Hello new position, goodbye old car

It has been an interesting week. I’m now working in another building preparing material for analysis. I suppose I was doing this before, but the material has changed, and I’m now considered to be in charge of my area. As always I report to others, but as far as I can tell this is my space.

Since I’m in the process of learning this new craft I have had a couple of people showing me things ever so often, but for the most part I’ve been left alone after my initial orientation. This is fine for me, as if you show me once I generally know it. And luckily I can usually work out the rest, or I can go to another for any answers I might need. Thankfully I have co-workers who do a very good job of doing the things I’ve yet to be trained on.

It’s an interesting, if not complicated arena of things going on at work, but it’s been a positive experience. I feel I’ve offered value to the position, and hope to gain more as I learn. Unfortunately the workload can be a bit overwhelming at times, with a dearth of it at others. This is mostly due to meetings that are required as we will be moving to a new facility soon and logistics need to be worked out. But all in all, as always, I enjoy my work.

Now to talk about my poor little Honda again. I saw it for the last time this week. I went to remove my personal items, and parted ways. I suppose it’s strange to feel so attached to a car, but it saw me through many a day of commuting back and forth to work. It was always there, but it wasn’t something I ever went out of my way to enjoy.

I miss the freedom ownership of a car gives you. I’m now trapped wherever I am, at least during the winter months. I suppose I could walk places, but living in a city instead of a town now limits that a fair amount. I’m closer to certain things, but further away from others.

I do own a bike, but again it being winter having one does little good. Especially when routed out it appears my trip to work would be an hour and a half by bike. That and I don’t think it would be safe for anyone for me to use a bike on these roads. They aren’t designed with bikes in mind and I might cause an accident, though unintentionally.

I’ve looked at buses, but none appear to travel from my apartment to the stop near work. I don’t think this is correct and must be my misunderstanding the system. I suppose I could exert more effort into learning about public transportation, but so far I’ve been able to get rides. Though I’ve been warned if I have to stay over at work certain days I might be on my own. The need for a car rises!

Unfortunately money has been in short order. It is of course my own fault. Living for almost two years without any income save what my books brought in left my bank account drained. Another reason why the house was sold. It had grown too expensive to maintain, but now I’m starting to grow my savings again. Again unfortunately there are still bills to be paid, so it can be slow going.

The cars I’ve looked at are affordable, and are from this century, so that’s good, but I’m nervous about throwing down so much money on a gamble. Craigslist can only offer so much, so I might be forced to go through a dealership at some point. I’m not looking forward to another monthly bill though, hence why I’ve been looking at cars sold directly from owners. I’m not a fan of loans or the like and rather get it out of the way. I know that’s strange in this day and age of credit cards and mortgages, but that is my preference.

But the times they are a changing. Time will change me, but I can’t change time, so I’ll just keep moving forward.

 

What I’ve published

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: 1,000 words of a new book written. Several pages edited for the yet unnamed novel.

“Change is the end of something you know and the beginning of something else that you don’t know. Something new that holds opportunities.”
― Kholoud Yasser

Steven Oaks

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Mail issues, and the fun with learning

This week felt like a long one. I didn’t do anything differently, but I’ve been waiting on a piece of mail that seems to refuse to arrive.

Apparently even bills are having a hard time making it to my mailbox that has until recently been trouble-free. It’s not as if I’ve changed the address, and even after discussing it with the local post office nothing much was resolved. Hopefully everything will return to normal soon, but until I receive this latest item I feel a bit of dread.

I’ve still no car to call my own, but I’ve been able to get to work on time most days this week. The only issue was when there was a bit of a snowstorm that covered the roads. They hadn’t been cleared by the time I was on the road, and traffic was travelling at around 20mph. I wound up 1 minute late. That apparently was not unusual, as most people came in an hour late. It seems that always wishing to arrive early helped me that day.

There hasn’t been much work to talk of at my job, but I’ve been learning new things. That’s always fun for me. I know a little bit more about another area, and how it works, and it looks like I’ll get to learn even more starting Monday. I’m looking forward to this. The faster and more thoroughly I learn something the more fun. I hope to know everything about every process we do there someday.

I don’t feel competitive with anyone or anything, that’s not why I want to learn, or even do that quickly. I’m in competition with myself. I like to push myself to greater achievements everyday. I like to think I’m clever, so I try to find new problems, and new solutions for everything. We’ll see what I can devise with ever greater understanding of this business.

As for my latest book I’m writing, I went through all of it today. It’s only about 10 pages right now, but I wanted to read it again to get a feel for it once more. There were a few things I corrected on the way, and I wrote another 1,000 words at the end of my review. As this story has shifted away from the dialogue heavy ones I’ve written before, I feel I’m getting better at being descriptive.

If I have one flaw with writing(I’m sure I have several, and yes they’ve been pointed out) it’s with not being as descriptive as I could be. I think I did a better job as I’ve gone on, but when you are left with no one to talk with, and limited inner dialogue you really have to tell a story through descriptions. I’m enjoying this, and as I read aloud what I had written I feel there is a bit of flair now. I like having flair, poetic or otherwise, so I’m having fun.

But that’s all I really have to discuss this time. I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend, and week!

 

 

What I’ve published

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: 1,000 words of a new book written. Several pages to be edited later this evening with the editor.

“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.”
― Lemony Snicket

Steven Oaks

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Monday Mourning, and a week of sadness

What a rough week it has been. I woke up to the news on Monday morning that David Bowie had passed, and that was the start of it. We also lost Alan Rickman, an acting treasure later on in the week. I’ve no words that could do either man justice, but I will say they will be missed.

But let’s continue talking about Monday. I made my way out to my little reliable ’94 Honda Civic, and found all the doors frozen shut. It took awhile but I eventually freed it from the icy grasp, and using my wonderful ice scrapper I cleared the windows. I had it running for awhile, so most of it melted cleanly away, but the build up of snow had taken a grasp of many of it’s surface. I had just recently gotten some maintenance done on it, mostly just an oil change and other fluids, but also it turns out some lights had been out. Those had been replaces, and last Friday I filled it up with gas. Not too much money to do these things, especially considering gas prices around here have been very reasonable.

I made my way to work without incident. Though the roads were slick, most people were driving safe distances away from each other, and being as cautious as I am whenever I drive. There at work we all exchanged our tales of frozen doors, and how each one was able to gain entry through various means. One person had poured hot water over their door, and it worked. Me, I wouldn’t have done that because of the temperatures outside. I would be afraid ice would reform and trap me inside once I got to my destination, but it worked well enough for them.

We had received quite a bit of work the proceeding Friday, so of course there was much to do when we got there, and these tales were exchanged while trying to get it all done. Then even more work came in, and we were busy with things until late in the day. I worked a little over 9 hours, and then it was time to go home.

Throughout the day we had all seen out through the various windows snow continue to fall and cover the ground, and when we all finally left the roads were not much better, or perhaps worse, than that morning. So being the cautious person I am I continued to stay many car lengths away from people driving home.

That didn’t seem to help, and I was involved in an accident. My poor little Honda tried its best afterwards, and took me to the nearest parking lot where information was exchanged, and a very nice policewoman took it all down. My car was towed away with little ceremony, and I was left shivering in the cold until my ride picked me up.

I had hit my head, but I felt no pain at the time, so I simply wanted to get home and try to make sense of all that had happened. I did everything possible for something like this to never happen. Heck, I was excited to see how long my Honda would last. Those V-Tech engines are supposedly nearly immortal. I suppose it still ran afterwards, but as it is it isn’t drivable. At least not for far.

Now I’m dealing with insurance and the like, and have been very anxious about everything for this entire week. It wasn’t until last night that I was finally able to relax even just a little. Also it wasn’t until the next day of the accident that I noticed a sore spot on the top of my head. I thought I felt blood, but there was none to be seen. But there was a large red welt beginning to grow. Luckily I wear a hat to work, and no one noticed it. Not that it would affect anything, I just don’t like going around broadcasting my own vulnerability to the world’s harshness.

As it is I’ve been very lucky to have a ride the rest of the week to work, but it is a strain on them. I hope to find some other vehicle to purchase soon, and I’m not too picky about the date. Since my car was 21 years old and I was very much in love with how it got me everywhere I wanted to go, I think something similar will please me just fine. However financially it does become difficult to scrounge together something on the fly like this.

So my search begins again for a nice Honda. Nice being that it has a V-Tech engine that runs. I suppose four wheels would help, but I think we all know that I’m just looking for something functional that gets me from point A to point B.

Even with all this my record stands at work. Never late, always early, and I’ve never missed a day. I’m proud of that, and I hope very much to continue with it.

But this has left me very distracted, and today while attempting to write I was unable to focus properly. I did get some written, but eventually I let Craigslist distract me enough that I simply saved what I had and looked for a vehicle.

Goodbye my little Honda. We had some really good times, and you’ve always been there for me. You not only made sure I got to work on time, but you’ve helped others as well when they had car issues. You were always something I could rely on, and now that you are gone I feel there is just a little less stability in this world.

 

What I’ve published

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: 700 words of a new book written. Several pages edited for the yet unnamed novel.

“In a sense the car has become a prosthetic, and though prosthetics are usually for injured or missing limbs, the auto-prosthetic is for a conceptually impaired body or a body impaired by the creation of a world that is no longer human in scale.”
― Rebecca Solnit

Steven Oaks

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Back to work, but still getting things done at home

Well it was back to a five-day work week again this week. The last two I only worked three days apiece, and then only about a half day each. So coming back in each day I was not anxious for. Not because I don’t enjoy working there, I just had gotten used to so much time off.

In those short weeks I started the new book, and that was a most joyous thing. As it stands I seem to be able to snag a few more days in the week to work on it now, besides Saturdays. It so happens I’m having fun writing again.

There were a few months in there over the last couple of years that I wasn’t excited about it, but since I am who I am I always pushed through it. Those were tough days, and I was always full of doubt about what I had written. Luckily it wasn’t every single day in those months. But they were sprinkled in there enough to make me almost dreads starting each morning.

But if you know anything about writing, you know your bad days look the same as your good days when you go back to edit. Seeing everything I’ve written again and again I can’t even recall what section I was so doubtful about before. That’s the cool thing about writing, you may not feel like it some days, but you usually can’t tell, especially when you’ve gone back and edited everything multiple times.

Speaking of editing, the as yet unnamed novel I’d been editing is moving along. I have an editor, and with their help we’re getting through around 20 to 40 word-processing pages edited a week. That’s something like 40 to 80 pages in a paper back, but not exactly, it’s just a little more. So far the book is around 121 word-processing pages long, it winds up being around 260 paperback pages long.

So if we can keep this up we might be done in a few more weeks. I’m just happy she’s been able to take the time to work on it. She’s already overworked, so it’s especially wonderful of her to agree to that much. I suppose I should get some ideas for a cover art soon. Then again I’m not an especially good visual artist, I’ll trust the cover artist for most of that. But it seems yet another book of mine is about to be published. I’m very excited.

 

What I’ve published

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: 1,000 words of a new book written. Several pages edited for the yet unnamed novel.

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”
― Tiffany Madison

Steven Oaks

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Writing something new

It feels like it has been longer than a week since I’ve posted. Not that much has happened, but it seems ages have passed.

Last week I hinted at the new novel I’m writing. I’m already into it a fair amount, and I’m pleased by what I’ve written. It’s too early to tell if it’ll be better than what I’ve written before, but so far it’s a different experience.

I’m not relying on dialogue at the moment. There isn’t anyone to talk with, so there’s that. It’s all descriptions, along with a few inner thoughts. I’m not entirely sure where this story is heading at all, as it’s based upon a random thought I had.

Mostly before I went to sleep a few weeks ago I started writing in my head a scene. I liked it so much I started trying to make it into a story as I was at work. Now I think I’ve a vague idea where it might go, but as I’ve been so many times before, it might surprise me.

If I’m going to be honest the Outsider Trilogy has been the only thing I had conceived as a whole before I started writing it. But that changed as I started writing it. It’s no where near what I had intended when I had imagined/outlined it so many years before. My main protagonist is completely different, as is the true nature of the Outsiders. There are many elements that didn’t change, but that was mostly with the world. But originally the story was supposed to take many lifetimes. However Michael and Athene were way too impatient for that. They took the reigns and directed much of the story there.

This is not to say I dislike what I’ve written, far from it. But it changed it from being the epic I had imagined before. I’m not sure if other writers struggle with their characters so much, but mine tend to take control after they become fully formed in my head. And usually they’re too much like me. Impatient. They want to resolve everything as efficiently as possible, as quickly as possible. I’ve had to put the brakes to many situations before.

The only way I’ve found to deal with that is to make sure they remain confused and have little information. As soon as they know anything, or think they know anything, they act. Hence my yet unannounced book. I made sure to not know what the world was like when I wrote the first draft. I’ve since gone back and cleaned it up, but if I didn’t know what was going to happen next my protagonist didn’t either.

I’m hoping to have that book completed and ready to publish in perhaps a few more months, or less. I’ve an editor on board, though they can only give me a few hours each week. I think it’s the best stuff I’ve written so far, but that’s to be expected every time you write. If you get worse, well then you’re practicing wrong.

Anyway, I’m back to enjoying writing. Only editing was leaving me jaded, but now I’ve something new to put some effort into it makes editing fun as well.

 

What I’ve published

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: 1,000 words of a new book written. Several pages edited for the yet unnamed novel.

“I will go to my grave in a state of abject endless fascination that we all have the capacity to become emotionally involved with a personality that doesn’t exist.”
― Berkeley Breathed

Steven Oaks

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