Back To The Grind

Writing has been tricky when you have school, an internship, and soon enough a three hour commute to and from school two days a week.

(I’m not a fan of Zoom and online meetings in general. You’re very disconnected and a lot of people covertly or overtly record the meetings. And, there’s that whole sense of performance that you have to do on screen and on camera and that’s not a happy-making thing. But, I’d live with that for not having to make a three hour commute by bus to and from school.)

So, two days a week, I wake up at a slightly unreasonable hour, take the bus down for two classes, and catch the bus back home. Could be worse, I could have to do this again for work, on a “regular” schedule (which would require me to wake up at 5 AM rather than 6 AM), or more days of the week.

And, the internship…that’s been an experience (which is the point). I’m learning a lot of how marketing works at the ground level and trying to stay on top of creating content, keeping track of the content I’ve created, “got a minute?” projects…

It’s been busy. So busy that I’ve had a hard time keeping up on my fiction writing, which annoys me. But, I’m hoping that once I settle into the class/commute/internship routine and don’t have to worry about all of these problems…I can get back to doing some serious writing.

Fingers crossed.

My First Week Back

I haven’t worked at a full-time, paid job for nearly two years.

So, my internship has been weird. Just I haven’t done this in a long time, and while school is one thing (and, in two weeks, I’ll have to commute down to San Francisco twice a week for school. No more Zoom meetings, which I actually prefer)…three days a week in an office is weird, it feels weird.

And, most of my internship right now is education and learning how things work in the office. And creative work. And trying to pretend that I understand what is going on.

(I actually do, but I’m still learning. I don’t think people are blowing smoke up my butt…but, still. It’s part and parcel of the weirdness of a professional author. We get so much grief in so many ways, we almost get used to it. Wondering what sarcasm is involved in those statements.)

Still, I’m writing my other stuff. I’m a writer. I write for fun, as well as work.

The Winter Solist has hit a small air pocket-bridging scene between one act and another-but I’m almost past it now. Other writing projects are slow but steady and as long as I can churn out 300 words a night, I’m in good shape. I’m going to try and enjoy my weekend, and make the most of my time off. Yay!

So, Good News? I Can Have Some?

Is there good news? Yes, there is. There’s several fronts that I’m having to deal with, and I’m having this distinct lack of fear, angst, frustration, and/or terror.

I believe most people call this “being happy.” It’s weird. It’s very weird. I like it, but it is just weird.

Academics-Staying on top and ahead of as many of my projects and classes as possible. In three weeks, I’ll have to start commuting twice a week down to San Francisco for classes. Which I’ve got timed, figured out, and I know how to make the schedule work. It’ll just be waking up early (not 4AM early, thank God for that), and making sure that my timing is good. Projects are current and working.

Internship-So far…I might have something. It seems like it’s locked in, but it don’t mean nothing until the paperwork is signed. It’s local, so the commute is short (twenty minutes, maybe), three days a week. And, it’s paid. Yay!

Writing-Going slower than I expect, but I’ve gotten started on one of the two short stories for the end of March (fingers crossed)…and, The Winter Solist is still being written. I’m getting close to the big reveals, the big fight, and the lead-in for A Solist In Rome, and that outline is growing ever more detailed as I get closer to telling that story.

Other stories are going to be on semi-hold because I need to finish my classes so I can graduate and not go crazy with all this work that I’ve got to get done. But, I might need to escape into a story or three when things get bad.

More news as it comes, I hope…

My Academia Joys

…did IQs drop while I was away, am I on the right mix of medications for my issues, or maybe…I’m finally mature.

Honestly, I’d prefer to the first two-it makes me wonder how much I still needed to grow up and didn’t until the last few years. But…better late than never.

Did my second day of classes and it went well, I think I’m on or ahead of schedule for homework and assignments, which is good. Fingers crossed.

And, I did an interview with a potential internship at a local company and…it feels good. The interview went well, I’m happy with the end results, and I will hopefully know more by Friday.

Writing work…been behind on The Winter Solist, but mostly because I’ve hit a plot bubble. I’m hoping to get around it and get back to work. A few of the untitled projects are still percolating, but with school and some of the other things going on…don’t know when I will get back to them. But, I will get back to them.

Skunked!

Tonight’s post was going to be on issues with stories.

Instead, I’m having to clean my dog and wash down the street because she got hit by a skunk. It wasn’t bad, but it’s still That Smell and now I’m going to be worried for a few hours and hope that she doesn’t have some kind of a reaction.

(Washed her off with tomato juice then a concoction to kill the chemicals. Seems to have worked. She hates getting wet, there’s a reason why she gets a professional wash when needed. Checked on her twice while writing this posting.)

Not a lot of writing got done, today was an errand day and being distracted by Dyson Sphere Program. Yes, I try to wrap my head around factory creation games for fun. And running around trying to figure out how to make all of those belts work. I haven’t gotten to the “making maps” stage, but I think if my math skills were better, I’d be a happier industrial engineer than a writer.

Hopefully less of That Smell tomorrow, made sure to clean everything off myself as well.

The Process of Projects

With school coming up, I”m trying to figure out how many things I can get done…especially since I have quite a bit of writing and document creation to do. And, my school will be going for remote learning at least three weeks (I won’t have to commute at least…), so that means I have some time up at the front of the semester.

But, there’s a lot of projects. Some of which I’m going to have to do from scratch because some of my older projects don’t exist anymore-and I need about four to six projects for my portfolio to provide when I apply for an internship. I think I have two or three projects that’ll work out-and have to make one to two more. Fingers crossed.

So, on the grounds of “things I’m trying to do,” I’m not able to post a new webpage/blog today. Just got a lot of things to keep track of.

But, it’s going to be exciting for the next few weeks…

Well, That Escalated Quickly

I finished a whole chapter of The Winter Solist, and that was interesting. I am worried it might be a little too meta, but that’s what happens when you deal with the Fair Folk. I’ve got at least one potential intership/project for my degree program. And, I went comic book shopping and got nothing at all.

At least it’s the middle of the week.

And, I’ll probably be doing remote learning for three weeks. Yay. And, the one textbook that I need is on Amazon and it’s almost 25% off from the school bookstore price. Yay!

Today’s website? Why, none other than Defunctland, where we learn all the stories of what happened to classic rides at various amusement parks, how some of the tricks of the trade work, and history. I’ve put the videos on in the background and just listened to them while working on other things, it’s nice.

How Many Tuesdays Have I Had?

I could do the math on that, but I won’t. It’d be discouraging in all the bad sorts of ways.

Not a lot of writing done, not a lot of other stuff done. It was mostly errands and small chores and dealing with a damp, cold day today. Never really warmed up, never really changed beyond a depressing cool day.

Sunset was nice, so there was that.

I’ll be more interesting tomorrow, I hope.

One More Week…

I’m back to school in a week.

I hate with several burning passions the idea of being thankful for COVID, but San Francisco State is saying that I probably won’t have to attend physical classes until February 14th. If my math is right, that is one-fifth of my class time not having to wake up early and take the bus down to SF State, deal with Golden Gate Transit, deal with MUNI, deal with the campus in general…

So, onto writing. I worked out some more outline details and wrote down some more notes for a few of the untitled projects percolating in my head. Oh, and I’m getting close to the big reveal in The Winter Solist, so I can get to the big fight number, and fill in some additional details. I’m not going to be doing any more “checkpoint” books again, this stuff is just harder on me than what I thought. The next book, A Roman Solist, is going to be relatively complicated in terms of it’s plot, and I need to keep much better track of things than my memory and some jotted down notes in places.

On today’s suggested viewing, we’ve got a YouTube history guy that I am enjoying a great deal. Drachinifel does a lot of naval history, almost all of it is World War II or earlier, and he is good and witty about the subject. Lately, I’ve been binge-watching his two-part story on the Russian Second Pacific Squadron (aka The Voyage Of The Damned) and it still makes me laugh and chuckle from the sheer black comedy of such a tragedy. He even has a Patreon (when I can afford to buy Taco Bell more than once a month by subscriptions, I’ll even add to my list), and tell him I said hello.

Escaping For A While

I got away from my computer and writing for a day.

What I did was that I took the train down to one of the towns near us (San Rafael, btw) and walked around for about four hours, just exploring one of (if not the) main street there. It’s kind of disappointing to realize that there’s nothing you really want to buy, because nobody makes what you want.

Went to two different bookstores. New bookstore? Comics were bad, new books were terrible (my brain just hurt trying to read the latest Charles Stross novel), I didn’t give a single damn about these stories. Which is really disappointing, because Charles Stross used to be fun to read, but about…2016 or so, he contracted a massive case of Martian Brain Fungus and he just wasn’t fun to read anymore.

Used bookstore? I already own the books there. I can’t find any hidden gems to give to friends…as most of my friends have left the area (and buying them books by Amazon is easier).

Gaming store? Tabletop games have hit the early stage of decline and I’m not going to spend money for a cheesy Harry Potter rip-off in my D&D games, or have people stick magical wheelchairs in Pathfinder for “inclusion” when there is relatively accessible magic to fix just about any injury and resurrect the dead

And, don’t get me started on the stupid marketing for Thirsty Sword Lesbians. I swear, the moment I can buy the game on sale somewhere, I’m going to write a hack for it, stick it on DriveThruRPG, where the cast are secret heterosexuals in a world where being homosexual is “proper” and everything else is wrong. Why? Just to watch heads explode in frustration.

Other shopping? I don’t need furniture, and most of it isn’t what I’d have in my house anyways. I don’t have people handy to dress up in things that I find at the clothing stores…

…and I realized what my issue is. I miss people. I miss friends. I miss having people that I want to be with and hang out. Maybe even have actual human contact. And, that’s what I miss most of all. Human contact. Writing is a lonely profession, often done by yourself and being stuck inside your head on a regular basis. And, that’s what we’ve all been the last two years and some change-stuck inside our own heads and our own little worlds.

Today’s blog is sharing somebody else’s little (or, perhaps, large) world. Namely, the Associated Worlds, where we get to watch as transhuman space elves build a society based upon Consent, Capitalism, and Being Awesome. Where mad science is the norm, death is optional, and the only reason why they don’t specifically have cat-girls is that nobody has gotten around to making them yet. I’m not sure I’d want to live there for too long…but, I definitely would enjoy visiting. Thirty, forty years sounds good. Maybe even longer.

(Oh, and he also has some collections of his works here, and they’re a great read. Buy them and tell him I said hi!)