9th Anniversary Blog: Re-Invention

Posted on May 18, 2020

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The Stats

Wow. I just checked and this is my 302nd blog. Since I published 4 blogs in one day, it went right by me.

This year is my lowest ever total for published pieces with 12, or one a month, in the meantime I have over 70 posts in draft….Yet somehow people are still finding me.

And as I look I see some very interesting results.  Clearly the nature of my blog having multiple subjects hurts it overall, yet look at the melange of topics in the top dozen or so:

Fly fishing, rod-building, photography, trips, writing technique, technical writing, and finally a story. I literally had no idea how many things I covered, yet they all “hit the charts” so to speak. Just a little further down the list is how to create categorized indexes in Word. Who figured anybody would need to figure that out?  Two things which I found odd were “Ambers Picks” only got a dozen hits, yet that it is a sticky post and kind of the site map. I wonder what’s up with that? Who could resist clicking on that face? But something, probably the best thing, that happened, is that Old Fashioned Lime-Vanilla Ice got 44 reads! I think this is one of  the best, if not the best, of my stories. I’m very happy people ready it. I just wish people would comment when they read! So, do me a favor, please. I put a lot of content out there for free, if you made it this far, go and peruse that very short tale (~1500 words) and leave me a comment. That would make my year. In fact, if you ever read any free content anywhere, please freaking comment. Even if you hate it. Otherwise we’re all just creating in the dark. Don’t be rude.

So what the hell is up with Jon?

Well, once again, I do give Amber a lot of credit for what I haven’t posted. I mean if you follow her on facebook then the shots she took and published, plus commentary for our San Francisco and Edinburgh trips surpassed anything I’ve ever put  up here. She put up 11 posts with images on Edinburgh alone. Also our Yakima fishing trip for which I find not a single image in my files even though it was a great day and one of the few days we got to fish last year. On top of the excuse list, there is the wee remodel, which Bam has also posted significantly about. Maybe I should just give her rights here to publish on both platforms. My content level and quantity would go through the roof.

Thankfully, Amber views me through beer googles.

I also am going to throw the whole “career” thing into the mix. In the last year I’ve been an employee of Starbucks, Luxoft, and General Electric, where I am the titular head of the Agile Transformation, whatever that is.  Between personal and business in the last year I’ve been to LA, Florida (twice), Roanoke VA, NH (three times), Edinburgh, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Austin. When things got locked down I was on my way to Kiev, Bangalore, Hyderabad, NY, and Chicago. I’m not complaining. I freaking love the travel, and I got to take Bam to Edinburgh for a week over Thanksgiving which was one of the best weeks of my life. While I’m happy at home and have a million projects during quarantine, I really miss the travel.

Am I writing though? Well somewhere along there I put a few pieces out on Hatch Magazine where my latest piece Oasis  garnered some nice comments. I Shot Muldowney came out exactly a year ago, so I’m not sure if it made last year’s synopsis. I won the Outdoor Writers Association of America Most Humorous Article at some point along the way (and Chad tells me that today they released this  year’s contest results, which I forgot I even entered). I got published in my first anthology (that page actually includes a bio, if you care, and you should because they are freaking hard to write), and have pieces for two more coming out this year (Sherlock Holmes meets Cthulhu, amongst other things, and the Christmas Witch in the upcoming Christmas Kills horror anthology).

And, I’m still struggling with my first get-it-done-and-put-it-in-the-drawer novel. I think I have turned out a few palatable short stories, maybe even a novella or two worth reading, but writing long is hard. Like the remodel, every time I step away from it, when I come back there is significant ramp up time.  I also “tuned” four pieces for the Robert Traver Fly Fishing Writing Award. Which gets me that much closer to collating them for a book. Since those have only been “published” here, after the awards I will send the out for publication.  I have been ignoring the big markets, although I am waiting for Story Hack submissions to open back up and I have been working with the local utility program which has a very interesting sockeye and bull trout spawning program. And, I would very much like to crack Dun magazine this year. But when I have time, I am disciplining myself to work on the novel, which is just shy of 70,000 words now. I really wanted to have the first draft done this month, but after much progress I am a bit stymied.

As I reflect, I did notice a trend in my life of re-invention. Engineer at Boeing to ski bum. From owning a contracting company to being a technical editor/writer. From that to owning a bar. Then an office automation company and a health food store.  The last three all while having day jobs. Finally a “career path” in Agile. My resume lists 23 jobs in 17 years.

Recently I completed a day-long series of brain tests due to some complications from being knocked out a couple of times. On reviewing the results with the psychologist she called me a “nomad.” This was ironic as just the week before I was thinking maybe I’m over due to re-invent, and maybe this time I should do it on purpose, and not just continue to bumble through life. I’m at the point now where some of the people I grew up with are no longer here. It helps you realize there is less time in front than behind. Unfortunately, I’m sure in upcoming months we’ll all get to have these moments of introspection.  Interestingly, the doc mentioned that on my testing I scored “off the charts” on the story telling section, “highest scores she’s ever seen.”  Perhaps the head injuries are merely the result of being beaten over it numerous times by the obvious  throughout the years. Maybe it’s time to grow up and be a writer.

And I did take a few pictures. As usual, I just posted  a bunch of nearly done blogs from my Drafts folder.

Here’s a project I forgot to even mention. But I’ll leave that for another time…