They say excuses are like assholes; everybody has one and they usually stink. But not everybody has a blog where they can wallow in their own stench. So for my first blog is a little while, let me ask you all to sniff my… no wait… Let me ask you all to listed to my excuses for not succeeding at NaNoWriMo.
‘Excuse’ is not necessarily the right word though. That implies that what happened will make it okay that I didn’t complete NaNoWriMo. But it doesn’t make it okay. Or maybe it does. ‘Reasons’ is a better word to use. So these are the reasons I didn’t complete a novel during National Novel Writing Month.
I not only didn’t complete a novel, I didn’t even come close. I completed 15643 words on Dereliction of Duty, which is not even close to giving it the old college try. In fact, I stopped writing after the 11th. And the days before that were not consistent. All in all, I flat out failed to even try to do this.
I stated off with a commitment to do it. I was eager by the middle of October. I had the drive to do it and expected that I could. This was going to be my NaNo year. Then on October 28th my job calls me very late in the day and tells me not to come to work the next day. No explanation given, just simply that they’d be in touch. So I spent that whole night, and the remainder of the week, wondering what I had done wrong. I had done nothing wrong and could think of nothing I had done wrong. I still maintain that I’ve done nothing wrong.
It wasn’t until the 1st of November that they finally contacted me. They needed me to come out and interview with them. I did. Their entire case against me was flimsy, falsified, and inadequate. But they knew if they didn’t blame me for something they’d have to pay me for all my time off. That wasn’t going to happen. And since I anticipated I was going to be fired, I began looking for work.
When I am out of work, I can’t sit back and collect unemployment checks (which I still haven’t received any of those). I have to spend those hours when I would have been working, out looking for work. When I am doing anything other than looking for work I feel like I am not doing my best to find work. So every time I started writing my novel, I felt I needed to be looking for work. My mind just wasn’t in it. Not to mention my mind running though the what ifs of the on going investigation. I thought these coworkers were my friends, or at least that we got along, and a number of them back-stabbed me hard. Finally on November 19th, over three weeks later, the company fired me. By that point I knew it was coming. That doesn’t mean it was any easier. I absolutely loved that job, my recent promotion made it even better, and to lose it was a heart breaking moment. I had expected to work there for a long time to come. But, this is one reason I couldn’t focus on NaNoWriMo.
Rewind to the start of October. There was a discussion of a coworker who wanted to move to Asheville, North Carolina. He is very talented with music, and he said the music scene was strong there. He also told me the writing scene is strong there. But, North Carolina is too far from my family and though I once wanted to move out of state, as I mentioned above, I just got this promotion and I loved my job.
My wife and I have contemplated moving out of California for a number of years. I’d say five or more now. My personal choice has always been Washington State. I have been up there several times and I absolutely love it. But every time we started to plan a move up there, we backed out for one reason or another. The most recent time being because I got the promotion at work. But anytime someone talked about moving to another state, I’d always get to thinking about Washington. I finally said to myself, or God, or whomever was listening to my thoughts at that time, that I needed some sign that I had made the right choice to stay in California and work for the company I was with. A week later I was suspended out of nowhere (did I mention I’d never been in trouble there before).
Well as far as signs from a higher power, I think this was the slap in the face I needed. So I began to discuss the idea with my wife again. The family and I drove up to Spokane (which I had never been to) on the 5th. Then we drove across the state to Seattle on the 6th. Then we drove down to Vancouver (Washington) on the 7th. And home on the 8th. From my house that is a lengthy car ride, and a lot of miles covered. But I wanted my wife to see the state that I wanted to go to. Plus, I had a friend to visit, family to visit, and a job to test for. So you can see, there wasn’t much time for writing those four days.
At that point we decided we would make this change. We would try to make this move up there in June or July when the kids finished this school year. Then we’d move to either Spokane or Seattle depending on where I could get work and my wife could transfer her job.
Fast forward to the 15th of November (my Birthday). My landlord shows up at my house with a 30 day notice to move out. Now keep in mind, I’m paying the rent. But there was a little mix up where someone stole his mail and the rent check got cashed by someone else. But my bank cleared it up and he got paid. I guess that was enough for him, because he wanted us out by the 15th of December.
So, my wife and I had numerous long talks. And the decision was made to accelerate our plans to move. We didn’t see the point in moving, just to do it again in six or so months. So, I had to go back up to Seattle for a job interview on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd. I also looked at several places to live. And, we did find a place that would take us in on my wife’s income.
So now, I’ve been packing and planning a long distance move (something close to 900 miles) up to Washington State. And trying to pack this house up. And downsize it a bit so I don’t have to haul as much.
All this while still working to get Issue 9 of Plasma Frequency out on the deadline of December 5th.
Losing a job, and now moving plans, meant I just simply haven’t had my mind on the story I need to write.
But there is some good news too. My next novel to be released, Broken Trust, is in the hands of beta readers. Also, the great artist Mallory Rock designed the cover art of it. I’ll do a formal reveal very soon (though you can already see it if you follow me on Facebook). And, I’m told the second edition of Dissolution of Peace is very close to being ready.
Anyway, those are my assholes, er.. I mean excuses, for why I didn’t win at NaNoWriMo.