Although procrastination is known to be one of my virtues,I’ve decided that it is not the biggest threat my writing faces. Even writer’s block, that classic foe, cannotclaim the title of biggest reason why my writing slows. No, it is very simple really, myproblem. It’s called busy.
Don’t take it to mean that I find useless or dull things tooccupy me. I don’t watch much TV, myPlay Station is covered in dust (and ash, but that’s another story), and the onlything I ever go shopping for is guns. Ijust have way too many important and interesting things to do. In a random act of randomness, I have decidedto compile a list of ten of these great distractions. It is as follows:
- Work. Whether the tractor needs driving, greased, or repaired, or maybe the crops need planting/harvesting/plowing/spraying,there is neveran end to the farm work.
- Work If and when there is a break fromfarming*, the cows and the ranching side of the business are happy to fill anyspare time I might find. And always a cowboy’s job security, fencing. There is always fencing to be done. Alas.
- Martial Arts. When I ignore the work (see above)and pretend I don’t need to be doing it, the next most common demand on my timeis Taekwon-Do. In the off-season, I teach the all-ranks adult class once a weekand I go to (or teach) the advanced/black belt class once a week. In the on-season, when I am training forWorlds, I add two to three days of training per week.
- Muscle Cars. In a exemplification of insanity, my brother and I have started buyingand restoring cool cars. We startedhumbly one year ago with a mad-dash midnight trip to Seminole to buy a ’68 Mustang. That car is almost done (we’re in the laterstages of ‘work the bugs out’). Ofcourse, instead of stopping there, or even finishing the first project, in theyear since, we have added a .68 GTO, a ’69 GTX, a ’69 Roadrunner, a ’68 Roadrunner,and a ’54 Hudson Hornet to the to-do list. I’m not including the three othercars that we plan to use as parts cars and/or strip down to stunt/racing cars.
- Guns. Bigguns, little guns, and guns in between—but mostly big guns. I love shooting and I seem to be pretty goodat it. I go hunting occasionally andspend the rest of the year trying to figure out how to make it harder next time. I prefer a challenge. Last time, I used a scoped .500 S&WMagnun revolver and that turned out to be a one-shot hunt anyway. I’m pondering open-sights and a Desert Eagle.44 Magnum pistol next time. Cleaningand buying guns takes up plenty of time too. And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve started doing USPSA (United StatesPractical Shooting Association) competitions.
6. School. Two degrees in four years. Yes, I was crazy. But I did it. With great pleasure, I hereby remove this distraction from furtherconsideration.
- Music. I sing, play the guitar, play the fiddle, andplay some other instruments (not at the same time, I’m afraid) and all too often,I find myself agreeing to play in a band for some gig or another. Of course, said gigs are invariably withoutpay and in the rain, the wind, or some other undesirable venue or weather condition. Oh, I did I mention those weekend jams inratty hotels? Gotta love those.
- Pushing Sand. It fills up the roads and my tires push it around until it gets so bad Ihave to blade the sand out of the way with the maintainer. It also fills up the house and it needs to bedusted and gotten rid of (I’ve pretty much given up on this, it’s just not feasibleto maintain). All too often, we get agood, ground-scouring, yankee-ridding, burn-your-eyes, fill-your-nose, andscrape-the-skin-off-your-face, sandstorm. In which case it’s best to stay inside, but there is usually work thatmust be done outside.
- Making Stuff. Lately it has been leatherwork. Making holsters, chaps, dusters, andother good stuff out of leather. Sometimes it is woodworking, jewelry-making, fly-tying, rod-building, andif I kept going we could be here a while.
- Staying Alive. Sleeping, eating, and other time-consuming acts that are necessary tothe continued operation of my body. And/or, avoiding water-starved/homicidal cows, not getting run over, notgetting bit by poisonous snakes (or poisonous spiders), not getting eaten bycougars, and otherwise surviving all the dangers that I encounter in myeveryday life.
Whoa, I could keep going. But I won’t.
Back to it, then!
*Definition: “Break From Farming” A rare moment when there is no desperate emergency that needs taken care of; There is lots of work that needs doing, butit can wait at least a day.