The title says it all, really.
The time period from mid-August to early November is basically a black hole for me. Aka it's volleyball season. This means I get up at 5:30am to go work out, then I go to work from 8 to 5, then I go straight to volleyball practice, and while that gets over at 7:30, I typically don't get home til nearly 8. Then I have to go to bed early enough (10:00 is pushing it) that I'm not a complete zombie when I get up the next morning and do it all over again.
I keep wishing I was one of those people who could function well on 5 hours of sleep...
Anyway, we've actually got a TON of athleticism this year, which is something we've struggled a little with in the past few seasons. However, we have no JV coach this year; our usual JV coach just had a baby in June and now she's trying to move and sell her house and she's got two other kids under the age of 5 so it was just going to be a wreck for her. Ergo we've been doing staggered practices, with the JVs going from 5 to 6:30 and the varsity going from 5:45 to 7:30. My mom and I work with the JVs and then I go to the other court and get the varsity warmed up and start running them through their ball-handling drills while my mom works on the bigger-scale game situations with the JVs. Then when they're done, we both do game situations with the varsity. It's working out okay so far, but it's absolutely exhausting, and we miss the JV coach just because she works so well with us and is a really neat person and a really good influence on the girls.
We also have no setter this year. The girl who's been setting on JV for the past two years is a junior now...and hasn't gotten any better. Therefore she's still on JV. She and her two friends kinda seemed to think they'd automatically be on varsity since they were juniors this year, and I've always absolutely hated that attitude. Half the varsity roster is made up of underclassmen who are better than they are. So the girl who was our libero last year as a freshman has ended up becoming our setter, and while she does a pretty good job, I know how much she loved being libero and I feel really bad that she doesn't get to continue in that position. She's a really good kid though and I know she realizes that this is where the team needs her, whether she likes it or not. We have another freshman who we've brought up to be the libero, and she's actually got decent setting hands too, so it will be interesting to see if we can groom her a little over the next couple of years. We've got three seniors, one of which is incredibly athletic but a bit of a head case, one of which doesn't have an intense bone in her body, and one of which works really hard but is kind of unpolished and out of control. Then we have one junior who has been on varsity since she was a freshman; she's probably our second-strongest hitter and makes a decent secondary setter, but she's kind of immobile after a knee surgery last year. Aside from our libero-turned-setter, we have two other sophomores, one of which is pretty tall and is a really great blocking presence but is horribly self-conscious and quiet. The other was one of the kids we had swing up for post-season last year and we saw really good things when we had to throw her into one of the matches up at the state tournament. She has stepped up her game and is making a good contribution this year. Then we actually have one other junior (one of that group of three I mentioned) who, I think, is getting a little bit of a wake-up call and realizing varsity isn't all it's cracked up to be (read: just because you're a junior doesn't mean you're automatically on varsity, and just because you're on varsity doesn't mean you'll even get to play). At this point in the season, she's basically an extra body. We're actually talking about moving her back to JV, but then we don't want to take playing time away from the freshmen who are on the verge of being better than she is.
This Saturday is the second of three tournament weekends in a row. Once those are over, things definitely improve. We still play almost every Saturday, but at least games are in the afternoon so we don't have to get up at 6am. We really should be able to do well again this year. There's no reason we should lose to any team in our league, and we were at the top of the food chain at the state level last year too. I'm looking forward to a good season, and this is a pretty fun group of girls to work with.
One of the doctors at work has been reading my books and has invited me to her sci fi book club a couple of times. Turns out the club is currently reading Dakiti
. That was definitely a surprise! Now I feel obligated to go to this next meeting. It should actually be kinda fun to have reasonably deep discussions with people who have actually read the book. I always find it so hard to explain things to people who haven't read it. It might also be an opportunity to sell a couple copies of the sequels. I plan on "just happening to have" my box of books in my car that day
The big multi-author signing at the book trader is coming up in about a month too, so I should probably take inventory and get some more books ordered. I've been working on a few new promo materials that will be pretty cool. I made tiny posters of The Collection
and Forged From The Stars
and I bought some craft foam that I'm gonna use to make Kindle-shaped frames for them (I even found some letter stickers that are almost the exact Kindle logo font). That way I can have them out on the table and be like "Yes these are my books but then I also have these that are just for Kindle." I also made some little business cards for each book -- the fronts have a cool quote from the book against whatever background I used for the covers, and the backs have some of my Covervault mockups with each book's site URL. I actually want to do one more little thing just showcasing that Fracture
are coming along too. It'll be kinda lame to just have the same stock as last year, but also fun to have some extra promo materials. I may not have published anything since then, but I've still come a long way.
Hmm. What else has been happening... (not much since I legitimately only have like an hour at home in the evenings). There are semi-serious talks about getting another dog after volleyball season so Mae has a friend. We would definitely wait just because, as we learned exactly a year ago, volleyball season is a terrible time to get a puppy. And it wasn't so bad with her last year because she was small enough that she'd just run around for a while and then take a nap and wasn't really capable of destroying anything. But now she's full-grown and as energetic as ever, so if she's bored she digs holes and chews up hoses and stuff and then is WAY too rowdy when we all get home in the evening. People have been home to play with her all summer but now that school has started, we leave early in the mornings and have to just put her straight outside. And let me tell you...she's the MASTER of using her big brown puppy eyes to make you feel like the Worst Person Ever when you leave her. Ugh. Such a cutie.
Is everyone excited about the latest Mass Effect: Andromeda news
/ game footage
!!?? It's sooooo pretty.
OH! On that note, I finally caved and bought an Xbox One. I bought Fallout 4 so it could be the first thing I played, but I highly doubt I'll be able to play until after volleyball is over. Last year I stayed up later gaming, but that was before I was getting up at 5:30 to go to the gym. My sister actually bought herself Rise of the Tomb Raider so she could play it on there (I forced her to get her own controller first since she always uses my controller for the 360 -- despite the fact that she has her own for that too -- and whenever I'd go to use it, the batteries would be dead
). It runs really smooth though and I'm super glad to be able to play things on an HD TV now. And so many of my favorite games are backward compatible! Honestly that was the deal breaker between Xbox One and PS4. There are so many awesome looking PS4-exclusive games, but the lack of backward compatibility was a huge turn-off.
Anyway, back to dealing with insane life things.