Three mini milestones

The wife says I’m supposed to celebrate milestones. She says marking life’s accomplishments big and small is a big part of the enjoyment of living.

I say “bah humbug” to that shit.

But, since she’s usually right, I’m forcing myself to acknowledge a couple-three minor-ish milestones.

And it probably couldn’t come at a better time since I’ve been doggedly slogging toward my goals for I-don’t-know-how-long without any real sense of accomplishment on the proverbial horizon.

Last week, I submitted my first short story collection to a literary magazine book prize. I feel really good about it. I think I submitted a strong selection of my work. But, who knows. I won’t know anything until mid-summer but here’s hoping.

Also, as of last night, I am 100 pages from being done-done with my historical fiction book.

It’s five-ish years of work, a dozen-and-a-half rounds of revisions, five beta readers, an editorial review … and I am getting close to never wanting to look at this fucking manuscript for the rest of my life.

Yes, I know, if a publishing house picked it up, I would still have to make revisions, etc., per their vision of the book. But, as far as I’m concerned, once this last chunk of the 385-page MS is done, I’m done.

If it sells, I’ll put more work into it. But I’ve broken my head over this tale for long enough.

I’ve got a freshly written novel that needs a good going-over and I have my 2019 novel—in the early note-taking stage—which still needs to be written.

I’m three-quarters of the way there and that’s something. I feel good about it. Better than I ever have.

The story is good.

The plot moves along nicely.

The characters are interesting.

And I think it’s literary AF!

The other minor milestone came this morning when I rendered the final pdf of my newspaper.

This week’s edition is the 499th paper my business partner and me have put out.

That’s 499 consecutive weeks I wrote, edited, and designed this newspaper without a break. I don’t know what that means but I think it means something.

Good quality, honest journalism matters.

And, hometown news, which mostly doesn’t get covered by anyone but smaller community news organizations, is as important as any national news out there.

Planning commissions, development proposals, road projects, county boards and city councils, cops & courts—This is the stuff that affects people’s daily lives.

I’m glad I’ve been able to work a job which has a real, positive impact on folks. And I hope I’m around for another 499 issues.

With that, I’d better switch gears.

Time to make a fresh pot of coffee and get going on my novel.

This book isn’t going to write itself.

Is it? Is that an option? No?