We walk through the wood, never wondering what lies beyond. But we will all go there, one day.

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Things which keep me grounded; the view from the kitchen: tea, geekery, a kidlet not eating his breakfast

 

This has been a hard week.  Two lights lost to the world and moving beyond, two new holes in the world.  I wish I could physically be at the memorials for both.  My heart is there.

It feels somewhat wrong to be moving on (as it always does after a loss), but at the same time it feels right.  The loss of anyone is a reminder of what matters, to value those things in life.  To make our lives worthwhile.

I want to make my life mean something.  To be a good mother to that amazing kid above.  To be a good friend.  To write something that fills a hole in someone else’s life.

I will do these things.  I will make my time on this earth mean something.

On the mundane side, I have been keeping on with keeping on.  Still keeping my chains unbroken, and this week finally getting around to trialling the Pomodoro technique.  Much modified (which for me means that I pretty much only get one or two pomodoros in per day) but so far it’s working pretty well.

Some links for the week:

10 amazing real-world locations for fantasy worldbuilding.

Sometimes what feels like surrender isn’t surrender at all.

Dystopia and the ferris wheel effect.

Are the nutritionists lying to us?

The things that save us.

Are we too obsessed with happiness?

The five best productivity methods.

The art of being fearless.

On piracy and copyright and file sharing and free speech.

 

Getting things done in a smaller world

Kangaroo paws at sunset 2The process of unfracking my life continues.

I’m still slowly whittling away at some of my online commitments.  One of the things I’m giving over is the guilt at not interacting with people online as much as I’d like.  I’m not spending as much time on Faceboook, and I refuse to feel guilty over not commenting on blogs or replying to comments much.  I’ve never been a huge commenter anyway (I don’t like to comment unless I feel like I have something useful to add) but I’m probably going to be commenting even less.

I’m still making chains of the things I want to accomplish, and yesterday I played with the Pomodoro Technique for the first time, with success.  Something about having that timer ticking away, knowing that I was going to get a break in X minutes, really helped me focus.  I ended up with about 2200 good words after two pomodoros, which I think is a win in all senses.

Today, I am physically and emotionally exhausted.  It’s going to be interesting to see how the techniques work for me when I’m fatigued.  It’s one of the great annoyances of chronic illness, I find – just finding that damn hair-thin line to walk between getting things done and doing too much and sending myself into a tailspin.  But ultimately, I can complain about it until I’m blue in the face, and all I’m going to accomplish is wasted energy and annoyed people around me.  This illness probably isn’t going to kill me any time soon (though in reality, it may shorten my lifespan) and it’s mostly under control with medication and lifestyle adjustments.  I’m extraordinarily blessed to have a husband who makes good enough money that I don’t have to be bringing in a wage, and family who help with the kidlet (and whose help, if I’m brutally honest, has allowed me to be able to have a kid, since I doubt I’d be able to cope on my own).

You fall over, get up, get up again.  Keep going.

 

Vale, Paul Haines

Paul Haines was an amazing man and an incredible writer.

I’ve been sitting here for a while staring at the cursor, trying to figure out what to say.  Paul and my father walked a similar path fighting cancer, both of them going to extraordinary means to try to beat the disease.  They exchanged emails, I believe, and my father was always invested in how Paul was going with his own fight.

If you’ve never read any of Paul’s work, even if you’re not a fan of horror, go and find some.  Wives is what most people will recommend and seriously worth the read.  Paul always had a way of twisting off the veneer of normalcy of life, revealing something beneath that could be shocking, gut wrenching or just plain horrible.  But it always made you look at the world with new eyes, always made the real world more real.

I had hoped, so much, that there would be some magic cure for Paul.  I can only begin to imagine the hole that’s gaping in his family’s lives.  Paul, you will be missed, as a writer and as a damn fine human being.  I take comfort in the idea that maybe you and my father are sitting somewhere at a bar having a drink and sharing war stories and declaring a heart “Fuck You” to cancer.

Links for the week

The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn

The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn by Garry61 on Flickr

Three Lies to Face Before You Find Your Passion.

Tips for Turning Online Procrastination Time into Research Time.

Beatrice, an app full of author interviews (with link to Kickstarter to fund it).

10 science and technology breakthroughs that caused widespread panic.

How to build the muscle of change.

Your privacy kind of sucks, fix it up this weekend.

Why I tearfully deleted my Pinterest inspiration boards. (I’m rethinking my own use of Pinterest because of this).

Shveta Thakrar on Domythic South Asia.

Date a girl who reads.

The urban survival skills everyone should know.

The 10 minute hack.

Three reasons you’re neglecting yourself.

Tuesday Therapy: Keep running.

The smallest piece of magic can shine a light

Fable Tribe shrine

New mini shrine from the Fable Tribe

This has been a frustrating week.  My pain levels have been high, and the kidlet’s sleep has been out of whack (which means that mine has been as well).  We suspect he’s working on a molar, but thankfully he had a good night last night, which means that I actually feel human this morning.

In the mail yesterday came my new mini shrine from the Fable Tribe.  Which is amazing and magical and has found a home in my magpie collection of inspiration which lives above my writing computer.  They just updated on Friday, so if you’re looking for some magic, go and have a look at their etsy store.  I was stalking the update so I could grab a specific Glamourkin, and was very happy indeed to be able to nab it.

Not much writing done this week, though I’ve stuck to my goal of trying to get something done each day, even if it’s only a sentence.  I’m finding myself a little stuck, which means that I’ve gone wrong somewhere.  Need to untangle that.  I’m firmly in the middle of the middle of the book, so it could just be that usual middle-of-the-book syndrome kicking in.  My plan is to take a good look at my outline and see if there’s something I’ve missed or which isn’t connecting up.

I have been managing a fair bit of reading – on the ninth (and final book) of Mark Chadbourn’s massive Age of Misrule/The Dark Age/Kingdom of the Serpent series.  I find myself enthralled and frustrated by this series.  There’s so much to interest me, but I feel that there’s huge plot points that feel forced, and the characters are all-too-often sliding into cardboard cutouts.  But I’ve found enough to keep me going through the books, so that’s something.

I continue to pare down my online life.  I left a bunch of Facebook groups yesterday, and I’m going to be going through and paring down my general reading lists as well.  I’m already feeling better for it.

And now it’s a lovely long weekend, which shall hopefully be filled with lots of cuddles from the kidlet.

 

Making some changes

I’ve noticed of late that my internet time is becoming a stressful thing for me.  There’s so much drama in groups and between individuals.  It’s gotten to a point where every time I sit down at the computer I end up coming away stressed and frustrated.

And so, I am making some changes.

I’m stepping away from a bunch of online groups and I’m going to stop following people who seem to give nothing but negativity to the world.  This means that I’ll likely be cutting down lists on things like facebook, livejournal etc.

I’m pretty much moving all of my blogging over to here, anyway, so no one is going to miss anything.

It’s time to strengthen the connections that strengthen me.