Shaking the Cobwebs Off

I am literally shaking the cobwebs off this morning. I haven’t been using my writing shed for the last two months — it’s been so hot and humid here, I haven’t wanted to go out there, even with the fan. I’m very temperature-dependent (possibly due in part to my thyroid condition); my brain stops working when it’s too hot, like Terry Pratchett’s trolls.

So I’ve stayed in the nice air-conditioned house, and that was okay earlier in the summer and I got some writing done, mostly in the basement. But now the semester’s started, and we’ve settled in, and it’s been a month since I’ve written anything, and I need to get back to it. (It’s also been a month since I started Lexapro, but I’m going to save talking about that for a different post.)

I’ve had a really hard time motivating to write, and I might have to blame British murder mysteries a little bit, because I watched all of Shetland and five full seasons of Vera in the last two weeks, which is great company for cleaning and organizing the basement and first floor, but doesn’t go so well with writing.

But today I watered the new plants waiting to be planted, then resolutely turned away from actually spending an hour planting them. I gathered up all my willpower and went out to the shed. Which required wading through a sea of weeds, which I did NOT stop to start weeding. (Praise me!)

When I got to the shed, I had to force one window open because the ivy had started growing across it. And then I was a little overwhelmed by all the cobwebs. Eep. I was tempted to start cleaning right away, but the chair itself was reasonably clean, so I said no, no, writing SOMETHING first.

(Well, first spray myself with mosquito repellent, because I got five bites in five minutes of sitting there, but now with the fan and the repellent, they seem to have given up.)

I had a relatively easy task — an interview I’m doing for Wild Cards, that just needed a second pass for some follow-up questions. So I made myself open that file, and finish the responses, and send it off, and that’s one thing checked off the writing-related to-do list (and now George won’t be mad at me, which is always a good thing to prioritize).

I have several other writing things in the queue, of course, but having been so diligent, I will now give myself permission to actually clean up in here a little. I have brought a feather duster and also an electric dustbuster, and I think I might need a broom too, and maybe a wet cloth — well, let’s start with getting rid of the worst of the cobwebs, anyway. Maybe I can alternate cleaning the shed and writing for the rest of the day, or at least a few hours…


Writing things to do:

– go through Stephanie’s comments on Vegan and answer her questions
– go through recipe testers’ comments, answer any questions, and make edits on recipes as needed
– try baking love cake without eggs — if it works, write up recipe

– revise one of the many food essays I’ve started and once I’m happy with it, SUBMIT it.

– draft new story for Jump Space (intimidating, sigh, always is starting a new story, what if I mess it up, gah…after 25 years, you’d think I’d be over this)

– figure out when writing workshop next meets and be sure it’s in my calendar, because I’m being critiqued then, with the long “Thin Air” novella for Jump Space

– revise other Wild Cards story that isn’t due, exactly, but needs to be done at some point

– write blog post for Wild Cards (due Nov 1? check.)

– look at agent search document and consider reaching out to some agents? Am I ready? Do I have a manuscript ready to show them?
– check with friend to see if I can borrow their space for a few days in the next week to work on revision of The Arrangement — I think I really need to be out of the house for that, and with a M/W teaching schedule, I can actually go away Thurs – Sun this semester, if Kevin is feeling up to managing the kids (and their homework)
– write back to Sailaja N. Joshi re: picture books

– write new story (GAH) for anthology I’ve been invited to (due Nov 1? check.)


Plenty of writing-related stuff to do that doesn’t involve organizing the basement, alas.


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