Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm It

For this post, I am going to respond to a meme tag from a friend and fellow writer, Akasha Savage, who blog at Aspirations from the Darkside. First things first, you gotta spend some time at her blog, because she posts her marvelous and eerie short stories and they're not to be missed.

Since the tag has to do with what I might be doing and what I should be doing and what I want to be doing, it seems like an appropriate time to mention what I won't be doing. I'm taking an indefinite break from blogging. It's all in an effort to get a grip on my priorities. I'm working on a new book, and it hasn't been going as well as I like. Too many little random things that come up to interfere with my focus. So I need to strip away everything except the essentials. Family care, which comes first no matter what else is on the list. Day job, which keeps a roof over our heads and bacon on our plates. And writing, which may someday contribute to the whole food-and-shelter thing, and even if it doesn't, it keeps me as sane as I ever am. So everything else goes, at least until I get this next book done and it's time to do the active part of promoting Chasing Smoke.

I will be maintaining my personal blog, primarily as a place to make announcements. I will also drop in to see what the rest of the Inksters are up to and make an occasional smart-assed comment. I've greatly enjoyed being a part of this amazing crowd of writers. Even if I feel like I can't contribute as a blogger myself, I wouldn't miss making a regular stop here for anything.

And so, my answers to Akasha's tag...

What was I doing 10 years ago?
I just started work as creative director for a lawn and garden products company here in the Northwest. Lost Dog was a few spastic chapters old, very different from what it is now, and titled Holes. Later I would change the title primarily because Holes, the beloved young adult novel and—eventually—Disney movie appeared and sorta demanded the title for itself. Imagine the child that accidently bought my Holes thinking it was the more famous Holes.

Five things on my 'to-do' list for today.
1 Produce an email newsletter for a medical products client. Exciting stuff.
2 Make another cup of coffee
3 Find my phone
4 Work on my editorial notes for Chasing Smoke
5 Be an attentive and responsible husband and father.

What I would do if I were a billionaire.
1 Um. Write.
2 Have apartments in Manhattan, Florence, Italy, and some beachy place for writing, living in each according to the season.
3 Go lots of places and hang out with lots of people.
4 Pick out names at random from the phone book, drive by their place and if they're not obviously well-to-do, give them a big stack of money.
5 Pay the heating bill for as many elderly people on a small, fixed income as I possibly can.

Three bad habits I've got.
1 Updating my Facebook status everything three minutes.
2 Buying things I don't need.
3 Buying more things I don't need.

Snacks I enjoy.
1 I'm not a snacky guy, but I do get a hankering for salty things on a fairly regular basis.
2 A little ice cream is good too
3 Bacon. It is too a snack.

The last five books I've read.
1 Nothing To Lose by Lee Child
2 A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander
3 The Deceived by Brett Battles (Officially out TODAY, but which I got to read in its UK form a few weeks ago!)
4 The Judgment of Caesar by Steven Saylor
5 The Clinch Knot by John Galligan

Five jobs I've had.
These are in the order I've had them, starting with my first real job at age 16.
1 Housekeeper.
2 Fast food peon (in various establishments and capacities).
3 Technical writer.
4 Graphic Designer.
5 Um. That's sorta it. I mean, sure, number 2 is actually about 9 different jobs, but they were all basically the same hell. And number 4 has been in a number of different capacities, from graphic production slave to the guy that tells graphic production slaves what their awful deadline is.

Five places I've lived.
I've lived a lot of places, and moved a lot all my life. My good friend since high school, Chris, makes a point of telling me he writes my address in his book in pencil, because he knows it's going to change. Between birth and high school graduation, I had 17 different bedrooms, though to be fair, two of them were in the same house. That said, I've now lived in the same house for seven years, and figure to be here for the foreseeable future. A guy CAN change!

Some of the stops along the way...
1 Cincinnati. Both my birthplace and a stopping point in the late 80s. I happened to be there the day the local sheriff barged into a downtown art gallery to to arrest a number of Robert Mapplethorpe photos.
2 Savannah, Georgia. I was a little kid, and mostly what I remember is the immediate surroundings of the two apartment complexes where I lived. However, Savannah is distinctive in my personal history as the location of a two week stretch when I skipped school and spent the days learning to cook from Graham Kerr and Julia Child on television. But, boy, was I in trouble when my mom found out. Except she liked the food.
3 Pawtucket, Rhode Island. I lived two different places here, 81 Arthur Street and 21 Finch Street. I remember the addresses so distinctly because they sound like something out of a British ghost story. And, in fact, I was convinced we did have a ghost at 21 Finch Street, though years later I came to discover it was actually squirrels in the attic.
4 Dayton, Ohio-ish. It's -ish because I lived in suburbs and rural locations around the general Dayton area from late elementary until I graduated high school.
5 Portland, Oregon. My current home and the place I expect to live for the rest of my life—unless, of course, that billionaire thing above happens.

I wish everyone the best. I'll see you around the blogosphere.


Mark Terry said...

See ya & good luck.

My meme:

1. Working in a cytogenetics lab & hating it, while writing in the evenings and weekends.

2. Take son to basketball camp & pick him up; write draft of telemed report; interview people for digital pathology article; send out Fortress to beta readers; go for a bike ride.

3. Travel. Buy a place in Florida, Hawaii, northern Michigan and damn near anywhere else I wanted to; set up scholarships; buy a boat; try to do something to help other people, don't know what right off hand, but with that kind of money I'm sure I could come up with something.

4. 1. Snacking. 2. Checking blogs obsessively. 3. YouTube.

5. Homo Politicus by Dana Milbanks; Beyond Vallaran by SJ Viehl; The Cold Moon by Jeffery Deaver; The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan; The Sacred Cut by David Hewson.

6. Ice cream; nuts; donuts are a guilty pleasure, but I try to keep them down to "rarely."

7. Freelance writer; cytogenetics technologist; research assistant; mailroom clerk; dishwasher.

8. Oxford, MI; Lake Orion, MI; Southgate, MI; East Lansing, MI; Davison, MI. Yeah, all in the same state. I should do something about that.

Nina Wright said...

Hey, Bill, I'm going to miss those highly entertaining Inkspot blog posts!

Even if you never become a billionaire--though I think you just might--I believe you'll do lots of good things for people on this planet. In fact, I think you already are.... Keep up that positive energy.


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

We're gonna miss you, Bill. Can't wait to read Chasing Smoke! Keep cranking out the great books, and never lose sight of your dreams.

Big Hugs!
Sue Ann

Terri Thayer said...

No goodbyes, just see ya later. I'll miss your blog post but look forward to your snarky comments.

Mark Combes said...

Let me guess Bill, Army brat? I thought I moved around alot as a kid. You and I should talk sometime about how difficult that is for a child. But I think it's one of the reasons I became a writer.

Bill Cameron said...

I certainly plan on staying in touch, sharing drinks at conferences, and so on.

And, Mark, yeah, you would think Army brat would be it, but really it was just nomadic mother.

Akasha Savage said...

Thanks for taking part Bill, and for the wonderful comments you posted about me...now I WILL have to think up some good stories! I'll keep in touch on your other blog. I found your meme interesting reading - and you're right about those address, I will keep them in mind for future ghost stories....!!