In Which the List Comes Springing Forth

31 July 2003

This is what I got in the mail yesterday. Hee. You journal readers rock.

I'm lost somewhere in the week. It's a good thing I have a tear-off-sheet calendar on top of my computer as well as the usual calendar on the wall above the monitor. I suppose I could check the past journal entry dates as well. Anyway, everything seems to agree that this is Thursday, so I need to get myself mentally situated on a Thursday. Right. Okay.

Thursday is my Wednesday, in some sense, because I include Saturday and Sunday in my week plans. My weekly lists are for Monday through Sunday. So Thursday goes right in the middle. (Brilliant, eh?) And this is where things get a little iffy: the list is for the rest of the week, with a few things marked for specific dates, and I'm not at all sure what will get done, especially since -- brilliant person that I am -- I started another story last night. Just what I needed. Another story. I didn't have enough older stories to write -- I needed a new idea. Sigh. It's good, though, and I want to work on it with momentum. Anyway, here's the list:

Finish "Heart-Shaped Hole." This is the new story, complete with Greenlandic gods and tourists from Milwaukee, and don't ask me why Milwaukee, because I surely don't know. These things just happen to me. It's not my fault. I've been reading Gretel Ehrlich's This Cold Heaven, which is pretty idealized in spots, but it had some Greenlandic myth stuff, and it went "pop!" into a story. Pop. Sigh. And also into some notes for future stories, but "Heart-Shaped Hole" was right here, right now, and when I started outlining it, bits of scene started making themselves known, so I wrote those down, too. This is not at all urgent in any exterior way. Internally, a bit more. This is a story I was ready to write without knowing it.

Finish "Thresholds of Pain." Ehhhh. This one's for an anthology with a deadline of Friday, and I just don't know if I'm going to get there. I don't want it to be left dangling indefinitely, so I'd like to try to finish it in the next week even if I don't make the antho deadline. It's not so antho-specific that I couldn't send it anywhere else. It's good to make antho deadlines, though...ah well. We'll see. Better a magazine submission that's decently done than a rushed, harried antho sub. I hope.

The Not The Moose -- dang, I really need to start calling this The Long Night if that's what I'm going to call it, or something thermionic...anyway, 1700 words. I had a higher word count goal for the week, but I've done most of them already. I could probably get that 1700 done before lunchtime -- that's how smoothly it's been going. But I don't want to give up momentum on this, either, so I don't really want to hit my word goal and then ignore the book for the rest of the day/week. But...we'll see.

Reprogramming edits. Aughhhhhhhh. I keep reminding myself that it is possible to get much better at writing without the implication being that I, to use my mother's phrase, sucked pond scum in the past. (Isn't that gross, sucking pond scum? Mom can be much nastier than if she was using sexual innuendo, I think.) There are some scenes that can use serious work in this book. So I am seriously working on them. There are also some scenes that need to start existing in this book; I am not even touching that part yet. Just overhauling what I've already got so far. And some of it is good and worthwhile, it's just that...well. Some of it, not so much.

Finish first scene first draft for collab and send to collaborator for perusal, comment, complaint, etc. Collaborator has been remarkably patient with me. Or I've been remarkably patient with her. Or maybe we're both doing a lot of things and feeling a little bit swamped. Nah...anyway, it's not like this is urgent in some external sense. Nobody is breathing down my neck on this story. I just don't want to talk about it in theory and then abandon it entirely in practice.

Go to: Target, bank, post office, Hallmark, grocery/pharmacy. Fascinating.

Call C.J. Call Michelle. Sometimes I put fun stuff on my list just so that I can virtuously cross it off. ("Well, let's see. I could do laundry, but what's this on the list? A phone call? Oh, better hurry and get that done first. The time change, you know. What a good kid I am.") Some Michelles -- er, people -- have a tendency to see my list as one of onerous duties I must fulfill, but it's not like that. Only some of them are onerous.

Figure out schedule trip home to find house. Order tickets. Call real estate being about same. Start spreadsheet of possible moving companies and associated costs. Stop having dreams about not being able to buy a house because the fire hydrants are all too far away. (In my dream, they kept telling me we could just get water from the lake if our house caught fire, or the creek, or the other lake.)

Yoga: 90 minutes. (Partially dedicated to new yoga tape!)

Clean house. Wash darks, jeans. Sort laundry from basket; wash towels, sheets, lights as necessary. Check Visa statement and sort receipts accordingly.

Check on Land's End refund for stupid jeans that wore out way too soon.

Pay rent. Call apartment people: try to get dryer squeaking stopped. Find out why the trash has not been cleared from its bins and whether it will be soon. Express displeasure with amount and smell of trash sticking around. Take out recycling and, if reasonable, trash.

Try another Phone Book microstory, just for fun and practice and all. They're mostly about sex and death and not about aliens at all. Not even alien sex and death. How bizarre.

Call Amber: determine time for Angel Island outing Saturday, whether we'll need reservations to the Stinking Rose, and for how many those reservations should be. Attempt to be welcoming of boyfriend of said Amber without expressing undue curiosity about said boyfriend of said Amber. (Amber was one of the people who was going around telling people they had to be nice to me when Mark first brought me to a party with the Crowd. She was telling some people this who had already been my friend for a year and a half. It was sweet of her, and of all the others who did it, too, but also amusing. And I'll go out of my way to be nice to people she brings around. Not that I'm not usually nice, of course. I'm the very soul of nice. But I probably will not tell stories about reindeer castration the first time I meet someone Amber brings around; that's the kind of class she inspires in me.)

In addition, I'll be giving and receiving several hugs, reading books and newspapers, writing e-mails, cooking all sorts of things, possibly watching The Daily Show...doing normal stuff. The list doesn't really look that big. Except that the writing stuff is large-ish, and while I make my lists for Monday through Sunday, Saturday is mostly devoted to our time with Amber, hiking on Angel Island and eating lots and lots of garlic. I'll be kept busy, is what I'm saying. I won't be sitting around twiddling my thumbs.

Some days, my brain goes into list mode very first thing. Some days, it doesn't bother to go out of list mode. I'm hoping that the latter isn't the case, at least, because I would like to spend some time that has nothing to do with the list. But it was very clearly a list-y morning. go with the list. Or at least, I went with the list. And you got to go with the list, too. Sorry 'bout that. There'll be something else tomorrow, I promise.

Back to Novel Gazing.

And the main page.

Or the last entry.

Or the next one.

Or even send me email.