Saturday, January 9, 2016

Off To A Productive Start

It's a new year...where to begin?

I've been writing! Every day even! It's a wonderful feeling. I love my new chair that helps block out all the aching distractions so I can get lost in words. The third unnamed book in my as of yet unnamed series is sitting at 32K fairly as of today. I went back and took notes and added several new opening chapters until I got the story starting at what feels like the right place. I've got a fairly clean draft now going forward, and I'm loving the story so far.

My daughter is giving me crap about not working on Interface, but I will get back to it, just not right now. I need to stick with one world at a time this deep into the draft.

I have a social life again! I've forgotten what that feels like, to just pop over to the brewery down the road after work, to meet friends for lunch, to have friends over for dinner. All those casual encounters that got shoved aside with an overwhelming workload, building, and settling in. I've even started volunteering at school again. Only for one thing, okay, two, but they are on my own terms and only one is more of a long term after school thing.

With time to write in the morning before work and after work before dinner, I'm more flexible about taking time to watch frivolous TV during and being a couple time. We recently finished watching Orphan Black (clones!) and can't wait for the new season to start. We're currently watching Making A Murderer (with everyone else on my Facebook feed), and while it's interesting, the slow shots of the scenery and soft voices put me to sleep every damn episode. It's like Forensic Files. I love that show, but it also has the voices that lull me to sleep. Maybe murder just makes me tired?

I've been reading too, because that's apparently a thing this year. When resolutions flooded my Facebook feed, reading more seemed to be high on the list. It seems like a good goal, so I figured I'd tag along. Last week I finished Brewed Awakenings I, an anthology featuring some of my local writing friends. My favorite by far was Amy Jo Johnson's, She's My Favorite, which is about...clones. I think I might have a clone fan thing going on. But really, it was a haunting story and I couldn't put it down.

Not only reading and writing and watching, I even managed to squeeze in two critiques! One for a friend and one for a stranger. Getting back into that mindset helped with the cleaning up of the draft I'm working on as well.

We spent Christmas Break trying to squeeze in watching all six episodes of Star Wars because the kids hadn't seen all of them, and we'd never watched them all in order. Then we topped it off with a trip to the newly renovated local theatre featuring all recliner seating (which was so freaking awesome- no heads in front of you, all the foot room you could ask for and comfortable!) and saw the new one in 3-D, because why not? It was probably the best behaved theatre audience I've ever been a part of, and the movie was enjoyable, though I had several snarky comments to save for when we got in the car and that last scene? It just went on too long to the point where I wanted to laugh, but overall, a massive improvement over the prequel casting and acting and script.

Our house is also home to a new cockatiel. My daughter's previous one died, which is a story fraught with things I'd do differently and gritting my teeth. We'll skip that because it makes me angry, and I'm relaxing this year. Let's instead focus on the new one, who is a couple months old and great fun. Pepper makes all kinds of noises and loves hanging out with my daughter. She's also happy to ride around on our shoulders and pick at anything in reach. Today we built a ladder for her so if she happens to land on the floor (her wings are clipped), she can get back up to her cage and out of the reach of the dogs, who think she looks really tasty.

And I'll close out this rambling update with this week's Author's Answer, where we talk about our favorite characters we've created.


  1. Happy New Year, Jean, and thanks for the critique :) We sat down and watched remastered versions of the original Star Wars movies over Christmas too. Glad things are settling down after all the hard work you've been through - you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labors.

  2. Hi Jean - well done on getting sorted out somewhat and becoming more relaxed as 2016 takes hold. Good luck as the year continues. I haven't seen Star Wars - and looks like I won't ... Pepper sounds fun - and that ladder for her to climb - makes sense ...

    All the best Hilary


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