Mary Anne Mohanraj

Journal

September 2 -- 2:09 PM

Chapter 7 revised. I would have gone on to chapter 8, but my fingers and back were getting stiff after just two hours of typing -- I am out of practice! I'm going to have to work up to long days of writing, it looks like. Apparently, I can't just dive into 6-hour (or longer) writing days, just like I can't dive into my regular activity levels. Sigh.

But it's okay -- after the writing, I ran errands, so I was still productive. Fall shoes for Anand that will hopefully fit, more crochet hooks so I can more effectively teach my post-colonial lit. class how to crochet tomorrow (as we talk about the transition from home-based handwork to factory production, and the impact that had on the textile trade between Britain and India), some autumn-colored pants for me (rust! wine red! I so excited!), and then I came home and had lunch and tried on all my pants (discarding two that I haven't worn in three years, and one pair that is too large), which is a task one can only approach when one is feeling mighty in spirit and body -- and in ten minutes, the children must be met at the bus. So a good day so far.

And after they get home, I anticipate a nice afternoon of finishing reading Amanda's awesome YA SF novel, in preparation for discussing it at workshop tonight, and if Kevin has a chance to pick up groceries, I may even cook a curry or stew for dinner. Life = good.

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September 2 -- 6:10 AM

Energy levels continue to climb, slowly -- last week, I was only able to do 5-7K steps / day before exhaustion hit; this week, I seem to be up to 7.5-9k, a distinct improvement. Still down from normal levels (and consequently, still not sleeping all that well, as I think my body isn't getting as much exercise as my muscles want), but bit by bit, better.

I'm going to try to do a proper writing day today -- after I get the kids on the bus @ 7:30, I'm going to come back to the house, pack up, and walk a few blocks up to the Starbucks. If I stay at home to write, I think I will completely fail in discipline right now -- it's just too easy to watch tv / putter. So the plan is to turn off Facebook around 8, and then try to write until 2, when I need to come home to meet the kids (early bus on Wed.)

A six-hour writing day -- I can't quite imagine it, honestly. It's been so long since I carved out more than an hour or two at a time to write. But someone recently told me how much they enjoyed "Seven Cups of Water," which reminded me that I wrote that entire story in a single, seven-hour draft, sitting in a bookstore coffee shop in Salt Lake City, overlooking the Temple.

I need to start carving out bigger blocks of time; the whole point of quitting a third of my job last year was to make more writing time -- cancer basically ate all of that time up, and then some, but I am determined to start getting it back. Books to write! Books and books and books.

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September 2 -- 5:37 AM

Started the second season of The 100. The body count on this show is remarkably high; they might as well all be wearing red shirts. Also, the constant leaping from peril to peril (and the complete and somewhat contrived failures to communicate critical information) is so relentless that I had to take a break between seasons and watch some Austen.

There is apparently only so much disaster and slaughter I can take before I have to take refuge in a nice drawing room with a cup of tea, where the worst thing that happens are some cutting remarks. Although I suppose even Austen sometimes gives in to the authorial temptation to artificially withhold critical information from the characters, 'causing a great deal of unnecessary grief. I'm looking at you, Edward Ferrars.

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September 1 -- 7:47 AM

Get off the couch. Get off the couch. Get off the couch.

I'm talking to me, not you.

Taking meds to ensure that you don't actually wake up every 2.5 hours the way Fitbit assures you you have been (which you already knew, but it's nice to have the confirmation) is all well and good, except for the part when you're still groggy and need to shower, dress, print a quiz, and leave for work in twenty minutes. The couch is so comfy...

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August 31 -- 2:09 PM

Well, I wrote, but it was like pulling teeth. Normally I write around 1000 words / hour -- today, it was 1000 words in three hours. Frustrating. Not so thrilled with the words either -- I was trying to write something light and silly for a particular anthology, and I guess I succeeded, but I am...not invested in this piece. I dunno. Maybe chemo brain is a real thing, or maybe I'm just out of practice; I haven't written much fiction in the last month, when I was so exhausted. :-(

More tomorrow, hopefully. I think when I finish teaching, instead of coming straight home, I might go to a coffeeshop for an hour, try to write, finish off this story at least. Need to get back in the habit again. And then, back to the novel, which hopefully will go more smoothly.

I was tempted to try swimming a little today, but time has gotten too tight, and it was probably pushing it anyway, in terms of energy levels. I want my *life* back, dammit.

Soon.

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