August. How did *that* happen?

I have to say I am very glad that today is the start of a long weekend.

I got some edits in last week, I decluttered a bit yesterday, and today I appear to actually be getting my browser windows under some kind of control. I’ve nearly reknitted the part of the sweater I had to frog. And also I’ve gotten the first submission of the month out!

Grey and rainy.

The weather’s gotten properly icy, now; it’s below freezing at night, and winter coats are required. I can still get away without wearing winter boots, though.

I missed Sunday for NaNoWriMo, but I wrote yesterday and today, and I’m still ahead; slightly more than 25% done on the wordcount, although with what I had drafted up already I may hit the end of what I need to have written before I get to 50,000 words. We’ll see.

The usual small flood of magazines came in, and I’m working at getting my owned-and-to-read pile back down to a closer-to-reasonable level. It’s a process. I’m cherry-picking short works and ones that came out in 2017 (Hugos next year, and all).

I bought a sweater quantity of yarn, in a sort of raisin colour, and cast on a pattern tonight. I’m hoping to have a sweater done this month or early December.

Well that was a fortnight and change.

I have learned several things in the last couple of weeks.

  1. I get a bit sad when I can’t be at home for Hallowe’en. I’m not saying I won’t ever go to a convention on Hallowe’en again, but I’m definitely going to keep it in mind when planning stuff in the future.
  2. A weekend away with nothing to do, minimal internet access, smart kind people, good food, lovely scenery, silly or good movies, makeup, and a bottle of wine is kind of lovely. I want to do it again.
  3. Nonetheless, two weekends away from home at once throws me for a loop. I think if I do something like that again, I definitely need to look at booking a day off to get back into
  4. Fallout 4 is making me happy. It’s good to be back.
  5. For NaNoWriMo: discounting the two days I didn’t write, I’m averaging 1739 words a day; discounting the three I was sick, I’m averaging 2011. I’m behind where I’d like to be, but if I keep up my pace, I should be able to finish on time.
  6. Knitting is still not happening. This was pretty upsetting to me, but I’m hoping it changes in the future.
  7. I have found Cat Rambo’s post on preparing for NaNoWriMo to be really helpful, actually. I did not do so well with #2, clearing the decks, but I’ve known for a several months that not playing Fallout 4 in November was not going to be an option.
  8. Related to this: Novels are hard. Novelettes are a thing that I’ve accidentally committed a couple of times, because I write long, but novels? Novels are a whole different beast. It’s like the difference between knitting in the round (a fiddly act which involves double-pointed needles that are, nonetheless, usually held pretty firmly in place by yarn) and trying to juggle a handful of spaghetti. There are ends and connections everywhere.
  9. Yes, this is with an outline. Admittedly not a super-complete one.

That’s about the state of the month so far. If I don’t manage to update a bit more often, I’ll be back in December. Right now, though, I have managed to gouge out enough time to catch up on The Flash and I am by-god going to do that.

(Cisco isn’t naming people. It’s so wrong.)

Different kinds of inertia

I don’t generally talk about writing on here (on the general theory that (1) lots of people have already done that, (2) I’m not exactly in a position of particular thoughtfulness or authority, and (3) there is only so much that can be said about adjectives).

But I have noticed something recently. I haven’t been writing much over the last fortnight, due to some very bad sleep and some unrelated stress (not knitting for the immediate foreseeable; if you don’t knit or know knitters, you are unlikely to believe how much freakin’ yarn I have to find a place to store), and it feels bad in a rather distinctive way.

When I don’t do other things I ‘should’ do, I feel bad for not doing them, but I feel good about getting to do something else. (Cf.: housework Fallout.)

When I don’t write, I feel bad for not doing it.

So I’m probably doing something right. With this penscratch-keyboard thing. Probably. (And I’ve managed to get back into the words-on-paper habit, so there’s that.)

Ravelling

I went to knitting last night, and I cast on a new project, and I knit–slowly and carefully–until my elbow politely went ping and I decided I should stop.

It did that after a hundred stitches.

For the non-knitters among you: this is not a lot. I ended up producing a swatch of fabric about as long and slightly wider than my index finger.

This is after a month of treatment and a lot of not-knitting. So I think knitting needs to get put away again. At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get back to it in two months, six months, or ever.

The “not ever” option makes me a little sad, but since there’s not much I can do beyond waiting and seeing if treatment and exercise make it better, oh well.

(The number of UFOs I have hanging around will irk me a bit, though.)

On a lighter note, I got the executed contract back for my story “The Gannet Girl”, so that has a home! Expecting it to be out 2016-ish.

Into April.

More and more, I feel like I need to make decisions not on what I want to do, but on what I want to do most, and how much time I have.

Part of it’s the new job making me feel that way. I don’t think it’ll be bad; the worst thing about it is that it’s in a location I’d prefer not to work, and I can cope with that. I’m just feeling very tiredly adult about leaving a job that I was actively happy to work at for a pragmatically-better job where I might not be as happy.

(Plus I’m leaving my current position to take the new job, and I can’t actually recall the last time I left a work contract before it was due to end. I’ve refused a renewal in one case, but that’s it.)

Part of it’s that while my wrist and elbow are getting better, they’re still not all the way better; I was knitting a bit today, and I had to stop. I’ve got several projects I want to get done, and I’m at the point where I need to figure out what few I’m going to get down in 2015, and whether or not I need to frog some.

(Frogging is unwinding a piece of knitting. It’s called frogging because you “rip it” back–ribbit, get it? Similarly, unknitting more slowly is called tinking, because “tink” is “knit” backwards.)

((Thus is knitting vocabulary developed.))

Aside from that, I’m reading Beasts of Tabat and playing Below, both of which have come out this month and both of which I am really excited about. (I may have also spent the weekend watching Daredevil, which has put a crimp in my writing time.) I’ve been able to pick up a bit of knitting again, although I think I’ve over-extended myself.

If not silence, then rarer posts

On top of being horribly sick on Wednesday (and recovering for two days), apparently I’ve gotten an RSI in my elbow. This is putting a serious crimp in both my typing and my knitting. (And it’s my right elbow, so I can’t even take this as an opportunity to learn crochet, since while I am up for many things learning a new crafting skill with my off hand just does not seem like a productive use of time. I do want to learn crochet, though.)

It’s fairly straightforward to treat, involving an elastic joint support and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. I’m going to speak to work and see how they feel about my working at home more often, since my setup here is better for me. (I’ll also need to speak to them about getting an ergonomic assessment done on my workspace, but since I’m technically a temp I am not sure if it should come directly from me or from the temp agency. I’ll figure it out.)

Ergonomic assessments are things for which a medical professional hands you a prescription. I was previously unaware of this, but I find it rather neat. I always think of prescriptions as being for things, not for services.

But overall I am doing fairly well, and it’s been a good weekend, and I am having fun playing with the Last Court now that it’s out. I didn’t expect to–I have generally gotten the impression that Dragon Age is a fairly generic fantasy setting–but Failbetter Games has done a stellar job of making it interesting to play as the lord of a small fiefdom in such a setting and not boiling it down to All Those Mechanics I Have Seen Before.

Well, drat.

I slipped and not-fell down the stairs today (feet out from under me, sat down hard, slipped several steps, bruising, nothing worse), and while grabbing for the railing I managed to rip my left thumbnail loose from its bed along one side.

A bandage is taking care of it; it sprang back without creasing, so I figure the best thing to do is keep it in place and let the loose bit slowly grow out. And it’s not interfering with my typing.

But it has made it impossible to knit.

My right needle keeps catching on the bandage and punching through it, which gets adhesive on the needle and pulls the bandage loose. The bandage itself is slowly pulling free and collecting loose fibers from the fabric, too. It’s not so bad when I’m trying to finish my cotton T-shirt, but the silk-merino shawl I’m hoping to make myself is off the table for at least a few weeks.

I’m actually making it downtown tomorrow; I’m going to try picking up one of those rubber thimbles that you can get to help you turn pages. That should at least protect the bandage from the needles, and make it possible to get at least cotton knitting done.

Arriving in a screech of dust.

Good god, that was a long break.

Spring has come, and then viciously run off again, and now come back grinning like a dog that wants you to understand they are really not a bad dog, they just saw this awesome squirrel and kinda had to leave you standing there with a snapped leash in your hand, yelling about how there’d been sun and things were melting and what the hell is this thirty-five degree drop from one day to the next!

(I think that’s a sixty-three degree drop, for people who use Farenheit.)

I’ve managed to do some serious cleaning out stuff that’s slowly accumulated and that I’m just not going to use anymore or that anyone’s not going to use anymore, so that’s nice. There’s a charity that schedules pick-ups of donations of clothes and household items, so having a deadline to work towards helped. All told, I’ve gotten five garbage bags[1] and a box of stuff out of the house, so I feel way better.

I’ve also managed to sort a lot of my knitting. I got rid of a couple of old finished pieces, and frogged a couple more. I put all my in-progress projects in one place, and all my yarn that I’ve decided on a specific use for in another (neatly bagged together with the pattern in question). It makes it feel a lot more manageable (and has drastically reduced my interest in buying more yarn for the foreseeable, so that’s nice).

It’s not exactly interesting progress, but I suppose it’s progress. And it’s nice to occasionally sit back and think about how much more air there is in the house, now that there’s more space for it.

[1] Garbage bags are what they ask you put old clothes in.

Cold week.

So, this week has been job-hunting, bad weather, and a touch of being under the weather. Everything seems to be improving, which is nice. (The temperature has actually slowly been creeping up all day, even after sundown. Unfortunately, it’s cold enough that the freezing rain is still coming. It’s supposed to be above freezing tomorrow, so I’m thinking “stay inside until the streets melt clear.”)

We picked up a cat tower, which has been providing hours of viewing entertainment. There are regular squirmishes over who has the right to sleep in the bed at the top, and friendly head-chewings, and one abortive attempt to climb up the outside. (That resulted in Angus sort of dangling off the outside of the cat-tower, looking thoughtful and completely failing to climb either up or down. He’d sort of wobble one paw gently and thoughtfully at the surface he was braced on and then not move.)

I’ve been knitting some, too–I’m working slowly on a cardigan for myself. I’ve done one before, but this one’s a lot more detailed, and I’m hoping the fit will be better. Possibly it will be done by London. On a more immediate note, am working on a hat for myself from Doomsday Knits; that will probably be done this month.