Constructing, websiting, and writing all at once

Posted on November 2, 2017 (Subscribe to Blog)

I've been working part-time in a construction job for over a year now. It started out as a favor for a friend and a way to earn a bit extra since my website business had slowed down. I've helped build carports and kitchens, install floors, hang and finish drywall, more framing jobs, trusses, roofing, shingles, plumbing and electrical work, and so on. My 7-seater passenger van is now a tool truck. I'm at work by 7:30 AM and work 6-9 hours a day on my three (sometimes four) days a week, back in time to collect my daughter from school.

"Luxury," many of you are saying with a yawn. "You're lucky to have a vehicle. I have to carry my tools to work by hand. And three days a week? Pfft!"

Okay, but on Monday I start full time installing bathrooms and kitchens while my ongoing website business is crammed into evenings and weekends. In the meantime, I continue to write when I can, and I'm renovating our kitchen, bathroom, and mudroom at home.

"Well, of course we have it tough," you say. "I have to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I go to bed..." (see more such nonsense in the original "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch)

Anyway, this week is my last three-day week. In other words, Friday is my last regular day off. Sigh. I've become accustomed to flexible hours – coming home mid-afternoon and changing my days when I need to. It's going to be a bit tougher now, the hours more rigid. Plus, I won't be able to spend a day writing if I feel like it.

I'm just going to have to find time somehow. I thought about giving up sleep. I like sleeping, but it's a big chunk of time – six hours a night that I could spend writing!

"Sleep?" you say. "I don't know what sleep is."

Oh shut up.

Aside from my own website business, which in the past has always been very busy, I haven't worked full time hours for somebody else since 1999. I've had 18 years at home. While I've stayed busy for the most part, I can't deny it's been a pretty sweet life. But, when it comes to website work, the last couple of years have been slow, and it's time for a change.

HOWEVER, all that aside, I still intend putting out three books a year. I'm just about finished with Tails of a Shapeshifter, the third Island of Fog Chronicles book. It features two pre-written short stories and four brand new ones along with plenty of linking material. This book will be out later this month. Email me if you want to beta read it!

In the meantime, I'm starting work on Warp Giants, the fourth Sleep Writer book. And when that's done in a few months from now, I'll be starting Death Storm, the fifth Island of Fog Legacies book.

Maybe I can write these books while I'm tiling a bathroom or installing kitchen cabinets. If I can master the technique of using Google's speech-to-text tool to write my books verbally, then I'll be good to go. Or while driving. And I can do my website stuff in my sleep. As for renovating my own kitchen, I don't think my wife will mind if I leave the cabinet doors off and the contents of the cabinets on the kitchen table for another few months.

Oh, and did I mention mowing and yard work? Probably best not to.

I'll say one thing, though: With all this physical work, I'm in better shape than I have been in twenty years. I've always had elevated blood pressure, but not anymore. I've lost ten pounds since Christmas because I'm eating better (and generally less while I'm out being busy). This is mainly because I was told I was pre-diabetic, and my doctor tasked me with sorting it out before my next checkup in three months. Well, I did. I made some changes to my diet, and now I'm in the "safe" range again, crisis averted.

My knees don't creak anymore, either. I used to have terrible twinges in my knees, what with getting old and everything. (I just turned 48.) So, overall, I'm feeling good. I just wish I had more time in the day. But don't we all?

I'll write again soon with details of the new Chronicles book. Several people have asked me how Hal proposed to Abigail. Well, you'll find out later this month...

Comment by BRIAN B on Friday, November 3, 2017...

Good for you. I'm about ready to get out of the damn office and off the life-time-draining commute. If only I knew how. It'd be funny listening you to dictating while hammering!

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Friday, November 3, 2017...

"Hal launched into the air and flew low over the ow my bloody thumb hand me that nail gun..."

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