Back on the Horse

That migraine knocked me out and off schedule. I’ve been having a hell of a time getting my shit back together.

It’s hard to maintain. It’s hard to find the motivation to wear so many hats. And maybe that’s just being whiny. I’ve always had some executive function issues. I had a hell of a time in high school. I’d always put things off until the very last minute. Same for college. The fact I was even able to put Just for Kicks up for sale is something of a miracle. It still surprises me sometimes.

So, trying to figure out how to make my brain work for me, not just get into its weird little ant trails, has been an ongoing challenge. Making rules has helped a lot. When I made the rule, I wake up early to write, I’ve woken up around six almost every day. Actually getting out of bed and writing didn’t happen, but I was awake. And goofing around on Facebook and Instagram. All the productivity stuff I follow is all about that first half hour of the day. And I’ve been frittering it away on social media nothingness.

But, I was up early this morning. Six. Without an alarm. Just Bzzzt! and I was awake. And I wanted to go back to sleep, but I just haven’t been able to fall asleep asleep after waking up. Just this shitty dozing that does nothing but make me crabby. I  figured out how my new project is going to start and I have a first chapter. That’s a real big motivator. I’ve been perseverating on it and now that I have it, I’m feeling it.

I know writing is war of attrition. I saw a presentation by Kristen Lamb a while back. She said that of everyone who wants to write a book, only 5% will actually start. Of those 5%, only 5% will finish. Of them, only 5% will edit. And on and on. Same goes with blogging. All you can do is just keep doing it.

So here I am. I’m just going to keep on keeping on.

WOOOOOOO

The Defiant Canary clocked in at 136,116 words. I hit my word goal of 63,969 for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m super excited I hit my word goal this month.

And I’m super bummed. Like mega-super-duper bummed. I really liked playing in this story. The characters were fun. The plot was all romance meets Lovecraft (well, lite. I’m missing out on all the racism and my cultists were, well, namby-pamby).

Now…. Well, I guess it’s time to start working on revising. This was a fun story. Last year’s NaNoWriMo was super fun too. I need to get these out.

Time to start doing the hard work. Time to start nibbling on that shit sandwich. Hey look! An olive!!

Even Crappy Experiments are Good

I was playing with caffeine. Not even a terribly big amount. In my half pot of coffee I’d drink at 5 in the morning, one scoop of regular, two scoops of decaf. But, turns out that was enough. Throw in playing fast and loose with gluten, “Omg I NEED fish and chips” and kaboom!

So, monster evil barfing migraine along with monster evil hormonal shifts plus monster evil caffeine withdrawal and bleh.

At least I’ve learned that caffeine is not something that plays well with my brain. I wondered if the daith piercing would fix it, but that’s beyond the daith.

In fun news, I think I’m going to go back to school with the Entropy Machine starts kinder in a couple years and get my English BA. Then, maybe a Creative Writing MFA? We’ll see. My brain just gets antsy without something to do. And I know I can give it something to do, but I really enjoy taking classes. And I’m totally not about finding childcare. And I’d like to have my writing pay for the degree and I’m not there yet.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 1.57.49 PMAnd more fun, I finished the first draft of The Defiant Canary. Came in at 133,921 words. Like, unbelievable. It needs a huge trim. Seriously, we don’t need 400+ pages of this book. It’s gonna be a bitch to revise. Now, to finish The Embezzling Oma.

I still have 815 words to hit my July goal of 63,969. It’s what I have to hit every month if I want to write 500k this year. I might just chuck those 815 words into The Defiant Canary so I can be done, but that’s not a good idea either because I’d just have to revise it and throw it away anyway.

I’m finally feeling much more alive than dead. Still a little off, but not so bad that I’m a couch slug. And the boost of having finished a draft is pretty fab. But now the rest of everything I’ve promised everyone is popping back up. I emailed a first chapter to my friend and now she wants a second chapter. I’ve gotta go to the post office. We’re on freezer foraging and need to go grocery shopping. And wouldn’t you know it, the hubband is out of town for a couple days. All in all, things are more good than bad and now that I can stand without wanting to throw up, everything is much better. But mostly, here’s to another finished first draft!

Thoughts on Pokemon Go:

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That’s right. I caught a Pokemon off my dog’s ass

My dogs love it. “OMG WE’RE WALKING FOREVER IN WEIRD PLACES LOOK AT ALL THIS NICE SHIT I CAN PEE ON OMG WE’RE STILL WALKING THIS IS AMAZING OKAY NOW CAN WE GO HOME AND LAY DOWN I’M TIRED AND SHIT!!!!”

It’s fun.

The servers are shit.

When I try to interact with the app after walking and swinging my arm with my phone in my hand, it freezes up and I have to close and restart.

 

Walking to catch Pokemon is terrible for my writing brain because I’m busy thinking about Pokemon and I’m not thinking about my WIP.

and finally, the Pokemon GPS messes with the fitbit GPS so my walks aren’t logged and it doesn’t count towards my days exercised.

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See! It’s working! And I’m halfwayish to my weight goal!

All in all, it’s a fun game and it’s a good way to get me out walking, especially when I’ve had a massive writing day (almost 7k words!) and I feel like being a lazy bastard. BUT I miss the time I spend with my dogs and I miss the time I spend with myself. In any case, it’s kind of fun to be part of the fun, new trendy thing.

I’ll do a proper update on my Donald Trump donation challenge in a day or two, but it’s going super well too.

It’s funny. All of the things I’ve been doing lately have been working in conjunction to get my brain real excited about writing. (well, except this pokemon nonsense). My food changes are working great with waking up early. Everything is just coming together so well.

I graduated in 99 and Weezer was so fun and cool and awesome. There’s one line from the Sweater song that pops in my head now and then. Right at the beginning, someone goes, “Life’s so rad.” Every now and then it pops into my head.

I gotta say, it’s nice for my brain to say, “Life’s so rad.” and not

In any case, I’ll be playing Pokemon when I need the extra nudge out the door and I’ll be dwelling in the jungle gym of my mind the rest of the time. Heh. Enough of my tangential chatter adventures. Time to face the day.

CHEAT DAY!

So, like I mentioned the other day, I’ve been following the 4-Hour Body. That means today is cheat day.

RHP anticipation
yoinked from giphy

The best part of planned cheat days is putting so much thought into what I’d like to eat. Like, I’ve been thinking about what kind of cake I wanted to make and I’ve decided on an almond cake with cherry vanilla mascarpone filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. It’s not going to be some spur of the moment thing I pick up from the gluten free store and just eat because that’s what’s there. Oh hell no. It’s been thought through for a few days. This shit is going to count.
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The orange peel is in reference to a coming cheat day with flan. That is going to be Cointreau flan with chocolate sauce, real whipped cream and candied orange peel. And I’ll be teaching my sister in law how to make my wicked evil delicious flan.

I’ve got to admit, I used to have the hardest time with my impulse control. I still do. But, I’ve definitely been getting better at it. Having cheat day to look forward to, knowing I will have a food adventure makes it easier to wait. Plus, knowing I have to think it through, not just throw it together at the last second. Not some half-assed, “Hmmm, I feel like brownies,” then end up using applesauce instead of vegetable oil because that’s all there was and the internet said it would work (although it does anyway). I picked up marzipan, new piping tips (my piping game is not strong. Like at all. But I like to eat cute/pretty things, so I should get better), some pink and mauve food coloring for the frosting and sparkles. Little heart glitters because fuck yeah cheat day!

The best part of this is:
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I’ve been sticking to my eating plan, it’s easy and it works and I am forced to think about what I am going to eat. It’s not a, “Well, I feel like eating garbage. Just stop at this 7-11 and I’ll get a Slurpee and a Snickers.” No way, man. Fuck that. The anticipation and planning are making it so much more amazing.

I made the cakes last night. Going to decorate and put it together today. Then I’m gonna smash it. And hopefully the piping will look good. At the very least, it will taste good. AND I’ll frost it early enough that it isn’t boiling lava hot and the frosting gets all gross and melty.

This is the recipe I’m going to gluten-free-itize. And I made cherry syrup/candy stuff the other day to mix with the mascarpone. And as for the frosting, I’m not sure which buttercream recipe I’ll use, but it’s probably going to be this Martha Stewart one. Or maybe I’ll just play with my mascarpone frosting idea that has been kicking around in my head. And we’ll see how awesome my flowers end up. With sparkles. Because a) I’m a lady and b) omg cute food and c) fuck yeah sparkles!

In any case, I can’t recommend the 4-Hour Body highly enough. Except for his, “OMG YOU GUYS! I’M SO AWESOME AT FUCKING!” chapter that I rolled my eyes at a million times. Although maybe if you aren’t familiar with your body or your favorite intimate partner’s body, it might be good for you to read. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Anyway. I’m a fan aside from that.😀

Here’s to cheat day. Here’s to anticipation. Here’s to looking forward to our lives with glee and excitement.

New Habits

This early morning thing is working. It isn’t even 7:30 and I got my 2k words in.

Well, it wasn’t 7:30 when I wrote that first line. A small, pink pajamaed person came and jumped on me.

I’ve been up early the last few days and it’s getting easier. It’s nice to have that 2k words in. Now, I can think about it through the day and plan what comes next. I generally have an idea of where and how the story will go, the big picture, but I don’t do any sort of JK Rowling plotting and planning.

jk-rowlings-phoenix-plot-outline
Yoinked from Open Culture

No. I can understand the need for this level of plotting and planning, but god, no thanks. I like to follow the story where it leads me.

Anyway, I enjoy thinking about the story over the course of the day, toying with what I’ve written and where it’s going and where things will go tomorrow and if I need to sit down and type more.

I’ve also been reading The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. First thing when I wake up, I’ll drink the ice water in my Klean Kanteen, then wander into the kitchen and eat a hardboiled egg. Then drink some coffee at my desk with a splash of heavy cream and heavy on the cinnamon. The morning routine is helping. I’ve also programmed the coffee maker to brew some coffee at 5. Honestly, that has gotten me out of bed more than one morning. “Well, I set the coffee maker. I don’t want to drink stale coffee later. Might as well just get out of bed and do my scribbling.” So, it’s helping.

Plus, I bought a little deskcycle and I sit and pedal while I write, then when I’ve pedaled about an hour, I curl up and rest my little feet on it. I don’t know what’s helping me the most, the eating or the hacks (that 4-hour book is like hack central) or the cycling or the My Fitness Pal, but it’s all clicking and I’m feeling so good and being so productive.

I think Kurt Vonnegut had it right. Four hours (what is it with four hours?!) is about the right time to devote to writing. I spent about two hours writing this morning, some time on bookkeeping (have I mentioned I’ve fallen down the bujo rabbit hole?) and bills and shit and then some time cuddling my kid. If I can maintain this schedule, two hours of writing in the morning and then two hours of editing later in the day, this is going to be totally achievable. That’s a good feeling. That’s a great realization. I can be a writer. AND I can make it career.

And before anyone says anything, yes, the Entropy Machine has been watching Zootopia and Try Everything is constantly in my head.

 

Best Laid Plans

I finally woke up at 5:30 this morning after struggling mightily for the last week and a half. I went to bed early last night, set two alarms, programmed the coffee maker, everything.

I sat down at my desk with a hot cuppa, ready to pick up where I left off and… creak. The Entropy Machine’s door opened and out she came dragging a blanket.

I told her as long as the music was playing, I was working. Now I’m trying to bust out this blog post while she plays jungle gym all over me. It’s pretty hard to argue with “Momma, I love you!” whispered with steamy little toddler breath in my ear. She and her dad are both warm people. I, unfortunately, am always cold. So this means all her little whispers in my ear fog the shit out of my head.😀

Downside, my writing morning was interrupted. Upside, a squirmy little toddler is climbing on me demanding hugs. Can’t argue with that.🙂 Time to feed the chaos.

Because when's the last time you trembled from delight?

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