What a crazy year!
I never imagined that it would take most of 2023 to build my modest house. Getting contractors to show up in the country was a constant challenge. Luckily, Dad seemed to enjoy hounding people until they finally came out to finish their work, and I was able to move in.
- LLS in July – the month I needed to move. We drove home as quickly as possible and the movers came the next day.
- Moved my youngest daughter out to her own apartment in July.
- Moved the rest of our stuff into storage, naively thinking it’d be a month or two. (hahahaha)
- Eldest moved out into her own apartment in October. Sorting through the storage unit was fun [insert sarcasm here].
- Finally moved my remaining stuff into the house Dec. 26th.
Since my kids were setting up house for the first time, I let them take whatever they wanted between the two of them. They cleaned me out pretty well, which is a good thing. That means I’m off to a brand new start in my home – where I’m now living alone for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. I don’t have any furniture other than my bed and office equipment. I don’t have any kitchen items other than a few cast-iron skillets and stuff the kids didn’t want. So it’s “girl dinner” for me unless I go up the hill to Dad’s and eat with him (which I’ve been doing 98% of the time anyway).
Living with Dad for 5 months was an experience. I’ll never forget watching all the seasons of Alone with him, let alone countless hours of old black-and-white Westerns and the news (not Fox News thankfully). We took turns cooking and doing up dishes and for the most part had a great time–like an extended vacation. Molly often came up for dinner and we’d steal the TV to watch episodes of The Dead Files while Dad snored.
But living in someone else’s home isn’t the same as your home, you know? I tried to minimize MY disruptions to his life, especially the middle of the night work calls that had me up with the lights on trying to work. Or my dog wanting to go outside at O-dark-thirty. I struggled with carving out time to write, because I didn’t want to feel rude, locking myself up in the guest room rather than hanging out with him when I was the guest in his house.
And of course, I wasn’t prepared for how long I was without all my stuff. I took a single suitcase in July. I didn’t have any long-sleeved shirts. No coat. I didn’t take any of the birthday card stock, labels, etc. I didn’t have any of my shipping material or book stock. So that put a long hold on the business side. Bonus: I bought some new clothes until I could get my old stuff back.
All of this to say… my word count went down another 15% compared to last year (and if you go back and look at last year, you’ll see me whining about how little I wrote then too). I’m not whining this year because it was an incredibly stressful year of instability – and also a transition into my new life. A period of tightness and constraint in the chrysalis. A communal time of family that was much needed after the long miserable divorce and decades of marriage with a man who hated the rest of my family and never wanted me to see them.
Words for the year: 182,024. The lowest since I’ve been tracking in my spreadsheet (2021) but I’m sure you could find previous years here on the blog.
I still managed to republish a book, publish 4 new books, and participate in 3 anthologies with short stories.
I’ll do another post tomorrow with my plans for 2024.