I should have written this post a few weeks ago, but I had to put Memories aside for a bit. I’ve thought about it long and hard, but I still don’t know how the game is supposed to end. So on the advice of my brother, I’m putting it aside to work on some other things for a bit. Hopefully with a bit of distance I’ll be able to figure out where the story is supposed to go.
I honestly feel a bit like a failure. I was really hoping to have the game done by now. But that’s not how it’s going, so time to focus on something else!
Life is pretty busy right now (when is it not?) but over the weekend I pulled out a short story I’ve been wanting to edit for quite awhile. The story was written as part of my NaNoWriMo blob. I originally wrote the story for a friend after his dog passed away, but I never felt right giving it to him (and let’s be honest: it was a super rough first draft that was crap – I wouldn’t want anyone to see it until it’s rewritten and edited). I came up with some editing ideas for the story last March, but never got around to implementing them until today. Even if the story doesn’t stay the way it currently is, I’ve added 300 words (it was originally about 600 words and is now over 900), and it is shaping up a bit (it’s definitely stronger than it was!)
I had a pretty fun couple of hours working on it. First I brought a notebook outside with me (it was a beautiful day!) and started writing. But after a page and a bit, I ended up grabbing my laptop and bringing that outside because I needed to be able to move some things around and expand on other things a bit. I took a break to go for a walk, then worked on it a bit more. I’m thinking tomorrow I’m going to print it out so I can do another editing pass on it (I prefer to edit on paper, at least for the first while – it’s satisfying to mark things I need to change up with pen!)
Life is busy. That’s an extreme understatement. Over the last sevenish months I haven’t been making any time for writing, which was extremely unfortunate. So as my added fourth goal for 2017, I vowed to spend one hour a week on writing. I didn’t do so well through January (I wrote a little bit here and there near the end of the month, plus built that chatbot, which took quite a bit of writing initially). But it’s the beginning of a new month, which means time for a new start.
I started out by writing down an idea I had for a 10 minute play. There’s a theater event called 10×10 here in Thunder Bay which I went to a writing workshop for back in 2015. I didn’t submit anything that year (I was dealing with sorting out my NaNoWriMo blob around that time) and hadn’t really thought much about it since then. But then I had a random idea from work that I wanted to get onto paper. It’s way too late to work on anything for this year (the deadline was back in January), but maybe I’ll get this into shape in time to submit it for next year. We’ll see! It will definitely need a lot of work (and an ending!)
After that, I also finally tweaked my Imezza and Faeriia docs to reflect the work I did on Imezzan magic back in December. Faeriia was an easy edit – the magic on that world will not use the basic elements at all now so I just had to take any reference to that idea out. Imezzan magic is going to be the one dealing with the elements now because it’s way more appropriate there.
I have to say, I’m very happy to have taken the time to do this writing, even though it’s really not a whole lot.
I think my next project is to work on a short story. There’s a local writing contest coming up that I would like to enter. And that would go hand in hand with my goal to write some polished short stories this year!
Happy New Year everyone! 2016 was in many ways a difficult year. But in other ways it was a great year. I started my radio show AND got a permanent part time position at the library. I also just got back from a wonderful few weeks in sunny Florida (pictures forthcoming on Flickr!)
Here’s all the things I wanted to do in 2016:
Finish Tears of the King – failure. I didn’t finish it, but I did work on it a bit more earlier in the year (to the point that I would say 1/3 is functioning and built). I think I made this game much bigger than I should have; it’s going to take me awhile yet to finish it.
Write four polished short stories – failure. I don’t think I really wrote any short stories. I brought a few older ones with me to edit and that didn’t even happen. Oh well.
Take a Lego Picture a month (and actually post it in a timely manner) – failure huh partial success. I took one and posted it relatively on time every month until the fall. I seriously thought this had fallen apart long before then.
Eat healthier – huh, partial success.I started using my dietary scale to make Greek yogurt parfaits with granola (which I love). I’m also a bit more conscious of my portions. Not bad!
Be more active – partial success. I walked a lot over the summer, and a lot over the last few weeks in Florida. Plus last month I went swimming a lot, too.
Read the anthologies I own – failure. I read 4 anthologies or short story collections. One of them was honestly an accident (I didn’t realize The Jungle Book was a short story collection when I started reading it). I also think I’ve read one of the four before (but didn’t realize it until I recognized the final story in the collection). I’ve also got two anthologies on the go right now and haven’t read from either of them in awhile.
Build 1 of my worlds that need building. – this is another partial success. I did spend some time working on another world, but I don’t think I got it to the point where I feel it is ready to work with (the setting is still unnamed at this point, though I have spent some time trying to name it with no luck thus far). Hilariously I also spent a bit of time working on magic in Imezza while I was in Florida; sitting on a beach watching dolphins is sort of the best inspiration for an ocean world! 😉
Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book – failure.
Take apart my NaNoWriMo 2015 blob – success! I succeeded at this back in February! 🙂
Work with Chat Mapper – failure. I have done nothing with Chat Mapper since January 2015 (which was fun though!)
While I didn’t accomplish many of my goals for the year, as I said, I ended up starting a radio show, which has been a great experience! My life has taken me in some unplanned directions, making me a lot busier than I may have previously been. So with that in mind, I’m going to make less goals for this year, but make them things I really, really want to accomplish. Hopefully this way I can keep myself a little more focussed on things now that I have more limited time. So this year I want to:
Read 40 novels. In 2016 I read a lot of shorter things (both graphic novels and short stories). So this year I’d like to focus on longer works. Ideally most of those longer works will come from books I have stockpiled in my house but we’ll see what happens.
Write four polished short stories. I have three worlds built to a point they can be written in/about, and a fourth one coming along okay. It’s time to start using these worlds!!! Plus there’s a short story contest I’d like to enter.
Work on Tears of the King. Ideally I’d like to finish it. But even getting another third built would be awesome!
Those are realistically my most important creative goals for this year. Taking Lego pictures is fun, but I don’t want to bog myself down thinking I HAVE to take them. Chat Mapper hasn’t happened for the last few years, so there’s no point in worrying about it now (but if it does happen this year, that’s still cool). Likewise, I haven’t gotten around to editing any of the NaNoWriMo books I’ve written and they’re not a priority to me at this time (but again, if I do get around to them, that’s great). And I don’t need to do any more worldbuilding, but again if it happens, that’s great (and I already know I have to tweak a few things in my Imezza and Faeriia Google docs thanks to my brief work on Imezzan magic over the last few weeks). I also decided not to bother posting my non-Creative goals here since this blog is entirely devoted to my creative endeavours.
EDIT: I came up with one more goal. Goal #4 is to spend one hour a week on writing. This hour can be spent on Tears of the King, worldbuilding, editing, short stories, novels, whatever. I’ll even schedule it into my week if I have to!
So there we have it – my goals for 2017. Wish me luck as I work to accomplish everything! I’ll do my best to keep this blog updated with my writing progress. 🙂
I apologize. I had every intention of posting last Friday about the writing I did last week. But I ended up going out to the movies after work (and stood around chatting with a few of my friends for about 2 hours afterwards) and ended up completely forgetting. So here’s the info now!
On my actual birthday last week, I didn’t end up doing as much writing as I’d planned. I ended up spending way too much time trying to track down a comic I was 99% sure was by John Kovalic. I was looking for the wrong thing though and had trouble finding it (until I asked him on Twitter and got a response almost immediately – it turned out I was looking for a bus when I should have been looking for a train!) But once that was done, I did some worldbuilding! I decided to work on the world I have creatively been referring to as either “the Centaur World” or “Werewolves, etc” (I think it’s the latter on my Google Drive). I haven’t really talked about it on here, but it’s the world that my failed Script Frenzy attempt takes place in. I chose to work on the bird people who live in the world, too (yes, the world is going to be made up of a lot of half-human beings). They have always been an integral part of this setting, but I needed to figure out how a few more things about them worked. Long story short, the answer is “shut up, they’re psionics, that’s why!” Thinking through their psionic aspect ended up making me really excited about them!
I did that bit of work hanging outside with my cat, writing in a notebook. So later in the week, I ended up meeting up with my brother at a coffee shop for a bit. I started transferring the notebook notes into my Google Drive document. I finally got around to finishing that off on Sunday.
Sunday also brought me to an interesting dilemma. A number of years ago, I had created an awesome minotaur character for a roleplaying game run by a friend of mine. I loved that character so much that I ended up writing a short story about her, trying to bring her into her own world (lol, I tend to like doing that sort of thing – creating characters for someone else’s setting and eventually changing them to a point where they no longer fit into that setting and so jump into one of my own making). When I was working on the NaNoWriMo blob, I did a bit of worldbuilding for this setting, making the note that these minotaurs (they call themselves the Rundarin), would fit on Werewolves etc. But try as I might, I actually can’t get them to fit into this setting. So after thinking about it long and hard, I made the decision to make the Rundarin into the centaurs, rather than having them be minotaurs. I’m a bit sad about the change, but it feels so much better for the setting! I think that as a consolation to the poor lost minotaurs, some of the centaurs will have horns, too (because really, why not?)
Once that was straightened away, I started trying to decide on the other creatures that live on this world, or at least on the part of the world I’ve currently got stories for in my head. One of the major ideas behind this world is that it is made up of creatures who descended from humans and other animals, so there will be lots of half-animal people. I haven’t quite got it all sorted yet, but hopefully I will soon!
This week is my birthday week! A friend of mine’s birthday is the day before mine (he is exactly one day older than me), so we sort of celebrate for two days. Between that and fitting in visiting with other friends and family, the birthday extravaganza is a whole week affair this year. 🙂
For my actual birthday, the plan is to relax in the afternoon (possibly reading, possibly writing. I’m swaying towards doing some worldbuilding…will let you know what happens this Friday!) then go out for dinner and bowling with friends. Last week was super stressful (I had a job interview and later got the job!) Oh, and I have so far failed to mention on this blog that I will be hosting my very own radio show in the near future! I’ll give more info once everything is finalized. But between everything, I figure relaxing is definitely in order!
So I thought that with everything sort of changing in my life (in good ways), today was a good day to talk about those goals I made in January. It is half way through the year, so I might as well see how I’m doing with them!
Finish Tears of the King. I haven’t worked on it in awhile. Will have to get back to it. That being said, I feel like the game is around 1/3 built (and functional!)
Write four polished short stories. This has not happened at all. I’ve had a few times in the last few months where I was going to work on something and it just hasn’t happened. I’ll have to try harder!
Take a Lego Picture a month (and actually post it in a timely manner). I’m on track with this!
Eat healthier. I feel like I’m getting on track with this. Now that the stress is winding down in my life a bit (and after the birthday week) hopefully this will be even more true!
Be more active. I’ve been getting a bit more active lately. Hopefully now that I’ll know my schedule (and mainly be working close to home) I’ll be able to deal with this even more!
Read the anthologies I own. Not happening. I’m on track to read 40 books, but to date I think one was an anthology.
Build 1 of my worlds that need building. Worldbuilding has been happening in my head lately – this may still happen!
Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book. So far this has not been happening. And most likely will not this year. If anything, I’m more likely to go and edit my NaNoWriMo 2011 book thanks to all the worldbuilding I’ve done these last few years!
Take apart my NaNoWriMo 2015 blob. This is done!!!!
Work with Chat Mapper. This has also not been happening. But maybe I will have some time to tackle it later in the year?
So one of my goals has been accomplished, and I’ve made progress on another five. Hopefully I’ll be able to see my way through those ones at least, even if I don’t make it through all ten! Wish me luck as we move into the second half of 2016!
I am super proud of myself – this week I actually finished editing and organizing my notes on Faeriia from my NaNoWriMo blob! When I first started this process of consolidation, I said that I was falling in love with this setting all over again. This is still so true; this setting has a history and characters that are very alive in my mind. Of course it helps that several stories I’ve come up with over the years have all found a home in Faeriia. I may abandon my goal for this year to edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book in favour of either editing the NaNoWriMo 2011 novel (which is now set in Faeriia) or of writing something totally different (again set in Faeriia).
The final Google document is 24 pages long now. Remember the comparison? Imezza is 9 and City of the Dead is 8. That also makes me want to work on Imezza again, fleshing the setting’s history out a little more (although that’s not super necessary; if I write some stuff in the setting, I’m sure it will slowly flesh itself out).
Oh yeah, thinking about goals, finishing this small editing project means that I have officially finished one of my goals for 2016! Goal #9 was to take apart my NaNoWriMo blob, and finishing up with Faeriia means I did just that! This took me a little bit longer to accomplish than I thought it would, but it is done! I guess it’s another reason to be proud of my week. 😀
While I think I’m on track to finish a few other goals, it’s unfortunately the only one I’ve accomplished to date. I haven’t worked on Tears of the King since early May, so it’s time to get back to that.
I was going to spend the afternoon reading, but realized it’s been about three weeks since I posted a writing update and about five to six months since I actually wrote on a Friday. I have about an hour, so why not write?
I haven’t been actively working on anything in awhile. Of course I still have Tears of the King on the go. But I’ve also got to finish editing and organizing my notes on Faeriia from the NaNoWriMo blob. So that’s what I decided to work on today. And I’m writing to the music of Cool Spot (for about twenty minutes anyway) and after that Castle Crashers (but only about thirty minutes worth).
I managed to get through three pages worth of notes during that hour (and found one page that should have been counted off the total back in March), leaving me with only 12 pages of stuff left to go! It felt good to revisit this world after all this time. And even better to get back to #WriteFridays! 🙂
Okay, I’m really proud of myself. Remember when I said I had taken the NaNoWriMo blob apart? At that time, I said my next step was to consolidate all my notes on Faeriia. Well, this week I started to do just that!
All told, I had about 28 pages of notes on Faeriia, and this week I’ve managed to edit and organize about 12 of those pages. And let me tell you: I’m falling in love with this setting all over again! Prior to 2015’s NaNoWriMo, I had a Google Doc on the setting that was ridiculously vague and only 2 pages long. It’s now 14 pages long, encompassing some stuff on the world’s history, various religious beliefs, the world’s magic system (thank you again, Brandon Sanderson – you’re blog posts on magic systems helped me with this once again during NaNoWriMo!), dragons, and daimons.
Still to be sorted: more history (specifically some big wars), the social organization of some of the denizens of Faeriia, and some notes on other denizens of the world, and a few notes on specific characters. I don’t know how much time I’ll have for this stuff, but hopefully I can get it done in the next two weeks!
For comparison, my Imezza document on Google Drive is 9 pages long (but I haven’t thought through the world’s history in the same way as I did with Faeriia) and City of the Dead is 8 pages long (I have some history of the world, but not as detailed as Faeriia’s). So I guess Faeriia is currently my most detailed world. But it’s also the world that several older stories I’ve had from the past fit into, so in a way it’s no wonder it’s so much more detailed.
Oh, I also wanted to mention that tonight was Write NOWW, a panel that was held at a local coffee shop. My brother was the moderator, and it featured blogger Dahl Botteril, comic artist Bry Kotyk, and blogger Leah Wellwood (who are all local people). It was interesting to hear from different local bloggers and my brother did a fantastic job moderating (as usual!)
Ok, before I say anything else, I have had the Meta’s theme from Red Vs. Blue, “(When) Your Middle Name is Danger” by Trocadero, stuck in my head all week. It’s a fantastic piece of music that I’ve listened to quite a bit in the past. But I recently just re-watched Red Vs. Blue seasons 6-8, and yeah. Here it is, for anyone who isn’t familiar with it.
So anyway, this week has been a crazy one with me trying desperately to get everything I need to before I’m off on an adventure next week. My work is sending me on a four day trip to tour the Makerspaces of a nearby city. I’m really looking forward to it! 🙂
Of course, that meant getting the next interview ready before I go, since I’m trying to run them at the beginning of every month, rather than on the second Wednesday of every month (which it was before – that just happened to be the day when the first one was posted, so I went with it). But now I’m pretty much at the point where I just need to pack. I feel bad to be leaving my Merlin (I always do), but he’ll be in good hands while I’m gone.
For the trip, I’m attempting to pack light. But of course I’ll be bringing a notebook two plus my Kindle. I’m currently reading Birdie by Tracey Lindberg, but I’m hoping to finish it tonight or tomorrow because I don’t want to bring it with me (it’s my brother’s book plus it’s hard cover). I want to revise a story I wrote in the NaNoWriMo blob for a writing contest. Unfortunately it’s nowhere near the 2000 words it needs to be, so it’s going to take a heck of a lot of work. Including some background work, fleshing out the characters a bit more and whatnot (not the world, since it’s taking place on City of the Dead). I’m going to take what I have and hopefully do some of that work on my off time while I’m away.
Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, last night was pretty exciting – my friend Scott of Guilty Pleasures Cinema asked me to reprise my role of Death. I went to his place last night to shoot a few lines (Death was off duty, so I didn’t need all the makeup). At the end of it all, we were talking about a movie idea he has, throwing some ideas around. He told me I’ll have to come back so we can actually write some of this up. So I may be involved in a local movie project in the near future! 🙂
So that’s everything. Life continues to be busy, but at least for this week it was mostly a good busy. 🙂
Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, I have been replaying that Youtube link of “(When) Your Name Is Danger” as I’ve been writing this.
I’m rather unexpectedly going to have some more free time in the near future. I’ve been working in a temporary position at the library since August and that ended on Friday, meaning I’m now back to being a casual employee. So now’s going to have to be the time for me to get on top of things!
Knowing that last week was my last with weekly guaranteed hours, I made sure as much as possible of my immediate work writing was done. I interviewed someone for the library’s blog (it’s not a writer this time either! More on that when the interview goes up in a few weeks). I submitted my next article, which will be in the paper on March 6th. Oh, thinking of that, I also had a book review in today’s paper. 🙂 The link isn’t up on TBPL Off the Shelf yet, but it should be there soon.
Of course, rather than work on writing this weekend, I had a big project I was hoping to deal with for my other job. I got a lot of stuff for that done, but it’s probably going to take me at least a few more days to finish up (if I’m lucky – it’s sort of an ongoing project). So while this week is going to be devoted to that, I’m also going to make a point of getting back to the NaNoWriMo blob. I’ve almost got the thing pulled apart, and after playing a bit on Pinterest today I’m eager to finish and get back to writing. There’s a contest I’d like to enter, so I’d like to get working on a story (or more accurately finishing a story I’ve already got partially written from last year)but I don’t want to deal with that until after the NaNoWriMo blob is apart!