3/9/06: Writing even though I haven’t time to write

Word count: 12063 | Since last entry: 1616

It’s been more than a week since I’ve posted. During most of that week, the day job has kept me hopping with 8am meetings most days, and in the evening we’ve been playing host to house guests Jon Singer, in town for a ceramics conference, and Lise Eisenberg, touring the West Coast after Potlatch. They are both fine conversationalists and the temptation to stay up until midnight or later talking with them has been very hard to resist. So I haven’t been sleeping a lot, and I’ve been writing my hundred words a day only through force of will (I did miss one day, the first day they were both here). With all that going on, posting here fell below the cutline.

A snippet:

Thad’s eyes were icy above the mask. “You shouldn’t even be here.”

“What the hell’s that supposed to mean?”

He started to respond, then cut himself off, waving a hand in front of his face. “No. Never mind. I shouldn’t have said anything.”

“What did you mean by that?” I demanded.

“Never. Mind.” Our eyes locked for a long cold moment.

In the end I was the one who had to look away.

Today I had a “recharge day” at work, during which we took our minds off our usual jobs and did some out-of-the-box thinking about interaction and design. We looked at QuickBooks Simple Start, accounting software for novices, which fell down hard after a good start, then spent a little while sketching out some alternative user interfaces that might work better for that audience. Then we visited a health clinic inside a pharmacy, for insights into finding different ways to serve a user community, and the Build-A-Bear Workshop for a taste of a radically customer-focused experience (we each built a bear — I thought of donating mine to charity but Kate refused to let it go). Finally we toured Target looking for interesting examples of design in consumer products.

Also today I had a dentist appointment. Look Ma, no cavities!

Tomorrow we head off for Seattle again, for a square dance event.

I am so tired.

One bit of news before I fall over: I have been invited to be a guest pro at the Wiscon writers’ workshop. The deadline for submissions is April 1 and details are here.

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