Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. Before I talk about anything else, I have to talk about Anty’s writing (which is pretty much what I was going to talk about anyway,) but first things first.
It is now summertime, Anty’s least favorite season (and mine; you would understand if you had a built-in fur coat, like I do) and that makes her very crabby, but, fortunately, there is one thing Anty does like about summertime (apart from the increased social acceptability of having ice cream during the day.) She talked about that at Buried Under Romance. That post is here and it looks like this:
Saturday was a big day for Anty, because she also got to recap last weekend’s episode of Outlander, when Jamie and Claire get ready for war. Anty loves the grittier side of historical romance, and this episode had lots of it. That post is here, and it looks like this:
In case you only read my posts, Anty also shared a short piece of fiction from her personal vaults here, and listed fifteen writers who have influenced her, here. She will go into more depth on some of those later, and she is still deciding about other items she has in her vault. I can make no promises, but I do think it is interesting to contrast earlier work with the current stuff and see what is the same and what is different.
One thing that is different this week (all right, two, but I am not sure if I am going to get to both of them, so let’s say one thing for now) is that Anty has been making a conscious effort to spend less time staring at screens. This may seem counterintuitive for a writer, but it is something that has been on Anty’s mind ever since she went to the people vet last month. The people vet gave Anty a paper to fill out so that they could know how to help her the best. Since Anty could not see right then, she had Mama fill it out for her. One of those questions was how many hours a day Anty looked at a computer screen. “All of them” was not an acceptable answer, but the number Anty gave, gave the people vet some concern. Maybe Anty might want to think about reducing that number.
Well. Maybe, Anty thought, the people vet might be on to something. Anty was also irritated that she did not have a lot of time to read paper books, and wanted to try something different with the way she uses her time (that is the second thing, so I will talk about that, too.) Making time that is set aside for reading paper books and nothing else is now one of her goals, and doing that means that she gets more reading done. That is a very good thing. She has also found that switching between screen-related and non-screen-related tasks is a lot easier on her eyes. Since she composes best with pen and paper, this works out very well. There is time enough to look at screens at other times and other stages in the process.
The different thing Anty is trying about how she uses her time is scheduling. Instead of giving each task a set time, like answering emails at 9AM, looking at notes from Anty Melva at 9:30, etc, she writes down everything she needs to do that day, and the hours in which she will have to accomplish those things. Then she picks what thing she wants to do most from that list. Sometimes, that means getting the hard thing out of the way first, and sometimes, it means easing into the day with something easy. So far, Anty notices that she gets more done this way, and feels less stressed. She will see how this goes when she applies it over a longer period of time, but so far, so good. Every human works differently, so this method may not work for everybody, but, for Anty, it does.
Today, Anty picked helping me with this blog as her first thing, because she and Mama have to go hunt for cat food (and people food) and she wanted this posted before she did anything else, in case the hunt takes longer than expected. Anty wants to get the hunting done early, so that she can have uninterrupted time to work on Her Last First Kiss and on Beach Ball (remember those notes from Anty Melva I mentioned?) Anty gets very crabby when anybody interrupts her while she is writing, so that needs to be in uninterrupted time, either when nobody but Anty and I are home (I wait patiently for her to come up for air before I ask for food or scritches or playtime) or when she is away from home, at a coffee house, with her earbuds in, a signal for other humans to leave her alone. When the desktop arrives (she still has to hunt for that) then she can go into her office and close the door, which will give her another private place to get things done. It is not the same every day, but it all has the same goal – to get these books finished and send them out into the world for others to read.
Unplugging for part of the day is not only good for Anty’s eyeballs, but the whole Anty. She likes tackling smaller chunks of things, which are varied from each other, and being able to give one thing her full attention until it is done-done, and then on to the next. Speaking of which, that is about it for this week, because my sunbeam is here. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,
Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)