Writing And Academic Progress

It’s hard to write when all of your job interviews seem to get you two to three interviews, then “we’re looking for someone else, thank you for applying.”

Or variations on that theme. It’s made my dreams at night very surreal in a bad way and that hasn’t helped my mood any.

I’m looking at going back for my full, formal, four year degree. I didn’t realize just how many classes were online in the California State University system and if they can keep that going for Spring and Fall in 2022…I can finally finish up my degree program and get that sheepskin with a four year degree on it. It took me a while, but better late than never.

Actually managed to get past one of the first writer’s blocks moments on The Winter Solist and that’s been good.

And…looking at some kind of screen or divider so that I have a visual barrier between me and the family room. That way, I’m not watching Anderson Cooper pretend to be human when he comes on CNN.

Fingers crossed that the latest run of fires and disasters calm down soon. But, I’m still chugging away, one writing project at a time.

Hey, I Can See Some Light Here!

Short version-I’ve managed to get some writing done.

LONG version-in between dealing with the State of California, despising the whole process of interviewing for jobs (seriously, four interviews for a company and not getting the job?), general frustration with a world that seems to be run by idiots, and coming up on my birthday in about a month…

…the floodgates of my writing mojo have come back. This worries me-I don’t want to be Tim Bisly, who’s muses are angst and anger and frustration.

But, I have gotten at least two more chapters of The Winter Solist done, getting close to the big mystery and the final dance number. In fact…I’ve actually written part of the epilogue, so I can get a few events synchronized. And, I’m doing the “go through my previous chapters and start looking for issues” thing. I’m definitely going to call that progress. Once I finish with that, pull down a copy of Daz3D, build my cover, put the novel together and get it published. I will probably miss the one year anniversary for Solist At Large, but that I have a second novel done is a good thing.

Then, I start writing A Solist In Rome, where I might have my main character get PNG-ed from Italy.

Hopefully more good news coming soon. I’m looking into a moving screen so I won’t have to see the TV in the other room…and not go insane watching CNN. That would be a good thing.

Brain Chugging

I’m really going to have to get more organized in how I write.

Case in point, The Winter Solist A-plot needs things from the B-plot and a bit of the C-plot sets things up for the end of the novel and the main part of the A-plot for A Roman Solist. The C-plot is the entryway into the A-plot for A Roman Solist, and it’s important because we have to introduce at least two or three new characters.

The problem is…I’m having problem getting the plots to synchronize. I’ve had to do a tear-down from about chapter nine or so twice to get to chapter 17. And now I’m stuck at about the half-way point, again. I don’t think I’m going to have to tear it down, but…

I’m going to have to set up one of those plot-tracking spreadsheets for A Roman Solist, and I might have to take a few days with The Winter Solist to try and get it organized as well.

And, I can also see why a lot of authors hate first-person perspective. You have to keep a lot of balls in the air-and a lot of this stuff has to be done in the backstage, because your main character isn’t omniscient. Usually.

Back to the salt mines.

Low On Writing Gas

I promise, the worlds “experimental” and “internet” will not show up anywhere but here, in relationship to “gas.”

So, I got a new desk.And, this is a good thing, because my very old desk (nearly…god, almost twenty years old at this point) was a disaster on so many levels. Built for the days when you were lucky if you had a 24″ CRT monitor, it’s two main advantages these days was that it let me put everything on a single cart and move it around. But, no real space for me to work, the keyboard and the mouse were at weird angles, and I was getting eye-strain from where the monitor was, even when I shoved a monitor tray and a phone book or two under the monitor.

Dealing with Wayfair wasn’t fun-took nearly a month for this desk to get here, and they sent a second one today because they had lost the first order. Now, I have to figure out with Wayfair if I have to send the second desk back or I can give it to someone. I hope I can give it to someone, it’s a pretty nice desk.

So, I got a new desk. In theory this would have helped increase my writing output. I’m not shoved into a place where I can’t not see the TV in the family room, and be stuck watching CNN or daytime TV or any number of the things people distract themselves with. Unfortunately, I have a new distraction as well-finding a job. My personal opinion on writing is simple-I’d love to make money at it, but until I do I need to eat and have health insurance and the various medications that keep me from dry-humping Honda Civics. This means I need a job, with health care. Hopefully Kaiser, as Kasier has been decent, as long as you’re proactive.

But, I’m also competing with everybody else that is in much more dire straights than I am, have longer resumes and/or have just gotten out of college in 2020 and 2021, and I’m trying to avoid the Amazon warehouse/heavy duty lifting job thing. So, lots of resumes going out there, lots. I’ve got some time-my unemployment will probably last until the end of September, I have savings, and I know a few places I can purge to reduce my costs even more. They won’t be fun places to purge, but I’ve been trimming stuff down from my life on a steady basis. I’m just lucky that I don’t have any really bad habits like an OnlyFans addiction or such.

This means that my energy levels have gone weird on me. Today, for example, I was good up until 1 PM, then just everything started to drop. There’s things to be done, I know this-but I just couldn’t think of anything to do except take a nap. I need more energy, but the usual ways to get it are not working as they should and I can’t risk burning myself out. And, that’s my excuse for not drinking “forget the water” espresso and being so wired that I can’t think straight.

So, I got a new desk. (Yes, I repeated myself three times.) Next goal is to get a newer and larger monitor. This way, I have more forward “space” to work with. And, I need to stop dealing with Twitter, or at least ration myself more. I don’t have to be on it all the time, but I seem to just find reasons to be there. Being a writer means that you have shitty human contact at times, it’s a very solitary job. And, I’ve spent sixteen months being rather solitary and I am missing human interactions. I used to be able to get most of what I wanted at cons, but no cons for at least another year.

On the writing front…

  • The Winter Solist is coming along. Not as fast as I’d like, but if I was to write as fast as I wanted, John Ringo would be going, “slow down, my friend.” My goal is to be done and published by the end of the year, which will let me work on writing A Solist In Rome and Book 4.
  • Other writing projects have been going in fits and starts. Hopefully will be able to get back to them soon.

But…I still remain optimistic. Because being depressed wouldn’t help me at all.

Every New Beginning

Coming up close to the end of the school year and that’s about two more weeks of classes.

Then, I have to decide in about four weeks if I want to take summer classes or do something with the time off. But, I’ll be getting a new desk by the middle of the month, so hopefully my workspace situation will be better. Or at least not as cramping. And, I’m still not sure how to market my novel, but I will have to think of something.

Then…new job in the near future. Have to get one, because I need to make some money;. Hopefully, it’ll be something that won’t involve the three hour commute to and from San Francisco.

I know I’ll be taking some time off after school is done. The question becomes do I take two days (and do an overnight trip) or three days (and spend two days) off? Not a lot of stuff to do, most of the state is still semi-locked…but I did get my second shot of vaccine and spent a few days being miserable. And, I was miserable for about two days-the first day after the shot, it was pretty much having the flu in all of it’s glory. The second day, not so bad. Then, about two or three days of just being down and lacking energy.

On the writing front-

The Winter Solist has hit another air pocket, but I’m going to write around it and come back to that pocket later. Right now, I’m thinking that’s the best thing. Get the main part of the novel done, then write the little detail bits in later. No release date as of yet, but I hope to have it up and published by the end of the year.

An Ethical Succubus is coming together…slowly. But, surely.

Some of my other story ideas have been harder to write, but I’ve been accumulating notes on all of them.

And, of course, more blog postings. Fingers crossed.

Brain Bacon Sizzling

So, why haven’t I been writing a lot of anything-posts, more story bits from The Winter Solist, maybe some stuff for the other stories that I’ve been working on?

My brain…can aptly be described as over-cooked bacon right now. Dealing with California EDD. Trying to figure out how to handle advertising online-while taking a marketing certificate class. Looking at a marketing internship, followed by a job, and either of those has to be done soon, because I will be running out of unemployment in late September or so. The hatred of being stuck for the last year and some change. Writing woes. And a general just “I’m not wanting to deal with anything” brain that I hate.

Yep, I know this feeling. I’m not burned out, but I’m kind of over-cooked and under-tended. Classes for at least another month-I think I can make it to the end. A day trip somewhere, I can hope and dream. There’s a couple of places on AirBnB that look interesting and I really want to spend a day or so not being here.

And, getting my second dose of the Crow Flu vaccine and that means I’ll be feeling miserable for the next few days from that and I’ll be vaccinated on that front. Yay me!

Other writing projects? Still…meh. But, fingers crossed. Once classes are done, maybe I’ll have some extra time to do stuff.

“So, Other Than That…

“…how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” a common joke punchline goes.

Well, the play hasn’t been going rather well the last few weeks. Short version-things have suddenly gotten really, really weird on me.

Health Issues-My ADHD might just be simple anxiety and the medication I’ve been taking has been masking that by a combination of hard-core focus on things that are easy to make sense of and a massive amount of bull-headed thinking in other places. But, because I had a high blood pressure scare, I’m trimming back the ADHD medication and going on a nice beta blocker that has a secondary anti-anxiety effect and…hey, I’m doing better! At least I’m not this huge ball of homicidal nerves and I’m doing better in some things.

Exercise-Since I don’t want to be on worse blood pressure medications and take the few things that give me joy in my life away (good food and drink), I’ve been exercising more. And, body-weight exercise sucks when you’re trying to blow the weight off and get back into shape. Once you’re in shape, you’re good, but I tend to respond better to getting in shape with weight work and such. Once I get there, body weight work will help clear up what remains, but until. then…

School-Actually, this is going okay to good. One of my teachers is still driving me nuts. He has a tendency to roam off on tangents and go for “new hotness” in his examples. Often with a major political slant, and I can’t complain about this because it is (CURRENT YEAR) and the teacher is the department head. So, head down and keeping busy with my assignments and everything current.

Social-Well, the outbreak of social media desire has gone down. Mostly because the usual ways I use social media (Twitter, Reddit, Discord, and even IRC) has confirmed that most people these days are making me want them to get off my f(YAY!)king lawn. But…I want to be with people, I miss people. I miss different people, and I actually would like to be with girls. That like me. That are single. And, I don’t have to wonder if they’re going to make me feel stupid at some point.

And, this leads to where you’ve all been waiting-

Writing-So far? The Winter Solist has hit a road-block that I might have to go back and revise…again to get through. It’s not a “oh, you didn’t plan it out” thing, it’s more of a “I thought this was a good path to take, didn’t work, so back to the drawing board.” Other stories are currently in a slight holding pattern, but hopefully once get past this particular writer’s block, I’ll be able to work on them more. I’m still aiming for a late September release, and hopefully that will be successful.

And, that’s the news, mostly.

The End Of The Month

It’s coming up far sooner than I expected-and, well…

Classes have been interesting, but I get this terrible feeling that I should be teaching two of my classes. And, online class work, especially when you HAVE to leave your camera and mike on or the teacher complains, is horrible. I don’t want to hear people’s various things going on in their world, see them even less, and I don’t want them to have to deal with the same with me.

The things we do for our white-collar employment union card…

On writing-

  • The Winter Solist-Finally gotten around the writing problem, getting to the next writing problem, but I’m happy with where it’s going. With some luck, I’ll be able to add the nessisary “B” plot to tie into A Solist In Rome, which I need to get done.
  • The Ethical Succubus-Going to probably keep this for the erotic/urban fantasy novel series title. First novel is probably going to be A Ethical Succubus, and balancing out the erotic, comedy, slice-of-life, and horror in the right proportions.
  • Other Writing Projects-The isekei/light novel concept is still somewhere in “how can I make this work” pile. I really want to do it, but there’s some practicality issues involved. The “have to look at this” hopper has been still dealing with things.

I’m considering this idea of a weekly column where I have a momentary gushing about writers that I like and the things they do right and wrong. Mostly because I’m trying to get those lovely, wonderful, SEO scores up on Google and such, which might mean more sales of my books. (That, and the terrible fear that some of the authors might respond…which wouldn’t be bad, mind you.) Tentative title of this is “Author on Authors.”

Otherwise, the weather is now actually nice (cool but not cold, with rain on all the right occasions), and just trying to make it through one act of madness at a time. Chin up, happy thoughts.

Half Way Through The Month…

…and, far, far too little to show for it. Real life events have been getting in the way too much. I didn’t go and I won’t be going to any of the large events happening around me, but there have been repercussions. And, it’s made it harder to write stuff because the world intrudes when I need to be somewhere else. It doesn’t help with my stress levels, either.

Current projects, in no particular order-

  • The Winter Solist-Having issues with the jump to the next part of the plot, but I’m still writing and still aiming to have this done in a reasonable time frame. I’m going to have to add some more stuff to tie into A Solist In Rome, but I think I can get it in there, no issues.
  • Unknown Erotic Urban Fantasy Novel-So far, I’m fleshing out the “A” and “B” plots and writing more character stuff. Title is still in the air, the series title is probably going to be The Ethical Succubus.
  • Other Writing Projects-The isekei/light novel concept is somewhere in “how can I make this work.” There’s a few other ideas in the “have to look at this” hopper, but I’m not sure I’ll get to them any time soon.

And, yes, the events of the last half month have made me think that 2021 is going to be telling 2020 “hold my beer and watch this!”, and it’ll be in the sort of ways that none of us are going to like. The only things I can do is hunker down, keep building up reserves for if things go bad, and get my school work done when I start school in about two weeks. Otherwise…just, fingers crossed and hoping that everyone will start to get better and calm down. Because, as much as life is a temporary state, what has happened for the last ten months cannot be how we live now. It will drive us to madness, and nobody wants that kind of crazy on their conscience.

I think.

On Writing And Other Nonsense

The weirdness of weather around here had made it a bit hard to write, but I remain busy in my writing fugues. I’ve gotten up to about Chapter 16 of The Winter Solist, and I’m nearing a half-way point. The two big B-plots are about to collide into the A-plot, and that’s when we get close to the end.

Unknown Erotic Urban Fantasy Novel is currently in the “plotting” phase. This is going to be a much more tightly plotted book that Solist At Large was, and at the very least it’s looking to be a five to six book series. I’m still enjoying the idea of the series (and first book title) being The Ethical Succubus, which will make for very interesting reading.

I have another writing project that is going to be coming up soon. What I’m hoping to do is that I will combine the project with my Business Certificate program at Santa Rosa JC. Use this project (it’s going to be a comic book series) as part of my course-work, and eventually put up a GoFundMe to produce the first “issue” of the comic, then go to IndieGoGo and release the first “trade paperback” issue, similar to what Timothy Lin is doing for the Kamen America series.

(Why the separate fundraising? Simple-comic books are not cheap at the starting level. For my “first issue” (which goes up as a PDF for the IndieGoGo campaign to show what we’re doing), I’m going to have to shell out about $9000-because I’ll need an artist and color person and at least one cover. The actual “six issue” trade paperback will be about $52,000 before I even get to printing (remember, contract artists and having to pay up front). Printing a full run of about 1000 is going to be in the $8000 range-and if I can get more people to buy the book, the cost goes down for me.

(I’m aiming to at least cover my costs and make at least a 25% profit during the fundraising, which is probably in the $75,000 range. I figure costs for the next issue will be lower, because I’ll have a product to show that I’m able to produce.)

Anyways, back to work and to the salt mines.