Sixty one years today. My goodness. And I continue to be lucky that my health concerns have been minor and not life-threatening or seriously disabling. That’s not something all my friends can say.
This looks to be a quiet birthday. I’d intended to do something special, but with TYG’s crazy schedule that’s not really practical, so it’ll just be a quiet dinner out, FB birthday wishes and gifts. But we have several unrelated social activities coming up this month so I’ll still be having fun. And there’s always next year (or so one can hope).
I realized earlier this year that I started this WordPress blog 10 years ago. It was actually my third shot at blogging. First came a personal blog on LiveJournal, but my blogging community there dried up as everyone found Facebook could provide the same sort of connections. Overlapping with LJ came a writing blog on MySpace, which lasted until MySpace stopped doing blogs and erased all the content. Even before that, I’d started cross-posting at WordPress; MySpace had the obvious disadvantage that only members could read it. Great for friend networks, not so good for promoting my writing.
While I didn’t know it at the time, 2009 was a transitional year. I’d been dating TYG long-distance for about six months when I started at WordPress and it looked like we were in it for the long haul. I loved my reporting job, but the company”s cheapness was making my finances less and less workable. I was working on my third film-reference book for McFarland (Screen Enemies of the American Way) and selling short stories occasionally.
A year later I was engaged, living in Durham, and starting as a full-time freelancer. Now we’re married, own a house, and share our lives with Plushie, Trixie and (sort of) Wisp. While I miss my Ft. Walton Beach friends, life is definitely better.
I suppose my biggest regret, in hindsight, is that the fiction-writing side of my life hasn’t improved as much as I’d like. I still sell stories, but I hoped that in a decade I’d be selling to bigger (and better paying) markets. Or selling more frequently and faster; it still takes repeated submissions to multiple markets before any of my short stories finally sell. Southern Discomfort isn’t drawing any instant agent attention; I don’t know it will do any better with publishers. Not that I expected to be a JK Rowling-class household name, but I hoped I’d see some improvement over a decade.
But I am paying my share of the bills with my writing and I do get to stay home with Plushie and Trixie all day, even if they do sometimes drive me crazy (as I write this Plushie is loudly demanding I Do Something about Wisp sunning herself on the porch). And even if the stories don’t sell, they do get written, and I wrote them. And that’s cool.
#SFWApro. Action cover by Curt Swan, all rights to both images remain with current holder.