September 24, 2018


In an effort to refocus, let me write out what needs to be done here—on my personal blog! I need primarily to stay on track with my copyediting work, that money might continue to flow. Beyond this I need to really focus on editing my short stories for my short story collection Flock and Home.

Speaking of which, I need to make sure that the person writing the foreword for it is writing the foreword and I need to figure out how to adapt the book cover through Amazon’s CreateSpace which I have never done. Once all the stories have been edited satisfactorily and the formatting appears perfect, then I can order a proof copy.

There will be about two weeks between finalizing all this and being ready, after the proof, to order physical copies of the book. I plan on ordering about one hundred physical copies initially to sell out from local businesses should they oblige.

After I have those and there has been two weeks to sell as many of the one hundred as possible, I will either order another hundred or do a local book signing marketed like a music concert. I want there to be posters around town that claim there will be “live penguins” at the book signing. This is going to be a flop, isn’t it?

That is just one project. In the meantime, I need to be outlining for the next novella, Astar and the Diamond Ruff, and planning on how to land the plane of A Brief Visit to Our World about next March.

Before December, however, I need to finish my applications to master’s programs. This is easy enough, I think. I can finish the applications within the next two weeks as I edit the six short stories and brainstorm or outline for Astar which will largely be worked on within my dreams.

I also want to be getting my driver’s license, so when my finances start to go in the right direction I can buy a car. I want to get a car that I can either live in or take cross-country to any MFA program I may or may not get into. It is unlikely.

But though it is unlikely, I need to be setting up the infrastructure that will allow me to segue into the next season which is a completely blank book.

That is okay, however. For now, I have my projects and while I have my projects, I have something that can provide me with an anchor and locus of labor. The overall plan is to be out of Moscow, Idaho by next fall. Haha. Ha. How unlikely.

And where will I be?

That is up for the cards to decide, but it should either be the Midwest or some journey abroad America. I have thought of something like this in the past, but had hit on it too early. For now, maybe it is still early.

Throughout all of this, international travel is purely in the cards only if I have more money than I expect to have. I would love to have intermittent seasons of international travel, so that when I come back to America I can (feel like) I have a clearer picture of America. Really, though I would travel internationally because there is nothing more fun for me. Not life-changing. Just basic fun. Travel with my body is preferable to the past hobbies of spending too much time on the internet and playing video games, I think. Beyond this, I don’t intend to write or think much about the travel because everyone these days travels and has had some experience they feel is revelatory for themselves and others. But for myself these insights cannot be communicated nor do they need to be communicated, not even through pictures.

I do maintain my generalized prophecy from three years ago that whatever is going to happen next in my life, whether it is big or small, it is going to be in 2020. So I ought to plan for whatever this next thing is going to be. I am still playing the college leach, in the sense that my lifestyle has not significantly changed since college. If anything, it seems to have gotten worse and so something needs to change. I am too comfortable. This cannot be readily altered by a shift in attitude. It has to be radically altered by a shift in my obligations to a body and a community yet unknown.

These are all mere guesses and if the Lord wills, I will do this or not that. I am happy where I am right now. Like always, I am just trying to write what I feel I have in me and often this comes out in surprising ways.

I would not say that I am excited about anything right now, nothing at all. Nothing seems to change though I have gone through much change and I don’t find that I have many answers for myself or others beyond pointing back to the hope that I have in me.

It is too easy to despair when you’re comfortable. It is much harder to hope when nothing seems to change. And perhaps I only feel this way because the sun is now setting at around seven and will set earlier and earlier from here on. What is worse, I was sitting at this same exact table in this same coffeehouse writing something similar last year. Though the internal world shifts, we cannot keep track of these shifts. All we can do is work and hope and trust that the Lord is growing us.

Speaking of which, God, please give me some ideas to inspire me. Not about writing. Inspire me to get some real work done here in this town that can provide hope and encouragement to those in the same boat as me. I know this is possible, but it takes a bit of inspiration to connect the dots and to see ahead and to interact with the hope and talent latent in those around me. Give me some good conversations, the ones with that prophetic and expanding quality, in the next few months. I need them. I know they do, too.

There is no reason while we are young and healthy to despair beyond the fact that we seem to use our youth and our health so poorly before the moment when we get just a touch ill or just a touch old. And the evenings come earlier and earlier every day.

But while our youth and health are still here though we lose it day by day, may we rejoice in these days and remember that being overly righteous is the fasted route to destruction. What we need is to have our feet firmly planted in the funeral home, so when we go out we know how to weigh rightly our laughter.

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