I’ll be honest: I didn’t just fall off the wagon.

I was hurled off the wagon with lead weights tied around my ankles while the driver laughed at me struggling to regain my footing to limp after the wagon.

Hello, welcome to my Weeknotes from August 12 to August 18.

I wanted to write on my blog these last few weeks. I wanted to follow up on story threads in my mind that could potentially turn into something. I wanted I wanted I wanted…

But that pesky “Real Life” kept popping up…

My wife is nearly 6 months pregnant with twins, so that requires a redirection of excess energy. You know, that energy you need to write when writing isn’t your full-time job? But, hang on a second, don’t you have to power through all that exhaustion and write anyway? That’s what the pros say, after all.

You find “the time.”

But what if that “time” you find is taken up by buying a house, then subsequently, packing for that house?

And then what if the school year begins? Your job, of course, being directly tied to the education of children, after all.

Suddenly all that time you find is gone. Like water from a well in the desert, everyone else has taken their share first. You don’t write stories because you can’t write stories.

But the stories never really stop, do they?

Even as you’re shuffling boxes off down 4 floors to the garage, you plot, plan, imagine characters in your head. Every elevator ride is a chance to let them grow. Every box hoisting is a chance to imagine their struggles. Ever step you take on the way up is a chance to plan what new, creative way you can experiment with writing.

And then…you get back upstairs.

And the time is gone.

You always have to find the time. Somehow, someway, somewhere.

I began sending out Project: GREY, my middle-grade science fiction adventure, to agents this past week.

I already got back one very polite, “No thank you.”

No worries.

You shrug it off. Research the next agent. Then send it again.

And again.

And again.

It hurts, every time, but you keep doing it.

Because this is what you want.

Before putting them away I had been making my way through a fat stack of graphic novels and manga. I’m starting a re-read of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. I say “reread,” but honestly anything after book 1 is new to me. The first volume didn’t hold up as well as last remembered, but I’ve been informed it gets better.

Then I read Dream Hunters and was properly blown away.

Fabelhaven by Brandon Mull (Goodreads)

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My first encounter with Brandon Mull’s work, but most certainly not the last. Not by a longshot.

Kendra and Seth are sister and brother, headed out to their grandparents’ farm for the first time ever while their parents go away for a cruise. While their grandfather seems rather stand-offish at first, he does try to make it known they are welcome.

Then, the fairies start appearing.

Mull’s writing is swift, but detailed. At no point did I feel bogged down by the descriptions of the Fablehaven preserve or the multitude of fantastical creatures inhabiting it. It’s a style I wish a lot of other middle-grade and young adult authors would utilize. Sometimes you get so engrossed in the world you’re making you might forget you’re supposed to be telling a story.

Kendra works well as a placeholder, someone you can inhabit as you visit and tour the grounds. Seth, on the other hand, falls victim to “little brother syndrome” far too often. Even after getting his comeuppance in a truly horrifying way, he still insists on breaking the rules. While I get the notion of having a rebellious streak leading to more adventure, this kid needed to relax.

Also, the milking scene. What. Was. That?

Minus those two, I found the first book in the Fablehaven saga a delightful read that most assuredly will have my coming back for the next one. Seriously, how do you have massive demon make an appearance in the third act and not finish? Great stuff, Mull.

Daniel Harvey, a digital product designer currently based in London, wrote this in Warren Ellis’ newsletter this week:

When your business model isn’t advertising and your market isn’t literally everyone on the planet you can model engagement differently…You can create experiences that are bite-sized, valuable, and respectful of your community’s time.

Experiences that have a sense of closure and completeness and reward the community’s attention rather than demand it…

I figured out if you take minor steps to become an author, you think of yourself as one.

I have a new Instagram account: @probacosta

This is my Creator account. I haven’t delved too deep into what that entails for me yet (I doubt sponsorships are on the horizon for an aspiring professional author on Instagram), but basically it gives me a chance to post as many pictures of my notebooks and notebook related things as I want without upsetting my friends and family.

Give me a follow if you so incline.

This is the start of the week. The TNT has been thrown, the log jam is cleared, and it’s time to work.

Thanks for reading,

Follow me:

Twitter: @robacosta

Instagram: @probacosta

Contact: robertmichaelacosta@gmail.com