Stephanie Burgis
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Now that the cold's backed off, my new computer's arrived, and the vacation is decidedly over...well, damn. No more excuses for procrastination, even on the most irritating administrative issues that I've been dreading and putting off for as long as I could. I've spent the last half hour hunting through student loan websites in search of the ever-elusive in-school deferment form (yes, believe it or not, I am still a PhD student, albeit on a medical extension). I found two of the forms well-hidden in their lenders' websites; I found a third that wouldn't download in a readable (or print-able) version (curse you, Sallie Mae!); and I have a horrible feeling that I have another lender from undergrad whose name I've forgotten, but who will still expect either a payment or a deferment form from me soon. And of course the MS Word file I had that tracked all those details never did get backed up from the old laptop...and equally "of course", I didn't even realize that until last night as I was hovering on the cusp of sleep. Remembering it shot me wide awake for quite a while afterwards, though...

Oh well. I predict a long search through our overflowing file cabinet this afternoon. At least the positive side of never, ever throwing out an official letter is that the evidence must be in there somewhere...!

In the meantime, Maya heartily recommends Juliet Marillier's post How to Train Your Writer in 6 Easy Steps (a guide for dogs). She already had all of those steps down, of course, but other dogs might not be as well-practiced yet! Here's one of my favorite bits:
Seating: Establish your place on the chair before your writer sits down to work. She should be restricted to the front edge. Ignore any whining about ergonomics. If she sits down first, jump up behind and push until she makes room for you. Do not give ground. Note: larger breeds should adopt a work position close to, or underneath, the writer’s desk. Cushions and a heater / fan are essential. Shiver / pant as appropriate if these are slow to arrive.

Oh, and the rating mechanism has been fixed on Serendipity, so if you haven't had a chance yet to rate Patrick's story, you can do that now. (The voting box is in the bottom right-hand corner.)

Now back to form-searching...

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