A Little Reconfiguration for 2019 – Late Goals, Priorities, and Focus

2019 has started off as a mess of unfinished projects, late deadlines, and constant demanding tasks. I’ve been pretty good about topping off my plate, but it’s time to return a few side dishes.

The picture above was just after finally adding grout to my hearth tiles, and of course the huge blocks to retain heat. The house has become a demanding monster that must be fed so that it can grow into the project that I originally envisioned.

As of this writing, I’ve spent every night of 2019 out here in the woods. I still stop in at the apartment frequently, almost daily, for this or that, but things out here have reached a woodsy comfort level that I can handle. I have plenty of water in my rain tanks, a tub where I can wash up (even though it’s only with a rag and a small bucket at the moment), and reasonable food choices in town, which isn’t far down the black top.

As I reach the final stages of this project, I’m kicking things into high gear. Here is the house tonight:

Most of that foam needs to go into the ceiling, and underneath it in the stack is 26 sheets of drywall and some masonite I purchased for smoothing out the sub-floor. You’ll be able to see the details of that little operation on instagram. It’s experimental, so I don’t know if it’ll work, but using the supplies available locally, I think it’ll get the floor not only ready for hardwood, but give it a nice slick look in the meantime.

Before I even start to think about beginning that project, however, the rest of that pile needs to be whittled down, and another round of sweeping and cleaning undertaken. I have a bunch of caulk that still needs to go around the perimeter, and I haven’t even started on the siding.

What’s this mean for my writing? I’m not sure. My current standing goal on that front is to shift myself away from drafting and gear myself for editing and releasing or querying the stories I already have to work on. The hard drive is topped off with unfinished works. It’s time to give some of them a bit of TLC and see what comes of it.

I’m also behind, and need to finish up tax stuff, much like the rest of the US. Not sure how it is in other countries, but taxes here can be a slight pain in the rear.

Then there’s the day job, and the rest of the “ordinary life” stuff.

Anyway. This is what I’m doing. I set a deadline for myself. I want to be out of the apartment by February 25th. I picked that day without any calculation whatsoever, only because it’s my birthday and I figured cutting the apartment bill would be a nice present. See how insane I am? Anyway, I picked the date, now I need to stick to it. That means I’m shutting down my typewriter and closing all my projects for now. I’ll still try to send out a blog post or two.

I already finished the new freebooks page on GeckoPrintPublishing.  So, that project is out of the way, and took less than I thought to figure out the needed coding. NaNoInspo 2019 can wait as well. I feel worst for neglecting my books, but I still plan on releasing three titles this year, even if I don’t pen a single draft. Trust me, I have tons of material to edit, and stories that need to be told.

I suppose all of this would be easier if I were tied to a conventional grid, but being secluded and disconnected has its advantages. The power situation is mostly figured out, but I’m hoping to add a solar array in the spring (that isn’t part of my Feb 25th deadline). Water is a little tricky, but I think I have it figured out. Just need to get the floor whipped into shape, buy some cool new hardware, and rig everything up. I might put off the fridge until things start warming up, but I have a low-power model selected to save on generator power (which charges my batteries).

I’ll be adding a little washing machine, some sinks, etc. Just so that everything I need for “modern living” (aka keeping my day-job by not smelling like the woods) is right here, the juice keeps flowing (I’m looking into a large gas tank or possibly a big propane tank to keep the generator topped off with less frequent trips to town), and I have an environment created where I can sit and do my work, after I get off work, lol.

After the house is completed (see how I didn’t say after February? Just in case), I’ll be back to my writing routine. For now, my focus is cleaning up the pile of building supplies where my writing desk should be. And I still need to do all of this while chopping enough firewood to keep me warm for the remainder of the winter. It’s going to be a hard-won victory, but nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.

Wishing you all the best.


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Author: spottedgeckgo

Writer. Making my living on my pen, and working to turn a raw chunk of land into a future homestead.

5 thoughts

    1. Hey mark. There’s nothing special really. The house is designed to vent interior air around the chimney and exterior air everywhere else along the ridge. Fresh comes in through little cracks where the walls meet the floor. Putting all of that stuff in a closet (besides hiding it) gives escaping O2 and H2 a direct line to the ceiling, where it can find it’s way out of the exposed vents by the chimney. Not really needed, but the house does circulate a lot of new air through, even if it isn’t really noticeable. Most is seeping up through the floor gaps at the moment. When these are sealed and covered, they’ll be replaced with floor vents and dampers to control how much is coming in through the foundation.

  1. Feb. 25th? Wow. That’s awesome that you have set a date. It should be feasible, as long as you know what items are currently standing in your way from being cut loose from the apartment and make them a priority. Haha I can say it like it’ll be easy because I get to watch as you do the work.
    Good idea on putting your writing on hold for a bit while you push to meet your deadline. It’s a tough choice for any writer to make, because you feel guilty about it and there’s always that nagging feeling to write. But it sounds like you still have enough writing-related projects to keep you connected.
    You always impress me with your publishing goals. Three books is incredible.
    Perhaps once I get my first novel published, I’ll get rid of the apprehension and the process will go quicker because I’ll know I survived the process once. Or, more likely, I’ll opt for the George R.R. Martin schedule for publishing books. 😁

    1. I already love the poetry that you publish on your website. If you made a coffee table book, I’d buy it.
      You’re definitely right about the guilt thing. My stories are attacking me in my sleep, and thoughts dwell on them while I’m hard at work on the house. Perhaps that will give me some fuel when I drop back into gear, though. Who knows?
      Thanks for the support. Not sure if I would have had the nerve to keep going if I hadn’t subjected myself publicly and let people who’s opinions matter watch me fight through the process. There are times when I definitely want to say the hell with it, but as you said, I’m past the threshold, and the door back is shut forever. Time has been divided into two parts: before this, and after this.

      1. Awe, thanks. Here’s a small secret that I’ll post on the internet for anyone to read, so you know it’ll be safe there: I have my mind set on having two books ready by the end of the year. My horror novel and a poetry chapbook.
        It’s always hard to put your goals out in a public space, because life can lead you in any direction. Every time I try to tell myself my focus is going to be on horror, I’m pulled in a different direction with an opportunity to do something with poetry that I don’t want to turn my back on. So, I guess I’ll work toward my goals and leave room for other opportunities to come in.

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