Witch in Practice: Aries

Coven

A quiet month – we have continued our discussion of The Witch’s Path by Thorn Mooney, which continues to be a great book for this purpose.

We’re hoping to get together for a picnic for Beltane (outside, unmasked) which would be very exciting.

Witchy

Low-key for me, largely due to medical reasons (see below). I have been steadily working on notes about what was going on in witchcraft and esoteric circles in (mostly) England in 1939 and 1940, in service of the book I’m going to be working starting in August (half of the plot has to do wtih the magical work to repel Hitler from crossing the Channel.)

It’s a fascinating mix of things I’d read or come across before and new tidbits that make me blink. Not directly related to my doing of witchcraft but still relevant. (Most of the stories that we have are decidedly more “Craft myth” than anything that can be documented or proven. Fortunately for my fiction to be written, since this also leaves me a lot of space to move around in.)

Mostly, though, my personal practice has been very low-key and quiet, bar attending an online ritual via the Cornucopia Collective, focused on Mercury and Rosmerta, two of my favourites. (A previous ritual from Shelley is what introduced me to working with them, and I honour them particularly related to my writing and related abundance in its many forms.)

Personal

A bit rocky, thanks to a routine doctor’s appointment at the beginning of April finding I’d tipped over into “Let’s add two meds we’ve been on the edge of for a while” and a dose change in another. I have an endocrinologist appointment at the end of May, when there may be some more adjustments.

Health work is sort of tiring all by itself, but I had a temporary but wobbly-making reaction to one of the new meds (now much improved, and it’s working, so that’s fine), and the other one has fatigue as a side effect, and yep, that’s me.

(I’m at about 2017 levels of fatigue – my awful health crash was 2009-2010, and this is not that complete exhaustion, but 2017 levels mean I have to carefully pick and choose how much activity I do of basically all kinds. It’s annoying to be back here after a couple of years of “I can clean *and* go for a walk *and* cook something that takes multiple steps for dinner” being an option on the same day pretty reliably. On the other hand, I have coping skills for this, and I’m using them.)

However, it also comes with me going from basically fine to ‘entirely out of me’ with not a ton of notice, especially later in the afternoon or evening, which is… an annoying limit. And makes witchy stuff more complicated.

Witch in Practice : Pisces season

Coven

  • Initiate discussion (still working on Thorn Mooney’s The Witch’s Path which is producing some really great discussion and chances to talk through specific pieces of practices.)
  • Ostara (recommitting to our goals for the year, since Imbolc was less of a ritual than we’d hoped.)

A chat with the initiate who’s been on leave for the past six months ended up at “too many other things in her life right now”. (She is welcome back any time, she’s juggling a lot!)

Witchy stuff

My February and March were largely eaten by writing an attack novel, so I have been light on my own practice and learning on the witchy side. However, I’ve started (in the previous week or so) taking notes for a writing project that involves figuring out who was around the New Forest doing witchy things, specifically in the September 1939 to September 1940 time frame.

This involves a lot of delightful comparison of sources. (I’m really enjoying Michael Howard’s Modern Wicca on this front, for a combo of well-cited info, and putting it in a useful sequence.)

Other life

As of a week ago, I’m commuting two days a week again. Which eats a lot of energy. However, it’s nice to see my stacks and collection. The writing is going great (see the attack novel – I wrote 90K words in 32 days, through the first week in March.)

Witch in Practice – Aquarius season

A little late, not least because it’s been a pretty quiet monthish around here.

Coven

We’ve been particularly quiet here – we had Imbolc ritual on February 5th, modified last minute because I hit some of my chronic health issues flaring, and was in the land of “probably shouldn’t pick up things I don’t want to break” (among other issues, but some of my stuff makes me extra clumsy during a flare, which does not go well with ritual safety in several dimensions.)

Witchy

On the personal front, I’ve been slowly puttering through some ongoing reading and thinking (astrology, some other topics, ongoing slow-pased working through a course.) Work has produced a couple of sizeable projects starting in the middle of January, and so I’ve been busy with that with my brain.

(Usually I have ongoing shorter reference questions, one biggish project, and some ongoing stuff, so when it’s the questions and three biggish projects all at once, it’s a bit more demanding juggling them.)

The rest of my life

The current writing projects have been going fantastically, so I’ve been making the most of wordcount opportunities. I’ve also had a lot of fun with several bits of role-playing games currently in my life, and a moderate amount of reading for pleasure. Again, nothing flashy, mostly quiet, but satisfying.

Witch in Practice : Capricorn season

Coven

We’ve been quiet, due to the holidays.

  • Yule (December 18th) – super simple, we had two people out sick.
  • Initiate discussion (January 8th) – we’ve started discussing the Witch’s Path by Thorn Mooney. This was talking through what we explored from Chapter 1, and talking about chapter 2.

We’re currently in a holding pattern for an upcoming initation until local cases drop and we’re willing to do something that requires some ‘right next to you’ positioning and other things.

Witchy

We did the fourth SKFW chat on the 8th as well, talking about reasearch organisation.

One of the things I’ve done for the past several years is to take extra time off between winter solstice and new year’s. It’s usually an extra quiet time at work (part of how I make this work is to log in and quickly check nothing urgent has happened and clear out my ‘random emails I get that I don’t need to do anything with’ stuff not otherwise filtered. But I get to do it on my own time, 5 minutes every couple of days.)

But basically, I sleep late, spend a lot of time reading on the couch, work through some personal projects (this time something related to the authorial wiki.) And I spend time being quiet.

I start that period by doing the Up All Night Yule vigil I’ve done for a number of years. This year I made it to 3am again. I also do some spinning, making yarn for ritual use for the year between Yule and New Year’s.

Personal

As noted above, I spent a lot of my vacation time doing authorial things. As of when I write that blog post, I finally feel sorta vaguely caught up with a bunch of things (though still, y’know, with a long list.)

My job went back to “only on campus if actually vital” except for students and student-facing staff (which I’m not) so I am happily not leaving the house again except for the occasional allergy shot and similar. The cat approves.

Witch in Practice: Sagittarius season

First, if you haven’t seen them, three posts on yearly planning, with various witchy relevant bits.

Part 1: Tools
Part 2: Yearly and quarterly planning
Part 3: Weekly planning and tracking

Coven:

Moderately quiet.

  • November 20th: Full moon ritual and Dedicant class
  • December 4th: Initiate discussion and Dedicant class.
  • December 16th: Chat
  • December 18th: Planned for Yule ritual (virtual) but alas, not so much.

We’ve moved into discussing Thorn Mooney’s latest book, The Witch’s Path for our initiate discussion (with our one ‘not yet initiated, we’ll be figuring out scheduling as soon as we can after February’) – the book focuses on a number of different topics, with exercises to try, and we each picked one that fit for us.

(I am, um, not doing great with making the time for that part, but I have some more time this week and next.)

We were hoping for Yule ritual, but two of four of us were sick when we got to that point of the week (we were already planning to meet virtually as we continue to do for the time being, but neither of them was up to being on a call. Not Covid, we think.)

Witchy:

  • A class on “Who’s Your Timelord?” (profection years/astrological ruler of your year) from Kirah Tabourn. (I hit “Can’t stand to look at a video call” about 45 minutes in, and need to go back and listen to the recording, but what I caught so far was great, and the replay should be available for general purchase in her store in the not too distant future)
  • Another of the research and practice chats, this one about living with other people and seasonal practices. The January call will probably be about something research related, but I’m open to what that looks like.

I have just started transferring notes from my weekly planning journal to a separate journal for classes, workshops, etc. (I also keep these in Obsidian, a text-based tool with good linking overlay, but I’ve found handwriting summaries gets the info in my head better, and I also like it for notes on related meditations/exercises.)

Personal:

I again made an attempt at Up All Night with the Cauldron, and again gave up around 3am. (Too much incipient headache.)

A novella collection got released on December 10th (I had releases in August, September, early November, and December, which is in fact a whole lot, and I am done with that now until February, though I am staring down some self-imposed deadlines for more writing, and I need to spend some quality time on editing during my vacation.)

Fortunately, I’ve got vacation from work from last Friday (the 17th) through January 2nd, and I’m doing my best to make the most of it – a mix of witchy learning, editing, a project for my books, and a bunch of reading.

(Wish me luck on that one, I am attempting to reread Triumph of the Moon and Women of the Golden Dawn partly for fiction-writing purposes, as well as reading Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley over this vacation. I am not attempting to take notes on them, this is a “read to get some scaffolding in my head” pass.)

Make friends with time 2022 – tools

As I did last year, time for an update on how I handle my planning for 2022.

Hello! Time for the 2022 installment of “how Jenett plans her life”, a post in three parts.

This part: Tools
Part 2: Yearly and quarterly planning
Part 3: Weekly planning and tracking

A bit of background

To help anyone reading this put this into context, hi! I’m Jenett. I’m a priestess, witch, librarian, and author in my later 40s. I live by myself with my cat in the Boston area.

I have four big areas of my life where I look at planning:

  • Work (full time as a librarian). Right now I am on campus 2 days a week, WFH the other three, business hours Monday to Friday.
  • Witchy stuff: I am high priestess of a coven (which means both actual coven events and a certain amount of necessary planning are part of my life), have my own personal practice, and have ongoing learning stuff I’m doing here.
  • Writing: I write and self-publish romances (mostly 1920s with magic), and I’ve been putting out 4 books a year since December 2018. This obviously gets a lot of my non-work time.
  • Embodied life stuff: This includes both necessary household stuff (cooking, errands, cleaning) but also managing multiple chronic illnesses that range from ‘mild and briefly annoying on a regular basis’ to affecting a lot more of my ability to do things when something’s flaring. Right now everything’s pretty well managed and going decently, but they put me at a higher risk of complications in this pandemic we’re having (so I need to be extra careful even with vaccination) and other stuff (like getting a cold) can throw me for weeks or months.

Tools I’m using:

I’m a Mac and iOS user at home, and a Windows user at work (where I currrently am two days a week). So any tool I want to use both places has to be cross-platform without a lot of fuss or be something usable from my phone. 

Here’s the working list for 2022 (in the order in which they come into my planning) 

1) Various astrology tools

2) One Spreadsheet To Rule Them All (Google Sheets)

3) Paper journal (I’ve been loving the ones from Archer and Olive – the paper is great, the feel of the journal is lovely, and they lie flat. If you read this when I post it, they’ll be doing a big restock at the very end of December with new stuff.)

4) Todoist (where all my tasks live.) 

5) Google Calendar (with multiple individual calendars)

6) Obsidian (stores info as text files, Obsidian provides a linking overlay. I use it for a bunch of stuff, but the key here is daily notes. Read that section for more details)

7) Timeneye and Now Then Pro for time tracking options, Routinery (available for both Apple and Android) for multi-step routines where I want to stay on track.   

Astrology

We’re starting with the astrology because it’s actually the first part I do chronologically when looking at the year. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I take information from several sources and put it into Todoist, so that I can look at astrological patterns over longer periods of time, and day to day. I have a filter set up in Todoist that will show me just the astrology stuff, grouped by subproject, so every day I can skim through that and see what’s going on. 

I have multiple subprojects under astrology, so I can group stuff together in my daily list (since most of the cycles stuff lasts a long time, and I will skim through it quickly a lot.) These are: 

  • Magic (magical workings where the timing suggests something particular)
  • Days (specific single days where something is happening)
  • Transits (personal transits in my chart, based on an astrology reading last summer and some related data)
  • Cycles (larger scale planet movements, especially the slower-moving planets.) I don’t put moon signs in there, the moon moves too fast. 

I consider this sort of astrology roughly like a weather report: some things are going to be easier or harder for me to do depending on the skyweather. Mercury retrograde is maybe not a great time for major technology projects. 

I’ve been collecting data for a couple of years now, and one of my projects for this winter is pulling it all into a single source so I can run comparisons of data. I know, for example, I usually sleep less well (by a reliable margin) over full moons – that’s not a great couple of days for me for more intensive physical demands or sometimes mental work. I’m working on collecting further data about more and less productive sun sign and moon sign movement. (This is part of why I keep the Spreadsheet of Doom.) 

I pull from a bunch of different sources: 

Bri Saussy’s Astrology Rx for 2022: This is an overview guide to big patterns (moon phases, movement of the planets through signs.) I particularly like the questions she includes for each item. She’s also got a more involved planner and guide, Planning by Starlight (https://www.planningbystarlight.com/) 

Theresa Reed’s Ultra-Deluxe Superfly Astrology Guide for 2022: Another good guide to larger cycles for the year. 

For both of these, I do a single entry in Todoist, with the dates set as relevant (for longer cycles, it’s the entire cycle), with the details in the description (if they’re short) or a brief summary in the description and something like “See notes” to remind me to go check the comments field. 

Benebell Wen’s Metaphysician’s Planner: This is an actual planner you can print out, with a daily ephemeris, but it’s also got a useful guide for larger planning, and a ton of generally useful info stashed in the guide. (I get it for the ephemeris and longer planning arc pieces.) 

Jeanna Kadlec’s Astrology for Writers newsletter: Jenna focuses on how the skyweather affects writing. Some of it’s not as relevant for me (good days for pitching are not usually a thing I care about!) but her comments on focus vs. dreaminess, the general feel of the moment, and the prompts she shares are all really thought provoking for me on a regular basis. 

Circle Thrice Magical Monthly Membership where Ivy looks at the magical influences for the month (a combination of astrology, lunar days of the month, saints days, and other events and items of interest) and suggests particularly good days for kinds of magic, including multiple-day sequences sometimes. I don’t do a ton of direct spellwork these days, but if I have something I’m thinking about doing, I use this to help me make the most of the planning, and sometimes as a “Huh, haven’t redone the household protections recently, next week’s a good time.” reminder. 

Other tools I use include CHANI, Chani Nicholas’s astrology app (which is great for week to week and day to day changes), and this year I’m trying out Sarah Faith Gottesdiener’s Many Moons Lunar Planner which has explanations, some Tarot spreads and ritual ideas, etc. to have some more things to try for new and full moons. 

I also had an astrology reading over the summer in 2021 with Diotima of Urania’s Well (and will probably do a follow up in January or February) which highlighted some particular personal transits for me that have energy or focus I want to be able to take advantage of.

(A transit is when the current location of a planet intersects in particular ways with planets in your natal chart aka when you were born. I’m still deciding what I think about how that plays out for me in particular, but since the advice is ‘get your day to day life in order so you can take advantage of opportunities this spring”, I’m working on the principle that the first part of that is good advice and a thing I should do anyway…) 

Part of why there’s a lot of sources is that I’ve been trying to learn more about astrology, and which bits I care about, so looking at multiple sources on a regular basis is helping me figure that out. But also, these mostly look at slightly different pieces of the equation: some of them focus month by month, others are a yearly overview. 

Underlying structure

Same as previous years, I’ve continued to group my projects and tasks and generally file my life by the seven visible astrological planets plus earth:

  • Sun: Professional life, day job work
  • Moon: Religious stuff (and interior life stuff if it’s relevant)
  • Earth: Practical embodiment (this is where “go grocery shopping” lives, my budget, household chores)
  • Mercury: Writing. All the many writing. 
  • Mars: What I use for areas of focus (in practice, it’s where I park “what I want to do with my vacation time” notes.) 
  • Venus: Things for pleasure, music, art, gaming, social time
  • Jupiter: Expansion, learning, courses, etc. 
  • Saturn: Planning, structure, necessary stuff that supports the other things. 

This means I can get a generally good sense of what the breakdown of my overall life looks at pretty quickly – I colour code them in Todoist and in my time tracker. This is also how I track the overall breakdown in my daily spreadsheet. However, over time it means I can see if one area of my life is getting out of balance. 

Yearly plans

I then set up my One Spreadsheet to Rule Them All (discussed in detail over here), and figure out a word for the year, that helps me ask myself “Is this choice going to add more [whatever] to my life or not?”

My 2021 word was ‘enchant‘, so I’ve been asking “Is this making my life more enchanted/enchantable/magical/better in those ways?” a lot. (Cleaning the house is not necessarily magic, but having a home I enjoy being in definitely is!) 

When I started writing this, I didn’t have a word yet, but in the intervening week, I’ve come up with one. (For 2022, it’s going to be “glow” Because I like “does this glow?” as a question for myself, or “what’s glowing right now?” (in the good way.) 

There are some things I plan out well in advance. Right now at the end of 2021, I know some things about 2022.

Day job: 

Nothing big on the scheduling horizon this year. There might be some brief travel in the second half of the year.

Writing: 

  • I plan to write a bunch of stuff, and I know when I plan to start most of those projects. 
  • I have a bunch of other writing-related stuff (editing, book launches, etc.) and I know roughly when those things need to happen. 
  • I have two witchy writing projects I’m chewing on that I’d like to make some progress on.

Going back to commuting (even part time) has definitely affected my word count, so when I’m planning projects, keeping a lower goal in mind is definitely the thing. (For rather ambitious values of ‘lower’ as you might guess from the above.)

Coven: 

  • One initiation hopefully in February (or if not, when we can safely do it), and one maybe in the summer or early autumn if all goes well. 
  • Possibly new round of Seeker classes in the summer, and Dedicant classes starting again in the autumn. (These take additional time beyond the teaching for chatting time and logistical coordination.)
  • Hopefully returning to in-person stuff part of the time somewhere in here (which affects my house cleaning schedule and prep time) 

Initiations both take additional planning time before, and tend to mean I’m somewhat less able to do stuff after while my body recovers (which is fine: my body just throws fits about a lot of things, and this is one of them). So I need to plan ahead to have low-demand cooking, limited errands or other appointments, etc. in the week or two before and after if I can manage that. Basically, I want to leave some slack in my schedule at those points. 

(Plus, there’s going to be some additional logistics due to pandemic, and that’s also complicated and takes spoons.) 

Witchy stuff:

  • Doing the witchy chats through March (and reevaluating then), which takes time to do them, plus some prep and followup. 
  • My own personal practice and progress on various projects, none of which have deadlines, but one of which has a regular monthly piece that runs through August.

Other plans

Pre-pandemic, I’d have had one or two trips most years to see friends or go to a convention. The one convention I’d otherwise be aiming at for certain is in January 2022 (and given current conditions even pre-Omicron, I’m not up for that yet), so maybe no travel in 2022 other than maybe that work trip.

Medical stuff: I am continuing allergy shots (every three weeks) and I’m trying to wrangle a specialist visit for something which may turn into more visits. (Nothing immediately dire: this is a “the current meds aren’t working as great as they could be, are there other things we want to try?” problem. On the other hand, meds changes can have a lot of knockon effects.) That’s going to need some time and attention through the spring, probably.

Read on for the next section, on yearly planning.

Make friends with time 2022 – yearly + quarterly

Welcome to part 2 of my series on 2022 and planning

Part 1: Tools
Part 2 (this one): Yearly and quarterly planning
Part 3: Weekly planning and tracking

This one comes with a lot of screenshots of my spreadsheet. I’ve described the contents below each, rather than doing alt-text, since the description is useful to everyone in figuring out what I’m doing there.

Yearly tracking

I do some brief tracking every day in what I refer to as my One Spreadsheet To Rule Them All. It has sheets for:

  • Summary: overview of the day/series of days on one sheet with an overall score for each day.
  • Body: movement, sleep, did I manage to continue to breathe while sleeping (aka my CPAP machine data.) If I had to leave the house/had errands (look, leaving the house is a drain on the body, reliably.)
  • Doing: tallying up what I did that day (mostly for seeing if I keep a reasonable balance). I do it by category, more below. 
  • Lothlorien: my ongoing walk project
  • Spirit: Song of the day, Tarot card of the day, place to tick off if I do other ritual things.
  • Words: Four sheets that cover:
    • Summary by project
    • Monthly summary by project
    • Daily summary (and calculations for needed progress for hte current book)
    • Daily log (each bit of writing in a day gets a line.) 
  • Reading 
  • A few other pages I use for tracking specific things. 

The joy of this being in a spreadsheet is I can run calculations on it. That summary sheet is the place I enter planetary information for astrology, so I can do things like “Do I write more when the sun is in this sign or that sign?” exploration. 

(Which means I’ve known for two years that I sleep less well around the full moon and I should give myself extra time in bed then. I’m planning on pulling the data from multiple years into a single sheet this winter and seeing what long-term patterns I come up with.)

What that looks like

You get a day’s worth of data here, since I’m posting this on December 22nd, and I start the new file on the winter solstice.

I update the Body tab (movement, sleep, etc.) at the end of my day (just before I start writing), and I update the Doing tab the following morning. (So today, December 22nd, I put in the 21st’s data this morning and I’ll do today’s tomorrow morning.)

Summary:

Screenshot of my summary spreadsheet page: described in following text.

As you can see, there’s a header image with my word for the year (glow), some images (this year’s images are mostly from PathofPixels on Etsy or several collections from creators on Creative Market), the tally for overview of days (from awful to ‘lean back’, aka ‘you may have done too much today, stop that’.)

Down the left are the days: normally I filter these so I just see the current month. The next column is “how good was this day”, colour coding done automatically based on the total. Then there’s four boxes for ‘how good was this day’ based on focus, willpower, emotional resilence, and energy (roughly air stuff, fire stuff, water stuff, and earth stuff.) The next columns are astrological locations (this allows me to do some later calculations: note they’re wrong in the screenshot because I messed something up and will have to redo the data entry.)

Then we get ‘how many ritual things did I do’ (routinely 1, my morning offerings, more if I’ve done more things), my song of the day, Tarot card pull, number of words written, points from tasks, sleep time, quality, and my AHI score, if I was sick (which gets factored into calculations) and if there was anything unusual about the day (like it being vacation.)

Doing:

Here’s that “what did I do today” tally. These are discussed further in part 3, so head over there for those details.

Body:

I have a sheet with more body-related tracking.

Screenshot of my body spreadsheet page: described in following text.

This has the dates down the left, then:

  • Total minutes
  • Minutes of activity tracked in my pedometer app
  • Minutes of actual concerted exercise (a video, a walk outside, etc.)
  • Various other forms of movement (dance, qi gong, stretching)
  • Minutes at home when my phone wasn’t in my pocket
  • Steps counted
  • Time I slept, sleep quality (per my app), and my AHI (from my CPAP app.)
  • The right side of the sheet is for me to mark if I went anywhere, because leaving my house is tiring. (Today, December 22nd, was an allergy shot day, and I had errands to do on the way home.)
  • The top of the sheet has averages and totals, listed month by month.

That walking project: Between Samhain 2020 and Samhain 2021, I walked from Hobbiton to Rivendell using a walking guide. (Mostly, it gives me a goal to hit that is just about what I want my walking to average out to.) I’m thinking that when I get to Lothlorien (by Samhain 2022), I’ll see about some alternate walk options.

I have a sheet that tracks how many miles I’ve gone, and what pace I need to keep to get there by my desired goal date, and then I fill in blocks and calculate how many miles in a month as I go. When the weather’s reasonable, I walk outside, otherwise it’s in my living room with a walking video.

Spirit

Screenshot of my spirit page: described in following text.

This tracks the song of the day (from a series of playlists), the Tarot card pul of the day, and marks for different kinds of rituals. (My usual morning practice takes 10-15 minutes tops.) Graphics on this one include some from a purchase on Creative Market.

Word counts

Screenshot of my writing log spreadsheet page: described in following text.

I have three different sheets for word count purposes: the log, a daily count, and a by-project count. The image above is the log, where I put in every chunk of writing I do, and categorise it and give it a type.

(For romance novels/stories, this is the book/story, otherwise it’s stuff like “article” or “Dreamwidth post” or whatever. “Bells of Atlantis” is the romance writing for reasons that amuse my brain, the numbers in “what” in this case are the chapter numbers. I’m currently trying to finish two books because time got weird, and I’m in “work on whichever one I can move forward on” mode this week.)

This means I can do a small amount on ten different projects if I want, and have them all calculate up right. I set it up this way last year, and it was a pain in the neck but so incredibly useful, and I’m glad I invested the time.

Here’s how that comes out on the daily sheet:

Screenshot of my daily writing summary spreadsheet page: described in following text.

In the daily sheet image, you can see calculations by month at the top (including how many days I hit my goal for one of my writing communities, and how often I got over 2K, which has been my during-pandemic goal (not commuting was very good for my wordcount: I will be adjusting that back down this year.) Next at the top come totals for the year, and whether I’m ahead of pace. The third summary section has to do with the book in progress, so I can see how many chapters I need to write to finish by my deadline. (In this case, it’s misleading: I want to finish both books in early January so I can write a novella.)

Across the bulk of the sheet are the date, the total number of words, and then the five major categories I write in. I could add more if I needed, but this covers me well.

I’m not bothering to share the totals sheet here, it just looks pretty and also fills the authorial projects list as I come up with book titles.

Reading

I have been weirdly resistant to tracking my reading, but doing it in a spreadsheet log turns out to getting some useful info (including “when did I read that?”) and also “how much Edwardian to 1920s stuff have I read recently?”

I have not in fact quite finished the book listed here, but I am pretty sure I will in fact finish it when I go to bed tonight, so have some sample data.

Screenshot of my reading log spreadsheet page: described in following text.

The reading log has columns by month for number of books and number of pages (useful if I turned out to read few very long books), a column for genre/other groupings, and one for time period (heavy on the divisions for the period I write in.)

I count fanfic of novellaish and longer length (and shorter stories that are interstitial between novel-length works) but don’t count every random short fic I read.

Tracking notes in general

Types of goals: Overall, I turn out to do best with keeping a rolling average going, both for word count and exercise. I have days where I do a substantially smaller amount than average (walking half a mile instead of a mile and a half, writing 500 words rather than the 1500ish that is my goal average going into 2022).

I may have days when I do none, if I’m actively sick. As opposed to the chronic health bog that is my usual life where several things are tedious, but none of them are shouting over everything else.

Why track: Fundamentally, that chronic health stuff is why I track. I know that if I have a super busy day, I will be up for less for the next day or three or five. (I’m revamping the spreadsheet this year so there is a “You did too much, don’t do that again too soon.” category.)

Those daily averages help me catch trends of bad days so I can do something to help myself out (plan to take it easier, cancel some optional stuff, do easier cooking, get more sleep, maybe take some extra meds.)

But also, tracking stuff you care about is a way to make sure you spend some time on it. I get cranky about the necessary walking time, but I really hate putting in lower numbers for it, so I will push myself just a hair more sometimes. Same thing with wordcount. 

Quarterly planning

In December of 2020, I took the HB90 course from Sarra Cannon, and have found it tremendously helpful in filling the middle-range gap in my planning: the stuff that’s between weekly and yearly. She designed this with an eye to writing and specifically indie publishing, but it works well for anything where you can create long-term goals that you work toward over months. If you’re not sure about the course, Sarra talks about it on her YouTube channel and has planners that explain the method.

How long does this planning take? It takes me 2-3 hours to do the quarterly planning, but once I’ve done it, I don’t have to do a ton other than the weekly planning for a quarter. (I may drop some projects or add some, but I have a good idea of my capacity and options.)

Normally I do that planning about 2 weeks before the new quarter. By that point (because a lot of my life is actually pretty predictable…) I have a decent idea of what’s coming up and what I want to do about that.

I should note: I run my quarters starting on the fire festivals (starting in February, May, August, and November), because this lines up with my writing schedule, including NaNoWriMo, and with a bunch of other cycles in my life. Sarra runs on the January/April/July/October starts, so I am perpetually out of sync with others in the chat group.

What this helps solve for me

1) Having a clear idea what my broad goals for the quarter are and creating a list of specific projects that fit in those goals. 

Sarra suggests three goals: I don’t factor my work goals into this (because work already has plenty of time for me to focus on these! Though I do use some of the scheduling approaches for long-term projects with deadlines.) Mine are usually writing, witchy life, and daily life projects. 

2) Figuring out how many days I have to work on those things. 

I write every day (though I don’t always manage fiction every day), but I have a lot of other projects that fit into specific days on my calendar. Sarra suggests figuring out how many working days you have: I go a step further and work out a spreadsheet that lets me lay out predictable stuff on my calendar. 

On average, I have an hour in the evening on workdays to work on projects or necessary life stuff (sometimes more like 90 minutes), and allow two hours for writing. On weekends, I have an hour or two of project time on Saturdays if there are coven things that day, and I keep Sundays free as my one reliable project block, as well as time for focused witchy reading/study/work. 

I have a spreadsheet where I can set out the days. I mark off time for known events (work, gaming, coven stuff, weekly budget stuff, planning time, any other days where I know I won’t have time to do my usual chunks of stuff on that day.) Then I mark up the other chunks of time, so I can get a total of “how many hours do I have for this kind of work this quarter?” 

  • Deep work : focused project work that really needs a couple of hours at a time. (I only get this on Sundays, non-coven Saturdays, and vacation days, and it’s when I do my book editing as well as more complex projects.) 
  • Evening : That hour or so I have between getting home / reading / making and eating dinner and my writing time. Good for writing-related admin tasks, the data wrangling I do for a friend, some kinds of “let me figure out what I’m doing about this thing I need” research. 
  • Witchy: Time specifically for personal practice – reading and study on Sundays, plus I mark off time for this on the new and full moons, plus planning time for significant coven stuff (like an initiation). Smaller stuff I just cover during the week as I need to. 
  • Regular: Things I do every week (and can’t do other things during that time) – my budget on Thursday and planning on Saturday. (I plan an hour, and usually have some time left to work on something else.) 

Sometimes I look at that and go “Wow, I need to plan to take some vacation days.” so I can do some more deep work and editing. (Fortunately, I get a generous yearly allotment, by US standards, and most of the time it’s not a problem to take them when I want or at least within a week of a given date.) 

What does this actually look like? In my current quarter as I write this, (November 2021 through January 2022) I’ve got:

  • 54 days of work
  • 6 days with coven stuff (lighter than usual, we don’t schedule between our Yule ritual and early January) 
  • 24 days with some evening event (in this case, I think it’s all gaming.)

And then I calculate how much actual time (in hours) I have for each of those categories. This comes out to: 

  • 182 hours of writing time (over a total of 91 days) 
  • 124 hours of deep work (over 30 days: I’m taking two weeks off from winter solstice to New Year’s.)
  • 79 hours of evening time (over 57 days) 
  • 49 hours of witchy time (over 32 days)
  • 26 hours of regular activities (over 26 days) 

Then I take those numbers and reduce them by a margin. This gives me space for having a bad day (healthwise or otherwise), stuff coming up I didn’t anticipate, etc. I use somewhere between 10 and 20% as a margin depending on the category. This gets me down to:

  • 164 hours of writing
  • 99 hours of deep work
  • 71 hours of evening work
  • 44 hours of witchy work
  • 26 hours of regular time (this is the one with no margin) 

My spreadsheet also lets me know stuff like “Out of 44 hours of witchy work, you need to plan on 6 new and full moon hours.” We do in fact have an initiation coming up in February if all keeps going well, so I’ll need to allow for that time in next quarter’s planning and I’ll do less personal witchy stuff as a result or need to find the time from another category. 

Once I’ve done all of that, I can figure out how much time I realistically have to do different kinds of projects. This involves another sheet on the spreadsheet, where I write down all the projects I want to do, guess at how many hours they’ll take, and what type of work and type of goal they’re dealing with. These numbers don’t need to be perfect (Though for some of them, I’ve got a pretty good idea how long they’ll take me. that’s where all the previous time tracking is handy.)

I can compare those numbers to how much time I’ve figured out that I likely have, and adjust until the projects I’m aiming for fit under the time. (This is why I built the margin in first.) 

Some projects are long. I have 30 hours this quarter for editing a book, and 50 hours for doing a bunch of wiki work over vacation, to get a public wiki up about my books. 

On the shorter end, I have projects for an hour every month to plan for initiate discussion (this covers my time to read the chapter we’re discussing and take notes to give us stuff to talk about if needed. Sometimes I need two hours.) 

When in doubt, I overestimate the amount of time it will take – I pretty much always have ongoing projects that could use more time if I find myself with extra time to work on something. Being realistic with myself about how many projects I’ll likely progress on, however, is trickier.

I’m the sort of person where I’m fine planning this out in a fair amount of detail in advance. The trick for me is that I can decide I’m putting something on pause or not getting to it, even if I’ve planned time for it. (And usually the biggest chunks of time are related to things I’m pretty committed to getting done.) 

Things not included here: 

There are some things I don’t include in this planning, because I do them every day. (I also write every day, but I like having an idea of whether there’s anything that might affect writing time – if I were travelling, for example, I’d still write but expect to have less time.) 

  • Eating (though I usually do the bulk of the time-involving cooking on Sundays). I do meal planning every 10 days or so before grocery shopping which cuts down on time spent figuring this out day to day. 
  • Walking (I try to do 20-30 minutes every day, either outside in decent weather or inside if it’s not.) 
  • Reading (at least 20 minutes, I prefer to aim for 30-45. I do this between work and dinner.) 
  • Minor household chore stuff (dishes, feeding the cat, cat litter) with usually an hour or so of additional cleaning every week over the course of the weekend.
  • Other necessary personal stuff (shower, meds, sorting my meds out for the next week, etc.) 

(The walking is, alas, a necessity for health reasons, as much as I can. I find the time demand annoying, but I admit I feel a lot better when I do it.) 

Projects

Projects live in Todoist, which holds all the “I want to remember to do that sometime” and “I want to at least think about doing that sometime.” Some of this is routine reminders for stuff. Some of it is appointments (it syncs to my primary personal calendar). I also toss a link to stuff I want to watch in there, with a bunch of subprojects. (This means I can go “I want to watch something sorta about history” and open up that list, and find a thing.) 

I am not great about doing a weekly review, but about every six weeks I have a fit of going through all my projects and assigning dates to stuff that should have actual dates. (These are usually the sort of “I need to make a phone call sometime, not urgently, ugh, phone calls are hard.” tasks, or things that I want to get done but don’t have a real deadline. Work tasks and stuff involving scheduling with other people get dates up front.) 

I also stick all my long-term astrology notes in Todoist, as noted, so they pop up on my daily list. (It means I can clear out about 20 things first thing in the morning, which is also sort of fun.) 

Monthly

When I was checking on topics to cover a friend (quite reasonably!) asked what I did for monthly planning.

Answer: Mostly, I don’t.

I’ve played with doing a monthly spread in the planner but in practice I set it up and then never look at it again, which is not very satisfying to me.

I do have some specific monthly tasks: they get plugged into the appropriate times on my quarterly planning sheet, so I don’t doublebook myself for that time (usually these are things I do in my evening time before writing.)

These include:

  • End of month budget stuff, paying credit cards, etc.
  • End of month book sales numbers into the spreadsheet that breaks those down in different ways
  • Monthly data wrangling for the friend I do data wrangling for (ideally in the first week of the month, but this is a bit more fluid.)

I also do some new moon, full moon, and change of solar zodiac sign, but those are rarely the start or end of a month.

Read on for part 3, about weekly planning and tracking.

Make friends with time 2022 – weekly + daily

Welcome to part 3 of 3 for 2022’s planning

Part 1: Tools
Part 2: Yearly and quarterly planning
Part 3 (this one): Weekly planning and tracking

Weekly planning

Each week (on Saturday, for me), I sit down and do weekly planning. (I do it on Saturdays because it’s Saturn’s day, or the place where structure and scaffolding might be helpful.)

Sync calendars: I put actual work meetings on my personal calendar, because that way I can see everything (and what I have to prep for it) in one place, which is relevant for the daily planning part. Especially while there’s still a significant work from home piece, it also means I can consolidate arms.

Two pages in my paper journal: I lay out two pages, that allow me to do a rough ‘what are my scheduled obligations on this day” and a tally page for what I’ve done.

The schedule isn’t my actual calendar (that lives in Google Calendar, because I do have meetings/etc. that will move around or get  cancelled, plus having the links in my calendar makes it easy to get to those meetings as they happen.)

However, I’ve found looking at my days and figuring out which have a lot of meetings (usually one or two days a week), and which don’t have any helps me think about planning what I work on when. My day job involves a mix of ‘stuff I don’t know about until that day’ like reference questions that come in, new requests and on the other hand, long-term projects.

If I have a lot of meetings during the day, maybe I need something low-key in the evening or more decompression reading time. If I have gaming in the evening, I need to do my writing before that (which means arranging dinner so both cooking/reheating and eating is speedy.) If I already have allergy shots or necessary errands, maybe I spread out grocery shopping to earlier or later in the week. 

Take a look at these photos for an example. In the left side page, there are five columns on the top (for the weekdays) at the top, then two long columns on the bottom, and a large square. Numbers run down each column, from 8am to 10pm.

Here you can see the highlighting for when I have meetings/appointments/things I have to be at at a specific point. The part you can’t see yet is me writing in what those things are (usually a 1-2 word summary).

I use the big box at the bottom right for my top things I want to get done that week.

Planner page: long vertical columns, five across, for the weekdays on top, two on the bottom for the weekend. Decorated in pale green.
The left side page: timelines for the week.

The right side of the page gets a sticker (here it’s some red berries and a holly leaf), and the bottom half of the page is my tally sheet for tallying up what goes into my spreadsheet. I often do some sort of seasonal sticker, but it might be my mood, a thing I know is coming up, or just “Hey, this is a great witchy broom.”

Planner page with stickers (holly berries and leaf) in the top half, and columns in the bottom for time tallying.

The tally: I track my time in Now Then Pro (time tracking app), and then transfer it to Timeneye (app and website) and then move those tallies onto paper (where I can add up total categories more easily). Each hour gets an X, half an hour gets a single slash, I round up quarter hours most of the time.

(This sounds sort of ridiculous, but Timeeneye makes it easier for me to grab longer term calculations of certain combinations of hours – for some freelance data entry/organisational work I do, to see how long editing a particular book took me, etc.)

The final tally then goes into the “doing” tab in my spreadsheet, and lets me see what kinds of things I’ve done and how they’re balanced. (See the tracking section below on that.) It also gets used to create an overall ‘how was my day’ count.

I also use the paper journal for: 

  • Tarot readings (new moons, full moons, Sabbats, and whatever other ones I happen to do. I find sketching the spreads in really helpful.) 
  • Sketching out goals for the next X period of time, astrological things that affect a long span of time, etc.
  • In 2021, I included periodic other notes about witchy things I’ve done (workshops, discussions, etc.) though a lot of that is purely digital. (I’m about to swap some of the ongoing notes on witchy learning to a separate journal.) 

Decoration: I do not get super decorative, but I have found that adding a sticker a week (and colour coordinating the lines with a coloured marker or highlighter) makes me happy, so I do that. (I now have a lovely stash of stickers, mostly from Etsy, in a range of themes.)

How long does this part take? Start to finish, 30-60 minutes, mostly depending on a few factors:

  • Do I have way more meetings/appointments than usual? Do I need to rearrange plans for errands because of something else in the week? That usually takes some combination of thought and setting up appropriate reminders in Todoist, and that takes more time. 
  • Have I cleared out my Todoist inbox recently? (That’s where tasks that don’t have a project assigned live.) 
  • Do I need to catch up on any tracking, or look ahead and rearrange tasks for the coming week? 

Day to Day

My Google Calendar shows several different calendars routinely:

  1. Default : Appointments and set things I have to do at a particular time (things on this calendar will also be todos in Todoist)
  2. Phoenix Song: Coven calendar, shared with them
  3. Ritual year: Some events for long-term planning for the ritual year (as well as new and full moons, etc.) so I can see what’s coming up and what I want to do about that. 
  4. Planning: Some longer-term project planning, things I’m focusing on, etc. 
  5. Daily life : Where I plan out tasks for the day using timeblocking.

What that looks like: 

When I’m actually keeping up with this, I sit down and look at my day (either late in the afternoon the day before or first thing in the morning) and block out time for the next day. This usually only takes 5-10 minutes.

I put in time for reading, for walking, for meals. 

During work days, I usually block a couple of hours to work on reference questions. I may block some time for specific projects or stuff that will take at least an hour. 

I then fill in the rest of what I want to do, and decide on what I’m doing in those specific evening project hours if I don’t already know. (On weekends I usually try to plot stuff the night before, so I can figure out when my big blocks of time are for focused work.) Sometimes it’s looking at the weather and going “If I do my walk in the afternoon it should have stopped raining and be a nice temperature for outside.” where that might not be the case in the morning. (Saturday, December 11th, 2021, I’m looking at you as I’m writing this.) 

(I’m taking vacation starting on the 18th, and I’m going to block out some times on my calendar for that this week, so I can figure out how much actual time I want to spend working on things.) 

Tracking and daily notes

Daily tally

As mentioned above, I do a tally of types of activities. These are sorted by planets, and they look like this:

The left columns cover the date, then my grand total, then a summary by area of my life. The FS is “gifts to my future self”, and covers a bunch of small tasks that each last about 15 minutes (or a roughly equivalent effort) that don’t get counted elsewhere but are good for me to do regularly.

  • Doing dishes and minor daily chores
  • Reading (one for each 20 minute segment)
  • Not buying anything I didn’t plan to buy (no impulse spending)
  • Tracking what I did buy
  • (I usually average in the 5-8 range here.)

Some data from other spreadsheets also shows up

  • the ritual count comes over from the spirit sheet (my daily offering counts as .25 of an hour)
  • the “write” column is a total number based on my word count (with a bonus for hitting my goals)
  • activity includes the number of outings/errands/commuting (which I find disprorportionately draining)

From there, we get into specific categories

Moon (religious life)

  • Witchy : personal stuff, reading, study, ritual
  • Phoenix Song : coven
  • Seeking/The Cauldron/SKFW : shared community stuff that isn’t coven

(It’s useful for me to see how much time is coven time, versus larger community time, vs. personal time.) 

Mercury (writing)

Actual writing is calculated and added in based on word counts elsewhere in the spreadsheet.

  • Editing
  • Learning (writing related courses / reading)
  • Sharing (marketing, newsletter, etc. I don’t count misc. Twitter time.)
  • Admin (wiki, financial data, monthly sales data, etc.)

Sun (day job)

  • Librarian (reference questions, library admin stuff, etc.)
  • Meetings (actual meeting time)
  • Upkeep (work in the catalog, an ongoing project)

Venus (social stuff)

  • Pleasure (stuff I do for the sheer joy of it – museums, concerts, etc.)
  • Social (gaming, other social time, time with friends. I don’t count my daily time on chat spaces with friends here, just “we actually spent time focused on being together.”)

Jupiter (expansion) 

  • Input (reading things, mostly: I multitask with listening and having stuff playing in corner of my screen.) 
  • Learning (learning about stuff that isn’t writing related or witchy related) 

Saturn: (planning, defying entropy, structure)

  • Planning (both the weekly time and rearranging stuff as needed)
  • Data wrangling project for a friend. 

(You’ll notice Mars isn’t in this: I use Mars in Todoist for current challenges/stuff I need to focus on, and that turned out not to translate as well into things I tally. Those projects all also fit in other categories.) 

Spreadsheet

The spreadsheet takes a lot of data, and gives me a calculation for the day (which turns into colour coding: cool colours are better days.) That’s based on:

  • Number of hours of stuff I did (that tally sheet)
  • Did I hit my sleep goals (more than 7 hours and more than 70% quality)? 
  • How much movement did I get? (I get small numbers of points for minimal movement, more for hitting my goals)

Basically the calculation is sort of a mess, but it produces consistent numbers. This year, the one change I’m making is to make ‘did too much’ a thing (i.e. “if it is over X points, that’s too much, don’t do that too often”)

Daily notes

The last part of this is daily notes – where I put a more narratively focused bit of what’s going on. I keep these in Obsidian (which deserves its own writeup: I’m also using it for book of shadows/witchy course notes). It stores the individual files as text files using Markdown, while Obsidian itself provides an overlay that allows you to structure those notes, link between them, tag them, etc.

One of the plug-ins makes it easy to do a daily note with a single click that pulls from a set template. Mine has:

  • A list of what I did that day. Here’s today’s as an example:
    • Allergy shots
    • Microcoaching (question about applying Discipline to this year’s projects)
    • Witchy notes (Spinning Gold 2 and 3 into new journal)
    • Reading (chapters 6-10 of Triumph of the Moon)
    • Making chicken stock
    • [a gaming thing]
    • Getting up planning posts + Sagittarius notes
  • A few evening prompts:
    • Grateful for
    • Gifts to future me (things I did that will make my life easier later)
    • Focus of the moment (part of an ongoing monthly thing: I note things related to the current focus)
    • Train tracks (a phrase from my Strengths for Writers coaching, of how many trains I’m trying to run) – I list out briefly what’s taking up space in my head and what needs some space.
  • A section for the day’s astrology (where everything is) plus major transits. My template autofills everything except the moon, and I update it in the template as the slower-moving stuff changes signs. (Because the moon changes signs every 1-2 days, I fill this in when I do the morning notes.)

It’s possible to use some plug-ins and tools to get data lists (for example, I could pull a list of days and sort them by the moon sign if I entered that data, and then another bit of data.) I’m still thinking what I want to do with that.

There we go! Questions are welcome by the contact form, or if you’re hanging out in the research chat Discord, that’s also a good place to reach me.

Witch in Practice: Scorpio season

Coven

Scorpio season, of course, includes Samhain for us, and we were virtual again (notes on that below, for anyone else contemplating models.)

Other things this month included:

  • Initiate discussion (last of our rune discussions)
  • Picking up Dedicant classes again with our current Dedicant
  • More Dedicant class
  • Full moon (on the 20th)

In December’s initiate discussion, we’re going to start working through Thorn Mooney’s The Witch’s Path chapter by chapter, picking one of the exercises each to work through. I loved the book when I read it when it first came out in September, and I think it’s going to be a great framework for us to have shared discussion but also pick things to focus on that suit where we individually are right now.

We are still meeting virtually. I look at Microcovid.org periodically, and run a scenario that involves:

  • Gathering (activity, errand)
  • 4 people within 5 meters (aka my living room is only about 12 feet square)
  • Normal socialising (3 feet or more apart)
  • 2 hours
  • Average person in the area (see note)
  • Fully vaccinated
  • Snug cloth masks on both counts
  • Normal talking
  • High caution budget (I’m fully vaccinated and boosted but even fairly mild symptoms might have an outsize impact on my long-term health, so still being cautious)

Some of our aspects don’t fit tidly: everyone else is interacting more with the general public (public-facing jobs), one has a husband who works in health care, etc. But I figure that gives us a reasonable starting point.

For a bunch of October, that risk (on the high caution setting) came out to about 4x my weekly budget (and I’m spending about half my weekly risk budget on going into work two days a week, grocery shopping, and every third week allergy shot appointments). Right now, it’s 6x my weekly risk budget because case counts jumped up.

I’ve said when we start getting down to around 2x to 1x, we’ll start talking about picking up in-person again. Basically, I’m willing to take on some additional risk for coven stuff, but not an overwhelming amount. (We’re also looking, for scheduling and transit reasons, at doing some things in person and keeping some classes and discussions online, even when we’re comfortable in person again.)

We also have an initiation to do sometime after the beginning of February (our tradition doesn’t do them between Samhain and Imbolc by strong preference), but we’ll look at that independent of the question of regular group meetings if we need to.

Meeting outside isn’t an option for us both because it’s November in Massachusetts (and getting chilly) and because I don’t have private backyard space distinct from either my landlords or from the bike path on the other side of the backyard fence (i.e. a whole bunch of unpredictable background noise.)

Personal

I took an online workshop on the Fixed Stars with Amaya Rourke right before Samhain, and I need to work back through my notes and recordings.

I’ve finished the round of seasonal notes I’ve been working through from Nigel Pearson’s Walking The Tides which looks at seasonal lore and some magic (from a more Traditional Craft perspective) month by month. I’m still working on some zodiac-related notes that I started in August, but it’s nice not to have two sets of notes to work on.

The rest of my life

I had a new book out in November, I’m working on a winter holidays novella collection release (currently in editing) and I’m currently on track (after a bit of a bobble) to win NaNoWriMo again. So, y’know. Keeping busy.

It is also the season in which I get extra cat snuggles, which is a fine and excellent season. (The chance of cat snuggling up to me when I wake up is about 1 in 2 right now, especially if I can sleep in.)

Witch in Practice – Libra season

Welcome back to the next round of these.

Coven

I had been talking with two different Seekers in September about Dedicating, but between last month’s post and this one, both of them have had things come up in their lives that mean Dedicating in the tradition (and coven) isn’t going to happen. (Both good, from the bits they shared.)

We’re moving ahead with our current Dedicant, I’ve had two really good conversations with two other possible Seekers (and I will circle back with them when we’re able to start looking at the next round of Dedicants, sometime next summer, likely.)

It’s otherwise been fairly quiet, with a chat about Samhain prep on the 16th, and a scheduled chat evening on the 21st.

Coming up we have Samhain on the 30th, and then picking up Dedicant classes again, which I’m very much looking forward to, plus moving forward into some new initiate discussions.

Witchy

We had the first of the research and accessibility chats on October 9th, and it was great! People showed up, asked great questions, and I’m looking forward to the next one. Check out more information about these chats for how to get the registration link for the next one, ask me questions, and get access to our Discord. All of this is free, though if you want me to free up some more time to spend on this, there are some ways to help with that.

(The Discord is this delightful mix of people I’ve known for 10 or 20 years from a wide range of perspectives, plus people I don’t know yet who ask interesting things and bring other perspectives.)

The next registration link will go out on the 30th.

I’m also poking at some improvements to my personal practice, which deserve their own writeup, and I’ll see about doing that sometime (but probably not in October.)

Personal

Besides the above, my life has been a mix of work and writing. I’m back in the office one day a week through October, two days a week starting in November. I feel better now we have an actual sense what we’re doing there, but I’m still finding it unusually tiring to deal with commuting, remembering how to pack lunches that work in the current environment, how to plan my time for things that go better on my work machine (or with materials from my stacks) vs. other projects, and so on.

I have been pushing hard on the writing to take advantage of not commuting, and have almost gotten everything done I wanted before I was in the office more. (I will not quite finish the thing I wanted to finish in October, but it’s close enough I can manage, it’s fine.)

I have a book and a novella anthology out in the rest of this year, then I will be back to my slightly less frenetic schedule. (Which is four books a year, and still frenetic, but also a relief.)