Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Hermit

In 1996, I was deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina on a peace-keeping mission. It was a cold year as the Balkans have ridiculously strong winters. The novelty of snow wore off quickly; that happens when you have to sleep in a tent without showers for a couple of months.

It was a difficult year full of isolation, but not without its rewards.

That was the year I turned 20. The friends I made during that deployment would stay with me the remainder of my military career. Also, I was deployed somewhere! I was halfway across the world, getting to know about a place that I never thought I would see. My personal philosophy on tourism isn't very positive: I don't like being a tourist.

But living among Europeans in their torn was like I had gone back home to El Salvador.

An image from El Savador during the civil war

An image from Bosnia during the civil war

Of course, you have to understand that the isolation is unimaginable now. These days, soldiers have access to social media while deployed. We did not. The internet was there in 1996, but it was in its infancy. I actually had a pen pal, a girl from the Midwest, who I wrote to regularly. Letters and packages from home were a welcome delight.

Waking up daily to go to work and nothing more is an experience unlike any I have had since.


I think I am in the beginning of a similar period. My social life is non-existent right now. And thanks to certain family members, I am in debt instead of surplus. Yup. Family can screw you and steal your identity to open accounts, which they later max out before you find them out...

So, I'll be paying that off this year and will likely spend the first half of the year to accomplish it. But it will get done.

That means I have to give up certain amenities and trips. I can't go to Starbucks as often. I won't be able to go to conventions until the end of the year.

And dating? Right...

This is all for the best, I suppose. It popped the enthusiasm bubble that grew after I finished the LAX story. That was necessary for me to write. Being a hermit will hopefully help me focus on the difficult road to becoming a published author of fiction.

My goals for the first half of the year are, therefore:

1) Refine the short stories completed.

2) Refine and complete the short stories drafted (that I want to refine and complete)

3) Draft the three short stories that I want to draft.

4) Draft the screenplay I want to draft.

5) Let friendship find me, don't seek it out.

6) Stop using women for sex.

7) Let my imagination create fictions, not fantasies.