Us Lazy Writers

may 31 2019 001

My father used to say I was “living the life of Riley” because I wasn’t commuting to an office or a factory but rather staying home and writing books. I wasn’t having any success back then, and that “life of Riley” tag was hard to bear.

Sometimes you have to stop writing and think about what in the story comes next. You can’t avoid it, it’s an integral part of the process. But if you’re not wielding a pick or a shovel, or sitting in a cubicle among other employees’ cubicles, too many people think you’re not, um, “working.” And since you’re not really working, they see nothing wrong with interrupting you.

But we are working! And working pretty hard, at that. The books, stories, and articles don’t write themselves. You might even have to do a spot of reading, if you want to know what you’re talking about when you write. And thinking about it is indispensable–even though it looks to others like you’re just fatzing around.

Once upon a time, my editor at Pinnacle Books thought my horror novel, Schoolhouse, wouldn’t be fit to publish unless I completely rewrote it… in two weeks! Boy howdy, was that a job! Patty feared for my health, I was working so hard. No lollygagging around the water cooler for me. I haven’t had to do anything like that since then, but I hope it gives you an idea of what a writer may be up against.

The next time you see some poor devil frantically scribbling away in hopes of being published–honest, he’s working.

I Am *Really* Tired

Worn out iguana | Our Reptile Forum

The weather here has abruptly gone from quite warm to uncomfortably chilly. It was still dark when I woke up this morning, and I went back to sleep. So I’m late.

Don’t expect too much from me today. I will do my best, I will give it all I’ve got… Oh, to be a lad of 60 again!

(Go to the bank. Go to the store. Start typing new chapter set. Generate blog posts…)

I need a couple of grandchildren. Now I understand why Grandpa was so happy to have us around. Oh, he loved us–but we also came in very handy on days like this.

Lemme Outta Here!

From bored goldfish to sexist dogs: 13 common pet problems - solved! | Pets  | The Guardian

Those last two nooze stories I wrote up have left a bad taste in my soul. The sun is shining, the bird feeder’s full of fresh seed. What say I go out there for a while, smoke a cigar, and work on my book?

Please don’t anyone feel bashful about requesting more hymns! We need to sing louder anyway.

I do wish I had a couple of goldfish here. They make for very restful company.

Pray harder, sing louder. It may be God will hear us. Surely the Judge of all the earth sees what’s going on down here.

Our Latest Computer Disaster

Home Office Computer Desk Hutch Honey Stock Photo 3431858 | Shutterstock

Our computer hutch last week began to fall apart. I have it propped up temporarily with books, but there’s no escaping the fact that we’ll have to get a new one.

I’m afraid the whole thing will simply collapse in ruin if I try to move it. And behind the hutch is a Gordian tangle of wires–computer tower, monitor, speakers, mouse, printer, and God knows what else. No one has ever accused me of being a handyman, and this job looks utterly impossible.

I never dreamed there could be so many obstacles to simply writing a book.

Please pray for us. These little problems pile up into big ones.

‘Your Old Toys Are Worth Big Bucks’ (2015)

It’s seven years since I first posted this. Yes, I still have all those dinosaurs! Only now I don’t care how much money I could get for them. They ain’t goin’ nowhere!

Your Old Toys Are Worth Big Bucks

Most of my family has passed on; very few of us left. Little gifts that grandparents, aunts and uncles, and my mother and father gave me… well, sorry, but you just can’t put a price on that.

Handling my now-expensive Sphenacodon, I can almost reach back and touch the summer of 1960.

Memory Lane: I Talk to the Cows

Trio of three black and white cows looking over a stone wall on Terceira  Island, Azores Stock Photo - Alamy

Something stirred one of my very earliest memories.

My parents went away for a weekend and took me with them. I was either four or five years old. My brother was still a baby, so let’s say four.

We went to what I guess now was a rented house somewhere in North Jersey or upstate New York, in farming country. I don’t know what my parents did all day; but there was a stone wall in the back yard and I sat on it, playing with my toy horsies and making up adventures for them…

And explaining it all to the cows!

See, I wasn’t lonely because on the other side of the wall was a pasture and I had company the whole time I was there–three cows who hung out with me. I petted them. I told them all about my toys. I told them little stories I made up (my father, my grammie, and my aunts told me stories all the time, and I imitated them). They were the nicest cows you could imagine–although I don’t know, maybe most cows are like that. Suburban kids don’t get a lot of experience with cows.

But that little bit of experience I had, I treasure.

I hope I meet those cows again someday. We have a lot of catching up to do.

The Wildlife Doesn’t Like It, Either

26,623 Raccoon Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

I went out the back door with my writer’s chair this afternoon, because they were still sawing down all the trees out front… and came face-to-face with a raccoon. I can’t blame him for running away when he saw me.

My home town is run, lock, stock, and barrel, by virtue-signalling greenies who pay lip service to “The Environment” even as they labor to erase it. They’ve driven all the rabbits out of the neighborhood, panicked the rats, and spooked this raccoon. All these animals must now find another place to live. If there is one. I don’t know how the deer manage.

I prefer inoffensive wildlife over nail salons; but in this town, that seems to put me into a negligible minority.

It’s never change for the better. They don’t know how to do that.


My Office Is Destroyed

may 31 2019 001

Well, they’ve sawed down all the trees. The shady spot where I sit to write my books… is gone. They haven’t cleaned up the mess yet, either, so there’s nowhere else to put my chair.

I’ve written 15 books, sitting there. I don’t write fiction indoors because a) it’s nuisance phone calls every few minutes, and b) it’s good for my soul to be out there with the birds and squirrels, grass and flowers and trees, God’s creation all around me. There’s no substitute for that.

Turning this place into a desert, one tree at a time… or, in this case, all at once.

Oh, This Day!

Close Up of a Pile of Cut Down Tree Branches. Stock Photo - Image of logs, nature: 164688458

This is what our sidewalk looks like today.

I take Patty to the hospital for her rehab. Here, the tree service is camped in the middle of our parking lot, sawing down most of the trees. All right, some of them are in bad shape and like to fall.

Back to the hospital to take her home. The session has made her cheerful. By now they’ve got trunks and limbs all over the place, so instead of getting out of the car in the parking lot, Patty takes the sidewalk. Damn. It’s blocked by sawed-off branches. Going around it she slips and falls, making a mess of her elbow.

Now it’s started to rain. Thunderstorms are predicted. I can forget about getting any work done on my book.

We’ve cleaned up and bandaged Patty’s elbow. I offer to take her  back to the hospital. No thanks. To the local walk-in wellness center? No, she doesn’t want that either.

Please drop a prayer in the box for us.

Update: So we did decide to go to walk-in wellness after all, and guess what? No doctors or nurses working there today! I guess we’ll try again tomorrow.

What We’re Gonna Do This Afternoon

T Rex Dinosaur, Downton City Street Stock Illustration - Illustration of  danger, downtown: 64131823

Time for some fun! We had to buy it, they weren’t offering rentals–but gee wiz, we’ve worked hard! We deserve a treat.

We’re going to watch Jurassic World: Dominion. We love all the Jurassic Park movies. We are told there are giant locusts in it. I love giant locusts! What movie would not be even better with giant locusts in it? Would’ve pepped up The Third Man a bit. I might’ve watched The Sound of Music if it had had giant locusts in it.

I read two reviews. The guy who hated this movie really hated it. He is probably a jurassophobe. (Colleges, take note: here’s a whole new Bad Person category for you.) The woman who liked it really liked it.

I suppose we could watch some Great Work Of Cinematic Art, intended to impart to us a respectably gloomy view of life. But we’ve got the nooze for that, don’t we? There is a Giganotosaurus in Dominion. We wish a few would show up at the World Economic Forum. They need a Triceratops scattering their chairs to Kingdom Come.

Tune in tomorrow to see how we liked the movie.