Businessman stands choosing his wayLast week I spoke to the challenges that I was facing. Be assured I didn’t list all of them and also be assured that many of the challenges I face seem trivial in the light of what I observe others dealing with. Truth is I’m a blessed man. I spent the last eleven weeks attending the Citizen’s Police Academy hosted by the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. It was time well spent and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand better what the police here in Kansas City do and how they do it. I would also recommend it to anyone who has issues with the police in general. The best way to approach something you don’t like is to spend time trying to understand the why and how of that thing. It can’t hurt to try to understand something you have an issue with. On multiple occasion during the class we were asked how they could be doing things better. If nothing else, you learn that in many cases the police are as lost as we citizens are in how to respond to these rapidly changing times. My point is, if I want to look at people who have serious challenges on an everyday basis, look no further than the police officers who patrol your city. More on that at a later date. It just helps me stay grounded.

About my challenges, I am making progress. At the root of a lot of my issues is the fact I had both of my knees replaced in the last two years. Seven months apart actually. That derailed me for almost a year and a half. I’m still picking up the pieces I dropped during that time. It didn’t help that my desktop computer crashed at the same time. I didn’t lose any files but my programs like RapidWeaver (website building tool) got messed up. I’m very close to getting my websites all updated, ones I don’t need any more deleted and services consolidated. I used to do web-development for clients, but I won’t do that anymore. It didn’t really pay enough considering some of the difficult clients I had to deal with. When I do it for myself it’s still a fun activity and it’s great not having to pay someone else.

I also got through the writing of part one of my next novel Legends of the End.That was a real bugger. It’s always hard when you think you know how a story is supposed to go and then it wants to do something different. I still don’t understand how that works but it doesn’t really matter I guess. One more exercise in learning to listen but in a different way. It’s about learning to listen to that inner voice. Probably I could apply that lesson to other areas of my life as well. So, I had to reconfigured part two and now I’m moving on. The manuscript is at about 89,000 words and I know part one still needs unpacking in places. I’ll get to that when I have a finished draft of the whole book to work with. That’s not to say I haven’t done a lot of editing already. To get the ending of part one I had to rewrite the same chapter five times. Like I said, I had to get out of my own way. It felt good getting the part one draft completed same as it feels good getting all this website stuff cleaned up and the leaves raked out of my yard.

I ‘m also getting my office cleaned up, the library better organized, and I can even park my car in our garage now! 1-800-got-junk is a blessing. When I look back on the trials of the last two years I honestly can’t believe how well Patti and I have done. We downsized to a smaller house, cut back to one car and a Vespa, replaced the HVAC system in the almost hundred-year-old house we live in to the most efficient system out there. We are doing are part by reducing our carbon footprint. If that’s a thing. Still a lot to do.

I’m getting my first novel ready to launch. This author platform thing is another area in which I’m making progress. All the linking of websites, building email lists, sending newsletters, blogging, Facebook (yuck) etc. It’s a real puzzle for sure. Nice thing is I’ll have all this working for the launch of my second novel. Things will go much smoother.