HAPPY TO REPORT…
SORRY FOR BEING SO DAMN INACTIVE
Good grief! Has it really been over five months since I last posted anything on my blog???? I am shocked, horrified and very embarrassed. Obviously I did not die. Likewise:
• I was not seriously ill.
• I was not having an emotional breakdown.
• I was not dealing with a major crisis in my life. I did have one (my runaway dog Tink missing for 4 weeks but that was mid-February to mid-March).
• I was not traveling (I will be doing that though in mid-October, ten glorious days in fabulous Spain!)
• I was not feverishly working three jobs – no, I am actually retired.
• I do not have young children to raise (just some grandkids to spoil from time-to-time).
• I was not in jail or held hostage.
As you can see I am rapidly running out of excuses. On the other hand, I also was not:
• Sitting around all day watching TV (one or two hours is the maximum time I spend in front of the boob tube)
• Drinking myself in a stupor (two glasses of wine in the evening is the extent of my binging)
• Having a hot and steamy affair (not that I would mind that)
• Bored and wondering “What am I going to do today?”
• Diligently working on my manuscript (that is my deepest, darkest shame)
So what you may be wondering was I doing? I think it is called life and for me life in part meant devoting no time to my blog. I am not going to go into the details of what I did do other than to simply say I was enjoying myself, spending lots of time with my two wonderful dogs, reading a fair amount, oh and probably spending way too much time on Facebook and similar trivial online activities.
To the fine folks who have enjoyed what I have posted here, my sincere apologies. I probably have lost a fair percentage of you during this time due to my negligence but to the ones who may have been hoping that I might come up for air again, thank you and I hope to regain your favor. Ah, the air smells sweet and just posting this now makes me feel alive and akin to a recovered alcoholic or a born-again Christian. Alright I admit that may be a bit over-the-top.
I actually revisited my blog this evening to write a review of a book that I just finished and it was then that I realized how long it had been since I posted anything here. That review as well as some others will have to wait for another day. In the meantime I hope you too have been enjoying life.
It’s been quite some time since I did any serious blogging. This site is primarily focused on my comments and reviews of books I have recently read, books I read with the hope that they would inspire me and help to make me a better writer as I plod along on the manuscript of my novel. Occasionally I do digress from that general theme to muse about events going on in my life that I deem significant.
Back on Feb.1, I posted that I would be taking a break in the action and that my blogging would be less frequent and shorter so that I could devote more time to my manuscript. That was the plan. Then my world got turned upside down when one of my two dogs went missing. For the next four weeks I did precious little else during my waking hours that did not have something to do with finding and rescuing Tink. Blogging, working on my novel, and countless other activities that seemed so important previously now seemed to be trivial compared to finding my lost girl. The story had a happy ending and she was rescued. In fact she’s lying by my side as I type this. Life goes on, thankfully.
So now I have a lot of lost time to try to make up. My manuscript will remain my top priority or I should say second priority since caring for Tink and my loveable other pooch Aries are and will remain my top priority. I also set a personal goal to read thirty books this year. I’ve polished off six already so I’m on track for achieving that goal and want to make sure I do not fall behind.That brings up trying to make time to write reviews of books I’ve recently read (three and counting at the moment) as well as my reflections on the wonderful San Francisco Writers Conference that I was attending when Tink disappeared. I had to skip the fourth day of the conference to begin my search for Tink, but benefited greatly from the three days I attended and want to write a little about that experience. I hope to make room for one blog a week until I actually have caught up. Then again as I learned in February, I do not know what curve ball may be coming my way. Stay tuned!
I am so happy to report that after missing for 4 weeks my wonderful pooch Tink and I were reunited on March 13, almost to the exact hour of when I last saw here on Feb. 13. Tink is an absolutely loveable, affectionate and gentle 8 year-old shepherd mix that has been in my life now for only 2 months. While attending the annual San Francisco Writers Conference I left her at the shelter where I first met and fell in love with her. Five hours after leaving her there, she was outside their building and the person “taking care” of her lost control of my sweet girl. She fled, probably thinking she would try to find me. I did not learn of this for two days and from that moment until she was rescued my life was centered around trying to find her. Complicating matters further was the area where she was lost is about 18 miles from my home, making my search especially challenging. With the exception of caring for my other dog Aries, everything else in my life went into cold storage. I could write a book about what that four-week ordeal was like. In fact a good friend of mine who herself is a very gifted writer told me I should. I may just do that once the manuscript I am currently working on is complete. In the meantime it’s wonderful to have my little girl back in my life again and to be able to get back into my normal routine. Welcome Home Tink!
For the past 2 weeks my life’s mission has been trying to find my missing dog Tink and so I have ignored my blog as well as most other activities that are not crucial. Above is a picture of her; in case you’re interested in more detail I’ve been posting nearly every day my activities on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ed.hartnett. I’m leaving my house soon to resume the search. Wish me luck!
I attended the four-day San Francisco Writers Conference which began on Feb. 13 & presumed I would be writing about what I learned there on my latest blog. Unfortunately on Feb. 15 I got a call that the dog that I have been fostering had cut loose only hours after I left her at the shelter where I got her. Trying to find her immediately became my top priority and while we have had some promising leads, as of this writing she still has not been found. Once the dust settles and hopefully she is back in my home I’ll come up for air and share my thoughts about the conference. Wish me luck finding Tink.
I have come to the conclusion that I need to get more serious about working on my novel. Rather than being a top priority somehow in the course of a day, a week, a month it seems to be something I postpone and instead choose all too often to do something else. Granted I am happy to say that I do have a rather full life and never find myself staring into space wondering “Gee I have too much free time on my hands, I’m bored, what am I going to do today?” For a significant portion of my adult life I have been a strong proponent of compiling a daily To-Do list either late in the evening or early in the morning as I am slurping down my second or third cup of coffee. It helps me to prioritize what I want to achieve for the day and gives me a sense of accomplishment by day’s end to see the items that I have crossed off my list. Having said that I realize that working on my novel frequently gets trumped by other activities.
Writing here on my blog is one of those activities that too often seems to creep ahead of spending time writing my novel. In the back of my mind I have rationalized that no matter what form it takes, creative writing is beneficial to sharpen my skills. I think there is some truth to that but… Granted this is not something I do on a daily basis but as anyone who has followed my blog for a while knows, my musings tend to be lengthy, sometimes totaling eight hundred or more words. A while back I had set a goal of composing at least a thousand words a day in my manuscript, vowing at the time I would commit to doing that and not stop until I reached that goal each day. Initially I was diligent about following that rule but somehow fell into sloppy habits and stopped being committed to achieving that not very demanding goal. If I am ever to give birth to this baby I need to get back to making my manuscript a top priority at least five days a week. I also know me well enough that once I am regularly achieving a thousand plus words a day before very long that number will likely double or triple.
This self-flagellation is a long way of saying that in addition to making other adjustments in my life I will be writing less often here and when I do write my postings will usually be briefer. Feel free to nag me with comments like “How’s that book coming along Ed?” “How many word did you add to your novel in the past day or week?” Or just be downright nasty and yell out “Hey a**hole, cut out the crap and get working!” Despite years of counseling long ago, it is possible to reawaken the guilt buried in my subconscious from my Catholic upbringing. End of story…for now. Thanks!