Monday, November 26, 2018

Beavers, Bees, and Me

Another quality post brought to you by Steve!
When I was in Boy Scouts we were working on a badge - I can't remember what it was, Citizenship in the Community or something like that - and our instructor posed us a question:

"When you have a project that needs to be done, who do you give it to?  The busiest person or the least busy person?"

As an adult reading this, you probably already know the answer, or at least have sussed out that it's a trick question.  Being twelve or thereabouts at the time, we naturally all agreed that the least busy person would have the time to handle whatever project you gave them to do.

"Wrong," our instructor explained, "it's unfair, but if you want it to get done, you give your project to the busiest person.  The least busy person isn't lacking in work, he's just not doing it.  The busiest person has figured out how to prioritize his work, so if you give it to him it'll actually get done.  If you give it to the least busy person, it'll just sit on his desk."

That's always stuck with me, but until recently I had never thought of myself as the busy person in that metaphor.  This past month, though?  I get it.  You could probably hand me the blueprints for an international space station and I'd figure out a way to get it done in my ever-dwindling spare time.

Here's what I've been up to since last you heard from me on October 29th:

1.)  Boring Day Job Project #1

Lest you think everything in my life is fun and games, I will bookend this list with just two of the notable issues that have come up for me at work.  The first, as briefly as possible, is that the bank we were working with for the last ten years lost the contract to work with us.  So, the short term nightmarescape of that is that I've spent the last month trying to oversee this horrifying bank changeover while making sure that no one is wanting for the supplies and equipment we provide them.  The long term horror is only just beginning.  The details would bore you to tears, but trust me, it's been awful.

2.)  Editing SKINWRAPPER

Earlier this year I had the good fortune to sell the Italian language rights for THE HEMATOPHAGES to Dunwich Edizioni.  In addition to that deal, Dunwich asked me for a marketing tool, either a short story or a novella, preferably in the HEMATOPHAGES universe.  Those of you who have read it know it has a bit of a definitive ending, so I proposed a prequel novella.  I managed to just barely finish the novella at the end of October, but I've been editing it ever since.  I wouldn't normally take a month to edit 20,000 words, but I've been interrupted by...  

3.)  NaNoWriMo!

Oh my God, has this been taking up my time.  I've even had to put the SKINWRAPPER edits which are on a soft deadline on the back burner for this.  So, normally I write a whole post analyzing my NaNo stats, but this year I'll be brief.  This is the closest I've ever come (I think) to my much dreamt about NaNoWriFoNi, in which I theoretically would finish 50,000 words in two weeks.  This year I finished on the 20th, which is still quite early for me.  It may actually have been a net positive to have SKINWRAPPER hanging over my head, because I consistently put in 3000-word days, and only once failed to meet par of 1667 words.  Every day I was trying to plow through so I could get some editing in.

Overall that means I was averaging about 2500 words a day for the days I was writing.  (This picture, which I pulled today, shows the average as though I were still writing.)

How about you?  How's your NaNo going?  Almost done?

3.)  Chessiecon

One of the reasons I always endeavor to finish NaNo at least a few days early is that Chessiecon comes at the end of November.  This year I appeared on ten (!) panels over the course of the weekend and at the mass signing.  The panels were such a whirlwind I'm having trouble distinguishing them in my mind now, but hopefully I got a fair amount of good advice out there to aspiring authors.  I also had the unique opportunity to have lunch/dinner with the legendary Scott Edelman, where he interviewed me for his podcast "Eating the Fantastic."  I think this came out splendidly and I'm really looking forward to sharing it with you guys.

5.)  Boring Day Job Project #2

Ugh.  The reason I bookended these two, although they've taken up a great deal of my time, is that they're terribly dull.  Next week I have an inspection.  No, not just an inspection, the inspection.  The massive inspection that only occurs every eighteen months.  So all month I have been pulling samples and trying to get people to update their training and complete the various dribs and drabs that should all have been done already.  This week is the final nose-to-the-grindstone ordeal.  Wish me luck!

What about you?  What have you been up to lately?


Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

You ARE busy. Maybe if I were more busy, my book would be done. Why is child-raising such a distraction?

Carrie Beckort said...

The holidays have been my current mode of distraction. And the kid. And, well, life in general. I used to do well in a fire-fighting type of role and could crank things out because I didn't have much time for distractions. I kind of miss it sometimes - not for the stress, but for the push it gives to get stuff done.

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