Meh.

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This week has been incredibly long.  I blew out a tire on Tuesday, which I don’t have time to do anything about until Monday.  My new computer crashed.  I don’t need it because I still have the old one which seems to be working perfectly well (despite my concerns that it was going to crash at any moment about a year ago, right before I got the new one).  My biggest concern with that is that I had a few documents on the new computer that were not saved anywhere else: one was the journal I’ve been keeping up for the past year (which was mostly me bitching about things I don’t want to think about anymore, so it might actually be better if that was gone) and the other was the Word version of the final version of my thesis.  I do have the Word version of what I submitted as my “final” manuscript in packet 4 and I have the PDF of the actual final version that I submitted for digital archive with Goddard, so I do have my most recent changes, it’s just a matter of combing through that for the handful of typos and stuff that I fixed and applying them to the older Word version.  I don’t want to do that.  I don’t really have a need to do that.  All I really need my thesis for now is deciding what to read for my graduate reading at Goddard in a few weeks, which I can do from the old version or the PDF.  On top of these major issues with my technology, I’ve also been working about double what I usually do and trying to prep for Christmas.  It has kept me very busy and in a rather non-creative mood.  With my brain not in the mood to write–and with a mountain of books still to read to meet my Goodreads goal for the year–I’ve been focusing on reading as much as I possibly can.

I have finished six books already this month, among them are three audiobooks, two manga, and a novel I’ve been very slowly working my way through for the past year or so when I’ve had free time to read for fun.  I still need to finish 11 books to meet my goal of 30.  When I first started doing the yearly reading challenge, it was my plan to start with something somewhat manageable and then increase my reading goal each year.  I’ve been stuck at 30 for the past few years and only just managed to reach it at the very last moment, so I haven’t increased it.  Reviewing my past challenges, I see now that I’ve been doing it every year since 2011 and it has been set at 30 every year.  I didn’t meet my goal the first two years, but I did 2013-2015 and I am determined to make it again this year.  Having to read for school has been both a help and a hindrance to meeting these goals.  It does require me to read a certain number of books each semester, but I’ve also gotten stuck reading a number of books I didn’t like, so I didn’t quite push myself to the end, so I would spend a good chunk of time working my way through 300 pages of something, then give up because I had a deadline to meet and once the paper was in, then I just put it book on my “currently reading” shelf and moved on to the next thing I had to read.  Those reading assignments plus all the piles of homework and the crap with changing jobs and everything else hasn’t left much time for reading for fun (and it’s left me burnt out, so when I do have free time, I spend it on Netflix or Facebook instead of reading like I probably should be).  So, now I am fighting my way through the remaining 11 books.  One of my biggest struggles with that was that I was already in the middle of two audiobooks (maybe three?) on my other computer and now that I can’t make it work, I can’t go back to my bookmarks and the biggest reason I wanted the new computer is that the audiojack on this one doesn’t quite work, so listening is hard to do.  But I’m making it work.  I found a collection of Richard Matheson short stories (previously known as Button, Button: Uncanny Stories, but now changed to The Box because of the movie by the same name which was based on the short story “Button, Button”) that I had been in the middle of, so I’m working on that, plus some more manga and a couple of new audiobooks.  I am very determined.  I have to read about one book every 1.36 days to meet my goal.  That’s not hard.  Not at all.  If you don’t hear from me this time next week, it’s because I’m reading.

J

 

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Time

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“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
― Marthe Troly-Curtin, Phrynette Married

“Time is marching on
And time is still marching on”
― They Might Be Giants

Clearly I suck at staying on track of things.  Maybe when this semester is actually over, I’ll be better about it.  In the meantime, time is still marching on.

J

 

Rededication and Habitica

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When I first started this blog, it was my intention to chronicle my creative process through my master’s program at Goddard College and throw in some writing tips and creative work along the way.  I think I started out pretty well, but I lost steam when I look my LOA and then when I came back for my third semester, life was insane.  I had just moved across the country, I was making up for a huge chunk I should have finished in G2, then I had all the G3 work to do, so I suppose I could have made time had I been really dedicated to it and had I had the routine down, but I didn’t, so I didn’t.  So now, now that I am nearly done with my program and ready to step out into the world as a Writer, I’ve decided it’s time that I take the blog more seriously.  I know I don’t have many/any readers right now, but it will be good for self-promotion to have something going already when I’m finally ready to publish and I want it to be a habit.

And speaking of habits, my sister recently introduced me to Habitica.  It’s magical.  For real, it’s an online game where you get points for adulting.  How cool is that?  So I joined up a couple of days ago and you set goals for yourself: regular daily things and other periodic things, good habits you want to develop over time, and a to-do list for onetime or irregular projects.  So I got myself started with some basic stuff and some bigger projects I want to work towards, and one of the regular things I want to build into my routine is keeping up with the blog.  So, for now, I have it set that I have to write in the blog every Friday and we’ll see how it works.  With that in mind and now that the semester is coming to a close, I’m not sure what I’m going to write about, so it may be a lot of random things.  I do want to have regular writing tips, just a way to share things I’ve learned and I want to keep up with the quotes, because I like quotes.  Otherwise, who knows what will happen.  I may end up with the kind of weird ideas that come up during NaNoWriMo because I’m forcing myself to write.

In any case, if there’s anyone out there who would like a post on a specific topic, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks for listening and stay tuned!

J

Where No One Has Gone Before

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I’ve had the Enterprise theme song going through my head for the past few days.  It’s one of my favorite songs and I’ve always loved the intro because it shows the history of travel and real images of astronauts and stuff, but it’s been particularly meaningful to me lately as I’m embarking on these major changes in my life.  I listen to this and think about where I am and what I have to do and the great unknown I’m setting out into and I wonder if I can do it.  I really hope I can.

J

Where My Heart Will Take Me

by Russell Watson

It’s been a long road
Getting from there to here
It’s been a long time
But my time is finally near
And I can feel the change in the wind right now
Nothing’s in my way
And they’re not gonna hold me down no more
No, they’re not gonna hold me down

‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
I’m going where my heart will take me
I’ve got faith to believe
I can do anything
I’ve got strength of the soul
And no one’s gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I’ve got faith
I’ve got faith, faith of the heart

It’s been a long night
Trying to find my way
Been through the darkness
Now I finally have my day
And I will see my dream come alive at last
I will touch the sky
And they’re not gonna hold me down no more
No, they’re not gonna change my mind

‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
I’m going where my heart will take me
I’ve got faith to believe
I can do anything
I’ve got strength of the soul
And no one’s gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I’ve got faith, faith of the heart

I’ve known the wind so cold, I’ve seen the darkest days
But now the winds I feel, are only winds of change
I’ve been through the fire and I’ve been through the rain
But I’ll be fine

‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
I’m going where my heart will take me
I’ve got faith to believe
I can do anything
I’ve got strength of the soul
And no one’s gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star

‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
I’m going where my heart will take me
I’ve got strength of the soul
No one’s gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I’ve got faith
I’ve got faith, faith of the heart
It’s been a long road

The Phoenix

Quote

“In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.”
― Octavia E. Butler

This quote seems applicable to my life, so I thought I’d share.  Maybe you can relate or find it inspiring.

J

Happy Thanksgiving!

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My first Thanksgiving in Florida. Aunt Stephanie and my mother fighting over their mother’s rolling pin. Ah, the holidays 😀

So, busy day today what with hanging out with family and writing and cooking and eating, so I’ll make it quick.

In honor of the holiday:

I am thankful for family, near and far, for the support and friendship and everything over the years.

I am thankful for friends from my best friend and writing partner of more than a decade, to my college roommate and the sweetest person I know, to all the wonderful new people I met at Goddard College.

I am thankful to be a writer.  It has been a long road to get here, but writing is the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done.  It is wonderful and exciting and surprising and heartbreaking and exhausting and all around amazing.  I couldn’t imagine a better thing to do with my life.

And on that note, take a moment today to remember the good things in your lives.  Have a great holiday and be safe out there tomorrow.

J

Write or Die!

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In honor of Day Three of NaNoWriMo, I wanted to introduce you to my 1# favorite tool for getting words down.  The free app is about halfway down the page and I use it all the time.  It gives you the option of writing to a specific word count and/or time and the level of strictness and punishment for not writing.  It’s a great way to just knock out a chunk of writing so that you get your ideas (or just words if you have no ideas) on paper and then you have something to work with later.  It’s great for NaNoWriMo and some years, most of my writing was done with the online app while other years I just used it for a little nudge.  I hope you find it as useful as I have.  Enjoy!

Write or Die by Dr Wicked | Putting the ‘Prod’ in Productivity.

J

On Sharing

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“Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.”

—Paulo Coelho

I haven’t been nearly as dedicated with this blog as I’d intended, but then we all know what they say about intentions…

I always have excuses: life is busy, I can’t think of anything to write about, nobody’s reading so why should I write?  It goes on, but mostly, I just forget.  I used to have get a weekly reminder from WordPress to make sure I wrote regularly, but for some reason it stopped, so now I forget to keep it up.  In the beginning, I was excited about writing a blog and excited about writing, so I had the motivation to keep it up, but the novelty has worn off now.  The semester will be over in three weeks and I won’t have regular deadlines to remind me to write—creatively or here—but I still want to keep it up.  I  just need to find a way to stay motivated to do it.  Maybe if I go back to posting quotes with some regularity.  I also think that writing prompts or maybe flash fiction (I’ve never tried it before, maybe it’s a good exercise?) might be a good idea.  Do any of you out there have any thoughts or suggestions of what you’d like to see here?

In 4 days, NaNoWriMo starts and then I’ll be writing insane amounts on a daily basis.  Maybe that sort of creative output will prompt more output here.  I guess we’ll see.

Happy writing, happy reading, until next time…

J

10 Ways to Prep for NaNoWriMo 2014 by D. H. Sayers

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This is a nice thorough list of things that will help you get ready for NaNoWriMo. I’ll write my own post eventually, but I keep putting it off, so enjoy this one from a fellow NaNoer for now.
J

D. H. Sayers

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

So, you’ve bit the bullet, pulled the trigger, logged into the site and signed up! Congrats! You have done something only a small percentage of the population has done in a long time, you’ve made a commitment to your passion. 50,000 words in 30 days, however, from this side of November, can look daunting. I am here to tell you that it can be done. I did it myself last year and will do it again this year.

So from one Winner to another, and you are a winner, don’t let any Internet Troll tell you otherwise, I am going to share some of the things you can do to ensure that you succeed. So, without further ado, I am going to lay out for you 10 ways in which you can prepare to win National Novel Writing Month!

  1. Know the Journey – If you think about it, NaNoWriMo is…

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Halloween and other Frightening Things

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If one door opens

Packet 3 is in the mail!  I just barely made my extended due date, the work is not up to par, and it is the skinniest packed I’ve ever submitted (25 pages out of the 40 pages maximum allowed), but it is in the mail and I can move on.  This semester has been going very badly between unexpected and overwhelming demands at work and the usual struggle of working on a graduate degree.  My advisor has been flexible and generous with extensions, without which, I would probably have already failed this semester.

It all sucks and I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but sometimes life is hard and we just have to keep pushing through it.  So I keep going because there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I want to be a great writer, and right now this is what I have to do to get there.  I will be changing jobs before my next semester so that I have more time to dedicate to my studies, but for now, I just have to

Keep Calm

and

Write On

Good luck to all of you in your creative (and other) endeavours.  And Happy Halloween Month!

J