I was so freakishly miserable in my last line of employment that I was seriously having health problems. It was right around the weeklong headache that I thought to myself:

“Okay. Time to get out any way you possibly can.”

That way ended up being running off to Colombia for about half a year, where I stayed with my father until I could find an apartment, wrote a great deal of freelance, searched for English teaching gigs (unsuccessfully, sadly) and made a bunch of new friends and had a whole lot of new experiences. I have to say, it was the best bad decision I have ever made in my life.

As I prepared to run off, I had a going away party and a bunch of people were super nice, including my friend Chrissy, who gave me that leather journal. I got another one from another friend, and this presented me with a great option. I vowed that the journal Chrissy gave me would be the place I would sequester all thoughts on the fiction I try to write, and I have to say, it has been an invaluable tool. I fully plotted out and scribbled out ideas for my first several Blackdale short stories, one of which I have up right now for your perusal.

Having a dedicated space where you devote time and energy to solidifying ideas before you put them into practice is a great thing for actually getting shit done. Take it from me.