Such a headache!

Yesterday, a bit after 4, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Laid down to nap for a bit, and when my son woke me to ask about dinner (I ordered pizza), the head hurt, I couldn’t handle light — basically, full-on migraine. After eating, went back to bed.

Today, I spent most of the day with sunglasses on, but I managed to get some work done. 

40 words yesterday, 0 today.

Didn’t draw yesterday, so used two prompts today for Inktober: “cloud” and “deep.” Lake is Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Drawing:
ink drawing of Sprague Lake
Photo:
Sprague Lake photo

Task lists

Fall shares one of the drawbacks of spring: pollen. This is why I like the first hard frost of the year; it kills plants so they’ll stop trying to kill me. (My son tells me neither the plants nor Pennsylvania are actually trying to kill me. I tell him I’ll believe that when they stop.) Between allergies and various medications to lessen their impact, I have a hard time focusing. This is the primary reason I haven’t gotten much writing or freelance work done for a couple of weeks — it’s too easy to drift, trying to remember what else needs to get done.

This makes today a real accomplishment, as I took cardboard boxes to the recycling center, got another gallon of milk before we ran out, checked my post office box (empty, as usual), copyedited a journal article, and did my Inktober sketch. Still no words, but this feels like progress.

Today’s Inktober prompt was “gigantic.” This is an Aldabra giant tortoise from the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, sketched with the Copic Multiliner.

Drawing:
ink drawing of giant tortoise
Photo:
photo of giant tortoise

All wet

No, the weather is dry and lovely. The plumbing backing up into the garage — that was wet. Thank goodness for reliable plumbers, but what with making sure the girl had her picture day form and her homework and her trumpet, and talking with the plumbers and turning on and off water around the house, I think it was 11 before I ate breakfast. Didn’t really have lunch, either. And I think I forgot to take my morning dose of allergy medicine, which is a mistake in ragweed season.

However, it was still a good day. The plumbers dealt with the problem. Damaged things that had to be thrown out were minimal. I wrote. I drew. The sun shone. A good day.

Today’s words: 300

Today’s picture is also from the Henry Vilas Zoo. The prompt was “underwater.” See? The day started and ended with water — all wet.

Sketch:

Photo:

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?