Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Status...

So first I thought I'd start with a story...

I power walked yesterday... a darned good thing, since I hadn't since last Sunday... see... I have a cold and on Tuesday and Thursday decided sleep was more beneficial than exercise.

But I digress.... anyway... my favorite walking route has some variations, but nearly always takes me though the Eberwhite Woods. They are an Urban Woods, so far as Ann Arbor can be considered Urban, anyway... we are a city of about 200,000 and have I think three 'woods' in the middle of it. The Eberwhite Woods are about 2 blocks east to west and six north to south. Here is the approximate way the paths run... (My paint skills are minimal, you see...)

So normally, I veer right and then follow that central path up the hill, or SOMETIMES I veer left but then turn right after the swamp. But yesterday the leaves hid the place to turn, and I don't mind walking a little further, so I stayed to the left... And I got to... a wheelchair, sitting by itself on the trail (small pink dot). I looked around a little, hoping it didn't bode poorly for whoever had ridden the chair into the woods... no sign of trouble...

Then I got a little farther (big pink dot) and there was a cluster of people—at first sighting, in the distance, I thought maybe it was a wedding party... AHA! Very cool... someone attached to the woods wants a picture in here... not so unusual—there is a church to the east (right) of the woods... but as I get closer realize the photographer is dressed as a bard... the 'bride' (whose dress barely covers her bum, it's so sort) has a face painted silver... they are ALL in costume... I've clearly misunderstood something... finally, I am UPON them, and somebody is typing ANTLERS to a mans head. So I'm not sure what Druid Ritual or Celtic rite I walked through the middle of... none of them even said 'hello'--the snobs. *cough* but it definitely seemed an 'only in Ann Arbor' moment.


Okay... so STATUS...

I have BROADLY been doing very well. I am at 30,000. My problem, is I haven't really written since Thursday. The causes are good and bad... On the positive, I watched a movie with my daughter Friday night, helped my hubby put up Christmas lights Saturday, and watched a movie with my SON Saturday night... family stuff is GOOD.

In the negative, we are having money trouble... fairly bad money trouble. And when I face son's birthday this week, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, it is a really sucky time to be thinking about it. We have never had it easy—but it is worse than normal, and the stress is bad for my mojo—like I'm dreaming about it and stuff.

I have this fantasy that the writing will one day make things flush... that as a supplement to my day job, it will make us okay again, but the process is so painfully SLOW. Even already having GOTTEN my first advance (which is gone on just bills—no splurges) those checks will come too slowly to meet the need. But if I were to sell another book (I REALLY want to) that process is ALSO super slow... and this stress about money NOW isn't going to help me clean things up any faster...

Sorry to whine and grumble, but I think it gives a pretty good indication as to why I don't expect the writing to maintain the same pace I had when I started. THANKFULLY though, it doesn't need to, since I'm ahead...

16 comments:

gideon 86 said...

Cheer up Hart! You not alone in this. Times are tough for a lot of people. We just have to think positively and know that it all works out in the end. My business declined rapidly a few years ago. My writing saved me. Not financially, but mentally. I just have to be more creative about income now. Taking on things that I hadn't done before, but, it alright because a new year is coming and hopefully it will be better for all of us.

Now for the good news! You got all ten answers correct! Congratulations! Ten more are waiting on my blog for today. When you get a chance email me your address. By Christmas there will be a gift from the HARRY POTTER!

Plus you are so one up on so many of us ... your a published author! It might not support you yet, but it will. YOUR enthusiasm is contagious!

Michael

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry, Hart! Keep writing, though. Sounds like you need that time of joy right now.
And really weird story about your walk. Pagen snobs!

erica and christy said...

Ann Arbor is approximately 200 times bigger than the town I live in, so that makes it very urban in my opinion!! If there was something like that going on here, police would definitely be called. ;)

And money. . .something I can definitely relate to (the trouble part of it anyway). The best advice I can give is to be honest with your kids - they'd rather have a roof over their heads and food to eat than the latest "craze" anyway, I think. Here's wishing you a new book deal in 2011 (and me, too, if it isn't too much to ask!).
erica

Cold As Heaven said...

With 200.000 people, Ann Arbor is urban. In my country a city of that size would make to the Top 3 list >:)

The city where I live has 160.000 people. And we have the biggest cathedral in Northern Europe, and a bishop seat (since 11th century), so then it's a city, right?

Regarding Christmas and money: Why don't you try to make it a non-commercial Christmas celebration? That's what everybody should do. I try to convince my family about this every year.

Cold As Heaven

Al said...

I am so sorry to hear things are tough at the moment.
But in the end I always get through such times by reminding myself: It's only money!
As long as you and yours are safe and well nothing else really matters! Hang in there.

Hart Johnson said...

You guys are so fabulous--thank you!

Michael--I got them ALL! YAY! Copied off todays, but need to plug at them a little slowly, as I still have laundry and some writing to organize! totally agree on the writing and sanity...

Alex-thank you! It was pretty amusing... I think it's possible they weren't amused because it was so obvious I was... most people LIKE me chuckling as I pass them, but if they were trying to be SERIOUS (with horns on their heads...)

Erica-too funny! Ann Arbor has a high tolerance for the odd. I always like to compare Ann Arbor to Spokane Washington because they are the same size and as opposite as cities get--in Spokane these folks would have ended up in a Devil Worshipper legend. *cough* Good advice with the kids--the HUBBY is actually a bigger problem. Money for us is tied to power struggle, his mental health and his belief I chose the wrong career specialty.

CaH--perspective DOES make a big difference, doesn't it. I think Ann Arbor is maybe the 5th largest in Michigan, so not tiny, but it IS bigger than the largest city in Idaho... still, it is set up to seem small.

Al-It IS only money. Sadly, it is related to my ability to feed my family... I'll figure it out, but it is still stressful...

Old Kitty said...

Ok that wedding party/ritual you stumbled on was just so weird that I wish I could stumble on fab things like that here!!!! Wow!!!! I think these lovely people were truly getting into the spirit of being NAKED!! Oh yes!!!

You're the second blogger I know in the land of America who have put their x-mas lights up!??!?!!? It's NOVEMBER!! Decorations go up 12 days before christmas... or is that just me?!?!?! LOL!!

Oh but seriously!!! That's the awful downside to this time of the year. It's when the money flows out but never in and it's a worry too. All I can say is GOOD LUCK with your books and your novels about to fly off the shelves soon!!!!

And hugs to all your family! Take care
x

sue said...

Certainly an interesting place you live in Hart. Can't imagine anything like that happening around here.

When our kids were young and things were tough, we kept to a small gifting budget. It was really hard when others around were lavish - birthdays, Christmas, holidays...actually the whole time was tough...I got REALLY good at stretching a basic bolognaise sauce into 3 or 4 meals.

Keep walking and writing. Good Luck!! (Can you prod the hubby into exercising - A LOT - so he's too exhausted to be crabby?)

Old Kitty, our really keen neighbours put their decorations up at the start of December rarely if ever before that. We're more the last minute people, but 12 days after Christmas for taking them down came from my English mother, I don't remember the reason, but she was pretty strict about that one.

KarenG said...

It sounds like you're in a good place-- walking and writing-- awesome. Both of which I should be doing, neither of which I am. :( But when I read posts like this I get inspired.

SY said...

When i walk the path near my house.. there is nothing interesting.. maybe a lot of trees..

and good luck on the writing, i am having a hard time getting started.. stay strong..

Lisa said...

Oh crumb. I wish I had a magic wand for making money troubles go away. It's bad enough to have the trouble, it's worse when it won't give you peace.

I'm cheering you on. You're doing great! I'd have to write 12,000 words just to catch up to you!

Teresa aka JW said...

Praying for a lucrative solution so you don't have to worry and your mind can be clear for writing.

All I can say about the other is, STAY OUT OF THE WOODS. There's scary things out there: Lions and Tigers and Druids OH MY. :)

LTM said...

((hugs)) love you. Here's wishing for all the best headed your way very soon~

Wow. 30K is exceptional! :o) <3

Deb and Barbara said...

argh, nothing like money woes to infiltrate mojo. I'm crossing fingers for you.

Thanks for the woods story! (was he "taping" antlers or "typing" them? ;) )
B
The Middle Ages

Helena said...

Been there, done it when comes to serious money problems, and I'm alone with no family to support, and even then having not enough money to pay bills was really, really scary. So my heart goes out to you. Certainly finances will change for you (and go up to spectacular heights of wealth!), but in the meantime... no money = sucks big time.

Here's a humble suggestion for Christmas: I knew one large family that picked one family member's name from a hat and then bought, for no more than $5, the tackiest, weirdest, ugliest gift possible. They spent weeks haunting thrift stores trying to find the perfect awful cheap gift, and had fun and laughs.

Worth a shot? In the meantime, wealth and peace of mind to you.

Adina West said...

You still never found out what was with that abandoned wheelchair!!

And on the money/stress front, I hope times improve for you really really fast. :-(