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 That's what </a></b></a>matociquala calls it.

I didn't start the Christmas story today, despite it being a tight deadline. Instead I was very very busy with other things, most of which were not writing-related.

One thing was. I sent a query to Storm Moon Press -- letter with <300-word blurb and a "marketing plan" -- which intimidated me until I got their clarification that it only needed to be a paragraph about what social media platforms I was on and whether I was willing to do things like blog tours and interviews (What? You want me to talk about my book? Go on, twist my arm!); a >500-word synopsis; and a partial manuscript. 30% only takes it through Alexander's return -- Caroline doesn't show up until about the halfway mark. While this makes sense tome -- the first half of the book is about Thorne and Rockingham, the second half of the book is about how Caroline changes that -- I'm hoping it's not a problem for someone reading a partial.

However, most of the day was spent testing out the combined capabilities of the Unfuck Your Habitat app and the new Reminders feature on my iPod Touch. In other words: housework.

Now, I am NOT good at housework. I used to brush it off with "I have better things to think about" while actually feeling guilty about not being able to keep things clean and tidy. A couple of years ago, I learned that it was more fundamental than that: I got diagnosed bipolar II and ADHD-inattentive. It was a huge relief, really, because it meant that most of the things I'd been viewing as character flaws were treatable. But it also explained my permanently messy environment: between how easily I get distracted and wander away from projects without cleaning them up, and the depressive troughs that, in bipolar II, are so much more disabling than the manic episodes, during which I can't be arsed to do any housework at all, and then the fact that marathon cleaning to try to overcome the chaos tends to tip me over into hypomania -- yeah, I default to living in a somewhat grubby Pile Of Stuff.And getting the right medications meant I had a better chance of keeping things tidy, but it still didn't teach me HOW to do it.

 So much for the mental health aspects. Anyway, I've discovered that the principles in Unfuck Your Habitat workreally well for me. If you have no idea where to start, you can tap the "Random Unfucking Challenge" and choose whether you want a five-, ten-, or 20-minute challenge. Or you can tell it which room you want to work in, and it'll suggest a task. But the best thing for me? You can make a master task list, and you tell the app what room it belongs to and assign a priority. Then you can sort the list by room or by priority. And when you start a task, it says "ready, set. unfuck!" and beeps at you after 20 minutes and tells you to take a break, and then it beeps again after ten minutes to tell you to get back to work. You can skip the break, but it asks you if you're sure.

And it claims that if you finish everything on your To-Unfuck List, you unlock an achievement.

I don't know if I'll ever get there, because I can see myself adding things to the bottom of the list as the top ones get knocked off. But it's a lot of fun to use. I made a big list Sunday night when I was stuck with insomnia. Since then, I've done about five loads of laundry, which gets me caught up, and I finally got on top of the dishes to the point where I CAN clean as I go. Today? Put my storage crates back under my bed instead of having them stacked next to it, made all my DVDs vertical because it was driving eternaleponine up a wall, cleared off the kitchen table, put all my plastic-sheet-protected recipes back in their zipper binder, and CLEANED THE KITCHEN FLOOR. 

And the Reminders feature? It's sort of a hybrid between a to-do list and a calendar. I didn't set any reminders for future days, but I made a list today, and it lets you put a time on it and it'll beep at you to do it. I didn't do the things in the order I'd put them down, because I had gotten my first good night's sleep in DAYS last night, and I was slow getting started this morning. But I made a necessary phone call, and sent the query, and did the initial test for the 100 Push-Ups Challenge (I'm trying again -- third time's the charm?); cleaned the kitchen floor, made an apple crisp, and made dinner; and I looked up how to make a functional rather than a chronological resume and bookmarked the page. The only things I'd put on today's list that I didn't get done? Sorting the clothes on my chair (the sort of stuff that doesn't necessarily get washed every time, so if you're a messy person like me you put it on a chair instead of hanging it up in the closet again) -- and STARTING THE CHRISTMAS STORY.

I'm probably not starting it tomorrow, either, because we're going to the Big E. My mother would make a disapproving face at me for that -- she deals with the fact that I'm never going to go to services on Yom Kippur again, but she'd probably think that eating my way through a multi-state fair was a bit much. 

Depends how long we stay there. I might take a crack at it when we get home. I won't have to cook or do dishes, after all.
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