Monday, June 29, 2015


I know I've been offline lately but life here continues at a good pace.

We are busy at work planning our next big trip. We're going to be gone from mid-September to the end of October in Europe again with a focus on Austria, Italy, and maybe Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary.  We had a whole different agenda in mind but life interfered and people who we though would be with us couldn't make it.

We took a short (in time) road trip to Omaha Nebraska for Wife to attend and provide major genealogical support to a reunion of cousins on her Mother's side of the family. Wife's Mother came for a very large family so their are scads of cousins in this line. Wife's Mother also was the primary cataloger of information for that family and she passed all those records on to Wife when she passed many years ago. Wife took up the torch in recent years as her interest in genealogy grew.  We left Albuquerque on a Wednesday, got to Omaha on Thursday, spent Friday and Saturday at the reunion, left on Sunday and were home on Monday.  It's interesting driving because you don't stay on the interstates very much. You take I-40 east for a little over 200 miles (that doesn't even get you out of New Mexico) and then you head diagonally northeast on US highways through the Texas panhandle, the Oklahoma panhandle, all of Kansas and into Nebraska until you get to I-80 for about 80 miles to reach Omaha.  It's actually pretty easy driving with not much traffic and pretty low stress...except when certain family members who will remain unnamed to protect this blogger decide to pass trucks and find there's not as much time as they thought...then it's more like a stress test.

The semi-retired life is great. I've got this workout routine that I think is doing good things in terms of my overall strength, balance and flexibility - all things that we older folk need to be paying attention to.  Meditation and spiritual life is strong and deepening. I have plenty of energy. One side effect of this is that in the evenings I'd much rather be reading or writing rather than watch TV. I work just enough to keep me engaged especially with those people who actually have lives and aren't just talking about their ailments or latest doctor visits (that would be all my peers which includes me when I'm with them!). And I'm making pretty good money since I don't invest anything into 'growing my business' which pushes the financial margins out enough that we can do the things we want.

The home decorating continues.  After some test runs with the new lounge we decided that the seating wasn't going to work for four people so we're researching something else. We're on to work on the living room. We purged our library of almost half its contents (we still have a hell of a lot of books!).  We have some things that need to be done to the yard still and are looking for a maintenance person.

And the book is done! Once I had all the back stories figured out I only had a couple of big re characterizations to figure out and when those were done the rewriting just flowed.  It is a very, very curious thing because not only has the ideas for this book flowed but there is this gusher of ideas that have led to me outlining two new books (prequel and a sequel). Especially when I do my hiking/solitude workouts, the stuff just comes. I'm not even trying to think about it.  I get back from those and I will put down all the ideas that came out in the new book outlines. Very strange.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Wife and I are driving through the plains.  From New Mexico east then north easterly through the Texas Panhandle, the Oklahoma Panhandle and on into Kansas.  That was yesterday.  We spent the night in Dodge City, went to a bar for dinner and didn't have to defend ourselves via a gunfight.  We'll have to skip Boot Hill however because we have to be in Omaha, Nebraska this afternoon for yet another variety of a reunion of Wife's family - this time the Cousins on her Mother's side.

It's a very interesting driving off the interstates through the countryside though unlike when I'm in Europe and I get unlimited data on T-Mobile, I am roaming on other carriers here and have already used up all my data allotment.  No TripAdvisor or apps used on this trip :(

Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Breakthrouhg

I was able to block off some serious time for my rewrite of the book this week and in the process started dealing with one of the most difficult aspects of the project.  I have these two characters who in the original story are fairly prominent but not dealt with in a serious manner.  They provided a lot of the sexual humor that was a big part of the story at that time.

When redesigning the story for this project, I shifted the tone to a deeper, more emotionally focused story but still trying to keep the humor as before and with a more mature attitude toward sexuality.  I was able to see ways to make that change in most of the book but there's this one section in the beginning where these two characters meet and start their relationship that was way, way off from the new focus.  I struggled with this for months.  Finally when I did the back story work last month, I saw how this relationship could be altered to meet the new focus but retain some of the humor and sexuality. 

I just got through the rewrite of that section and have read through it a couple of times and am very pleased with how it has evolved.  It has also given me some additional story line threads to weave into later sections of the book.  So we're finished with the first confrontation and establishment of key persona and its time to make it over the mountains to the next culture and key persona.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

About Books

A lot seems to be revolving around books these day.

On one hand we are moving our books back into our rearranged library (we had all our bookcases and chairs in that room moved when we did the Lounge).  We're using this as a major opportunity for us to 'purge' tons of stuff - mainly tons of books that are never looked at.  This has proven to be a big task.  Not counting just the physical work (books are heavy!), the decision-making process of what to keep or not keep is a lot.  I think we've overcome our tendency (particularly mine) to hang on to things.  We've identified about 50% of our inventory to get rid of.  We're still trying to figure out the best way to do that. 

Then there is reading books.  When I was working full bore, by the time I'd made dinner I would have been exhausted.  I didn't have energy to do anything other than plop in a chair and put on the TV to just fill the void.  Now I have lots of energy at the end of the day so I'm reading tons.  I've got three books going at once - two history books and a novel. The TV is rarely on except to watch recorded rugby or soccer games.

And there is MY book.  I am in the rewrite process in earnest.  I'm working through one of the hardest sections - one that requires major changes from the original - and I think I've got the story line revision worked out.

So here's to books!