lists of busy

What is it about the coming holidays that makes me want to spring-clean? I've scrubbed four of the fifteen rooms in my house: baseboards, waxed furniture, vacuummed couches, washed walls, and cabinets. I haven't tackled my study yet because, well, one word: bookshelves. I haven't ever counted my books, but it will take eons to set them back right. Plus, the back of my monitor is some sort of dirt vortex, and it all lands around this wire idea basket I keep back there, filled with notecards, maps of countries with no names yet, pictures of characters from magazines, and the occassional concert ticket stub.

As much as I like my desk all clean and pretty, I'm a messy-desk person at heart. I like stacks of interesting things, important books nearby, and pictures of my kids teetering atop manuscripts. Right now the deskscape looks like this: the requisite pad of scribbles about the new book, empty beer bottle, an old marmalade crock of pens, a silk fern so spindly and anemic it looks real, plush mickey mouse fallen over in what appears to be a drunken stupor, a red and white toy cash register, my phone blinking saved messages, my open calendar at one elbow, my mouse at the other, a shamefully dirty carved stone Celtic knot hanging from my Grannie's alabaster lamp. My desk is antique, too, an old library table that easily seats two. We thought it would be handy for those marital discussions about common sense issues like money and stuff, but honestly, the other chair is usually wheeled away by a kid or stacked with books and magazines and old bills. Beneath it all lays the dog, and she's not as furry as the electric cables that enable me to write this so easily.

Still. Even with all the cleaning, I wrote a thousand words tonight. The goal is two per day, but the holidays are coming, so I'll probably not make that until the new year. I don't want Exiled to be one of those huge fantasy tomes--I'm going for under a hundred K. Five thousand words a day, five days a week, twenty weeks. Four off for grace and holidays and short stories and the Zine, et cetera. Five months. I suppose as long as Ashetan keeps finding trouble the way he has for the first forty pages, we'll get there fairly quickly.

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