Category: The Iron Writer Challenge

Retiring on the Couch

I retire in six weeks. I am concerned what my lifestyle will become. I admit I am lazy by nature. I work only when I have to. My wife of nearly forty-one years once told me I am either on or off. I work hard when I have too. Beyond that, leave me alone. I will lie on the couch and vegetate, usually multitasking between my iPad, (either reading or playing Tribez) and whatever is on television. It occurred to me over the last few days that if I continue behaving as I have in the past, my weight will explode and I will atrophy.

On the other hand, I have a goal, more a dream, to live long enough to see my youngest grandchild become a parent. If I am able to live that long, God willing, I will be somewhere around eighty-five, about twenty years from now. My fifth grandchild will be born this coming July, a grandson yet to be named. Perhaps he will become someone whose name is never spoken. It has happened before, but I pray not. But I want to see his children. If I am blessed with another grandchild, say in two years, then I will add two years to my dream.

Therefore, I need to create a schedule and stick to it. I need to become productive, or, rather, remain productive. I have been considering getting a part-time job, just to get me out of the house. I need to get to the gym on a regular basis. I want to work on my genealogy, something I enjoy.

But more importantly, I want to read and write more. I want to blog, but I have no idea why I feel I need to. If you ever want to follow my blog (why you would want to is beyond me), I plan on posted at least once week, perhaps twice, depending on my thoughts. The posts will mostly be about what I am reading or writing. I am considering putting up quotes from my work in progress, mainly to motivate me to write. Or posts about The Iron Writer Challenge.

I realize of course, that most blogs go unread. I mean, be honest. If I read every blog from every writer I have met on line, I would not have time to write this blog, let alone write my stories. So, I hope my posts will be short, ones that can be read in less than a minute, but worth the time to read, if only for myself. I write for myself anyway.

The Iron Writer Challenge

TIW Logo black back

In February of 2013, a writing friend of my asked if I would contribute to her blog. Back then, I was anxious to brand my name, create a place for me in the writing world. Today, I have cast those emotions overboard. Today, I would rather write than marketing my writing. I do not care about making money from my writing.

I committed to Victoria, expecting the ubiquitous Proust Questionnaires, for which I already had my responses. A day or two later, I found out that she wanted me to write a short story, a flash fiction piece in fact. At the time, I had no idea what ‘flash fiction’ meant. She gave me a deadline of six weeks and told me the story had to include four prompts or elements; a 1959 Zil 111, a dead gypsy, a jug of moonshine and a mounted sword fish. I was lost and regretting my promise. But I believe in keeping my word. I googled flash fiction, and the Zil 111. I stewed over it for a day or two, realizing that, as I had never considered writing a short story, let alone a shorter short story, I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn’t want to back out. I do not believe in running away. I made a promise, so I had to keep it.

I sat down the next day, and this is when I googled the Zil 111, and the muse (Ida) flew by. In an instant, a matter of mere seconds, I had my story. Five hours later it was written, polished and sent off to Victoria.

Over the next few days, I was amazed with my emotional reaction to what I had written.  It was almost euphoric. I was sharing the experience with a coworker,  who stated it reminded him of the Iron Chef.  That was when Ida flew by one more time. It was like the proverbial light bulb going off in my head.  That night I googled, searching   for the ‘Iron Writer’.  Unfortunately it was already taken buy fellow who had not been active on his blog since 2006.  But, ‘theironwriter.com. was available. I built the website and announced it in a few writing groups on Facebook that so I was a member of. A week later I posted the first challenge and here I am thirty seven months later with this wonderful albatross hanging on my neck. The Iron Writer Challenge has become my love child, taking much of my writing time, but I’m okay with that. Today, there is a large group of writers who have banded together, embracing the concept and helping each other in our craft. I’m grateful for that and plan on spending much of my retirement keeping that website viable.

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