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A land forged from the fires of strife, blood of heroes, and touch of the gods.
Where deeds of great valor, vile evils, and blazing passions intertwine
to shape the course of elven and human history within.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

There and back... again

Well... I'm back.
Famous words, as said by Sam at the end of LotR.  I know the feeling.
I've returned home again from a two-week overseas business trip, my fifth of the year.  I enjoy the work, being able to travel in countries I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to visit, doing the job for my company and (hopefully) bringing back some orders.  Mission accomplished this trip. 
But here's the deal; I used to write a lot on my trips, usually on the plane where I have plenty of time (trust me, a 12-16 hour plane ride gives you lots of free time).  I would pound out scenes and sometimes whole chapters in the mornings before heading out to visit customers, or negotiate bids, or attend meetings.  In the evenings I'd edit what I had written that morning and make whatever changes were needed.  Not every day or evening, you understand, but usually on a two-week trip like this one, I'd have two or three mornings a week and at least one full day on the weekend to work on my stories.
Not any more... it's gotten, shall we say, really, really busy over the last few years, and I've finally figured out why.  
Email.
When I'm in the office I spend, on the average, 5-6 hours a day on email or work that comes via email.  And when I'm on the road, it doesn't stop.  Think about it; when I'm in the USA I deal with USA emails all day.  About 6:00pm, the emails from the Far East start rolling in, and about midnight, from the Middle East and India.  So when I arrive at the office the next day, I already have 25-40 emails from those places, plus whatever comes in during the day from our plants and customers in the USA and Europe.  
When I'm out of the office, it's the same thing, just in reverse, plus I have my daily activities with customers, our overseas offices and factories, and other things... like simply getting from place to place.  When I'm out of the office, I'm really out of the office.  And the hotel.  And our local offices.  On the road means on the road.
And when I return to the hotel in the late afternoon or evening, those USA emails are starting to roll in.  Best guess; my typical workday on a trip like this one is 16 hours. 
Up at 5:00am, email for a couple of hours.
Shower, breakfast, getting ready for the day.
Out of the hotel by 9-ish, on the road for the day, say 6-7 hours average.
Back at the hotel by 5-ish, emails from the day for a couple of hours.
Maybe dinner... maybe.
More emails until usually 10-ish or later.  Phone calls to the office.
Bed... yeah, right...
Do it all over again the next day.
Weekend; catchup.
I love my job... honest, I do.  It gives me the opportunity to work with engineers and contractors from all over the world in their environment, learning their business practices, their engineering issues, their way of doing things.  It's interesting, challenging, and very, very exhausting, mentally and physically.  Trust me, jet lag is not for sissies.  
What does this have to do with writing; not much anymore.  
But I still take my stuff along on a flash drive (one of the most amazing inventions ever!).  And I dabble in it now and then, staying close as possible, jotting down a few lines or a scene or two.  With Blades of Alliance in the works, I'm dealing with artists from all over, so that's my priority for now.
And it's OK; I understand the world changes and we have to change with it.  But I do miss writing all that good stuff while I'm on the road.  Not as much as I thought I would, but some.  
Blades of Alliance should be ready by the Holiday Season.  Books make wonderful gifts, you know. 

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