Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Detours, part 2

Just popping in to say that I think we have vanquished the lice.  I have been going through the Snork Maiden’s hair with (literally) a fine-tooth comb every night, and at this point I’m just not finding anything but extremely clean hair.  She still feels mildly itchy, but apparently the Nix can do that.  I continue to be hyper-aware of my own scalp. 

Two moms have cancelled playdates on us this week, citing concerns about the lice, which I have to understand, though privately I am rather ruffled about it.  (Epidemiologically speaking, I suspect these kids are safer with the Snork Maiden, who has just had her head smeared with insect poison, is having her hair picked through every night, and has become extremely aware of where she puts her head, than they will be when they go back to school next week.  However, I realize it’s easier to see it that way from where I sit.)  Anyway, my carefully crafted spring break schedule, which was going to let the Snork Maiden have a fun spring break, both going over to friends’ houses and having friends over here, despite the facts that Starfleet Academy is not on break and Stubb is working like a dog, got pretty messed up.  Thank goodness for the fabulous parents of the Snork Maiden’s friend Xavier–they are both teachers, were both on spring break, and I guess are not freaked out by the idea of lice: they had the Snork Maiden over one morning and took her along to the museum on another day and assured me that she was a delight and it was not a speck of trouble, indeed a pleasure to have her. 

Pray God that Xavier doesn’t wake up on Monday morning with lice.

My Starfleet Academy spring break starts tomorrow afternoon.  New RU and NCC are still plugging along–I pretty much blew those spring breaks, oh, teaching full-time at a high school and picking nits!  But for the next couple of weeks I’ll have the schedule I thought I was going to have this spring–the schedule I had in mind when I wondered what Plan would enable me to make the most of all that free time.  Expect a bit more blogging, plus a honking great list of things I want to accomplish before Starfleet Academy restarts!

The fluorescent light glistens off your head

(Yes, that really is a book title.)

And the very first writing observation of the new year is this: that neither my first-year college students nor the authors of the manuscripts I’m screening seem to be able to spell fluorescent.  Too bad, as it is such a good word.  They write florescent (in the process of blooming) or flourescent (not a word, but implies gleaming like flour?). 

I have decided to make a resolution, not for the new year, but just for January, and it is this: to take a 20-minute walk every day.  I expect that this resolution will address several areas in my life that could use improvement:

  1. As a general health concern, I don’t get enough exercise;
  2. I operate at a fairly high baseline level of stress/anxiety, which might come down a bit if I blow off some of that energy with exercise;
  3. I need time to think quietly about writing (walking, I have often found, fosters good thinking about writing);
  4. I complain too much and snap at my family (see #2);
  5. My sneakers are starting to be more holes than uppers (if I am walking for exercise every day, I will feel justified in spending money on a new pair).

There are probably others, but even a little improvement in all of these areas would make this seem like a worthwhile resolution, eh?  (I thought about 25 or 30 minutes–when I have been in a good walking groove, I’ve found it easy to do an hour’s walk several times a week–but frankly I am feeling nervous about time and think that I’d be better off starting with a teeny tiny goal that I can actually do.)

My plan is to set off in a different direction from my house each day and see how far I can get in ten minutes, then turn around and walk back (or, if feasible, come back another way).  Today, we head south. 

Symptomatic

Thanks, invisible people!  I managed to slash everything off my weekend list, and once again, it was a great motivator to know that you were watching.  (Or not watching, in the case of a lot of you–was it all parades and circuses this weekend?  Because wherever most of you were, it wasn’t here.  Are you ready for your Funky Winkerbean quiz?  Put your books away and take out a clean sheet of paper.)

Oh.  I didn’t cross absolutely everything off my weekend list, you say?  That is true.  Have a look at the post below.  I put two hours as my writing goal for the weekend.  But I didn’t write for the other hour that I’d put on the list.

These are the writing lessons reinforced by this experience:

  • Do put writing on the list, or writing really won’t get done.
  • Having put it on the list, prioritize it.  At least, don’t clean the kitchen first.
  • While it’s sometimes useful to put down goals in terms of time spent (e.g. when beginning something new), it might have been better this weekend to put the goal in terms of quantity. 
  • Since it really helps me if everyone else is either absent or unconscious while I’m writing, get up early on weekends (which I usually do anyway) and write; don’t use that time for other things just because I don’t have to get ready for work.

I can’t be too specific about my writing goal for the rest of the week, but it is attainable even within the context of my lousy rotten schedule, assuming no one gets the stomach flu and that we stay otherwise disaster-free this week.  And with that, I am off for the rest of Terrible Tuesday.  This T.T. should be pretty okay, though, because: 1) I got a good night’s sleep ; 2) I am not trying to finish grading for my Tuesday or Wednesday classes during it; 3) My Wednesday morning class is doing an in-class essay, so prep for Wednesday consists of preparing the essay topic.  It’s still, of course, a day that runs from 7:00 A.M. to 10:30 P.M. including commute time, but courage!  That mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.