Young Hearts Run Free

And here we are on a lovely and quiet and calm Sunday morning; in which I don’t even have to go outside unless I actually want to–and the odds are against that, believe you me.

Well, not entirely true, as nothing is; I’ll have to take out the trash and the recycling at some point, and of course, if I use the grill for burgers today (a Sunday summer tradition; in the fall I switch to Saturdays for LSU games) but other than that, I am staying inside the cool of the Lost Apartment today. Tomorrow I’ll go to the gym (I went yesterday rather than Friday), go to the bank, get the mail and do other errands–it’s lovely having that option with the extra vacation day we received this week–and of course, I am taking Friday off for my birthday. I wasn’t planning on doing so, but then I figured why the hell not? You only turn sixty once.

I told you I decided to lean into the sixty thing. Only four more days of my fifties left!

Yesterday was nice, really. I read for a while yesterday morning (I am loving The Other Black Girl so much), and ran my errands; it was ninety-five degrees but during the day the humidity was low (at least while I was out in it) so it wasn’t as terribly unpleasant as it could easily have been; and then when I got home I walked to the gym. The gym is in the process of a $250,000 renovation–delayed thanks to COVID-19–so working out was interesting; I had to find things as everything was moved around for the arrival of new machines and the putting in of a new floor in the weight room, but over all it was fine; it will be problematic probably on Wednesday night during peak times, so I may change up my work out days this week. But it felt good–as it always should–and afterwards I walked home (it was definitely humid then) and came back to the house and started working around here–cleaning and so forth. I reread some of the Secret Project and spotted the places I am going to need to get fixed up and prepared and so forth; I also worked on “The Sound of Snow Falling” a bit. Was it as highly a productive day as I would like? No, probably not, but I also kept remembering I have nothing to do today other than read, write, clean and organized, so today will be the load-bearing day of the weekend, methinks. I am going to have some breakfast and some more coffee; then I am going to type up the editorial notes I have for the next book, read for a bit, and then I am going to probably write Chapter Four of Chlorine and work on “The Sound of Snow Falling.” I may even take some time to start writing emails I won’t send until tomorrow morning–remember, I have a very strict policy on not sending emails on the weekend.

But the nights of good sleep are plentiful, and I feel rested every day when I get up (today I was a lag-a-bed until nine! Just like the last two days! Madness!) and I feel more like myself than I have in a very long time–like there’s been a cloud in my brain that has finally lifted; I know that’s not very clear but that’s the best metaphor I can come up with one cup of coffee so sue me–and while I may not be writing as much as I was, say, last month…I am making definite progress on things and feel very much centered. I do wish I was writing more–but today should get me back into the swing of writing again, and I am very excited to be writing on my new computer–which also accesses files on my laptop, which is amazing (and the obverse is also true). I’m probably going to do some more cleaning and organizing this morning; I really need to get these boxes out from under my desk–I can undoubtedly cram some more things into the filing cabinet, which I will most likely get handled this morning–and I do want to prune the books a bit more, or at least get them better organized. (I’m afraid I’ve been acquiring again, alas.)

I also stopped working yesterday around five expecting Paul to be home soon (not until after eight thirty) and while I waited for him, I decided to give Loki another whirl after the disappointing, almost tedious first episode–and was very glad I did. I got very caught up in the story–which was incredibly smart and clever, with some great surprises and twists. Next thing I knew, I had blown through four or five episodes before Paul got home–which enabled us to watch Ted Lasso (me for the second time) before watching last week’s disturbing episode of American Horror Stories–which is so much better than American Horror Story it’s not even funny. I may have to finish Loki this morning while Paul sleeps, now that I think about it. I can go through my journals and mark the pages with notes for both Chlorine and the other secret project, as well as for the Kansas book.

My, what a busy boy one Gregalicious is these days! But that’s also fine; I don’t really feel any paralysis of oh my god how will I get all this done so why even try; rather, I am making lists and crossing things off, which was how I used to always deal with feeling overwhelmed; accept it, write down everything, and start getting them done. So yes, I think, after I post this i am going to go ahead and make that to-do list, and start getting things done.

And on that note, tis back to the spice mines with me. You have a lovely day, Constant Reader, and I will check in with you again tomorrow.

Say You Say Me

 

Progress on “Don’t Look Down” is going very well. The short story is probably going to wind up being a novella–it currently sits at about 9000 words and will probably be longer than that; but I don’t think I can whittle it down to shorter length. As I worked on it yesterday–and the work, I have to say, was so much easier than it had been; I think I finally understand the voice, tone, and main character’s P.O.V., at long last–I was revising my way along and looked down and saw that I had crested 8900 words. I knew it was going to be a longer story; I’d always intended and envisioned it that way, but at the same time, since this is for a collection rather than a magazine or an anthology, I can make it as long as I want it to be.

Which is actually very freeing, to be honest. One of the issues I have with short stories is length. I am always worried that I’m going to run out of room to tell the story the way I want it to read, to get the reaction from the reader that I want to get. (There are stories, of course, that I write and worry are too short; “The Problem with Autofill” sits currently at about 3300 words, and I fear it needs to be longer than that.)

But it’s such a good feeling when the story starts to click in your head, and you don’t worry about things like length, and you start to feel confident in yourself and your ability to tell the story you want.

I’ve also decided to stop beating myself up over not getting as much done as I want to. That’s a losing battle anyway; I always over-estimate how much work I can get done in any given period of time and so I am constantly going to be berating myself and feeling bad. And wasn’t the entire point of going off-contract to write to relieve stress? So why am I continuing to create stress for myself by trying to get too much done in too short a period of time?

Madness.

The to-do list should be viewed, instead of as things I have to get done this week rather as the things I need to get done;¬†important as a reminder of things I need to do, so I don’t forget and/or let something important fall through the cracks. That’s the point.

Oy. Sometimes I wonder about myself.

And now, back to the spice mines.

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