So, tomorrow's the launch/thank-you party at the local makerspace, complete with awesome music act and, er, food and beer assuming I pull that together (I'm sure I will; there's a whole day and a half left). But lords and ladies, I cannot begin to express how drained I feel after the weeks of active labor at the end of dragging the Second Edition into the world….whew!! My actual sleep has been pretty stable and fine, actually; but mentally I'm just worn down to the proverbial fibers, you know? That was a VERY long project, and the unexpected uphill at the end was killer. Reminded me strongly of "Heartbreak Hill" on the Boston Marathon route, which was quite agonizing enough on a bicycle; I'd say that I can't imagine what running twenty miles and then getting to that fucker would be like, except that thanks to the Second Edition, I totally can imagine it. ;)
To that end, I have a whole slew of cool follow-up plans for the book now that it's out, but I think I may have to take a breather first. I signed up for sailing lessons so I could stick that in my belt before summer's over, so maybe I'll shift my focus off the screen for the next few weeks and just focus on not capsizing into the Charles.
Othere very general updates, since that's about what I feel up to: Have been 98% Gluten Free since, um, whenever I last wrote about it — a few months ago? — and all my digestive problems have promptly evaporated, so a rather confused (since I have no idea why that would have worked; it was a guess) YAY for that. (I say "98%" because I've cut out wheat pretty much completely — thank goodness for living somewhere that wheat-free food is relatively easy to find — but haven't been super strict about avoiding secondary sources of gluten, such as semolina and oats. I don't eat them a lot, but I don't avoid them, either. It could very well be that my problem was with wheat, more than gluten, anyway.)
The degree to which my sanity depends on rice crackers, chickpea-flour crunchies and all-corn tortilla chips is a little embarrassing. However, I did lose a bit of stomach-padding (quite probably just due to exercise; been biking and training my butt off) and I feel most excellent compared to a few months ago, so WOOHOO.
A few weeks ago my sifu pinned me with A Look and said that I should back off that stretch a bit, because "it's worth it to not do as much now so you can train again in a few hours. We're not weekend warriors here." And it kind of hit me for some reason when he said that, how very much traditional Chinese martial arts has become central to my life. I tripled my training-schedule prior to the Grandmaster's visit and workshop, but since then, if anything I've only upped it even more. (I *do* train every few hours, on my own; and incorporating what I know bleeds into every other thing I do; plus I'm still on the elevated lesson-schedule I started a few months ago, and have no intention of lessening it.)
I started studying Taiji because it was the next reasonable evolutionary step in my philosophy training – because sorry, past a certain point analytic Western philosophy is just wrong, and Continental philosophy just circuitous, and reading Eastern philosophy just totally misses the point – and I didn't really treat it as serious athletics until pretty recently…but now I look and I've re-tooled so much about how my body works, and started seriously delving into applications and linking different styles together and more definitely-advanced stuff; and moreoever, I can't imagine a future I like where I'm not continually studying and progressing in this, as both a philosophy and an art. And as an art, it's no joke — it uses every atom of your body, mind, and spirit; and for an incredibly fast learner like myself, it may only take two decades or so to get to the point of really exploring and manifesting it, rather than just doing rote exercises. Today it only took me three tries to correctly pull my Sifu's arm; and that was a huge victory. …Obviously I should write more about that at some point; consider it On The List.
Speaking of The List, I also finished the first draft of my novella! (Fuck, I really need to name that thing. It's in the capable hands of my favorite alpha-critter now; maybe something he comes up with will help me do that.) Anyway, it's not one of the Big Three stories that perpetually haunt and fuel my guts, but it's next in line below them, and if I successfully put together this 30,000 words of science fiction, I'll be both thrilled and, I think, ready to turn my attention to one of the novels again. (Fun fact: I've written each of the novels more than once, and every time thrown them away, because I just don't have the chops as a writer yet to make them happen the way they are in my, erm, firmament.) I also have a neat idea floating around in my head, about reincarnation and insects, that I want to get on while the novella is under the knife.
I'm writing and doing mad taiji. For better or worse or whatever reason, that statement makes me feel successful more than anything else, I think, ever could. That I'm also learning to sail and climb, and that my underwater hockey game is coming along damn nicely and I'm able to maintain my bike and myself well enough to handle regular 20+ mile rides, are awesome bonuses that I very much appreciate the opportunity to pursue.
I have zero complaints, world. I just happen to want to pass out on my mental face for a few days, once this launch-party thing is over, ok?
Love you! ;)