My 9/11 post has been up for two weeks, and it's time to move on. Eight comments is very gratifying, and I need to thank Nine for pointing out that things may not be as dismal as they seem. I hope she's right!
Moving on, there is nobody new to welcome this time out, which is okay; you can't expect new followers to pop up every few days... Unless you're really, really good. I must say, I'm a little disappointed that I never heard from the Muse again. That's okay, too; I'm sure she has other things to do.
Now for the meat of this: Those who have been following me know that I have been talking about being overextended for some time now. Like so many problems, I procrastinated long enough for it to solve itself. My good friend Chops, he of the Irish Navy blog, was aware that I have been writing books for many years, and went through a period a while back in which I tried long and hard, and ultimately unsuccessfully, to sell some. It was he who suggested that I get a blog and post my chapters there, and at least get some exposure that way. I started doing that about a year ago, and generated what I'll charitably call "mixed" interest. When I saw how easy it was to manage these things, I started the Tyler Gang, and shortly thereafter, this blog... And within a short time, found myself overextended.
See, I am the breadwinner for my family, and that takes time and attention. In what is left, I have to do my housework, car maintenance, and such; spend time with Bonnie (which is a pleasure, make no mistake) taking drives, going to concerts, or just sitting out on the terrace; play video games (still a major relaxer for me, and also time with Sidra); service these blogs, of course; write books; watch movies and TV; my new project, learning to play harmonica (I'm starting to get it... I know two songs now!); and I'm not above taking a run at anything else that comes up, like ESPN's sports blogs, where you can occasionally find me commenting as 24flanker. So, you can see my dilemma.
Well, last week, I posted a chapter to my current book project, Slayer of Darkness. Slayer has a grand total of three followers, including two who live in my house. I told them verbally that I had put a post up there, and after a few days, they had not yet appeared on my counters. No interest at all. I then conducted an experiment: I closed the site so that no one but me could access it, and waited for somebody to say, "Hey, what happened to the book?" Well, a week into it, someone finally did... Bonnie. That decision has made itself. The book is gone.
This works out well. Creating a world from scratch, populating it with interesting characters, customs, and mores, developing a storyline and guiding it through an interesting and logical series of plot twists and resolutions is a full time job! It's every spare minute if you're writing a book. You carry a notebook around everywhere you go, and steal every spare minute for story development. Nothing is so important that you can't drop it to jot down every idea you have. If you're awake, you're writing. Assign yourself deadlines to accomplish milestones, and you've just empowered this time vampire to a power of three. Well, not anymore. It's been so long that I've forgotten how to just sit back and watch the show, but I'm going to remember. And truthfully, I haven't completely quit writing. I've just quit pressuring myself over it, and if this book gets finished a year or two from now, I'll put it up for all to enjoy.
But for now, time is free to do other things. Like this. I've put together a more structured approach to the Hideout. I'm going to eliminate the negative tone that I've noticed creeping into it, which will pretty much mean no political commentary (not that I've ever hit that too hard anyway). I may talk about my religion at some point, though I don't have any specific plans at the moment. What I do have is a half-dozen categories under which specific subjects will be discussed, and this should reduce the chaotic nature that has crept into the neighborhood of late. Join me Tuesday (outside influences willing) for a look at the first of these categories, "Adventures in Parenting," where I take a look back and try to figure out how the heck my kids reached adulthood with me as their father. I hope you take the time to stop by.
Now, get out there and live life like you mean it!