Apr 252018

It’s funny at the moment. I am really busy and doing a lot but I’m not getting anything done. Especially the writing. Which is the most important thing.

I did make a plan, though. I decided that I will write three books in the current series before returning to the one I started last November.

My husband was all confused when I tried talking writing strategy with him. So, In 2012 I started writing this urban fantasy series. I took me two years to get the first novel revised, then I wrote a rough draft of the second, started revising that and decided it was too bad, wrote the second one again, wrote a rough draft of the third one, and revised the second second one.

Then I dragged my feet. Then I found a nice person willing to read it and she confirmed what I already suspected – the first novel is not good enough to be published. Fixing this would mean more than a rewrite, I would have to take the ideas and the story and start from scratch. For all three novels. Totally doable but I have to say that after spending six years on this I am just a little reluctant to start the whole thing over yet again.

So I tried writing a chick-lit novel in November and failed, and the I started a paranormal mystery that should be the first in a series. I wrote the rough draft, and then instead of revising that I started yet another novel, another urban fantasy that I was really excited about, and that one I am still working on. I’m not quite halfway through the writing.

Now all the indie publishing advice says that you should wait with publishing until you have three in a series, and then you should release them one after the other.

My plan had been to finish the current book and then to revise the one I wrote before. But now I’m thinking it would be much better to write the first three books in the series I’m currently writing, plus a novella or short story on top, publish those and then maybe go back to the paranormal mystery and write a few books in that series. I will have to revise it anyway which means going back and reading it so reacquainting myself with the world and characters should be pretty easy.

The plan is a good one. Never mind that this book is seriously kicking my ass and is going very, very slowly.

And that – the very, very slowly part – is why I feel totally unproductive.

I did a lot yesterday.

I delivered a letter by bike because we’re out of stamps, and then I rode to the other end of town to get gas for the lawnmower. It’s always a little weird to pull up at the gas station on my bike with my little canister but I did it.

Then back home and off to the grocery store. A wonderful lunch on the porch:

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(And no, I didn’t eat all of those mashed potatoes. They were good but that was way too much.)

Then I talked to the boy a little, and did the dishes and thought about writing and my story. I have to figure out what happens next and I just realized that I have an inkling of what might happen in the next two books as well. Very exciting.

I taught my students and one of them didn’t show up and I still couldn’t do anything productive because I was waiting for her.

Then I decided to skip strength training because I didn’t feel like it. No, I don’t think that’s a valid reason either.

And then I felt all lost and weird because I had decided to skip dinner (which is a whole other post for another day) and that upends my usual evening routine. Which apparently these days involves sitting in bed with the laptop telling myself that I will write more words any minute now until I’m too sleepy for that.


Today there will be running and maybe going to the farmer’s market for potatoes and teaching quite a bit and more procrastinating about writing, I’m sure.

Yeah, life in progress.

Apr 242018

Yesterday in the morning I ran and went to the grocery store. Since I ran faster than usual that seems to have eaten all my energy for the day.

I helped making lunch and it turns out that that takes more time again because there are fresh herbs in the garden right now. So the time we save by not tending to the fire is apparently eaten by fresh produce. Could be worse.

I did not write a single word which is making me cranky. And I found out that I only wrote about 1,800 words in total last week which is abysmal. There is a lot of room for improvement.

I did go to bed early, so that was good, and there were no snacks at all and no binge-eating.

Today I will go to the grocery store and buy gas for the lawn mower and teach and write and practice and do strength training.

Buying gas without a car is always a little weird. Funny enough there isn’t really a place to park a bike at the gas station. But it must be done.

Apr 232018

So that one got me from behind. There was no Saturday slump this week, so it sneaked up on me and became the Sunday slump instead.

Though I was somewhat productive anyway.

I slept in until seven or so, and then had breakfast real late, like, at eight. I talked to my husband for ages. And I wondered how it must feel to have parents who always talk and talk and talk about things they find really interesting. We talked about the concert last night, and about jazz in general and about free jazz and Coltrane and Coleman and Elvin Jones and then about our childhoods and education and then a bit more about music, and since I’m me I sprinkled some things about health and nutrition in there because I’m reading a book right now again.

I don’t think my parents did that when I was a kid. They sure didn’t talk for hours about anything, much less about something like music or literature or history.

At lunch we looked up something, oh no, it was the boy’s breakfast where he mentioned that the concept of „sturmfrei“ doesn’t exist in English and then we went on to look it up to see where it came from. I was right that it had something to do with student speak at one point but I didn’t know that it had a military meaning before then. These days it usually means having the house to yourself without interference. Like when you’re a teenager and your parents are safely away so that you can have a secret party if you want you have a „sturmfreie Bude“. Bude meaning something like abode or booth.

The original meaning was a place that couldn’t be taken by an attacker. Because storm can have several meanings in Germany.

And at dinner we had a conversation about growing wine, and the south of Italy, and Ireland and then we looked up ‚Celtic‘ and ‚Gaelic‘ as one does.

Though I do remember a lot of times when I was still living with my parents when we would get out the encyclopedia.

So I did some yoga this morning for the lower back and hip which was rather nice and helpful, and then I helped making an excellent lunch, and then I sat around for a bit, reading, and then I saw that there was a bike race on TV, the Liège – Baston – Liège which I had never seen before, and so I spontaneously decided to spend some time plying the lace yarn I had spun.

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So I plied and plied and plied, and then I had dinner, and then I plied some more, and then the wifi shit itself off because it was time for bed, and I switched it back on, and I plied some more, until I had plied all the yarn, and just when I was finished plying the last bit with itself I saw that I had about an equal amount left on yet another bobbin, so I could have plied it with another singles, and then I decided to call it a day.

I did play quite a bit of music – which was fun – but I did not write a single word, and I did not do anything tax-related.

Well, you can’t do anything.

Oh, and it seems I will be in Hamburg next year. I already booked a hotel, and that was pretty exciting too.


Today there will be the usual Monday things, like running, and teaching and such. And I really need to get moving on the taxes, and also on the writing.

My writing program tells me that if I were to write about 4,000 words a day until the end of the month I will be able to finish this novel until then.

Of course, since I have written an average of 500 words per day so far I deem that highly unlikely.

Would be rather nice, though.

Apr 222018

Which is really great.

Usually I have all these plans for Saturday and then I end up sitting around doing nothing the whole day.

But. Yesterday I did a 6K run (and I actually ran most of the time):

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And then I helped making lunch and then I actually forgot to do the lunch dishes and hung around reading a bit so it looked like it would end up a typical Saturday where I’m all cranky in the evening.

But then I did do the dishes, practice singing, piano, and guitar, wrote a few more words on the novel, installed Microsoft Office on my new computer, and started doing the taxes.

Here’s my productive procrastination:


And actual writing:

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And then we had dinner and got ready to go to Munich for an amazing concert.

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And back home and late to bed. The musicians were really, really good. I especially loved the drummer.

So. Today will be.a quiet day. I already slept in (until seven), there will be a bit of yoga, and more writing (but not a whole lot), and music, and taxes and I really hope to get the fabric cut out for the dress I want to make.

Apr 212018

Which we all knew already.

I woke up stupid early yesterday, around five and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I had a rather lazy morning reading until I got up at 6.30 as usual.

I was pretty unhappy about the not-writing the past few days, especially since I had had high hopes of finally getting back to the writing the night before. I opened the program, looked at what I had written before and went, „Ah no, I’m just too tired!“ again and shut the computer down.

So yesterday morning when I was finished with breakfast and the boy had gone off to school I meditated for five minutes right away, and then I opened the writing program again and wrote for 24 whole minutes. Which resulted in something like 800 words. And that made the whole day feel much better than the ones before.

My husband got up pretty early as well but that was alright because I had already packed the computer away. I did take the time to figure out the next step for my Carbeth cardigan and knitted the I-cord on the first button band.

I started cleaning early and even mopped the floors, and then I started listening to the podcast and writing show notes, and took pictures of my current projects, and I made pizza from scratch for lunch, and taught many students. And the one of them canceled which gave me the opportunity to finish the whole podcast-thing early.

And then there was dinner and watching Star Trek with the boy while spinning and knitting and eating chocolate, and then I had to do all.the.dishes including the baking sheets from the pizza-making.

I did re-open the writing program twice that day, and each and every time my husband showed up to talk to me about something. It is a little uncanny.

So. Today there will be running and all the usually things (and some writing I hope) and then I will have to get going on the taxes. Ugh.

And tonight my husband and I will be seeing a concert. Something free jazz and hardbop if I recall correctly. Piano, drums and sax.

Apr 192018

Seems I’m gathering a little momentum at last.

Spent the morning reading and crocheting and talking to my husband. Then I did the usual household things plus the folding and putting away two loads of laundry.

I ran for only three kilometers because I restarted the 21K-program yet again with week one:

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Took a shower and helped making lunch which was rather German, potatoes, peas and carrots and bratwurst. Then in a fit of un-procrastinating (I was really procrastinating about writing but I take what I get.) I pressed the dress fabric I’ve been talking about for weeks now, and I also washed a couple of bras by hand. Now I feel like I have earned a gold star.

Waited for half an hour for a student who didn’t show up which is somewhat irritating. If I had known that she wouldn’t come I could have used that time for something else. Then I taught the other students who all showed up on time, forced the boy to play piano, set the table for dinner, did the dishes, sat and read for a bit, and then I got ready for bed. Where I finally wrote a few words on the novel. At least now I know what’s going to happen next.

I am writing this story out of chronological order. The nice thing is that I don’t have to know everything right away. If I get an idea for something that will happen later in the story I can still write that first and fill in the other bits later. It does make it a bit more challenging because it’s harder to keep the whole thing in my head. But then I don’t need to sit there and bang my head against the screen when I can’t figure out the next scene. I just make a nice little scene placeholder and write it later.

After the writing and still in bed with my pajamas and brushed teeth and everything I read some more, and then I turned out the lights.

Today there will be more running and teaching and the recording of the podcast I hope. Oh, and music and writing and also another email to the piano tuner because there is definitely something wrong with those weird pads for the thingy in my piano.

My husband and I decided to go out Saturday night, and also talked a little about our upcoming wedding anniversary. We won’t be doing much but I guess it would be nice to have dinner out on that day. We’ll see.

Apr 182018

The potato bed is done! (Not by me but my husband is very happy. I’m happy that he is happy.) And I managed to finally order fabric for a couple of t-shirts and yoga pants. Phew. I couldn’t decide on what to get for my planned Robson coat and Hollyburn skirt so I ordered samples.

I woke up early after a great night of sleep, and decided – again – to not write in the morning. That is becoming a bad habit. There was breakfast and grocery shopping, and since my husband was rather desperate I offered to get alcohol-free beer and soda as well.

Then I helped a little with making lunch which turned out to be so late that I decided to eat a sandwich instead and save lunch for dinner.

Then there was teaching, and a little music (not much), and a lot of procrastination, and then I decided to find out how to file our taxes this year because things have changed, and was successful even. I had a bit of a scare when I tried finding the file I have from the tax agency and had to realized that that file had been downloaded to the old computer right before it tanked but, phew, thanks to backups I still had it.

Then I decided to finally get my act together and find out what fabric I need and want for the next few sewing projects. And then it was so painless and fast that I ended up ordering the fabric even. So in about a week (one jersey fabric was on backorder) I will have fabric so I can finally make the clothes I desperately need. Woohoo.

Then I did strength training, also something that makes me very happy because I haven’t done it in too long, and reheated the stuffed peppers that were supposed to be lunch, and then I waited for the boy to finish his shower so that I could do the dishes, and then I was very exhausted and tired.

No writing. I need to sit down and think about the story properly because I’m at the point where those disparate scenes that I’ve written need to be patched together. Getting back after a break is always hard.

Today there will be running and teaching and more music and more writing. At least I hope so.

Apr 172018

Yesterday I went running in the rain but it was still fun. I wore a baseball cap and my glasses staid dry. Mostly.

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I did finish the Carbeth cardigan’s neckband and now there is only some I-cord left.

I got a new student which is always a good thing.

Then I tackled the novel. I had to delete a scene that was half-written because it was extremely boring and didn’t fit, and then I looked through two other scenes. Managed a total of one new word written but still, progress of a sort.

Went to bed on time but did nod off half an hour before that. Seems I’m still tired from the sleep deprivation over the weekend. My sleep seems to be getting better which is wonderful.

Today there will be grocery shopping and writing and music and teaching and knitting and reading. And if I manage to finish the writing early I will watch some Netflix as well but only then.

Apr 162018

I had had vague plans of sewing because I was so motivated after meeting lots of great women wearing fabulous clothes but in the end I sat around knitting and reading. Basically the whole day. And then I changed to another chair, and sat down to knit and watch Netflix.

I did go to bed real early and have slept 8 1/2 hours which is glorious, and so I’m hoping that today will be a little more productive.

So today there will be the usual Monday things, teaching and making music and writing and, yes, even knitting. I’m almost finished with the Carbeth cardigan and I really like it. The alpaca is itchy but that won’t be much of a problem in winter I think:

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Since taking that photo I have knitted half the collar. And then I spent a few hours sorting the Cria cardigan I started when visiting my parents. The number of stitches at the end of the yoke was wrong. I found out what I did and fudged it. I only had to knit back one row, and then I could divide the body from the sleeves, and now it’s smooth sailing for a while. This is the part you can knit while holding a conversation and such. Just back and forth without a lot of shaping.

Today it’s raining which means my husband won’t be able to do any yard work. The poor man has been digging his potato bed for more than a week now. He mostly finished last night but only by doing nothing else all weekend. He is hurting all over.

This means running in the rain but I don’t care much.

I have my usual Monday feeling of easing back into routine. As nice as these meetings and travels are having my regular life back is even nicer.

Apr 152018

I had a marvelous day yesterday but right now I’m a bit exhausted.

I didn’t sleep much and then I had to hurry a bit to get the 9 o’clock train back to Augsburg.

There I met lots of sewing blogger again, this time about 35. First we went to a fabric store where there was extremely beautiful fabric that I didn’t buy because I need to sew other things first. And it was a little on the pricy side. I was sorely tempted by some orange and pink fabric but then decided against it after all.

I ate the sandwiches I had made at home sitting in a park in the sun, and talked with all kinds of people, mostly about sewing. I learned a lot by talking to other people who sew clothes, that was great. But we also did a lot of talking about where do you come from, what are you doing and such.

Then we went to the textile museum in Augsburg and learned a lot about different fibers and mechanical looms and all the kinds of looms that are used in the textile industry, complete with demonstrations, and a little about fashion and work conditions in the textile industry here in the 19th century.

I seem to have been the only spinner in the group and the only weaver (I’m a little hesitant to call myself a weaver but still.) and since I’m me I kept adding stuff to what the guide was telling us, ahem. Also reading all those books about silk and flax and wool and fashion and the history of textile work seems to have made me know things I was asked several times if I work in the field professionally.

It also shows that I’m a know-it-all who can’t keep her mouth shut.

I also was recognized by my voice for the first time ever, turned out one of the other women is a podcast listener.

I count that as a milestone.

After the tour we went out for an early dinner where I talked to yet more people and took a train back home where I promptly watched Netflix for too long and went to bed too late.

Today I’ll probably spend the whole day not doing anything and being cranky because of that.

I could try to write 11,500 words to make up for last week and reach my goal but I doubt that I will.

There will be knitting and reading and maybe a little reading, and then we’ll see. Sewing would be a nice change.