Plans & Goals 2021: Week 16

May I just take this moment to point out that it is nearly May already? What the literal hell, you guys? I am genuinely shook. We are a third of the way through 2021, you guys. Mental.

On a somewhat-related note, I hope you are all staying sane and safe, because it seems a bit as though the world is falling apart all over again, doesn’t it? I’d been hearing a few things weeks ago from other countries, but in the past couple of weeks specifically Canada has really seemed to be hit hard again. Nova Scotia has had an influx of Covid cases in the past few days, with the government considering shutting us down again, Alberta has multiple oil sands sites falling apart as literally hundreds of employees test positive, and the less said about Ontario, the better. I don’t mean to fear-monger or anything, but I feel like a lot of the issue can be directly attributed to non-vaccinated people assuming that because other people are vaccinated now, it means that everything is fine now. Spoiler alert: EVERYTHING IS NOT FINE NOW. Please, please, please continue to make intelligent decisions, people. I know we’re all just bloody DONE with Covid, but it isn’t done with us, and if we act like spoiled brats we’re just going to cause much more damage.

With that having been said… Last week I hinted good news that I’d gotten, which I didn’t want to share yet at the time because apparently I’m incredibly superstitious these days. I’m now feeling more comfortable with sharing, although I promise you that if something happens now I will never share anything of this nature ever again. *cough*

Disclaimer aside, the news is that I managed to pick up some work, finally. The somewhat-rough side of that is that I’m currently out in Alberta again, which is kinda Covid-central at the moment. Luckily the site I’m on is doing pretty well at keeping things under control. It’s also pretty easy work, on a pretty friendly crew, and I’m in one of the more tolerable work camps, so yay for all that! Am I a bit nervous right now? Sure. Am I grateful for getting the work? Fuck yes. Until my books or art commissions start pulling in a LOT more cash, I will continue to be extremely grateful for the work.

Now excuse me while I knock on some wood to ward off the jinx that I just placed upon myself.


Health

Okay, so, now that you know that I’ve been back to work (for a week now, fyi), you may understand some of the concerns I expressed in last week’s post in relation to my health. Covid concerns aside, camp food isn’t exactly the healthiest of fare, and it can be difficult to convince yourself to sneak in a workout when you’re working 10.5-hour days (plus an hour each day worth of bus rides).

That said, things haven’t been going all that terribly so far. For a significant portion of the first week I was definitely eating way too many baked goods, but I’ve gotten myself more under control the past few days and have been focusing much more on veggies and protein. It’s definitely not easy, when all your food is provided in an “either eat it or starve” situation, but I think I’ve mostly got a grip on it. Wish me continued luck, my friends.

On the exercise page, I’ve switched things up again (yeah, I’m fickle, I know), and am now trying out a Beachbody program called “Core de Force”. The ridiculously named program focuses on MMA-style moves blended together to create cardio routines that also work quite a few muscles at once. In numerous other programs my favorite videos have always been the fighting-style ones, so “Core de Force” sounded perfect for me. Yesterday I tried out the four short “Learn It” videos that teach you what the moves are going to look like so you can figure them out faster, and today I did the first full-length video, “MMA Speed”. If you were standing back and watching it you probably wouldn’t think that it really looks all that intense, but believe me…it bloody was. It all depends on how much energy you put into your punches and kicks, of course, but rest assured that I put a good deal of energy in. It was a sweat-feast, my friends, and I think it’s going to be a great program for me.


Creativity

Let’s start out with art this week!

I haven’t had all that much time for art since starting the new job, because both drawing and coloring are things that are extremely slow processes for me. I did, however, manage to pull off two pieces last week, one of them fully colored! Go me!

Firstly, we have a bit of line-art done for a ‘Draw This in Your Style’ challenge on Instagram, featuring our favorite angel and demon hanging out in Eden:

I had fun playing with this one, and I fully intend to attempt coloring it at some point, but I’ve got plenty of time since the DTIYS challenge doesn’t close until June. I’ll probably set it aside for a little while, therefore, because I’ve got about a million other things I want to draw as well. XD

Secondly, we have a commission for a friend, who had mocked up a simple cartoon concept and asked me to make it something more realistic-looking:

I was more than a bit worried about what kind of disaster I was going to create when attempting to color and shade this one, but I think that, for the most part, I did a pretty okay job! I’m genuinely pretty proud of the results here, especially as it’s something quite a bit different from what I usually do. ❤

Moving on to writing, let me assure you that I still managed to kill it, despite returning to work last week. I mostly focused on fanfic, I’ll admit that, but the results still speak for themselves. Pacemaker.press took it a little harder on me last week, wanting me to pull out 12,887 words – on a week when I was starting a new job! And against all odds and my belief in myself (it’s pretty low, you guys…*cough cough*) I managed to surpass that by a significant chunk with a final total of 14,542 words for the week. WOO!

A large part of what I wrote last week went toward the final chapters of “The Scent of Desire”, which is now complete and will end on AO3 with next week’s chapter post. An even larger part of what I wrote last week went toward “The Prince’s Consort”, which is the new fic I’ll be posting weekly on AO3 (starting next week) and Patreon (started today). Most of the rest of what I wrote went toward a masseuse fic that I’ve been scribbling in a notebook whenever I’m not around my Chromebook. Yep. That’s a lot of fanfic, I know. Don’t judge me. I’m writing. WRITING.


Down-Time

You may reasonably assume that now that I’m working again, I probably have less down-time. You would assume right. The first thing that I can tell you on this topic is that anything even remotely resembling a video game has basically been shut down completely. I did take my PS Vita out to work with me, but I haven’t really bothered with it yet, as the down-time I have gotten has been time that I preferred to spend with my face rammed into a pillow and something playing on Netflix.

So, watching then, eh? Well, not a pile of stuff, but a few things, yes. Yesterday was my day off, and I spent a significant portion of it with the aforementioned pillow, watching “Escape Room” and three episodes of “Black Mirror”.

Concerning “Escape Room”, I feel the need to let you know that it was the 2019 movie directed by Adam Robitel, because there are, like…four movies from the last decade called “Escape Room”, plus one called “No Escape Room”. I’m tempted to watch them all just to see what the differences are. Focusing on the one I did watch, it was okay. Just okay. The actors did a decent job, and I enjoyed a lot of the clues, hints, and traps in the rooms, but the plot was a bit silly and I felt zero attachment to the main protagonist. I’m not annoyed that I watched it or anything, I’ll just never watch it again.

“Black Mirror”, on the other hand, intrigues me something fierce. I’d watched the first two episodes a while back, but I rewatched them while getting a few chores done before moving on to the third, and thus far I think they’re all amazing in weird and wonderful ways. That first episode has got to be the most bloody fucked-up thing though…I’m genuinely a bit concerned for everyone involved in bringing that concept to life.

Oh, and what about books! Uh…yeah…what about them? *cough cough* I do have the first three “Witcher” books with me here, but I haven’t touched them over the course of the past week. That’s not a critique on the books, of which I’ve finished about half of the first, rather than a simple kind of mental laziness. I haven’t wanted to think much while on my down-time, as I’ve been generally fairly fatigued by the end of each work day. Maybe once I’ve gotten a little more used to the long days (after so bloody long without work) I’ll find myself leaning back into reading as a relaxation tool again.


So there you have it. Ten-hour work days, tons of writing, a bit of drawing, some exercise and attempts to eat well, and a day of slugging in bed with Netflix. That pretty much gathers up my past week for you, gathered together into a neat little package. Now, if you’re all finished with me, I’m off to go mourn the fact that April is seriously almost over already. WHAT the LITERAL hell?


Feel free to let me know how your year is going so far! Do you have any big goals? Specific plans? Anything awesome on the horizon? Share what’s going on with you! ❤

“The Prince’s Consort” – Chapter 01 [A Good Omens AU]

Who wants a brand new “Good Omens” AU fic? 😀

Now that “The Scent of Desire” is complete, I am moving on to another AU idea that I had: “The Prince’s Consort”. You lovely people get the first chapter now, and will get each new chapter a week before it is posted on AO3 (in other words, business as usual)!

The Prince’s Consort” follows Anthony Crowley, a male ‘Lily’ raised and trained in a brothel to be eventually sold to someone with a rich purse. Anthony worries that he may never be properly sold off, in which case he’ll be indentured into the rotational workers instead, but it turns out that luck is with him after all. He is purchased by a royal advisor, to be given as a birthday gift to the crown prince himself!

Anthony could scarcely have dreamed of a more fortuitous appointment, but learns that he actually underestimated the situation when he meets his new master and falls head-over-heels in love. 

“The Scent of Desire” – Chapter 25 [A Good Omens AU]

This is it, my dears and darlings! I stretched it out a bit further than I had originally intended, but upon showing a few time-skip scenes into our lover’s lives together, I feel that this story is finally, undeniably complete. 

I have adored writing this story, and as my first (and only) alpha-omega tale I have been so very pleased with the reactions that it has gotten. It is my most popular story on AO3, and looks to remain that way for quite some time, with so many beautiful comments on each chapter that I could almost cry. ❤

Thank you to everyone for reading, commenting, theorizing, teasing, gasping, screaming, and just being an absolutely fantastic audience for this story. You are all awesome

I hope that you enjoy this final chapter, featuring a bit of smut and some epic fluff, which is exactly how I feel that any story with these two bois should end. ❤ ❤ ❤

Plans & Goals 2021: Week…uh…15?

Good morning my lovely people, and welcome to another fine Monday morning! [/sarcasm chip overclocked]

If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you’ve probably noticed that I went AWOL for a few weeks there. The fact of the matter is that it was a weird, stressful few weeks that had me very out of sorts in a number of ways. I’m not going to go into details because, to be frank, a lot of what was going on was personal and none of anyone else’s damn business. But suffice it to say that my mental state was all over the board for the first half of April.

I did celebrate my 37th birthday, which was nice. On my actual birthday we all just stayed home and relaxed while hubby and little one did their best to be as nice to me as possible. Prior to that, though, we went out for Chinese buffet, which is always a huge favorite, and hubby and I also had a games night with some of our friends, which is always a ton of fun. So yes, there were good moments during the few weeks of tornado-brain.

We also got some very good news in the end, which I’ve been avoiding sharing because I don’t want to jinx it, and I’m going to continue not to share it for now until I’m 2000% certain that there’s no turning back on it, but let’s just say that this particular news goes a long way toward reducing my stress levels.

So, okay, with those bits out of the way, let’s look at the goal stuff and see if anything managed to remain positive over the past few missed weeks!


Health

Okay, so first and foremost, health-related topics went completely off the rails during the past few weeks. When last we spoke I was doing the ‘Morning Meltdown 100’ videos, and I continued doing them after that last post. They were going well! But then Easter hit, and we had a visitor for a few days, and there was drinking involved, and… Well, let’s just go ahead and say that everything ground to an inexorable halt.

Right after Easter, when I should have been getting back into the swing of things, is when a bunch of things started going sideways in life, and as a result I never actually did get back into the Meltdown videos. On top of that, I started eating a ton of junk again. I’m not sure exactly how badly I sabotaged myself because I stubbornly refused to set foot on a scale or take any measurements, but I suspect the results wouldn’t have been fantastic.

Come to today, and things have changed up a bit. For one, I spent the past five days or so getting as much walking in as possible, basically to warm myself up for things to come. I still wasn’t eating great during those days, but definitely better than I had been doing recently. Then, as of today, I started doing the “YouV2” videos from Beachbody. I would have liked to continue the Meltdown vids, but due to current circumstances I have no access to equipment, so I needed to transition to something that requires no external junk. So far I’m liking “YouV2”, though. It feels a bit silly at first, because it’s basically a bunch of dance moves, but it was a much harder workout than expected, and I sweated my arse off. I think I’m going to enjoy it.

The key, of course, is to also be careful with my calories. That bit has always been harder for me, but I am presently quite motivated. I’m going to be doing my best to drink more water, eat more veggies, and focus on protein before carbs. I don’t know how it’s going to go, given my current situation, but I guess we’ll just have to see!


Creativity

Creative stuff hasn’t stopped at all, though it may have slowed down a bit here and there over the past few weeks. IN general, however, it’s safe to say that being creative has been keeping me sane, so…yay for that.

Looking at the writing side of things, I have three weeks worth of word counts to report because of the aforementioned AWOL status. So let’s get that out of the way now:

  • Three weeks ago Pacemaker wanted me to write 8921 words, and I surpassed that with 9203 words.
  • Two weeks ago Pacemaker wanted me to write 10723 words, and I failed royally with only 7854 words.
  • One week ago (this most recent week), Pacemaker wanted me to write 9041 words, and I surpassed that with 10,042 words.

So, on the average across the three weeks, Pacemaker wanted me to write 26,685 words, and I came out on top in the end with 27,099. Go me! The key is going to be holding on to those kinds of word counts now that there are…extenuating circumstances. (Am I driving you foolish with the mystery talk yet?)

In case you’re wondering what kind of writing is occurring in relation to those word counts, I will admit that it has been mostly fanfiction, though I promise that I have been working on Book Three as well. It’s just much slower going because I’m trying to work out a multitude of kinks, whereas the fanfic just seems to flow all on its own.

On the artistic side of things, drawing has slowed down a bit recently because I just haven’t been able to find the time required to sit down and get something like that done, but since I’m catching up for the previous three weeks here I still have a few things to share.

The first is a silly little piece I did for the Good Omens fandom celebrating Easter, because how could I resist, honestly?

The second is an even sillier piece that I did – also for the Good Omens fandom – when I found out that it was going to be ‘National Tartan Day’. It was just too good of an opportunity, you guys. Come on.

And the third is actually something that I whipped up for my daughter. She is presently obsessed with the “Little Nightmares” franchise, so I practiced my coloring skillls (or lack thereof) by drawing her a Six. ❤

I’m hoping to get some more stuff sketched up soon, if I can find a bit of free time, because I have a mental list of things that I’ve been really wanting to draw. One in particular is a commission from a friend, and several of the others are DTIYS challenges I came across on Instagram and fell in love with. So, fingers crossed for finding some spare time sometime soon!


Productivity

I think that, after today’s post, I’m going to strike the ‘Productivity’ category from these posts. It just feels superfluous, since most of the ‘productivity’ that I’m generally concerned with can be summarized by a quick list of my social media numbers. Perhaps in the future, when we’re ready to go whole hog on the YouTube channel again, I’ll add in a section for that. It would make much more sense than this current one.

In the meantime, though, in case you were wondering, over the course of the past three weeks the YouTube Twitter and Instagram accounts have gone up by 1 and 4 followers, respectively, while the Author accounts have gone down by 1 and 3 followers respectively. Those aren’t exactly the kinds of numbers that one needs to obsess over, but I am a bit surprised to see both YouTube numbers go up and both Author ones go down, since it has been historically the exact opposite. Very curious.


Down-Time

Okay, so ‘down-time’ is not really a thing I have at the moment, nor will have much of in the coming weeks, but I digress…

I am still working on the first ‘Witcher’ book, “Blood of Elves”. It is excellent, and I can definitely see me running through the entire series, but I just haven’t been sitting down to do a whole lot of reading lately. It is really interesting to see the differences between the books, Netflix series, and games though. I’m still flabbergasted as to why anyone thought that Jaskier’s name had to be changed to ‘Dandelion’ for English readers. It’s just…bewildering to me.

On the ‘watching’ side of things, I’d mentioned that we were watching the final season of “Attack on Titan”…well, we finished it…except that it was only PART ONE of the final season. Why do you do this kind of thing to us, dammit?! So, yeah, there’s still a whole half-a-season to go, and it’s not expected to happen until late this year or early next. Cue growls of frustration.

I did finally get around to watching the first two seasons of “Staged”, and I must say that I laughed a lot harder than I was expecting to. I knew that there were lots of funny bits in the show, but I was definitely taken by surprise by how many bits actually made me properly laugh out loud. I thought I was going to die at a few parts! And there was plenty of emotional stuff weaved in as well, making it a very interesting project to be sure. Plus, I mean…Tennant and Sheen. That’s all you really had to say to get my attention.

I also have to mention the fact that we watched “Godzilla VS Kong” the first day it was available. It was incredible fun, no two ways about it. I couldn’t have cared less about the majority of the human characters, and of course some of the plot points were just ludicrous, but we got a nuclear lizard fighting a big monke, and it was precisely what I wanted from that premise. On a related note, however, I was flabbergasted by the number of people whining and getting angry because there wasn’t a definitive winner in the fight. Did you guys watch the same movie as me? Because I definitely saw a definitive winner. I won’t go into it, because SPOILERS, obviously, but no, seriously…there was absolutely a definitive winner in the fight against Godzilla and Kong.

And then there are video games, in which I was all over the bloody place for the past three weeks. I played a bit more “Borderlands 3”, though not a whole lot because I reached an annoying bit that frustrated me for a while. Then I picked up “What Remains of Edith Finch” out of pure curiosity, and ended up both completing and Platinum-ing the game over the course of two days. Then I restarted playing “The Witness” (knowing that I’d never remember all the ‘rules’ I’d learned when playing it months ago if I didn’t replay the older levels), and somehow managed to go off on a completely different route than the first time I played. (Still tons to do there…I’ll never complete that bloody one.) Then I played a bit of “Little Nightmares” with the kid, because, well…she wanted me to. It’s also a rather good little game, just saying.


And then we come to the end of the tale. Phew! Three weeks of catch-up, and it’s not even a longer post than usual. How does that work? It’s a great mystery.

The long and short of things is that I got turned on my head for a while, concerning health-related goals, but I’m getting better, and creativity is keeping my brain from doing lots of dangerous, explody-type things. Which is good, right? Yes, I think we’re definitely going to go with ‘good’ on that front.

Anyway, my lovelies, I think I’ve served my purpose here today, and it’s time to be off to focus on other important things. If you’re terribly curious to find out what I’ve been not saying all throughout this post, follow my social media. I’ll be bringing it up on there pretty soon. 😀

Feel free to let me know how your year is going so far! Do you have any big goals? Specific plans? Anything awesome on the horizon? Share what’s going on with you! ❤

“The Scent of Desire” – Chapter 23 [A Good Omens AU]

Happy Monday, my lovelies!

If you’re a fan of ObaGams (Twitter and Instagram) and their wonderful art, you may recognize what’s happening at the end of this chapter. What can I say? I was inspired. ^_^ Parenting is hard, yo. Even for angels!

Enjoy, loves!