Amid my mostly futile efforts to try combining multiple fairly substantial tasks - like writing, exercising, and house-work - within individual days, I ran across a snarky astrology page that was a revelation. Libra, my sign, is described as "Indecisive. Tries to balance everything".
Trying to balance everything might be a good description of my problem here. Or rather, trying to balance everything in a single day. It struck me - particularly as I close in on the end of the For Fun Fantasy Novel, finally - that the analysis at the end of the day really should be qualitative rather than quantitative. I don't mean that stuff doesn't get done, but I need a better metric than 24 hour cycles. I may get 5000 words a week done whether or not I write every day, but if I spend a day devoted to writing, rather than a half-hour here and there because I'm trying to do other things too, and those 5000 words are better when I can devote more time in one sitting to them, then what sense does it make to do everything in pieces?
Likewise, for work on the house. One of my upcoming projects is to rip up a small section of carpet and put down tile, for instance. It makes less sense to do this in several chunks than doing it over one or two days, and like those 5000 words, the quality of the job would probably be better. I can concentrate on tile without thinking "But I haven't written today...", or writing without thinking "There's still a lot of bare floor..."
So I just have to somehow un-corkscrew myself from Libra-ness. I might have had an easier time learning to balance, but we'll see. Maybe it's just a matter of getting out of the habit of going to bed thinking "What have I done today?" and replacing it with "What have I done this week?"
The exception to this, though, is exercise. Some things I can put off, but I put off exercise at my peril. Three times a week would be enough, or has been in the past, as long as it's consistent. This is something I need to keep up regardless of what else is going on the rest of the day, for my own long term (much, much longer than a week) sake.
Another bit of time unfortunately just opened up for my next few weeks, too: Amazon has cancelled its Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest this year. I've been a judge for that contest since its inception in 2008, and figured that being annual and being Amazon, I could solidly expect to do it again this year too. Nope. I heard from my Publishers Weekly editor, rosefox, yesterday that it was being scrubbed, with the official notice arriving today. Ah well. I thought it was a great thing and I hate to see it disappear. Some of the manuscripts I read were real stinkers - one year all of them were - but there were others I thought absolutely brilliant, and I'll miss those. RIP, ABNA.
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Anyway, as I said above, I'm closing in on the end of No Word in Death's Favor. I might even wrap it up in another two chapters and perhaps a small epilogue. Then I'll connect the dots from chapter to chapter so it flows better, and then eventually decide whether or not I think it's any good.
I went into it not thinking about publishing as the major goal but experimenting with things I hadn't tried before, or not tried much. Publishing or not will enter my mind more thoroughly once it's finished. I'll try not to let the fact that I spent ten months on it influence my decision; aside from the fact that much of that time was spent not writing while I worked on New House, the extra time was also built in from the start because of all the experimenting (and, yeah, playing around in the name of experimenting).
Then again, I might really like it. We'll see.
And after that...maybe a Secret Project. I call it that because it's probably something I'm not supposed to be writing. But offhand I can't recall any time such a prohibition stopped me.
New Words: 1400 on chapter 28 ("Unwin") of No Word in Death's Favor. Unwin has little choice but to take the word of a dragon, and his excellent memory for historical details may have sunk him in some lethally hot water.
Total Words: 139,700. Darn straight I'd better be close to finishing.
Reason For Stopping: Finished the chapter (I think) and had to get ready for work.
Mammalian Assistance: None. Vegas the Writing Assistant much preferred the old Book Room (and doesn't like this one at all in winter, when the window is closed). But overall he and my other Book Room Cats, the sisters Nate and Hayes, usually only like to be in there when I'm not writing, so they kan haz all teh attenshunz.
Exercise: Walked Tucker the Big Dog around the neighborhood.
Stimulants: An ice cream sandwich.
Today's Opening Passage: By the end of it, Unwin was so utterly spent that he didn’t notice everyone else around him had stopped, and hardly cared that he tumbled to the ground in exhaustion when he did realize they'd stopped. He cared somewhat more, though, when he realized that Daromas, Tora, Hugh Kabir, and several dozen others, many shadowcast, were staring straight at him. Straight down at me, more precisely.
Darling Du Jour: Not bad in the context...
Unwin had never met the Lord of Sardon himself, but knew Jaskua immediately from the stories. Like the tempting demons of old, Jaskua was not ugly, for when did temptation ever present itself with a horrid face? Indeed he looked like a king from some — appropriately — forgotten ancient age, his regalia a mix of leather and bronze, but built around a body used to constant fighting and hunting, with revelry too but not enough to blunt the sword.
He looked, in fact, much like Daromas himself. Only a Daromas with more years of rule and conquest behind him, knowledge and cynicism the reaped rewards for his successes.
Non-Research / Review Books In Progress: Moonshine Corner by Ibby Greer; The Eagle's Daughter by Judith Tarr / dancinghorse; Ancestral Journeys by Jean Manco.