It’s been a while again. Boy, why do I always do this to myself? Or rather, to this journal? I really can’t keep a consistent blog for the life of me, can I? Oh well, I’ll just do what I can.
Anyway, it’s August, and I tried to do Camp NaNoWriMo July and failed, sort of. It’s more like I started to write my novel and realized there’re some fundamental issues with my plot and character growth, so I stopped writing words altogether and went back to the basics of plotting and outlining and wracking my brain trying to solve some serious logistic issues. And I’m happy to say that: well, the kinks aren’t all ironed out, BUT a good portion is going okay, so I’m just going to spend probably the rest of this week to seriously outline the thing before I pick it back up again – this time to finish.
Yes, I’ve decided that the first draft has gone on long enough. I’ve worked on this for at least two years now, approaching two and a half, and I’m just really sick and tired of working on it for now. So I’m going to stop writing it by the end of September, and declare it finished, even if I might be a couple chapters or two short. I will spend October planning something else, for christ’s sake, and for this year’s NaNoWriMo I will be writing another project, because goddamn, my brain is just so tired of thinking about this novel already.
Next year I will of course start second draft, which will (hopefully) be faster and better. But that’s next year. I need a serious, major change of pace, and I’m going to just do it.
The good news is that in May I wrote two chapters, like I had planned.
The bad news is that in May I wrote two chapters, like I had planned the bare minimum. I was aiming for three or four chapters, and only got two done. One I’m horribly unhappy with.
The good news is that it’s June, and I can start fresh. I’m still planning to do two chapters because I know one is going to be ridiculously long and complicated (and probably will be divided into two chapters upon revision). I’m also going to try to write every day instead of the sporadic of a truckload of words one week and zero words the next. Because that a hobby makes but a steady job does not make.
Although if I discover that I just write super bi-polarly and that’s just how my “style” is, then I’ll let it be.
I hope this isn’t too subtle. I’ve been reading E. M. Forster and class is on my mind.
My mother has that same bowl.
That was what Beulah saw when she walked into the Stantons’ living room. Not the fine china, the taffeta curtains, or the fresh yogurt on the kitchen table. It was the plain, almost tacky bowl, one that her mother had kept half-blackened banana in for baking, that drew her attention.
“Hey, you’re early,” Nick came out from the back. “Oh…yeah, that. It’s my Gran’s. Dad wanted to chuck it, said it ‘broke the aesthetic.’ Whatever; I think it’s cool. We had it since forever.” He grabbed the keys. “Ready?”
Have you ever found a new book to read, and checked it out the library or bought it, and wanted to slot a time to read it because you know it’ll be good, and then just never actually find the time to slot it to read it because you keep putting it off because you have a zillion other things to do that needed to be taken care of NOW? Yeah, that’s yours truly, and the kicker is that I checked this book out of the library and I think it’s due in a like a few days, and I haven’t even started.
The book is Howards End by E.M.Forster. I’ve read one book by Forster before, Maurice, and loved it. That book was so good; it’s definitely ahead of its time by like 100 years. So when I read a random article on Vogue about the new series “Howards End” that’s based on another one of his books I thought, well then, time to check this one out too. I read like the first paragraph and went ‘this’ll be excellent too’ and then I never had time to read any further. Ugh.
Maybe I should seriously consider setting aside 30 minutes every day to read? I know that there’re habit trackers that help with that, and would be a good addition to my bullet journal. There’re so many things that I want to/need to read that I’m further behind in my good book backlog than my video games/tv shows backlog, I’m sure. Why does life just feel like a series of things that you try to keep up to get done before you kick the bucket? Hah. That’s a morbid thought, especially for someone as sickly as me. But I think a set time to tackle at least the literary front (not a specific time, just 30 min every day whenever) is a good start.
It’s been forever since I’ve done one. I may have gone super rusty, but here’s this week’s, nonetheless.
There was a pair of rubber boots lying in the gutter outside Janice’s door. One was on its side, slowly being submerged in the downpour. Janice pulled back the curtains. It rarely rained this hard in the valley, especially in the fall. Carl used to always wear those clumsy things in their garden, grumbling about weeds. She suggested buying a newer pair once and he almost blew a gasket. A grumpy man he was, that was evident, but one who had been with her most of her life.
She just turned fifty yesterday. She was not ready to be alone.
I got hooked into a city builder/survival game my husband bought on Steam called “Frostpunk.” It’s like steampunk, but cold, so frostpunk, see? It’s an indie game developed by the same people who did “This War of Mine” (a game that I’ve had on my wishlist FOREVER but just can’t bring myself to buy it, because it’s too fucking depressing!). I played it on Easy because 1) I’m a wuss and 2) my husband played it on Normal and was complaining the whole time about how people kept on dying left and right, so I was like, okay, let me first play it on mild so I can get the hang of it and then we can move onto harder difficulties, alright?
It’s great fun. I sunk some serious hours into it already although I only started playing like 2 days ago. The basic premise is that humanity has died off, mostly, except for this one group of people who managed to make their way north (why would you go NORTH in the northern hemisphere when the world is basically freezing over? Wouldn’t you first try to go toward the equator?) and found this one generator that they have to build a city around and survive on. It’s the Victorian era so it’s heavy, heavy steampunk, with automatons and hot air balloons and clockwork gears – just up my aesthetic alley. If your people get angry enough (and they do, a lot, because they’re starving/freezing/tired/etc.), it’s game over. If hope falls low enough, it’s game over. If your generator explodes because you taxed it too much during a cold snap (that makes people angry and lose hope), it’s game over. Lots and lots of game overs. And people do die, because you have limited amount of medics and limited amount of heat and limited amount of food, and when someone dies the people’s hope falls, which makes them angry, and then it’s game over. And repeat.
I love it. Yes, I’m a wuss, but I started a new game in medium and it’s not TOO bad, BUT I haven’t played that many days in so we’ll see. There’s a “story” of some sort if you reach milestones like after certain days or build certain structures, but it’s just window dressing I feel like. It’s good that it’s there, don’t get me wrong! But the real draw is still the city building. I actually am not a fan of city builders EXCEPT for the survival kind like “Banished”, and now, this.
May 1st. Yep. Camp NaNo is over and I only wrote…very little. Only about 6500 words out of the 20k I planned. Yikes! Granted part of it was because my father-in-law came to visit and that sucked up a whole week of time. Then it was just downhill from there. I took a few days to get back in the groove, then I had some minor writer’s block, then I was insanely busy for a weekend and that set me back to the beginning again. Goddamn, writing really is like exercising, isn’t it? Starting is the hardest part, but it does get easier if you keep up, but as soon as you skip a few days you’re basically straight back to the hardest part again. The trick is to not stop, but, I mean, that’s hard too! Why is life so hard?!
Okay, I will stop whining now. I mean, I do a lot of whining here, so, it’s nothing new, but I will stop for today. It’s a new month. I have a new bullet journal all fresh and beautifully made up. I am starting working right now so I know I can get work done today, at least. Sigh. I like to say one day at a time but really, the way this pattern goes it’s not one day at a time at all. It’s at the shortest one week at a time. So one week at a time should be my new motto. I will meet all my goals this week. We’ll see what next week brings.