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Sorry for the recent absence

Although I have often quoted President Cleveland’s statement about the value of perseverance (look it up if you don’t know it, really), I never wanted to have to live by those words. Well, I have been. You may have noticed that I have largely dropped from view hereabouts for the last three months. It seems Satan talked God into another bet. (You can look that one up under the name Job.)

Three months ago, the contract I was working under was suddenly and unexpectedly ended. The matter was handled so badly that the California Employment Development Department investigated and determined I had been wrongfully terminated. Of course it took them this entire three months to make that determination, so they have been withholding all my unemployment compensation in the meantime.

So my income stopped just we were getting into a groove with my wife starting out as a realtor, which is of course rather uneven income.

A week later my computer died the Final Death. So I sent out some 30 job applications over the next month from my phone. I cannot tell you how happy I am to live in the 21st Century.

With no money coming from the state, I took what I could grab immediately, which turned out to be cashiering for Target for the holidays, making one fifth my regular salary. After that experience, I am now toying with a pitch for a TV show about life in retail. It would be somewhere between Nurse Jackie and Orange Is The New Black.

Then the brakes on my car went out. I’m pretty handy, so I replaced the pads and shoes. But that wasn’t the problem. Leaky Master Cylinder. So until I can cough up the $300 to replace that, I am pumping my brake pedal like a one armed bandit.

Finally the phone calls started coming in. The only people really interested were in places like San Mateo and Santa Rosa, both two hour plus commutes.

Then I broke a tooth. Half just fell out one day, leaving the painful half behind of course.

The coffee maker broke. Really?

Then my age suddenly caught up with my ability to go to the bathroom (G-rated version). Suffice to say I am starting prostate meds today.

Then Anthem Blue Cross fumbled the turnover of my medical insurance with the Affordable Care Act, and arbitrarily took $1200 more than they were supposed to from my autopay. It took them over a month to give it back.

And lastly (so far, knock on wood), our water heater gave up the ghost this last weekend. A full service plumber quoted nearly $1700, so off to Home Depot I went. With the invaluable assistance of my 79 year old father-in-law (who knows a thing or two about plumbing having spent 30 years as the facilities managing engineer at a rocket fuel plant) we replaced it at cost plus lunch.

This was of course all going on while my publisher fumbled the release of Daughter Cell (about which I have reported here). Sales have yet to pick up despite the dozen five star reviews from pro reviewers and the 14 day 14 site blog tour. Best book no one will ever read. Nice epitaph. On to the next book.

Which brings me to why I am sharing this with you today. I have poured all of my creativity into dealing with crises, and not one word of writing. NaNoWriMo was supposed to see most if not all of Mermaid Steel done.

The good news is, we stayed afloat and offers are coming in. Denisen closed her first sale and has another in process. I will have more job news in the very near future. Please keep your fingers crossed.

So perseverance works. So does have a loving spouse and supportive friends and family. You know who you are. Thank you.

And to whatever deity bet against me, learn to be a good loser. I’m still standing.

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Categories: Writing
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