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Dec. 12th, 2017

Daily life: Highlights of 2017

"The trouble [with Twitter] is that it's a solution to a problem that shouldn't be solved. Eighty percent of the battle of writing involves keeping yourself in that cave: waiting out the loneliness and opacity and emptiness and frustration and bad sentences and dead ends and despair until the damn thing resolves into words. That kind of patience, a steady turning away from everything but the mind and the topic at hand, can only be accomplished by cultivating the habit of attention and a tolerance for solitude."

--Kathryn Schulz (via Advice to Writers).


Only three weeks remain in 2017, so it seems time to sum up everything that happened to me this year.


Big positive event: Changing my primary goal as a writer.

Having concluded last year that any money I made from my fiction was likely to be minor compared to what I could make from a day job (I didn't rush to this conclusion; I began self-publishing in 2007), and having finally wrestled my various health troubles down to the point where I could actually take a day job, I felt freed up to do what I've wanted to do for a long time now: return to being mainly an online fiction writer.

I am so much happier now and so much more productive. For the last three years, I was spending 20% of my literary time on writing and 80% on publishing. Now I'm spending 80% of my literary time on writing, and I'm getting more feedback from readers than I've received in years.

This was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made. All my life, I'd equated "success as a writer" with "success as a commercial writer," so abandoning commercial success as my primary goal felt like admitting I was a failure as a writer. But in actual fact, this turned out to be the best creative decision I've ever made. I now have much more time in which to develop my craft, and I have more opportunities to talk with my readers, which has always been extremely important to me.

(Oh, and I still bring out the occasional e-book. I have nothing against commercial fiction; it's just that my primary focus now is on my online fiction.)


Other big positive event (following from the above event): Lots of wordage.

I still have two weeks of writing to go before the end of the year, but as of now, I've written 230,000 words in 2017. That's my highest annual wordage since 2003. In addition to the fact that online publishing takes a lot less time than e-book publishing, I attribute my high word count this year to the hard work I've done during the past few years in acquiring good work habits, plus the fact that I can now stay offline for extended periods.


Big negative event (personal): No income.

I've earned $200 gross so far this year. That's one-seventh of what I earned in 2015. This is partly due to the fact that I'm no longer bringing out forty e-books a year (yes, you read that figure right), but it's mainly due to (1) industry factors that are affecting all commercial writers, plus (2) illness preventing me from getting my new day-job business started till the end of the year. Obviously, I need to be earning a lot more than three figures a year.


Big negative event (global): Guess. Just guess.

The worst U.S. government I've seen in my lifetime - and I lived through the Nixon era. You know that it's bad when your apprentice's friends are discussing, the day after the election, whether it's better to move to Canada or Mexico. What I think most of us failed to predict was where the worst damage would be done - not merely in the Oval Office and various government agencies, but also in the halls of Congress.


Other events:

* I opened my business providing historical research services to writers. (*Crosses fingers.*)

* For twenty-four years, I was a full-time writer; last summer I switched to being a part-time writer. I spent a lot of energy at the beginning of this year trying to figure out how to continue writing fiction without letting it interfere with my new research business. (This wasn't purely for psychological reasons; my marketing for my historical research business is intertwined with my marketing for my work as a historical specfic writer.) I've come up with a schedule that seems to work well: one hour of writing/editing/layout before breakfast, light editing during meals, an extra hour on Sunday for issuing and announcing my latest fiction, and a couple of hours here and there for going overtime with the above activities. I've rolled all other promotional activities, such as author interviews, into a bundle with promoting my new research business. I spend about fifteen minutes a week on leisure activities, so ten hours a week (not counting mealtime editing) seems a reasonable amount of time for me to spend on an activity which is all-important in keeping me sane.

* Here in our loft apartment in downtown Havre de Grace, I can actually see the floor again. Thanks to a landlord inspection - which we passed, whew - I did a massive decluttering operation. All that was left to declutter afterwards were my papers and records--

* --whereupon the bedbugs turned up, and the remaining clutter turned into a crisis, because there wasn't enough room in our apartment to bring in the bedbug extermination equipment. I'm now racing to pack up and place in storage dozens of boxes of papers, get rid of hundreds of albums, and move large amounts of heavy furniture . . . all at a time of year when Joe can't drive U-Haul vans, because of his winter illnesses. "Panic" does not begin to describe what I'm going through.

* My Internet addiction is still here. Of course. But I developed further coping mechanisms this year, which helped. Unfortunately, those coping mechanisms mainly consist of staying offline for long periods, which is increasingly hard for me to do, thanks to my new business.

* Other than that and a longer-than-anticipated recovery from my bunion surgery, my health was good this year. I even managed to edge just a bit out of the Vitamin D deficiency I've had since 2010. However, I was diagnosed with two conditions (osteoperosis - thank you very much, Vitamin D deficiency - and plantar fibramatosis) that are likely to cause me serious problems in the long term. Also, I'm terribly behind on my medical appointments, because the landlord inspection and bedbug crisis occurred at the time of year when I usually visit doctors.

* Thanks to Havre de Grace now having five - five! - Little Free Libraries within walking distance of me, and thanks to me donating so many books to those libraries (translation: I hauled the books there with my rolling suitcase), I got a goodly amount of walking done during the warm months of this year. I'm trying to remind myself that I need exercise during the cold months too.

* Speaking of which, I got a lot of reading done this year, mainly because of having to do physical therapy three times a week at the beginning of the year. Otherwise, it's dead hard finding time for reading - even my mealtimes are usually taken up with editing - but I'm getting myself into the habit of listening to novels by text-to-speech when preparing meals and doing housework.

* Family matters are the same as usual: wonderful with occasional tensions, just like all good family relationships are.

* For - I don't know how long it's been, this is the fifth year running, maybe? - I didn't have any luck making new friends online. (Thanks to my off-the-charts introversion, my best luck in making friends has always been online rather than offline, though some of my online friends become offline friends too.) I had equally poor luck keeping in touch with old friends, for complicated reasons. In a last-ditch effort to prevent myself from becoming Mary Hatch in the dystopian version of Bedford Falls, I've followed my father's advice on socializing and am making plans to attend a church service for the first time in a decade. Reserving my right to be a filial rebel, I've chosen the Unitarian Universalists.

* While not having made any new friends this year, I've certainly had the opportunity to listen to folks chat online, thanks to my new business requiring me to return to online forums and social media. (This has very much been a mixed experience - see what I said above about my need to stay offline, which matches what Kathryn Schulz says in the quotation at the top of this post - but I'll focus this paragraph on the positive aspects of my being online.) My @duskpeterson Twitter account - where I follow lots of marginalized folks and post links related to diversity - has been an eye-opener to me, in terms of learning about the difficulties faced by other people. So was Wattpad, during the time I spent there reading memoirs related to diversity (usually written by teens). While other people grumble about social media tearing apart the fabric of society, I wish that I'd had similar consciousness-raising devices when I was a teen; I would have been a lot more aware of what a privileged life I was leading.

* Communitywise, there are plenty of events in this town, though I have to prod myself to go to any of them, because they rarely pass my test of "Would I Rather Be Reading?" Best event of the year - which I had to miss last year because of my bunion surgery recovery - is always viewing the downtown shop windows that have been decorated for the winter holidays.

* I started a blog/Twitter account called Retro Home and then couldn't figure out its focus. I wanted it to be about home life when I was growing up, but I also wanted it to be about homemaking today, so that I could meet other homemakers. (I can't tell you how many hours I've spent searching fruitlessly for a homemakers' club in my area. Six years as a homemaker, and I still haven't had a single conversation about housework with anyone else who enjoys doing housework.) That mix of topics didn't seem to work, and now I'm having to put all my mid-twentieth-century papers in storage for a year, thanks to the bedbugs. I think I'm likely to revamp Retro Home when I restart it in 2019.

* Writingwise, this was the year when my Muse said, "Hey, you know that series we've been neglecting for years? We're going to totally work on that." All my protests that I ought to do a bit of work on a Toughs series too were for naught. So I'm letting my Muse have his way, knowing that he's far too fickle to be able to stick with one series forever.

Nov. 7th, 2017

Daily life: Hypomania, bedbugs, and editing

Me for the last three weeks at online forums that I'm visiting for reasons connected to my new business: "Fun, fun, fun! Talking to people online again, after staying off online forums for a long time!"

Me every following morning: "Oh my god, what did I say yesterday?"

My new model is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I don't think she has made a single spontaneous remark in public for forty years.

In all seriousness, my hypomania has been giving me lots of trouble, and I'm bound and determined to wrestle it into decent behavior. Slow blogging helps. So here's a brief update on what I've been up to:

1) Our overly friendly bedbugs are going to take $3000 to eradicate. Joe asked, "Can we just name them and keep them as pets?"

2) My new business is going as well as I might expect it to at this stage. People know it exists now.

3) What with landlord inspections, bedbugs, and business, I've scarcely gotten a word written since July. However, I'm making some needed progress on editing and layout, and I'm channelling my inner Super Editor for NaNoWriMo. I'm hoping that, by the end of the year, I'll have 110,000 words' worth of new fiction ready to post next year, as well as many reissues of ebooks as online fiction.

4) Other stuff going on in my life this fall: lots of medical appointments (including a routine medical procedure requiring anesthesia next week), my usual pleasant interactions with family members, and did I mention that prepping for bedbug extermination requires me to get rid of tons of stuff so that there will be room in our cluttered apartment for the exterminators' equipment?

Oct. 11th, 2017

Replies to comments to "Coming-out (over)sensitivity"

Folks, my profuse apologies for my delay in replying to your comments on my asexuality post. It was a case of:

"O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! We passed the apartment inspection!"

And then, roughly five seconds later:

"We have bedbugs. Shoot."

So matters remain in crisis at my home; I'm not sure I've gotten a full night's sleep for the past month. (And the bedbugs ain't helping.)

A bright spot in all this was the outpouring of warmth that you gave me. It was especially nice to hear from folks whom I knew were out there (I can see your names on the People portion of my profile) but who I either hadn't heard from for a while or with whom I'd never had the chance to speak before.

Just one clarification I need to make, because I fear I misled some of you through the phrasing of my previous post of this: My previous post was the first time I'd actually said, "I'm coming out as asexual." The asexual folk I've interacted with previously either didn't know I was ace or didn't realize I was new to the community.

On to my replies!


Firecat wrote:

"I'm bi and nonbinary and maybe gray-a (haven't made up my mind about that)"

Me, I'm still trying to decide how to label the romance part of my asexuality. I mean, yes, I'm still capable of falling in love; it just doesn't mean much to me, in the grand scheme of things.

I fully understand that, for some people, being in love is a long-term, highly meaningful experience. And I find romantic love so fascinating that I wrote a fifty-page bachelor's thesis about romantic love. Also, I've written a few stories on the topic. :)

But falling in love is something that happens at the beginning of my relationships; my romantic feelings for the new person last roughly six months, and then the romantic feelings disappear. It's been this way all my life. Took me a while to figure out the pattern and to stop panicking when I reached the six-month mark. For me, love doesn't equal romantic love.

(This is why I always felt a bit awkward talking about my long-term "romantic friendship." Romantic feelings didn't enter into it, after the initial period.)


Ambitiousace wrote:

"I'm nonbinary and ace myself ((I'm not alone"

Oh, how cool! I seem to be racking up letters on the queer spectrum; what is surprising is how many other queer folk out there are doing the same. :)


Kjata wrote:

"I'm bi and have never felt a part of the LGBT parts of the internet because of how many times I've been told to either A) choose, or B) that I'm faking it for e-points"

As a formerly bisexual-identifying person, I can't decide whether they're just clueless that B isn't actually an insult of bisexuality. I mean, they think being bi is something trendy that you'd want to fake? (*Whips on sunshades and looks cool.*)

The rest - yeah, it's tedious that this sort of stereotyping of bisexuality is still taking place, nearly fifty years after Stonewall.


Schneefink wrote:

"*sends cookies*"

Gluten-free chocolate chip, please?


Rose Red wrote:

"(I hope) my web-pal."

One of my best. :)


Fawatson wrote:

"I say all this from the 'lofty position' of having realised many many moons ago (long before the internet got up and running) that I am better off as a singleton than trying to be part of a duo.... They didn't have internet communities for it back then"

Oh, you too? I'm pretty sure the asexual community was around by the time I started to label myself celibate (my initial label), but the nonbinary community was nowhere to be seen in 1997 when I realized that was what I was. I put off coming out as bigender/androgynous/queergender/nonbinary (the terminology kept changing) for quite a few years as a result. I wanted a support system, darn it.


Anonymous wrote:

"I am also aromantic, and demi-girl/agender."

(*Looks up definition of "demi-girl" and is enchanted.*) I mean, you even have your own flag! Do you mind if I ask what being a demi-girl is like for you?


Musicman wrote:

"You are a free range human being, Dusk."

Love that phrase. :)


Anais_pf wrote:

"BE YOU!"

:)


Maureen Lycaon wrote:

"And I accept you totally as that."

Always nice to hear from you! This showed up on my Twitter feed, and I thought of you quizzing me on why I'd made wolves the villains in one of my stories.

Sep. 22nd, 2017

Coming-out (over)sensitivity

So, eleven years ago, when I first began to suspect I was grey-asexual, I posted about my asexual character Merrick at the main asexual forum.

It didn't go well.

http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/20059-life-prison-fantasy-story-w-asexual-character/

Rereading that thread, I'm not sure why I writhed from the comments, except that . . . Well, read on.

So I mostly avoided the asexual community from then on. Fast forward to 2017, when yes, I'm sure now that I'm grey-asexual. So I got up my courage and mentioned Merrick to another asexual person.

It didn't go well.

https://mobile.twitter.com/duskpeterson/status/911342888272912384

Subthread:

https://mobile.twitter.com/duskpeterson/status/911418499800629249

Afterwards, I tried to beat back my tears by reciting to myself the valuable mantra, "It's not about you. It's not about you. You're the one who offended, so don't make this about you."

Still . . .

I wish I wasn't so darned sensitive during the coming-out stage. I went through this when I came out as bi, I went through this when I came out as nonbinary, and now I have to go through it *again*, this feeling that I'm not a proper [insert category] till I've been welcomed into the [insert category] community. (This isn't pure paranoia. My nonbinary coming-out experience in the gay/lesbian/bi community and trans community was a horror story.) And so, if I encounter even the slightest sign that I'm not 100% accepted, I curl up into a ball and whimper.

So basically, I could use a few "Yay, you're asexual!" comments from you kind folks.

Aug. 20th, 2017

Writing life: July wordage, still-stubborn Muse, and not enough time

"The problem is . . . how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel.

"What is the answer? There is no easy answer, no complete answer. I have only clues, shells from the sea. The bare beauty of the channelled whelk tells me that one answer, and perhaps a first step, is in simplification of life, in cutting out some of the distractions. But how? Total retirement is not possible. I cannot shed my responsibilities. I cannot permanently inhabit a desert island. I cannot be a nun in the midst of family life. I would not want to be. The solution for me, surely, is neither in total renunciation of the world, nor in total acceptance of it. I must find a balance somewhere, or an alternating of the pendulum between solitude and communion, between retreat and return. In my periods of retreat, perhaps I can learn something to carry back into my worldly life."

--Anne Morrow Lindbergh: "Gift from the Sea."


(I wrote this post last weekend but didn't post it then because of the tragedy in Charlottesville.)


What I've been up to )

Jul. 3rd, 2017

Daily life: Unwitting research for a novel, my criminal ancestor, and June wordage

"Brain: Look at this plot twist I just came up with! It's so great!

"Me: It's unsolvable.

"Brain: That's what makes it GREAT!

"Me: You do realize that, as the author, I have to solve it?

"Brain: SO GREAT!"

--Stephanie Leary.


What I've been up to )

Apr. 30th, 2017

Daily life: Wattpad, Tuesday Serial, and word count

"More than anything else, I think writing is just a lot of fun. It's a great way to revisit that rollicking, playful space where we spent our days in as kids. Back then, making up stories was our chief occupation. Give a seven-year-old a blank piece of paper and a marker, they're good for hours. There are a lot of adventures and people and animals and kingdoms and trucks and battles and princesses in a piece of paper.

"Somewhere around adolescence, though, most of us stop visiting those imaginary worlds. We get self-conscious. We see that other kids are much better writers or artists than we are, so we cede that creative space to them. And they in turn cede it to others who are better still. The blank page stops being an invitation and becomes intimidating.

"But the impulse to create and make and dream is still with us. It doesn't go away. It just waits, patiently, for us to find a way back to it again. For some adults, it happens through art classes or music lessons. For me, it was through NaNoWriMo. However you get back there, it just feels pretty incredible when you arrive."

--Chris Baty.


What I did this week )

Mar. 26th, 2017

Daily life: Wordage galore! | #writerslife #wordcount

"In April 1870, a twenty-eight-year-old [William] James made a cautionary note to himself in his diary. 'Recollect,' he wrote, 'that only when habits of order are formed can we advance to really interesting fields of action - and consequently accumulate grain on grain of wilful choice like a very miser - never forgetting how one link dropped undoes an indefinite number.' The importance of forming such 'habits of order' later became one of James's great subjects as a psychologist. In one of the lectures he delivered to teachers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1892 - and eventually incorporated into his book Psychology: A Briefer Course - James argued that the 'great thing' in education is to 'make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy.'

The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work. There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation.


"James was writing from personal experience - the hypothetical sufferer is, in fact, a thinly disguised description of himself. For James kept no regular schedule, was chronically indecisive, and lived a disorderly, unsettled life. As Robert D. Richardson wrote in his 2006 biography, 'James on habit, then, is not the smug advice of some martinet, but the too-late-learned too-little-self-knowing, pathetically earnest, hard-won crumbs of practical advice offered by a man who really had no habits - or who lacked the habits he most needed, having only the habit of having no habits - and whose life was itself a "buzzing blooming confusion" that was never really under control.'"

--Mason Currey: Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work. (Alternative subtitle: How Artists Work.]


Writing )
Everything else )
Reading )
Finances )

Nov. 25th, 2016

Surgery update

My foot surgery went fine, but there've been a couple of minor complications since then that have delayed my recovery. Except for meals and bathroom breaks, I've been spending my days in bed, with my legs propped up, ice on my foot, and my smartphone in hand. Digital technology makes even lengthy convalescence bearable.

I'd like to report that I've taken this opportunity to write lots of stories with the aid of my Bluetooth keyboard, but the combination of the World Series (I'm a Cubs fan, having been born near Chicago), the presidential election, and the increasingly pressing need to launch my new business soon have all kept me distracted. Also, Twitter. I did write a couple of short stories, though.

I hope the rest of you are having a more fruitful NaNoWriMo. Any tales to share of your writing life?

Oct. 9th, 2016

Daily life: A day in my life | #writerslife #amreading #amresearching #amwriting

"I used to take vacations from writing. You know, it's healthy to take breaks, to breathe different air, to gain a new perspective. I'd finish a novella and not write for three months. Really! I'd do that deliberately and not because of the dreaded Writer's Block. (I feel really uncomfortable even typing that. Nice muse. Good muse. The Muse is My Friend.) Now, the thought of three months without trying to write makes me shudder. I. Wouldn't. Know. What. To. Do. With. Myself."

--Intervention Needed?, a post by Jenna Hilary Sinclair on writing addiction.


The day )

Oct. 2nd, 2016

Daily life: I'm going on an acquisitions fast | #nospend #spendingfast #simpleliving

"Even Socrates, who lived a very frugal and simple life, loved to go to the market. When his students asked about this, he replied, 'I love to go and see all the things I am happy without.'"

--Jack Kornfield: After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.


About the fast )
General rules )
Books & periodicals (print and digital, including online fiction) )
Internet )
Audio & video )
Games )
Food )
Pharmacy & medical )
Supplies )
Day job )
Writing )
Gifts & charity )
Transportation )
Out-of-home entertainment )

That's the full list of my rules for the fast. If any of you have placed limits on your own acquiring, I'd love to learn from your experiences.

Sep. 25th, 2016

Daily life: Viewer interpretation | #writerslife #amreading #amwatching

"I'm not reading slash for intellectual stimulation! I want my escapism and I want it to be grammatically correct, damnit!"

--Augusta Columbine.


Homemaking )
Writing )
Reading and viewing )

Sep. 18th, 2016

Daily life: Jo/e is fine! Plus writing, reading, homemaking, & web addiction | #internetaddiction

"Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more."

--Jon Kabat-Zin: Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.


Writing )
Reading )
Mentoring (i.e. Jo/e's surgery) )
Homemaking )
Web addiction )

Sep. 11th, 2016

Daily life: Jo/e's surgery, a library booksale, and a change in my writing lifestyle | #writerslife

Thanks to my new job, I'm going to be online more often, so I'm switching to weekly, more bite-sized Daily Life entries.


What I wrote this past week )
What I read this past week )
What I did this past week )

Jul. 19th, 2016

Daily life: My summer so far

The full messiness )

Since somebody (I suspect it's my body, in conspiracy with my online laptop) has decided I'm not going to issue any stories this summer, I'm spending this summer writing stories instead. (Yes, despite the cubital tunnel syndrome.) Expect to see my next update in the fall. It'll be a good one, I promise.

Apr. 11th, 2016

Daily life: Writing productivity! Publishing productivity! (Tons of work.) | #amwriting #writerslife

"If quitting Twitter and ditching the iPhone was relatively easy, Facebook made it as hard as possible, tugging on all the virtual heartstrings they could dredge up from their data. Having selected 'deactivate account' from my settings, I was faced with a gallery of family and friends who I was told would miss me. Fortunately, as someone had tagged the contents of a barbecue grill with my friends' names, this was less of an emotional strain than was intended ('Andrew will miss you,' pleaded a photo of a forlorn and slightly singed chicken drumstick)."

--Mark Hooper: Back to reality: giving up the Internet.



My professional work last month )
Thoughts on the state of my writing and publishing )

Mar. 22nd, 2016

Daily life: Trying to get back into the writing habit

"There was an odd kind of mood lift that came with privation. . . . It was something seen during long, long nights of corporate projects where no one slept and where eating was done from half cold takeaways while you worked. Sometimes the cheer was called 'punch drunk', but it was as if people began to concentrate on anything that in a seriously uncomfortable situation gave them any kind of comfort, particularly the most primal things. The intense sensory pleasure of hot coffee and the sweetness of donuts, which on an ordinary day you'd eat without noticing. A kind of pride and celebration that said this was a hell of a night, but we got through it. Dale knew the feeling too from his experience of being what Flynn and the others called grounded. When your day was severely simplified and restricted, you began to notice and take real pleasure from anything good, from the smallest of privileges that usually you'd barely notice. The human spirit, in circumstances of hardship fought back, and a little rough living cleared both your head and your senses."

--Rolf and Ranger: Silver Bullet - Ranch.


My professional work last month )
Teasers from e-books I've published during the past week )
A writing day in my life )

Daily life: Trying to get back into the writing habit

"There was an odd kind of mood lift that came with privation. . . . It was something seen during long, long nights of corporate projects where no one slept and where eating was done from half cold takeaways while you worked. Sometimes the cheer was called 'punch drunk', but it was as if people began to concentrate on anything that in a seriously uncomfortable situation gave them any kind of comfort, particularly the most primal things. The intense sensory pleasure of hot coffee and the sweetness of donuts, which on an ordinary day you'd eat without noticing. A kind of pride and celebration that said this was a hell of a night, but we got through it. Dale knew the feeling too from his experience of being what Flynn and the others called grounded. When your day was severely simplified and restricted, you began to notice and take real pleasure from anything good, from the smallest of privileges that usually you'd barely notice. The human spirit, in circumstances of hardship fought back, and a little rough living cleared both your head and your senses."

--Rolf and Ranger: Silver Bullet - Ranch.


My professional work last month )

Aug. 19th, 2015

Daily life: Sorting, researching stories, and a chronology for the Toughs stories

"This morning four boxes containing not quite all of my worldly possessions arrived at my doorstep. Less than two months via cargo ship is not too bad. The funny thing is that I'd almost forgotten what was in them. There were some things that I was very happy to see (my Icelandic novels, a sweatshirt, a pair of light pyjama bottoms, the tin containing my spare buttons) and other things that only made me think 'huh, why did I ship that across the Atlantic?' There's a strong argument for donating anything that you're not thrilled to see after two months living out of a suitcase."

--Naraht.


My professional work last month )
On foreshadows in stories )
Researching African-American slavery; or, How I get ideas for historical stories )
My web addiction last month )
My decluttering last month )
My family and leisure time last month )
Replies to Musicman and Twicet )
Chronological order of the Toughs stories (slightly corrected), along with some dates of birth for my characters )

Daily life: Sorting, researching stories, and a chronology for the Toughs stories

"This morning four boxes containing not quite all of my worldly possessions arrived at my doorstep. Less than two months via cargo ship is not too bad. The funny thing is that I'd almost forgotten what was in them. There were some things that I was very happy to see (my Icelandic novels, a sweatshirt, a pair of light pyjama bottoms, the tin containing my spare buttons) and other things that only made me think 'huh, why did I ship that across the Atlantic?' There's a strong argument for donating anything that you're not thrilled to see after two months living out of a suitcase."

--Naraht.


My professional work last month )
On foreshadows in stories )
Researching African-American slavery; or, How I get ideas for historical stories )
My web addiction last month )
My decluttering last month )
My family and leisure time last month )
Replies to Musicman and Twicet )
Reply to Twicet:

Thanks for the reminder that I need to update the Toughs timeline to include chronological links to all the Toughs stories. I also have to correct the dating of the earliest stories; I managed to make a mistake in my dating cheat sheet that placed all of those stories five years off their actual dates.

Not to mention getting Merrick's name wrong through the entire second part of "Rain." (*Sigh.*)

In the meantime, I've put the Toughs chronology at the end of this post. The series page for The Three Lands has those stories listed in chronological order.


Chronological order of the Toughs stories (slightly corrected), along with some dates of birth for my characters )

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