Some of Shelly’s Blues

Thursday, and Gregalicious is working at home today. Huzzah? Huzzah! I do like working at home; it always has been best for me to work in isolation; my attention span is such that being around co-workers inevitably means distraction and lower productivity than I would prefer. This is especially true when I am doing data entry; it’s much easier to make mistakes and get distracted when others are around and talking, even if they aren’t talking to me. The printer/copier/scanner (business sized) is right behind where I sit at my cubicle, so every time someone prints something or needs to copy something I see them approaching out of the corner of my eye and they are right behind me as they go about their business. It’s a bit awkward to not acknowledge them or for them not to say anything to me, so when we used to operate at full capacity with everyone in the office I generally had a short conversation with everyone who was printing or scanning or copying…which, as I mentioned, is distracting when you are doing data entry and trying not to lose your place and be accurate. I’ve also gotten really used to there not being anyone else in the office since I myself went back to working a few days in the office every week in July 2020. Even now, we are still not at full capacity and not everyone has returned to the office yet–certainly not all at the same time, the way it used to be–and it’s going to be incredibly weird when we get to the point where we are all back in the office again.

Incredibly weird.

So for now I will continue to enjoy my working at home days, doing data entry and then when my eyes get bleary or start crossing, moving back to my easy chair so I can watch a movie or a television show Paul doesn’t watch while I make condom packs (seriously, if I got paid by the pack I’d probably make a lot more money than I actually do).

I felt great all day yesterday; a holdover from going to the gym Tuesday night, no doubt, and I was in a really good mood as well. I got a lot done yesterday–I realized, yesterday when writing my blog (and discussed it here) that I hadn’t really gotten a feel yet for my main character’s voice, and that was part of the reason why I’ve been struggling with the manuscript. So last night I started writing a biography of her, trying to get inside her head, to understand her point of view and how she feels about the world and how she sees it; I was making her a little more namby-pamby, I think, than I wanted her to be. I want her to be strong and capable, but also a bit unsure of herself; I want her to be feeling a bit of dissatisfaction with her life, not so much because she’s made bad choices but because in a lot of cases in her life she didn’t really get to choose her own path. She fell in love and married very young, had twin sons, and then she was raising her sons while working on renovating the old house she and her husband had bought, so the house was her job outside of wife and mother; her husband died suddenly and she went on raising the twins by herself. Now they are off at college and she has reached a point in her life where she isn’t quite forty yet, but doesn’t know what she wants to do with the rest of her life; she kind of thinks she made the easiest choices along the way. It probably also doesn’t help that her two best friends are successful professional women. I want this to be a good mystery series, of course, but I also want to show her journey from a place of what do I do with the rest of my life to having a clear purpose with goals and ambitions and dreams.

And writing her biography helped me with developing the character, so here’s hoping writing the book will become a bit easier now? One can always dream…

And you know what? After I finished the biography, and sat down to revise Chapter 4–I started to feel like I knew her, and what she would say, and how she would react. I feel like she really came to life, both on the page and in my head, in this chapter, and I powered all the way through it, which felt really great. Maybe it was a holdover of the endorphins from going to the gym Tuesday night; I don’t know. But I feel much better about the book and everything else this morning–tonight I will get going on Chapter 5–and I think I can make a very strong push now to get it finished on time.

I also finished reading Donna Andrews’ The Gift of the Magpie last night, which was terrific and fun and the perfect thing to read during Christmas season; she really is masterful at writing about Christmas, and her community of Caerphilly, Virginia, is always delightful to revisit. I enjoyed the visit so much that I started reading the next in the series, Murder Most Fowl, within minutes of finishing the earlier volume–I have others to read, of course, but this wonderful binge-read of Andrews in an attempt to get caught up on the series (only two left, inclusive of Murder Most Fowl), and the next one is another Christmas one…so, yeah. I’ll probably keep going with Andrews until I am all caught up.

We also finished the first season of the original Gossip Girl last night, staying up later than we’d intended to once we realized how close we were to the end of that first season–and the season finale was interesting; they pretty much had gotten everyone to a happy place, so naturally they had to dynamite everything to set up the next season, but I was more than a little disappointed with how they did it. I am not as intrigued to continue watching as I might have been–but it has been a really fun ride, and even the “villain” characters have wound up being a lot of fun to watch–with the exception of psycho Georgina, and Paul and I kept saying (spoiler) “oh for fuck’s sake, Serena, sic Blair on her. What’s the point of having an evil bitch best friend if you don’t take advantage of her skills?”–which she finally did, and it was ever so satisfying.

I just felt like they could have done a better job with the season one cliffhanger situation.

I guess the Saints are playing again tonight–they also played last Thursday–which means this weekend is another major-Louisiana-football-team-free weekend, which should amp up my own productivity. Today I am going to be working here at home, obviously, and then I am going to the gym, and then I want to get some more work on the book done. I made a new to-do list yesterday, and have to say I am very pleased with how well I’ve been doing lately, getting things done; one can never underestimate the motivating power of a to-do list.

And on that note, it’s time to head into the spice mines. Have a lovely day, Constant Reader, and I’ll talk to you later.

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