life

The Season Advances

Five batches of cookies today, and I think I’m almost done–with the baking, at any rate. Shopping is at maybe 50%. This has been a wildly productive week in all areas except writing, and even that has seen a bit of progress. It’s been to get back on balance after NaNo, catching up with the rest of the things I’ve got in hand. I’ve gotten a lot done at work, caught up on my volunteer projects, got back into Duolingo (again), and finished a couple of books I’ve had hanging around mostly-read. My manuscript is at least open at the spot I need to work on.

Two more weeks of work, and then I’ll be off through the end of the year–a rather dizzying prospect. Of course we have a lot of plans, but there are a few days sprinkled through in which we have nothing on the schedule. Including New Years Eve; I had been hoping to have a party this year, but it appears to not have been in the cards. Perhaps in 2020.

It is also of course a very reflective season we are entering. End of year, end of decade. I won’t be compiling any exhaustive lists of things done and undone, but I have my little accumulation of rituals to go through. I find myself warily excited about the year to come; many opportunities, many chances for things to go badly. Going forward with hope, kind of thing.

writing

Done!

Done

Since we don’t travel for Thanksgiving, and I do my best not to participate in Black Friday, yesterday was a long, quiet day. I spent it baking cookies and writing, and once I crossed into that final thousand, I knew I was going to finish a day early. It is an absolutely terrible draft of a rather silly story, and it’s done, and I am pleased.

Today there are errands to be run, and catching up on various non-writing tasks–I think I can take a day off before I settle back into working on Fairy Hills. Tomorrow we are due to get the first real weather of the winter season. This will probably result in more cookies, although I am also taking the kids to see Frozen 2 for some indulgent reason.

life, writing

NaNoWriMo Week 3

Not only was the last post late, I skipped a week after that and didn’t even realize it. This NaNoWriMo has gone relatively smoothly — 12,000 words to go with a week left for writing, so barring catastrophe there’s no reason to think I won’t finish. I took one day off, which burned up my early lead, but have been staying on target since then.

NaNo

This past week was relatively quiet, which helped a lot, and while we do have Thanksgiving ahead, we’re not traveling, and I’m keeping the menu under control this year (recipes will be posted next week). I’m really looking forward to a few days at home!

What else is going on? I’m doing some knitting. Started making Christmas cookies to stash in the freezer, since the holidays are so close together this year. I’ve done a little bit of shopping. Still doing my morning pages and meditation. I’m 13 books behind schedule on Goodreads, so I don’t think that goal is going to happen unless I cheat; on the other hand, 33 books is pretty good for me in recent years, and I might finish a few more that I’m stuck partway through. One of the books I’m reading right now is about how to write an effective newsletter, so look for experiments in that area next year.

2019 has been weird and scary in a lot of ways, but on a personal level, it has been kind of amazing, and I want to make sure I take the things I’ve learned into 2020. I think that one reason I’m looking forward so much to time off at the end of the year; I very much want some time to reflect on all of this.

I hope the holidays treat you all well.

writing

NaNo Dix

Yes, it has been ten years since I did my first NaNoWriMo. My son was a toddler (nowadays he is disconcertingly tall). That first effort was intended to break me out of a rut of endlessly writing and rewriting the same high fantasy trilogy I had been working on since my college days; that November’s efforts were eventually self-published as Tisiphone’s Quest.

I haven’t looked at those trunked books in years. I do have a further stack of half-finished novels and a couple of finished ones that have yet to find any homes. Most of them are standalone stories, and none of them have much in common with one another, so I’ve certainly gotten out of any ruts in terms of material. I’m a little surprised to find that I’m still cheerful about the whole thing. Sales or not, results or not, it’s fun just to do it, to throw yourself headlong into a story for a month and see what happens.

Day 2; so far, so good.

monthly updates, reading, writing

Countdown!

It’s the last update of October, but all eyes are forward right now! Only a few more days until we dive headlong into another NaNoWriMo. I’ve got a collection of world-building notes, an inkling of a plot, a vague outline of a character. It’s more than I’ve had some years at this point, and there are still a few days left to work with. I feel like this will be a fun project (but I’ve thought that before; they always seem to grow serious in the writing).

I made it through my annual solo week with no more than the usual exhaustion. It gets easier as the kids get older, but it’s always instructive to tote up just how much energy it takes to keep the household running by myself. There tends to not be much left over at the end of the day. Today has been pretty good in terms of productivity and relaxation both. It’s very damp and chilly, an excellent day to stay indoors, and so there has been knitting, and baking, and cleaning, and writing.

And reading! I’ve been enjoying a visit with Fritz Lieber. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually read this one before, despite having had it on the shelf for ages–a single-volume combo of Swords in the Mist and Swords Against Wizardry. The style is obviously dated, but Lieber’s descriptive language is a delight, and the adventures themselves have a cheerful freshness. This choice of material is probably some kind of subconscious revolt against the steadily increasing height of my to-read stack, which has overgrown the bedroom shelf and started taking over the kitchen.

Next time I see you, we’ll be several days into our new projects. Have fun!

Uncategorized

Light

2019-10-20 12.53.30

My mother is visiting, so there isn’t much else going on this week. This picture was taken on a gorgeous calm afternoon at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. We walked on the beach (and in the water — brr) and kept saying, “Wow!”