Make-it Monday – October Plans

It’s a new month, so some goal tweaking and other changes are in store.

1. Reducing Facebook use: The app has been sucking up too much of my time, so I’ve disabled it on my phone. I’m keeping messenger, but I’ll only use Facebook sparingly going forward.

2. The Page & The Magician: I’m targeting the end of this month to have my edits complete on it.

3. Movie logging: I’m moving away from keeping an album on Facebook related to my movie watching and switching to Letterboxd. I was using Letterboxd earlier this year and stopped for no real reason. I think it’ll generally be less maintenance and I can connect it to Facebook anyway.

4. NaNoWriMo Prep: I’ll also be taking some time to get ready for National Novel Writing Month. I plan to add as many words as possible to The Blood Waitress Club in November.

That’s it for now. I’m hoping some allergy medicine kicks in soon as I’ve got an allergic rash that’s making it hard to fall asleep. I hope you’re having a better night than I am.

R~

Fortifying Friday – Confidence


So, remember yesterday when I was worried about looking like a flake to the heads of the college program I’m trying to get into? Turns out, I already accomplished this. When I went to email them to let them know about my high school transcript snafu, I found an email suggesting I send the written piece directly rather than just through the proper path because the proper one doesn’t get checked frequently and could take a long time to get to them. This email came nine days before and somehow I didn’t see it though it was marked as read. I think I need to do email box cleanup because I’m getting swamped with junk email. 

So what did I do? I admitted I didn’t see it and attached it then informed them of the transcript issue.

Anyway, today I saw a friend had posted about doing another revision on his book before querying again and I realized I do this between every one too. Then I thought, maybe we all need to be more confident in our stories and just keep sending them out. Publishers and agents often reject stories they even enjoy reading because it’s not about the story but how it fits with the rest they publish or represent. Or because they can’t personally relate to it, which is how I feel about Hemingway. I’m not a rich white dude who spends a lot of time drunk or hunting, so I just don’t relate to the content. 

So I’m going to believe in my story and keep sending it out until I find someone who loves it as much as I do. This doesn’t mean there aren’t parts that can be improved upon, but the publisher that accepts it will have me do some edits anyway. Why waste time revising something that is publishable as is, when I could be working on the next story? 

I didn’t get the query out yesterday, but I damn sure will today.

Whatever you’re struggling with, whether it be an art project or a situation, try believing in yourself and see where that takes you. That’s what I’m going to do.

Salut,

R~

Fortifying Friday – With Bated Breath

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I’m in a strange period where there are lots of things that *could* happen, but I’m waiting to see what does happen.

On School

4/5 transcripts have been received by the college. The transcript that is outstanding is my high school one. Perhaps hard to find as I’ve been out of high school for a *few* years. I know the college has received my application as not only have I received a student number, but the program head contacted me to request my written piece, which I had already submitted earlier the same day. Yes, it requires a written piece saying why you’re interested and suited for the program. Hopefully, I’ve convinced them to let me in. Hopefully, my high school stops sucking and finds my transcript… My guess is that mine hasn’t been digitized and they have to search for it. I have a campus tour booked for next week and will ask questions about work study and such.

Romantic Life

I had a lovely date this week with a nice man. It’s refreshing to go out with someone who doesn’t just want to get naked. Conversation wasn’t awkward at all and I had fun 🙂

We’re both busy people though, so who knows when a second date will happen.

Novel

While proposing an article to a magazine, I accidentally picked up a beta reader for my novel. The magazine had asked for a sample of my writing to be included, so I sent the first 50 pages. This is the good kind of waiting.

Article

I’ve submitted an outline for a potential article to a magazine and am waiting to hear if it will be accepted. I’ve been waiting for this magazine to be open for submissions for a while now. Just having the opportunity is exciting!

Finances

Obviously in order to take the year of school, money will be needed. I will likely go into some debt for this, but it will be worth it to get into a line of work that will make me happier. I need to apply to OSAP. Apparently, I can do this long before school starts. I may book an appointment to talk to someone at the college about the finances to get it all arranged or see if I can find out about this while there next week. I know there might be bursaries to help me too. I will need a new laptop for the course. All the books are electronic, which will be a pleasant change from the old days where we had so much to lug around. I suppose I might not need a locker unless I bring workout equipment.

Aunt

As far as I know, my aunt is still hanging on at the time of this posting. They finally found some pain medication she could have, so at least she’s not suffering as much.

 

When faced with circumstances that are out of my control, I look to what I can control, so I’ve been spending time cleaning my condo. Ugh… So much junk to go through! But it’s slowly improving. One day at a time.

I have a short story to get working on for an anthology. I’ve started it. Right now, 8,500 words seems far away, but I know it’ll get easier as I go until I eventually find I’ve completed it. Then I’ll have to edit it. I’m mostly enjoying writing this one.

And it seems like there is always laundry and dishes to do. That might be why I dislike those activities. There isn’t really a way to be done with them.

I also have French to do. I totally meant to catch up this week, but that didn’t happen. I need to find my library card as I have French books to renew! Better go do that before anything else… Have a wonderful weekend filled with whatever makes you happy!!!

Salut,
R~

Fortifying Friday – What Did I Do This Week?

On Thursday, I was preoccupied with an appointment and treating myself to pho. I really didn’t have a lot to post anyway.

This week has been rather relaxed. Well, relaxed for me.

I queried another agent for The Page & The Magician and searched for my next query possibility. It’s still nerve-wracking to click send.

I have an appointment this afternoon with a recruiter. Last night, my activities turned to job searching. EI hasn’t mailed me to say I’m approved. I’m not sure what’s going on there. Hopefully something comes through soon.

I’ve been making progress on cleaning my main living areas. I can see my kitchen counter. I can’t remember the last time that happened. Last year was extremely busy with conventions and seminars. I expect I’ll do less this year given my current income status.

I have a short story to work on this morning and writers group tonight, so I best get out of my too comfy bed and get on those things.

Have a good weekend!

Ciao,

R~

Merry Monday – Challenging Week

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A lot of my weekend was more challenging than I would’ve prefered, but that’s life sometimes.

Videos

Well, I spent a large chunk of the weekend trying to find video software that I don’t hate. I haven’t been successful. This is what I want. Filmora’s easy mode, but don’t force a theme on me or music. I like how easy it is to plunk a photo or two in and then have your main video and then another photo. The problem is that they force music and a theme and then your video is like some kind of animated scrapbook instead of a video and the parts where you are talking are gone. I don’t want to deal with things frame by frame. It’s too much for me to handle mentally, visually, etc. I want something simple, but useful.

And I’m getting really tired of applications that are listed on websites as free, then you download it and an hour into using it a popup informs you that actually it’s a trial. Tell me that at the get go. If your software isn’t free, it shouldn’t come up when someone searches “open source” in Google.

I tried editing the audio on a video, and came to the conclusion it would be easier to redo that video, so I’ll do that eventually once I find the video software for me.

Martial Arts

After my first Iaido and Kendo practices of the year, I seem to have injured my right wrist 😦

Not a good start to the year for martial arts. Hopefully, it heals quickly.

I did enjoy doing the special kata set that involves spinning and such to rid the dojo of last year’s demons. We did them a number of times to be sure we got rid of all of 2016’s badness. I don’t know the name of them. I can’t always understand things people say, especially with the heater running and it being in Japanese.

Job

Still looking for the next job. I can’t say I entirely mind not working during winter though. It’s nice not having to go out every day.

Writing

After talking with a friend, I figured out my short story had the wrong narrator. Suddenly I feel as though I can actually get the thing written. It’s hard to type or write with my wrist though 😦

Perhaps I can at least get a semblance of plot going, so I know what to write when my wrist isn’t so sore.

For now, I’m watching The OA because the dog down the hall won’t stop barking. It barks all day every day, so I left the neighbour a note. Hopefully, he’ll do something other than leave the dog alone all day. I don’t want to have to file an official complaint if I can avoid it.

Perhaps I can at least get another query sent out for The Page & The Magician. It feels good being done the editing as I can focus on writing other things.

Ciao,
R~

Fortifying Friday – Done!

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Editing is complete on The Page & The Magician. Well, until an agent or publisher tells me to fix something. This last revision was about making sure the story flowed, fixing grammar and tense issues, and being clever. In correcting flow, I found some spots where I had thrown something in that either didn’t jive with the story or I forgot to finish something. A package never got delivered, and that had to be fixed. In being clever, sometimes the smallest changes can add so much to a story. After a great conversation with a friend, I added hints that my world was bigger than the immediate story. I also made tiny changes like the species of a flower to increase meaning. As I’ve said before, I write in layers. I don’t know what layers are beyond this. I’ve taken my novel as far as I can alone.

With this complete, I have a little breathing room to tend to things like cleaning my home. Not too much. I have more queries I need to do, of course.

I have a short story I also need to plot out because pantsing hasn’t taken me nearly far enough. After the short story? The Blood Waitress Club will become my focus.

I also have some other skills to work on and an interview to prepare for. French level 3 starts in a couple of weeks as well.

First, I’m dancing and singing some Green Day in the privacy of my condo. Sorry neighbours! I realize my singing is terrible, but I enjoy it anyway 🙂

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend despite the chilly weather!

Ciao,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – First Query

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I submitted my first ever query letter this week. It was hard to describe all the elements of my book in a couple of paragraphs. It’s urban fantasy erotica. I didn’t talk about the sex scenes. They are, of course, part of the story, but there is more than sex going on and I wanted the agent to hear about the basic story and get an idea of the key things that happen. It’s really hard to do that when you’ve spent so much time making sure all the pieces go together like breadcrumbs making a trail. I figured they would guess there is sex in it judging by my putting it in the erotica category. I wanted to tell them the whole wonderful story, but there isn’t enough room nor do they have enough time. I just hope I gave them enough to pique their interest and give me a chance.

I was still holding my breath after I clicked on the submit button. It’s a mix of fear and excitement.

I suppose I should submit to some other agents too. Eggs in one basket and all that.

With martial arts cancelled due to freezing rain, I had time to do more editing.

Yes. I queried before I completely finished my edits. Why? Because I have a background in project management. Knowing that it took me only a couple of days to get through the first half of the book and that they usually take around 3 months to respond, I wanted to get the ball rolling.

There was so much more I would’ve liked to put into the letter!

Yesterday, I continued editing my novel and edited the first draft of a children’s book for a friend. Editing is something I struggled with early on, but now I quite like it. There is set structure and I can just sit down and work without interruption. Well, when there aren’t barking dogs and sirens disrupting my concentration that is. I think editing as a career direction is something for me to look into in a serious sense.

Well, I have chapters to edit, a short story to write & edit, and other novels to finish first drafts on.

Ciao,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Social Media Break

I’m taking a break from social media in December. This is for a couple of reasons.

1. I need a break after all the election stuff and from the constant stream of mostly depressing stories people share.

2. I have things to do around my home like figure out how to pull up peel and stick tiles that have partially pulled up, but are sticky enough that they don’t want to fully pull up. Also organize my closet. Also figure out how to move my appliances out of my way for cleaning and flooring.

3. Christmas parties and shopping for loved ones.

4. I need to finish the edits on The Page & The Magician.

5. I need to finish writing The Blood Waitress Club.

6. I need to figure out distribution for my books.

7. I must determine my next step with regards to publishing The Page & The Magician.

8. December just feels like a good month to focus on friends and family too. So my closest friends, the ones that don’t put drama in my life, will probably see the odd like or comment.

I’ll try to keep posting to the blog, but it may fall behind. Sorry in advance.

Ciao,

R~

Merry Monday – Nightmare

Well, I’ve come to think my rash is a milk reaction as it’s exacerbated by dairy intake. Even goat dairy. 
And guess what?

One of the moisturizers I’ve been using is oatmeal-based. I react to regular oatmeal when I eat it. Oats are not automatically gluten free. They are often processed in places with wheat and are cross contaminated. But not everyone is skin allergic to the foods they are allergic to. 

Of course, I am. Apparently.

I’ve been trying to treat an allergic reaction with another allergic reaction. Talk about a nightmare! No wonder it wasn’t getting better.

Thanks, Murphy. You always got my back.

 I got new moisturizer today as all I had was one tiny hotel bottle.

I’m keep using the antifungal cream just in case, though.

As you might have guessed, I have been sleeping terribly with all the itchy rash business. I’ve also had some pretty terrible dreams.

Despite the sleeping difficulties, I’ve come up with a plan for getting my novel, The Page & The Magician, finalized and published. There are about 12 things I need to do and then I’m going to self-publish and that’s all I’m saying for now. Hoping for early 2017, but we’ll see how the finances and such come together.

It doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to nap before French class this evening 😦

Ciao,

R~

Thoughtful Thursday

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There is a lot on my mind today. Yesterday, I received a rejection for The Page & The Magician, so I’m processing that and trying to figure out the direction I should take with it. Most erotica publishers only do ebooks and if I’m going that route, I might as well do it myself because I want the option of print books for conventions and such. Plus, a lot of my friends actually prefer physical books with signatures.

The job is going mostly well though I’m unsure if I’m completing my work fast enough. I love it though. I often get to work from home often and have a lot of autonomy, which is something I’ve been craving for a long time now. I still have to pay the parking ticket I received on day one. Meetings are going to be shortened slightly so I don’t have to lose half of my day’s wages. YAY! The parking in the area of the Gatineau office is street with a limit of 1 hour. Some spots have 2 hour, but those are always taken.

Every time some progress is made on the planning for the martial arts seminar, something else happens to block it. I spent yesterday trying to get a restaurant booked and no matter how hard I tried it wasn’t happening. The prime choice of restaurant was already booked by a large group. I tried calling our next option, but they must have had their phone automatically hanging up. There was a change room snafu and I ended up having to speak to the custodial staff that will be there on the day in question to get it sorted. The whole thing has been way more complicated than is necessary and it’s partly because their computer system doesn’t allow much of anything. You can request one thing on the permit like just the gym. Everything else has to be added by their admin. If your permit is approved before they add the other things, you don’t get those things. Lessons learned for next year’s seminar… What’s left is with Sempai to finish except for some signs.

My last edits are in on the short story for the mystery shifter anthology coming out soon. I’ll definitely be shouting about it when it’s ready! Researching for a Steampunk romance story and also planning ahead for a pitch to a group I really want to write for. Incidentally, that pitch had me waking up repeatedly last night to scribble some ideas down. I was extremely sleepy but actually managed to convince myself that no-I-would-not-remember-it-in-the-morning and I had better write something no matter how tired I was. They mostly make sense today, so I call that a writer win.

As if that all wasn’t enough, I ponder my love life or lack there of. Because my brain is a jerk sometimes.

Off to ponder Steampunk things combined with Samurai things because that’s how I roll. Also known as possibly having bitten off more than I can chew.

Ciao,
R~