Remote

I’m feeling it today.

So far, my isolation hasn’t been so bad. I’m an introvert, a much bigger one than many people realize. I’ve worked 10+ years in Customer Service, I can be bubbly and outgoing, upbeat and go-getting. But that’s Work Brittany. When I’m just me, things are much quieter and calmer. And I like it that way.

I’ve left the house maybe four times in almost three weeks. I’m reading more than ever, playing piano again, focusing on improving my writing craft, working out, and trying new things with these book review videos. I’ve focused on using this time to relax and engage myself in a lot of different ways. Gotta follow that intention: REPLENISH.

But, today is the first day back at work. And being at home, glued to my laptop, waiting for a notification that I’m required for SOMETHING has me suddenly melancholy. I miss my library. I miss the kids who can hardly wait for me to turn on the lights and boot up my computer before they come in to talk to me. I wonder how they’re doing and hope they’re okay and not too scared.

And I’m sorry I can’t be there for them.

I woke this morning and, for the first time in two weeks, followed my usual routine: Alarm scares the shit out of me, I grumble and get dressed. Brush hair and teeth, necklace, four rings, bracelet, two pairs of earrings. Quick check: is yesterday’s makeup presentable? Yes? Gucci. Then I shuffle my way out to the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee.

It’s supposed to give me a sense of normalcy, but the little differences are more than enough to remind me that there is no normal right now.

Instead of my black tumbler with the district logo, I’m drinking my coffee out of a small Eeyore mug that I got at an outlet mall for two dollars. It’s my favorite mug, but I’ve only ever used it at home.

I’m not wearing shoes. I know that’s easily remedied — just go put some shoes on, dork! — But it also seems weird to wear shoes when I’m just going to sit at my desk.

Outside, the sun decided to make an appearance, but it’s still so cold out that opening a window isn’t really an option. I’m feeling cooped up, as I’m sure we all are. Hubs goes to work each day (turns out, banks are essential) and I stay behind. This last week was all rain, all the time (“it can’t rain all the time”) and I haven’t been outdoors other than a trip across the cul-de-sac to check the mail. State and National Parks are closed in Oregon, so I can’t go hiking. And I’m just sitting here trying not to spiral out into thoughts of being trapped.

Because, when I don’t let myself get too philosophical, I’m actually doing all right. Reading, writing, editing, making videos. I’m keeping busy, but all of that has felt like an interim, the stuff I do while I wait to see what I’ll actually be doing when I get back to work.

I guess what I’m saying is, although I feel more connected to myself and my creativity than I have in a long time, I’m feeling cutoff from everything else. I feel like the world outside my house is unreachable, a pretty panorama to look at through the windowpanes. And no amount of FaceTime and phone calls seem to help.

I am remote.

 

BZ

 

Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #13

Hey Blogland,

It was a busy week of Staying Home, and Staying Safe. I’m starting to get restless, and really want the sun to come out so I can at least take the dog for a walk. But, there’s a lot of writerly things happening, so let’s get to it!

Last Week

  • Edit The Lament of Kivu Lacus
  • Finish listening to Tunnel of Bones
  • Write 800+ words

How’d I do?

  • Edit The Lament of Kivu Lacus
    • Yep. This round was a bit more productive as I recognized some superfluous lines and tightened things up a bit.
  • Finish listening to Tunnel of BonesTunnel of bones
    • Yep! I didn’t expect to have so many feelings about a poltergeist, but I sure did.
  • Write 800+ words
    • Oh, yes. Without even really meaning to.

Weekly Word Count: 2,314 

This was a very bookish, writerly week. I worked on some fanfic, edited my short story, read a bunch of Ashlords and finished listening to Tunnel of Bones. I released two episodes of Mrs. Harlow’s Quarantine Reads! I discovered and listened to all of the Ask the Bards podcast. It’s Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne talking all things writing and publishing, which is rad. I started Wonderbook, which I’m treating as a sort of class. I’m reading a chapter or two each week and doing the associated Writing Challenges. It’s fun, challenging, and is really kicking my brain into “Craft” gear. Which is good because, well, I did a thing.

I finally read the Tavi rough draft. You know, that Urban Fantasy novel I finished last spring? I’ve been avoiding it because revising novels has been a highly unpleasant experience so far. I was terrified that it would be even worse than I imagined and so just kept glancing at the printed manuscript on my desk like it might reach out and bite me.

But, on Friday, I decided to dive in. And, you know what? I loved it! It’s fun, and there are a lot of elements that I’m incredibly proud of. The pacing is generally good, I kept reading, not out of a sense of duty, but because I was genuinely enjoying my story. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. I read the entire thing in basically one sitting. From about 9am to 7pm, and was absolutely thrilled with it.

That’s not to say it’s perfect. There is definitely work to be done, but nothing so daunting that I’m hesitant to get started. I’m actually looking forward to spending time in this world and with these characters again. Crazy, right?

What’s Next?

  • Edit The Lament of Kivu Lacus
  • Finish reading Ashlordsashlords
  • Write 800+ words

This looks familiar on purpose. It’s worked for the last two weeks, so why mess with it? Especially when polishing and submitting Lament is my top priority right now. Finishing the rough draft of The Shadowboxer is priority number two. Once both of those are done I’ll start revising Tavi. I’m hoping to have it “done” before July. We’ll see how that goes.

And then I have a new novel idea. Which is a dangerous thing, but also a very motivating one. I can’t work on the new idea until all of the above is complete. And I really want to write the new thing, so I’d best get to work.

Speaking of work, I start working remotely this week. I still have no idea what that’s going to look like, so who knows if I’ll be able to keep this routine I’ve just established. I’m trying not to think about that too much just yet.

Be on the lookout for a couple more Quarantine Reads this week. I’ll have Ep. 5 up either this evening or tomorrow and then Ep. 6 later this week.

Until later, Bloggos!

 

BZ

Goals Summary 2020 – Wk #12

Hi Bloggarts!

It’s a little weird jumping into the blog so late in the year, but late is better than never I suppose. By now you know that I’m not working (at least not in the same capacity) because of Covid-19 and this sudden addition of unstructured time has led me to re-examine my routines. Which reunited me with my trusty whiteboard…

Last Week

  • Edit The Lament of Kivu Lacus rough draft
  • Read Dragon Age: Tevinter NightsTEvinter Nights
  • Write 800+ words

How’d I do?

  • Edit The Lament of Kivu Lacus rough draft
    • Yep. I’m sort of struggling with this one because I like it so much. I know better than to submit a story that hasn’t been extensively revised, but I don’t know what else to do to it…
  • Read Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights
  • Write 800+ words
    • Yep. Pretty much right away. Some things clicked into place and my writing brain kicked into gear.

Weekly Word Count: 1,618

So. Yeah. First week “back” and I accomplished all my goals… That’s weird. But, not only did I accomplish all my goals, but I started a new YouTube series for my students. I’m screaming about it here on the blog so I’m sure you’ve seen it. I won’t blather on here about, but I do recommend you check it out.

Beyond video-making and goal-reaching there really isn’t much going on. State Parks closed today so I’m feeling pretty down about that. The nice weather finally gave out and we’re back to cold rain and grey skies.

I’m still playing Dragon Age, because y’know, I’m obsessed. I’m still writing fanfic and working on original projects. I’m here. Home and working and trying not to wonder too much about the future.

So, What’s Next?

  • Edit The Lament of Kivu Lacus
  • Finish listening to Tunnel of BonesTunnel of bones
  • Write 800+ words

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right? Last week’s successes don’t need to be built upon just yet. I want to get into a rhythm and used to working again before I start getting ambitious. Besides, this week is officially Spring Break. There are no work expectations for me right now, but starting the 31st I’m expected to be available and may have work to do. I don’t want to plan goals based on my time constraints now only to have them change in a few days.

That’s about it, Bloggos. I’ve already made another video to share later this week. I’m still listening to Tunnel of Bones and reading Ashlords. I’m playing Dragon Age and pining for a hike, and seriously missing my bi-weekly karaoke sessions. Luckily our Dungeons and Dragons group has agreed to video conferencing our sessions so we don’t have to sacrifice that. A little normalcy will be nice.

I’ll be back later this week with another video! Until then, Blogland.

 

BZ