A Little House Keeping

Of the electronic variety, anyways. I am a spastic house cleaner. My poor Bat-Cave is given minimal attention on a daily basis, followed by a semi-weekly triage that takes care of the most pressing matters. Except for my office, which I do my best to keep neat and organized ’cause it means I am less grouchy.

As far as electric house-keeping, I’ve updated the Bookshelf section of my blog with what I’m reading right now. I’m on a non-fiction glut all of a sudden, sucking them back like margaritas on a white-sand beach somewhere. I’m reading them for general interest but also as a pre-emptive, fill-the-well maneuver.  And I should probably mention that I’ve added a new element to the blog. You’ll find it down and to the right, a stream of whatever catches my interest when I am out and about in my day. I try to keep it to cats and books and writing-related paraphenilia, but odd things show up now and then, like uncooked gyoza, melting snow banks, and whatever else catches my fancy.

I expect to have a bumper crop of pictures this weekend. Why? It’s time for Ad Astra! (Which you can find out about here.) Four of the six members of our writing group are making it down this year, and we’re pretty stoked. We’ll try not to run around like hopped up madman but I make no promises. Next year we’re going to try to get everyone down. Then what a menace we’d be! Anyways, I’ve dug out my actual camera for the convention and have a spare SD card ready.

As excited as I am to go to Ad Astra, I’m as equally excited to get the hell out of Dodge. We girls are car-pooling, so expect hijinks and goofiness and related squealing. It will be Julia’s first time, so watching her take to the Con will be the perfect blend of awesome/hilarious. It’s been a cold winter, and I am looking forward to some fresh air and a long drive. And spring should be a little further along four hours south from here.

Though to look outside now and see the most unwelcome dumping of wet snow this morning makes me despair it will ever be spring for good. This is entirely my fault, by the way. On the bus yesterday while riding to work and chatting with a co-worker, we each sagely agreed that we were over the worst of it. Spring had come. There would be no regressing. And then … this.  (I am a weather witch, but no one believes me. Also, psychic. Anywho…)

With all that said, the last thing I’m going to babble on about is that I’m tracking all of my actions using a time log for the iPhone. (The program I’m using is called aTimeLogger, a freebie and very customizable!) I’m going to let it run for a couple of weeks and then look back and really see how I am spending my time. Right now? It says blogging. *grin* I am trying to keep it as accurate as possible and even doing that is making me mindful of what it is I want to do, what I plan to do, and what I actually am doing, minute to minute. That coupled with a new program, Focus Booster, which uses the Pomodoro Technique of time management, I’m hoping to focus my efforts on the tasks I really want to get done.

The Pomodoro Technique in brief is based on breaking down time into chunks of time followed by a small break, using a timer. You do 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of break, and for every 4 pomodoro time frames you take a longer break, 15-20 minutes. While I don’t think it’s necessarily practical for all activities, it seems perfect for writing, so I’m giving it a go.

Because my regular habit is sitting down for a block of several hours and then distracting myself. The distractions aren’t always terrible, but they end up eating more time then they should. If I know I can check Twitter in twelve more minutes, I am not constantly go back to Twitter every five minutes. (And Facebook, and yada yada yada.)

So, we’ll see.

As far as writing goes (she writes, adding it to the very long list of babbling), I busted through a block that’s been holding me back. The first third of the book needs significant shuffling and adding-to, and I was stuck trying to reconcile a couple of things. But the solution bonked me on the head yesterday while noodling. Today I’m back at it, and hope that when I return tomorrow I can say, “Yes, the outline is DONE! Now it’s all about writing again!”

Cross your fingers for me. *grin*

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