Saturday, October 28, 2017

Mornings With Batman and Other Tales of Employment

Scott D. Parker

Batman may be vengeance and the night, but he’s also a remarkable able companion to while away a few morning hours during unemployment.

Almost a month ago, I wrote about my plans for the month of October. With much more time on my hands, I had glorious dreams of writing a novel or two. I was going to throw in a short story or two, and format and prepare the next book for publication.

Then the reality of unemployment crashed down on me. The cliche is true: looking for a full-time job really is a full-time job. There are lots of places on the internet to look for work…and I probably didn’t even scratch the surface. I would look for jobs directly at certain oil and gas companies and then on various job boards. My daily list grew quite long and extensive.

And I would check it every day, typically in the morning. When a job posting popped up that matched both my experience and my desire, I would produce a new, specific cover letter and send it away.

What I didn’t do much of was write fiction. I had worry at the forefront of my mind every day. And, try as I might, I found unemployment to be the elephant in the room. I did a few things, however. I ordered physical proofs of my four mystery novels and set about updating them. But in terms of brand-new content, I produced next to nothing.

My early morning schedule quickly became consistent. I would get my boy to his carpool by 6:30am and return home. Wash the dishes, pour another cup of coffee, and watch a couple of episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. My daily dose of Batman turned into one of the few parts of the day where I didn’t worry about not having a job. Even on the day I went to an interview, I made sure to watch those episodes.

Well, that interview turned into a job. Yay! I start Monday. For the first time in seven years, I’ll have an actual commute. It’ll likely be 50 or so minutes in the mornings and probably 60 in the afternoons. That doesn’t bother me much at all. I’ve got an Audible account and tons of podcasts. Heck, I might even do the drive-really-slow-near-my-house-so-I-can-hear-the-last-chapter thing more than once. And for those brainstorming sessions, I have a special microphone I can plus into my phone and dictate new fiction. I'll probably start my commutes with Tom Hanks's new book of stories. I considered purchasing the paperback, but when I saw Hanks himself narrated his own book, that sold me on the audio.

As far as fiction is concerned, I’m going to give myself a week to acclimate to the new surroundings. NaNoWriMo starts on Wednesday, but I did that for the first five months of this year, so I don’t need to special month to write a book in four weeks. Besides, Daylight Savings Time ends next weekend, so as soon as that milestone is passed, I’ll start up my 4:30am writing sessions again.

This past week (actually only Wednesday through Friday), with the job on the horizon, I ended up watching extra episodes of Batman: TAS. Boy, is that show great. It was made even greater when one of my book club members selected Dark Knight III: Master Race to read this month. Ugh! The less said about that series, the better. Of nine issues, I think I liked something like 4-5 pages.

So, there you go, folks. Hopefully the last post about employment for a long, long time. I’m happy to be back in the workforce and will jump back into fiction writing very soon.

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