January 22, 2019 · 11:00 am
Well, like the title says, I didn’t do a whole lot of writing over the last week.
Friday was my biggest writing day. I worked on a few posts for Sustainably North – I wrote one about the Ukrainian Christmas celebration my family and I have (and how this year we all made gifts instead of buying them, which was fantastic), then a few of me taste testing some milk alternatives (an introduction post and a post about soy milk). So that was good because I’m a bit ahead with the blog again.
Then after that, I spent a bunch of time just generally getting caught up on things. I went through a whole bunch of emails on Sunday. I finally took down most of my Christmas decorations. I repotted one of my violets, which was actually a double plant; I split them apart and put them in new soil together, so I’ll have to wait and see how they do (they haven’t been doing well in the pot they were in, so I’m hoping this will help!) Then I tried to clean up my lucky bamboo, which for reasons unknown has been turning yellow. So far it’s just been the leaves that have been turning; at a friend’s advice, I got a water filter and gave it filtered water instead of tap water. Hopefully it will like that better!
Here’s a before and after picture of my Lucky Bamboo.
Then yesterday, I tried sitting down to write but it just wasn’t happening. So after reading a book for a while, and watching some Youtube, I decided to start scanning some old documents and notebooks. I’ve been meaning to do this for quite awhile. So even though I didn’t get anything written, I at least felt somewhat productive. Plus that made some room for a few books that have been piling up around my place (they were mostly gifts from Christmas that I just hadn’t found a place for yet).
So even though I didn’t get any writing done, I hope that decluttering all of these papers will help give me the mental space I needed to write more this week. 🙂
August 1, 2018 · 9:39 pm
Sasha passed away really early on Monday morning. I was visiting my parents on Sunday and when I went to say goodbye to her that night, I knew it was going to be for the last time. I’d been over a few times that weekend and she very rapidly deteriorated over those few days. It was very very hard to leave her (my mom told me to go home because Merlin needed me, too; my mom stayed with her all night so she didn’t pass away alone). Me, my brother, and his wife all went to my parents’ on Monday afternoon and we buried her in their backyard (she’s a fair distance away from Tink, which I think she will really appreciate – she never liked him in life and I’m sure she wouldn’t want him very close in death either). She will be missed by us all.
Filed under Updates
Tagged as cat, Sasha
July 24, 2018 · 4:18 pm
*sigh* Every time I think I’m doing a good job keeping up on this blog, something seems to happen and I disappear again.
This time it’s Sasha. She’s not doing very well. She’s been living at my parents’ place for almost seventeen years (she just turned 17 last week! But we got her once she was a few months old so she hasn’t lived there quite that long).
Sasha and Me
Many years ago, my mom and I had a talk about where Sasha would live once I moved out. We agreed that she would stay with them; she was probably around 10 already and had lived her whole life in their house. So when I moved out I was able to adopt Merlin while Sasha stayed in her home.
We’ve long been joking that Sasha will live to be like 30. She loves her people, but hates almost anyone who comes to visit the house (she actually will go to the door when visitors are leaving to make sure they go!) She’s also pretty set in her ways and has no problems letting you know when you’re annoying her. So of course she’d be the perfect candidate to make it to some ridiculous age.
Unfortunately that isn’t looking very likely now. She stopped eating about a week ago. My parents brought her to the vet (which is never a fun experience – apparently when the vet took Sasha into the back room to take some of her blood, you could hear her out front!) We know that something is wrong with her liver but we’re not sure what; because of her age, everyone agreed not to put her through any invasive tests. So now my parents have been doing their best to feed her and keep her comfortable. Realistically though, it doesn’t look like she has long left.
So of course a lot of things are kind of on hold. I’ve been going to their place as often as I can to visit with Sasha (while being sure not to neglect Merlin).
In terms of writing, I haven’t been doing a whole lot lately. Unrelated to Sasha, I decided not to submit that story I was working on back in June; I’d asked over Facebook whether or not they would accept a shorter submissions. I was willing to try making my story a bit longer, but they never replied to me, so I felt it wasn’t worth submitting to them. I’ve got another market in mind to try submitting the story to though, so I will continue to work on it. And thankfully the submission date is several months away so I’ve got some time in light of what’s happening.
On a positive note, I have been keeping up with Sustainably North. My plan for the month completely fell apart because I’ve been reading a bunch of nonfiction books that I really wanted to talk about on there. I considered starting to post twice a week, but right now I’m still just doing one. Earlier in the month I was a bit ahead and felt like I had a lot I wanted to talk about, so two posts would be possible. But I’m back to being just a week ahead right now (I just wrote the post for next week this afternoon); I’m going to keep it at one post a week for at least another month and then decide from there.
November 23, 2015 · 3:22 am
I have just finished my draft of the Grief Project. I don’t know how many words it is because it is in pieces in my NaNoWriMo writing blob. Writing it was super hard to do because I kept crying, much like the first time I wrote some of it. After that first chunk though, I stopped putting in markers of when and where I was crying. For the most part, I was okay when the cat characters were doing cat things; but any time they did something remotely pertaining to the plot (so not just wandering around enjoying their territory), I was pretty much crying. Even at the end (and the end was relatively happy). So with the amount of crying I did, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do anything with this (editing it will probably be just as tough). But that’s okay. I didn’t write it specifically to share with the world; it was written mostly for myself.
The ending of this draft actually took me somewhat by surprise, at least in terms of how I originally envisioned this story. Originally I thought my main cat character was going to find his way back to his human girl. That didn’t end up happening. Honestly though, as I started writing it, the story started to take shape into a different way which made a lot more sense (a different cat ends up going back instead, which just feels very, very right).
Now that this draft is over, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to write next for the remaining 16,200 words. I can go back to worldbuilding, but I’m not sure that I want to at the moment. Of course, that’ll be a decision for tomorrow; writing the ending of the Grief Project really wore me out, so we’ll see what I feel like doing tomorrow.
On a very positive note, finishing the Grief Project put me at 33,791 words, which is just 4,542 words behind where I need to be! I am catching up (and am even closer than where I left off yesterday where I was 5693 words behind)!
Also, a side note: Merlin curled up to me when I finished the Grief Project off. He’s still sitting beside me, which I’m super thankful for! This was the most difficult piece of writing I’ve ever done because of all the emotion behind it, and having his loving presence by my side is very much appreciated! 🙂
November 7, 2015 · 12:43 am
What a great start to this #WriteFriday: I was ridiculously behind on my NaNoWriMo blob (I’m not writing a novel, so I’ve been calling it a blob). Behind to the tune of being on Day 4 with only 1323 words. But as of midnight on Day 6 (so 11:59pm on Day 5), I had written 4,346 words, bringing my total up to 5669! I’m still behind a bit (on Day 6 the goal is to write 10,000 words), but at least I’m not nearly as far behind as I was.
So what have I written in my so-called writing blob? The first thing I wrote (which was on Day 3) was a random dream I’d had the night before. I don’t know what, if anything, I’ll do with it yet. But it was neat and I wanted to record it somewhere; the blob seemed as good a place as any to write it. Also on Day 3, I sat down and wrote a story for Apocalypse Madness (this was the story I mentioned on my ridiculously late October 30th #WriteFriday update). Day 4 saw me worldbuilding so I could fit Ayvlin into another world I’d already thought up (which I also mentioned on that last update). This ended up actually much easier than I originally thought it would be back in Grand Marais when I thought it up. The world actually does fit her and her story. It even fits the other characters that were with her in that roleplaying adventure. So I’ve mainly been working on that world, although I had a brief tangent into yet another world (I realized I have never written any of the ideas down for it and decided to remedy that immediately). I ended up working through a couple of things I’ve been struggling with on this world (“Do dragons belong here and what are they like?” being the main question I managed to finally answer). I also managed to tie in another world with this one. As I was worldbuilding, I started to realize that the second world, which I had long thought didn’t belong with this one, actually did fit quite nicely. So that was awesome! It’s looking like this world is going to be my most “stereotypical fantasy world,” even though it’s already got things going on to make it anything but stereotypical!
I did run into an unexpected problem though. Back in the summer of 2010 (which is just after I finished with the class I started this blog for, but way before I started using this blog for writing), I took a screenwriting course from Gotham Writers Workshop, during which I started writing a screenplay. The screenplay was a crazy science fiction adventure which I was having fun writing. Unfortunately after the class ended, life got in the way and I never did finish a first draft. But it had two science fiction races which I really, really liked the idea of. Hilariously, the faerie creatures that live on what I’m currently calling “Ayvlin’s World” have ended up an awful lot like one of the science fiction races. I’m currently not sure what, if anything, I need to do about that, because the similarities that they both have suit them both.
So after writing a bit more (about 600 words), I went to bed, thinking I’d have more time for writing today. But then I found myself at 11:39 having not written anything else for the NaNoWriMo blob all day (I had hoped to have another 4000 word marathon to get caught up with where I should be for word count). Between what I’d written earlier and those twenty minutes I managed to crank out a total of 1,380 words, bringing my total for the day up to 7049. I’m still about 3000 words behind where I should be (day 6 should put you at 10,000), but at least I’m not falling too far behind now.
For those twenty minutes (and about twenty minutes past midnight), I also did something extremely difficult: I started writing the Grief Project. For anyone who doesn’t remember, what I’ve been calling the Grief Project is the project I was going to write after Tink passed away last summer. But the grief was too raw and I wasn’t able to do it right away. So I put it aside, much longer than I had planned to. The grief is no longer so raw but it is still present; I’m not going to lie, I started crying a few times while writing it.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with the Grief Project (if anything). But it’s well past time I finally got to it. NaNoWriMo (and this NaNoWriMo in particular) is actually in some ways the perfect place to tackle it because I can let it be whatever it wants to be. Especially since it’s just part of my writing blob (which means I don’t even care if the Grief Project falls short of 50,000 words because it’ll just be part of the bunch of writings I’m doing this year).
Good luck to everyone else who is participating this year!
Filed under Writing
Tagged as #WritingDay, Apocalypse Madness, blob, cat, cats, Faeriia, Gotham Writers Workshop, Grief Project, NaNoWriMo, novel, science fiction, screenplay, Tink, Worldbuilding, writing
October 4, 2015 · 2:12 am
I was working all day on Friday, and then I had plans to hang out with a friend. So I didn’t end up working on any personal projects on that day. But I did get to spend a bunch of time writing during work. I was starting to work on an article that’ll be due at the end of the month. I was also working on organizing some interviews for TBPL Off the Shelf (I’m once again interviewing the authors who are coming to Thunder Bay for the IFOA), plus I have to have a book review written early this week, and I have two more articles due at the end of the month. I’ve also got two articles that were/will be published (something in the Seniors paper, because the library columnist who usually writes the column is going to be away a lot this fall, plus an @ Your Library article which should be published in Sunday’s paper). So the whole month should be quite busy with work writing.
On the projects front, I wrote “Just One More Level” for Apocalypse Madness Tuesday night and published it on the blog Wednesday afternoon. I’m considering NaNoWriMo again this year. I haven’t participated for the last couple of years. I’ve kind of said (not on this blog I don’t think), that I’m not going to participate again because I currently have two messes of novels that I’m not sure what to do with. But while thinking of it, I realized that I don’t have to write a particular body of work that equals 50,000 words. I just need to write 50,000 words. So I was thinking I would do some work on what I’ve been calling the Grief Project, which is one of my goals that I have not done any work on so far. I’m not even sure how big of a story that’s going to end up, so I don’t want to commit to making it a 50,000 word novel. I’ll also have to write something for Apocalypse Madness next month, so I was thinking I’d tack on the word count for that as well. And probably any work I do on Tears of the King if I’m working on it (I may put it aside just for November, but we’ll see).
My friend and I finished Secret of Mana on the Wii Friday night! I played it by myself around September 11th, but he offered to help me play through it after that, which I thought was great. We’ve played it about once a week for the last few weeks. I thought we *might* be able to finish it last week, but there’s quite a lot to the game and we had to hold off because it was 5 in the morning. I think that was my first real video game RPG that I’ve finished, or at least my first old-school one. I was looking at it from a game design perspective, seeing what I can learn to help me make Tears. I need to choose another game to play now; I’m thinking either Chrono Trigger on the Wii or Whisper of a Rose on Steam. I’m swaying towards Whisper of a Rose because I think it was made with RPG Maker. Unfortunately most of the RPGs I’m looking at are single player, so my friend won’t be able to help me through them, too (so we’re going to find something else to play through eventually).
Filed under Writing
Tagged as #WritingDay, @ Your Library, Apocalypse Madness, article, book review, cat, cats, game design, goals, Grief Project, IFOA, NaNoWriMo, RPG, Secret of Mana, TBPL Off the Shelf, Tears of the King, Thunder Bay Seniors, Wii, writing, writing goals
July 24, 2014 · 12:10 am
Sometimes plans can change unexpectedly. That’s what happened this week. I haven’t done a whole lot of writing lately because I’ve had some friends visiting from out of town. One was a good friend who grew up here; he came for his first visit home in two years. Then a few days after he left, another friend came up from the US to visit; I spent the week hanging out and showing him all the cool stuff around town. It was a fun week, but it was exhausting. After driving him back to the States so he could catch his flight home, I drove back here, expecting to spend the next few days getting caught up on sleep and emails, getting ready to work in earnest on the StoryNexus game I’ve been planning, and most importantly, hanging out with Tink.
But all of that changed on the way home. I got a call, urging me to get home quickly. And what I came home to was one of the most devastating things imaginable: Tink was gone.
When I’d left earlier that day, none of us had an inkling that he wouldn’t be there when I got home. He passed away quite suddenly during the evening; he was gone well before I made it home.
I don’t want to give a lot of details. The last few days have been hard. Everywhere I look, I’m reminded of him (particularly in the basement, where we lived together). Eventually this will be a good thing; the memories I have of him are all good ones and I wouldn’t change these last two months for anything. But right now they’re just a constant reminder that he’s gone.
So earlier today, I decided to put the StoryNexus project on hold, and instead channel my grief into a new project. I will provide updates when I can, but they will probably be few, particularly during the first bit while I’m working through the worst of my grief.
June 15, 2014 · 3:23 pm
It’s been over a month since I’ve posted here. And what a month it’s been! The most exciting part of this last month (for me anyway), was Tink. Tink was my aunt and uncle’s cat; they’re moving out of town and can’t take him with them. So we’ve taken him in. When they first got him, my then five-year-old cousin named him “Tinkerbell” because she thought he was a girl. That got shortened to Tink once her family realized he was a boy. My cat, Sasha, still isn’t very happy with this, but we’ve seen marked improvement over the last month (originally she would be hissing and growling when he was within about seven feet of her. Now it seems to be about three, and she doesn’t hiss and growl the entire time). They’re separated at night and whenever someone isn’t around (Tink stays with me all night). He’s an incredibly laid back cat and I love having him around.
In other news, I did not make the short list for The Realm Crowd Sourced Story Contest. But congratulations to those who did (and to the winner). My friend, Leanne C. Taylor-Giles, was someone who did make the short list; you can read her awesome entry here.
I’ve also had two book reviews published in my local paper, the Chronicle Journal. The first one was on June 9th, about The Last Unicorn graphic novel. The second one was today, about Kevin Hearne’s book Hexed. Neither one is available online at the moment (the Chronicle Journal hasn’t updated their book reviews on their website since early May), but I will post the links once I have them. Most likely that will be when the reviews appear on TBPL Off the Shelf, whenever that may be.
Speaking of Kevin Hearne, I also interviewed him for TBPL Off the Shelf. We talked about all things Iron Druid, including a bit about his new book, Shattered, which comes out this week. The interview went live on June 11th; you can find it here.
On the personal writing front, I’ve done a little bit more worldbuilding. I realized that Imezza wasn’t quite as ready to go as I thought it was, so I went back to that a little bit. It’s still by no means done, but I was able to fix a couple of spots that needed fixing. I think it’s now at a point where I can write some short stories, but that’s what I said last time, so we’ll see once I sit down with it. I’ve also spent some time working on a second world. It’s really shaping up in my mind, but right now I’m grappling with a few issues, so more on that once I’ve got them sorted out!
Finally, it was my birthday the other day. I had a really great time going out for dinner then playing Rock Band with friends.
All in all, this has been a busy but fun month! 🙂
Filed under Contests, Interview, Updates, Worldbuilding, Writing
Tagged as articles, author, author interview, book review, cat, contest, entry, Imezza, Kevin Hearne, review, TBPL Off the Shelf, The Realm, Tink, Worldbuilding, writing, writing contest