the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Wandering Author Returns

I truly did not plan to be away so long. On New Year's Day, when I'd hoped to post, I discovered my firewall software had auto-updated and was now fighting it out with my anti-virus software. I located and downloaded a new firewall program, only to confront the fact that something, whether the "security wars" or a long-time accumulation of junk in my system, had left my system dangerously unstable. Roughly half the time I booted up, the system froze immediately on reaching my Desktop.

After a few weeks of tweaks, fiddling, removing a few fonts, clearing out junk from the Registry, and all those other fun things that keep Windows systems above water a little longer, I had a bit more luck, but I was still not too confident. So I began trying to go through all my software (yes, you say, that is the problem) so I could restore my system to the condition it was in when I bought it, then reinstall only the programs I need.

In the middle of that, the Brisbane flu paid me a visit, despite the flu shot I got last fall. February passed in a haze of fever, while I've been frantically trying to finish going through my software (I have about 200 CD-ROMs, and much more downloaded freeware), work, catch up with everything else in my life, and fit in a little writing.

Ah, yes, writing. I can discuss it a little more now. My friend Jim, who my wife and I found dead on his kitchen floor last September, wanted to write as well. He was one of the most intelligent people I've ever known, and I always assumed he was a better writer than I was. I never dared show him anything of mine, because I was too much in awe. He always said his stuff was crap, or worse, but we all say that, and since he was embarrassed to show it to me, I didn't press the point.

After he died, we found a few creative writing courses, but not a single word Jim had written. He was so unhappy with it that he destroyed it all at some point. Between the shock of finding him, then finding out he'd destroyed all trace of his writing (and I guarantee you, far worse than anything he ever turned out since the age of ten has been published), I was unable to write at all.

I struggled with attempts to force myself to do writing exercises, or to write a story as a tribute to Jim, but no words would come; anything I got on paper was jumbled and useless. I'm not just being down on my work here; it really wasn't half as good as I know I can do. I decided to sign up for the two year novel writing course at Forward Motion, in hopes that would get me jump started.

I'm happy to say, it worked! I've got a very tiny start on a new novel, and plan to keep going until it's done. I'll be doing other writing as well, of course, now that I can again. Trying to keep up with assignments is one thing that's kept me away; that, and the residual exhaustion from the flu.

I had hoped to make a grand return, and fix all my broken links, clean up the template, and start posting regularly - all at once. That isn't going to happen. I need to start slowly, and I need to consider exactly where I'll go with this blog, and my online presence in general. Everything that has happened has just hardened my determination to be a writer. I will keep at it until I am published, or die trying.

In addition, Jim's cat, Julius, is doing well, which is a good thing - he is one of the sweetest cats I've known. Yet that means continued vet bills to keep him as healthy as possible; bags of IV fluids, medications, visits. So I do need to begin looking for a way to bring in a little more income than I am. I hope to do it in a way that will be fair to all my readers; you won't see a sudden explosion of ads for all kinds of junk.

I'll discuss those plans later, and a few ideas I have for making a bit of money by writing. I just wanted to let you know I was alive; Lehane's efforts to drag me out have had their effect, of course. (The subtle signs are all there, even if he denies it. Lehane is to blame for my return, no matter what he says.) I'd started a humourous story in which Lehane entered cyberspace in an effort to find me and drag me out, but I haven't managed to finish that.

I won't be posting all that regularly right at first. One of the things I've been trying to catch up on, which has kept me exhausted, is helping Jim's son as far as I can with the probate. He has an interest in some land, and I looked up the records on it for him to save him the lawyer's fees. It was a good thing I did! I had to sift through nearly two dozen deeds on the property to get to where I could make any sense of the tangled trades back and forth within the family.

In fact, this isn't much of a post. I simply remembered my blog (I needed the URL, and that got me thinking), missed it, and sat down here to let my thoughts flow out of my fingers in this long, rambling fashion. I do hope to do better soon. I have plans, either for this blog or a new web site, to make it a more useful resource for writers. There are a few areas I'm pretty good at, and I hope I can help some of the rest of you in those areas. I will also be catching up on previous projects that lost ground between my sickness last year and Jim's death. I hope my regular readers will gradually notice that I'm back, and put up with me until I get the hang of writing directly from the keyboard, with little or no editing, once again.

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Blogger Anthony said...

I seemed to have wandered through February in most of a haze after losing my sister in law in February.

In any case, I'm back in the black and happy to see you've made an appearance. It's been quite a load you've had to carry; it sounds like you're doing the best you can which is all anyone can ask.

This might be therapeutic, a way to connect with the world you might say. There is, afterall, strength in numbers.

What I See Out My Window

March 12, 2008 9:42 AM  
Blogger Suzan Abrams said...

My dear Ray,
The blog commands a personality of its own, doesn't it. After a while, no matter how differently the footsteps are retraced, a personal blog still feels like a shadow or family.
I have never forgotten your faithful online friendship at a crucial time when I needed it last year, which makes me remember, don't you have a birthday roundabout?
As for me, I took some time out as well to go back to my creative writing, now that I am pretty much happy here and settled in Dublin, Ireland.
I have managed to find a new voice with my poetry, have started a novel like you and am back in my own writing world.
It was essential that I shut out past noises/voices and I have managed to do that.
Life is good, isn't it.
I'm excited about your novel - I wish you'd publish for yourself those wonderful short stories - and I look forward to reading more of your work, Ray.
Jim's gone but you still have sunrises and sunsets to feast your eyes upon.

with best wishes

March 12, 2008 2:05 PM  
Anonymous wolfbaby said...

good to see your alive and well was begining to wonder about you if you had stopped blogging or not. I can't say much about being consistent myself as I have been absent alot as well. Hope things get more stabilized for you soon.... congrats on getting outta the writters block that is always a twisty web..

March 12, 2008 9:36 PM  
Blogger DBA Lehane said...

I'm glad the search party finally did it's job! It's good to see you back and here's hoping all the prompts to get you writing work.

March 15, 2008 3:46 AM  
Blogger The Wandering Author said...

Anthony, I'll think about it once I've got my system 'tamed' a bit more.

Suzan - great to see you here! I hope things are going well for you. I see you're in Dublin - which must be a great place to write! And Happy St. Patrick's Day to you! Have some fresh hot soda bread and bangers for me... (Feel free to skip the bangers if your stomach isn't up to it, though.)

Wolfbaby, good to see you here, too.

Lehane - yes, thanks, I am slowly regaining the ability to write. It might be faster, if my computer would just quit acting up. You sure you didn't leave any of the search party behind in there? ;-)

March 17, 2008 1:57 AM  

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