three months in

I don’t always exhibit this kind of good sense, but I’ve excused myself from going to the gym this week on account of the move. Next week is still open to debate, and I’ll be out of the country for a week later this month, so May is going to wreak havoc with my usual schedule.

But it seems like a good time to post about what progress I’ve made in the three months or so since I started working out at the gym.

Mid-February, my numbers looked like this:

  • Bench press: 2 x 12-15, 12 lbs.
  • Shoulder press: 2 x 15, 12 lbs.
  • Row: 2 x 15, 5 lbs.
  • Lat pulldown: 2 x 15, 30 lbs.
  • Back hyperextensions: 2 x 12, no weight.
  • Crunches: 2 x 15, no weight.

Here’s what I’m doing now:

  • Bench press: 2 x 12, 15 lbs.
  • Shoulder press: 2 x 12, 15 lbs.
  • Row: 2 x 15, 12.5 lbs.
  • Upright row: 2 x 15, 12 lbs.
  • Lat pulldown: 2 x 15, 45 lbs.
  • Modified pulldown: 2 x 15, 45 lbs.
  • Back hyperextensions: 2 x 12, no weight.
  • Crunches: 2 x 15, no weight.
  • Peggy spins: 32 cts. each side, 9 lbs.

As you can see, I’ve added a couple of things, substantially upped my weight on a couple of things, minorly upped my weight on a few more, and changed nothing whatsoever about the back extensions and crunches. Can you tell my core muscles are weak?

I’m also doing 30 min. or so of cardio on the elliptical twice a week, with interval training instead on Saturdays. And I’m stretching: I can put myself on the floor again in the side splits (provided I approach it slowly), though on a good day I’m still four or five inches from the wall, which means we are not in walkover territory yet. Oddly, my front splits are making slower progress than the sides are, which I would not have predicted.

It is progress. I am not G.I. Jane-era Demi Moore yet; I cannot do a one-armed pushup like she’s doing in my icon. I may never be there. But at least I can take some small satisfaction in watching my numbers go up.

mood music

It is possible to gauge my level of energy for moving (or packing, or house-cleaning, or similar tasks) by the music I’m using to keep myself going.

Today, we’ve gotten to Finsternis.

At this rate, I don’t know what I’ll do come Saturday.

The problem with packing up all our books to move is that now, when I’m near the end and really tired and just want to sit down and take a breather while I read for bit, the only books still out seem to be on Elizabethan espionage, and I can’t brain enough for those right now.

But then I remembered that I’d also left my Harry Potter books out, and all was well.

huhZAH!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a job for next spring!

I will be teaching “Writing Speculative Fiction” as a Collins course. And I’m giddy about the prospect.

A million thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions for the reading list a few months back. I’ll post a finalized version of that list when I teach the course; between now and then it might get tweaked a bit.

And now, knowing that I have a year of employment secured, I can relax and start breathing again.

one last word on technopeasantry

If you’re interested in reading some (or heck, all) of the work posted for International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day, there’s a permanent list going up here, collating links from the variety of places that people announced their contributions. So you can bookmark that and have it all in one handy place. I don’t think the list is quite complete yet, but it’s got a lot there already.

dropped one, but got another

I didn’t finish “Once a Goddess” tonight, so it’s officially late — though I hope to get it done soon.

But I did crank out 2124 words on Midnight Never Come, which doesn’t suck. All of it in an extended flashback scene, mind you, that may or may not ever end up in the novel; I even put it in a separate “flashbacks” file, so I can keep it separate from the main narrative and decide when, if ever, to drop it in. I suspect I’m going to write a number of these things for my own edification, and not all of them will end up being used. But they do matter, because they help me get important background details straight, and the ones I don’t put in will probably end up as freebies on Swan Tower.

So, 2124 words on how Gilbert Gifford got recruited into Walsingham’s service. On the surface, it’s just like history tells you. (One interpretation, anyway. I’m finding a great deal of disagreement over when Gifford started being a double agent. But that’s fine; I’ll just run with the interpretation that serves my purposes.) Beneath . . . well, that’s the whole point of this novel. There’s history, and then there’s the beneath layer I’m adding to it.

It’s fun. But it ain’t easy. In writing those 2124 words, I consulted four different books and two websites (one of them being the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, which I discovered the other day and which rocks my world). And I’m having to remind myself that the set of people who would know whether the queen was in residence at Greenwich or somewhere else in December of 1585 and the set of people who will be reading Midnight Never Come are unlikely to overlap to any substantial degree, so I should just put her at Greenwich if I bloody well feel like it and move on with the paragraph rather than worrying that I’m getting Something Wrong.

Historical fantasy. Oy. Why did I think this was a good idea, again?

more thoughts on fanfic

I’m sure many of you have stopped going back to check my earlier post on fanfic for new comments, if you ever did so at all, so I thought I’d a) mention that the discussion is still going on there, and b) start a new post.

The reason for the new post is that my thoughts have had some time to compost, or marinate, or whatever the metaphor I want is, and I think I can articulate some things now that I couldn’t before. Most particularly, a few things I found myself saying to ancientwisdom over there.

Cut again for length . . . .

The universe is laughing at me.

Just when I thought I had escaped the Great Button-Sewing Extravaganza that was my life a month ago . . . .

Yeah, that’s right. I spent tonight sewing on fourteen more &(*#@$!!! buttons.

On the bright side, the second Morwen dress has sleeves again. And on that note, I’ll see ya’ll at the Renfest tomorrow.