23:32

Huzzah, it’s my birthday! The perfect occasion on which to get all introspective.  Or at least more so than other days. I must say, I’m excited to turn 32.  I much prefer even-numbered years, for reasons I can’t quite explain, and since 8 is my lucky number, this year should be especially great, since 32 is divisible by 8 four times. Oh snap. I’m also excited to turn 32 for more “real” reasons, though. Reason 1: My dissertation is in a good place I don’t want to say much more than that.  One of the things I’ve learned about myself over the years, is that if I expend too much energy talking about the intricacies of what engages me, or the excitement of it, I lose the magic.  Sort of like if I let an actual cat out of an actual bag, and the cat turned around and was like, fuck you, man, you put me in a bag!? and

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Out of the gate

Given the political and social stresses of the world around us, and how dead and depressed I felt at the end of 2016, I knew I would be in massive amounts of trouble if I didn’t take a firm hand with 2017.  So, I went back over my planners from the year (I keep one for to-do lists and one for long-term goals), rooted out all of my best days and weeks, and looked for commonalities between them.  Then I made a set of systems based on my “best day habits” and launched them on January 1st. It’s been going pretty well, so far.  As long as I don’t procrastinate what I know works for me, I get stuff done, feel healthy, and make strides toward year end goals.  So I thought I would share some of the habits that are helping me out, in case you’re looking for ideas. Here’s what works for me… A.M. Meditation: I’ve always worked

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Surviving four years of trump

This election cycle was god awful, and somehow the results are worse.  Maybe because they were a surprise?  Or maybe because the man who won is the most hateful, fearful, horrible, erratic person to ooze his way across the political field, at least in my lifetime. He wants to screw with my healthcare.  He wants to suppress my rights as a gender non-conformant person.  He wants to control the female-sexed parts of my body. And beyond me–because I am capable of considering such things–he wants to ruin the lives of people of color.  He wants to deport Muslims.  He wants to deport immigrants and stem the arrival of refugees.  He wants to destroy trade agreements and international diplomacy. He wants to build walls, deny climate change, and demonize legitimate journalism.  He wants to appoint more of his ilk. All in the name of making America great again… I am struggling to process the results of this election not only because

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Coping with Delays

Neil Gaiman says that a successful writer must maintain at least two of the following three attributes: they must be good at what they do; they must be a nice person; they must be punctual about deadlines. My original plan was to be good and punctual, so I wouldn’t have to be nice… Then I took part-time work. Granted, I took awesome part-time work.  I receive real, actual dollars in exchange for drinking, selling, and learning about tea.  It’s a writers dream come true. But it’s also retail. And I’m coming off a year of fellowship sabbatical: hermit-like living, where I talked to more trees than people. So, that means that by the end of my shift, especially if the store is busy, I am worn the hell out.  My brain is mush from balancing simultaneous transactions, my feet are sore, and I’ve used up a month’s worth of conversation.  I come home completely incapable of producing further facial expressions,

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Shifting (read: grinding) gears

Steven King says that after you finish your first draft, you have to chuck it in a drawer for at least six weeks.  Then when you go to edit, you will have achieved proper distance from the manuscript, making it easier to gut what needs gutted. Sure. He also says that during this six week period, you must forget the manuscript exists, and that this can be accomplished by switching to a different project, distracting yourself with other things. Bullshit. Maybe when you’re Steven King and you’ve written approximately six hundred novels, you can just switch tracks, but after your first novel? Literally all the varieties of bullshit in all the land. Here is what actually happened when I tried to do that: First, I came down off my elation so hard that I started running a fever.  I had plugged up sinuses, chills, aches.  I was nowhere near possessing the level of energy required to undertake a vast new

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