Anyway! Yes, you're right, I have been a bit less chatty as of late, but that's because my world, which has tended to flop itself upside down like a giant metaphorical pancake every few months for the past several years, is at it again. This particular floppage is a confluence of several things happening at once, so lemme break it down a bit.
This is the big one. The lease on our current townhouse ended in March, and for various reasons that will wait for another day, we wanted flexibility to be able to move sometime around July-ish. So we opted for a month-to-month renewal, because our other choice was another 12 months. The owner of our house was like, "Cool, I've been thinking of selling around then anyway, so I'll list the house and aim to settle around the time you guys are planning to move." We said, "cool," and she said, "cool," and all was good.
The first person who even glanced at the house bought it and wanted us out immediately. :-`
The current owner was like, "Uh, I'll sell you the house, sure, but I have a legal obligation to the tenants." So the buyer rolled their eyes and said, "Okay, fine, give them 30 days notice and be done with it." Thus it is, that we need to move by May 17th.
As you can imagine, this has rather flung us for a loop. We have spent the time since getting this news looking for a new place to go, selling/donating/disposing of even more stuff than we did when we were selling the Hobbit Hole, and generally freaking out.
The good news is, we have a backup plan, in the form of sirfox's condo in Maryland which is currently vacant. If we don't find anything else, that will be our safety net. But we are not settled on that yet.
Things That Aren't Moving
Meanwhile, when not dealing with that, I've been cranking away on my novel writing. As of this afternoon, Sky Pirates of Calypsitania has officially received two rejections, one from a literary agent who likes my writing generally but wasn't interested in that particular book, and one from Tor-Forge, who simply responded with a form letter. All of the other markets well-suited to the book do not take unagented manuscripts, so for the time being the strategy on that book is "keep looking for an agent, and keep working on other books."
In the other books department, I've returned to Tend on Mortal Thoughts and I'm trying to Second Draft it up to 80,000+ words if I can. Some of my beta readers have given me very good suggestions in that regard and when I'm not in the midst of moving I intend to make use of them. I have also put in some serious thinking on Brigid and Greg, and might just have a direction with that to go I like after all. But that's going to have to wait a few months.
But here's the thing about writing: when I start doing that, I tend to stop doing anything that's not writing. Video games, TwitterPonies, basic hygiene, whatever it is, doesn't happen because it doesn't involve putting words on the page. A typical writing day for me tends to be 8-12 hours of phrenetic typing, punctuated by the occasional five minute stare into space while I try to solve a problem, then back to typing. When it comes time to finally hang up my keyboard at the end of the day, I'm generally completely exhausted, and as a general rule I have to physically force myself to take time off on the weekend or at night in order to prevent turning laurie_robey into a Writer's Widow.
So as you can probably guess, progress on writing means little to say on LiveJournal, because LiveJournal is not putting words on the page.
Has Anybody Seen D&D? It Was Right Here a Few Weeks Ago. Also, Dammit Game Parlor.
On the topic of the world being turned upside down, jamesbarrett, who is a major participant in my current D&D game and is in fact the only other DM in the group, has recently lost his weekend evenings to his own life's topsy-turviness. It's just possible that the group might be able to find a way to making "super late Friday/Saturday night and all online" work, but it's very iffy. Right now it's kind of a moot point because moving has knocked all chances of gaming off the map until mid-May anyhow, but even once Laurie and I land gaming as we have known it is currently not looking like it will survive.
In this context, my discovery today that Game Parlor closed back in November. I can't honestly say I'm surprised, but I am bummed, because in its heyday it was the nicest gaming store I've ever seen. The late 3.x/4E-era collapse of the RPG market, combined with the rise of online shopping and PDFs taking over the gaming industry dealt them a series of blows it would have been hard enough to recover from if they'd been savvy about it all, much less putting their hands over their metaphorical ears, going "LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING" and trying to carry on through pure inertia. On the other hand, the owners did say they were retiring, so it may have been that they only needed for the store to stay open long enough to get them to that spot, and therefore mission accomplished. Dunno. In any case, this is a blow on par with the closing of the Reston Barnes & Noble. Not the end of the world perhaps– I've got plenty of online and other options for my gaming fix– but a major bummer nonetheless.
Buddha, Jobs/Career Changes, Familial Health, All That Other Stuff
Well yeah, there's a lot of other junk in the turning-upside-down of everything. Some of them are more heavy hitters than other, and it's not necessarily all bad, but it is all change, and in the mix. Even change you like is stressful, and when introverts get stressed they tend to get quiet.
So, for those among you who've wondered why I've been a bit remote lately, that's what it boils down to. Sorry to keep you in suspense! But when there's news hashed out, I'll certainly share it. :)