On Cleaning, Whodunnit, Leveling Up & Office Hours…

Here we go again…another week, another Monday. Are you
ready? Yeah, me neither. But we don’t have much of a choice, do we? So
once more into the fray, and all that…

As usual, it’s Sunday night while I’m typing this, a Castle re-run
is doing it’s best to distract me, and I’m trying to ignore the smell of
the Scrubbing Bubbles I used while cleaning the bathroom earlier. It
was a can I’d bought…dang, probably way back when we first moved in
around nine years ago. I’ve since been moving towards more natural
cleaning products, but I’m so lazy about cleaning that things
were…rather bad, and I figured I’d use it up. Needless to say, I’ve
regretted it ever since. Yes, it worked, but now I have that chemical
smell stuck in my nose and I’ve avoided nearly all chemical-based
cleaners long enough that it bugs me probably more than it would

Needless to say, I’ll be sticking to more natural cleaners from now
on. Vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, castile soap…stuff that
smells good and works just as well. We humans really do know how to make
the simplest tasks complex, don’t we?

Speaking of complex – have you been watching
“Whodunnit” this summer? It’s like a reality TV version of Clue, and
while I normally don’t care much for reality TV, the hubby and I have
been watching this with interest. It’s been intriguing, and early on we
were thinking that one of the “contestants” reminded us a lot of an
actress we’d seen in something…but we couldn’t place her. I’m not
going to say which one, in case you are watching, and having caught the
finale that was on last night, but suffice it to say, we were right. But
we weren’t sure up until the very end…which made it that much more
fun, I think.

I’d love to host a murder mystery night…but people are so weird
and self-conscious about that sort of thing that it’s hard to get people
who will actually *play*. Why is that, do you suppose? Why do we take
ourselves so seriously we can’t even role-play for an evening without
getting all weird about it? Might do us all some good to relax and let
go a bit – and I include myself in that as well.

In other news, I finally conquered the purl stitch this weekend,
which means I finally know the two basic knitting stitches, and can move
on to actual knitting projects. It was very challenging for me to learn
that last stitch, and I swear, it’s been awhile since something
frustrated me that badly. Which is exactly why I needed to figure it
out. The mind needs to be challenged – the whole “use it or lose it”
adage applies to brainpower in very specific and measurable ways. Yes,
knitting is a manual task, but the actual art of creating stitches is
also a mental one…and I got a good endorphin rush around 12:30am
Saturday morning when I finally figured out how to do what I wanted to

The other nice thing about this is, once I finally figured that
out, it’s like a whole ‘nuther world opened up to me. It’s the
equivalent of “leveling up” in your favorite game…new patterns unlock,
and your world expands just a little bit more, which is never a bad
thing. I still prefer crochet, and probably always will, but having the
alternate skill means more options. I like options.

That, my friends, is why this blog is called The Variety Pages.
It’s why I write in several genres, and I’m not afraid to jump into more
if the whim hits me, and why I at least try different crafts and
hobbies whenever I can. It’s how I live my life – trying new things,
exploring different ways of doing things, and generally trying to expand
my horizons as broad as they can go. The beautiful thing about life is,
the number of levels are infinite, and there are a myriad of ways to
unlock them. Staying on one level is boring, and a great way to let your
brain go stagnant. 

Yes, I may be spending too much time playing games online…but thanks for just ignoring that little detail…  
On that note, let’s see what kind of tasks are on tap for this week:

– A couple serial scenes
– A holiday serial story I meant to get done last week (oops)
– Web site updates
– Cover art
– A few more crochet squares for a gift project
– Pick out a knitting project to start

There’s just one more thing that people may or may not be
interested in. Honestly, it’s bound to be dull as dirt for anyone
outside my head, but I’m taking my methods of self-motivation to a whole
‘nuther level, and establishing a fourth writing session on Tuesdays
& Thursdays. “That’s not much of a challenge,” you say. And indeed,
aside from the whole discipline thing it wouldn’t be, except for one
minor little detail: I’m going to open up that writing session (to be
known as “Office Hours”) to the public, writing in real time in a public
Google docs document.

Yes, that’s right. For a fee of mind-numbing boredom, you will be
able to watch the words spring to life on the page (and then be
backspaced off, come back on, deleted again, ad nausea) for thirty
minutes every Tues/Thurs evening from 11:30pm – midnight my time (MDT).
You’ll even be able to comment if you like (well, if I can figure out
how to turn that on). I’ll warn you, the time will be a bit flexible,
depending on when the house settles down for the night, so it may be
slightly earlier or slightly later, depending. And as I’ve stated, it’s
going to be a lot like watching paint dry or grass grow…seriously
boring. But if you need proof that someone else is writing to kick your
own butt into gear, stop by for a minute, watch my words flail around,
and go write comforted by the thought that someone else out there is
flopping through a first draft as well. Want to feel better about your
own drafts? Watch me write, backspace, write, rephrase, etc for five
minutes. Not only will I bore you into wanting to go back to your own
work, it might make you feel better about the words you’re laying down,
depending on what kind of a night I’m having. If you’re a reader, you
can see exactly how not-magical writing really is, and how it’s really
just putting one word after the other (and then taking it back, laying
it down again, etc). If you’d rather believe books magically pop into
being, this probably isn’t something you want to see.

This won’t be a serialized story – I’ll be working on whatever
draft I happen to be working on that day, and I normally have several
different drafts going so it’ll be a crap-shoot as to genre/author
voice, though since it’s real-time and public, there will be no graphic
sex written during that time (no promises on the violence, sorry). I’ll
start this Tuesday night around 11:30pm-ish. It’s mostly just another
way to motivate myself to add a couple more writing sessions…ya’ll are
just invited along for the ride.

If you’re interested, here’s the link: Office Hours. I’ll post it at The Drafting Desk tonight as well.  

And that does it for another long introduction to the week. Writers
write, you know…even if just blathering on in a blog post. Here’s
to more words this week, no matter where and what they are…

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One comment on “On Cleaning, Whodunnit, Leveling Up & Office Hours…

  1. Ardee Eichelmann

    Wow, the office hours thing sounds like fun. I will try to remember to drop in. I have checked out the link so maybe I will be able to keep it in my little feeble head. There are two other “group” activities I have been trying to participate in online for a long time and I always forget until the activity is over or nearly over. It really annoys me. Maybe I will finally “get it together” with Office Hours. Cheers, Ardee-ann