Meandering Monday and Wondering Where The Quarter Went

Meandering. That’s what this first quarter has felt like.

Each year since I became SERIOUS about writing, what’s signified the SERIOUSness was the establishment of clear, measurable writing goals and then doing my darnedest to stick to them. Things would come up – get in the way – interfere, but this was to be expected, because we DO all have LIVES outside of writing, or whatever we do, and we struggle with our work / life balance – or whatever other aspects of existence a person might be trying to balance.

Say – I wonder if there’s someone out there who isn’t having to BALANCE anything? Maybe there’s someone who gets to FOCUS on JUST ONE TING, and not worry that they’re neglecting some other non-existent aspect, because that’s all there is. I doubt it – no matter what your circumstance, part of our thing as human beings is NOT being able to have everything we want. Learning to deal with that reality seems to be part of why we’re here in this perpetual schoolroom we call LIFE.

But no, this quarter has felt different. I haven’t been able to focus on my writing – especially this last month, it’s as though I’ve gone back in time to those frustrating, pre-SERIOUS days. No – I don’t seem to have become five years younger, so it must be something else.

I’ve added to my blogging schedule, but that doesn’t take up so much of my time to explain how little else I seem to be doing.

There have been distractions.

There have been changes on my day job that I’m still trying to adjust to, so that part of my BALANCING act has become unsettled. I know myself well enough that even though I talk a good game about the need to embrace change, I do not switch gears well when faced with changes in my routine. Well, GET OVER IT, BILL!

Words with Friends comes to mind – and far too often. IN MY WISDOM I said that I would need to be careful not to let the game take up too much of my time, but IN MY FOLLY I failed to listen. I’ve become obsessed with winning, and trying to improve my 85% winning percentage and 26.6 points/word average. I need to dial it back, AND I CAN STOP IF I WANT TO.

I’m a political junky, and this has been (and continues to be) the oddest political season in my memory. Everything seems so up in the air and disrupted throughout both camps. The peasants are revolting, and it could wind up being a very wonderful thing or a very fearsome thing. I have my own theories about where it’s going to wind up, and so I follow and obsess over this, too. I need to step back.

House projects loom over me, as they have for the past couple of years, ever since we made the mistake of tearing all our wallpaper down because we thought we were prepping the house for sale. Need to get in gear and BALANCE those projects with the rest of my life.

These are all contributing to my LACK OF FOCUS, but they’re not all. Something else is afoot. Perhaps the strange and early spring-like weather here in Texas brings with it a simulated SPRING FEVER? The ridiculous amounts of pollen has even affected me some, and I don’t have to deal with allergies the way most people seem to (perhaps my physical preparation for the Zombie Apocalypse has made me impervious to this physical disorder as well? – that may be next week’s meandering.) But no, I have never had problems with the Spring – in fact, in the past the first half of the year has been where I make up for the lapses that I know will happen in the final quarter HOLIDAYS.

Could it be that I’m just getting lazier? My boss (the one on my day job) is retiring, and I look at her and say “Hey! You can’t do that yet – I’m older than you, so I should get to go first,” and wonder what it would be like. But then some of us just haven’t been blessed with (or more accurately, prepared effectively for) the ability to stop working that day job. I will someday, but for now it’s KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON (which seems to be a marketing campaign designed to CARRY ON ENTIRELY TOO MUCH about the CALMness,)

Retirement… maybe it’s just that I’m getting older. Every year I seem to struggle with my pseudo, never officially diagnosed (except by my wife) A.D.D. leanings. FOCUS and REMEMBERING are noticeably affected for me, and that has predictably progressed into NOT REMEMBERING TO FOCUS. Time to bring out those memory tricks – you know, the ones? Where you can’t remember A, so you remember B instead because it looks like A, except you can’t remember B, so you remember C because it’s like B which is like A. Except… it would all work so much better if you could remember ONE thing instead of THREE (or more.)

It could be any or all of these things, or even more. Or maybe it’s JUST LIFE?

Just saying…


TheBodyCoverThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for “The Body”:

A long-suffering, social-climbing son deals with more than the usual embarrassment of misbehaving parents, hoping to find acceptability in the certainty of their demise. If some things would just stay buried…

I had a lot of fun with this, and it always brings me a smile (macabre as it is – but we all know how I am…) This is a science fiction / fantasy / horror story in an Edwardian (or Victorian) setting, with people who don’t quite stay dead the way they should (no – they’re NOT zombies), and a son who’s as – ambiguous? – as the protagonist in Ambrose Bierce’s “An Imperfect Conflagration.”

Use coupon code VM27N to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until April 9th. Here’s the link:

“The Body” is also available in my third collection, surprisingly titled (if you haven’t been paying attention): Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.


BurialDetailsCoverThe preorder campaign is winding down for “Burial Details”:

Be sure to bury your charges deep.

An old farmer, scraping by after the Sahrian invasion, buries his most precious treasures to hide them from the aliens’ “salvation”.

Release date is April 8th, but you can preorder now at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):




William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “The Pipes”, can be found in many places, including:



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