“Some days you battle yourself and other monsters. Some days you just make soup.”
Patricia McKillip

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Seems like this captioned image should have been reserved for an attack by Barnabas the Pale. You know, the one who's actually a ghost?
YPP Weekend Blockades, Jan 23-24: Gold Boxes and Big (Canon) Balls
Sat 2016-01-23 13:05:08 (single post)

After long radio silence this week, what do you finally get? Updates on very overdue writing commitments? No! You get the Puzzle Pirates weekend blockade roundup! Why? Because it's Saturday!

The Emerald Ocean is where the bulk of the blockades are, three of which involving the suggestively named Bite the Pillow. Meanwhile, will Black Flag defend against the hordes of Admiral Finius? I sure hope so; overpowered brigand king attacks are where the PoE is! Meanwhile This Means War and Wait For It are up to their usual shenanigans.

On Cerulean, Carpe Noctum have stated their intent to defend Oyster Island against Azarbad the Great. Personally, I live on Oyster (when I'm logged in as Teshka) and I would vastly prefer not to have 100% taxes on my home island. So help CN out, yeah?

On Meridian, it's a similar story--Azarbad is attacking Duat. It's up to Imperial Coalition to defend the island or lose it! Meanwhile, Captholland of Blood Sweat and Beers wants to know why Chapter Three is buying out all his canonballs. Labor shortage? Nefarious blockade plans? Someone just likes big (canon) balls?

In non-blockade news, OceanMaster Aphrodite has announced that you can now use your excess subscription time to buy gold boxes. Your request to do so must be filed while gold boxes are actually available, and must be filed via the online support form. View Aphrodite's announcement in full to get all the details, including which of your details you must include for your purchase request to go through. (And no, this is not a dastardly scheme to reduce subscription time in preparation for some huge upheaval of the Cerulean Ocean. But go ahead and dream if it entertains you.)

And, of course, it is Saturday. But I am staying home from All The Things because of all that aforementioned stuff (writing and otherwise) that's overdue. Bleagh.

(Oh - and watch this space for Sunday blockade updates, if any.)

Standard reminders: Schedule is given in Pirate Time, or U.S. Pacific. Player flags link to Yoweb information pages; Brigand King Flags link to Yppedia Brigand King pages. BK amassed power given in parenthetical numbers, like so: (14). For more info about jobbing contacts, jobber pay, and Event Blockade battle board configuration, check the Blockade tab of your ocean's Notice Board. To get hired, apply under the Voyages tab.

Doubloon Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, January 23 ***

12:00 p.m. - Duat Island, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Imperial Coalition
Attacker: The All-Consuming Flame (2)

12:40 p.m. - Wissahickon Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Bite the Pillow
Attacker: This Means War

12:40 p.m. - Arakoua Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: The Crazy Department
Attacker: Bite the Pillow

12:40 p.m. - Scrimshaw Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: This Means War
Attacker: Wait For It

12:46 p.m. - Ix Chel, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Bite the Pillow
Attacker: No Sympathy

3:00 p.m. - Manu Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Black Flag
Attacker: Fleet of his Imperial Scaled Highness (9)

3:00 p.m. - Windward Vale, Meridian Ocean
Defender: Alria
Attacker: Chapter Three

4:06 p.m. - Alkaid Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: This Means War
Attacker: Wait For It

7:00 p.m. - Amity Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Coming In Hot
Attacker: Ready or Not

7:27 p.m. - Marlowe Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Coming In Hot
Attacker: Adventure Time

11:57 p.m. - Aimuari Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: This Means War
Attacker: Wait For It

Subscription Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, January 23 ***

12:00 p.m. - Oyster Island, Cerulean Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Carpe Noctem
Attacker: The All-Consuming Flame (5)

managed to drop the key to a well-organized life down a storm drain
Wed 2016-01-20 00:16:56 (single post)

OK, so, I am behind in everything. Let's just get that out of the way right now. I'm behind on doing the books and paying the bills, I'm overdue several non-skating tasks for my roller derby league, I can't seem to get five hours of writing in during a work day, and I can't remember the last time I managed to spend quality time with my foam roller. I have been waking up with very stiff calf-muscles. I haven't read nearly as many books and stories that were published in 2015 as I'd have liked to have been able to consider for Hugo award nominations (I'll still cast a ballot - it just won't be as complete as I'd hoped). I'm even behind on my playtime. I've barely made a start on earning my January 2016 Seal o' Piracy, and I can't seem to get all seven daily jigsaw sudoku completed in a week.

Oh, and, hey, the Friday Fictionette for January 15 still isn't even fully drafted. Good news is, January 2016 is a month with five Fridays. Even if I'm not able to post the Jan. 22 fictionette on time, I have a whole 'nother week to get all caught up before the first fictionette in February is due.

So, much as it pains me, I'm letting Friday Fictionettes fall to a slightly lesser priority until some of the other stuff gets done. OK, well, not the Puzzle Pirates stuff. But the bill-paying and the league responsibilities and that sort of thing. Until they're done, fictionette catch-up will be happening at something less than a breakneck pace.

My problem was a weekend with not enough sleep, too much stress, and two back-to-back team practices on Sunday. I was exhausted. Whenever I didn't actually have to be anywhere, my system sort of just shut down all weekend long and yesterday too. Which meant I got behind on everything. More behind, I mean. Which meant I got stressed. (More stressed.) Which meant I went into self-defense shut-down again. It's sort of a feedback loop.

That I got anything done today was kind of a triumph. I did it by pretending that I had no deadlines at all, that nothing was overdue, and that I had all the time in the world to do things so long as I actually did them. I wonder if this is what that study is all about, the one that purports to demonstrate that people who lie to themselves a little are happier? Because "I have all the time in the world" and "there are no deadlines, nothing's over due" are totally bald-faced lies. But pretending to believe them lightened the stress enough to keep from wasting yet another day in oh-shit I-can't-handle-this shut-down mode.

So while nothing quite got finished today, progress was made on all fronts. More progress will be made tomorrow, assuming I'm able to drag myself out of bed on time.

Well. Sorry that all you get today is a navel-gazey introspective post. The actually writing blog is all about the writing process, and sometimes process ain't pretty. Sometimes the writing process depends on other processes. Well, it always does, right? The key to a productive writing life is structuring life so that there's room in it for writing. And, well, sometimes I manage to misplace that key. And then it's all, "Where did you last see it?" and "Retrace your steps," and "It's always in the last place you look..." And sometimes you just have to have a whole new key made because that first key, it's gone. You can't waste the rest of your week trying to find it. Just replace it and get on with your life.

That's about where I'm at.

YPP Weekend Blockades, Jan 16: Cap pay bonanza, Seal o' Piracy spreadsheets
Sat 2016-01-16 12:56:18 (single post)

This weekend in blockade highlights, Knockout on the Emerald Ocean is making good on last week's promise to attack Admiral Island and job at 9,999 pieces of eight per segment (PoE/seg). Meanwhile, This Means War is looking for help defending Alkaid and Scrimshaw from a dual attack by Wait For It. TMW is also starting at a 9,999 PoE/seg job offer. Wait For It has not yet posted an offer on the Notice Board, however; currently it seems to be focusing on its other attack, that on brigand king-controlled Aimuari. But it's not yet noon Pirate Time, so anything could happen.

As always, scroll down for the full schedule. And keep in mind that this is the debut weekend for the new drop window (Sat. 10 AM to noon PT), which is still open as we speak, so check back and you may see that some Sunday blockades have been announced.

Update: Well, one Sunday blockade. See below.

Meanwhile--how do you get your Seal o' Piracy for the month of January?

Completing 10 sea battles against brigands, and 10 sea battles against barbarians.

So it's back to YPP basics with a side order of spreadsheet obsessiveness! Good luck, everyone, and have fun...

Standard reminders: Schedule is given in Pirate Time, or U.S. Pacific. Player flags link to Yoweb information pages; Brigand King Flags link to Yppedia Brigand King pages. BK amassed power given in parenthetical numbers, like so: (14). For more info about jobbing contacts, jobber pay, and Event Blockade battle board configuration, check the Blockade tab of your ocean's Notice Board. To get hired, apply under the Voyages tab.

Doubloon Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, January 16 ***

10:31 a.m. - Accompong-Insel, Opal Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Glare
Attacker: Schwarzes Netz (1)

12:00 p.m. - Admiral Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: The Enlightened (9)
Attacker: Knockout

12:02 p.m. - Alkaid Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: This Means War
Attacker: Wait For It

12:02 p.m. - Scrimshaw Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: This Means War
Attacker: Wait For It

12:07 p.m. - Aimuari Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Chthonic Horde (7)
Attacker: No Offence Intended
Attacker: This Means War

4:00 p.m. - Marlowe Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Coming In Hot
Attacker: The Jade Empire (7)

9:26 p.m. - Anegada Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Illuminatti
Attacker: Pale Element

*** Sunday, January 17 ***

11:58 a.m. - Arakoua Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: High Society
Attacker: Bite the Pillow

plonkdectomy and depurpling
Fri 2016-01-15 21:10:00 (single post)
  • 1,792 words (if poetry, lines) long

Today all I have to report is that yes, I did manage to submit "Down Wind" to the market with the January 15 deadline on its current submission window. I have done little else of use today, but, darn it, I did that.

It's weird. While there were still some three weeks to go, my thoughts on that story were along the lines of "it sucks it sucks there's too much to fix I can't fix it all I can't even begin to fix it" and I had to calm myself down. But this week, with the deadline looming, I caught myself thinking, "You know, it doesn't actually need that much work. It just needs a once-over and a read-aloud."

The truth was somewhere in between. It took me only about an hour today to finish it up, but the edits weren't all just sentence-sounds-better tweaks. Some edits were ruthless deletions because that sentence isn't adding anything to the story, and that other one is just a rehash of something that's already made clear here. On the print-out, there's a big slash-mark over half a paragraph in the first scene, with a note in the margin saying "Angst! Woe! Cut." One has to trust that the angst and woe will come across without the author plonking the reader on the head with an angst-and-woe stick.

Now I have to figure out what to do next. I have ever so many ideas for new stories from doing my daily freewriting--but I also have a few more stories to dig out of revision hell. We'll see which project successfully auditions for my attention next week.

And over the weekend... all the things I didn't do this week (ahem ahem late fictionette). That's the plan, anyway. Without something big like a roller derby bout to beat me up on Saturday, I should have no problems, right? All I've got is six hours of practice on Sunday. No big deal, right? Riiiiiight.

Click to view original photograph by steppelandstock at DeviantArt.
late fictionettes beget more lateness so stop begetting already
Wed 2016-01-13 00:40:15 (single post)
  • 1,904 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 1,101 words (if poetry, lines) long

Oh, for goodness's sake. Being four days late with each week's Friday Fictionette is not the way to woo new subscribers. Well, here's the nominal January 8 fictionette, anyway: "The Magpie's Big Heist." Everyone knows magpies will compulsively steal shiny things, right? Except, as it turns out, they don't. Well, there goes one more piece of cherished folklore. And of course I didn't fact-check the legend until after I'd written and published the fictionette. Too bad. If knowing this doesn't ruin that early plot point in Terry Pratchett's Carpe Jugulum for you, then you can suspend disbelief for this little story-like object too.

Also I released the Fictionette Freebie for December 2015. It's "The Thing With Feathers" from December 4. That's the link to the PDF; audio is here. Both formats are now free for anyone to download and read or listen. I chose that one because I just really like it. It felt good to write. I hope y'all like it too.

I was so sure I could have all the fictionette things done at least by Sunday evening. No big deal, right? I was taking the day off from derby anyway, right? Except the whole reason I needed the day off from roller derby was also the reason I couldn't get the fictionette done, nor yet anything else that would have been halfway useful: I was pretty much dead for the day. I am always pretty much dead the day after a bout. Why do I forget these things? Success at getting things done goes hand in hand with awareness of how things don't get done. My awareness is sometimes not so good.

And the problem with lateness is, it begets lateness. I am now also running up hard against this Friday's deadline to submit "Down Wind" where I want it to go; prioritizing it might impact my chances of getting the January 15 fictionette out on time.

Well, my friends, I shall do my best.

Today I'm also starting my 2016 re-read and work-through of The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron's 12-week course in creativity. It's not for everyone, but it helps me. I work through it every few years as a sort of wellness check-up. I'm not in the same place that I was in the first time I read the book, nor even the fifth time, so I'm getting new insights out of the exercises. Revisiting the chapter on Basic Tools helped me re-focus my daily Morning Pages practice--why I do it, how best to do it, what I can hope to get out of it. And the Week 1 emphasis on converting nasty, discouraging, near-involuntary brain-blurts ("There's no way I'll get through all the stuff I have to do, I'll let everyone down, it's hopeless") into positive affirmations ("I am capable. I am reliable. I am relaxed and confident. I have all the time I need to accomplish all my goals") is really useful right now. I have a lot of brain-blurts that need converting.

Perhaps later on this week I'll have more coherent thoughts to share about the process. For now I'm just trying to find time to do the process.

The blood pressure thing is going well. Like, super-well. The bottle my meds came in is labeled Nifedipine, fancy specialized terminology that basically translates to miracle juice and magic powder. I started taking it Saturday, and every day since then my morning readings have gotten lower and lower, and today they were downright normal. A normal blood pressure reading for the first time in more than a year! Modern medical science, y'all. It works. Also I got my echocardiogram scheduled at last, so that's nice.

Really, the week's off to a great start. It's just been a slow start and I don't like slow.

Now it is time to once more put myself to bed and hope the derby aches and pains go away enough to do more derby tomorrow. I'm told one eventually adjusts. Wouldn't that be nice?

Detail from ''Ghostpew'' by Majorjr of Babylon
YPP Weekend Blockades, Jan 9: a race to the (very) bottom of Emerald Parley
Sat 2016-01-09 13:12:08 (single post)

The holiday blockade break is over, and the flags of the Emerald Ocean are making up for lost time. It's utter chaos all day long! This Means War are attacking just about every island Qlimax Telecom currently own--except the one where a brigand king beat them to it. They posted an "intent video" to the forum, but apparently the only information contained in the video is that the attacking flag has seriously questionable taste. Not that QT inhabit the moral high ground or anything. Personally, I'd job for whoever's opposing them; since they are opposing each other, it's just as well I'll be skating in a roller derby tournament all day and won't have time to play. *disgusted emoticon*

Anyway, TMW also appear to be attacking Black Flag, Order of the Jolly Roger, and Coming in Hot. They're just, y'know, attacking. Indiscriminately.

Meanwhile, speaking of that brigand king attack, Knockout intend to drop a war chest on whoever winds up winning Admiral Ocean this weekend. Pay will be right at the maximum, 9,999 PoE/seg. Action'll be on January 16 at noon. Mark your calendars.

And speaking of next weekend--feedback on the new blockade structure was taken into account, and the Ocean Masters have seen fit to give us back Sunday blockades! Quoth Aphrodite,

Starting with the blockade window opening Friday, January 15, we're adding a drop window on Saturdays, 10am - noon Pirate Time. This will allow flags to schedule blockades to occur on Sundays. The Friday drop window will not be changed.

Where were we... yes! Blockades this weekend. On Cerulean, there's just this one, where Babylon will attempt to liberate Conglin Island from the evil clutches of Barnabas the Pale. Pew pew!

And on Meridian--speaking of liberating islands--there's a whole bunch of Blood Sweat and Beers attacking brigand kings, and they aren't the only ones. Scroll down to see the full schedule so as to better plan your FUN TIMES this weekend!

Standard reminders: Schedule is given in Pirate Time, or U.S. Pacific. Player flags link to Yoweb information pages; Brigand King Flags link to Yppedia Brigand King pages. BK amassed power given in parenthetical numbers, like so: (14). For more info about jobbing contacts, jobber pay, and Event Blockade battle board configuration, check the Blockade tab of your ocean's Notice Board. To get hired, apply under the Voyages tab.

Doubloon Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, January 9 ***

10:04 a.m. - Doyle-Insel, Opal Ocean
Defender: Dark Nightmare
Attacker: Forcas Armadas

12:00 p.m. - Armstrong Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Qlimax Telecom
Attacker: This Means War
Attacker: The Crazy Department
Attacker: Illusion

12:00 p.m. - Isla Ventress, Jade Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Attacker: La Llama que todo lo consume (1)

12:00 p.m. - Alkaid Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Qlimax Telecom
Attacker: This Means War
Attacker: The Crazy Department
Undeclared: Illusion

12:00 p.m. - Bowditch Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Qlimax Telecom
Attacker: This Means War
Attacker: Black Flag

12:02 p.m. - Sayers Rock, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Qlimax Telecom
Attacker: This Means War
Attacker: Illuminatti

12:29 p.m. - Zuyua Mist, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Chthonic Horde (2)
Attacker: Coming Soon

1:33 p.m. - Isle of Kent, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Black Flag
Attacker: This Means War

1:54 p.m. - Garden Cradle, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Chthonic Horde (5)
Attacker: Blood Sweat and Beers

3:17 p.m. - Acanthaster Spits, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Chthonic Horde (3)
Attacker: Blood Sweat and Beers

3:29 p.m. - Blackthorpe Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Order of the Jolly Roger
Attacker: This Means War
Attacker: Keep the Peace

4:43 p.m. - Scrimshaw Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: Coming In Hot
Attacker: This Means War

5:29 p.m. - Basset Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Midknight Sun
Attacker: The All-Consuming Flame (7)

6:01 p.m. - Fugu Island, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Fleet of his Imperial Scaled Highness (4)
Attacker: Argosy

7:00 p.m. - Tumult Island, Emerald Ocean
Defender: The Explorers Guild
Attacker: Black Dawn Brigade

8:00 p.m. - Moab Island, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Fleet of his Imperial Scaled Highness (2)
Attacker: Moonshine

*** Sunday, January 10 ***

12:00 a.m. - Drogeo Island, Meridian Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Barely Dressed
Attacker: The All-Consuming Flame (4)

12:00 a.m. - Admiral Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Qlimax Telecom
Attacker: The Enlightened (16)

12:00 a.m. - Aimuari Island, Emerald Ocean
Brigand King attack!
Defender: Qlimax Telecom
Attacker: Chthonic Horde (11)

Subscription Ocean Blockades

*** Saturday, January 9 ***

12:00 p.m. - Conglin Island, Cerulean Ocean
Brigand King holds the island!
Defender: Chthonic Horde (4)
Attacker: Babylon

so i kinda suck but i am at peace with that
Fri 2016-01-08 23:59:59 (single post)

The January 8 Friday Fictionette will be late for NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER. There. I admitted it. But I have every reason to anticipate getting it posted on Sunday. FOR REALS.

The reason I can be so darn sure of that is, I'm taking that day off from roller derby practice. Why? Because I'll be skating in our mix-up tournament on Saturday, leading Phase 1on Monday, practicing with the All Stars on Tuesday and the Bombshells on Wednesday, and going to scrimmage on Thursday. I am only human and I will need a break. Therefore I decree Sunday to be "I'm on break" day. Therefore I will have the time and energy to finish up and post the January 8 fictionette on that day.

Today's continuation of the "my new life with controlled hypertension" saga saw me succeed at obtaining a blood pressure monitor and also my new meds. Yay, meds. They come in a bottle that says DO NOT EAT GRAPEFRUIT OR GRAPEFRUIT JUICE! because there is some chemical in grapefruits that reduces the efficacy of the medication. Honestly, I can't remember when I last consumed grapefruit or its byproducts in any amount greater than what you find in a bottle of Abita Grapefruit Harvest (one of the few IPAs I will willingly drink) or, more frequently, a can of La Croix Pamplemousse--but I totally resent the intrusion on my happy-go-lucky eat-what-I-want lifestyle anyway. Also I'm told Tylenol is to be preferred over ibuprofen while on these meds. Which means when I come home from derby all stiff and sore, I can take a pain reliever OR drink a beer BUT NOT BOTH because the combination of Tylenol and alcohol is potentially deadly.

What's that? Is that a baby cricket playing playing a sad, sad song on the tiniest violin in the world for my terrible woe? That is a very talented cricket, y'all.

Meanwhile, I was supposed to make an appointment with the heart department for an echocardiogram. Unfortunately, yesterday was not a very good day for small details. First off, my physician gave me that department's fax number by mistake. Then, once I tracked down the number that would be answered by a human being rather than a screeching modem, it transpired that my physician had made an additional goof and sent over an order for an electrocardiogram instead. The mix-up should be corrected by Monday.

After all the running around in the car in the snow and on the phone playing phone tag, I rewarded myself with a late lunch at My Ramen & Izakaya. This place is the best place ever. They serve ramen noodles in a variety of broths and presentation styles, including vegetarian and gluten free; also donburi, fried rice, and a whole page of small plates (izakaya) that are without exception delicious. I got the grilled heart of romaine and a big bowl of the sesame-based tantanmen. Also a glass of red wine, because red wine is good for your heart, right?

After that I pretty much crashed for the day. I am only just barely functional now to post this. And now that I have posted this, I am done.

Do come watch the bout tomorrow if you can! And say hi! I will be skating on the black team, coached by BCB's own Jude E. Boom and Downtown Stabbey. Cheer for us! Cheer for everybody! Derby is fun!

the fragility of afternoon writing time
Thu 2016-01-07 23:35:09 (single post)
  • 1,904 words (if poetry, lines) long

I've finally realized: On roller derby evenings, my afternoon shift is really fragile. Yesterday I lost it because of a sudden attack of the sleepies that, honestly, I should have just pushed through--writing, like skating, makes me feel better, if only I can exert myself to beat the inertia. Today? Doctor's appointment. Which always takes longer than expected on both sides of the scheduled appointment time, especially if you're chasing down a prescription and some equipment afterwards that turn out to be out of stock. So then you go make groceries instead. And then it's already 4:00 and you planned to leave for derby at 5:30 and you really, really need some downtime in between...

The doctor's appointment was interesting. Seems around this time last year, out of seemingly nowhere, I started exhibiting freakishly high blood pressure on a consistent basis. Like, Stage 2 Hypertension high. I kept hoping it was just a hiccup and things would return to normal, but after Tuesday morning's dentist appointment got me a reading of something-or-other over 104, I made an appointment to discuss it with a doctor.

The long and the short of it is, I'm going to have to start taking blood pressure medication at the ripe old age of 39. Seriously. Despite my exceedingly active, moderate-drinking, non-smoking lifestyle, my perfectly acceptable blood cholesterol and thyroid numbers, and goodness knows I've never really had cause to worry about my weight despite what the BMI says ("Top 10 Reasons Why the BMI Is Bogus," NPR.org)--well, just goes to show, you can do most everything right and still draw an unlucky lottery ticket. But that's a lesson I should already have learned from my experience with leukemia at age 11, right?

But there's a silver lining here! When I mentioned "self-diagnosed Raynuad's Disease" to the doctor (and we discussed that a little bit, like how often does it happen, how severe is it, etc.), she brightened up and said, "One of the blood pressure medications I could prescribe you also happen to treat Raynaud's! What do you think?" I think it's a low priority, but if it's that easy to roll the two issues into a single solution, hey, let's do it. I could sure do with fewer 7-finger days in the winter, that's for sure.

Anyway, after some deep conversation with the doctor, an EKG reading (also perfectly normal), instructions to make an appointment for an echocardiogram just to make sure, I left the doctor's office at about 2:45 and pointed my car toward my usual pharmacy. Only to find the medication wasn't actually in stock yet--"Come back tomorrow after 1:00 PM"--and neither was an automatic arm-band style blood pressure monitor of an approved brand--"You might just have to try the Safeways and the Walgreens and that"--and so I lost another 45 minutes of afternoon shift to futile attempts to run these doctor's-orders errands. And then, like I said, I went to the grocery.

I'm glad I decided to rest and eat dinner rather than work and snack, though, because roller derby practice consisted of a special clinic led by a D1-level skater and then a scrimmage that beat us all up some good. Also last night's squat workout came back to haunt me. I'm sore and tired and this hot bath with epsom salts plus optional beer is really awesome.

Again, I'll get a little bit of work in on the short story. Just not the two hours I wanted to log. Last night, after posting to the blog, I spent about a half hour just reading through it--which means I didn't just read through it, but instead tweaked sentences here and there. Weird thing about my revision avoidance issues: if I can only convince myself to open up the manuscript and "just start reading," I'll find myself unable to resist doing at least a little revision. So tonight I suppose I'll pick up where I left off.

And tomorrow I have nowhere to be in the evening, except maybe in a holiday party on Puzzle Pirates.

a seven-finger and afternoon nap kind of day
Wed 2016-01-06 23:17:53 (single post)
  • 1,869 words (if poetry, lines) long

It's cold out there. It's a 7-finger day. By that, I mean that it's so cold that by the time I got where was driving to, seven of my fingertips had turned pale and numb thanks to something called Raynaud's Disease or, colloquially, "being allergic to the cold." Calling it a "disease" makes it sound worse than it is; it's mostly just annoying. Main problem tonight was, with so many fingertips affected, I couldn't start typing comfortably until I'd clutched my Irish coffee long enough to warm up again.

The drive tonight was from roller derby practice to Boulder's legendary late-night burger establishment, the Dark Horse. They serve delicious food, quite decent drinks, and--this was new to me--they now have wi-fi. So I thought I'd get the blogging done while it was still technically Wednesday.

Today didn't go quite as well as yesterday. For one thing, without something like that dentist appointment to get me out of bed early, I wasn't up and moving until about 9:30 AM. I rationalized that this was fine, I was a tired athlete who'd stayed up until 1:00 AM the night before and really needed her sleep. And it still would have been fine if--and this is the second thing--I had managed to get my afternoon shift done, rather than collapsing into an afternoon nap. I guess I needed it; my eyes started burning and squinting, and it began to be actively painful to remain upright.

I am not dismissing the possibility that this was a physical manifestation of avoidance. My next task was short story revision, and I have pathological avoidance issues around short story revision. But it's very likely that last night's roller derby practice was a factor, too. Tonight's as well. Both travel teams' coaches are serious about conditioning, which means lots of cardio and strength training and metabolic workouts and off-skates exercises and endurance til you puke. (Metaphorically. My body doesn't tend to do the puke reaction to extreme exertion. Instead it just decides to stop bothering with other functions, like swallowing and breathing.) And, lest you think being married to the All Stars coach is somehow an advantage--it's not. It just means he tries to get me to do conditioning workouts at home, too.

It's going to take me a few weeks to adjust to this level of activity, is what I'm saying. And there are things I'm going to have to change about the rest of my life--I can't both stay up until 1:00 AM and get up at 7:45 AM every day, for instance. At least I've got a solid scheduling plan for getting the daily writing done, even if some days I don't quite implement it.

Anyway, the result is I'm trying to get my "afternoon shift" done now, between 10 PM and 1 AM after practice. And because I know I have a tendency to just say "eff it, I'm going to bed" after roller derby practice, I took myself out where bed wouldn't be a temptation. Hence the trip to the Dark Horse. Besides, it was a convenient way to make sure I got some protein down me. Kind of important after the kind of workout I've had.

I don't know I'll get my full five hours in today, but I will get SOME work on the short story in after I post this. If all I do is reread it (for the first time in two weeks) and decide what the next concrete task is, that'll let me close down the day with a sense of accomplishment.

Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry, and neither can I.
vroomtime is go
Tue 2016-01-05 23:56:08 (single post)
  • 1,869 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 1,046 words (if poetry, lines) long

OK! So. First off, I've finally posted the Friday Fictionette for January 1. It's called "The Wine Cellar That Wished" and it's sort of kind of an Edgar Allan Poe fanfic don't judge me. It's also sort of humor and sort of kind of horror. Hey, I believe in truth in advertising.

Secondly: Today really was a proper Tuesday. Yesterday was a Monday during which nothing much got done and the dirty dishes were really compelling, but today I got to work. Woke up in time to do Morning Pages before the dentist appointment (which went well, thank you). Got home in time to have breakfast and start my morning shift at 10:00 AM. Took care of some necessary household administration tasks during my lunch break. Started my afternoon shift around 2:00 PM. Left for roller derby practice around 5:15 PM with the satisfaction of knowing I had logged five hours and had left no writing task undone other than this blog post right here, which I am writing now.

Basically, I got my butt into gear and I worked like a writer who writes for a living. Then I survived my first A team practice of the 2016 season. Writing and roller derby. That's pretty much how my days go. How they're supposed to go, anyway.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow going about the same. Only instead of the dentist I've got volunteer reading, instead of A team practice I have B team practice, and instead of spending the majority of my work day on fictionette catch-up I'll spend the majority of my afternoon shift revising "Down Wind." It's almost ready to submit, y'all! And still ten days until the submission deadline!

So this week is off to a fantastic start, is all I really have to say.

(I'd say "this year," but I don't want to jinx it.)