My Bucket is Full

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m struggling this week. I know most of us are struggling right now. In my part of the world, we’re in the second wave and I’m not sure people understand what that means.

Bucket

Pegasus is not good at having his sleep cycle disturbed. Last Friday we slept in and didn’t wake him early enough and he refused to nap, then he fell asleep playing (twice) and I was up until 2am with him for the next two nights. We’re just now getting his schedule back in order.

Work has also been super busy and stressful. Report season in fall and spring has stressed me out for over a decade. I should honestly be better at it by now. With the season change comes a new set of allergies and a huge uptick in the pain in my hands.

So I’m feeling like I have a bucket for stress and my bucket is starting to flow over. I’ve started feeling overwhelmed. This morning I got an email and I couldn’t process it. It just went in one ear and out the other. I’ll get back to it later today and try again.

My way of dealing with new stress this week.

Trapped

The stress, the pandemic, politics, pain, allergies, and not-sleeping have me feeling trapped. Not by my life, not by my house, and certainly not my family. I feel trapped in a need to be productive. I’m missing having days were I don’t have to do anything. Where I can wake up and just do whatever I want. Six years ago I decided I wanted to try and roast coffee. I binge watched Gilmore Girls and made buttons. I haven’t had one of those days in a while. It’s part of getting older and having more responsibilities, along with being limited in what I can do because of the pandemic. As the kids get older and don’t need naps, and there’s a vaccine, I’ll be able to just spontaneously decide to take a day off and go to a museum or to a park with them, that’ll be nice.

Grief

My mom’s mother died when my mom was 5. Every chance we got we’d come to Ottawa to visit my grandmother’s siblings that acted like grandparents. I found out that the last of that generation passed away on Monday at 85.

My last phone call with her she sounded tired but hopeful. Because of health issues and the pandemic, she never met Pegasus but met Dragon a few times. She was a fantastic painter, wonderful hugger, terrible cook, and lovely person. I’m going to miss her.

Hope

My bucket is full but I’ll scoop it out, or drink from it, or something… (this metaphor seems to be getting away from me.) The point is, I’ll be okay. The nights will start freezing away the allergens, the weather with stabilize as much as it ever does, work will become less hectic, the stress will abate. It’s just a matter of dealing with it and taking deep breaths.

I have toddler, child, and wife hugs to keep me going, coffee to roast, and more pumpkin things to bake.

I’ll be okay but I’m struggling.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Busy, pumpkins, and tired

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Work is starting to ramp up for the return of parliament (I do layouts for government reports, a lot of them are tabled in parliament). So I’m really busy. Especially with work, the preparations for the JenEric Advent Calendar, and Dragon going to school.

Pegasus is really into stacking things. Here he’s stacked 2 blue cylinders on my shoulder.

I’m also really tired from the last hurrah of this season’s seasonal allergies (apparently that means I have different allergies each season) and Pegasus having issues sleeping (more teeth and growing pains). All that to say that I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to writing or blogging. Sorry about that.

In other news, pie pumpkins are in stores here which means I’ll be going all out on pumpkin stuff. I’ve already roasted two of them and eaten the seeds. This weekend I’ll attempt Pumpkin & Spice Doughnuts if I have the time and energy.

Hope you’re all doing well.

Stay Safe and Be Kind!

Éric

I’m tired Pegasus

Hello Imaginary Friends,

I’m writing this Monday early in the morning. Pegasus refused to nap and then fell asleep at 8pm. He woke up at 9pm and hasn’t shown any indication of fatigue yet… It’s now 2am.

Pegasus tried to write this post since he doesn’t speak yet, writing proved difficult.

I’ll need a lot of coffee when I wake up.

Here’s to hoping I don’t see 3am.

Be kind and be safe,

Éric

Autumn Approaches

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Brace yourselves; autumn approaches!

In my little part of the world, the weather has turned and for the time being the 30+ Celsius temperatures are over (I live in Ottawa which means there’s a good chance we’ll get another bout of 40 before real Autumn). Pumpkin spice is just around the corner, my squash are growing in the garden (let’s hope some of them survive the cursed squirrels), and my mind turns to Halloween.

I’m looking forward to introducing Dragon to some classic monster movies this year. Maybe the original Mummy or Frankenstein. Hard to go wrong with Karloff.

Inexorably linked to fall in North America; school is starting, or started. It’s a different kind of year with many changes and a lot left up in the air. I don’t envy students and I really don’t envy teachers. We’ve decided that Dragon should be home schooled for her first year of kindergarten. See Jen’s post about that.

Because of the How I Taught my Dragon posts, we’re moving the JenEric Movie Reviews to Saturdays. So you’ll be be getting 6 days of content until I run out of Saturdays, then I’ll have to add some movies to Sundays. (I like only having one thing per day.)

I’m still struggling with my writing, but I’ve managed to write more in the past few weeks than I had in the 6 months before, so that’s a good thing. I wish I could write as fast as I come up with ideas, but unfortunately I’ve slowed down and I’m really happy I’m not a famous author right now. I’d love to be a rich author that people recognize the name, but not famous. (S.M. Carrière has a good post about this.)

This is how most of my meetings go. If I put him down, he screams to be picked up.

I need to stress less about productivity. I constantly feel like I have to be producing for work, writing, FADDS, this blog, and fixing/optimizing things around the house. I need to do what I can, relax and enjoy the time with family.

That’s about it for me.

Be Kind and Be Safe!

Éric

The State of my Writing

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve been home since June 2019 and the day to day routine of family, house, freelance, etc. haven’t lent themselves to writing much. Now since March I’ve also been working from home for my day job and things haven’t improved on that front. I’ve managed to write the serial stories and a little bit in two novels.

Me trying to write when only 1 of the kids is awake.

More and more it’s looking like I’m not going to make my self-imposed deadline of September for the next Elizabeth book. This will probably mean I’ll break my yearly publishing streak. I have a contract for 2021 but no book for 2022 and I’m pretty sure if I don’t submit a novel by end of year my publisher will be out of release spots (if they aren’t already).

Imposter Syndrome by Fowl Language comics

It feels like failure. I hate how much I’m struggling. I’m not struggling with the story or the writing, but with finding time to write. It takes me a little while to get into the zone and I can’t stand writing for only 15 minutes. I have to find a way to give myself the time. As the pandemic becomes normal and we start homeschooling, I’m hoping I’ll find a spot in my busy schedule.

I’m not looking for advice, just wanted to complain. I know it’s a common problem with us writer types and despite the voice yelling at me to give up and that its proof I suck, I’ll get back to it. I always do. Writing is part of me and I love doing it; I’d do it even if I couldn’t publish. I just have to remember that and find the time to enjoy doing it.

If you’d like to lift my spirits please feel free to order one of my books from the publisher, your favourite ebook store, or my website.

If you want to make me giddy with happiness leave a review on those sites and Goodreads.

Thank you for all your support and I hope your creative juices flow… well that sounded dirty.

Good luck and stay safe,

Éric

Happy First Birthday Pegasus

Dear Baby Pegasus,

It’s been a year since you joined us in the world. A thin, long, and adorable bundle. It’s been a year filled with learning, tears, love, fear, and lack of sleep… but enough about the state of the world. (Yeah I know I sort of recycled this joke from your sister’s first birthday letter, but it works.)

I’ve had the privilege, most father’s don’t, of seeing you grow up this year. Other than a week where you went to visit friends at the end of October, I’ve been with you every day. It’s a gift I’m really lucky to have. I mean I wished I could work from home but I didn’t expect to be because of a global pandemic (cursed genies).

You’ve grown and changed so much since you were born. You went from a fragile looking little baby to a well built toddler. You’ve learned all kinds of things and have been adorable throughout.

I love seeing your personality grow and form into who you’re going to be. So far, you’re as stubborn as your sister with less of a temper. Although you sure hate being told no.

You are the reigning champ of horror movie style screams. It’s impressive and painful. Currently you’re using it for everything from asking for more food to not getting your way. I’m hoping it’ll get better when you learn to talk.

When you smile, the genuine joy makes everyone else smile. It’s infectious and makes my heart sing. I love it when you slow down enough to snuggle. It’s a lovely warm feeling.

The world is hurting right now and a lot of people are having issues. I’m hoping it’s a prelude to healing, but I have no idea what the world you’re going to grow up in is like. I do know that I will be there as long as I can and I count myself infinitely happy and proud to be your Papa.

Happy First Birthday Little Pegasus,

Your Papa

Covid-19 and Me

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve been pretty silent about the state of the world the past few weeks. Part of that was being overwhelmed and part of that was being busy.

Ottawa called for people to start self-isolating and working from home starting March 16th. My first day of work after just over eight months of parental leave was the 18th of March. I work for the government in a communications area so I’m considered essential.

I’ve been dealing with going back to work (although I do enjoy working from home), a baby that is teething (AKA not sleeping well), the pandemic, and everything that entails.

My family is in a good place. We have a house, I have a job that will continue to pay me (barring some sort of pheonix crap), and we’re all pretty used to being at home. Our house is filled with movies, games, books, and comfy furniture.

The kids are still too young for school and like I said, I just finished ~8 months of parental leave so we’re all kind of used to being at home. I do miss having people over for D&D, movies, and to chat. I miss going to the cinema, and going for walks with the kids to Walmart or the park. My daughter and wife miss church and we all miss our conventions.

Those are minor inconveniences and I know we are extremely lucky.

My wife asked me to cut her hair. This was right before.

It’s still been hard. I’ve felt like I was on high alert for the past three weeks. I’ve felt terrified while shopping and I’m scared for my friends and family.

I’m starting to calm down but I’m still teary and worried.

This will become normal and when things get better we’ll have hopefully spared much death and heartache.

The implications of what this will change in our world are staggering and a little scary. But that’s another post all together.

Stay home and wash your hands!

Éric

Dear Pegasus and Dragon – Disney 2020

Hello My Mythical Brood,

We recently came back from a two week vacation in Florida. We rented a house, with Grannie and Granddad, and visited Disney World, A LOT.

Pegasus, you started teething not long before and kept us up at night. (Mum and I mostly.) You fell asleep on rides and mostly seemed confused as to why we were standing around and not letting you crawl. When you weren’t annoyed you spent the time smiling at people and making their hearts melt. You have a way of looking at people, with your big blue eyes, like you’re judging them and then releasing a massive smile. It makes anyone caught by it ridiculously happy.

Dragon, you will probably not remember this trip. At 3 you’re still very young, but if you do I hope you remember the joy and excitement you felt on the rides. The first time you took a rollercoaster, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the fireworks started as we were climbing. It was beautiful. I’ll always remember how you would get super excited to meet a character and then completely freeze, and the smile you would have every time you saw something exciting.

The two of you had your ups and downs (Same with us). Some days were harder then others but you did great being dragged around the parks and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

I also hope you remember the quieter times at the house talking and playing with Grannie and Granddad. Without them, this trip would have been impossible. They are truly remarkable helping with you and everything else required in a big trip. We don’t always agree on everything, but I wouldn’t have wanted to take this or any Disney trip without them.

In the end, Pegasus and I got a cold but years from now I hope we’ll remember the good things.

I had a wonderful time with you, Mum, Grannie, and Granddad.

I love you both very much,

Papa

Dear Pegasus – 6 months

Dear baby Pegasus,

You give fantastic hugs.

You’ve been around for just over 6 months and you’ve been a great baby. You love to sleep (except this past week), you eat well, and you are the smiliest child ever.

I’m amazed at how long you are willing to play by yourself (mostly) and by how alert and resourceful you are.

You’re moments away from crawling and that sometimes frustrates you or makes you fall on your face. It’s adorable and a little funny.

The past week you’ve thrown your sleep schedule out the window and decided anything goes. A few nights you refused to sleep before 3 in the morning. It was hard, especially that your sister had a cold/flu thing and really needed the sleep.

I’m sorry for having been a little less than patient. It never lasts because you turn that darling smile on me and I melt.

Before you were born I was worried that I didn’t have room to love you as much as I love your sister. I was very wrong.

I love you so much little Pegasus!

Your Papa

I’m Back

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m back!

Now if I did my job right, you won’t have noticed I was gone. I took a mini parental leave from the blog for July and August. I pre-wrote a bunch of stuff and got some amazing guest posts. Thank you Jamieson, Jonas, and Lindsay.

I had hoped to spend the time resting and chilling with the new Baby Pegasus. I definitely succeeded there. I also watched a lot of TV (Stranger Things season 3 was awesome, Killjoys season 3 not so much, and Supergirl season 4 was impressively written.) Oh and I got a little writing done…

In other news my new ghost writer isn’t much more productive then the last one.

Hope you’re all doing well.

Later Days,

Éric