Yes, I'm still around! Plus plans for the future...

I've received several queries recently asking if I'm still writing (and even if I'm still alive!) I believe the answer to the second one is "yes"... As for the first, I hope the answer is also "yes".


Now that I'm officially retired, I theoretically should have more time for writing. On the other hand, I'm working on a lot of home projects that I've put off (some of them for years) due to lack of time (too many hours at work), lack of energy (ditto), lack of funding, or lack of motivation.


I've gotten more projects done around the house in the eight weeks I've been retired than in the entire past three years. I'll blog about some of them (with pictures) going forward. Maybe I can inspire some of you couch potatoes to get off your duffs and do something similar (or whatever projects you need to do around your own home).


Some of the projects I've tackled over the past few years include:

  • Replacing all of the downstairs flooring (following a leak in the kitchen and another in the hall bath that ruined the flooring in those two rooms).

  • Building a pantry in the closet under the stairs.

  • Installing overhead storage in the garage.

  • Finishing rebuilding the back deck after firing not one, but two contractors for incompetence and cost overruns. (This project has been ongoing for 3+ years , although now approaching completion.)

  • Pressure washing and painting the entire two-level deck in light gray paint with medium gray trim.

The ironic thing is that all of these projects have required carpentry skills and although my wife is a retired carpenter, I've done most of the work. I'm certainly not a trained carpenter, but with my wife's advice and counseling (and some hands-on time) I've managed to get by.


Still to come:

  • Demo the kitchen and remove two or three walls (still deciding) to create the "open concept" layout (almost) everyone likes in preparation for the kitchen/dining room/living room/family room (possibly) remodel.

  • Removing all the downstairs flooring I worked so hard to install over the past few years. (After removing the walls, there will be gaps in the existing flooring and, unfortunately, they don't make the flooring anymore.)

  • Installing wire/cable railings on the top level of the back deck. If we like how it looks, we'll probably replace the wood railings and pickets on the lower deck with the same cable railings as on the upper deck.

As for the creative writing, that's still up in the air. All I've written over the past five years is a couple of short stories. At first, I was burned out from the year-plus of constant promoting that it took to get noticed, even after having a #1 bestseller on Amazon in the Military Sci-Fi category ("My Other Car is a Spaceship")., and a finalist for an EPIC award ("Sunrise Destiny").


I have two novels about 50-60% written (one a new story, and the other a sequel to both The Mars Imperative and The Tesserene Imperative to bring the two storylines and casts of characters together, finally). But at the moment, I don't know how to end them. LOL!


Unfortunately, I'm not one of those writers who knows how a story will end before they start writing. I start with a story concept, and begin writing. Then the story evolves as I write. It usually takes me 2/3-3/4 of the story to figure out how it will end. I hope after letting my brain cool off for several years I'll see the story with fresh eyes and an ending will leap from my unconscious to my fingertips and I'll be off to the races. We shall see..


Until then, I hope you enjoy my upcoming tales of renovation, complete with photos. Just a teaser for now. :)




If you're still reading, thanks! Come back again for the next installment of the remodeling chronicles...


MTC.

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