Weekly Breakdown

There was a post I read last week by the lovely Elana Johnson about how she spends the hours in her week. It's pretty intense. Anyway, I thought it'd be interesting to break things down her way and see where all my time is going. (Unfortunately, I think I already know. That time black hole is something that starts with "Inter" and ends with "net.") So here goes!

7 days a week x 24 hours in a day = 168 hours/week.

Weekdays: 6.5 hours x 5 days = 32.5 hours
Weekends: 9 hours x 2 days = 18 hours

Hours remaining: 117.5 hours

I'm trying to increase my weekday sleep to 7 hours a night, but I'm really just not a morning person! It's easier for me to stay up late. Argh. I make up for it on the weekends (sort of), but *bad news alert!* sleep cycles don't work like that. You can't accrue them over the weekend or make up for what you've lost. Sad times.

Work day: 8 hours x 5 days = 40 hours
Commute: 1.25 hours x 5 days = 6.25 hours

Hours remaining: 71.25 hours

This is when I start appreciating my college schedule. This is when I also start missing those 7 min drives to and from the high school.

Socializing (ridiculousness with friends / make-shift book club)
Weekdays: 2 hours x 3 days = 6 hours
Weekends: varies (so I'm not calculating it in because it'd be too hard to say)

Hours remaining: 65.25 hours

Over the past few months somehow, a few of my friends and I have fallen into a weekly habit of imbibing delicious boba drinks and chatting after work/school.

Internet (Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, stupid online games, AIM etc.)
3(+) hours x 7 days = 21 hours

Time remaining: 44.25 hours

On the weekends, it's either a lot less or a bit more than what I have here. Also, the time greatly varies depending on whether or not I'm playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. -_-' I have a horrible addiction to mindless/simple/stupid online games - a habit formed in college.

4-6 hours (give or take, depending on the season; I'll round to 5 hrs/wk)

Hours remaining: 39.25 hours

Hard to break down by days, since I watch a lot of my shows online. It's easier schedule-wise and also no commercials!

Family Dinner
Weekdays: 1.5 hours x 5 days = 7.5 hours
Weekends: varies

Hours remaining: 31.75 hours

I eat with and generally spend time with my grandma every weekday night, almost without fail, making this worthy of being calculated into my week.

So I have a little over a day leftover. Um, wow. I guess I should wean myself from the internet and possibly cut some TV shows. I already cut so many TV shows though, and I even multi-task while watching TV shows by also being online and often eating my meals! Truth be told, a lot of my TV and internet time overlap, and my socializing time tends to be always in flux. Maybe I should stock-pile blog posts the way I stock-pile Christmas presents months in advance. Also, reading faster would probably help, but I'm a slow reader. Sadness.

As for where "writing" falls, it's wherever I can snatch time to do it. I'm still struggling to establish a routine for it, which I think would be best in the long run. There would certainly be less scrambling and scrounging.

Never enough time in the day, is there? What are your time management tricks? Where do your hours go?


Inspiration Hot Spots

So, the weather here in Southern California has gotten a little crazy. There is rain. There is thunder. There is even lightning. All this is disconcerting, and worse, it makes for a much suckier than usual commute, but there's more to these weather shenanigans that is making me shout "WTF?!" and "It's the end of the world?!"

I know, I know, you think I'm exaggerating. I will admit that Californians (especially Southern Californians) have a rather skewed view of what constitutes "bad weather" and what constitutes "cold" (all right, laugh it up people who live in actually cold places). I mean, just a week ago, it was a beachy 75 degrees and I was wearing flip-flops. But I'm serious this time guys!

Yesterday, parts of Long Beach were flooded, and there were tornado warnings. TORNADO warnings, people!!! Issued to Los Angeles. LOS freaking ANGELES. What is this?! Since when do I live anywhere near where there are TORNADO warnings?!

All of this brings me to the actual topic of this post, which is Inspiration. While it is true that the crazy weather is freaking me out, I know it has been at least somewhat conducive to writing. How so?

Well, Monday was the MLK Holiday, so I didn't have to go to work. It also rained buckets, which meant I spent the entire day in my fleece PJ pants and good ol' Cal sweatshirt and read. Spending 4 years in the much, much less rain-challenged Bay Area has made me love the rain a little and I even miss the biting wind and rain that fell at a slant, but I digress. The point is I was hit with nostalgia and laziness, while being effectively trapped inside my house for the day (rain makes people in SoCal forget how to drive, so don't go out into that madness if you can help it). I read a lot, caught up on a bunch of things, and then I wrote.

Confession time: My resolution to establish a better writing routine is crashing at this point, though not yet burning. Since I made that resolution post, I think I've written about three times.

Anyway, before the storm systems hit this week, I had one of my old moments of Inspiration. I'd been pondering a lot of things, and the mix of cold weather moving in and my lack of sleep hit me in the form of Plot Things clicking into place like the gears of a finely tuned clock - in the shower. Yes, that's right. The ever reliable shower. I used to get inspired all the time there, probably because of all the steam clearing my sinuses, but it hasn't happened in a long time. So it was a pleasant, wonderful surprise. Then it wasn't so fun when I had to scramble to remember everything in order to write it down later.

Back in high school, I also used to get hit by Inspiration a lot during Pre-Calculus class. My teachers would be sad to hear it wasn't the riveting math that inspired me, but rather I think my brain just needed another outlet. I paid attention when I had to, and when I didn't, I scribbled scenes in between pages of Trig and graphs. If you look at my old Pre-Cal and Calculus notebooks, they're practically half writing notebook (not to mention, makeshift doodle pad).

These were 2 of my Inspiration Hot Spots. Put me in either setting and usually my brain would come up with something interesting to write. This has nothing to do with cold weather or rain, except that the recent abundance of both in my life reminded me of where I used to be inspired.

And the truth is, there is something about the rain that sets the right mood for me sometimes. It's not an Inspiration Hot Spot, but it certainly can be an Inspiration Booster. Rainy weather is soothing and frightening and makes everything so very atmospheric.

Except when it's threatening tornadoes because that's just not cool.

Where and when do you get inspired? What inspires you?


Break Any Resolutions Yet?

So guys, we're a week into the New Year. How are those New Year's Resolutions holding up? Mine? They're SORT OF HAPPENING but also SORT OF NOT. Allow me to explain.

I have some Overall Life type resolutions that included things like "more socializing" and "exercise" and "sleep." I also have writing specific resolutions/goals, which I posted here last week.

In terms of my Overall Life resolutions, I'm about in the middle. I did do some socializing this weekend when I would really have rather curled up with a book, so that's a big PLUS in my Resolution Success Column. For the sleep and exercise thing...I'm still working on it.

Now, let's take a look at my writing resolutions.

I'm already failing at #1 because it's been a week and I haven't written at all. In my defense, I'm about to! I think maybe I need to learn to turn off the internet first. I also almost failed my #5 resolution of blogging at least once a week here, but to my relief, I realized I made resolution post on the 4th, which counts as my once a week. Haha! See, positivity (also one of my Overall Life resolutions!)! But really, I'm going to work really hard to establish a reasonably consistent blog posting schedule here. I've actually got an idea for a post that doesn't involve my talking about how bad I am at keeping these resolutions! Yay!

However, one writing and Overall Life resolution I am absolutely kicking butt at is my #6 "Read more" because my book binge is still going strong! Actually, I'm waning a little because I'm tired and I read slow, but instead of letting the feeling take hold, I am pushing onwards! Mostly though, it's because I borrowed A LOT of books from the library by requesting them specially. Some of those books I had to wait a LONG TIME for, and I don't want to go through that wait again. So I am going to FINISH THEM dammit!

I'm currently reading Demon's Lexicon and Fallen, the latter of which took FOREVER to get (because it's new and in demand). This is after I impressed myself by neatly polishing off the rest of the Percy Jackson series, including the little companion book The Demigod Files in like 2 weeks. I love that kid and his snarkiness. I'm not gonna lie, the first (especially) and the second books were a little too juvenile for me - like I could tell from the writing the age group the books are aimed at and some of the humor would have been funny if I were, say, 11 years old. It's like how my friends and I remembered how we thought the Power Rangers Movie (the first one) was so funny/cool when we were at the age to love Power Rangers and realizing upon viewing the movie in our college years that LOL THIS IS SO BAD IT'S FUNNY AND WERE THESE JOKES REALLY SO LAME?

However, by the last Percy Jackson book, I was LOLing for real and wondering is this actually funny or am I just getting used to Percy/the humor? They were great though. Fun and interesting with fast, fast moving plots. I'm rather fond of them and quite fond of Percy. Okay, and also I think I've mentioned I LOVE Greek mythology. LOVE. IT. Apollo? Total hottie.

And now in an attempt to keep some resolutions, the ones where actual writing and getting enough sleep come in, I'm going to catch you lovelies later.

How are your resolutions coming along?

P.S. Alz has also posted more of her amazing craft-work at her Sparkling Rampage blog. I only mention this because she recently bestowed upon me a beautiful bracelet (with stars!) and cluster ring that is BLUE and has STARS, two things I like very much.


More 2010 Resolutions

All right, all right, Krispy, I wasn't going to make resolutions since I usually fail at keeping them and this depresses me, but since you've done it, so too now shall I! Maybe this will be proper incentive to actually actively pursue their keeping.

1) Like Krispy, I'd like to establish more regular writing habits. This is not to say that I don't write a lot already--but I could be writing more, and I could be doing it on a more consistent basis. And I could also probably due with focusing on only one a couple a few projects at a time.

2) Finish Nanowrimo 2006 story, which incidentally is also probably going to be my thesis work for grad school. Quite important, yep. Really should get that sucker done (and completely revised).

3) Blog more!

4) Read more!

5) Get published!

6) I'd love to finish Nano 2007/2008, although since it turned into a gigantic overly complicated monster sprawling for page upon haphazard page with no end in sight, it would necessitate a massive rehaul. Which I probably shouldn't do until I've fulfilled resolution #2.

7) I'd also like to get around to that total revision and renewal of the Syldraverse story--which, unlike #6, I may be able to start despite #2 because it'd be a clean restart. Except that I might get carried away with it, so maybe not. But we shall see. Everyone needs an outlet. Actually, that would be 3 projects, wouldn't it? Nano '06, Nano '07/'08, and Syldraverse Remix. Hmm...will have to think about that...I think the '07/'08 is too much to handle in conjunction with other major projects, so we'll nix that and move on to the next...

Of course, this is to say nothing of--

8) Our Baby! Our co-novel for which we started this blog in the first place! Our original endeavor! I say that this is NOT an iffy resolution, Krispy, but a firm and decisive one, concrete of will--nay, iron of will! Titanium! Adamantium! We've had a nice long break from it, which is probably a good thing; now we can go back and look at what we did, decide what works and what doesn't, rehash, revise, replot, replan, and finish our outline, and then get around to actually writing it!

Ah, yes. I think that will do nicely. I'm excited because it's been so long since we discussed our neglected baby and did any plotting or concentrated development--but hopefully now that our schedules have been sorted out, we'll be able to resume our sojourn towards collaborative awesomeness.

Here's to 2010 and the keeping of resolutions! *toast*


Christmas Gifts & Resolutions for 2010

It's back to the grind tomorrow, so I thought I'd start the first work week of the new year by taking care of 2 things here on the blog. First up, let's wrap up something from December - presents!

We received a very sweet blog award from one Icy Roses (THANK YOU!!!):

  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
Great Christmas present, not to mention great motivation to keep up with the blogging. As for paying this thing forward, many of the people I have in mind actually already have this award (and deservingly so!). So, I shall hold on to this for a while and nominate when I've been around the blogosphere a little longer. :)

Secondly, time for some New Year's Resolutions. These will be writing-related since the non-writing related ones mostly focus on the goal of Figuring Out My Life. Too much to handle for A Nudge, I think (and I've already written them up elsewhere). So onwards with writing resolutions!

1. Establish more consistent writing habits. For now, I'll start with at least 4 times a week for 15 minutes each. That makes an hour. (Look, math! Look, I'm also factoring in my procrastination and Real Life!)

2. Finish at least 2 of the 3 Solaris stories that are littering my Google Docs by April. Seriously. For once I actually know what happens!

3. Work on the 2009 NaNo story (instead of letting it sit like poor 2008 NaNo Cinders and Glass...).

4. Start writing my random ideas down somewhere, so I don't forget CRUCIAL pieces of info. (My elephant memory isn't what it used to be sadly.)

5. Blog more! At least once a week every week. (Starting small!)

6. Read more!

And an iffy-er resolution, but something I'd like to work on:

7. Um, work on Novel after which this blog is named???! (Hmm, Alz?)

So I've got my work cut out for me, but 2010's the start of a new decade. About time I got on top of this. What are your goals for this year and beyond?