April 1st, 2017

Me 2012

March in Review

Work started a "fitness challenge" in March. I looked at the parameters when they announced it, and realized that my current levels of exercise scored 3-4 points, 5 days a week. "Sure," I said. "I will participate. Maybe I will even exercise on the weekend for bonus points." The fitness challenge, annoyingly, has a per-day cap of 3. I don't mind that there's a cap, but a per-week cap would be way less obnoxious.

In the first twelve days of March, I took two weekend days off and could count 30 of a max 36. (I scored well over 36, but can't count points over 3 in a single day.) We're on teams of like 4 to 6 people, and they tallied up the teams. My team was in second place, with a per-person average of 16 (for the full 12 days). The 1st place team had an average of 16.5.

... If I'd scored 6 more points, we would have been in first.

Anyway, clearly (a) everyone else in this challenge has a very different idea of "reasonable amount of exercise" from mine, and (b) I can't take another day off.

So I maxed out my points for the rest of March. The challenge runs through May 31, so I dunno if I'll keep this up for two more months. Six days a week is okay, but every single day is excessive. Even for me.

I still eat too much, so no change in weight. \o_

Mostly been writing Demon's Hunter. Also a lot of generic rambling, and a very little bit of Fellwater. I kinda feel like I should finish Fellwater, because there's only a handful of scenes left. But it's such a ridiculous thing that I'm not even motivated to edit it.

I've also been doing a lot of "I am just rambling to myself about my day", when I feel like playing 4thewords.com but don't want to work at it writing anything very coherent. Much of it is the sort of thing I used to post on LJ and Opendiary, way back when. Some of it is very boring (me talking about 4thewords, for example), but it does make me wonder if I should post more chit-chat stuff to my LJ again.

Demon's Hunter: 34,200 (total book is now 37,400).
Fellwater: 1,100 (total book is now 89,900)
Other stuff (LJ posts, 4thewords counting deleted words, forum posts, etc.): 27,000

My 4thewords count for the year through 3/31 is 178,000.

The Business of Writing
In March, I finished 30 out of 27 items on my to-edit list for Scales, and had 2 items left at the end of month. I am bad at math. Also, the list kept growing. This doesn't include some items that I decided to change without adding them to the list.

I finished one of the remaining items this morning, so it's done. The last point -- "actually try to make it shorter, this time for sure" -- is probably not happening in any meaningful way. "Make it shorter" is not something I do. -_- Also, of the three books I've released, the longest one is the one that still, almost two years later, sells the best. So the personal experience is not really speaking to the whole "people like their books concise". However, I will leave it out there as a thing to think about. I did actually cut some unnecessary-but-amusing stuff this morning. It is not clear to me how much of that kind of thing -- "this is just here for flavor" -- I should cut. Obviously some of it is integral to making the book not be boring.

I paid off my mortgage this month! \o/ That was nice.

Telnar visited last weekend! We did a lot of talking and some walking. Also went to the indoor waterpark near my house for a couple of hours, and I got him to download Ascension for his iPad so we could play it. The UI on the PC is basically identical to the iPad, but the PC is ten times more annoying because my desktop doesn't have a touchscreen and I can't hold it conveniently ten inches from my face. (The big problem with the PC UI is that the max resolution is like 600x800 or something. It is teeeeeeeny and I can't resize it.)

In other socialization news, I went to a retirement party last night, for a man I've been working with for 16 years. He was my boss, briefly, after my previous boss left in 2010 or something. Other than that time, we've never worked in the same department, but we always got along well. He and his wife were really surprised and touched that I made it to the party. It was 25 miles away! I did not ride my bike. I rented a car. A couple of people offered me rides, but I needed a car this weekend anyway so it worked out.

Anyway, it was only for a few hours and it was hard to talk because the room was loud (just from all the people talking!) But I saw many many former co-workers from before the last merger, and that was cool. Including several people who don't work at the bank any more! I am glad I went. And happy for my friend. And a little melancholy, thinking about other former co-workers I haven't seen in many years, and wondering if I ever will again. It's very hard for me to keep in contact with people unless I have some activity that keeps me engaged with them. :/

I have some depression related to "not retired from Day Job yet and very tired of working 40 hours a week", and some bonus free-floating anxiety at the end of the month. I feel like I have forgotten to do some critical adulting task and by the time I remember it will be too late.

Still, it's been a good month overall and I'm pretty happy, but there are still hard parts.

Goals for coming month
So it's CampNano in April, and moreover 4thewords.com will be doing a CampNano event, so I know I'm going to be writing for it. I set my CampNano goal for "modest and easily achievable", which is to say 25,000 words.


Yes, that is modest and easily achieved. I wasn't really trying to write this month and went over 30,000. The biggest threat to my writing productivity is that the weather is getting nicer, though. I've been writing 800-1000 words just on the walk to and from work, and while I'm on my exercise bike.

I keep comparing my current writing pace to the rate at which I wrote The Moon Etherium and being disappointed. Then I have to remind myself I'm supposed to be editing and not writing.

Then I remember that I've been editing for four months and I'm maybe half-done, and it's all black despair from there. -_-

Anyway! I PERSIST.

So, goals:
  • Write 25,000 words of new fiction
  • Do some research for Birthright. Make world-building notes.
  • Do some editing on Birthright
  • Do my taxes, including the tax form Missouri wants my business to fill out even though I thought I already filled it out and I know I paid it so .... I don't know. I need to fill a thing out.
  • Do what I can to make sure my credit card and the rental car company talk enough to get claim for damage settled.*

I would love to finish editing Birthright by the end of May, but I'm betting on end of June.

If I am doing really well at editing somehow, I don't care if the writing slides.

Last time I did research, I checked out books from the library. I plan to buy some e-books this time, to see if having more conveniently-sized books helps with the process. Also, the book selection in the local library system was disappointing. I don't know if the selection in e-book form will be better or worse, but I'll take a look.

* I rented a car last weekend too, and managed to damage it backing into a very low retaining wall at < 5 mph. I filed the claim with my credit card -- my special I-only-have-this-card-for-the-rental-insurance-waiver -- on the day of the accident. Thursday they emailed to ask me to send a bunch of documents from the rental car company. Why they didn't ask the rental place to send these documents is not clear. Today I talked to rental folks, but all the documentation I need is with their Damage Reduction Unit and they can't get me any of it. They expected the DRU to talk to me and/or the credit card. So I will wait a few more business days to see if anyone else gets in touch with me. If not, I will call the DRU and ask them for docs. It's a process. I have a lot of time to sort this out, so I am not very worried about it, but I also don't want to think "lots of time left!" and then find myself wondering in September whatever happened with the claim.