Thursday, October 31, 2013

Retire Into

I’ve been an advocate of finding something to retire into. This is the path I took in 2007 when I retired from 39 years in the computer industry into fiction writing. I still think it’s important to plan retirement and not be at loose ends.

This afternoon I went to a retirement party for a friend. He is my age and has also now retired from the computer industry. My advice to him was the same as I’ve always given. Make sure you have something to retire into. My second piece of advice from my recent heart attack experience is to not over commit in retirement and to allow time to relax, enjoy walks and take naps. I’ve recently become a big fan of naps.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Different Writing Genres

One of the interesting things happening in modern fiction is the blending of genres. It used to be there were distinct boundaries separating mystery, romance, science fiction, etc. Now with more experimentation through self-publishing and small press options, writers are more often melding genres.

I write mysteries but they include romantic elements. Because of this I joined Romance Writers of America as well as Mystery Writers of America.

I also have two published paranormal/urban fantasy mysteries published by small presses. With this new direction I recently attended the science fiction/fantasy Mile Hi Con in Denver. This introduced me to a new world of people in interesting costumes and a wide variety of writers and artists.

Like cooking, writing can blend a variety of genres. It leads to a delicious meal.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Looking at Clouds

Did you ever lie on your back on the grass and look up at clouds when you were a kid? I can remember doing this with friends as we commented on all the different shapes we saw: rabbits, cars, giraffes and expanding blobs.

Okay, now as adults have you looked at clouds? I don’t think I have for almost sixty years. It’s a good exercise, though. After my heart attack three weeks ago, I’m trying to unclutter my life and not rush so much. I’ve even spent time just looking at clouds again. A week ago, I sat in my office chair looking out the window and rather than rushing to the next item on my to-do list, I watched the clouds. They blew, bubbled and churned. Two days ago I lay in bed with the curtains open and watched the clouds at dusk as they turned yellow and pink. What a delightful experience.

Stop and sniff the flowers. Also stop and watch the clouds.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Learning to Procrastinate

I’m not a good procrastinator, but after my recent heart attack I’m learning to not try and do everything right away. It’s a matter of priorities. The big things need to be done, but don’t stress the little stuff. This is a good lesson for me. I tend to get too wrapped up in my “to-do” list.

In the last two weeks I’ve canceled a lot of activities, asked other people to cover for me and reassessed what are the important things on my list. The top include my family followed by walking, relaxation and writing. There are a number of other activities I’ll put off.
I enjoyed a character in John Vorhaus’s novel, The Albuquerque Turkey, named Vic Mirplo who had a saying, “Procrastinate later.” Well, rather than feeling I have to do everything immediately, I’m learning how to procrastinate right now.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Go left, Live: Go Right, Die

No, the title of this blog post is not a political statement. It refers to a life transforming event. I can add one item to my list of achievements: I’m now a heart attack survivor. I can assure you this wasn’t something on my bucket list. It wasn’t even an event on my radar as a possibility.

Why? Because I supposedly did the right things. I never smoked, I exercised every day, I ate healthy food. But Thursday a week ago as I returned home after playing platform tennis, I noticed a tightness in my chest. At first I thought it was indigestion. Then as I got closer to home, it felt like someone had punched me in the chest.
I faced a quick decision. I could turn right into my residential area to head home to rest or turn left toward the emergency room of our nearest hospital. I made the correct decision and drove into the parking lot of the hospital. I stumbled inside, told the receptionist I had chest pains and in moments they had me in a room with tubes attached. This hospital didn’t have the cardiac unit, so within minutes I was transferred to a gurney, put in an ambulance and taken to the hospital across town. Later I was told I was in the operating room within seventeen minutes of entering the first hospital.

After three days in the intensive care unit and two more days on the cardiac floor, I returned home. I am now recuperating, getting a lot of rest and adjusting my life style to a new reality. I haven’t done any writing and probably won’t for another week, but I will get back to it. In the meantime, I’ve watched some old movies on television, taken lots of naps and relaxed. It’s great to be alive.