Friday, July 31, 2009

Progress By Inches

Last night, as promised in yesterday's post, I went to the Bentonville library after work. They forgave me the fine and renewed the book. I spent a little time in a genealogy magazine, checking to see if I could write for that one, then went to the coffee shop, bought a large house blend, and sat and wrote my article on The Notebooks of Robert Frost. I didn't quite finish it, but I came close.

This was my first time to sit in a coffee shop and write. My son writes or studies in coffee shops all the time. Somehow he shuts out the noise to background and then effectively uses his time. He says he can do certain work there better than he can in the quiet of his lodgings. I've tried reading in coffee shops before, but never writing. I was surprised to make as much progress as I did. The TV mounted up high behind my back kept blaring a sitcom re-run, then a CNN program. I looked its way on occasion. Still, in about an hour I wrote 500 or so words in a steno notebook. Having previously studied the key words for this article for search engine optimization, I felt I had incorporated most of what I wanted to. I headed to the house with the article needing only a closing paragraph and editing.

At home, after a simple supper, I keyed in the article, added a photo, and published. This was my first Suite 101 article in a week, and it felt good to be back in the saddle. I then shifted gears to working on my Harmony of the Gospels. I'm pretty much done with the appendix covering the trial before Pilate, so I went next to the passage notes required for passages in that chapter. I actually finished notes for two passages! I think I have two more passages and I'm done with this chapter. Except... I consulted my workbooks, from which I pulled the passage notes, I noticed that what I wrote in the workbooks did not match what I had previously typed in the Harmony. One of the differences was significant, incorporating something in the gospels I had missed in the workbooks. Had I made the changes while typing, or did I have other notes in the workbooks? I searched a little for other notes, but didn't find any. I never got around to indexing the workbooks, so I have no way of knowing if I have supplemental notes in another book (I have three all together for this project, the last one being only 2/3 used). So I spent fifteen minutes indexing that workbook.

The hour was such that I could still afford more computer time, so I spent a little time on Facebook, still trying to learn how to navigate on that site and to use it for a combination of promotion, friendship, and networking. Found two high school friends who didn't show up on the alumni list and invited them to be friends. Last, before leaving the Dungeon for the Upper Realms, I e-mailed a friend a copy of my incomplete novel, In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People. He's a huge baseball fan, and when he visited us in April and we discussed this he said he'd like to read it. Only took me three months to comply.

I concluded my productive evening by reading in Robertson's Harmony of the Gospels (the book at the top of my reading pile), and read one article in a 2008 issue of Writers Digest magazine. Then I went to bed on time.

So, I'm making progress on most fronts. The checkbook is up to date. The budget is up to date. Papers are being filed. Dishes and kitchen are being handled (batching it again). Writing progressing on several fronts. Reading moseys along. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't play computer games.

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