jazzfish: A small grey Totoro, turning around. (Totoro)
Hard to believe it's been a thousand days since I started the previous one of these. Expect a post-mort analysis... mm, probably over the weekend.

I can't really improve on my blurb from then: The idea is that a) a concrete and wide-ranging list of 101 items, b) a not terribly restrictive but still somewhat limiting timeframe of 1001 days, and c) public accountability can all combine to form a sort of Voltron of extrinsic motivating factors, since I'm not doing so hot with intrinsic motivation lately (or ever, really).

Note that 101 tasks in 1001 days works out to roughly three tasks per month, on average.

101 in 1001: 2015/09/23-2018/06/20
Completed: 33
(Abandoned: 2)
A large list )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
We're finally watching Treme, David "The Wire" Simon's series about a poor New Orleans neighborhood in the aftermath of Katrina.

Christ. If that storm had hit just a year earlier, before the 2004 election... well. I doubt I'd be in Vancouver, for one thing.

Also, when John Goodman is one of the least interesting parts of your show, either you have an amazing cast or you are criminally underusing John Goodman.



Today:
  • Catbox
  • Call Canada Revenue about missing tax refund Tax return accepted, will finally be processed on Friday.
  • Write to a random internet person Wrote to TWO random internet people! This is, in fact, more soul-crushing than jobhunting is.
  • Jobhunt Nothing new available. I did schedule a final interview for Thursday at a place that it would probably not totally suck to work.
  • Eat a thing Eggs and toast! Of which, one came out fine if v.slightly undercooked, and one overcooked. Still tasty.
  • Viola
  • Organize scattered novel brainstorming notes, preferably into something resembling an outline, or at least a structure.

Right. Back on my head.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I am home from the Rainforest Writers Village retreat, where I coined a new-to-me word (thaumobabble, the urban fantasy equivalent of technobabble), saw some old friends and met some new ones, and generally had a good time.

The weekend is best summed up by this photo.

More seriously, I wrote some 2600 fiction words, interspersed with stream-of-consciousness plot noodling to figure out how I'm actually getting from point A (the opening) to points X, Y, and Z (the action/suspense climax, emotional climax, and aftermath), and whether any of those points will look at all like my original conception. (Spoiler: kind of but not a lot.) This is kind of a big deal: in the last three years I've noodled on a couple of stories but never got past the 'crap what happens now' point after the initial burst of inspiration. It'll be good to finish something and I think it's doable.

A couple of years ago I had the idea to start a story pendulum: write two, revise the first, write a third, revise the second, etc. At the time, with work etc, I'd thought a month for each swing would be reasonable. I'll start trying to get that but I'd really like to get it down to two weeks, or maybe three for writing and one for revising.



To do today-ish, in no particular order:
  • Write this post WIKTORY
  • Email: [personal profile] uilos, Karawynn, Sonya, others?
  • Deal with pile of mail
  • Call Long & McQuade re viola No sign of it yet. Bah. Should have ordered it myself direct from the manufacturer.
  • Writing: work out character motivations, which will I hope explicate plot & climax
  • Viola practice
  • Box game for shipping, get shipping quote
  • Sort through receipts from this weekend, wince at exchange rate
jazzfish: Windows error message "Error 255: Too many errors." (Too many errors)
No motivation this morning. Up til midnight trying to fix my stupid computer. For reasons that are not entirely clear to me it has forgotten how to tell the phone where to sync photos (clicking the [Sync] Photos tab results in endless spinning, and syncing gets a complaint that it can't find the folder to sync photos and then an endless "Waiting for sync to finish" message), on top of its couple-months-old tendency to crash the System Preferences when I try to open either Desktop/Screensaver or Spotlight prefs.

Been needing to get a new battery anyway; this one only holds about two hours of charge. Maybe I can get the genuises to take a look at the system when I bring it in.

I suspect the answer is gonna be "full system restore to old Time Machine backup" again, at best. Don't wanna.

Meanwhile I sit here with a stuffed-up nose and no interest in doing much of anything.

Today I will:
  • Stop beating myself up for not managing to fix my stupid computer
  • Get up off this couch WIKTORY
  • Exercise while rewatching two episodes of Better Off Ted
  • Practice the viola for at least an hour (two sessions)
  • Knock at least one thing off the "things to revise in story" list, either by doing or by saying "nope not gonna do that"
  • Email Jenn, cripes how did it get to be Friday already, I blame the stupid not-quite-sick
  • Meet [personal profile] uilos downtown for fishes and Holst

Looks like a full day for no motivation.



101 in 1001 update )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I have a short list of things I intend to (try to) do every weekday, mostly to keep me from spending a week straight on the couch with the internet.

How'd I do this week?
  • Exercise: 4/4. Not much exercise, just a set of 10-15 pushups, but still.
  • Chores: 4/4ish. Several subitems, some of which are daily. I got most of them.
  • Straighten/organise something: 4/4. Tuesday and today I took a load of stuff to the Salvation Army, Wednesday I got the office mostly usable (another day or two will see it 'actually usable'), Thursday I hauled a large load of recycling downstairs. Other potential tasks for this item include 'reshelve the small games so they won't fall over' and 'shove things around in the spare bedroom.'
  • GO OUTSIDE DAMMIT. 4/4. I expect this one will get harder as the rainy season sets in.
  • 30 mins cello. 3/4, skipped Wednesday on account of spending several extra hours downtown that day. ...cello wants its own post, I think.
  • Write. 2/4 and that's being generous. This story is staring me in the face and I am terrified of it.
  • Read something not on a screen: 4/4. This one's easy, I just have to do it. (Almost missed Tuesday, due to losing several hours to coverage of the teachers' strike.)
  • Be sociable: 2/4, and that only because I had something semi-scheduled for Tuesday anyhow. This one is going to be tough. I count being sociable as not only doing a thing with a person, or spending time talking/on chat/whatever, but even just emailing to reach out to someone. Still harder than expected.
Not so bad. I'm enjoying the sense of having enough ... not just time, but mental space, to do things. I feel much less crushed by the weight of what I should or need to be doing.

Now to attack this %&$ story again.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Things what I need to do before Monday:
1) REST API documentation for work
2) Finish packing / deconstructing the office
3) Finish 'Blood on her hands' for writing group

#1 is stupid and I hate it. Okay, so actually it's just boring where it's not incomprehensible, but still. Bleh.

#2 is at the part where the last ten percent of the project takes the other ninety percent of the time.

#3 is ... um. I know how it starts and I know how I expect it to end but there's that whole middle part where it goes from A to C both plot-wise and emotional-arc-wise that I don't know how I'm gonna hack. Story of my life.

LIST.TTD

Dec. 25th, 2012 11:57 am
jazzfish: A small grey Totoro, turning around. (Totoro)
Some people give themselves treats for Xmas. Me, I give myself a list of things to do. The idea is that a) a concrete and wide-ranging list of 101 items, b) a not terribly restrictive but still somewhat limiting timeframe of 1001 days, and c) public accountability can all combine to form a sort of Voltron of extrinsic motivating factors, since I'm not doing so hot with intrinsic motivation lately (or ever, really).

Note that 101 tasks in 1001 days works out to roughly three tasks per month, on average.

101 in 1001: 2012/12/25-2015/09/22
Completed: 55
Ongoing / partial: 6
Abandoned: 5

lengthy list below )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
There are a couple of malls in downtown but the local Big Mall is Metrotown, about a fifteen-minute Skytrain ride away. (Whistling "Funkytown" as the Skytrain passes the Metrotown stop is a good way to get [personal profile] uilos to bodily assault you.) Or, if you turn right when you get off the Skytrain instead of left, you come to Station Square Mall, a sad half-abandoned indoor shopping center whose main attractions consist of a Save-On Foods, a dilapidated movie theatre where we finally saw The Pirates! in non-3D a couple of weeks ago, and a bar.

I've been to the bar a few times with semilocal J--. I wouldn't exactly call it a dive but I wouldn't correct you if you did. The food is edible, the music's neither too loud nor unlistenable, and they carry Strongbow. It provides a place to hang out that's neither so classy I feel out of place nor so rundown as to make me feel unwelcome.

Last night several of us ended up there after gaming, for dancin' and drinkin' and shootin' pool (poorly). It made for a not too bad evening, all in all. Against all expectation I'm developing something of a social circle. Maybe next time I'll partake of the dancin' part.



THINGS WHAT I HAVE DONE LAST WEEK:
  • Emailed SW and contemplated ways of becoming more sociable.
  • Sorted out the Technoir game's plot. I now understand everything that was going on in my game up until we broke for May, and have a good idea of which way the rest of it is tending.
  • Wrote about Burn Notice.
  • Resubmitted Bookwyrms, though without further revision.
  • Made a dentist appointment. Also made a doctor's appointment. OVERACHIEVERS R US.
  • Emailed the good K--. And heard back, even.
Plus working 40 hours, attending a dentist appointment, and generally not being asocial. Reasonable.

THINGS WHAT I'D LIKE TO SEE THE BACK OF THIS COMING WEEK: still a nonexhaustive list.
  • Write JSL back
  • Gather the easy immigration stuff for the immigration lawyer
  • Get clarification from the immigration lawyer on assorted immigration stuff
  • Other assorted email, some of which dates back six months or more
  • Finish writing a review of Rolling Freight (currently ~1/2 done)
  • Develop a large-scale outline or plan for getting the space story done in the next 3.5 weeks
Seems reasonable.
jazzfish: Two guys with signs: THE END IS NIGH. . . time for tea. (time for tea)
Okay, so, maybe putting a todo list out for public shaming accountability will actually motivate me to get some of it done.

THINGS WHAT I'D LIKE TO SEE THE BACK OF BY THE END OF THIS COMING WEEK: a nonexhaustive list
  • Write SW back (this should be shortish)
  • Write K-- back (not that one. a different one. one who likely deserves an adjective.)
  • Write JSL back
  • Get clarification from the immigration lawyer on some immigration stuff
  • Other assorted email
  • Finish writing about Burn Notice for DW (currently ~2/3 done)
  • Finish writing a review of Rolling Freight (currently ~1/2 done)
  • Resubmit Bookwyrms, possibly with a touch of revision but if not that's okay
  • Make a dentist appointment already, what were you thinking letting it go this long, the last time you did that you needed three fillings and a root canal
  • Sort out the plot threads for the Thursday Technoir game because dear gord there are a lot of them now
THINGS WHAT IT'D BE NEAT TO GET STARTED ON THIS WEEK: also a nonexhaustive list
  • Hey, weren't you going to try to finish up that space story by Readercon? Might want to get on that.
  • Gather immigration stuff for the immigration lawyer
  • Get moving on the "contact at least one promising new person each week" plan
THINGS WHAT I WANT TO DO IN THE NEARISH FUTURE: yet another nonexhaustive list
  • Look into using OmniFocus or other useful listmaking software
  • Do something with all those workshop comments on Memory, including doubling its length, and send it out
  • Make Scrivener's RTF export export properly
  • Have an intensive brainstorming session for "Blood on Her Hands and a Stone at Her Throat" / "The King of Scots with All His Power" (which may or not be the same story)
  • Hunt up a local writers' group
  • See about getting involved in REDACTED
  • Maybe make a real doctor's appointment
  • Figure out some sort of exercise (run? swim?) that can be done 3x/week
That's... a nontrivial amount of stuff, even if some of it isn't so scary really. Still. Eep.

No time like the present, I guess.
jazzfish: Phonics Down: a handful of feathers from the legendary Phonics. . . (Phonics Down)
Last year I had writing-related goals, and for the most part they didn't work out at all. (Success: revised "One Only" and applied to VP; partial success: posted to DW a minimum of once/week and on average probably close to 3x; failure: everything else.) Eh. Like I said earlier, I choose to look at last year as a foundation that will need further development, and this as a year for building on it.

This year, as mentioned, I want to finish six stories. That's drafting one a month, alternating with revising one a month. Usually not the same one, to give me some distance and avoid burnout. (I say "usually" because the deadline for the Bibliotheca Fantastica anthology is 15 March, and by my schedule I'm not revising Bookwyrms until April, so something's gonna give.) I'd also like to have those six stories out on submission more or less constantly as soon as they're done. That's the easy part, though. (I get to play with spreadsheets and organizing things!)

As a secondary writing-related goal, I still want to surround myself with people who Do Things. These people will have to be in person, I expect: the thought of a DW or LJ community has some merit but ultimately the internet isn't sufficient. I need the physicality of interacting with other human beings, the tangible drive and excitement. I can get it sporadically at cons, with this year are Wiscon, Readercon, and World Fantasy at least; possibly more depending. I'll need to find some way to get it more consistently and here.

In the meantime, I keep typing away.



And because it's been awhile, the first lines of things I'm at least nominally working on, with status reports.

Cut for caring )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Things to do, some of which may be done today:

0) Put in another 2-3 hours of Work to make up for the completely wasted afternoon on Thursday[1].

1) Write an intro email to VP listserv.

2) Write a review of Eleanor Arnason's A Woman of the Iron People for the Medialog and submit it to SF Mistressworks.

3) Write about Harmony and Rocket Girls for the Medialog.

[spoiler: I liked all three of the above, in different ways and for different reasons.]

4) Contact my parents, via email or phone.

5) Write some postcards, now that I have some and the mail strike lockout is over.

6) Email various people to whom I owe email.

7) Email locals in an attempt to create a local social network.

8) Start writing the next story, for which I have a potential title ("Southbound"?) and a vague idea.

... wow, that looks like a lot of words. Better get started.



[1] Thursday from 11:30 was supposed to be "walk to celebratory crepe lunch, pick up a smart from the smart carshare, drop [personal profile] uilos at Waterfront Station to sort out some ZipCar stupidity, drive back to the vicinity of home, talk to the bank about a wire transfer and credit limit, go home having taken at most a couple hours for this, and finish the workday." I hadn't reckoned with Vancouver being the least car-friendly city I've ever encountered. Unlabeled one-way streets and no left turns off Georgia meant I had both unexpected death-defying incidents and an unexpected trip through Stanley Park and across the Lions Gate bridge, which was very pretty but not really something I wanted to be paying $0.35/minute to see twice. Nor had I reckoned with the left hand/right hand ignorance of Vancity Credit Union and Vancity Visa. Five hours and an extra trip on foot to the bank later, I get to wait 'til Monday to see if the credit limit's been sorted, because everything was closed on Friday for Canada Day. At which point I gave up on the rest of the day.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I like to think of 2006 as the year when I started making smaller mistakes. Highlights include departing Blacksburg, having my own place, fitting into my high school class ring, and being more honest in my dealings with myself and other people. The low points aren't worth dwelling on. That was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead.

Holiday madness is over, I'm back at work, and my schedule is likely to remain undisrupted for the foreseeable future. Sounds like a good time to make sweeping pronouncements about what I'll do to improve my life.

Resolved: )
jazzfish: artist painting a bird, looking at an egg for reference (Clairvoyance)
  1. Character bits for Changeling game. Due: tonight.
  2. Next instalment of Letter Game. Due: this Sunday night.
  3. Go back over "Optical Delusion," decide whether it's salvageable, salvage, submit. Due: next Sunday night. Requirements: Bombay Sapphire.
  4. That ramble on Taoism I keep talking about. Due: mid-October. Requirements: reread UKL's Tao te Ching and the first part of Holmes Welch's The Parting of the Way, skim the Smullyan and Watts books.
  5. Skeleton for my own RPG (probably Changeling, possibly Nobilis, perhaps another urban fantasy game). Due: Halloween.
  6. First draft of "Scavenger Hunt," begun at Balticon. Due: New Year's Eve.
That ought to keep me busy.

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"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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