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January 2014
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Scheduling for 2014

Howard just posted his appearance schedule for this year. Most notable: he will not be attending either LTUE or Worldcon because both have direct conflicts with other events. My schedule is much less populated than Howard’s. My currently scheduled public appearances are:

January 17-19 at Legendary ConFusion, Troy, Michigan. They’ve given me some fascinating programming and I’ll likely be spending the rest of my time hanging out where ever the writers are congregating. Though we’ll also spend some time in the Vendor’s room where our books will be on sale.

February 13-15 LTUE, Provo, UT. I hope that I’ll be teaching things there, but I’ve yet to see a schedule. I’ll be running a table in the dealer’s room where my books will be available. I’ll have Howard’s books too. Sharing the table with me will be Nancy Fulda, who is fun and writes things worth reading.

April 17-19 Salt Lake City Comic Con FanExperience, SLC, UT. I’ll likely be there, but I’ll be in full booth support mode rather than author/teacher mode. More details as we have them.

July 3-7 Westercon, SLC, UT. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll get to be on programming or if I’ll be playing support staff. But I’ll be there.

Sept 3-6 Salt Lake City Comic Con. More thoughts on this one after we see how the one in April goes.

Putting together an event schedule is only part of the organization that Howard and I have been doing in the past few days. Howard has come up with a system where he separates his work into creative chunks. The goal is for him to get at least two chunks done per week. This is pretty important because right now we have 102 chunks lined up for the year and more than half of them need to be done by June. Hopefully quantifying the insanity of our schedule will help us actually accomplish most of it. It may work because both Howard and I are motivated by lists.

Howard’s chunk system doesn’t quite work for me, at least not in a straight port across. What I’ve done instead is portion out the hours of my days. I’ll spare you all the hourly details. The part which most closely matches Howard’s creative chunks is that I have two blocks of time per day which I’m declaring to be Project Time. That is ten work blocks per week. At first I’m going to devote 3 of them to warehouse/shipping tasks. I’ll assign the others based on what I’ve got going on. This week I’ve got design blocks and editing blocks. I may discover that I don’t need quite so many warehouse blocks, but I’m still sorting out and setting up over there. Spending some extra time now will have benefits for the rest of the year. Some of those project blocks are going to be given to writing or to doing things which fill my brain with writing thoughts.

At the end of January Howard and I will re-evaluate. This is an important part of setting up new systems and goals, there need to be check points where we decide what is working and what needs to change. Right now, on the first full work day of the new year, things feel good. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. I’ve often found that days 2-5 are more difficult than day one.

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