Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Very Good Day

Merry Christmas, everyone!

In a few minutes, I get to watch an amazing two year old rip through all those presents. It's gonna rock!

Talk again soon... :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Writing Again. Mostly.

It took awhile, but I'm finally writing again. Sort of.

You see, in the nine years since I started this blog (Nine?! Seriously?!) I've had a pretty consistent method: I'd get up early and write for a couple hours before my day starts.

Then I had Charlotte.

Turns out, she also likes to get up at 6am, and her agenda has nothing to do with Daddy sitting in front of a keyboard staring off into space. That was one problem. The other is that I wasn't able to sleep more than two or three hours at a time, usually about five hours a night. Rough, but it needed doing.

I coped. My business ran off my phone whenever Baby wasn't looking, and seriously unhealthy amounts of Red Bull let me concentrate well enough to do my paying job. And more often than I should probably admit, I fell asleep at the wheel coming home from work.

Point is, no way I could concentrate enough to write. Hell, I used to fall asleep in the middle of conversations!

Then, the last couple of months, a miracle:

Little Miss started sleeping through the night. I started getting as many as five, six whole hours in a row, and my imagination started to work again.

Writing was a bit harder. It was still early for a laptop-- all I had to do was open the lid and it was palm-mashing the keyboard and other explorations-- but I was able to use pen and notebook. Sure, there were breaks here and there for a certain young lady to take over the pen and fill a few pages, or draw all over her (and her Dad's) arms and legs while saying, "Tattoo."

But I gotta tell ya, those are breaks I don't mind a bit. :)

I'll continue this again soon. Right now, a Certain Somebody wants to show me something called a 'Finger Family'...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Man Plans, God Laughs

So, back last July? I had a plan, a pretty good one I thought: Move back to the US for 3-5 years, buy a house, build some equity, come on back to New Zealand finally able to afford a house here.

Pretty good? Heck, that plan was great!

So naturally, the gods began to titter...

Fifteen years or so worth of clients got mad at me for leaving them. Most understood my reasons for going, but none of them were any too happy about it. My friends felt the same way.

One close friend even offered to use his equity to finance my mortgage.

This... complicated things. Suddenly, a home in New Zealand was a possibility. Now, my decision had pros and cons: I had to weigh the cost of moving overseas against the increased income. The opportunity to start a new tattoo shop against the loss of hundreds of loyal fans. The house I would afford in NZ against the house I'd afford in the US.

This wasn't going to be easy at all.

Until I told Hazel.

She pretty much jumped up and down and tore up all her packing lists and did a merry dance around the room. I may not be a weatherman, but I do know which way the wind blows.

I wasn't moving.

Now, you all know I have a certain commando sensibility: Adapt. Overcome. Nothing can stop me, only make me shift gears or change tactics.

So I shifted gears. I changed tactics. By the time my daughter had gone from crawling to standing, I had opened a brand new tattoo shop in a great new location, and my buddy and I started scouting houses in my potential price range.

At least, until his partner got pregnant. Now, him making that offer in the first place was HUGE. And while he hasn't said anything about taking it back, he hasn't said much about it all. This whole odyssey for me started with that thought of what I'm going to leave my child, so I totally understand. Support him, even.

But it does mean that I've had to change up again.

I have moments where I think, oh we should be closing on our house in the US right now, my new studio would be building clients, and it would be summer soon. I squelch those thoughts as quick as I can. After all, what's that Yiddish proverb? If my grandmother had testicles she'd be my grandfather? I could just as easily be in the US right now with a homesick Hazel, a studio tied up in red tape, and a child covered in mosquito bites.

And the added horror of a possible President Trump.

Oh hell no.

Charlie has gone from standing and walking to stomping all over the house and climbing on everything. We've gone from the big, expensive place that was all we could find three years ago to a smaller and less expensive house that feels more like a home. Still renting, but there you are. I'm whipping my new studio into shape, running it in a much more professional way.

And I may have my eye on one or two new opportunities. Nothing I'm ready to talk about yet-- I'm not quite ready to hear more heavenly tittering....