It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.I’m still recovering from an intense series of weeks that also included my 19th wedding anniversary. Between preparing for a work project’s phase II kick-off, our celebration at home, out with friends and then colleagues, and then the long trip for work, it feels like it’s been months since I’ve had anything like a normal schedule. Top that off with ongoing news about fundamental disturbances to the strength of the US democracy, and my propensity to get lost in fictional universes while I’m traveling, and it’s hard for me to feel grounded. But I’m home again, and that is my simplest recipe for happiness.

Hubs and I enjoyed our weekend of having been reunited by catching up with cuddles and The Expanse. That show is not for the faint of heart, but when I think back to Babylon 5 or any of the Star Trek franchise TV shows, the effects representing space travel are so realistic and such eye candy it’s hard to look away even as disaster looms. The character development, and especially the acting to give the Belters their own accent and patois, make the world so real it’s palpable. The political machinations and the fearful nature of the threat the majority of the population doesn’t know about make the themes timely–if bleak for humanity.

In comparison, the most recent scifi story I read, The Druid Gene, by Jennifer Foehner Wells, is quite restricted–even though the backdrop against which the action plays out is a galactic empire rather than one “merely” limited to Earth’s Solar System. Told from the perspective of an American medical student with a white mother and a black father, it’s an entirely different take on an alien abduction story, and adds the fillip of a lost alien progenitor somewhere in Earth’s history to make a certain sub-set of humans more than human. It was fun to be absorbed by it, even though the long stretch of fight training wasn’t my favorite fiction mode. Wells’ blog post about the nature of the “casting” choices she made in the story provided an interesting backdrop to stories I’ve seen emerging recently about “sensitivity readers” and reinforced some of the choices I made last year as I was writing The Builders.

As I worried when I set up my Goodreads reading challenge, I’m now as invested in keeping up my books-read numbers–and beating them–as I am writing. That does not help my word count grow, and I obviously blew past my original deadline for Fire to Dragon in the run-up to my work obligations. Reading, while delightful, is not helping me get back on track. I need to change that orientation this week to avoid missing out on my editor’s adjusted time slot. I’m also anticipating that Gayla will have her next book ready for my editorial pen in the next short while, so there will be clashing deadlines if I’m not careful.

The surprising part of my travels was that I walked quite a bit more than I had recently. And we’ve continued on that path since I’ve returned home. Tashie is still limping, but she’s at least finished her round of Doxy, so she has more energy these days–even if she remains less active than our younger two. According to my phone, my daily step average was just three off from three thousand, so I doubled my distance from my previous reporting.

I think this week will be less stressful than the most recent two, and should leave me time in the evenings to get back to my first goal, but we’ll see whether that’s true with next week’s check-in. In the meantime, I suggest you look at my ROW80 buddies’ check-in posts for this week to keep you entertained.

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3 thoughts on “Simply Happy

  1. Really like your opening image that reminds us to simplify . . . perhaps that’s why I stayed away from this year’s GoodReads reading challenge. I really, really want to meet my writing goals this year to finish my current wip, Rivers of Stone. interestingly, I’m reading a historical romance that’s set about 200 years before my story, but because the story is set in the same country, I’m seeing overlaps and different ways to integrate setting and culture. Thanks for the link to Jennifer Wells’ blog on casting. I’m checking it out! Have a good week.

    1. Good luck with meeting your writing goals! As you note, though, sometimes somebody else’s fiction jars loose our own ability to create. 😉

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