I know many readers have been wondering where my weekly ‘Around The Blogs’ features have been for the past three weeks. The answer is that I’ve been too hectically busy to take the time to compile them! They’re pretty time-consuming, what with bookmarking candidates for each issue, then re-opening them and linking every one. A typical ATB post takes one to three hours to prepare, and that kind of time’s been in short supply, as I’ll explain.
Miss D. and I moved into our new place – a duplex – at the beginning of the month. It’s nice to be on our own after several years of sharing the house of a friend, but it’s a lot of work. My fused spine and nerve-damaged left leg mean that I can’t be as energetic as I would wish in moving things around, although I can unpack and sort and put away stuff if I take it slowly and easily. I get on with that while Miss D.’s at work. To add to the fun, we’ve moved over half our ‘stuff’ (mostly things I accumulated before we married, and brought here with me) into a storage unit. Over the next two to three months I’m going to face the challenge of getting rid of about 70% of my library and the same proportion (or even more) of everything else. The challenge is to fit everything we own into this relatively small duplex before Christmas, so that when we move again (which is likely next year), we’ll have much less to move and the process will be much easier. (Besides, that’ll spare me from having to listen to Miss D. staring balefully at some cherished possession of mine and muttering disdainfully, “Stuff!” As most male readers will doubtless have discovered by now, women have different priorities to ours when deciding what’s important to keep, and what can be discarded.)
It’s painful having to cut back so much. I used to have over 4,000 books in my library, but my goal is to cut back to no more than 1,500. Fortunately, e-books have come a long way since I started building up my library; so if a book’s available in electronic form, generally the hard copies will go on the discard pile. Even so, there are many no-longer-published books that I can’t find in e-book format, so they’ll stay on my shelves. As for firearms and ammunition, I’m going to reduce my collection still further, largely to consolidate ammo stocks into fewer (and, hopefully, lighter) cartridges. When one realizes that one has (literally) a ton of ammo to move (as was the case when I came here from Louisiana) it’s a shock! If one takes (for example) the .45 ACP handgun cartridge, its 230-grain bullet is twice the weight of a standard 115gr. bullet in 9mm. Parabellum. Similarly, the standard 55gr. or 62gr. bullet of a 5.56mm. round is less than half the weight of the standard 123gr. 7.62x39mm. round. Multiply that difference by several hundred or several thousand rounds (or reloading components) and the weight differential becomes significant.
Fortunately, we don’t have to move everything at once – my back and Miss D.’s knees would never cope! We’re moving one section of ‘stuff’ at a time, so that by early September everything should be out of the old place. Our former housemate is getting married at the end of the month, so it’s a good thing we were able to synchronize everything in this way. At least he can bring his bride home to an empty house!
My writing has suffered, of course; one can’t very well churn out deathless prose while unpacking boxes and putting furniture in place. I hope to get back to a daily writing schedule during the coming week. Maxwell Volume 4 is still tentatively scheduled for release during September, but it’ll slip from early in the month until the last week, I think. I hope I can work fast and smart enough to have the second volume of the Laredo Trilogy out in December, as planned.
Considering that the last time I moved house on my own, I ended up in hospital with a heart attack, I have to say that this time it’s a case of “So far, so good”. I hope it stays that way!