I got some good news for my writing in the last couple of weeks that I’ve played close to the vest until one more thing happens, but over the weekend I’ve noticed that I’ve told enough people about it that I wanted to let my readers know the good news for them in what’s happening.
For the past entirely too many years, I’ve been staying in a homeless shelter. I had worked as a temp and an indie web designer when September 11th hit and it pretty much destroyed my income for a while. It didn’t help that I have a bad back and two bum knees that are hard to document in black and white, and it didn’t get any better when the housing bubble burst in 2008. I’ve been in a shelter for entirely too long but without steady income it’s hard to make any plans to move out of the shelter.
There’s been a big push to get military veterans out of homeless shelters and even though I didn’t finish out my first hitch in the Air Force, several weeks ago saw the creation of what I’ve taken to calling Team Peng.* Team Peng has been working to get me a steady income and to get me out of the shelter. In the last two weeks the housing push went as fast as a charged up Tesla Model S P85D and last week I looked at a new apartment, which I’ll be moving into next week. My head’s still spinning at how fast that went, and the shelter is making sure the apartment’s furnished and I have what I need to be able to live on my own again.
What does that mean for my writing? It means that I’ll no longer be having to work around the shelter’s noise floor or their schedule that sees the lights go off at nine pm and kicks us out at eight every morning. With the loan of a laptop that I was able to install SolydK Linux on (thanks again, dude!) I have a workspace that I don’t have to reset every day, and now that it’s just about set up I can get back to writing. I’ll still be heading to the local library to get online until I can get my internet service running at the new place but I’ll be able to get my brain back into writing mode a lot more easily.
The first thing I’ll be doing is completing the rewrite of He’s With the Band (HWTB), first typing up the new scene I wrote last year (and never did finish typing up) and then finish doing a top to bottom rewrite of the story to hopefully make it an even better story.
I won’t be attacking the Franklin Park photo book after that because I still don’t have a camera that will do the park justice, plus I want to start taking pictures for the book in the late winter or early spring to be able to publish it the next spring. If I end up doing another Kickstarter campaign to pay for a camera to take the pictures with I’ll do it next February so I have a chance to get the camera in time to start taking pictures in late March as spring sees the snow melting and the green starting to come back. Who knows, I may not even need to do a Kickstarter campaign, but I’ll look at that after 2016 starts. At least I shouldn’t need to buy a laptop to put the book together on.
Once I finish the rewrite of HWTB I’ll probably go back to the mystery that I was writing when my last laptop died going on two years ago. It turns out both of my old hard drives stopped working so I can’t retrieve what I’ve written so far but I remember enough that I’m hoping to be able to start writing it over from a blank sheet of digital paper. After that is finished I have a book I started writing back in 2002 after finishing HWTB that I may pick up again, but no promises.
There are two problems with the new digs, though. With me going to the Jamaica Plain library every day I get a good mile of walking in each way, but even walking from the new place to the local library won’t get me anywhere near a mile. Once I get the ‘net hooked up I won’t even have to walk to the library every day. I’ll have to pull up my mapping apps and find a way to get a mile of walking in around the neighborhood, and then I’ll have to remind myself to take my walk at least once every day or so.
The second problem? I’m going miss all the beautiful flowers and walking through Franklin Park every day. I may need to take a lot of pictures to look at until I find out where the flowers are in the new neighborhood.
Thanks to everyone for being so patient with my trying to write again. I hope I can make the stories in me worth waiting for.
*For those who don’t know, back in the first decade of this millennium I got the nickname Peng and when I had to go back into the shelter I started introducing myself as Peng. Now you can tell the people who knew me before I started writing or from the shelter because they call me Peng while folks who know me from my local library, my writing or my work with the Franklin Park Coalition know me as J.M.