In which my priorities are screwed up and I don’t care

I go back to work tomorrow, and I’m surprisingly unstressed by it, although I do have a little bit of work I need to do tonight. No, it’s every other thing in my damn life that’s causing all my stress right now; work this week is going to be a Goddamn refuge.

(Yes, I plan to pivot from that into complaining about a video game; brace yourself accordingly. Talking about anything Real is beyond me at the moment.)

So, yeah. Hollow Knight. You might remember my review of Salt and Sanctuary from a couple of months ago; this is a similar game both in style and structure and in that I downloaded it forever ago, took a shot at it, then walked away, and now I’m back and playing it again. I’ve put about 35 hours into it over Winter Break and right now my main feeling about it is Jesus how is this game so big how can I possibly not be done with this by now, combined with a weird sort of completionist impulse that is keeping me from simply beating the damn thing and being done with it. No, I want to be finished, but I want to 100% the sumnamabitch before I do that, and oh Christ there is so much to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m having fun, but I’m having the kind of fun that is at least 25% I need to be doing twenty other things right now while I’m having it.

Guilt-laced fun is the best kind, of course.

You may get a book review later, since I haven’t posted much in the last few days. I finished this yesterday and am still sorting out my feelings about it. Pay no attention to the fact that Amazon inexplicably thinks the release date is next summer; I assure you, the book is available.

Some book musings

I’m basically done with the “break” part of my break; I have the weekend and then I’m back to work on Monday. Usually by this point at the break I’m climbing the walls and chewing on my extremities; for the most part, other than yesterday’s post, I’ve managed to avoid going slowly crazy. I’ve gotten a fair amount of stuff done over the break. What I haven’t done is any of Luther’s stuff. It’s all been Clark Kent nonsense over here for the last couple of weeks.

My first priority in 2019 has to be to decide what to do with Skylights. I have so many half-written drafts of the sequel, under more than one title, that it’s frankly kind of ridiculous. That may or may not be the cover. It may or may not be the title. And once I have the sequel written I have to decide if I’m doing a second edition of the first book. A second edition wouldn’t be too different, but the first book already mentions things that didn’t happen in 2018 (because 2018 was, comfortably, The Future when I wrote it) and the events of the book are at this point far too close to Now for comfort. If nothing else, I need to remove specific dates, and probably rewrite the prologue to give the story some breathing room. I don’t think I can tie the events of the story so close to something that happened in 1984, for example; it just makes Gabe too old.

(20-minute break while I research the FAFSA and explain how taxes work for a former student; I avoid using the phrase “this would be easier if I adopted you.”)

Anyway, point is I gotta figure this shit out. And I probably should have reformatted some of my books to get them away from CreateSpace and over to Ingram over the break. And maybe done a new banner, since the one vertical banner I have is Skylights-focused. I should probably have one for at least one more of my books.

Point is, I didn’t spend as much time being Luther over the last couple of weeks as maybe I should have. And now I need to figure some stuff out over the next couple of days. This week shouldn’t be too hard (he said,) so I should have some brainspace left to get things done when I get home from work. And who knows? The next couple of days might be hugely productive.

Just, like I said, I’ve got some decisions to make, and a weight to get off my back.

What have you been putting off lately?

Two quick true stories

kids-are-creepy-7.jpgIt is Saturday night and I am at OtherJob.  A mother and her young daughter– six, perhaps seven years old– come up to the counter.  The little girl is carrying a toy stuffed dog.  (Given where this story is going, it is probably important that the word “toy” be in there.)

She shows me the dog in that proud way little kids do, a thing I’ve seen my son do with strangers a million times, and tells me his name is Happy.  I make entertained grown up noises at her and pivot toward Mom to explain how our price structure works.

She keeps talking.  She shows me a hole in Happy’s side.

“This is where I cut him with a scissor,” she says.

“Um.  Okay,” I respond.

She shows me where his back leg is nearly cut off.

“And this is where I cut him with a knife!” she says.  She’s super excited about cutting Happy with scissors and knives.

My eyebrows raise a bit, and I look at Mom, not saying anything.

Mom is mortified, and says “She didn’t cut him with anything.”  Sure, Mom, okay.

And then the little girl starts chanting at us.

A scissor and a knife!
A scissor and a knife!
A scissor and a knife!
A scissor and a knife!

Never seen a parent complete a transaction that quickly before.

There is an old vanity cabinet in the room of our house that we haven’t settled on a name for yet.  The den, maybe?  The family room, as opposed to the living room?  The playroom? Who the hell knows, but it’s in there, and the top of the thing has sort of become a messy catchall for artwork stuff of the boy’s that we don’t really know what to do with.  The dog’s food and water bowls are right next to this vanity.

Several weeks ago, a little candle holder thing he made at school for Halloween got knocked over, and the little LED candle that was in there fell out and landed on the floor in between the dog’s bowl and the vanity.  That little electronic candle has annoyed me every time I have seen it for weeks, and it took me until today to bend my lazy ass over and pick the goddamn thing up to put it back in the jar and back on the vanity.

I don’t tell you this for any particular reason other than maybe it’ll make you feel better about whatever stupid shit you’re avoiding doing right now.

In which I pretend things will happen

landing_todolistI actually want to start by talking about this picture; I found it, as I often do before writing a post, by idly Googling a phrase from the post to see what pops up.  At thumbnail size, I didn’t read “Skill” and “Whom,” I read “Kill” and “Maim,” which caused an immediate click, and now that I’ve seen the thing at full-size I’m just as confused as hell, because 1) weird and gross and 2) inaccurate in an oddly specific way, because I don’t know that I believe anyone who would put this together would ever use “whom” in the second column instead of “who.”  We’re going for middle school verisimilitude here, yes?  No middle schooler has ever said “whom,” ever.


My wife has the entire week off, and the two of us are devoting it to Getting Shit Done Around the House, meaning a fair number of not-huge projects and at least two that definitely count as huge– including finally finishing off a project that we started a very long time ago that is quite shamefully not finished yet.  We’re also planning on tearing out the disaster of a carpet in our bedroom, finally bowing to reality and crossing our fingers about the hardwood underneath.

This is the part where I pretend this might affect my posting schedule, as I haven’t missed a day in 2015 yet and I can imagine a world where I’m kept busy.  This is nonsense, of course, because if we get anything done then the posting can be “take pictures of the shit we wrecked/fixed/put in.”  What it is gonna screw up is the book-writin’ schedule, and tha’s not been going great anyway, so I expect to end the week even further behind than I am now, which is already Oh my god this will never get finished.

Still need to find a new job, too.

Wheeeeee Monday!

In which I’m back in college again

8,000 word contest entry due at midnight that I’m not even sure how to end yet?  Sure!  Hell, I’ve got hours to keep procrastinating on that!  Slightly behind on my other manuscript?  Not entirely sure where it’s going at the moment because I haven’t planned much beyond the part I’ve got and some of what I’ve got took me by surprise when it fell out of my brain?  Sure!  No problem!  I’ll just WORK ALL DAY.

(Seriously, if you see me on the internet today, slap me.)