Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Camp NaNoWriMo: July session

In just a couple of days, the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo will start.  Are you planning on participating?

I don't know about you, but I feel completely unready for Camp this year.  The April session is almost always a flop for me, mainly because it happens to coincide with the same month as taxes and my birthday.  The first half of the month I'm usually getting ready to file my taxes, and then I'm totally burned out afterward, with not much time to recover and get much writing done by my birthday.

The last couple years, though, I've barely made a showing for the July session, either.  I think Camp is a lot harder to do than the main National Novel Writing Month that happens in November, mostly because there's so much hype and such a strong local community here in November that it's easier to stay motivated all month.  The summer sessions lack that almost completely, though, at least in our region.

In past years, we've tried to get people to come to what used to be a year-round writers group.  Of course we haven't been able to do that the last few years, because of covid and NaNoWriMo's rules against official in-person gatherings during the pandemic.  But even before 2020, the push to get people to do in-person stuff during Camp (at least in the Denver region) had exactly zero effectiveness.

This year, my time has been completely consumed with my sick horse since mid-April, so there's a pretty minimal chance that I'll have much time for Camp.  However I've been thinking again about my novel from last year, and wanting to get back to work on it since I never finished.  I might try to see if I can carve out a little time to work on it in July, even if it's not much.

What are your plans for Camp NaNoWriMo next month?

Monday, June 27, 2022


As I mentioned in my last post, this website is under construction at the moment.  My site desperately needed to be updated, as it was more than a decade old at this point, and I was considering changing hosts (although I'm rethinking that plan).

There's still a lot to do on this and another of my websites.  I need to rewrite the content for a few sections of my website that hadn't been revamped in a very long time.  I was planning on working on it this past week, but unfortunately, my life had other plans.  My horse - whom you might remember has been sick - had another setback, this one pretty major, and we had to have the vet out two days in a row.  We spent both days almost entirely at the barn, and as a result, I ended up playing catch-up on what I could get done Thursday and Friday of this week.  The websites weren't a priority, so they got pushed back.

But my horse is doing better now (again) and I have a brand-new week ahead of me, so I'm hoping to do better this week.  I didn't really catch up to where I wanted to be at the end of last week, and I've had a bunch of new things pop up, so I have a lot on the docket for the next few days.  With any luck, I won't have any major interruptions this week, and I'll be able to get a little more done.

As I get through the website redesign and my life gets back to normal, I'm hoping to start updating my blogs a little more regularly.  It's been a minute since I updated this blog on a regular basis and I'd love to change that!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Site Under Construction

Please excuse my mess!

Over the next week or two, I'll be overhauling my website and changing hosts.  I expect my site will come and go during that time, and there are bound to be some confusing things popping up, such as remnants from my old site.

Feel free to browse my blog as I get my list of services, portfolio, resume, etc. back where it belongs.  Thanks for visiting!

This Is My Office Now

Since my last post, there have been some upheavals in my life.  My horse got sick, actually about a week before my last post, but at the time that I posted I didn't realize how bad it was going to get.  He had just been in the ICU, but at the time it seemed like he was going to recover okay.  I didn't realize how much worse it was going to get.

He landed right back into the ICU less than a week later, and spent a couple more days there that time.  When he came home, it was with the plan of feeding him four times a day, which meant that I needed to do two of the four feedings (the barn would only feed him twice a day).

It quickly became obvious that he was still not okay, so I ended up tossing out the vet's plan and coming up with my own.  It meant feeding him six times a day, although that worked out okay because he also needed meds six times a day.  But it also meant a lot of time either driving back and forth to the barn, or just staying at the barn, since by the time I drive back and forth I only have about an hour, sometimes two, at home.

Fortunately throughout the repeated colic episodes, the stays in the ICU, and the first few days and weeks at home where everything was touch and go, my clients were super understanding and gave me all the time I needed to finish my current work.  There were days and even a couple of weeks where I could hardly find any time to work at all, so I will be forever grateful to my clients for their patience during what amounts to the absolute worst period of my entire life so far.  There was a time when I was legitimately afraid we would lose my horse, and he is my heart horse, so of course I got nothing done during that time.

Eventually he stabilized enough that I was able to start getting some work done here and there, and over time I've been able to carve out more and more time for normalcy.  In the past week or so especially, I've really started feeling like I've got something approaching my old life back.  It'll still be a while before we can stop feeding Panama every three or four hours throughout the day, but at least now I can focus on work between feedings, instead of taking care of him and constantly stressing about whether he was going to make it through this.

Of course I still had to figure out how to find the time to get my work done during the day.  Ultimately I decided that driving back and forth all day long took too much time out of my day - the drive is only about 15 minutes each way, but that adds up after a while.  Plus when you consider the cost of gas right now (for various reasons I wasn't using my electric car for a little bit there), it just wasn't worth driving back and forth.

So for now I've settled into a routine where I get up, go to the barn, feed Panama his elevensies (he's almost a hobbit now), and then settle in with my laptop and my phone as a hotspot.  I work for anywhere from two to four hours, depending on how much work I have and how much attention my horse needs that day, from a picnic table in the yard where I can see my horse.

Yesterday one of my barn friends came over to me while she was letting her horse graze in the yard.  "Is this just your office now?" she asked.

"Yep," I said, and laughed.  And I realized it wasn't really a bad view for a temporary office, so I took a picture.

Panama has a scope on Tuesday to see if his ulcers have healed, at which point I'm hoping we can start transitioning him back to hay and fewer meals per day.  With any luck, at some point this summer I'll be able to stop working at the barn throughout the day (not to mention get some more sleep, clean my house, and plan day trips again).  But right now I'm grateful that I freelance, so that when I needed that flexibility, I was able to do what I needed to do.


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