Day 13: Calculating a Formula for Writing Productivity

So we’re one month into the 2011 legislative session, and we’re only at Day 13.  I’m a little scared of what that may portend. 

On the writing front, I’ve managed 16.4K words on Dragon Queller, 11.5K of those since session began.  Not quite at the “novella” marker but well into “novelette.” From past experience with my novel efforts, I tend to hit my “oh-my-god-this-is-too-long-must-stop-now” wall somewhere into the novella range. My short story writer’s instinct kicking in or something. But since this is my first actual, bona fide sequel, I’m thinking maybe I won’t be smacking into that particular obstacle. I hope.

Also, as Matthew observed, that’s a better month’s word count than a lot of my non-session writing months. Been suffering from more insomnia, too.  There’s a formula somewhere in there. If I can figure out the proper ratios of time crunch pressure, generalized stress, and sleep deprivation to maximize writing productivity, I’ll have the ultimate Eugie-writing-machine.

Yeah, I’ll let everyone know as soon as I figure that out…

Ailing Human Suit Leads to Rooting My Droid and Top 5 Essential Rooted Apps List

Hope everyone who observes it had a fabu Thanksgiving holiday!

Spent most of mine lounging on the couch, dealing with human suit issues. I seem to have acquired a minor cold, which is throwing off my temperature regulation system. Irregular fever spikes are an early symptom of my immune system about to go totally wonky, so I took it really easy, even through I didn’t feel that bad. As such, I got little to no writing done. But I did take the plunge and root my Droid.

I’ve been wanting to root it for a while now, primarily so I can overclock the CPU. But I’ve been too lazy to go through all the hoop jumping, and I’ve also been concerned about the whole voiding of the warranty thing (with the related worry that I’d brick my Droid in my root attempt). But my warranty is nearly up, and a new, free, extremely safe, one-button rooting app recently came out: z4root.

Z4root provides the option of temporarily or permanently rooting your Android phone. So I could try it out first and make sure everything worked okay before doing it for keeps. And it also has an easy, one-button unroot option, so “permanent” isn’t a set-in-stone commitment either. Installed z4root, rebooted my Droid, ran z4root, and two minutes later, I was rooted. And suddenly a whole wealth of new apps with shiny options opened up to me. Time for another list!

Herein my Top 5 Essential Rooted Apps:

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It’s Time to Stop Writing for the Day When the Pain Becomes Blinding

Managed 1.5K words on the new novel. Meant to try to wrap up the “Kiyohime” short story, but I wanted to put down a couple thoughts on Dragon Queller. “A couple thoughts” turned into “this scene” which turned into “this scene plus this bridge” which turned into “this chapter.”

Now head hurts a lot. Pain radiating down my neck and spreading to my shoulder. Looking at the monitor makes my eyes go squinty, and my stomach’s all queasy from the owing. Stupid of me, really, but I’d always figured that “suffering for one’s art” was figurative.

I think it’s time to call to call it done for the day. And take a handful of pills.

Writing Progress and State of the Human Suit. My Sinuses Hate Me.

The good news is that my joints don’t ache, so I’m likely not having a flare-up. The bad news is that everything sinus-related hurts or is otherwise nonfunctional: head, eyes, face, nose. But the upshot is that I’m not contagious (probably), and with the application of a veritable pharmacopoeia of meds, I can still function. Sort of.

Managed around 700 words on the “Kiyohime” short story. Also decided to give in and began writing the sequel to Demon Queller. It feels like the height of presumption (and folly) to start work on book 2 when book 1 isn’t even at the “ready to market” stage, but it also feels wrong to smother the craving to put words on the page. Ergo, 2K words on Dragon Queller.

My muse, she is a skanky crack whore. I know it. She knows it. We’re way beyond rehab.

Breaking Radio Silence: Refinancing and Sinner reprint sale(s)

I know it’s been a while since I posted. Partly I was trying to avoid exacerbating my wing stubs so as to give them a chance to heal—which seems to have worked; let’s hear it for not being in perpetual pain—and partly it’s been insane-busy these last couple weeks.

The Georgia code page proofs are starting to come in at work, which curtails big chunks of my footloose and fancy freetime. Was utterly mowed down by the granddaddy of lingering sinus headaches. Days and days of “ow my head hurts, ow my arms hurt, ow ow OW.” This is also the busiest time of year for fosteronfilm. He’s making his final selections for the Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival, and he’s also still putting in hours as a census worker. And, for the evil icing on the cupcake-o-overwhelmed, we decided this was the time to refinance our mortgage. Did the math—historically low interest rates and all—and realized refinancing would go leaps and bounds towards offsetting this year’s financial hemorrhage.

So, while I was feeling pitiful and pained, and Matthew was stressing over his film festival spreadsheet and evaluating second cut (or third cut in a couple cases) film submissions, we were also filling out refinancing forms, reviewing and assembling piles of paperwork, making varied and sundry phone calls, and comparing and contrasting the bids we got. If I hadn’t already had a headache, the paperwork alone would’ve brought one on.

We ended up opting to do a short lock on our refinancing application, resulting in a much shorter time-frame between initial application to closing. We did it to lock in a lower interest rate when it looked like they were starting to creep back up, although as it turns out, they crept back down to the rate we locked in, so we didn’t really need to. However, assuming no eleventh-hour monkey wrenches, we close and finalize tomorrow. Rah.

But my head still hurts.

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Wingstubs and Insomnia Make Eugie an Unhappy Girl

Having a bad wingstub flare-up, so bad that it’s making it difficult to sleep. It got bad enough that I took a Tramadol last night, which in the past has always been more than sufficient both to blunt the pain and KO me straight to sleepy-time land. In the past. This time, it barely made a dent in the pain, didn’t cure my insomnia, but did make me too foggy-headed to do anything useful or distracting, like read or write, so I was left lying in bed, going “ow ow ouchie, gee, I wish I could fall asleep, ow ouch ow” for several hours.

Not. A. Good. Night.

I haven’t taken Tramadol in quite a while as I usually consider it the Big Guns and haven’t felt the need for it. Now I’m wondering if my pills have expired. Didn’t think to examine the bottle last night, but I’ll be checking the date after I get home today.

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Writing Stuff

Completed the rewrite of “Rampion,” (tentatively) retitled “Rose Window, Black Door, White Tower.” Doing one more editing pass before foisting it upon fosteronfilm to first-reader.

It’s currently a whooping 15.2K words, which strikes me as being overlong, but I thought the same thing while doing the rewrite—with an eye towards doing some trimming and all—and instead managed to increase the word count. Hrmph.

Uppy-Downy-and-Generally-Slammed: State of the Eugie

It’s been so uppy-downy-and-generally-slammed this last while that it feels like I haven’t had the time or energy for more than tweet-sized posts. Finally managed to clear some stuff off my plate (although my @#^!& plate still way overfloweth), so herein a catch-up of recent good, bad, and meh:

The good:
• Had an appointment with my brand new rheumatologist yesterday. I remain royally displeased with the State of Georgia for forcing me to switch health care providers, as my previous rheumatologist was the best doctor I have ever had. But so far, I have no complaints about the new one, who is someone the previous one recommended when I told him I was having to change insurers. She seems both nice and competent, which is a remarkably difficult combination to come upon in doctors for some reason.

However, I’d been stable for so long under my previous rheumatologist’s care that, as he put it, I’d “graduated” with him to only needing annual follow-ups. But this new one, because I’m a new patient with a slew of ailments, wants a follow-up in a month and then bimonthly visits after that. Sigh.

Also, since I haven’t had any lab work done in four months (before I was having labs done bimonthly to ensure that the drug I’m taking to keep my immune system from rising up and declaring war upon the rest of my human suit isn’t destroying my kidneys) and because I’m a new patient, she ordered a slew of bloodwork. TEN vials worth. Glad her phlebotomist was skilled, quick, and gentle, but still…owitch.

The bad:
• My car’s check engine light came on last Friday. It was overdue for various tune-ups and maintenance thingums, so this was the final indicator of “can’t put it off any longer.” New spark plugs, new timing belts, a new motor mount clip, a fuel induction thingy, and we’re down $1.5K. Because, of course, we weren’t hurting enough financially this year. Ouch. A lot.

The meh:
• The Atlanta Film Festival provided fosteronfilm with an all-access pass this year, great for not only seeing the films but also powwowing with the filmmakers—film festival networking and all. But, of course, I can’t go with him, not having either an all-access pass or the time to do so (see below re: late running legislative session), with the result that I haven’t and won’t be seeing very much of him this week. Came home for the first time in eight years to an utterly empty house yesterday. Far too quiet and utterly depressing.

   


Writing Stuff

• Finished my narration of “Honored Guest” by Ellen Kushner for PodCastle. Because the legislative session has run so late, my to-do list is scary-big, I’m behind on everything, and it was a last minute scramble to get this done in time. I would have liked to have done another editing pass on it, as I think my inflection and dynamic range in a few places could’ve used some fixing up, but I was already bumping up against the deadline.

It’s a lovely story. I hope I did it justice.

• Resumed work on the short story “Rampion” that I began in February. Obviously wasn’t able to finish it then. Added about 2K words, and it’s looking suspiciously like it may turn into a novelette.