New Year, New U(niverse)

Same bad puns. Honestly, it sounded better in my head than it reads in the header, but I also originally planned to write it as “You(niverse)”…until that looked dumb, also. So here we are.

Happy New Year to you all, since it is now late enough that everyone has crossed the arbitrary boundary between 2017 and the three weeks of incorrectly writing 2017 on things. I’m sure I will be among those people. I hope you all had a lovely night and didn’t wake up with hangovers today, or if you did wake up feeling hungover I hope it didn’t linger too long. Like many, many, many other people, I am using the new year as a means of setting goals for myself in an effort to talk less and do more. I still refuse to call them New Year’s Resolutions, as the moment that label touches something it transforms into an impossible goal for most people. Continue reading

Challenging myself

Or, really, admitting that I’m a bit challenged. I haven’t decided yet.

I have a headache. It has been a trying, busy sort of day. I’m drinking a glass of scotch that was aged in bourbon barrels because I wanted scotch, I wanted bourbon, but I also couldn’t justify that kind of drinking on a Tuesday. Did I mention I have a headache?

This weekend provided a sort of fine point to a murky, nebulous series of thoughts I’ve had lately in regards to my writing. They have been mean, loud, and generally unpleasant thoughts. This point is actually more of a thought-out, nicely worded middle finger to those thoughts because I’m tired of being my own punching bag, tearing myself down, and fixating on the difficulties of writing instead of the actual craft and the joy I derive from it. Case in point: I’m really enjoying writing this, even though it’s largely unplanned, because I am applying no pressure to myself to get it done. There is no arbitrary deadline, nor is there some comparison to other writers and their work. When I hit Publish, it will appear on my site (with all typos that sneaked past my lazy editorial eyes tonight; you may live this once, typos).  Continue reading

The question of NaNoWriMo revisited

I hesitate to admit this, but apparently it’s almost November already. I’m fairly certain it was mid-July just last week, but perhaps time has gotten away from me. At least I didn’t somehow miss Halloween. Yet.

November means NaNoWriMo, which I’ve brought up relatively recently(ish). It’s that special kind of self-inflicted torture writers endure/enjoy for one full month, attempting to produce a 50k word novel before November wraps up. This is only appropriate as The Thanksgiving Food Coma usually spells doom for writers who have failed to maintain a moderate to intense level of daily writing discipline throughout the month. Nothing about NaNoWriMo is easy, from balancing writing against other obligations to fighting against the madness-inducing 50k final word count.

This begs the following question: why in the Hell am I thinking about throwing all caution (and reasonable thought) to the wind and giving it yet another go? It would be in the shadow of the ass-kicking, brain-draining Hundred Days of Blogging (which is so close to being over but still so far away). The holiday shopping season will be upon us too soon, and I still happen to work in a retail setting that is going to get absolutely stampeded. There’s also the small matter of my birthday happening at some point next month, which I imagine will involve plenty of its own distractions as well. I’m still considering it, though. Not a damn clue why. Brianne posed a reasonable question in response to me voicing my interest in tackling NaNoWriMo: “Do you want to torture yourself?”

Perhaps? On one hand, it could be a good way to really kick-start my currently-unnamed novel project. On the other hand, I know too well that working under pressure usually doesn’t make for my best creative moments (although, to be fair, it’s hit or miss because sometimes it lends to me producing my best work). I think the answer will have to wait until November. Around midnight, November 1st. We’ll see where this ends up from there and then.

The siren call of sleep

Or “I know I said I’m going to bed, and I totally am right after I write this entry.”

About now, I should be getting ready for bed.  Writing tonight’s journal entry, brushing my teeth, and so on and so on.  The cursor in Microsoft Word is blinking at me in a way that says “Why are you leaving me?  I have so many words you’ve not added to your story yet.”  That’s true, by the way.  I’ve reached that creative stride where I find myself writing almost effortlessly.  I’m sure the editing phases of this novel-to-be will be less smooth, but let’s not think about that now.

My bed, of course, is calling to me.  It’s saying how comfortable the comforter is (with emphasis on how those are practically the same word, obviously), how fluffy my pillow is, and how I will hate myself if I don’t get to sleep soon because I have a solid eight hours ahead of me at work tomorrow, and that’s a thought that makes my blood run cold these days.  And, really, any day because work is indeed work.  I’m not overly fond of work.  Mind you, I still can’t complain because it’s a great job that’s been a tremendous help.  It still isn’t writing for a living, but it helps enable the act of writing in my spare time and so I’ll take what I can get.

Now if I were to go back in time and tell myself I would have written over seven thousand new words worth of “Joshua’s Nightmares” over the course of a couple days, I would ask myself why I’m not putting time travel abilities to better use.  My moral compass points to get-rich quick schemes involving time travel.  That’s not actually the point, though.

I have made tremendous progress in terms of drafting “Joshua’s Nightmares”, which has in turn made me even more enthusiastic about working on it.  Being tired from my day-job becomes a non-issue when I get home and open Microsoft Word.  This is what I went to college for, and why I have continued to write; to recapture this feeling of happiness and accomplishment.  Okay, and maybe because I think I would just die if I stopped writing.  Nobody say that’s a good thing.  I know one or two of you are thinking it, and you are so on my shit-list.

Small confession, by the way: I wish I had some moderately decent artistic skills in terms of drawing or painting.  Down the road, I may have to pony up the money to get someone to draw a map of the Sleep State to go with “Joshua’s Nightmares”.  It would look so cool.  Trust me.  I’m probably not trying to be an unreliable narrator in this post.

The siren call of sleep has reached the point where I can’t ignore it any longer, and so I’m going to head to bed.  Wishing you all a good night, and plenty of highly productive days of creativity.  Oh, and don’t freeze tomorrow because apparently there’s more frigid fun on the way.

Delay of…short storay?

Yeah, I’m not even a little sorry for the hokey title.

I am, however, a little disappointed with my already behind self-imposed deadline state, but that’ll be fixed no later than this weekend (I now owe the blog two stories, though).  Settling into my first week of work turned into a bit of a baptism by fire, but I’ll leave the rest of that to speculation.

The extra good news is I got to see Iron Man 3.  I’ll write up a proper, loving review for it later.  The short version: it was exceptional.

More frequent updates, and short stories, soon, now that I have a better understanding of what to expect from the new job.

Changes, schemes, and so on

This is one of those big, crazy, confusing, and amazing times of tremendous change in my life, where I’m transitioning from one job–the very first job I’ve ever had–to a new job, and I’ve only got two days left there.  It’s bittersweet and all, but I’m more focused on how it’s a huge change in my life.  One of those “oh-shit-am-I-really-sure-I-know-what-I’m-doing?” changes.  So naturally, it’s pretty daunting and my creative thinking processes seem to have handled it in the most appropriate fashion possible by completely shutting down.  Those lazy, good-for-nothings.  (On a related note, however, I do have a short horror story idea that needs writing once I figure out just what the hell I’m going to do with it.)

As a teaser of sorts, I’d like to say this much (and only this much), and I’ll leave the rest for next Monday: I start my new job next week, and I feel like something new should accompany that.  Something new in terms of writing.  Ooh, mysterious.

Still doing an absolute ton of world-building for “Joshua’s Nightmares”, and I think I’ve reached the point where if I were to lose my red Moleskine notebook I would also actually lose my mind.

Lastly, given the way last week went, I hope anyone who reads this, their families, friends, and so on, are all safe, happy, and healthy.  There’s enough bad shit in the world as it is, so do remember to take care.

Manufacturing landscapes

Let me start by saying this much: this is my second to last week at my first-ever job, and it has been quite busy.  I finished my second of three 3p.m. to 10p.m. shifts in a row, which is a lot more tiring than I’d expected, and so writing’s been minimal at best.  Really minimal at best.  There’s an idea, drifting about in my brain, for a short horror story.

That much out of the way?  Good.  Thank god.  I hate whiny, personal-blog-stuff me.

I built a very large chunk of the world in “Joshua’s Nightmares” tonight at work (in my trusty red Moleskine notebook, actually).  It’s evolving into this big, amazing, surreal thing that I’m slowly falling in love with, which is dangerous for a writer because there’s always the risk it’s actually not nearly as good as I think it is.  However, I do have the good fortune of getting universally positive feedback so far.

Building worlds, when my brain permits such activities, is one of my favorite bits of writing (the top favorite being writing villains, which may very well get an entire series of posts dedicated to it and by may very well I mean it actually just will).  Sometimes the environment takes a backseat, like with Death at Teatime.  The location was irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, so there were just little glimpses of it with the bigger focus on the characters.

There’s just a tremendous joy in building something massive out of what could’ve started as a tiny detail, one little point in a vast landscape, and just going from there.

The Sleep State of “Joshua’s Nightmares” is turning into this massive, and hopefully highly-varied, mix of different locations that I hope will encompass the vast, bizarre realm of dreaming quite well.  A taste, just to tease readers of my blog with: there’s an entire landscape that exists in the sky of this world, linked to dreams about flying and such.

At any rate, I hope to get some writing done should I survive the remainder of the week.  And by the remainder of the week I mean the insane sale that’s going on tomorrow and Friday.