Friday, February 26, 2016

Weekend Reading: The Still Coughing Edition

I went to the doctor today for a previously scheduled check up, and came home with new prescriptions and a new plan for getting my asthma back under control... let's hope it works! In the meantime, I'll just be here, coughing.

Despite the weirdness of my health this week, I got a fair amount done. I don't feel too bad going into the weekend, although I think I will write myself a short list of things to do this weekend. I have a manuscript I'd like to finish editing and a couple of contracts to turn around. The price of having the freedom to take it easy this week to celebrate and recuperate is that I'll do a little work this weekend. I'm happy with that trade!

However, I will also continue to take it a bit easy, because I need to be actually back to full strength soon.

But that's neither here nor there. You're here for links, so let's get to the links.

First of all, from several different sources... here's a story about the coming of open carry to public universities in Texas.

I can't bring myself to talk much about Trump, but this article from Jamelle Bouie might make you feel a little better. I think we all need to do our part to make sure Trump isn't elected. I see no reason not to take him at his word and assume that a Trump presidency would be very dangerous to our democracy.

I think his candidacy has already wraught changes that we'll be reckoning with for awhile. I notice a much more open nature to the racism that has always been present here. Maybe it is a good thing. Maybe it will make those of us who don't usually run smack into this racism notice it more and try to fix it. Maybe we'll finally lance the boil, as it were. Or maybe we're in for a really ugly period. Or maybe both. I don't know.

And maybe we'll learn that we aren't that special, that no one thinks their country is about to slide into fascism or what not before all of the sudden it does, and that our democracy and freedom is no more guaranteed than anyone else's, and we'll think a little more carefully about what actually makes a good, fair, and free society. (Hint: it is not guns.)

Anyway, moving on.

Joan C. Walsh puts the Hillary-vs-Bernie thing in the larger context of what happens to women as they advance in their careers. It is worth your time even if you're sick of the Hillary-vs.-Bernie thing, because it will tell you more about what happens to women in general.

The graphic in this tweet is really interesting:

I lack any context for this tweet, but I love it anyway:

This is a really cool article about the interplay of sound and music in ancient churches. I want to go hear the angels' wings. When I first visited Europe and went into some of the really old churches, I was really struck by how different the atmosphere felt in them. I do not believe in God, but I was impressed by these buildings people had created to glorify God. A lot of terrible things get done in the name of religion. I think it is worth remembering that some really beautiful things get done in the name of religion, too, and that these things can have meaning even if you don't believe in the religion.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I share more random cool things like the above on my Annorlunda Books facebook page, if you're into that sort of thing. Also on the @AnnorlundaInc twitter account.

And that's all I have this week, because coughing. Also, politics have consumed all my feeds, and I can only take so much of that.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Celebrating and Appreciating

Today, I decided to take some time to celebrate some recent milestones and goals achieved. I had three things to celebrate:

So, I did what I've decided to do to celebrate my achievements in this business venture... I went for a walk on the beach. It is a beautiful day here in San Diego today, so I got to go barefoot and get my feet wet.

I also collected shells, as I usually do on these walks. Here was today's haul:

Today's shells
I'll let the kids pick 2-3 each, and the rest go in my "success jar." Here's the current status of that jar:

Previous day's shells

All in all, a good day.

As I walked, I thought about how unbelievably lucky I am to get to live this way right now. You better believe I appreciate it.

I also thought about how much I enjoy giving seminars like the one I gave today. Before the seminar, I'm always nervous, and at least partly convinced that I have nothing useful to say. Then I give the seminar, and people ask smart, interesting questions, and I have fun, and they seem to appreciate the content... and there is a lesson for me there. I am trying to learn it. I'm also trying to find my way past my fears of self-promotion so that I can do more seminars and workshops. I've worked out a pricing system that seems right to me ($200 per instructional hour, plus travel expenses... get in touch if any of my offerings- or potential offerings!- sound like a match for your group.) I'm thinking of new online seminars I can do to build up my offerings. I am also happy to develop something custom, although the price will have to go up unless I get to keep the right to use the material elsewhere.

I have three (three!) books in flight for Annorlunda Books right now, which also makes me really happy. They are all great books, and I plan to write a post about them once I have all the contracts finalized. After I post this, I am going to dive back into editing one of them.

So, in short. Life is good for me right now, and I know it, and am grateful for it.

Not long after I got home from my beach walk, I got a call that reminded me that life is also unpredictable. My parents called to tell me that a good family friend has died. He was not old enough for this to be at all expected. I am shocked by this loss, and devasted for his family. I am reminded why I chose not to wait to try to live my life how I want to live it. None of us have any guarantees. Our family friend lived a life I would judge as "good." I'm sure he expected to have more time, though. His story is not mine to tell, but it is a powerful reminder to appreciate what I have, and to always take time to celebrate the good things.

Wishing you all your equivalent to a walk on the beach, sometime soon.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Lesson Against Second-Guessing

This morning, I admitted defeat. I admitted I needed to go get a breathing treatment and prednisone. I'd waited just a bit too long to acknowledge this, and no longer felt like I should drive myself down to urgent care, so I waited for Mr. Snarky to get back from his morning errands, and had him drive me. This, of course, meant the kids had to come, too.

The closest urgent care in our health group network is down near Balboa Park, so Mr. Snarky and the kids took a soccer ball and spent some time playing. I spent a lot of time waiting. This, of course, gave me lots of time to second guess my decision to go to urgent care.

Once I finally saw the doctor, it was clear I'd made the right decision. She took one listen to my lungs, and said "you know what I'm going to tell you, don't you?"

Yes, I said. I knew. I was going to get the devil pills. She laughed at my name for prednisone, but told me that every asthmatic she sees feels the same way. I hate those pills. They make me jittery and give me an "amped up" feeling that makes it hard to sleep. And I think I'm shorter-tempered when I'm taking prednisone.

But... after one dose of prednisone and a breathing treatment, I can breathe easily again. I still have the cough that is the trailing end of this cold, but I'm not going into minute long coughing fits that leave me gasping for breath. I'm not having such strong coughing fits that they leave my head aching and make my chest feel like it will explode.

So, hooray for prednisone, I guess.

And let's pause for a minute and applaud the advances in drug formulation and delivery mechanism that mean my choice for maintenance meds to control my asthma extends beyond oral steroids, which is all asthmatics in my parent's generation had. I, on the other hand, have a choice of inhaled steroids and other medicines, which mean that I can usually keep my asthma under control without suffering through the side effects of prednisone.


Now that I can breathe again, I find myself going back to how long it took me to go get the treatment I needed, and how I was second guessing that decision even as I sat in the exam room, waiting for the doctor.

There are probably a lot of things going on with that. I'm not going to work through it all, but I am going to take it as a sign for me to start trusting myself more. Because, lately, I've been second-guessing myself a lot.

I'm far enough removed from the things that made me decide to quit my full-time job and embark on a new path that it is easy to tell myself things weren't that bad, and to start thinking that I didn't need to take such drastic steps. But things were bad, and I did exactly what I needed to do to keep myself healthy, just like I did today.

I need to trust myself in that decision.

This new path isn't easy, but it is far healthier for me. Whether or not I ultimately succeed in building the business I am trying to build, leaving that old situation and believing in myself enough to at least try to reach for what I really want was absolutely the right thing to do, because it was what let me breathe again.

And really, hooray for breathing.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Weekend Reading: The I Can't Stop Coughing Edition

This week went buy in a blur of coughing. Petunia caught a little cold at school, and gave it to me. I wasn't feeling great over the weekend, but it wasn't terrible. Then, Monday night, I spiked a fever. By Tuesday, I had developed a cough. I took a sick day, but it was too late... the cough had taken hold, and I've been coughing what seems like non-stop ever since. Sigh.

My coughing is likely to be under control by next Wednesday's seminar (there's still time to sign up!) but I'll probably still sound funny. It seems like I get sick right before every online seminar or class I give, so that I always sound a little funny. Oh well!

Anyway, since I spent a larger than usual amount of time this week crashed on my sofa, I don't have that many links. But here's what I have:

There's new research about what happened to the Easter Islanders... and it turns out the answer might be "nothing," at least not until the Europeans showed up and gave them a bunch of new diseases. Visiting Easter Island remains one of my travel high points. If you ever get the chance to go, take it!

Modern Pacific Island challenges: Palau vs. the Poachers.

Keisha Bentley-Edwards argues we need to change how we teach African-American history: more context, less lists of firsts.

There was a lot of freaking out on Twitter about this health care story about data mining, but I think there should have been more about this story about how life insurance companies respond to genetic test results. There are a lot of ethical issues we should be working through in terms of our health data.

Also, Silicon Valley start ups that get into the health arena need to pay attention to the rules and stop trying disrupt their way around regulations.

I love this post about startups.

And that's all I have today. Back to crashing on the sofa in a coughing fit...

Friday, February 12, 2016

Weekend Reading: The Extra Long Weekend Edition

Our school district takes a four day weekend for President's Day. We made a deal with one of Pumpkin's friend's family: I'd take all four kids for Friday, and they'd take all four kids on Monday. Except then Petunia begged for a Mommy day, and I realized that (1) it is her turn for one, and (2) I had no idea when I'd get another chance to give her one. So Pumpkin is going to her friend's house on Monday and I am going to spend the day with Petunia. I always enjoy the solo kid Mommy days, so that will be fun. Even though she wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese.

So, anyway: I had four kids here today. I have also finally had to admit that the sore throat and headache I've had all week are a cold, not allergies. I managed to get some work done. This month's issue of Founding Chaos went out. I posted this week's Tungsten Hippo quote, which I find darkly inspirational:

I composed the Tungsten Hippo Weekly Digest for the week. It will go out Sunday morning.

I sent out a bunch of review queries for Love and Other Happy Endings. (Which, by the way, now has a GoodReads page.)

I thought I'd make significant progress on my current editing task when I took the kids to a park, but they interrupted me roughly every 3rd minute, so that particular plan was a bust.

And there are a couple of other things on my list that I didn't get to. So not a bad day, all things considered, but not a stellar day, since I'd already factored the likely kid-based disruptions into my to do list. Still, I think I am working on borrowed time and have decided to write this post a little earlier than usual, in case I crash or the kids start fighting.

On to the links:

Yesterday's post wasn't about my politics, but Sady Doyle wrote a post about Hillary Clinton and feminism and progressivism that is worth your time. I particularly love the closing line: "This is what it looks like when a woman stops smiling."

I've read a bunch of other things about politics, but I'll only share a few. Ezra Klein on how the rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics. John Scalzi on why mainstream Republicans have no one but themselves to blame for Trump. Matt Yglesias on Bernie Sanders as the future of the Democratic party.

And that's enough politics.

This story about a teacher shaming a child in a NYC charter school for not knowing the answer to a question is sickening. Those kids deserve better. I don't care how good that school's test scores are. If this is at all representative of how they treat kids, they are doing damage, not good.

Hey, look! I'm part of a new archetype! But seriously, it is a good article. Hat tip to @moink_tdr for sharing it with me.

"Kids don't kill women's careers, husbands do."

I haven't had a chance to read Marie Claire's big feature on women and guns, but I hope to get to it this weekend.

This post from Boing Boing's archives about the coolest locksmith shop is amazing. I want to visit! (After all, I visited the beer can house in Houston....)

Scandinavians have been fermenting fish for longer that we thought.

This is a surprisingly informative map of America:

And on that note, I'll sign off. Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Do the Work, Learn from the Mistakes, and Just Keep Trying

I've only been half paying attention to presidential politics. In my defense, California's primary isn't until June so there's no urgency for me to decide who I'll vote for.

Image from wikimedia.
CC Attribution 3.0 license
Photographer: Kai Mork
But I have not failed to notice the sexist undertones- hell, the overt sexism- in a lot of the arguments against Hillary Clinton. I don't dislike Bernie Sanders, but I really dislike the way a lot of people argue for him. I will obviously vote for which ever of them wins the Democratic nomination in the general election. The Republican field almost uniformly terrifies me, and I dislike and disagree with the ones who don't terrify me.

But this post is not about who will get my vote. Given the timing of my state's primary, that is probably irrelevant in all possible senses. It is about a surprising thing I've realized about Hillary.

I admire her.

The younger people in my audience probably have no idea why that is a surprising thing to realize. But I entered adulthood during the 90s, when people first started villifying Hillary Clinton. I don't remember completely buying into it, but I know I at least partially bought into it. Hillary was what you didn't want to be as a woman.

I bought into the idea that I could be different. That I could be one of the "cool" women who could just be one of the guys and would be able to succeed. That women like Hillary weren't suffering from any systemic sexism. They were just unpleasant, unlikeable women, and if they'd just be nicer, or do something better with their hair, or... I don't know what. But it was their fault people hated them. It wouldn't happen to me. Because I knew how to be friends with guys.

Or some such BS. I can't really remember the specifics. College was a long time ago.

I don't know what, exactly, changed my mind.

Maybe it started back in college, watching my male friends ridicule Anita Hill. Hearing them react to me getting a scholarship with "I wish a was a girl so I could get scholarships" despite the fact that I had an A average and they had B or C averages.

Or maybe that just planted a seed, which lay dormant for many years, fertilized with subtle sexism that I didn't even notice happening at the time, but which was also helping the seeds of self-doubt that I've carried with me for as long as I can remember grow and flourish.

It was watered by all the times I heard "I don't know how you do it" as a working mom. By all the BS published in the NY Times about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, cry it out vs co-sleeping, etc., etc., and how those articles were always framed as being about the mother, not the parents. By all the times I saw my ideas claimed by someone else, and the way that someone else was always a man.

Until finally, I realized I wasn't any different than "those women." I, too, would hear that I should be less abrupt but also get to the point. I should be willing to stand up for my ideas but also shouldn't "get emotional." I should watch out for Dr. So and So because he likes blondes but also shouldn't offend him because we needed X, Y, and Z from him. And so on and so on.

By this time, I knew about the tightrope, and the double bind, and all that. But I thought I could navigate it. I thought I could be perfect enough to make my way through without stumbling.

The final, horrible realization was that I couldn't be that perfect. No woman can be. It isn't possible.

I've got to admit, realizing this knocked me off my game. I now realized that I was trying to do an impossible thing, but I didn't know what I should try to do instead. I've been struggling to get fully back on my game ever since.

Whenever I work through a "career values" questionnaire, one of the things that shows up as being really important to me is to feel like a respected expert in my field.

What I've got to reckon with is that I will never get that. I get some respect, for sure. But I will never really feel like a respected expert in any field, because no matter what, there will always be the "yeah, but..." rebuttal to my achievements. I know this from watching how the world responds to pretty much every woman I view as an expert in her field. There is always something negative attached to her achievements.

I've been puzzling over the way out of this conundrum of having something I really want in my professional life that I essentially can never have.

And here is where, somewhat to my surprise, Hillary Clinton shows me the way.

For my entire adult life, I have watched people try to tear her down. She gets the super-charged version of "yeah, but..." attached to all her achievements. She gets personal attacks. She gets held responsible for her husband's actions. And she just keeps doing the work.

I voted for her in the 2008 primary, but not with any great enthusiasm. I just thought she had more experience, and that Barack Obama didn't really have a plan for achieving his goals. (I supported his goals, though, and I enthusiastically voted for him in the general election, and have loved him as a president. But again, this isn't a post about my politics.)

I was impressed with Obama when he offered her the Secretary of State job, and I was impressed with Hillary when she accepted it. To be able to go and work for the man who had just crushed her attempt to reach a cherished goal speaks volumes about her, I think. She kept her focus on her goals and she did the work, and she was a very popular Secretary of State.

And now she's running again, and she has so clearly done the work to prepare for this race. She clearly took some lessons from her loss in 2008, and she's running a different sort of campaign.

And that is the inspiration I take from Hillary's story. When she fails at something, she learns from it. The more I learn about her, the more I think she could teach a master class in how to ignore the useless criticism and learn from the substantive critiques. It would be so easy given the flood of criticism she gets to just ignore it all, but she clearly doesn't. She has figured out how to filter out the BS and listen to the real stuff.

But most importantly, she does the work, and keeps trying.

Will that be enough to get her what she wants this time? I don't know. Should it be enough to get her the nomination? Hell, no. Every voter should look at her record and her platform and listen to her plans and decide if she deserves their vote.

But on a personal level, I find her story inspiring, whether she wins or loses. She is not perfect, but no one is. There are things she's done and choices she's made that I disagree with, but that doesn't matter in this regard. Her approach shows me the way out of my conundrum whether or not I agree with every policy statement she's made.

Do the work. Become the expert. Ignore the criticism that comes from falling off the tightrope or tripping on the double bind. Learn from the critiques that have some substance. Get better with every try.

And just keep trying.


Postscript: Just like this piece isn't about how I'll vote, it isn't about solving the structural problems like the double bind. It is about how I will get past the way those structural problems sap my motivation to work towards my goals. I want the structural problems fixed. I actively work to fix the structural problems. But they won't be fixed in time for my career, and I have things I want to do other than work to fix the structural problems facing women in the workplace. This piece is me trying to find my way towards working on those other things despite the structural problems.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Release Day for Love and Other Happy Endings

It is release day for the second "taster flight" of classic short stories that I've put together.

Love and Other Happy Endings has five short stories:

  • The Singing Lesson, by Katherine Mansfield
  • Akin to Love, by L.M. Montgomery
  • Mr. Lismore and the Widow, by Wilkie Collins
  • Head and Shoulders, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Other Man's Wife, by James Oliver Curwood
All are love stories, and all end on a high note. I like them all (obviously) but my favorite is Head and Shoulders. Perhaps not coincidentally, it is also the one with the most thought-provoking ending. Some might argue with me that it is actually a happy ending at all, but I explain why I consider it a happy ending in the afterword of the book. I don't want to explain here, because it would ruin the story if you decide to read it!

As usual, you can get all the purchase links on the book's webpage, but I'll put them here for convenience:
You can also buy the paperback directly from CreateSpace if you'd like.

The GoodReads page is still in process. I can't run pre-order periods on Amazon on books of public domain stories, and that delays getting the GoodReads page created. Once it is available, I'll include a link in a Friday links post. 

If you want to help me spread the word about the release, here are some easy things you could do:

My release day was marred somewhat by having to spend two hours this morning dealing with a hack on Tungsten Hippo. I wasted a bunch of time trying to deal with it last night- lesson learned, wait for the US support team to be back online. I don't think the offshore support people are less skilled, but I think their processes don't let them be as helpful. There's an interesting post in that for some other time. For right now, I'll just note that staying up until after midnight trying to fix the site last night was an error in judgement, and I'm very tired and maybe should just go take a nap now. I have things I want/need to do, but am perhaps too tired to do them effectively.

But still, hooray for release days! 

Friday, February 05, 2016

Weekend Reading: The Back on Track Edition

I am pleased to report that I successfully reburied the feelings brought on by the Jason Lieb story and I got boatloads done this week, despite losing a fair amount of Wednesday to a combination of dealing with that and the effects of the illness Petunia and I had and despite losing half of Tuesday to said illness.

The cost of getting a lot done despite those things is that I don't have very many links. But the links I have are good, so let's get to them!

First of all, here are some really good things written about the sexual harassment scandals in science: Tenure, She Wrote on how this shouldn't be her job to fix and Mathbionerd's letter to her students. I'm sure many more good things have been written, but I decided to stop reading about this topic, in the interests of reburying unhelpful feelings and getting a boatload of stuff done.

Next, wow, here was another story that hit me in the gut. Ann Friedman on being the "No woman" at work. Let's just say I strongly recognized myself and my work history in that story and move on.

This story about medical bias against women is equally infuriating. It sucks to think that we need to be ready to fight to be taken seriously in the doctor's office, but I guess I'm not surprised we do. Doctors are humans and humans have biases and we're only just starting to try to figure out how to tackle them.

I love this:

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Beware the Narrative, Part II

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that the latest sexual misconduct in science news comes from the university where I did my undergraduate studies.

I was taken by surprise by how much more strongly this news affected me compared to earlier revelations. My undergraduate years were also when I experienced what is objectively the most severe gender-based harassment of my career. As I tweeted last night, I let it be handled quietly by the PI of the lab I was working in, because I needed the PI's letter of recommendation to go to graduate school. A friendly professor in a different department had already alerted me that the PI in question had damned me with faint praise in a letter submitted for a scholarship competition. I'd addressed that and was fairly certain future letters would be better... and I couldn't afford to upset that balance if I wanted to go to graduate school.

I should be clear. The PI and I never discussed "the deal" by which I didn't raise the harrassment to the higher authorities and the PI wrote good recommendations. Perhaps, if given the chance, the PI would have written glowing recommendations even if I had involved others in my complaint. I'll never know.

I do know that as things happened, I got accepted into several really good graduate programs. I picked the one that seemed like the best fit for me, went to graduate school, landed in a lab with a truly great PI, and had an overall good experience. I also, for the record, had an overall good experience during my undergraduate studies, and still think that choosing that particular school was one of the better decisions I've made in my life. As I wrote about in an earlier navel-gazing expedition, University of Chicago was good for me.

Anyway, I got my PhD and spent 15 years in the career that the PhD launched.

And then, a little over two years ago, I left that career path. In one way of looking at it, I left abruptly. In another way of looking at it, I just moved up the start of a plan that had been forming for some time.

Which is the right way to look at it? I honestly still don't know.

I wrote last night that one of the hardest things in making the decision to change career paths was feeling like I'd let my younger self down. She'd put up with a lot to get to where I was, and I in a sense threw that sacrifice away.

What I eventually came to think, though, was that her sacrifices had allowed me to get to a place where I had some genuine options, and it was OK to choose to stop putting up with the things that continuing on that career path required me to put up with.

It is hard for me to compare how hard it was to deal with that undergraduate harassment experience with how hard it was to deal with the "energy tax" I wrote about earlier this week. If I wanted to really understand how those things did or did not lead to my decision to change career paths, I'd have to do a lot more work than I am willing to do right now. I will say, though, that I personally found the constant second guessing of my own experiences really hard to handle. Was I being "over-sensitive"? Was I wrong to not want to always be the one smoothing things over? Was my perception that I was always the one smoothing things over wrong? Was I misinterpretting things? Maybe I just wasn't as good, or maybe my ideas weren't as good, or.... Gah. It went on and on. I still feel like an unreliable narrator of my own career, particularly the last five years or so of it.

Beyond that, you could also tell the story of my decision to change career paths multiple ways. I've written about that before, too, and still believe that trying to make sense of people's messy lives with neat, clean narratives is a mistake.

I was flippant about it last night on Twitter, but I really have made peace with the fact that younger me made sacrifices to stay in a career that current me decided she didn't want. I view all of my career experiences as building on the previous ones, and not just because the money I earned in my first career is what gave me the space to try this new one. It also gave me knowledge and skills that are relevant, even as some other knowledge and skills are getting left behind, at least for now.

Also, I'm truly excited about what I'm trying to do now. There are definitely problems in science and technology that are related to gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, and other factors about which people are often biased. I applaud and support the people tackling those problems.

There are also problems related to the fact that the cultures of science and technology undervalue the skills required to manage groups of people working together. This undervaluing leads to people managing groups of people working together with no actual clue how to do it well. Sometimes they have good instincts and do OK. Sometimes they don't, and really bad things happen. I don't think these career paths burnout so many people  because they are working on such hard problems- a lot of the people who choose these fields choose them because they enjoy working on hard problems. I believe the lack of management skills contributes directly to the burnout rate. That is just a belief right now, because I've never seen any data on it, but this is where I think I can make a more direct contribution. And that is one of the things I'm trying to do in my current work.

I'm trying to do other things that really matter to me, too. But this post is getting long and rambly, so I'll save that for another time.

My point here is that: yes, bad things have happened over the course of my career. Some of those things probably had a role in my decision to change my career. But other things also had a role, and some of those were positive- I saw different problems I wanted to work on. In the end, it doesn't matter why I, personally, left my old career path. What matters is that on average, more women leave than men. Personal stories help people make sense of that overall trend, but don't expect any of them to be neat and tidy stories.

And I'll leave it there. I needed to get this much out, to finish processing what I was feeling when I read that story last night, but I don't want to delve deeper. I have enough work booked and enough money in the bank to be certain that I'll get to stay on this career path for the rest of this year. If it becomes clear that I'll need to go back to something closer to my old career path in order to pay the bills, then I'll need to examine what caused me to leave a bit more closely, so that I can find a way to go back and stay healthy and happy.

Until then, though, I think I'll bury this again. I have work to do.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Sick Days and Advance Notices

Yesterday at about lunch time, the school called to tell me Petunia had a fever. Unfortunately, I didn't get the message until almost 45 minutes later, due to a dead zone in the building I was in and my failure to check my messages promptly.

So, poor Petunia had to wait almost two hours for me to come get her. She may never let me forget this.

She's home from school today, too, of course. She still has a fever, but once that is controlled by Tylenol, she wants to do things. Mostly, she wants to do art projects based on those shown on some shows she likes watching.

This is not entirely conducive to me getting work done, but I have managed to get a couple hours' worth of work in this morning. Mr. Snarky comes home in about 45 minutes, so that I can go to a meeting I have scheduled.

I'm not feeling 100%, either. This seems to be the same old thing that we've been dealing with since Petunia was a baby: she gets a fever for three days, I get a sore throat and a little rundown feeling, and everyone else is fine.  I just fell down a rabbit hole looking for old posts about Petunia's fevers for any curious new readers. Here's one, but the story wasn't as over as I thought when I posted it. Here was the start of the great health scare, round 2. Here is a post written at the time we were in the midst of the worst of it. In the end, we did nothing, and the fevers got less common as she got older... and I noticed the correlation with my mild sore throats. My current theory is that there is some family viruses that hit Petunia hard, gives me a sore throat, and don't bother most other people. But to be honest, I don't think about it much anymore- I just work out the logistics for a couple of Petunia sick days and we all go about our business.

In a perfect world, I would have just given up on work for the day and spent the day snuggled up next to Petunia on the sofa, reading. But, this is not a perfect world, and I really don't want to get behind again after just finally catching up... so I've been working.

I even have things to show from my work!

The next Annorlunda Books Taster Flight is making its way through my proofing process. I am now confident I'll get at least the ebook versions ready for a February 10 release date.

The book is called Love and Other Happy Endings. Here is the cover:

And here is the link to the webpage where purchase links will appear as they become available. Since this is a collection of public domain stories, I can't have a preorder page on Amazon, so I'll just try to time the release.

And most importantly, here is a link to where you can sign up to be an advance reader. I should have advance e-copies to distribute by Friday.

In other advance-y news: I'm starting to put together a plan to promote my latest 1 hour, $20 online seminar, which is a seminar version of the time management workshop I gave recently. You don't have to wait for me to get the promo plan sorted out, though- the seminar is enrolling now, and if you sign up before February 9 and use the promo code NEWSLETTER you'll get $2 off the price.

The seminar is a distillation of some of my favorite time management techniques, along with a discussion of how to use the data you collect by tracking your time to figure out which techniques will help you the most. I was really happy with how the workshop turned out, so I decided to take the information I presented and turn it into a seminar. When I gave the workshop, I had several hands on exercises to help people try out the techniques we were discussing. I've moved those to a "next steps" document that you'll get with the seminar.

And speaking of that workshop... I just got an email from the people who are supposed to be paying me, indicating that they need yet another form filled out. So I think I'll end this post here and go fill out the form. Getting paid is nice, after all.