Coffee and Contemplation: Been on Hiatus

I spent November away from blog posts. I had a lot of work, personal issues, and challenges with which to contend. The personal matters I won’t get into. I’ve had a lot of work. Some of this was hourly jobs. I have three part-time jobs trying to make ends meet. This took up a lot of personal time and a lot of writing time. I also manage social media for a local company, and they had a lot happening over the last two months. I’ve been a busy bee and chose to back off from the blog work for a while.

I had also planned on releasing another book on November 19 and I’ve had to push that back to December. I didn’t have time to format the book but it’s almost ready and I’ll have an official announcement soon. This will be a collection of personal nonfiction writing. I’ve compiled blog posts I’ve written for the last two years on many websites. I’m looking forward to it. It will be a smaller book. I may do more blog writing in the future and create another volume. I haven’t planned that far ahead yet. But I’m excited to complete another project.

This book will come out at the right time. In January, I have a show in the Tucson Fringe Performing Arts Festival. I’ll share some personal stories and poetry in a live performance. I’ll have more details on this as they arise. I’m sharing some poems from my book “Men Are Garbage” and sharing the stories behind some of them. Some of those stories will be in my collection of blog writing. This will be a nice taste of what each book has to offer. The goal is to inspire people to buy the books or at least tell their friends about my work.

I plan to release another collection of poetry in January. I’ve finished writing the poems. I have not begun formatting the book. I do have a cover made. If all goes well, this will release in late January. More details on that as we move closer to the new year. You can read some of that unpublished poetry by becoming a patron on my Patreon Page. For $1 a month you’ll have access to weekly posts featuring unpublished poetry. You can cancel at any time. I may even post unpublished poems more often if there is a demand for this.

The biggest contribution to my hiatus was the National Novel Writing Month Challenge. NaNoWriMo 2019. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I did this two years ago and succeeded. I tried again this year and am far behind. I did not hit my goal, but I will continue writing my first full length novel. My total word count for the book is 85,000 to 90,000 words. I’ll keep writing until it’s finished no matter how long it takes. With how busy I’ve been, I’m surprised I wrote as much as I did. 

Starting in December, I’ll return to my regular weekly poetry posts. I’m having a Cyber Monday sale on December 2, 2019. I’ll post more about that and what items are on sale. This will only feature eBooks on Amazon. More details to come. I will say I appreciate any comments on my posts. I often do not get much feedback for my writing. With how much I write, I’m at a point where I need some encouragement and support to keep going. I also need some new ideas for the blog. Or to at least change my approach on what I already do. More to come.

Free eBook Friday: September

Not only is today Free eBook Friday, but it is also my birthday. Instead of asking everyone for gifts, I’m giving you all a free download of one of my books. This month’s eBook is Men Are Garbage. In my newest collection of poetry, I examine masculinity and reflect on personal experiences. Some of this includes childhood trauma. Some includes adult trauma. This is not the happy romance some people think of when they hear the word poetry. It’s dark. It’s real life. It’s my life. It felt fitting to offer this as a free download on my birthday.

The other exciting aspect of this poetry collection is I will feature some of the poems in a one man show I’m performing for the Tucson Fringe Festival in January 2020. I’ll share some poems along with some personal stories of my life and what inspired those poems. It will be an hour of poetry and storytelling. I’m excited as this is the first time, I’m featuring my work in this kind of performance. I’ve read my poetry to an audience before but only for a few minutes. More details on this as we get closer to 2020. The title of the show is also “Men Are Garbage.”

Most of the poetry included in this book was written within about a week. I would call it extreme inspiration or an emotional rage, but perhaps it was a little of both. I hope, in some small way, this collection will help the world. I never thought I would write poetry this much again, but I felt more passion behind this project than many of my other projects. I hope you enjoy it. “James Pack examines masculinity and anxiety in “Men Are Garbage,” a book of poetry in which he reflects on childhood trauma and his time as a nightclub bouncer.”

Summers in Alaska

Photo by Errin Casano on Pexels.com

I did a crazy thing for the Summer. A friend of mine I’ve known for almost 20 years bought a business. It’s a homemade ice cream shop. She asked me if I wanted to help out and offered to bring me on as a manager. I’ve worked in the service industry for about 12 years, so I felt qualified for this position. I accepted. I left Tucson, Arizona on May 1stand arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska that night. The exciting part was the ten-hour layover in Seattle, Washington. If you have the option to fly stand by, I would not do it unless you were not in a hurry.

Alaska will be nowhere near as hot as Tucson, but the Sun never really sets. It’s always daylight. There’s a bit of Twilight for about 45 minutes around midnight. Otherwise the Sun is out. I haven’t seen the moon since I got here. Another fun fact, the mosquitos here are bigger than average. I wouldn’t call them huge, but they’re everywhere. I’ll survive. I’m working so much that any bites I get I usually forget about. That’s the only downside so far. I’m sure my opinion will change later.

Now I manage an ice cream shop. I’ve learned how to properly dip and scoop ice cream like the pros. I hope to learn how to make the ice cream before the Summer’s over. There are lots of flavors and lots of combinations of flavors. I’m having fun, but every now and then we have small issues. I don’t mind dealing with issues, but they all happen in one day. Some days are more stressful than others. As the opening manager, I only deal with issues for a couple hours. The first half of my day is spent getting the shop ready to open. It gets busy after I leave. That makes me happy.

The space is small so once a crowd of people are there filling orders, I immediately want to leave. I don’t like being around a lot of people in a small space especially if I don’t know them well. It will get easier. I’m still having fun and that’s what’s important. Alaska is a beautiful place and the population of the whole state is less than the population of Tucson alone. I enjoy the small-town vibe. Unfortunately, I’m staying with my friend and her family and they live outside of town meaning everything is far away.

I’m only here until September. This should be an easier Summer. It’s not the first time I’ve been away from home for a Summer. Several years ago, I enlisted in the Arizona Army National Guard and went to Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training from April to September. This feels similar. At least the being away from home part. I don’t know if I’ll return next Summer. That depends how the rest of this adventure goes. I think I’ll have a good time, but I may not want to come back every year. That’s a bit much.