I’m trying to get the house in some kind of order before my sister gets here at the end of the month. Since it needs a LOT of in-depth cleaning and ShitKnee prevents me from doing a lot of that before I’m forced to sit down, I’ve got an every-other-day schedule where I focus on a room and get it clean (writing during rest breaks), then take the next day off and dedicate it purely to writing (and yes, Ramón is helping — he cleaned the library over the weekend — but he also has a day job calling on his time whereas my boss is a bitch but also lets me have time off to clean).
Yesterday, I cleaned our downstairs bathroom. This included moving everything on surfaces out of the room, vacuuming and washing the walls, vacuuming every flat surface in the room (remember, we have five cats so there is hair EVERYWHERE), vacuuming the extractor fan cover and light fixture, dusting all the picture frames and washing the glass, washing the window and mirror, vacuuming the floor, washing all flat surfaces, scrubbing the sink/sink cabinet/toilet/shower enclosure, and washing the floor. With breaks, it took about five hours. I figured I’d be a little tired today, but it was a day off so that was fine.
Today, I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck. Just getting my muscles to function at all makes me want to cry. I can’t even get my fingers to work right — I dropped the cap from my pop bottle, then had a hell of time getting it screwed back on the bottle. All I want to do is crawl back into bed, but I’ve got word quota to meet. This getting older thing is absolute bullshit, people.
As for the bathroom, there was litter on the floor this morning (because of course there was). I swept it up and dumped it back in the litter box. The rest of it looks pretty nice, though, so I’ve got that going for me.
Okay, writing — today I’m working on the outline of The Crimson and the Black so that I can start plowing through that at speed, and I’d really like to get Shifter Woods: Growl done and out by the end of the month (it’s halfway done). Also, if you’d like to read my new alternate history mystery A Most Mysterious Murder (aka Edgar Allan Poe and Lewis Carroll team up to fight crime!), it’s available on all platforms as well as print.
Everyone has coping mechanisms for stress, some of them healthier than others. I happen to have one of the more neurotic ones, where I clean. I think it’s because cleaning gives me control over my immediate environment when I don’t have control elsewhere. Well, it’s either that or day drinking.
As of Monday, I have:
- Scrubbed the toilets.
- Gotten rid of all our recycling (including at least ten empty kitty litter boxes, buckets, and bottles) by taking them to the recycling center.
- Vacuumed and carpet cleaned the living room.
- Washed at least six loads of laundry, folded it all, and took it upstairs and put it away.
- Cleared out all of the stuff that’s been piling up on the dressers in the bedroom, including the remaining tools from last November when I put up the curtains and borked my knee. Assorted stuff has been put:
- In our closet.
- In the garage.
- In the linen closet downstairs.
- In the tool drawer in the kitchen.
- Dusted the worst of the bedroom surfaces, pending a full vacuum and polish.
- Washed the master bath mirror and counters.
- Sorted through all the mail, tossed junk mail, put recyclables in recycling, and batched all the (already paid) bills to be brought upstairs and filed.
I think subconsciously I’m trying to clear off all the surface mess (of which there is a lot, mainly due to the borked knee) so that I can then go room by room and give each one a good, solid deep clean before Thanksgiving, after which I can start the Christmas decorating. Ramón is watching all of this very nervously because his mom used to angry clean, and so when he sees me bustling around he subconsciously assumes I’m pissed about something (doesn’t help that I have RBF).
And yes, I’m writing as well–in fact, I’m thisclose to finishing the holiday novella and getting that off this weekend, then going back to work on Cross Current. Sorry, but I needed something light and fluffy to work on and Cross Current is going to have a fair amount of angst in it so I had to switch focus for my own mental health.
I also have my last PT visit this afternoon, and I’m going to have them measure my knee at full bend and extension so that I have an idea of how much I’ve improved since I started. I have my exercises, I have some tools to help with that and a yoga pad, and if I can get into the habit of doing them first thing in the morning after I get up and get them knocked out for the day, that would be grand.
So, what are you doing to stay calm while we wait for the election results?
One of the side effects of NaNoWriMo is that housekeeping in the Cameron manse usually falls by the wayside while I try to make word count. This year, however, I’m 1) well ahead of schedule (more on that below), and 2) still have to do the cleaning that fell by the wayside while I was editing Lady of Thorns. So I’ve instituted a plan of writing for a half hour, then cleaning for a half hour, then writing, then cleaning. Or in the last couple of days’ case, writing/raking. Sweet mother of Cthulhu, but we have a lot of leaves in the front yard. I’ve already raked up 8 bags’ worth and there will be at least another eight bags to go.
But it’s got to be done because otherwise they blow all over the street and I feel like a slacker (plus it’s not good for the lawn to be covered with leaves). That being said, after the last two days of raking I kinda feel like I’ve been beaten by Mob enforcers so I may well take today off from raking (the leaves aren’t going anywhere, after all) and focus on vacuuming the downstairs. Because 5 cats + 2 humans = one hell of a lot of hair/fur/dander. Thank Zoroaster for Dyson vacuums, that’s all I have to say.
In other news, my NaNoWriMo projects are a skosh over 30,000 words, one of them will be out on December 5th as a holiday novella (Red Robin and the Huntsman, set in the Two Thrones universe), and I just found a memory on Facebook from 2011 stating that I’d be happy if I could write a book a year, plus assorted short stories. Ha. Ha. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, I was a sweet summer child back i 2011, wasn’t I?
Oh, finally, if you’ve read Lady of Thorns could I ask you to leave a review on your preferred site? Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, it’s all good. I just need more reviews. Thanks!
SC: Sooooo … you’ve been getting kinda whiny on social media about your book sales. You know, nobody likes to be guilted into buying stuff.
Me: *sigh* Yes, I know. I won’t do that anymore. And I wasn’t trying to guilt people. I was just trying to get some word of mouth going.
Me: Oh, bite me. I already feel bad about it. I’m just going to shut up and write more books. If I can.
SC: Melodramatic cliffhanger much?
Me: God, you’re a bitch.
SC: You should know. Okay, fine, why “if I can?”
Me: Because my damn laptop is over eight years old and my desktop is over nine years old. Both of them are failing, and I really need to buy new ones before they completely die on me.
SC: Tell me you’re backing up.
Me: Religiously and onto multiple devices. But backups aren’t going to be of any use if I don’t have hardware to run them on.
SC: So why didn’t you just say that your computers are crapping out and you need to buy new ones?
Me: Well, hell, Chuck Wendig just did something like that for his vet bills and people jumped all over his ass. And I’m no Chuck Wendig.
SC: Verily, that is true.
Me: Also, it didn’t occur to me.
SC: Jesus. You’re telling me that saying, “Hey, folks, my antique computers are on the verge of joining the choir eternal so please buy my books so that I can get new ones and keep writing” didn’t occur to you, but “Oh, jeez, my books aren’t selling, woe is me” did?
Me: Fuck you.
SC: Not anatomically possible but an amusing suggestion nonetheless. Why are you in such a bad mood, anyway?
Me: Because I’m cleaning. I hate cleaning. I always wind up drenched in sweat and covered in cat hair. But it has to be done.
SC: You could be writing–
Me: YES I KNOW THAT BUT WE LIVE WITH FIVE CATS AND RANDY TREES OUTSIDE AND I HAVE TO VACUUM IF I WANT TO CONTINUE BREATHING, OKAY?
SC: Yeesh. Okay. But you’re going to be taking breaks, right?
SC: Okay, then. You can work on one of your WIPs during your breaks. See? That was easy.
Me: I–you– *incoherent with rage*
SC: Do you want a new laptop and desktop?
Me: *grinds teeth and goes back to dusting*