Tag Archives: Sustainably North

#WriteTuesday – Progress on Make Your Way story!

On Sunday, I was really proud of myself – I was able to write and schedule most of the remaining Sustainably North posts for May!  Prior to Sunday, I got a few quotes and the May bUneke post scheduled.  But on Sunday I wrote and scheduled the two essays for May, as well as the final Friday post (it’s going to be another taste-test!), and of course the editorial post (which I didn’t want to write until I had the two essays figured out).  So all that’s left for May is to finish reading the book I’m reviewing, then write and schedule the review!

Then yesterday afternoon, I actually did some work on the Make Your Way story!!!  I was going to plan out all of the endings before writing them up, but as I started working on it again, I found myself doing a little bit of planning, then a little bit of writing.  Going back and forth really helped me when I got stuck.  I also had to remind myself that this story isn’t a full game book, so it’s okay to end some of the threads quicker than others.  I wrote up one ending (hurray!) then took a break for dinner.  When I got back to working on the story an hour or so later, I managed to plot out the endings for the rest of the story threads!  And from there, I actually got four of them written out!  Check out the new graph:

story graph with four endings

The different blues are RPG choices the player can make. The light green marks the endings. And the reds/purple were just for me to mark different story threads.

I added about 20 sections to the story today!

Since today is the last day of the month, I’m not quite sure if I’ll be able to get this draft done before May 1st.  But that’s okay; even if I don’t, I should be able to have it finished by the end of the week! 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under #WriteTuesday

#WriteTuesday – After the Easter Weekend

Happy Easter everyone! 🙂

I’m really excited – on Friday I finally finished reading the book The Great Transition by Lester R. Brown for Sustainably North (that was the book I chose to review on the blog for this month).  With it read, I was able to write a book review for it and schedule it for the end of the month; now all of the April Sustainably North posts are finished and scheduled!  Next I need to get working on the May ones.

But writing the May ones wasn’t part of the plan for this week; once I was done with the April posts, I wanted to get some work done on the Make Your Way story.  Now I don’t know what my problem is, but I’ve had a heck of a time working on it and getting that first draft written (this has been an ongoing problem since last year).  I actually Googled “why do you have trouble working on a writing project” and came across this article on starting but not finishing a project, which gave some great tips depending on what you have trouble with.  I know I’m definitely someone with starting energy who gets distracted by new projects, so I really need to sit down and actually work on it if I want to see it through.  I also found this article on recapturing your motivation for a project.

While neither of those articles specifically answered what my problem is with this particular writing project, they at least reaffirmed that I need to just get it done.  So even though I (for reasons still unknown) didn’t want to work on it, on Saturday night I made myself read over what I had written to date.  The story is in definite need of editing, but the basic threads seemed pretty solid.  I also flipped through my notes a bit. Unfortunately most of those were from when I was working through a couple of issues with the City of the Dead setting (which is where this story takes place) and not actually notes on the plot.

Of course, rather than getting to work directly on the plot, I ended up going through this blog and eliminating some of the categories I had.  I really had way too many (I didn’t count, but there were three full pages of them!)   I’m hoping to cut the categories down to 15 or less, which is going to be a big job (especially once I’m through all the really small sub-categories).  By the time I finished for the night, I was down to 33.  I also rediscovered the blog post I had written back in 2014 about Keith Barker’s Stories and Dice, and decided to post it rather than delete it.

But that was okay.  Sunday was Easter dinner, so I spent the day cleaning and cooking.  The plan was to get back to the Make Your Way story on Monday.  But then I accidentally set off a fire extinguisher Sunday night in my storage room, and had to spend Monday cleaning that up, too.  I didn’t get nearly as much writing done this weekend as I had hoped to, but life’s like that some times.  Hopefully I’ll be able to cram everything I want to get done into this week instead. 🙂

So how was your Easter weekend?  Anything planned for the coming week?

Leave a comment

Filed under #WriteTuesday, Writing

Oops – Missed This Week’s #WriteTuesday

Oops, I was busy with some training for work over the last few days; I thought I had posted yesterday, but it looks like I forgot!  Sorry! 😦

Last week I made my first Friday post on Sustainably North!  I chose to post a quote from David Suzuki and Ian Hanington’s book Just Cool It! The Climate Crisis and What We Can Do About It. I had a bit of a hard choosing a background for the quote.  I originally wanted to use a picture I have of skunk cabbage, because looking for skunk cabbage is such a spring activity.  But the background was too busy to put text in front of it, and I ended up going with this lake scenic instead.  I was originally going to change the background picture up monthly, but now I think I’ll probably use that background for the remainder of the spring, then maybe choose something else for the summer.  I’m not quite sure if I should write more of a post accompanying the quote (like explaining why I chose the quote), or just kind of leave them like this – what do you think (or what do you do if you post quotes on your blog)?

After that, I got a few more posts for Sustainably North finished/polished/scheduled, including Monday’s post on Thunder Bay’s bike lanes.  Once that was done, I went through Sustainably North’s categories and fixed them up.  When I first started the blog, I made categories all willy-nilly; now that the blog is a year old, I have a better idea of the kinds of categories I want it to have.  I paired them down to ten, leaving a few as-is and combining a few others.  I’m hoping the categories I chose are more relevant than the ones I had before.  I’m planning on reevaluating them in the future to see if they’re working or not.

Reorganizing Sustainably North’s blog categories also made me think about maybe doing the same for An Acquaintance with Letters.  I have so many categories here and a lot of them probably don’t need to exist (like all the sub-categories for different writing and game projects).

Since this weekend is a long weekend, I’m actually planning on working on the story for the Make Your Way Anthology!  I’m rather excited to take a break from Sustainably North (with the hope of actually finishing a first draft!)  I’ll let you know how that goes next week. What are your plans for the coming week?  Also, I hope you have a Happy Easter! 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under #WriteTuesday

#WriteTuesday – April Off to a Great Start!

I didn’t do much (other than work my day job) for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  But wow, this weekend was really great!

On Saturday, I worked on drafts for some upcoming Sustainably North blog posts.  One of them is pretty much ready to go; I want to read it over one more time before scheduling it for next Monday.  The other one is mostly written but still needs a conclusion (hence why it’s going to be posted in two Mondays instead).

Then on Sunday, I got yesterday’s Sustainably North intro post written and scheduled.  I didn’t want to do that until I knew for sure what the other posts for the week would be.  Since Sustainably North is now one year old, I decided to go with the topic of “celebrations” for the rest of April.  I’m currently calling these intro posts “editorials” on Sustainably North, but I might change that to something like “notes” or “editor’s notes.” Any suggestions for what else might work?

Then yesterday, I got a good draft of next month’s bUneke column written.  The magazine requests all articles in by the 10th of the month.  Normally I have mine ready to go a week or two before that but I really struggled with this one.  The topic they chose was “clean water initiatives” and I had no idea what to write about.  Part of the problem was that they ask for pictures to go with the articles, and we still had a ton of snow here!  So even though I had ideas for the column (rain gardens, plastic pollution in our lakes and rivers, or rain barrels), I couldn’t get a good picture of anything (no one is going to care about seeing a picture of a rain garden under a few feet of snow).  I ended up going with rain barrels because that seemed to be the easiest for pictures.

frozen rain barrel

It’s not perfect, but at least you can kind of tell this IS a rain barrel.

After this experience, I’m thinking I’m going to go around this summer and take a whole bunch of pictures of things like the rain garden, just so I have them on hand should I ever need them.  I’m thinking I might post them on Pixabay since that’s where I’ve gotten a bunch of pictures for Sustainably North from – it’ll be good to give back to that community. 🙂

So that’s what I’ve been up to.  It’s feeling really good to be kind of on top of these things right now.  This week I really need to get reading the book I want to review on Sustainably North, plus I want to post some pictures and/or quotes there on Fridays; I need to figure out what that’s going to look like (at least for this Friday).   I’d also like to fix up the Sustainably North blog categories (some of them are fine, but others are more appropriate as a tag), but that’s something that can wait until these other priorities are done.

How about you?  What have you been up to?  What are your plans for the week?

3 Comments

Filed under #WriteTuesday

#WriteTuesday – Blog Planning!

I know I cut it a bit close, but over the weekend (the last weekend of March), I actually did sit down and make a plan for Sustainably North for the next few months.  I used the blog planner I picked up from Tickled Think last week as a starting point for my blog plan.  I’m keeping the basic plan I came up with earlier in March, at least for the next few months (I can reassess at that time and see if it’s working).  I’m going to start posting a smaller post on Fridays, too; that’s going to be more fun things like quotes or pictures (plus I can write the monthly post about bUneke for a Friday, too).  I’ve got an idea of topics for the next three months, and I’ve decided on the actual Monday essay posts for the rest of April (as well as a book to review).  So now I have to get going and actually write/read everything!

Over the weekend I sat down with the productivity planner I got from Tickled Think, too.  I was able to come up with goals for roughly the next year.  In terms of Sustainably North, those goals involve growing the blog.  In terms of other projects, those goals involve finishing them.  I don’t have definitive time tables for anything, just roughly what I want to accomplish in the next month, three-six months, and year.  I wasn’t able to come up with any goals at this time beyond the year mark because I want to see where I’m at.

So with that being said, for April I want to get the next 2 months of Sustainably North written and scheduled, as well as get a 1st draft of the Make Your Way story done. I know I’ve been saying that for the last few months, but I want it finished so I can move onto other things.  Beyond that, I need to get my next article written for bUneke Magazine before the 10th, so that’ll be happening too.

Thinking of bUneke, I did manage to get a few more book reviews from Sustainably North cut down to the length they wanted and submitted yesterday.  So that’s pretty exciting.  Unfortunately I’m almost out of books I’ve reviewed on Sustainably North, so I guess I need to get reading, too!

All in all, this was a good week of planning.  And now I’m going to have a busy April.  Wish me luck – I’ll let you know how things are going next week! 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under #WriteTuesday

#WriteTuesday – March Goal

Good news everyone: my Sustainably North‘s Pinterest account was reactivated!  😀

So I realized yesterday that I haven’t officially set a goal for March.  As I mentioned at the end of February, April is the one year anniversary of Sustainably North.  I want to have a solid plan for the blog as of April, so I’m dedicating March to working on the blog.  I had come up with a plan last summer, but that ended up falling by the wayside incredibly quickly and I’ve been just winging it ever since.

So over the last few weeks, I started thinking a bit more about what I’ve enjoyed writing and what I’d like the blog to look like.  A post that I really enjoyed writing was the one on bUneke Issue 9.  Normally I wrote a post just saying I had written an article in bUneke Magazine and just giving a vague overview of why I chose the topic I did.  For this post, I used the topic as a starting point and went into more detail (and in a slightly different direction) from the bUneke article.  With that in mind, I think I’m going to try to write more essay-style posts, both factual and opinion-based around particular monthly themes.  My current plan is to have two essays per month, plus a post introducing the topic (so I guess that ends up being three essays per month).

I also like writing book reviews, but I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to (or be interested in) write one every month.  So for now I’m thinking I’m going to have either a book review or recipe for that fourth monthly post.  Then for the fifth post, when there is one in a month, it’s kind of going to be whatever works for the topic (be it another book review, another recipe, an article, or something else).

I’m going to pick a few topics for the next few months and give this plan a try, then reassess and see if it’s working.  If it isn’t, I’ll tweak it or come up with a new plan at that time.

Now the one thing I’ve been struggling with is trying to figure out how to bring in talking about whatever I write for bUneke Magazine, too.  I’m planning on choosing my own topics for Sustainably North, not following the bUneke topics, so it doesn’t make sense to me to factor in talking about my articles as part of my blog’s editorial plan.  So after a lot of thought, I think I’m going to be starting to post on Sustainably North on another day of the week.  I’m not entirely sure what the second weekly posts will look like overall, but right now I’m kind of thinking it’ll overall be a fun post/shorter post, like maybe a quote, or a picture or something like that (I don’t think I’ve got it in me right now to do a second longer post every week).  I can then use one of those posts to talk about whatever I wrote in bUneke that month, too.

So that’s the current plan for Sustainably North.  Do you think it’ll work?  Do you have any other suggestions for things I can try (especially when it comes to continuing to add in a monthly post about bUneke Magazine)?

Leave a comment

Filed under #WriteTuesday

#WriteTuesday – YouTube and A Whole Lot of Thinking

About a week ago, I saw some ads for Viral Academy 2.0.  Specifically they were offering some free videos about how to make a profitable channel on YouTube and I was curious.  I’ve considered starting a YouTube channel for Sustainably North (although I admit that I have no idea about what sorts of videos I’d actually make for my blog), so I signed myself up to get the videos (knowing they were probably part of some sort of pitch for something, kind of like how a free exercise course I signed myself up for was pitching a longer course that you pay for).

So I wasn’t surprised when Video 4 ended up being a pitch for Viral Academy 2.0.  After watching Video 4, you had about a week to decide on whether or not to sign up for Viral Academy 2.0 before enrollment closed.  Every day I was sent an email about the virtues of signing up for Viral Academy 2.0.  I read them all and considered them deeply.  One particular email hit me pretty hard: it talked about how society conditions us to spend lots of money on the newest consumer gadget, but not so much on our own development.

I ended up sitting and contemplating whether or not I wanted to sign up for Viral Academy 2.0 right down to the last 30 minutes (I was sitting and playing a video game at the time, which was kind of just a mindless exercise while I debated whether or not I wanted to sign myself up).  And in the end I chose not to.  The more I considered it, the more I thought that starting a YouTube channel right now would just be a distraction from the writing I really want to do (both Sustainably North and short stories/games).  Plus when it got right down to it, I don’t really want to be making videos.  I want to write!

So I emailed them back, thanking them for getting me to think long and hard about what I want to be doing right now.  🙂

When all of that was done, I then started to think a lot more about Sustainably North.  Last summer I sat down and came up with an editorial calendar, which I then proceeded to ignore.  I know that starting to write for bUneke Magazine kind of threw me for a loop (I was so not expecting this awesome opportunity!) so I now need to actually come up with a solid plan for what I want the blog to be.  That will mean a lot less flying by the seat of my pants, so to speak (which is how I’ve pretty much been operating for the last while).

April is also the official first anniversary for Sustainably North. So most likely I’m going to keep winging it through March so that I have a solid plan come April.  I also bought a book on blogging on my Kindle some time ago, and I’m going to make a point of actually reading it before April as well!

To finish off my week, I also submitted another book review and article to bUneke Magazine.  Those will be appearing in the April issue. 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under #WriteTuesday