My life this week could have used the voice over for an action movie trailer. I’ve had drama, excitement, futile errands, and physical trauma. What I haven’t managed to do is make much time for writing.
But, Mark, you say, surely you exaggerate. We last heard from you three days ago. How could you have packed so much into so little time?
Well, it wasn’t easy.
Let’s start with the drama. A couple of weeks ago I left my position as a contract consultant for a political consulting/fundraising firm. Office work is not my calling. Vocationally speaking, I am a teacher, and I’d been out of the classroom since June 2009, and that’s too long. So, for the fourth time in four years, I entered the ranks of the unemployed. (Like many of the unemployed, I didn’t become a statistic because I didn’t file for unemployment; did that once and that was more than enough.) I launched back into job search mode: updating contacts, sending out emails, making phone calls, shopping my resume around, et cetera. This past Monday, I started a six-week contract as a 4th-grade math tutor working in an elementary school in Spring, Texas. Hence, drama.
Now for some excitement! Driving home from Spring, Texas, yesterevening, the driver of an SUV about three car lengths ahead of me decided to go from 65 to 40 with great urgency. I avoided parking my Toyota in the SUV’s backseat by about one car length. Nothing like a sudden surge of adrenaline to trigger my cat-like reflexes and set my heart to thudding against my sternum. The reason for the sudden deceleration? Well, as near as I could figure, the SUV’s driver just wanted to make sure the brakes were still working. No one cut the SUV off. There were no road hazards. Perhaps the SUV’s driver glanced in the rearview mirror at me and thought, “Wow, he looks handsome from afar. Let’s see what he looks like closer and pale with fright.”
Every action movie includes a futile errand. It builds suspense. For example, the hero knows there’s a bomb on the bus and that the bus can’t slow down. So he devises a seemingly clever plan to off-load passengers only to have one of them remotely exploded because the one-thumbed villain is watching the ubiquitous news helicopter coverage. My futile errand involved my wife and me attempting to attend a Communion and Liberation meeting at a nearby parish. In the rush to be timely, I hastened home after work. We whirlwinded through the kids’ homework. We baked up frozen pizzas two at a time until we had eaten our full. Everyone then packed themselves into the car, and I drove with conviction to my mother’s house to drop off the kids. Katrina and I arrived at the church in record time to discover (drumroll please!) we had arrived on the wrong night! Futility, futility, all is futility.
As I type this my hands, knees, and feet ache. Yes, we’ve come to the physical trauma portion of my ramble. My father-in-law and I performed our annual tree and bush trimming Monday evening. I have no fewer than a half dozen cuts on my arms and hands, my right wrist has been strained, both of my cartilage-deficient knees throb in time with my heartbeat, and my feet could be arrested for homicide.
But enough about me. What about Spes Magna Games?
Well, Rewarding Roleplaying is still on sale, and 50% of sales still go to Mission of Yahweh. I’m going to push to have Fencing & Firearms fully edited (including the short adventure) and on the market by the end of the month. The Case of the Purloined Princess is not going to be released in March as originally planned. Mea culpa maxima. I need to finish up F&F, and then I can step back and assess how much longer it will be for TCotPP.
On the plus side, the Spes Magna Games Facebook Fan Page chugs along. Stop by and become a fan. You could be the balm for my tired soul (and murderous feet).