I don't generally dwell on personal details, but as anyone who has looked at my body of work knows, I have done a bit of military service. More than 20 years, actually.
That came to a close at the end of last year.
I'm looking forward to have more free time - that whole "one weekend a month" thing got to be a real drag after a while. It seemed that every important event was slotted against drill, which not only wrecked the weekend itself, but cast a shadow of fatigue on the following week. The weekend after was then a game of catch-up on chores.
It played havoc with my writing schedule. I might be writing at a good clip and then drill (or a training deployment) would pop up and that was that. I might lose a whole month.
Folks sometime ask me how I could write at all given the pressures of two jobs plus a family, and the answer is that it became my creative outlet. I gave up watching broadcast television and cable years ago. Over the last couple of weeks I've joined the kids in playing console games, but that's also a function of having Walls of Men near completion. I like to take break after one project before diving into the next.
My new catch phrase is "people write what they know," and I'm looking forward to incorporating more aspects of that life in my work. Yes, I wrote Three Weeks with the Coasties while still serving, but I also pulled some punches (and had to get it approved by DoD).
I've probably said before that I don't put a particular emphasis on the change of the calendar, but for once, the dividing line is pretty stark.