Goals Summary Wk…?

Hi Blogland.

As you’ve no doubt noticed, I skipped last week. And I’m posting late this week.

Last week was one of immense upheaval. Trevor and I went to Bend to celebrate his birthday, and we had an awesome time. Some life altering stuff went down, which I can speak more about later.

The main reason I didn’t post at all last week is because of the following:

  1. N7 Day. This is the glorious day, November the seventh, in which Mass Effect nerds rejoice and celebrate the most wonderful game franchise ever created. This year’s N7 Day was bursting with new info about Mass Effect Andromeda, which is set to release sometime this coming Spring. Basically, I was freaking out every 10 minutes as stills, videos, and screenshots were released. Then, in a frenzy, I proceeded to start the entire franchise over again. Sorry, not sorry.
  2. Election Day. This was a horrible evening for my husband and I, and we spent it alternating panic attacks and inexplicable rage. While we’re not Hillary fans, we are Progressives, and we’re very concerned about the country right now.
  3. Promo Set at Starbucks. Wednesday I worked from 10am until after midnight, all so customers could enjoy the spirit of the holidays at their local chain coffee shop. Gag.
  4. I was off, and exhausted. I considered writing, briefly, and then opted to play more Mass Effect instead.
  5. Migraine. The whole weekend.

Basically, last week was hell, but kinda sorta good.

So, two Mondays ago, my goals were:

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Beacon 23 Book Review
  • Read A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe
  • Write 500 words a day, 3k total.

So, how’d I do?

Not too shabby! I published my two posts, one of which was the Beacon 23 book review. I didn’t get around to A Borrowed Man, and instead started to read The Vagrant. It was super boring, and I gave up on it, instead reading 6 volumes of the Avatar the Last Airbender graphic novel series. I feel I should mention here that I am open to giving The Vagrant another shot, just not right now.

But, the most important thing is the word counts. I did it, guys. I wrote a total of 4,335 words that week. And only over four of the six days. So, I didn’t write every day, but I pumped out words HARD when I did write. And damn it felt good.

Then I ruined it by being a complete hermit last week. But, I maintain that my work/life turmoil makes it somewhat understandable.

Hopefully I can avoid real life by building my own world instead of indulging in BioWare’s. I’ve started reading fanfiction, and the official tie-in novels, so it’s looking grim…

But! Goals!

This week I want to:

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish reading Mass Effect Revelation
  • Write a total of 4k words

So, a pretty simple jump back in. Bummed that I screwed the pooch last week, but I can only make up for it by moving forward. It’s time to put some words on the page!

Thanks for reading along, Blogland.

 

BZ

 

August at Last!

Blogland!

It’s here! That phantom month I swore would never come: August!

School ended on the ninth, and though it wasn’t the strongest finish, it’s over and done with and I’m not looking back. The degree is on its way, and tomorrow my Starbucks district is throwing its two graduates a party, open to family, friends, coworkers, and customers.

At first I wasn’t too excited, but now that it’s here, I’m really looking forward to it.

Also, one of my best friends got married on Saturday, and I got to get all glammed up and share in the day with her as a bridesmaid. A stressful, emotional, and truly beautiful day. It was the last hurdle before my life could take on a new normalcy.

Bolt wedding
Me and the AZ bestie at the OR bestie’s wedding!

FREEDOM!

Last night we had my other best friend, who just moved to Salem, over for dinner and watched movies. Trevor and I have watched more Stargate SG1 this past week than we have in months, and I’m actually able to do chores around the house.

It feels too good to be true.

Which is why reality had to make its presence felt this morning.

My library manager called to let me know that, while I was a top contender for the Library Assistant III position, someone with a stronger business and management background was selected.

I had a rough hour dealing with the news. It’s hard to apply for the same position three times and not get it. When you’re literally already doing the job. I was (am) confused and disappointed. But, it sounds like there may be a silver lining that could lead to a better fit for me at the library. We’ll see. It’s all very nebulous right now, and I don’t want to talk too much about it until I have more details.

Now, enough with this hurray and boo-hoo business. There’s work to get done!

So, let’s talk goals.

Today is my first day back at the computer with a mind toward the blog and fiction. That’s going to take some time to get used to, since I haven’t had that mindset since summer 2014. And even then, I had a wedding to plan. Now I’m truly free to pursue my creative endeavors, and I’m excited to get to it.

I woke up at 8:30, but loitered around until just after 9 when I hung up with my manager. Then I spent thirty minutes contacting the people I needed to inform about the news, taking care of the dog, brewing coffee, and moping quite impressively while doing it. There was a lot of talking out loud, which it turns out is a lot less weird when there’s an animal in the house.

Simon grinning
Our dog-child, Simon.

But, now the coffee’s brewed. I’m sitting in my writing room, which is currently just a desk pushed into a doorless closet, and boxes upon boxes of books stacked in one corner. But it’s mine… even if the dog bed takes up the remaining floor space right now.

So, what’s the plan?

Honestly, I don’t really know. I’m still waiting for a little more feedback on The Steel Armada before I get to work gutting and fleshing it out for its third draft. But, I mean it when I say I won’t touch Cards until I think The Steel Armada is at its best.

But, Since the Fire, a short story set in the same world as Cards, and acts as a little prequel is in various stages of editing, and I’d like to get it to a “finished” state. It’s always nice to have completed works waiting in the wings.

There’s also the short story The Portrait of Sterling Madison. I gave it a reread a couple weeks ago, and it’s not as bad as I remember. I’ve also just read a vast assortment of horror, and think now just might be the time to get it finished too. Plus, I think it’d be a good fit for The Audient Void.

But, of course, the real project is working on Jordinn’s Story again. Even now, I’m listening to the playlist I built for it, and I can’t wait to get back to these characters. It’ll be hard to pick up and make it all cohesive after two years away from it, but I’m too excited to care. This part of my mind has been in stasis, sitting with Ellesaire in that basement boudoir, mourning a love that was stolen from her.

For real though, I read the last chapter a month or so ago, to sort of get a refresher, and I cried for how I left them all. It’s time to go back.

But, I don’t think I can just dive in. I’m too far away from it right now. What I need to do is reread it, go over my thin outlines, and get the brain working on those. Flesh out outlines and plan more chapters, that will get me moving in the right direction, so that I can hopefully start writing again by the end of this week, early next week.

In the meantime, I have a book review to write for you all. I won’t go as far back as The Magician King, because the details are hazy now, but The Magician’s Land is fresh in my mind still. I should be able to do it justice.

magicians land
So, here I am blogland. Back at it. The goal from here on out is to get up around 7, walk and feed dog, send husband to work with coffee. Drink coffee, read for an hour while I eat, and then write for three hours before work. That’s my plan. I’m going to give myself time to settle into the routine, but hopefully by September I’ll be comfortable in it and getting work done.

Talk at you all tomorrow! I am so happy to be back!

 

BZ

 

Ramping Up for Fall

The air is different now. Even though it’s hot, and the sun is shining, the air doesn’t feel like summer anymore. There’s a crispness to mornings, and chill to evenings now. And though we’re all clinging desperately to our summer tans and tank tops, there’s no denying that fall is at hand.

Also, my Starbucks has Pumpkin Spice behind the counter (not available for purchase yet; calm the eff down). Fall is here.

With fall comes school. This online program is rigorous. Summer term ended on the 11th, and Fall term begins tomorrow. I just got to the point where I could relax. I’d come to terms with my sudden lack of responsibility, and was even enjoying it a little. And now it’s all back.

And though both of my classes are very interesting to me, they’re going to require a lot of my time. But, it’ll make the time go by that much faster.

My writing life has slowed, although I did get the opening paragraph of a new Caladria story down. I’m hoping to find time to finish it in the next couple weeks. But, I’m not going to beat myself up if it takes awhile.

I’m still reading, though starting A Game of Thrones right before school was probably a mistake. But, Trevor and I have been watching the show, and I couldn’t just stare at the books on my shelf anymore.

But, I’m here, plugging away. One more year of this, and I can finally devote substantial time to all the projects I want.

One more year…

It’s all worth it. Right?

BZ

Drowning

Hi.

I’m sorry for the gap in posts. It’s been a crazy month, and I’m barely managing to keep my head above the tide.

There’s been a lot of stress in my life in the last couple months. I’m surviving, but there’s been a lot of changes. I transferred from my Starbucks, where I worked for over three years, and am adjusting to my new store. A lot of names to learn, and new procedures and customers too.

I’m still killing it over at the library, and I’m still working an average of 52 hours a week. Tomorrow is my first day off this month. Tonight is the first Book Club meeting of the second list. We’re discussing Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Devan is slaving away at homemade barbecue as we speak. I’m looking forward to it.

My personal reading has ground to a halt. I think I’ve read about 30 pages in the last two weeks, which is why I’m grateful for Book Club, because I absolutely devoured Miss Peregrine’s. I’m still working my way through The Republic of Thieves, and it’s so good! It kills me that I don’t have the time for it.

Summer school was a mistake. Everyone I talk to tells me I’m smart for doing it, that it was the right decision. But, I’m skating by in this class, bound for a mid-range B instead of my typical A+. It’s going to hurt my GPA. And that Dean’s List recognition for last term? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen again.

I will say that the books we’ve been assigned are generally dreadful. The Great Gatsby? I’ve read it twice before this class. I’m over it. The Old Man and the Sea? I read this my Junior year of high school, and wrote an AP essay on it that earned a 7. You AP veterans know what I’m talking about. Then we read Ceremony, which I really wanted to like. But, the delivery just wasn’t working. I loved the more poetic, chant-like moments, but the actual narrative was needlessly complex. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison was nice, but could have been such a shorter story. I ended up skimming a lot of it. And then Cat’s Cradle, by Vonnegut. The only book that actually captured my imagination and managed to entertain me.

We had a week to read and discuss each book. With my time stretched between the two jobs, this was difficult for me to do. And next term is going to be more of the same. Although it’s a class on Noir Literature, so the book list is already much more entertaining. Hopefully that will help.

Then there’s Caladria. I feel pretty bad. I took on more responsibility than I can handle. And I’ve been slacking with them, which is the last thing I want. But, my new Starbucks is promising to keep me around 20-25 hours a week, so I should have more time to devote to writing and editing. I don’t want to slack in this, it’s the only side project I have, and to give it up feels like surrendering a part of myself.

I haven’t written any fiction that isn’t Caladria related, and I tell myself that’s OK. Doesn’t really feel that way though. I’d write about trying to finally finish those Vessels edits, but let’s be honest, I don’t have the time.

So, I’m here, treading water. Every blog post is like my mouth breaking the surface and gulping in a lungful of air, before the tide swallows me up again.

We’ll see how long I can hold my breath.

BZ

Han Solo Heart

Sometimes life blindsides you. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

I’ve over-filled my plate. I know that. Working 45+ hour work weeks, plus school full time, plus writing and editing for Caladria is more than I can handle. At least, that’s what my brain tells me.

And my heart?

Well, my heart likes to quote Han Solo, “Never tell me the odds.”solo-no

And truly, this is my slogan. I perform best when others expect me to fail. It becomes a matter of pride. I’m tenacious at best, and supremely stubborn at my worst. I don’t back down.

I just don’t.

So, what have I been up to lately? Prepping. It’s finals week, so I’m trying to keep my school work a priority. I went clothes shopping today to find “Business Casual” attire for the Library. Not my favorite pass time, but it was a success.

I’m still reading Sunrunner’s Fire, and it’s still amazing. Rawn’s villains are just so great. So nefarious. So clever. It makes their segments of the story painful for me to read. But, I’ll get into that more when the book review comes around.

I’ve fallen behind on Writing Excuses, but that’s the beauty of pod casts, I can go back and listen whenever I have time. Like tomorrow on my lunch break.

And behind all of this I’m stewing up my next Caladria story. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve got the basic intro planned, and I know where the story is headed. I’m just waiting on some details before I really hash it out.

I realized the other day that I haven’t worked on Vessels in months. And as sad as that makes me, it’s the project of least importance right now. Cards is still hibernating, and probably will be until summer break. Jordinn’s Story saw some progress around the New Year, but I haven’t had time since then. Even bigger bummer.

But, prioritizing projects is the only way I’m going to make these next few months work. And some projects have to be put on hold. It’s a necessary evil. Or, more like survivalism at its best.

Anyway, Trevor is plating up dinner. We had the day off together, which is always nice. Time with my husband is one thing that will never take a back seat.

See you soon Blogland!

BZ

Running Out of Free Time

What a crazy week! It’s Wednesday and I feel like I’ve accomplished very little. Homework, assigned reading, and tests have taken every spare moment. Lunch breaks and 10s have become my only solace. Carefully doled out free time, where I can shamelessly hurl myself into a fictional world.

Firefight is exceeding my expectations so far. I’m already 124 pages in, leaving 392 to go. I read a bit last night, when I should have been sleeping, and then read a bit more this morning over breakfast. It’s a nice way to wake up.

About four days ago Leah emailed me comments for the next round of edits on A Stranger Comes Knocking. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t looked them over yet, and it’s making me all grumbly. I very much dislike that writing can’t be my absolute top priority during the semester.

And now I have news about another potential time sink.

The Library called me yesterday to set up an interview! Thursday, February 5th at 1pm. And here I’d resigned to not hearing from them again. I’m trying to keep my excitement levels low. This is a part time job, and I tell myself that I’m not that qualified.

But, let’s be real. Their main focuses are customer service and leadership. I’m a Shift Supervisor at Starbucks. Service and Leadership I’ve got in spades. So, I’m fostering a tiny, bubbling, would-be geyser of excitement.

We’ll see how it turns out.

Today’s agenda, then.

  • Finish the second rounds of edits for A Stranger Comes Knocking.
  • French Homework
  • Write The Star Scroll Book Review
  • Read assigned short stories for my Sci-Fi class
  • Trade in the books that I’ve either read, or know I’ll never read

    So long, and thank for all the...
    So long, and thank for all the…

Tomorrow is Patton Oswalt day! I’m looking forward to the day in Portland, and the hours spent in one of the best bookstores in the world, Powell’s! Trevor’s taking a half-day at work, so I only have from 9-1pm to get all my homework done before we leave for Portland.

I’m hoping to get it all done today, so that tomorrow I can focus on the blog and some of my own writing. If I keep focused today, I should be able to make it work.

I’m really good at this whole Time Management thing, but that doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted. I’ve got about 3 hours of French homework, three short stories to read and post about, a short story to edit, and two blog posts to write before tomorrow afternoon.

I’m tired just thinking about it.

I’ll see you all tomorrow!

BZ