Monday, August 19, 2013

Update and Status Report

Hello all,

Things in my neck of the woods seem to be settling down, at least for a while, and I find myself with some time to attend to things I've been neglecting. 
Most importantly, I'm working on Book 3 again. It's got a long way to go, but I'm able to do a little more than just pick away at the moment, so I'm embracing that while I can. 
First of all, I want to thank everyone who's emailed me over the past couple of years. I don't always get to check as often as I'd like, but every time I did, someone was there telling me how much they love Dino and Seth, and how they are hoping there will be a third book coming. 
I'm so grateful to all those people. It's wonderful and reassuring to know that even though a lot of time has passed, people still want to read more about Dino and Seth, and it's not too late to write another book. So, thank you so much for that. 
I also wanted to give an update of sorts as to WHY the third book has been so long in coming. 
Real life ramped up in a way I was totally not prepared for. (Parents of teenagers, please prepare to nod sagely.) My kids are 16 months apart, so there's never been any breathing room in any stage of parenting, and this has been no different.  
My son developed a bit of an attitude problem and spent the better part of two years trying to flunk both Junior and Senior years - something wildly frustrating to us, because he's very smart and had been doing incredibly well until that point. We didn't know for sure if he would be graduating until the very last day of school. (He did.) 
During this time, he tried to get into the Air Force, but due to some screw-ups, he was labeled with medical conditions he doesn't have, and was rejected. He took a stab at college, but his heart was really with the military, so we underwent a massive process to get those mistakes cleared up and he was able to join the Army. He graduated basic from Fort Jackson this spring, and is now doing very well at AIT. It was a rocky road, but I'm so proud of him, and it's wonderful to have him back to his old self. 
My daughter is right behind him in high school, and although she brings less drama to the table, there's still quite a lot going on with her that takes our time and attention. We've also been involved this summer in helping her switch high schools because she's starting to hate it as much as our son did. Plus there's ACT and college applications to deal with... 
IN THE husband and I were also looking ahead a few years to what we'll do when she goes off to college and we're all alone again. (Besides crack open the champagne.) 
A couple years ago, we hatched this fabulous plan to clean out the basement of our sign shop and create an apartment for ourselves. It would be PERFECT - it's right downtown and within walking or biking distance of nearly everything, and we'd be on-site for work, which could go a long way to helping us really move the business forward. It would certainly help us keep on top of things better, since we could go upstairs to get jobs running, and be able to check on them later without actually working all evening. 

Things started out okay, although the cleaning out part of the process was monumental due to the sheer amount of junk we inherited when we bought the building. It took us several months. Then came the rather long and drawn out process of getting the zoning worked out and convincing the city to issue us a building permit. Apparently, no one has ever done this before and it created quite a stir. It also created a mix of commercial and residential code requirements that’s so extensive it made the whole project significantly more expensive and more time consuming that we ever could have imagined. It’s still less than the cost of a house, but now we’ll have to sell our house before we can hope to do the project. Our original plan had been to build the apartment and move in, then fix up the house and stage it to sell. 
So, the whole of this spring was devoted to getting the house fixed up and cleaned out and ready to sell. It’s been on the market since the beginning of July, and we’re still finding more and more things that need to be done.  
HOWEVER, we’re hitting something of a lull as we run out of projects and are simply waiting for the house to sell. We COULD go back and start doing some of the simpler, inexpensive work on the apartment, and we will this fall…but we both needed a break to concentrate on something else for a while and relax. 
So, for a short time at least, I have both time and energy to devote to Dino and Seth. Let’s see how much I can get done while it lasts.