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So you know.

05 Dec

I come out of the bedroom, tired and groggy, having just woken up. I am awake to see my wife off to work. This was yesterday. My wife is on the desktop computer.

“What are you doing?” I ask.

Cheerfully, she says, “Oh, I’m just changing this computer’s password. I already did your laptop. You’re locked out.”

“What? Why?”

“You spend too much time on the internet. So I’m focusing you.”

“But I have stuff to do on the internet.”

“It can wait.”

Arguing with my wife is a futile thing. Not because she’s stubborn, but because she’s extremely intelligent and, here’s the key bit, nearly always right.

So I was off the computer yesterday. And most of today.

So what did I do yesterday, all by myself in a computerless house?

I wrote by hand. Twelve pages. And cleaned the entire house, and did the dishes, and Zach’s laundry, and Zach sat on my lap while I wrote (something I really can’t do on the computer), and I meditated for half an hour, and watched a science show and went 1) mad without the internet and e-mail 2) worried that it had the capability drive me mad, I don’t like anything having that power 3) was incredibly productive.

Oh yeah, I read half of Treasure Island and 100 pages of a Greg Benford sci-fi novel.

Also, I am moving with a Gregory House limp because I bumped a shelf in the pantry when reaching for a box, higher up. The shelf collapsed. A very large can of baked beans (with molasses and smoked bacon, because it’s not real food without it) fell and the very edge of it landed on my right foot, just above my big toe, on the bone. I said a lot of bad words.

It’s extremely red, it supports no useful weight, it stiffens up easily, and I’m relatively sure that it’s at least a little bit fractured.

On the one hand, there are so many things for me to do — and things I need to do — on the internet. On the other hand…I am painfully aware of every moment I don’t spend writing, and even more aware that I am jobless outside of the house. I need to be writing. I need to be finishing a novel and selling things and when I don’t, it’s not slacking; it’s failing.

So I need to write. I sometimes have to remind myself that — again, sometimes — everything absolutely has to take a back seat and I have to write, damn it, write because the words don’t get down unless I put ’em there. And since The Nondescript has declared itself to be a very, very long novel, I have to give it my time.

This has happened before. It’s when my mind and work ethic get too far off the mark and I step in and fix them. This time, with the arrival of Zach, me shifting to a stay at home dad, a shift in how my brain works and processes, I didn’t step in and fix anything. It got worse, and I got worse.

It’s not just the internet (and it’s not because of the internet). It’s sort of like a person who cannot stop eating junk food and gets fat: It’s not the food’s fault. It’s the person’s weakness and inability to stop. Sometimes, because unless you actively think about it, it doesn’t occur to you to stop.

This time, my wife, who is far wiser than I can ever hope to be, stepped in and said “enough of that,” and left me with nothing to do but work and think and be quiet, be still.

So, because I still want to type on a computer, I’m downloading OpenOffice.org and putting it on a very, very old Dell laptop. It can’t handle anything else. It doesn’t know that there is even an internet which comes over anything but a phone line (something it certainly doesn’t do in this house; 5 MB cable internet here, thanks). It’s durable and handles me typing fast on it. And I can just put my novel there, I don’t have to worry about losing my formatting.

Fun Nondescript fact: I have not italicized a single word for any reason throughout the novel, and I refuse to do so. I don’t need ’em. I haven’t used ’em. A minor victory. I like it.

So anyway. I’ll be around, sporadically, but not in a hugely useful capacity. I’m still reachable through e-mail. How reachable, I don’t know. I came on yesterday evening and had close to eighty-five e-mails and I despaired and answered very few of them and went back offline. So in a way, failing to be caught up was useful.

I intended to finish The Nondescript before starting the Penman Shipwreck. I really wanted (and still do) to start the Penman Shipwreck with my next novel, The Neon God, a science fiction novel I finally understand how to write. However, the Nondescript ballooned into a massive, massive project. I still want to finish it by the end of December. I doubt it. We’ll see. Maybe with this forced vanishment, I can manage it.

Also. Someone, who is not among us today, e-mailed me yesterday and casually used the phrase “the proof is in the pudding.” If anyone ever says that to me again, I will break kneecaps. It is not a real phrase. Honest. The proof of pudding is in the eating. Or the proof of pudding is in eating of same, my favorite version. “proof is in the pudding” sounds like a place to look for a murder weapon.

So sayeth Pete. Who now logs off and sails quietly into thee, sweet night.

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67 Comments

Posted by on December 5, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

67 responses to “So you know.

  1. Arachne Jericho

    December 5, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Pete, you are not full of fail, you are full of awesome. You just need to get back on track. You’ve done it before and you can do it again. πŸ™‚ You might want to figure out some kind of schedule, because unstructured time can lead to… well… either not giving enough time to tasks that need it, or giving too much time to tasks that don’t.

    Been there, done that, percolated with random tasks for days….

    As for the laptop that’s cut from the ‘net…

    Just make sure you have backups on the little ‘puter, going to something like an external hard drive. It’s nice to be off the ‘net, but that deprives you of online storage solutions (S3, Yahoo, GMail, etc). Be careful of USB keys; it’s rare that they’re capable of shorting out the computer as well as themselves at the same time, but it’s still kind of bad when it happens.

    And make sure you’re connected to a printer. I love all things tech, but even I put my foot down when it comes to cold, hard copy. πŸ™‚

    And maybe keep a log of your progress per day. Don’t know if that will help you or depress you or motivate you… but I know that during November, just updating my private graph of words helped me see where I needed to go to BEAT JEANNE um, I mean, get to my next target.

    πŸ˜€

    Good luck!

     
  2. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 7:07 am

    That sounds wonderful, really. I only worry about those who I see regularly and then don’t see because I care. And I was sure that someone would have heard from you.

    There are times when going offline is a good thing. I won’t have much time for the internet this weekend because of busy stuff, and I need to clean. (Could someone come help me clean? Please?!)

    About your foot, it helps to get it checked out. I broke a bone in my foot, and no, we’re not discussing how. When I went to my regular doctor, he said it would fine to walk on it using a wooden shoe, but sent me to a specialist anyway. So I walked on it. When I got to the specialist, she said that the break was right underneath a tendon. Which explained the weird sensation when I did walk on it. Long story short, the break healed fine, but it took a long time for that tendon to get used to walking a normal distance again without much pain and tightness. It’s still not right.

    Good luck with all things writing. I shall holler at you here and there to see how you are doing.

     
  3. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 7:42 am

    I could get wooden shoes? I could get clogs?

    And I know *I*’m not full of fail, quite yet. But I’m verging on it, perhaps more than I let on here, trust me. I guess that sounds angsty and melodramatic and Linkin Park-ish (i.e., three things I would quite like to avoid) but there it is. Anyway, it’s hard to be properly melodramatic when a large warm kitty is occupying your lap and left arm.

     
  4. Arachne Jericho

    December 6, 2007 at 9:09 am

    I guess that sounds angsty and melodramatic and Linkin Park-ish (i.e., three things I would quite like to avoid) but there it is. Anyway, it’s hard to be properly melodramatic when a large warm kitty is occupying your lap and left arm.

    Sounds normal to me. Angsty is not Linkin’ Park, so you are not anywhere near doomed. πŸ™‚

    Angst: been there, done that, got the antidepressants….

     
  5. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 9:12 am

    Linkin Park: the occasional good rock song, a great number of songs that remind me exactly what Rap-Rock died (as if Limp Bizkit hadn’t already driven that point home) and all sorts of really angsty music. I keep hoping they’ll aim for higher, but they keep producing more and more generic “I cut myself to live! Etc.!” rap-rock.

    Although “Bleed It Out” has a really, really terrific beat behind it.

     
  6. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 9:21 am

    A wooden shoe is a piece of wood with some material that holds it to your foot. It’s rather odd as it causes you to walk very differently.

    It’s not angst, it’s real life. Perhaps you need a schedule. X & Z days are days you’re allowed to visit the interwebbies. W, Y, AA, AB, & AC days are for being offline and writing, writing, writing. Plus you need to find some humor-based freelance gig because you are funny.

    The problem with many songs is that while the beats and the music are awesome, the lyrics suck and make my ears bleed. It’s becoming quite common for this to happen.

     
  7. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Also, it’s obvious that I’ve spent too much time in Excel lately. My apologies.

     
  8. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 9:26 am

    This is where Lori appears and points out that, briefly, I operated on a schedule throughout my day and it worked wonderfully. Except for the bits of my head that went bonkers. I’m a free spirit! Or just onfocused. πŸ˜›

    Actually, Kristine made an interesting joke-suggestion (mostly joke, I think) of doing a Weight Watchers point system which fascinated me, and appeals to my sense of “I like to try new variaties,” so I may give that a go. OR…I may just shut my yap and go write.

    Your Excel time is definitely showing. You’re nearly binary!

    Linkin Park has some decent songs musically, but then you get into the lyrics, and…man. Even worse, for me, is following the music videos on youTube and you get comment trails full of “teh guys know wat i feel this is liek my life tehy is talking about” etc, etc. And the needle in my angst meter starts banging against the red. πŸ˜€

     
  9. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Not schedules throughout the day, but scheduled appearances on the web on certain days. But it may not work for you.

    I just need to not be so busy and stressed.

    And yes, when I see writing like that, I want to spork my eyes out, and my soul begs for death.

     
  10. mymidnightmuse

    December 6, 2007 at 10:18 am

    I like some Linkin Park, for sure, but it’s easy to overdose since it all sounds alike. I love Tool, but lately their politics are so thickly permeating their songs, it gets tiresome.

    You mock the point system, but some day you’ll come to appreciate it ! So many hours of productive real-world time (ie: writing) = points redeemable for minutes online.

    Easy Peasy.

     
  11. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Web appearances sound so official. “Pete Tzinski shall be appearing LIVE! December 12th, at 2:00pm in a special LIVE CHAT! only on The Commune.” or something.

     
  12. Arachne Jericho

    December 6, 2007 at 10:19 am

    For more refined “angst”, try Michael Penn. Currently my favorite is Walter Reed.

    I’m the walking wounded
    I’d say it to your face
    But I can’t find my place

    So take me to Walter Reed tonight
    Baby, I’ve lost the will for fighting
    Over everything

    Now there’s a few things I gotta say
    Make no mistake, I’m mad
    ‘Cause every good thing I had
    Abandoned me

    A sad and lonesome me

    Actually, I’d call him real angst. Anyone who identifies with his lyrics needs some serious antidepressants right now. Whereas Linkin’ Park is kind of a teenage emo fad, in my opinion anyways. πŸ™‚

     
  13. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Meh. I can do without angst. Right now, I’m listening to “The Ecstacy of Gold,” the classic Ennio Morricone piece of music, but performed by Yo-Yo Ma on the cello. Beautiful stuff. And now, it’s “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly” performed by Ennio Morricone. The man was a god.

     
  14. Lori

    December 6, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Think of writing like that this way: It justifies the need/reason to pay for quality writing.

    Pete, a system, any system, would not be a bad or constraining thing. It would provide boundaries and expectations and help you develop decent habits. You just have to find the right system for the way your mind works. That’s the real key.

     
  15. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Like I have any idea how my mind works, let alone how to run it through a system of any sort. That’s definitely the key. I’m just clueless for now.

    And so is Mister Baby, who is wriggling on my lap.

     
  16. Arachne Jericho

    December 6, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Be like House. Experiment until it’s right. πŸ™‚

     
  17. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 10:29 am

    It’s amazing how much I would NOT like to be like House. I’m on no drugs, for example. Although thanks to Mr. Fractured Big Toe, I do have the limp down pat. No cane.

    Actually, I wouldn’t recommend House as a role model to anyone, honestly. That’s a bad way to go… πŸ™‚

     
  18. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 10:56 am

    Web appearances sound so official. β€œPete Tzinski shall be appearing LIVE! December 12th, at 2:00pm in a special LIVE CHAT! only on The Commune.” or something.

    I’m having serious mental processing issues today, so forgive me if I can’t tell whether you are kidding or not. I’ll just examplize my idea.

    Say you decide that your Internet days are Wednesdays and Fridays. The other days are for things not on the Internet. So, the online world would only expect to see you on Wednesdays and Fridays.

    You could even combine it with the points system. If you do not earn the minimum number of points, we won’t see those days. If you earn enough points, you get to make an extra appearance on another day.

    It may be too restrictive for you, but I’ve found that if I come up with a schedule, and get in the habit (2-3 weeks to build a habit), then I fair much better.

     
  19. Lori

    December 6, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Arachne is right. Experiment. Try different things until you figure out what works for you. Keep in mind, that has life happens, what works for you today will be different tomorrow. But… You’re also right. I’ve told you all this before. (And I’ll probably tell you it again.) You also know it was starting to work for you, too, when you abandoned it.

    I used to, long before I was a mod, only permit myself to check AW on certain days of the week. Right now, I’m realizing my current office set-up isn’t exactly working for me, so, after the semester is over, we’re going to try it in a different part of the house.

    Schedules and systems aren’t meant to be rigid ways of doing things. They’re about guidelines and boundaries and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. In that, they’re actually very flexible and freeing things.

     
  20. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 11:04 am

    The thing is, when I joke about systems — or anything, really — the joke is the initial reaction while, in the humorless back parts of my mind, I am considering and turning and thinking.

    Thinking about that idea makes me go mad. I wonder if I could do it? I want to try it. I may well end up trying it. This week’s almost up. Maybe starting next week, I’ll do that and see what I accomplish.

    I wound up writing fifteen pages of handwritten prose Tuesday, when I was off the ‘net. I’ve been typing like mad all morning to get it into the computer. If I did your system and came on only Wednesdays and Fridays, then I could not only spend my time on the internet, but sit in the other window and type up everything I did during the rest of the week, or what I did by hand anyway.

    (my current fiddle: I’m trying to set up a secondary account on this computer in which I can rip out the internet in any form, so that there’s nothing to do but write. We shall see.)

     
  21. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 11:06 am

    The point of a schedule, a system, a changing of password to the internet, the occasional bout where I tell everyone that I’m going off the ‘net for a few days, is to give me a physical boundary against which I cannot budge. This is because mental boundaries don’t work, much. Through sloth, or through cleverness, I can talk myself into and out of ANYTHING. I talked myself into the internet today, after all, because I had piles and piles of e-mails to answer — from writers, and from video game people who are rather less patient — and piles of pages needing to be typed up, and, and, etc.

    Hmph.

    We’ll see what I figure out. I may not figure anything out. Maybe I’ll just stop writing altogether and retire to the kitchen where I shall bake loaves of bread, unto death. πŸ™‚

     
  22. mymidnightmuse

    December 6, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Yanno, for the most part I stick to a schedule (it’s only been recently that the schedule tweaked) I’m off and on during the week days because I’m at work sitting in front of this thing. Then at home during the week, I’d check mail once before dinner, then that was it. I was off line for the night. Friday night – all meat space, no net. Saturday, no net. Sunday in the evening only, some net.

    I’ve changed that around a bit, but it’s all just a matter of finding balance and a schedule that works for you. It’s insanely easy to get addicted to clicking that Check For New Mail button – especially while you have submissions out. And so far I’ve been really really careful about staying away from AW except for one post every few days.

    Soon, Grasshopper, you will take the pebble from the Master’s hand. Just don’t shove it up your nose.

     
  23. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 11:09 am

    *cough* This “why Pete isn’t around so much at the moment” blog post has turned into a great deal of discussion about me accidentally, more than I am ever comfortable with. Let’s talk about the Dodgers instead. How about them Dodgers! Aren’t they sure a baseball team, or what!

     
  24. Shadow Ferret

    December 6, 2007 at 11:09 am

    Personally if I found my wife had changed all the passwords so I wouldn’t have access to the computer we’d be headed for divorce court. But that’s me and probably not a viable option for you. πŸ™‚

    In the vein of Kristine’s suggestion, we limit our kid’s time on the electronics. They have to read for a certain period of time and then they get a certain period of time with an electronic.

    Similarly, you could do the same with your writing and the Internet. In fact, that sounds like a good idea. I’ll do that myself. Write an hour, get the Internet for half an hour. Yeah. Goodbye.

     
  25. Lori

    December 6, 2007 at 11:10 am

    (Tori is right, too.)

     
  26. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Now, see, if you can get the internet disabled on that one account, you can type til your heart is content. The parental controls part might help you there, though I don’t know what system you’re running.

    The husband and I are going to have to talk about things. I think it will be easier if I get a laptop because, for insane reason, he equates quality time with being in the same room with each other. I do not, but if he can watch whatever show he wants while I type happily in the corner, and we’re both satisfied, I don’t care about anything else.

     
  27. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Laptops are a godsend. We have…um…three functional ones in the house, if I remember right. I have an old Compaq that would be useful to stun burglars or break windows with. We still have the powerhouse desktop computer, but I haven’t used it in ages. So I definitely suggest you get a laptop. It’s useful.

     
  28. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 11:18 am

    This β€œwhy Pete isn’t around so much at the moment” blog post has turned into a great deal of discussion about me accidentally, more than I am ever comfortable with.

    I face the same kind of problems, so, to me, it’s just as much a learning experience as it is a discussion about you. I sometimes wonder if I have an addictive personality. Thank God I have a sound, well grounded husband because otherwise I’d float away with my fancies.

     
  29. Arachne Jericho

    December 6, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Actually, I wouldn’t recommend House as a role model to anyone, honestly. That’s a bad way to go… πŸ™‚

    True, except for the bit where when the stakes are down, he does what he believes is right, not what he believes is easy.

    Unless the stakes are about Vicodin. Then he just wants Vicodin.

     
  30. Shadow Ferret

    December 6, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    My wife said if I was a doctor, I’d be just like House. I’m not sure what she’s trying to say about me, but I don’t think it’s a compliment.

    And, if anyone is wondering, I wrote 1600 words, so now I have some internet time. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, hope your toe is OK, Pete. Maybe I’ll send you a copy of my 1966 Merry Marvel Marching Society Captain America cartoon DVD as a get well gift.

     
  31. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Hell, I’ll take a hammer to the toe if it gets me enough sympathy to get that Captain America DVD. πŸ˜‰

    *I* wrote 2,400 words now, and am taking an internet break while I make lunch. That seems reasonable to me. And I’m pausing to watch an old newsreel of FDR speaking on the event of America entering World War II, because since this is historical fiction, I can use it beautifully.

     
  32. Shadow Ferret

    December 6, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    And it all inter-relates with Captain America!

    Email me your addy. Not sure when I’ll get it to you, but if you’re lucky, before Christmas.

    First I have to figure out how my laptop copies DVDs. πŸ˜‰

     
  33. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    *goes to figure out what else he can fracture and complain about, so’s other people will dredge up Captain America material and send it along to him, that he may live in a state of blissful contentment*

     
  34. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    And it all falls back into comics.

    Sigh.

     
  35. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    It’s the story of my life, I suspect. Just ask my wife. She’ll be glad for someone to complain about it to. πŸ™‚

    It doesn’t ALL fall back to comics. I’m still trying to think of schedules. Occasionally, I think “I should step off my blog semi-permanently, I should stop commenting, I should resign as a mod on AW and leave, I should check my e-mail once a week…NO, I shouldn’t even do THAT….I should give out my physical address and phone number and vanish, just ****ing vanish until I’ve justified myself.”

    It is not entirely an unwelcome thought.

     
  36. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    I have a feeling you, me and our respective spouses would have interesting conversations. If we ever come north, and I want to as I’ve not traveled that way much, we may have to look you up and take you out to dinner.

    You can’t vanish forever because you’ve made bonds of friendship with some of these crazy interweb people and we’ll miss you dearly. You’ll figure it out. Just keep trying something until you find the right thing.

    Or I can pester you incessantly until you go off and do what your supposed to be.

     
  37. Shadow Ferret

    December 6, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    I think, the way we seem to be headed with emails, that if you gave out your phone number, we’d be like two teen girls just talking about every little thing.

    Although the address thing… you know, I haven’t had a pen pal since I got out of the Navy back in ’83. I sort of miss that old-fashioned kind of correspondance.

    Email is too instantaneous and you feel obligated to answer immediately and if you both respond that way, you soon run out of things to say. Snailmail takes time and events of significance actually occur during that time giving you the opportunity to write about them.

    Sorry. I’m rambling. Back to my self-imposed writing quote. Goodbye.

     
  38. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Ed. I love you. I have been puttering and pondering and making noises, in all different places, that I wished to write more letters to people and fewer e-mails. I LIKE writing letters. I write multi-page letters full of conversations and articles and dissertations and stuff. I enjoyed it no end, and I just don’t do it anymore.

    So if ever you feel a burning need to have a pen pal, I’m your guy. πŸ˜€

    Tori: I suppose I’m not really vanishing, tempting though it sounds (and happy though the thought makes me) because I DO Have friends here, and I like them. Occasionally, I hope that everyone I know will start writing me letters and THEN I’ll vanish from the ‘net. I’m making progress; I’ve stepped back from forums to blogs. That has to count for SOMETHING.

     
  39. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Well, if both of you want to write to me, I’ll let you. I’ll even respond.

    Writing a personal letter is something I’ve not done for a long time. It’s fun and there’s something exciting and mysterious about it.

     
  40. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    It’s fun and there’s something exciting and mysterious about it.

    Exactly, and it’s a delight, and I never grow tired of it. Fair warning to you both: When I correspond with others, I handwrite my letters. My handwriting is legible, but I find part of the delight to be in the handwriting, sometimes. I used to enjoy including photos and news articles and (when I could afford the postage) sometimes I sent books back and forth, because someone needed to read it, damn it.

    (Well, I used to type SOME responses, when I was getting a fair number of letters and was pressed for time.)

    What a charming idea. I’d happily write to both of you. πŸ˜€

     
  41. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    I’ll email my address tonight, if people will let me sit at the computer in peace.

     
  42. mymidnightmuse

    December 6, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    I find I DO have an addictive personality that I inherited, and have learned to deal with by first accepting it, then working within my aforementioned point system. Sitting here during the working hours in front of a computer really does most of what I need – then my at home time is all at home time. My computer use at home was typically playing, until I decided to take writing seriously, now it’s writing at night.

    I compensate for the addiction tendancy by doing little things, like taking the laptop to Starbucks, where I refuse to pay for ‘net access and therefore can only write. Or participating in the Penman Shipwreck – wherein I’ll be tempted AWAY from the ‘puter even during breaks at work, so I can write.

    When you start doing Agent research, and sending out queries, you’ll find you cannot vanish from the world of speedy connection – but by then, you’ll have achieved this Balance we’re all preaching. Then, you’ll enjoy blogging, and emailing, and spending wads of time completely away and seperated from your computer.

    You need to exist in the grey, to put a B5 spin on it.

     
  43. Shadow Ferret

    December 6, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    ok, I happily wrote another 1000 words. So I’m back for a time.

    Writing letters. You know what I really love about that whole idea? Think of any good writer and his passel of friends. What is one of the most interesting things about those friendships?

    The letters. Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft corresponded. I’m sure others have done it as well but my mind is drawing a blank.

    Emails are easily lost, deleted, or never found if no one knows about the account. But letters. Letters in a shoebox from a friend. Now those would be fun.

    And I handwrite my letters, too. I’ll try to be legible.

    Oh, this is so cool. Now I have to run out and get some stationary. I already have my TGTD pen!

     
  44. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    I found some stamps. Some return address lables. A nice pen. Some nice paper. Some envelopes.

    And you’re right about the letters. Howard and Lovecraft wrote voluminously (not least because Lovecraft was a paranoid and racist introvert who communicated chiefly through letters). Isaac Asimov wrote hundreds of letters. I have a book on my table right now called, “Yours, Isaac,” which is full of snippets and pieces and bits of his letters to various people, on various subjects. I adore it. And of course, Tolkien’s letters are well-known (and make for fascinating study, when they appear in Christopher Tolkien’s volumes on his father’s work).

     
  45. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    Well, we can all just write ourselves silly then.

    *Makes a note to pick up another notebook from the store.*

    This shall be fun.

     
  46. mymidnightmuse

    December 6, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I always adored writing and receiving letters in the mail *heaves sigh of rememberance*.

     
  47. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Between writing letters and the Shipwreck, I heartily look forward to spending an impressive amount of time writing on paper. (or, as the case may be, failing to write on paper, although any work ethic problems I have on the computer go right out the window when put in front of pen and paper.)

     
  48. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Kristine, I will happily write letters to you, too. πŸ™‚

     
  49. Shadow Ferret

    December 6, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    I’d like to write Kristine, too, but I think that would drive my wife over the edge. πŸ˜€

    Secret emails will have to suffice. πŸ˜‰

     
  50. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    Fear not, Ed, I shall send you a long and bawdy love letter when first we write each other. Your wife will be not at all pleased! πŸ˜€

     
  51. mymidnightmuse

    December 6, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    I’d love penpals again πŸ˜€ Ed, you’d think your wife would be happier with letters, she could read them all !

     
  52. Lori

    December 6, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    There’s always something special about getting letters in the mail. It’s one of the fun part of Christmas, receiving greeting cards in the mail.

     
  53. tjwriter

    December 6, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    Today I have learned that I cannot drink tea without a little bit of some sweetener (sugar or honey).

    *Random thought of the day brought to you by Long Day at Work (c) πŸ˜‰

     
  54. Arachne Jericho

    December 6, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    There’s always something special about getting letters in the mail. It’s one of the fun part of Christmas, receiving greeting cards in the mail.

    The tactile quality. The weight. The physical presence. A worldly representation of a remote relationship, like being just one step removed from that person.

    I can’t decide whether I really miss greeting cards or not. At some point I accepted that I don’t receive them, and I don’t know how to send them anyways (yes, stamp, Hallmark card, envelope, post office box, but it seems more complicated than that).

     
  55. Pete Tzinski

    December 6, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    I never send out greeting cards particularly, nor do I long to receive them (they’re all from my wife’s extended family, whom I Do Not Like, so there’s nothing there). I could never get into greeting cards…but letters. Ah, letters.

    Tori…sweetener? Really? You’re dead to me now. πŸ˜‰

     
  56. Jeanne

    December 6, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Pete, I’ll offer up what worked best for me, which I also mentioned on Lori’s blog — Club 100. The commitment to write 100 words for 100 days straight. Just 100 words. If you miss a day, then you start back at 100 the next day. I find that I always write more than 100, but the consistency was a godsend. I had to learn to set up the right “rules” for Club 100, because my first few attempts were dreadful, due work and wife and mother requirements. However, now I’ve hit 100 words twice, and this second time I’m on day 179 and still going strong…the habit is now so ingrained that I haven’t taken a floater or blackout day (allowed under my rules) for, um, months. I even wrote on Thanksgiving. Not much, but 100 words ISN’T much. There’s a group one can join (for free) which gives accountability, but it’s not a requirement. Maybe this kind of small, daily goal would help you get into and remain in the swing of consistency.

     
  57. tjwriter

    December 7, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    It’s so quiet in the bloggie-sphere today.

    Le sigh.

     
  58. Shadow Ferret

    December 7, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    You noticed that too, huh?

    Le moan.

     
  59. tjwriter

    December 7, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Yep, and I need some conversation. Converse with me, oh ferretous shadowous.

     
  60. Shadow Ferret

    December 7, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Hijack this thread simply to appease your desire for social discourse?

    *looks around*

    Well, nobody is here. OK.

     
  61. tjwriter

    December 7, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    The next two hours cannot fly by fast enough. I’m thinking I should avoid cooking at all costs this evening and order something to pick up on the way home. It’s going to be raining, since we can’t seem to get any %#*%!(*!& snow.

    That said, I look forward to working on my novel this evening, provided the toddler goes to bed.

     
  62. Pete Tzinski

    December 7, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    Thread hijackers. You two are banned forthwith from, like, loads of things.

    *some* of us had a pleasant afternoon with our wives who were off work surprisingly early, and so it was a good thing I wasn’t trying to carry on an affair, what with how badly my day would have gone instead of how good it went.

    (parse THAT one out for two hours!)

     
  63. tjwriter

    December 8, 2007 at 5:54 am

    LOL, Pete.

    This evening, the husband and I are taking Piper to a event called Snacks with Santa. We’ll see if she likes Santa or not. But we’ll get to see the cool new children’s museum regardless, and it’s supposed to be really cool.

    Then we will drop her off at my parents and go out for the evening to celebrate some birthdays in his family. Which means we will be child free for the evening.

    And it’s always good to NOT get caught in a nonexistent affair.

     
  64. Shadow Ferret

    December 8, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Well, since I already get yelled at about nonexistent cyber-affairs, I think it would be nice to actually get caught in a real life one.

     
  65. carrieinpa

    December 8, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Should I start searching for your phone number, too?? πŸ˜€

     
  66. Shadow Ferret

    December 10, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Ha!

    Um. No. I’m a lousy phone talker. πŸ™‚

     
  67. tjwriter

    December 12, 2007 at 8:21 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PETE!! πŸ˜€

     

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