sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
It's been more than two weeks since I last killed a man posted to my journal. I just don't feel the urge to post that much these days, but I do mostly so my lovely and talented wife can keep up with my thoughts and feelings. (I communicate much better in writing than verbally.)

So...just got back from another trip to the mall right across the street. Twoson and I are pounding the pavement (or the tiles) looking for work. I've been instructing him in the fine art of making cold calls on mall stores. He's getting better at it, and finding it easier to do. The first time I providing an incentive--when we finished our quota of calls I'd buy us lunch in the food court. This time we didn't do that, but we still did our quota of calls, and a couple more for good measure.

I've got an interview next week with one of the big anchor stores for a "sales associate, part-time" position (I'm looking for part-time work so I still have time to write) which would be a stocking position. That suits me fine. Stocking and restocking is more my speed than sales anyhow. I'm hoping to get it. It would be almost perfect: part-time, across the street from the apartment, and nothing too mentally or socially taxing.

Today we got a very encouraging response at a jewelers. The lady behind the counter urged us to go their website and fill out the application online ASAP as they're hiring. So that's first on our agenda, ahead of all the other online applications. Virtually all the stores simply give us a website address to apply to. We can haz the future.

Later today I have a therapy session. Snippy asked me to consider therapy a few weeks back. She was under the impression (and, I think, correctly) that I was depressed. What with all the change in our lives in the last year (selling our house, moving to the apartment, my father being in hospice care, Snippy and I being deathly ill in May and June, my hospitalization, etc.) I've definitely been off my game. And she needs me functioning so I can take care of her; that's a big part of my raison d'etre around here--and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So I agreed. I've had three or four sessions now. I think they're helpful. The first couple of sessions I talked about my writing, or the lack thereof lately, and my resistance to sitting down and writing, though I enjoy it when I finally do it (and really enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I am productive). That's just old-fashioned anxiety, and something I'll probably always have to battle. Most writers (most people, for that matter) do.

Last week we went into an argument Snippy and I had, and why it happened. That was more difficult. It required more self-analysis, which is...not my forte, shall we say? I expect we'll talk more about it today.

My writing is going better, though not as well as I'd like. I'd like to be producing more words (and more finished stories), but I'm definitely trending upward, so that's good. I'm even seeing some money from my writing now. Nowhere near enough to constitute even a part-time job's worth (if that were the case, I wouldn't need an outside job), but that too is trending upward as I publish more material, and that should continue.

I started self-publishing in January of this year. Dean has written repeatedly that you won't REALLY know how you're selling for months. Smashwords, for instance, publishes your work to a bunch of other retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Apple, and others) both domestically and abroad. Some of those sites report monthly, others quarterly. Then Smashwords has to report to you. If one or more sites are slow to report, it could be near the end of the SECOND quarter (or even the one after that) before you find out how well you sold in JANUARY.

I've made money in three digits (excluding cents) so far this year. Not a lot, but it's a start--and I'm only just starting to see results from downstream sites (as explained above). Plus, in January I only had a couple of stories up. Now I'm up to over a dozen; given months and months to wait before all the sales on all of those are reported and...there's no telling. In the mean time, I need to write, write, write and publish, publish, publish.

I'll be attending a workshop on self-publishing in October. I got my first assignment for that class by email today. I was to read Dean's "How To Think Like A Publisher blog posts (done); choose a publisher name (Gelastic press--long since done), and establish accounts on Smashwords (ditto), PubIt (ditto), Amazon (ditto), and Createspace (done), register my Publisher name with the state as a DBA (done today), and establish a bank account I can use with all the above publishing account (also done).

I've started running again. The Couch Potato to 5K program. I downloaded an app to my phone that tells me when to run and when to walk, and keep track of mileage and pace. I'm going to have to get an audio & music-streaming bluetooth headset, though. Carrying the phone is a pain in the ass when I'm running, and when it's in its belt pouch I CAN'T HEAR IT. Still, it's a useful app; I don't have to carry a stopwatch and try to remember which intervals I'm doing on a given day. My legs are very sore; after being bedridden for a while, and very low energy for so long afterward, I have no stamina and no strength.

But that's why I started running again, so I can get that back.

Time for lunch now. I didn't eat breakfast.
sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I ran again tonight.  It was tough sledding, but I managed to get through it.  About a third of the way into my run the outside rear of my calves really began burning.  That happens occasionally, though I'm not sure why.  It went away eventually.  Toward the end of my run the toes and the ball of my left foot began to tingle like it was asleep.  That hasn't happened before.  It felt odd.

It was good to get my blood moving after sitting at my computer all day, but now I'm unusually tired.  Don't think I'll be staying up til 1 a.m. or thereabouts tonight.

I read a squib on Instapundit today that reminded me--again--that I'm living in the future.  Allow me to quote:

Nanotechnology has restored the sight of blind rodents, a new study shows.

Scientists mimicked the effect of a traumatic brain injury by severing the optical nerve tract in hamsters, causing the animals to lose vision.

After injecting the hamsters with a solution containing nanoparticles, the nerves re-grew and sight returned.

The researchers injected the blind hamsters at the site of their injury with a solution containing synthetically made peptides - miniscule molecules measuring just five nanometres long.

Once inside the hamster's brain, the peptides spontaneously arranged into a scaffold-like criss-cross of nanofibres, which bridged the gap between the severed nerves.

The scientists discovered that brain tissue in the hamsters knitted together across the molecular scaffold, while also preventing scar tissue from forming.

Importantly, the newly formed brain tissue enabled the brain nerves to re-grow, restoring vision in the injured hamsters.


That is just too cool for words.  Now if they'll just get busy on anti-aging drugs.  I'm not getting any younger here, you know.

But still no flying cars, dammit.
sinanju: The Shadow (Gir)
Week six of the nine-week plan, week seven of my actual efforts because I repeated the previous week.

Some days you find the groove, you fall into that smooth, minimal-effort rythym that you know could take you farther than you're really required to go by the program.  Those are the days when you really enjoy the work, enjoy feeling your breathing, which is deep and regular but not heavy; the days when you enjoy moving your body and feeling it respond with a strength and endurance you simply didn't have a few weeks earlier.

And then there are the days like today.  I did my 25-minute run.  But I didn't enjoy it today; this was one of the days when I simply endured it.  My lower back was very tight--it has been for a while now.  It complained.  My legs were tired.  I was breathing hard and sweating heavily.  It wasn't at all pleasant today.  Of course, I breathe deeply and sweat heavily even on the good days; I just didn't see these as necessary consequences of doing something enjoyable.  Today they were necessary evils.

I wasn't at all sure I'd be able to finish my run when I began, but I hung in with dogged determination because any pause, any slowing to a walk--however brief--would mean FAILURE.  And FAILURE was unacceptable, even if the only person judging me was me.  So I ran and checked my stopwatch frequently, hoping always that it would be farther along than it was, and told myself, "Just a little longer, just a little farther" over and over again as the stopwatch slowly accumulated seconds and minutes until I reached the end of my allotted time.

VICTORY!  So in a couple of days I'll move on to Week Seven, which is where the program gets serious.  No more run/walk/run for Yours Truly.  From now on it's a five minute warm-up followed by running the whole way.  Twenty-five minutes three times this coming week, then twenty-eight minutes the next week, and then 30 minutes the final week...and indefinitely thereafter.  But I'll be able to do it, and that's the important part. 

Well, that and knowing that there will always be days when I endure my exercise routine, but there will also be days when I really-o, truly-o enjoy it too.  Those are the days that make it worthwhile.

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sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
sinanju

December 2016

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