Feeling A Little Broken

My plans change frequently lately. But with good reason. I’ve been coming across a number of intriguing opportunities that are more time sensitive than others. Some are too good not to attempt. There are some contests in there and several job applications.

I recently gave an interview, which is also very exciting. An old high school friend had questions about being a writer. Mostly my advice was that having a day job is something many of us need for a long time because it takes a while to get established. I also recommended getting to conferences like Ad Astra to meet other people and learn. There were a few other things specific to the questions he asked, but those couple of things are an excellent place for anyone to start.

I woke up with a sore neck and seasonal allergies. Fun stuff! As such, I’ve been moving really slowly on my home goals. I could do some light things like dishes and move cardboard out of my unit, but not much else.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes
  • Artos Red Script: 2/120 minutes
  • P.A.N. Pilot: 9/44*

*I’m now working on this because the opportunity is too good to pass up. I swear I will finish something soon!

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 90%
  • Laundry: 70%
  • Entrance: 75%
  • Recycling: 90%
  • Mirrors: 2/7*

*There are 3 floor to ceiling mirrors and two sets of closet door mirrors. Remember when I said I would leave the dining room for now? Well, I couldn’t. I figured out what to do with it and reorganized it. This meant washing mirrors before putting things in their new places. I would have done the third one, but I’ve been fighting with my neck. A sign it’s time to change pillows.

French

  • Online: 11.5/30 hours*
  • Class: 15/30 hours**

*Making some progress here now.
**Half-way!

Finances

  • Job: Revised CV*
  • Car Loan: 98.2% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 1.47% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

*And revised again as a recruiter called me about an interesting position. The job fair went well and I was able to give out several resumes. I also had a really good conversation that helped me understand some things. I know I’m being vague. Eventually, maybe I won’t be 😉 I also met with a new job coach. Time will tell on how that is going to be.

Fitness

  • Iaido: 0/2
  • Walking: 0/7
  • HIIT: 0/3

I have been sucking bad on the fitness front, but I’m also feeling broken. My back hurts today. Hopefully, it will be better in time for the May Iaido Seminar coming up soon.

R~

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Leaping Forward

The beginning of this week was about tackling the clutter. There was a pile in the middle of my living room floor on Monday, which has since been taken care of. Also on Monday, I made huge progress on my desk area. After rearranging the room, I basically have a little writing nook in my living room now and I love it!

It felt really Canadian to use “sorry” to obscure the picture of my friend’s son otherwise known as my young buddy.

I also dusted off an old desk top I had under my bed and was able to repurpose it under my TV to hold some cards, CDs, and my turntable care items. My home is definitely getting cleaned up, though I have so much more I want to get to. Much has gravitated into my dining room, but I am fixing the rest first. There are also some network cabling issues to work out, but it’s almost there. And I have a little stand for my tablet, which makes my desk more ergonomic.

I even rearranged my CV and was able to reduce it by 3 pages. There might be further work to do here, but at least I tackled it. Today, I made a number of copies at my job coach’s office in prep for the job fair this weekend. I’ve also been chasing other film related job leads.

Another thing I started was digitizing the mountain of writing notes I have. There’s a large, half full, Rubbermaid tub in my bedroom. I have a smaller bin in the living room I’m using to chunk it up. My cables also have a new home where my video games were living and my games are now with my movies. My consoles and other electronics are also more together now. My music stand has a new home too where it is out of the way, but always accessible.

One of the things I found while decluttering on Monday was a planner I had gotten a while ago, but didn’t make much use of. It’s meant to be a family planner, but I’m using it to track my goals in their own streams. I like that it has a meal lane as that is something I want to improve on. It has a lovely space now opposite my calendar.

I found a number of interesting low cost courses that I signed up for. They are all on-demand and fit with my goals.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes
  • Artos Red Script: 2/120 minutes*

*One of my groups started another month of writing and I decided to start a new project for it because it is the one that is talking to me most though I’ll likely work on my others as well. The aim is 3 pages a day, but other things like reading, researching, etc, count.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 90%
  • Laundry: 70%
  • Entrance: 70%
  • Recycling: 33%*

*I tackled the cardboard.

French

  • Online: 6.25/30 hours*
  • Class: 9/30 hours

*I’m now in the second section of level 1. It’s weird though. Some spots were supposed to take much longer. One lesson said an hour, but it said I took 20 minutes… This is why the hour count is rather crappy. I’m likely going to do far more than the level one work to get the 30 hours. On the upside, it may help me to advance faster?

Finances

  • Job: Revised CV*
  • Car Loan: 98.2% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 1.47% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

*Got resumes printed and have a few other things going on.

Fitness*

  • Iaido: 0/2
  • Walking: 2/7
  • HIIT: 0/3

*I’ve partly been struggling in this section because of when reporting happens vs when I do these things. I usually think of weeks as starting on Sunday like the calendar, but ROW80 has them end on Sunday lol! I’m going to try and resync this area accordingly.

Tonight, I’m taking a break from the house stuff and seeing Avengers Endgame with a friend. I expect tomorrow I’ll likely be back at tackling the clutter and job stuff.

R~

Good Things Really Do Come Eventually

I’m having difficulty believing it, but things are really finally improving around here. I finally made a huge dent in my debt. I can’t explain how much that means to me. I’ve been trying to get back to a certain level for many years now. Life has felt more like a struggle in recent years than it has felt enjoyable. That’s not to say I haven’t had fun, but it has often felt like I was constantly putting out fires in between the fun. Or endlessly renovating for a decade with little to no time left to spend on recovering and relaxing. My to-do lists have been so large I have had little time to breathe or stop and appreciate the sunshine.

Something I’ve noticed about myself as a writer is that I struggle to write when I’m worried about my finances. And there’s a level of home mess I can ignore, but after a certain point it becomes too distracting to focus on my projects.

My home is steadily getting better too, though it feels like the declutter effort is moving at a glacial pace some days. Still, I continue to chunk away at it. When I started writing this post, I was feeling pretty stuck. Until I ended up rearranging my living room. The flow feels better despite the stuff I still have to deal with in the middle of the floor. I have a decent spot to practice sword work where no light-bulbs are in danger. My desk kind of has a nook now and I can see my television from nearly everywhere. I was also able to remove my old bathroom door from the space it was taking up in my bedroom. I also got rid of a bookshelf and took some smaller things to donation.

So I went from stuck to figuring out what part of the problem was and taking a giant leap forward. A couple more leaps and hopefully I’ll be done for a good long while.

Now I have a giant pile of paper to sort through in my living room. That will be a big improvement once removed, but I’m not excited about it in the slightest. Maybe I’ll feel better about it tomorrow, but I need to do some serious resume work this week. If I do just a little at a time though, it might not be so dreadful…

I attended a Shinto Ryu seminar yesterday where I got to swing about a 9 foot long “spear.” I’m just under 5 feet tall, so it was a fun challenge. It was also a new experience because I’m not used to having to worry about hitting a ceiling. I’m mulling things over from the seminar. Perhaps there will be a related post sometime this week or next. It was nice to see my friends and to get away from the piles of stuff in my living room.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: Waiting for the next phase.
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000 words*
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started**
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes

*Right now, I’m averaging about 100 additional words per chapter, which will not make me reach my goal. I’m also reading a book, Scene and Structure, to help me improve in the area of pacing to see if that helps me squeeze out the extra words I need.
**I think this film is too expensive for my first, so I’ll probably have to write several lower budget ones first, but who knows what may happen with the right contacts.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: ?
  • Laundry: ?
  • Entrance: ?
  • Recycling: ?

I bought some garbage bags to help with the declutter effort. Once I get my living room a little more under control, I can deal with the cardboard I need to cut, bind, and take down. I also have some items for donation to take to the car.

French

  • Online: 5/30 hours*
  • Class: 12/30 hours

*Yeah, I didn’t find time for this during Easter, so it hasn’t improved. Resume first as I need to apply for jobs and be ready for a job fair on the weekend.

Finances

  • Job: Researching jobs.*
  • Car Loan: 98.2% paid off.
  • CC1 Debt: 100% paid off!**
  • CC2 Debt: 100% paid off!**
  • OSAP Debt: 1.47% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

*I have a lead that I’m following up on, but it seems to involve phone tag right now.
**YAY!!! I’m ridiculously happy about this one.

Fitness

  • Iaido: 0/2
  • Walking: 0/7
  • HIIT: 0/3

I did an entire day of martial arts plus all the decluttering activity, so I feel like I’m doing okay here this week.

R~

Mixed Feelings Abound

It’s Holy Week for anyone of the Christian faith. Such an awful time for Notre Dame to suffer through flames, not that any time would be acceptable, but it’s extra sad this week. I was happy to learn that much of the art and the organ can be saved. It was simultaneously heart warming and heart breaking to see people gather together to pray through song.

I once owned the Puzz-3D of Notre Dame. I hope one day I can visit the real thing. Notre Dame is an international treasure that millions of people enjoy each year. I hope no more accidents befall it while it undergoes restoration.

I made a bigger mess of my home temporarily. How? I got my TARVA dresser from IKEA. I managed to get the bulk of it finished. Anyway, this is helping clean my place up. Though I’m taking my time on my drawer fronts as I’m making them look like bookshelves for fun. I am not writing the names of books though or I’ll never be done. Besides, what if I put a book on there and later on I decide I no longer like it? The drawers are bigger than I thought, which was a pleasant surprise. This proper dresser thing has put a smile on my face despite all the hard work, of which my body feels the effects.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: First draft submitted.
  • Digi60 Script: Project cancelled*
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,165/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes

*While it’s a little disappointing, it’s not as if I don’t have a pile of other things on the go, so it’s partly a blessing.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 30%
  • Laundry: 66%
  • Entrance: 65%
  • Recycling: ?

My dresser has already helped a ton! It has come with a bunch of cardboard, however, which means my recycling progress has been basically undone.

French

  • Online: 5/30 hours*
  • Class: 9/30 hours

*Need to put in 4 hours to catch up. I’m aiming to get some done on the weekend.

Finances

  • Job: Researching for an upcoming job fair.
  • Taxes: Waiting for my return.
  • Car Loan: 95.2% paid off.
  • CC1 Debt: 23.6% paid off.
  • CC2 Debt: 88.7% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 1.47% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

Fitness

  • Iaido: */2
  • Walking: */7
  • HIIT: */3

*I’ve been doing so much hammering, painting, screw-driving, and lifting with the dresser that I think I’m staying fit regardless. I’ve also been walking up and down the stairs and halls all day catching up on laundry.

It’s early, but I think I’m off to sleep as I’ve worked hard for the last three days and I’m utterly spent.

R~

Safety First!

The story of another sword practitioner online upset and angered me. Their “most qualified” dojo person in swords came back to their dojo with a shinken (a sharp katana) and pressed the tip of the blade near the person’s genitals.

Let me explain a couple of things. We practice with wooden swords until our teacher approves us for our first grading, which is a brown belt rank. To take that test, we must use an iaito (a dull katana – or more specifically one that cannot be sharpened as it is made with an alluminum alloy). We train with iaito from brown belt until we are challenging for our 5th level black. Many years of practice happen in between each level of black.

One of the big deal things is never place your sharp sword in a way that is likely to hurt yourself or another. Safety is important. Hell, we practice pretending our non-sharp sword IS sharp to be sure that when we are ready for a sharp one, we won’t be assholes!

This is akin to pointing a loaded gun at someone. One flinch in the wrong way and that man could’ve have been neutered or worse! There is a large artery not far from the genital area. It could have went seriously bad and what if emergency services couldn’t make it in time?

So if you are ever training in sword and your “teacher” pulls that kind of crap, get a new one pronto. Safety is paramount in sword training.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: First draft submitted.
  • Digi60 Script: First draft submitted.
  • Horror Short Story: 360/7,000 words*
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,165/80,000 words
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes

*I wasn’t sure I’d have room for this, but I do, so why not? If it’s accepted, I’ll make a bit of cash. It’s due in June.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%*
  • Dishes: 30%
  • Laundry: 20%
  • Entrance: 65%
  • Recycling: 70%

*Handsaw acquired, but I may push this to after Easter at this point as it’s heavy, I’m slightly injured, and I want to be able to watch it in case it has issues.

French

  • Online: 5/30 hours*
  • Class: 9/30 hours

*Need to put in 4 hours to catch up.

Finances

  • EI: Complete.
  • Job: 1 application(s)*
  • Taxes: Complete.
  • Car Loan: 95.2% paid off.
  • CC1 Debt: 23.6% paid off.
  • CC2 Debt: 88.7% paid off.
  • OSAP Debt: 1.47% paid off.
  • Mortgage: 14.81% paid off.

*I have a bunch on my radar and am planning to revise my resumes this week.

Fitness

  • Iaido: 0/2
  • Walking: 3/7
  • HIIT: 2/3

All in all, I’m generally pleased with my progress this week. I haven’t gotten everything done, but I’m improving each week.

R~

Curses and Stuff

I think we all have a writing curse. Mine is writing under target. I don’t know why that is. I sometimes wonder if I would do better just writing without a specific target in mind. Perhaps if I aimed for more than the goal, I would hit it dead on? Anyway, it afflicted me last week and I’m hoping to overcome it this coming week.

What’s your writing curse? If you’re not a writer, is there something you do that often involves a similar challenge you regularly face?

At home, I am wondering how I have so much stuff! I remember moving in here a few years ago with very little. I pretty much had a bed and a TV. Maybe life is really about managing your stuff. There is likely a Goldilocks zone for it. Having the right stuff when you need it seems important. Having more than you need is just setting yourself up for more things to maintain when you could be spending your time on more enjoying activities. We’re not all Marie Kondo after all. I’m occasionally watching her TV show to see if I pick up any tips. It’s worth a try…

On the French front, I recently stumbled on an old journal entry from when I was taking Level 3 at the same place. In it, I talked about wanting it to be over and that I didn’t feel up to it anymore after my Aunt Estelle passed away. I’m in such a different place now. I feel like I’m taking it more seriously than in the past. I’m doing my homework and I’m doing extras like watching Call My Agent! and listening to bilingual radio. I even recently started remembering words I’ve already learned, but couldn’t previously like about. My teacher is so different this time too. He really gets us moving our mouths and practicing all the different sounds of the language. I think each word I learn or remember makes me feel more confident too.

Goals Update

Writing

  • Horror Script: 11/15-20 minutes*
  • Digi60 Script: 0/3 minutes*
  • The Page & The Magician: 71,035/80,000
  • Puppy Chow Script: Revision not started.
  • The Blood Waitress Club: 24,092/80,000
  • The Mockumentary Script: 10/120 minutes*

*Scripts are measured in time, not word count. Generally, 1 minute = 1 page.

Home

  • Bathroom Door: 90%
  • Dishes: 30%
  • Laundry: 0%

French

  • Online: 2.5/30 hours
  • Class: 6/30 hours

Finances

  • EI: Application sent.
  • Job: 3 applications
  • Taxes: 0%

Fitness

  • Iaido: 1/2
  • Walking: 1/7
  • HIIT: 0/3

Well that about does it for this post.

R~

ROW80: R2 Check – 2019-Apr-3

On Monday, I got my door. I was stressing so much about how to bring it home. That’s part of the reason I didn’t buy it until this week. It turns out, I was fretting over nothing because it fit inside my hatchback. Getting it home turned out to be the easy part.

Moving it from the car into my unit was an adventure. I got it out of the car easily enough, but it was heavier than my dolly and the wind made everything a pain in the butt. Did you know ratcheting tie downs aren’t put together already when you buy them? Well, maybe some are, but the ones I got were not. So, well I was trying to attach the tie down to itself, the dolly fell and the door bounced, narrowly missing some dog poop. I’m just under five foot tall and the door is around six-and-a-half feet tall. The wind fought me as I reconfigured my dolly and eventually got the door on it once again.

The door is pine, so one side is marred now. That will be the side facing into the bathroom. I was thankful that someone helped me get through our building doors. It wasn’t bad once in my unit, though it did try to fall again.

I drilled the holes for the rollers. I cut the metal track to size and painted it. I began painting the panels on the side facing into the bathroom as I am using those for some art.

On Tuesday, I got the stain for the door and began staining it. I had to return one stain because my whitewash is latex. I got a new latex stain tinted the colour of weathered wood. I put the grey coat on last night, but one spot dried too fast, so I’m not sure what to do with it. Perhaps leave it and put extra whitewash on it? I’m also thinking the outline of the panels on the back needs to be a different colour. Perhaps grey to match? I’ll be painting the insides of the panels as if it’s art hanging on the door.

It’s my first time staining anything and I read pine can be weird to stain because it absorbs it differently than other woods. I’m hoping the white will cover some of the problem areas well. This is the same thing that happens to me with any kind of drawing or painting art. This middle stage where it just looks like hell and can’t possibly be turned into something good. I suppose writing is like that too…

Goals Update

French

I started out strong after class one and got a solid hour of the online work in. I’ve been watching French TV shows and listening to bilingual radio. My door has got me a little off track for more hours this week, but I knew this week would be me settling into my new schedule. My door shouldn’t be much longer and then my other home tasks can be done at a more leasurely pace. I need to do 3 hours minimum online each week. I’ll get it done. I want to be getting more than that in on the regular though. That way it will get done without causing me stress and I can learn more in Level One than is necessary, which pushes me closer to bilingual.

Writing

I’ve done a paltry amount of writing this week, but as I said earlier, it will be happening very soon. When my door is done, I’ll feel a lot better.

Finances

I need to get a couple more documents together for my taxes. I hope I can remember my school login. Then it’s gathering hydro bills. I’m not in a huge rush in case I have to pay. I’d rather pay closer to the end of the month if that’s the case. I shouldn’t have to, but one never knows.

Martial Arts

With my door, I’ve been too sore to go. I’ll get back there soon. I’m aiming for next week on that.

Home

Other than my door, I’m still way behind on laundry and such. It won’t last though. I’m committed to conquering my home. I’m loving my new Ryobi ONE+ drill. Because of gift cards, I haven’t spent that much on my door adventure, which is nice.

Job

I have some leads in this area that I’m working on. I’m not rushing as I have a couple of things I’d like to get done around here like this door and I found it too hard to be working somewhere with a two-hour daily commute and doing renos as a single person while building a writing career. Anyway, I’ll be following up with one such lead later today to see if it’s a fit or not.

Well, I guess that does it for today.
R~