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Some really fun things today. Our daughter decided she wanted purple streaks in her hair, so I helped her do that — bleaching, rinsing, dyeing, washing and conditioning … we’ll see how it looks in the sun tomorrow. Didn’t get to it until late.

Also maybe not fun but related to fun, I sent my twinkling stars skirt back to ThinkGeek for exchange because one of the light strings doesn’t work. I love the skirt, so I’m really looking forward to having one that works completely.

And I wrote 675 words tonight.

Coming up: time visiting family. Still will be posting word counts.

colored wolf

Picture my daughter colored on an app. She likes lots of bright colors. I love her creative use of the colors.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

Fine lines

May. 25th, 2017 09:41 pm
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When I start something that’s new to me, I have choices about how to proceed: I can read up on how things are done, I can ask questions, or I can bluff and act like I’m positive I know what I’m doing. (Or some combination of these)Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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In the last day or so, I’ve mentioned to both my kids that I have too many things to do and not enough time to do them in. My daughter’s advice was that I need a schedule. I laughed at this, because it doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

My son told me I need to prioritize and not try to do everything at once. He also suggested a Time-Turner. I told him I’d be fine if, say, I could do a week’s worth of work in a day. (This led to a lovely digression on day lengths on other planets.Pluto’s day length is closest to a week, for those who are wondering.)

What they don’t teach you in school is that prioritize doesn’t just mean decide what order you’re going to do things in; it also means decide what you’re not going to do. Some types of housework are an easy cut, as is clearing off my desk. Another very helpful thing is that at the Nebula Conference this last weekend, some things I thought I would be responsible for were taken off my plate. But my pared-down list is still busy: novella reading I’ve committed to with other writers (they’re reading mine, too), an academic press copyediting deadline, and a novel I’m trying to finish. (This is all on top of family and SFWA stuff.)

So up next (before I go to bed) is roughing out a plan for the next couple of weeks. We’ll see how it goes.

Words today: 325 words

Maybe tomorrow I’ll talk about the other major thing on my mind, the line between vulnerability and helplessness.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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In this case, both halfway through the week and halfway through the novella. I’m loving that the novella is going well, but it is distracting me a touch from getting the novel done.

My mom was commenting that when she’s seen my blog recently (only intermittent Internet access), all she sees are how many words I’ve written. For readers who may feel the same as she does, here is other stuff on my plate that I’ve been dealing with, none of which sounds terribly interesting to anyone else, I’m sure:Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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That “not taking on new projects” thing? Yeah, I’m not so good at that. I wouldn’t even have run for SFWA’s Board last year without Maggie Hogarth’s encouragement. Or Cat Rambo’s, though Maggie was the first to tell me I should run. I wish Maggie joy, rest, and progress (and I am definitely looking forward to the third Dreamhealers book! and more Coracle! and Kherishdar!) — God speed! And I will serve SFWA to the best of my ability as vice president.

I’ve been a bit distracted today…

Words written today: 338
Words written this month: 13,161
Words written 2017: 93,961
Average words/day 2017: 824
Books completed 2017: 1
Pages read today: 1-1/2 chapters with daughter
Books read 2017: 7

lilies of the valley

From a house down near the girl’s bus stop

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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cinnamon swirl bread

From Food52: https://food52.com/recipes/67878-maida-heatter-s-mile-high-cinnamon-bread

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I apologize for being scarce around here this month. It’s been a rough month, and if we’re connected anywhere else, you know this. I summed up in my latest newsletter, and if you’re not a subscriber, I strongly suggest you do subscribe!

I read lots of newsletters and mailing lists (probably too many, to be honest — time spent on them is time not used in writing), and I want to mention one of them today: Benjamin Hardy. He recently republished an article on Medium, 8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 a.m.

When I read it (and downloaded his checklist), I hoped it was going to be just easy tweaks. Not a challenge. I feel like I have enough challenges in my life, you know?

And some of it seems obvious — get enough sleep, focus on what you want to be doing, move your priorities forward.

But …

I’ve found myself making excuses for why I haven’t even tried. I get up between 6 and 6:30 and spend the time until almost 9 getting kids fed, making sure lunches are made, and seeing them off to school. His routine looks like it would add another couple of hours, and I can guarantee I’m not getting up at 4. And I’m tired, and it hasn’t been a good month, and and and. Lots of excuses.

The thing is, I do want to, as he says, get out of survival mode and live on purpose. Make changes that will help me focus more in the morning and get things done.

Some changes I may not make — I know that exercise in the morning makes me worthless for the rest of the day.

But I’ll start with two, similar to things I already do, and go from there: journaling each morning when I first wake up (instead of waiting until 9 a.m.), and a cold shower (or at least a warm shower with a cold rinse at the end) each day. This is my public commitment to doing this for this week, next week, and the foreseeable future.

Anyone else want to join in?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

Ouch

Jul. 15th, 2016 12:48 pm
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The other day, I tripped on my front step. Skinned my left knee, landed with most of my weight on the heels of my palms — primarily the right. Nothing’s broken, and there’s no real swelling. However, the joints all hurt, writing or drawing for more than a couple minutes produces twinges in the back of my forearm, turning motions (like twisting a doorknob) give me shooting pains, and lifting things is hard. I’ve been treating myself with OTC painkillers, ice, and rest, and I’m doing better day by day.

Meanwhile, I’m mostly confining myself to the iPad because mousing is painful. Which means I’m not around as much for a bit. I’m checking e-mail, so if you need something, that’s the best way to get in touch. And if I seem quiet for a bit, at least you know why.

the offending front step

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Pleasant break from routine this week — my friend Bonnie’s in town for a few days. I haven’t seen her since Boskone last year, although we do chat online more days than not. (Apologies for the blurry photo.)

Bonnie

One of the things we did was to finish up a jigsaw puzzle. (Yes, it’s the same image as the journal I posted about. When my daughter and I saw it at the store, she said I had to get it.)

completed jigsaw puzzle

Still did practical things, though — finished copyediting a civil engineering article, did some work on the (soon to be unveiled) Nebula websites, mailed off all the tax returns (including business tax returns that aren’t due until beginning of May), and took my daughter to her Girl Scouts meeting.

Lots to be grateful for here, from Bonnie’s visit to taxes done. What are you grateful for this week?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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You just can’t see the flowers today because of the snow.

 

 
No, really, the ridiculous part is that you can see the flowers because although it’s been snowing for hours, not a speck has stuck. Anywhere.

What’s new in your neck of the world?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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So the kids, as expected, do not have a two-hour delay. Instead, schools are closed. *sigh*

  

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I had a checkup this morning — a follow-up from my bronchitis last month. The doctor wanted to make certain my asthma was under control under normal circumstances. She was concerned because I’d had two bouts of bronchitis so close together (one in October, one in January), especially as I couldn’t remember being around someone sick that would’ve triggered my own illness. (Well, until a few hours after I got home and remembered that my daughter had been down with the flu — which I told the doctor this morning. She agreed that could easily have triggered it and said she hoped my daughter’s okay now.)

So I did the spirometry.

In case you’ve never done this, they hand you this machine with an attached tube for you to blow into. You take as deep a breath as you can, then blow out as hard and long as you can. Three times, because they need to look at the average. It always leaves me a little light-headed (Yes, I’ve done this test there before to check how I was recovering from previous bouts of bronchitis), and I don’t recommend doing it for fun.

Results came back: I’m normal. Okay, at least my breathing is. Asthma is fine and controlled when I’m not otherwise sick. (And the doctor and I had a chat about exercise and keeping my rescue inhaler with me just in case, too.)

However…

My systolic pressure was high. Both systolic and diastolic were high when first tested. After a few minutes of rest, the diastolic dropped, but the systolic did not.

It’s possible that was stress (I drove in the snow. And there were semis on the road. Yes, I get stressed by this.), or the fact that I shorted myself on sleep this past weekend to meet a deadline. But it’s also possible this is an issue of concern.

So I have an appointment to go back in a month for a blood pressure check.

If it’s still high then, we’ll talk blood tests and EKG and medications and whatever else. Meanwhile, I’m drinking more liquid, cutting back on sodium (switching to unsalted butter and cutting out processed foods mostly), and planning to walk more (when it’s not snowy and the roads aren’t icy). I’ll let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile, I’m grateful that I can breathe and that there’s no need to change my medication right now.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I’ll admit when I saw this month’s topic for the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, I didn’t know what I was going to write. My exact words to Margaret were, “poem in third grade, short story in fifth, first attempt at novel in seventh, fanfic in twelfth, next attempt at novel after college…” I didn’t know where to start.

Then it occurred to me that this is my origin story. I’ve always been writing, and it’s something I’ve cycled back to again and again, in different forms, no matter what had pushed me away. Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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So it’s award nomination season (specifically: Hugo nominations opened this week, with PINs for members being sent out in batches), which means lots of people are talking about what they’ve done that’s eligible. Now, I only had two short stories that came out last year, so this is easily done. If you’re looking for more short stories to read, check out “Blood and Gold” in The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk and “Adapt or Die” in Aphrodite Terra. Even if you don’t decide to nominate my work, there are many other stories in both that you’ll likely enjoy.Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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What with the snow, the family was home today. I stayed inside and worked on a short story with occasional breaks to take pictures of icicles outside our kitchen window (they fell partway through the afternoon), while my family went in and out, working on clearing the driveway of snow — with several well-earned breaks along the way. Then in the afternoon, friends came over and we had a good time playing various games, eating, talking, and laughing.Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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As with so much of the Mid-Atlantic region, we got hit by Jonas yesterday. I wasn’t expecting much, actually. I originally saw a forecast that said 3–5″, and then heard that it was turning south, so more like 1–3″. We’ve always got staples on hand to eat, food to eat, warm clothes in case of a power outage…no worries.Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

Garden pics

Jun. 9th, 2015 05:03 pm
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Here are the pictures I promised yesterday.

First, the blueberry plants on our deck. They look to be establishing themselves well. We won’t get any berries this year, of course, but next year should be delightful.
blueberry bushes in pots

The straw bales with the seedlings (before the tomato plants were added):
corn and other seedlings in straw

seedlings plus empty straw bale

Now with tomato plants in place of that empty bale above.
straw bales from above

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

100 days?

May. 1st, 2015 08:10 am
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Maybe a month ago, I ran across 100 Days of Making, and I was intrigued with the idea. I set the link aside to think about what I’d like to do. I went back to visit this week and realized they actually started April 6.

But that’s okay. I could start now and either catch up or go for 100 days.

The problem is still — what would I do?

  • 100 days of sketches? I’m already trying to sketch each day.
  • 100 days of haiku? Maybe, although a lot of my haiku doesn’t follow technical definitions with seasonal references and the like.
  • 100 days of origami, maybe folding cranes? Yeah, I’d probably get bored with that pretty quickly because of the repetition.
  • 100 days of crocheting and knitting squares of different patterns to join into an afghan at the end? Certainly a possibility.
  • 100 days of quilting different quilt blocks for the same idea? Ha! No way I’d manage a block a day.
  • 100 days of flower photographs? Or birds, or trees? That one has potential.
  • 100 days of photos with accompanying haiku? Ooh, that’s promising, but I am I going to find it too much by the second or third month?

Then, of course, I realized that with summer coming and potential trips, I might  well discover I couldn’t post to Instagram every day. (Oh, yes, just what I need — another social media network!)

So my current thought is to wait until after vacation time, and then start my 100 day count, even if everyone at The Great Discontent is done by then — if I still think I need another challenge in my life.

Does this sound interesting to you? What kind of creative thing could you do for 100 days?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I mentioned this in my last newsletter, but I know that not everyone subscribes to my newsletter, so I’m letting everyone know here, as well: next year, I plan to do a sketch a day and post it to DeviantArt. I’ve had an account there for around five years and never done anything with it, so you can see my work from the beginning.

Sketches might range from a ballpoint pen drawing of a bluejay (I’ve been doing those in my daughter’s lunch already, so that’s not really a challenge) to trying my hand at colored pencils on a dragon. I don’t know; I have 365 days to fill.

If you’re interested in following along, you can find me here: Eimarra on DeviantArt.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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IMG_1975.JPG
The U.S. East Coast is getting snow today — heavy, wet stuff, the kind that will be a pain to shovel. I don’t have to worry about that at the moment, though. Instead, I am sitting inside, watching the snow fall.Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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