Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Happier Together

I got my husband back last weekend!

He was out of town for a whole week and I can't really express how much I missed him. I mean, the week was fine. I got through it. I did everything that I planned on doing and wasn't late for work or Crossfit. I ate my meals and went to bed on time. I kept up with my writing challenge.

But the apartment was so empty without him. And my bed was so cold.

My whole routine was off, because I had to make my own dinner instead of coming home to something hot and ready. I felt mechanical, as if I were just going through the motions to make it until he came back.

I held my emotions in abeyance, because to acknowledge how much I missed him would mean a long session of crying and I just didn't want to do that. Not without him there to comfort me - and if he were there, then I wouldn't need to cry!

Seems like it's always like that, no matter how long he's gone. I miss him terribly, but I do get through to the other side.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Butt in (New) Chair

It has not been easy to make the time for my 600 words a day. Again and again, I feel like I've run out of time by the end of the day. But again and again, I've put my butt in the chair and started writing.

This has actually gotten a little bit easier since last Friday, when the new chair I ordered online arrived. See, my old desk chair was a metal folding chair that I had put a little inflatable camping mat on for a seat cushion. It inevitably lead to my butt going numb, sometimes within half an hour. Lately, it also exacerbated the back pain, which made sitting at my computer to write somewhat less than fun.

The new chair is one of those ergonomic kneeling ones (this one). I opted to assemble it myself because it was a lot cheaper that way. I only got a little help from my husband in assembly, and I'm sure I would have figured out my problem eventually even if he hadn't said anything...

It is taking some getting used to, but it does not impact my back pain like the old one. And it forces me to sit with better posture. The cushioning is not the best, but the main weird thing about it is my shins tend to get sweaty.

So I'm writing to my goal and working long hours and still getting up for 5am Crossfit. It's all about setting priorities and committing yourself to keeping them. I made the choice again and again to make my goal instead of sleeping or relaxing or trying to attack some of my huge pile of work from home.

I'll get this writer thing down yet.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Writing Challenge 2017 Begun

I'm still recovering from last week's backpacking trip, but that's no excuse not to start up my writing challenge as planned. Monday night, after I had a chance to unwind a bit from work and eat dinner, I settled into my writing desk and stared for a few moments at the blank screen.

I had no idea what to write.

But I was determined, so it only took me a few minutes to remember that I had several story starts from the depth workshop that I could continue. I picked one at random, copied it into a new document and began to continue the story.

It did drag for a while, but by the time I had finished my 600, I actually wanted to keep going.

Tuesday I tried to think about getting started earlier, perhaps before work or during lunch, but that's not quite as easy as it sounds for me. I tend to be distracted in the morning and lazy during my lunch hour at work.

And so I was working hard to get the words finished before my 8pm 'get ready for bed' time rolled around. I did it, but it wasn't easy. I'm having to fight hard against critical voice on this story. I feel like I don't know where it's going or what it's doing. But I'll keep pushing and see what I can do with it today.

The start of a challenge is the hardest, because there's no momentum built up. Skipping a day doesn't feel like a big deal. Once I've got a few weeks under my belt, it will be easier to roll. And I've got a few more story starts to work with as well as the story that I had started just before the depth workshop to finish. I don't lack things to write, and I don't really lack time. I'm even ordering a new chair for my desk so I won't have the excuse that sitting at the current one makes my butt go numb.

Writing is important to me. Now is the time to make it a priority again.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

On the Road

When this blog posts, I hope to be about two fifths of the way through my solo trip for the year.

The sun would have risen by the 8:15 posting time. I'll be already an hour or so on the trail if everything goes according to plan.

And I'll be heading to the rendezvous with my husband at the halfway point of the journey. Maybe I'll make 10 miles by 10 am, a feat often desired by long distance thru hikers.

Or maybe it will take me a little longer.

I hope to wash my hair when I meet up with him, because I tend to get headaches if I go for more than three or four days without washing my hair. Leaving the shampoo with my husband and the resupply allows me to save a little weight.

I spent Saturday finalizing my packing. I had been working on it in a piecemeal sort of way that I'm pretty sure drove my husband to distraction in the last couple weeks, but Saturday is when it all came together. I checked everything on my list and weighed the pack.

On Sunday begins the drive. On Monday begins the hike. Today will mark the halfway point.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Lings Have Arrived!

We knew that there had to be some lings on the way, because the ducks were visiting in smaller numbers and tended to be separated by sex - males coming in bunches and then females coming in bunches. What we didn't expect was that our sole pair of visiting geese would be the bringers of the season's first set of lings.

We've learned caution from the ducks, so Ambrose's first picture was through the blinds. 

But the geese have always been a bit bolder, less inclined to run from scary things happening inside the apartment. 

For once, I'm glad the geese were not easy to scare away, because I wasn't here to witness the cuteness. 

If I had been home, I would have tried to get some up close zoom pictures of the adorable little goslings. 

Alright, I suppose Ambrose did a pretty good job getting those lings. So cute!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Rejection and Challenge

At long last, the rejection came in for that story I eventually inquired on. I'm not surprised that it was rejected. The surprise would be actually selling a story at this point. I know I have to improve as a writer, but I also have to consider that what I write, my style, isn't what the editors of the magazines that I've been submitting to are looking for. That doesn't make the stories bad, necessarily.

Of course, I do need to continue to get stories out for sale, and to write stories. I haven't been devoting time to writing because of prep for my solo trip the first week of May and because there's a lot going on at work. Busy at work is better than bored at work, but I'd like to find a happy medium some day.

I'm glad that I didn't have as much of an emotional reaction to the rejection as I usually do. My skin must be thickening up. I mean, I did have hope for this one. From another magazine, it actually got a personal rejection instead of a form letter. So there was something to it that appealed to more than just me.

I'm letting what I learned in the depth workshop percolate, but I need to get some practice in as well. There's a story that I started before the workshop and then started tearing up because I thought I'd written past the ending. I want to go back and re-do the beginning with better depth and then figure out the ending and be done with it, though I haven't a clue what market it would be good for. I might just publish it standalone for sale and see how that goes. But it needs to be finished first. And I have the starts from the depth workshop to continue off on.

After my solo trip, I need to get back to writing, back to the challenge. 600 words a day from May 8 through September 8, 300 on backpacking days. I know I can write that much or more in a day if I carve out the time for it. So I will.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Duck Fight!

Sometimes I think my husband spends too much money on bird seed and critter feed. And also that he sometimes spreads it too indulgently and on perceived demand.

But we have been getting quite a diverse crowd of birds. We'll see doves and redwinged blackbirds. Squirrels, including a momma squirrel with two growing little ones. The occasional pair of geese and plenty of ducks, of both the mallard and wood varieties.

Just watching them feed can be a calming experience.

But then come mornings like yesterday, when we can spend a quite moment together enjoying the antics of the ducks.


 na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na duck fight!