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Monday, monday

Surprisingly not as hot as expected. Thank you, clouds, your presence is much appreciated.

I'm ecstatic that Netflix has finally put "Touching Evil" --3 seasons!!-- on insta-view. Nothing like the thought of a Robson Green fix as a reward for slogging through another review.

and BTW -- Happy Birthday, Mary!!

Moving on....

We have completed the 1st week of official summer vacation. This was a pretty low-stress week--but then, the heat hasn't been really, really gross here. Yet.

Good things --

* Much Karma was balanced by taking the folks out fishing with Urchin at Oneida Lake. Urchin hauled in a 15" large-mouth bass, his first catch ever.

* I managed to establish yoga-in-the-morning as a solid habit over 2+ months, and I'm paying a lot more attention to what I'm eating. I shelled out for a 12 week planner-type Fitbook to keep track of things and it's working pretty well.

* Now to re-solidify a fiction writing block. 1st to find a good time to lock in. Right after yoga worked just fine, until school let out. Also, some form of regular cardio (though frankly, right now 10 or so Sun Salutations (a traditional yoga routine of about 6 linked exercises/stretches) works great at getting my heart pumping. Otherwise, it's whenever I can get out for a hike.

Yesterday was about 2.5 miles (a two-water-bottle hike) in the woods south of Cazenovia, NY. 5 geocaches. Weather hot (upper 80s), but breezy and not too onerous. Must keep moving.

Oh yeah. Here's the fish--

progress!

(in spite of myself)

Yes, urchin did turn in the form for summer lessons. One less thing to fret about.

Yes, reviews are caught up.

Yes, I spent an hr working on fiction this morning. What a nice change of pace.

new fretty thing-- no dentist within 20 miles takes our dental "insurance". Or at least, no dentist you'd want to have messing around with your teeth, judging by the ratings I've managed to dig up. so...hmmmm.

But still -- writing. Yay!

un-famous last words

before summer vacation begins at around 11am Thursday: Eeeeek!

I have many, many hopeful plans: to get more hiking done, taking urchin with me because we both spend too much time Not Moving Very Much; make sure urchin continues to practice his horn, so his chops will stay in shape over the summer; work the writing and a daily walk or two solidly into the daily schedule, as I've managed to work in morning yoga (because it's the first thing I do after packing lunches; that makes it easy--before distraction mode, with the laundry, reviews that were put off for too long, etc). Reviews are caught up and they better damned well stay that way now.

And other stuff surely not yet determined but brewing away in my back brain under the general daily fretting (which I'm also trying to curb).

Fret #1 today -- I worry that, though urchin SAID he turned in the sign-up sheet for summer music lessons, somehow it has gone awry since I haven't heard from the music teacher yer -- Hey, here's an idea, why not email him??

Fret #2 -- will the truck get me to Readercon and back next month without breaking down? Yes, very likely. It's barely got 42,000 on it. Be realistic, please!

Frey #3 -- well, never mind. Let's stop wasting time, shall we?

I suppose

this is catch-up more than actual valuable commentary--but then, it's mostly been catch-up the last few months. Not quite sure why. Partly, maybe, is that I am trying out this new approach to getting a working schedule. Turning in reviews Before they are due, rather than just at noon on The Day. Getting some exercise (so far, this is about 30 min of yoga every weekday morning, and some weekends)--hopefully this will turn into yoga and then later on a proper walk. Even a hike, once summer vacation begins. My left knee is unhappy, but walking, painful as it can be on steps and otherwise right now, can only improve matters. I suspect, however, that knee replacement is getting ever closer now, and nothing I can do about that but get some muscle in the body instead of fat and keep it that way.

Time moves on. I am not making The Most of it yet. Slowly building up to it--too slowly, frankly. I have to push myself more. It works. When I remember to do it.

So here's to exercise and more writing. Real writing, you know?

Eh, no surprise here

Yes, indeed. I've slacked off on the schedule-making and I'm not getting nearly enough non-mundane work done. Better get it together since I'm losing time this weekend (away for the quarterly D&D clan gathering), and a doctor's appointment will eat the best part of the day on Friday morning. Add the humidity, heat, and sinus-squashing low pressure system, and this particular Wednesday is not going down as one of my favorites.

Okay. Time to renergize. Get up, walk around, get a fresh cuppa. See if that improves things.

Surprise!

I am now the owner of a dress. A LBD, in fact (otherwise known as a "Little Black Dress"). And sparkly green sandals, which don't go with it, but are fine with jeans and make me feel strangely cheerful-- strange, because I am not, but -not-, a "shoe" person. If this is a mid-life crisis, I am getting off cheap.

I was looking for shorts at Marshall's. I have not bought a dress in...well, years. I think I got one to wear to a friend's wedding probably 10 yrs ago. After that, well, I just didn't need one. There were no occasions to attend, especially not during that series of lay-offs, and thus no need for nice clothing. But I was wandering by this rack and saw this size 20 black dress which seemed like, after a couple of years of hiking, might now fit. And it did. Sure, I could look better in it with still more hiking, but it looked surprisingly good -now-. Considering the weight and the height-challenge (You try finding something that makes an overweight 5'4" person look proportioned without having to find a tailor-- cause this has a lining and I don't think my sewing skills are up to dealing with all that)-- considering all that, it fit me, a short person, pretty well.

Anyway, for $50, it seemed like a pretty good deal. (Okay, so part of my brain was screaming, "Are you crazy? $50??"-- but that part of my brain is undeniably trapped in the 70s when I fretted if I paid more than $20 for any article of clothing, so I told it to shut up.)

So hey, now I own a dress again! A nice one, even. Never had a LBD before in my life. Don't expect to go anyplace that requires a dress any time soon. But I'm ready should an occasion pop up!

I love science

Yes, I do. And normally I would be happy to read nearly any pop science book, or issue of Nature or Science or...you get the picture. But now I'm trying really, really hard to get through this book on electricity in the human body (Spark of Life, by Frances Ashcroft; I think it's a Sept title?) and I'm just...bogging...down. Love the discussion about Volta and Galvani, Ben Franklin, and was all geared up for some Mike Faraday post-Enlightment coolness...when we started on ion channels and nerve cells and my brain just unaccountably...went...to...sleep.

I say, "What is this, Brain? What's with all the drooling drowsiness?" Brain snorts and jerks up and yawns very wide and scratches itself...and says, "There aren't any characters here." And Brain is right. It's suddenly all abstract-y chemistry/biochemistry and we don't have any people in the picture who are Doing said chemistry.

So--even my science needs to tell me a story. That's what Brain wants. But Brain's going to have to suck it up and get on the trolley now and read it anyway.

That is all.

The Schedule Report

Blocking everything out on paper the night before does help, somewhat. Now I have to get more realistic about figuring out how long a job should take, and how to keep myself from getting distracted away from the schedule after I've done it for a few hours.

I have 1) managed to get some exercise in (yoga, 1st thing after everyone else is out of the house) 2) get the first couple of things on the list done pretty consistently. Then things sort of fall apart, especially come Wednesday or so. Later in the week, inertia builds up and drags my brain away (and I admit, the gray matter is not exactly kicking and screaming about it).

So. Yes, there is some progress. I am also heartened by the fact that a certain start-up venue for which I'd done some reviews has suddenly made it much easier for me to say "No, not until you pay something reasonable", all without me lifting a finger. That feels nice too, even if it's a passive aggressive response. Fewer reviews are a good thing right now. My brain can feel that.

I keep telling myself we are economically stable at the moment. We are starting to replace some of the savings we burned through during spouse's last lay-off. It is to hope that things will continue on this way. Because it's much easier for me to think about writing fiction when I am not constantly fretting about finding immediate work to pay bills.

Now back to checking the schedule.

Excelsior!

The schedule

Have I mentioned my schedule?
Ah, I thought so. But this is the newest incarnation: a stern 1/2 hr by 1/2 hr list of hope and desperation. I fit things into it based on optimal work speed: best guess, if I've just finished a book in the last 24 hrs, I can bang out a review in 1/2 hr. I built in tea breaks. Lunch. (I need to build in exercise time, too.)

The plan is: make a rigid-looking schedule and try as hard as possible to stick to it. If something overflows its slot, then something else gets pushed off, and so be it.

I made this morning a bit easy--mostly housekeeping (cleaning house and study, laundry, trimming old files, etc) and pushed all the writing into the afternoon, which may not have been the best way to do it. BUT--I have the most energy in the mornings, and there were many, many housekeeping chores that had been put off for far too long. So, some of those are now out of the way and no longer preying on me. Maybe one morning a week should be set aside for these onerous tasks? I'll make a note of it.

At least this is true: taking on the issue of scheduling has forced me to "take control" and "take direct responsibility" and all those buzz-wordy things so at least I -feel- as if I'm accomplishing things (even if I don't get everything done, I get more than one thing done, and that is good) and so I feel more positive about it all as a whole. This, too, is good. It is progress. Now if I can stop fretting about money issues, think of all the extra brain I'll have back again for writing!

Excelsior!

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