Sorry it’s a monstrous animated gif. But it’s important.

August 15th, 2008. That’s when I made this animated gif for my original website, I recently found again. The website was supposed to be the beginning of hard work and determination as I slogged my way through writing this novel that won’t stop demanding that I write it.

I purchased this domain on July 24th, 2008 through Go Daddy. It’s now hosted elsewhere and the domain is under google because it just made the most sense. I’ve learned a lot about how to put up websites and how to alter code for those websites. I’ve forgotten way more though. I’m a little closer to finishing the novel that spurned this massive distraction called “my online presence”…but not that much closer.

I’ve got the entire story planned out in a 3 act structure. I’ve written close to 10,000 words. Plus notes. Plus more handwritten notes. So it’s probably a much bigger monster than I’ve given myself credit for..but progress isn’t the same as completion. And to this day, I can’t stop thinking about finishing it.

I decided that the main story would follow a three-book story arc. From those novels, I decided that it would make sense to have some back story for two secondary characters, who play major roles, in the form of two novellas. This was important to me because I felt they also needed to have their stories told. One from the perspective of when and why the world changed. The other from the perspective of someone who fought against the transformation in an effort to maintain a final shred of humanity. I’m really excited to tell her story when she finally lets me in on it.

So many things have changed since I started this journey. I brought a marriage to an end while, embarrassingly, starting a new relationship and bringing and raising new life into this world. Provided contributory matter to bringing another wonderful life into this world and brought that relationship to an end…and started another one. And then six months ago, I was part of bringing another amazing life into this world.

Throughout this time I’ve changed careers so many times, it boggles my mind. I had always thought that I would do the same job from when I started working until retirement.

In the time I’ve been working on this book “in earnest” I’ve been:

  • A CSR for a transportation company working with Toyota
  • A propane service manager for Vancouver Island and Northern BC
  • A student at Conestoga College to learn how to wire panels and read schematics
  • A panel wirer and sub assembly employee at Rockwell Automation
  • An international dispatcher and customs expert for one of the most vile humans I have ever encountered
  • A mailman. The job I wish I had found from the beginning and still love after almost 2 years

I know all of this is just part of my journey. The bad. The good. The heartbreak. The triumph. I would not be the person I am today, if not for the decisions and mistakes that I’ve made. I have no regrets, save for the hurt that I have caused along the way. But if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change a thing. That would just result in wasted lessons, wasted time, and mean that I don’t value who I’ve become.

I am a better person now. Stronger. Wiser. I know my strengths and revel in them when I can. I understand my weaknesses and press against the barriers they create at every opportunity. The people who I know today, have no clue about the labels I was given by professionals so many years ago. A friend of mine was shocked and said that they never would have guessed. I find more empowerment in that than I could ever explain. I’ve evolved even though throughout that time I felt as though I was standing perfectly still, wasting the opportunity and precious, limited time.

I’ve found moderation. I’ve discovered self-worth that I would never have known if not for being treated like human waste on the bottom of a millionaire’s shoes. From that, I even learned that money can’t buy you class or decency or loyalty. You reap what you sow. I still forgive that old boss that once rushed me like he was going to take a swing at me because no one answered when he called. I even forgive him for verbally abusing me in front of my peers and then firing me, not because I was a bad employee, but because I refused to let him move me to a night shift to make room for his friend’s wife. Thank you, Jimmy….but also fuck you. You’re a snake in the grass with all your false promises and venomous smiles. I hope one day I get to tell you about how much of that abuse I have saved on my phone in the form of audio files. While I look forward to the idea of that day, I’m still thankful and despite all your money, I’m a better man than you.

I digress. I’ve grown. Maybe I’m a little wiser, a lot more bitter, and far more critical than when I started. However, at this point in my existence, I firmly believe that I am in the right place, right mind, and even the right age to continue the journey I’ve started with this novel or series of novels, that I’ve begun to write. I also feel like I’m ready to start giving my creative side permission to work outside of the novel. I think the tunnel vision I’ve forced upon myself is also what has kept me from continuing forward.

The hardest part of writing…

…is showing up”

Grant Snider