This last weekend I made a fast trip to Portland to say goodbye to a friend who passed away last month. I could’ve made excuses due to time/distance/inconvenience. But I didn’t. In fact, when I was informed of memorial, I booked the bus ride down as soon I double checked my schedule. Honestly, I would’ve canceled any plans to attend. Sometimes, you just owe it to someone not to miss a gathering. There were a few tears and people were sad, but for the majority of it, we talked about Brian and how much he meant to us. It reminded me that we do need to keep connected to people and never take for granted that tomorrow is going to be around.
By coincidence, I turned 50 recently and its forced a shift in perspective. Brain was a year younger than myself and I thought very healthy. It seems that he wasn’t and perhaps a bit too stubborn & self-reliant. There’s a saying about speaking no ill of the dead and my comments aren’t a criticism of how he lived his life. That was his call and I [and no one else for that matter] have a right to judge. We live how we live and there shouldn’t be many regrets. Take that chance. Take that risk. Ask the person out. Write that novel. Skydive. Walk outside your comfort zone. Live like there might not be a tomorrow. Cause there might not be.
So, the good that came out of this, is that I finished my novel and have kicked it out the door to beta readers. One has already given me feedback and the it seems that the plot is good. A few holes, it’s in a dire need of a copy edit, and I forgot to purge the mention of a character, but I chalk it all up as a positive. I have a page of notes and expect feedback from two others over the next few weeks. That project goes forward and I’ve already been making notes on shifting POV, adding POV and adding details. One person disappears off the face of the earth, there’s a question about Theo’s crew, and a suggestion that my ending invalidates a few events and victories that happened. The beta reader did suggest a change, so I’m going to work on that next while getting my short stories in shape. Now if I can get it complete synopsis and the first ten pages in shape, I might be able to make a submission deadline.
Out of the five short stories that are currently in process; one is complete and ready for beta while the other three are in various states of finish. Rotating the projects works for getting words in on a daily basis along with a sense of moving forward. The were-Gronk story is the weakest at the moment, while the Stars and not-Cthulthu-cyberpunk moves along briskly. My Beauty/Beast/Cinderella cyberpunk story is a third done and holds some good promise in terms of being fun. The Grimm Cybertales [not that type of cyber] needs a few more Grimm/fairytale concepts to flesh out, but I’ve hit all the big ones so far.
This month is starting out slow in terms of words to paper. Got a goal to keep and these stories aren’t going to finish themselves.