Monthly Archives: August 2006

Little Miracles

Liam slept in until 7:30 this morning. That may not sound like sleeping in to a lot of you, but when the teeth have made 5:30 the rule for almost two weeks now, let me tell you, those extra two hours qualify as “sleeping in” at our house. He did wake up around 5:40, but talked himself back to sleep within minutes; nothing like the previous great gulping “I’m aloooone and in paaaai-aaaai-aaiiiin” teary jags he’d go on as soon as he woke up. He’s been cheerful all morning, downed two cups of milk, ate a heaping bowl of Rice Krispies, kissed several cats gently, and asked to nap when we got home from buying milk.

The lower left molar is almost there! I didn’t think it was possible for the skin to get thinner without actually breaking. We’re so close!

All over the house, I’m making little piles of stuff that need to be packed tonight. I’m so looking forward to this trip. I miss my parents, and I’ll finally be meeting my new little second cousin Saya who is now six months old. And I’m dying to show Liam off, with his mad walking skillz and conversational prowess (as long as you’re talking about cars, or cats, or milk, or fish, or books…).

ESTC Update

Okay, that’s enough for today. My ears are blocked as a direct result of the cold, and it’s making it hard to concentrate after sitting here for a few hours. It’s almost four o’clock, and I’ve more than passed today’s quota; I’m taking the next hour off to read and relax before I go pick up the boy, because I deserve it.

Total word count, ESTC: 19,610
Total words today: 1,517

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
19,610 / 50,000

We are approaching the halfway mark with disturbing alacrity. I should probably start expanding the outlines of the last two chapters, or there will be no room for them. There’s currently about a page and a half of moderately unnecessary stuff that I’ll probably end up excising, so there will be that much more room somewhere down the line, but for now it’s still there.

And since I’ve updated my handwritten goal sheet and have the reference right here, I can let you know with all confidence that I’m past this Friday’s goal by 2100 words, and am only 1400 away from next Friday’s goal. (‘Next Friday’ being September 8. Yes, I’m rather pleased about that myself.)

On Weekly Goals And Keeping Updated Records


On Monday Jan mentioned in a comment on my word count that I seemed to be past my week’s goal.

And I said no, that I was a thousand words below it.

It has just occured to me, looking at my current word count (18,568 for those who must know), that I am now officially a thousand words ahead of this week’s goal. When replying to Jan, I was looking at my total as of last Friday, which was 16.5ishK, and not this Monday’s total at all. I hadn’t yet updated my handwritten sheet with the totals and weekly goals on it that I use for reference.

She was right. As of Monday, I was already five hundred words ahead of where I need to be by this Friday. (Which is, in actuality, by the end of today, since I’m not working this Friday.)

This (plus whatever else I accomplish this afternoon) sounds like a big lead, but losing Friday and Monday as work days is going to balance it out, putting me square back on schedule when I pick up again next Wednesday. (At which time I’ll start working to create a new lead to cover the three days I’ll lose to Thanksgiving and a retreat.)

So yay me, and yay Jan, and yay to the word count and the updated goal sheet. Now, back to work.

So Not Less The Drama

Liam, of course, had a wonderful afternoon yesterday with his godparents and came home all smiles. Ate like a small horse. Slept for an hour and a half. Bit no one. (Or so I assume, because I didn’t hear about it.) And then he ate a huge bowl of pasta and veggies in homemade cheese sauce for supper, had a fun bath during which he gave us very wet and tender hugs, and went to bed cheerfully. With those damn molars, it’s like Jeckyll and Hyde around here sometimes.

Filling the gas tank to the literal brim gave me an indecent amount of pleasure. Our gas tank hasn’t been full since sometime in late May. I just keep putting five or ten dollars in when gas prices dip down closer to a dollar, or when we need it. Pumping gas doesn’t rank as one of my favorite tasks — I don’t hate it, I’m just neutral about it — but I enjoyed every moment this time. It was extraordinarily satisfying.

HRH and I had a good dinner of leftover ribs and new potatoes drowned in butter with freshly ground sea salt and pepper. Simple, and utterly delicious. We watched a very good PBS program on the making of the Mars Pathfinders, followed by the second-ever RockStar: Supernova episode that I’ve seen, which I somehow feel that I enjoyed much more than I should have. It’s just become appointment television. (Gentle Readers, I am in a band, you know. We do play The Ramones and Metallica. And I’m fascinated by the art of arrangement.)

I received a deeply appreciated message from one of my oldest friends this morning, pointing out some positive truths that helped reinforce today’s saner perspective for me. I don’t have to always be perky and cheerful and resilient. Stress happens. Nerves understandably fray. And the stress gets worse because I care so much.

Today, I have a stack of Haydn string quartet CDs to rip to my computer as I work, because one can never have enough string quartets in one’s playlists. Then I may move on to ripping my Beethoven quartets. Then Schubert. Who knows? I lead such a wild and crazy life.

Work Update

The other project I was invited to work on that was supposed to come after ESTC has been temporarily put on hold (not dead, I’m told, just resting for an undefined period of time), so I won’t be leaping from writing one contracted book into another this fall. I’m a bit disappointed, because hey, it’s work and I like the subject a lot, but at the same time I’m thankful, because taking a couple of months off will be very, very nice and also good for my mental health. I’ll be able to focus on writing other books again, like Swan Sister, and editing the other ones lying around here. Plus I’ll finally get the down time of Liam being at daycare a couple of days a week without having to formally work those days. I can’t complain about the timing of contracts falling into my lap right when Liam started daycare, but a bit of a break would have been nice.

Okay: off to get the boy. And to fill the gas tank to the brim with gas that’s priced at 97 cents per litre along the way! Nice timing, what with our long drive coming up.


I can see the bottom molars in Liam’s mouth when he opens his mouth to cry about them — not just the bumps, but the actual teeth. They’re covered by such a thin layer of skin. If they don’t come through in the next couple of days I don’t know what I’ll do; he’s going crazy, and taking the rest of us with him. I know it will pass. He doesn’t.

I had to cancel Maggie’s follow-up appointment at the vet tomorrow, because the retest is going to cost half of what the original appointment cost, significantly more than I expected it to. I made another appointment for the following week. We’ll see if we can keep that one.

I am having a thoroughly miserable day. Because we’re driving on Friday and I won’t be able to write I had this afternoon slotted for work while Liam plays with his godparents for a couple of hours, even though all I wanted to do was curl up and hide under the covers and give myself time off from everything. (Sleep would have been nice, but just hiding was attractive in and of itself.) Instead of either, I ended up doing an in-depth vacuuming when I got home because I couldn’t stand walking on toast crumbs all over the place any more, cleaning up the bedroom because I couldn’t stand not having a single room that I felt comfortable in, and handling correspondence. Now it’s less than half an hour before I have to leave to pick the boy up again, and I feel like I’ve achieved nothing. There will be toast crumbs all over the place again tomorrow, the bedroom will be a mess again tonight, I’ve done no work on the book, and I didn’t sit down and zone out for even a moment. There’s been absolutely no improvement to my state of mind or spirit.

I hate not enjoying being in my own home. I hate not being able to relax. I hate that I can’t stop my son’s pain. I hate feeling guilty for wanting to hand my son to someone else for a while even though I know that a sane parent is a better parent and he benefits well from a change in company and environment.

This thing called life can go take a long walk off a short pier. I need a holiday.