Hump Day

Apr. 12th, 2017 08:42 am
Yesterday, I finished grading the class that ended Monday. It was a good semester, but so many students did the bare minimum required for the course that it is hard for me to think that this next class, the one that starts tonight, is going to go well, either. I will start doing review quizzes at the beginning of each class; the goal isn't to punish students, but rather, to get them to realize that unless they show up in my classroom regularly they aren't going to be able to pass the class.

There has been an interesting revelation in my life, one which has shattered me to the core. For the vast majority of my life I have been taught to sit there and listen. I have been treated harshly, judged unfairly by my peers, picked on, made fun of, beaten, made to feel unwelcome, and have just kind of existed, My solace, of course, was in my writing. It is my wish I could go back in time and change things, but after reading today’s scripture notes, including Luke 9:45, I am compelled to believe that God deliberately kept all this hidden from me. Why? Because He desires to see me in pain? I don’t think so. I think He did this because He has something special in mind for me to accomplish. Of course, me talking about my purpose at all results in B’s getting angry; just as earlier last year I told her about how Bill and I met, how he had prayed to meet someone whom he could help, and he met me. B’s response, that it wasn’t even Biblical, stunned me to the core, and I think a great deal of people would have said the same, not so much because it is not Biblical, but because it involves me.
So, yesterday I told B that I would eat here with her, at home, in order to spend time with her. I had no idea that doing that would cause so much anger, although I am used to it. I am used to being told that her anger is always justified, and mine is never acceptable. So I was sitting there at the table, and B started opening up with ‘I’m glad you’re here, I’m glad you’re here, but…’ and then she launched into an attack about how she didn’t know I was staying home for lunch, and how I caused all these problems for her. Now, what bothers me is this: if you say that you are glad about something and then use but, it invalidates everything you’ve said before it. I can say that here because this is my journal, and I’m not putting any more filters on for people. My experience has taught me that people watch my words like a hawk. I could say something completely valid and a bunch of people would just jump all over me. It is something that has happened since I was born. I am rarely welcome in relatives’ houses; they do not appear to care or want me over there, really. Someone can spend millions of dollars on a house, etc. I spend fifty bucks, I get yelled at.
After this ‘discussion’ I went to my counselor. I was sitting there in the waiting room when I happened to read an article about a trans woman who had experienced all kinds of abuse, all kinds of unfair treatment growing up. Reading this narrative was eye-opening to me. I’d never thought that the way I’d been treated, from how I walked to how I talked, etc. would be tied up into my gender identity. I mentioned it to B yesterday, who promptly brushed me off and told me that I had to understand: people care about me and they want to see me succeed in life. I remember Jordan, who got a free pass for having long hair, while I was shredded for the same. When the youngest girl cousin had to go to summer school her senior year of high school no one seemed to care; indeed, my hearing about it brought ire from my Uncle, who did not want me to know anything about the family. However, the fact that I was pretty lazy in my parents’ eyes during my senior year of high school has been brought up again and again and again to the point where it seems that will be the only thing I am ever known for.
What fascinates me is that it is only now, at almost thirty-eight years old, that I am realizing just who I am as a person. God hid all this from me. Why? Would it have really changed things had I not been married? I honestly don’t know, but I’m going to guess yes. If I had castrated myself as a teen I would likely have never gotten into these relationships, not that it really would have mattered much to me, anyway, but it would certainly have meant I wouldn’t be sitting here now, having wasted half of my life sitting down and listening to others tell me how to feel, how to act, etc.

Musings

Apr. 12th, 2017 08:37 am
Okay, so I have moved my LiveJournal to Dreamwidth, and this is the reason why: I recently learned that LiveJournal, being based now in Russia, is going to start cracking down on freedom of speech, which totally sucks, and which is why I am going to be posting here from now on. While it used to be that I didn’t care about LGBT+ issues, I do now, but there is much more to it than that: I lost a lot of things that meant a lot to me in a hard disk crash (well, it was really that one of my friends lost my hard drive, which is a totally different issue), and I have zero desire to go through that hell again. As a result, I’ve moved everything here. It’s my hope in the next few months that I will start linking to articles, etc. that mean a lot to me, and that I will start writing some of my own.
My old computer overheated to the point where I could no longer use it. Hence, I had to get a new laptop. I suppose I could have continued with the old one until it caught fire, but Bethany wouldn't let me do that.

This past week has been quite hectic with activity. I had an interview with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell; we'll see if I get hired. I would love to work there instead of Quincy College, but they are part of the union. I really don't see a problem with the union outside of the fact that they tend to vote democrat and harrass anyone who disagrees with them. If I get hired, I will simply mind my p's and q's and not let myself get strongarmed. The nice thing about UMass is that they pay well, and I would be working in the afternoon, and not near Boston, either. The commute is about the same as it might be from my house to Boston, but this first time I went down a lot of back roads, and I am sure there is an easier way to get there.

Liberty has given me three classes for the Fall semester; all three seem to have gone through. I am working on my Quincy College classes now, setting them up. I try to do a couple of assignments and a discussion board a day if only to ensure I don't get overwhelmed. As much as I love teaching, I can't stand setting courses up.

My in-laws are here, which makes me happy. Most men would not enjoy seeing their in-laws, but I do. I like their company. They are good people and I especially enjoy talking to Manford Sr, my father in law.

Idlewild is set for release either today or tomorrow. I stupidly ordered the proofs without thinking about the heading and formatting. I had to go back and insert the drop caps and get rid of the Chapter system. A little effort goes a long way. Wth any luck I will be able to proofread this book today and tomorrow and then click on publish. The only other work that is ready right now is A Kiss After Dying and I am not ready to release that just yet.

Have a number of books on the bench that I am reading. The first is Jack Kerouac's On the Road. I am still reading George Orwell's Diaries, and Thomas Pynchon's 'V' although that one is slow going. I figure I'm halfway through On the Road, and there are a few non-fiction books I intend to read once I'm done with it.
I have been spending more time downstairs lately, and have been getting more done than I initially thought possible. Two or three short stories from when I was younger have been put into the computer, rewritten, and sent off to two distinct literary magazines. Still waiting to hear about the other one, ‘The Collective.’ The two stories I sent were ‘The Story,’ about a typewriter that starts typing a story for a man who cannot see the gift that has been given him, and ‘The Book,’ an old cliché about a man who finds a book that contains his life story in it.
The story about the clone not wanting to play with her original host needs to be written, and a longer story about a man who assassinates a President and wakes up not remembering what happened because his cerebral was hijacked (about the same length as ‘Johnny Mnemonic’). There are a few other stories worth rewriting, too, including the one about T. Rex as an actor, the story about the monster truck taking over a person’s soul, and the story taking place in Boston about a woman with mental health issues growing paranoid in the aftermath of a nuclear bomb.
Bethany’s parents will be coming up in a few weeks. Bethany, as usual, is spending as much money as she possibly can to make sure they are comfortable. I think the big issue is the student loans; if we did not have to pay those off, that would be an extra 700$ a month in our pocket. I plan on trying to refinance later on this fall. While I will likely pay more than the minimum payment, I would like to know that I don’t absolutely have to.
In other news, what surprised me most yesterday was how Ed and Nancy Dutra decided to ride for my cousin (and others) against MS. My cousin, Cindy Ferraro, has been suffering from MS for a while. Not sure how much care or consideration my father’s side of the family has really given her, but I wish they were more selfless like Nancy and Ed Dutra. While I get nervous about money sometimes, this more than not stems from a fear that John McCarthy, my tax guy, will say something about how much I have been spending this year than anything else. Also, I feel as though I am not being a good steward for spending anything. I have gone back to the way I feel as a teenager where I was not allowed to spend anything (though I did), and was met with harsh scrutiny when I did. While I have removed myself from the stage where I buy guitars and amps to collect them and have started backing off from these things, I still feel as though my parents are judging me. I know, deep down inside, that they aren’t. They can’t. They’re dead, and nothing is going to bring them back.
Yesterday’s article for Ricochet was on Orwell and Socialism. I cannot help but feel I am as much of a hypocrite as Orwell. He was clearly a conflicted man, and lived a life that one could only imagine was in far worse condition than where we are now. While he complained, I cannot imagine that he truly went without the basic needs of life, even when he was homeless and down and out in Paris and London. So why do I feel so bad about myself? I feel as though I should be saving more money and I get terribly depressed when I can’t. There’s $1600 in Betterment, over $4,000 in the bank, and over $217,000 in investments. The house is paid off, we owe nothing but my student loans.
My goal today is to write. I have my guitar lessons at 11, rescheduled from yesterday because I had to move it; the garage door had to be installed. I’m about halfway done with digging up the garden; I plan on getting a few more wheelbarrow loads in today. Hard work. Nowhere near done, since the areas around the pea gravel will have to be leveled.
This weekend has been depressing. Once again, another week, two weeks, four weeks, go by without doing anything but sitting in this two by two box at the kitchen table and just listening to my wife go on and on about stuff that does not matter. We can’t go out. We are trapped in a prison of my own creation. It is wearing on me. Now, of course, Bethany has another problem: her tooth is hurting. I guarantee that will be a two or three thousand dollar surgery. I just know it.
Seeing friends on Facebook driving hours to see each other saddens me because I realize I have no friends, no real family outside of Bethany that really cares about me at all. We had the wedding up here in Massachusetts because I knew no one from my family would have gone.
Got rid of all the National Geographics this week. The reel-to-reel speakers are gone, along with the radio, the cheap guitar, and most of the books. The closet in the office is next, followed by the drum set. It was a worthless investment. I wanted desperately to have friends to come over and we could jam out, but I have no friends and, less than that, I feel like a loser for even dreaming of a day when I could play with others.
So I will continue to sit in this shithole of a house, just endlessly wishing that I were somewhere else. I simply write and write, and there is nothing else I can do; once Bethany eats something I am required to stay here and make sure she is okay. What a waste of a life.
This week has been an interesting one, especially since I have started doing blog posts for the online blog Ricochet. I have essentially started my own column, and have got a little bit of a following so far. Hopefully the Lord will allow me to keep this up; I really enjoy doing these posts. I am striving for a daily post there, reflecting not just on myself, but on the way things are in the world. It is a different approach to journalism, confessional journalism, perhaps?
The novels are where they have been for a few days although last night I did manage a paragraph in A Once Distant Memory. In September, barring anyone taking on ‘A Kiss After Dying’ I will release that. It is a novella, so it is only about a third of the length of my prior two books, but it is one that I must say I had a great deal of fun writing. I think the whole novella took about three weeks. A Once Distant Memory has gotten a bit shorter, at least so far, but it is my hope that instead of focusing on a weekend I will be focusing on a week or so. The neighbor is likely going to get killed, and what I want to do is develop him as a ‘replacement’ for Jack’s father, who was cruel and distant. He will mourn the loss of this replacement father by continuing to dig deeper into his novel while his daughter starts getting involved in a local band. Something like that. I want the story to be less a chop and more of a slice of life; I have mentioned Aunt Katherine, Stacy’s hardnosed aunt, who is largely inspired by the Aunt that Scout has in To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.
Speaking of Watchman, I have finished the novel and I was actually impressed. The story is different in many respects from its better-known counterpart, and it is likely that Harper Lee never intended for this story to see the light of day. Still, the novel has its charms although there are some passages that read like a first draft. What I am most thankful for is that Scout in the book does not dwell on the incident in which she saw Tom convicted in court. A lot of sequels are like that; they rely so heavily on the first book that they fall flat. A lot of Star Wars books do that, focusing on an incident and expanding on it. Boring drivel.
Have started The Smartest Guys in the Room, a book that focuses on the rise and fall of Enron, the energy company. So far the book is similar to the way the Hot Zone is written, in a narrative style that is easy to read but really gets you into it. I have always been fascinated by those big companies and how their CEOs have gone from bright people to greedy degenerates. While my mother explained to me when I was younger that money is the most important thing in the world, I have realized that is not true, and that one can either live rich or live comfortably and within their means. I have decided to start downsizing a lot of the stuff I have, not because I cannot afford to keep it but because I am running out of room, and when that happens, one must seriously entertain if all this stuff is necessary. Most of it isn’t. What I have started with is the National Geographic. I did get rid of a guitar amplifier, a clunky thing that should not have been purchased in the first place. I will be giving Michael some things to sell, and will be donating most of the stuff I desire to get rid of to the Salvation Army.
Bethany has still been sick although it is not the throwing up kind that she has been known to be sick from. Instead it is just a feeling of general lethargy, as if someone has drained her energy. My fear is that the scleroderma will eventually kill her and if that happens I will not be staying in Massachusetts. Hence why I want to start getting rid of things. The less I have the easier it is to move. The office needs to be gutted, the walls torn down and replaced with something like wood paneling that can be detached easily for idiotic inspectors. The music room will remain the way it is; outside of a good cleaning there isn’t much I can do with that room, but the rest of the basement will slowly be emptied. What I would like is, in the garage, more of those rolling types of carts, so that if needed they can be wheeled into the back of a pickup truck and driven away.
Leadfoot will need his radiator fixed, perhaps this week. I need to be able to move it around as I continue to clean out the backyard.
Yesterday I finished Book Four of Molon Labe. It was slow going, not because I was procrastinating, but because the dates were all wrong. Everything seemed to happen on July 14th, which is impossible, and there were events that took place in these chapters that should have at least caused a ripple through things but didn’t. About seven thousand words have been trimmed from the book due to putting chapters together, which brings the book down to 157,000 words. Considering the book isn’t complete yet, I’m okay with that.
Bethany and I got into another ridiculous argument yesterday, involving coupons at BJs. Part of me is rather surprised and hurt that Bethany can get so upset at something so inane, but we managed to get ourselves together again after. The major issue is that we have so much outflow right now. For example, I had to put the forty-percent down on the garage door yesterday. That was six hundred dollars. Another six-fifty went out for the stone wall out front. I get paid next week on Saturday; that should be about two thousand, coupled with another twelve hundred from Liberty for the extra course I took, and twelve hundred for the rent upstairs. After this I plan on just doing minimum payments on the credit card; we only owe one thousand on one, nine hundred on another, and five hundred on the last one. The majority of this is from Bethany’s medical bills, so it seems that it will be a revolving balance each month of about nine hundred to a thousand dollars.
Bethany is in endoscopy right now and so I am just waiting for her to come out before we can leave. This should resolve the whole scleroderma thing, although I am not sure if that is what she has. If it is, I am not sure what we are going to do. If it isn’t then we have to look elsewhere and see what it could be.
Today I will be going to the gym as usual; I’m starting to work regularly on achieving a twelve-minute mile. The day before yesterday (Sunday) I ran a twelve-minute mile, and yesterday was a thirteen minute mile. I am doing intervals, so I will start off at a fast walk, run at six or six-and-a-half miles an hour for a few minutes, and then cycle back down to the fast walk.
This is day three of me no longer drinking coffee. Next week I will see what else can get cut out.

It has nearly been two hours since Bethany went in for her appointment. I know the doctors are always running behind, but this is a little absurd. I asked the receptionist at about seven-forty-five what was going on, and she told me that Bethany had not been seen yet. I’m not worried, just annoyed, and there is a stitch in my side that is driving me crazy.
I’ve been reading George Orwell’s diary, as well as his Letters. The diary really gives one an understanding into his life, and how Orwell was able to take what he saw and experienced and put it into his writing. My goal in writing essays is to reflect on society. After all, freedom of speech was never designed to protect your aunt Hilda’s secret recipe for goulash; it was designed to protect one from the government’s restriction on freedom of speech.
Got into an argument with Dave down at the coffee shop this morning about permitting for the wall and the garage door. Of course, tomorrow I will tell him that it is all taken care of, or perhaps not go down for a while. I really shouldn’t have to tell him anything. I think that, slowly, my time down there is coming to an end. It isn’t that I don’t want to be down there but Dave is going to live until he is 90, and I just do not have the time anymore to deal with his bullshit. In the fall, I will be going back on campus, and if I have to take Adderall to stay awake, I will. I hope to be teaching 5-6, maybe even 7 classes, which comes out to over 24k for one semester, which will put a hue dent in my student loans. My attitude now is ‘Whatever it takes’ meaning that if I have to get a third job to be able to pay off these loans, I will.
I submitted the first two books to my editors yesterday; he suggested I do a book signing at the upcoming flea market. I am not going to do it this weekend, since it is the 4th and Bethany and I have plans this weekend, but I do want to get back into going to flea markets and yard sales. I don’t trust Bethany, though, when it comes to these things. She likes to talk me out of everything. If it were up to her, I would be forced to just sit in this house all the time and just listen to her talk. She never has anything to say, but she is always talking. No wonder I can’t wait until the Fall to get the hell out of here!

Musings

Jun. 29th, 2015 11:46 am
I have been struggling to keep organized in an increasingly disorganized world. I have several projects going at once, to say nothing about a model plane that I have forgotten about since I started it. Digging in the garden, thinking about going kayaking, playing guitar and fixing a guitar whose strings will not stay intonated, writing Molon Labe and thinking about how people will respond to it, along with several other projects, dreams, and hopes, occupy the space of time between when I wake up and go to bed, or occupy the space of my mind. Molon Labe, the first two books, I think, are good enough to submit to my editors, so I have done just that. The third and fourth books, I think, are where things begin to fall apart, so I will be focusing on those areas tomorrow.
Today we have someone coming over to look at our garage door. It is probably better to replace it, and since it is so heavy and awkward, we are probably in our right judgment to replace it. I do not like the idea of shelling out thousands for it, but it is one of those expenses that cannot be avoided.
Meanwhile, students email, sending me one excuse after another why they cannot submit work on time, and I chastise them and tell them this will be the last time I accept another late assignment, and they bristle and wonder why I have become a mean teacher even though they know they have submitted their assignment late and understand the consequences therein.
This afternoon I must go to the RMV and get the license plate sticker for Bigfoot so I can have him towed to the repair shop. It is likely something small, but it is amazing how something small can prevent you from enjoying a hobby.
For some reason nothing seems to be going well today. I started working last week on the backyard and today we have water in the basement because the trench I have dug is acting like a French drain. WTF! Oh, well, I guess it could be worse, but at the same time I am realizing that I don’t want to be working on the house anymore. Bethany wants me to hire everything out, and maybe she is right.
Last night we got into an argument about Netflix. I have officially given up as far as selecting movies goes, just like with Sara and never being allowed to listen to music I enjoy. I’ve told her that either she selects the movies we watch, or to turn off the television. Am no longer sitting in the kitchen to do work, either. It seems every five minutes Bethany is going around me, perhaps to stare at my screen. Not sure why she is so paranoid.
Walked to the coffee shop today and walked back. It feels good to be out and about in the fresh air and the sunshine. I started working on the trench, but I am hitting something wooden. I am not sure what it is; it looks like a root, but it’s too straight to be one, so I am going to guess it may be an old two-by four. But that’s impossible, right? I mean, a two-by-four would have rotted by now. Maybe it is a tree root, but I’m not positive.
I finished the work I needed to do today fairly early. I have two books that I need to finish. The first is 10:04, and the second is Selected Writings. They are both fast approaching 80% complete. I will be doing more book reviews for January Gray as the week progresses; I need to talk to her about doing science-fiction writing reviews.
Wow, it does not seem possible that almost nine years ago I was graduating with my M.A., and just about a year ago I was graduating with my doctorate. Time flies!
Bethany and I have been working on digging up the backyard to fill it in with pea gravel. My aim is to make a lawn that requires less water and is more appealing. Also, there is considerably less maintenance in waterless lawns, and my hope is that when the fall comes there will be fewer areas where leaves will congregate. I am also building a small wall around the patio and the shed, where I will be throwing the leftover dirt around to try and even off the back. I am sure when the rain comes it will wash away partly, which is fine, but I really want to see if I can continue to extend that area a bit.
I finally got access to my student loans, which relieves me greatly. I was paying on time, something they hate, and I was making double payments, which they hate further. They initially told me that I needed to send in some form of identification, but when it became obvious I was going to continue to make double payments regardless they threw in the towel. My goal is, each month, to make a substantial contribution to one of the smaller loans I have in order to aggressively pay it off.
I have another class to set up for Liberty University. For some reason, these summer classes do not seem to count toward my contract, so that is an extra 2,100 for each class that I can keep during the summer. While Liberty does not pay as much as Quincy, one has to understand that each of these classes is only eight weeks in length. They are half as long – and perhaps require half as much grading.
There are a couple of other part-time schools looking for online instructors of either instructional design, English, or Education. I am going to apply to them and see what happens. Even if I only get an extra class a semester, that should go to the student loans.
Trust me when I say this: I do not obsess over what I owe like I did when I was in central Mass. I just don’t. I could pay off the loans tomorrow, but it would require taking out a chunk of my inheritance, and then I would have to pay taxes on that. The doctorate has helped me immensely, giving me understanding in many areas, but the cost is quite high. It is a ten-year loan, not twenty, and I am sure if I continue to make these double payments it will go down that much faster.
Today we are going to Yard Sales; hopefully we find something interesting. Bethany has a list of things she would like to see us procure; myself? Books, as usual =)
Molon Labe is stuck again, not because of a lack of imagination, but because I have been busy working on a number of things, and that means that time is being taken away and used for other things. I am on the second chapter of Book 6, roughly 140k, and I am at a general chapter. I think Book 6 should do without the general chapters; I am wondering how others will view them anyway since they may slow down the narrative (though so far the book takes place over 2 weeks, so slowing down the narrative might not be the worst thing I could do). I am going to outline this particular Book, and my guess is that either this is the last section before the Anathema (the general chapter I wrote will go to the Anathema) or there may need to be a second section. 200,000 words. Yikes. I don’t think any of my books have been this long (so far).

SDC
I am feeling much better after yesterday’s bug, which left me unable to do anything but sleep. And sleep I did; I went to bed around 9 and didn’t wake up until about 6. I got a lot of grading done yesterday but little in actual writing, and so I am hoping that I can get back on schedule as it relates to Molon Labe. This particular section is moving along now, beginning with Jeff Orwell meeting his ‘father’ who turns out to be a clone.
Over the past few days I have watched the demolishing of a relationship between two friends whom I care about deeply. Both of them are damaged, having come from a household where abuse was common, as well as neglect. It seems I am seeing more neglect than anything these days. In public, Michelle would berate her boyfriend, insult him on Facebook, etc. Over the past few years, however, she has done whatever she can to give the impression that they are a nice, normal family, and when James walked out on her, she can now whine on Facebook and ask how this happened.
I know exactly how this happened, and James has left her once before, only to keep going back to her. The first time, if he had listened to me, there would have been an end to the madness, but now there are kids involved and as a result things are much more complicated than they seem. I’ve spoken to James before about this, and I know how it feels to be treated as an amoeba by a girl, something Bethany and I have been discussing lately as we begin the journey to start a family. I won’t get involved with James and Michelle this time. They need to sort out their own problems.
If scientists came out with a pill that destroyed the male sex drive, the world as we know it would be dramatically changed. Women would in dire straits, for the only reason men are with them is because women have such incredible power over them.
Bethany does not want to go to New Jersey this summer, partly because she isn’t feeling well, and partly because she does not want to deal with the 5+ hour drive. I get that, and I suggested they come up here. Well, crap, she said yes, which means I have to finish up some painting and touch ups from the fire. The dining room is pretty much done. The living room can remain the way it is, but the kitchen needs a vast overhaul. I thought red would be a nice touch, but it has darkened the room so much that it cannot remain this color. Bethany wants a yellow color; I don’t mind that, but if we are going to have her parents over, we are going to have to get going on this, sometime soon.

Musings

Jun. 16th, 2015 03:02 pm
I am not feeling well today, filled with a strange form of lethargy that makes it difficult for me to even lift my hands to use the keyboard. It is an awful feeling, which is forced me to be subjected to more than a few harsh words from my wife. I hate lethargy. I hate being tired. There is a great world out there and I feel like we waste a third of our lives sleeping in bed. There are many, many things that I would rather be doing than sleeping, trust me.
Book Five in Molon Labe has ended, and I am now working on Book Six. I am searching for that spark of inspiration to begin this (last, I think) section before the Anathema. Maybe I will work on the Anathema first, a swirl of different opinions, facts, shapes, figures, and sounds. It is the diaries of Michael and Jessica Orwell, the last book that needs to be written before this massive novel is over. I am thinking, perhaps, that the novel is going to be about 50k more. We’ll see.

Musings

Jun. 14th, 2015 07:39 am
I have been working on cutting back on caffeinated drinks. I am going from about 500mg of caffeine a day to about fifty or sixty. The withdrawals are a bit gnarly, especially since I have been drinking coffee since I was ten years old or so, but it will be worth it once it is over. My kidneys are the culprit, since they have been damaged by genetics (proteinuria) and I am fairly certain the gallon of root beer I used to drink each day when I was a kid didn’t help much.
Yesterday, Bethany and I headed north to Newbury to the Wildlife Refuge. My neighbor, Skip Hoyt, gave a presentation and a massive slideshow on Alaska. He and his girlfriend spent about five months up there and their trip is one for the record books. Pictures of the aura borealis, Denali, and the Arctic Circle make me realize just how little time I have spent traveling. Sure, journeys with my father were nice, but eventually I want to get out and see the world. Bethany has already been to England, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Germany, Holland, and Jamaica, not to mention numerous places in the Caribbean, but I, unfortunately, have never really been outside the United States.
Molon Labe has reached 130k. I am fairly certain that the next few chapters will end this section of the book. Book 6 is straight action, without the commentary, and then you have Book 7, which is supposed to be the journals of Jeff’s parents. I am guessing that will be something like 20k. So, we are looking at 135k for Books 1-5, Book 6 will be 25k, and then another 20k. So, perhaps 180k words?
I started doing some research for stocks and bonds today, starting to think about ways I can invest more. When I signed into Liberty’s weekly IM report, the prayer of the day study was about not being concerned about how much is in your bank account, but rather, focusing on the Lord. I recognize I have been getting a bit anxious lately as reports from CNNMoney and Fox News Business have been showing downward trends, but instead of focusing on Him, I have been looking for ways to build up my wealth on my own. Not that we are destitute; far from it. I just want to aggressively pay off my student loan the way that I aggressively paid off Bethany’s.
We are off to BJ’s Wholesale Club, a place where one should be offered free Prozac before walking in the door. There are a few things that Bethany needs to pick up; I want to take a look at some gardening solutions. The tomato plant out in the backyard has sprouted one little green tomato. While this excites me, I don’t want one. I want lots of them!
I have the seeds for the ground cover for the backyard and side yard; I just need to get them into their nesting spots so they can grow =)
Molon Labe has passed 126k. I am thinking this chapter may focus on Stacy Jacobs, who is supposed to be a side character but has really taken over.
I have officially reached 125k in Molon Labe. I am quite pleased with the way the novel is shaping, although I can tell there is quite a task ahead with the revisions. I have been reading Henry Miller’s On Writing, Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, Proust, and Ruskin. My goal is to finish Miller today, perhaps, and put in a little Shakespeare. I promised myself I would read all of Shakespeare’s works this summer, and I plan on doing just that.
Bethany and I have been arguing lately about the lack of getting out of the house. I have a deep desire to go out. I really do. The trouble is that Bethany has colic, and she frequently complains of problems that would ordinarily leave us staying at home. I don’t want to be looked at as irresponsible for not thinking about the needs of my wife. We have decided to go see the film ‘Mad Max,’ something I have been looking forward to for a while. I am also surprising her with tickets to see Jurassic World, which is out this Friday. I remember going to see it with Heather Sykes when I was a teenager. We couldn’t sit together because it was almost sold out.
Outside of that, the summer is progressing well. We are going to have someone come in and do some landscaping for us at the end of June/beginning of July. I’ve wanted to do something with the outside of the house for a while but was unsure if we could do it, not because we cannot afford it, but because it involves the tearing down of the old wall to put up a new one. This new wall was supposed to be very expensive, but the landscaping company that is going to do it will charge $800 for building a two-tier wall without concrete (like what my rear neighbors have done). Additional landscaping, including pea gravel, will be about $500. Impressive.
Yard sales have yielded many new things for Bethany, and a few new things for me. I managed to stop at a yard sale in Reading where the guy was just closing down and bought his entire table. Eight hammers, sixty drill bits, a couple of sledgehammers, and more screwdrivers than I could ever expect to lose for $5. Bethany picked up a couple of chafing dishes for entertaining, as well as a bread basket that she says could be a gift idea (Indeed, looking at the desk in the corner tells me it will be used as one), but I feel it could be better used for us. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.
The summer classes have just started, and I am disciplining myself to making sure that I check in each day and grade any lingerings in order to ensure the work does not build up. I am hoping to apply to Ashford and Strayer today for a couple of extra summer classes. Not necessarily for the money, but because I really want to aggressively pay off my student loans.
I have been getting a lot of exercise lately, walking around the lake and with Bethany to Cumberland Farms. Planet Fitness has been a godsend with the ability to go late at night and do a five or ten mile bike ride while reading my book and listening to Creedence. I’m leaving now to head for morning coffee; I expect the walk to be about an hour!

Molon Labe

Jun. 2nd, 2015 09:06 am
A number of incidents have occurred in Molon Labe that have really generated excitement within me that this massive work will be completed (someday). I have started with a rewrite of Book Five because it is a little bit out of chronological order (I had Jeff go out to visit his grandparents at night, the Hive blows up that night, and then the President is briefed that same morning on it). Here are some ideas I have been working on:
i. Introduction – The events of July 3rd – August 3rd, 2035 – before the arrival of Richard Kanwak and Jacen TJaden
ii. Jeff meets clones of his parents at Philadelphia
iii. Javert meets with Beck and Grundy; announce the target is Jeff Orwell
iv. EMP takes out a quarter of the United States; this EMP shuts down the infrastructure, as well as the majority of the Eastern Seaboard. Final battle takes place in Baltimore and Virginia as thousands of Patriot troops converge.
v. Javert chases Orwell and Fulton to an abandoned warehouse. Javert is killed by Fulton’s flintlock, but Jeff is mortally wounded. He glances out at the sky to see the ‘shooting star’ that is actually Raban Milwaukee’s harrowing descent through the atmosphere.
These are just a few of the ideas that I have been considering for this novel. A few loose ends need to be wrapped up; there needs to be a focus on Seductresses to tie Book 1 and 5 together. I am still not completely sold on the idea of the Anathema; this journal will take considerable time, but I think a condensed version may very well be something worth writing.
Have not been on much in recent weeks, or at the very least, this past week, because I have either been busy with work or have been writing. Writing has taken up the bulk of my time lately, and while I am happy that the wheels are turning, this book, Molon Labe, continues to grow. It now stands at 97,000 words, and there will at least be two more sections. So, I think it will be about 150k, give or take, although I am just going to let the novel run and see where it winds up.

One idea that has been cropping up in recent weeks is to change the general chapters to be the diaries, instead of including them at the end. Not sure what I might do yet...
These past few days I have been working on Molon Labe. The story is shaping into a novel that I would enjoy reading; the commentaries are a bit much, but I believe this book, Book 4, will be the last before the Journals, which will take God-knows how long. I am tempted to take them out of Book Four completely, but I am not sure if I want to do that just yet. The break-up of the narrative leaves the audience with the choice of reading them, reading the story, or reading it in linear fashion. The commentaries are supposed to take a perspective of the world not just from 2035, or 2037, but from someone who has never been to this world before, which ties directly into the HBS.
I bought a guitar yesterday, a beautiful E335 that sounds amazing. It just needs to be set up, and it definitely needs some kind of strap because right now it just sits on my lap. Bethany came with me to guitar center yesterday and while she wasn’t angry with the purchase, I am sure she is waiting to see me freak out about money (which hasn’t happened in a while) so she can point to the guitar and tell me that I shouldn’t have bought it.
I haven’t mentioned this before, but I am completely off of Fluoxetine. The drug was designed to get me through some of the depression I felt during the months following the wedding, particularly about dealing with my family, but now it is just a crutch, and I have weaned myself off it. I feel great. Not delusional, as That Girl would have said, but good. I recognize that life is good, and while there are things that need to be done, that does not mean that life is the utter pit of despair that some make it look like.
And now for the bad news. Bethany has been sick off and on for the past year now, and unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an exit strategy for this. There really doesn’t. I cancelled my appointment with my editors today, and declined the invitation to the Mystic, CT. book signing because I was afraid I would have to cancel it anyway.
The rest of the afternoon looks like I will be working on cleaning or finishing up Liberty and Quincy College. Tonight I will go to the gym again and see about doing another mile, perhaps two. I have been going twice a day now, once in the morning and once in the evening. While I have been taking a nap regularly, I no longer wake up so exhausted that I could go back to bed once again.
Tonight I submitted my novella to Hallowed press publishing, and will be working on sending it to Pig & Rooster publishing (interesting name). The course of events necessitates me to branch out from publishing it through Novella-T, since I have not heard back from them. I think the story is good, good enough to warrant publishing somewhere else, but if I do not hear back from anyone over the next month or so I will publish the story myself.
Molon Labe has climbed to 83,000 words, and is perhaps over the halfway mark. It is here where the narrative starts wobbling like some top-heavy warship. I must construct an outline of some sort, or at least have some ending in mind. I do have an ending in mind, Jeff Orwell’s death, and the shooting star that leads into the HBS, but getting there is something else. The major idea is to have Jeff translate his journals and then have the clone of the President of the United States take over the White House, but there needs to be something else, as well, and this is the simultaneous wake-up of millions of Americans.
Perhaps the hacking can be implemented? That was a concept included in ‘For None of Woman Born’ and will undoubtedly become a novella in its own right.

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