Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Good Day Winds Down

It has been a good day for me here. I'm going to tell you why.

Item One: The Day at Work

Although I still didn't get as much sleep as I wanted last night (I washed my hair instead), I was actually awake and productive today as I sorted out a horrible chaotic mess that I have to do once a month. The interval, and the fact that the information I need is on a bunch of emails, pretty much guarantees that by the next time I do the task, I've forgotten many of the particulars. I therefore waste a lot of time researching what's over with, and what's still current, and what I did wrong before and have to fix now, and what other people think is wrong but it probably really isn't.

Well. Today I broke the long, slightly confusing spreadsheet I work with into three different ones: items generated from a particular, relatively static source; other recurring items, and corrections. The corrections (mostly correcting what other people have done) account for the vast majority of the emails. Then I went through three months of emails, generated a list of which items are over with and which aren't, and got everything nicely organized. I realize you all don't know or care exactly what I'm talking about, but the way I set things up today, I should be able to do the job in half the time from now on, with minimal errors or sorting through email.

I did go back to the office tonight, but only for an hour or two. At the end I was making the kinds of mistakes you make when tired: pasting the wrong week's data into the right week's spreadsheet, or the right week's data into the wrong week's spreadsheet. Still, I got done everything I set out to do and a bit more, except for a few bits for which I need the cooperation of people who weren't at the office at 9 PM tonight.

Here's a bit of industrial espionage for you. Yes, I snuck another picture of this plant in the downstairs hallway, the one that provided the picture of the out-of-focus leaf last week. I think it's kind of an interesting plant - a small tree, really. I bet Mysterious Largish Competitor would love to know more about Unnamed Largish Company's indoor vegetation. But we won't tell, will we? Shh!

And while I'm showing you clandestine pictures from inside our building, here's one that finally gives away the mystery of the star-1 sign.

Kind of a letdown, ain't it? I still say that putting a star next to the 1 on the sign for a two-storey elevator doesn't convey much information. Nobody's going to have trouble figuring out that they're on the first floor, and that it's also the ground floor. After all, there's an exit about 20 feet away.

Item One: The Days Ahead

I was going to run a poll here about what fiction to run next in Messages from Mâvarin, based on a whole list of options I IMed to a friend and then accidentally deleted. It doesn't matter now, because I know what I'm going to do! I had a great idea last night for my next serial, based in part on an old concept I had for a YA novel about diaries. My upcoming trip and the infusion of a science fiction element have transformed it into a pretty darn good premise, I think. All I'll tell you about it for now is this:
  1. It's not about Mâvarin (or JW or Kate), and
  2. The working title is The Jace Letters.
That was the other thing that kept me up a bit later than expected last night. Having already taken down a pace of handwritten notes, I was then forced out of bed by further noodlings. I had to get down another page of notes, this time on the laptop, before I was able to get back to sleep.

Worth it. I'm really looking forward to writing this, week by week, for your possible enjoyment.

The other thing I'm looking forward to is getting the heck out of town - not just once, but twice. A day and a half from now, I'll be driving north and east, with plenty of time to get there. Will I make a side trip to Roswell, or take the northern route through Phoenix? I don't know yet, but I'm having fun playing with the possibilities. And then in May, I get to drive up to Phoenix for the day, to share a meal with a good friend I've known for over a decade and never met. Yes, my friends, I'm finally going to meet one of YOU! So, S., do you like pizza? One of the top 13 pizza places in the country is about six miles from the airport.


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DesLily said...

I'm a person who likes to organize stuff.. doesn't it feel good when you get it all done and sit back a moment and KNOW you don't have to do it again for a very long time?!! it's a very accomplished feeling..and a feeling of new found freedom!

the only problem i ever had with getting up and making notes in the middle of the night if inspiration hits is: then i can't turn it off and lay awake for hours!! grrrr lol

Bea said...

WEll, I am still working on the last parts of chapter two of Mavarin, then I'm going to start on your short stories. Maybe I'll begin with The Jace Letters! Karen, it's not "possible" enjoyment ... it's probable!

Sarah said...

Yes, I love pizza! In the top 6? Goodness, I have to try that!