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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?

May. 21st, 2017

Daily life: Jo/e's health, editing, writing, Internet addiction, and Dreamwidth

"You can't archive on tumblr, can't find anything later, and it takes to serious discussion rather like airplanes take to lakes: Sure, it can be done, but even when it works, it's pretty damned obvious to everyone that it's not how things were intended to happen."

--Elf.


What I've been up to )

Feb. 26th, 2017

Daily life: Health, writing, Internet addiction, & my day job | #writerslife #amwriting

"Until the Web came around, I'd successfully avoided the addiction gauntlet. I'd steered clear of any trouble with gambling, booze, drugs, and porn. To be blindsided by the Internet (my helpful and wonderful friend!) doesn't seem fair."

--James Sturm: Life Without the Web.


Health )
Writing & publishing )
Day job & web addiction )
Homemaking & decluttering )

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. 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 )

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 )

Feb. 1st, 2016

Daily life: Venturing into YA fiction; parental control restrictions

"This is where someone in the back of the room grouses about how when he was a young reader they didn't have young adult books and he read whatever he could get his hands on, by gum and by golly — he read the Bible and Tolkien and Stephen King and Henry Miller and Penthouse and he did it backwards, in the snow, besieged by ice tigers. 'In my day we didn't need teenage books! We took what books we had and liked it! I once read a soup can for days!'"

--Chuck Wending.

(As a teenager, I was once stuck in a country cottage in England that had no books. For days, I read the telephone directory.)


My professional work last month )
I'm going to publish my young adult fiction )
Little snippets, professional and personal )
Progress with my Internet addiction, or yay parental control restrictions )

Daily life: Venturing into YA fiction; parental control restrictions

"This is where someone in the back of the room grouses about how when he was a young reader they didn't have young adult books and he read whatever he could get his hands on, by gum and by golly — he read the Bible and Tolkien and Stephen King and Henry Miller and Penthouse and he did it backwards, in the snow, besieged by ice tigers. 'In my day we didn't need teenage books! We took what books we had and liked it! I once read a soup can for days!'"

--Chuck Wending.

(As a teenager, I was once stuck in a country cottage in England that had no books. For days, I read the telephone directory.)


My professional work last month )
I'm going to publish my young adult fiction )
Little snippets, professional and personal )
Progress with my Internet addiction, or yay parental restrictions )

Sep. 1st, 2015

Daily life: Ebook publishing, online fiction posting, antique shops, book decluttering, & story recs

"The thing about reading fanfic (and original slash fic) is that you get used to that particular writing/reading culture after a while. You get used to the frank discussions of sexuality and kink, the close attention to diversity and social justice issues in the text, the unrestrained creativity when it comes to plot. The most amazing, creative, engaging stories I've ever read have almost all been fanfiction, and I think part of that is because there’s no limitations placed on the authors. They’re writing purely out of joy and love for the world and its characters, with no concerns about selling the finished product. The only limit is their imagination.

"Next to that, most mainstream fiction starts tasting like Wonder Bread, you know?"

--Cordelia Kingsbridge.


My professional work last month )
A few factoids about my latest Eternal Dungeon novel, 'Checkmate' )
Posting online fic again! Man, that feels good )
Prop-shopping at antique stores )
My decluttering of books last month )
My web addiction last month )
My family and leisure time last month )
A banner month for good reading )

Jul. 3rd, 2015

Daily life: Wow, busy. Eternal Dungeon, submissions, web addiction, trips, introversion, & clutter.

"She will still talk to people, but it will be in a withdrawn way."

--A priest discussing a new Scottish hermit, as quoted by The Press and Journal.


My professional work last month )
On 'The Eternal Dungeon' )
Writing in the fresh outdoors, research trips, and a rant about heavy furniture) )
Professional trips (mainly Waterman research) and personal trips last month )
Getting a handle on my introversion )
The inauspicious anniversary of my web addiction )

REPLY TO BLOG COMMENTS

As some of you will have noticed, I've been a little backed up in responding to comments to this blog. Unfortunately, I lost all my e-mails prior to April 2014 (yes, that's how backed up I am), but here's my replies to the rest. I hope I didn't miss anyone - if I did, let me know.


Reply to Catana on e-book covers and productivity )
Reply to Dianna Kay on my e-books and the m/m readership )
Reply to Musicman on narratives )
Reply to Angie Fiedler Sutton on Scribe Mozell )

Jun. 3rd, 2015

Daily life: Website layout, e-book covers, and hoarding

"Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion."

--The Talmud


My professional work last month )
Redoing my website )
Redoing my covers )
My reading last month )
My decluttering and homemaking last month )
My personal life last month )
My web addiction last month; plus, hoarding )

Daily life: Web layout, e-book covers, and hoarding

"Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion."

--The Talmud


My professional work last month )
Redoing my website )
Redoing my covers )
My reading last month )
My decluttering and homemaking last month )
My personal life last month )
My web addiction last month; plus, hoarding )

Daily life: Web layout, e-book covers, and hoarding

"Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion."

--The Talmud


My professional work last month )
Redoing my website )
Redoing my covers )
My reading last month )
My decluttering and homemaking last month )
My personal life last month )
My web addiction last month; plus, hoarding )

Daily life: Web layout, e-book covers, and hoarding

"Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion."

--The Talmud


My professional work last month )
Redoing my website )
Redoing my covers )
My reading last month )
My decluttering and homemaking last month )
My personal life last month )
My web addiction last month; plus, hoarding )

Daily life: Web layout, e-book covers, and hoarding

"Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion."

--The Talmud


My professional work last month )
Redoing my website )
Redoing my covers )
My reading last month )
My decluttering and homemaking last month )
My personal life last month )
My web addiction last month; plus, hoarding )

May. 12th, 2015

Learning how to write short stories; wordage; Camp NaNoWriMo; story outlines

"I write traditional fantasy, which means that I gravitate toward the noble, if flawed, hero. That doesn't mean that I don't like a little grit in my stories; quite the opposite in fact. It's just that if I have characters who are called to make sacrifices, I want to to believe there is something in the world that makes the sacrifice worthwhile, whether that be love or honor or the promise of an afterlife. I'm afraid that is often perceived as naiveté, especially considering the fantasy market's lean toward darker, sometimes nihilistic, themes over the last decade or two.

"Yet, I think even the most cynical among us will admit they look for the meaning in tragedy. When someone dies violently or at a young age, we want to believe that something good can come from the sorrow. We set up scholarship funds in the victim's name. We raise money for charity. We do things that in some way fill the hole in the world left by that loss.

"Similarly, I want to believe that the characters' suffering is for more than just their own vain ambitions or merely to illustrate a grim worldview. I want something that reminds me that deep down, no matter how bad things get, there is a purpose and a meaning to life. Fantasy is an excellent vehicle for showing the resilience of the spirit and the power of selfless love."

--Carla Laureano, as interviewed by Eileen Putnam in the May 2015 issue of Romance Writers Report.


My professional work last month )
On magazine/anthology submissions, wordage, and Camp NaNoWriMo )
My web addiction last month )
My decluttering and homemaking last month )
My family and leisure time last month )
Everest, Baltimore, and related matters )
About our cat )

Learning how to write short stories; wordage; Camp NaNoWriMo; story outlines

"I write traditional fantasy, which means that I gravitate toward the noble, if flawed, hero. That doesn't mean that I don't like a little grit in my stories; quite the opposite in fact. It's just that if I have characters who are called to make sacrifices, I want to to believe there is something in the world that makes the sacrifice worthwhile, whether that be love or honor or the promise of an afterlife. I'm afraid that is often perceived as naiveté, especially considering the fantasy market's lean toward darker, sometimes nihilistic, themes over the last decade or two.

"Yet, I think even the most cynical among us will admit they look for the meaning in tragedy. When someone dies violently or at a young age, we want to believe that something good can come from the sorrow. We set up scholarship funds in the victim's name. We raise money for charity. We do things that in some way fill the hole in the world left by that loss.

"Similarly, I want to believe that the characters' suffering is for more than just their own vain ambitions or merely to illustrate a grim worldview. I want something that reminds me that deep down, no matter how bad things get, there is a purpose and a meaning to life. Fantasy is an excellent vehicle for showing the resilience of the spirit and the power of selfless love."

--Carla Laureano, as interviewed by Eileen Putnam in the May 2015 issue of Romance Writers Report.


My professional work last month )

Apr. 22nd, 2015

Daily life: Writing breakthroughs, Waterman research, & web addiction progress. It was a good month.

"I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.

"I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. I’ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. They’re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me they’re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough – and finally forced me to get real. . . .

"When I write again, it will be for you, I hope – just in a different form. I need to decompress and get healthy for a while; but I won’t disappear as a writer."

--Andrew Sullivan.


I had some big changes in March in how I write stories, so that's what most of this entry is about.


New ways of writing fiction )
Waterman research )
My professional work last month )
My reading last month )
My decluttering and homemaking last month )
My personal life last month )
My web addiction and other health matters last month )

Mar. 2nd, 2015

Daily life: Oh, my. There actually *is* a life offline.

"Housewives were the people who put Trick or Treat for UNICEF boxes in millions of small hands. They were, of course, thrifty (thrift is the signal virtue of the housewife), but many of them were also high-minded, convinced that people ought to help one another out. George Harrison may have held a Concert for Bangladesh, but it was the mothers on my block who sat down and wrote little checks—ten dollars, fifteen dollars—to CARE. Many housewives shared a belief in the power of boycotts, which could so easily be conducted while grocery shopping. I remember hearing my mother's half of a long, complicated telephone discussion about whether it would or would not undermine the housewives' beef strike of 1973 if the caller defrosted and cooked meat bought prior to the strike. Tucked into the aforementioned copy of The Settlement Cook Book, along with handwritten recipes for Chocolate Diamonds and Oma's German Cheesecake, is a small card that reads FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR J.P. STEVENS WORKERS. The organizers of that long-ago boycott understood two things: first, that if you were going to cripple a supplier of household goods (J.P. Stevens manufactured table linens and hosiery and blankets), you had to enlist housewives; and second, that you stood a better chance of catching their attention if you printed your slogan on the reverse of a card that contained a table of common metric equivalents, a handy, useful reminder that 1 liter = 1 quart and also that the makers of Finesse hosiery exploited their workers."

--Caitlin Flanagan: Housewife Confidential: A tribute to the old-fashioned housewife, and to Erma Bombeck, her champion and guide.


A note to my readers: If you sent me email before April 2014, please resend it. Due to a computer mishap, I've lost all my email between 2008 and April 2014.

If you sent email after April 2014, and I haven't replied to it yet, feel free to resend it. It should be in my inbox, which I'm still plowing through, but there's no reason you should have to wait any longer than you already have.


My professional work this month )
My reading this month )
My decluttering and homemaking this month )
My personal life this month )

I've saved the best news for last:

I stayed mostly offline in February.

Let me repeat that: I STAYED MOSTLY OFFLINE. If you don't understand the full import of that, let me repeat what I wrote in my last journal entry:

o--o--o


It's the web that's the problem. And it was a very serious problem by the time that I pulled the plug in mid-January - against my will; my body went into a state of collapse, and I ended up with the flu.

Before that happened, do you know how long I'd been online? Five days. I got nine hours of sleep during that time.

So I've now officially moved "web usage" from "medical problem" to "medical emergency."

o--o--o


So hurrah, yes, major progress in having an offline life. Which is why I actually have accomplishments to list in this blog entry.

Feb. 6th, 2015

Daily life: My personal life, 2014 and 2015

"If thoughts are chaos and rush and feeling are chaos and rush, then person will see chaos, hear chaos, spread chaos and call chaos in to them. With music in ears and phones and computers not the time to see. Not the time to feel, or be."

--A Sherpa in Rolf and Ranger's Silver Bullet Everest.


The goals I did and didn't accomplish in 2014 )
My 2015 goals )

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