Steve and Jenn started their own business in January. They're doing pothole repair using infrared technology. It works very well and they've exceeded their projected income by nearly 300% for this year.
Larry was married to Cassie Stone on March 6. They moved to Spokane, Washington, later in the spring. Larry's working for a car rental agency and Cass takes care of Spence and Amanda's little girl. Spence works for AT&T and Amanda teaches message therapy at DeVry University.
Richie graduated magna cum laude in psychology from the University of Utah in May. After a trip to Europe with his wife and six weeks of intensive training in Phoenix, he moved to New Orleans where he is now teaching special ed and Lori is studying art at the university there.
Sue and Kevin moved to an apartment of their own in June. Kevin is our son, Steve's , foreman.
Mike and Tracy moved to New Orleans this fall. Mike is in construction and Tracy is auditor for a parking lot facility.
Chris' wife and daughter were terribly injured by a drunk driver a year ago. Pam is back to work and Keri is in school although she had to undergo corrective surgery this fall. Chris, who quit his job to take care of his wife and daughter, has found work again...a blessing all around.
We found a doctor who would remove Lili's tonsils this fall and she's healthier, now, than she's been in years. She will be going into Job Corps in January where she plans to get duo certifications in welding and as a CNA.
We took in a foster daughter this past October - Genie - a girl who has been Lili's best friend for years. She, also, is going to Job Corps - which is why she came to us. Her family had moved to Arizona but she wanted to go to Job Corps with Lili and needed a Utah residence. We've enjoyed having her here and Lili's ecstatic to have a 'little sister' finally.
Jenn, Amanda and Sue are all expecting babies in the spring. Our quiver is being filled with arrows.
Rick is still employed at a printing facility and I finished the book I was writing about the homesteading of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Don't plan to market it at this time. I'm hard at work on another book which I will market once I'm finished.
I think non-writers often have a naive view of what it takes to be a good writer. Telling a cohesive story is only a small part of the writing process. Steve made the comment to me that I just needed to relax and let myself go because my writing flowed so beautifully. Yeah, right. He hasn't a clue how difficult it is to make it flow. It's definitely not something that just happens.
For a writer, there is so much more than syntax and spelling to writing a cohesive story. There's extensive research that goes into the current Work In Progress. Even if it's sci-fi or fantasy, it still must be believable and believability takes meticulous research.
One must also be able to determine what will enhance the story and what needs to be trimmed like fat off a pork roast. Leave a lot of sludge on and you have a story that clogs the brain just as pork fat clogs the arteries. Sooner or later the reader becomes so overloaded with superfluous stuff he/she gives up in despair. That's as bad for a writer's future income as pork fat is to his health.
Knowing what and how much to trim is an art that must be developed, however. And rigorously applied. I'm afraid, after the holidays, I'll need to trim about 20,000 words off my current WIP. I think I'd rather be hung, drawn and quartered but it must be done. This book is too vacuous in its present form.
Then, too, there's always that horrendous bane of writers, called writer's block, which must be dealt with on a regular basis. One can see ones story unfold in ones mind but putting it down on paper is a whole 'nother ball game. I find the transitions to be incredibly difficult. Creating the scenes is easy. It's travelling smoothly from one scene to the next that taxes my mental processes to the hilt.
So when writer's block hits, I pace the floor, wearing my carpet to the threadbare stage. Upon occasion I even give about ten minutes of serious thought to finding a job in an office somewhere. But, since Corporate America and I aren't a very compatible duo, it isn't long before I'm forced to take a sanity pill (chocolate covered, of course) and get back to work.
Writing, regardless of the struggle entailed, is definitely the better choice for me.