Archive for October 15th, 2007

10/14/07: Retirement, weeks 1-2

Word count: 64356 | Since last entry: 280

Everyone I talked to about being retired said that they couldn’t imagine how they managed to get everything done and still work a full-time job. It’s true. You’d think that with 40 extra hours in a week I could relax. But no — I’m not even keeping up with my email.

You know how, going into the weekend, you think you’ll be able to get a lot done on your day off? And yet somehow the tasks expand to fill the time available, and you find yourself at the end of the weekend with only three of the twenty things on your to-do list crossed off (plus eight more things done which hadn’t been on the list in the first place)? Every day so far has been like that. Like the day I bought the iMac… it took basically the whole day, because I had to go to two different Apple Stores (one of them twice) before I found the computer and printer I wanted in stock. And getting the thing set up and all the files and applications switched over has taken a lot of time, though not nearly as much as I’d feared.

It’s easy to forget what day of the week it is. Every day feels like Saturday. But every day feels like Sunday too, because yesterday felt like a Saturday. There’s a bit of that Sunday afternoon angst, that uncomfortable can’t-possibly-get-everything-done and yet at the same time what-am-I-doing-with-my-life vibe.

Mind you, I have been able to take the time to do some things I would not otherwise have done. In the last couple of weeks we’ve attended four plays, three movies, and a reading by Charlie Stross. (Weekday theatre matinees are… different. The house is half full and they’re all female and over 60. Where are the retired men? Are they all dead, or do they just not like the theatre?) We finally got caught up on the TV shows we taped while we were in Japan. I’ve been doing the dishes and the laundry the way I always meant to. When Kate’s folks came for a visit, I was able to hang around with them instead of running off to the day job.

I’ve been writing every day, but not much… 100-300 words most days. I need to do a little more than that if I’m going to make my next crit group deadline. It’s hard, because I’m still trying to take this novel over the hump in the middle — the main plot driver for the second half of the book is just peeping its nose over the horizon now. It should start building momentum again in the next chapter or two, I hope.

I fear that I am transitioning from a successful short story writer to an unsuccessful novelist. Novel #1 has so far failed to find a publisher, and because I’ve been focusing on novel #2 I have, ironically enough, sold fewer short stories in the year since winning the Hugo than any year since I started selling at all. Also, next year’s Writers’ Weekend, at which I was to be a featured speaker, has been cancelled.

However, there is some good news on the writing front. “Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely” (Realms of Fantasy, June 2004) has been picked up for The Mammoth Book Of Extreme Fantasy, edited by Mike Ashley. And I will be joining such luminaries as Mary Rosenblum, Irene Radford, Jay Lake, and Ken Scholes at Powell’s Cedar Hills for a multi-local-SF-author event on November 14. Watch this space for more details.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Ashland, where we’ll be visiting square dance friends Mark and Tim and seeing three more plays. We get back just in time for Kate’s 25th college reunion weekend. The days really are just packed.