Category Archives: Life in Random

9-11-20

eBay Sales: pattern, doll

Craft projects completed: 0

Bulb day count: 10 days (I won’t count the weekend days, so this won’t change until Monday)

#Milwordy Update: 31,738

It’s been just a bland sort of day. Not good. Not bad.

And I’m just tired. So, early to bed.

TTYT

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9-10-20

eBay sales: Doll

Craft Projects completed: 0

#Milwordy Update: 29,535 words

Bulb out: 9 days and counting

So work was work and that’s all there is to stay about that. Not good. Not bad. But work.

I don’t feel like utter crap today either. I’m breathing well and I don’t feel like I’m dragging my ass up from the bottom of a bed either.

I did manage to get Trish’s book named: Seeds of Kindness.

That’s about it. Off to write until my fingers fall off to catch up on the numbers I needed to hit yesterday.

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9-9-20

eBay sales: none

craft projects completed: o

#Milwordy update: 28,213

So, the bottom line is that I’m not going to sleep without writing *something* every day towards my goal.

Even on days like today when my asthma has kicked up and all I want to do is crawl into bed and stay there. It’s draining on days like this. It’s not even that I can’t get in a full breath. It’s more like, I feel as though I’m breathing okay, but I’m not actually taking in enough air. On a good day, my breathing is compromised. On a bad day, I’m exhausted just pushing through the day with my legal drug caffeine and my inhaler. And it’s not like a heaviness on my chest, but just a general miliase. And my brain stops functioning properly. My brain to mouth filter takes a denial of service hit and my fingers don’t like to actually hold things.

At my day job, there is a light bulb that is blown out just in front of one of our suite doors. It has been blown out for over a week now. I refuse to submit a ticket. I’m waiting to see how long it takes before someone else does it. Seriously. I cannot be the only person in my suite who has figured out how to submit a work ticket. I refuse to believe it. Even though I’m usually the one who ends up doing it because I get annoyed that something isn’t working properly or that the bulbs in the pantry area are burnt out. This is me, waiting, like an annoyed spouse for someone else to notice and get annoyed and put in a ticket. Even if they have to call me to figure out how to submit it.

That was the least annoying part of the day, honestly, but it was annoying.

Also, steel measuring tapes should be considered weapons. I was carrying one from one side of the building to the other, and that thing must way at least a pound, if not more. I’m pretty sure if I chucked it at someone it’d do some serious damage. And that’s not even counting the burr on the edge of the tape where it was nicked by a razor blade once. And I have been cut by a steel measuring tape before. If you thought cardboard cuts were bad, they’ve got nothing on the slice you get from a measuring tape speeding back to its spring-coiled home and taking it out on you that you had the nerve to pull it out. Angry little steel snails do not like to be out of their shells it seems.

And that is the day in the life today. Not cheerful, but could be worse. I have untapped levels of morbid fascinations and justice-fueled rage in my belly that I haven’t really explored in depth.

The Promises Universe looks something like this right now. (Subject to change with no notice) Anyway, I don’t outline, I write jacket covers:

Book 1: Cassandra : Through a Different Lens : Photographer Cassandra Wyeth-Jones’ best friend was her great-aunt Romey. When Romey dies it’s not a huge shock. At least not until the will is read. That’s when Cassandra learns that she’s inherited both a tremendous fortune, and a tremendous responsibility. She knows now that she’s forgotten something from when she was a teenager. She’s forgotten why Romey stopped traveling. But there’s a journal. A stack of IOUs. And a husband and friends who are willing to help her figure it out. She’s forgotten what promises mean. But she’ll learn. Or she’ll die trying.

Book 2: Bryce : Learning the Trick of It : Bryce Williamson is the white sheep of his family of wolves. He doesn’t have the killer ambition that’s led his siblings to achieve great things. In fact, he’s got enough trouble maintaining enough in his bank account to pay for his therapist, anti-anxiety meds, and feed himself and his artist. His mother’s approach to tough love means that he’s got a month to find himself a new place to live. But that the easy part. The hard part is balancing his no-we’re-not-married-artist’s gallery opening, his pregnant sister the lawyer’s fetch and carry quest, and his social network. He’s not an artist himself, no matter what Old Mr. Peretsky says. He’s just good at finding people and connecting them. He didn’t need to know that magic was real. Or that he could perform it. It’s not like he can tell anyone about that. No, he’ll be better off with the magic of quid pro quo and smiling friends. At least until one of the local mafia bosses decides that Bryce’s sister is horning in on his territory. Then, he’s going to need all the magic he can muster to get them all out of this intact.

Book 3: Troy : Things Lost and Found : Troy Wyeth met the love of his life when he was fifteen. The second half of his soul. His perfect partner. Truman. And he lost him just as quickly the next year. He never knew what happened to him. But now, with a quest to find all of the items his great-aunt wanted to distribute to her friends and family, he’s heading back to the land that he never forgot. He has a new lover by his side. Traveling the world has brought him closer to the person he lost and the memory he’s been gripping onto with both hands. He’s got more than a chance to travel the world, he’s got the chance to travel into his own memories. Will the partner he’s found in Trish be able to remind him that he’s got to live in the present not the past?

Book 4: Sulwen : Changeling Sunrise : Sulwen Smith was an orphan. She named herself when she turned sixteen and was spat out of the foster system at 18 with no idea where she’d been born, who her parents were, or why she can’t remember anything that happened before she turned twelve. She went to the police academy and spent a few years learning why she didn’t fit in there. But when she left, she grabbed onto a private investigator’s license and built a life around it. She’s been hired by the Wyeth-Joneses to hunt down the people Aunt Romey left things to in whatever country their currently hiding it. It’s a good gig. But there’s something that’s bothering her. Something like a watercolor memory in her dreams that she can hear more than she can see. And she’s not sure if it’s something jolting loose from the travel Romey’s legacy has caused or the man she’s been tracking down. The man who is the right age to be her father. The man who owed Romey his first born according to the piece of paper he’s been left.

Book 5 : Trish : Untitled :

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9-8-20

eBay sales: vintage print, honey dipper

craft projects completed: 0

#MilWordy update: 27,248

Sadly, the puppy care and succulent scammers have petered off and now I am vexed by poorly worded ads for watches. I mean, I don’t hate watches, but it seems a shame to go from getting useful snippets of information in my spam to barely intelligible scribbles.

I’ve been reading this book on Radical Kindness. I don’t know that I can recommend it. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not great. Though there’s always something to take from non-fiction books and this is the quote that stood out to me:

“Don’t let your inability to do everything undermine your determination to do something.”
— Cory Booker

Right now, I’ve been struggling to maintain the proper amount of rage and energy to affect change. I’ve been giving widely and hoping that some of those seeds of coin will actually sprout into something which helps other people. It’s just been a year.

I think, honestly, that it’s the year that killed my productivity this weekend. Normally I walk away from a 3-Day weekend with 3/4 of a book. This time, I’ve barely reached 15K on the main book I was working on. That’s not great. On the other hand, I’m feeling much more pressure from #Milwordy to actually write something every day. That means the challenge is working, even if I’m not achieving the numbers I used to achieve when I was young and dreamed of glor… I mean, when I was young and could maintain 10 hours of sustained writing and caffeine ingestion without dying or having my hands and wrists start to ache and burn.

AKA: I’m getting old. It’s not that I’m running out of ideas, it’s that I need to be more selective with where I spend my energy.

I also need to stop eating like a city rat. But that’s a rant for a different day.

Back to the Radical Kindness concept. While I understand the de-escalation techniques and the compassionate viewpoint and the assumption of positive intent portions of the book, I find it a little lacking in the perception that people — women especially — are conditioned and raised to constantly put themselves last. To be kind. To be sweet. To stand back and defuse anger.

To be doormats.

I worry that someone reading this book will stay too long in a toxic relationship and end up taking on “If only I were nicer to my SO, they wouldn’t beat me,” for much longer than they should.

I don’t care that the first chapter of the book basically says that self-kindness is the first step. I have never met an abused individual who didn’t that they were already too indulgent of themselves and think they weren’t giving enough in the relationship.

I guess, in summary, while I appreciate random acts of kindness, and trying to see from other people’s perspectives, and all the touchy-feely stuff I learned in college. I also learned that boundaries are a thing that need to happen. And I think this concept could be acidic and toxic if misapplied. As a therapist, one must give out unconditional positive regard. As an individual, one needs to be able to say “thus far and no further. I don’t owe you my affection and emotional work.”

And this has quickly taken a dive into the edges of heavy topics that I don’t want to handle right now.

Let’s take a left hand turn and talk about writing again:

I think I’ve found Trish’s story in the Promises Universe. She’s a kind, sweet, femme person. And I think she fell into the trap of giving too much of herself or she experienced so little kindness that she had to learn to accept and to give it as she grew up. That’s something at least.

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9-7-20

eBay sales: teddy bear, diamond painting drills

craft projects completed: 0

#MilWordy update: 22,874 words

So, I’ve not been nearly as productive as I would have liked over the past three days. Normally, I have at least 40K to 50K written by the end of the weekend on the project. Then, it’s usually only about 3 more chapters before the first draft is completed.

This year? Not so much. I’m going to be lucky to hit 20K.

Still, I’ve solved some of the problems with the story. And I’ve realized that I’m creating a universe that will have different main characters in the books which inhabit it. Each character will be connected back to the first book in some fashion. But it won’t necessarily be the main characters who meet.

For example, the PI who shows up in Cassandra’s book, will definitely show up in Troy’s book, and Bryce may end up showing up in her book. So, I did mention that I’ve got four books in the universe already? And that each of them is technically a stand alone? I’m going to treat it like Jules Verne treated his stories. They all happen in the same universe and may reference each other, even if you don’t have to read each one individually.

And I’m sure that more characters and adventures will spin off of Cassandra’s journey. She’s probably got a good two or three books just dealing with her stories. But Troy may only have one where he’s the MC, but he’ll keep showing up in other people’s books. Heck, Cassandra and Troy will be the ones who can spark off many an adventure while dealing with the estate. So, there’s that. And there’s no reason why I can’t travel back and forth in time in this universe. So maybe Aunt Romey gets a book of her own. I’m not sure yet. I’m also not sure of all the magic systems in the universe, but they’re not all powerful. And sometimes you can’t be sure it’s really magic. Sometimes, it’s just luck or fate or really hard work. Other times it’s pretty blatant, but small magic. Fixing a tire or making a nightlight. Things which can be done without magic. Maybe it’s even easier to do without magic.

Or maybe the amount of magic is growing and the sorts of things it can do will grow organically.

Or maybe not.

Lots of things are unresolved, but I’m a lot closer to seeing inside the snowglobe than I was at the beginning of the thing.

Also — Cassandra does not have a musical soundtrack. This is incredibly bizarre for me as almost everything I have ever written has a soundtrack I work from. The only thing I’ve found it just… people talking in the background. For example – a gaming stream or a clothing haul. She is unlike any other character I’ve worked with. So, I find that fascinating as well as frustrating. In fact, I think she might just prefer silence or the sound of the sea. It’s disconcerting.

Well, back to the book. And honestly, it’ll be a relief tomorrow when I can drift between projects for a little bit as opposed to my self-imposed challenge rules.

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9-6-20

eBay sales: cookie cutter, jewelry box, stuffed dog, 1 pair shoes

craft projects completed: 0

#Milwordy update: 18,188 words

I’m working a lot more slowly than I usually do on these weekends. I don’t if that’s just because my wrists and fingers have been angry at me for trying to do 45 minute sprints, or if the story has been fighting me more, or if I’m more distracted by outside things. It’s probably some of each of those. It’s gotten to the point where I can only do about 500 words before my hands need the break. I was sprinting regularly at 1000 words just yesterday though, so it’s probably more being distracted.

On the plus side, I’ve decided that both of the projects I’m working on right now are in the same universe. They share the same city and there may be some characters which show up in both books. The main characters will probably not meet. At least not in these books. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll revisit this universe. That means that yes, magic does exist in this universe, but that doesn’t mean that people know about it. Or that Cassandra will fall over anything more than her namesake and the one item her great-aunt left her. At least not now. If we continue following her into other adventures, then yes. Heck, I’m beginning to wonder if Cassandra’s story would be better as a serial. Well, we’ll see. That might work. Or even one main book and then some short stories. We may end up following her bother in a different book. I think his could be a very quiet book though. I know what he’s looking for now and I’d like to see him find it.

Oddly enough, there was almost a sex scene in this book which is something I rarely actually indulge in when writing books. I might go back and put it in. Not just for words, but because I do think it would show of the relationship with her husband the best. He’s feeling very cardboard cutout to me right now. I do need to look into their relationship more and give him some more motivations and relationships.

I did not give the hotel a chance for breakfast this morning. Instead, I just ordered in IHOP. That worked out for the best I think. Lunch was a bag of chips because I’m meeting a friend for dinner. I need to get some more chips or something for tomorrow. I don’t want to order from 7-11. It’s just… it feels so wrong. And the hotel does not have the best snackbar available.

Oddly enough, I can’t find the right music for Cassandra. I tried alternative, but that didn’t work. I tried neo-pagan folk, but that hasn’t worked. Right now, I’m listening to video gamers talking because that gives me something to fill that part of my brain. It’s almost time to dial up “Uno the Movie” because I’m getting frustrated with her inability to communicate a proper sound. Maybe she’ll work best if I pull up the Atmospheric mixer and put on some sea sounds or marketplace sounds. That might be what’s wrong.

All that being said, I’m not sure that all of this story is actually going to be in the final book. We’ll have to see how it betas after I edit it. I have realized that I have once again forgotten to make the space around my characters actually feel like something. I am great with dialog, but I often forget that other people can’t actually see the setting the way I am when my characters are talking. I might go back and add that in tonight, just to give it a tighter feel of space.

Part of the problem is that Cassandra doesn’t care about the space around her. She’s basically a minimalist at heart. She lives in a space and has a lot of color around her, but she’s not attentive to the space the way Bryce is. Bryce is very involved with his surroundings because his obsessive thoughts do include cleanliness and visual organization. (Bryce is the MC for the other project I’m working on.)

Huh. So that perspective is a thing. Cassandra will basically be doing light establishing shots and Bryce does more in depth analysis of his surroundings. Okay. I can work with that. It will give the two projects their own feel and the characters their own voices. Amazing the number of random realizations I’ve come to today.

Anyway, the quest continues. Just keep on swimming.

 

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9-5-20

eBay sales: 1 book

craft projects completed: 0

#Milwordy update: 11152 words

So, the new project is going. It’s a little slower than I’m used to. I don’t know if that’s just because my fingers aren’t warmed up or that I’ve not cut myself off completely from the net. I will say that it’s a lot harder for me to do 45 minute sprints than it used to be. My wrists don’t like doing it anymore. So, it looks as though I’m going to have to hit the Pomodoro method now. 25 minutes on 5 minutes off.

The story has new characters now and I’ve got at least one plot point or sub-plot that’s going to develop. And there’s something my main character doesn’t remember which has affected who she is now as opposed to who she was. Something in her inheritance is going to make that show up for her. Maybe. Or maybe her sweetheart of a husband. Or the new fortune teller who just showed up?

I ended up needing a nap today. Not sure if I just woke up badly or if I didn’t get enough caffeine this morning. That being said, I attempted to get breakfast from the hotel downstairs — but the line. Sweet baby bippy. I couldn’t stand in that line. I literally got out of line, went to my room, ordered food through grubhub, went back downstairs to meet the driver and the people who were two in front of me were just getting their food. It was SLOW. I am going to give them another try tomorrow, but I’m just not sure that I’m going to be willing to wait on it.

Cheesecake Factory for dinner tonight. I ended up having to go to the store for pick up because none of the delivery options worked. It was… an adventure. One that I am not wanted to repeat, no matter how tasty the food is.

I guess that’s about it. I’m not doing much beyond sitting and writing this weekend, so there’s not much to talk about.

See you on the flip-side.

Podcast recommendation: Cabinet of Curiosities

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9-4-20

eBay sales: Vintage GS badge

Craft Projects completed: None

#MilWordy update: 7448 (before this blog post)

I’m in a hotel and prepping for my 3-Day writing adventure. This means that I expect my word count to go insane in the next three days. I will have minimal social contact (ie: the food delivery person and a drop in from a friend every other day.) I also expect my sleeping pattern to be hosed for the next two days, but then again, I do try to keep a really solid schedule of 8 plus hours of writing each day.

Right now, I’m debating between working on the new project I started about a week ago and actually going all in with Cassandra and Jack. I have a feeling Cassie and Jack is going to win that competition though. Just because I can’t help but make myself work on a brand new project these weekends. And the other one will keep.

Cassandra is in for an interesting inheritance from her great-aunt who was a known adventuress back in the day and never married. They’d always connected over tattoos and sub-cultural exploration, so when she died, there was no question who in the family would get her legacy. Jack has always been up for an adventure and has been getting bored not being in the field or working on his business, so when the opportunity to explore the house and the collection comes up, he is more than willing to follow Cassie into the midst of it. Yes, I think this is the winner. I’ll work on the other project when I need a break from these two.

And no, this is not a kissing book. Or a romance. Established partners. No love interest beyond that relationship, but that could change at some point. Though, then it would be a threesome not an adultery story. Just more love, not less.

The biggest question I have right now is whether this is going to be an urban fantasy story or a regular world story. Magic is just so much more interesting. But I have to see what it’s like in the middle of the story. Either it will be high adventure like Indy or it will be a magical adventure. Decisions, decisions. I mean at least I didn’t end up writing an entire business plan for a school for this story. (Another project that will hopefully be finished this year.)

Overall my goal for the next year is to finish off as many of the open projects which are lurking on my desktop by the end of it. I will always be starting something new, of course, but the hope is to polish off a whole bunch of projects, get them out of my brain, and make room for the new projects to grow. And a bunch of those projects will be fandom based and may never see the light of day. But a lot of them aren’t. They’re the series I’ve gotten plotted out for 8 books or the universe which will be able to follow different people who all tie back to the same school. It’s the murder mystery that’s half-plotted in my Schivner and based on tarot cards.

Well, it’s time to get writing. Talk to you tomorrow.

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9-3-20

eBay sales: nothing today

craft projects completed: 0, but I’ve made several rows of progress on my scarf

#MilWordy update: 5329 words (not including today’s blog post)

It’s been a fairly quiet day. Work called me, but I didn’t have to go in. Mom’s car didn’t start, so AAA came out to charge the battery and tell us that it needs to be driven more often and for longer amounts of time.

Unpacked the bags from Michael’s and integrated the Halloween stuff into the proper places. The Halloween/fall decor explosion has begun. I think we only have… six or seven more boxes. That sounds like a lot more than it really is. Pumpkins take up a lot of room. They do not pack well. Not in the least. If you’re lucky you get two to three into a box and then you have to pack around them to use up the rest of the box. I picked up a cute Happy Halloween felt banner at the Dollar Tree yesterday too. It’s adorable and very vintage.

Reframed a picture today. It’s a lovely little watercolor that deserved a better frame than it had. We also got it up on the wall in short order. So, that’s something off of the to do list today.

Spent the evening hanging out — via Zoom — with JM Beal and got in a lot of words doing sprints. It was nice to just talk and write and be productive. The whole thing about this #Milwordy thing is just getting writing. It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be. Project wise, I’m almost four chapters in on a new book now. That’s a good start.

I still haven’t decided what I’m doing for my 3 Day that starts on Saturday AM. (Or Friday night at midnight, however you want to look at it.) I think I might grab one of the prompts I found on line and turn it into an actual book as opposed to the crack!fic I was planning on it being. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow, I think. I need a main character to throw into the situation. Someone who wouldn’t be expected to fall into the situation. *frowns*

Let’s see, she has blue hair and brightly colored clothing. There’s a full arm sleeve of a tattoo involved which is just as brightly colored as her hair. She wears combat boots and has been married to her husband for almost two years now. Her husband is significantly older than she is, who is basically a big money type. Maybe a dotcom entrepreneur who managed to get out before the bust in the nineties. His family is non-existent. Hers is generally nice, but small and scattered. She’s only in contact with them through social media and email because she hates the phone with a burning passion and would text before actually dialing her mother unless someone was dying.

Her name is Cassandra. She is a photographer who made her living photographing babies before she got married. Now she photographs whatever she wants and has been selling those at craft markets and on-line because her husband is more than happy to support her dreams of building an art career. He enjoys the fact that she wants him to help her at weekend shows and happily carries her frames and boxes and helps set up the lighting. As a couple they’re sickeningly sweet together, but are happy just spending time in the same space. His name is Jack. He likes to build things and travel.

Okay, I think we can do this. Just need a title.

I think we’ll call it: Through a Different Lens

🙂 Because I always need a new work in progress.

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Decluttering. Update

Who cares what day it is… This is what I’ve done since the last update. LOL.

  • 2 messenger bags
  • 2 shirts
  • 1 bracelet
  • 10 books
  • 1 magazine
  • 1 purse
  • 5 binders
  • 1 candle holder
  • 3 lanyards
  • 1 fan
  • documents which I’ve scanned in — uncounted
  • 1 old phone
  • 2 old battery chargers

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