Read the things, write the things, all the things. BOOM.

Food poisoning is not fun. When it’s over? It’s like your body is begging you to MOVE ME and a simple walk becomes this magnificent experience, and music with even the weakest beat gets you dancing even if it’s just in your office chair.

Culprit was a local all-you-can-eat sushi place, but not the sushi (so can it, raw fish haters). They’d recently expanded their menu and the only new thing I tried, and I eat there regularly enough, was the curry chicken. Oh, the DYING. Days of dying. I even went two days without tea! I started feeling properly better on Sunday but mistrusted all food the way you would a link that appears in your email framed by some jumble of suspicious text. But I gave the old system a stress test yesterday (McDonald’s anyone?) and I yet live! I even boogie a little. Not well, but…

I spent a lot of my down time reading, not able to do much of anything else. Burned through (ha?) The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson and the second half of Volume 3 of The Collected Stories of Roger Zelanzy (This Mortal Mountain), as well as dipping my toes into some poetry and enjoying some intensely interesting stuff in The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction. More details and links to the books here, on the Bookshelf page. Felt a bit like I’d never get to read again, and gave myself permission to do nothing else. Heady stuff.

Just as well, as I head back to work on Monday and my discretionary time will be quite limited for the next three months. Got the final callback to work just last week, so I’m trying to get ready for that as well.

So of course I’m not ready for anything but that’s hardly new. *g* I must make contact with my inner cat to cultivate that essential I’ll land on my feet, that’s what they’re there for mentality. It’s a return to work, so I should be able to stuff normal new job anxiety to the back of the closet with the rest of the winter wear and get practical about shaping my time and my life around the new routine.

One of the first things to sort out? My writing.

There is no revised draft of STAR DOOR yet. This pains me. It comes down to once again setting an impossible deadline, cruelly punishing myself for missing said deadline (I missed my calling as a Flagellant, I tell you what), and then languishing in a bit of despair. Maybe even wallowing. Partly this was compounded by the stress of waiting to get the callback, but most of it was self-imposed. But this was also me trying to do all revision tasks at the same time without either a cloning machine or a TARDIS.

About halfway through the month, I realized what was holding me up — my methodology. I’ve got a better handle on it now, and it’s a matter of stepping up and chunking the work into manageable units and then doing the line edits. Like this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing in the first place. Le sigh. I’m about halfway through, I’d say.

And letting go of perfect. That’s really the biggest thing.

I need eyeballs on STAR DOOR. And I want to give those eyeballs something that I’m proud to share. I want it to be the very best thing it can be. There’s no such thing as perfect and I know I’m at the stage where my blinders are still on in places. I’m learning to work around them and I can see some of the problems (and I’m working on fixing them) but at some point I need that completely objective, external eye so I can get that insight. I’m disappointed that it’s not out to Betas yet but I can’t use that disappointment against myself. Not anymore. I had wanted to spend the days of my contract doing smaller projects here and there (short fiction, new novel brainstorming) but it looks like the characters and world of the WIP will be with me a little while longer.

I’m leery of the lack of deadline, of the attitude that it takes as long as it takes. It’s too easy to let it become an excuse and it steals time that I don’t have to spare. More than time, it steals will and that kind of theft weakens the structure that is me. But I have to loosen up. You can’t move in set concrete, either.

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2 thoughts on “Read the things, write the things, all the things. BOOM.

  1. Sympathies on the food poisoning!

    Deadlines can be malleable things. I’ve found I make better progress if I’m posting updates somewhere than when I set a firm date. Daily accountability works better for me than a final deadline.

    And my beta-eyes are very interested in seeing your work. 🙂

  2. Steph

    Thanks on all fronts, Blair. 🙂

    Certainly my daily habits have totally slid by the wayside, and for me it was the daily work that helped me build and meet prior deadlines. In fact, looking back at my posting habits here and on Tumblr, which I began expressly to be the place to be spammy about my writing updates, pretty much tracks when my writing habits got off the rails, too. Hmm. Double thanks for the nudge.

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