A code in my doze

On Monday my throat felt scratchy and I had a sinus drip. By Tuesday it was a full-blown cold. It’s almost as if my body scheduled its next breakdown for the precise end of the California primary season. I voted for my candidate but, as he had already withdrawn from the race, he of course lost. Wednesday I had another chapter due so even though my cold kept getting worse, I sucked it up and finished it. Then Thursday I lay around sleeping most of the day. Often I get sick when I’m exhausted and sometimes I think it’s my body’s way of telling me to take a rest. Mission accomplished. Today my voice is hoarse and I’ve got a dry cough. I think I’ll have shaken this thing by the weekend. Not too bad as colds go. Definitely not a flu or a bronchial infection. Thank goodness for small favors.
Between writing my book and being sick, that hasn’t left much time for browsing the web lately, let alone blogging. I have continued to keep track of my major activities each day. After I posted my Last Week entry last week, a few people commented to me (mostly in email) that I seem very “busy and productive.” I guess that’s true. I’m always busy although I don’t always keep good track of what I’m doing. I’m not always productive. Sometimes my busy-ness (business?) is taken up by activities and behaviors that don’t produce anything. Writing this book has focused me, though, and sharpened my priorities. Also, I think if anyone logs all their activities and sums them up at the end of a week, they would seem productive. Here’s another:

  • Monday I made sure one of my client’s publishers had all the information she needed to do the crucial word-density calculation required to do the castoff, make a page estimate, and come up with a working size for the book’s typeface. I also started reviewing the pre-developmental edit of Chapter 3 of my book.
  • Tuesday I was mostly sick but I did help resolve a problem with the same publisher and client involving getting a file transfered via FTP (being an agent means being a jack-of-all-trades sometimes: IT support, psychotherapist, diplomat, bad cop, general troubleshooting).
  • Wednesday I completed Chapter 8 of my book and submitted it (although actually, being sick, I went to sleep early, got up again at 5:30 am the next morning and wrapped the chapter up and submitted it around 7:30). I have only one chapter, three appendices, and some frontmatter left to write, although I still have about 25 interviews to do and a lot of rewriting before this thing is in the can. Around the same time, B made our reservations for JazzFest. We’ll be going for the first weekend again this year. We both really need – and have earned – the break. In fact, April is going to be a travel month for me, with a pop culture conference in San Antonio April 7 to 10, then back to the Bay Area for the Waterside conference in Berkeley April 15th-ish, and then to New Orleans for Fest around April 21 or 22 (I forget).
  • Thursday I was reminded that I was running up against the extended deadline to interview some local high school students for the Princeton alumni schools committee. This had been nagging at the back of my mind and I was worried about blowing it, despite the fact that the alumni interviews don’t carry much weight with the admissions committee. I managed to set up interviews with two of my three students. The third had an unlisted number. I got her home number from her high school’s guidance counselor (thank you, Internet), and left her a message. Most of the day, though, I slept, coping with my cold.
  • Friday (today), I completed my review of Chapter 3 and sent it back to my editor and to my peer reviewer. I also completed the two student interviews and filled out their forms. I was never able to get a call back from the third student. Oh well. I’m tired. I hope there’s a new Joan of Arcadia on tonight.

Things I wanted to do this week but never got to: grocery shopping (I’ll do it tomorrow), interviewing Craig Newmark, Seth Godin, and Christopher Filkins for my book (next week), reviewing the pre-development comments on Chapter 4 (this weekend), updating the massive content database I’m compiling for my book’s participants (never?), resubmitting Chapter 4 (probably Monday), checking in with the author’s of O’Reilly’s Extreme Democracy book to see if any of them are available to join a panel on politics and technology at the Waterside conference (as soon as I get around to it), paying my bills (this weekend).
Next week I’ve also got to connect with various contacts made through the Dean campaign, namely the local grassroots group which is meeting Monday night, the national technology task force, and the local Kerry campaign people.