Hard Advice

And now it’s Thursday, my last day in the office until Tuesday (I scheduled my work at home days to bracket my birthday weekend, so I don’t have to shower or get dressed if I don’t want to). Yes, probably more information than you ever wanted or needed from me, but live with it–it’s my birthday this week!

Which is funny, really; I really don’t care that much about my birthdays. My parents never made a big deal out of birthdays and while it was always nice to get presents, I never really thought of it as “my day” or “MY DAY” (as some people insist). It’s the anniversary of the day I was born, and an arbitrary marker of my age. I inevitably add a year to my age once the first of the year rolls around, anyway, and I generally don’t run around reminding co-workers or hinting to Paul for gifts or what I want to do or anything like that. I prefer there not to be a fuss–Facebook and other social media will be lovely on my birthday, of course, as lots of people will wish my a happy day and all of those lovely thoughts–and will probably spend the day at home, trying not to do anything. That, to me, is the perfect birthday–no stress, no emails, no writing, no pressure on myself, and no need to do anything other than what I want to do, which is get up in the morning and swill coffee while writing my blog entry for the day (I’ve actually already started the entry, for the record; I do that sometimes) and then retiring to my easy chair to finish reading my book and maybe even move on to the next in the TBR pile.

I might clean, though. I actually enjoy that, especially if I have nothing else to do–and as I said, I am taking my birthday off completely.

I finished the second chapter of the new Scotty last night. It’s terrible–oh, Lord, how terrible is it? It’s kind of scary how bad it actually is, and how bad I can write when I am trying to start something new–and last night, as I sat in my easy chair while we finished watching I Just Killed My Dad–what a sad, strange case; it was interesting to watch, and such a strange case; how do you decide in such a case what is justice?–I started thinking about tweaking those first two chapters before I can move on to the next one. On the one hand, there are sloppy messes, but on the other hand, isn’t that what the next drat is for, or the one after that? I’m not entirely certain, though, how to start Chapter Three, so maybe it’s not the worst idea in the world to go ahead and revise them, get them into better shape, and maybe that will help me roll into the next chapter. I am excited to be writing another Scotty book–excited to be writing another book of any kind, really–and for the first time since probably the start of the pandemic, I am sort of feeling like myself for the first time in a very very long time, which is kind of cool. I wasn’t tired again when I got home from work last night, and I feel like I slept pretty decently again last night, too. Could I have stayed in bed for another hour or two? Of course I could have, but I am conscious, not feeling groggy or physically tired, and my coffee is definitely hitting the spot this morning. I don’t know if that means I have finally gotten used to this schedule or not, but I am not going to question it and am going to roll with it.

Tomorrow of course is a work-at-home day and I have an enormous stack of work that I’ve brought home for me to get through tomorrow and Monday. At some point, I suppose we are going to lose our one day at home per week, and it’s going to feel really strange for me to have to actually head into the office again Monday through Friday, which will require even more adjustments for me. Heavy sigh. As soon as I get used to something…never fails, right?

It’s also hard to believe that Bouchercon is actually coming up–it’s only a couple of weeks now before Paul and I will be heading for the airport, changing planes at Chicago Midway, and arriving in Minneapolis for a short stay where I will be on the run almost from the very beginning. I started putting together my schedule for the weekend–I have four panels (!) and a signing; a publisher party to attend and several meetings and happy hours and so forth with other groups–so needless to say, I will most likely be extremely exhausted when we fly home that Sunday. But I will also hopefully feel invigorated and recharged and like a writer again, a member of the publishing community, which is always absolutely lovely. I’m really not happy when I don’t feel like a writer; it’s so much a part of my identity that not being around other writers or talking about writing or getting feedback on my work helps trigger Imposter Syndrome, which is something I utterly loathe and despise because it leads to depression and imbalances my mind. I am very excited to be going back to Bouchercon; I’ve not been since 2018 because I had to cancel Dallas the week of because I got sick–inner ear infection prohibiting flying–but had I known it would be another three years before I’d get to go again, I would have driven to Dallas.

Ah, hindsight.

And on that note, I am going to swill down some more coffee and head into the spice mines. Have a lovely Thursday everyone, and I will check in with you again tomorrow morning.

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