Monday, June 23, 2008

The Ten Year Meme

Lisa over at Eudaemonia tagged me for a meme, and since I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today anyway, I think I’ll do it.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Because even in 1998 I was keeping a journal I know exactly what I was doing on this date 10 years ago. I had just gotten back the week before from Howard Days in Cross Plains, and I was getting ready to teach summer school. Here are the entries right around this time:

June 19--Friday--June 21--Sunday. Taking time off or working on school stuff. Mary is sick again. She got exposed to thick fumes from a burning cardboard box that was filled with plastic bags of peanuts at the Zephyr's game Friday night. She had to go to the emergency room. We brought her back home but she is still feeling bad.

June 22--Monday. School work. Syllabi and stuff for summer school.

June 23--Tuesday. Mary still really sick. Spent most of the afternoon at the doctor's office.

June 24--Wednesday. Took Mary to the hospital and checked her in. Josh went along. She just wasn't getting better.

June 25--Thursday. Mary still in the hospital. Wrote a letter of Recommendation for an old student. Did some stuff for the IRB. I got a letter from Warrior Poets. They're accepting "A Flock of Swords" but are asking for a minor rewrite to change a plot point. It's a good request. Wrote them a letter back to say I'd do it and mail the completed piece to them in two weeks.

June 26--Friday. No writing. Went to school for summer school preregistration and took Josh with me. Brought Mary home from the hospital in the evening.

June 27--Saturday. Josh's birthday. We had a little party in the morning and I took him to Celebration Station in the evening. We had a good time.

Other than this, I was teaching at Xavier and living in a house in Metairie with Mary and Josh. This was the year I started working seriously on Wings of Talera, although I didn’t finish it this year. I also saw a man die from a heart attack right next to me at a gym, and this was the year I got my first street motorcycle, both of which events changed my life.

Five things on your to-do list for today
1. Get my blog post up
2. Check my Google Reader and comment on other blogs.
3. Email Andrew at Babel Con about my panels.
4. Work on Wraith of Talera .
5. Go to my Writer’s Group meeting at Borders in the evening.

What would you do if you were a billionaire?
I’d definitely become a stay at home full-time writer. Well, when I wasn’t traveling. I’d probably start my own small press publishing company. I’d also make sure my family, which is pretty damn big, was taken care of, although for the younger children this would be in the form of trust funds. I’d buy my son, myself, and Lana, new cars, and I’d probably move to an area even more rural than I live in now and buy a bunch of wild land and put my house right in the middle of it. I’d set up a charity foundation, and would take delight in doing secret Santa kinds of things. I’ve always wanted to do that. I’d also invest in alternative fuel research, and put a substantial amount of money into environmental protection.

What are three of your bad habits?
1. I can be lazy even though I give the impression I’m not. (An important skill)
2. I’m occasionally moody.
3. I’ve got a fair amount of OCD.

What are some snacks you enjoy?
1. Beef Jerky
2. Milky Way Midnight
3. Fried Chicken (enjoyed as a meal as well)

What were the last five books you read?

Torlo Hannis of Noomas, by Charles Nuetzel. This is sword and planet fiction, written by a friend of mine, who I’ve mentioned here before. Charles was instrumental in introducing me to Robert Reginald at Borgo, who accepted the three Taleran books. I’m going to read the sequel to this book pretty quickly.

Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool and Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Ed Gorman. These are in his Sam McCain series and were both very enjoyable reads. I’ve already ordered more.

Poems of the Divided Self and The Shadow City, both by Gary William Crawford. These are poetry chapbooks by a friend of mine who lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Shadow City consists of a series of related poems that tie neatly together. Both are good works.

What are five jobs you have had?
1. Dish washer for the National Guard at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas.
2. Factory worker at Whirlpool, making refrigerators.
3. Chicken House manager for the Neighbors (Family).
4. Hay hauler.
5. Teacher.

What are five places where you have lived?

I’m not a big traveler.

1. On an Arkansas Farm.
2. Dover, Arkansas, for college.
3. Fayetteville, Arkansas, for Grad School.
4. Metairie, Louisiana.
5. Abita Springs, Louisiana.



Heff said...

That "Journal thing" isn't a bad idea, considering I suffer from C.R.S. !

Randy Johnson said...

Interesting list of books. Those two Gormans and one other are all that I haven't read in the Sam McCain series. I'm jealous.

Lisa said...

Hey that was fast! Aha -- I see you had some off the wall jobs too. I don't know what working in the Whirlpool factory was like, but my time in a factory nearly drove me insane. Ironically, the monotony and the mindlessness of the factory work I once did would be just the ticket for me now -- the only way to get through a shift then was to go into a semi-trance for hours on end -- something I have to work to find the time and headspace to do now so I can write.

Travis Erwin said...

Glad to know you are another jerky fan.

Rachel V. Olivier said...

Dude! Are you my long lost brother! That is SO what I would do if I won the lottery!

Love the meme. I'm going to have to try it over on my blog.

Rachel V. Olivier said...

P.S. This time of year must bum you out sometimes, looking at those events from 10 years ago.

Charles Gramlich said...

Heff, CRS? Not sure what that means, I'm afraid, unless it's Corona, Rum, Schlitz.

Randy, those were actually the first two McCain books I've read by him but won't be the last. I've ordered two more. I always loved his westerns.

Lisa, I hated working in a factory too. So, boringggggggggg. I could see why so many of my coworkers drank a lot.

Travis Erwin, there's a local fellow here that makes very good Jerky. Nice and thick and meaty.

Rachel, in those days my wife was sick quite a lot and we had many such periods. But generally around this time of the year I remember the better stuff, Cross Plains trips and my son's BDAY

laughingwolf said...

good stuff, and i'm with your on the jerky/chicken... yum!

Sidney said...

I didn't keep up with a journal in those das, though I did before that. In '98 I would have been working at the library, though, and I think easing from reference into the technology department.

Lisa said...

As a fellow sufferer, may I offer some assistance in Heff's translation?

CRS = Can't Remember Sh!t

Sarai said...

I can be lazy even though I give the impression I’m not. (An important skill)
OMG you too? It's a handy skill to have but then it kind of sucks *g*

Barrie said...

How very fun that you have journals dating back 10 years and can read details of your life then.

Re the bilionaire + small publishing press--any chance you'd publish middle grade fiction? :)

Erik Donald France said...

This is impressive -- and you still keep a journal? Most do starts and stops in a more sporadic kind of way.

I've been shredding receipts/documents from 1998 (it's about time), but will post a few things for the sake of empirical comparison with 2008 before shredding the rest of it.

Always interesting processing "the before time."

Travis Cody said...

I have a bit of that lazy-but-don't-look-it skill too.

justin said...

10 years ago? so much has changed, so much has stayed the same.

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, how about chicken stuffed with jerky?

Sidney, I've been keeping a journal pretty solidly since the early 90s. Before that it's only sporadic.

Lisa, thanks for the translation.

Sarai, yes, even a skill like that can have it's downside.

Barrie, sure I would. Now if I can just get all those billions we'll all be set. ;)

Erik, I still keep it. Yes, those reciepts might be quite interesting.

Travis, it is well worth cultivating that skill.

Justin, things change. We pretty much stay the same, I think.

the walking man said...

Oy Yez journals are OCD. But then what would you have done to answer this meme with out the memory prompts?

Jaysus a decade ago I was coming into my last year of real work and I was only 44. That's about as much as I remember.

AK & LA really? I would have thought you'd have ranged further afield than that Charles. Good thing it's the trip not the destination eh?

laughingwolf said...

sure, i'd love that, too :)

laughingwolf said...

books were delivered a few minutes ago... any clue what i'll be doing next? lol

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, I've traveled a bit more widely, but haven't lived in other places. Most of the time I've always had family obligations to keep me close by.

Laughingwolf, cool, I'm glad you got 'em finally.

laughingwolf said...

me too :)

Mary Witzl said...

I'm inherently lazy, but work my tail off half the time. No one believes me when I tell them I'm lazy. And I've had a diary ever since I was nine. Sometimes I worry that I've gone through more than my fair share of pulp...

And whatever happened to Mary? Did she eventually get better?

Bernita said...

It was not a good year for me 10 years ago.
I wonder if there are people who appear lazy when they are very busy?

Charles, make sure you send me your address for your prize!

SQT said...

The only reason I could remember 10 years ago would be because I was getting married in a month. Other than that, I wouldn't have a clue.

I would freak out if someone had a heart attack right next to me. Hopefully not while they were collapsing, but after it was over.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

I'm impressed that you have your journals from that time! I never keep records like that, but I'd love to have them now.

Leigh Russell said...

That's quite amazing, keeping a journal from so long ago. Is it different, reading the journal to reading your old blog posts? I keep getting distracted by 'heff' who's picture's moving. Have I strayed into Hogwarts?

Mimi Lenox said...

I'm impressed with your journaling skills ten years ago. It does become part of our fabric as writers. Funny and insightful to look back. Life goes sooo fast.
I imagine you are a wonderful teacher as well.

Great post!

X. Dell said...

You gotta admire a man who feels that one of his bad habits is an important skill.

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughinwolf, enjoy.

Mary Witzl, I was called lazy by certain members of my family when I was a kid and I still have a very negative reaction to that.

Bernita, I sent you my addy. I think some writers appear lazy when they are sitting around, even though they are hard at work mentally plotting stuff.

SQT, it was very surreal. I was riding an exercise bike and the guy next to me suddenly gasped, then fell over onto me. I tried to catch him but he hit the floor at my feet. He was a very big guy. I called for help and then got his feet elevated. He was still breathing but was starting to turn a real ashen gray color. The guy on staff who knew CPR started administering it but it was to no avail.

Michelle, I'm rather proud of myself for being so consistent over the years.

Leigh, yes, as I told Michelle, I'm kind of proud of myself.

Mimi, yes it does go fast. And thanks for the kind words.

X-Dell, reality is what one makes of it, my friend. ;)

steve on the slow train said...

Charles--Your post almost persuades me to keep a journal. It would be nice to have such detailed information about my life. But I just never got into the habit. So except for my blog entries, I don't have much to jog my memory.

I've never been to Arkansas or Louisiana, though I'm hoping to visit New Orleans someday, though not at Mardi Gras.

the walking man said...

Charles the question then that begs for an your lack of many places lived a boon to your sword and fantasy writing? Do you think that it fuels a desire to "be" in other realms?

I lived for 12 months or more in at least 6 major city's by the time I was thirty. So I did range far afield but now have no desire for it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve, I also a few years back simply did a kind of journal of memories. Mostly tidbits to prod my memory. It took me several days to get most of it down but I enjoyed it and I think it will prove worthwhile for me.

Mark, I think that desire came, in a way, from growing up on an isolated farm with nothing but fields and woods around me. I loved it, but it did give me a kind of blank canvas to paint weird stuff on.

Shauna Roberts said...

Oooohhh, Milky Way Midnight! That belonged on my list of favorite snacks, too, but I forgot to put it on.

I'm not sure OCD counts as a bad habit when one is a writer. I certainly have depended on it to keep me writing, and my background research has profited too.

Charles Gramlich said...

Shauna, I think you're right, my OCD tendencies have probably improved my writing work. It sure leads me to reread, revise, revise.

shani said...

Bosch ice maker not working