Quarantined: Week One

So many of you know that Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) came down with symptoms last Saturday. Not bad. The week turned into a very mild case of the yucks as I made her stay over here in the main house with me (kitty was a little disgruntled) and stay on the couch all day, frequently napping (kitty liked that part).

She’s already over it and generally on the mend at this point, such that she was able to go on short walks the last few days, when her fitbit told her to get up and move. Each day, she’s a little better, but I remind her not to push.

So that’s the lovely news.

I’m still asymptomatic, but assuming that I’m a carrier of some sort, so I’m generally confined to the farm. Have made masks for both of us, but safer not going anywhere.

And lemme tell you, not being able to go down to my favorite restaurant for Sunday breakfast sucks. The ladies even offered to just put a box out for me and not charge me anything, because I’ve been so effective at advertising for them as they run Fri-Sun take out only.

But I don’t want anyone else getting sick. Bad juju.

So now it is Saturday night. Had a nice week, banging away at the new novel. It will be MUCH longer than any of the rest, at least as far as I can tell right now, with a general target length of about 150-175k words. And this is a book one, but I have no idea how long the series goes. My notes only have three titles, but the end of three is not necessarily an ending, and this universe is my largest and most complicated yet. (And yes, if you tack a zero onto the end of all of Alexandria Station, you might see what I see. Not for word count, but for scale of the things I have had to invent, the cultures I’ve had to understand, and the technology that drives things so far beyond previous projects.)

Having fun, and it will keep me busy all of April and part of May.

But I’m also extremely lucky, in that I work from home already, for her. I can’t get laid off. I can’t lose health insurance suddenly. My days don’t really change, except that I tend to sleep later when she’s over here. (Body wakes me at 630 sharp when I’m sleeping alone.)

I’d like to say quarantine isn’t much of a change in my lifestyle, but I can’t just pop into town for groceries. Can’t just run down to Krain Corner for breakfast (grumble). Make my own coffee.

Still get up every morning, take a shower, and fix breakfast. Kitty has been over here, so I feed her while Babe does yoga, then fix myself breakfast. Check the news and the social.

Then write.

At one point, I wondered if I could/should push my daily speed up another notch. The general rule for 2019 was 100,000 words per day. Have been on that pace since June 2018 and held it. For the last several months, I’ve pushed just a little.

Now the goal is to maintain 4,000 words/day over the course of a full month. Managed it in Feb and March. On pace to do it in April. Wonder if I can sustain that newer level for a year. That would be the difference between Pulp Speed 2 and Pulp 3, which is kinda awesome to contemplate, as I’d be running 120,000/month as a rule. I can do that when I write longer projects. Longer short stories, because I don’t have to hit a particular word count by cutting key bits out. Novels as long as I can keep me and reader both entertained, which is usually the challenge.

Mixing up short fiction and long every month, because the goal is 40 shorts and 14 novels this year.

Having fun and making a living at it.

It hurts, watching my various friends have to deal with the day job coming unhinged on them. Or just ending suddenly. The stress is killing the art for a lot of them, and that’s usually the thing that brings them joy, so now it is a double load.

Been trying to do my part by reaching out to folks I know but maybe don’t talk to all that often, and just checking in. Saying hi and seeing if they need a friend. I’d recommend all of you give it a try, as it really does help provide that personal touch.

Plus, there are ways you can help, if your finances are stable. I belong to a facebook group centered on Enumclaw/Buckley, WA that collects cash donations from the group and then each day selects some local small business and buys gift cards in the amount. Good, old fashioned socialism keeping folks afloat, and keeping communities together. It does my pinko heart good to see people helping each other.

So help if you can, but don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

You’ve got a lot of friends, some of them people you didn’t even realize.