I flick the switch and watch as the fluorescent light flickers with an audible ting-ting-ting, flashing multiple times until, mercifully, it decides to stay on.
Surveying the room – a downstairs basement long forgotten – I notice the lone desk situated in the middle, a weathered leather chair situated on the other side of it.
Dust had decided that this was its domain now and blanketed everything in a fine, undisturbed layer. If it were snow, you might think it was pretty. As it stood, it only made me want to sneeze.
Walking over, I observe the computer sat proudly on the desk, the only thing on it bar a notebook. Leaning in, I find the power switch on the back of the bezel and with a single press am reassured when a familiar chime booms through in a pleasant sing-song tone.
The screens blue hue joins the fluorescent yellow as I pull the chair out and take a seat. Picking up the book, I use the back of my hand to cast the dust aside, opening the cover and taking pleasure in the crack the spine lets out.
All my notes are still there. The computer still works, and my story was ready to continue.
“Let’s do this,” I say to myself, ignoring how alone the walls make me feel as they absorb the sound. “Let’s do this, 2018, you sonovabitch”
So it’s a new year. 2018. The future.
The last time I updated was back in the long, long ago of 2017 – before November came and went, before Christmas consumed my December, prior to my being promoted to purple belt (!!!), and before New Years brought with it a mixture of merriment and punishment…
Still, when I’m ringing in the New Year with this crew of misfits, I can’t complain… ❤️ pic.twitter.com/wzwY06kW6C
— Steve Russell (@stevetendo) January 2, 2018
So what demanded so much of my time?
Lean closer, I don’t want everyone to know just yet. Just you, because you’re special. Not like him. He’s awful.
*hears disgruntled objections*
Huh? Oh, nothing. Just saying how great you are!
You see? Quick now, let me tell you what you want to know…
I’ve been working on a new story.
Temporary has been sent far and wide to all relevant agents and agencies. Since then I’ve had a plethora of rejections, followed by a void of silence with the odd positive negative (remember these? I spoke about them here) thrown in along the way.
In fact, last month I actually sent not one but two submissions directly to renowned SF/F publishers via snail mail.
Adapt and evolve, right? Although…wait…e-mail was the evolution of snail mail so…um. Moving on.
Fingers crossed Temporary finds a home, but – and this was a long time coming as I admittedly fell victim to driven tunnel-vision – it was time to move on.
A new story.
A new adventure.
One that I could work on whilst waiting on a potential acceptance to come through rather than, well, this…
I had to ‘abandon’ it, if only temporarily (no pun intended) or I would drive myself insane trying, failing, waiting, rejecting, until a possible ‘yes’ winged its way to me.
But the year so far? Man, 2018 has been excruciating.
In the waning days of 2017, I mocked the Gods when I casually mentioned to Thea that I’ve been relatively lucky in how neither my heel issues nor my gout had really flared up. It was a year virtually pain-free! And then…oh, yes…
Then my heel triggered. Trying to gut through it, I continued going to work until, lo and behold, my gout decided to flare up too.
Trying to gut through it, I continued going to work until, lo and behold, my gout decided to flare up too.
Left foot = heel problems.
Right foot = gout issues.
That thing we do to walk? That unconscious movement of ‘left foot’, ‘right foot’, repeat…yeah, not so much for me right now.
Turns out though that being physically inhibited, rendering me unable to really leave the house, laboured as I am with my feet up almost constantly in some form or fashion (sexy, I know, right?) has a few benefits:
1 ) Write Steve Write. I’ve been diligently working on this new demonology story that I’ve hinted at in the past. Working title? Steen.
2) The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
I was spoiled this Christmas, becoming the proud Papa to a Nintendo Switch, and the lure of Hyrule has been pretty strong.
Its been a great combo to distract from the pain, a constant hurt that has meant I’ve been unable to attend BJJ post-Christmas (a fact that kills me) as I continue to hobble around, hindered but not broken into 2018.
These writing sessions have only been interrupted a few times by my compulsion to get lost and explore the expansive wonder that is Nintendo’s latest Hylian epic.
It’s not perfect, containing a number of flaws in this writer’s humble opinion (would have enjoyed doing a Sweet Story, Bro critique on this), but there’s something undeniably addictive to the sense of wonder it can illicit as you stumble around trying to make sense of the world that surrounds you.
It’s exciting, intimidating, unpredictable, and overwhelming all at once.
Not too different from my every day then, just with added Bokoblins.
– Steve R / @stevetendo