A Busy Sunday Morning

I’ve been busy and productive!  It’s important to include both parts.  I don’t know how many times I’ve been simply busy, but didn’t actually produce anything.

With the new school year begun, it was time to sit back, wait for the bar to come down, and get ready to ride the roller coaster ride that is Computer Club.  I started it last year, because while I believe in my kids’ school, I find their computer science division to be sorely lacking.  One might even describe it as nonexistent.  So starting last year, I left work early two days a week in order to fill the brains of students with what I know about computer programming, heaven help them.

It went okay.  I made some mistakes, the main one being that I had kids ranging from 6th grade through high school.  The age range was too wide, which lead to the pace of the whole program being too slow and varied, which lost the interest of the serious students.  So this year, I’m narrowing it to high school age only.  I’ll probably wind up with very few students this year, but maybe that’ll be better, too.  We will see.

Here is the new web site I put up for the Computer Club.  My plan is to use it heavily for keeping notes and staying on track in maintaining a solid pace.

In other news, I went to a Shut Up and Write event yesterday and I got a ton of writing done!  In addition to adding about 2500 words to my book, I plotted out some more of the backstory.  I’m not a huge plotter, but it needed to be done in order for the context of what I’m currently writing to make sense.  To rephrase, my characters were entering a place where they’d been before but couldn’t remember, and I needed to figure out what they did while they were there before.  It’s way more confusing to describe than it is to just read.

Tonight, the band I play with has a performance.  That should be fun!  Some of the stuff we’ll be playing should go over really well.  Some of it, I expect to be a bit of a train wreck.

Tomorrow or the next day, I’ll post about WorldCon!


My Day Job…

I just updated my “About” page to reflect that I’m a full-time programmer.  Let me elaborate a little bit.

I currently work for a small electrical metering company.  I create windows applications and services, and web applications.  I help with other tasks as well, and I bring in doughnuts every Monday.  It’s a really nice environment, and I feel very comfortable and welcome in my workplace.

I want to emphasize that I’m in a really great job, because it was part of my plan in pursuing my writing career.

In 2011, I worked some place that wasn’t nearly so comfortable.  I was underpaid and unappreciated.  I was very unhappy.  I wasn’t writing much at all.  I’d pretty much given up on several dreams, and I was fairly depressed.

I was in this low state of mind when my friend Michael posted to Facebook that he had an extra ticket for WorldCon in Reno.  I’d heard of the Hugo awards, but I didn’t really know much about WorldCon.  I got the ticket, gave Michael a ride to Reno, and attended with very little in the way of expectations.

It was like I’d gone home.  I’d found my people.

I attended panels and took fastidious notes.  I rubbed shoulders with fans and authors, usually unable to distinguish one from the other.  I got to sit with and converse with Sheila Williams and Glen Cook.  I found people that shared a love of the same stories that I loved.  It was like waking up from a bad dream.

During this fantastic experience, I received a call from work, giving me some news I didn’t care for.  All they said was that they were moving my desk, and that the move wasn’t going to wait until I was back from Reno.  In the grand scheme of things, that’s not the worst thing in the world.  However, it struck a sour chord in me.  It was a reminder of the world I was temporarily separated from, that I would return to at the end of the convention.

I growled, grit my teeth, and then pushed the call to the back of my mind.  I enjoyed the rest of the con.

Eventually, the con ended, and I went home.  Then I went back to work and saw just how crummy my new work environment was.  And that was it.  I vowed to get away from that place and work somewhere that I’d be happier.  I was sure that if I was happier, I’d write more.

I’m definitely happier.  I have written more, but the words aren’t exactly flowing just yet.  I’ll talk more about that in another post.