Checking In

The state of things for the last while has been a bit chaotic, so I thought it might do me some good to write a quick [Narrator voice: it was not quick.] check-in post and let y’all know how I’m doing. (And you should tell me how you’re doing! Let us channel our inner Livejournalers together.)

Writing

Editing on The Shivering Deeps has been going a little slow, but it’s going. I’ve been working on rewrites lately, and thus drafting new words, but I fell off the end of my current outline so now I need to figure out where the next chunk of the story is going. I have a feeling a lot of what I’ve been writing is going to get cut in the next draft, but I’m still happy to be giving this book a lot more breath and life than it had after it was first chopped off of the other half of the Doorstop draft.

I haven’t been doing well in terms of submissions. Most recently, like a dummy, I thought that Fireside submissions closed today instead of yesterday. So that was embarrassing. I’ll get ‘em next time! Two of my stories are still searching for homes, but I haven’t sent them out in a bit. I think I need to get each of them out to some new markets today.

I’ve also got a few short story ideas kicking in the wings, but I’m not sure I want to let myself work on them until after I’ve finished this batch of edits/rewrites on The Shivering Deeps. I’m worried I’ll lose my excitement over them, but I’m sure at least a few of the concepts will still hold together and get me fired back up. Hopefully. (And if not, there’s always more ideas out there, right?)

School

The first several weeks of school have been rough. I had to double-down this week to plow through all of the reading and such I had left over, which left my brain feeling like putty. But it’s finally done and I’m 100% caught up, just in time to be crushed by whatever gets assigned next week, I’m sure.

I’ve been feeling less sure about library school lately, but I’m also far enough I don’t want to try to turn this ship around. I’ve been tooling around with ideas about businesses I might want to take on, and the library degree doesn’t directly apply to any of them. However, if those fall through or don’t work out it’d be good to have a really nice professional degree to fall back on. I mean, assuming the job market for librarians in my area ever opens up…

Day Job

I’ve been on-call essentially 24/7 for the last 7 weeks, which is starting to wear on me. However, that does mean that (due to the way I wrote my contract for this stuff) I’ve been earning a good amount of extra money, which is good. It’s always nice to be able to pay for school and living and to have some cash left over. There’s a Semi-Secret Project I’m working on that’ll probably require some capital to get off the ground, so most of the extra is earmarked for that. Once my invoices get paid. *sigh*

Exercise/Health

This has been going really well! I’ve finished Couch to 5k, and I’m trying to run 3x a week still. I’ve settled roughly on two half hour runs and one “do a mile as fast as you can” run each week. Only issue for the mile is that if I run along the main street near me, there are YOUTHS. Which is fine, but means the sidewalks are pretty crowded while they’re waiting for the bus, which is hard to maneuver around. If I take the park path, the first 1/3rd of the mile is mostly gnarly hills, which takes a toll on my time. I think I’m going to stick with the park, though. If I can get that mile down to sub-ten minutes (or even sub eight?!?), I figure I’ll be doing great.

I also started weightlifting again, and was doing some pilates and stuff before that. It feels good to be using the barbell again, though. I completely restarted the 5×5 Stronglifts workout, so right now everything’s pretty light, but I figure it’s better that than straining/injuring myself trying to guess where my new baseline would be.

As far as food management, for the moment I decided to not to care about that too much. Tracking calories was just one too many things to do. I figure I’ll keep an eye on my weight, take measurements occasionally, and if something gets to where I don’t like it, I’ll change things up. But for right now getting to focus on the exercise part, and less the diet, keeps things a lot more manageable. Plus, with that much exercise at least some of the food will go to muscle, right? Right?

Media Consumption

I just finished River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey. It’s SO GOOD, everyone. It’s written super tightly, not a wasted line anywhere, while still doing an amazing job with the worldbuilding and character arcs. The second one just came out, and I’m thinking I’ll pick it up sooner rather than later. I also read All-American Boys for school, which is as subtle as a lead brick but does a good job bringing discussions of institutional racism and police violence to YA books.

I’m working on reading Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey (the first Expanse book), and I’ve got Tools of the Titans by Tim Ferriss(as recc’ed by John Adamus) on my phone for when I don’t have access to the big ol’ paperback that is Leviathan. My only issue with Leviathan Wakes is that it’s so good it keeps me up too late when I try to read it before bed. Tools of the Titans seems good so far, but I’ve only just started reading. I might end up skipping the health/exercise section and going on to the other parts, as I think that’s where I’ll get the most value. Plus the book advocates skipping around, and why not listen to its advice?

On the video game front I’ve mostly been playing Skyrim. Playing a mage has been an interesting experience, and writing up the adventure as a Let’s Play has been encouraging me to try new things. I also tried Spiderman 2 on an emulator, which is good but not nearly as amazing as I remember. Shadow of Mordor and PUBG have rounded out the rest of the playtime for now. Someday I will get a squad together to play PUBG in team mode, but until then solo has been pretty fun, if very intense.

Mental Health

*sparks shoot from mental fusebox* Things have been rough lately, probably due to work and school stress combined with missing some sleep. Hopefully they’ll improve soon, and the exercise does help a good bit, although not enough to solve all my issues.

Social media’s been stressful, too, so I’ve been stepping back a bit from it, which has been a double-edged sword. Without it, I feel lonely, and when I’m at work, bored. With it, I’m exposed to the constant dumpster-fire that is the world right now, and that’s not great, either. Luckily I’ve got some good people to chat directly with, which has helped compensate for not being able to get on Twitter as much as I want. I’ve mostly ditched out on Facebook for now, but I think I’ll go back to it when I have more time. Maybe. (I really just need to get the half-dozen people I want to follow consistently on there to cross post to Twitter, or something.)

Decluttering

I’ve been decluttering! I’m doing a second cull of my books, trying to be more aggressive than usual, with the reasoning that ebooks are real and so are libraries. So far I’ve gotten 72 books off my shelf, and I’m only freaking out a little. I have very fond memories of these mass market paperbacks! But I could also use that space for other things. Like new books. Or pet space so Jerry can’t stare at me unnervingly while I’m in bed.

Jerry the leopard gecko curled upa nd looking out past his tail from inside a small cave in his enclosure.

He’s still pretty cute, though.

I also weeded out a bunch of my clothing. Maybe not half of it, but at least a quarter and maybe a third? I’ve got a better idea of the sort of stuff I want to be wearing, so I figure it’s time for the glut of old stuff to go. I just don’t need that many t-shirts, you know?

A bunch of this stuff is going to go up for sale, soon. So, uh, watch your social media? In case you want books? Or clothes?

Self-Expression

Ian facing to the left, showing how his hair is shaved close on the sides and is still long up top. Ian facing to the right,showing his long hair braided along his mohawk line.

I got my hair cut! Yay! It’s short on the sides and long on the top now, and looks awesome braided along the top of my head.

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Oof, that went on a while. I guess that’s the long and the short of how things have been recently. How is everything going for you all?

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