Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, April 23, 2023, or, Weekend Update, Part the Second

You put the ‘Sun’ into my day.

Happy Sunday!Anthony T. Hincks

It’s late morning here in Lithia, Florida, on a quiet, cool-but-warming-up Sunday, April 23, 2023. I wanted to sleep at least until 8; I went to bed way past midnight (I didn’t go to the kitchen to check the time before I started to watch the Amazon Prime show I fell asleep to, but the last time I checked my PC’s clock, it was shortly after 12 AM), and since today is Sunday, and today isn’t a café con leche day, I figured there wasn’t no point in waking before 7 AM.

My internal clock, however, had other ideas, and I woke up at 6 AM instead. I don’t know why; this time around it wasn’t a full bladder needing to be relieved – or else! – or any extraneous noises from the rest of the house. And it was still dark; sunrise this morning was at 6:56 AM, so it wasn’t that other culprit of involuntary early morning wakeups, the dreaded Rise of Light Levels effect.

Resignedly, I got up from my futon, rubbed the last vestiges of sleep from my eyes, and turned on my desktop computer. Since it’s only a year old, it booted up quickly, showing me both my lock screen – which currently features a sexy picture of former Boy Meets World cast member Maitland Ward (who played Rachel McGuire during that 1990s sitcom’s last two seasons), plus the current time (6:09 AM)

Well, a few hours have passed since then. I gave Sandy, our elderly but still playful miniature schnauzer, her early morning snack – another part of my wakeup routine, but a welcome one; I’ll miss doing that when I move to the Brandon house – and played with her for a bit. I then brewed two cups of coffee, which I drank while eating Outback Steakhouse’s famous dark bread that I saved from my weekend order from the nearby restaurant (a sandwich, some chili, potato puffs, and a baked potato; I was supposed to get a free Bloomin’ Onion with some Dine Rewards points that were due to expire later this week, but I did not get it).

I don’t look like this today.

Now, of course, I’m wondering how to spend the rest of my Sunday. I don’t feel like going out for a walk even though the weather is perfect (sunny skies, 73°F/23°C currently); I’d have to work hard to look presentable because my electric razor doesn’t do a good job at cutting my stubble, and even though I can use a manual multi-blade razor to shave, it takes me a long time to do. And even though I’ve lived here for seven years, I can’t quite shave as well as I used to in my previous home in Miami.

As a result, I look scruffy and feel ugly and unlikeable – so even though I can take a shower, put on a clean change of clothes, and tidy up my hair (which is also longer than I’d like), I just don’t want to go out and risk being seen by anyone – especially if that anyone is a woman…and doubly so if that woman is attractive. I tend to feel insecure and get embarrassed easily, especially in the presence of women, no matter if they’re married, single, or “it’s complicated.”

So – no going for a walk today.

I am, for good or ill, a creature of habit, so I will probably spend most of my Sunday here, at my desk, either wasting time on social media or watching YouTube videos on the Internet, or playing games such as Regiments or FreshWomen Season 1. (I have other games, of course, but those two tend to be the ones I turn to the most since I bought them this summer.

The two PC games are diametric opposites – one is a tactical level real-time strategy game set in a fictional Third World War in 1989 West Germany, while the other is what is called a “choice-driven adult visual novel” in which you are the main character (a young college-age guy) in scenarios that blend drama, suspense, comedy, and sex. Lots of sex, at that. (That’s why the game is labeled an adult visual novel.)

It’s an interesting contrast – the yin and yang of two sides of my inner self, I suppose.

I will, though, try to get some reading in. I don’t do enough of that as it is, and since reading a lot is one of the two things writers must do (the other one is, naturally, writing a lot), I must do a better job of carving some time out of my daily routine – such as it is – and read more. Especially fiction, which is also the realm of writing that I’m trying to get good at.

I also may watch one of my movies or TV shows on DVD or Blu-ray out in the family room, which is where our best TV set is sited. As I write this, I am not in the mood to watch anything, but I may change my tune as the day goes by.

What I don’t want to do, though, is work too much on The New Story. Even a successful and prolific novelist like Stephen King takes time off to rest, relax, hang out with his family, and…yes, read. I am under no obligation to write whatever it is I’m working on – I don’t think it’s going to be a novel, folks, but it also doesn’t look like it’s going to be a short story, either. I mean, with the first draft of the prologue and one scene from Chapter One “done” (at least, in the context of a rough draft. And I know it’s not a screenplay…I’d be writing the new project (yes, I have a title for it, but it’s…classified) on Movie Magic Screenwriter 6.0, not on Microsoft Word if it were one.  But since I have not signed with an agent – the process of finding and getting with literary agents is complicated and too taxing for me – and since I don’t have a lucrative contract with Penguin Random House, I don’t have to worry about pleasing the publisher or placating my editor. I have neither.

So, no deadlines here, except self-imposed ones.

Now, I do want to get the first draft of The New Story finished by July. (I don’t know if I’ll still be here in July, either in the sense of where I’m living or if I’m living, but you must have goalposts to set and reach if you’re serious about writing anything, especially fiction.) That means I must work on the manuscript during the five-day workweek, regardless of whether I’m content or not.

Thus, except for the occasional minor edit or spur-of-the-moment addition – like if a scene or line of dialogue comes to mind while I’m in the shower – today is a day of rest, at least as far as The New Story goes.

If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it? Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts about this subject, I love writing. It’s what I do best, really, and I think I’m good at it. Not great, mind you, and certainly not so egotistic that I won’t seek out advice on how to fix something or get a more objective take on what I’m working on. (That’s why sometimes I wish I had connected on a physical and emotional level with a woman who is also a writer; we creatives understand each other better.) I studied journalism in high school and college – earned one award at Miami-Dade for it, too – and people who read my stuff seem to like it, so I’m not talking out of my ass when I say, “I’m a good writer.”

Plus, I love writing. Otherwise, I would not be doing it, and you would not be reading this right now, cos I’d be playing FreshWomen Season 1.

But even though writing is, to use a cliché, my passion, it is lonely. It is tiring, both physically and psychologically. And it entails lots of sacrifices, especially when it comes to socialization.

So, as much as I want to plow through the first draft of the manuscript, I don’t want to be a slave to it.

Well, I’ve rambled enough, and it’s now early afternoon, so I’ll close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe and healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.


Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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