2017 Progress Report: Mid-March Check-In

PIE CAAAAAAKE

It’s Pi Day! I had cheesecake, because it was the closest thing the coffee shop had. Still, at least it’s delicious.

Time for another progress report check-in. “Where’s February,” you ask? Why, it never got written because a) busy and b) feeling like shit. So now you get the last six weeks or so all wrapped up in one pithy, probably over-long post. I know, you’re so pleased. Honored, even.

Donations to the Cult of Ian can be sent to our usual mailing address, care of the USPS Shadow Brotherhood.

Now, without further ado…

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Writing Consistently: Writing has been going slowly, and less than consistently, a very disappointing change after the  month of January. At this point, I feel like I’m flailing around searching for the next big idea I’m going to have, and I’m having a lot of trouble sticking with stories. I’m perpetually bad at thinking up (and finishing) short story-sized ideas, and I really can’t let myself start anything too much longer right now. On the plus side, editing of The Shivering Deeps has slowly been shuddering back to life and I’m hopeful that I’ll make a good dent in the rewrite over the course of this month.

Reading: I’ve been plowing through audiobooks recently. I just finished the 20+ hour whopper that is Joe Hill’s The Fireman. I enjoyed it (it’s narrated by Kate Mulgrew!), though it maybe ran a little long and I’m not sure how much I liked some of the narrative methods to create tension. (“Character is hopeful for X. But little do they know that in two months, X will be IMPOSSIBLE.” *gasp, suspense!*) I also got through Invasive by Chuck Wendig, Heat Wave by Richard Castle, and The Last Wish by Adrzej Sapkowski.

On the books-with-written-words front, I read the adorable Heather Has Two Mommies for a school assignment and loved it. I also finally finished Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson. A truly beautiful book. There’s a story in it set in the Bordertown shared universe, and now I really want to check the rest of it out.

I’ve currently mostly been focusing on wrapping up books, so I’m trying to finish the first Fafherd and the Grey Mouser book and The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy before I dig into anything else. I’m also currently listening to The Girl on the Train as an audiobook to help keep my brain pleasantly distracted during work.

Exercise: Due to house re-arrangement, the weight set got moved and I’ve been having a hard time picking the habit back up after a couple weeks of it lying in pieces at its new location. I have been running a little more consistently, been picking up tracking what I eat again, and am trying to be a little more mobile in general, all of which I think are helping. I’ve lost a smidge of weight, even, though I’m not sure I’ve consistently stayed down.

Languages: Duolingo Spanish continues to be good. I think I need to find a new way to practice Japanese, as the flash cards haven’t really stuck in the same way as Duolingo tends to. (Duolingo lessons are consistently short, whereas Anki flash card sessions can get hefty after a few days away, a fact that has been scaring me off from going back.)

A+ sentence, Duolingo.

Sleeping More: I’m still terrible at this. I’ve been feeling like shit lately, though, so I think sleeping more is definitely the order of the day. Now if only I can make myself stick to it.

Self Care: Since school started up again this has been a lot harder to manage. I’ve been drawing a little more frequently, and trying to give myself chances to just sit and read and do other things I find relaxing. It’s an uphill battle, though. I have been having occasional days where there’s nothing I *have* to do, and that feels pretty good.

Betta fish!

Self Expression: I cut my hair shorter, mostly to trim off all the split ends. I’m still playing around with different possible hairstyles. I did do the braids mentioned in the last post for a day, and they’re fun, but I’m not in the habit of wearing them yet. I do like how they look, though.

Getting Work Out There: I’ve not been doing this much. Several stories need to go back out to magazines and make the rounds again.

Finishing My Shit: Nautilus still languishes in a corner, throwing me sad looks and making me feel guilty. The Shivering Deeps is showing promise, but I also haven’t made much progress on that. :\

Cutting Down on Noise: I’ve been bad about checking Facebook too often, but I’ve got Twitter more under control, due to judicious use of lists on desktop and trying to remind myself not to get on it on my phone. There’s definitely less social media noise than before, though I feel like I’m missing lots of stuff on Twitter that would be useful to know. Oh, and that I spend too much time on FB, though I’ve noticed that’s generally where something I post will get the most attention. I’ve been fiddling around with diaspora* too, and liking that, though it’s so quiet that the “social” part of “social media” can be a little lacking on that site.

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And that’s it for the last six weeks! Woo!

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