The Recap – October 2019

And just like that, October came and went. It was filled with pumpkins and rain and friends and all those cozy fall things. It was also a busy work month and a busy writing work month. Which probably explains why it went so quickly.

October Goals

  • Finish The Lament of Kivu Lacus rough draft
  • Revise and polish Exodus: Descent
  • Continue short story submissions
  • Keep reading!

How’d I do?

  • Finish The Lament of Kivu Lacus rough draft
    • YES! This story took a long time.
  • Revise and polish Exodus: Descent
    • YES! It’s out for submission right now!
  • Continue short story submissions
    • YES! Three stories are out and The Cost of Rain was accepted this month!
  • Keep reading!
    • YES! I read five titles this month, which is a huge improvement over the last couple of months!

Total Word Count: 865

Holy Crow y’all. My whole month is in the black! When did that happen? I felt like a did a whole lot of nothing this month, but the whiteboard doesn’t lie. I got shit done! I think this earns me a happy dance. happy dance gif 2

I really gotta work on this unrealistic expectations thing I have going. Even when I’m working hard and making progress, I always feel like I haven’t done anything. I need to relax y’all.

But, November is hardly the month for relaxation. Nanorwrimo, birthdays, holidays, family visiting… Yep. There’s the stress. Found it.

November Goals

  • Write 25k words
  • Read 10 titles
  • Continue short story subs

Short and sweet and oh so challenging this month, y’all. I love this time of year. I love the weather and the clothing and the general good feeling of spending time with loved ones. But man, I’m exhausted just thinking about the month ahead.

The biggest stressor is probably my family coming up from Arizona for Thanksgiving. Now, let me be absolutely clear: I AM SO F*&%ING EXCITED to have them spend the holiday with us. I’ve been looking forward to it for the better part of six months. We’ve gone down to AZ for the holidays a few times now, and I love seeing everyone, but this is different. This is my nuclear family coming up and seeing my house for the first time, eating our food, and sharing my space and life during my most favorite time of year.

I don’t know. It feels so much more special this way. I am so happy and excited to see them.

But, all of that being said. Hosting any sort of event with a houseful of people is stressful to me. I like my house the way it is. Husband, dog, and me. It’s quiet and relaxing. An actual sanctuary against the outside world. Inviting others inside is… stressful. That’s all there is to it.
nano 2019

Add to this stress not just normal Nanowrimo stress, but HOSTING Nanowrimo stress and, well, yikes. Again, exciting stuff, but a ton of work. And somewhere in all of this I need to read and write. A lot.

Which means I need to wrap this up and get to work! I’ll be back next week with the Goals Summary and October’s Reading Round Up.

‘Til then, Bloggarts!

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #26

Blogland. I don’t have much to say this morning. No quip about the weather or complaints about how fast last week went by. There’s just me, a laptop, and you. Let’s just get to it.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish In Great Need of Ghosts
  • Read something!

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yep! Not a lot of substance, because it’s been a hard week, but they’re there.
  • Finish In Great Need of Ghoststhis savage song
    • Yes? I thought I did, and sent it out. Got rejected. Then I got some feedback from a friend and made some changes last night. And by some changes, I mean largely rewrote it. So… Yeah. I’m not really sure where it is at this moment. Also, it’s been retitled A Lullaby for Mattie Barker.
  • Read something!
    • Yes! I finally finished This Savage Song.

Weekly Word Count: 1,111

Man. This has been a week. I did some errands on Wednesday and felt great most of the day, but Thursday, Friday, and particularly yesterday were all very hard for me. But, I feel like a broken record about this. So, let me say it for the last time.

LOSING A JOB YOU LOVE IS FUCKING HARD.

There. I’m done with that now. Moving on.

Writing-wise this week was pretty non-eventful. I edited and tweaked Lullaby, wrote a little bit for a new short story that’s still very nebulous, and then feverishly made a bunch of changes to Lullaby. I haven’t looked at them yet to see if they make sense or are in anyway better, but I felt inspired last night, so hopefully it was the right decision.

I didn’t go hiking last weekend, but spent the day with family and had some really good food at a new New Orleans inspired place in town. I finally earned the last trophy for Detroit: Become Human, so I can finally say I beat that game! And we watched lots of The Great British Bake Off.

Basically, I tried my best to do things that were mind-numbing/relaxing. If I thought too much then I felt wildly out of control which is a 100% guaranteed way to spike my anxiety. So I did things to feel in control. Yard work. Paint my nails. Clean my office. Play video games. It would have been nice if it weren’t for the need for literal escapism.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Start Exodus: Descent revisions
  • Write 1k on Whales (new short story)
  • Read a short story

I actually have quite a bit of blogging to do this week. The monthly update, a book review, and maybe even a six month review of the blog and my writing in 2019 so far. There’s also the reading round up for June, but I wouldn’t expect that until next week at least. So, lots of action on the blog in the coming weeks.

I’ll talk more about my goals for Exodus: Descent in tonight’s Monthly Recap, but I need to include it in this week’s goals if I want to get started on that project.

IMG_20180825_171815 (1)The new short story is… weird. It doesn’t know what it is yet, or what it wants to accomplish. I’m just writing until things gel together, and then I’ll see what I can make out of it. It’s SF and very character driven, at least so far. It was inspired by a card from a board(?) game called Mysterium. The story has grown since then and the card doesn’t really reflect it anymore, but that’s where the kernel came from.

I haven’t read a short story in a while, so I wanted to make a point of it this week. That will be in addition to the reading and listening I’ll be doing anyway. I’m still (slowly) listening to Saint’s Blood and just started reading Our Dark Duet, the sequel to This Savage Song, last night. I expect my reading will be much improved this month, what with my sudden free time.

But, that’s all the blog and writing goals. I don’t have answers for what comes next beyond those. I have a list of jobs to apply for, have just applied for unemployment (that’s a first!), and have a list of chores to get done each day.

I don’t sit still well and I don’t want to wallow, so I’m keeping myself busy. Which reminds me, I think it’s time to talk the dog for a walk.

Later, Bloggos.

 

BZ

 

The End of an Era

That’s really all I have to say. I worked at my city library for almost five years. I loved my job, my coworkers, and my patrons. I learned a lot, not just about the field but about my community and how true customer service comes from a place of empathy for the people you serve.

I wouldn’t trade these last five years for anything. I found my second calling, the only other job that makes me proud besides my writing. I’ve made lifelong friends and a lasting impact for my patrons.

I can’t really ask for more than that.

Hopefully, whatever job comes next, I’ll find that same meaning and pride in what I do. It makes all the difference when I wake up each morning.

Thanks for following me through these last few weeks. It’s been really hard not to be negative and to find the silver lining in this layoff, but I’m trying.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the Weekly Goals and the Monthly Recap. Gotta love when the first of the month falls on a Monday!

Til then, Bloggarts.

 

BZ

That’s Rough Buddy

I’m having a day, Blogland. Lots of feelings I seem to have no control over. Which only compounds the whole “I feel out of control” anxiety I’ve been rocking these last two weeks.

Losing a job is hard. Losing a job you love is… harder.

I’m not sure that there are enough episodes of The Great British Bake Off to fix this. For once, there might not even be enough tacos to fix this. Which leaves two methods I haven’t tried: ice cream and booze.

I don’t know what I came here to accomplish, other than to write out some feelings and hopefully rally for the rest of this work day.

I don’t think it worked.

BZ

Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #25

Hiya Bloggos!

Last week was a bit of a rollercoaster for me. A phone interview, prepping for an in-person interview, a hike, yard work, and a migraine meant there just wasn’t a whole lot of writing time.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Revise In Great Need of Ghosts
  • Work on something fun!

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Nope. Sorry about that.
  • Revise In Great Need of Ghosts
    • Yes! A got another revision done, and think I made some critical changes to help with pacing.
  • Work on something fun!
    • Not really? With all the resume building and interview prep, revising Ghosts was my fun work.

Weekly Word Count: 0

I hate writing that. Even when word count wasn’t a big goal, it feels bad to say I wrote nothing in a whole week. But I was busy, and very very distracted. I could very well be unemployed at the end of this week, so you know. I’ve got a lot going on in my brain right now.

One thing that helped with that was a hike at Cape Meares. Two weeks off from my weekend hikes had me winded for most of the morning, and was a harsh reminder that it’s so easy to lose forward momentum when it comes to fitness.

Another thing that helped was bingeing The Great British Bake Off and Good Omens. I love them both and found them so uplifting when my world was very suddenly dark.

Revisions on the short story continue. I think I fixed the big problem and from here I think it’ll be about streamlining the story, cutting, and making the words sing. I think placing it will be tricky. It’s a quiet story that doesn’t really fit into any one genre. But that’s okay. I believe that writing stories for ourselves is the most important thing. I wrote a story that I wanted to tell, and either I’ll find an editor that loves it like I do, or I won’t. And that’s okay.

These past couple weeks have been a big lesson in accepting the things I cannot change. You’d think, having grown up at AA meetings, I’d know how to do that already, but it’s been difficult. I like having control (who doesn’t) and when life gets out of control, I tend to panic. I’m doing a lot of deep breathing these days.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish In Great Need of Ghosts
  • Read something!

That’s it. I want to keep it simple this week. Read something, edit a bit, talk on the blog. Pretty much just get out of my head and onto the page. I’ll be waiting for news about an interview this week, and if I don’t do something escapist I will go insane. I’d really prefer not to.

That’s it Bloggarts. This is all I’ve got for you. The adrenaline of this morning’s interview is ebbing and I am so very tired now. I’ll be around.

 

BZ

 

 

When You’re Stuck in Limbo

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m a Type A personality. I make, live, and die by my lists. I have a whiteboard that tells me what to do each week and a planner that basically runs my life. And yes, they’re color-coded and require a legend for anyone who might take a gander at them.

But what happens when life doesn’t stick to the plan? Or worse yet, what if there is no plan, because there are too many variables?

That’s me right now. I’m standing on that little island of concrete in the roundabout wondering where the hell I’m supposed to go. I’m suffocating in opportunity, worried that once I do make a decision, it might be the wrong one.

So, I’m standing still and somehow edging ever closer to burnout. I can’t stay here forever, but I can’t decide what to do yet. I don’t have all the facts. And I know there’s a looming leap of faith, but I’ve never been very good at those.

On one hand I want to take the leap, I crave the risk and the adventure. But on the other, I don’t want to sacrifice the comfort and stability I’ve built over these years. But then, aren’t I just doing the safe thing? Nothing risked, nothing gained and all that.

So my mind just turns over and over and over again, chasing ideas and hopes and fears until I’m dizzy. What if, what if, what if, whatifwhatifwhatif. But there’s nothing to do, no way to alleviate these frantic thoughts, until after March. I’ll know then and the path will be clear, then I can pour all this frenetic energy into whatever course I’ve chosen.

But that’s still a month and half away. I need a distraction, and most days the novel is enough, but yesterday I hit a bit of a wall with it. Nothing major, nothing insurmountable. But I needed the distraction and it wasn’t enough. With the launch of both Kingdom Hearts III and Anthem just around the corner, hopefully I can sink some hours into those and find a little relief.

Escapism at its finest.

 

Unexpected Energy

Hi Bloggos,

I know I just said I probably wouldn’t be back this week, but I’m a lying liar who lies. Sometimes. And usually only about this. Ahem. Anyway! I’m chilling at Starbucks, getting work done, which feels amazing! I mentioned that rejection on Lifelike? Well, making changes based on the feedback provided wasn’t as god awful as I’d imagined. It actually went pretty quickly and only added 20 words. Still solidly Flash Fiction. So, it’s off to the next market. Fingers crossed!

I got new glasses, so I’m adjusting to those. My prescription changed quite a bit in one eye so if I look around too quickly it’s a little disorienting. But things are crisp and so, so clear. Also, they’re teal tortoise shell and they are adorable! I love them.

The sun is out, not a cloud to be seen, I’ve had my coffee and breakfast, and talked to Madhu and my old Creative Writing professor. I’m feeling incredibly good. I listened to Mike Shinoda’s new album and honestly, I think it really helped get my head on straight. I’m not making any promises about my productivity in the next few days, but I’m hopeful.

I just realized that June is pretty much over, so I will be back on Sunday to do the monthly wrap up. I’ve got a couple blog post ideas for next week, so if I can just get back to reading I think things will get right back to the way they were before I derailed.

Also, less than three months before we go to Germany!!!!

Basically, I’m feeling incredible for the first time in weeks and wanted to share. So, thanks for listening! I’ll talk at you again soon!

 

BZ