It may have been a quiet week in Lake Woebegon, but there’s been nothing but utter chaos here at Stately Unfocused Manor, to mix my pop culture references. School started! Work kicked back into gear! Snow! Sleep deprivation! People pissing me off!
And yet, I managed to make a little progress on the things that keep me sane. It’s time to stop kvetching every week about how busy I am, how I need to do paying work, spend time with the children, and make occasional eye contact with the Green Eyed Siren (f/k/a Mrs. Unfocused) so she doesn’t mistakenly call the morgue to have me carted away, and get back to regular writing and running again; otherwise, I may as well plant my ass on the sofa, open up the chips and start watching television again. Anything good on? Are reality shows still big?
On Writing: I bled all over revised another 15 pages of Meet the Larssons (through page 125/500), and hand wrote another seven pages to be inserted. All that, and I’m still working on what used to be Chapter 11, because apparently it was way to damn long. I’m still using Holly Lisle’s One-Step Revision Process, and it is going much more slowly than I would have liked. I suspect that I should have tried to restructure the novel first, then started the rewrite. I’m not that fond of writing by hand, either. On the other hand, as painful as it is, the process seems to be working, albeit much more slowly than I expected.
I also wrote another 1,166 words (for a total word count of 6,094) in “Jamie’s Story,” which has gotten away from me a little bit. I’m determined to keep it under 7,000 words — the story only needs that long to be told — but I’m certain to run over before I get the draft done. It will need a fair amount of editing — the narrative voice is inconsistent, for one thing — so there should be an opportunity to do some cutting.
I haven’t done anything further in Project Hometown, because the spreadsheet of all the scenes needed to tell the story, which is going to require a little more thought than I’ve been able to put into it. I plan to pick it back up when I’m done with the draft of “Jamie’s Story.”
Anyway, I’m done with the excuses. MTL needs to get finished. My January 31 target is out the window, so now I’m just going to gut it out as best I can. If I need another made up deadline I’ll deal with that later. But I need to finish the manuscript slog so I can get to the typing in (essentially the second pass of the one-pass method), and finish it.
On Running: For a number of reasons, mostly related to my inability to go to sleep at a reasonable hour (and one 7am conference call), I didn’t manage to crawl out of bed early enough to get a run in until Friday, and even then I only managed a little over 20 minutes before I had to get off the treadmill, get dressed, and shovel snow. So yes, my excuses are (1) iggle wazums me was tired, and (2) it snowed in Chicago in January. I did run for an hour this morning on the treadmill, 7.21 miles (an average 8:19 pace, which isn’t bad considering the lack of training).
In other exercise-related news (which is what you get when I don’t have enough to say about running) Family Taekwondo started back up on Saturday, and Unfocused Girl and I (with much trepedation) took Junior along. Over the last year, we have tried getting Junior interested in TKD half a dozen times, and each time, he would just sit on the side and mope until class was over, or actively interfere with the Green Eyed Siren’s attempts to join the class. Finally, we just decided to give up until he turned five. Now he’s five, and on Saturday he did a great job. He was tired by the end, but he worked hard, paid attention, and behaved well. We were all very proud of him. I hope his new attitude lasts; he could use the lessons in discipline, coordination, and becoming a badass.
On the iPod: I got back to some of the usual podcasts on my ancient iPod Mini: recent episodes of Planet Money; I Should Be Writing #107 (“Goals”); Adventures in Science Fiction Publishing #71 (Bear McCreary); Escape Pod #184 (“As Dry Leaves That Before the Wild Hurricane Fly,” a fantastic steampunk Santa story by Mur Lafferty); Escape Pod #185 (“Union Dues — All About the Sponsors,” another solid entry in the Union Dues superhero series — like all of them, it’s very dark); and Escape Pod Flash (“Standards”).
Then I stopped listening to anything else, because I finally downloaded Scott Sigler‘s first podcast novel, Earthcore, and fired it up on the Mini. I’m not sure why I never listened to any of Scott’s novels before. The first time I heard any of Sigler’s fiction was the piece he did for J.C. Hutchins’s Seventh Son: Obsidian series, “Eusocial Networking,” which was gripping, scary, and left just enough to the imagination. So far (I’m on Chapter 17) Earthcore is engrossing, and I haven’t been able to listen to anything else. If it were a book, I would have finished it already.
That’s it for this week’s update. Time to quit whining, drop the excuses, and get my sorry keister back to work.
Looking at your writing goals, it is clear that starting my own blog was the only way to combat the sense of my utter inadequacy. Take a deep breath, Mr. Unfocused!
Yeah! I’m glad I’m filling up your days, and that you’re enjoying it. It’s all part of my evil plan to keep people away from writing!
Thanks for stopping by, Scott. Your evil plan is clearly working, because I was focused like a laser beam before I started your book. I just hope you haven’t written any more like it, so that I can get back to work when I finish this one. Contagious is a lighthearted romp about a cute talking puppy, right?
Puppies. Cute things. Yes, it’s almost like you read it already …
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Do you listen to the audio books while running, or only on the train? I was just wondering if it was too hard to pay attention to the book while running.
I give you a lot of credit for running that long on a treadmill. I can’t make it past 4. Of course, I’ve been slacking off big time, so I couldn’t got that far anyway.
I do listen to audiobooks while I run — almost entirely podcasts and audiobooks, in fact. I only listen to music when I’m really concentrating on pace, during a speed workout.
When I was training for the 2006 marathon, I did several 10 mile midweek runs on a treadmill at the gym I go to at work, when I had early meetings and couldn’t get that much distance done in the morning. Seven miles doesn’t seem that bad (although the view is a little dull).