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20140520 Sky 9 HDR


What are you doing/thinking/wondering/making/reading/etc. that you don't normally post about? It has been a while since I have done one of these and I thought it would be a good way to post about non-holiday stuff

Doing: I'm back to swimming after a break of about a month. It wasn't intentional--a few different things were conspiring against me. My shoulder had started playing up again during the break, so I'm glad to be back to it (though I overdid things a little on the first time back).

Watching: On the anime front, I've been watching Sailor Moon Crystal on Crunchyroll. I was never into the original when it aired during my years at high school, but I have become a lot more interested in anime since then.

I am also watching a new anime called Glasslip. It is produced by P.A. Works who turn out the most gorgeous-looking animes and I have enjoyed most of the stuff they have released. This particular show is about the daughter of a family of glass artisans. When she stares into glass she has visions of the future. It is also about the changing relationships between her group of friends in their last year of high school.

On more of a RPG theme, RollPlay have just started up a sci-fi campaign called Swan Song. Utilising the Stars Are Infinite system, the campaign is being run by Adam Koebel. I totally have a new GM crush. He co-wrote the Dungeon World system and his style of game-running clearly speaks of intelligence, passion and long experience.

He and my other major GM crush, Steve Lumpkin, have also just started posting up a segment on GMing they're calling Playing Everyone Else. If you're interested in tabletop RPGs at all--as player or GM--it is well worth checking out.

Thinking: An acquaintance of mine has been getting on my nerves a lot lately. Ze does a lot of complaining about suffering from writer's block but seems to feel that in order to be published, ze needs to write in certain kinds of ways and in certain formats. This single-minded focus on publication seems to press a button of mine. I recently came across this wonderful article from Australian horror writer Peter Ball on why you don't really want to be published--it is simply shorthand for another goal. I'm wondering whether this person's reason for wanting to be published is fundamentally different from mine or whether it is simply our manner of getting there. Or perhaps we have different levels of patience with the process.

Reading: I'm in a weird in-between place with my reading at the moment. I'm slowly making my way through a gardening book put out by the local horticultural society and have been for months. However, I don't have a primary book that I'm reading because I can't decide on what I want to read. My sweetheart has made off with my Kindle in order to read some out-of-print Warhammer books and everything I kind of want to read is on that. Which is ridiculous--I have a zillion print books on Mt TBR, surely I should be able to find something I want to read. If anyone wants to make suggestions, you can check Mt TBR and my 2014 acquisitions list for what I have currently available.

Wondering: A while back, I began studying the AODA Candidate curriculum. I am almost finished--just some loose, time-consuming ends to tie up--but I have been pondering whether this is something I really want to do. While I think their curriculum is great, I'm not sure their philosophy and cosmology is really something that works for me.

Writing: Still going on Heartwood. I originally started writing the story a year or two ago and then shelved it for some unremembered reason. I'd only written two scenes and a bit. When I came back to it this year, I felt it needed rewriting and I bashed my head repeatedly against the first scene, trying different things. I finally got something to work and have been concentrating on getting the words for this new version down on the page without worrying too much about what still needs fixing. I have now caught up to where I was when I first shelved the story and am looking forward to breaking new territory.

Drinking: My mother-almost-in-law recently gifted me with some rose-scented tea that she wasn't fond of. I have zero problem with this because I absolutely adore rose-scented teas.

Earl Grey is generally my default tea (unless it is Twinings which I find way too harsh). I've been drinking much less of it over the last few months but I find myself starting to come back to it.
calissa: (Default)
There has hardly been a cloud in the sky for days, even though the temperature has dropped back from the scorching summer heat to something a little more comfortable. The claret ash trees are heavy with seed and the oaks have the first beginnings of acorns. As I write this, the sun is slowly setting and the evening is full of the long shadows and golden light that speak so eloquently of the season. The western horizon will still be a paler shade of blue when 9:30 PM rolls around.

Today was my first day fully back to my normal routine. Work--on the Gold Coast anthology, on Wolfwinter, on all the usual things--resumed in earnest. And yet, I still found myself spending the latter half of last week trying to conquer my To Do list. Much like my To Read list, it never seems to grow smaller but only longer, no matter how hard I work at it. In the back of my mind, I know this is the height of foolishness. Everyone dies with something left undone--I've seen the truth of this with my own eyes in recent years. Nevertheless, I find myself anxiously battling to get through everything, trying to "catch up"--to what, I don't know.

What I would like, instead, is to slow down. I'd like to pause, to breathe, to savour the cool breeze coming in through my study window. I'd like to appreciate the life that is passing me by while I worry about my To Do list. This isn't a New Year's resolution, but more a vague hope for the year.

My actual goals for the year are something quite different. Mostly they involve finishing things.

I have approximately ten weeks until my candidate year with the AODA is meant to be completed. I aim to have finished the requirements by then, though I anticipate it may actually take me a little longer (which is fine--a year is the minimum time in which to complete the requirements, not the maximum). Once that is completed, I will be taking some time to consider if I want to complete the next degree.

The Gold Coast anthology is due to be launched in early May. The edits need to be completed by the end of the month. This is my biggest focus at the moment.

My writing goal for the year is to straighten out Wolfwinter. This chiefly involves working out what happens in the second book to a reasonable level of detail and fixing up the pacing issue in the first.

And lastly, I will be participating in a self portrait course called Be Your Own Beloved. I have a few body image issues and so I expect this is going to be a huge challenge for me. I still don't know whether I'm going to be brave enough to share my photos.

Trying to strike a balance between these projects and the stillness I'm craving is going to be yet another challenge... though perhaps one that relates to those self esteem issues.
calissa: Photo of Swarovski crystal & gold figurine of inkpot and quill sitting on a page that says 'create every day' (Writing)
December starts on Sunday. Which means that 2014 is just around the corner. I find myself contemplating what projects I want to focus on next year. This is probably not the wisest thing, considering I've been feeling overwhelmed by everything I already having going, but I'm a sucker for the possibilities inherent in a new year.

I do this to myself every year. It is hard to resist the urge to do All The Things.

I've been kicking around a number of possibilities. Some are very easy to identify. I'll be continuing to complete my AODA Candidate year. By my current estimates, I should be wrapping up with that mid-to-late March--around the time of the Autumn Equinox.

Work on the Gold Coast Anthology will also continue. I am just now entering the phase where the work really and truly begins. The first round of edits are underway and will be heading out to authors soon. A tentative launch date has been scheduled for early May.

Things become slightly more nebulous after that. Currently on top of my priorities list is Wolfwinter and I strongly feel that this needs to be my creative focus for next year. This will mean that I will be unable to participate in the quarterly short story challenges run by one of my writing groups. I am really disappointed to miss out but I know myself too well to think that I can juggle both. I am a slow writer at the best of times and don't deal well with splitting my focus--one story or another suffers. Lately, it has been Wolfwinter that has suffered and I feel that I owe it to myself and others not to keep doing that.

Which makes my next potential project possibly problematic. I have been considering starting a blog on my editing website. This is partly in the hope that it will generate more traffic to the site and thus net me more work. But also, I'd like a place where I can dialogue with a wider community than that at DW. I suppose social media offers that to a degree, depending on the platform, but nothing I'm entirely happy with. Of course, this would mean I'll need to work on generating content and I refer you to the paragraph above. I'd be interested in some perspectives from people who maintain a professional blog.

Good thing I've got another month to iron everything out.

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