Help Me Level Up

Hey everyone, it’s a beautiful evening, and I’m writing this with the windows open and the blades of sunlight streaming through the edges of the Venetian blinds.

My worry is that this post will be a little rambly, but let’s promise each other to do our best and get through all the stuff, shall we?

First, a medical update! I’m still upright and kicking, and I know that my flippant answers make it sound like I’m not serious about the issues of my health, but I do so love to cage and dodge my feelings sometimes in humor. The fact is that nothing has changed in a while. I’ve got some new meds to start in two weeks, the diet plan is actually not too awful (did you know mexican food that you don’t buy via drive-thru is actually pretty smart for your heart? I didn’t), and I’ve wrangled some very lovely arrangements with insurers and doctors alike so that I won’t have to sell unborn children to too many cults or crossroads specters in order to make it through the autumn months. Yes, it’ll be expensive. Yes, that will make things tough. No, that’s not the end of the world. I made it work once, I can damned sure do it again.

Second, I want to write in more than 140 characters that I am sorry if my continued chatter about my health verges on the maudlin or complaint side of things. I know that it gets tiring quickly to hear people complain of dwindling finances and stressful situations, and I continue to appreciate the patience of everyone who has stayed along for the ride. I don’t write these things idly or just to sour other peoples’ parades, and I promise you to do a better job (starting right the hell now) in keeping the negative in check.

Yes, my health is a scary issue for me. It’s a nebula of confusion and fear and anger and sadness and acceptance all swirling around the ideas that I may or may not be deserving this fate or good enough to deserve coming through this in one piece. But that is likely material for not only a wealth of blogposts, but also therapy appointments.

Moving onward, we should talk a little about some of the things I want to do, given my promise two paragraphs ago.

I want to attend more writing-based conferences, conventions, and retreat-things. I know “retreat-things” isn’t a word, but I was looking for sort of a catch-all to describe the events where lots of people congregate to discuss and learn about writing. I’d like to sit in more audiences. I’d like to be surrounded by those creative energies again. I miss them.

I want to speak at writing-based conferences, conventions and retreat-things. Here’s a slightly tricky prospect: I’m not an agent. I’m not employed by a traditional publisher. I’m not a professor of English at an educational institution. I’m a professional editor with over a decade of experience helping people turn ideas into stories, games and media. I’ve got a small twitter following. I say some things that people favorite and retweet, but I’m not exactly a Kardashian (that’s the metric for quality social media, right? Kardashian Units? Or have we switched to the Kanye or Trump? I can never tell.) What I’m saying is that I don’t know how to get my name on the radar of these things, but I’m willing to try all that I can to do so.

I am going to continue to work. Work is an invaluable resource for me, and not just financially. Because I get tired and do a lot of sitting or reclining, I find myself in need of things to do. Heart issues may tax the body, but the mind just sort of sits there and spins. Having work, the challenge of creation, the challenge of bringing other peoples’ stuff to its best light, all that fire and passion is tremendous for me. I want to help. I love to create. I love to see things transmogrify from idea to product. Don’t let the daily pills and frequent naps fool you, beneath this cane-walking facade churns the creative engine waiting to be let loose again. I’ve still got good days and good work ahead of me.

I want to Guest of Honor at a convention or event. Here I stroke my ego, some would say, but I think this is more a goal than an abject recognition of some obvious premise … because I don’t think I always deserve the ranking, even though I claw at my world to bring me validation (Again, more therapy topics, I think) This isn’t a case of “if person X can be a Guest of Honor, why can’t I?”, this is more a case of “John, will you please stop being afraid and take the chance?” Again, I’m not always sure how to do that, but I’m wanting to do more.

If you’ve asked, “How can I help?” let me thank you and then thank you again. Here’s how you can help:

(if you’re wondering why this gap is here, imagine I’ve been interrupted five times by a really needy dog)

  1. Continue this ride with me. Keep doing what you’re doing
  2. If you have conventions, writing conferences, groups or other word things that you’d like to see me at, tell me about them.
  3. If you want to take your idea and get it out of your head, and onto paper or a page or anywhere where it can be seen or experienced by others, let’s work together. Write me an email. Write me a tweet. Let’s talk about making your stuff happen.

We’ll talk more soon. Like next week soon.

Happy writing.

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