A Quick Post Before Bed

I’m doing an April NaNoWriMo event, so I’m going to start putting out a bunch of posts really quickly like I did in November.

I still need to figure out how to schedule them so that I don’t lose track of where I am like I did in November. I don’t want to abandon them in my “drafts” folder.

I’ve also lowered my personal goal from 50,000 words to 35,000 words. I did something like 30,000 in November, so let’s increase that by 5,000. Then, if I make that, I’ll try 40,000 for this November.

I’m thinking about pushing them all the way out to, like, September through December, and the pulling them back into place one by one. Let’s see how that goes.

I was able to get back into my Google Ads account, so I may start running ads at some point. We’ll see what happens there.

A short Gratuitous Amazon Link for a short post. I’m three Discworld books away from when I gave up on that project, I think. Soon I’ll be back into books I’ve read numerous time and that I can say more about. So, today I bring you Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett.

My Recent Epiphany

I know that I’d love to write for a living. I know that I’d love to make residuals on my writing, but I’ll accept being paid enough upfront to be able to invest the money and get an extra income that way. I’m flexible.

I’m afraid of trying to write fiction again. I have had two main fiction-writing eras. The first was when I was a child and adolescent and the other was my marriage. Now, I just don’t know if I have it in me anymore.

I mean I have ideas. I have a steampunk novel about an inventor couple who are currently halfway across the country from each other and have developed a steampunk version of the internet. Sort of. The father, who has the first prototype, sends his adolescent kids across the country with the plans to their mom, and they’re being followed part of the way.

I have . . . something that defies genre. It started out as a sort of alternate history thing but gradually became a fantasy-without-magic world where women run the world.

And I love these ideas. The only thing is that when I try to write them, I hit the wall. Every. Damn. Time.

And my plans to translate kids’ books would require me to learn again how to write fiction. Because, ideally, a translation is kind of word-for-word, but also involves choosing the best and most natural way to say it in the target language. And I feel that it might be hard for me to do.

But the other night it hit me — since I’m writing non-fiction pretty much exclusively, why not translate non-fiction kids’ books from my target region (Mexico? Central America? Germany? Italy? China? Switzerland*?) — books on historical figures and events, geographical points of interest, cultural holidays, etc. I think that I could do a real service by opening these things up to the English-speaking world.

It’s not impossible that I could be back to writing fiction by then, as well. I do have ideas, I just have no follow-through at this point. But we’re talking about something like 11 years in the future. Most anything could happen by then.

*70% of the population of Switzerland speaks either German or Italian. And guess who else does?

The World’s Shortest Blog Post

Well, okay, maybe not the shortest, but I’m just going to get this off my chest fast and go to bed.

I realized part of why I procrastinate on posting here. I keep having great ideas for posts and then backing off, because if I use that great idea now, what will I write about later?

Then I forget that great idea before the next time I have time to sit down and write.

So, this is a message to my future self, for Friday after work: Write about that epiphany you had during that sleepless night on Wednesday/Thursday. You won’t regret it.

Weighted Blanket, Take 2!

I know. I just started the first attempt last night. I had today off, and so I got a few rows finished and, “Ow!”

That’s the sound of my hands cramping up from trying to work three strands of yarn on that loom.

So, for my second attempt, I’m going to try using one strand of yarn but adding weight with glass beads. I bought a pound of assorted glass beads at a craft store. Since the beads are assorted, I decided to try pure cotton yarn in beige. I thought that the beige yarn may be unattractive, but at least it won’t clash with the beads.

I haven’t started knitting yet. My plan is to figure out how many beads I need by using about half of them on the first skein. Then we’ll cast onto my largest circular needles and work a few rows that way. Then if it works, I’ll keep going. If it doesn’t work, I’ll drop back five and we’ll try something else.

I’m hoping to work a kind of long day tomorrow, so I may not get much knitting done. I may not even finish up putting the beads on the yarn tomorrow.

I should have some kind of update ready by the weekend, though.

Gratuitous Amazon Link? I’m glad you asked. I’m still back in 2017, hip-deep in the Discworld. We’re going to skip a book because of body-shaming, and go on to Feet of Clay, the summary of which kind of sounds familiar, but doesn’t give me the creeps like the summary of the previous book did.

Health? Crafting? Social Media? IDEK

This is probably about all of the above and I’m going to try to make it quick because it’s 11:00 and I have tomorrow off, but I’m going to see about going in to catch up on filing tomorrow.

I keep getting

That’s the middle of the story. Let’s try starting here: For my entire life, I’ve had trouble sleeping. I’ve been screened for apnea several times and I had an EEG when I was a kid (my mom thought that my behavior from bullying was the result of some kind of neurological disorder) and my brain waves were odd (they apparently indicated that I was awake despite being both sleep-deprived and also having been given some kind of sleeping pill) and I’m sure that if I had sleep apnea, something would have shown up that day.

Years ago, one of my doctors suggested that I may have trouble regulating my body temperature at night and he suggested that I turn the temperature in my house down at night to see if that helps, and it really pretty much does.

Now there’s the fashion for those weighted blankets that are supposed to help with difficulty sleeping and I’ve been tempted by them, but (a) body temperature regulation problems and (b) those things are actually too heavy for me. The blanket is supposed to be 10% of your body weight and they apparently assume that their user is 150 pounds (68 kg). I’m 120 (54.4 kg). I’d be crushed by a 15-pound (6.8 kg) blanket.

I recently saw an ad on Facebook for a cotton knit weighted blanket that promises that you won’t overheat under it because cotton and knit. It’s $200 and is still too heavy for me, so I’m trying to figure out how to make one myself.

So, to that end, I bought one of those knitting looms and am making a prototype out of cotton blend yarn. If this ends up being workable, I’ll get 12 pounds of pure cotton yarn and we’ll see what we can do.

I just finished casting this on and my hands were cramping up a bit, so I decided to take a break and post about the project. Once I’ve got enough on my prototype to see if it’ll work, I’ll cast it off and take a picture then post it here.

Oh, and now that Evelyn and I are both vaccinated for COVID, I may be having her over for dinner and a movie and I might get some more work done on the sweaters I’m making for Mila and Evelyn’s other dogs. More on that later, as well.

And, since I’m posting this on my desktop computer, time for another Gratuitous Amazon Link. We’re back into the woods on the Discworld books again. Today, we have Interesting Times, another Rincewind book. I read this, like, almost four years ago now, so I’d have to refresh my memory on this one. I read the summary and it kind of sounds familiar. I probably need to read all of those books again. Someday. I’m still pretty burned out on them right now, though. Additionally, this link may or may not be to the novel. The paperback copy clearly says that it’s a stage play based on the novel, but the Kindle version doesn’t, and the “look inside” feature on the Kindle version is clearly the novel. I don’t feel like investing $5 right now to see which it is.

Writing while walking in my neighborhood

I decided to try to write daily and as soon as I published my intention, my job went POW! and now I’m pooped almost every evening.

Tonight I actually have the energy to go for a walk and so I’m going to try to write at the same time.

Fortunately, my neighborhood is pretty quiet and so I can hear cars coming up behind me.

I’m starting the weirdest language learning project that I think I’ve ever done. I checked Pimsleur Mandarin IA out of the library. I know that you’re supposed to only do one lesson per day, but this part is review and pronunciation practice, so I’m pretty much just mainlining it. I think I’m doing maybe 1.25 lessons per day. Once I finish the review, I’ll start doing it the way it’s supposed to be done.

I’m focusing on Spanish this month. Duolingo, Amazon Prime television series, books, etc. My phone is set on Spanish, too. That’s why I’m doing Mandarin in my car. I need to keep up some kind of momentum on my Mandarin all year. Next month will be German and then in June, I’ll switch to Italian. In August, I’ll move on to Chinese. I don’t know what I’m going to do in October, though. Maybe back to Spanish, maybe start something new.

I’m going to publish this now. No pictures, no tags, no Gratuitous Amazon Link. Maybe I’ll add those later, but maybe not. We’ll see.