Tuesday, March 24, 2020


This is the time in the day I would normally be doing one of two things. I would either be finishing breakfast and taking care of a few household chores before getting dressed and heading for work, or I would be halfway through a class at the gym and would then shower and change before going off to the day job. Either way it would result in me walking through the back doors of the casino prepared to play cards for eight hours with my regulars and teach a few tourists along the way.

I love my job. I know many who say they enjoy elements of their job but I love the entire thing. Yes there are players and bosses, coworkers and outside vendors that occasionally drive me crazy but overall I wouldn't trade what I do for almost anything. Not only do I get to laugh and talk with my players, I teach other dealers, and get to be part of a team at a company I admire. Then, of course, there is the bonus of being able to get inspiration for two different series of my books and have the time, while no one is feeling chatty, to sit and let the characters talk to me. Many of my fellow casino dealers have jokingly told me one day I will find that bestseller list and can quit. What they don't understand is I wouldn't leave, that place not only brings me joy but is a treasure trove of inspiration.

Today I am unable to head to the casino so I am sitting in my home office. I have my coffee sitting next to me, a notebook open with a pencil poised to work on notes / research / outlines but nothing is coming. I plan to get a decent amount of writing and I know that it is always the same for me. When I first sit down it is a struggle. I know the story in broad strokes but the elements of the story from line to line I discover the same way my readers do. It unfolds as I type and I am on the journey with the characters, I just happen to know where the final destination lays.

I am used to packing up my computer bag and heading to a coffee shop where I can get comfy for hours and push past that initial struggle to jump start the words and getting a solid word count on my days off. Now everyday is, in a way, a day off. With the current closing of all non-essential businesses I am writing in a space I have rarely bothered to commit words to paper, my home office. I spent a few days getting it in shape and now I am doing my best to make it work.

There are pros and cons to adapting. I am not stopping for coffee in the morning, granted I get coffee at 7-eleven not Starbucks, but it saves money nonetheless. My Keurig is getting a workout but in all honesty I like the coffee better anyway. I am home and getting things done around the house which is great to be accomplishing things but I am still struggling with the anxiety that comes from lack of socializing and with pushing to get my writing done.

My hope has been to create a pattern I can continue when the house arrest is over and I can return to my day job but will also be able to keep making progress on writing. Because I tend to take on just enough projects to get overwhelmed I find I struggle with completing any one thing in a timely manner. Hopefully this time of adapting and reflection can change that.

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