.  That’s only about a total of four hours of driving, especially if you discount all of the driving around in the city itself.  That said, I rarely really drive longer distances at all any more, and I’ve been 75% asleep the whole time I’ve been home.  There are tons of things that need to be done before I head off to work tomorrow, and instead I’m sitting in front of the TV with my laptop in its accustomed place, doing nothing in particular.

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While we were in town we tooled around in Hyde Park a bit, since my wife had never seen the University of Chicago’s campus before.  This particular spot in front of Swift Hall, which is where 90% of my classes were, holds a bit of personal importance to me, but it became real clear as we were walking around campus that between seventeen years of development and the fact that I was in grad school and really never entered the vast majority of the buildings on campus.  Basically, my “tour” was “parking was bad but I don’t remember it being THIS bad… uh, this used to be a road… that building wasn’t here before… most of my classes were in this building… OH HERE’S THE BAR I LIVED IN FOR TWO YEARS!”

Which, really, is pretty much my grad school experience anyway.

Posting may be a bit light this week due to parental responsibilities.  Feel free to buy a book if you miss me!

RIP, Sonya Craig

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Friendship online is such an odd thing.  I have a couple of friends in my Clark Kent identity who I’ve known for damn near fifteen years and who I’ve met once and never, respectively, and I don’t have the slightest idea when those numbers might go up again. We met through the previous incarnation of this blog, over at Xanga, and at the moment I can honestly say that the only reason I’m still on Facebook is so that I can keep track of the two of them.  I have a handful of other friends who I lost track of after college and reconnected with– again, on Facebook– and for at least one of them I think we actually have a closer relationship now than we did back then.  But I never see any of them.

And making friends as Luther is even weirder, right?  Because the vast majority of you don’t even know my real name.  I’ve got this network of people, mostly bloggers or independent authors, who I interact with a lot on Twitter and a bit less on Facebook and on the blog.  I consider a lot of them friends, but the thing is people have Real Lives outside of their online personas (well, I don’t.  I’m told people do, though.) and sometimes they just get busy or change jobs or move and their priorities change and suddenly someone you interacted with on a daily or near-daily basis has just gone poof and you don’t know why, and sometimes you don’t even notice for a few weeks, in a way that would never ever happen with people you know in the real world.

And sometimes you log into Facebook and you find out through the grapevine that someone’s depression finally caught them after a lifetime of struggle, and that person is gone, and you don’t really know how to react to it.  Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 11.30.25 AM (2).png

“Follows @nfinitefreetime,” it says there.  Were I not connected to her on Facebook, too, I’d never have known she was gone.  It’s not like Twitter is going to notice and unfollow me on her behalf, right?  There was an outpouring of grief among our little sci-fi indie community last night on Facebook and Twitter; I retweeted a bunch of them on my account, or you could just check the #thankyousonya hashtag if you like.  There were tons of posts, and the amazing thing, to me, was just how many of the people participating were also people I “knew” and considered friends the same way I did Sonya.  She was at the center of a big group of people online, and we were all reacting the only way we could.

I don’t really know her, is the thing.  I don’t know her family, or her RL friends, or what she liked to do with her time other than write and hang out with yahoos on the internet.  I know she had a cat, named Fang, who was frequently the subject of tweets and Instagram postings.  I don’t know where Fang is right now.  I hope he’s okay.  I know that she was the type of person who created random meme pictures for people she’d never met on their birthdays, which is where that picture up at the top came from.  (My Twitter bio at the time referred to me as a friend to muskrats.)

And yet.

I wish I could have been there for her, when she was suffering, to point out all these people whose lives she’d touched and would miss her when she was gone.  But I never did.  Part of the reason why?  I know people online who are struggling with anxiety and depression and the insane thing is I wouldn’t have listed her as one of them.

I dunno, guys.  I don’t know how to end this because I don’t know how I feel right now.  I don’t want anyone to ever feel like suicide is their best option.  And I want to say something like “If you feel that way, know that you can reach out, even to a relative stranger online,” but the fucked-up part of depression is that that information doesn’t matter and it’s not that simple.  She’d probably had people she knew in the real world tell her that, people who she’d actually recognize if they walked past her at the grocery store, not rando authors behind an @ on Twitter.  And she took her own life anyway, because that’s how depression fucks with you, because it’s a disease, not a goddamn personal failure, and you can’t help it.

God damn it.

You will be missed, Sonya.  I can only hope that you’ve found some peace.

In which this duck is my entire life

anigif_enhanced-buzz-2410-1369939749-19It’s been an exhausting few days, both at work and elsewhere, to the point where all I’ve really got in my head is fog and hell if I can think of anything worth talking about.  My 4th of July celebration involved eating buttered noodles with my wife and now we’re watching an episode of last season’s Fear the Walking Dead.  At least I think I’m only a season behind; I’m losing faith in the entire franchise, if you want complete honesty.

(Other than Nick, who is the smartest character in either this show or its parent show’s history, and is actually interesting to watch.)

Balremesh and Other Stories is still available for pre-order, for a few more hours at least before the birthday launch tomorrow.  Surprisingly, it was my most successful pre-order yet– by 50%!– despite only being available for about a week and a half.  The project for the next couple of days is to get the print edition ready, and then polish off Tales from the Benevolence Archives, which I’m still projecting for late August or early September.  It’s close.

And then, in October… well, I’ll hold off on that announcement for a bit yet.

I need some sleep, y’all.