Symphonic Saturday – Jung on Music

music1Rather than spending a large amount of time writing my own piece, I thought I’d share this one I stumbled onto about Carl Jung and Margaret Tilly.

It’s also Cinco de Mayo today, so whatever you do, remember to avoid drinking and driving. It may also be Revenge of the Fifth if you celebrated Star Wars Day yesterday. If you just continued partying, you’ll get your hangover this evening or tomorrow.

And it’s the season opener of the newly formed Ottawa Valley Roller Derby tonight at 5:30 PM at Brewer Arena! I’m excited about this as I no longer have to choose which games to go see ūüôā

Enjoy yourself and be safe.

R~

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Merry Monday: Brief Update

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

Hi, readers!

The weekend was packed. Saw the Rideau Valley Roller Girl travel teams take on those from Tampa Bay Florida on Friday. Ottawa, unfortunately, got crushed but I think they learned a lot. They should be proud anyway. When you’re ranked 60 and you go up against a team that is ranked 17… Well, you have to have some gumption to even try that. Tampa had many phenomenally skilled skaters. Seriously, some of their jammers looked like ballerinas because they were tiny and extremely light on their feet. Perhaps we’ll see the Vixens catch up in the future. Watching Roller Derby on a Friday messed with my brain as it’s usually on a Saturday. When I realized I still had tons of weekend left, well that felt pretty awesome.

Saturday had me at Prose in the Park. The weather was excellent. I should have drunk more water as I felt a little awful at the end of the day after running around in the heat all day. I bought three books. Two are award winning and I’m looking forward to seeing how an award-winning book differs from the rest of the stuff I read. I capped Saturday off with work on my novel.

Sunday was filled with novel writing and a break for Iaido. Partner practice in Iaido was fun though I didn’t really want to be there. It helped with my writing to take the break and get in the right frame of mind for writing battle scenes. It dawned on me while editing that I should change the title and luckily a natural title came to me.

As of this morning, I have two chapters left to edit.They are both of the battles because these are the messiest things to write. I¬†can’t really stick to just one character as they all have to come together at some point. If I stick on one character too long, it gives away part of the rest of the battle. I’m going to print these out and cut each sentence out so I can literally move each sentence around. Sounds silly, but I feel this is the only way to work with these two chapters.

Oh, my word count is currently 66, 594.

This start of this week will be finishing the book and submitting it. Then I get to chill and play video games as a reward. Also, clean my place.

Ciao,
R~

Progress has been made…

Chapter 17 and 18 are done. I’ve been pushing content to other chapters though, so I’m not sure how many more chapters I have to edit. I’m sure it will be okay. Life of a writer, I suppose. I took something into a direction I hadn’t planned, but I think it’s better. I think it causes some necessary tension.

I watched the Rideau Valley Rollergirls Home-team Championship game last night. The first half was close. I was cheering for the underdog team, but unfortunately they didn’t pull off the win. Nonetheless, the game was well worth the ten bucks despite the lack of alligator pit…

I tried a new pho place. I think it’s my favourite. Of course it’s not remotely close to where I live.

I still have a few days before I will hear from my sports medicine specialist as he’s involved with the Pan Am Games. If my X-rays are fine he won’t call. Otherwise I should hear something by Thursday or Friday.

Well I better put my supper away and get to sleep. I have to pay more attention than usual at a project meeting tomorrow as I’m looking after it while my colleague is in Greece.

Ciao,
R~

Plenty of work ahead

It’s a busy week for me. This weekend is an Iaido seminar. It’s a memorial for a man who passed away 10 years ago. His name was Bill Mears. I never had the good fortune to meet him. I’m told he was a gentle giant who helped grow our art in Canada. I’ll likely miss posting on Sunday because of that and I’ll be enjoying my birthday.

Tomorrow I visit the physiotherapist to continue working on my neck, which I injured last year playing roller derby. I hit a woman in my league who was quite a lot larger than me (but that’s not a challenging thing¬†for most people). The thing is, not having been all that athletic prior, I didn’t know that any neck pain no matter how slight should be attended to right away. I woke up a month later with a neck that couldn’t support my head and the pain was excruciating. I’ve come a long way since, but it’s still not fixed. I saw the sports medicine specialist today and he’s sending me for new X-rays and an MRI. I’m hopeful I will be pain free someday.

I continued trying to be a part of roller derby for a long time, but the weight of my helmet and the constant head movements made refereeing impossible. Also the rules changed so frequently, I couldn’t get them into my head at the level needed to be a good referee. It took up too much of my free time and caused me physical pain. I tried to help by doing other things like non-skating official jobs, but the hours spent on concrete made me suffer for days after. So now I just do the fan thing when I can. But it feels weird seeing my old league members sometimes. Like I’ve let them down.I enjoyed watching the RVRG Sirens win this weekend. I wished my old team had tasted victory too. Next time.

It hasn’t been all bad. I’ve been able to put serious time into my writing. I’m now halfway through the edit on chapter 16. I’m getting excited for the next stage, but I’m actually enjoying editing now. I’ve stumbled on pieces I forgot I wrote¬†and some of them are quite steamy. It was a fun surprise tonight.

At least 7.5 chapters to get through editing. Then I can figure out how to get beta readers. Excited, but also nervous as I don’t know what that part of the process looks like. I’m thankful I have experienced writers in my group who’ve gone through the whole thing from first draft to a physical book to sell. It makes it a little less scary.

I’m really enjoying Supernatural. I’m nearing the end of season 4. The best part? It’s an old school show with around 22 episodes per season. They’re on season 10 now, so I have about 150 more episodes to enjoy! I wonder if I’ll be caught up by the time the next season starts…

I noticed I’m more motivated to do household chores like laundry or dishes when I have an external circumstance that is creating a deadline for me like this seminar, a special meeting at work, or a date. At least I’m motivated intrinsically to write.

Alright, I really need to run my dishwasher and it’s not over 30 degrees in here, so it’s a perfect time for it.

Ciao,
R~

Next Goals

I meant to write this post Sunday as my ROW80 update, but I didn’t make it.

I finished the first draft of my book and it has been widely suggested by those with vastly more experience than I to postpone editing for a month and work on something else, so that’s what I’m doing.

I have a couple of other projects on the go, but the one I will focus on for a bit is on roller derby. I haven’t decided what I will do with it. I could tell of my real life experiences in roller derby, or I could do a fiction piece drawing¬†on my experiences. Both are intriguing to me. I think I may turn it into fiction, but include an introduction about my real life experience. Hopefully my writing group will help me figure out the approach to take. Maybe the only thing that matters is keeping it in my writing voice.

Right now my goal is simply to get my old blog posts into Scrivener where I can play around with things. There’s a year’s worth of blog posts there. I usually wrote a post for every derby practice I attended plus random musings on top of the 3 per week.

I’ve retrieved August and September 2013 and entered them into Scrivener. There were some posts prior to the official start of freshmeat that were also added to Scrivener previously. Left to enter:

1. October 2013
2. November 2013
3. December 2013
4. January 2014
5. February 2014
6. March 2014
7. April 2014
8. May 2014
9. June 2014
10. July 2014
11. August 2014
12. September 2014

With approximately 3 blog posts per week, 4 weeks per month, and 12 months, I have around 144 posts to enter into Scrivener. It’s likely more than that given that some months would have had 5 weeks and the extra posts I did when I felt moved to write on the subject of roller derby. I think it’ll be neat to see how many words I wrote on that blog. I figure this goal will take up a good amount of the month break from The Page &¬†the Magician, so April will be the start of editing.

Guitar class finishes soon, so I’ll be figuring out what to do with the lighter schedule. I’m thinking of taking a community course in guitar to go further with it. I think I’m going to take a break from Coursera courses after this one finishes.

I’m also currently hooked on Arrow. I’m not sure what show will be next. I hear Flash and Gotham are good. I may need a break from the superhero thing though, so maybe something different than those like Murdoch Mysteries or some other detective like show.

I haven’t seen enough of the beauty this city has to offer, so I’m going to start doing more things around the city like visiting art galleries, going wall climbing, and checking out jazz clubs. I know those don’t sound like specific or measurable goals, but I’ll make a list of things I haven’t seen and prioritize them.

Ciao,
R~

Complete… Sort of

I finished my first draft of The Page & The Magician on the evening of Wednesday, February 25, 2015. I felt like I wanted to run outside and shout it from the mountaintops. I’m sure lots of people wouldn’t understand and some might have thought I should be taken to a special room with soft walls and ultra bright lights.
It’s the first novel I’ve finished writing, but not the first I have started. One of my other works in progress, Scion, I have been working on for 5 years and I’m still on the first draft. I wrote the first draft of The Page & The Magician in 4 months. I can’t even believe it.¬†I learned a lot about writing, researching, and tenacity during it and that will help me when I get back to my other novel, though it’ll take me a little bit to get reacquainted with that story.
Right now I feel like I need to sleep for a couple of weeks and do a major house cleaning.
I don’t have much time for sleep¬†between roller derby, martial arts, and guitar though. Tomorrow is the season opening bout for the Rideau Valley Roller Girls.¬†It’s happening at Jean Marc Lalonde Arena in Rockland, ON. Our B team, The Sirens, is going up against Montreal’s B team, The Sexpos.
After that, things calm down for a little bit, which is good because I have a costume to work on for Comiccon. I know that’s not until May, but I always leave it too late and don’t get enough time to do anything great. That said, I’m torn between asking for suggestions on parts of it and keeping it a secret. I’m making cardboard weapons and I’m kind of winging it, so hopefully it turns out. The challenge with that is my weapons taper, so I’ve had to “carve” away portions which leave the corrugated portion of the cardboard exposed. I’m thinking I need to cover that with a layer of something like perhaps paper, then paint it to make it look like the material it should be made of if it were real. Perhaps I should look for textured wall paper. That would cut down on the painting need and perhaps be faster…
We’re learning scales in guitar and I’m convinced some of the quiz answer options for the major scales were completely wrong, as in there wasn’t a correct option to choose. On two of the questions, none of the answer options followed the major scale formula. It could also be that my brain needs a break. I’ve been feeling like I’m coming down with something.
Last night was the monthly Ottawa Independent Writers meeting and there was a special guest who talked to us about the art of writing. A Canadian author you may or may not know as he goes by two names. Trevor Ferguson, also known as, John Farrow, gave us pertinent tips to improve our scenes. Things like paying attention to the location while putting together natural sounding dialogue. A phone call doesn’t have the option of body language, so many senses can’t be evoked like they can with a conversation happening on the street. He talked a lot about how authors differ from other artists because there is a greater need to use both sides of the brain. We have to be constantly switching between research and analytical skills to imagination in order to get into a state that allows our characters to write the story rather than us forcing our notes into it.
Some of the things he said made intuitive sense to me, like that everything you do should grab the reader. Instead of a character having a conveniently sudden epiphany, make it so that the reader and the character gradually come to that “Aha!” moment.
He also spoke about the benefits of Third Person Limited Point-of-View in creating tension because not everything is known. I’m generally not a huge fan of third person, but the things he said were interesting and may guide my edits for The Page & The Magician as it is written in third person. I may make it more like the story is in progress rather than already happened. I like the idea that not everything in the story is decided and things could go any way. Keeping the readers on their toes is a good thing.
I’m off to hopefully stop this budding cold before it can take root.
Ciao,
R~

A bad workman…

Today’s proverb is, “A bad workman blames his tools.”

I don’t fully agree with this. There is merit to it as some people just look for excuses to avoid doing something. There are valid reasons to having the right tool though.

Take process mapping, for example. Yes, one can process map by hand or use paper-based methods involving sticky notes (I’ve seen it), but at some point it becomes rather cumbersome to maintain and a realization that the paper could become damaged and a lot of work could be lost, occurs. Sticky notes fall off. Plus, it’s hard to share a very large paper copy with others without them having to come to a specific site to see it. Putting it into a computer-based tool like Visio becomes a necessity. Not all versions of Visio are created equal. Some versions one may spend inordinate amounts of time trying to get something to work, where a newer version lets you document the process in seconds because they constantly improve the tool.

Yes, you can write a novel on paper, in notepad, in Word, or in something like Scrivener. There are benefits to each method. I often start my first scribblings in paper as I have with a recent piece that may or may not become a romance novel. With paper, I often feel like I don’t want too much of it on paper as I’m scared it will be spilled upon or have some other catastrophe occur and I will have to rewrite. Rewriting isn’t terrible as I usually write it better the second time, but there is the odd time I’ve felt that I lost an amazing piece of work (perhaps only amazing in my own mind haha). Notepad is as simple as it gets with a few font options and word wrap being it’s features. I often used to do random notes in Notepad as little pieces of my series that I wasn’t sure where to use. I used Notepad in conjunction with Word because those little notes in Notepad took up less space than they would as Word documents. I was writing in Word for a long time using the outline view option to allow me to navigate through my story without having to scroll through pieces of it. Now I’m finishing it in Scrivener because it’s amazing. I get the benefits of Word’s outline view, combined with the benefits of separate little notes, and a whole host of new features like the ability to take a snapshot of a webpage for citing and referencing. This means that I don’t have to be online to work with my novel if I’ve grabbed the research material beforehand. This also means that I don’t have to take up so much room on my hard drive with pictures of things. I can split the view so I can be writing while having the webpage open in the application. That all being said, I could have finished writing it in Word likely, but it was getting cumbersome to work with and Word is rather prone to crashing.

My point is that there always comes a time where it is necessary to upgrade if getting the job done efficiently is a concern.

The only reasons to stick with old tools are artistic ones or short-term monetary ones. The Woodwright’s Shop on PBS is an example of an artistic or artisan use of old tools. It’s neat watching the way things were made years ago and it’s probably rather enjoyable to be able to take such time and care with each piece he produces. Were he in high demand, he likely wouldn’t be able to keep up using his current toolset. He would need power tools. Still, there is this enchanting element to putting so much care into each piece. He’s not in a rush. He’s truly enjoying his work. How many can say that today? How many times are workers today rushed to complete something and unhappy with their own finished product? Software gets released with bugs and products with extra holes or missing pieces. The world of today is a hurried one. I refuse to take that approach with my novel. Sure, I’ve been at it for a few years, but I’m doing it to my own level of quality. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the first Harry Potter book took 5 years to write, in part because she was planning parts of the rest of the series.¬†Life was likely crazy raising children alone and working whenever she could. I’ve had my own challenges along the way and I’m not worried about it because the time it takes to write it doesn’t diminish the words on the page.

Anyway, I may be getting off topic. I think everyone has tools they prefer for certain jobs. I find it uncomfortable to rollerskate if I don’t have the right socks. Some derby girls can’t imagine playing the sport while wearing underwear. Labeling someone as a bad worker simply because they have a preference for one tool over the other doesn’t make sense to me. They may be exemplary in actuality and know something you don’t about the different tools. Drummers often prefer specific makes of drumsticks and drums. Yes, they can jam with different ones if they had to, but why would you make them? Artists may be at the extreme level of pickiness with their water preferences, brands of paint, guitars, etc, but that doesn’t make them bad at what they do. I don’t believe this proverb is anything more than a blanket statement issued after observing only a small sample. Yes, I can manage to perform my martial art with a longer bokuto than I am used to, but the quality isn’t the same until I’ve had time to get used to the change. I also don’t believe that only rockstars, famous authors, Gotham all stars, or CEOs should be allowed to be choosy with what tools work best for them.

Yes, it may be true that a bad worker will blame their tools, but they’ll also blame everyone else around them and anything they can remotely associate with their poor performance. They’re easy to root out and the rest of us shouldn’t be lumped with them.

I guess this proverb got to me. Sorry if I ranted too much ūüėČ

Ciao,
R~