Thursday, August 13, 2015

What I'm Reading (and what I'm Not)

OK, depending on your opinion of how many books it is appropriate to read at once, your opinion of me might be about to change.

I like to read more than one book at a time.

Stop throwing things at me.

Seriously, I have met people who have gasped out loud at the notion of reading multiple books at once. I know I'm not the only person who does this, but they act like I've just told them about everything my husband and I did in bed last night.

Which was nothing, because I convinced him to let the dog sleep in our room and she snuggled the fuck right up between us like the coziest cuddle buddy you've ever had.

But hey, people follow more than one TV show at a time, which is basically the same thing, so...yeah. Take that, gaspers!

A lot of the time I end up splitting my readings between physical books (or eBooks) and an audio book (what up, Audible!). And if you now hate me even more for my love of audiobooks, I don't care. As per this article I wrote, they rock, and they will always rock.

Anyway, my physical read right now is How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu, and so far it is as fantastic and wonderful as the title and cover promised it would be. I found it at Bookman's, our favorite used bookstore here in Tucson, and it immediately went to the (almost) top of my to-read list.

There's math, physics, time-travel and AI bosses who have no idea that they're little more than some code in a piece of software, but still enjoy using phrases like, "Yo dog."

My audio-book (which I listen to while driving, running, at the gym and while unloading the dishwasher if everyone would just be quiet for like two seconds) is You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day.

And oh my god, she is wonderful. I first discovered Felica Day through her web series The Guild, and she's been in other internet sensations like Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and the Dragon Age: Redemption web series.

In short, she's wonderful and hilarious and has just enough social anxiety to make me feel like we could totes be best friends. 

So what are you reading (or listening to) right now?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Schedules aren't Just for Toddlers Anymore

If babies and toddlers are indeed creatures of habit (which, according to every pediatrician, parenting book, mom blog, and that weird lady at the park that one time, they totally are), then count me in as a fit-throwing, Ninja Turtle-loving three year old.

I am a creature of habit.

I wish my desk looked this nice.
Which is useful since I telecommute.

Sure, there’s a lot of freedom with working outside of an office, but I still follow a schedule that changes a few times throughout the year depending on my classes.

Right now I have a few weeks before class starts up again, so my morning schedule is fairly simple:

  • Wake up and shower.
  • Drag protesting kids out of my own bed (don't you have your own?) and get them downstairs and fed.
  • Tell them for the last god damn time to put their clothes on or they can't watch Ninja Turtles when they get home.
  • Drop kids off at daycare. Try to act like I enjoy listening to the same song for the millionth time.
  • Come back home, eat breakfast while listening to an audiobook or podcast, and guzzle coffee.

Five days a week I start my day off the same way. I have the same thing for breakfast, the same thing for lunch, and eat the same snacks at the same time of day.

OK I sound really boring.

But there’s a good reason behind it, I swear. All of these little things that go into my routine get me ready for a day of work filled with writing, editing, and pacing my living room when I hit a roadblock.

If I rolled out of bed and plopped down in front of the computer still in my PJs, guess how much work I’d get done? Well, my Twitter feed might look busy, but that’s about it.

The same goes with writing. You know, my own fiction writing, not work writing.

When I was just a ball of hormones and energy and cigarettes I could write whenever, wherever. Now, I like a bit of habit before settling into some productive writing time. (Right now, it’s in the afternoon after I take a lunch break.)

Struggling to commit enough time to writing is a burden that most writers carry, and that’s one of the reasons that I find routine and habit so incredibly important.

I mean sure, those visions of the innately perfect writer who puts pen to paper and produces brilliant works of art any time the fancy strikes is nice and all, but for the most part writing takes an enormous amount of dedication and hard work.

Do you have any pre-writing habits or rituals that get you into the mindset to write?