October 31st, 2019


October in Review

My weigh-ins this month have been between a low of 171.4 and a high of 173.5, kind of randomly across the month. My weight this morning was 173.5, which is 0.4 pounds above my weight last month. Two days earlier was 171.8. I'm going to mark this down as "basically no change". Also going to try eating ~50 fewer calories per day next month. I am unconvinced that my weight is actually stable at the current level, but I've been eating food when I'm not very hungry. It won't be hard to cut back a little.

I've made some progress on eating more meals at home. I've been going to Costco to get ravioli, which both Lut and I like, and I made potatoes with fake crab, Swiss cheese, and broccoli on Tuesday night. (This is a combination I used to get at a baked potato place and have always liked, and Lut will also eat it.) Also made mac & cheese with sausage and sausage penne alfredo. It's all pretty simple stuff and most of it is not healthy, but it saves me picking up fast food for Lut every day and/or going out to a restaurant. Our income has been less than our outgo for several months in a row, so I am trying to rein in expenses as much as eat better.

I can't get updated Google Fit numbers for the month yet, but my guess is that my walking was down for the month, due to a combination of factors:
  • Inclement weather
  • Less likely to go to the Plaza to walk for two hours when I'm trying not to spend $10 at coffee shops
  • Spending more time cleaning at home leaves less time for exercise, and I haven't bothered to log time spent cleaning.

Looking at this trade off -- less exercise but more money and a cleaner house -- I'm okay with this.

I've also kept up with stretching four times a week and doing push-ups three times a week.

I'm sitting here thinking that I track a bunch of stuff in multiple places -- in my bullet journal, in Google Fit, and in RealAppeal's app -- and maybe I should move my bullet journal to a spreadsheet so that I can do analysis on it. But the last time I tried using a spreadsheet for this purpose was my old Activity Log, which I abandoned because it was so unwieldy.

Perhaps what I really need is a database.

Perhaps this way lies madness.

I worked on Spark of Desire this month, and wrote ~25,000 words. It's now about 70% done. I am content.

The Business of Writing
I did not do much business-related writing stuff. I submitted four books for a Draft2Digital/Overdrive promotion (all my "first of two" books) that will sell them at a discount to libraries. I like libraries.

I also collected rejections for Bookbub promotions on A Rational Arrangement, The Sun Etherium, and Demon's Lure. These are the only three titles I'm still submitting for promos, since The Moon Etherium and Silver Scales both lost money on the promos I bought for them. Whenever I get a sequel out for The Princess, Her Dragon, and Their Prince, I'll start submitting it, though.

No editing this month. Meh. Editing. I thought of something I wanted to change in The Twilight Etherium and scribbled it down, and of course I have a bunch of first reader suggestions. No motivation, though.

My bank gave us free tickets for the zoo on one Sunday, and I did a whole bunch of sketches while I was there. I also drew a random marker piece for Inktober, did a few gesture drawings, and made a mock-up for the cover of The Twilight Etherium. So out of the 9-10 times that I put down "sketch" on the to-do list, I did so five times. I remain amazed that I am more motivated to clean than I am to draw.

Day Hobby
I have amusing news about my day job!

About a year ago, my bank reorganized and my department went from "we do reports for the loan department" to "we do reports for every department of the bank". This includes getting weird requests to do reports on systems that only ten people use and that I've never even heard of, much less used or have access to. Then we scramble around trying to find the system and figure out how to get access to and then try to find some documentation so we can find the information needed for the particular request. It is an ADVENTURE.

Anyway, several hundred people in various positions were impacted by this reorg, and basically everyone got new jobs with slightly different responsibilities from their old ones. Since this happened, management and human resources has been trying to reclassify the old jobs in the internal rating system. They finally got new job titles and job descriptions to everyone this week.

My new job title is "Reporting Engineer." FANCY.

The job title & description entitle me to a raise, although no one knows what yet and it won't be until next year. But more amusingly, the job is salaried; as of November 4, I am officially no longer an hourly employee and no longer have to use a timecard, for the first time in twenty-two years.

At many places, "salaried" or "exempt" is a fancy way of saying "we want you to work a lot of unpaid overtime." My bank is pretty good about not more than forty hours a week from their exempt employees, as a rule.

However, I am part-time. I work 20 hours a week. I am not going to work more than twenty hours a week and I don't care what they call my position or how it's paid.

This was almost my first comment to my boss and her boss when they told me about the change, and they laughed and went "Yes, yes, we know! We're not sure how this will work but we'll figure it out."

So I don't know what my new salary is going to be, but I'm not worried about it. I can't be the only salaried employee at the bank that ever dropped to part-time for life reasons, there must be some precedent. Still, it is a funny kind of situation. You never hear about part-time employees who don't get paid by the hour!

Actually got out to see Corwyn and Kat twice this month. And saw Jen once when she was back in town to visit folks. Unprecedented!

I have been bummed out by some personal stuff for the last few days. I have three different "short & chatty" style services look at a lot: Discord, Twitter, and Mastodon/TootPlanet. I'm starting to wonder if I should stop looking at all of them. I like the one-on-one conversations on Discord but I don't know if the rest has value for me or if I'm just doing it out of habit and boredom. If I'm bored, I could read a book. I barely talk on any of these services, so the impact of my absence on anyone would be minimal.

Scorecard for prior month
~ Help Lut & general adulting: I AM SO ADULT yes
~ Keep up with the weekly to-dos: I have done this! I am falling behind on the to-do a little: it's gone from "one thing that I keep rolling over because I don't do it" to two, and there are a couple of others that are in danger of getting rolled over this week. Also, of the items that are scheduled to recur aren't being done as often as I'd like. (Sketching! MY NEMESIS.) Still, this is a pretty good track record for "doing the things I need to do."
~ Finish 25% of a new book and/or edit: I wrote about 25,000 words of Spark of Desire, which is projected at around 100,000, so hit this almost exactly. Have not been motivated to edit at all.

Goals for coming month
~ Help Lut/General adulting/keep up on the to-do list
~ NaNoWriMo!
~ Visit Terrycloth Nov 20-25. ❤️

I am excited about starting NaNoWriMo tomorrow! I have Fridays off so I'm not working for the first three days of NaNo. Because I like to front-load my NaNo, I'm setting my goal for those three days at 12,500 words. That's 4166 words per day: chosen because it is (a) about the most I've ever written in one day and (b) will get me to 25% done with NaNo by day three.

The rest of the month I'm not so sure how I'll handle. I've got work some days, and I might show up at the local relaxicon on the weekend after next, and I'm visiting Terry at the end of the month, and also there's Thanksgiving in there and appointments for Lut and whatnot. Still, I've done NaNoWriMo every year for the last three. It's not that hard.

Plan A is to finish Spark of Desire, since it's close to the end, and then go back to working on The Lord, His Monster, and Their Lady. But if I write some added scenes for The Twilight Etherium, or if I decide to start a different book, that's fine too.

I'm also going to let myself count "notes made while figuring out plot points" towards word count. I dislike the way NaNo's emphasis on Word Count Over Everything encourages me to wander around in the weeds, lost and flailing and writing things that have no value to the story just to make The All Important Word Goal. I am glad this process is of value to other people but it's not of value to me. Anyway, hoping that giving myself credit for notes will encourage me to wander around in the weeds *figuring things out off-camera*, and not trying to incorporate that aimless wandering into the narrative in a way that I will just have to un-incorporate later, through painstaking edits. :D

Anyway, NaNoWriMo is the reason I'm posting my month-in-review now: I'm clearing my schedule for November so I can focus on writing fiction.

So who else is doing NaNo this year? This entry was originally posted at https://rowyn.dreamwidth.org/643527.html. Please comment there using OpenID.