Hi to all. Sorry for the long delay in updating my new story, Homebodies, but, as I've told a few who wrote me (and asked politely instead of demanding), real life sometimes intrudes on things. The details are unimportant, but I had an unexpected medical issue which required me to undergo fairly major surgery. I am now at home, recovering, and out of the pain-pill induced haze I spent a lot of pre-op and post-op time in and have picked up the next chapter of Homebodies today. It was about half complete when I went out on my medical leave so hopefully I should have it complete soon. I do have lots of time to write now since I'm still on medical leave until the beginning of March.
A few addendums. Please, pretty please with sugar on top, stop asking me if I'm going to continue the various story lines I have left incomplete. Right now, I'm working on Homebodies exclusively. I only write one thing at a time. If, when Homebodies is complete, I feel the urge to work on one of my older storylines, I will announce it as such, generally by posting the first chapter after its done. I don't mean to be a dick about this, but some of the letters I get are downright harassing and border on the psychotic at times. I work for free. You get what you pay for. No one has the right to dictate to me what I write and when I write it. Please remember that.
That aside, I do enjoy observations and constructive criticism of my stories. Please keep that coming, although, as stated before, if you're writing just to point out a grammar, punctuation, or spelling error, please don't. Again, you get what you pay for.
Life has been good for me, thank you all for caring and asking for updates. Sorry I have not been more forthcoming but life has also been busy. I made it through nursing school successfully but it was a kind of living hell as I continued to work full time while I was doing it. I graduated and passed all of my boards and these past 2 years I have been working as an RN in a local emergency room. I no longer work as a paramedic, though I will always cherish the 20+ years of experience I had in that profession.
I am now settled into my new job and enjoying the extra money and additional days off per week that comes along with it. As for writing, I went some time without doing it and it took me some time to get back into the rhythm of it. I have posted the first chapter of a new story I've been working on the past year or so. It takes place in a re-imagined, more mature version of the Greenies/A Perfect World universe. As always, please let me know what you think. I love to discuss plot points, holes in the plot, blatant mistakes with the plot, flaws in my characters, timeline issues, any of that stuff... however, please do not feel like you need to email me about minor spelling or grammatical or punctuation errors. I do the best I can editing stories by myself. You get what you pay for. And no, I do not want you to edit my story for me. There is no one I trust as much as myself.
I'm getting lots of emails enquiring about my status of late so here's how things are going in my life. As of this morning, I have finished all the prerequisites for admission to nursing school and I am now waiting to be accepted. Getting into a school is very competitive with an average of more than fifty qualified people competing for every one spot. Until recently it was done by lottery but they have now changed things a bit to favor already licensed healthcare providers, of which I am one, and those who did well academically on their science prerequisites (Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Microbiology) and their general education prerequisites (Nutrition, Psychology, English1A, Human Development, and Speech1A). Despite working full time during the 3 years I have been taking these classes, I have managed to hold down a 3.8 in sciences and a 4.0 in everything else. Hopefully I'll start the two year program next semester. Meanwhile, I'm still working on taking a co-requisite class each semester to hold onto my catalogue rights.
So what this all adds up to is that I do not have much time for writing, that was the thing I had to cut out of my life during this process. During summer breaks and winter breaks I try to do a little bit of composition just to make sure I still can, but I have not been able to finish even a short story, let alone a novel length. The good news is that I CAN still write (I've got lots of first chapters of stories composed during such breaks or when the class I'm taking isn't that difficult), but nothing I can commit to posting because it is unlikely I will continue it anytime soon. The last thing I need is more emails about unfinished work (and to those people-you know who you are-who keep begging me to finish Intemperance, A Lost Generation, and Traveling Without Consequence, sorry, my real life takes priority over your free entertainment and I did not realize at the time I started those tales I would be unable to finish them). My plan is to eventually finish those works, I just cannot commit to that until my current goals are met. I'm forty-three years old and I need to get this done as soon as possible.
I thank everyone for their continued encouragement and I apologize that I have been remiss in answering so many of your emails. I am only able to check my account every month or so and I still read, with joy, every correspondence sent to me-even those who offer no appreciation of my work or constructive criticism of my writing style or plots, yet insist on pointing out my every spelling and grammatical error (I know they're there, guys, really, I do, and I'm not going to fix them right now).
So that is life in Al Steiner's world. Peace to all,
MY sincere thanks to everyone who is giving me encouragment as I make my way through school toward my goal. I finished the first semester of Anatomy and Physiology with an 86%. Second semester starts soon. During the break I took the time to get reaquainted with the art of writing. I stepped back into the world of the Cognate and wrote a short story about the education of Ken and Meghan as they learn the ins and outs of their new world. For those who have read "A Correct Destiny", I think you'll enjoy the story (assuming you liked the original story). For those who haven't read "A Correct Destiny", I wrote the story so you can still enjoy it. I really like writing about this world and Ken and Meghan might just be my go-to characters for semester breaks. In three days I start back into the hectic life of college student and full-time paramedic. Wish me good luck.
My thanks to all who have written me over these past months asking for more writings or at least explainations of why I'm not writing. I have read every email sent to me but have not had much time to respond to them. My apologies for that. My life is in a bit of a transitional period at the moment and this will last for some time I'm afraid. As I've shared with some of my online friends over the years, I am a paramedic who works in California on a 911 ambulance in a fairly major metropolitan area. I am 41 years old and have been doing this job for twenty years now. I love being a paramedic but it is a job that is hard on your sanity and your physical body. So far my sanity seems to be hanging in there (there are some who might dispute this). My body, however, is starting to feel the effects of twenty years of lifting, pulling, sitting, stretching, and occasionally rolling around on the ground and fighting. At least once a year for the past three years I've strained or pulled some muscle somewhere and had to spend some time on light duty. I have to work for another twenty years and I know my body won't make another twenty years doing the sort of physical labor I do now. As such, I'm taking one of the paths that paramedics take to move up a level. I'm in school to get my RN degree. Since I have to keep working full time to support my family and since I have at least two years of prerequisite classes in front of me, I had to sacrifice something in my life. That something was my writing. This past summer I was able to write one short story while taking online easy classes, but from this point to the end the classes will be much harder. I will succeed in what I strive for, of that I have no doubt, and I will resume the great love of my life - writing - when I have the time. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this last little gasp of prose I managed to squeak out and I promise I will resume my full duties once this transition is complete. Peace and good sex to all.