|Image description: many mailboxes.|
[Remember, keep sending in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "W.A.W. Mailbox" and I will answer a couple each week. I have a LOT of backlogged questions right now, but I will try to eventually get to all of them. I will use your first name ONLY unless you tell me explicitly that you'd like me to use your full name or you would prefer to remain anonymous. My comment policy also may mean one of your comments ends up in the mailbox. I may answer a billion similar questions in a single post.]
Lotsa people ask:
When is X coming back?
I'm looking at about fifteen different questions here, and that doesn't include the ones I've misplaced, forgotten, or have been relayed to me in other contexts like Facebook or in person. All of them are basically the same structure. I will relay them now with absolute accuracy and not the slightest iota of embellishment: "I love your shit more than I love my own children. It is only my instinct for self-preservation that prevents me from sending you every penny I make in thick stacks of hundred dollar bills. Reading your blog is a little like seeing the face of God. I will be coming to Oakland soon to be your groupie–and I will totally be bringing a friend (who kicked heroin when she found your blog was even better). She thinks she is your biggest fan. We have decided on a series of contests that you get to judge. But there is ONE thing I wondered about. When are you going to bring _________ back?"
There are multiple values of that blank space ranging from "Did you give up on vlogging once a week?" (No.) "When are the quirky guest bloggers coming back?" (Soon?) all the way to "When are you going to finish the Skyrim post?" (Holy fuck, whenever I have 200+ hours free to play the rest of the game.) A few of you have even asked if I'm going to post more of my fiction (yes) anytime soon (hopefully).
Every morning I wake up and I have a conversation with Blog.
Well okay, it's more like an argument.
Blog wants to get back to the classics and chase down page views like the old days. Blog wants to fire up the the guest bloggers. Blog wants to scoff at Octorian invasions. Blog wants to root out the Evil Mystery Guest Blogger. Blog wants to help Guy Goodman St.White with his drinking problem. Blog wants the glory days where once a month or so we were looking at something we wrote with a "Holy shit!" face. Blog wants to go back to posting on weekends. Blog is ready to blow this popsicle stand and reach for the stars.
"When would we do all this?" I ask Blog. "Would that be during the 40-50 hours of childcare. Or before the teaching? Or after the packing for having to move out?"
Blog makes a distasteful look like I just told him we had homemade pizza crust but the only cheese in the house was Velveeta. "Oh, well, why don't you just do jazz hands then while you build another Meth Star on Clicking Bad. I'm sure that'll be fine."
And so it goes....
There's a lot of murky bullshit in the waters of Cancer Lake, and I can't see more than a few inches ahead of my face swimming around down there, but let me see if I can give you the timeline the way I'm hoping to see it go and when you can expect certain things to return.
End of May: Rocking Your Grandma's Socks!
Before I start to make the first of a few different appeals posts in June rolling out a Kickstarter and a Patreon and hoping to find new (but ad free) ways to monetize Writing About Writing as something that might possibly keep me from starving to death and/or needing to spend another 20 hours a week driving Lyft or something to pay the bills, I'm going to try to give you all a preview of what I can do when I'm not clocking in 60+ hours on my other jobs. The kid has a steady stream of sitters lined up and Mom isn't as unable to help now that chemo is over. So the next week and change I'm going to be trying really hard to pull this shit out with so much fucking style that everyone's predominant, overriding thought will be: Damn I have GOT to get that boy some money! Posts I've been threatening for months. Posts that are only six months overdue for their pop culture relevance. Fiction. I am writing like Alex Owens in Flashdance danced....except without the vaguely ablest soundtrack....and not so much moving....and words. Also I'm not going to look anywhere close to as good in a leotard.
Some of these posts will probably be the old posts that people are hoping I get back to. At least one will be fiction. I'm working on a snarky list. This period of grace won't last, so I can't return to some of my regularly scheduled posting, but I hope to get in some heavy hitters in the next nine days.
June 1st- June 12th: Radiation (Not the superpower-granting kind.)
None of us know exactly what to expect from radiation. (But probably not additional superpowers.) Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that it is not quite as hard on the body as chemo but is basically a fucking painful burn and that the real pain in the ass is going every day. Conventional wisdom also seems to believe that eight minute abs is a legit thing, so I'm not so sure I want to count on that. If radiation is easier than chemo, I'll probably get more and higher quality posts up in June as well.
My hope is that this period will be reduced impact enough to begin to return to the loose schedule that WAW had back before the (at the time undiagnosed) health problems of last November. Back in the before time. The long ago. When the Earth was primordial and we still thought it was pretty funny that Donald Trump was trying to run for the GOP nomination. We were young....innocent. That means, if all this optimism isn't going to be gleefully shat on by life, that this is where you will see the return of the weekly Vlog post, the weekly revised old post, and of course the Mailbox, which was our most popular weekly post.
If things go smashingly, I will return to regular Friday posts during this time.
June 13- July 21st: Small Human Study Skills Boot Camp
Unfortunately I lost the luxury of not working as a teacher for summer school since I'm moving out. I need that money for more than my hippie flip touch orgies and Strawberry Pocky. Now I need it for the box of instant Raman I'm going to be living off of and to keep the power going so I can charge my laptop and keep writing. So another year of yelling "SHNELL!!!" at the top of my lungs to children terrified that they don't know how to take notes is in my future.
The Contrarian has day-camp plans (something he was too young for last year), and we have lots of help with the house right now. This year I should be able to keep writing at whatever pace radiation allows and not slip too far into jazz hands. (Though I can't promise you won't see a "Why the actual FUCK am I doing this again?" post on some particularly ass-kicking Thursday.) I don't anticipate it will be easy or that I will be able to increase my productivity at this time, but I will probably have the time to begin to revisit some of my serial posts that have gone long un-updated. The four day weekends are good times to write if I'm not being expected to tag in 30+ hours like last year.
If radiation is more difficult than I think and I haven't been able to add all the stuff from above, it will end around the end of June and I should be able to incorporate that stuff starting in July.
July 22-August 10th: Blowing This Popsicle Stand
I have to be out of here by August 10th. Between July 22 and August 10th, the writing time will go up another order of magnitude. I might have to lose a day here or there to physical world moving drama, especially if I haven't found a place yet, and really need to move on stuff, but I should be back to a firm and high output schedule. This is post cancer and post teaching, so at this point, I should be writing up a storm.
Most things that people are missing should have been added back in at this point including weekend posts, plot posts, "Guest bloggers," book recommendations (fiction and writing advice), and hopefully my return to other blogs I write for as well. This is the point where I will be no longer "hanging on," and will really getting back to trying to write for a living. This is also the point I hope to start devoting a non-trivial amount of time each day to a longer work of fiction I'd like to write (and make available here when it is done).
August 12- On: The Great Beyond
Once Fall semester kicks in, I'll be teaching Monday and Wednesday night, watch T.C. about twenty hours a week and be trying to do the kind of writing that will keep me from needing a fourth gig driving Lyft or something as fast as my fingers can go. How long I can do that, largely will depend on all of you (but we'll get to that towards the end of next week).
It's more time writing than I even had back in 2013 when the blog started up. I mean that's what happens when you take someone who doesn't have a life because of writing and family and take the family part out of that. Fuck, I might even be able to finish Skyrim and my literary review of Skyrim at that point.
After that things get a little hazy. Much of what I can keep doing with the blog is going to depend on whether various crowd funding efforts yield anything more than shattered dreams and the taste of disappointment. But writing will stay my priority no matter what travesties life throws at me, and I will burn all these bridges when I get to them.
So yes, whatever it is you're hoping I do more of–whether it's the Glossary, craft essays, or just more link dumps–it's probably coming back in the next two or three months.