Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaNoWriMo and Other Stuff

I was planning to work on my NaNo novel while I had a hot cup of coffee at Peet's. The one thing about losing weight is that once I lose 30 pounds or more, I start to be cold a lot, thus the desire for hot coffee. I digress. I've written more than 10K on the story, but my flash drive only has 9K. Apparently, I saved my afternoon session, but not last night's work. So, the novel is on my other computer. That means I have some time to write a blog post.

I'm having fun writing this bizarre, but fun, story. No one will ever be allowed to read it. The writing stinks and I don't think the story is worth revising. It's just a fun bit of fluff.

But it's showing me some things about being a pantser, a writer who doesn't use an outline, that make me want to learn how to make at least a loose outline. A lot of what I've written is stuff that would be cut, if I were going to try to revise this into a decent story. It's stuff that's in there because the writer is looking for the story I know is in there, not actually writing the story itself. That means there's a lot of repetitive, meandering, and totally boring stuff in between the good parts, the parts that are actually the story I'm trying to write. For NaNo, that's wonderful because it's lots of added words, but if I were actually writing a story with the intent of publishing it, it's a very inefficient way to write. I can handle inefficient because it doesn't bother me to cut words. It's the boring and repetitive stuff that's the problem for me.

I'm ready to move past that way of working and on to something else. So, after NaNo, I'm going to focus more on Holly Lisle's Think Sideways class. If I can spend the same time I'm spending on NaNo, I'll make progress, but slowly. I've been working at it more on a hit and miss basis because my life has been so chaotic lately. I've had a hard time focusing on creative pursuits, particularly on writing.

I'm testing an oven-fried chicken recipe tonight. It looks really good. I'm looking forward to this one. I haven't figured out the points, but the ingredients are not super high-calorie. The only added fat is cooking spray. I don't use cooking spray, but I have my Mistos. I have one for regular olive oil. I'll fill one with peanut oil, which is what I prefer for recipes like this one. And the other one is for the oils I don't use as often.

Also, on the cooking front, I've been thinking about flavor and ingredients. I want to write a post or two about those things, but it may have to wait until after NaNo.

I lost three more pounds last week. Paul's been losing weight, too. He said yesterday that he lost another three pounds. He jokes that when I go on a diet, he loses weight. I don't put food in serving dishes. I serve it onto the plates because in my house, everyone prefers not to wash any more dishes than necessary. So, I pretty much give him what I'm eating and if he's still hungry, he can always have more. He rarely does, which is one reason why he's been losing weight.

His blood pressure's been going down pretty fast, with this new medication. He has an appointment next week to have it checked, but he's been checking it in the morning. The one thing I wish he'd do is make getting some exercise in every day a priority. That's the piece that's missing in his efforts to stay healthy. It would be lovely if he'd challenge himself to get his medicine down to the lowest possible dose. Maybe even get rid of it altogether, but at his age and with his family history of high blood pressure, that may not be possible.

I hate that medical stuff is starting to be our conversation topic. But, there comes a time when that becomes more of an issue in your life. So, I'm dealing with it.

I've made progress with my boxes. I think I have 4 or 5 left. I need to put lids on them and stack them with the others in the bedroom hallway. Then I can move on to the next step, which is sorting the things that are already unpacked and giving stuff we don't use to charity, throwing away any junk, and figuring out how to best use the storage I have. I need to pare down our stuff because our apartment is so small. I really don't want to have boxes in my hallway. When that's done, it's back to the boxes and figuring out where to put that stuff when I unpack it. When you live in an apartment without a garage or attic or basement, the hardest stuff to deal with is stuff like holiday decorations that you need to keep, but don't use every day.

It's amazing how fast the process went when I spread out the boxes I was sorting into. I could take 5 minutes and go through one box. That's a lot more doable than taking 10 minutes to spread out the boxes, 5 minutes sorting one, and 10 more minutes putting the boxes back in stacks. Once I convinced Paul not to stack them back up, I made real progress.

But I need to find a day sometime when I can recharge my batteries without feeling like I'm neglecting important things in order to do it. I need one of those mental health days. I had a difficult day yesterday and realized that was the problem. I need to schedule regular time to recharge. If I don't, then any writing or other creative pursuits suffer. Creative work operates at a different pace and in a different way from the type of work I get paid to do. Or from household chores and similar types of work. When I forget that, my life gets out of balance and I get depressed.