Ambition, but not Distraction, Uglification or Derision (#SFWApro)

105054-004-C0894BA2(Title from the Mock Turtle’s discussion of his school days in Alice in Wonderland. Illustration, of course, by John Tenniel.)

The ambition refers to having 64 goals on my list for this month.We’ll get to them in a second, but first, the week in review.

It was busy, with one contractor visit and a trip to the doctor (checking up on some questions about last month’s miserable illness—turns out I’m doing the right things, yay!). And cold—we were snowed in from Friday evening through Monday, and when I went to the doctor on Tuesday, I still had to drive on ice (I’m a Floridian. It’s not natural). Astonishingly, I lived. The dogs were very needy, as we weren’t able to walk them far without risking slipping on black ice. Oh, and the kitty litter we used on the front steps to get traction on the ice turned into sludge after the melt. Lots of time spent wiping it off the front floor and carpet, and I eventually had to blast the gunk off the steps with our hose (but that did it!).

Nevertheless, I managed to get plenty of viewing in for the book, polish up the credits and add information for a few “lost” series that aren’t available. And I rewrote The Schloss and the Switchblade, using the advice from my writer’s group. It now has a definite plot arc, though with lots of plot holes and some info-dumping. But now that I have a narrative spine, that can be fixed.

Now, the ambition. That was an unusually large list of monthly goals (64!), mostly because I’m fresh of listing my 101 in 1,001 goals and so I translated them into monthly targets (if I’m going to get X number of short stories written, I need to get the first one done this month, etc.). Plus necessary stuff such as drawing up Schedule C for my freelance income and that doctor’s visit. I’ve finished 70 percent of them, and should have a few more done this weekend.

Completed ones include:

•Redrafting The Schloss and the Switchblade.

•Submitting Questionable Minds.

•Sending six queries off.

•Finishing Backstage With the Dead.

•Submitting three shorts (all of which came back, alas).

•45 minutes cleaning a week. This doesn’t keep the house spotless, but it does guarantee all the key tasks will be done eventually (straightening, dusting, shelving books, cleaning the bathroom). And cleaning the kitchen and shot-vaccing the floor get done every week, the first for our health and the second to prevent the dogs discovering too much crap on the floor for chewing.

One I sort-of gave myself credit for was drawing up a plan for managing the dogs when I’m done with the time-travel book and can’t just watch movies while I pet them and count it as work. I think my initial thought to give them short bursts of attention and teach them to wait for it is a good plan, hough it’ll take a while to teach ’em. And I’ve found new games and activities online I can introduce during the short bursts. It’s not a perfect plan, but it’s probably the best I’ve got.

So there I am. Due to waking up unpleasantly early, I’m done for the week already (slightly over my 40 hours, in fact) so I shall now relax and enjoy myself.


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Filed under Nonfiction, Now and Then We Time Travel, Short Stories, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Writing

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