Thanks to everyone who posted or emailed suggestions as to how I should spend my down time. As is often the case, Kristin agreed to listen to me ramble on and on about not wanting to waste the opportunity, then she kindly nudged me in the proper direction. As she always does.
So what I decided to do was to spend the next two weeks at home, taking care of some chores around the house, playing Rock Band 2 and Fallout 3, and getting out on the bike. I've also begun work on the synopsis and character profiles for the novel I've been dreaming up for the past three years. I even put a few hours in this morning on the project and have begun the research I need to flesh it out. This helps keep me busy and productive while I stick close to home in case a project shows up that needs my immediate attention.
It's also important that I do accomplish as much of the preliminary work on the novel as I can these next couple weeks because on November 10th, I'll be heading to a tiny cabin outside of Winthrop, WA (no phones, no television) to spend four nights alone, working on the novel without distraction. The Methow Valley is one of my favorite places to be, and the cabin is right near a small lake and some dirt roads and bike trails, so I expect I'll be able to get a nice brain-clearing ride or hike in each morning then settle in for a productive day of writing. The cabin is only a couple miles outside of town and has a fridge and stove so I'll be able to make my own meals and will likely only need to go to town each day to call Kristin, assuming I don't get any cell service near the lake. I booked the cabin today, there are only two and since it's between the summer and winter peak seasons, the owner expects I'll have the property to myself and he agreed to put a table in the room for me.
So that's it. I'll end up missing the release of Gears of War 2 and will have to catch up with my friends on Xbox Live when I get back, but I think it will be worth it. Thanks for helping me come up with something to do.