May Flowers and Plans

To begin, first of May magnolias. Because they’re pretty, and that’s really the only excuse they need.

Second, I have plans for May! Like:

1. Appearances in Berkeley, Chicago and Gaithersburg, MD, which you can catch up with here. If you’re in any of those places, come see me. After May, I have no public events scheduled until Worldcon in September (save a couple of virtual events), and honestly, after giving over the last couple of months to promote Kaiju, I’m okay with that.

2. I’m meant to have a book done at the end of the month(ish), so guess where the focus of my attention will be this month?

(Shut up, it will be the book, seriously.)

To accentuate this point, I will be turning on my nanny software which will block news and social media sites in the morning, because I regret to say I am the sort of person who needs nanny software to block news and social media sites so that I can focus. This won’t mean much to you if you’re solely a Whatever reader (because these days I tend to update here in the afternoons anyway), but if you follow me on Twitter you may notice less of me there, particularly in the east coast AM hours. As the tradeoff is an actual novel in 2023 from me, I think you (and I) will survive.

3. Also in a more general sense I plan to ratchet down my social media use a bit in May (and hopefully beyond) because now 2022 is one-third gone and I have plans for the remaining two-thirds, and the place for me to best recoup that time for those plans comes from the time I spend mindlessly scrolling on social media. I’m not cutting it out entirely, because I live in a rural area and also on the Internet, and both of those facts means social media is where I hang out with friends. But I plan on better managing the time I am on it. A couple of years ago I made a guideline for myself of, if I spend more than five minutes an hour on social media scrolling mindlessly, to ask myself if there’s something else I wanted to do with my time instead. Usually the answer was “yes,” in which case I went and did that for the rest of the hour. I think I’ll get back to that.

(Mind you, sometimes the answer is “nope, social media is all I have planned for now,” which is fine, too. But I usually do have other things I want to do with my time, I have to say.)

4. Also, I’m feeling a bit sludgy these days, and the weather is finally nice, so I’m going to get back to exercising most days, which is a thing I’ve gotten a bit away from in the last several months because, well, I’m lazy and I default to not exercising pretty easily. This is not great, because I’m in my 50s now, and the eventual consequences of Not Actually Moving A Lot are going to be visited on me a lot sooner than I expect. Boo! Aging! Boo!

So: May! Events! Writing! Exercise! Non-Doomscrolling Activites! That’s the plan, and hopefully the last three will stick beyond the month of May as well.

— JS

16 Comments on “May Flowers and Plans”

  1. 1.As a 72 yo, I know exercise is important. I slacked a lot in the last 2 years, got to the point where I could barely walk (boo arthritis!), went to a physical therapist and 2 months later! I am not healed but I feel like dancing in the streets. So keep it up.

    2.One of my (erstwhile copy editor) peeves is “planning on doing something”. Why make life so hard? Just “plan to do something”! Voilà. Crisp and clean. Sorry.

  2. FYI, KPS finally worked it’s way to the top of my reading list. Not only do I think it’s your best to date, it’s one of the best books I’ve read in the past couple years.

    Kudos, sir!

  3. Hopefully wonderful updates on your church/community centre. I love what you’re doing with that.

  4. I’m also in my 50s (but not for much longer) and completely relate to the “I should exercise but I’m lazy” trait. For a while I was doing a good job of getting out on mountain bike rides or at least a few-mile dog walk. I didn’t do either last week. Thanks for reminding me I need to do a lot better.

  5. Does this mean Athena will post entries on Whatever in your stead?

  6. You’ve likely answered this elsewhere, but what’s your preferred “nanny software?” That seems like something I might find useful at busy times.

  7. Thank you for the burst of spring…

    A quick thought: Social Media is not a demon. Really. Likewise, it’s my connection to friends and family. Though certainly you and I are in slightly different worlds, the same is true. It’s the quality of the time spent. In the Instagram header, there’s a search bar, and if pressed for time (or it’s 2AM) I search, click, comment, go. Also, I only follow a handful of folks, and most are a couple of posts in a month, so my feed isn’t littered with, well, crap… And those who love me know, when I’m writing, don’t look for me after 6AM or before 9PM… Much love and happiness to you and your patient family. Looking forward to the new book!

  8. Good for you! Self-care makes work easier.

    Yes, do exercise. With our bodies, it’s use it or lose it. I’ll be doing the same, but in the house with a walker and a spotter or two. Meanwhile, PT has been working me hard.

    Entropy isn’t what it used to be.

    My Sakuraco reviews aren’t in Athena’s league. I have fun with them, but the boxen are even more fun. There’s a kuzumochi in the nurses’ station fridge.

    Pet your kitties and pup for me, please.

  9. These all sound like great plans and the magnolias are lovely. Ours (here in Oregon) just popped last month.

    Also I agree with everyone who misses Athena. I’m sure she’s busy but it would indeed be lovely to read more from her. No pressure – just appreciation.

    I’m hoping to get outside more as well. Just got back on the bike last weekend after a 6-week due to (non-life-threatening but needed to be done) surgery in March. The woods are a lot more invigorating than Diablo 3.

  10. I find that “working out” is too nebulous of a goal, so my friends and I have started setting ourselves “outside pressure” type of athletic challenges. We did a 5k in March, and are doing two other 5k runs in May and October. I am considering partnering with another friend to run a half marathon in January of 2023. The pressure of not letting people down does wonders for my training regimen, and as someone who is creeping ever closer to 50, this is a good thing. Just a suggestion, if anyone could use the motivation!

  11. Not sure of your exercise routine. Check out the “kneesovertoesguy” on YouTube. Ben Patrick is truly an inspirational person.

    Also, first time posting. Old Man’s War is my favorite book, I just love the story and characters. After reading that I went down the Scalzi rabbit hole and read everything I could. Look forward to your next book! Take care and good luck.

  12. Sometimes social media is like reading the paper or catching up with your neighbours over the fence.

    Sometimes social media is like a bee running into a window. Just bonk bonk bonk and not getting anywhere.

  13. Recently finished KPS which was the most enjoyable book I’ve read in a long time. Great news about a book for 2023.
    And I told my daughter she would enjoy KPS. I couldn’t give her my copy, library book with too many holds.
    I told her to also check out Whatever and read your essay on Being Poor.
    Your writing has such a flow for me. It makes a hard thing seem easy.