Twenty-one Years

Writer, stay-at-home dad, adventurer

Into the Swirling Chaos

I stare into the swirling chaos of my future and I’m reminded of how much I really depend on those around me. My family, my friends. In this time of social distancing, I’ve become acutely aware of the lines that connect us all as those same lines are stretched taut by the stressors of these times. Uncertainty floods every aspect of our lives, with protests in our streets and a pandemic sweeping the globe. And, this?

As I write this, my last days at IBM draw to a close. After twenty-one years I’m leaving my favorite large multinational corporation, not entirely of my own will. I always considered this ending inevitable–the consequence of working for Big Corporate America. I’ve planned for the worst and, well, here it is.

The timing is bad. Anxiety is bad. The world is broken, and the daily grind that used to be my source of stability is dissolving under my feet.

So, what am I going to be now?

Hello, I’m Anthony W. Eichenlaub, writer, a stay-at-home dad, intrepid adventurer. I do my best to make the world better for those around me. I live my best life, whatever troubles come my way.

This is a whole lot of financial uncertainty for me. If you’re someone I’ve supported on Patreon over the years, you may have noticed I’ve pulled my support, and I apologize. In the short term, I’m no longer able to give buckets of money to charity or the arts, and that makes me a little sad. Once my wife is off furlough, we’ll take another look at the old finances. I have a lot of hope.

But things aren’t SO bad. Uncertainty is not strife. Carol IS on furlough, but she won’t be forever, and her salary is good. There will, of course, be cost-cutting measures. Instead of buying siding for the house, I’ll be painting. Instead of fancy new solar panels, we’ll be drawing power off the grid like peasants. With any luck we’ll do fine on this new level of income.

Taking that Step Forward

Things you can do to help if you feel so inclined:

  • Patreon is a part of my plan to bridge this time financially. Join for a buck a month by July 4th and you’ll get a special Bridge Crew badge. Yeah, I know, a dollar isn’t much, but if I get a few more people to join I can start building it into a community of readers and writers. Then, together, we can take over the world.
  • If you know of paid sci-fi writing gigs, let me know. If you happen to be great friends with the team trying to choose their next Star Wars novelist, maybe point them my way. For fifteen years I’ve been writing for fun and money. Now I’m writing for money and fun. It’s… an interesting transition. Still pretty cool, though.
  • Same with teaching gigs. I teach at the Loft and Community Ed. Join those classes if you can (I don’t get paid if there aren’t students.) I love teaching and I’m always looking for more gigs.
  • Drop an honest review on Grandfather Anonymous or the new Metal and Men boxed set. I can’t get those books off the ground without a baseline of reviews (for various reasons) and if you’ve read my books, it one totally free way you can help.
  • Cheer for me. Cheer for everyone. Come on, we’re all in this together. Let’s ALL succeed.

So, expect more posts on this blog. Expect more activity on Twitter and Facebook (but not too much.) I’ll be independently publishing more, but also cranking things up for more long-term traditional publishing. I mean, I might be out of a job, but it isn’t like I don’t have WORK TO DO.

Eichenlaub Travel Blog: Sand Point Trail

There are places in this world few dare tread. Places of which we do not speak nor even fully contemplate. Sand Point is a beach on the Mississippi near Frontenac State Park. Some claim it can only be reached by boat. This is nearly true. For the way by foot …

Eichenlaub Travel Blog: The Backyard Prairie

Look. The world is terrifying right now. Fireworks explode at all hours. “Should we let this disease ravage and destroy us?” is now a partisan question that we take sides on. There is a line for curbside pickup at the library that can take HOURS to get through. Terrifying. So …

One Week a Full Time Writer

This should feel STRANGER. I’ve been a full time writer a week now. My paperwork went through Monday, and now it’s Sunday. One week. This should feel strange, right? It shouldn’t just feel like a big fantastic staycation? Truth is, I wasn’t really GOING to work, anyway. With the quarantine, …

Interview on Four Foxes, One Hound

Hey, all! Head on over to the blog Four Foxes, One Hound and read my interview. I had an excellent time on this with Jeff Salter and I hope you’ll drop in and maybe leave me a comment there. What’s the topic? Well, we’re talking about Grandfather Anonymous, and you …

A Break from Social Media

Yeah. I know we’re supposed to be socially distancing in our real, physical lives. I’m DOING that. I haven’t left the house for anything but grocery shopping and hiking in the woods for two weeks. I’m growing a quarantine beard and it itches SO MUCH. But I’m taking a break …

Grandfather Anonymous

This is a story about a grandfather being awesome, AS THEY OFTEN ARE. My own grandfather was immune to pain, an inventor, and the guy who taught me how to mix a manhattan (the key ingredient is “lots of booze.”)