Monday, April 15, 2013

Dinner For One, Special Edition

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”—Donald Laird

“Real love stories never have endings.” –Richard Bach

How do you balance chores and deadlines? The same way you balance life. However you can.

Jeffe mentioned that some of us Word-Whores are alone, I am one of the alone ones. That was not always the case. When it was not the case, I would have completely agreed with Jeffe. The idea of a relationship is that it’s a partnership. If it isn’t, well, it isn’t a relationship destined to last as far as I’m concerned. Love is easy. Relationships are a beast.

But the world changes. I am a widower these days. I won’t get into the details here, but if you suddenly find you want to know the details you can read all about it  here. That's my LiveJournal, where you will find all of the essays labeled DINNER FOR ONE, that I wrote regarding my wife and living without her.  I have been a widower for the last three and half years and if there is one thing I have learned in all of that time, it’s that I am now stuck handling all of this crap by myself. If my life were a romantic comedy I would no doubt have found a perfect assistant who was quirky enough to put up with my eccentricities, cute enough to get me past my sorrows and determined enough to make me see that I’m not such a bad guy after all.

This is not a romantic comedy. It’s reality. Sometimes there’s romance (not often of late) often times there is comedy, but there’s also drama, horror and all of the other things that keep life interesting. There are also bills, deadlines and dues to pay.

Here’s how I balance the whole thing out. First there’s the bills. They have to be paid. To that end I have my career (writer) and I have my job (Barista at Starbucks). The career comes first. I write every day. The job (which helps with bills and also allows me the luxury of free coffee, health insurance, life insurance, 401K, stock options etc.) comes second. After that I have chores.

Chores, for the record, include fun tasks like cleaning the kitchen, washing dishes, washing clothes cleaning the bathroom doing my daily exercises and a few hundred other tasks. You know the drill. You likely have a plethora of your own.

First I take care of the career. Currently, the career requires that I finish three novels a novella two short stories and a few other sundries by the end of the year. One of those novels is due in forty-five days. I intend to start it later today. Possibly tomorrow. No later than next week. Honest.

Then I take care of the job. Between the two I can usually manage the bills. After that, chores. If the chores fall behind (which is often the case) I deal with it. When I have days off and the deadlines aren’t too staggering, I handle the chores. Sometimes.

Currently, my kitchen needs a good cleaning. I have a load of laundry in the drier. I have tow more waiting for the next day off. My bed is…well, it’s a bed. I haven’t actually made the bed in over a year. I do change the sheets, but that’s as far as that goes. Should I suddenly start dating, I might consider making the bed. As it stands, not really a problem.

There are goals I aim for. One of them is to, eventually, make changes in my life. Those changes take place when monetary considerations and job changes permit. Monetary considerations are handled by the career and the job. The chores can wait. That’s kind of the way I have to do things for right now. If, on the other hand, any one knows a cute, plucky, and really, really determined sidekick who is willing to live on the pennies a day I could spare, I am always looking for a quality assistant for all hose other chores.

On an unrelated note: by the time 10 AM arrives this link should be active. It goes to the first ever formal appearance of my new novel cover. The novel is Seven Forges, coming out in September. I am really quite delighted by the cover! The book doesn’t suck either, but I have a slight bias in this case.


Oh, look, I'm gonna be a full on whore: This is my book cover!

And This, is the back cover text!

The people of Fellein have lived with legends for many centuries. To their far north, the Blasted Lands, a legacy of an ancient time of cataclysm, are vast, desolate and impassable, but that doesn’t stop the occasional expedition into their fringes in search of any trace of the ancients who had once lived there... and oft-rumored riches.
Captain Merros Dulver is the first in many lifetimes to find a path beyond the great mountains known as the Seven Forges and encounter, at last, the half-forgotten race who live there. And it would appear that they were expecting him. As he returns home, bringing an entourage of strangers with him, he starts to wonder whether his discovery has been such a good thing. For the gods of this lost race are the gods of war, and their memories of that far-off cataclysm have not faded.


  1. Rocking cover, James! Love the tagline, too.

  2. That is an awesome cover! The highly detailed dark attire against the snowy mountains? Great.

    and this, this is made me laugh aloud:
    "When I have days off and the deadlines aren’t too staggering, I handle the chores. Sometimes."

  3. That's a pretty slick cover! :) I'll add it to the sidebar when I get a chance. :D

    And lovely post.

  4. Great cover and awesome back text. I'm definitely putting it on my Wish List.

    And if I knew a plucky, inexpensive assistant person, I'd definitely send her your way.

  5. This cover makes me think Mortal Combat mixed with Assassin's Creed. Just love it. I want to hold it in my hands and read it.