Updates for the Week of Jan. 12th

bitmoji_goalsI’ve been quite busy, though I’m not as far along in some goals as I’d like, but I’m okay with it.

I finally finished my antibiotics. This is great for two reasons. One is that I’m tired of being awoken in the night because of the bad taste they put in my mouth. Two is that it’s just in time to celebrate a friend’s birthday tonight with Escape Room fun and drinking.

Goals Progress

French – I did a crazy thing and joined a free course on Coursera that is advanced. Right now, I’m in way over my head and it’s frustrating, but I’m hopeful I’ll understand more by the end of the course. It’s much like how I felt in Statistics in University, only I at least know a little bit of French. By the end of that course, I was able to get 80% on the final exam.

Career – I have an interview next week! If I get this job, I’ll be with the same company, but at a location closer to home, which means I’ll have a little more time for my goals and life. It’ll also mean a return to doing coordination, which is something I prefer doing.

Home – As far as following the official challenge, I’m doing horrible. But I have been making progress cleaning this place up, just not in the order they suggest in the challenge.

The Blood Waitress Club – I haven’t done anything on this in a bit. I really should get back to it and will this week. I kind of forgot about my 250 words a day plan…

Trumpet – I reached out to Adam Zinatelli of the Calgary Phillharmonic Orchestra. There was a story about him that a friend had shared. He had to take time off from playing after having surgery. I asked him if he could suggest a place for me to restart my playing. He got back to me the next day! He suggested I start with lip buzzing and not rush to pick the actual trumpet back up. Specifically, he suggested 5-10 minutes a day until I feel comfortable with the mouthpiece again.

Songwriting – I’m taking a course on this, which is really helpful in managing the frustration of the French course. There are a lot of familiar concepts. Also, homework is partly listening to music, which is awesome.

Lots to do before tonight with writing, homework, and cleaning. I hope you’re enjoying the weekend despite the cold weather.

R~

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Happy 2019!

2010_05_19_giantatsunriseI’m starting off 2019 with an ear infection. It’s not ideal, but it could be worse. I’m thankful for generic medications! When I was finally able to get to a clinic, I had to wait about an hour and a half, which isn’t terrible. I’ve had much longer waits in my youth.

When I last left you, I had a deadline. I met it. Now I’m waiting for the next step to happen.

bitmoji_goals

Goals Progress

French – I downloaded a ton of podcasts.

Career – I applied for a position on the 20th and am waiting to hear more.

Home – I’ve decided to do Clutterbug’s 12-week challenge. This week is the bedroom.

The Blood Waitress Club – I’ve been plugging away at this. It dawned on me that since life is hectic lately, it might be best to give myself a reasonable daily word target of around 250, since I should be able to meet that even on busy days.

Puppy Chow – I’ve made a list of producers and even reached out to one.

Reading – I’m halfway through one book already: Crimes of Grindelwald.

Business – I attended a webinar today and learned some things.

Crisis – I decided I’m going to turn this into a screenplay.

Trumpet – I played once the other day.

The Page & The Magician – I made a list of agents.

FB_IMG_1514131512643.jpgChristmas

Christmas with my family was decent. My dad wasn’t feeling great, so I spent part of it worrying, but he’s going to be okay. He has to change his eating for a bit and has some antibiotics. The drive there was easy, the drive back was horrible. They had plowed the passing lane on my side, but not the main one, so no one could pass.

Christmas with my boyfriend’s family was a little overwhelming. They spoiled me. A lot. They’re really loving people. I guess that’s where he gets it from.

I was pretty exhausted by the end, so we spent New Years Eve binging on Game of Thrones as I got several seasons for Christmas. My ears were bothering me then, but all the clinics had closed, so I treated it with vodka and a warm compress in the interim.

All right. It’s time to do those 250 words.

Happy 2019!

R~

 

Awakening

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

― Maya Angelou

Indeed.

Around 2:00 AM this morning I was happily sleeping away when I was startled awake by my dream.

“Write me down,” it said.

“It’s two in the morning,” I whimpered in protest. “Can’t you tell me about this later?”

It stared at me pointedly.

I gave in because I knew there was no way I would remember it hours from now.

Somehow, I managed to punch it into my phone despite the glaring screen burning my eyeballs in the dark room.

As a writer you can expect to lose sleep as stories grip you and pull you into their world, so you can share them with others. If you choose to follow them that far. Many don’t.

Part of me is annoyed at the loss of sleep. Mostly, I’m annoyed that it’s a new story instead of a piece of the one I’m stuck on. I want to finish my current one before moving on!

Yes it looks shiny and fun like they all do in the beginning.

I have no idea when I’ll fit that one in. I have a deadline for a secret thing coming up that is my next high priority item. I’ll be briefly pausing work on The Blood Waitress Club while I work on this thing. No, I can’t tell you anything about it right now. It may be a long time before I’m allowed to talk about it.

I have a growing stack of other ideas too. It’s not a bad problem to have.

I’ve run into a number of people who want to write, but have no plans to do it until they’re retired. My life is packed and hectic at times because of it, but I figure I’ll be 20 or so years ahead of them.

If you’re a writer, you need to get the words out if only to get the stories to give you some peace.

Tonight’s plan is chores and the current novel. I need to finish the minor edits to figure out where I am in the story, so I can get back to drafting it.

R~

Year End Goals Post

The other day, I couldn’t log into my blog, so I posted on my Facebook instead. Here’s that post:

I can’t access my blogs right now for some reason, so I’ll post here for now.

I’ve been running myself ragged as of late, so it’s no surprise that I caught a cold shortly after getting my flu shot.

Recently, I worked on a short documentary called Bash-Full, which will be screened at Digi60 later this month in Ottawa. I acted in it and used my writing skills to help get it to fit the time limit.

Other things accomplished in 2018:

– Completed a graduate certificate in Scriptwriting with Honours.
– Read 7/10 books.
– First drafts of two plays.
– A revitalized website.
– Transcription work.
– Resume work.
– Restructuring of my business.
– A new job.
– A new relationship.
– A summer internship.
– Several short screenplays.
– Acted as an extra in several productions.
– Renovated my living room.
– Began decluttering my home.
– Took on my first martial arts student.

There may have been other things, but those are the major items. I’m not sure I achieved everything I wanted to, but there were several surprise opportunities along the way.

I’m excited to see what 2019 will bring!

Here is a snapshot of my plans for 2019. It doesn’t include the things I’m sworn to secrecy on, the things I’ve yet to stumble upon, or the things that are in a loose discussion stage, but it’s a decent picture of my thoughts of the year ahead.

One thing I’m not going to do is say that it will be “my year,” as I’ve said that every year and it’s getting a bit silly. I think I’m just going to aim to do my best in everything as a budo practitioner should.

– French: I will learn all the most common words and phrases this year.
– Iaido: I will regularly practice and challenge Sandan.
– Career: I will get a new job after this contract finishes.
– Home: I will finish decluttering and fix up my bathroom.
– The Blood Waitress Club: I will complete a first draft.
– Puppy Chow: I will search for a producer.
– Reading: I will read 8 books or more.
– Business: I will make products for my online store.
– Crisis: I will revise Crisis and enter it into contests.
– Trumpet: I will get my embouchure back.
– The Page & The Magician: I will query agents.
– Relationships: I will work on developing more close friendships and make time for my relationship.
– Self Care: I will find time for pampering myself.

Several of these are already in progress.

It’s with a heavy heart that I say I’m probably going to be posting only once or twice a week. I need more time to get things done.

R~

Thankful Thursday – Abundance

thoughtfulToday was a fantastic day. I was productive right from the moment I opened my eyes. I basically merged data from two apps on my phone, so I could get rid of one of them. Then I worked hard all day. I also heard some potentially good news on the job front depending on how some decisions are made.

At home after, I got some laundry done, made tasty Instant Pot ribs with a homemade bbq sauce, and dug out the Christmas tree from storage.

I got to spend time with my boyfriend.

I even paid some bills.

I’m feeling really fortunate for what I have and the things I’m privileged to be a part of right now.

Shout out to all those who have been there for me lately. You all rock!

R~

Thankful Thursday – Weirdness

thoughtfulThere is a lot of stuff happening right now and I have no idea where any of it is headed, but I’m choosing to be positive and thankful that there is so much potential in my life right now.

I’d write a lengthier post on the subject, but it’s National Novel Writing Month and I have a story to write!

For NaNo, I’m working on The Blood Waitress Club. Right now I’m trying to figure out where I’ve left off as I started it a couple of years ago. I’m loving getting reacquainted with it ❤

R~

Make-It Monday: Getting Started

bitmoji_goalsDuring the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the pleasure of getting to know one martial arts friend a little better and meet his wife. I felt a lot of different things when they told me they read my blog and it’s been helpful for their children who are both pen warriors.

Weird, honoured, and shocked were some of those feelings.

It was also a reminder that writing can have lasting affects on others. The further one goes on this path, the greater the affect on a larger scale.

I thought that a post on getting started is in order. It’s a post for those who enjoy writing and are trying to take that first next step towards becoming more serious about it.

Now, I can’t remember how I first found out about the first book related thing I went to in Ottawa. It was a book signing for an anthology *I think*. It’s a bit hazy as it was around 5 years ago. I know Marie Bilodeau, Geoff Gander, and Hayden Trenholm were there. They were some of the first writers I met in Ottawa. Or maybe I went to something else and met Marie there and she told me about it. Perhaps the Small Press Fair.

Actually, I think that’s what happened? Anyway, around the same time, I met several people who were going to several writing related events and I just kind of started showing up to things and while there found out about more things.

Those things included:

1. The Small Press Fair

2. Book Signings

3. Conventions including Can-Con, Ad Astra, and several others I haven’t been to yet.

4. Prose in the Park (Ottawa’s version of Word on the Street)

5. Ottawa Independent Writers

6. ChiSeries reading series

7. NaNoWriMo

I still go to many of these things, though I’ve been too busy lately and thus a bit too worn down to go to Can-Con this year.

Some other important things about the writer life include self-care and doing anything else that will help you replenish your creative energies. After a long weekend filled with a wedding, old friends, family,  and walking by the water, I was filled with new ideas for new projects and tweaks for those in progress. Stephen King talks about this. He’s been in a band and done a lot of living that helps him have a deep well of ideas to draw on.

I also read a lot of writers craft books. Hooked by Les Edgerton is a good one for the first chapter. The Novel Writers Toolkit by Bob Mayer was also helpful. The Screenwriter’s Bible by David Trottier and Screenplay by Syd Field are fantastic for screenplays.

One thing I do to constantly improve is try to pay attention to whether or not a skill is weak, such as writing dialogue or being descriptive, and I work on improving it. I’ll read craft books on specific skills to learn new techniques to try. It takes a lot to be honest with yourself about your weak areas and some writers don’t ever get there.

At this stage, I’m very interested in checking out The Writer’s Festival.

Now, this particular friend lives in the Peterborough area, so I thought I’d list a few events in the area that may be good starting places:

  1. The Peterborough Writers Facebook Group. I have no idea how active it is, but this would be a place one could ask some questions about the writing scene.
  2. The Literary Tourism page.
  3. Meetup.
  4. The Peterborough branch of the Canadian Authors Association. It’s mentioned in this article on My Kawartha.
  5. The Peterborough Library. A lot of librarians read, but they also write.
  6. Writers Festivals. The Writers Union has a long list of these. The Lakefield Lit Festival is marked as being close to Peterborough.
  7. Colleagues can make a good resource too. Everyone knows someone who writes.
  8. A writing group. I met mine at the Small Press Fair. I feel like it’s good to have an idea of what you need in a writing group before committing though. Some get together and push each other to write every morning. Some gather monthly to offer feedback. Really, they come in a lot of forms. I like my monthly one. We touch base, talk about our goals, and give each other feedback. We have a wide variety of age, political views, and life experiences that I find adds a richness to the experience.

There you have it. I hope this has been worthwhile.

R~