Pausing to move

I apologize for the late notice.  It had been my intention to post chapters this Monday and Wednesday as usual, before embarking on my three-day drive across the country, only missing this Friday.  Unfortunately I have discovered that I severely underestimated how exhausting it is to pack one’s entire life into a truck.  After a day of sorting and packing thirteen years of accumulated stuff I am too tired to function and my efforts to produce a chapter are not bearing fruit.  And I’m not even done packing.

TGAB will be on a short hiatus for this week only while the author finishes packing and then moves from Missouri to Oregon.  We will be back next Monday as usual.  I am very sorry to disappoint everyone.

I’ll try to keep in touch during this odyssey, as I am able to get online; if you want to keep abreast of my movement, watch this space for updates.

In the meantime, everybody stay safe and take care of yourselves.  I will try to do the same.

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29 thoughts on “Pausing to move

  1. Augh moving. My own efforts at packing up a mere single room took days, carting stuff took many evenings, and I’m still trying to unpack at the other end weeks later! Guess I’m trying to say that you’re already doing waaaay better than I am. Lift carefully! Ganbatte~~~

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  2. Do you have your route picked out?

    I’ve done a lot of driving around this continent (from the Rocky Mountains west, incl. from Seattle to Anchorage =). While I’d recommend sticking exclusively to the interstate system, I’d also advise picking more scenic routes over strictly choosing the fastest on paper. I-80 through Wyoming, for example, is typically a few hours faster than than I-70/I-15 through Colorado/Utah. But it’s just not worth it! That stretch of 80 might as well be in Nebraska it’s so boring, and the stretch of 70 through Colorado is the most spectacular stretch of interstate in the country. Just be sure to top off your gas tank at Grand Junction! The San Rafael Swell in Utah is a sight everyone needs to behold, the exotic geology there would fit right in to TGAB.

    I’d try to stay off of I-5 completely. I-84 has some dull stretches between Boise and western Oregon, but it’s nothing like Wyoming or Texas, and the last couple hours through the Columbia River valley make such a nice introduction to the city 🙂 I’ll be jealous, I haven’t been up that way in a decade.

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    1. In fact, I’m going on that route you said was boring, right through Wyoming. Nothing for it now, though, I’ve got the motel rooms reserved and everything, and I leave bright and early Wednesday morning.

      I had a great advantage in travel planning: my coworker who has AAA had them do a professional travel plan for me. It came with maps, tour books, and a custom-printed travel planner! If I ever own a car again, I’m totally getting AAA, that’s clearly a great service.

      It’s a 28 hour drive; I’m stretching it across three days, to give myself plenty of breaks. Better to arrive alive and intact than fast, in my view.

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  3. Whew, that’s the hardest part done. The whole house is now sorted through. All that remains is the actual boxing. I’m gonna hit that next after a break to cool off; this is not great weather for packing. Great for driving in an air conditioned vehicle, though! I’m glad I won’t be traversing the Rocky Mountains in winter.

    This has been more tiring emotionally than physically, though. This is my whole life… The thirteen years I’ve lived here, and then stuff going back even further which I’ve not glimpsed IN those last thirteen years. All the way to my birth–I found my old baby blanket, even.

    What I was not expecting is the perspective I’ve gained on my own mental state.

    I am absolutely awash, now, in art supplies and art. Piles and piles of sketchbooks and loose drawings, paintings, sculptures in clay and wire and glass… And it’s hammered home the realization that I used to be an artist. I’ve done nothing of the kind in years. The most recent work of my art I found was a simple line drawing of Trissiny from about when I first launched TGAB. It’s not my best work, but not terrible; I may upload it to the gallery at some point if I can get my hands on a scanner.

    I used to be a musician, too. I found all the small instruments I enjoyed playing–my recorder, ocarina, harmonica and pan pipes. In cleaning out under the piano I discovered that apparently one of the cats had been using that corner as a litterbox at some point, which I never knew because of how long it had been since I touched the instrument. My violin… At the beginning of this year, in a manic phase, I ordered a new bow and the strings, tuners, pegs, and bridge it needs to get back into playable shape. I haven’t fixed it up, though, out of sheer dread at learning how badly my skills have degraded. I used to be so good…I was first chair in several orchestras through high school and college. The last time I played the violin was at my cousin’s wedding. She has three kids now.

    Also, I found the floppy disk containing my first novel! It was pretty good–everyone I showed it to liked it, including online strangers who had no reason to flatter me. I’m looking forward to reading it again, though I’ll have to find some kind of USB peripheral A-drive. Surely somebody still makes something like that. Just from memory, I know it’s not quite up to my standards now. The central conceit of the setting doesn’t quite work if you think about it too closely, for one; I recall being pleased with my own mystical vagueness at the time, though in retrospect it just annoys me. There are other issues. In fact, the whole thing needs to be re-written from the ground up.

    And I plan to. It was meant to be the start of a series, and the idea is one I greatly enjoy. I’m gonna fix that sucker up and publish it. I’m glad of the reminder.

    I wrote that book the summer I was nineteen, when my bipolar disorder first hit. In what I recognize in retrospect as my first manic episode, I was up all night every night for three weeks straight, writing. I napped an hour or two, then went about my day, stayed up all night again working, and never felt tired. And then, of course, I got hit by the depressive part, which was the main reason I never ultimately did anything with that story.

    I was such a talented kid. A writer, artist, musician, actor, orator… Oh, yeah, I did drama, speech and debate all through school, too. Bipolar disorder took all that from me. It just…annihilated everything that made me at all special. Only in the last few years have I recovered my writing, and that’s going well. When I get settled in my new home, I’m going to continue working on rebuilding myself. I liked who I was.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Oh, yeah, I did drama, speech and debate all through school, too.”
      Aha! There’s a bunch of useful life/people skills that I’ve been made aware of, just by reading this story. I suspect this is where the foundation for all those came from. Your origin story is intriguing!

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  4. Good luck on the move. I lived in Oregon 10 years ago, and at the time, I really liked being there. If you’re going to be west of the Cascades and in an area with lots of cloud cover, I highly recommend getting a really bright light, if not a full lightbox. I remember the cloudy days getting to me over time.

    Have a safe drive and if you’re taking the route I think you are (I-80 to I-84), I-80 is dull. I have a dislike of Nebraska from that drive. But after Wyoming, I remember it being really pretty. If you end up driving along the Columbia, enjoy the view.

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  5. Safe travels! I’ve loved your work here more than a bunch of popular/big-name authors.
    Best of luck setting up your new home/life and becoming more secure in managing your bipolar disorder!
    I’ve struggled with major depression (and a few other things) for years while receiving a ton of help from my family, and I’m still struggling to be much more than barely functional. What you’ve managed & accomplished in life so far is well worth celebrating, both on its own merits and in light of the problems that’ve been in your way.

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  6. Truck get!

    I’ve never driven anything this big before, but it’s not nearly as tricky as I feared. If anything, the main thing that takes getting used to is how much zip it has; it keeps trying to get away from me, speed-wise. The gas gauge hardly went down on my 30-mile trip from where it was back to the house, too, so it’s more economical than I was worried about.

    Now just gotta pack it all up. I discovered that the back doesn’t lock, to my amazement; that’s not going to work, since it’ll be parked overnight at a couple of motels on this trip. My sister thinks she has a padlock, though. If not I’ll stop at the local Walmart on my way out of town and buy one.

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  7. I have failed to get the truck fully packed before dark. Night is falling, and I am more exhausted than I have ever been. I physically can’t keep working; I’ll be doing well to make it to bed, I think.

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  8. I love reading your little travel blog! It’s nice knowing a little more about the person behind the story and I’ve been coming to this site multiple times a week, every week, for the past three years almost without fail. Having a reason to come back still, even if it’s not the story, is really really nice.

    I hope you’re staying safe and in good spirits.

    Also, don’t beat yourself up on not doing as much stuff as you used too. Between working, having to stress out about adult shit, and writing 10-20k words a week (maybe more?) it’s a wonder you have time to sleep and eat.

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  9. I am now a resident of Portland, Oregon! I’m exhausted as hell, that was quite a drive. Overall excited, though! My new roommate says she knows three TGAB readers, two of whom she didn’t introduce to the series. Apparently there are several in this area.

    I am settling in, now, but my computer and all documents are intact and just fine, so there’ll be nothing stopping Monday’s chapter from posting on time as usual, knock wood! I will hopefully have settled in mentally by then and have a more detailed author update for you all.

    Everyone’s patience during this week of disruption has been greatly appreciated. Next, back to your regularly scheduled adventures!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This sounds like one of those introductions that’s gonna be either awkward as hell or utterly hillarious. Still, congrats on getting a place, and I hope everything works out for you.

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    2. Well, you came here right when the summer decided to get started. I know everyone complains about the rain, but honestly the drizzles aren’t that bad. I much prefer it to the heat.

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  10. Everyone, please continue to vote for TGAB, even if we didn’t have a new chapter this week. This story deserves to be in the Top5 at the very least. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It has occurred to me somewhat belatedly that I’ve shifted two time zones and already adjusted to the difference. TGAB’s usual update time is gonna be a couple hours later. I’m still working, but tonight’s chapter is coming along well!

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