Avg calories eaten per day: 1,793
Avg exercise per day: 176
So: eating is up, exercise is down, and weight is up.
My addiction to Pokemon GO has been effectively killed by the pandemic. I still go out for walks and I still do aerobics sometimes, but the 2+ hour walks at the Plaza while I cheerfully played with my phone are never coming back. Unless I manage to hook myself on a new exercise game.
I started eating more vegetables in September, at least. Lut has been ordering premade salads from Wal-Mart for years now, and I finally decided to do likewise. I consider premade salads ridiculously decadent, but they are extremely convenient and get me to eat spinach. For two weeks, I'd been buying salad ingredients and assembling salads from them, but this was enough less convenient that there was a good chance I would quit eating them entirely. I hardly ever have takeout; spending an extra $10 a week to have someone else make salads for me is not unduly extravagant.
Anyway, I don't know. I might be at the point where I care enough to change something, since the last six months have been trending slowly upwards; I'm up four pounds since my low in March/April.
I worked on Demon's Alliance a lot this month. I finished making notes and working on the outline on September 2, and started writing the book on September 4. Book is at 32,500 words so far, and just shy of 50% complete. Like the other Demon's Series books, I expect it to be on the short side.
I did not finish writing the outline for book 4, which I'm gonna give the working title of Angel's Grace so that I can stop calling "book 4." I did make more notes for it, though. I still want to finish the Angel's Grace outline before I finish writing Demon’s Alliance; it’s another case where I’m setting stuff up in the current book that will pay off in the next one.
I started a new writing game, SoulScribes, which is in closed alpha but one of my friends made big puppy eyes at a dev and got me an account. It’s been encouraging me to write more, so that’s nice. I still play 4thewords, too, of course, because the only thing better than a writing incentive game is TWO writing incentive games.
The Business of Writing
Alinsa finished initial layout on Spark of Desire, and I've done the final proofread pass and sent corrections to her. So that should be done soon.
My first readers are done with The Lord, His Monster, and Their Lady. I haven't opened it since late August, or looked at comments, or considered what I'm going to change. I should do that.
I finished Spark of Desire's wrap cover, so that it would be ready to go when Alinsa was done with the book layout.
I also tried to draw Raven, one of the protagonists in Demon's Alliance, a few times. The third try is coming out pretty well; I hope to finish it up. It was nice working on a picture for fun instead of as a potential book cover.
Diane's company (her husband, to be specific) is to start painting today!
I am giving Diane even more slack than usual because she has cancer and just had surgery for a compression fracture a couple of weeks ago. Also, the paint had to be ordered and only just arrived. Josh (the husband) has done some work already on prep -- scraping off the old paint where it was peeling, taking down the decorative shutters, power-washing the house, probably some other stuff I'm forgetting. It proceeds apace; I am content.
The saga of Paying For New Gutters continues!
In early September, I got a phone call:
Caller: "Hi, I'm with Christian Bros. Roofing -- "
Me: . o O(Aha! They will ask about picking up a check!)
Caller: " -- and we wanted to check in and make sure you are happy with your new gutters."
Me: "I am happy with them! I have not yet paid for them, though, because I was expecting an invoice or someone to collect a check like with the roof. Would you like to be paid? I would like to pay you!"
Caller: "... uh, I'm not with billing, I only do customer satisfaction. But I will let them know!"
Several days later, they emailed an invoice to my real-name account with an 'Oops, sorry we forgot to bill you' apology. I never remember to check my real-name email, so I didn't notice until I got the physical copy in the mail on September 20. I immediately went to online banking and sent them a check, which online banking said would be delivered on September 29.
It's now October 2, and that check has shown as "pending" for the last three days. Dear company, please cash my check already, I am tired of looking at my account balance and having to remember why it is unexpectedly high.
In other maintenance news, my Surface no longer runs the Evernote client. I'm not sure why, but the Evernote client now takes a very long time to open and to sync, and even once it's done syncing, it's unusably laggy -- there's a long delay between when I hit a key and when Evernote acknowledges the keystroke.
This puts me in the weird position that I just ... don't use Evernote anymore. I used to write each chapter of a story in Evernote and paste it into Google Docs when I finished the chapter. Now I just write directly in Google Docs. I like Evernote's client UI better, but not enough better to use it when it won't autosync across all my devices.
So this morning I decided I might as well cancel my premium subscription (I don't have to migrate my data off Evernote first because the unpaid version still stores all existing data.) It turned out that my annual renewal was in two days. So that's gone.
It feels weird. I switched to Evernote premium in 2016. It's been part of my process for all but two of my published books.
But the biggest reason I needed Evernote -- so I could write on my phone -- hasn't been a factor since my old thumb-board phone became unusably slow and I had to switch to a new phone with a virtual keyboard in 2018. And it's 2020 now: I don't go anywhere and wouldn't use my phone to write regardless of the hardware available.
And if it turns out I miss Evernote at some point in the future -- I admit that it was nice that my prior process meant I always had my WIPs in two places -- I can re-subscribe. The unsubscribe function on Evernote was reasonably painless (it went glitchy at the end but turned out to have gone through), so kudos to Evernote for that. Companies that do not make me hate unsubscribing are WAY more likely to get me to re-subscribe. (As opposed to, say, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, neither of which I will ever subscribe to again.)
Part of why I am sad about unsubscribing to EverNote is that it's a good product and I liked supporting it.
And it just struck me that I've never paid for Google Docs but Google Docs does, in fact, have premium membership. Its premium membership benefit is "do you want EVEN MORE storage than the ridiculously excessive amount of storage we gave you for free?" so it's not as if this is a perk I will use. But I signed up for it just now anyway because I feel better being a customer than a product. :D
In related news, also renewed my subscription to Dreamwidth.
The Kindle app has a feature called "Reading Insights", which auto-tracks how many books you've finished in Kindle that year, and also how many weeks/days you've "read" in a row. I think it counts "reading" as "opened an ebook in the Kindle app", regardless of how much you read of it. Maybe you have to read a page or two, I don't know.
Anyway, I'd read a productivity blog post that suggested that if there's a thing you want to do that you find yourself not doing, start with the smallest possible unit of that thing and then give yourself credit for doing it. Eg, if you want to journal but don't, set a goal of "open journal every day" and mark it as accomplished after you open the journal. Give yourself a sticker or whatever.
I have struggled a lot with reading books over the last few years (I have only finished reading three books in all of 2020) so I decided to give this a try. I missed a couple of days, but for 28 days in September I did at least a little bit of reading-a-book. Mostly I've been reading India After Ghandi, a nonfiction history of India. It's a 900 page book and I am 200 pages into it, so I don't know if I will ever finish it via this method. But it's something.
Goal Scorecard for September
Assist Lut: September was happily a quiet month for medical stuff -- just the usually monthly immunotherapy and subscription refills. So this was easy and unrelated I love him.
Finish the cover for Spark of Desire: Done!
Stretch Goals for September
Start writing Demon's Alliance: Done!
Work on the outline for the fourth Demon's Series book: Did work on it, though not finished yet.
Work on art/sketch weekly: Still not a weekly thing, but I worked on art stuff in three of five weeks, so not too bad.
Goals for Next Month
Finish outline for Angel's Grace (or some other new novel). I want to do NaNoWriMo next month. If I just work on Demon's Alliance in October, I'll either finish it or come close to finishing it, and either way I will need to start on Angel's Grace or have some other project ready-to-write in November. Granted, yes, I have won NaNoWriMo before with a book I didn't have outlined, but it adds unnecessary stress to the experience.
Generally maintain reading streak. This counts as long as I read, say, 25 days in October.
Think about what I want to write after Angel's Grace. Geez I picked new projects to work on TWICE this year already, am I really going to have to do this AGAIN? How does this keep happening. I didn't have to think about this at all in 2019, and I only did it ONCE in 2018.
Make final editing list for The Lord, His Monster, and Their Lady
Complete final edits on The Lord, His Monster and Their Lady. I want these as two separate goals because that's more motivational than one.
Sketch/draw once per week, anything counts. I was a little tempted to do Stocktober (SenshiStock posts a reference photo on her DeviantArt every day in October for people to draw) or Pinktober (https://www.culturehustleusa.com/pages/pinktober), but not tempted enough to do it. I was looking at things yesterday and going "meh". Still, maybe I'll do a few sketches. I can use the practice.
Finish the portrait of Raven
Finish the cover for The Lord, His Monster, and Their Lady
Post a few times to Dreamwidth
Keep up on reading Dreamwidth
Start keeping a to-do list: I stopped making a weekly to-do list ... uh ... a long time ago. Looks like the first week of April was the last one? My bullet journal used to have a section of weekly to-dos like "exercise 5x" and "write 5000 words". I still keep a bullet journal, but it only has my schedule and the things that I have done, instead of miscellaneous things I want to do. I feel like "things I want to do" might be nice to have again. We'll see.
I kept larding on the stretch goals this time because stretch goals are fun. I don't need to actually do them. I can put whatever I want in here! I'm free! Freeeeeeeee!
PS: I tried the Markdown version of the new Dreamwidth editor for this entry. I do not love the way it handles line breaks, which is "if you want a blank line between every carriage return, great, otherwise be prepared to use a lot of html code." But I am not formatting this entry a third time for Yet Another version. I think I got most of the wonky sections tamed. Eventually. -_-
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