On Vacation

As for my next book, I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me, grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear, pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall”


It makes me so uncomfortable for them.  If they’re talking about a plot idea, I feel the idea is probably going to evaporate.  I want to almost physically reach over and cover their mouths and say, “You’ll lose it if you’re not careful.”


Vacation may not be the accurate word here.  Rather say I’m on an expedition.  To commandeer a very useful term from Austin Powers, I’ll be away from my desk indefinitely while I search for my mojo.  It’s gone completely.  Nothing I have in progress looks interesting.  I’ve written some scenes, torn them up, replaced them with other scenes and torn them up, because none of them seem adequate.  My pending projects fare no better.  It seems to be a truism that if you don’t believe in what you’re doing, there’s no point in doing it.

We aren’t all writers, and those who are aren’t always writers for their whole lives.  I’ve been a skateboarder, a wargamer, a karate student and assistant instructor.  I’ve explored the desert and the mountains on foot and in 4-wheel drive vehicles.  Sunset Cliffs used to be a favorite haunt of mine.  I’ve been to war.  I’ve been a blue-water sailor, and have developed a fair level of expertise in seamanship, military communications, accounting, and safety, fire, and environmental considerations at a major fuel facility.  I am none of those things anymore, and it’s possible that it’s time to add writer to that list.  As my wife has pointed out, “It’s no fun doing shit that you aren’t interested in.”

Have I lost interest?  I certainly have in the short term.  What I don’t know is whether it will come back, so I’m going exploring, which is a euphemism for playing with my Xbox, my grandkids, my daughter’s dog, watching old movies and TV shows with Dearly Beloved, and just generally enjoying my retirement.  I received the first two seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for Father’s Day, and we’re in the midst of that right now, and I’m deep into a game called NFL Head Coach on my Xbox.  I’m in the final year of my contract with the Houston Texans, and have taken them from a 2-14 franchise to a Super Bowl.  We’re about to begin our second run in the post-season.  Bonnie enjoys this like it was a real game, and since the Chargers have moved on to embarrass LA for the next 50 years or so, this is the only game in town.

If, during all this unrelated activity, the irresistible urge to write comes over me, then I’ll write, but I won’t tell anyone what I’m up to; I think cousin Anne might have the truth of it:  If you tell everybody you know what you’re writing about, then the need to write it becomes somewhat redundant.  I hope it comes back.

If not, then then that’s my fate, but I don’t want to leave anyone cold.  I will continue to add to Chameleon until the whole book is free for a mouse click, and when that’s done, I’ll begin posting Broken English, another old book you’ve never heard of.  By that time I’ll know whether I’m going to be a writer or not.  Whatever the outcome, I have four books for sale on Amazon, all 99¢.  Stepping away from it means I’m going to stop servicing this blog every few days, but if you found value in my posts about the Craft of writing and the occasional humor pieces, fear not; I present here a list of sites that offer content similar to mine, and some extra pages that I could never hope to match.  I’ll be watching my email, blogs, and social media, so if you have anything to say, I’ll get it within a few hours, and reply to anything but trolling.  Enjoy these blogs and sites, and I hope to see you soon!

These sites discuss the Craft and offer insights into the creation of better stories:

Writers Helping Writers.

Richie Billing.

The Old Shelter.

Gisela’s Straightforward Blog (specifics about marketing).

Easy Reader Editing.

Creativity Hacker.

C.W. Hawes.

Cool San Diego Sights (this is a photography site.  I include it here because it is approaching 20,000 photos of every description and its owner, Richard Schulte, has decreed that anyone who would like to use one for a cover or illustration need only credit him and his site, and may then use them freely.)

Some of you may enjoy popular culture.  I know I sure do, and here are a few that are certain to scratch that particular itch:

Nerd Lunch.


Michael May’s Adventure Blog.

Life’s Little Mysteries.

Tara Sparling Writes.

There’s a dozen that ought to keep you in insights and chuckles for the foreseeable future.  I’ll be around, I just don’t know what I’ll be doing, but if anything comes up, I’ll pass it along.  All the best to all of you; read well, and write better!

7 thoughts on “On Vacation

  1. Have fun!

    I hope the physical pleasure of our new community – pools, bikes, food – and any groups and activities don’t distract me from FINISHING what I’m writing, FIRST. I can’t wait to have time – and fewer worries.Assuming all goes well and we arrive there in one piece.

    I don’t do well with upset. Or rather, I don’t WRITE well this way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Alicia, I intend to!

      You know what the difference between being lost and a ride in the country is, right? Attitude! You move into your new digs with the attitude that it’s going to be just the greatest, and chances are it will be. Just remember that you’re a tourist here; you arrived with nothing, and you’ll leave with nothing. It frees you up to walk away from the ugly parts and not take part in any nastiness you might find. Simplifies your day considerably.

      All the best to you, Alicia; don’t settle for anything less than a pleasant new home!


      1. I won’t! And I’m looking forward to the computer guys – they had a very nice computer room, and stories… If I can find a nice competent Mac geek, I’m set. Otherwise, there’s got to be an Apple store – Davis is a college town. And I can also hire a kid. So many options.

        Closer to home is best for me because I lose energy quickly (not will, ability), but I’m only not tackling it myself right now because I have other important chores, such as having just figured out why we don’t probably want one of the apartments we’re being offered (HINT: it’s bigger, on paper, but the usable space is not – odd inside corner with a very large but triangular master bedroom). Since you pay by how much space you have, I don’t want to get ‘bigger’ only to confirm what I can tell from the floor plan, that much of that expensive extra space is not usable.

        OTOH, location is good. OTThird Hand, the exposure is such that it might be hot a fair portion of the day, and, while AC is included, it is NOISY to have it on more than you need it…

        The engineering brain kicks in and pokes at things. Until the decision is final.

        OTFourth Hand, this apartment may be available sooner… Patience, my brain. I love using my math at least occasionally.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend! I’ll find what I’m looking for, I just don’t know what it is right now. Great to hear from you again. Wishing you all the best on your own journey!


  2. I’m catching up (yet again) and hoping your mojo does its mojo magic for you. At the very least, Jack, your blog is such a help for writers seeking what to do and how to do it. You’re such an encouragement, so even the time when you’re not writing any larger work, you’re still writing something many can use and be uplifted by.

    Thank you for the mention! I think one of the reasons you and I get along is that we’re both backhavers. So add that to your list of titles. Jack Tyler, encourager and backhaver extraordinaire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Milady is too kind! Yeah, I want to keep the blog going for the very selfish reason that it’s what keeps the wonderful friends I’ve made through writing coming back. And since the people I’m talking with are writers and in associated trades, I may as well talk about writing. . . I guess. . . Seems reasonable.

      Anyway, thanks for being one of those friends,and my plan is to mention you frequently; you’re a very deserving character!

      Liked by 1 person

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