Hello to anyone who may be reading this. The blog feels to me much like a message in a bottle tossed into the surf. Someday, there’s a good chance another set of eyes will read these words.
Anyway, I haven’t spent much time blogging (obviously) in a couple of months. I’m getting really close to retiring from the military, and I’ve been looking into MFA programs in the Southeastern U.S. At this point, N.C. State’s graduate program in creative writing is at the top of my list. It has a science fiction author, the great John Kessel, on the faculty. It’s in Raleigh, a city I love, and I really like the interactions I’ve had with the staff and faculty members I’ve dealt with there. I’m also looking at the low-residency program at the University of Tampa. Tampa is my hometown, and there’s a lot down there that appeals to me.
It’s so strange to be confronted with the end of two decades of military service. I don’t know how to be anything but a soldier, but I’m about to have to learn in a hurry. It’s scary, like the way I felt as a high school graduate looking around wide-eyed, asking ‘what now?’
I have the world’s greatest wife, and that helps quite a bit. I’ve never known anyone more patient and understanding. How she has put up with me for so long is beyond me.
The Army is getting one last shot at me before I check out. I’ve got another deployment coming up pretty soon. I’m eleven months from retirement, and a certain senior officer has decided to squeeze the last bit of value from me before I depart. It could be worse, but it’s not exactly the best time to send me overseas. I have things to do, like get ready to be a civilian. How am I going to make money, you know, to pay the mortgage and buy food for my kids? The future is uncertain.
Well, there’s the rough update on what’s happening in my life. Let me just say one more thing before I go. Life is great. I have people to love and be loved by, the sun shines most days, and I get to ride a bicycle to work. And there’s good food, wine, and conversation. Art amazes me. No matter what, the world moves on, and it’s a beautiful world despite mankind’s best efforts to tear it down. I have high hopes in these uncertain times. It’s all going to work out.