The problem with leading a normal life is you have very little to blog about that’s anything other than your normal goings-on. But, it’s a new year now and I want to do something with this site, so here’s hoping I can keep up with a few more status updates than once every 2-4 years.

I’ve undergone a lot in the past 2 years now. I’m on my own again without roommates, I’m engaged to a wonderful woman, who happens to live in the US currently. I’ve also got my own wheels for the first time in 4 years, and I’ve joined a writing group, which helped me finish my much-maligned novel project of ‘Outcast.’

Work’s been keeping me busy with trips and, well, work. I’m not complaining though, since a lot of folks I know have lost their jobs due to the current oil slump. I actually prefer to work in industries that aren’t so tied to the hip to the oil patch out here. In a boom-and-bust kind of world, I’ll take stability any day.

As for the podosphere, I’ve been fairly active as of late. I’m participating as a panelist on a weekly vlog-cast called Holy CRAP!¬†which is a weekly show that talks about skepticism, critical thinking, religion, and even some politics. No one on the show is an expert; we’re just a bunch of folks having a discussion like folks meeting in a pub would. Sometimes we get special guests from other similar podcasts, and while it’s a video show, I help to maintain a podcast version of it on their site. It’s not much, but it keeps my audio mixing skills up.

As for my own projects, I’m working away at ‘Outcast – A New Beginning,’ which is the sequel to ‘Outcast,’ as well as re-recording my audio version for release on Podiobooks.com. Plenty to keep me busy over the next few months I suppose.

I’ll check back in soon with more of my so-called ‘ordinary’ life.

A few weeks ago I attended a local author meet-up, hosted by Aviva Bel’Harold, and author I met last year at the Calgary Comic Expo. I always look forward to those meetings, mostly to hear what some of the other attendees are dealing with in terms of their own personal journeys from ‘aspiring author’ to ‘published author.’

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the past year and a half, and how my own journey down the author’s path has gone. I’d like to say that it’s going well, and I’ve been writing like a madman over the past 18 months, but that would be a lie. In fact, there are days when I wonder why I even think of myself as even an aspiring author. Don’t get me wrong; I know I have stories to tell, but when I finally try to get them out of my head and into some form of shareable format, it just doesn’t come out right.

Life’s been both cruel and kind to me as of late. After my little medical episode, I’ve been doing my best to level out and live a better life. I nearly lost my old job late last year because of the funk I’d been in, and that snapped me out of it for a time. In fact, I went from nearly fired to Employee of the Month in about 6 months…not bad if I do say so myself.

In February of this year though, I finally said good-bye to that old job and hello to a new one. I now work as a Transit Deployment Specialist, which is a fancy way of saying I install, configure, and train people on a Dispatch/Vehicle Location software suite that works with city transit vehicles. For each project I’m merely one component of a larger whole, but so far it’s been an incredible journey. I travel at least once per month to different client sites (all in the US so far), so I’m becoming a bit of a veteran when it comes to air travel at least.

Being more or less single has definitely helped me with this career change. I answer to no one at home, so there’s no need to placate someone’s insecurities about things like fidelity or the like. Granted, I still talk to my girlfriend when I’m away, but she’s in Pittsburgh so the dynamic of our relationship really hasn’t changed. No…for the current state of my life, this job is a perfect fit.

Unfortunately, it’s caused my own creativity to suffer. By day’s end I’m utterly exhausted both physically and mentally, and the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a computer and write. It’s a terrible thing to say, but there it is. When my brain finally DOES wake up and start thinking creatively, for some reason the journey from my mind to my hands causes whatever it is I want to put down to read like crap. Am I pushing myself too hard? I don’t know.

As of this writing, I’m 2/3 of the way through a 3-trip ordeal that started back in November. After next week I’ll be done with travelling for a few weeks, which should give me a chance to cool off and try to get my brain to recharge.

Overall, 2012 started as a fairly bleak year, but as December winds down and I look towards 2013, I can honestly say this past year has indeed been one of my best as of late. It feels like I’m finally hitting my stride with my life, which will re-ignite my desire to keep writing and finally get these stories out of my head and into a place where the world can read them.

Here’s hoping…

Welcome to Youngest of Five Studios, the portal into the creative world of me, Chris Hvidsten…Hm…did that honestly sound as cheesy as I thought it did?

Ugh…I was never one for snappy intros.

I’ve had this site now for a few years, but haven’t really had much time or inspiration to expand on it other than to set up my two podcast collections here.¬† The plan now is to connect everything to this site, making navigation easier and providing a proper nest for all my future creative endeavours.

What you’ll find here currently for podcast/journal entries are:

Outcast: My science fiction podcast novel

The Kick In the Cast: My first podcast show, which was really a test to see if I could really ‘do it.’

The Black Sheep Podcast Blog: This was something I was thinking of putting together as a podcast, and still might one of these days.

As the site grows and I get more content, I’ll make sure it all links back to this central nexus point.