Getting knocked out of the saddle can be great to gain fresh perspective. Having limited computer usage for the past two weeks caused me to hone down to the essentials. It was stressful, and actually awesome.

It made me realize I will never “catch up.” How long have I been promising myself that after the next challenge/event/crisis/project I will allow myself to breathe and get back to what I love doing… writing? It’s been a few years, at least.

The last two weeks made it clear to me there are only three ways I will ever reach that point:

  1. Learn to set boundaries.
  2. My computer dies.
  3. I die.
Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay

The 8th of this month my computer died. Then, as I was wallowing in the heartache of my lost machine, I watched my 26 year old neighbor get wheeled from his house and into a coroner’s van. It puts things into perspective. I thought about what I would regret not finishing.

This week finds me back on my feet with a new computer and perspective. I don’t feel like dying right now, and I don’t want my new computer to die… so I better learn to set boundaries and create a sustainable workflow.

So for now, SPECFAIRe is postponed until I either find a group of people that want to work on it together or the domain name expires. Iron Writers had no competitors this month. If I don’t get any entrants in November we will hold the Winter quarterlies and then an early year challenge between the two quarterly winners and call it for the year. If that happens, I’ll consider starting it up again for 2022.

What will I be doing with all my free time? I enrolled to train as a accredited book coach in nonfiction, I’m in tarot studies, I have two 15k short stories due for Crystal Lake Publishing, a cryptid story due for the Hybrid: Misfits, Monsters, and Other Phenomena antho from Hybrid Sequence Media, poetry for MÖBIUS LYRICS with Maxwell I. Gold, another poetry collab with Amy Zoellers, the third Bitter Suites novella to complete that story arc, finish getting Soft Deadlines up on Kindle Vella, finish my haipoo for Anton Cancre (I didn’t forget!), work on my next poetry collection How to Be Human/Inhuman, finish “How to Save a Faerie,” put together two more poetry books (by Amy Zoellers) from Yuriko Publishing—finish writing the Yuriko Publishing website!!!—and then STOKERCON!

So for now, please excuse me while I figure out how one goes about setting up boundaries. Should I use razor or barbed wire…? 😈

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Ryukyuan-American, award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years in newspapers. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year, she shares Authortunities, a free weekly calendar of author opportunities at

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