Brain Dump

Although I still want to talk about Janetʼs fall and winter decorating, I let too much of yesterday slip away before turning my attention to composing a Wednesday blog post. So this is going to be a pretty random scattering of whatever comes to mind, slopped out on the keyboard pretty quickly. (I would try dictating it, but I spent the whole day struggling with the dictation software, and right now staring at my fingers fly on the keys seems like a more enjoyable way to get things done, no matter how many stupid typos I create.)

I spent Tuesday (until now) dictating, when I wasnʼt working on food preparation, which is also what I will take a few breaks to do as I work on this post. I started the morning with fingers on keyboard, coming up with some new material for Slaves to the Lesser Moon that had come to me while out for my morning run. I had whammed out only about 500 words, bursting with clear images and good ideas of what to have happen next, but then reminded myself that I had vowed to actually get more of “Mistakes by Moonlight” into Scrivener. So I hauled out the old microphone and got to talking to the computer (which former students may be surprised to learn is not how I spend much time at all these days — me being notorious in that other life for cussing my desktop devices during school).

MacSpeech Dictate presented some problems, me not having dictated for months, really, but I persisted, through crashes of that program, restarts of the whole computer, and other less important time-wastes of my own. A big pause about noontime to assemble a meatloaf for yesterdayʼs supper calmed some mounting rage, and I got back to work in the afternoon (which is actually when most of the MacSpeech crashing, that I just misplaced chronologically, occurred). By the time it got late enough that I knew I had better work on some kind of a post for this morning, I had entered about 3500 words, which is pretty slow, but maybe the pace will pick up as the software settles down again.

I believe, however, I am learning my lesson. No matter how simple it is to compose longhand in any place at almost any time (and it is), I need to kick myself into digitalizing that content immediately, with no months-long delays to finish the story or whatever (and there has been plenty of “whatever” since I concluded “Mistakes” back in midsummer). However, I put myself in this situation so I will just attack it manfully (well, it sounds good). When I tried to type from my little red notebook, having finally completed “Underground” early last spring, I found the procedure cumbersome and tedious, which is why about a year later (from the completion of the story) I got misty-eyed and hopeful about the dictation program. And it does work, just not reliably or with very great accuracy (probably only 65-70% correct, and even with typos and fat fingers not hitting the right keys, or somehow missing keys altogether, I do considerably better than that, typing). Maybe if I retrain it… Again…

On other hands, I felt good about my latest rendition of meatloaf, dicing up both onions and mushrooms to add to the basic ground-turkey-plus-spinach-plus-oatmeal. I also let myself indulge some freedom in the spices and seasoning (and as I am writing while Janet had not yet returned home, weʼll have to see how that goes; she has been receptive to whatever I did to the previous several loaves, although the last was months ago). Also, having NaNoWriMo behind me, it felt good to not consider housework/kitchenwork an invasion of my precious time. Later on, between some of the paragraphs above, I went kitchenward again to preheat the oven, open a couple of cans of green beans to heat later for supper, mince up some feta for use in salads, eat a couple of pickles (almost zero calories!), and slice a grapefruit for breakfast (todayʼs). Once I popped the meatloaf in the oven, I got back to this.

As this post appears, I hope I retain the sense of purpose to have hauled myself from a warm and cozy bed to again take to the dark streets for a run. I did run yesterday, having previously sloughed off for nearly a full week over Thanksgiving, which was nearly unforgivable, as The Lovely One did Zumba twice while for days I lazed and loafed (heh, heh, considering the supper I am cooking as I type…). The run had gotten problematical, however, since early in November. I developed some kind of injury in my right calf (perhaps I donʼt think it was a pulled muscle, as it just came into being out of nowhere) that even with every-other-day rests (sometimes resting for two days in a row) turned every run into a partial run followed by a brisk walk (as the pain wasnʼt particularly bad when I was simply walking). However, on Tuesday I did run nearly five miles with no need to stop. So I remain optimistic (and hopefully determined) about what I am doing today.

Also, now that the novel-writing month is over, I do need to send some stories off to possible publishers. I havenʼt tried online e-zines yet for anything, and I did locate a magazine that might actually like “Underground” (and I even considered returning it to the original magazine now that I have a clue how to present a typescript). Although I did get a new substitute teaching assignment yesterday, that work has thinned considerably since October. It would be nice to bring in even a few hundred bucks from writing… That is the beginning of the dream after all.

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

2 thoughts on “Brain Dump

    • Ha!(And it has been since later yesterday. I think I remember WordPress saying it was a fun feature about this era last year, but it slows the load time, at least for me.)

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