This is a very simple theory. The practice of it is a lot less straightforward. What counts as work? What doesn't count? We've established, I think, that I'm allowed to cook if I'm having at least a bit of fun with it but am not required to cook if it's a horrible chore. I'm allowed to noodle around in my paper journal but not to sit down and draft stories or revise Thermionic Night or type revisions or even deliberately plot stuff. Where the line is there, I couldn't really say, though, when noodling becomes drafting or plotting or whatever. Reading random nonfiction and jotting down ideas is probably fine, but I have not yet made a ruling on reading immediately relevant works. I've been sticking to fiction to be safe, and also because I'm enjoying just having some lazy reading time.
When we talked about having me take some time off, timprov was concerned that I would take this to mean it was catch-up time on non-writing related projects and activities and would promptly overschedule myself in different directions than usual, but still overschedule. So I've deliberately not been doing that. I'm having my by-now-normal lunches with Ceej and dd_b, but other than that, we are playing it mostly by ear. I am playing it mostly by ear, I mean. It's a weird feeling for me, to start to think, "Okay, I'll finish reading Camouflage, and then I'll get in the shower, and then..." and have to stop there, because all of my "and thens" are related to writing. I think it's good for me. Still, I'll be glad to get back to work, too.
Camouflage, by the way, the latest Joe Haldeman, was well-done but not likely to make it into the ranks of my favorite books or even my favorite Haldemans. It was one of those "spark missing" books for me. I'm now reading The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins, and I'm with porphyrin and dlandon: I have no idea why they compare it to Neil Gaiman and Anne Rice on the cover copy. Strange thing, that. But it's very good, has me engrossed, not quite standard fairies, etc. The major shocking revelation so far didn't really touch me the way it touched one of the characters, but I believed that it touched her, so that really is what mattered. And now, back to it, I guess.