Time for time off!

Some really fun things today. Our daughter decided she wanted purple streaks in her hair, so I helped her do that — bleaching, rinsing, dyeing, washing and conditioning … we’ll see how it looks in the sun tomorrow. Didn’t get to it until late.

Also maybe not fun but related to fun, I sent my twinkling stars skirt back to ThinkGeek for exchange because one of the light strings doesn’t work. I love the skirt, so I’m really looking forward to having one that works completely.

And I wrote 675 words tonight.

Coming up: time visiting family. Still will be posting word counts.

colored wolf

Picture my daughter colored on an app. She likes lots of bright colors. I love her creative use of the colors.

Kids’ advice on to-do lists

In the last day or so, I’ve mentioned to both my kids that I have too many things to do and not enough time to do them in. My daughter’s advice was that I need a schedule. I laughed at this, because it doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

My son told me I need to prioritize and not try to do everything at once. He also suggested a Time-Turner. I told him I’d be fine if, say, I could do a week’s worth of work in a day. (This led to a lovely digression on day lengths on other planets.Pluto’s day length is closest to a week, for those who are wondering.)

What they don’t teach you in school is that prioritize doesn’t just mean decide what order you’re going to do things in; it also means decide what you’re not going to do. Some types of housework are an easy cut, as is clearing off my desk. Another very helpful thing is that at the Nebula Conference this last weekend, some things I thought I would be responsible for were taken off my plate. But my pared-down list is still busy: novella reading I’ve committed to with other writers (they’re reading mine, too), an academic press copyediting deadline, and a novel I’m trying to finish. (This is all on top of family and SFWA stuff.)

So up next (before I go to bed) is roughing out a plan for the next couple of weeks. We’ll see how it goes.

Words today: 325 words

Maybe tomorrow I’ll talk about the other major thing on my mind, the line between vulnerability and helplessness.

Halfway there

In this case, both halfway through the week and halfway through the novella. I’m loving that the novella is going well, but it is distracting me a touch from getting the novel done.

My mom was commenting that when she’s seen my blog recently (only intermittent Internet access), all she sees are how many words I’ve written. For readers who may feel the same as she does, here is other stuff on my plate that I’ve been dealing with, none of which sounds terribly interesting to anyone else, I’m sure: Continue reading

And on to the next challenge!

That “not taking on new projects” thing? Yeah, I’m not so good at that. I wouldn’t even have run for SFWA’s Board last year without Maggie Hogarth’s encouragement. Or Cat Rambo’s, though Maggie was the first to tell me I should run. I wish Maggie joy, rest, and progress (and I am definitely looking forward to the third Dreamhealers book! and more Coracle! and Kherishdar!) — God speed! And I will serve SFWA to the best of my ability as vice president.

I’ve been a bit distracted today…

Words written today: 338
Words written this month: 13,161
Words written 2017: 93,961
Average words/day 2017: 824
Books completed 2017: 1
Pages read today: 1-1/2 chapters with daughter
Books read 2017: 7

lilies of the valley

From a house down near the girl’s bus stop

New start to the morning

I apologize for being scarce around here this month. It’s been a rough month, and if we’re connected anywhere else, you know this. I summed up in my latest newsletter, and if you’re not a subscriber, I strongly suggest you do subscribe!

I read lots of newsletters and mailing lists (probably too many, to be honest — time spent on them is time not used in writing), and I want to mention one of them today: Benjamin Hardy. He recently republished an article on Medium, 8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 a.m.

When I read it (and downloaded his checklist), I hoped it was going to be just easy tweaks. Not a challenge. I feel like I have enough challenges in my life, you know?

And some of it seems obvious — get enough sleep, focus on what you want to be doing, move your priorities forward.

But …

I’ve found myself making excuses for why I haven’t even tried. I get up between 6 and 6:30 and spend the time until almost 9 getting kids fed, making sure lunches are made, and seeing them off to school. His routine looks like it would add another couple of hours, and I can guarantee I’m not getting up at 4. And I’m tired, and it hasn’t been a good month, and and and. Lots of excuses.

The thing is, I do want to, as he says, get out of survival mode and live on purpose. Make changes that will help me focus more in the morning and get things done.

Some changes I may not make — I know that exercise in the morning makes me worthless for the rest of the day.

But I’ll start with two, similar to things I already do, and go from there: journaling each morning when I first wake up (instead of waiting until 9 a.m.), and a cold shower (or at least a warm shower with a cold rinse at the end) each day. This is my public commitment to doing this for this week, next week, and the foreseeable future.

Anyone else want to join in?

Ouch

The other day, I tripped on my front step. Skinned my left knee, landed with most of my weight on the heels of my palms — primarily the right. Nothing’s broken, and there’s no real swelling. However, the joints all hurt, writing or drawing for more than a couple minutes produces twinges in the back of my forearm, turning motions (like twisting a doorknob) give me shooting pains, and lifting things is hard. I’ve been treating myself with OTC painkillers, ice, and rest, and I’m doing better day by day.

Meanwhile, I’m mostly confining myself to the iPad because mousing is painful. Which means I’m not around as much for a bit. I’m checking e-mail, so if you need something, that’s the best way to get in touch. And if I seem quiet for a bit, at least you know why.

the offending front step

Visit from a friend 

Pleasant break from routine this week — my friend Bonnie’s in town for a few days. I haven’t seen her since Boskone last year, although we do chat online more days than not. (Apologies for the blurry photo.)

Bonnie

One of the things we did was to finish up a jigsaw puzzle. (Yes, it’s the same image as the journal I posted about. When my daughter and I saw it at the store, she said I had to get it.)

completed jigsaw puzzle

Still did practical things, though — finished copyediting a civil engineering article, did some work on the (soon to be unveiled) Nebula websites, mailed off all the tax returns (including business tax returns that aren’t due until beginning of May), and took my daughter to her Girl Scouts meeting.

Lots to be grateful for here, from Bonnie’s visit to taxes done. What are you grateful for this week?

No, no, it really is April!

You just can’t see the flowers today because of the snow.

  
No, really, the ridiculous part is that you can see the flowers because although it’s been snowing for hours, not a speck has stuck. Anywhere.

What’s new in your neck of the world?