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What I've been up to, November 2009 edition

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I last posted a life update a week and a half ago. Since then:

Had a lovely long dinner+conversation with Nalo and David and Juba and Janine.

The next night, had dinner with Sarah & Simon and Ananda & Sam.

A&S left town on Sunday—our schedules had been kind of out of sync, resulting in our not seeing each other much during their visit, alas.

I've spent a great deal of the week since then doing magazine stuff. For example:

Finally bought a printer, moments before the store closed on Sunday: a nice high-speed black-and-white laser printer that does automatic duplexing. (I had originally planned to buy an all-in-one multifunction printer, because it would be handy to have a scanner and fax machine and copier now and then; but I needed a printer urgently and the all-in-one model I had decided on wasn't in stock anywhere local—one store even said it had been discontinued, though it's still being sold on the HP website. So I went with an ordinary single-function printer.)

The printer made it feasible for me to quickly and easily print out a copy of every story we've published this year, to send off to Hartwell & Cramer for consideration for their Year's Best volumes.

I spent a lot of time over the rest of the week doing Year's Best stuff. Sent relevant stories to various other YB editors (the new printer helped, as did being a ten-minute walk from the post office); discovered that I had procrastinated too long for a couple of YB volumes, and they're now closed (but the editors had seen most of what we'd published this year); finally relaunched my Year's Bests info site for editors of magazines and original anthologies, showing info about all the YBs I know about (and filled in the nearly two years' worth of info that I had failed to add during the time I've been ignoring that site); finally updated the long-neglected awards and reprints pages at SH. It was pretty disappointing a couple of years ago when we went from seeing nearly a dozen stories reprinted in YBs each year to seeing one or two each year, and it made me not want to have anything to do with those pages. But I figure two years of avoidance behavior is probably enough. So those pages are mostly up-to-date now.

I've done some other things this week too. Work, of course, on Monday through Wednesday; have started making progress on my main project. Outside of work: Had a dentist appointment. Did a round of STD tests (I do that every year or so on general principles, just to be sure). Moved some boxes from the second guest room to the garage. Played DDR a couple of times.

Have also managed to squeeze in a fair bit of TV- and movie-watching. Decided to move that stuff to another entry to make this entry slightly less huge.

Wednesday night, had dinner with Kam's family (and N) at a restaurant in Santa Cruz; good food, good company.

Then I had about 48 hours of blessed solitude. The past couple weeks have been quite social; all of it has been good, but there's been a lot. It was really nice to have a couple days of just sitting on my couch, being alone, and getting stuff done.

Among other things, I read a whole lot of submissions. We've now read every submission that's come in, though we still have about 280 of them left to decide on and/or respond to. (That may sound like a lot, but given that we've received about 4500 subs this year, it means we're in the home stretch.)

I also did a little bit of coding, including fixing a bug in our response system that has occasionally sent a rejection despite the database not having the author's email address. That's only happened once or twice a year, but it's frustrating for everyone when it does, and it's usually been entirely my fault. Anyway, the system now detects that situation and prevents it from happening; a very easy fix, and one I wish I'd made years ago.

The other thing I've been doing is trying to get my to-do list under control. It had once again reached the point where I had hundreds of tasks piled up and so was avoiding looking at the list. So I went through them all, distributed their due dates, checked some stuff off, decided not to do some other stuff, etc. It reached the point where, at quarter 'til midnight on Saturday night, I actually managed to check off the last of my due-today list. Very exciting.

Of course, I only managed that by shifting a bunch of Saturday's items to be due Sunday. And fifteen minutes after that last checkoff, it became Sunday and another 60 or so items became due. Most of which I'll have to shift to later days.

Still, I'm making progress on the list, which is more than I could have said for a couple of weeks. This has really been quite a productive week, even though there are a bunch of things (especially emails) that I haven't yet dealt with.

And now it's time for me to sleep. There've been at least four nights in the past couple weeks when I've stayed up way too late even for me, then got something like seven and a half hours' sleep. Which is practically unheard-of for me; lately it's usually been more like five. I can't tell whether these longer-sleep nights have actually been more restful or not; might be starting to eat into years' worth of sleep debt, or maybe I'm waking up a bunch of times in the night and getting fragmented sleep, not sure. It's a little disconcerting to be waking up at 9:30 or 10 or 10:30 a.m., after months of mostly being awake by 8; makes it hard to get anything done in the morning. But probably good for me to get that much sleep.

But probably even better for me to go to bed earlier so that if I do get a lot of sleep, I'll still have a morning. To that end—and because I'm starting to drift off anyway—I'll sign off here.

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