The Important Things

I’m not even going to try to detail everything since September in this one update. But I hope to post about different things in the coming week that should hit everything worth hitting.

Since my last post in September, I encountered what Dean Wesley Smith and his wife call a Life Roll.

The house we lived in was in disrepair for a number of reasons too numerous and depressing to list. I’d been looking for a house or even an apartment to rent for several months, but always came up against either a too-high price or a no-pets rule. With an indoor dog of 9 1/2 years, the no-pets thing was a dealbreaker on all the places I could afford.

Then I woke up one morning to a collapsing wall, and a resultant broken pipe doing a hell of an Old Faithful impression. Things sort of went downhill from there. Planets were aligned briefly that afternoon, though. After months of looking, on the very day when we had to get out of there for health and sanity, I found an apartment a mile away, in my price range, with a landlord who didn’t mind me bringing the dog. I signed the lease that very afternoon, though I’d never rented in my life and really kind of feared the idea of an apartment. We needed to get out, so we did. And things went downhill again.

For reasons not worth trying to explain, many of them out of my hands, we lived here without any real furniture for almost a month. Sleeping on the floor was fun when i was 19. I’m 42 and fat and creakier than I should be, and I like it a hell of a lot less now. I am grateful for family members who helped me move the big furniture one day. And some of the things that happened to delay the furniture moving were things that could not be helped, and that were scary in their own right. Things just happened how they happened, and the end of the year was rough for most people I care about, unfortunately.

Still, with all the delays I had getting furniture here and getting things set up, and the fact that I still don’t have everything out of the crumbling house and over here that I need to (and my car is in mid-death-rattle so running around to do this is impossible), I’ve decided that unless the earth is splitting open beneath me, I’m not moving again until I can pay people to move me at my convenience. If I can’t afford to have movers take everything from furniture to boxes of miscellaneous whatevers in one day? It ain’t happenin’.

So. The last quarter of the year was spent trying to cope with life on a daily basis. I can’t believe that feeling went on as long as it did, and that I still feel that way some days when I think of all that’s left to be done before the whole situation is finally resolved. I’ve pretty much spent my time doing the things that make money, out of necessity, and fighting the urge to throw myself into moving traffic. I had little time or patience for anything else, even the things I really wanted to do like continue participating in W1S1 and the Absolute Write forums. I’ve missed a lot of people and the cameraderie. I just didn’t have it in me.

The one thing that ended up being a high point in the last couple of months of 2011 was something I always kind of swore to myself I’d never do–self-publishing. With a couple of short stories up and selling (under a different name that I prefer to keep private for now), this ended up being one of those things that brought in money, and therefore something that I had to do, even when I wasn’t sure it was worth it to get out of bed. It was a hugely good decision. Monumentous for me, really. So the month of house hell did have a bright spot after all.

I’ve updated the Write 1 Sub 1 page a final time for 2011, and though I’m part of Write 1 Sub 1 2012, January was officially a bust for me. In my mind, it sort of clumps in with the end of 2011, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it. 2011 was still an excellent writing and subbing year, truncated as it was. I’ll post about the year’s writing goals and recent publications soon, but it’s too much to add to this one already too-long post.

I still feel beaten down by the end of last year in many ways, but things are better than they were, and slowly getting better still. Apartment life isn’t bad. The place is tiny–I sacrificed having my own bedroom just because we had to get out now–but everything works. The roof is free of holes that squirrels, birds and rain can come through at will. The pipes are sound. There’s no mold in the walls. The ceilings aren’t hanging down and about to collapse. And when something goes wrong, I can make a single phone call and explain the problem, and not have to come up with several hundred to a few thousand dollars to have it repaired. It’s better. All the way around. The line on the graph still bottoms out occasionally, but the general trend is upward.




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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 12th, 2012 at 12:03 pm and is filed under Personal-ish. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. February 12th, 2012 | Milo James Fowler says:

    Here’s to that upward trend continuing from this point forward. Holy cow, you’ve been through the ringer. Material for future stories maybe — once this experience is safely in the rear-view mirror?

  2. February 17th, 2012 | Andy says:

    Sorry to hear about all the troubles. Welcome back!

  3. February 17th, 2012 | Sealey says:

    Big hugs, Shelley! I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been through, but glad to hear you are moving in a forward and upward way. Come back to us soon! *clings*

  4. February 27th, 2012 | Samuel Mae says:

    Shelley! *hugs*

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