There are times when I struggle to accomplish things during the week
There are times when I struggle to accomplish things by years end.
And there are times when I recognize that I may never accomplish, or repair, what has been done in life.
This week is the first time in four months in a new position that I have had some semblance of a Saturday to myself. Not before time too. I completed (almost) all of my work by noon, cleaned, did chores, and this evening, started to write. No sooner had I started writing did my companion - Jacob the Cat, come and began critiquing my work. He would usually perch himself on the printer and look down on my work space. The printer is broken so he plopped in my lap.
A Cat in the Lap seems like almost a good title for an enjoyable read.
Not for my wife.
Not because I have a child.
Not because I have a family.
Not because I'm getting a divorce.
Not because I'm crippled by child support.
Not because I'm immigrating.
Not because I'm remarrying.
Not because my daughters need transport.
Not because another car died.
Not because I'm out of paying child support.
I know exactly where I was when I first heard of September 11. I know who I was talking to. I know what I did.
I know know what the effect of that day was upon me.
This morning, I set about my day heading for surgery when the names of the heroes of United Flight 93 were being run across the screen. People who had a glimpse of what had happened elsewhere, powerless to help them, but did their own thing.
There are a number of organizations for whom I write for.
There are a number of organizations for whom I entrust my writing to.
And there are two organizations where I am currently witting as a development point. For the past few months, I have been crafting science fiction, developing a first person story telling trait which has been, historically, a harsher genre to write in.
Now I am perplexed by a technical issue that has prevented me from uploading the story for the past three weeks, despite the story gaining viewer traction.
A Gateway error is preventing me from accessing the server in which the story resides.
The story is still being written, it's not in the public forum.
I need to write a resolution to a technical difficulty.
Next week, I travel interstate for a conference which pertains to my "day job". While it is no secret about what I do - a quick search of Google will show that - there is very little writing about my work.
Conversely, twenty years ago, I was in an environment which now has numerous appearances in a variety of genres - self help, family, motivation and science fiction. How is that I was able to turn a career into profitable works?
I wrote about work.
The New York Times in 2014 wrote that "just being a novelist is a lot harder than it looks". Never has this been more apparent when people inevitable ask me what I do to support my writing. Again, it's no secret, but what I actually do - well, that needs to stay on the 'down low'.
This week I started working on a piece of speculative fiction and several thousand words in, I recognized that had I been sitting at a Starbucks writing, (as most writers seem to be identified as commencing there) any Tom, Dick or terrorist in the area would have been able to see "what I actually do".
Our Nations Security, is far more important, than anything that I might write in the imaginative world of the Saturn Sector.
Each week, I look at the bank page where my blog resides and try to decide what stains will grace it. Mostly, this blog alternates between the development of the writer within me, the injustices orchestrated against fathers, and occasionally, recent events in my personal life.
This week all three managed to combine into a "force majeure" event, a phrase normally associated with a contract where certain circumstances beyond their control make either party unable to fulfill their obligations.
Acts of God, natural disasters, civil war are the big three that most think of. Sometimes it can be the mental grind.
This week I had to take on the State of California and the Commonwealth of Australia as, once again, their errors which are compounded with automatic penalties, were once again identified as inaccurate. The State acknowledges that the error occurred, but claims it has no authority to correct it. At the same time, they report that they are legislated to act on a thirty (30) day response. The Commonwealth of Australia report that they have no recourse when payment is not made, but must continue to act until so resolved.
No one wants to take responsibility, but will proceed regardless rather than redress the error. Sounds like a poor parenting plan. And it is.
Having championed the cause, I have returned home to receive correspondence from my native country addressed to my daughter at her mother house. Apparently, her mother can receive payments for our daughter at that mailing address, but when a gift from me is sent to our daughter, it is marked "return to sender".
It was only in recent years that I found a name for the "force majeure" of my life. It's called Parental Alienation. And it's taught by the evil mothers to our children, learned from their mother.
Wickedness, repeats history. As done to the mother of our children, so is now done to our children.
In the writing world, numerous success stories can be found of fans who have turned their writing into contemporary masterpieces. Author E.L. James like the Twilight series so much, they wrote the 50 Shades series. Last week I was reminiscing about a project that begin some twelve years ago that did not evolve, and I began reading about the "fan fiction" which drives a number of successful spin off series.
Star Wars and Star Trek are two of the most popular, allowing evening the novice writer to be able to compile a story based upon the loose collection of characters, in a world which has been established - but not yet fortified on it's boundaries.
Website FanFiction.Net chronicles a lot of speculative writing, and the pitfalls as well. Writers who have created characters, fleshed them out and developed stories, don't want to see their hard work copied, even plagiarized. But apparently they are comfortable with endless computer games based on their premises - have you ever counted how many Star Wars games there are?
About twelve years ago while with the computer game company, I attended the preview of a game that enthralled me so much, I wrote about it at a number of game sites. Fast forward, I have now started writing my own speculative fiction, using some of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) characters as background for my own story.
Day 10, and Verizon Wireless still can't get it's own Customer Service alibi straight.
The story so far. One telephone number has been nuisance calling my personal cell phone. I contact Verizon Wireless, they can't block it from their end - it has to be done through my on line account. Completed.
The nuisance calls keep coming.
Telephone Tech Support, they block the number - the calls keep coming.
Telephone a Tech Coach who claims the block is not present - despite hard evidence on my end. They go to block the telephone number from their end, and the number now "mysteriously" appears as a blocked number that they can't explain - but the calls keep coming.
Today I telephone Customer Service - who confirm that no block exists, but upon further review, report that the block is on all telephone numbers - except the phone receiving all the calls. I'm calling them out - incompetent, deceitful, and failure to provide the service requested.
"You haven't been inconvenienced in any way by the nuisance caller," the Customer Service agent claims.
Ten days, eight calls and eleven hours on the phone to Verizon, broken sleep, and the inability of a cell phone company to fulfill their service agreement apparently is not enough for Verizon Wireless to be considered an inconvenience for their customers.
There are entities, who believe that they are so far above reproach, that they do not have to supply the level of service that they bill for. The worst offenders are cell phone carriers, and Verizon Wireless heads that list.
I have been receiving nuisance calls from one telephone number. Incoming calls at 11:30pm at night, 4:30am in the morning, 6:10am on Sunday morning. Inconvenient times. I know my cell phone carrier has been charging for the past 12 years for a block application - I'll call customer service and ask them to activate it.
"I'm sorry, Verizon Wireless can't activate call blocking without changing your plan." (Which invokes a higher monthly cost.)
Verizon Wireless Customer Service is unable to commence a call blocking service that I have already been paying for, without charging me a higher rate? (Sounds like extortion.)
Customer Service reports that they cannot activate the service, but, I can use the on line web page to access my account and start the call blocking service.
Later that day, I access the on line web page, log into my account and block the incoming call across all cell phone lines.
Want to guess who calls me the next day at 9.55pm? My blocked caller. I call Verizon Wireless and sit on hold for an hour without an answer before calling it a night. The next morning, my nuisance caller is at at it again at 06:05am and I phone my cell phone carrier straight away.
"We can't explain why your block caller is able to get through - let me put your through to Technical Support Tier II."
"You don't have any blocked numbers," Tier II claims. I call them out and print out a copy of the on line account not only showing the blocked cell phone number, but the expiration date.
"Oh, well...we can't explain why your blocked caller is getting through."
That's what I thought. Verizon Wireless can't supply the services that they have been charging me for. Why, am I still paying them?