Well, summer is here. And I’m making progress. Still on track to get something “out there” by the end of summer.
The blog of Robert Aston Jones, retired biologist and writer, can be found on his website, ROBERTASTONJONES.SQUARESPACE.COM
Two posts in one day. Don’t get used to it. However, In an effort to move forward with my writing and publishing, I vow, from this day forward, to add an entry to my blog every week—unless I accomplish something significant in my writing efforts, or something significant happens in my life, in which case I’ll add an entry even sooner. So, check back…and check back often.
(This post is a companion to the one below, so be sure to read it, too.)
Wowzer. Has it been that long?
Allow me to apologize. And explain. I have mentioned several times that I have become a care-giver. I wasn’t going to discuss my personal life in this blog, but, since it has had a tremendous impact on my writing’s timeline, I feel I owe you an explanation. I promise to keep it short.
My wife’s physical—and, now, as I’m painfully aware, mental—condition has trended down for the past ten years. She is now living in a nursing home (and has been since October of last year), which is where I spend a great deal of my time.
Well, I promised to keep it short. So…that’s all I’ll say. At least for now.
As for the novel I’ve been plugging away on? It’s not perfect…and never will be. Nonetheless, I will read through it one more time and publish it, warts and all. This time, THAT’S A PROMISE. It WILL be published by the end of summer…and hopefully much sooner. (Unless it’s not published by the end of summer. I’ve learned that life can throw us some major curve balls.)
Yes, it’s been a long time since I blogged. And almost as long since I did any work on my book. Long story short: as I mentioned in previous blog entries, I’ve been a 24/7 caregiver for quite a long time, and, for all practical purposes, I continue to be. I’ll spare you the details; let’s just say I’ve had zero free time for many months.
Four months since my last entry. I’m sure you think I’m lazy, undisciplined, etc., but nothing could be farther from the truth. Well, not lazy, anyway. Within days of my last entry, my wife had gall bladder surgery, and a week or two after that had the first of two strokes (or stroke-like events). Ever since then, I have been a 24/7 care-giver. So, that’s where I am right now. Still here…working on my book…and getting closer and closer to publishing it.
Again, two and a half months since my last entry. Believe it or not, I HAVE been working on my novel, AND, THIS TIME, I PROMISE IT WILL BE RELEASED SOON. VERY SOON. Road trips, of which there have been several; family illnesses, of which there have been more than I wish to admit; and a few other things...not the least of which has been a reluctance to serve a cake that's not completely baked. Well, I think I've baked this cake about as good as I'm capable of, so I'll be serving it very soon. (I honestly think you'll find the wait more than worth it.)
It's been three months since my last entry. Actually, three and a half months. But who's counting? Multiple trips to Nashville, TN to visit my new granddaughter, the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays (and all they entailed), basic house/homework, and two weeks literally removed from the calendar by the 2018 Winter Olympics. Well, I'm back! (But, then again, March Madness is just around the corner.)
Sorry. A lot has happened since my last entry. Took a 3-week road trip to Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, and I've been dealing with several disasters (relatively minor, thank goodness...but expensive and time-consuming nonetheless) ever since I've been back home. Hopefully the disasters, and the time and money drains, are behind me and I can focus more of my time on getting on with my writing and publishing.
I regret there is but one of me. I have a to-do list that could keep me...and a staff of 20...busy for years to come. Unfortunately, I only have a staff of 3: Me, Myself, and I. As a result of the fact that we can only work on one thing at a time, combined with the fact that we have a limited amount of energy, we don't get much done. Our to-do list grows faster than our done-did list.
It's been two months since my last entry. Now, don't take that to mean I haven't been working. A couple of days ago I created the cover for my book, and, barring an unforeseen catastrophe, I hope to have it published by the end of August. I say that because I'm going on vacation in September, and I want this behind me.
If you look up synonyms for edit, you (should) find: Backspace, backspace, backspace. Rewrite. Backspace, backspace, backspace. Rewrite again. Backspace, backspace, backspace, Rewrite again. Repeat the above procedure ad nauseam.
Please forgive me. Tax time (among other things), and the discovery that so many passages in my novel need so much work, have again delayed me. But I promise it's coming...and it will come soon. I also promise the delay will be worth the wait.
Meanwhile, if you haven't already been there, check out my Freebies page.
Goodness, how time flies! I would say more, but I don't know what more to say. Other than the fact I've done two more reads of the novel I had hoped to publish by the end of last year...and then by the end of January...and now by the end of February. And I'll probably do one more read. But I promise it's coming. After all, I know I have to "let go of it" at some point and share it with others.
When I last made a blog entry, I said my life had settled down a bit. As it turned out, December proved to be anything and everything ... EXCEPT a settled month. (We lost our grandson just before Christmas.) Everett was only with us for 11 weeks, but we all grew to love him dearly.
It's now January. A new month. The start of a new year. A time for New Year's Resolutions.
My primary resolution is to publish at least one of my books. So come back in late January or early February.
Also, if you haven't already done so, visit my "Freebies" page, where you will find some examples of my work, including a short story set in the latter days of the American Civil War. And please feel free to click on the envelope at the top of the page and send me a short note of encouragement or criticism. ... constructive criticism is preferred, but all criticism will be taken into consideration..
Has it been two months already? How time flies! In some respects (thought not all), my life has settled down a bit. I've also done a couple more re-reads of my novel since my last blog entry. As much as I'd like to continue making it better and better, I think the time has come to learn the intricacies of publication...after one more re-read. I know I can't make it perfect, but I do want to make it better.
As for my grandson, he's still in the Vanderbilt NICU. Again, a long story, but not a story for this blog. At least, not at this time.
If you haven't already done so, visit my "Freebies" page, where you will find some examples of my work, including a short story set in the latter days of the American Civil War. Also, feel free to click on the envelope at the top of the page and send me a short note of encouragement or criticism...constructive criticism being preferred..
It was my intention for this blog to be about my writing projects, but, as I've hinted in prior entries, life happens. Literally! My son Lee and daughter-in-law Elizabeth delivered (again, literally) a new life yesterday, shortly after noon. Everett, at 5 lbs 13 oz, is presently in Vanderbilt Hospital's NICU and will probably be there for about 2 months. Long story. Not for my blog. At least, not today's blog. But I had to share this with you. As you can read on my "About Me" page, I now have 3 grandchildren. Dang! Three grandchildren, and zero books published! My life is out of balance! Or is it? Family first!!!!!
If you haven't already done so, visit my "Freebies" page, where you will find some examples of my work, including a short story set in the latter days of the American Civil War.
Yes, I'm still here. And still plugging away. A lot has happened in the past couple of months. More so in my life than in my writing. A couple of road trips (pleasurable), family illnesses of both immediate and extended family (not so pleasurable), the selling and purchasing of vehicles (both pleasurable and not so pleasurable) and the routine time burners of day-to-day life. Come back soon. I may have a couple of additions on my Freebies page...and I might have an excerpt or two from my novel. Who knows? I might even have my novel!
I recently read a Paul Simon interview. He said:
"A lot of people believe first idea, best idea, but I don't. I'll sing a song many, many times before I get the vocal I want. I re-write songs, not because I'm trying to make them more commercial, but because there's something about them that's unsatisfying to me. My thought is that the ear always goes to the irritant and, eventually, you find the thing you don't like in a song and that's got to go. Sometimes it takes me a year or two. I'll be in denial about it. But once it goes, then I'll try and fix it."
Paul put into words (perfectly) why I am so frustrated with my writing...and why I have taken so long to publish this novel. Each time I reread one of my manuscripts, making edits as I go, I tell myself I've done a great job...it's ready for publication...but, just to be sure, I'll give it one more read. And then, like Paul said, "my ear goes to the irritant" and I find myself changing tons of wrong that seemed so right.
For those of you have been reading my blog, I apologize for taking so long to make another entry...and especially for taking so long to publish my novel. Life has gotten in the way...partly unavoidable, and partly because I've allowed it to do so. Believe it or not, I am getting closer. In fact, I am very close. (In the meantime...if you haven't already done so...go to my Freebies page. There, you'll find a few examples of my writing...a couple of travel memoirs and a short story.)
Well, it's obvious I did not meet my self-imposed March "deadline," but I hope to get it done by the end of April or middle of May. I PROMISE I'm working on it, and feeling very good about its status. One more read of the manuscript (maybe two) and I'll convert it into a book. (In the meantime, visit my freebies page where you'll find several examples of my writing efforts.)