Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

January 2021 in Review

Health & Fitness
Some people find mention of weight and calories very upsetting, so I’m gonna drop that part of the recap. I track it elsewhere so I don’t need it here.

Everything was very similar to December, except with less exercise because my back went out on Wednesday and I haven’t done much since.


I finished writing the first draft of Angel’s Grace. Finishing the book went like this:

  • I’ll just finish 7% of the book this week.
  • writes 5000 words
  • Huh that’s 10% already
  • writes another 3000 words
  • How am I at 20% for this week already?
  • repeat until draft is finished
  • I really expected the book to be longer than this
  • checks outline
  • The estimated total was 52,250 and the actual was 48,700 so ... this is pretty close to the estimate.
  • ... okay but how was I supposed to know the estimate was accurate this time???

It probably should be longer, to be fair. I wrote the Angel’s Sigil outline to make sure I knew how I’d wrap up some of the loose ends from Demon’s Alliance, and at the time I thought ‘I can refine this later, I just want to be sure the main plot works.’ Then I never went back to refine it, so some aspects of the draft are underdeveloped.

I also put up, um, six blog posts in addition to my usual month-in-reviews one. So that plan is going well.

I dug up the outline for The Twin Etheriums and resumed work on it. I made it into a functional outline, and then decided I still don’t want to write it. It has a lot of “characters do magical research” and almost no one finds this interesting or entertaining when I do it.

The Business of Writing

Alinsa sent me the beta version of The Lord, His Monster, and Their Lady. I’ve read through the first 5% but I haven’t been focused on it because the cover’s not done anyway.

I started revisions on Angel’s Grace and added another ~1500 words to it.

I collected a pair of Bookbub rejections, and linked to my books a few times in passing in social media this month. I don’t want to do the “tweet your book blurb + link” thing because I think it is a uniquely ineffectual form of advertising, but I am trying to bring up “my books exist” a bit more. Like, a few times a month.


I am still chewing through India After Gandhi at a glacial pace, but I did read a few pages every day this month.


I put in some more work on the cover for The Lord, His Monster, and Their Lady. I worked on it in pieces and then moved it to my desktop to reassemble it because I needed a higher resolution than my Surface tablet can handle.

I have basically reached the “give up” stage. I’ve been working on this thing since June of last year and it’s not getting any better anymore. The exercise is starting to remind me of the “if you throw 1000 pots you will end up with a better pot than if you spend the same amount of time trying to make a single pot perfect” anecdote. Maybe if I did a thousand paintings, I could finally make one that’s good, but I’m not gonna make up for my lack of skill by throwing more time into this one.

I haven’t decided whether “give up” means “do a completely different cover” or “hope this one is good enough.”

I also did a setting doodle for the Demon’s Series.


One of my unwritten goals for 2021 is “learn one new game per month”, which I put down because (a) I already pay for a account and they have a ton of games I’ve never tried and (b) Terry likes learning new games and for the last few years we’ve been playing the same handful together, week after week after week. So I figure he deserves a break.

Anyway, I learned one and two half-games in January.

New game: “Welcome To”, where you design neighborhoods. This is one of those games with simultaneous turns. I like it and we’ve played it several times. It probably does not have the endless replayability of our standard games, however.

Half-game #1: Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invasion. “Race for the Galaxy” is my all-time favorite game; I usually play it with the first three expansions. “Xeno Invasion” is an expansion that adds a bunch of new rules and removes all of the other expansions. It is a different experience to play it and I had to read the rules. The “Arena mode” for the current BGA arena uses it, so I bit the bullet and finally learned it. Now that I’m familiar with it, I like it as much as the other versions of RftG.

Half-game #2: Seven Wonders: Duel. I like the game Seven Wonders, which is designed for seven players and plays best with 5+. Seven Wonders: Duel is a 2-player game based on some of the same ideas. It’s pretty different and I did not instantly love it the way I did original Seven Wonders. But I played a few games and like it enough to play again.

Phone Switch Coda

I received the new phone sim cards on the 5th, I think, and switched providers on the 6th. Switching phone providers was traumatic enough that I no longer feel bad that Past Rowyn had put it off for nine months.

Much of the trauma was not Ting’s fault, but there has remained one ongoing issue.

I have a smartphone and wanted the $25 plan that comes with 5 gigs of data. Lut has a dumb phone and uses 0 data, so I wanted his phone on the $10 plan. I put this down when I requested the sims. When I activated the sims, both phones were set up on a $25 plan (for $50 total), and there was no apparent way on the account to switch just Lut’s to $10.

Resigned, I called Ting’s customer service, who informed me that Ting can’t handle multiple lines with different plans. If you want a different plan, you need it on a separate account.

... okay. So I set up a second account, and the customer service person says she’ll switch Lut’s phone to it and call me back when it’s done.

She calls me back and says it’s not working today but she’ll take care of it on the 11th and give me a credit for the difference.

On the 15th, I still have two phone lines on one account for $50 a month, and a credit for $25, and no phone lines on the second account. I reply to the customer service with “oh hey, this is still not done, please help?”

“We’ll take care of it and give you another credit!”

Today: I have two phone lines on one account for $50 a month, and a credit for $50. I tried to use the website to switch both phones to the $10 plan because I have used like 0.29 GB so far this month, but the website now requires you to call to change plans at all.

I tried emailing with a request to change plans. I do not have a lot of faith that this will work either. But Ting has been generous with credits and even if I were paying the $50 a month, I’d still be saving money over my previous provider. So it’s really not a big deal.

January Goal Scorecard

  • Assist Lut: Done!
  • Get to 2/3rds done with the Angel's Grace draft: Finished it! OVERACHIEVED.
  • Cancel T-Mobile service when Ting SIMs arrive, assuming Ting SIMs work: Done!
  • Archive 2020 Bullet Journal spreadsheet & use fresh one for 2021: Done!
  • Look at goal list occasionally: Done!

Stretch Goals:

  • Exercise 20 times this month: Done (just barely. Technical completion is best completion).
  • Track calories consumed a little more diligently. Like figure out how many calories is in the spaghetti sauce I keep making, and how many servings it makes.: Done!
  • Make an art. Finishing part of the new book cover counts even if I don't finish the whole thing.: Overachieved this one too: I worked on book cover and made a new art.
  • Mention on social media that I have some published books people can buy: Done
  • Fling a few books at Bookbub for rejection: Done
  • Post a few blog entries, apart from my usual month-in-review: Done!
  • Work on outline(s) for next potential book(s) to write after Angel's Grace: Done
  • Maintain bullet journal: Done!

Apparently I didn’t have enough stretch goals? That was weird.

February Goals:

  • Assist Lut
  • Proofread The Lord, His Monster, and Their Lady
  • Look at goal list occasionally

To be honest, I don’t want to do anything else. I don’t even want to do the proofreading, but that’s such a basic, simple thing that it seems spiteful not to do it. Making things -- writing, art, whatever -- feels pointless and futile.

But I’ve only felt this way for like a day and it seems likely it will pass. And also I don’t know what to do with my time otherwise anyway. So everything that I might do will go under stretch goals.

Stretch goals

  • Exercise 20 times this month
  • Consumption tracking
  • Make an art
  • Do a simpler cover for Lord
  • Practice art
  • Post a few blog entries, apart from my usual month-in-review.
  • Figure out if there’s anything I want to write
  • Work on revising Demon’s Alliance and/or Angel’s Sigil
  • Make editing lists for Demon’s Alliance and/or Angel’s Sigil
  • Maintain bullet journal
  • Watch stuff with Lut
  • Play games
  • Read
This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: nyr

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