Writing, and gloom-induced gloom

I love rainy days, but only so long as I can spend them at home. I realize that’s a bit of a tall order as I have to be at work on most-such days. That said: I love laying on the couch in the back room of my mom’s house and listen to the rain fall against the two skylights. Really dislodges the bullshit from my brain.

That said, I’m tired of the sky being a joyless gray as of late. I could easily attribute that to the dark days of a Trump Presidency (and, Hell, I am really, because he’s a thin-skinned, orange-faced puppet with a bad habit of taking to Twitter). They’re bringing me down.

Something more cheerful, however: I completed the first draft of Babel, Restored – the sequel to Dissonance in Harmony and what I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I’ve returned to working on Dissonance. It’s fun, but I can’t help but smile at the realization I’m probably unintentionally shitting up continuity without realizing it. The editing process should be…interesting.  Continue reading

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Final preparations

Free Comic Book Day is practically here, which is nice because I’m feeling glum in a way that only free comics, Indian food, and watching Ultron wreck the Avengers’ collective shit can fix. I’m excited about a good few things that are coming up in May, actually,

I deleted the Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter apps from my phone already, which went a little something like this…

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I was going to be a wise-ass and compare this process to starting the first night at Five Nights At Freddy’s, but when I opened the game only to discover my save data at Night 4 was lost I kind of lost any desire to make that joke. Yeah, I’m not super-thrilled with that.

On that unfortunate note, I’ll see you folks in a month. Take care. Wish me luck.

Winding down for my break that’s not a break

Yesterday was a great start to the week, and I only have tomorrow and Thursday before I take my hiatus from being tethered to the internet. (Because that’s something I complain about so often, obviously.)

As I get closer to this self-imposed hiatus from my various distractions (Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Tumblr, and so on), the more apprehensive I am about the possibility of failure. I’ve pointed out that I’m allowing Messenger and Instagram to avoid cutting myself off from the world beyond Altoona, and I will be using the internet for e-mail, searching for publications accepting submissions, and to help with writing, but I can’t help but worry I’ll manage to slip up. One month, though months seem to fly, is a rather long time when that time isn’t being flushed down the digital toilet.

It occurred to me this morning, however, that there’s no real point in worrying too much about it. Not using Facebook gives me time to focus on writing, reading, and actually enjoying my video games. (I mean, I’m spending money on them and not actually making use of them. That seems a bit counter-intuitive.) Without having to worry about coming up with a topic for each day for my blog, I’ll have more attention to devote to writing the short stories that are rattling around in my brain, the novel(s) I’ve put off for how long, and so on and so on. Strangely enough, I’m gradually discovering that worrying about everything isn’t really a viable solution. That is by no means me admitting that I’m going to up and stop worrying; I’ve got far too many energetic, highly active neuroses for that. What I am saying is that this break is exactly that: a break to wind down and focus on other things that matter.

Well, that and enjoy several amazing events throughout May. Why fret when I can finally work on getting more of my work published, more of my games conquered, unpack and clean up more of the apartment, and generally feel less high-strung?

Bracing for the hiatus

Today’s a sleepy, do-nothing sort of day, which would work out far better for me if I didn’t have work in about an hour. (Well, in an hour from the starting time of this post, anyway.) I also can’t help but feel a bit obligated to actually try writing posts with actual depth to them, as I have four days (three after today) of blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, and so on, before I start my self-imposed month-long hiatus from most social media and blogging, operating under the assumption I’ve probably reached the goal of One Hundred Days of Blogging 2.0. Given that I started this back in January, I’ve probably exceeded that goal, and this might be a small admission that it’s actually quite difficult to keep track of if I’ve blogged for one hundred consecutive days. I imagine I could have crossed off days on a calendar, but hindsight and whatnot.  Continue reading

The dangers of repetition leading to babbling

I feel 100% better about writing this post now, as I’m doing so with a glass of rye whiskey. If anything is t be written about degenerating into babbling, it should be done with the company of a good spirit. I’m half-joking, and I must once again clarify that I only occasionally indulge in drinking alcohol as I have apparently caused people to believe I have alcoholic tendencies. Good god. Pardon the slightly grumpy tone, as I spent a good portion of my day cleaning, yet I feel there’s still infinitely more to do somehow.

Fun, well-known fact: if you repeat a word enough times it eventually loses its meaning and degenerates into nonsense. Babble. Or, if you’re stupid enough to prove this point to yourself by repeating the word repetition, as I did earlier, it becomes a tongue-twister. It makes sense, really, because you’re essentially reiterating the same piece of data over and over to the point where it stops holding a meaning and just becomes noise.

I would argue that the same could be said about approaching a task the same way. The act of repeating one thing over and over again, such as writing, eventually causes it to become noise. Babbling. However you want to put it. What if, however, there was just a little bit of a change to the repetition so it’s not quite repetition but a variation on the same thing? Take, for instance, the verb forms of to be. It’s not quite repeating, but it’s still the same thing in essence, and so instead of saying “I am” ad nauseam I would be going down a list of permutations (I am, you are, we are, they are, he is, she is, and so on and so on). The point is that changing things up, in probability, helps prevent from reaching that babble point.

This was actually going to be two separate topics, but I felt it might work better to combine the two. Topic one was about repetition, its impact on regular tasks, and how to potentially avoid that.

The other half is how I’m going to try switching things up in a big way next month, hopefully to the benefit of my focus as a writer. One of the biggest problems I have, and one that I’ve not really addressed any way, is my frequent use of social media as a distraction. To put it bluntly: I spend too much time dicking around on Facebook, Twitter, and other web sites when I could be writing, proofreading, editing, coming up with ideas, and so on. April showers bring May flowers, and for me they will also somehow bring a self-imposed month-long ban from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. The one exception I will be making to this is Instagram, as I don’t follow a tremendous number of people and it’s far less of a time-sink than the others. I only make this small concession as I will be going on vacation at the end of May, and I know myself well enough to know if I ban myself from EVERYTHING I’ll manage to shit it up. This, of course, also means I’ll need to uninstall the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone at the start of May, so that should be interesting.

Admittedly, I still need to hash out details like if I’ll allow myself to use Messenger or not, as what few social interactions I have take place on there and via text message, but those are details that can wait. There’s still plenty of April left.

I’m curious to see how a lack of Facebook and Twitter will impact my time management, my writing process, and how I handle my computer time.

Social media brings out the weirdness in people

I may have lied a little about the planned posts, if only because inspiration struck and I’m prone to whim decisions the same way my cats are prone to napping on tables despite being told tables are for glasses and not for kitten asses. Oh well.

There are plenty of commentaries on social media, and I’m almost entirely certain I’ve written posts on the topic before.

Let me make something entirely clear before I continue: I am by no means a master of social media, nor do I always behave according to whatever arbitrary guidelines are set-up to dictate the best ways to Tweet, Facebook, and so on. At no point have I, or will I ever out of self-respect and not being able to take such things seriously, claimed to be a social media guru (or maven or expert or whatever). Twitter is fun, it provides me with a platform to interact with other artists, and I’ve met some pretty awesome people thanks to it. I also live-tweet entirely too many shows far too often, but let’s not talk about that here. Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Thirty-Nine

I’m convinced that days off of work are not governed by the same space-time laws that are in play every other day of the week. They go by way too fast when they shouldn’t, and drag out when it’s time to focus on things like cleaning or important paperwork or whatever.

On the plus side, I did take a terrific walk tonight with Brianne. It was relatively cool out, but not unpleasantly so, and it was enough to get my brain going on various topics relating to creative things.

We’ve established by now that when my brain gets going on things that it can go to negative places. However, that negativity is a pretty powerful starting point for me to put my problem solving skills to good use. So I guess it’s a lose-win situation. Something like that.

However, all things are eclipsed by next weekend and Intervention. After that, I’m making my first major road trip to Chicago for some quality time with my best friend Jason. This upcoming vacation, I think, will be a much-needed break, and I’m hoping it will yield a good deal of productivity on my part (on top of seeing movies and enjoying good liquor with friends).

Tonight’s post, however, relates back to some of my thinking from my walk. It should provide some insight into how my brain works, and so I caution readers to potentially step away while retreat is still possible. Continue reading