Day 22: Get It Together, Child!



Skyping into schools always throws off my sense of day. I did three this morning and now I’m all:


Do these things! In this order!

  • Make lunch!
  • Unfuck kitchen from lunch, dining room table, living room coffee table!
  • Shower!
  • Practice accordion!
  • Fill out Random Form 1119946
  • Prep for dinner!
  • Assemble collection manuscript from DISPARATE SCRAPS OF CRAP!



Day 20: The Wind-Up Unfucking Chronicle



I cried uncle in the face of my own stupidfaced anxieties and hired an assistant to come over a couple of days a week and help me get contracts out on the regular, organize my time, deal with receipts and paperwork and respond to emails that stress me out and make me hide under the bed.

An actual boss, she is me.

I feel super guilty about it, honestly, like, I should be able to do it all myself, all the time, surely there’s another 6 hours in the day somewhere so that I can write fiction, blog, teach, cook, keep the house clean, and then do all my own administrative stuff. OBVIOUSLY.

I have a hard time even admitting that I can’t. Or that I’ve left emails in my inbox for a year because I COULDN’T FACE THEMZ even if they were about something small and ridiculous like take a picture of your dog and send it. (Actual email.)

But I guess while I’m trying to unfuck everything all at once I can work on unfucking the weird Puritan narrative that says only lazy jerks have assistants and if I were a good person I’d do it all myself and look awesome while doing it and realize that a whole lot of authors have help because the behind the scenes work in this job is UNREAL.


Still, I’m embarrassed to even post on here that I needed one. Even though all kinds of shit got done today that it would have taken me months to get around to if my psyche didn’t crushinate it into brain-oblivion.

However, due to attempting a juice fast while trying to come up with ideas for things and also recover from my trip to New York I basically had the energy of a dormant gumdrop and lay on my back once my beautiful assistant left, convinced the world was made of grey slime and I likewise.

Beastly talked me into a BLT. I got better. I MIGHT have an idea. Don’t spook it! It’s a baby! INSIDE VOICES.

As for other unfucking, the weekend was mostly a wash, I couldn’t wake up in the morning, I left the bed unmade, I was a zombie. Some of this may have to do with the fasting, which is supposed to give you the MANIC ENERGY OF HEALTHFUL LIVING and turn you into VEGETABLE GIRL now with MOAR POWERS, but because I live in opposite land, three days of creamed veggie juice turned me into a sea cucumber.

Tomorrow I intend to hang pictures on the MOTHERFUCKING WALL, start a novella, and do some casual house unfucking.

I have practiced my accordion every day though. I don’t think I’ll ever get When the Saints Go Marching In out of my head. THE HUGE MANATEE.


Day 17: Mary Had a Little Unfucking

I made my bed this morning! And wiped down the bathroom counters and floor around the toilet while I was washing my face and brushing my teeth and all.

Beastly brought me coffee in bed because he is a rockstar executive husband.

Then I got the laundry into the dryer, made breakfast smoothies for both of us, and OMG SIT THE FUCK DOWN IT’S ABOUT TO GET REAL.


(Shit, I think I actually have Joan’s EXACT SAME accordion! Mine is named Boethius, but hers is probably not named that.)

I started accordion lessons like a year and a half ago, but then I had a BAZILLION books come out and my teacher is only on the island during the summer and I didn’t practice and blah blah blah I’ve let my beautiful red instrument languish.


But I played Mary Had a Little Lamb and Goodnight Ladies this morning, which aren’t syncopated and thus aren’t very hard, but still. I’ve got the right and left hand for The Saints Go Marching In and am trying to put them together, and that IS syncopated, so basically…

But I’m COMMITTING LIKE A DUDE IN A ROM COM to practicing every day this week. Seems easier if I do it first thing in the morning. I LOVE YOU ACCORDION.

It is PREPOSTEROUS that I am an adult, classically educated person and I can’t play a musical instrument. GRANTED, I could have picked something NOT TECHNICALLY A ONE MAN BAND, but SHUT UP the accordion is AWESOME. I have a DVD of lessons, the songs are fairly lame but useful. If I do manage to practice every day for a week I am giving myself permission to buy this shirt. CARROT AND STICK BABY.

So for my next today-trick I will:

  • Brainstorm ideas for my 3 projects what need ideas
  • Make moar progress on the closet of doom (20/10)
  • Open savings account (wibbleterror)
  • Entertain friends who are coming for dinner


Day 16: On the Flipside


I decided to do one of UFYH’s 20/10 thingies—20 minutes of work and 10 minutes of rest. And that led to more and more until I accomplished the following.

I cleaned the kitchen! And the living room!

I took off the ugly pink runners on the french doors in said living room and cleaned the glass (twice, because apparently Simple Green is Not Rated for glass)!

I cooked roasted dijon cream chicken for dinner! We ate it at the table without the TV on like MOTHERFUCKING ADULTS.


And then, dear Reader, I attacked the closet.

Basically, I’d let it get to a point where I couldn’t unpack without broaching the unfreakingodly mess that is our closet. I’ve basically learned to unsee it City and the City style for like six months and, well, this is the result of that FANTASTIC PLAN.


Using my 6’2 husband’s skills at Reaching Things, as well as a Brutal Ninja of Entropy Executioner approach to what to keep and what to let go of, in the space of an episode of Survivor I managed to turn that into this:

Now, it’s not done, there’s still that mess of chaos and the bones of the damned in the back there, but it’s MUCH IMPROVED, yes?

In a rush of victory I put a load of laundry in, unloaded the dishwasher, tidied up after dinner, made myself some green apple, ginger, and cucumber juice, and am now settled down to an episode of Blackadder with my lynxy kitty and two giant hounds cuddled up around me, with my clothes picked out for tomorrow and no immediate housework to do when I get up.



itinerantvae said: Don't despair! You made the post, eventually you'll be able to start unfussing the rest. One bit at a time, with lots of breaks (and music. Is music a motivating thing for you?) and maybe enlist the Beast's help, since he's embraced the concept so enthusiastically? And everyone is allowed bad days, and off days, and bother-it-I-need-a-break days. Think of it like doing a 15-1 in days, instead of 20-10 in minutes.

Everyone’s alternatives to the UF word are kind of adorable.


Anonymous said: I know that anxiety well! (Mine is hooked up to the PTSD train, but, same feelings.) Here is an internet glass of water and cup of tea and bowl of hearty soup and hunk of crusty bread for youuuuu. <3

Man, I need to make more soups! Ooooh, I think I just figured out what to make for dinner guests tomorrow night.


Anonymous said: Dearest Unlocked, do not be sad. Can you do 20 minutes of something? Or maybe 7? Can you just put on some shoes and make the bed? Anything to fight entropy! Make some tea! Tea! Yes tea! Or coffee. You are not fired. Your resignation has been declIned. I mean think of it: I bet you didn't make any seven-year-olds cry today. I did. And I'm eating all the crispy snack food and drinking rewarmed tea. All shall be well again. Yellow daffodils and such. You are loved for who you are. Unfurled

All will be well and all will be well. I started with 20 minutes and managed quite a bit. At almost midnight I am far more at peace with my existence on Planet Earth.


Anonymous said: Hi, girl unlocked! You continue to rock. I am still working towards unfurling (damned autocorrect) my life. Love love love Abbey night. It's destined to remain a dream around here. Ah well.

Ha! I kind of like Unfurling as a profanity-free substitute. Like your life is opening leaf-style and laying out in the sun.


Day 16: Terms of Unfucking


Where I’m back means: hiding in Beastly’s office because it’s the only clean room in the house (he has gotten in on the unfucking craze like WHOA) and there’s nothing to eat and everything is a mess and my Maine coon is all LOOKIT MAH MATS I MADE THEM FOAR YU and emails are piling up wibble wibble hide.

I want to unfuck my packing situation. I hate unpacking and I usually put it off as long as possible. Like, I emptied a bag still packed from OCTOBER to go to New York. Whatever, I’m not proud. (I am proud though, really. Also doubleplus ungood.)

I had this image of Today, of unpacking FIRST and organizing my closet and coming up with ideas for projects that are due in spring and blogging and then little animated bluebirds would come land on my shoulder and tell me woodland secrets.


Instead I’ve been hiding. I took a call from my agent and made my bed. That’s all. I’m having the OH GOD anxiety of so much to do, also what order do you do it in, also I’m STARVIN MARVIN.

So instead of a princess I am this guy.


I’m just still sitting here at the computer paralyzed, and also even making this entry felt like DEFUSING A BOMB on the Effort Scale.

First day home is fired. I’m fired. Is it possible to grow a turtle shell specifically for disappearing in?


unfuckyourhabitat said: But... but... I love Picard! Can we both be Picard? Or I can be Picard and you can be Riker? Or Worf, who is cooler than Riker?

Ok, you be Picard, and I’ll be Guinan, all calm and spooky and shit.