Raindrops keep falling on my cat But that doesn’t mean I ought to wear her like a hat
Nothing seems to fit
‘Cause she keeps crawling off my
She keeps crawling off my head…
Yesterday’s word count: 50
Didn’t have a great day yesterday. It’s hard to write when your brain fights against you every step of the way. It’s just a combination of everything and a healthy dollop of Writer’s Doubt on top of it. Not Writer’s Block, but the sure and certain knowledge that every single word I write is absolute shit, no part of it is redeemable and the world would be a better place if I just stopped. Again.
(A lot of people would agree with the last part of that.)
I keep telling my brain that I’m not actually planning on letting anyone see this story. I fully agree that the world is a better place without my writing, but I’d like to be able to do it in the privacy of my own laptop nonetheless. Hopefully soon it’ll agree with me and I’ll be able to write more than a couple of hundred words. It’d be a lot more productive than dumping ridiculous song lyrics into my head every time I walk into the kitchen at any rate. The above is an example of what I got when I went to use the oven.
I don’t even know why it can do that but not provide an even marginally coherent narrative. Possibly because there’s only me in the kitchen, not me, a dog, a cat, three loud birds and my mother. No, I can’t get away with writing in the kitchen. The table’s too high (or the benches are too low) and it’s in desperate need of a tidy.
Well, no point in whining, even if there is only me here (and the crickets, of course). It’ll either get done or it won’t, and it’s right now looking like it’s veering towards “won’t.”
Not off to a great start there. Every time I sat down to write something either cropped up, or I got Told Things Very Loudly (no, ignoring it does not make it go away, it gets me shouted at instead). However, today is a very empty work day: an hour and a half in total. Bad for pay but good for writing… allegedly. How that plays out in reality we shall see.
Wish me luck! I’ll need all I can get. As my status report at the top of the JuNoWriMo spreadsheet says… Get on with it!
(Some light killing of noisy neighbours may need to occur first.)
It’s been a tough week, honestly. I failed on so many of my goals, which doesn’t help when my mood’s already pretty low. I deliberately set myself little to do, but between work and home life I failed to achieve even that. I’m hoping next week will be a bit better, but honestly I can’t see that happening either.
At least my desktop PC started up this week! If I get time (insert hollow laugh here) I’ll add in the various header images all the previous posts are missing. Unfortunately, the mini-PC I had my eye on to replace it is no longer available, so I’m stuck with this one for a while longer. Ahh, Kingdel, please start selling your powerful i7s again!
I haven’t finished the third chapter of Singer/Songwriter. I’ve barely made a dent in it. In hindsight this may be for the best, because I had Marcus park in the Maid Marion Way car park, but he’d probably be better off parking in the Lace Market one. While I didn’t actually mention where he parked, the location determines describing the scene. The difference in appearance of Nottingham coming from two different locations is… noticeable.
Therefore I haven’t started chapter 4 of Singer/Songwriter at all.
I did come up with another potential name, but… might have forgotten it. I was nowhere near a notebook, my phone, or anything else for that matter at the time so it was kind of inevitable really. If it was any good I’m sure it’ll come back to me.
I haven’t had the time to read…
Day job: initially 40.5 hours. Final total: 48.5 hours. But that work-life balance, right? The one that’s given me carpal tunnel. (New wrist braces came on Friday. I have new ways to sit to keep my forearm level and not twisted. They’re uncomfortable.)
PC booted up yesterday, so little victories!
I’ve almost finished my bullet journal for February. The important stuff, like the weekly calendars, is all done. It’s just drawings now, which I’ve not had time to do. I might post the pages if I have the chance to finish them…
Unfortunately (for me) I haven’t had the time to tidy my desk either. It still looks like a bomb’s hit it.
It’s been a week that feels a little like swimming through treacle. Time has gone quickly and at the same time had much the same feeling of pace to it as the average garden snail on a particularly aimless day. I’d say I need a holiday, but aside from the fact it’s only January, I think we all know what I won’t get to have at any point in the foreseeable future…
And I have indeed started the third chapter of the Singer/Songwriter story, although progress is slow because Life.
I came up with… well, all of one name so far, but it’s one name more than I had at the start of the week.
I haven’t finished the book yet. In part I haven’t had time because of work, everything I have to do at home and trying to write, and in part because it feels like a very long book…
There’s been a little progress on the playlist, but not by much. I’ve enjoyed listening to lots of different music though, and adding things I particularly enjoyed to my likes to re-listen for suitability later.
I did actually manage the picture of Marcus! It came out not as hideously as I’d expected it to be when I started. (I also discovered at a very inopportune time I only have one white-fleshtone Kurecolor marker, so I should have probably done it with Copics instead…)
47 hours of day job this week. The reason I’m tracking this is that we had an Edict at the end of last year about how everyone should only be working 40 hours in order to maintain a Good Work-Life Balance, and thus no one would be allowed to pick up any shifts beyond this without manager approval. …But I don’t pick up shifts. A Good Work-Life Balance is only if they’re not desperate to fill out shifts, apparently.
I finally managed to boot up my desktop! …And the day after, there was another fucking Windows Update and I’ve not been able to start it again since. Thanks, Windows.
An odd week this week. At one point I wilfully forewent an easy afternoon in favour of a solid five hours of work. Made me very glad I now finish at 6pm instead of 9pm…
It’s also been a week of random research, mostly into the Cornish language (Kernewek), since Blake’s surname was voted to be Saint-Ives, and dokkalfa usually have the surnames of the city or town they first registered. Mostly I was trying to find a Cornish word for ‘elf,’ except there doesn’t appear to be one. There’s ‘ælf’ cropping up a few times in place names, but those are the same across the country. Of an actual folklore term? Not a sign of it. The closest I could find in terms of folklore-closeness was the ‘Small People’ (pobel vean), and then got ranted at by Blake in my head, because it turns out he’s a bit touchy about only being 5’6″…
I have indeed finished the first chapter of Singer/Songwriter. Draft zero (a term coined by my awesome friend Anika Daniels, whose website I would link if she had one) is on Patreon. One day I’ll figure out the WordPress/Patreon link so it can look slightly better than Patreon makes things. Why can’t you have more formatting options, Patreon? Why?
I have also started the second chapter of the Singer/Songwriter story, so that’s a win too.
I have, however, so far failed to come up with any kind of useful name for it. I’ve not really had the time nor the spoons to think about it, to be honest. I’m terrible at naming things. There’s a reason Gabrys is still called Gabrys a few years later…
I finished The Ritual. I didn’t start until Wednesday or so, but after that I couldn’t put it down. It has very short chapters, which makes the reading experience slightly peculiar: at 85% of the way through the book, you’re on Chapter Sixty-Five. I can’t remember reading a book that wasn’t disturbingly massive epic fantasy or sci-fi that has so many chapters before. Considering I read it in lieu of watching the movie, I’m now very confused about how they managed to make it a movie in the first place.
My strawberry Shiba Inu is still only a head, so a fail on that front.
Sorry Marcus. I drew and coloured Blake instead.
38 and a half hours of day job instead.
Bonus round: I listened to a lot of indie music on Spotify too. Technically for research, but I’ll always have a soft spot for it. I tried listening to indie rock too, but whoever curated the Indie Rock Playlist has funny ideas about what’s indie: it contained, among others, The Hives, Franz Ferdinand and The Kaiser Chiefs. Apparently to some people, indie means instead not American, which is depressing.
Bonus round part 2: figured out and fixed an issue with WordPress and cron jobs. Basically, if you schedule posts and they keep missing their posting times, it’s because WordPress only runs a cron operation when someone visits your site. If no one visits your site *cough* then it won’t run. There are plugins to fix it, or you can get technical and fiddle with its specialised settings in cpanel. As I’m lazy these days, I went for the plugin. This post gets to be the guinea pig!
One of the joys of writing modern fantasy is the things my characters complain about. Milos occasionally rails against R. A. Salvatore books (though not by name); Blake has just informed me he doesn’t think ljusalfa really count as a minority because, thanks to Tolkien, everyone fawns over them. He says Tolkien clearly was hanging around places he shouldn’t in an unsavoury manner.
As you may be able to guess, my Singer/Songwriter characters have named themselves. Blake (pictured right) is the songwriter dokkalfa; Marcus is the singer ljusalfa. I disagree with both names, but then, I disagreed with Milos’s too and look where that got me. At least I got my way over his surname, but who even knows what his original surname would’ve been if his parents hadn’t moved to London?
It’s my first week of accountability, so let’s see how things went…
I finished and posted the short story I wrote for Story-Bat’s Secret Scribble Santa. It’s called Wintertide Gifts and, thankfully, the recipient seemed happy with it. (It’s also straight, which was very odd to write; kept writing ‘him’ instead of ‘her’ and luckily only failed to catch it once, so thanks to site owner Ashielf for the read-through!)
I’ve not finished the beat sheet for the Singer/Songwriter story, but I transcribed my notes into Scrivener and arranged them into where they should be for the beat sheet, which has given me a road map to around 1/3 of the story as well as helped me figure out what the overreaching arc needs to be.
Bonus round! I’ve started on the first chapter! Life being what it is, actually being able to write it has proven difficult — I think I used up my supply of luck getting the gift story finished to be honest — but at least I’ve started. I’m currently 1,341 words into it (and Marcus has upset Blake already).
Finished Into The Deep and very much enjoyed it. I’m not often a pirate fiction fan for some reason, but the relationship between hapless Lamark and Yuvie the merman was adorable. I haven’t settled on what to read next. Probably one of the ones I started and then put down last year.
Xmas decorations down! It took, as expected, quite a long time… and then they had to be packed and stacked into the garage. Seem to have accumulated two extra boxes of them somehow…!
Sketch a picture of Marcus. Nope. But I do keep looking at my sketch of Blake and being amused. I may enjoy drawing grumpy dokkalfa more than I ought.
I’ve done very little gaming. I started playing Breath of the Wild on the Switch, but again it’s not something I got uninterrupted time for. But I started, which is more than I expected.