Happy Post-Thanksgiving Saturday

There’s no question about it-it’s been a busy few weeks.

Work? There are some odd pulls and pushes-anybody that doesn’t think we’re going into a recession hasn’t been paying attention to advertising buys and marketing trends. Marketing is usually the first thing trimmed by a company that is expecting bad times, and that means things have been tight at my job. People have been trying to do more with less, look into Twitter alternatives (which can be summarized as slim and none-the nearest thing out there is Hive Social, and that has the feel of “Twitter, but better,” for values of “better”) so they don’t have to deal with Elon Musk, and a much tighter holiday season all around.

(Personal suggestion-right now is a time to pay cash, pay off any bills or debts ASAP, or do without unless it’s critical. It has the feel of the time just before the big crashes around 2007-2008, especially with “too big to fail” media companies working their way up their legs with shotguns, no long just shooting themselves in the foot…)

Home? Just repainted my room and finally getting everything settled back into place. I have been tired of off-white walls, and I painted them in a nice, calming shade of blue that gives the walls more feeling. Thanksgiving was quiet, didn’t have anything to do for Black Friday, and today will be the day we set up the Christmas tree. Christmas shopping will be fairly light, mostly just “useful stuff” under the tree, small things.

And, onto the writing…

  • The Winter Solist has hit an air pocket. Bridging scene isn’t working out how I wanted, so I’m either going to try and push through or roll back and go another direction. Might do both, we’ll see.
  • An Ethical Succubus has been interesting. Lots of research, and I’ve drawn up a plot flowchart, making this the second novel that I’ve done this for (A Roman Solist is the first).
  • Other stories have been…percolating. Mostly on a time-available basis.

There will hopefully be more news, and good news, soon.

I’m Not Sorry, But Pretty Close…

I’ve just been busy, the sort of busy where you know you have to write something, you have things you need to get done…but once you get home, you don’t want to do anything.

Had to make a drive up to Oregon to clean out a dead uncle’s storage locker. Went up Saturday morning, came back Monday morning. The drive wasn’t too bad-nine hours each way with a stop for breakfast and lunch. But…family was at the end of it. It’s not bad on the scale of other families-no screaming, no yelling, no fist-fights, nobody shooting at each other-but, family fights are never fun. And…wondering if your family member truly has the issues they claim, or they’re doing the whole “poor pitiful me” to get other people to do things for them isn’t fun.

Oh, and IHG really needs to do a serious renovation of the Holiday Inn Express in Corvalis. Seriously-we had a leaking bathtub and toilet in our first room, and when they couldn’t get that fixed, we moved to another room. That room had worn-out plugs (if we didn’t have power strips for our things, power adaptors for our equipment would have fallen out), and there’s a general sort of tired to the place. But, that also describes Corvalis as well.

Corvalis, Oregon reminds me of Berkeley, twenty years ago. I’m pretty sure that isn’t a compliment. The city just seems worn if you get far enough away from the University campus or the main downtown area. Lots of deferred upkeep, but I don’t know if this is just how things are for the next few years, or the echos of COVID and everybody being short on money. I’m not sure how the shopping was-which is something I try to do whenever I wind up in a new town-because we were far too busy dealing with family matters.

For writing-

  • The Winter Solist is coming, slowly but surely. I posted a few snippets and people are enjoying them…enough that Solist At Large got some sales. That’s something, least.
  • A few of my other writing projects, including my ideas for a space opera series and one idea I can’t talk about right now are coming along as well.

Otherwise…it’s November. Seems like it came far too early this year by about two weeks. I don’t know why, but…it just did. Maybe it’s the crazy election season, maybe it’s just other things going in. Don’t know, but got to stay busy.

Will hopefully have more news to talk about soon, but no promises as of yet.

Getting Organized

I’ve really got to get myself more organized.

Short version, the writing has been slow because that’s what I do for work. When I get out of work, I’m roped into the “honey do” lists, because somebody has to do them and there’s only so much the rest of the family can do.

So, this leaves me with very little time to get my brain out of not thinking, get to writing, and get things done.

This means…I’m going to have to get organized. Write up some lists. Take many more notes. Get my brain working faster and harder…because I need to get myself back into the publishing game.

Fingers crossed.

Getting Back Onto Schedule

Last week was a little frustrating and confusing because I had to puppy-sit and that threw a lot of my scheduled life off in directions that I didn’t expect.

But, it gave me a chance to shake up how my life is.

The Winter Solist has been making process, not as quickly as I would like, but it’s getting done. And, discovering the joys of eye strain, the whole “wrapping a steel band around your head” annoying pain thing.

And, going to see a friend on Sunday, which will be good.

Hopefully, this week, I’ll share some of the ideas for the RTS Isekei idea, and there’s another Isekei story idea that is percolating in my brain. And it’s one of those ideas of…

…look, I love Japan. I think it’s an awesome place. But I know what the limitations of the country are and its people. Two of these big limitations? Racism and bullying. Something which this story idea is going to take head-on. With bells.

Back to the writing monkeygrinder, busy times.

So, What’s Next?

That’s the big question, isn’t it?

What’s next?

New job has been a good, busy time all around. I’m currently on my first week of full-time advertising work, and discovering the limitations of the mediums that I work in.

Not the least of which is what happens when your boss doesn’t believe in them.

Waiting on my diploma to arrive. I didn’t go to my graduation ceremony because I didn’t want to get stuck in a crowd of coughing, sick people.

I hate the idea that I might be too old for conventions. I went to FanimeCon and KublaCon this year and I was not impressed. Or happy that I put the effort in to go to them. It might also be that I haven’t been to a con in nearly two years, and I’m out of practice.

Could be both.

Writing for The Winter Solist has been progressing. Not quite as fast as I’d like, but I’m getting there. Note-taking for A Roman Solist has been continuing.

…and, going back to the gum, starting off at three days a week and working my way up.

Fingers crossed.

It’s Been Far Too Long

I’m going to be glad when I finish with school, because I will be leaving campus at speed once I’m finished.

Look, I don’t pretend to be the most intellectual of people, but when you start pulling together gestalt theory and pointing out how The Hero With A Thousand Faces codified most of these things…and your professor doesn’t know what you’re talking about, there’s an issue. There’s a whole year’s subscription and the Swimsuit Edition in there.

…I’m going to graduate college. Finally.

I have a job again. A real job! Doesn’t have many benefits, but it pays and I can get what I need otherwise.

The writing for The Winter Solist has stalled, mostly because it’s reminding me so much of school and my day job. And, I might have to do another plot revision. It’s also why A Roman Solist is going to have a formal, no joke outline.

I might even go down to FanimeCon this year.

There will hopefully be better news, soon.

The Melancholy Of The Long Distance Writer

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance or the energy to blog, and that’s mostly because blogging is resembling my (theoretical) day job, i.e. internship, i.e. not a bad thing to do right now in comparison to school.

School? I’m not sure if I’m just better medicated and able to handle things, or the classwork has been watered down badly, but I know that I’m doing very well with my classwork and my classes. But, the commute has been terrible and horrible and boring and dull.

My writing work has been slower, but I am making progress with The Winter Solist and the outline for A Solist In Rome.

Got to go home early today, so I’m not as exhausted with a full work and school schedule.

Fingers crossed that there will be more progress soon.

Everything Feels Like A Copy Of A Copy Of A…

I read Fight Club in ’97, if I remember right. Back when it was still edgy and cool, but before the movie and before everybody started making stupid quotes about the book and thought they were hot for being able to quote the Fight Club Rules.

(I can still remember them. Damn the author for creating something easy to remember.)

Anyways, there’s this moment where he describes insomnia and the mental state you’re in. Everything in your life, to the insomniac, seems like it’s your life. But, it’s like your life has been taken through a copier, a copy made, then the copy is put on top of the copy tray, a copy made, the copy is put on top of the copy tray, a copy made…

In short, it all starts to get blurry.

Surreal.

Disconnected.

And, that describes my last week in a lot of ways. First time I was back in actual, physical classes and what should be campus full of students is empty by any standards. I have to ride the bus there and back, and I do not miss at all being on the bus system, both of them. And, work.

Here’s the odd thing-I’m either doing exceptionally well at my internship, things are going great. Or I’m being set up to be the scapegoat for something to go terribly wrong. And, it says something about my previous employers that I am not sure which is more likely.

My writing has been going a little sideways. Because when I come home, I’m frazzled. Do I bring my laptop with me, because I have one teacher that is strictly no-electronics and the other requires you to have your laptop? But, if I carry it around, that’s additional weight I need to think about when I walk across campus for my classes, then up four flights of stairs (in groups of two) to get to my classes. I could take the elevator, but I have this opportunity to climb four flights of stairs two days a week, so I will make the most of it. I have to physically restrain myself from engaging in massive loads of snark. Sharing my unguarded and far too honest opinion.

I’m counting the days to the end of class. I have a countdown sheet. I cross the numbers off every day, like I’m counting days before I’m let out of prison.

But, I’ve also put in my paperwork for my graduation. I just have to make it through the next twelve or so weeks, enjoy the hell out of Spring Break (which I will probably do by working full-time at my internship so I can chew as much of that time away ASAP), and…finish something that I’m writing. Somehow.

(I hate authors that start out with good ideas and ghost on you, never publishing again. I don’t want to be one of those authors.)

Time to enjoy this weekend, by hook or by crook.

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!