In other news…

I resisted as long as I could, but a Discord account has happened at last.
I’m not posting my handle yet/here…mostly because what I like most is that I don’t HAVE to “friend” the world to have enjoyable topic-based interaction.

(Also I have no freaking idea what I’m doing and want to dabble a bit before I start reaching out much.)

If we are friends IRL or close buddies online through some other social platform & you want to connect on Discord, by all means message me your handle.
BUT
Do NOT take it personally if I don’t send a friend request or respond to one. PLEASE don’t. I am easily overwhelmed & lurking is my learning zone.

My first impression overall is, it’s brilliant. Topics/servers divided into channels for smaller topics or threads of interest, with the idea of friending saved for for private, personal interaction? AND convo timelines that are reliably chronological? Yeah. I could get used to that.

It reminds me of the old-fashioned newsgroup environment, with the added conveniences of sms group chat and a voice option.
And I loved the rec.arts.sf.written newsgroup back in the Earthlink/AOL/9600 baud modem days…oy, so long ago now. (My handle there was Sarcastic Wench, btw. Truth in advertising.)

ANYway. I’m all excited about the new addition, so, I’m sharing. It’s what I do. I get excited about things, and I post about them.

Life update: home again, home again, giggity-gig.

I had a lucky 7 things on my authoring to-do list for the week Spouseman & I were away:

1. Get a Gen Con hotel room issue fixed (NOPE)

2. Put a friend’s latest 2 kids books into Createspace. (NOPE)

3. Post the Restoration boxed set up onto Kindle (Yes)

4. Place Controlled Descent & Flight Plan into Overdrive for library borrows (Yes)

5. Finish two more scenes in Ghost Town (NOPE)

6. Get my edits back for Sharp Edge of Yesterday (NOPE)

7. Pick a title font & start back blurb for Sharp Edge (NOPE)

Not a great completion percentage. ūüėĘ Lots of excellent family visiting happened and that was fantastic, but the time/energy/internet availability matrix didn’t work for anything more. Also, I always inderestimate how much travel will physically take out of me.

So now I’m tired and mentally drained facing a dauntingly busy August. (Excited, happy, thrilled, even, but also daunted.) Gen Con. Michigan Comic Con. Dragon Con. Plus all the to-do list things still to do.

On the + side, I did get halfway done with items 5&7, ordered more paperbacks for cons, and got a surprise convention opportunity wedged in between Gen Con & Dragon Con. So, YAY FOR GOOD THINGS!

While away I also re-read the Liaden Universe books in honor of a convention I couldn’t attend where the authors were Guests of Honor, and started a book called Freelance Familiars, by Daniel Potter, which is a nice treat so far. And I got Spouseman started on Tanya Huff’s Confederation books. Hee.

Movies? None, unless re-watching Thor: Ragnarok & Black Panther counts. It’s been a slow month for media consumption. Just. Too. Busy.

Lastly, have some random pictures from our trip. All taken near or around Seattle, WA.

Sweeping Away Distractions

storysculpting header 2 brushes and paints

I have a serious inertia problem. Getting started is a bitch. Switching tasks is worse.

Yes, I know, concentration is hard for everyone. All the same, those who know me IRL¬†will attest to my epic difficulties settling AND my amazing ability to¬†barnacle once¬†I’ve landed.

A high inertia score does have its upside. I have been known to forget meals and forego sleep entirely while immersed in a Big Doing. I can be nigh-impossible to pry loose from a task once settled. The trick these days is avoiding the perils of the internet.

I do not blame¬†the internet for my inertia, no. Back in the day, I could channel-surf for hours. I could waste hours reading the newspaper. I would clean things.¬†But unlike those old-school distractions, online bread & circuses ars ubiquitous and inescapable. It’s not only on my computer, it’s on my phone. My reading tablet. It tempts from all sides, at all hours, and willpower is a finite resource.

The nasty reality is that I either lose creative time to social media and my various online obsessions, or I can forfeit creative energy to the effort of ignoring those temptations.

Or I could enlist the aid of artificial intelligence in my fight to focus. ¬†That’s the route I’ve taken. I now have an internet-blocking program to ¬†fight the good fight for me.

I forked over ducats for the Freedom app. (Green butterfly logo.)  It has a simple interface, seamless cross-device compatibility, and it was the most customizable program I found. See, I need certain kinds of internet access for many aspects of my creative work, from use of the online thesaurus to historical fact-checking etc, but I need to be prevented from channel-surfing my way through other sites.

Why that app? There are pro’s and cons to all the internet blockers. Better bloggers than me have written excellent comparisons. I will not attempt to top them. A search on “reviews of apps to cut down on distractions” or “internet blocking app review” will net a fine selection. I did a lot of research. (Yes, I saw¬†the irony in¬†spending time online researching ways to spend less time online…but it had to be done.)

The Freedom app’s best aspect for me is the ability to schedule by day, time and device — I do not even have to will myself to turn on the distraction-remover. It happens automatically. And if I need-need-need to override it, I can do so on the phone or tablet easily. ¬†But mostly I don’t.

I do not regret the hours I spend diving down figurative internet rabbit holes after odd facts & critical resources, and I am infinitely improved by time spent with the generous amazing folk who have befriended me in the virtual world.

But. Oh, BUT.

The online¬†party never ends, and¬†I can’t stay ¬†24/7/365. ¬†I¬†have reading to do, I have plants to water, ¬†I have a cat to brush…

I have stories to write. And now I have more time and more energy for them.


Not tired of my words yet? My published works are available on Amazon and all the other usual online retailers. Handy link: https://books2read.com/ap/xqvlwR/K-M-Herkes