edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Took weekly Monday photographs of my vegetables, but forgot to post them online. Ah well. I will do a two-weeks-in-one post this coming Monday.

2. Walked to the Cayuga St. bridge to watch my town's fireworks display at 9:45pm Monday night. (Ithaca usually does fireworks a day or two before the 4th. I am not sure when or why that offset started, but at this point it's a tradition and continues through sheer inertia.)

3. Wrote four fic DVD commentaries. :)

more items under the cut )

21. Applied to TC3! (I mean, I fudged some dates because I don't remember the exact end dates of my association with my high school and previous colleges. I can tell you month and year, sure! But exact day? Pfff, no. I assume they will understand and cut me slack on that front.) Tomorrow I will start arranging for transcripts. I believe I can do that online for the two colleges. For my high school, I think I have to make a phone call, so that will wait for Monday.

22. Emailed Vicky about some super-secret plans we may or may not be conspiring over. ;)

And that is that!

For the record? My productivity was wildly uneven this week. Points 1 through 8 took four days (Monday-Thursday), whereas points 9-22 were all done in a single day (Friday). This is because I knocked my sleep schedule completely out of whack and did not manage to yank it back on track for several days, during which I kind of zombied around doing nothing in particular. I can't even say I was relaxing and enjoying myself; I was mostly just going through the motions and hoping some spark of emotion/inspiration would light me up.

I really need to stop letting my sleep schedule drift. That is utterly devastating to my ability to be a functional person.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Dental appointment at 8:15am. My teeth are fine, yay! The office manager was out for the week because of some unspecified life crisis, so I did not pay my bill on Monday (the hygienists have not been trained to work the billing program -- scheduling yes, financials no) but I should receive one in the mail sometime this coming week.

2. Made my weekly Facebook update.

3. Emailed the DRE about summer and fall youth group plans. I have not yet heard back, but I will try to corner her in person on Sunday and chat for a few minutes.

4. Caught a bus out to the mall and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which I enjoyed A LOT. :D

more items under the cut )

19. Bought groceries.

20. Repotted my peppers!

...

You will note that I still have not cooked the fajitas for which I did ingredient prep last week. The containers of sliced onion, pepper, and chicken have been sitting in the freezer for a week and a half now. I may try to get that dealt with tomorrow night, but give that I will already be baking brownies (church obligations), I am inclined to doubt I will manage the fajitas until Monday. *sigh*

I failed to get any writing done whatsoever -- like, I got a couple hundred words toward a prompt response, but there were aimless twaddle, totally unusable, and I haven't managed to get any of the slightly less awful ideas onto a page. Blargh.

I think, on the balance of evidence, that I have probably been stuck in a mild blue funk for the past couple weeks. I hadn't noticed sooner because I haven't felt particularly disconnected (one of my main depressive symptoms), but I have definitely been suffering from executive dysfunction (aka, lack of can-do), disordered sleeping patterns, and a general lack of enthusiasm for things I would normally enjoy. I also may have fic-binged a couple times, which is a telling symptom even without the disconnection that usually triggers it.

There is really nothing to do except try to fight the disordered sleeping patterns and wait it out. And maybe to grit my teeth and force myself to write, because that CAN be done and I do generally feel a lot better for up to a full day after completing some kind of creative work in the face of my brain's attempt to paint the whole world gray. I guess I'll see if I have any free time at work tomorrow to get that prompt response pinned down.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
As you have doubtless noticed, I failed to post about my plants on Monday the 15th. This is because depression occasionally whacks me in the brain with a bag of sand for a while, whereupon I let stuff unrelated to immediate survival (or my job) slide until such time as I have the spoons to deal with it. Yes, even fun stuff like gardening. *sigh*

Anyway, I did scrape together a decent bunch of spoons today so here we are with the grand pepper repotting and squash thinning post. Better late than never, yeah? *wry*


four pepper seedlings in black plastic planters . two pepper seedlings in a black plastic planter

1. peppers A2, A4, A6, and B1 (Friday, 19 May 2017)
2. peppers B3 and B5


two more images under the cut )


I decided that this year I wanted to keep better track of my peppers, which is why I 'named' them on a grid system back when they were still in their little black plastic tray. I therefore painted those IDs onto the planters and pots and made sure to transfer each plant to the correct final home.

You may note that several of the seedlings have lost a cotyledon. This is because I was kind of a dumbass and left them out too long one afternoon last week, and then overwatered them in a slightly panicked reaction to their desperately wilted state. :( But they seem to be recovering (I think the fertilizer I gave them last weekend perked them up a bit) and I figure proper soil can only help in that process.


two squash seedlings in a clear plastic tub . one squash seedling in a clear plastic tub

5. Yan and Tan (Thursday, 18 May 2017)
6. Tethera


four more images under the cut )


Meanwhile, all the second-round squash seedlings were doing fairly well, but I had to murder two of them or the only eventual survivor would have been Tethera -- these tubs are not big enough to support two full-grown squash plants. So Yan and Pip got snipped, since Tan and Sethera, their pot-mates, were flourishing just that vital bit more. I hate this part of gardening, which is why I vastly prefer to plant single seeds and transplant the survivors. Alas, that is not practical for squash!

I should mention, at this point, that Meeny (my one surviving first-round squash seedling) died last Friday. I am not sure what went wrong. Perhaps I overwatered there as well? Perhaps Meeny did not cope well with being confined to my kitchen after several afternoons outdoors in proper sun? (I had to bring all the plants inside last week for temperature reasons.) It is a tragic mystery. But I have planted two new seeds in that tub -- henceforth to be known as Azer and Hovera -- and hopefully they will have better luck than their predecessor.

Lastly, I moved the Lazarus pepper outside for good and for keeps a couple days ago... except I think I'll bring it indoors one last time tonight, since the temperature will drop down to about 45F and I would prefer not to test its ability to withstand quite that much of a shock. *wry*

(Oh, PS: the onion was not able to recover from its mold infestation. So it goes.)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Put away the remaining laundry.

2. Backed up my hard drive.

3. Made an appointment to give blood this coming Thursday.

more items under the cut )

17. Submitted my WIP Big Bang snippets.

18. Checked 2D movie times for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which I would like to see tomorrow. (I'd wanted to see it Thursday or Friday, but see above in re: the universe squashing me flat.) I think 1:15 or 3:10pm sound most promising.

19. And this is true for all the days in question: I plonked at a few bits of fiction to no particular effect. *sigh* I will keep trying tomorrow.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I think what annoys me about trying to be creative right now is that nothing is grabbing me, and also none of my current projects are short enough to be wrapped up in a single sitting. So I add some words here, and some words there, and everything just kind of inches along inconclusively and I don't get the positive reinforcement of finishing stuff.

Blargh.

I suppose progress by inches is still progress, so. I am slowly piecing together the missing scene for "Second Chances" -- I might be about halfway through that now? -- after which I will get back to fixing the existing scenes. I am starting to toss around some ideas for my Fandom Trumps Hate auction fic, because I need a plot to hang the scenario on and that's fairly low-pressure. I have added some words to 'free' and 'soft,' which are two of my remaining Cotton Candy Bingo squares. ('Cute' I still have no clue what to do with.) I have reread some of my background planning for "Intervention" as preparation for unsticking myself on the space battle.

I am pretty sure this drought is a combination of general overwork and a blue funk, and it will pass, but man, I hate the way depression walls me off from doing things I love. :(
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Took photos of gardening projects and posted them.

2. Folded and put away laundry.

3. Texted Landlord Dude to remind him that my back screen door was falling apart. He then came by on Thursday and started dismantling it in preparation for its eventual replacement. Apparently he is also getting an inspector in on Monday, I guess to check if there are hidden problems and also because Upstairs Neighbor E has been having trouble with a carpenter ant infestation. I have not seen any ants yet myself, but... let's just say I really want to know what the inspector finds. :(

4. Bought a sack of potting soil from Target. Also checked out my options for buying plastic storage tubs for the squash seedlings, should I choose to go that route.

5. Bought a new pair of black Sketchers work shoes for when my current pair dies. I expect that to be within the month, as the soles are nearly worn through and I think the tip of the right shoe is starting to separate.

6. Signed up for WIP Big Bang. I will be writing "Intervention," which is a Star Trek: AOS fic featuring the OC crew of a Red Cross ship dealing with both plagues and pirates on an isolationist colony planet.

7. Wrote my IRA contribution checks for the 2016 tax year.

8. Pruned some icky bits off the various sections of Damocles, the big spider plant I am in the process of repotting. It's currently still growing new roots in a giant container of water, but I think it will be ready to pot this weekend.

9. Bought groceries.

10. Bought stamps and promptly used them to mail my IRA contribution checks. *wry*

11. Stewardship committee meeting Thursday evening. We handed out some thank-you note assignments, but postponed a bunch of other decisions until we know the results of the settled minister search committee's efforts, which should theoretically be announced this Sunday. *crosses fingers for success*

12. Boiled some eggs.

...

That's not an awful lot for five days, is it? I mean, a bunch of that is because I am spending 10+ hours a day at work, but I am starting to wonder whether a blue funk might have snuck up on me in disguise. See, my primary depressive symptoms are pervasive mental/physical/emotional exhaustion and inability to do creative work and hey, guess what, I was already exhausted and feeling creatively drained just from overwork and lack of time. But I have noticed myself sliding into obsessive reading this week, which is another of my classic symptoms -- when I lose my grip on the world and the gray fog rolls in, reading is my reflexive method for trying to hang onto something outside myself -- and I've also been less interested in food the past couple days, so... yeah. I am kind of suspicious.

And on that note, I should probably get to bed. *sigh*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[community profile] snowflake_challenge Day 3: Set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private.

I have various and sundry goals for the year, but I think the biggest ones are... hmm...

Okay.

1. Starting in April, get really serious about finding and applying to full-time jobs, because my current one (though it's nice and has a reasonable hourly wage) is only part-time and therefore has no benefits. I'm keeping it for now because it meshes well with my seasonal tax-prep job, but I want something more stable going forward.

2. Finish at least three chapters of "The Guardian in Spite of Herself," because I failed miserably on that front last year (ugh, depression) and now that I'm feeling less pervasively gray, I would like to get back to more regular writing.

3. Relatedly, write something every day. This can be as little as a single sentence, but I find that I do best in life when I arrange my days (or weeks) to have reliable structures and patterns. Last year I was pretty successful at finally training myself into making daily flossing a reliable habit, so I'd like to try that with writing this year. :)

4. Also relatedly, keep up my daily to-do lists! I have used to-do lists off and on over the years, mostly when I am having particularly bad problems with depression (I always list a few gimmes, like meals, to make sure I have things I can cross off and point to as 'see, I am NOT doing nothing!' evidence), which is why I started up the habit again in 2016, but I've been trying to regularize it a little more, and plan some items a few days in advance, and it's been very helpful in creating a sense of stability when my greater life has felt too big and terrible to ever be within my control. I'd like to keep that up in good times so the habit will be in place whenever bad times roll back again. *wry*

(They always do. These past couple years were only the second time I've had long-term depression; it's been almost entirely situational, which was also the case with my first extended depressive period, so I was pretty sure it would clear up when my life got less chronically stressful. (Spoiler: I was right.) But even when I'm doing well, I still get my blue funks -- I have periodic clinical depression, which means that a few times a year, my brain chemistry randomly conks out for a few weeks -- and I like to have a well-honed set of tools for getting through them.)

5. Continue my decluttering project. I have a bunch more boxes and cupboards that need to be sorted through, and there are still a bunch more clothes I should try on and decide whether I'm ever going to wear them again. I think I'd also like to get a new computer chair, and maybe some kind of shelving unit I can use to store my spare gardening stuff instead of having it randomly stacked on my kitchen floor.

6. Figure out a way to get more physical activity into my life. It needs to be sneaky and low-key, and it needs to be easily slipped into a daily routine rather than a special-purpose event solely about exercise or flexibility. I already walk 1-3 miles a day -- this is easy, because I don't usually have a car and I have an established routine of going to take a photograph of Cascadilla Creek from the Tioga St. bridge every day that this is physically and temporally possible -- but I want to add something a little higher intensity, and maybe also something to improve flexibility since I've been getting a bit stiffer as I get older and that annoys me.

Any advice on the exercise front would be very welcome, btw! :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
2015 version
2014 version
2013 version
2012 version
2011 version
2010 version
2009 version
2005 version

---------------------------------------------
A Year in Writing: 2016
---------------------------------------------

January - 5,825 words )

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February - 925 words )

---------------------------------------------

March - 9,200 words )

---------------------------------------------

April - 1,025 words )

---------------------------------------------

May - 10,750 words )

---------------------------------------------

June - 5,075 words )

---------------------------------------------

July - 3,975 words )

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August - 8,275 words )

---------------------------------------------

September - 3,825 words )

---------------------------------------------

October - 600 words )

---------------------------------------------

November - 1,675 words )

---------------------------------------------

December - 20,200 words )

---------------------------------------------

2016 Fanfiction: 69,975
2016 Original: 1,375
2016 Total: 71,350


---------------------------------------------

Analysis )

---------------------------------------------

And that is that for the year. Here's hoping 2017 will be better on many fronts.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
This post is a response to a question meme for fic writers from Tumblr.

[tumblr.com profile] rollinginbooks asked: 1. Describe yourself how you would describe a character you're introducing

But like, introducing into what kind of story? And in what role? Because how I introduce a person depends very much on what they are going to do, and what they do depends (obviously!) on genre and story length and stuff.

For example:

-----

1. Liz Culmer lived possibly the most boring, predictable life known to humankind. She had spent many years very carefully arranging it that way, so she would have more time for reading and writing, and was often quietly happy as a result.

This state of peace and solitude lasted until one month before her thirty-fifth birthday, at which point her younger sister abruptly quit her own job, broke the lease on her apartment, and moved three hundred and fifty miles north to take up residence in Liz's spare room while she worked on 'finding herself'.

Liz was halfway convinced she and Vicky would murder each other within a week. But family was family. And she had to admit, it might be nice to have somebody around who knew all the parts of herself she'd let fall by the wayside over the years.

Maybe, on some level, she'd also been looking for a change...

-----

2. "Werewolves," Liz said flatly.

"Well, sort of," said the woman who'd knocked insistently on the door of Liz's apartment at the barbarous hour of nine AM, introduced herself as Lindsay Martinez, and announced that the dog attack Liz had halfway thought was a hallucination (dog bites, in her understanding, did not simply vanish overnight) had in fact been something even more implausible. "Were-everything, really. People only shift into one animal each, but it can be pretty much anything you have a tangential awareness of. I'm a were-parakeet, for instance."

"That's nice?" Liz said. She twisted the copper ring on her right middle finger around and around, and wished she had something more substantial to do with her hands. Like filling out a form. Or maybe dismantling a retractable pen. Something that would let her feel like she still had a grip on the world. "Um. So, if it's not all wolves, is the thing about the moon...?"

Ms. Martinez shrugged and smiled in a way Liz knew intimately: the customer service expression that said she'd heard this question a thousand times before but didn't hold it against Liz for asking the thousand-and-first time, because everybody did and she'd long since come out the other side of annoyance into weary and vaguely amused acceptance. "I'm afraid so, at least for the first year or two. We'll want you to come to our safehouse for your first shift, of course, in case it turns out to be something awkward."

"Right. Yeah. That makes sense," Liz said, and wished she could think of more intelligent questions to ask. She'd just learned magic was real (for some value of magic, anyway), and all she could think of was that this felt like every job interview she'd ever gone on, only without the chance of earning money at the end.

She'd probably turn into some kind of newt. That seemed to be the way her life was going these days.

-----

3. When Sneha and Jill hurried into the rental office five minutes before it closed, there was a new woman at the front desk: white (they were always white), round face, short hair, and looking faintly annoyed for a second before she dredged up a bright, professional smile. "Are you here for a package?" she asked, setting down the cell phone she'd been fiddling with.

"Yeah, uh, for both of us," Jill said, setting her carryout box on the counter.

"Mine's actually for my roommate," Sneha added. "She has an evening class but she really wants it tonight. Is it okay if I pick stuff up for her?"

"Absolutely," the woman said, standing up from her chair and walking toward the package counter. "What's your apartment number?"

---------------

The first is clearly a story about two sisters and how a change in one's life spills over to affect the other. Right now it's contemporary realist litfic; it could veer into more interesting genres, but probably not in a really dramatic way since I didn't signal that in the opening paragraphs. The second is obviously urban fantasy, and the main character is strongly implied to be suffering from depression. And the third could be anything, except I'm not the main character and the POV characters don't care much about me. :)

(All of these stories have been fictionalized to various degrees, btw.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Finished the Not the IRS onboarding process, which is basically logging onto a site and electronically signing a bunch of forms (some of them have a few options to fill out first). Because this is my second year as a tax preparer, I am now eligible for... it's not technically commissions, because the structure's a little different, but essentially it's commissions, if I bring in money over my hourly wages for the pay period in question. Probably I won't earn any, because I am new and have no established client base, but I guess it's nice to know the option is there?

more items under the cut )

And now I should probably get to bed, because I have work tomorrow. :)

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Elizabeth Culmer

July 2017

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