A Medal 13 Years Late

The following is a dramatization of a conversation that occured early on the morning of May 22nd.  When possible, the original participants have been used instead of actors.

Me: Hey, we’re going to Florida for next year…

Steph: Oh, okay.

Me: In January…

Steph: That’s a good time to go. It’ll be cold up here in Iowa.  But weren’t we just there —

Me: To run the Walt Disney World Marathon.

Steph: SQUEE!

We are a very unusual couple.

Joking aside, this is actually a pretty big deal.  Back in 2001, I ran the WDW Marathon.   Disney was my first marathon and it’s been quite special to me.  Not only did I get a neat medal but I finished where I wanted and got to run through the parks of Disney like I wanted to when I was a kid but Mom and Dad wouldn’t let me.  So in short – awesome.

However … Steph was also supposed to run Disney but it didn’t happen.  She got injured and was unable to participate.  She was able to go to the expo, pick up a number and t-shirt but could not set foot on the course.  In short – not awesome.

Sure, she’s run two marathons since and some half marathons but none of them were Disney.  Last year on the surprise trip, I scheduled us to run a 5K at Disney.  It was nice and it got Steph a medal but it still wasn’t a Marathon medal.

This morning after her run, she came into the office and said, “I know what i want for my birthday. I want to run the Disney Marathon.”

So I said, “What the hell?” and signed us up.  I also promised her that I’d run the race with her.  So come next January 12th, she will finally get one of these of her very own:


When The Wife Is Away …

… strange stuff happens.

On the subject of hardening off plants for the garden …

Me: The plants have been out all day pretty much. I  watered them around noon and they looked good.  Let me know if that’s too long or not but it hasn’t been unbearably hot or windy or anything like that.

Steph: All day is ok now. They need to learn to be tough!

Me: I went out to shut up the cold frame earlier.  The plants told me to get out of their neighborhood and I think they might have been dealing drugs. I saw a pot.   They may have gotten too tough.

Steph: *facepalm*

And then there was this …

Go, save yourself! I’ll keep the walls from closing in!

Empty Nest, Empty Quill

Empty House

The house is quiet these days.

Steph is gone on yet another business trip.  This time it’s a full week in New York, followed by 36 hours at home, then another full week in New York.  To make things more interesting (hurrah), I have to work the weekend that she’s home so our chances of actually seeing one another are pretty slim.

Then there’s Tucker’s absence.  His paws and untrimmed nails no longer click against the wood floor and he’s no longer scratching to be let out at 3am which means you get a full night of sleep.  A nice thing until you realize why.  Still, time is healing all wounds and each day gets better.

it’s still too damn quiet and when it’s quiet, you spend time with your thoughts and that never goes anywhere good.  Fortunately, in her infinite wisdom, Steph thought ahead and arranged a ‘dinner date’ for me with some of our friends.  I headed over to their place last night, had a nice meal, and a couple of hours of human conversation outside of work.  Helped quite a bit.

Empty Quill

On the writing front, there’s still no writing front.

I’ve put Carrionhove on hold as I’ve lost the story.  Usually when that happens, that means there’s a character problem or a plot problem or something else in there that isn’t quite right.

The events of the past week haven’t helped much but one hope of the new job was that I’d be in a position that was less stressful and allowed for a free mind at night.  For a bit, it was heading that way.  Then, as one might put it, things went to hell in a handbasket and I find myself dragged back into the position I was previously.  Even if it’s only temporary, it’s highly depressing.

Then again, perhaps so is writer’s block.


Reading that tweet (and the blog post linked below) got me thinking.  Every time I sit down at the computer, I suddenly feel as if I must write a friggin’ masterpiece.  Every word has to be right, every phrase and scene and so forth.  It ends up stopping me and I can’t go anywhere and I get bummed and frustrated and the cycle starts anew.

Of course, I know better.  Viable Paradise taught us that ‘It’s a draft, it can suck’ but my brain is ‘Screw that, if it’s not fantastic, go home!’  Some would argue this is proof I shouldn’t listen to my brain.

In a blog post sometime back, Chuck Wendig kind of answered this – “Care Less“. In a nutshell – all you’re trying to do is write words.  There isn’t much to it beyond that so anything else is a head game and you gotta figure it out some way or another.

I’m trying new techniques.  I’ve got a new story idea, something completely different than what I’ve done in the past, and I’m going to take a stab at it.  In addition, I recently bought a copy of Scrivener, a writing software that some authors praise.  It might not be for me but the current method of hiding from the blank Microsoft Word document isn’t working so why not?