Head Stuff

I’m not feeling so hot tonight. Actually, that’s part of it. The weather has been changing drastically over the past few days. It’s now that time of year where it’s quite cold in the morning, but easy to be over-dressed by the evening. It’s both a blessing and a nuisance. Happy first day of Spring!

I have a headache and it’s probably due to the combination of not sleeping well last night, being startled awake at 3:15 AM for a fire alarm that was on just long enough to get us out into the hallway before it being turned off, the caffeine I needed for this morning’s meeting that turned into me presenting on the spot, the stress that comes with it being 7 work days until the end of my contract, and just being generally worn down.

Ah well, I got a bit of cleaning done despite the headache. I also got some spaghetti sauce cooking in my instant pot. I tweaked the recipe some to be closer to what I remember of my brother’s recipe. I’m also not cooking the pasta inside this time because it was a little overcooked before and clumpy. Maybe I have a hunger headache too? If so, that will be fixed soon.

Update: Food and wine have taken care of the headache. Perhaps Netflix as well. The sauce is still a work in progress. It is a little too watery.

Goals Update

French

  • French starts the day after my contract ends. I think I have everything I need for it. I have a duotang, writing implements, dictionary, and bescherelle. I’ve also been using Memrise.

Writing

  • I’m plugging away at my projects a bit each day. I will have extra time soon on these. My top two projects right now are my fantasy romance novel and what I will call a horror short. I need to increase my novel’s word count to submit it. A troubled stranger gave me some ideas in exchange for my ear. I hope he figured out his situation.

Iaido

  • I am sucking here, but I’m also focused on…

Job

  • I haven’t lined up my next position yet. I’m a little worried, but it might be for the best. I’ll let you all know what the next adventure is. In the interim, I have taxes, cleaning, French, writing, and some relaxation to keep me busy while I’m applying for jobs.

Home

  • I also have a few things other than cleaning that I’m hoping to get done soon. I did make a little progress on the cleaning tonight, which makes me happy. Or maybe that’s the wine 😉

R~

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Countdown

So it’s my last week of work. We had our monthly meeting today and everyone got a bit mushy about me leaving. Me most of all.

I have 4 days left and I don’t know what’s next.

Well, I know a few things are on my to-do list as follows:

  1. Taxes.
  2. Apply for EI.
  3. Continue decluttering my home.
  4. Finish draft one on the horror project.
  5. Expand The Page & The Magician.
  6. Tweak and rename Puppy Chow.
  7. Maybe some banking. Definitely some budgeting.
  8. Catch up on sleep, chores, and whatever else I’m behind on.
  9. French class.
  10. Work on other writing projects.
  11. Get back in with my job coach.
  12. Apply for jobs.

I’m sure there is more, but I definitely won’t be bored.

And though I’m sad to be leaving, I’m going to enjoy sleep and a break from the commute.

R~

Adrenaline

Yesterday morning, I heard a noise in my condo parking lot. I didn’t react at first. My bed was comfy and I just figured it was someone tired of shoveling the snow or something. Then I heard it again. I looked out the window and there was a man lying in the parking lot!

I rushed to dress, grabbed my phone to call for help, and ran outside. When I got near, another man came and said he had called for help. I put my hat on the man who was on the ground. He had slipped and likely broke his wrist. I ran in for a blanket to cover him until help came.

I started feeling very nauseous, probably due to not having had breakfast yet, and I was coughing because of exercise-induced asthma, which I kind of forgot about because I never run and haven’t skated much recently.

The police came. I felt faint, so I sat down beside my car for a moment. They helped him into a cruiser and I guess drove him to the hospital.

As I walked inside, drenched in sweat, I felt shaky from the whole experience. And wet from sitting in the snow. I knew it was a bad idea, but I felt like it was either that or faint and I figured choosing to sit was a better plan. I also didn’t stop coughing for quite some time after despite having found my inhaler.

Next I felt chilled. Also emotional. It could have been so much worse! I didn’t check one time in my twenties and lost a neighbour who was like a grandfather to me.

It took me about an hour to stop shaking, but I was still twitching for awhile after. Friends told me I’d probably feel really drained soon, so between all that and the snow I stayed home from martial arts.

I used to play roller derby, so I was kind of surprised at how much the adrenaline affected me. But I guess we trained for that and we didn’t play on empty stomachs.

So I learned to always check out the window when hearing a noise. Also, it might be good to have some emergency supplies on hand in case something else happens in the future.

Goals Update

Writing

I guess the parking lot experience will help me with a current project as I have a character in an emergency situation. I just have to translate what I felt into movie… Just. It’s a project with a deadline and I’m not allowed to say too much about it, but I’m excited!

I’ve also revised my to-do list, so I can know which projects to focus on first. Ones with official deadlines come first. After those, ones that are the closest to done are next. Mostly. I have a shiny new idea that I’m also researching because I can’t stop thinking about it.

French

Registration opens tomorrow, so I’m hoping to get in for my next level of French. If so, class starts later this month and goes into June. It’ll keep me pretty busy as French class has been a lot of work in the past.

Home

I revised this to-do list too. The paper in the living room and a door for my bathroom are my top priorities. Eventually, I’m going to get leather repair for my loveseat and dye it a colour that actually goes with the other things I own. Probably black as there are black stains on it, so it will fix two problems.

Hobbies

I have a few things on the go there too, but I’m not rushing to get them done with everything else I have going on right now. Eventually, I hope to have a little more time to gradually plug away at them though. One of them involves painting my scooter and putting new handles on it. Maybe new wheels eventually too as I saw some light up ones that would be fun with the planned paint job…

Fitness

I’ve finally started using my space gym, otherwise known as the Oyo Double Flex Black Pro; I like space gym better though. I can’t quite make it through a full workout, but some is more than none.

Writing this all down helped me calm down after the parking lot emergency. So did finally watching Incredibles 2. I loved so much about that film including the new math part. I also loved everything they did with the baby.

R~

Back and Wiped

Sorry for not posting for a bit. I was too tired. Work was heavy as we made a big push on the last phase of a project that had me sending out around 100 emails a day for about a week and a half. It was more exhausting than I expected it would be. My brain has felt quite mushy since. Despite this, I’ve been starting some new projects both at work and at home because the ideas won’t leave me alone.

Goals Update

Writing

I finished the Songwriting Course I was taking. I learned a lot and I’m looking forward to using it soon. I’ve been plugging away at a script, but it has taken a backseat to getting my home clean. I have ideas for several more and I feel like I’m in this space where I have more ideas than I can write. Some may be beyond my skill level right now. All of this is frustrating to me.

Phillip Roth said, “The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”

That sums up how I’ve been feeling about my writing in recent weeks. I need to finish something, anything, really soon.

Home

I hate how much things got away from me while doing school last year. I made a lot of progress recently on cleaning up and decluttering. Enough progress that I think I can actually see an end to it in the near future. I’m not enjoying all the dust I’m kicking up and I’m sore from all the work I’ve been doing, but it’s worth it. I got a cabinet for my stereo equipment and vinyl, which has cleaned up a chunk of my living room. I plan to do more cleaning this week, then get back at the writing, and work on my French. Pretty soon I’ll just be down to dealing with the paper.

Martial Arts

I finally made it back to class. This winter has had me in a lot of pain. I’ve switched to standing forms and I’m still sore, but reasonably so. I have to relearn some bits. There were some kata I was fine with and others I wasn’t confident with, but overall it went well. I noticed that since I’m not spending my time grinding my knees into the floor, I can focus more on good cuts and proper grip. My posture still sucks, but I’m working on it.

Well, that’s all I have for now, but I promise it won’t be so long until I write again.

R~

Progress Makes Profit

How do you know if you’re really making any progress? This is why it’s important to have measurable goals. Some things aren’t as easy to measure though. Like whether or not your writing is improving. You can easily measure progress in terms of word count, but that doesn’t equal quality. All it means is that you are getting closer to a completed first draft. And that is a really important step. You have nothing to work with unless you create that first draft. Nothing to improve upon. So any words are better than no words even if all you can manage is a handful.

Some elements are harder to quantify. How do you know your dialogue writing is improving or your ability to write conflict? All you can do is measure against what you wrote before. You can also check it against your favourite authors, but that is dangerous. You don’t want to outright copy their style. You should want to be more than a mimic because your voice is every bit as important as those you idolize. And we often forget that they are far from perfect. Perfect shouldn’t be the goal for us either.

I think it’s hard to know if you’re really improving until you start making some sales. Beta readers can help, but a lot of them are afraid your feelings will be hurt, so they sugar coat or just say they like it even if it’s terrible. That doesn’t help. The readers that help you improve will say things you don’t want to hear. The best ones will say it in a nice way.

Progress also looks like chaos at the start. This is easily seen when getting a home organized. Sometimes you have to destroy what is in place to change the underlying structure before you can have things organized. I experienced this recently when changing out my shoe organizer in my hall closet. Previously, I had a horizontal shoe rack that was taking up the bulk of the floor space. I realized that with a vertical one instead, I could also have space to hide my recycle bin, which would clean up more than just my closet area. First though, it meant things had to get worse before they could get better. They did, and I’m working on the rest, but my recycle bin having a home that isn’t in my dining room feels great!

Writing is like that too. Especially when the editing stages come about. It often feels like it’s getting worse and moving toward hopelessness rather than ever being the way you know it can be. I often feel like the movie in my head is too wonderful to fully express. I expect there is a stage of painting a picture that is like this too. The point is that you have to keep trying to bring that vision about.

Progress makes profit. Profit doesn’t necessarily mean money. It could mean knowledge. It could mean the peace felt in a cleaner living space. Profit could even mean cookies.

Goals Update

Fitness: I did 20 squats and 10 lunges on the weekend. My legs hate me. I’m not where I’d like to be, but at least I didn’t overdo it to the point of having torn muscles. This is a reasonable level of sore post workout.

Shads: I’m making a lot of progress on this project. I’ve honed in on my concept and I’m working with it.

Home: I took some items to donation. I have several new whiteboards to keep track of things better. I also cleaned up my closet. I’ve been focusing on small things, so to me it feels like I’m progressing slowly, but I’m seeing the benefits. Some things have been just putting old hydro bills in with my tax folders and getting them off the floor. No, I’m not normally in the habit of keeping my papers all over the place, but I do create stacks on the floor when organizing to try and get everything together that goes together. I’m going to stop doing it that way though unless I have no idea what to do with something because I get busy and it lingers. It’s better to put things away as I come upon them instead, so it can’t get as messy. I also got my last kitchen drawer back together after about a year of it being apart. It was a fight the whole way, but it’s together. Hopefully I’ll find the right drawer knob for it soon as I can’t remember where I stored that for safekeeping. Isn’t that always the way?

Anyway, I’m going to go relax tonight as I brace for snowmageddon here in Ontario. I hope everyone stays safe!

R~

Slow and Steady

I’m behind this week on my posting. Sorry. There’s been a lot of personal stuff to deal with lately, which is making me exhausted. On the upside, I’ve refined some of my goals.

The Page & The Magician: I want to get this one up to 80,000 words minimum to meet a publisher’s requirement. They almost never take less and I’m not stupid enough to think that I’ll be the exception. I was fearing how to do this without screwing up the flow and plot. I ended up at a cafe on the weekend and ran into a young man who was having a terrible day. He chose to open up to me. Lucky for him I have a social work diploma. Anyway, long story short, I was able to help him figure out what he should do and he gave me some ideas for my writing predicament.

Shads: I made a lot of progress on this screenplay this weekend, so I’m pretty happy about that.

The Blood Waitress Club: There has been no movement on this one, but there definitely will be soon. I want to finish my current draft and get it to beta readers.

Home: My cleaning is coming along nicely. I’m sad I have no idea where the missing puzzle piece is to my completed Wave puzzle. I think it was sticking up too much and I removed it and put it somewhere “safe.” I suppose I’ll have to try and make a new one out of putty or cardboard and paint it to match.

French: I’m doing some online reading and learning as many words as possible. I’m currently going through anything I can find for free that is at the ultimate beginner level. I take about 5 little kid books, write down the words I don’t know, find their meaning, then use them in sentences with other words I know to try and get them into my brain. I’ve learned la perruche, le gland, le maillot de bain, and a few others this week. I have an idea there is a better name for a swimsuit than that in Canada, but at least I have something more than swimsuit to use.

Martial Arts: I’m sucking hardcore at this one. I’ve just had too much else going on and the constant weather changes are making my tendons angry. I’ll be glad when winter is over.

Music: I haven’t been doing enough of this. I think I need to revise my schedule as it’s too packed and I’m getting way less done than I had hoped to. Maybe I just think that out of impatience though.

Gaming: I’m slowly getting this into my schedule. I found a game I’m liking right now, which is Overlord II. You have minions and the goal is to be evil. It’s got a dungeon crawler feel, which I like very much. My gaming credibility is important if I ever hope to write for one. Also, they are a fun way to de-stress. I realized recently that I don’t really like Assassin’s Creed. I felt like a bit of a gamer failure because of that, but my friend Jagtress counseled me through that. You can find her Facebook page here, which links to her blog and her Twitch channel.

Reading: I haven’t done enough of this either.

The new WordPress Online editor is fun. I should have tried it sooner!

Well, I’m off to work on The Blood Waitress Club.

Rae~

Speech is silver; but silence is golden.

According to Encyclopedia.com, this saying dates back to the mid 19th century. It means talking should be a tool that is used discretely. In other words, less is more. More than even the most beautiful words as many of the most wonderful things in life aren’t meant for words. Those things that are simply meant to be felt. Like that awe-inspiring feeling I experienced while standing next to the Rocky Mountains years ago.

So too are many of the saddest things.

It’s a sad week for me. My contract is ending and the people I work with are amazing. I’m going to miss them. There are other sad things, but I’m choosing to leave them off of this blog. Suffice it to say, I have a lot of free time on my hands. Time to breathe. Time to rediscover myself. Time to spend on the activities and people I cherish most.

bitmoji_goals

Goals Update

I’ve made myself up a new schedule that will allow me to accomplish everything I set out to do this year. I’ll also be reducing my time on social media to protect myself, to replenish my energy, and to better focus on my goals.

The Blood Waitress Club: I found my way through my blockage and am getting back on track with this project. Reading about conflict is one of the best things I could have done for my writing at this time.

Home: My cleaning is coming along nicely. There is still a lot to do, but it’s getting better. It’s amazing how much just passing the broom can do to the atmosphere in a room. I’ve been hemming my curtains and putting them up. While gazing at my work later, I noticed that my kitchen curtain rod was hanging significantly lower and it turned out that it was almost falling off the wall, so I fixed it before it could fall on my head. My farm style door track has arrived, so I’ll be trimming it soon. I’ll have to put some rustproofing paint on the areas I cut to help keep it nice before it can go on the wall. I probably also need a piece of wood to attach it to. I haven’t picked up my door yet as I want to check out the ReStore place whose proceeds partly go to charity. Also, I’m not sure it will fit in my little car.

Music: I’ve started doing the lip buzzing. The first night, I just buzzed what ever came into my mind. Things like Rocky, a very poor attempt of a bugle call, and more. I think I’ll structure it better in the future by buzzing along to songs as I listen to them. That way I’ll be working on rhythms more at the same time. It was fun though and I felt like I was getting used to my mouthpiece again.

French: I’m trying very hard to get registered in the next session. The website isn’t the most clear, so this has been a challenge, but I have faith I’ll get through it. The session doesn’t start until the end of March. I plan to do a lot of self work before then to improve in the 2 months until then. I’m following several French pages on Facebook and I don’t let myself share a French meme unless I’m pretty sure I understand what it says.

Job: I’ve been doing interviews. No word yet, but hopefully something soon. I’ll be getting back in to see my job coach soon too.

Sandan: I still haven’t decided if I’m going to do it, but I’m getting my butt back in the dojo starting in February. I have another fitness day added to my schedule to help me lose unwanted weight.

Self-Care: I’ve also been meditating each evening to help me unwind after long days of work and commuting. And I’m making some time each morning to sit with my HappyLight to help chase away the winter blues. With my home getting cleaner, I have space to exercise too. Part of this is also getting back into gaming. It’s one of those things I can lose track of time while doing because I enjoy it so much.

I don’t know what else is coming my way this year, but I’m looking forward to the adventures.

R~