knitting, life, writing

The Week in Pictures

  1. Reached the halfway point on this scarf (finally). Hoping to finish it this month.
  2. Printed out half-assed draft of the next project. I’m about 1/3 through reviewing it.
  3. I’ve been playing with a daily visual journal. Some days it’s hard to find anything to draw; other days my teen and about-to-be-teen stand in the living room T-posing at each other while I try to stop laughing.

writing

Another November Done

It’s not much of a chart this year. I started well, was almost immediately derailed by all of the election drama, but didn’t lose too much ground. I did eventually get back on track, and finished up this afternoon.

It is, of course, a mess. I had originally been planning to spend December continuing work on the draft, but I’m pretty burned out on it right now. I uncovered a ton of world-building questions I need to figure out, along with a larger than usual raft of supporting characters. I might feel differently in a few days, but right now I can’t face the thought of digging into all of that.

I know I did other things this month, but it’s a little tough to remember them right now. Similarly, I need to make some plans for December and beyond, but… not tonight.

knitting, life, monthly updates, writing

October Wrap-Up

Someday the time distortion effect will ease up, right? I’m looking at my calendar and thinking, There’s no way that was only three weeks ago, what the hell? But here we are, the last day of October (also a full moon, also Halloween of course), so it’s time to consider the month.

In terms of this blog’s focus, the most important thing about October is that I wrote 22k words of the new book. I have decided to try for another NaNo win, which if successful should get me through the bulk of the first draft, with the goal of finishing it by the end of the year. In purely physical terms, this is do-able; we’re not going anywhere this month, we’re not hosting any gatherings, I don’t have a commute right now, and my new job is not crushing me with tasks or boredom. I have the time; it’s down to whether I can muster the focus to keep putting words together.

No word yet from my first batch of queries. I’m going to give them another couple of weeks before I send out a few more. So much for the writing category. Should I be explicit about my goals here? The 2023 plan is all about concrete goals. I shorthand it as “writing” but the actual goal is “get paid for creative work.” Keeping that in mind is supposed to be a motivator.

In other areas, “save for a house” has taken a hit due to major progress in “don’t hate my living space” — this was expected, and worth it. However, being ten weeks into the plan and seeing no progress in that goal is frustrating. We do have a full month of budget information to work with based on my new paycheck now, so I have set myself some small, actionable targets for the month based around that.

My day job feels like it’s coasting right now, and that won’t do in the long term, but November is no time to plan any major activity in that zone. It’s only been two months; I lucked out beyond hope with this change; it’s okay to just enjoy that for a while. I am keeping an eye on my general satisfaction level there, and come December will put together some 2021 targets.

And then there’s the fifth zone, which still doesn’t have a name or a chart because it’s generally about being at home in my body and at peace in my mind. “Lose 20 pounds” is a goal, but it’s not the goal, and I don’t want to mix up forest and trees here; I don’t know whether or not losing weight will make a difference to how I feel day to day. Meditating does seem to be helpful, but it doesn’t have an end date. Maybe I could set “establish these habits” as a goal for a few months, see if that goes anywhere.

I’m still knitting, in between all of this other stuff.

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I finished both of these cowls in October. The top one is snug and warm and a very quick knit. The bottom one has been languishing since last winter, and I am very glad to see the back of it; its a finer yarn than I’ve ever worked with before and took forever. Loosely draped, it’s nice to wear indoors on a chilly day; doubled, it’s cozy for walking outside. I even put together a queue of projects that should get me through the winter.

It’s been a good month.

writing

1% Done

Many things about life get easier with practice, and so I assume that eventually, starting a new book will seem less daunting. I am two days and 1,200 words into the project–so far, so good! As an experiment, I am using Scrivener for this draft. I know any number of people who swear by it.

The new novel itself is, well, very “me” in that it is another of those kitchen-sink mashups I always seem to come up with and then despair of selling. The skeleton of the story was my 2014 NaNoWriMo project (one of the years I didn’t finish for some reason). Since then I’ve noodled a bit on it, but up to now have not gone back to make a proper draft. I think it’s a fun idea, and I’m looking forward to fleshing it out.

Speaking of NaNo, I do have an idea for a whole other project to do for that. Depending on how progress goes this month, I may switch over to that one in November or shelve the idea for next year. My long-term goal as currently written is to finish three more books by 2023, and I have more ideas than that in my backlog right now. There’s no real need to sketch out yet another one unless my working pace increases dramatically.

Not much else going on with us right now. I love my new job. My goal tracking system seems to be working. I’ve been fitting in more reading these past few weeks–revisited American Gods after a damn long time, and also re-read The Game of Kings. Started Queen’s Play but seem to have stalled out during one of the long set pieces in that book, so I may need to change gears for a while.

Also, we’re getting some fish! All set up and waiting for new inhabitants in a few more days.

By then I might be up to 5% done.