Retiring is Hard Work & More Random Thoughts

Four weeks from today, I’ll be retired. For several months, I’ve teased my co-workers that I’m going to sit on my front porch that first morning, take a photo of the sunrise, and text them with the message, “This is what I’m doing today.

With my luck, it will probably be pouring down rain, but that’s okay because we desperately need it. We’re in a severe drought right now, somewhat reminiscent of the summer of 2011.

Not quite as bad, but still cause for concern.

Anyway, back to retirement. I began planning this around mid-December. One of my co-workers, who had planned for years, is retiring the same day. When I returned from a week’s vacation in early January, we had something like thirty-three weeks until the big day, and now it’s down to four.

I’ve come to one conclusion. Retiring, or planning for retirement, is hard work. I’ve already turned over most of my job duties to others, so the work days seem long. One thing I can say about my job is that it never got boring. There was always plenty to do and new challenges every day. (When I interviewed, I said I wanted a challenging job. I got my wish.)

Still, there are days when I come home mentally exhausted. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to finish the last of my collection of short stories. Yes, I’m behind, and yes, I still plan to publish them this year. It’s looking like an October release date. I have a title and a cover, but more on that later.

I continue plugging along on my stories and plodding along on my remaining work days. I’m looking forward to not having to wake up to an alarm clock, although I’ll need to train my four-legged alarm clock not to wake me at 5:00.

I want to get back on a more regular blog schedule (something besides book reviews). I already have some plans in the works, but I’m not rushing anything. At first, I want to enjoy scenes like this:

Both views are from my front porch. Obviously not taken this year because everything was green.

One of the short stories in my collection had the working title The House on Baker Street. The name, but not the story, was inspired by this song written and recorded by the late Gerry Rafferty. I’ll leave you with a video.

Totally Random #ThursdayThoughts

Some days, you need a challenge. Okay, maybe not the kind I had at work, but nonetheless, a challenge.

After I spent almost the entire day troubleshooting a problem due to a software upgrade, I needed to prove I could learn something new.

For months (maybe a year) I’d put off learning the new WordPress editor. I tried it on a new page for my website and ended up more than frustrated. I installed a plugin that allowed me to use the classic editor and told myself I’d learn Gutenberg when I had time.

Time? What is that? Are there ever enough hours in a day? So days turned into weeks, then weeks into months. You get the idea.

But today when my friend Staci said she’d been using Gutenberg for a while and actually preferred it, I decided what the heck. I was going to make time.

A random photo I took a few months ago.

And I did. It took me less than ten minutes to write a random blog post, select the featured image, insert a photo with captioning, add the category and tags.

And guess what? I’ve decided the new editor is easier!

I still have some things to learn and I won’t say that in a rush, I might use the classic editor. But overall, mission accomplished. I learned something new.

Made me feel pretty good about myself after failing to resolve the data issues I had at work. Speaking of which, a quick note to the software company yielded a phone call within an hour. The support person said the problem I had was not uncommon after an upgrade and that he would work to resolve the issue right away.

Could have saved myself a lot of time if I’d contacted them sooner, but as I said, I like a challenge now and then.

On the writing front, I’m finally getting back to my WIP. I had high hopes of publishing Cold Dark Night this month, but that’s not going to happen. I’m shooting for fall.

Little Bit (on the left) and Tucker

This weekend is a three-day holiday in the USA. I’m looking forward to it. Not sure what we’ll do, except take Little Bit for his annual vaccinations. Maybe I’ll accomplish something on my WIP

And now you have my totally random post, written using the new editor.

Changes #ThursdayThoughts

Hey, everyone. Hope your week has been going well. It’s Thursday, so time for more of my random thoughts.

I like to keep a count of the number of words I write every day. I have an Excel spreadsheet where I record my daily count. I have formulas set so that it gives me a month-to-date count and an annual total.

I also have a personal goal of writing a minimum of 500 words per day (except for Sundays). I don’t always make it but it’s encouraging to see how many words I can write.

With an increased blogging schedule as well as my commitment to Story Empire, I can ill-afford to neglect writing. Not only that, but I’m planning a new series of novels as well as a collection of short stories. However, the past few days this has been my word count:

Doesn’t look good, does it? But there is a reason.

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you know I like to change things up every once in a while. (Sherrey, are you reading this?)

For some time, I wanted to make my website look more professional. Last year, I decided to make the blog and website look virtually identical, so I settled on a free WordPress template for my blog and website. Unless you noticed URL, most probably wouldn’t realize I had two sites. A few days ago, thanks to Mae Clair, I found a template that I absolutely loved.

I’ve spent the last few days redesigning. The blog is the same except for a new header and some color changes. I’m pleased with the results. So without further ado, click here to see my website’s new look.

While your there, you can check out my book pages, sign up for my newsletter (which I’m going to revise in the near future), or learn thirteen random things about me.

And since it’s Thursday, I’ll share an “appropriate” video for your enjoyment.