/begin random thoughts

The balance between work and not work is always a tricky one. You have to work in order to succeed (sorry if I just burst a bubble there for you – it really is true. Promise). You have to enjoy your work or you won’t do it well and, therefore, won’t succeed.

If you want to be a published author, which I do, you have to work at it and you have to enjoy it. When your day job brings you down, it can be hard to get yourself into the right frame of mind to work on the writing – but you HAVE to.

There are so many things in the world to distract us each and every day, we can’t let the day job become one of them. It is easily the most time consuming part of your day and, therefore, it has the most potential to overwhelm. It’s also what pays the bills so you can pursue the dream.

Balance. I can’t explain how to do it because everyone is unique, but it’s something we all have to think about.

* * *

We become conditioned to certain things, we fall into routines. Routines aren’t necessarily bad things, but I like to shake them up whenever I can. Keeps things fresh and interesting.

I don’t have the ‘home office / writing space’ I’ve always wanted – not yet. (I’m working on that) So I tend to change up where I write. My bedroom is on the 2nd floor, poorly insulated (I am assuming this, I don’t know for sure) and, therefore, cold in the winter, hot in the summer. Constantly being aware of the temperature of the room can be a whole new and different kind of distracting. So can climbing the stairs back and forth to futz with the thermostat.

So I’ve been writing on the couch, in the comfy chair, at the kitchen table, on the back porch – anywhere, really, where I can stop being distracted and focus on the task at hand. Writing.

* * *

It never ceases to amaze me when someone is resistant to new(ish) technologies or when I am confronted with someone who has their feet firmly planted in the past (and by ‘past’, I could mean fifty years or just ten).

I recently encountered someone who, though they use computers, they do not go too far in embracing them. Nor do they necessarily embrace all the smart phones, cell phones, etc and so on. I can live with some of that, but the rest blows me away.

I haven’t had a land line in a long time. By ‘land line’ I mean, of course, a phone plugged into the wall of your home or office. I was trying to think back to when I last had such a line (never an easy feat for me, my memory for certain things can be horrid) and I came up with a 2000 / 2001 sort of time frame. I remember having a phone at home primarily for work, even had an answering machine and a fax on it, but mostly I was on the road at the time and using a cell phone heavily (Nokia, black, AT&T service – see, I remember that no problem! Sigh.).

I later switched to Sprint for their Palm phone and dropped the land line soon after because I had an ephinany wherein I thought to myself, “Why am I paying for two phones when I really only need the one I carry with me all the time?” Plus, I’d switched to eFax by then.

Haven’t had a land line since.

So when confronted with someone who is sort of the opposite of that, I have to pause and take a breath.

To throw you a curve ball on this thought – I miss having a typewriter.

* * *

I really wanted a second cat in the house because I wanted to provide a distraction for Shadow, my beloved cat who drives me up a wall on a nightly basis. I cleverly decided to hit two birds with one stone (I am suddenly realizing how violent a phrase that is) and have the second cat be a companion / gift for my mother who, as any regular reader to the blog or the twitter feed is aware, had to move in with me a few years ago.

Not a bad plan, if I do say so myself.

What I didn’t plan on, was Dakota. Dakota is 11 years old, he’s overweight and a complete and total attention grabbing hog.

Everywhere you sit, he sits. Example:

*sit down on the couch. Dakota looks up from wherever he’s been sleeping. Stands. Waddle-waddle-waddle* Merr? *jump in lap* Merr? *nudge hand with nose* Merrrr?


This has made writing on the couch or the comfy chair, of late, difficult (hence the kitchen table move).

Also, he doesn’t want to play with Shadow the way I’d hoped he would. It’s more of a ‘get away from me you heathen child I want no part in your tomfoolery!’ sort of relationship that almost always, and quite quickly, devolves into a fight for supremacy.

I pray for a mellowing or, at the least, some sort of armistice soon.

/end random thoughts



  • Clifton Hill Posted July 2, 2010 10:57 am

    Wish I could say adieu to the land line myself.

    We pay $15/month just so we have a connection we can receive phone calls on. No other point. I could sign up for uVerse and skip on the DSL/phone line but realized one thing about having a young child: If there is a need to dial 911, what happens? If something tragic happens and I, my wife, or a family member visiting and watching our daughter is hurt and our daughter is old enough to dial (I think she’s too young now – but not for long), then what happens? With a landline, she can very easily pick it up and press three numbers.

    Only other solution would be to get her her own cell phone that is in a consistent spot, always charged; but there is a worry for the still-cell-phone-illiterate-visitor that they may be unable to use the device in an emergency.


    • Patrick Hester Posted July 2, 2010 11:32 am

      You know what? I get that – I do. Different situations for different folks. makes total sense that you would want your child to be able to dial the phone in case of emergency.

      You bring to mind a worst case scenario that I hope never comes and you never have to experience. I think of some of my friends who have kids; I know Quinn had a land line, but I also know that his son has futzed with the cell phone since he was old enough to drool on it 😛

      I don’t know. I guess my thoughts on it could change if I were in your shoes, but I’d still think long and hard and see what the best option might be. Maybe VOIP. I don’t know.


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