Author Archives: tmycann

Doing All The Things

"It isn't about setbacks, it's about how you deal with them." -Zen to ZanyI just finished my big task of the week: Editing Gayla’s sixth book in her Discord Jones series, A Little Street Magic. I’m super-excited for her to release it–the overall story arc keeps getting stronger and more intriguing. I just don’t think I’ll be finishing what I started for NaNoWriMo with the number of days I’ve fallen behind. At this point I’d need to be able to write more than 3,000 words per day to finish… which isn’t impossibly outside the realm of possibility.

Except, life.

Thanksgiving, I will be cooking and hosting (and we need to spend time cleaning, too). The day after, we have another family event to attend. I’ve finally gotten my replacement computer, and need to spend time getting it all set up. KouKi went in for her spay Friday, and because she’s healing spectacularly quickly, I need to spend a lot of time walking her to make sure she’s not yet jumping, playing, or running up and down stairs. Felix is back in his sick tank, so I’m trying a new medicine that requires full water changes every night.

Hubs is doing his best to give me a good attitude adjustment, but it’s back to my old bugaboo about not finishing what I say I will when I say I will. Zen to Zany had a good image to align with what I’m feeling (stuck in the mud) and an even better way to realign my thinking. So I’m going to keep going and be where I am when the month comes to a close. And keep up with the good habit of daily doses of fiction words–even if they only come in dribbles of a few hundred at a time. Eventually, I will finish all three of my current WIPs, even if each of them is taking much longer than I had hoped for or anticipated.

Another mental adjustment I’m happy to make: Take away the name Isis from terrorists. A mental adjustment I’d urge helicopter parents to make: stop with trying to insulate kids from the bad things in life. A recent article by people who know about human psychology pointed out that things like trigger warnings and claims of micro-aggressions are making it more difficult for people to recover from mental health problems, because the best road to recovery is a process of desensitization. Not that we shouldn’t be empathetic and kind with our fellow humans, and learn from our mistakes when we legitimately make them–let’s just not encourage more people to be mired in mental illnesses that can be treated in safe and humane ways.

As for my other goals… We started a walking challenge at work this week, so I know I’ve taken 27,815 steps, which beat the week’s goal, but I haven’t taken the time to calculate miles exactly. (I suspect it’s around 12 for the week, so that finally beat my goal.) I haven’t gotten to spend much time with hubs because of all the other things I’ve had on my plate, so the Thanksgiving holiday will be a good reminder to enjoy his company more, too.

Otherwise, check in with the other ROW80ers to see how they’re progressing, and I’ll be back next week with my next installment of my own forward momentum.

Where Does It Hurt?

"Later that night, I held an atlas in my lap, ran my fingers across the whole world, and whispered, 'where does it hurt?' It answered, everywhere, everywhere, everywhere." -Warsan ShireIt’s hard to feel good about the world we live in at the moment, given the heinous attacks in Beirut, Iraq, Paris, and Syria on #worldkindnessday, of all days. So I’m commemorating the loss of over 100,000 individuals on that day (adding in those killed in the Japanese earthquake) by highlighting a poet new to me, Warsan Shire. Her words are a powerful reminder that nobody has a monopoly on suffering; death and pain come to us all. In fact, it’s how we face this reality that defines us.

I read this week about a woman who taught herself to type to be able to save her endangered language, Wukchumni. I read Reese Witherspoon’s response to Hollywood’s ongoing choice to avoid making movies with female protagonists. And I looked at a powerful set of PowerPoint slides (not my favorite medium, so you know they’re a cut above already!) summarizing global demographics and how we live in the western world in simple, clear language.

All of these things tell me the most important thing is to be grateful for the many gifts in my life. I have a family that loves me, a comfortable sanctum sanctorum, an interesting day job where the focus is on building software that makes a difference, and a passion for words that drives my ongoing creativity.

Yet this week was also the week that marked “Equal Pay Day,” the date from which women in the UK (and US) work for free for the rest of the year to account for the gender pay gap. Given that global demographics show women outnumber men… It’s enough to return a (female) body to depression and anger. Except that I won’t turn to anybody and ask Witherspoon’s dreaded question, “what do we do now?” I will ask it of myself and demand that I keep pushing the boulder uphill.

On that note, we managed three walks this week, for 4.9 miles. Not to goal, but at least improving from the weeks before. Of course, this week we also had other schedule interruptions–friends visited for one night, and we got to see the great Steve Hackett in concert at the Lincoln Theatre another night. (Where I couldn’t help but continue to glance up and to the right to see the balcony where one of our American presidents was assassinated.) I also upheld my commenting duties, and doubled the word count goal I set for ROW80… But that means I’m now 10,000 words behind the pace for NaNoWriMo.

I had planned to work on catching up this weekend, but two days of traveling for the day job, and other intense deadlines there made sleeping and recharging the higher priority. We’ll see whether I can pick up the pace this week, otherwise I’ll be spending my Thanksgiving weekend being completely antisocial working on a novel that is quite different from what I’ve written in the past. It’s set in the near future and starts with a close encounter of the second kind:

The airport went dark again. This time the emergency generators didn’t kick in, and Tara could see the officious woman struggling with her priorities.

“Look. I don’t mean any harm. I didn’t understand we couldn’t move. I’ll just go back to my seat and be quiet and you can go figure out what’s wrong.”

There was a low rumble overhead, as if a bomber were about to strike, vibrating the safety glass. Tara backed away to her former seat, deciding the official, who turned and sprinted the other direction down the hall.

The noise, uncertain lighting, and the silence among all the other passengers started the first trickle of fear down Tara’s back.

The terminal shuddered more and the overhead noise intensified. Now there were light effects to go with the noise. But they weren’t exactly lightning flashes like Tara had seen elsewhere. They were more diffuse, and different colors.

And then the sounds stopped. So did the light. The clouds cleared out to reveal a sun-shiny blue sky. But still the power didn’t come back on in the terminal.

I thought this story would be more sci-fi-ish, but it’s quite human-centric at this point… and not the kind of magic I typically write about. We’ll see where it goes. Until then, check out how my ROW80 compadres are coming along with their goals, and I’ll be back next week to report on mine again.

Fear Less

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." -Marie CurieSince yesterday would have been Marie Curie’s 148th birthday (if only radiation had the effect of extending life…) and I’m science-ing scifi with my newest story, this quote spoke to me. Not quite with the eerie voice of atoms colliding, but more like the world-building thoughts that come from twisting what we know in our world in order to introduce a first-contact situation. In fact, there were some insights in a recent io9 article outlining world-building failures that helped spark my imagination. Not enough to drive speedy typing that might help me catch up with my slow start to this year’s NaNo, but enough to add weight, shape, and dimension to the story that is building in my mind. This is the fun part of writing: half an hour here or there, then a pause to consider what has just happened and brainstorm about what it might mean, and another half an hour at writing. Lather, rinse, and repeat.


It’s especially apropos considering I discovered today that my protagonist has severe PTSD issues, and the fears she has to overcome have made a sharp turn in the narrative I expected when I started. So I’m working to understand more about PTSD, emotional trauma, and its treatments. I discovered an amazing, new-to-me writer’s resource that described some of the sequelae for trauma, which led me to learn that Ketamine can induce vivid hallucinations in some patients. It was the first shivery moment of recognition that I’m on the right track with this story.

As for my other goals? Blogging and commenting? Check. Stay-at-home date night? Not so much… though we ended up spending some quality time together battling the madness at Costco this week because our second car failed inspection… for badly gouged tires. I guess shopping together is one of the great American pass-times, given the hordes we confronted, and it was nice to be together… It’s just… all those people. I cracked up this week when I saw a Diply post speculating about being an introvert, and later, more to the point, that I might be a crazy Husky person, because I saw a good many parallels between the two articles… and me. smile

As for walking, we’ve been lazy, mainly because we were out of time for it because of the errands we were legally obligated to complete (see above). We managed two that I recorded for a measly 1.9 miles, though we did short quarter-milers a few times that I didn’t record.

I also re-established Felix’s home. Hubs decided we shouldn’t risk any of the old aquarium elements, so took advantage of a sale at one of the local pet stores to restock, but this time I also decided to boil anything I put in the sanitized tank. So far our Betta boy seems to be settling in well, and he certainly seems to enjoy all the new habitat options he can hide behind or wiggle his way through.

So I need to head back to my WIP… I’m glad I’ve so far at least managed to double the ROW80 goal I set for fiction word production. I’m a goofy nerd for being motivated by an online bar graph and the badges over at NaNo, and am excited that even though I’m behind, I seem to be gaining some momentum. In the meantime, check out how my ROW80 cohorts are doing.

The Madness Begins

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." -Marilyn MonroeNaNoWriMo began today. Despite not having finished anything I had planned to, I still managed to start writing my latest novel. The others will just have to wait. This story has been bugging me for the past year and a half, and I’ve discovered details in the past month that make me need to explore this alt-present sci-fi world pronto. Even so, I’ve fallen so out of the habit of drafting new fiction, it’s been a slow start for me. I’m grateful for the potential of some combination of morphic field transference and inner compulsiveness/competitiveness that may help me pick up my pace over the next few weeks.

I’ve finished 50K words in November twice before, so I know it’s possible. Given hubs’ support and no other plans for the month, I should be able to repeat and regain my fiction-writing mojo.

We’ll see.

We certainly haven’t regained our walking mojo: We had another three-walk week, totaling just 3.5 miles. Part of that was certainly because the long days at the office while we had our subcontractors and SMEs in town left me too tired to do anything once I got home. Paraphrasing how one colleague described the circumstance, “we used all our words while we were at work, and didn’t have any left over for our families.”

On the other hand, it meant a few bonus nights of cuddling up with hubs and watching our shows. The newest one is The Worricker Trilogy. Hubs and I have spent the past couple days shaking our heads at the fact that a spy thriller had no bullets flying and no ridiculous car chase scenes, and yet was thoroughly gripping. The characterization in the films was a master class by writer David Hare and managed the amazing feat of turning protagonist and antagonist into largely meaningless terms–all the characters were complex and driven by entirely reasonable aims, each of which set everyone against everyone. Of course the audience roots for the titular character, Johnny Worricker, and (spoiler!) he achieves the end he pursued across the 3-film story arc, but the final scene shows the experience to have been a Pyrrhic victory. The layers of development and the richness of every character included played with all the complexity of the real world. It left us wanting to re-watch the whole set to pick apart how Hare managed this, and marvel once more at the subtlety every actor (and there were more than half a dozen A-listers involved, including Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Winona Ryder, Christopher Walken, and Helena Bonham Carter, and another bunch of good actors recognizable from a host of niche TV shows and movies). In particular, I had never imagined a mature Winona Ryder able to achieve what she did in the second of the three films. It was thoroughly satisfying to see women and men shown with both sympathetic and less-than-admirable traits in the context of the ongoing War on Terror. I would highly recommend it for anyone who likes mystery, political intrigue, and complex characterizations.

The other good news of the week was that Felix seems to have pulled out of his funk. He’s in medicated water and has switched to food that is in a ziplock baggy (i.e. not stale from too much oxygen and who-knows-what exposure), and back to enthusiastic eating, as well as interactive finny dancing when we wiggle our fingers at him. The bad news: I’m going to have to make time this week to boil all the stuff from his other tank and resettle him there so he has more space and his toys again. Ohwell. At least he seems no worse for the wear.

Until the end of November, then, I’ll be focused on generating a whole new story. And being inspired by 60 quotes from Gautama Buddha hubs forwarded this week. I’ll continue to check in to report on progress, but may or may not be fully coherent by the end of the month.


In the meantime, enjoy the updates from my ROW80 cohorts.


"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month." -Fyodor DostoevskyIt was silly to think just one weekend of extra sleep would see us fully recovered… especially since it seems we’ve both been fighting some kind of ick that has different kinds of cold symptoms associated with it.

Apparently the yuck has impacted our Betta, Felix, as well: He’s been lethargic and not eating well for the past week. Today, he has a white, stringy poop hanging from his belly. I’ve been spending my evening researching what can be done, and discovered a few more sites dedicated to Betta health. Nothing from the Bubbles & Bettas site disease listing matches his symptoms, though it’s alarming to read the range of diseases Bettas are subject to. I had no idea they could carry Tuberculosis. The Betta Talk site disease listing is similar but talks about depression in Bettas as well. The closest diagnosis I can come up with is maybe parasites based on discussion forum responses at MyAquariumClub and FishForums. Given I’ve only ever fed him Betta pellets, and we’ve had him coming up on a year… I can’t figure out what might have introduced that problem. Aside from the fact that he was the only being in the house for the 5 days we were gone and doesn’t seem to have been pleased with his alone time, which could have impacted his immune system. Even though the Back to the Roots Aquaponic tank he’s in is advertised to be self-cleaning, I half suspect that the sludgy water (which prompted last week’s cleaning efforts) may be another contributing factor. So I’m debating how often I should plan on changing the water–despite the company’s insistence about not doing so.

If anyone has any relevant Betta experience and has any answers… I would appreciate your feedback. Right now I’m considering Octozin, Clout, or Betta Revive as my healthcare options for the fish… though I think Felix will have to live in a jar outside the tank while he gets treated, since I don’t want those medications getting into the healthy basil plants that are thriving on top of his tank. I’ve sent a message to the Back to the Roots community support folks to see whether they have any thoughts on this circumstance, but since this is my first fish-owning experience, and there aren’t any fish-oriented vets, I’m feeling far out of my depth.

With all of these worries, we’re still on the slow path to walking. I have three recorded from the past week, totaling a mere 3.7 miles. I miss our long walks, but was feeling pretty breathless and worn out from just the 1.6-mile route because of my ongoing battle with the cold, so don’t want to further stress my own immune system by overdoing things.

To further destress, we’re catching up on both Agents of Shield and “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” as part of our ongoing commitment to spending time together at home. Each series is providing some interesting insights into my ongoing issues with antagonists, so I’ve been mulling over conflicting goals for a few days as I consider my own stories.

I have managed to keep up with my commenting, as well as sent Kait my blog post for the ROW80 community blog. I guess it will post the week before Christmas. Until then, you can keep guessing about the gif I included that Kait said “just makes me happy.”


All the ick factor in the house has left me wiped out of an evening, so my very minor bits of progress on Red Slaves likely won’t see me to the end of that story before NaNo kicks off. On the other hand, Gayla has started sending me chapters to edit for her next release, and I’ve granted her priority in my queue. Apparently her story spooked me enough that at 3:33 this morning I awoke in a muck sweat trying to scream “help me” when a scene she may or may not have written about psychic transference of a bloody crime played out against my mind’s eye. Or maybe it was a fever dream incorporating Cordi and her crew. Either way, another not-restful night didn’t help my sinuses, so hubs was kind enough to give me another acupuncture treatment tonight.

I’m feeling generally slow and behind these days, and am anticipating another crazy week at work while we have subcontractors in for two days in  preparation for quarterly progress report site visits in early November, so I’m not sure how much progress I’ll be making on my writing goals, though they are still hanging out there for me to consider. I’ll be reporting in again next week to see how I do; in the meantime, check out how the other ROW80ers are doing on their goals.

Good Laugh and Long Sleep

"A good laugh and a long sleep are two of the best cures for anything." -Irish ProverbObviously the Irish aren’t on a first-name basis with acupuncture, but they are onto something with how restorative sharing a peaceful, sleep-ful weekend at home is.


It was a long week at work, notwithstanding the fact that I had had Monday off, mostly because it’s taking both of us a lot longer to recover from the Epic Road Trip than either of us expected. So while we had had tentative plans to spend time with family and friends, we were both happy when they got rearranged–even if I am still looking forward to seeing The Martian… next weekend.

We’ve been easing into our return to long walks with the dogs while the weather has crashed head-first into the first cold snap of the season, so we took a few mini-walks, and three of over a mile. Yesterday we finally got over two miles. And are resting our weary selves today. So nowhere near 10 miles this week, but at least we’ve re-started that exercise regimen.

We also enjoyed our stay-at-home nights to catch another episode of Agents of Shield and ELO in concert at Hyde Park. Yes, I might be stuck in the 80s with my musical taste, but I defy anyone not to rock out to “Don’t Bring Me Down.” In fact, that might be my personal anthem for the next few months. Because hubs and I agreed to our own creativity pact: While I have signed up for NaNoWriMo again to see if I can’t finish a story that’s been bugging me more and more in recent days, he will be working on SongoWriMo… his own personal challenge to get music recorded. (Strangely, I read an article this week that claims men are intimidated by women who are smarter or more ambitious than they are. I’m feeling spectacularly lucky hubs is as smart/ambitious as I am, and has always only been supportive of my goals.)

I’ve even continued some productive editing on book 3. I’m still moving much more slowly on this than I hoped, so I’ll need to step it up to get into the NaNo groove, and I’m not sure whether I’ll finish it before I start the next novel, but committing to butt in seat/hands on keyboard for several nights a week is bearing some fruit. I’m even keeping up with my commenting duties… though I just realized I’m now behind on my guest post for ROW80. (Sorry, Kait, I’ll work on that … tomorrow!)

I’m not even really mad that I didn’t write or edit during the many hours freed up by staying home this weekend. I took care of some of those time-consuming tasks that have been hanging over my head for a while: Cleaning Felix’s fish tank; changing our water filters; re-arranging the stones in the yard so they more properly cover the run-off drain; and cooking ahead for the week. If both hubs and I are to give free rein to our creative juices in a few weeks, these things need to be taken care of now. We’ll see whether I get around to writing up book reviews to meet my goals before the NaNo madness hits, otherwise that goal may go out the window. I have a story that is exciting to me, rather than two that have been hanging over my head for a few years waiting for their turn in a long line of reasons to delay writing. I’m hoping the NaNo crazy reignites my story speed so I can finish all the stories I’ve started before the end of the year.

We’ll see.

In publishing news this week, apparently Amazon is in the process of suing individuals on Fiverr who post fake reviews on their site. I hope Amazon will be disabling all those sock-puppet accounts, too, so real reviews once again become more prominent. There was also an interesting article listing a number of traditionally published authors who are taking their writing careers into their own hands and going indie. I certainly appreciate having control over the team that supports me in producing books for public consumption, so I’m half wondering what took all these other authors so long to join the fun.


Meantime, I have two weeks to complete my NaNo ramp-up process and general preparation. Until next week, check out how the other ROW80ers are doing on their progress.

The Magic of Home

"The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back."I just got home from a 2,200-mile road trip. We drove to Milwaukee and back in five days, and got to spend several overstuffed meals with some great friends and family. As I anticipated last week, this meant next to no progress on any creative work, and just barely enough progress on day job work to stay ahead of my monthly reporting cycle duties. I did make certain to take care of my sponsor commentary duties before I left, too.

So there will be no walking distance tallies. (I missed my furbabies immensely.) And no commentary about healthy living. (We aimed in the general direction of decent nutrition, but the heavy richness of Italian meals three nights running… I’m still digesting.) Or how glad I am we had the foresight to schedule chiropractic appointments for tomorrow afternoon.

The best part of the experience: How much time I had to reconnect with hubs and talk about life, the universe, and everything. Especially since the impetus for the trip was attending a wedding, there was much philosophizing about the nature of marriage. I have to say, given how much time we spent enclosed in a small, quickly moving vehicle, it’s a testament to the strength of what we’ve built in the past 18 years that both of us are looking for additional excuses to spend more time together.


Holiday is over this week, though. So next week will return to my more regular style of blogging, as well as more regular progress report. In the meantime, check out how the other ROW80ers are doing on their progress.

Time is Precious

Time is precious, waste it wisely.It’s the beginning of another edition of Round of Words in 80 days. This time, I’m actually one of the sponsors. It’s not a lot to ask–just an inspirational post for the group blog, and weekly support for the other members–but considering I’ve participated in the group since July of 2012… I’m overdue for paying back the support the community has given me over the years. So it’s not really a waste of time, even though it will require some care in allocating how I spend those weekly hours I have free. Considering today is World Animal Day, it’s only appropriate that I share the sweet image the Wolf Conservation Center posted earlier this week to hammer home how important it is to recognize and prioritize in alignment with your goals.

Which is ultimately the point of ROW80 anyway: What do you want to achieve and how will you hold yourself accountable for hitting the milestones you’re setting?

Luckily for me, hubs is making sure I’m not wasting any more time on the ear ache/flu that debilitated me last week. His ability to treat the common and uncommon ailments he’s run across in his career as an acupuncturist still blows my mind–and I’ve been benefiting from his skills for 7 years now. He shares some of the readings he does about alternative treatments, like the one he found about black seed this week, and it’s hard not to feel like Americans are dupes in the high-money-stakes game that is our western medical health care system. Certainly, our medical costs have gone way down and our health has improved with him at the reins.

He also likes to poke my brain into hyper-activity with articles like the one he forwarded this week about life being a braid in space and time.

I suppose it’s his way of poking my sleeping writing bear.


With that in mind… My goals for this round:

  1. Write at least 400 words of fiction at least 5 days a week.
  2. Comment on at least 5 ROW80 participant blogs weekly.
  3. Blog at least weekly.
  4. Post at least three new book reviews.
  5. Continue the weekly stay-at-home date night habit.
  6. Walk at least 1.5 miles at least 6 times a week.

Two stretch goals:

  1. Finish Red Slaves #3.
  2. Participate in NaNoWriMo… to win.

If I at least meet my first goal, I should be able to meet my first stretch goal, since this round ends right before Christmas, and meeting that first goal would net me 24,000 new words. I’m planning on looking up my old buddies from #wordmongering and #1k1h to push me back into the writing groove. I’ve allowed too many things to interfere with what I want to do and need to re-orient my inner compass. Start wasting my time more productively. If I can build up a minimal writing habit in October, I could maybe even manage the crazy writing sprint requirements of November to complete the NaNo challenge.


I’m not sure I’ll start on that great of a foot with these goals this week, since we’ve decided to road-trip our way back to Wisconsin for a family wedding… But I’m really looking forward to spending time with hubs in a more concentrated way. We can debate the nature of reality and how we’ve braided spacetime together so nicely. Until then, I’ll refer you to my fellow ROW80 participants to see what they’ve set for goals and cheer everyone on.

To The Pain

"We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain." -Alan WattsThis week 28 years ago was the unheralded opening of one of my all-time favorite movies, “The Princess Bride.” My friends and I wore out a VHS tape with that movie over the summers of 1988 and 1989 and gems of dialogue from it still spring to mind regularly from those many re-watchings. Unfortunately, the quote I’m living this week is “to the pain…” Not quite in the context of this scene, though that’s worth watching again and again too, but I woke up Thursday with an ear ache that has periodically gotten bad enough to make my eyes water. Certainly, sleep, already a precious commodity, has almost entirely disappeared from my life as alternately either laying down or standing up changes the auricular pressure enough to make my jaw reflect the pain in my inner ear. And, of course, the long-delayed work on the water main had to start Friday morning right outside our bedroom window at SEVEN FREAKING THIRTY AM, when I had just managed to drift into somnombulance…

At least hubs has the tools at home to treat my problem so I don’t have to worry about compounding my issues with my notoriously bad reactions to western pain and other medications.

On the other hand, I got to help my niece celebrate her 12th birthday this week and finally got to treat a former colleague and his wife to a fancy dinner in thanks for his helpfulness in recent months. So there may be something to Alan Watts’ quote about being sensitized to both ends of the spectrum.

I’m just sick of not having enough energy or focus to be able to proceed with my edits and writing. Especially since I saw this week that Russia is re-opening the murder of Tsar Nicholas and his wife by exhuming their bones. I want to get back to Anne and Ivan and their adventures. But I feel like right now my writing may be more along the lines of what these 20 PhD students wrote to summarize their thesis papers… I don’t want anyone to think “I can’t believe she thought this was good enough to publish.”

So for tonight, in spite of the heavy cloud cover in the DC area, I’m watching the super-moon lunar eclipse via the wonder of the Internet… with a little help from Gayla’s hubs’ live stream. I’ll grant myself this week off and cross my fingers that all the stuff hubs is doing to treat my symptoms makes me heal enough to think goals and writing next week.

Bridge of Love

"Love is the bridge between you and everything." -RumiAfter so many weeks of crazy schedule, this was my week to settle into my new normal. To revel in my connections with hubs and my furbabies. Somehow it also became a time shift, so we’ve been able, inexplicably, to get to bed by midnight, and not be horribly discombobulated by the fact that KouKi has decided the new normal is to wake us up with early-morning cuddles. Her choice makes it nearly impossible not to look at the world through love-colored glasses these days: She is insanely cute and so very happy to ensconce herself between us to both absorb and radiate a contented essence of joy. It’s unfathomable that she will already be one year old this week. Even more boggling is that Natasha turned five this past week. Each of them gets a birthday celebration, each of which makes me wonder how it is time flies so quickly.

Interestingly, today I ran across two articles about relationships that look at long-term successful relationships without that love filter, and still come back to it. The first spoke of ways of arguing that help solve the issue while respecting each individual. The second revisited the topic of “trophy wife” from the perspective of appreciating what a strong, independent woman brings to the table as an equal teammate. Earlier this week, I read an article that spoke of the legendary status of certain programmers for their capacity to be stand-alone/lone wolf high achievers. All three taken together point to Rumi’s summation of truth–and KouKi’s avatar capacity for helping us live it daily.

Of course, hubs sent the cautionary note article this week: 20 cognitive biases that screw up decisionmaking. Do you suppose I’m falling into the confirmation or salience bias by seeing an underlying depth of emotion…?


Either way, the nature of emotional connections makes for excellent story fodder, and I continue to plod forward with incorporating beta reader feedback into book 3. My word count increases and decreases each time I do this, but apparently I’m net plus ~200 after this week’s effort. Not that my effort was as sustained or consistent as I would have liked. Something about the new schedule hasn’t let me be quite as awake or effective in the evenings as I used to be–likely minor sleep deprivation signals.


We slowly built up our walking habit, too. We walked 6 of 7 days for a total of 10.4 miles… and I felt it that I had been sedentary in prior weeks. Crazy how quickly your muscles fall out of shape. On the other hand, being tired in the evenings also made it easy to decide to watch the final episode of Sherlock Friday night for our stay-at-home date. “His Last Vow” still has us trying to wrap our minds around the various plot twists, so I think we’ve decided the best response is to binge-watch ALL the episodes at once.


It now being close to the end of this latest round of ROW80, I have to face the fact that I didn’t meet my writing goals: I didn’t finish Fire to Dragon, nor did I post 3 more book reviews. For the most part everything else was on track, though–date nights, walking, and blogging are solidly part of my life. My hope is that now that my work life is settling into a new rhythm and I don’t have quite so much schedule disruption in the offing, I will be able to rejoin some of my favorite writing sprint groups and gear up for participation in NaNoWriMo this November. So while the other ROW80ers will be taking a week off between rounds, I’ll be back next Sunday getting ready to enumerate my goals once more and thinking about what works for me and what doesn’t.

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