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Seven to Life

It’s Thanksgiving week…but, if you’re in the U.S., you know that. The big question this time of year is always, ‘What are you thankful for?’. I’m thankful for a whole lot of things, for several people and for all of my readers and I try to acknowledge those things and all of those people on a regular basis. I don’t like the idea of only telling people that I’m happy they’re here just once a year.

Give Thanks Meme

One thing that did strike me recently, in a discussion about blogging during the month of November when most authors are focused on NaNoWriMo and cranking out 50,000 words of a novel first draft, was the topic of easy, throw together blog posts. Frankly, I don’t think there’s any such thing… Regardless, someone mentioned writing a quick synopsis about where your series goes next and someone else, pulling up one of those blog topic idea sites, mentioned, “Where do you see yourself in seven years?” I had to laugh at that one because my wife and I, at the beginning of this month, embarked on year two of our five year plan.

My goal is to leave paid work and write full time. I’m already down to working outside the house (literally across the street) for only 25 hours a week but it’s a 6 day work week, Monday through Saturday. I want a no outside the house work week and to be able to spend all day Saturday doing things with my spouse and our extended families. With strict attention to my goal, I can manage it by the summer of 2017. My wife’s goal meanwhile, has always been to own her own commercial haunted house and, after five years, to step away from full time paid work and to only ‘work’ weekends in October. All of the planning and prep and hiring and so forth for October of each year is a labor of love we’ll split.

We got to step one of the haunted house dream when we opened commercially this year. We weren’t an overnight success, but we laid the groundwork for her to retire from her full-time job in another four years.

Hagan's House of Horrors Logo

Digressing a little bit, I want to mention that, in the late summer of 2013, my wife bought a used Wellcraft ski/speed boat with a trailer. She got a phenomenal deal on it because, though it was sea worthy, it needed a little work.

Wellcraft BoatShe’d always wanted a boat. We got a just a bit of use out of it that summer and then, in late 2013 we moved to the tiny village she grew up in. It had been her plan to get back here and to eventually buy property at a lake near here where we could use the boat. As part of the five years and retire plan, we’d live the lakeside life, Memorial Day through Labor Day and then go into haunted house mode and, after that, winter hibernation mode (when I would write like a fiend) and then we’d do it all over again. When another local lake was drained this past summer due to structural concerns related to its dam, and property values climbed as a result at the local, already pretty crowded lake area we were coveting as a result, we realized that dream probably wasn’t going to work quite the way we were planning it.

My writing is coming along. The haunted house dream is coming along. We have the boat and it’s coming along. We just need a quiet piece of property on a beautiful lake to drop anchor in. We’ve recently fallen in love (for me, all over again – for her, for the first time) with the Smokey Mountains. We’re thinking Douglas Lake in Sevierville, Tennessee might just become our new Summer home…heck, maybe even our winter home. Maybe Ohio is our future September-October home only. The whole plan is coming along nicely.

Douglas Lake, Sevierville TN

What’s your seven years to life plan?