Tag Archives: moving

Warming Up

The lure of good soil...

The lure of good soil...

If you follow my blog regularly you know that I recently moved. Life has radically altered, and yet… it must, by the nature of what I do, remain the same. I still need to get up in the morning, log onto my computer and begin my day. Besides any paycheck job I might eventually get I brought my work with me when I moved. I still need to work on my community site Pan Historia, I still need to work for any clients I get online, and I still need to be a writer. The challenge is fitting in the old into the new without losing why I came west in the first place.

There have been a lot of disruptions to my writing and Pan schedule. It’s been harder for me to find the time to do my fiction writing, or to write for my blog. New family obligations have popped up – and then there is the draw of the outside. Back east so much of the year was spent in cold, sleet, snow, ice, and wind that I had little temptation to unseat myself from my writing and take up other activities. Even in the summer I was rarely moved because I dislike humidity and New England summers are often very humid. I can’t even image what it’s like down south so don’t start with me.

The upshot is that it is very easy to get up from my computer and to take myself outside (which I wanted in my life, a big part of why I moved in the first place), and very hard to get back into my routine which I need to keep as well. It’s my writing that has suffered the most. While I have not completely succumbed to writing inertia I have only completed three posts for my collaborative fiction stories at Pan since moving into my new place, thus my stories are languishing. It’s not easy for my fellow writers to work around me. My blog has also suffered. Not being in the full flow of writing and thinking about writing means that I have fewer ideas for my blog. I hate to just write for the hell of it. Yet, here I am.

The purpose of this blog post (for me) functions just the same as warming up before an athletic event. Even though the sun is shining on my garden right now, even though the guest bed needs folding up and putting away, even though there are still boxes to unpack and sort and decide what goes back into storage, I am going to write. Even if I have to work later into the night to meet my deadline for my client, Bardic Web, I am going to write.

The lesson in all this for any writer is that no matter what you need to make time in your life to write. It doesn’t matter if you love the outdoors, or if you are on a job search, or if you are a single parent (I know of what I speak) you have to make that time and keep to it. It may not be as much time as ideal, but make it regular and make it priority.

There. Now I have warmed up my fingers a little bit. It’s time to go slip into the skin of a man who has endured natural disaster and a nuclear holocaust and is now living under a bitter sky.

Book Breeding

A weird thing has happened to me. In the course of my new move, for reasons outside of my control, all of my books are now in a storage unit, packed at the back behind furniture and other assorted heavy objects. I will need, at some point, to break into this unit, with its similarity to King Tutankhamen’s tomb before it got cleared out, in order to access my copious western research as well as my all important computer techie library.

For the time being, though, I’m stuck in this weird bookless limbo that is both strangely compelling and disturbingly empty. It may cause me to succumb to the allure of the Kindle 2 or the Sony Reader that much sooner (though part of me just wants to hold out for my iPhone when my current phone contract ends). Meanwhile I have four books. I have The Audacity of Hope by our current President, two new westerns I picked up at Borders (new to me, not new to publishing – both are classics), and a western mystery, part of the Holmes on the Range series.

It’s kind of like one of those dreams where you arrive at school and you realize you forgot to get dressed that morning and now you’re in front of all your classmates completely naked. I’m not sure why being bookless feels that way, but it does. It’s both terrifying and liberating at the same time. I never intend to stop reading. I love books. I enjoy literature. I adore historical research through diverse periods. I want my art books so I can peruse the best the world has to offer right from the comfort of my own home.

But, good Galactic Bill and the Stainless Steel Rat, books are heavy sons of bitches. They weigh a ton, fill up many cartons, and then line your walls, demanding acres of bookcases (which also have to be carried). Perhaps if I was a naturally sedentary beast and never moved an inch but settled in one place, rooted like a tree (and not a tumbleweed), it wouldn’t be an issue, but I don’t see my tumbling throttling down just yet. The current apartment is a dream come true, but not an everlasting dream of contentment and retirement.

My bet is that, no matter how hard I try or even if I do get some form of e-book reader, that by the time I leave this place, whether or not I have transported books from storage to here, I will still be carting a couple hundred pounds of books out of here. Four books is quite a good start for any book breeding colony. They’re like rabbits you know.

Tumbling Thoughts…

Tumbleweeds are a form of plant that has an interesting way of scattering its seed. While it starts off in the normal fashion, growing in one place, it detaches itself from the root when mature and dry to start a life of tumbling. Bouncing over the plains and steppes that are its chosen habitat it fires off a scatter shot of seed at each jarring bounce. Salsola pestifera is considered a noxious weed in the United States, an accidental import from Asia, cunningly disguised in the agriculture seed. Pest or not it is ubiquitous as you drive through the western United States. Its traveling is only interrupted by fences, where it gathers, its plant body pressed up like a kid’s face against the glass window of a toy store.

I had occasion to consider the lowly wandering tumbleweed in my trip across country from east to west. I am much like the human equivalent of a tumbleweed, rootless and wandering. In the last six years I have moved six times and this follows the pattern set in my childhood. There is a part of me that longs to settle down and I’m fascinated by those that do, but I wonder if I am capable of the feat. My wandering is most often a form of restlessness. Perhaps I become bored, or maybe I’m fearful of what it means to stay in one place for too long, rooted to the ground like an oak. Will this be all that I am, all that I am to see? Is this one place, this one job, this one group of friends all there is?

Even though I moved six times in the last six years it was all within one town and I had the same job. It’s easy for me to tell you, logically, that I was at the end of the challenges of that job, and that I had no where else to go career wise with that particular company. It was logical to leave at this point, taking me with me an improved resume, but was it really about me being a tumbleweed? Could I have stuck it out and eventually advanced? Should I have bought a house, put down roots?

Can a tumbleweed ever stop tumbling?

Coast to Coast

The Big Trees at Muir Woods

I think the source of my latest move can be quickly accessed by viewing the illustrating image. It’s from my 2007 trip back to the Bay Area to visit with friends.

I think that trip just triggered the inevitable – the longing to go home.

I love Vermont, but at heart, whenever I think of home it’s a warm balmy breeze with a hint of salt, eucalyptus, acacia, and bay laurel. It’s the cathedral vault of towering redwoods, a thick carpet of soft red needles under my feet.

Vermont is truly lush and green about 4-5 months of the year, and that’s a wonderful thing, but the rest of the year it is an exercise in survival.

I don’t mind the golden brown hills of Northern California at all – in fact I think they are beautiful. It’s the cruelness of the human factor that mars the yellow beauty of the California landscape with its billboards, malls, and boring Bauhaus inspired architecture, or worse the factory farms that leach all our water and ruin the fertile soils of the central valley.

When I tell people where I’m going there are is a diversity of reactions from sneering (everyone thinks of Hollywood) to astonishment that I would want to go someplace where “EVERYONE” else is leaving.

Everyone is actually a relative term. For those of us that are native all those folks that arrived from all over to take our jobs, raise our taxes, push up our property values, spread malls and ugly condos all over our once lush hills, and generally make it impossible for this Californian to go home for twenty years are welcome to their exodus. I’m going home to the land where I was born, the land where my father was born, and his father before him. I’ll be happy if I can be a fisherman, a farmer, even to work a simple but meaningful job, or better yet work from home on my computer while take some time to grow some fruit and vegetables. I don’t need a condo, an SUV, a boat, or a fat mortgage.

Oh, but I will be doing a few wine tours this summer. I’ll tell you all about it.

View of the sea at Stinson