A little bit of all-over-the-place

It has been a productive day, but I’m now at the point where my motivation is somewhere between “Eh, I guess I could do that” and “**** it, it’s my day off and it’s time to be lazy”.  Mostly because I’m a weird, semi-grumpy mood. Five Nights At Freddy’s taunts me from Steam, but I can’t bring myself to play it at the moment. (Sorry, Bonnie. You can kill me another day, you sneaky bastard.)

Mowing the lawn is admittedly not the best for keeping me ready to seize what’s left of the day, unless what I’m really seizing happens to be blankets and I’m curling up in my bed for a nap. It’s way too early to be thinking about sleep, and yet here we are. Today’s post will be a hodge-podge of whatever I want, as it’s the last real post I’m making. Tomorrow’s, as I’ve said, will be me snarking it up a little bit, and then Friday is May 1st. The first day of me being free from blogging on a daily basis. We’ll see how that works out. Anyway, on to the various things I want to post about. Continue reading

Phil’s Official Writing Challenge Guidelines

I would have titled this “How to Write In Ways That Will Make You Feel Like Your Soul is Dying”, but I realized that might be a hair melodramatic. Special thanks go to my college pal Andrew Webb for texting me last night with the following texts, as he was inadvertently responsible for this topic.

Phil, I have done a terrible job with writing since I stared working full time, how do you do it?”

I responded by saying I force myself to find time every day to write, even if it’s just a little. If I get stuck working on one thing, I focus on something else. Above all else, it’s important to find time for writing. That resulted in this response:

Do you force yourself to a genre or anything goes including journaling?

My phone had conveniently been switched to Do Not Disturb mode by that point, however, because I had to be awake at 6a.m. and those texts first arrived after 12:30 last night. Feeling somewhat guilty for not answering, and finding this to be a good blogging opportunity, I decided to give a long-form answer in the form of a proper writing challenge anyone can hold themselves to (for the sake of self-destruction, really). Keep in mind that I may be a subject matter expert of sorts, but I am by no means a be-all, end-all source of wisdom on writing and so this is mostly just issuing a challenge to help writing in the same way I’ve been keeping up with my writing. Feel free to adjust it in ways, and let me know what works best for you in the comments below. It can be a sort of note-comparing among creative folks who also like finding their limits and then using those limits to inflict torment upon themselves. I’m joking, mostly.

Also, I really should note how much of a gigantic ego-boost it is to have people asking me advice on writing. Holy shit, folks, that is awesome. Right. Moving on… Continue reading

Sanity-Recovery Saturday

Just when you all thought you were safe from my horrible love of alliterative titles, here we are. This is typically what Saturday posts should look like for Hundred Days of Self-Imposed Suffering 2.0, but I got caught up in my earlier post and so this became secondary. It works out because writing that post was surprisingly relaxing, which is sort of the point of Saturdays.

Except the ones I also happen to work. Those aren’t redeemable.

Sundays are for reflecting on how much of a fiasco I managed to turn the previous week into, and so I’m choosing to prepare for the next week by relaxing on Saturday. A little writing, a little reading, some TV, and maybe some meditation. That last one hasn’t happened in a while. My sanity needs to be repaired occasionally, if not for me then for the folks who read this mess. I’d rather not end up letting a blog post loose on the world that could look like my version of any celebrity’s very public mental breakdown. Nobody needs that.

Today has consisted of the following distractions:

  •  Reading more of In Some Other World, Maybe, which is quickly turning into one of my best whim purchases I’ve made at Barnes & Noble in a long while (a review is doomed to happen eventually, once I finish the book).
  • Making adjustments to Unnamed Novel-Project based on suggestions provided by the ever-helpful, ever-brilliant Lindsey, who is one of the beta-readers who helped fuel my madness as I wrote what was Joshua’s Nightmares at the time before it evolved into Joshua Harkin and the Novel-Length Book Title.
  • I spent time with two of my adorable
  • I treated Brianne and myself to McDonald’s. Don’t judge, damn it. It’s garbage-food, but sometimes I can enjoy garbage-food without too much self-loathing and gastrointestinal distress to follow.
  • I watched two stand-up comedy specials. Aziz Ansari and Patton Oswalt. If the walls of a house absorbed the words thrown around near them, my living room would be saturated with expletives and Hobbit-related self-deprecation. Let’s add Nick Offerman to that collection, as now I’m watching him on Netflix as well.
  • Apparently I’m going to a bar for some sort of concert-thing tonight.
  • Regardless of if I drink at said bar, I see a glass of scotch in my future. Single-malt, eighteen-year-old Glenlivet. It’s the most expensive bottle of liquor that I barely paid for that I own, and frankly I think one of the main ingredients is refined unicorn tears.
  • More writing to follow, because I need to make up for being a hilarious failure with progress this past week.

And now I’m going to return to writing because I’ve reached a point where I don’t feel like the writing process with this story is similar to trying to sprint through a bog with giant weights chained to my limbs. Have a delightful Saturday, folks.

Keeping it simple

Tonight’s post will be short, a little sleepy, and at the very early stages of being sick. Or perhaps I just described myself. Probably that.

Anyone who has seen The Blacklist and not told me I need to watch it immediately: shame on all of you! To those of you who have not yet seen The Blacklist, but enjoy good action-comedy blendings with all sorts of other emotional stuff: season one is on Netflix. I’ve been watching it a fair bit in my free time and I love everything. The character dynamics are fun, the plot twists and turns in ways that aren’t entirely unpredictable while still being tremendously fun to watch, and the writing is a beautiful blend of humor, drama, action, and so much more.

Seriously, go watch it. You’ll thank me later, probably.

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Four

I finally got around to seeing Pacific Rim, and I’ve got to say it was better than I expected. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the age-old, time-tested tale of giant robots fighting giant monsters. I grew up on Gundam Wing on Toonami, and loved every second of its weird cartoon, semi-soap opera feel. A lot happier with the ending than I thought I’d have been going into it, too, so that’s a plus.

The flipside is that I’m feeling a touch under-the-weather, so I’m forcing myself to go to bed shortly. However, the post must go on. It’s only Day Four after all. Given that I watched Pacific Rim after work instead of working on this, I think my topic of choice is appropriate. Continue reading