So, another month, another lack of update.
Really, it's not that I don't care about this thing any more. It's more the case that I get caught up in doing things and I don't really think about telling folks about it. I just don't "blog" the way most people do. Rather than talk about what's going on right now with my life, I tend to save up and dump it all out into large blocks, and then I forget stuff between when I start saving and when I figure it's time to post. So, chalk it up to use differences, more than interest fatigue.
So, this serves as a prelude to answering the question, "what has th' buni been doing for the last six weeks?"
Despite the removal of one user from my IRC server and the subsequent disappearance of a few others, the universe has not imploded, nor did I really expect anything like that to happen. I did expect a much larger hew and cry about the whole affair, but on the whole people seem to be pleased with the outcome. The community doesn't appear to have splintered, and in fact seems cohesive enough to assemble an anthology of short stories posted to the Shifti, though I'm not involved in the project directly. Still, things seem to be on an even keel there, so I'm not inclined to do too much rocking.
Anthrocon came and went during the downtime. I'm usually uncomfortably enthusiastic for AC, but this year was a little weird. Everything felt very last-minute, very rushed. Part of this was my own inertia; I didn't get the hotel situation resolved until the last minute, and we ended up having to change rooms twice during our stay in Pittsburgh. Part of it was a general lack of planning on my part, and I confess part of it was the ever-present sensation that I've failed in my own goal to have something for the dealers' room. However, as always, I went and had a blast and look forward to going again next year.
Of course, one thing that I've lamented for years is my lack of anything worth selling in the dealers' room. So, my plan is for AC next year, if not for some con prior, to have Beautiful World ready for publication by then. I'm actually further along on this project than it seems. I've broken the halfway mark for a science fiction novel—forty-thousand words—and I'm not yet halfway through the development. I've charted it out, and as long as I'm finishing a chapter every three weeks, I'll have enough time left to get the novel into publishable shape in time to get some advance copies for Anthrocon next year.
Unfortunately, this isn't coming without a price. I'm sure somebody has noticed by now that links to three of the chapters I'd posted previously have gone missing from my website. This isn't an act of censorship so much as it's an attempt to preserve the "publishability"—if that's a word—of the rest of the book. I'm not sure if this is an actual concern, but I'm in better-safe-than-sorry mode. This also means that I won't be posting any more parts of the book to my website, and when FA comes back up, I'll be removing some of the previous sections. I'm not entirely happy with it, but it seems like the best of a set of questionable alternatives.
Now, what this also means is that I'm looking for a shortlist of folks who'd be interested in serving as alpha-readers of the new parts of the story as they become available. One of the things I'll confess quickly and eagerly is that feedback is a large part of what helps drive the creative beast, and I'm making strides with generating that internally, but I'm also aware that other people reading my stuff helps me feel like making more. I don't think I want the universe involved in this process, but I'd love to have a pawful of folks interested in helping me make the book better. I'm not sure what I can offer right now for services rendered other than, like, autographed copies, but I'm sure I can come up with something.
In other news, I've successfully paid off the bankruptcy, which means that the thousand-per-month drain on my budget is now gone, to soon be replaced by a seven-hundred-per-month car payment, if my estimations are right, as well as gas and car insurance which should round me out to the money I'm presently "saving". So, no real movement ahead, but I'll have my own transport again, which will go a long way towards restoring my confidence in my ability to get ahead. Right now, the most likely vehicle on my list is a hybrid Ford Escape, not because I want an SUV but because nobody makes a hybrid station wagon that I wouldn't have to import and I can't afford to hold out until next year for some of the theoretical sixty-miles-to-the-gallon BMW or similiar. Plus, I can fit inside the Escape, or at least I'm led to believe that I can.
Speaking of fitting, the Weight Chart is back online. I found a scale with a 400-pound capacity, and I'm rather embarrassed to admit that at the beginning of the measurements, I needed it. The current trend shocks me, but today's lunch will likely change the direction of the red line for a day or two, mostly because I was in a hurry and ate faster than I could register it. That and portion control seem to be my biggest bugbears, but even there I'm getting better, little by little.
I actually weight to a doctor about my weight, and I learned a few interesting things I'd rather not have known. Rather, I'm glad i know them, but I'm not happy about them being facts, or even historical trends. Basically, whatever my weight was when I was eighteen, give or take two years, is my body's "set point", and most of the natural tendencies will be to maintain that number. Since I weighed 350 pounds at eighteen, I'm likely going to be fighting uphill forever. I've looked into bariatric surgery, but what I'm seeing in the latest reports is that it's a six-year "fix" that ends up not actually solving anything and compounds outstanding problems with new dietary fuckery. Most of the drugs combatting weight loss lead to side effects worse than the weight itself causes. So, apparently the sane goal for someone of my size and history is 315, which is ten percent of base body mass. I'm headed in the right direction, but it's likely going to be a long, painful road.
I'm not saying I'm giving up on the goal. I'm merely setting the expectations for myself and everyone else. Failure is likely, for reasons that have nothing to do with how hard I try or how much I want it.
That one thing aside, though... things seem to be shockingly good. There've been a few dips and wobbles here and there, but they're all things that can be resolved through talking and effort. I'm still not exactly the most social person alive, but I'm feeling better about casual interaction than I have in a while. I still have a pretty big back log of rants on various subjects, but the urge to drop trou and shit into a text file has gone down significantly in the last few months, even if the subject matter is itself fascinating. I really don't have any reason to bitch.
Perhaps that more than anything is driving the silence. I'm just... happy with my life, for the most part, and the elements with which I'm dissatisfied are all things on which I'm actively working. Happy people don't make waves. I'd love to be up for challenging the system and burning the world, but really, I've got it good right now, and I don't want to blow it.
Did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?