Fall Break


Driving across the country in October for a Fall Break is exciting. I look forward to spending time with Bo, outside of the house, and clearing my head from the chaos of the world.


Dystopian city on fire. Changes in the air. The last couple of years have been radical. My life has been upturned by the pandemic, civil unrest, and down-right craziness in the Washington DC area. I am glad to be in Virginia now and strangely, do not see myself returning to an urban lifestyle. I am done with cities. In 2020, I truly felt locked down. The city (DC) was mostly boarded up and there were even barricades and armed troops at checkpoints around The Capital and White House. It is one thing to see it on TV and quite another to walk around and live in it. At the time, it reminded me of what I was told Eastern Europe was like in the 80s during the Cold War. All it needed was Berlin type of wall. Although, both The Capital and White House were walled off with multiple fences and barbed wire. The back and forth of the plague was another story with rules and guidelines always in flux. The CDC was saying one thing because of shortages of masks and vacinnes then backtracking. No wonder conspiracy theories thrive when nobody knows who is telling the whole truth. Moving out of the city to a place with some trees and space to walk—a place without never-ending fire alarms (one real fire on a particularly, cold night) and no homeless breaking into the apartment complex—is a blessing.


Trapped in a cell to my own devices. My marketing, travel job ended for better or worse. I used to travel to events across the country going to concerts, festivals, bike rally’s, and rodeos. Now, I don’t even fly anymore and am still figuring out what my next job path will be. I have even had to dial back some recent plans with the agony of a surgery for a kidney stone that was stuck. The upside is the focus on writing. When I was trapped, I shaved the sides of my head and had a mohawk for the first time in ages. I also kept an online vigil with friends, on Friday nights, for our virtual club of Numbers on Twitch. (The stream has ended but remnants can be found on Wednesdays, currently with Insides. Like the classic night, the music is all dark 80s new wave, punk, and industrial.) Along with digital film and virtual festivals, the communal livestream of music was one of the windows out of my cell. During all this time, I have been very fortunate to have Bo at my side. We have been married for over ten years now. Time flies.


All of this strange time has led to lots of introspection. I am ready forge new paths and reinvent myself for the next phase of these ending and changing times.


Dysphoria made it to the short list, in the submission process, for an antholgy, Dead Inside. Alas, it did not make the final cut, but the publisher, Dark Dispatch, found it compelling and gave it strong consideration. It always feels good to have some encouragement in the darkness.


Lane Bowden 1973 is still in the process with a different publisher so I will see what happens.


During lockdown, I revamped all my past writing and, to my partner’s relief, am done with those projects and I am in the midst of truly preparing the second wave. I plan on a fresh round of submissions for various projects later this autumn and I will post updates soon.


Enough of this diatribe, it is time for a Fall Break!


DS




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