The Underpope’s Physical State: First off, Jennifer and I went and re-upped for Weight Watchers. Losing weight has always been a challenge for me (as opposed to the cakewalk that it is for everyone else in the world, I’m sure), and I’ve never had much success using rewards to act as incentives for myself; I’d always end up buying the toy I wanted for myself anyway, long before I reached the goal weight I’d set.
This time I decided to go a simpler route, using something that I know would really get me going: books. Every five pounds, I get a new book. For my first five-pound loss, I promised myself The Complete Stephen King Universe; and for my first ten-pound loss, Soon I Will Be Invincible, because everyone needs a novel about supervillains and their difficult lives. As of last week, I’d lost 4.8 pounds; not enough for that first five-pound reward. This week, I lost six pounds, for a total of ten, so I ended up rewarding myself with both the first two books. Woo hoo! Of course, I’ve got a huge pile of shame, and I won’t be able to get to these books for awhile, but what the heck. Next will be either The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont (I’ve been wanting this one for awhile), or Interworld, by Neil Gaiman, because, hell, it’s Neil Gaiman. But it isn’t published yet, and may not be published by the time I lose another five pounds.
Of course, there’s the video iPod that I get when I break 200 pounds; and the motorcycle I get when I reach my goal weight (whatever that ends up being).
My jeans are getting baggy again, which they hadn’t been for a few weeks, and this is good but also annoying and a setback on my road toward a more polished, professional image. Even my new slacks (flat-front and not pleated, thanks to all who chimed in on that point) are drooping in the seat a little now. Honestly, I didn’t expect to lose this much weight this quickly. I suspect that the process will slow down quite a bit in weeks to come so that it’s not so much a financial burden.
My lungs continue to give me grief. My pulmonologist gave me samples of Prevacid, on the theory that somtimes gastric reflux can trigger asthma (I wouldn’t have thought so, but it’s common enough so that my doctor has a box full of samples of the stuff, just in case). I think it might be helping, now that I’ve been taking it for a couple of weeks.
My headaches have returned. I thought I was done with them years ago. I need to go back and start reviewing what I did under the neurologist’s guidance: guided mediations, that sort of thing. I think it’s an allergy thing.
The Underpope’s Creative State. I am still stalled on The Solitude of the Tentacled Space Monster, partially because I think I’m overwhelmed by the sheer size of the manuscript and how much work needs to be done on it. My goal is to reach 91,200 words by August 31. It was going to be 90,000 words, but I miscalculated. To that end, I set up a public Google spreadsheet to track my progress; you’re welcome to take a look at it, and call me on my progress if I don’t make it.
I used to have four short stories on my site: "Little Fluffy Wiggletoes", "LTM", "writing down some", and "Joe’s Salvation". I took them down because I’m no longer thrilled with their quality and I’m not sure I want them representing my writing ability. Well, "Little Fluffy Wiggletoes" was pretty good. Plus, the stories were getting very little traffic, according to SiteMeter; except for "Little Fluffy Wiggletoes", which was getting hits from Google searches for young girls and sex. I’m not comfortable with visitors like that visiting my site. I may put it back up; I’m not sure.
Two recent rejections, which means only one sale this year. At the moment, I only have three active submissions. Tomorrow or the day after I’ll put out a couple more, to reach my goal of five active submissions at all times, but at the moment Daikaijuzine needs to take precedence; it’s just about time for my quarterly "Oh crap, the next issue’s supposed to be up in two days!!!" panic. Fortunately we’re still a two-bit webzine. I have dreams for Daikaijuzine, though, involving a print version and maybe even a publishing house way in the future, but such projects would require a touch more discipline.
Hm. And that’s it for today.