Past, Present, Future

Feels like I’ve been living my own little version of A Christmas Carol lately. To wit:

Past. Last weekend I took the scenic route home. Drove through eastern Ottawa County, and passed by the haunts of my childhood — the beautiful river views from Lamont, the rolling farmland in Marne, the dirt roads on the periphery of northwest Grand Rapids. Cruised by the three houses in which I lived in as a child (the two on Lincoln, and one at Leonard and 14th). Interesting to see what’s changed, and what has stayed the same. Prompted fond memories of my youth, but also a reflection on what “home” means; I’ve lived in five different places in the last five years, and eight places in the last 15. That’s a lot of impermanence. Although I’m delighted with my current abode, it’s hard to find a place that feels like “home” when you move around a lot, even when you move around the same metro area.

Present. In the process of moving some task-oriented stuff from OneNote to Outlook (hooray for the new Office365 subscription, and the tight integration across desktop/laptop/WP7 devices), I noticed that I’ve made substantially more progress on some of my goals than I expected. This makes me happy. The major “hard work” part remaining is the challenge from Tony, to be prepared to appear in public in a swimsuit for the water park experience during his birthday celebration in June. Last time I was shirtless in public was, oh, September 2008, when Andrew and I decided to spend the day lazing around at Oval Beach. I have the lead time to get into the kind of physical shape I’d prefer for such an excursion. Fun part will be thinking through the upper-body program. I’ve always had a slender chest/shoulder/arm profile (when not covered in blubber) so I’m thinking that a weightlifting program may be in my future. On the bright side, the June trip provides ample opportunity to prepare.

Future. As I continue to work through my novel, it occurred to me that although it’s hard work, chunking out the aspects of novel-writing into into a series of discrete steps, with deadlines, helps to sort through the work. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to “win” NaNoWriMo this year, but I’ve learned a heck of a lot already about how to write a novel, and if I can get this MS done by the end of the year, I think I could be in good shape … to write more novels. If I could find an agent — yay. If not, I’m enjoying the craft of writing, and I think that Duane’s model of putting them up on Amazon will work, too. He gets monthly royalty checks that somtimes cross into the triple digits for some of his old, early novels.