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bear by san

March 2017



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twain & tesla

let's talk about stress, baby

First, I'd like to mention that I'm starting a new newsletter, powered by Tinyletter. You can subscribe to it here.

In other news, Scott Lynch and I will be appearing at the KGB Bar in New York City (that's in the East Village) at 7 pm on April 20th. I hope to see many of you there!

Also, I'm working on sorting out new webhosting and a site design for elizabethbear.com. Yes, I know it's down. I've had some hosting issues, and in the process decided the whole thing had gotten unwieldy and needed a revamp. In the meantime, you can find me here, at my patreon, and on twitter.

Now on to the meat of the thing. Imma show you something!

This is my Fitbit's resting heart rate data for part of February through today. So what you've probably noticed is a steep decline from a high of 87 (which was February 18th, the day we actually got the final, formal mortgage approval... five days before our closing) to a low of 59, which was the day after I got my stuff moved, March 22nd. So that's a drop of 28 beats per minute over the course of a month, roughly.

Also I had pneumonia. Did I mention that? It's much better now, and I'm trying to get some cardio conditioning back, since the terrible foot is also behaving better. Let's hear it for cortisone shots. What a difference.

Anyway, it turns out that that level of stress plays havoc with your ability to get anything else done. I've barely written a word so far this year--one short story and a nonfiction piece on Frankenstein for a new ASU edition--and then there's the recovery period. And the recovery period from the con I was at last weekend.

Anyway, I'm starting to get myself untangled from myself, as it were. I have been thinking about how to open a short story and a novella, both of which I started in the wrong place while I was too stressed out to do my job to the best of my ability, and now I have to go back and unpick a lot of stitches. Still, there are no wasted words.

Sometimes I think that one of the things that separates a professional from an amateur is the willingness to just pitch something that isn't working out and start over from scratch. I throw out so many things. Some of them I'm sad to see go, but what I replace them with is almost always better.

Hope all of you out there in radioland are keeping well.


That's a very dramatic illustration of how stressful moving house is.

I haven't been writing for a long while, but I know that with regard to crochet, I used to plough on regardless, even when I wasn't happy with the result. Since I found the courage to abandon a project, rip it back and either do it again better or simply use the yarn for something else, I've finished far more things that I like and actually wear.

I'm hoping that when I finally get back to writing fiction, I can apply that lesson to my writing.
*signs up for newsletter*

Seriously, the insights into stuff we can't see by stepping on a scale, grabbing a tape measure, or looking in a mirror are the biggest part of why I am glad to have acquired a FitBit of my own. RHR, reasonable estimates of caloric burn, and sleep quality tracking are interesting stuff.

I am notably worse off with an *8* BPM jump in RHR; I cannot imagine trying to be both functional and polite with it kicked up as far as yours was. Kudos for being an adultier adult, even under severe systemic duress (data point for comparison: when I had minor surgery, it bumped my RHR by 20% for two days - the chronic stressors you were navigating put that kind of one-time minor trauma in some deep, deep shade).
Wow! I don't have a FitBit so can't track my heart rate, but I was also stuck in home buying hell from January until three days ago. I was sick for almost all of that time with an upper respiratory crud, my attention span was greatly reduced, and I had Swiss Cheese Brain. The day we moved into the new house, it was as if I was 200 pounds lighter. My necks and hips immediately felt more loose and less painful than they had in months -- and that was AFTER moving 60 boxes of books!