Amazingly, Some Progress. Progress Report from Jeff Baker. May 14, 2023.

I’m seriously amazed I’ve made any progress writing during the last few months.

I was taking it really slow, I guess, after my Mom passed away this past December. I had to get a bunch of things done, including getting some furniture moved and some paperwork done. So I spent a lot of the spare time home with Darryl, snuggling on the couch up at all hours watching old TV shows into the early morning and the only writing I got done was the usual weekly/monthly flash fiction stories and columns. I figured I’d get back into doing the longer stuff gradually. Then in mid-March Darryl’s health took a nosedive and he was hospitalized. Despite excellent care he passed away from something sudden we hadn’t seen coming.

I will be all right. Yes, I am grieving, but to my surprise I am writing again too. And not just the weekly flash stories. I wrote 1800 words on a full-length story one night. 900 words on another one a night or so later. And I have 2000+ words on yet another story that is about a page (that’s around 250 words) away from being completed.

I like keeping odd hours and I’m doing a lot of this writing after midnight, listening to ESPN on the radio (Darryl’s preferred station) sitting on our big bed with notebooks scattered around me and my laptop in various places. (Lap sometimes, propped up on folded blankets sometimes, just sitting there sometimes) Darryl and I used to sit up till almost dawn watching old sitcoms on TV on the living room couch, so being up this late, feels cozy. And it’s becoming a working routine, which is doing me a lot of good. I’ve heard a lot in my lifetime about how getting back to work after a loss can help you work through it and I think that is what I’m doing. I’d read about it and heard about it from friends who have experienced it and now I am living it.

And I’m back to keeping my notes about what I’ve written in an old “Project Notebook” I bought at a going-out-of-business sale F & E had when I worked for them. I already filled one notebook (I started keeping this in about 2006) and I have been lax in keeping it the last three years when my folks were in hospice care. Keeping those notes feels good too.

These reports are supposed to be about the work but I will thank my friends who call and text/facebook/what-have-you contact me to check on me. It does me a lot of good having those friends out there.

So I should have a full-length story done by the middle of the week and some progress on the others as the month goes on. As a matter of fact, yesterday morning (the 13th) I took a line out of the story I’m working on and this morning (the 14th) I put it back! Holy Oscar Wilde, Batman!

And I will start doing these progress reports regularly again. I promise, now that I have regular hours (being late evening to early morning! Gotta love it!) And if I didn’t say it before; Thanks Dad! Thanks Mom! Thanks Darryl! I love you!

That’s about it for now!

NOTE: Here’s a link to my recent QSF column where I basically go over the same stuff including how writing can be helpful!

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