This was a less settled week than I expected, but I got a lot done. Not necessarily the things I wanted to get done, but things that had to get done.
Lots of phone meetings and lots of emails. Again! But I have to get this stuff taken care of before June, when people start to take off for various places and become harder to reach. Memos, reading, advising, and the like.
I did get to do a little of my own work, which was nice. It’s amazing how easy it is to get out of the swing when you don’t write for a week. Gah.
I read three library books and one from the TBR. I talked about the library books in my last post. They were an interesting mix: one translated lit fic by a major author, one translated mystery by an author who is very popular in his home country, and one recently published lit fic novel that is something of an It Book. I was impressed by the first, enjoyed the second as a good example of its type, and was disappointed by the last. It Books are as much of a phenomenon in the Literary Bookternet as they are in the genre communities, and I won’t belabor a point I’ve made often, but I need to ration my intake of The Books Currently Dominating My Goodreads Feed. So many readers gave the It Book 5 stars, and I just don’t see it. It’s clearly the work of a talented and creative writer, but it was so heavy-handed in its politics. I’m happy to read about politics, but I’m pretty much done with diatribes and choir-preaching.
I also finished up my reread of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by the great John le Carré. I’m slowly rereading all the Smiley novels in order, and this is considered his best novel by many. For me it’s a tossup with The Spy Who Came in From the Cold; TTSS is longer and more complex, while TSHCiFtC is short and taut and hits you like a sledgehammer. TTSS is also something of a Condition of England novel in addition to being a spy story, which gives it a lot of depth. This is probably the first time I’ve reread it where I followed every plot turn and puzzle piece and knew what was going on the whole time, but it was still a page turner.
Not much in the Watching department aside from hockey and basketball. I was sad to see the Sharks go out but happy to see the Blues advance. The Warriors dominated the Rockets, no big surprise there since Steph Curry was on fire, but the Bucks-Raptors series was really exciting. I felt bad for the Bucks, because they’re a likable and talented young team, but Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors deserved to advance. And Canada! Go Canada!
I added “Making” to the category because TheHusband and I fell into the Jigsaw Puzzle World again. We started on a way too advanced puzzle, one with lots of pieces that wasn’t rectangular. After two evenings we admitted defeat and put it aside. But then over the weekend we wandered into a games and puzzle store and discovered a big puzzle that had been rebagged into three sections. You end up with a finished 1000-piece puzzle, but you solve it in thirds. It was second-hand, obviously, put together by puzzle aficionados who came up with this method so that they could work puzzles with their kids which were both interesting and doable for everyone. We managed to put together two-thirds of it over two days and evenings. We’ll finish it this week and I’ll try to remember to take a photo.
We’re also trying to relearn Cribbage. I’m pretty sure that means we are officially Very Very Old.
I’ve kept my planner out and open and kept making ToDo lists, even when I wasn’t getting everything done on the day it was listed. And I’m continuing to use my clock stamps to keep track of how I spend my time. I sound like a broken record, but writing down that I’ve done it provides an incentive to keep doing it, especially when I don’t want to.
I went through my Harlequin TBR and looked at the titles and synopses of books I thought I might have read already. I was able to knock about 40 books off the list, so the next time I read from the TBR I’ll have an updated number. How exciting. It’s still over 400 but hey, I’ll take whatever I can get.
I’m spending less time on Goodreads and now my LibraryThing account is caught up, so that is all good in terms of limiting internet rabbit holes. I went back to Mastodon for the first time in months and found Willaful’s Romancelandia instance. There are a bunch of excellent Romance Twitter people on there; I didn’t join, but I followed a few people and will add more. I like Mastodon because it’s so aggressively non-commercial and non-promotional, but like any community it needs a critical mass to work. The trick is finding a size that is big enough to be rewarding but not so big that it attracts commercial and promotional participants. If anyone wants to follow me on Mastodon, I’m at mastodon.social/@sunita the most often. I still have accounts on four (I think?) instances, but I’m trying to use this one as the main one now.
Finally, I’m not sure this goes in the productivity section but I don’t know where else to put it unless I make a new section. And it does involve being efficient, in a way. TheHusband and I did a lot of the advance planning necessary for our June vacation. We’re going on a walking holiday in Wales, walking the southern section of the Offa’s Dyke path. We’re not using a tour company, just putting it together ourselves. We’ve managed to book almost everything we need, we think, and we spent time this week making sure we had the right equipment and clothing. REI’s annual sale was very handy, and I swear we’re now on first-name bases with any number of the people in our local store. I’ll write more about it in a separate post; we haven’t done this kind of a trip in forever and I’m really looking forward to it. TheH has been to Wales a few times but I never have.
More phone meetings, more memo-writing, and a paper to either revise or send it the way it is. And another paper. And finishing up the Wales planning. So, a quiet week. 😉