Interludes in reality

I know one of the biggest mistakes in blogging is to blog about why you’re not blogging (META ALERT) but as you’ll see below, avoiding mistakes doesn’t seem to be one of my talents. So I thought I’d let my readers know what’s going on in my life these days and how that’s affecting my writing, both fiction and nonfiction. If my personal life or how I try to work writing into it along with everything else doesn’t interest you, move along. Maybe today’s Marmaduke is funny.

I got a bit of a shock Wednesday. I had expected a maintenance guy to start re-tiling my shower, in which I’d jammed fallen tiles back into place at angles so they braced against each other. It’s been this way for nearly a year. Such is the quality establishment in which I currently live. I’ve also had my car stolen out of the reserved parking spot literally ten feet away from my balcony. Klassy with a K is what I’m saying.

When I got home, it looked like they hadn’t even started. Curious, I headed over to the leasing office to find out what was up. The apartment manager, a real sweetheart who has always been on my side, told me that the workman complained about the smell and that her boss told her that I had to go. There was nothing she could do. She’d give me a good reference and it wouldn’t be treated as an eviction if I cooperated, but I had until the end of the month.

I’ll freely admit that legally, I had this coming. One of my cats, Kosh, is a “special” cat. If the catbox isn’t completely clean, he’ll go elsewhere. I try to clean this up when I know about it, but there’s only so much a vacuum cleaner can do, and if he whizzes somewhere when I’m at work, I won’t even notice it on the tan carpet until long after the odor molecules, which form unbreakable bonds with acrylic carpet fiber, have become permanent additions. No matter what I do, the place smells like a catbox. I’ve become completely inured to it, and hardly notice it anymore, but I’ve been told it’s pretty noticeable. So sure, they have a legit beef.

It was a shock, coming with no warning, but I rallied. I still had some of my tax refund in the bank, and had two paychecks coming by March 1st, so all I had to do was find a place with an immediate vacancy and move in. I made an appointment with the complex I wanted to move into last year but couldn’t quite pull together the money. The plan was to sign the new lease Saturday morning and start moving my stuff over there. I’d planned to move in August anyway, and this way meant I could spend the summer in a new place with central air (my current digs faces southwest and has two barely functional wall units, so it bakes in summer afternoons).

On Saturday morning, I woke up and did what I do every morning on waking up. I grabbed my phone and checked my email. I noticed an insufficient funds notice from my bank, and thought, “That shouldn’t be possible. Yesterday was payday, and I have all that tax refund money left.” So I got up and went to the desktop computer to better take a look at my bank website and figure out what was up. And there, plain as day, was the problem. All my money was gone. Just vanished, poof!

I called my bank and they told me there was a court-ordered hold on my account. They didn’t have much more info and won’t until Tuesday, as Monday’s a federal holiday. They did tell me who the hold was for, which sounded familiar. I tracked it down to a law firm here in town that tried to sue me to collect on a credit card on which I’d defaulted in my 20s. I called them, and they explained that they hadn’t accepted my payment arrangement offer, they’d tried to contact me to negotiate and I hadn’t returned their calls. I don’t remember that happening, but as it’s my policy to screen calls and delete voicemails unheard from blocked CallerID numbers, I couldn’t prove them wrong.

So now I’m losing my place to live and have no money with which to secure another. And if I really was as alone as I’m sure we all sometimes feel in this old life, I’d be well and truly screwed. But as it turns out, that’s not the case.

I’m moving in with my parents, and if that doesn’t work out for some reason, I have a standing offer from my sister to take me in. A friend gave me enough cash to tide me over until next paycheck (which, though garnished, I should be able to access). And friends both here in Denver and all across the internets have made sure I know they care and are standing by to help if needed. I may not have my own place, but I have everything I really need.

Over the next few months, I’m going to save up as much money as I can to try to both pay off this debt and save up for my own apartment. It might take longer than I planned. I might not actually move out on my own again until next spring. But I know I’ll be okay. And I’ve learned, the hard way, that I have to take a more active role in my own life, stay on top of things rather than letting them snowball out of hand. Maybe this is the time to find a GTD solution I can really stick with. Toodledo looks promising.

Oh, and yeah, writing. I’ve been distracted this week, and I’m going to be pretty busy for the next two weeks at least. My fiction is on hold until I get settled, but only until then. I’m going to get back to Homeworld in early March, and I’m outlining another project that I might work on after my Homeworld second draft, or maybe concurrent with it as a change of pace. But the blogging will recommence immediately. Microsoft is going to make some exciting announcements at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week and I’ve got a few things to say about them. I have my netbook, I have my smartphone, and there’s no reason I can’t keep blogging (and tweeting) while I move into this next phase in my life. A writer writes. It’s just that simple.