It felt like a busier week than it probably was, in part because I had unexpected appointments (and cancellations) that changed the way I thought it would unfold.
I’m done with letters and recommendations for the season, I’m pretty sure. But I kept meeting with grad students and undergrads. They are rewarding, no question, but I have to prepare for them.
I was supposed to be in town in part to participate in the campus visit of a distinguished professor of South Asian studies who would be giving public lectures and smaller presentations as well as lunching and dining with faculty and university officers. Alas, the giant storm that blew through the center of the country made it impossible for the Distinguished Visitor to visit. It was a big disappointment, not only because these visits are organized months in advance, but also because the talks and meetings promised to be particularly interesting. I hope it can be rescheduled.
I also had impromptu meetings about department issues that needed to be addressed sooner rather than later. And yes, I’m supposed to be not meeting on this stuff, but that’s not always feasible. At least I’m out of town for this week’s slate of important stuff. Here’s hoping I won’t retrospectively wish I’d been there for them.
Writing, what is that? Oh yeah, I remember!
I finished the two books I talked about last week and they were just as good as I thought they’d be. I owe you reviews of them, and they’re coming, I promise! I paused for a bit, because when you finish two excellent reads it can be hard to pivot to something new. I burned time reading about the books on the BTBA longlist and tracking them down via Overdrive, Hoopla, and ebook vendors. I’m still not going to read them all! But there are some intriguing books on there and at least half of the longlist is available either on loan or at reasonable prices to buy.
I also realized I’d better start thinking about what to read for SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge, which is due this Wednesday. The theme is Something Different, which makes Urban/Paranormal Fantasy an easy option. I have a bunch on the TBR, that’s for sure. I read a Nocture Bites short, but that doesn’t seem like quite enough, so I’m starting a full-length novel and hoping I’ll get it read in time to review both for Wednesday’s post.
My listening has been football (the roundball kind) podcasts and Brexitcast. Both are ramping up in a big way, between Champions League, the Premier League run-in, and the EU’s drop-dead dates. Unsurprisingly, only the sports deadlines are unchanging. As a Liverpool fan it’s serious nail-biting time. As a fan of the UK not blowing itself up politically and economically, ditto.
I’ve been making lists and keeping my Hobonichi out and open on the desk while I work. I also broke in my 12-hour-clock stamp and have been writing down the ways I spend the day. It’s helping. The Mostly Dumbphone is still my phone of choice and I’m getting faster at T9 texting. I’m checking my email much less frequently, which is not proving to be a hindrance in any way.
My other change this week is to consciously walk away from the computer and write with pen and ink and paper, or if I’m reading, do it via print or ereader. I’m not using internet- or site-blocking software or anything; having to check my email manually and turning off notifications is working well so far. The most important change for me is to avoid having the computer to hand when I’m sitting around or working but kind of stuck, because then I start surfing and the time slips away and the stuck thing doesn’t get unstuck. That change means that when I’m working, whether writing longhand or via computer typing, I wind up sitting and staring into space instead of clicking a tab and falling down an internet hole. Mentally it feels more relaxing and I’m more likely to overcome the obstacle, but it’s also kind of weird because I haven’t had that sensation in so long. Weird in a good way, though.
I’m away from the office again, so my time is almost all my own. I’m really looking forward to it.
The one activity I have to add back in is exercise. I promised my doctor that in exchange for getting off a medication that was giving me unpleasant side effects I’d continue to be more active and eat better. I’ve been doing pretty well, but I love the sedentary life and I have to make sure I’m active when I don’t have external reasons and contexts to provide it.
I like reading your updates. Glad things are going well.
I had an exciting week. I wrote a piece for SBTB about the Monument Quilt – a fabulous activist public art project honoring survivors of sexual violence. It’s going to be published next week and Sarah paid me $30, which I was not expecting! So I’m now a professional writer 😉
I had two phone interviews for two different short term contract positions on Friday and they both went well! This is part of my grand plan to use temping to figure out where I want to work full time – after using freelancing to build up my experience in digital communications/ web design I definitely know that I need to work on a team and not for myself.
And then I kind of collapsed and spent Sat sitting in the sunshine in my sunroom reading books. I read the new Cat Sebastian- A Duke in Disguise. I’m not sure it’d meet your standards for historical romance but I really enjoyed it. Lovely queering of Regency romance. It’s her first m/f – with a bi heroine.
Hey Cleo! I can’t wait to read your article in SBTB. I think I’d heard about the quilt but I haven’t seen or read anything, so this will be great. And you got paid, even better.
I didn’t know you were doing web design now. You used to teach art, didn’t you? Are you still doing that? Or am I misremembering … Anyway, if you did two interviews then you earned that Saturday reading break in a big way.
And I love hearing about what other people are reading; it’s most of the reason I’m on Goodreads. Even if it’s not something I think I’m likely to read, I like the fellowship of talking about books that make us happy. And I’d wondered about the Sebastian book because I’ve seen the cover and was curious what kind of characters/plot it had. I think she does the queering of Regency as well as anyone, and it’s a good way to take a genre that hasn’t grown or innovated much in the m/f space.
@Sunita – you remember correctly. I taught art and design (including web) for many years. 5 years ago I changed careers to practice web design full time.
And I feel the same about reading your Man Booker reviews. I doubt I’ll ever read any of them but it’s interesting to read your take on them.
“I love the sedentary life” … I loved this. I have been seriously thinking about going back to my walking routine, but but but. A brutal winter, work excesses, and spending my limited leisure time reading make me nope getting out and about and moving. I hear you.
I like walking and I have good opportunities to do so, but I do best when walking is part of my everyday activity. In St. Louis I take public transit to work and quite often to run errands, and I make efforts to walk around campus so I’m not stuck in my building all day. California has prettier walking and the weather is better, but it’s more of a destination thing and not integrated into my days. And this winter, ugh.
Super-ugh Canadian-style, terrible winter this year. One of the worst ever.
Oh, exercise!. I spent most of last year sitting in my chair because it was one of the few places where I knew i couldn’t fall over (really bad vertigo is the pits). My doc and I finally got the vertigo sorted and tamed, but I had to do several months of P/T to get my leg strength back.
I am at the age where ‘use it or lose it’ is a real possibility when it comes to personal mobility. So I walk, I go up and down stairs, etc because I don’t want to trade in my cane for a motorized chair. I have yet to master the art of reading while walking, alas, but discovered that I can read while using the recumbent bike at the gym. So I’m not losing too much book time.
Oh, that is tough to come back from. I had a similar deterioration of my strength a few years ago and it took forever to get it back. Good for you to get there!
And I hear you on use it or lose it. That is the thing that has kept me from becoming a total couch potato as I age. I don’t want to go past the point of no return. And also if I’m active I can eat more. 🙂