~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Looking ahead…

(aka a very overdue blog post I started last year)

Samhain is my spiritual New Year, but I celebrate the common New Year as well. Because, well, it’s my life and I’m-a gonna do what makes me happy. (See, e.g., not being Christian but celebrating Christmas as a time of joy and family and lights…wait, the pagan me celebrates light at this time, too! How convenient!)

At Samhain, the ritual among our loose local group is to write on a piece of paper something we want to give up, and then we burn that piece of paper. We also got together for a Solstice ritual this year, and we wrote something on a piece of paper that we wanted to bring into our lives, and burned that paper.

Also, a friend of mine annually chooses a word that’s her focus for the new year. Last year, I couldn’t decide between two, so I chose both (because I’m-a gonna do what makes me happy): Focus and Joy. I re-found my joy in writing this past year—the first story I simply had fun writing and giggled my way through was “The Sound of My Own Voice,” which just appeared in the Fiction River anthology Hex in the City.

I’d already been pondering a word for 2014: Present (or, really, the phrase Being Present). As in, being present in the world, in the moment. Not constantly falling down the rabbit hole of the Internet, not constantly trying to multitask. To stop and smell the roses, appreciate the view outside my window, to taste what I’m eating. To appreciate the right now.

For example, I usually spend the holidays, even though I’m enjoying them, complaining that I miss snow, and it doesn’t feel like the holidays without snow. I still feel that way, but this year I was with family and we had a bonfire on the beach while we watched a glorious sunset on Christmas Eve, and then on Christmas Day I walked in the surf on a stunning, bright day, and I flat-out appreciated those moments. The beauty of the world, the time with loved ones, the squishy feel of wet sand, the smell of smoke still caught in my Styx hoodie, the joyous wet dogs chasing balls, sitting on a rock cuddled with my love watching reds and golds streak the western horizon and Venus shining out of the darkening sky.

Just before the Solstice, I read an article about the Danish concept of hygge, and it truly resonated with me, tying right into what I was thinking and feeling about Being Present.

I just looked back at last year’s end-of-the-year/looking-into-the-new-year posts, pondering them with fresh eyes and another year of life behind me. I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to. I accomplished some things I never expected to. I backslid, I fought some depression again, and I’m coming out the other side (yes, dammit, I am, she said stubbornly).

Of course, now I’m posting this nearly at the end of January, but that’s okay. It wasn’t a priority.  ;-)

So what else am I forwardly looking to? Well, I’m taking a workshop next month for which I have to write six short stories, and I looked at my production schedule at the other stories I’m either contracted to write or see nifty guidelines for or just want to write, and I decided that January and February were going to be all about short stories and novellas. Twelve short stories and three novellas, to be exact. Some were already in progress before I made the list, but most weren’t. So far, I’ve got three stories done (despite nearly two weeks of travel/taking care of family), two in progress, and others tumbling around half-formed in my brain, jostling for position.

March will be finishing up a nearly finished novel or two, and then in April, Teresa and I (as Sophie Mouette) are going to dive into our next novel, a sequel to Out of the Frying Pan (currently referred to as “Luanna’s Book” because we’re clueless about a title).

So I'm both being present and looking ahead. And it's glorious.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

To do be do be do be

A bunch of stuff rolled over onto today's to-do list from yesterday's, and a few new things got added in.

So it's probably a good thing I couldn't get back to sleep at 8:30 am after a several-times interrupted sleep that started at 3 am. I suspect an afternoon nap may be in my agenda today, but until then, time to work!

  • Write 2K on anthology story (due Sunday)
  • Write other story
  • Make requested tweaks to erotica story and return to editor
  • Start copyediting job
  • Email. Holy moly, the email.
  • Finish watching the videos for online workshop
  • Finish designing cover for online workshop if needed
  • OOTFP promo
  • Make important phone call
  • Mail story to BBE2015

  • Call doctor and chiropractor
  • Go to gym
  • Make quinoa salad for lunch
  • Prep slow cooker chicken curry for tomorrow
  • Make mac and cheese to freeze
  • Enter last two week’s receipts into Quicken
  • Pay bills
  • Unpack all the things

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Plans for Today

I’ve been out of town for two weeks—mostly family stuff, but I capped it off with a stellar Styx concert in Las Vegas, which helped me let go of the stress of the rest of the trip.

I did get some work done on the trip, which was essential, because I have a bunch of deadlines, both outside ones (anthologies, etc.) as well as my own. I think I wrote up a blog post about that, but haven’t had the chance to post it. I have a slew of half-finished blog posts, really.

But, the first few days home are always extra-stuffed full of Things to Do (do all the things!), so instead of finishing up those blog posts, which are not under deadline, I’m going to post today’s To Do list.

Which probably means you’ll all get bored and never read my blog again. But come back soon! because I swear there will be more content about things like the comp copies that just hit my desk, and my plans for the year, and all the random tweets I wrote down when I had no Internet access.

  • Write 2K or more on anthology story (due Sunday) Eked out only a few words, but did some research and notes, so I'll fire on it tomorrow
  • Write on other story Ack, no
  • Copyeding: short story job
  • Copyediting: start new novel job tomorrow
  • Email. Holy moly, the email Did the crucial first half
  • Watch videos for online workshop Watched the first half
  • Start designing cover for online workshop Ended up designing three covers in a series, hah!

  • Make creamy chicken pesto pasta for supper
  • Make mac and cheese to freeze
  • Prep slow cooker chicken curry for tomorrow (if needed)
  • Make brown rice (I make a double batch and eat it throughout the week)
  • Enter last two week’s receipts into Quicken
  • Pay bills
  • Unpack all the things

Already Done
  • Walked to pharmacy and grocery with Ken
  • Talked to my sister
  • Made breakfast and lunch
  • Made To Do list
Okay, so not my greatest showing, but not bad, either. Tomorrow is another day!