27 January 2016

Too many ideas

I have been writing more often in this blog, my new blog, and some fiction ideas. As far as the blogs, I am not sure which I want to focus on yet, so I will be copying posts between the two until I decide which to stick with. The fiction writing is what I want to talk about tonight.

I'm working on a few scenes, adapted and stretched out from D&D sessions my husband and I have been playing. These scenes are a lot of fun to write because they were moments that spoke to me during the game. They are also challenging for many reasons. Firstly, I have to come up with character appearances and setting because those are things we don't always elaborate on around the gaming table. Because no details were given in the moment, I have to provide them out of nowhere. This isn't always my strongest suit. The second challenge is keeping to the source material without using the source material. I need to describe and tweak, for example, the effects of D&D spells without naming them because I don't want to get sued. I currently have no plans to publish any of these small scenes, but see no reason not to plan for it either.

Then, there are the random ideas floating around. I have about half a dozen of these and some of them have been sitting untouched and unstarted for months. One idea I got tonight has some potential because I took some storytelling aspects that I like reading and decided to put them in a story. I haven't settled in to write it yet, but that's tomorrow's goal. 

I've also been teaching myself some new languages (Spanish and French) on Duolingo. Things are going slowly, but moving along well. What new venture are you trying? How do you make a decision when there are too many options?

24 January 2016

Today, my brain didn't work right

This morning, I was scheduled to work an opening shift - and my alarm didn't go off. I woke up an hour late, quickly got dressed, and got in the truck. Once I got to work, I saw that the store was already open. One of my co-workers had misread the schedule and thought he had the opening shift. I explained my lateness and showed him the schedule. He then offered that we switch shifts, giving me the day free. I agreed.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I returned home, having been awake and moving for less than twenty minutes. This had to be the moment my meds kicked in because I remembered why I had requested the opening shift today. It was my father's birthday party this evening. And, now that I had to work the closing shift, I would miss the get together.

I did more than mentally kick myself as I called Other Mom and made my apologies to Poppa. My parents understood, of course, but it didn't stop me from feeling lousy about the whole situation. When I got to work for my closing shift, the miserable feeling continued. Yes, I was beating myself up, but not (as much) about the missed party.

Instead, I was miserable due to my new schedule. After working tonight til 10:30 pm, I have to be up tomorrow and at work by 7:30 am. Yay. -.-

All of this I blame on two things: technology and my ADD. Technology is to blame because my alarm did not go off. My phone shut off while on the charger last night. Kicking myself number one. ADD is to blame because I forgot about the party that my family had made sure to arrange around my work schedule. Kicking myself number two.

Yeah, it has been a fun ADD day. Hoping tomorrow will go better. Stick around to find out.

Have you ever forgotten a big, important event at the last minute? How did you cope?

19 March 2015

Ideas lead to ideas

Life is going crazy. I am dealing with stress at work and trying to plan my wedding at the same time. The ceremony is in May. Two months and change to get everything figured out. Yeah, I think I am going a little nuts.

I finally finished fighting with the insurance company at work and, hate to say, lost the fight. My health insurance is now coming out of my own pocket. Not cool, but necessary.

I am also getting back to my writing. Sitting in the break room at work, I was roughing out a chapter for my current WIP when, inevitably, I got another idea. So, while working on my current big project, I will be jotting down notes for a side project. If I can pull it off, things should be interesting. If I can't pull it off, at least I am writing again. There is never a time that doesn't feel good.

What is a long lost project you have come back to? What are you working on that's new?

21 January 2015

Pursuing my passion

Whatever writing bug has bitten me, I am thrilled to announce that my drive has not lessened. With the internet down, a lot of my work was put at a stand still for the moment. Of course, the internet malfunction also means I don't have a lot to do with my down time but write. I love productivity excuses like that!

Right now, I have a decent number of projects going. I'm continually adding to my novel in progress. I'm working on some short fiction and some articles. These days, if I'm not working or cleaning, I'm writing - and it feels great!

13 January 2015

There's some news

Oh yeah. I started a story forever ago over on my writing blog. There is all of one entry over there. Maybe I should add to that. Whoops.

Well, I am slowly getting back to my writing and my blogging, as evidenced by this entry. Honestly, I'm loving it. The tedious hard work part of it is kind of agonizing as ever, but that's because I have to make myself work. Once I get started though, I just feel this instant release. I am so happy I am finally back to writing. Not only am I back to my writing, but my boyfriend is fully supporting me. I swear he has asked me three times today how many words I have written. Until now, I had to admit that my count was at zero. I got in from work, kissed him on the cheek, cuddled for a minute, and now here I am, typing up a blog post.

My biggest piece of news, other than the writing (do I ramble about it enough?) isn't official news yet. My sweetheart and I are trying to buy a house about fifteen minutes from where we live now. It is the next town over and a little bit of a commute for both of us, but that's not so bad. Especially since this house will be ours as opposed to a rental.

The house in question is next to his aunt and uncle and across the highway from my grandparents, so we have a small support system out there. We will also own a few acres of land. My sweetheart is really interested in homesteading and living off the land, so that is what we hope to establish out there. Right now, a lot is riding on hope. And the waiting is killing me.

Is there something you are waiting for that you want terribly? Have you recently recaptured a dream or set a goal? Tell me about it.

09 January 2015

Setting goals - again

I love writing and I want to write more. This blog has heard it all and then some from me. So here I am again writing about wanting to write. Not only do I want to write but I'm hoping I can find ways to make money by writing. Freelance work does not pay a lot, I know, but a girl's gotta start somewhere. Before I can dive into the freelance world, however, I need to cultivate better writing habits in myself. I need to write more. Here are my goals and my plans to accomplish them.

Goal: two blog entries per week minimum. This entry is one down, one to go.

How it will happen: coffee. No, I am not just talking about the drink. I go to coffee at least three mornings a week over at my grandma's. This is sort of an event, lasting at least two hours (8am to 10 am or so.) I should be able to crank out easy writing while I am here visiting.

Coffee time is also part of my plan for completing goal two. I plan to finish (first draft) at least two chapters on my current work in progress per week.

The above goals should have me writing three days a week at least. To fill the empty time, I am looking at a third goal. I want to write a story for Princess Emma. My goal is a completed first draft manuscript by the end of next month.

Up next, the addendums. Well, there is only one right now. While at coffee, I am allowing myself to write from my phone as long as 1. I write at least 100 words (this number will go up in the future) and 2. I verify with someone else there that I am not just goofing off online, posting to reddit, etc.

Finally, the consequences. At present, thanks to a lucky hand at poker, my boyfriend owes me backrubs. If I fail at my two blog entries/chapters per week, he will get one backrub removed from the total he owes me. Can I think of any other consequences? Not really.

I am sure there will be more goals and rambling and such here later. Watch for it. What goals have you set for yourself?

01 November 2014

Thoughts on writing (or Hello again!)

I recently got my typewriter working properly and have loved using it. The following is the first piece I wrote on it.

There is something wonderfully tangible about typing on a typewriter. The tool hearkens back to writing in its earliest days. As I am learning, it is not the easiest feat. Challenges aside, the simple tangibility is wonderful. There are sounds you can only achieve from a typewriter. The weight of the keys under my fingers, the pressure and precision required to hit the correct keys at the correct time, is so different So wonderfully different. I wonder how Steve might have felt about this process.

He was fond of word processors, which, at their core, are simplified computers. I can not wait to type things out and learn the joy and frustration of editing my work by hand, one page at a time. I wonder how many pages I can type on this old thing once November arrives.

I have a very important bet/challenge going on with my mother and Nessa. We are all taking part in National Novel Writing Month. Whomever writes the most cumulative words by the month's end gets a free meal of their choice, paid for out of the loser's pocket. With that bet, my mother also has publishing contacts that are willing to take her manuscript. Upon completing my own manuscript, I intend to use these same contacts, but it hardly changes the facts. After four years of doing PR and reviews, my mother has contacts and connections I do not. I suppose I'm a little envious, but such is human nature.

My plans for this November are to write out Aracayn Darkwood's story as my boyfriend Josh relayed it to me when he ran a Dungeons & Dragons campaign last fall. I have felt, on rare occassions, like this is unfair. After all, I did not come up with the story on my own. On the other hand, the main character is entirely mine. Either way, this is the story I have resolved to tell - the one he gave me. Such a wonderful gift.

Aside from the obstacle of schooling my mother, I am struggling with other challenges I will face this fall. For one thing, I have not achieved 50k words within a thirty day time limit in the past three years. I also have more responsibilities at work. I am going to see about requesting some vacation time, but do not know if the company will allow it. The idea of several consecutive days off is nice, but I know I would leave my coworkers in something of a bind. Is my writing worth that to me? Ha. Such a silly question. If it were not worthwhile, the question would not be there. Well, I suppose this is giving me more practice on this old thing as well as getting me in the habit of writing every day. November, here I come.

My typewriter needs a name. Think on this.

14 March 2014

On being pushed

Yes, life is pushing me. All things considered, this pushing could be coming in a more positive way, but cest la vie.

I know it's been a while since I have blogged. Some of that is due to time constraints. Some of it is due to the sheer repetition these entries would have if I did blog. Today, however, I need to get this whole mess out of my brain and off my chest.

Since graduating from college, I've learned a lot about myself - namely that I'm able to hold down two jobs for (currently) over a year and a half. At my full time job, I've had my schedule changed almost constantly. I've been given a few raises. I've been moved to other positions (and then lost them when someone else was hired on to fill the spot) and different shifts. I've done all this with very few complaints, just trying to do my job to the best of my ability. I've been promised promotion to a management position. That hasn't happened yet. In fact, I've been bypassed for promotion twice. I've also been promised a raise substantial enough that I can work just one job. That also hasn't happened.

At my part time job, I was hired to work Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday. My schedule has remained consistent with only two exceptions: inventory and Christmas. Even when we lost one of the four employees we have there, my manager did not change my schedule because she knew I had another job. She also made adjustments when I had to be at job 1 at 5 am, letting me leave an hour early.

Today, I was told that Friday's schedule has been permanently changed from 7am-2pm to 7 am-4 pm. This is the shift I usually work. The problem? I have to be at job 2 at 3:30pm. If I get the schedule adjusted to 4pm instead of 3:30:

1. a (admittedly small) cut in hours - at a job where I make just over minimum wage.
2. going straight from one job to the other, which has the potential for lateness every week (and leads back to point 1)
3. zero time to eat between shifts.

It also, in my opinion, isn't fair for me to ask this of my manager because it was made clear when I was hired that I was needed on three specific days and specific hours. Those hours have remained constant the entire time I have been there. Changing them, adjusting around job 1 permanently like that... it just doesn't strike me as fair.

I've been asked by many people which job I prefer. The simple fact is this: I can not choose between them because I need the income from both locations. I prefer one no more than the other. But now, I'm caught in the middle of the two places again, trying to do my best by both my managers. I can't get pushed like this anymore. I just don't know what to do to make this work. Something's got to give.

28 June 2013

Rambling about reclamation

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything here. It's actually been a while since I've written, but I'm putting a stop to that today. So many words have been silenced, stoppered up inside me as I tried and failed to make time to write. No, wait - "tried" and "failed." Yes, that's better. Why the air quotes? Well, it's pretty simple.

I've had the time and the opportunity, so "trying" to make time isn't an issue. Instead, I was filling my spare time with other stuff, less important "priorities" that shouldn't be as high as they are on my list. Worse yet, my subconscious has been sending out signal after signal. Don't believe me? Take a look at the list of books I'm currently reading.

-Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers
-Rules of Thumb: 73 authors reveal their fiction writing fixations
-30 Steps to Becoming a Writer
-Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction, and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life

Yeah, a lot of the time my subconscious has to communicate with me in horrendously obvious ways. It's sort of like passing a sign that says "caution: falling rocks" and then getting hit by a three ton boulder.

It's weird and wonderful how I feel right now. Even typing out this random blog entry, this stream-of-consciousness things that's really not talking about much of anything, I feel so free. This feels right.

I call myself a writer. It's time I re-claim that title.

I always seem to pick bad times to do this as far as my personal calendar goes, but oh well. Camp NaNoWriMo's July session starts in just a few days. Inventory at one job will keep me insanely busy for the first week, including two back to back fifteen hour days, but all that should be over by the eighth. This year, for Camp, I'm writing about two characters who I've been writing for for almost ten years. I'm not sure yet what's going to happen to them, but I know I'll love every minute of it.

Have you re-claimed anything lately that made you feel free, more like yourself?

12 March 2013

Tired

Today, I'm tired. Now, this isn't tired in the sense of not getting enough sleep. I'm actually getting more than I think I need since my body is not used to the time change yet. I do good to roll out of bed by eight with my body thinking it's only seven. Still, I'm tired.

I've been working two jobs for nearly ten months. And I'm tired. I'm tired of the day to day grind. I'm tired of having no real free time. I'm tired of spending more time awake at work than I spend awake at home. I'm tired of working on every day that ends in 'y.' I'm tired of having no money or, on the flip side, having money but not letting myself spend it on little things so that I won't have no money. I'm tired of having no time to work on personal projects I want to see fulfilled. I'm tired of having no time to work on things like the blog or my YouTube channel or my writing. I know I have a certain quality of life in that I am in a nice apartment, I have food and clothes and all my basic needs taken care of, but some days it feels like that's it. And I'm tired of it.

I'm tired of having little time for any creative endeavor. I'm tired of having less time to even read a frigging book. I'm tired of never knowing when my next day off will be or if I'll get one. I'm tired of knowing I have to keep doing all this because of the paychecks. I'm tired of wondering if I'm even going anywhere with either of my jobs. I'm tired of just spinning my wheels.

In short: I'm tired.

There is no further point to this post, no moral or nice ending to try and change my mood, no attempting to look on the positive side of all this because I'm just too tired to do it. Today, by virtue of a required meeting as well as my eight hour shift, I will be working an eleven hour day - twelve if the meeting runs long and I can't zip home to get food. I'd better go get breakfast. Thanks for reading.