It has been a less than stellar time recently, but I do appreciate both the people who check in and the ones who create stories that I can wrap my brain in.
(In other news, I can now drive a car without a driving chaperone in the front seat! This saves me considerably less time than I thought it would, but at least I am struggling with getting things done in more places.)
Can’t believe January’s nearly over; can’t believe that January of 2023 is nearly over.
(I was comparing this date to various fictional settings. We are twenty-five and a half years past the first (mentioned) Judgement Day, Rache Bartmoss died last year… the Fallout timeline is still ticking along, I suppose.)
I’m trying to write more this year than last. I think going back to the office some days is actually helping; when the same physical space is one where you both handle work and try to put together fiction, it is a bit hard to switch gears sometimes.
I feel like everyone I know is tired; I am very lucky that many of the people I know who are tired are also very kind.
I will be honest, the last two months have been rougher than I realized. I thought it was fine, and then I realized that it had actually been two months, and I counted up some of the things that had happened (both in terms of personal stress and in terms of what had gone unremarked-on here).
There has been a lot, and I have fallen behind.
In terms of positive things which I would like to acknowledge (distinct from writing; I will do a separate post for that later today); I work for a wonderful place of employment for my day job, I repainted the bathroom and replaced failing fixtures, and my favourite cat seems to be getting better.
I am sad I have not gotten out more this year, but I am very happy that the place I have to stay is as good as it is.
Well, I am pleased that I can log in to my site’s dashboard again, and I have just successfully downloaded a fresh and complete backup. (I am bravely resisting the urge to print it all out for extra safekeeping, because that would get a little weird.)
In other news, I have dug up the weeds in the back yard (so basically, I have dug up the entire back yard, hopefully there will be space for grass now). It took me seven and a half hours over two days. I did enjoy the exercise, and I’ve been sleeping well, but I wish there was more time in the day.
(On the second day, I was bitten by blackflies. I have never been bitten by blackflies before, and I have to say I do not recommend it. My mental image of them has always been as being like houseflies, so when they were landing on me I thought they were gnats or fruit flies and didn’t worry about it. And then the bleeding started.)
In other news, not much. I am striding bravely forward towards the end of the year and the season of rain and spice, fortified by antihistamines and coffee.
It is too warm for candles, which is unfortunate as I am in the mood to light a candle, read, and listen to the rain. That said, the rain stopped a few hours back, so I suppose I’m out of luck on multiple axes.
(I say this while sitting comfortably at home, checking my email, and having received ebook copies of two Neon Hemlock Press novellas today. Life is not exactly hard.)
On other news… mostly just keeping on keeping on, I think. Today is a fortnight since my second vaccine shot, I have a vacation planned in a little less than five weeks, and I’m just trying to keep moving through the checklist of things to do until I get there.
A lot of things going on, but to accentuate the positives: I got my first vaccine shot, I am getting back into reading, and I finally saw the movie Network.
With regards to Network–I am, bluntly, appalled that I had not heard a lot more about this in years past. Someone else mentioned that they hadn’t seen it but they knew “The Rant”, and I was genuinely at a loss to figure out which one he meant. The movie is like a slice of a John Brunner novel with all the science fiction boiled out, studded heavily with oration; it is dense and bitter and self-reflective and, I think, ultimately rather hopeless.
With regards to reading; the brilliant, self-aware, and incisive Forebears by Eric Burns-White is being released. I have mentioned him before (here, discussing The Flash); while I first encountered him through his non-fiction writing, his fiction in the Justice Wing universe is fantastic, and Forebears is possibly my favourite of it all. It is, boiled down to its most apparent and simplest arc, the story of a lawyer who specializes in defending parahumans. You may begin reading it here.
There’s honestly been a lot going on, and I find myself a little swamped to provide a full update. Things are still getting sorted out.
In the meantime, I hope the month is being kind to everyone, and that you and yours are doing well.
Kindly imagine me in a small bubble. To the right, there is a window out of which I can see trees. One floor down is a birdfeeder that the birds are persistantly ignoring (I don’t think I’ve seen anything in at least a month, although I’ve heard crows), but that the squirrels are excited about.
All the squirrels around here are black, statistically speaking (I think I see a grey or a red one maybe once or twice a year). It is something I am very used to, and I am always kind of delighted when visitors call them ninja squirrels or goth squirrels.
It’s kind of quiet in this bubble. And while I recognize that there is currently a lot going on and some of it I need to deal with and some of it I just need to keep up with, it is a good place to be able to stop and breathe for a moment.
I mean, the last weekend is also sixteen days long due to personal circumstances, but the calendar is a powerful framing tool.
It’s been a very quiet Christmas. I sent a lot of winter holiday cards and got… I think slightly more than usual? I have the impression people are kind of going out of their way to reach out a little. I also spent nearly an hour on the phone with people Christmas morning, which was definitely longer than usual.
Beyond that, I put up a bird feeder (after dark the day before Christmas Eve), and nothing has visited it yet. Not even squirrels. I mostly picked it up because the birds had stopped going to the ground-level next-t0-the-fence birdfeeder in our back yard, and I was vaguely thinking that perhaps it had started to rust badly enough that the smell of metal was putting them off, or a cat had started using it as a hunting spot, or the suet in it was off. (It has been moderately badly damaged by chewing squirrels, but there doesn’t appear to actually be rust on it.)
Anyway. I have scattered birdseed around the new feeder on the advice of someone much more invested in bird feeding than I am, and I live in slightly anxious hope.
I can’t believe it’s nearly 2021.
The last week was a bit intense–some things came up at work, and also at home, and really, I am mostly glad they are doing being sorted out. Yesterday was a lot of unwinding and today was a lot of catch-up, and I’m hoping the week going forward will run a little more smoothly.
I improvised a recipe for dinner tonight (which I am actually ridiculously proud of, I dislike cooking as a rule and without instructions it tends to stress me out quite a lot), and am managing to clear some time to read again. All my holiday cards are out. I realized that the dog is waking me up not (just) because she needs to go out, but because she thinks it’s important for me to have a routine, and honestly, she is such a good dog. Taking care of her thumb-monkeys like she does.
Overall a nice weekend, although I do wish it had been a little longer.