3 Bits And A Piece

I had my first vaccine last week with no nasty side effects, only a sore arm for a few days and feeling a bit seedy but that was it. Mrs Widds had hers two weeks before that so we’re good to go on that front until our second shots in a couple of months.

We’re still taking all the same precautions when we go out into the world, of course. Only the willfully ignorant-by-choice believe that this pandemic is in any way shape or form, over.

-oOo-

We’ve hit a bit of a plateau with our packing stuff into storage plan. Although we’re nibbling away at it, we’ve acknowledged that we may not be able to do a permanent move this year.

It’s a fine balance between leaving everything until the last minute and having far too many ‘oh shit!’ moments, and getting everything into storage and living out of boxes and sitting on the floor. (OK, that last bit was an exaggeration, but you get the picture)

Although we can live a minimalist lifestyle for a few months, the prospect of another year without certain items, that are already in storage, isn’t attractive. So, as usual, we’ll see.

-oOo-

Editing is coming along swimmingly. I feel a bit like Data in the movie Star Trek: Generations, when I sit down to work on another chapter, of which there currently are, thirty-nine.

Speaking of Data …

3am

I like 3am. The world is quiet at this time of the morning … at least my little longitudinal slice of it is … only for me it’s still night.

I can think.

I can expand into the existing spaces around me and not bump into daywalkers. They’re just like sleepwalkers only it’s more of a metaphysical thing.

It’s also perfectly acceptable for writers to babble on at this time because we’re an odd lot and wont to do such things. Be it to clear the fog, seduce the Muse, or entertain the possibility that this story, this piece of our heart, might just be the One.

Come on all you writers out there, fess up, isn’t there a tiny part of you that hopes so too?

Mind you, we’d probably fall over in a dead faint if such at thing actually did happen.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, extoling the virtues of being awake at three-o-clock in the morning.

It’s such a perfect moment.

2am, and the party-goers are still roaming the streets (hopefully be-masked) looking for taxi’s to share, and hurried assignations to be comsummated.

4am, and the longitudinal world is stirring, bladders are emptying, alarms are readying themselves for the abuse that’s sure to be hurtled at them when they go off.

I’m going to stand on the dew-laden grass in my bare feet, and gaze at the sodium-yellow glow of the town across the way reflected off the gathering clouds. It’s going to rain, I can feel it, and if I time it right the very first raindrop will fall on my upturned face.

Then I’ll go inside and finish my tea.

I wish each of you one such perfect moment.

(as usual, all the images here are either my own or from the wonderful world of Clip Art)

Editing Begins

Break time’s over …

… on to editing …

Chapter 1, scene 1 …

… a steam locomotive pulling a line of rickety-rackety carriages slowly winds through a long mountain pass. It’s Autumn, a beautiful sunny day, but there’s a chill, a hint of snow in the air …

I do believe it’s time for afternoon tea though

I do believe it’s time for afternoon tea though

World Penguin Day – 25th April

I meant to post this yesterday …

‘The End’

That’s it then.

Three months, two weeks – 97,000 words.

First draft, done.

I feel as though I’ve just ended a very intense affair with a whole bunch of really amazing people.

Fictional or not, I’ve bled with them, laughed and cried with them. Some I didn’t treat very well, some I even killed.

And if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

Thin Ground

Blog posts are a bit thin on the ground here at Widder Island at the moment.

But I have a great reason for it …

…apart from all our conniptions and Wunder-Luster-ish plans … (currently standing at Plan Q – alphabetically speaking)

… and having a run of glorious sunny days where neither of us want to do a damn thing but wallow in it. It’s the kind of Spring sun that sits around 22-25 °C but the earth hasn’t warmed up (or dried out) yet to make it uncomfortably hot …

New leaves on the Winter Tree, and look at that glorious blue sky!

New leaves on the Winter Tree, and look at that glorious blue sky!

… and me badly spraining my ankle (it’s only now, three weeks later, stopped hurting every time I put any weight on it) the day we brought our trailer back from storage. (someone parking on the grass verge, and with never-ending months of rain turning everything underneath the grass to mud, left a bloody great trench for me to step into as I was guiding Mrs Widds as she backed the trailer into it’s spot) …

… I have been writing … lots.

105,000-ish words to be exact-ish, of a new novel. I started it in January and have been going gang-busters ever since.

Last night I finished the grand almost-at-the-end climactic scene, (I was sweating blood, I can tell you! All that choreography to get right, along with everything else, but very proud of it I am!) and only have a chapter or two of ‘aftermath-y’ tidying up left to do.

This is just the first draft, though. Once those last chapters are writ, it’s editing time … which I must confess, I enjoy, just about as much as I do writing first drafts. I’m a bit odd like that.

My goal was to write 2000 words on all my writing days, and by now I can whip them up in a couple of hours … the plan is to keep on writing thusly for the foreseeable future, now that I have a handle on it and it’s well and truly a habit by now, because of course there’s going to be a sequel.

-oOo-

In other Wunder-Lusters-y news …

We replaced out flat tonneau cover on the tray of our truck with a soft-top canopy. Sooooo much more room to load up with boxes and assorted householdery to take to the storage unit.

Yep, that’s me reflected in the front window, or at least my shoulder. Not sure what was happening with my head, probably a ‘reflection’ of how my brain feels sometimes with all that writing

Yep, that’s me reflected in the front window, or at least my shoulder. Not sure what was happening with my head, probably a ‘reflection’ of how my brain feels sometimes with all that writing

It’s not just for transporting boxes. This is another step in our plan to go adventuring. The additional storage will hold our generator, spare cans of gasoline, propane bottle, emergency survival gear, etc, some of which with the flat tonneau cover, we would’ve had to store in the trailer itself as we traveled – not a good look.

Shiny new bones

Shiny new bones

It didn’t take us that long to assemble …

And this is how she looks all buttoned up ... another step closer to the Dream

And this is how she looks all buttoned up … another step closer to the Dream

Big shout-out to Softopper in Boulder, Colorado, USA … for not only crafting a thing of beauty, but getting it to us when they promised!!!

-oOo-

NEWSFLASH!

Monday night … our Premier just announced that all non-essential travel outside of our health region will soon be restricted. (banned, in other words) They’re working on the guidelines as we speak, but it’ll be quite a few months before the regions open up again.

Not that we hadn’t discussed this possibility, and were preparing for it, in our understated yet stylish way, 🙂 and we’ll be able to get away for a bit to the campground we stayed in last year, just up the road, but realistically, any long-term, and long-distance, travelling is off the table for this year. Never say ‘never’, of course, because Herself, (or the Universe, or what/whomsoever) has the final say in such things.

But, that, as they say, is that.

Deconstruction

The Covid-19 infection rate in our Province is rising alarmingly. Essential travel only is recommended – to be reviewed at the end of the month (April) by the Provincial health authorities.

If we wish to stay with our current departure date (31st May) we will have to give notice to our landlady at the end of this month.

We’re only a third of the way through the month, but given that there’s usually a 2-3 week lag between infection rates and the numbers being released, the 31st of May isn’t looking good.

We can reschedule our campground booking without losing our deposit, if we give them enough advance warning.

So, all-in-all, blergh, humbug, and other assorted grumbling noises.

On the up side, we’ll have more time to get on with our packing and sorting, storing and deconstructing of various elements of our house. Case in point – shelving units …

This used to be a very organised workspace

This used to be a very organised workspace

Second case of points – our storage unit is slowly filling …

A box here, a garbage bag there ... it all adds up

A box here, a garbage bag there … it all adds up

Funny thing is though, having all this time to do the sorting, packing, etc, is wonderful, but the process feels like it’s going on forever. I’ve never experienced moving like this.

In my younger days in OZ (Australia) I could be packed up and out of a house in a week, which in some of those early digs was about all the notice I got. Ah yes, those rousing days of shared housing and inner-city living.

Even when I could afford to live by myself, and/or with partners, house-moving took a month at the longest. Hell, even when Mrs Widds and I moved her to Widder Island, we were out of our old place in Vancouver in a month. (nearly bloody killed us, but we did it)

This more sedate pace feels right though. We have time enough to look at each and every object and go, ‘storage’, ‘in the trailer’, or ‘thrift store/garbage’. Those are our only three options for every thing here.

It does clarify one’s decision-making processes.

-oOo-

Here’s something I uncovered the other day. A rough template I created in another Era, (somewhere around the end-ish of 2019) look familiar?

Same women, same wheels, same three coasts ... hell yeah!

Same women, same wheels, same three coasts … hell yeah!

Maybe not yet, and maybe not as soon as we’d planned, nevertheless …

The Terrifying Art Of Becoming

Freek Week downgraded itself to mere Freek Hours, thence to Freek Minutes. These minutes are, however, just as overwhelming as the hours and weeks. The only good thing about them is that it takes less time to overcome them but their ability to come seemingly out of nowhere, is disconcerting, to say the least.

Today’s Freek Minute comes to us directly from the Storage Locker …

Empty ... un-full-filled

Empty … un-full-filled

I know what I have become living here on our island in the middle of a lake. I have become a cancer survivor, a self-published author, (Prelude – which I am inordinately proud of) … I have become too overweight, too sedentary … I have become older, by eight years, and wiser, I hope … a survivor of 2020 … I am closer to my physical death than my birth, and I am far too fond of my habits.

… but what will I become if I stay here? The answer to that lies in a deep level of self honesty … which says I will become invisible, even to myself, with the passing of days … I will eventually disappear into the illusion of safety and security, the comfort of familiarity and routines, and a spirit-death of a thousand fear-filled thoughts.

What will I become, though, when I leave?

-oOo-

We have a leave date, the 31st May, and we have started to fill our storage unit with ‘stuff’.

Other ‘stuff’ is bound for the thrift store. Boxes, half-filled with ‘stuff’ are littered throughout the house, and we wonder, every day, how we managed to not only accumulate so much ‘stuff’, but how we’ve lived with it for this long.

The answer to that last bit is, of course, we’ve been gathering ‘stuff’ for this very outcome.

Think about it for a minute. Think about where and how you’re living right now. I know that for most of you, your life is set. There are routines you follow. The future, although as yet unwritten, is fairly well defined.

I know my life was.

This adventure of ours feels very much like we’re throwing all that out the window.

Imagine leaving all your familiarities behind, taking with you only what you can carry. What goes with you? What stays?

Mrs Widds’ grandmother came west, through the Canadian prairies, in a covered wagon. Everything she knew, everything she owned, was within that wagon. The rest, was, perhaps a few lines drawn on an old map that led to the hope of a new life.

In my more sleep-deprived moments, because some nights sleep is hard to come by when lists loom so large, I feel as though that’s what we’re doing too.

-oOo-

So, what will I become?

We shall see.

Have You Ever …The Write Stuff of 2021

(continuing my occasional series of weird and wonderful things that never, seriously, never, happen to me)

… been struggling to write anything of significance for the entirety of 2020 and came up with bupkis, but just for laughs on the 8th of January 2021 you decide that, by-gosh-and-by-golly, you will write 3,000 words on a new story every writing day (not every day but the one’s designated as writing days)

… and by the end of January you’ve settled into a steady rhythm of writing 2,000+ words every day, and not only are they words that form congruent sentences but they’re good words …

… and one night you have a particularly brilliant scene pop into your mind fully formed  …

… and by the time you’ve finished it’s three-o-clock in the morning and you still need to wind down so by the time you actually do get into bed it’s nigh-on 4am …

… and just as you’re falling asleep another scene pops into your mind, only this one’s not quite so well-formed so you decide you can get away with just making notes on the notepad that you take everywhere with you these days, without getting out of bed again and possibly disturbing your spouse who’s asleep in the next room and who’s not sleeping well at the moment anyway …

… and you reach across your bedside table to find a pen because the one you were using has run out of ink and you bump your lamp and send it crashing to the floor …

… and you get out of bed, pick up the lamp (it’s still working) and your pen, which has rolled under the bed …

… and get back into bed, get your writing tools reorganised, and knock over your bloody lamp again?

Nah. Me neither.

Freek Week!!!

Things are moving along a little faster than we expected.

Just before the pandemic closed down the world last year, Mrs Widds started working at a temp job that, luckily for us was in an essential industry.

Through a series of circumstances, that ‘temporary’ job extended and extended and extended, until we arrive here at the first couple of months of a new year.

At the beginning of February I did a wee Wunder-Lusters update, wherein we were planning to initiate the new and revised plan by the middle of this year-ish.

As the song goes, ‘t’aint necessarily so,’ folks.

Mrs Widds discovered today (Monday) that the company she’d worked for all through the pandemic pandemonium of 2020, was taking applications to fill the temp job she’d been working for the last year, with a permanent employee. Interviews for which got underway today, and Mrs Widds will be cleaning out her desk by the end of the week.

We were thinking that the job would wind down by May/June-ish anyway so we were ramping up our preparations with that timeframe in mind.

I understand the company’s position about the costs involved in hiring a temp versus paying an employee, but for fucks sake they could’a held off for another month or two.

So, money’s tight again, and the curve of our adventure has edged closer to vertical by about six weeks.

Are we freaking out right now?

Not at all. Why would you think that?

Not at all. Why would you think that?

In honour of our, hm, let’s call it , ‘enhanced’ timetable we have declared the rest of this week to be, FREEK WEEK … where all manner of squeaking, shrieking, weeping, freaking-out, procrastinating, denying, and assorted other coping mechanisms and stress release vocalisations are encouraged.

After that our motto is going to be, ‘It is what it is’, and we’ll get on with it.

I encourage you to take advantage of this burgeoning international movement and embrace your inner and outer FREEK WEEK, and then get on with it too.