Category Archives: Carlyle

4th Quarter Writing Plans

I may tweak this cover more, but I think it's close to what I'll use.
I may tweak this cover more, but I think it’s close to what I’ll use.

We are now in the ninth day of the fourth quarter. Time for me to lay out my writing plans for the next three months. Well, writing and publishing plans, that is. Without further introduction, here’s what’s definitely in my plans.

  • Publish When Death Changes Life, the boxed-set of the Danny Tompkins stories. I have the master file completed, the e-book cover completed, and just need to start the actual production. I hope that, one week from today, I can announce that it’s published.
  • Work on The Gutter Chronicles: Volume 2. As I’ve said before, I got through the fourth chapter of this (maybe two years ago), and just stopped to work on other things. This is something to do on my computer at work, in my morning me-time and on the noon hour. I believe I could complete the writing of this before 2017 comes to a close.
  • Work on Adam Of Jerusalem. The prequel to Doctor Luke’s Assistant, I wrote the first chapter of this a month ago (or maybe more than that), but stopped. This is work to do at home, in the evenings.

These are the three things I will definitely work on during the next three months. However, a few other items are on my radar, and may—I emphasize, may—capture the time of a few of my gray cells and find themselves coming to be in tangible form.

  • The next short story in the Sharon Williams Fonseca CIA agent series. It’s tentatively titled Papa Delta Foxtrot. I have the plot somewhat roughed out. At between 3,000 and 6,000 words, I should be able to fit this in. I need to be a bit more inspired to do so.
  • Continued work on my two interrupted Thomas Carlyle projects. These are affectations for me, as they will never make any money. But, hey, none of my other writing makes any money, so why not work on these? The Chronological Composition Bibliography is something I pull out every now and then and get a little more done on. I’m actually at a point in his career where it would be easy to finish this. I should just do it. The book about his Chartism is also fairly fare along. I think a month of concentrated work would see it to completion. If I get bored or stuck working on other things, I may just spend time on these two.
  • Expand my research notes on the Stephen Cross and Elizabeth Cheney family into a small genealogy book. I actually pulled this out about two weeks ago to make a judgment on how much work this would require. I decided it’s more than I want to tackle right now, so I set it aside. However, if other things don’t pan out, maybe, just maybe, this will capture some of my time.

So that’s my plans as of right now. I have other things in the planning process, but I don’t expect to be working on them any time soon. Perhaps I’ll do a post on them in a week or so.

Trying to Plan, Not Really Succeeding

Yesterday morning, at the start of my business day, I saw on my desk a sheet of paper titled “2017 Priorities, as of 10 Jan 2017”. When I wrote that I mean writing priorities. That’s what was on the sheet, the things I planned to write and publish in 2017. It’s now close to two months later. I knew that wasn’t still accurate, as the things to be done early in the year are behind schedule, and thus the things I intended to do later in the year may not get done. So, I decided to re-write it.

Now, these are written on the back of the small sheets I tear off my Dilbert desk calendar each day. I’m not talking about something real formal here. On the 10 January sheet, I had seven numbered items originally, written in approximately the order I wanted to complete them, but without dates or deadlines. The I realized I forgot the thing that was to be number 1, so I squeezed it in between 1 and 2 and numbered it 0. The I realized two other items I’d left off, one for early in the year, one for later. So I wrote them at the end and used appropriate arrows to show where they would come in.

I re-wrote it and put everything in order. #1 is my first priority, #2 is my second priority, all the way down to #10. I don’t really expect to get to all 10 items in 2017, but I’ll work my way down the list and see how far I can get.

Then, I realized I’m working on something right now that wasn’t on the other list. It’s a discussion of a scholarly paper someone wrote and is soon to present at a conference, a religious paper at a religious conference. So I wrote that at the end, without a number. I don’t really know what I’m going to do with that; perhaps nothing. But it’s taking my writing time, so I should have included it.

Then, while I was looking at that paper at, I decided to do a search on Thomas Carlyle. I immediately found a scholarly paper that is germane to my item #8, Thomas Carlyle’s “Chartism” Through The Ages. I took time to download and read the paper, and write an e-mail to the author. #8 is kind of far down the road to be doing anything on it right now, but since I was at that site, and since it came up, I did the brief bit of research.

Now, I’ve learned over the year that, whenever I ratchet up my writing time, or even just plan to ratchet up my writing time, something in life blows up and the plan can be trashed. Without going into details, that what happened by noon today.

So, what is my writing plan? Right now I have no idea. Maybe things will clarify in a week or two.

Shifting Gears in the Morning

Thomas_Carlyle_daguerreotype,_1848Since August 2016, in the mornings, after I get to work, get my coffee, fix my breakfast half-sandwich, and have my devotional time, I’ve been working on my bibliography of Thomas Carlyle’s compositions. I had done a lot of work on it before, and had almost all of his known works entered. But I wasn’t sure of their composition order; nor did I know whether there were other works that prior bibliographers missed.

I started work on this at least five years ago, but laid it aside when other items pressed. Then I worked on it from late 2014 to about September 2015, but laid it aside again. From August 2016 until this week, my morning routine has included a half hour with Thomas Carlyle. During these months I made significant progress. I had, back in 2014-15, done the main entries, then researched in his letters to put in order those compositions up to around 1830. Since August till last week I was up to 1841. I had moved from his years of writing mainly magazine articles to mainly books. So the compositions were fewer, and the research easier.

I know I’ve written about this before, but bear with me while I go through it again.

This work is tentatively titled Thomas Carlyle: A Chronological Bibliography of His Compositions—or something close to that. I want to get his works into the order they were written. His first bibliography, published the year of his death (1881), had his articles grouped by magazine, and his books chronological by publication date. But it missed a lot of his unattributed pieces. The next one, published in  1928 by Isaac Dyer, picked up most of those unattributed works, but arranged them alphabetically. He also had a chronology, but it didn’t include every composition.

From 1963 through 1965, G.B. Tennyson published a book and some related magazine articles on Carlyle. In these he included chronological bibliographies, of his prose and his poems, for the period up to the publishing of Sartor Resartus in 1834 (but going to 1840 with the poems). Then, in 1989, Rodger D. Tarr published what is seen as the definitive bibliography of Carlyle. It is arranged chronologically by date of publication, though contains many notes to help establish a chronology.

My first book on Thomas Carlyle, published 2014
My first book on Thomas Carlyle, published 2014

So, I’ve found these four bibliographies of Carlyle’s works. What need is there of another? Perhaps none. But none of them were what I wanted for my Carlyle research. I wanted to know the order he wrote things in to try to determine the changes in his writings and tie those to the events he was part of. I think I found one such key event, and I’m working on a book about it. But, to be certain, I needed to know the order in which he wrote everything. Not finding what I wanted, I decided to produce it myself.

I think I’m around 70% done with the bibliography. So why stop now, you ask? I’m just too busy. When I look at my writing/publishing to do list for 2017, and try to establish some priorities based on publishing, the bibliography is low on the list, and will likely be for two or three years. Other things are more important. In a future blog post I’ll again go through my 2017 plans, and update my readers on where I stand with them.

In fact, I’m not sure I’ll ever publish the bibliography. I don’t know that it has much commercial potential. Carlyle scholars are few. Those interested in his works may be a few more, but still not many. No, I’ll work on other stuff for a while. Maybe in six months or a year the urge to finish this will resurface, and I’ll get at it again. But for now, Carlyle and his works will have to lay dormant to me.

Busy Writing`

Well, I haven’t started 2017 very well in terms of blog faithfulness, have I? I’m trying to establish and keep a Monday and Friday posting schedule. Clearly, since this is my first post in 2017, I missed the first Monday and first Friday.

Yesterday I worked hard on my novel-in-progress, as I had Saturday. Between the two days I added just short of 6,000 words. As I wrote on Sunday, I remembered the blog and made a note to carve out some time to write a post. Alas, I didn’t do so.

Part of the problem is knowing what to write. I need to do a summary of 2016 post, for book sales, and maybe another one for writing progress. I’m waiting, however, on Smashwords to report possible late 2016 sales. I’m not expecting any, but I’ll wait for a little while. I can write a summary of my writing at any time, and will try to do that before long.

Then, I’m brainstorming a “publishing plans” post for 2017, as I’ve done for every year. I’m close to setting my annual goals, after which I can write that post. I think it’s going to be a week or so before I do.

So, for today, I’ll just mention current writing work.

As I said, I got back to work on Preserve The Revelation this weekend. The last time I’d written on it was Dec. 26. I had been thinking much about it in the interim, and had worked out some plot lines. So I was hoping the writing would go well, but, since getting back into it after a break is hard, I wasn’t sure. It turned out it did go well. I got away from the minutia of the travels of my protagonist, and began the last big external conflict. The last conflict he goes through will be internal. I’ve brainstormed that a little. I’m now down to the last 5,000 words I would say. That will make it an approximately 77,000 word book; shorter than I had figured, but not too short for the genre. If I can add 500 to 750 words several nights this week, I’ll be finished with it next weekend.

In the evenings, after I finish writing, I’m reading in two different books on the Civil War. This is research for my (currently) abandoned work, Documenting America: The Civil War Edition. I estimate I brought it to about 40 percent done in 2015, when I started struggling with it, and laid it aside. When I finish my current work-in-progress, I figure on shifting to that and trying to finish it. I think I can do it. It will be part of my 2017 publishing plan.

The other thing I’m doing is spending a half hour or so each morning, of my quiet time at work, building my Thomas Carlyle Chronological Composition Bibliography. I’m currently working in August 1840. My sense is that most of the hard work is behind me. From this point on Carlyle wrote mainly longer works, more easily traced and documented. He has a few miscellaneous things, but they are limited, and prior researchers seem to have them well documented. The hard part is over. I’m going to keep working on this. With luck, I’ll be able to publish it in 2018.

That brings my few readers up to speed with my current writing. I’m also planning a couple of writer interviews over the next month, so hopefully you’ll see those posts.

Bread and Boxes

My time is very limited these days, almost all of my own making. I’m working hot and heavy on my novel, Preserve The Revelation. Over the weekend I added slightly more than 5,500 words to it. That exceeded my three-day goal of 5,000 words, so that was good. I was writing a difficult part, where a character dies, and another, closely associated character must carry on. But I’m through the worst of that. The worst going forward is I really haven’t planned out this next section very well, so I may find writing it quite laborious.

Two other writing tasks I’m working on is my chronological composition bibliography of Thomas Carlyle, and further study with writing intentions into my harmony of the gospels, specifically the Resurrection account. When I finished up my latest round of revisions, intended to be my last, in June, I did a little search for references I might add to the resurrection account. I found a couple, which led me to doing some writing on an auxiliary document last week and on the weekend. And some reading on it. This is perhaps totally unnecessary, but it’s something I want to do, something that gives me satisfaction.

Saturday saw me doing the typical chores around our house. I moved a large bookcase from the garage to the basement, to help close-in the temporary bedroom we’ve set up there. I loaded the shelves with Christmas decorations and who knows what all was in the boxes I placed. I now know I need to put a light back there, and will do so next weekend, or I might hire an electrician to do it, as I have a couple of other things I need for one to do.

Sunday was fairly restful. I wasn’t scheduled to teach Life Group, though I always prepare to since my co-teacher (on alternating weeks) is a veterinarian and can be called out at any time), but late on Saturday I received a text from him, saying his on-call weekends had switched and he would be on call Sunday. That meant I did have to prepare to teach. I did that by getting up early Sunday morning (thought in fact I had been preparing during the week). He didn’t get called in, and so he taught; I participated as a student. I napped in the sunroom after church, though not for long before I headed to The Dungeon for my writing.

In the evening we felt the 5.0 earthquake that hit Cushing Oklahoma, about 200 miles from us. That was minor excitement. We got pizza instead of having to prepare food, which was good. I pulled out a writing book to read, since I’ve finished all other books and was ready for something new and since I hadn’t read a writing book in a couple of years at least. But for some reason a wave of tiredness washed over me. I’ve learned not to fight it, so I set my book aside, slouched a little in my easy chair, laid my head against the back, and dozed. Maybe for an hour all together. I woke up about 10:15 p.m. to find a different tv program on.

At that point I tried reading a little more, discovered I couldn’t, so went to the kitchen to prepare for the week. I washed a few dished that needed washing, then packed my breakfasts for the week and my lunch for Monday. Yes, I eat breakfast at work. I leave the house at 6:30 a.m. so as to miss traffic, and have a quiet time at work to read the Bible, pray, and do miscellaneous things (such as write this blog post). I did all of that, finishing right around 11:00 p.m.

At that point I headed to bed. I no sooner laid my head down when I realized I had forgot to put bread for my breakfasts in my food bag. I had done the same thing last week, and got to work and had a boiled egg, slice of ham, slice of cheese, and no bread. I debated getting up to add that, but decided instead to say, “Add bread to my food bag” over and over till I fell asleep, hoping I’d remember it in the morning.

Another unfinished task that crossed my mind as I was trying to lock in remembering the bread was that, during the yard sale last weekend, I moved many empty boxes out of the garage and strewed them on the side of the house or under trees nearby. Lynda reminded me on Sunday that those needed to be brought in. I figured I’d better do them in the morning before going to work, so I started to lock that task in by saying to myself, “Remember the boxes, remember the bread.”

I’m happy to say that this morning I remembered both. I put five slices of bread in two baggies and put them in my food bag. As I left the house through the garage I brought in the boxes and put them where they needed to be, at least temporarily. The need to do that was emphasized to me when I hear on the radio that rain is probable today. These  tasks, and one other within the house, made me about eight minutes late, caused me to be behind two slow moving truck, and then in a long, long line of vehicles heading in to Bentonville. So I was at work late. Alas.

However, so long as I crowd writing into my life, so long as I have so many other obligations that can’t be shunted aside, I will have to compromise somewhere. Driving in heavier traffic was this morning’s compromise. Who knows what it will be for the rest of the day, or tomorrow, or the next day?

Oh, and sorry for missing to post something here last Friday. Too many tasks, something had to give.

Am I On A Rabbit Trail? Or Two?

Confession time: I have never read Alice in Wonderland. All I know about it comes from the Disney movie, which I realize may be nothing like the book. Plus, I’ve heard or read various people talking about “rabbit trails” in connection with it. My memory of the movie is hazy, as it’s been a long time since I saw it. I guess Alice follows a rabbit trail which takes her off her intended course. That’s the best I understand it, and what I mean by the title of this post: following things that take you off course.

For the last month, maybe a little longer, I have allowed my writing focus to be diverted to two projects related to Thomas Carlyle. I’ve written about them before here. One is a comprehensive bibliography of his compositions, in chronological order. The other is a book about his book Chartism, and the literary reception it has had in the 175 years since it was published. Both of these are books that are in progress. I have computer files of both.

While the Chartism book is fairly far along, most of my recent efforts have gone into the Bibliography. It’s something I enjoy working on, something that is different than other bibliographies of his works. However, I’m learning just what an incredible rabbit hole it is.

On my noon hour I did some searching for copies of some research papers on Carlyle, from the last 25 to 30 years, which I believe will have various Carlyle compositions that were never documented, which I would like to add to my Bibliography. As I expected, these volumes are under copyright and not available on-line. I didn’t check to see where they are in any of the world’s libraries, though I’m sure they are somewhere. Also, I could possibly buy some back issues of them.

Then, I did some looking into something at the Carlyle Letters Online, the Duke University site that is a goldmine for Carlyle researchers. In five minutes of research I found reference made to two compositions that I don’t remember knowing about or seeing in any bibliography (though possibly they are there under a different title).

And, I came to the realization of the madness of it all.

I don’t have time for this. It’s something maybe 20 or 30 people in the world are interested in. Why would I write books like these? I’ve been sinking a lot of time into this lately, even after saying I was going to “button up” current research and lay it aside. I thought I did that a week ago, yet, here I am, still at it.

Last night, before getting on my Carlyle research, I proofed my Federal income taxes, found them to be correct, and stuck them in a folder to take them to work to make copies of. Except when I checked that folder this afternoon they weren’t there. What did I do with them? Then there’s Daddy-Daughter Day, sitting there with a finished cover, finished formatted book, waiting for me to take an hour to upload them to CreateSpace and order a proof copy to see if it’s truly ready to go. Did I do that last night? No, after taxes I worked on Carlyle. Madness! Sheer madness!

So, this time I’m for sure ending this. All my work is saved; copies of some things are printed for putting in a notebook. Tonight I’ll put them in the notebook. Then I’m going to find Ginny Weasley and ask her to hide the notebook (actually two notebooks, or maybe three) in the Room of Requirement, somewhere I won’t find them. Tonight, when I get home after Good Friday service, after eating supper and descending to The Dungeon, I will do the work needed on Daddy-Daughter Day. Carlyle can watch me, if he wants to, and complain that I’m ignoring the Sage of Chelsea. Let him complain. For the foreseeable future I’m done with him.

A Pleasant, Snowy Day

I should have written yesterday.

The weather forecast was for a wintery mix changing over to snow. It was a constantly changing forecast. First it was to hit Tuesday evening and give us 5 inches of snow. Then it went to Tuesday/Wednesday midnight and 2-4 inches of snow. Then it went to Wednesday morning and 1-3 inches of snow. All this change in the forecast happened in a 12 hour window on Tuesday. I went home Tuesday night not knowing if I would be able to get to work on Wednesday or not. So I brought some work home: a 1-inch thick pile of guide specifications that needed editing. But I parked my pickup up the hill, in case I decided to go to work in the morning.

Tuesday night, at bedtime, I set my alarm for the usual time. The forecast said rain through the night, changing over to the wintery mix around 7 a.m., and to snow around 1 p.m.  I got up at six, showered and dressed for work (in my black “dress” jeans). I checked the weather sources: no change in the forecast overnight. Then I went out with the dog to see what conditions were. This is not our dog; we are dog-sitting for neighbors who had a quick trip out of town for a funeral. Rocky and I walked up to his house, and then beyond. A very light rain was falling, quite cold against the face, but when we passed my pickup I saw the windshield was frozen over. I left Rocky inside his house, to allow him a couple of hours in familiar territory, walked home, and made the executive decision I wasn’t going to work.

Back inside I completed Bible reading and prayer, caught up on Facebook and let the world know where I’d be for the day, then went to The Dungeon around 8 a.m. By this time the rain had changed to sleet. By 11 a.m. it was snowing—hard, big flakes. I sat in The Dungeon, computer open to stock charts, portfolio list, and social media/e-mail, and began editing the specs. Through the window I saw the winter wonderland arrive.

Also open on the computer was a Word document, a family memoir I started a week or two ago. I looked at it a little, making a tweak here and there. It’s very early in this document. I’m trying to figure out family dynamics in my dad’s family, actually in his parents’ and grandparents’ families, to determine the influences that shaped him and his siblings and, hence, me and my siblings and cousins. I would say, however, I spent less than 15 minutes on this.

All day I alternated between specs and computer. By 3:30 p.m., with only a short break for lunch, I had made a major dent in the spec pile, had made one stock trade, read all e-mails, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. At this point I went upstairs and decided to go for a walk. The temperature was plummeting, down to around 25 by this time, and light snow was still falling. So I bundled up, told Rocky he couldn’t come, and walked up to the highway, about 0.65 miles away. The snow over the sleet gave good traction on our street. Then on the next two the City had plowed, knocking the snow away but leaving a lot of the sleet. The whole way I found that I had no problems with footing. The sleet was nothing like ice. I could walk fine whether it was on the snow or on the sleet or on the nearly-cleared pavement.

I walked at a good clip, probably around 22 minutes per mile, though I didn’t use a stopwatch. The entire way I saw no cars, no other humans. At the highway I stopped and stood for a minute or so. The businesses across the street seemed to be closed. Even though the highway was in good shape, no vehicles appeared. When I got home I took Rocky out for a walk around the circle. He seemed unfazed by the snow, either that on the ground or that still falling.

Back home I fortified myself with nuked coffee, went to my chair, picked up my Nook, and soon fell asleep. I love to sleep in this chair. No, it’s not real comfortable, but it seems like the place to sleep. Ten or fifteen minutes later I was awake, ready to…do something. Read some blogs, ate supper, watched some news, and put on a Harry Potter movie. At that point I multi-tasked, picking my Nook up again and doing some genealogy research into the families I mentioned earlier. I re-registered for the LDS genealogy site (at least I think I was registered before), and found lots of good information. I took notes, having no way to print anything from my Nook.

This took me up to after 11:00 p.m., at which time I took Rocky for a walk, and hit the sack. We had less accumulation than I’d hoped for, about 2 inches of snow on top of almost 1 inch of sleet. Possibly I should have gone to work. Since we didn’t have ice, even Old Blue Leaf probably would have found good traction. But I had a good day. I’ll charge half of it to the company, half to vacation.

And I didn’t even work on any creative writing projects, all day. If you don’t count my reading in the letters of Thomas Carlyle as research for a future writing project.

Current Writing Projects

The Great Time Crunch continues to constrain me, cutting off much of what would otherwise be writing time. A number of projects are on hold. Nevertheless, writing continues. Here’s what’s still active.

Daddy-Daughter Day: My poetry book, finished (sort of) since 2006, is about to be published! Yes, I finally found an artist for the cover. She completed her work in late February, subject to a few tweaks. I formatted the book for print about a week ago. Right now I’m waiting on another man to create the font for the cover. He showed me a draft of that this morning, so I might have it tonight or tomorrow. I’m planning on taking the artwork, add the font to it, and creating both the e-book and print book covers using G.I.M.P. When formatted the book runs 75 pages, or 77 pages with a couple of blank sheets in the back. I knuckled down last week and completed one additional poem for it, one that had eluded me for several years. I don’t know how good it is, but it fits in. If I had to guess, right now, I’d say the book will be available for sale around March 20, just in time for Spring. And, those who have followed this blog or looked forward to this book, will recognize that I’ve changed the title, based on comments I solicited (and some I didn’t).

Seth Boynton Cheney: Mystery Man of the West: This is a labor-of-love kind of book. Seth Cheney was my wife’s paternal great-grandfather. Family lore says he went west as a teenager in the California Gold Rush, dropped out of sight for 30 years, and shows up in the Texas Panhandle and southwest Kansas, where he married and settled down and raised his family. Research has filled in a lot of those 30 years, and more discoveries are being made. In 2006 I put together this book and “published” it on the company printing equipment. Now, in preparation for a family reunion this summer, I’m hoping to expand the book and properly publish it. I have started on the task. Recent discoveries have resulted in the need for a new chapter, which I have begun writing in manuscript. I have also begun the difficult task of combining separate files into one, which will also involve extensive formatting. I hope to have this available at Amazon by July 1, but no promises.

The Gutter Chronicles, Volume 2: I have a fan at work who wants me to work on this. I’m about half-way through the fourth chapter of this, or almost 25% done with it. I haven’t worked on it since last July. I have most of the book planned out. Just last week this fan got after me for not working on it. I suppose I’ll begin using noon hours to get it done.

“Sierra Kilo Bravo”: This is the third short story in my series on Sharon Williams Fonseca, unconventional CIA agent. I began this in manuscript, probably 1,000 words so far, but nothing typed yet. I estimate it will be a 6,000 to 8,000 word story. My best guess is that I’ll get to this sometime during the summer.

That’s about it, except for some stories about my family, which I began working on in January and now stands at 1,537 words. I have no idea how long this will be or when, if ever, it will be finished. Two Thomas Carlyle projects remain on the shelf, as does the last short story in my Danny Tompkins series. All projects for another day.

Another Project Abandoned

As I work my way through the Time Crunch, which has turned out to be every bit as extensive as I expected, if not more so, I have slowly been taking time to evaluate various writing projects I’ve started and decide whether to just abandon them as opposed to put them on hold. For example, my book Documenting America: Civil War Edition, is on hold. I hope some day to get back to it. It may be more than a year from now, but some day.

One of my projects dealing with Thomas Carlyle is a bibliography of his writings. I believe I’ve written about that before on this blog. It’s not a true bibliography of the things he published, but rather a chronological listing of his writings. I’ve seen four full or partial bibliographies of his published works, from 1881, 1921, 1965, and 1988. None of them have a complete listing of what he wrote from earliest to latest.

Ah ha! I thought. That’s a hole in the published works about Carlyle that perhaps I could fill. So I began working on this in off hours, I’d guess close to a year ago. I played around with what form it would take, how comprehensive it would be, etc. I worked with the first 50 items, got them in the correct order (as I saw it; another researcher might differ with me on a few), and typed it all up. Here’s an example of what it looks like, one item snipped from it.

Chronological Bibliography [table form] a snippetThis looks at those other four bibliographies and compares them to each other and to mine.

During this Time Crunch I was still working on this project. Since looking at Carlyle’s letters was essential to this work, I was going through his letters one by one at the Carlyle Letters Online, finding references to different projects, and adding them to the manuscript of my chronological composition bibliography. A letter or two an evening and having my manuscript notebook handing to pencil in a few things seemed a good way to fill odd moments between major evening activities and bed time.

But, early this week, it all became too much for me. I decided the heck with it. The notebook, the two bound bibliographies, and whatever loose sheets are lying around for this project are all going on a shelf or in a drawer somewhere, perhaps never to be seen again this side of my eternity. The project is too big for completing in 20 minute time chunks.

When I say the project is abandoned, does that mean I will never come back to it? That’s my intention, but never say never, as they say. Who knows what attitudes and time retirement will bring when at last it gets here? Maybe I’ll write again, and maybe I’ll pick up this project again. But here I state my claim that I have no intention of ever picking it up again.

There, that’s said and done. One less thing to worry about not getting done. Tonight, when those items go to their resting place out of sight and out of mind, I believe I’ll have a moment’s peace.

Stewardship of My Writing Time

I was supposed to post to this blog yesterday. But it was Election Day, and so I was tied up watching returns in the evening; and I had plenty to do and work to do during the day, and I didn’t get anything written and posted. Today I’ll rectify that with a day-late post.

It seems good for me to talk about how I’ve used my limited writing time of late. I’m still in the Time Crunch, and will be for several months. Rather than having big blocks of time, I have small chunks of time, perhaps a half hour in the evenings after finishing other obligations. Or maybe that much time before work or during the noon hour. They are small enough that I couldn’t take on a large project, but they are still snippets of time in which I can somehow further my writing career.

Over the last two weeks I’ve had two main projects for these snippets. One is to continue to skim/read the letters of Thomas Carlyle, looking for references to his written works. I’ve done that on a hit or miss basis before, looking for specific references to a specific work. This time, I’m going through the letters from beginning to end. My purpose for doing this is to support the composition chronology of his writings. I don’t know if I’ll ever publish that or not. Heck, I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it or not. For sure it would be a huge project, and the form of it would be tough to pull off in a standard size book (meaning height and width, not length). But for now I’m doing it, from beginning to end. I’m concentrating on his first 50 compositions (excepting letters). In fact, I’m almost done with that . I’ve gone through his letters that go up to the days of his 50th composition, and have entered the letter dates and recipients in the chronology. I think I have only three or four more compositions to do the typing on.

The other project is my poetry book, Father Daughter Day. As I’ve reported before, that book has been done for a long time. I’ve been stalled for years because I wanted to publish it as an illustrated book. I finally gave up on ever finding an illustrator willing to take it on spec, and so plan on publishing it soon. But, I need to have a cover made. I’ve been looking around for a photo to serve as a cover, but will still need an artist to add things to the cover.

This week I may have found the artist. I asked a man in my Life Group at church, who has done some sketches and posted them to Facebook of the type I’m interested in. He said he couldn’t do it, as the inspiration to draw has left him for a time. He said he would get one of his artist friends in touch with me. He was true to his word, and yesterday I had a conversation with that artist and shared my vision for the book and the cover. Today she reported to me that she had read the book, has ideas not only for the cover but also for some interior illustrations. And, she’s willing to do it on spec, rather than as up-front compensation. I need to e-mail her again today to further the process, and will do that as soon as I post this.

So, even though I’m in the Time Crunch, and writing of books and articles isn’t possible, I’m still at work with my flickering writing career. Perhaps I’ll have my poetry book out in January 2015. That would be a nice outcome.