Because ambivalence wasn’t working for me…

So last night I ran down the list:

– Feeling like there’s too much to do, yet doing nothing of note? Check.
– Spawning new projects I just have to do because “they’re so damn cool” instead of finishing old projects? Check
– Not sleeping? Check.
– Avoiding blog-posting? Check.
– Resurgence of interest in both wrestling and gaming, with a hyper-focus on my favourite wrestling-sim that often supersedes sleep and food*? Yeah, that’s there too; check.

Yep, all the signs are there and my customary ambivalence in the face of things that stress me out remains ineffective. It’s time to hit the big old mental reset button and start reworking my to-do list from the ground up. I’ve given myself permission to do nothing but get my life in order for the next four or five days, ransacking the house room-by-room and establishing a workable model for getting done all the stuff I want done. A physical and mental sorting of stuff, if you will. It’s already underway, and it’s starting to frighten me, just a little.

Allow me to introduce you too the big ol’ pile of stuff that wasn’t in the right place and now takes up half my office – it mostly consists of unfiled papers, books that have crept off bookshelves, shoes and unusable computer gear. If you need a sense of scale, that gray thing on the top-left of the screen is the plastic bag full of dead ink cartridges that hangs off my doorknob. There are parts of this pile that sit around waist high, and I’m pretty sure every room in the house will have an equivalent pile (except, maybe, the bathroom, where I’ll probably just deal with unsorted junk that comes up to knee height instead). I shudder to think that it might serve as a decent-ish metaphor for my subconscious approach to what I’m meant to be doing of late, but it’s probably close enough.

So today I conquer the study and the unsorted projects my subconscious associates with the room (novel; thesis; wrestling). Tomorrow I deal with the bedroom and the projects that live there, mentally speaking (reading; short fiction; DnD). And so on and so forth the day after that, until I’ve got a good grasp on exactly what it is I’m doing again. Which, yes, I acknowledge is a form of procrastination, but it’s a form of procrastination that works for me in the long run, unlike 72 hours of obsessive wrestling consumption and computer games.

*This, for the record, is the reason I will never go *near* World of Warcraft or anything similar. I lost three days over the weekend to a simple data-base run wrestling simulation; WoW would devour me whole the first time I started to stress out. People would have to come and find my dissicated corpse after I starved to death beside my computer, or exploded after eating too much take-away pizza.

Quick Posting from the Trenches

At the QWC online promotion seminar, which is very cool but hitting a lull now that folks are learning to set-up wordpress and I already know. After lunch we return to the learning off stuff, but until then:

  • A belated public congratulations to the most awesome Jason Fischer (he of the zombie camels and much other coolness) whose newborn son has arrived in the wide world of late.
  • Do not discover the Middleman series the day before you have to get up at seven am to go to a workshop. It virtually guarantees you’ll get no sleep. That said, I’ve not been this eager to see the next episode of something since, oh, Season Two of the new Doctor Who. Or Buffy.
  • No writing of note lately; it’s too damn hot. But I heard back from the supervisor, who says very complimentary things about the first story in the thesis collection
  • And since it needs to go here somewhere, it appears I now have a Technorati Claim. It doesn’t actually do anything visible, but apparently it’s important.

For the record: peanut butter soup is awesome.

2013 Update: I Need Your Help

If you’re reading this in your RSS feed, please let me know in the comments. It’d also be really helpful if you could let me know which RSS reader you’re using and/or which RSS for the site you’re following – it seems my attempts to spring-clean some old posts have resulted in said posts going out as if they’re new, and I’m trying to rectify the problem. 

Also, for the record, Laura Goodin’s Peanut Butter Soup Recipe is still awesome five years on, and she posted it on her blog a few years back.  I figured that, if anything, was sufficient reason to use an edit this post as a means of doing this test.

Thanks in advance, folks, and I now return you to the thoughts of Peter M. Ball from 2008…

Yesterday I thought I was meant to be at a QWC workshop, only to discover that I had the dates mixed up and the workshop is sitll a week away. Totally threw me, since I’d more-or-less planned my day around that. Hence yesterday was a terribly non-productive thing, full of out-of-the-house errands and wrestling sims and pizza-ordering sloth. Then, around eleven at night, it wasn’t. The not-writing was getting to me, so I decided to pull out the laptop and do some revision before bed. By the time I went to sleep I’d managed to revise myself about 1200 new words.

Today I have to go to the library and make peanut butter soup (recipe courtesy of Laura) to get rid of some sweet potato before it goes off. At some point I shall count some words.

My life, oh yes, the excitement 🙂

Doom is coming to Arkham in the form of a 16 year old goth girl…

Not an actual writing post; I’m going to indulge my inner game geek for a moment. Consider yourself warned (unless you have no idea what I’m talking about, in which case check this out and consider yourself informed).

Chris Slee has just posted his summary of the last four sessions of my CSI: Arkham campaign over on his site, which serves as a pretty good summary of “what I did with my weekend” really.

My inner geek is so damn happy with this campaign, it has to be said. Especially last night’s session. The post-title is stolen from Chris’s write-up; probably a far better summary of the game of anything I can come up with and, since I remain too lazy to do proper write-ups of my sessions these days, I’m just going to point you over there if you have an interest in such things (much as I did for session one).


There is a very peculiar quality to the light outside my study window today. Very white, a little too midday for this early morning hour, and it leaves the view (such as it is) a little bleached out. And although it’s cool and pleasant in my house there’s a very nifty heat-haze rising up off the corrugated iron roof of the neighbor’s place. Soon the cloud cover will shift a little and it’ll all disappear, but right now I’m amusing myself with looking out the window and taking notes.

Junked the Black Candy draft last night after long hours of debating its various merits against its various elements of wrongness. This flies in the face of conventional wisdom for new novel writers and will probably come back to haunt me in the near future, but I’m more-or-less convinced it was the right call – I have a novella that shows my love of The Big Sleep already, I don’t actually need an SF novel that shows the same love in the same way, albeit with different window dressing. Especially when the thing on the plan after this is another noir novella that draws influences from Raymond Chandler and talking cat stories.

Now I’m off to start over and validate last night’s decision by getting a lot of stuff done.