I did no work the whole last week. Why? Well, let’s see:

I found out that my mother could potentially have another cancer. Oh, I don’t think I talked about her having the first cancer. Yeah, no, I didn’t. It was super stressful and scary. So before I could fully recover from the first shock now we have another one. Uh-huh. Not talking about this one either.

I’m going to actually start all the medical stuff that I’ve put off due to Covid now. That is scary in itself. I don’t want to go into hospitals but I have to. Scary.

I have to schedule/think about learning coding. More things I probably suck at that I have to excel in order to find some work. And, oh yeah,

Russia invaded Ukraine! An actual land war in 2022, with many countries involved in having potential nukes. No, I don’t think we’re all going to die of nuclear fallout any time soon. Yes, everyone’s trying to avoid World War III but you never know if things keep on escalating. No, it’s not healthy to get on reddit and other news sources and obsessively scroll for the latest developments, but yours truly has done it anyway. Only marginally curtailed myself from doing so today, which was the only reason that I did any semblance of work.

Is it a wonder that I got zero things done this past week? And I was doing so well in February too!


First Introverts Retreat Box!

I got my first Introverts Retreat Box today! I talked about getting a book subscription before, and well, the first one has arrived! It’s the Read option, one of their cheapest, where I only get a book, some snacks, and a bookmark. It arrived much sooner than I expected. With all the hoopla around slow mail and blockades and all that jazz I definitely expected it later. But hey, nice Valentine’s surprise, yeah?

(Oh, Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! We usually celebrate by going out and have a fancy dinner, but not these pandemic years. And we’re both really busy with work and stuff so, I guess it’ll have to wait another year before our regular programming.)

The book I received is Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden. It’s a satire about life of school teachers and the education system in general. Neat. I admit I’ve never read books like this before, and it’s good that I now have one! That’s the whole point of me trying out the subscriptions – broadening my horizons and reading things I’d never pick up because I wouldn’t know where to start. Along with the book I got some caramel corn, pistachios, hot chocolate, and a bookmark. The bookmark is surprisingly cute haha. I’m not sure about the snacks – might give those to my husband, but I’m all about the hot chocolate! It’s getting pretty warm in So Cal already (the past few days have been in the 80s!), but a good, warm cup of chocolate always brightens my day.

I won’t be reading this book right away because I have a few others to get through first. And they’re all long epics too (because fantasy and sci-fi tend to do that), so I probably won’t be able to tell you how I feel about it for a good bit. I’ve gotta be honest, I had no idea what to expect with a category like “General Fiction” so I was a little worried it might be something I just can’t get into. But this one I’m fairly intrigued and excited about. Guess I’ll be sticking with this box for a while.


Pre-Game Clean-Up

Our friend is coming over tomorrow to watch the Super Bowl with us. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had anyone over to my house, so the condition of the house is in an understandable (I hope?) condition of pandemic disarray. There’s masks everywhere, boxes from deliveries piled in the corner, mail on a lot of surfaces, a crapload of hand sanitizer bottles, you know, the messy stuff that just kind of accumulates when you haven’t had any company in the past, uh, six months? Longer? I don’t remember haha. I knew we had the same friend over at some point, but not sure when. Anyways, the point is that I’ve spent today and yesterday cleaning everything. I am so sore right now! Because my legs were not used to exercises such as crouching and bending over repeatedly as I vacuum the house, including the stairs. My s.o. went to Costco to get party food and came back with, of course, Costco-sized packages in Costco-sized boxes. I helped him move them upstairs and now my arms hurt because I’m weak sauce. These pandemic years of very little exercise is really cutting into our physique. At least the weather is warming up. We really need to resume walks around the neighborhood soon. Both of us really, really do need the exercise.

However, I do feel properly motivated to do work, just like I thought I would yesterday. It’s nice to know that I have come up with a way to deal with anxiety so it doesn’t interfere my work as much as it could have. So that makes me happy, even though I’m thinking of actually taking an Advil because my muscles are screaming from disuse.


Demotivated, But Managing

I don’t know what is up with me this week. I’m blaming Super Bowl haha. Despite what I’ve written a few days ago I’m not really getting my motivation up. Didn’t do any work yesterday except some blogging and organizing. Just, my heart’s not in it. Which is dumb, because right now I’m still in basic outline phase, not even that, so I shouldn’t even be stressed about how bad my writing is going because I literally haven’t “written” anything yet. Anyway, reason is never in the equation when it comes to motivation, it looks like. In addition, I think having people over for the Super Bowl (by people I mean literally one person who’s triple-vaccinated and is super careful) makes me feel like my house is in utter disarray (it probably is, but I also might be too hard on myself. There’s no telling.) So I’ve just been thinking about what to clean, and planning to do it all tomorrow since today I want to work.

But here’s the problem: I can’t just leave everything to tomorrow. Why? Because I want to work more tomorrow, and just saving all the cleaning to Saturday not only messes up my Saturday work schedule, it also messes up my Friday work. I don’t know why, but I can’t just be like “leave everything for later concentrate on this one thing for now”. I mentally cannot. All that does is makes me think about all the stuff I have to do tomorrow and then obsess over it today, which means I don’t get to focus on anything else today either. So I’ve decided to just do some cleaning right now, before I even start writing. I’m going to vacuum later, and maybe dust the tv console. It means that I would have saved time tomorrow and that thought makes me more motivated to work today. I don’t know if that makes sense or the logic is super circular, but yeah. That’s the gist of it.

So now I’m going to work, hopefully, and also hopefully by Sunday my house is suitable for guests. Crossing my fingers.


A Few Updates

This entry will be a hodgepodge of things. Mostly because the actual work I do everyday is pretty boring and repetitive to talk about haha. So let’s talk about something else! But one thing related to work I absolutely want to gripe about is that I never realized that once you decide on a naming convention you kind of have to stick to it for every single character, no matter how minor, and if you picked a slightly unusual way to name people than “Joe Smith” then you need to do research…for literally every single one-liner name. Yeah… I got so sick of figuring out names that by the end I just gave up and went “okay, you know what, this can wait til later.” So I kind of marked my setting sheets as “finished” even though it’s missing a few things. Whatever. I need to move on to bigger things, like more character sheets, so I did just that.

Or rather, I was supposed to start that yesterday, but I didn’t, because I started reading CJ Cherryh’s Regenesis, the direct sequel to Cyteen, after owning the book for like 13 years and never got around to it. And I got sucked in! Let me tell you, there is a marked difference between books written in 1989 and 2009. Least of all is that she can actually use words like “lover” to describe a homosexual relationship instead of the roundabout “brother” thing (seriously, it’s totally understandable why she had to do that but definitely a sign of the times.) There are also more descriptions in general instead of only describing what matters. Like I had no idea what one of the arguably major characters looks like in terms of hair/eye color, you know, super basic things that people describe nowadays but not necessarily back in the day. And settings – like I also had no idea what the space people occupy look like in Cyteen but now have a sense of it in Regenesis. I can go on more about it but I’m going to stop for now, because I’m going to probably dedicate an entry to it, once I finish.

Anyway, I didn’t do work yesterday because I just kept reading the book. Also, and I’m not proud of this, but I got sucked into FF14 again. I knew it was going to happen – it was why I quit a few years ago, because once I start playing that it’ll be the only thing I do for a while. So between these two things I kind of just gave up on working altogether yesterday. Again, not good, but thankfully I’m motivated today, and I’m glad of it. Used to be that I would just give up working for a week or so if I got stopped. Now, not so much. So at least there’s some kind of progress there.

And last but not least, the cute stickers I ordered from thecoffeemonsterzco for my planners/journals finally got here! It took forever (or seemed like forever haha) because it’s coming from Canada, and for the past couple of weeks there has been some serious storms out on the east coast, which probably delayed a lot of mail because so many flights got canceled. I was worried that it got lost in transit. But no worries, everything arrived in tip-top shape, and I spent a good bit of today just decorating my planners. It’s become important as it keeps me using them, and when I do use them I tend to be more productive. So yeah, net positive. I just have to keep going.


Book Subscription

I joined a book subscription yesterday. I’ve been meaning to for a while, but they’re usually super expensive, and I’m in the camp of less stuff more books for cheap type. I mean, some of the boxes are “worth it” if you like a lot of tchotchkes to go with your reading experience, but it’s not for me personally. I rather get a book or two and maybe some snacks/tea for a reasonable price, and that’d be enough.

So after some Youtube research, I’ve decided to get the Introverts Retreat box. I went for the cheapest option (and I’m still not too happy about how expensive the shipping is, but I think that just comes with the territory of book subscriptions). They give you 3 genre choices and I chose the general fiction one. See, because I’m a sci-fi writer, I kind of have to read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy. It’s more akin to researching the market than just reading for fun (fun is included, of course). So when I pick my sci-fi/fantasy books I don’t want a crap-shoot; I’d actually go find Hugo/Nebula winners, or ones that’re pertinent to what I’m writing, etc. However, it’s no fun reading the same kind of book all the time. I wanted to branch out a bit, and well, here comes book subscription boxes to scratch that itch! Only problem is that they really can get up there when it comes to price, and so I’ve always been hesitant. Well, this year I’ve successfully paid off all my student loans, so now I’ve got some extra spending cash per month. Why not give it a go? Plus, I want to read more books in general. I was definitely a non-stop reading sort of kid, but in the recent years I’ve been seriously neglecting that aspect of my life. Time to get myself back into the habit, I say.

I probably will shop around a couple of the cheaper subscription boxes before I settle on one. I mean for the Introverts Retreat box I’m thinking of switching genres next month just to try something new. I don’t read very fast, and I also have literally a giant bookshelf full of books that I haven’t read yet, so the monthly thing just isn’t really viable for me. But I am excited of getting a new book – it’s like a present, you know? I have no idea when it’s going to arrive (with the pace mail is going right now I assume it’ll be a while). But when it does I’m sure I’ll give an update here. Hopefully I don’t get something crazy, but if I do, hey, that’s part of the fun.