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That was the month that was

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I haven't been posting much lately, have I?

In particular, it looks like I haven't posted any life updates here since late March.

A quick recap:

On April 1, I flew out to Pennsylvania. Spent a few days visiting Stephanie in Lancaster; among other things, we saw an excellent production of Sweeney Todd at the Fulton Theatre. Years ago, I saw an official video recording of a major stage production of the show (I could have sworn it had Len Cariou as Sweeney, but it looks like the only TV/video version had George Hearn, so maybe I'm just misremembering), and I've been listening to the Broadway cast recording for years, but I'd never seen it live on stage before. (And I skipped the Burton/Depp/Bonham Carter movie because it sounded too bloody for my tastes.) Anyway, the Fulton version was very well done.

On Wednesday the 6th, I drove to Swarthmore, and spent the next several days there, mostly attending the SWIL reunion. (My college science fiction club; I think something like fifty people showed up for it.) Good to see people, especially some old friends who I hadn't seen in several years. And some old friends' kids; I'm always immensely pleased when friends' kids turn out to be fun to talk with and to like some of the same geeky things I like.

I have no clear idea what I did for the two weeks after I got back from that PA trip. There was work during the workdays, and an awful lot of socializing in the evenings; the socializing was good, but I didn't get much magazine stuff done, and I didn't get nearly enough time alone (especially considering not having had much alone-time for the preceding couple of weeks). Oh, and there was tax stuff; by the deadline, on the 18th, I had managed to do just enough to be pretty certain that the IRS owes me a refund, so filing on time wasn't important, so I'm taking some extra time to figure out how to report the sale of my condo last year. The IRS instructions are reasonably clear about what to do, it's just that TurboTax doesn't seem to provide a way to do it. Hoping to resolve that soon.

On Sunday the 17th, I attended a brunch and writing day at Laura & Nico's. I only wrote about 500 words on my novella, but that polished off the final two scenes, and then I read through the whole thing looking for what still needs to be done. I still have two or three scenes in the middle left to write, but I'm very close to being done with a first draft. (Though it'll need significant work after that before it'll be finished.) I had been thinking that it was going to end up being just about 40,000 words long, but it's currently around 34,000, and I think no more than a couple thousand more to go; it'll be long for a novella, an awkward length to sell, but not nearly as awkward as I've been thinking. Of course, that's all word-processor word count; I haven't put it into Standard Manuscript Format yet to determine printer's-rule word count, so I might still be in trouble. We'll see.

Last Saturday, the 23rd, I had brunch with Lola & Jay and Kam; then in the afternoon I stopped by Holly's parents' place to see Jay & Holly & Avery and Holly's family. I had intended to just stay for a couple of hours, but getting to see my niece (yeah, okay, and my brother and sister-in-law and the rest of the family) turned out to be too strong a temptation, and I ended up hanging out there for about eight hours. We ended the evening with a game of their family's variant of Contract Rummy, which I rather enjoy.

So on Sunday, I decided I had to buckle down and try to catch up on magazine stuff, having done very little of it for the previous three or four weeks.

I also finally started tracking the amount of time I spend on magazine stuff, using the free timeEdition application, which is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. It's got a few bugs (mostly around adding comments to entries), and it doesn't do everything one could possibly want; but it's pretty cool, and it does more than I expected, especially when I remember to click the start and stop buttons. And it's free!

I put in over ten hours on magazine stuff that Sunday; got through my reading backlog and did some other stuff. Then continued to spend most of most evenings on magazine stuff for the rest of the week, and am now (after putting in about 20 hours in the past week) somewhere approximating caught up on most magazine things. Still a little behind on some stuff, and still plenty of back-burnered projects to work on, and still haven't answered several important emails; but getting there.

It was a long week. There was some stressful stuff at work that I'm not going to go into here, but it was also a productive week at work; among other things, finished and sent out a draft of an important document. I still have a lot to do before the big developer conference in just over a week, but I think it'll be manageable.

Oh, and I've started riding my bike to work again! One day in the first week after the PA trip, then two days the next week, then three days this past week. At that rate, in another couple months I'll be biking to work ten or eleven days a week!

Anyway, so this past week's been almost entirely work and magazine, but there's been a little other stuff mixed in. Watched the Dr. Who season opener on iTunes on Wednesday evening, for example, and played a little bit of Portal 2; and took some time out from magazining yesterday to catch up on Nikita and to watch Bambi, which I'd never seen before (though I read the book as a kid). And Kam and I have continued to watch Lost episodes in little bursts now and then; we're almost done with season 2, and still liking it. And I've watched an episode or two of Gilmore Girls (started rewatching season 2) and Wiseguy while entering subs into the database.

Oh, and in bits and pieces now and then I've been reading and enjoying Stephanie Burgis's Kat, Incorrigible. Back-cover blurb, which is also the opening lines:

I was twelve years of age when I chopped off my hair, dressed as a boy, and set off to save my family from impending ruin.

I made it almost to the end of my front garden.

It's a sort of Austenesque+magic middle-grade book; just came out in the US. UK edition, which came out last summer, was titled A Most Improper Magick; follow that link for more info and the first three chapters free online.


So there you have it; that was my April.

Today will probably be mostly magazine-focused, plus perhaps some general around-the-house kinds of tasks, and maybe a movie. This coming week will likely be super-busy with work stuff; then developer conference next week. And later in May I'll have a house guest, and then heading off to WisCon, followed immediately by Alumni Weekend. Busy busy. So you may not see a lot of me around these parts for a while.

1 Comment

Enjoyed the update, including your biking extrapolation!


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