Archive for August, 2008

Aug 19 2008

Yay, book!

As I mentioned on the household blog, one of my stories is now out in print! “The Reap Assessors” can be found in the Triangulation: Taking Flight anthology.

Oh wow, I just found out when clicking the link that not only do I have the privilege of being the first story in the TOC, when you click on the preview pages, my story and the first few pages of one of Amy Treadwell’s stories are what are promoting the anthology! Even more exciting!

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Aug 10 2008

inchworm progress

Well it feels that way, but only because the projects I work on are so huge. We finished the second, much longer pass of the business models monstrosity gargantua paper, yay! Now we only have to follow up on all the tangents and make another complete pass through it before my mom comes down with flowchart and red pen in hand. In two weeks or less. Then another for the rest of the paper. Then we’ll be traveling, so better damn well be done. Argh, so much to finish before travel upsets the creative routine again! Wait, chill, panic is another post.

I’ve got about 2.5 more things to catch up on at the shop, which is good improvement there as well. And not falling to pieces more than a few times a week, which is an improvement from 1+ times daily. And, hmm…ah, the maid service thing for the house was totally some of the best money we have chosen to spend to help our family out. Really, any of you families out there that don’t just totally bond lovingly over housework and can save enough pennies for should look into it, at least to help with the deep cleaning and little tidying details that daily life often makes difficult to keep up with. We have them over twice a month, and it’s quite affordable especially when you calculate the time it would take for us to do the same amount of work.

This week I’ve gotten the dining room to a state of completeness lacking only the tabletop and bookshelf organization to be done. My room is down to one bookshelf’s amount of boxes to unpack, (plus laundry to put away) and we hung all the large pictures in the main room (and I’m a third of the way through re-hanging Steve’s book-cover pictures so they look better) so that room is done except for any small finishing touches we think to add.

There’s still so very much to do, but that’s for another post as well. This post is about taking the time to appreciate the minutia of progress.

*tap, tap, twitch*

Okay, enough of that for now, back to work!

PS - I rolled a 1 last night and actually talked about my novel with Kit. That’s a short step away from writing on it, so should be considered good progress as well.

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Aug 08 2008

brains, eating

Published by Reesa under Life, Writing, falling down

This business models paper is eating my brain. Not in a bad way, it’s just a bit hard to shift gears and work on other things.

I’ve been operating at the nadir of my efficiency and output in many areas for probably about a year now. I think it’s probably burnout, or brown-out; I didn’t get any recovery time after the drawn-out process of business-buying, and not since then, either. I think I’ve also been depressed, possibly clinically, for the past six months, but if I had to guess I doubt that a mental health professional would consider me so. After all, don’t I get out of bed? Stay cognizant of eating, clothing, relatively clean hygiene? Retain some semblance of interacting with people? I’d fail the checklist, which is part of why it’s taken so long for me to figure out myself, but I think that just as the regular depression signs are to a normal mental state, so is my current state compared to how I remember functioning when things internally worked better.

It’s gotten to the point where I’ve considered official anti-depressant medication, which I never expected to have to think about, given my naturally sunny disposition. But if I’m not willing to take hormonal birth control medication due to the crappy side effects (let’s hear it for women’s health!), I’m quite adverse to the idea of the mood chemical-cocktail and all the adjustments most people have to go through, with concurrent side-effect rollercoaster. Plus, as I understand it, one really needs a cooperative and skilled head shrink to facilitate the process, and I just don’t tend to be someone with doctor-luck. In addition, it really irks to rely on chemical solutions when I haven’t explored the non-chemical options (like altering diet, exercise and activity levels, and so on) fully.

So I muddle through, and when you look at it, there really isn’t all that much wrong with my life, and quite a lot very right with it. I just wish I could access how to enjoy (in joy) it all again. This fake-it-til-you-make-it shite doesn’t always work as well as advertised. And I am so not an artist that works well when morose. But I also don’t work well, or at all, in silence, and I’ve been quiet on what’s up with me for a long time now.

I realize that it doesn’t help me in sharing common humanity bonds to confess that my accomplishments of the past year and more have been achieved under sub-optimal (sub-sub-sub-optimal, sometimes) conditions, and yes that does mean that I would have gotten a magnitude-order more done had I been healthy. But not-talking about it doesn’t help, and things are about to get way more intense for my creative career, so the time to fix my head is past due. I refuse to be a “flame big and flame out” rock-star. I much prefer to shine bright and keep glowing.

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Aug 07 2008

added Writing Roll rule

Published by Reesa under Writing, silliness

For the truly geeky among you needing motivation, you can add another dice roll: the first to decide which project you work on, as referenced in the previous entry, and the next roll to determine how many (units of measurement) you spend on your project before you can take a break. You determine the units of measurement ahead of time; examples include word-count, sentence-count, page-count, and minutes (or hours) at the keyboard (or notebook).

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Aug 05 2008

further writing nerdiness

Published by Reesa under Writing, silliness

Often, when I’m not writing as much or as frequently as I’d prefer to be, I think up new systems or patterns to try to kick-start more writing. Occasionally they’re in complete seriousness, but more often they are light-hearted, an attempt to laugh myself (or laugh at myself) into workfulness. Even my catwaxing isn’t entirely frivolous, which apparently according to some writers means I’m not really waxing the cat. Ahh well. To view my latest geeky foray, read on!

This system is designed to address the needs of a specific writing phase. Obviously, if I wake up and know what I want to write that day, then the decision of what to write is rather made. Ditto for waking up knowing you need to take a day off. (A day what?) However, this system is designed to answer the question of what to write when you have the vague itch to write something, but no blinding inspiration is moving you toward an individual project. Those of you gamer geeks may have already guessed what’s coming…

You decide that this time, you’ll get the dice involved.

First, make a numbered list all of your current projects and works-in-progress. (Obviously, those of you that only work on one project at a time won’t really need any of this, as the decision is inherent in the choice.) Here, I’ll give my own example:

  1. Novel-in-progress
  2. collaborative project, non-fiction-ish
  3. collaborative project, fiction
  4. Elliot’s story
  5. the twins’ story
  6. business model paper
  7. Arse Elektronika paper
  8. revise tabled story drafts

So from the list above: whenever I’m feeling the edgy urge to write, but whining internally about not knowing what I want to work on, I’d select an 8-sided die and roll it.

Rules of the game: You’re allowed one re-roll per writing session (the time between catwaxing); if you reject a rolled option more than three times in one week you might want to consider whether it belongs on the list for now; anytime you work on any point you have the option to shuffle the numbering; anytime you complete a list point you can reward yourself as desired before adding the next project (or, if you’re trying to downsize, find some way to reward yourself anytime you drop down a die size, like from 8-sided to 6-sided). If you roll and decide that no, you actually want to work on a different option instead, inspiration trumps randomization: go with what you want to write. If you don’t like any of your list options, write a different list before rolling.

So far this week I’ve done work on 2, 3, and 6.

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Aug 02 2008

It’s going to be a strange day…

Published by Reesa under Writing, voice and craft

You know I have the brain-worms when I’m in the middle of updating my works-in-progress section of “My Writing” here on the ‘Net, and I hear the following conversation in my head:

“Really, it’s not *that* much to get done.”

“Have you been snorting kittens again? What?”

“Oh come on, look! It’s one novel with most half a good amount of work done on, two or three short stories, and one story of indeterminate size.”

“I am looking, and I see you forgot to mention the ongoing project and the ‘various sundry bits’ barely worth listing–but still taking up neural space and ‘time’.”

“Well, the short stories are only a couple of weeks time-use each.”

“And you’re lying out your ass on that “story of indeterminate size” thing, you know it’s at least a novella.”

“Maybe, but…”

“Plus that academic paper and accompanying presentation due in September you sort of forgot to mention.”

“But there’s already at least some work done on all of those! The short stories, the paper, the novel, and the other story thingy all at least have notes if not also written text.”

“So? You know who we are. Don’t forget that in order to cope with the “lists” and “deadlines”, there’ll need to be at least one or two short projects done concurrently with the official work that aren’t even *on* the list.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Well?”

“Um…it could be worse?”

“Shh, don’t give anyone any bright ideas. Just get back to work, if you want to keep that kitten supply flowing and fresh.”

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