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Dept. of She Lives! She Lives!

I Am Not - Repeat, Not - Going To Give Up On Posting. Or Responding To Posts

Because all of you out there are very important to me. 

I realize that the last few months have seen epic absence from me. Somehow, each day at work has been so much more stressful than it's been in the past, that getting off work in the evening doesn't leave me with enough energy to communicate. I haven't worked out why that seems to be the case - certainly, I've posted like mad during previous periods of extremely high stress - and perhaps it's counter-productive to wonder at the reasons. Poking a stick at a dead horse doesn't do anything for you or the horse. 

Instead, I should be focusing on making the energy I do have work for me. And that means staying away from YouTube videos and spending more time putting together words that make sentences that make paragraphs, as one old boss of mine once said. (An anthropologist turned typographer, as it happens, and not, as you might think, one of my editing bosses. My typography boss told people that that was what she did for a living, and I liked the phraseology. She meant that she provided the bricks and mortar of language, building what people wanted her to build, while my job, once I got back to the world of reporting, was somewhat different. Still, a great phrase. And by commenting on it, and its origins, I have contrived to write an entire bunch of words, turning them into sentences and - finally, hurrah - an entire paragraph.) 

I'm a fucking genius, I am. 

(Also, when it comes to YouTube videos, I've binge-watched everything I can from Hamilton, and, oddly (because I've never watched the show), numerous videos having to do with The Black List. I think, if I had the energy to watch another television series, I might want to watch that. James Spader is eminently watchable, no matter his age.)

I spent this afternoon collecting signatures on a petition asking one of the owners of Wrapports (my former company, which still owns the Sun Times) to negotiate in good faith and agree to a decent contract for reporters and editors working for one of Wrapports' remained titles, The Chicago Reader. I walked along Michigan Avenue, just west of where the Chicago Jazz Fest was happening in Millennium Park, and managed to get about two pages of signatures. Not only was the walking draining, but the smiling spiel - which has to be interactive to work at all - was even more draining. But it worked, only one person who heard it said "no." And it felt good doing this on behalf the Reader folk, who have been negotiating for something like nine months in an effort to get their first contract. I remember being there; I remember leafletting on behalf of my own contract efforts. These folks are my union brothers and sisters, and they deserve whatever support we can give them, particularly since it's Labor Day weekend. 


Being downtown collecting signatures also allowed  me to totter over, at the end of my shift, to the outer fringes of the Jazz Fest. I didn't hear any music there, although I heard some great music from some of the street performers along Michigan, but I did go over to the tent staffed by people from my favorite jazz radio station, WDCB, tell them how much I appreciated them, and buy a tee-shirt from them. Which I am currently wearing. It's very comfortable. 

In six and a half days, Bob and I will be in Nova Scotia. I am so excited, and I have so damned much to do before we climb onto the plane, but I will get it done. I've gotten in touch with a couple of friends, and will do more long-distance logistics this weekend, to ensure that we can meet and have coffee or supper. And I'm looking for a good steak house in Halifax to take my brother. He told me I owed him a good dinner, and by god, I'm going to deliver!

Bob and I are slowly making it through the first season of Game of Thrones. I am slowly making it through Chapter 26 of Hearts and Moons. However, I've decided I'm not going to post this chapter until I'm almost done with the penultimate chapter, and perhaps not until I've got the entire rest of the story done. That way, perhaps I can actually post and say "It's all done! Now y'all can read it!" 

OK. Now I'm going to brush and floss my teeth and make myself a Big Ass Martini. I haven't actually had one of those recently; my stomach (oh, did I mention that I apparently have a hiatal hernia? Yup.) hasn't taken well to them, so I've been enjoying my sake-gin-and-strawberry drink, which I've declared to be a hana ichigo. It's a lot less hard on my stomach since it has far less gin in it, but damnit, I want a real martini before I head to Nova Scotia, where I probably won't do much drinking, out of respect for my brother. 

Dear lord, I'm babbling like a brook. It's time for me to cease. But I can tell you that it's wonderful actually having the time and energy to post. I'm very happy about that. 
This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/418628.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
wendymr
Sep. 4th, 2016 01:47 am (UTC)
*waves* It's nice to hear from you!

I'm not at all surprised that you've been too drained of energy to post. Our ability to survive stressful workdays and have any reserves left to do things in the evening shifts in inverse proportion to age, as far as I can tell.

I was thinking of you earlier today as I was watching John Oliver's wickedly but painfully funny excoriation of the modern world of newspapers (posted on my LJ; worth a look if you can bear the fact that it really will cut extremely close to home).

Enjoy Nova Scotia! You're going at a perfect time of year. I hope you have a lovely time with family and plenty of invigorating relaxation.
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 08:50 pm (UTC)
Hello to you, as well - it's always good to see one of the first people I "met" online! I hope your world is treating you well.

Our ability to survive stressful workdays and have any reserves left to do things in the evening shifts in inverse proportion to age, as far as I can tell.

I believe this, to the bottom of my soul. It's got to be some sort of law of physics, I'm sure of it.

I was thinking of you earlier today as I was watching John Oliver's wickedly but painfully funny excoriation of the modern world of newspapers (posted on my LJ; worth a look if you can bear the fact that it really will cut extremely close to home).

If it's the one I'm thinking of - and I'll go to check - it's already cut me enough for me to bleed (black ink, of course.) And everyone in my scattered newsroom has watched it, and laughed and wept at the same time.

eaweek
Sep. 4th, 2016 02:29 am (UTC)
Have a wonderful trip! Can't believe it's coming up this quickly.

And don't worry about the not-posting thing. It's so hard to tend to social/ fannish activities when your workday leaves you too stressed to do more than faceplant in your pillow.
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 03:16 pm (UTC)
Can't believe it's coming up this quickly.

Neither can I - I was thinking just last night that it seemed so recently that there were still something like 54 days before we took off. Now it's, oh god, five.

Faceplanting on my pillow has become one of my favorite daily occupations, which tells you about how the rest of my days actually go. Heh.
eaweek
Sep. 6th, 2016 04:51 pm (UTC)
It's funny how vacations can see like a distant blip on the far-off horizon, and before you know it, they're right on top of you. Aieee!!!!
editrx
Sep. 4th, 2016 04:28 am (UTC)
Glad to see you alive. Was going back to read HEARTS AND MINDS tonight because I couldn't remember the end only to find there's a reason for that! And I didn't remember it wan't finished! Clearly it's time for meto reread what is there--love that story.
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 03:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, my goodness - thanks for your words, and what a coincidence that you were heading toward my story!

I wish I was less glacial about completing it. One of my problems is that I have no actual framework within which to work (although I do have a spread sheet that allows me to see what each character is doing at what time of day, so that I don't screw timing up.)

That means the plot occurs to me as I sit and stew, or sometimes as I'm doing things like hanging clothes up in the closet. True authors actually plan their plots, which is why true authors actually get novels done in less than the better part of a decade. Heh.

Ah well, I'm still working on it, and I won't give up.

ETA: And thank you for friending me!

Edited at 2016-09-04 03:17 pm (UTC)
editrx
Sep. 4th, 2016 04:02 pm (UTC)
I'd thought I'd friended you ages ago - I'd sworn I had ... I chalk it up to middle age mind.

Don't say you're not a "real writer" because of your process. ALL writers have different processes and all work to different rhythms. This is yours. Don't knock it because one story takes longer than another. I know any number of professional writers who don't outline completely; they work from the most general of notes or outlines and go from there. The difference for them is they have to work to a deadline if they've sold their book already, which means writing so many pages a day. If they don't have a deadline, I know a number of them who take years to finish books.

So don't go telling me you're not a real author. You are. I've read everything you've written that you have online (and I don't do that for everyone, not unless they're good), and you write as well as or better than every author I've workd with. (Actually, you ARE better than a lot I've worked with.)
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 09:32 pm (UTC)
I probably should have said that efficient professional fiction writers do things differently than I do. I won't indulge in false modesty; I know that I'm a pretty decent writer, but I also know I lack one of the most valuable skills that professional fiction writers develop within themselves - self-discipline.

(And, while trying not to indulge in false modesty, what you just said here made me feel very warm and honored. Thank you.)
editrx
Sep. 8th, 2016 10:54 pm (UTC)
Well, I'd flog the old adage to write every day, but I know you *are* writing every day, albeit not necessarily your fanfiction. It, alas, has to be a work of love and leisure time when you have other work for a living. As to professional writing, I stand by my words: I know any number of big-name authors who write to their own internal schedules rather than imposing a self-disciplined timeline, but you have a point that to get the contracts unless you are at a point where mere proposals garner a check, you have to provide a finished mss.
maruad
Sep. 4th, 2016 04:48 am (UTC)
I don't know if it is available on youtube but "Rake" is available on Netflix and I enjoy it greatly. Kept in mind that I watch NFL football (though not without some guilt).


Poking a dead horse is it's own reward if that is what you enjoy though your statement is also true.
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 03:44 pm (UTC)
Just ran over to check a couple of clips of "Rake" and it looks like something I'd love to watch, and occasionally to cringe over while watching. The lead looks dreadfully familiar, but I can't place the actor or where I've seen him.

Poking a dead horse is it's own reward if that is what you enjoy

And now I must run and get this put on a tee-shirt.
a_phoenixdragon
Sep. 4th, 2016 04:54 am (UTC)
I LOVE YOUR BABBLE.

And I love the 'spending more time putting together words that make sentences that make paragraphs' (and the genius that is you making a paragraph out of it! *beams)

OMG, YES. I wish I had full access to my icons, because I'd be posting this with an icon of Red RIGHT NOW. The Blacklist is !@#$ing EPIC. I have watched it from the jump and it NEVER disappoints!

Ohh, bless you. I wish your career (and your friends within it), was doing better than it is now. The news and delivering of said news ain't what it used to be. which is a damned shame! At least print is more honest (in work and deliverance) than network...

YAY!! I hope you and BB have a GREAT time back home! Stay safe! We'll be thinking of you!

And, and! I'm looking forward to that chapter...however long it takes! :D

Happy Weekend...and Happy Labor Day, lovie! Hope you get the rest you've more than earned!

*SNUGGLES*
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 03:49 pm (UTC)
One of the reasons I try to make it back to LJ and DW is to keep up with you, my dear. You're always a balm for my nerves. And why am I not surprised that you like The Blacklist.? Heh.

*Many hugs on this Labor Day weekend, to one of the hardest working people I know*
a_phoenixdragon
Sep. 4th, 2016 07:46 pm (UTC)
You are so sweet - thank you, dearest! That made my day! :D

Hee!! Reddington is MARVELOUS. And no, you should not be surprised, lol! Ahhh, The Blacklist. Supremely enjoyable - and intelligent televison. I think you'll be intrigued. :D

Bless you, darling. Not half as hard as you, methinks, but I'm flattered you think so!

*SNUGGLES*
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 08:51 pm (UTC)
Not half as hard as you, methinks,

Oh, I most definitely beg to differ; if I had to work as hard as you do, at home, out in the workplace, I'd go spare.
a_phoenixdragon
Sep. 4th, 2016 11:04 pm (UTC)
*Grins* That I doubt. You'd be amazed what you can do when you have to. :D (The trick is not to think about it most of the time, lol!)
lost_spook
Sep. 4th, 2016 08:30 am (UTC)
Aw, well, stress doesn't always play out the same ways. JUst get through and be here when you can. *hugs*

And have a lovely holiday!!
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 03:19 pm (UTC)
I'm truly looking forward to my trip; I have so much to do to get ready, and I'll probably wind up doing all of it at the last possible minute because that's what I do *eyerolls at self* but once we're there, I think it will be a memorable visit (and I'm hoping that it will be memorable in positive ways.)
ljgeoff
Sep. 4th, 2016 01:00 pm (UTC)
your saying reminds me of one that Jo Walton said -- This book needs more words in it.

I feel great satisfaction over you trip home. I was just up in the UP, giving Luke a ride back home. Even though I didn't stay long, it was soothing. And, yes, I know that Chicago is home, too. But still.
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 03:23 pm (UTC)
And, yes, I know that Chicago is home, too. But still.

That's exactly how I feel; some several years ago, now, I cottoned to the fact that I have two true homes, which can be a bit difficult to deal with.

Or perhaps, more accurately, my true home is Chicago when it comes to day to day emotional comfort and a steadily growing heart tie. The home to which my heart was first tied is Nova Scotia, but that tie has frayed, and I am no longer comfortable on a steady day to day basis there.

As my son once said, before he learned to love the not-city, "I'm nervous in Nova Scotia. There's not enough pavement."

I'm glad you had time in the UP, even if it was a short visit.
mack_the_spoon
Sep. 4th, 2016 02:00 pm (UTC)
Glad to "see" you! *waves*

I, too, have spent more than a few hours watching all the Hamilton videos (well, I don't watch the footage from the play because boooo, people who sneak in a camera to a Broadway play). I regularly listen to the cast recording, too. Such good stuff.

Also, I used to love The Blacklist. I still watch it religiously, and agree that James Spader rules, but I detest one of the characters that they've decided should be everyone's favorite, so my days of continuing to watch may be numbered. We'll see how the new season goes.


Have a wonderful trip!
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 03:55 pm (UTC)
Glad to "see" you, as well! I always read your newsletter when it pops into my inbox, so I know you've been making lots of progress on your work - say hi to namarie24 for me!

Thanks for not mentioning whatever character it is that you don't like, although, to be fair, the only two characters I know via the fanvid and episode clips are Red and Lizzie. And Spader's face, the work he does with his eyes and lips; just a stellar actor, creating a fascinating character!

I electronically borrowed the Hamilton soundtrack from our local library, and had the music in my head for a solid week. The only visual (or mostly the only visuals, I must confess taking the occasional glance at smuggled play clips, for which action I hang my head in shame) clips I've watched have been things like the cast's performance at the Tony and Grammy award shows, and at the White House.
mack_the_spoon
Sep. 5th, 2016 04:40 am (UTC)
Will do!

If this next Blacklist season goes as irritatingly as I fear it might, I'll probably post about why I'm dropping the show, but I will make sure to warn for spoilers, just in case.

There's rarely a week that goes by that I don't have Hamilton songs running through my head. But aww, no need to hang your head. Those clips are extremely tempting, especially with ticket prices as expensive as they are. namarie and I are desperately hoping that the show will have reached Seattle by next spring, and that there might magically be a few tickets that aren't insanely expensive, because I would so love to see the show live.
kaffyr
Sep. 5th, 2016 05:07 pm (UTC)
Hamilton is just about to arrive in Chicago (or may already have arrived), and I, too, wish I had the immoderate amounts of cold cash needed to see it. On the other hand, I understand that the original cast completed a film version of the play, and my bet is that sometime within the next year it will become available. I'll put out money for that with more ease than getting a ticket to the live performance.
liadtbunny
Sep. 4th, 2016 02:35 pm (UTC)
Once you started you couldn't stop;)

I hope the trip goes well and de-stresses you.
kaffyr
Sep. 4th, 2016 03:24 pm (UTC)
Heh ... I did get rather prolix, didn't I?

Thanks for the trip wishes!
apostle_of_eris
Sep. 6th, 2016 04:30 am (UTC)
She Lives!
If I read it right, the other end of the month is about time to start nagging for semi-annual face time, not before. (No judgement express or implied, just kind of seemed time.)
kaffyr
Sep. 6th, 2016 01:10 pm (UTC)
Re: She Lives!
Well, since you've been on my mind over the last couple of weeks, I think touching base once we get back from N.S. would make a lot of sense.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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