I realize it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted, but I’m insanely busy at work, the last days of school have lept us hopping, and I’m staring at 40 like a deer in the frakking headlights. In five weeks, I turn 40, and I’m trying to figure out whether I qualify for Social Security yet.
Meanwhile, did I mention that my dad is finally retiring at the end of the month? He’s 72, and has worked 6 days a week since roughly the Kennedy administration. You can bet I don’t complain about my hours too much when I’m talking to him.
I’m going to have to keep this short — the kids just got back from playing with the neighbors (from what I can tell, the younger boy from across the street hit Junior in the ass with a whiffle bat, which pissed him off, so he and Unfocused Girl took their sidewalk chalk and came home). Next up, stats and the usual whining.
On Writing: Project Hometown now stands at 8,640 words, which means I’ve written 4,218 words in it since my last post. I also submitted the revised and greatly reduced “Jimmies” (now down to around 3400 words from 5200) to a semi-pro online market. The editor is posting some of her comments on slush submissions on Twitter, which is simultaneously fascinating and unnerving.
I have to admit that the outline I did for Project Hometown over the winter has been an enormous help, and is largely responsible for me being able to make any progress at all. I want to recommend the Snowflake Method again to anyone who is interested in putting together a detailed story outline and character information before starting a new project. After writing Meet the Larssons with nothing more than a few pages of notes I threw together just before I started and having so much trouble with the first draft and then the revisions, I’m very happy with the results from outlining first. The extra work up front is really paying off for me now.
On Running: Pretty good day today. The weather was ugly – gray, cool, drizzly – but not actually that bad for a long run. I did 10 miles in 1:27:08, which is better than I’ve done through most of the spring, although not as good as last week. I had two mid-week runs (one intervals, one not) on the treadmill at the gym over lunch, for a total of 18.86 miles for the week. Not perfect — I’m shooting for 20+ per week — but considering what the last few weeks have been like, perfectly acceptable.
Last week my Sunday time for 10 miles was even better: 1:24:06, on a beautiful, sunny day, warm but not too warm. I’m working on improving my stretching and easing back on the painkillers, which seems to be working. The ITB pain in my hips that was bothering me all through March, April, and most of May hasn’t come back except for the occasional twinge, which is good. My hamstrings are still incredibly tight, but I’m working on them.
Junior’s looking for me, so it’s time to go.
Only 40? In exactly 2 weeks, I’ll be 43. Frankly, my forties have been filled with angst. I’m hoping to be a very different 50 – in a very different place – than I was at 40. Time will tell. Sigh. Guess this aging just gives us fodder for fiction, right? Right?
“Filled with angst.” That’s what I’m going for. That, or filled with fluffy marshmallowy goodness. If I keep eating to deal with the angst, I could have both!