Today was going to be the perfect day. The weather looked like it was going to be warm with a slight breeze. We had to get up early for the movers, something not entirely enjoyed by the household as a general. But, an hour’s worth of breaking down the bed and it should be perfect.
This morning, all three of us were sitting in the board room of my local credit union, signing the paperwork to purchase a house. This was one of the major milestones of the Master Plan and one I’m happy to move past.
I love owning a house. And, the normal buyers reget that I got from the last three places wasn’t there with this one. We’ve done two trips for little things, but the main moving won’t happen until Friday (we got movers to come and do the heavy lifting).
Right now, our rental is pretty much just filled with boxes and I’ve been lviing out of a suitcase for a week. In the next few days, we’ll transition over to the new place and I’ll start to settle down into a new routine. Plus a new route to work.
So, I’m happy.
I’m almost a week away from closing on my house and I’m both terrified and excited at the same time. Just like when EDM was born, I can’t picture what my life will be after that point. I suspect the part of me that isn’t disappointed with life is also the same bit that doesn’t let me think of what it *could* be like. Instead, I get the joy of finding out exactly what it will be like.
Though, I’m getting tired of packing. For the last two weeks, I’ve been focusing on my office which is the nastiest part of the house (and also the junk drawer of the house). It also houses the library, the DVDs, and all my computer stuff. Needless to say, it was also a pig sty which made it even harder to pack.
But, I’m near the end. Less than nine days until I close. And two days after that, movers come to haul up boxes from the basement and stick into a truck. I’m going to move in the preceding two days, but only a few car loads of the important stuff (computers and light things).
I would have thought that during this time, I wouldn’t be working on other things. Apparently not. I managed to get out get out a few chapters of the serial (though I put it on hold for the next two weeks), a few stories for anthologies, and the first two chapters of a novella (BAM) I want to experiment with on Kindle.
And Fluffy made me a new profile picture. I’m going to keep the “Mf” moon for MfGames and switch over to one of me. This means that you’ll see my smiling mug… hope it doesn’t scare you.
Well, in the last 48 hours, a lot has happened and all of them pretty much lock me down to the inevitable path of owning a house. Fluffy did the first round of looking for houses and got it down to the six she liked the most. The one I originally wanted was sold before we got a chance to try it out again and we found another serendipity house that was fantastic. We had a lot of trouble deciding when we came into the second to last house. And it felt just… right.
So, on Sunday night, we made an offer.
Monday was an entire day of obsessively checking email to see if they accepted it. Almost an hour after the deadline, I decided to bug my realtor (I refuse to put in the registered mark here) and found out there were some mistakes in the offer. But, they were “seriously considering it” which just added another few ticks to the Stress Meter™. But, then things suddenly rushed forward and they accepted the offer as long as we finished the paperwork properly.
Tomorrow I’m going to the bank to get a mortgage (we were pre-approved). The guy doing our loan (who is used to neurotic people like me) doesn’t think there will be any problems, which is a relief.
The plan is to close at the end of the month. Schedules are made, people are moving forward, so I have twenty-some days to sit there and stew. Because there is really nothing I can do at this point besides signing papers.
Now, while I’m not… prone to excitement, this is me excited. I’m planning out my buyer’s regret for the first few days of March, but I’m excited about owning a house again.
We started the house search process. Actually, it started a few weeks ago, but today was really only the second day that I was involved with the process. Historically, I’m easy about where I live. As long as it has the basics, I’ll live there: roof, walls, and Internet. Everything else is pretty much optional. I also work on rules, so when you exclude places without a fence for the dog, Internet access, and easy travel time to work, there isn’t that much to consider.
Fluffy, on the other hand, is considerably pickier about houses. We found it easier for her to pick her top few houses and let me decide which one I like.
Today, we just looked at four houses. The first we found was just about perfect for me, the second was great, and the rest were… acceptable. I really like the first one, but we have a few more places to look at this week. Which means, five days of worrying if someone else is going to get the one I love (if that is the one we decide to get).
On the other hand, there is a good chance we’ll make an offer on a house within a week.
We already had one place we were looking at sport a shiny new “sold” sign by the time we got there.
Yep, still doing the writing things, but life is rushing toward a major change event. On the writing side, I just finished two commissions I’ve been working on for about nine months. I also got the commission for the Magic4Terri and that will start up soon. And I got a second commission but its has a deadline of next year (yeah, 2013) and probably will be a novella (50k words) fan-fiction.
I’m working on a couple short stories that are due at the end of the month. Neither pay very well (at all) so I’m not doing so great on making money off this talent of mine.
And money seems to be on my mind lately. We hit some magical point and looking into buying a house has now become an option. This is one of the most stressful things in my life (at least the last three times) but I’m tired of being a renter and paying for someone’s mortgage. Not sure how it will turn out, but the unknown is scary and wonderful at the same time.
Today has been a relatively good and somewhat frustrating day at the same time. A bit long and wandering though, both the good, the eh, and idle thoughts.
Yesterday, we took one of those really scary little steps toward me moving out of this apartment and into some place I can have all my family visit: we applied for a new rental house. Not really that impressive, my lease is up April 21 (I’ve been here almost a year, wow…) and it’s about time to step up and not have Fluffy visiting every week or so.
When we first started, it was every two weeks, alternating between Iowa and Illinois. Through various factors, she is coming more often and staying a week at a time.
Which is lovely except I simply can’t get anything done. No homework, no commissions, hell even the thirty minutes for my Critters obligation is a struggle. Couldn’t even consider homework. I can’t wait until we get into the same house, where we have a nice schedule and life turns into, well, a rut. Because I like having a schedule I can commit to. When I can plan more than four weeks ahead, I can get into a RPG game or plan out my writing night since I have a novel coming up.
We don’t know if we’ll get the house yet. The landlord had multiple applicants, so its ass-kissing and buttering up that will decide who gets it.
Here’s hoping I kiss good ass.
Today, I earned the right to bitch about the president and congress for another four and two years respectively. In other words, I voted. With all the stuff going on with the flood, I decided to do an absentee ballot. I got it on Friday, got to see all the candidates, look them up online, and and send my ballot out this morning. Kind of cool, I’ve never tried it before but I think I like doing it this way. I was also surprised to see eight groups for the presidential list, which is six more than most people really think about and three more than I thought was on the list. I won’t say who I voted for, but I’m really glad I had a chance to add my 0.000000004% contribution (estimated, I don’t know how many registered voters there are) to the next four years.
It was an interesting weekend. Went back to Illinois to spend time with my honey, discuss our future, and spend six hours in a car entertaining myself. In this case, I got to thinking about a novel I’ve wanted to write, so I sketched out the chapter outline. It is about a retired hero of the world who’s grandchild ends up following in his tracks. Just the idea of writing about a man in his seventies who used to be the most powerful warrior in the world just seems appealing to me. Just the idea of what happened after “happily ever after” appeals to me. And it has a great ending, I think.
I came home to notice that the Lovecraft Commonplace Competition started while I was enjoying time with the wife. And I have six weeks to figure out something. Which is really cool, since I’m ignoring the contest’s basic rule (use a phrase from the commonplace book) and going with something I think will be fun. Not that the phrases won’t be awesome, the screenshots and mockups are great. I just want to write Baby Squid God. Time will tell. I also got feedback from my old gaming group (they are old because I haven’t played in six months). Good feedback on the squid I posted, ideas on how to advance, and they are starting all these fun games without me. Oh well, makes me almost wish I pushed a bit harder to do something new at the beginning of last arc. There are times when putting things up to a vote ends up not the way you expected.
Finally, Fluffy and I are switching gears on the house. Today, we are going to pull the house off the market and wait out this credit crunch. If things go well, I can juggle monies for a while I try to get things a bit more even (secret plans!). It is… painful to do, but realistically, I don’t think we are going to sell for the next four months, so why spend all that time keeping the house presentation-friendly. It also interrupts some of our (secret) plans on cleaning up the finances. Okay, not that secret, but one involved my old boss and shouldn’t be aired. It also means two of my kitties are going back to Illinois for human contact and interaction. Paks is staying with me at the apartment; I almost have her toilet trained.
No, I’m not going to work for her.
This week has been a nice busy one. I managed to finish the second draft of my commission on Sunday and sent it out Monday (always one more day for the OMG, did I write that? moments). Got feedback.
They loved it.
Four little change requests which I’ll get out tonight and then I’ll be “done” with that commission. I think I should also put a hold on commissions for a while, just until I’m struggling less with them. These last two were killers; I haven’t had that much trouble putting words on a page in years.
Still feeling guilty about stopping Scroll of the Lands. But, in a contrast, I’m looking at Glorious Saber and wondering if I could actually finish that up in a reasonable period of time. Trying to seek closure I guess. It also got me to thinking about another comic idea I had while driving back from kitty cuddle time (flea population is 0.1% of last week’s, so I actually wanted to cuddle). The new comic idea, if I do it, would be fun, since it would be a fictional diary for me and Fluffy’s attempt to have children. Of course, if I could actually pull it together, that’s a different story. Or if I have time.
Baby Squid God is advancing in my thoughts. I considered doing pixel artwork, but I’m hesitating. The other I’m looking at is doing it in the same style as Glorious Saber. I already have some code to use this style and I’ve also spent six months working on the skills to make it, which means less to learn when trying to write the game. So, here is my quick sketch idea of the baby squid god:
If you are curious, here is the pixel version:
I’m also trying to upgrade my artwork style a little. Mainly with the dual-layer hair (i.e. so they look different based on what direction they are looking at). And the hands. Not entirely sure what to do about it, but I might lean toward circles when they aren’t do anything but something while they are holding things. Any opinions?
And, I’m heading back to Illinois this weekend. Not accusing Fluffy or anything, but the phone system has completely died at the house and the MythTV box is misbehaving (I think it misses me). So I’m going to go for a different type of kitty cuddle, picking up paperwork, and fixing the technical things.
… and maybe spending time with Fluffy.
Some years ago, back in 2003 actually, I was fired. I know the reasons of why it happened but it still tore me up for a few years. That event is also why I realized a few life’s lessons, like not taking on too many duties and asking for help sooner instead of quietly suffering. It was a hard lesson, painful actually, and it ended up me making a few bad decisions for employment in the following years.
I really beat myself up over the years about being fired. Between the need to change the Master Plan but also because I felt I let everyone down. All I could imagine was everyone hating me because of what I did. It didn’t matter that they let a lot of people go after me, or that the company was trying to save money, it was that realization that I failed them.
When I started looking for a job earlier this year, I did the predictable action and updated all my various social networking sites that I don’t really pay attention to otherwise. One of the people who responded was Stephen Coffman. He was the boss of my boss, and probably the person who made the final call to fire me five years ago.
… yeah, I screwed up that badly.
Naturally, I was surprised he even responded to me. What really floored me is that he offered to give me a recommendation for my next job. A recommendation? After years of beating myself up, thinking that everyone hated me, here was someone who realized that I screwed up with managing myself, not neolithic incompetence. And, well, actually he kind of said that too.
He gave me closure on a terrible part of my life. Not working with him, that part I loved, but the pain I went through afterwords. All those conversations in my head. I screwed up, but he didn’t have the all-consuming hatred that I thought he would.
I never took him up on the offer, but after a few conversations, I learned that he started an organization called Unlocking Brain Tumors. I told him I would donate to it, because I usually donate a good-sized chunk of my income. That is where my entertainment budget usually goes. And then, well, everything went to hell and I haven’t had a reasonable amount of money to donate to his foundation since I moved to Iowa. You know, that whole thing with the flood, living away from home, and everything else. It sounds like an empty promise, but its still on the top of my list for places to donate to.
Yesterday, I found out Steve died. Actually, he died last month, but I didn’t find out until yesterday. It was… sad, mainly because he was a man I respected and someone who, probably without realizing it, give me something I needed.
I didn’t know him very well, but I still wanted to give my thanks.
Thank you, Mr. Coffman.
I am not working on Baby Squid God.
At least that is what it looks like until November 1st. Due to communications, half the people thought “for Halloween” though it meant it ended on Halloween and the other half thought took it to start on Halloween. Since there is no formal announcement by now, I’m going to say “for Halloween” means “starting on Halloween”. I’m disappointed, but there really isn’t any reason to pout about it.
So, changing gears. I’m good at that. Naturally, I really won’t work much on the game itself, I haven’t done what I wanted to in September to prepare for it, so I probably won’t take October to prepare for it. I can, on the other hand, finish up the commissions, work on Scroll of the Lands, and maybe get a bit of writing done. And finish my website migration to http://d.moonfire.us/ and do the Moonfire Portal site. Good thing I wasn’t doing NaNoWriMo, otherwise I’d be really frustrated (the same thing happened last year with a game contest and November).
One of my kitties, Paksenarrion (Paks for short), is moving in with me. Of the three, she is having the worst trouble with the in-laws basement and is tearing out large hunks of her fur. Most of her neck and shoulders are bloody from her scratching which is only getting worse as time goes on. Poor stressed kitty. After talking to my landlady, I’m allowed exactly one cat in my studio. Given that, on Friday, I get that roommate–a high maintenance, adorable little roommate who Fluffy won’t mind me sleeping with. On Saturday, I start trying to train said roommate on how to use the toilet. Maybe this time it will work. And if I can get one to use the toilet, then maybe the others will start doing the same.
It was actually a very productive weekend. I worked on some story critiques and cleanup stuff. I also wrote just over ten thousand words on the two commissions, so I feel like I’m actually a writer again. We’ll see if the trend continues in the next week, but it feels good to really get into a story and just… write.
One of the problems with writing on commission is that you don’t always write what you like to write. Sometimes, the requests are just slightly different than what you prefer. A good example is one person once asked me to keep the descriptions to a minimum, which is nearly impossible for me which is why I turned down the commission. But others are doable on the surface, but when I get into writing it, sometimes they just don’t click with me and I find myself struggling. One of the commissions was like that; it didn’t quite mesh with my various interests and quirks and I just couldn’t get myself into it. It was like talking to someone who just doesn’t agree with me.