What you see above is the most recent photo of my new office space in the basement of my house. I took great pains to compose the photo in such a way as to emphasize maximum efficiency and organization. What you don’t see, of course, is the rest of the basement. We got rid of most of my father’s detritus only to replace it with the stuff from the vacated Pod Loft down in Northtown. There is still a fair bit of organization to be done, upgrades to be worked in, and general fiddle farting around but I will say this.
In the two months since I cleared out a workspace in the basement, my productivity on all fronts has shot through the roof. Given how much I have to deal with this semester it is probably a good thing I have the space otherwise my current workload would be impossible to manage.
In front of the desk is a small fridge for beverages and at some point I’ll get a microwave plus a hot water kettle as well. We don’t have a bathroom down here but we do have a sink behind that wall of encyclopaedias.
At some point I’ll put a relatively cheap, expendable carpet down on the floor which should make the winters tolerable.
Ongoing projects for the Garage Office include refurbishing two bookshelves my father built when I was a boy. They are a bit on the rickety side but salvageable with some work. They are a sort of orange stained color which never sat well with me. I think I’ll put a plywood back on them as a form of reinforcement and paint them black to match with the other furniture already down here.
Eventually another XBox will be obtained and I’ll get a gaming area going. There is a couch-futon thing I might pick up at Target which is relatively affordable. If Mom wants to watch one thing an I want to watch another, or Cindy and I want to have a date night, there will be a space for that. Or if I find enough people who actually want to watch NFL football, that is an option as well.
I think a punching bag is in order for later on down the road along with a modest workout space. I do not think I’ll bother to get free weights though I may invest in some dumbbells for arm and shoulder work.
Of course, what I should be doing down here is reading history and science fiction while working on my lecture notes and writing projects.
Things took a turn for the better for Mom here in the last couple of weeks. The VA finally settled her Widow’s benefit claim which means she has the resources to clean up the backyard. Efforts are underway as we speak to get the brush knocked down, the trash removed and the backyard turned into something that can be maintained by people who have to work for a living.
Mom and I had done some work back there but frankly, we just didn’t know where to begin. Fortunately, as was the case with the basement, we found someone who has been very efficient in clearing things out, getting the brush under control and managing the landscaping problems.
Pictures to follow once we’re done.
Research Project Number – 06, Stalin’s Hammer
The current research effort is moving forward without any serious difficulties. The client has most of the combat chapters back in hand. I need to run over some of the non-combat chapters a bit later today or tomorrow.
Most John Birmingham fans will know that Stalin’s Hammer is the first of a series of dedicated ebooks tied in with the Axis of Time trilogy. I think everyone will be pretty happy with what they see.
Plans are afoot for more such titles in the AoT universe and in the Disappearance Trilogy. Everything, of course, hinges on the readers themselves. We’ll see how it goes.
The Writing Front: A Restoration of Faith
I’ve gotten feedback from two of Beta Readers so far. The comments have been positive for the most part. There is a laundry list of things which need to be fixed but that is to be expected with a first draft. Hopefully I can clear some other matters off the deck and focus on this over the next couple of days.
The Lifeguard Front – Instruction
Teaching others to become lifeguards continues to go well. My employer has a stringent social medial policy which limits what I can say. I do believe I can say with confidence that the class I had this last Sunday with my teaching peers was one of the best I’ve had all season. Everyone got in there, did what they were supposed to do and we got out.
Real professionals already, they were a joy to work with.
On other ongoing matters, I can not comment at all, social media policy or no.
I’ve not kept up with the physical fitness and my time in the pool has been nil aside from lessons. That needs to change over the next few weeks. So we’ll see what happens.
Lastly, we got a new barbecue grill. The bad news is that I have to assemble it.
Saturday project? Yeah, probably. At least I’ve got instructions in two languages I sorta understand, English and Spanish.
Steven Francis Murphy
Author of The Limb Knitter and Tearing Down Tuesday
Kansas City, Missouri