The mill: I have a confession to make. We bought a treadmill. Stick with me while I rationalize for a bit, then go ahead with your well intentioned derision.
See, the weather in the Pacific Northwest between November and oh, July, is vile. Not only is it cold and wet, but it’s damned dark. Usually at this time of year, I join a gym or sign up for yoga classes, but there’s nothing within walking distance of my house and I hate to get in the car to go exercise, it just goes counter to everything I believe in.
We didn’t buy a new treadmill, heaven forbid, no, we bought it off of Craig’s List from someone who probably bought it off of Craig’s List in the dark part of last winter. Every day or two I do a 2.5 mile workout, while watching Samantha Brown or Anthony Bourdain (love him or hate him? I can’t decide!) or listening to back episodes of This American Life on my iPod.
I know it’s dumb, I know I should go outside, I know, I know, I know. And I will. When it stops with the vile damp cold I will go back to walking to the park. And last week, when the sun was out, we did just that and then some. But for now, I churn away on the treadmill in my basement while Anthony Bourdain eats stuff I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with.
The treadmill cost less than a gym membership to some place I’d never go and because it’s right here in my house, I have to have a pretty lame excuse to not do my workout. I am not getting thinner and I’m often sore, but I’m not getting any fatter, either, which in December and January is really an accomplishment to be proud of.
The hack: I cranked out two more Hawaii articles this week after I carved the 6000 excess words out of my manuscript. It nearly killed me, and no, I knew better than to delete that stuff, I put it in a cut file so I can either recover it if I need filler or repackage it for other uses. I’m always reading about how repackaging and repurposing your writing is the way to financial salvation, and because we’re looking to clear barely minimum wage on the book, it’s nice to get a few extra bucks for the banging on the keyboard.
I don’t have any more travel stories on deck and that makes me a little sad – I’m going to have to do a little leg work to turn up more places to publish my head full o’ Hawaii. I walked away from opportunity to launch a Hawaii blog because the pay was way too low, but not before I turned the idea around 17 different ways in my head to try to make sense of it. It hurt me to say no, but I just couldn’t undervalue my writing like that. It was nice to have those two other stories lined up to validate that decision.
The grind: I lurked around the house for about a week whining about how I needed some real paying work and soon, dammit. That technique wasn’t turning much up, I can’t recommend it, so I tried something else and got in touch with my clients to let them know I was back on the block.
I’m happy to report that I’ve turned up just the right size gig to fill the space between now and our next adventure. I’m unraveling the issues first, next week I’ll turn back to writing technical copy. It’s a bit dry compared to the luscious vocabulary used to describe the tropics, but I confess, I like technical writing because it’s concrete. The thing either has a button there or it doesn’t, there’s no need for florid, subjective poetry about where the button is.
I’m back at the mill, a hack with her nose to the grindstone. If you have any interest at all in knowing how I feel about it, well, I feel totally okay with all of it. I’m getting some exercise, I handed off my book and two related stories, and I have paying tech work. It’s all good.
Happy birthday to me.