Monthly Archives: January 2011

Disillusioning the Boy Early.

I sort of wish I’d pulled this out before the Boy read it, but on the other hand, it isn’t that different from what the Siren and I say over dinner. It’s just that it brings it home with a reference he understands:

Prickly City

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Whoops! It’s January!

Happy New Year! Have you stopped writing 2010 on your checks yet?

Things I’ve done since my last blog post:

  • upgrade the RAM on my MacBook;
  • upgrade the OS on the MacBook to Snow Leopard;
  • team up with the Siren and the Unfocused Kids to break into the Top 25 players in our ocean in Grepolis (we control 5 ancient Greek city-states);
  • start watching Torchwood, Series 1 on Netfl1x streaming, once I moved my weekday runs inside to the treadmill;
  • work;
  • read Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (highly recommended);
  • read Consider Phlebas, by Iain Banks (also highly recommended);
  • read Cognitive Surplus, by Clay Shirky (again, highly recommended — it’s not that I’m an easy grader, it’s that these days, if it isn’t engaging, I don’t finish it);
  • start converting our power-sucking recessed ceiling lights to LEDs that we won’t need to change until we’re at retirement age, at which point the Unfocused Kids can change them for us;
  • work;
  • run 16 times (90 miles total — I screwed up my left calf and ran almost not at all for two weeks in December);
  • travel to San Diego (for work);
  • travel to New York (for work);
  • attend my childrens’ performances in their school holiday concerts;
  • enjoy a rare public performance by the Siren, singing Christmas songs with a pick up band (piano, drums, accordion, and 10-15 people trying to keep time with egg shakers or other little kid instruments) at a holiday party thrown by talented friends;
  • work; and
  • screw around on the internet.

Things I didn’t do since my last blog post:

  • finish the first draft of Breezeway;
  • get to my November word count goal;
  • get to my year-end word count goal;
  • post on this blog; and
  • respond to comments on this blog.

Yeah, sorry about that last one.

I’ve been reading through the archives at Merlin Mann’s 43Folders lately. Merlin is one of my blog idols (despite his hair) for a lot of reasons, but the direction he’s taken the blog in the last couple of years has been very interesting. He’s focusing on how you focus your attention on the creative work you want to be doing. And as we all know, focus is not my strong suit (I picked this name for a reason, people). Merlin’s first post in this series is here. I just reread it; frankly, need the inspiration.

When I first started this blog, it was to start myself back in the habit of writing again after decades off. It worked; I started writing fiction again almost immediately. On the other hand, I can’t begin to count how many posts I’ve started with something on the order of: “So I didn’t get any work done on the novel this week [or month, or season] because…” and posting on the blog itself has dropped off to somewhere between “infrequent” and “clear, high-definition video of bigfoot.”

Work is what work is: that thing they pay you to do so that you do it every day whether you feel like it or not. Everything else, I have to pay myself if I’m going to manage enough focus to accomplish anything that requires more than a few hours in a single afternoon. I just haven’t figured out the currency yet. What’s yours?