2022: The Year of Trying Desperately to Keep It Together (Week 2)

There’s just something about Monday’s, don’t you think? They have such a capacity for both promise and frustration. It’s only 9 am and I’ve already experienced both. I woke up from a mostly-restful sleep, ready to start the day, prepared to try out a new exercise vid…and then it came to pass that the kid’s school bus never showed up, so I had to drive her to school. Not exactly a bit deal, in the grand scheme of things, but just enough to throw me off and send my brain into one of its weird spirals wherein it takes me hours to reassert a logical thought process and actually get anything done.

Well, at least I’m getting this done, which is something.

But also, we had a pretty gross storm over the weekend, and now I’m hearing on the radio that we’re expecting wind gusts between 80 and 100 km starting this afternoon…not particularly pleased abut that. Here’s hoping I get supper heated up before it really kicks into gear. There are few annoyances greater than having the power go out before supper is ready.

ANYWAY, that’s enough mindless complaining for now. I’m snuggled up on the couch with a kitty while hubby plays ‘Doom Eternal’, so let’s go ahead and get this week’s report out of the way, shall we?

Maybe after that I’ll manage to get something productive moving in my brain.


Goal Set #1: Artistic Fulfilment

Okay, so, starting out with writing and art, I can honestly say that I’ve got a half-decent report to make for week #2.

Writing first. The short version is that I didn’t quite hit my Pacemaker.press goal for the week, but I got really close, and I’m pleased with that considering that I had a complete and utter mental shutdown on the last day of the week. In the end I came out with 9602 words written, which isn’t too far off from the 10,221 words Pacemaker wanted me to write. I’m more than happy with that because, as I said, on the last day of the week (for reporting purposes) my brain just…stopped working. I couldn’t seem to do or think of anything. It was rather disconcerting and I did not enjoy it. I hope that it doesn’t happen again any time soon.

What’s also really nice about the 9602 words that I wrote last week is that about half of them went straight into ‘The Other World: Book Three’. Yes, I said I was going to do it, and for a change I actually did what I said. Are you proud of me? :3

On the art side of things, I’ll start by saying that the brain shutdown I experienced yesterday was nothing compared to the creative shutdown that happened throughout the week. Every time I tried to draw it was just an utter disaster. Everything looked like complete and utter shite. I was aghast at how horrible everything I was attempting to create was coming out.

That was until – somewhat ironically – last night. I decided to sit down with my tablet, relax, and just play around with an idea I had for a gift to one of my favorite ‘Good Omens’ fan creatures. I only did the rough sketch so far, but I’m quite pleased with how it’s turning out. I’ve got high hopes (and fingers crossed) for the line-art, and maybe even a bit of color. :O

I won’t share the whole rough, because the progress shots are for my Patrons, but I’ll give you a little cropped sneak at what I have so far:

Curious? I’ll give you a little hint as well… That’s Book!Crowley. ^_~

On another note that’s related to artistry, kinda, I just wanted to take a moment to mention how much I’m enjoying the Gem Painting kit my mother gave me for Christmas. I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I have been, and I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s strangely soothing and there’s something quite pleasant about seeing the image grow by little bits at a time. I’ve been carving out a few minutes per day to work on it, and I have a feeling that I’m going to end up addicted to these things, especially if I can find more cool geeky ones.


Goal Set #2: Physical Focus

Okay, I”ll admit to right off the bat is that the Muscle Burns Fat program only lasted a few days. The first day – which was leg day – basically broke me, and when my legs were still throbbing three days later I decided to take a break and let them recover before deciding what to do next. I’ve come to the conclusion that, while the program seems like a good one, it’s just a tad too advanced for me at the moment and I need to take things a little bit slower.

What I’m going to try instead (as soon as I finish this post, in fact), is some of the videos by ‘Sharona’s Hill’, whom I stumbled across on TikTok. She calls her videos ‘walking exercises’ because they are low-impact, zero equipment videos, but they’re really more like dancing. She has a ton of them to a variety of music – including random movie themes and the like – and they look like fun. Two or three of them (they’re between 10 and 15 mins long) will pump my daily steps up by a few thousand, plus get me sweating, so maybe I can shed a few pounds and build back up to the #MBF program. If nothing else, they should be amusing to try. I’m seriously considering recording myself doing one to see how ridiculous I look.

To be determined.


Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding

Last week I said that I hated to even make this one of my goals. That attitude has not changed. Especially considering the annoying numbers I’m looking at from last week. What it basically comes down to is that my TikTok subscriber number is the only figure that went up. The others didn’t go down by much – just one or two here and there – but that doesn’t make it any less annoying when I’m hoping for growth.

I had no book sales or pages read last week, which is a bummer too. But, I suppose, if I want to look on the bright side for something, I got some lovely comments on some of my fanfiction over the past few days. So yeah…that’s nice. ❤


Goal Set #4: Mental Wellbeing

And last but not least, we have the ‘keeping my brain’ running section, which obviously didn’t work all throughout the week. *cough cough*

It definitely wasn’t all bad though. I’m just being dramatic, as usual.

I read a fair bit of fanfiction during my off-hours last week, but I also plowed through Junji Ito’s ‘Smashed’, which is another of his short horror compilation manga. It was excellent, as usual, and definitely creeped me out in a few places. Plus his art is just fantastic. Two thumbs up for sure.

I didn’t play any games throughout the week, but I did finally watch ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, which was a blast and means that I’m all caught up for whenever we’re able to watch ‘No Way Home’. Hubby and I also checked out ‘Last Night in Soho’, which was totally off the wall and not what I was expecting at all, but pretty enjoyable none-the-less.

There was the gem painting, of course, which soothes me in a way I can’t really explain…I’m nearly halfway finished with it now, and already wondering what I’m going to do next.

And if I’m being honest, I spent a lot of time last week on TikTok, which isn’t necessarily the best thing for my mental wellbeing, but there’s so much stuff on there that makes me smile, so I really can’t deny it to myself. Plus it helps spark my creativity and desire to work on other things, so it can’t be all bad, right? Right.


And we come to the end of this week’s report. It wasn’t the most productive week, but all things considered I’m not particularly disappointed. I know where I have to focus some more energy in the coming week, but in the meantime I’m going to go try to warm up and then check out those dancing vids. Wish me luck! ❤

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! ❤

2022: The Year of Trying Desperately to Keep It Together (Week 1)

There’s a distinct possibility that I may have mentioned this before in the past, but the holidays are a rough time for me. Not emotionally, because I love the holidays, and I have a wonderfully family. Physically and mentally though? Total dumpster fire. I love the holidays, but they’re an exceptionally busy time, not to mention a very social time, and for a high-functioning introvert such as myself that means that I end up feeling like a writhing ball of fatigue and unproductive slime by the end of it. My brain goes to mush and I have an extremely difficult time working myself back into some kind of moderately-capable mindset again.

For example, did you know that the new year actually happened a full ten days ago? I’m certain that you did, but my brain evidently didn’t get the memo. Hence, here we are on January 10th, and I am finally – finally – giving you guys an update on LIFE.

Fair warning: this is likely going to be a long one.


First of all, let’s chat a bit about the end of 2021. I’m not going to get into a ton of detail regarding my goals from last year because:

a) There’s not much to say.
b) You probably aren’t that fussed to know.
c) I’ll just depress myself, which isn’t exactly productive.

So let’s just go ahead and accept the fact that, for the most part, I didn’t do bugger all in December. I was focused almost exclusively on the holidays, on enjoying time with my family (both intimate and extended), and on doing my best to breathe and block out the raging, rampant negativity of the world we currently live in. I’ll not mention health, other than to admit that I hit a heartbreaking new high on the scale by the end of the month. I’ll not mention writing and art, other than to say that I forewent both for a while in favor of baking, watching Christmas specials, and doing random fun things with my family to keep us busy leading up to the holidays. I will mention ‘free time’, because I carved out a lot of it in the form of the aforementioned Christmas specials and random fun things with my family. Also, hubby and I played ‘Lego DC Villains’ until we unlocked the Platinum trophy, which is as close to doing something productive as I got throughout the entire month.

With that stuff aside, let’s talk about a few of the highlights of the holiday season.

Primarily, the important thing is that the little one (who isn’t so little anymore) had a great time. She was very excited for the overwhelming majority of her presents (with, perhaps, the exception of the bras I wrapped up by themselves just to torment her), and was just as excited to see hubby and I open our presents. All three of us got video games, collectibles, books, and geeky clothing, which really goes to show just how terrifyingly similar we all are in a number of ways.

I also got Crowley and Aziraphale Funko Pops, which just goes to show how much hubby loves me, since he claims that my undying obsession with ‘God Omens’ has all but made him hate it. 😛

We had visits from both Jason’s family and mine, and spent New Years with friends and two very sweet puppers, and all in all we closed out 2021 in the most positive way possible, considering what a shit-show the year was in general.

So with that said, let me officially wave good-bye to 2021 and kindly inform it that I’m perhaps just a teeny bit happy to see the back of it.


Then we come to 2022, and all the good intentions that I had for the beginning of it.

Right from the get-go, I’d previously ordered a new planner from PersonalPlanner.com, because I absolutely adore their custom planner options, and though I’m not always 100% for keeping up with my tracking, my planner is the only thing that keeps my scatterbrained tendencies from completely devouring my life. I also discovered that you can fully customize your planner’s cover with your own image, sooo…

Yeah, don’t even try to tell me that you’re surprised.

Anyway, the point is that I got my planner, filled out a bunch of pages, decorated the ‘Books to Read’ and ‘Things to Watch’ pages, and was totally set to jump into the new year with both feet. And then…it, uh…it didn’t happen. No excuses or anything. I just didn’t do anything. I tried to write, and I kinda read a bit, and I fully intended to get 10k steps per day, and so on and so forth.

I just didn’t.

What I did do was force myself to relax and move past my mental obsession with starting things at the right time (first of the year, first of the month, first of the week, etc etc). Which brings us to now: a random Monday morning, ten days into 2022. As good a time as any.


Herein we shall discuss the goals for 2022, and my fervent hope that I actually, you know…accomplish some of them.

So here we go.

Goal Set #1: Artistic Fulfilment

This goal set encompasses two major aspects: Writing and Art.

When it comes to Writing the goals are pretty straightforward. Firstly, I intend to write half a million words throughout the year. This is actually down from last year, in which I intended to wrote 550,000 words. That extra 50k proved to be just a bit too ambitious, as the end of the year slowed me down and I barely managed to scrape past the 500k line. I decided, therefore, to stick with the half-a-mill this year. it’s not that I don’t want to shoot for higher stars; I just don’t want to overextend myself, especially considering some of the other things I hope to give some focus to.

I more specific terms, there are a number of particular things I intend to write in 2022, not the least of which is ‘The Other World: Book Three‘. It’s certainly time I hauled my ass up out of the gutter that it has fallen into and get that bloody thing done. But that’s not to say that I intend to abandon my forays into fan-fiction, oh no. I have a list, and I currently have that list being voted on by my readers and social media peeps. In fact, if you’d like to be a part of the voting process, you can check out the poll right here. The results thus far have been somewhat surprising. 😀

On the other hand, when it comes to Art, the goals are much more broad. I want to do my drawing, learn how to color my drawings better, and want to also feed my artistic side with things like adult coloring books and gem paintings (which is something my mother got me into by giving me one for Christmas…it’s highly addicting). There are no major specifics here, although I’m definitely hoping to spark some more NSFW art vibes in the near future. Maybe I’ll do some gift art for some of my favorite fan-fic writers.

As a final note on this set of goals – which kinda combines the two aspects – I’d like to continue playing around with podfics this year. It can be fun and rewarding, even if I haven’t exactly made waves in the community yet. I’ll probably put the rest of the holiday fics aside for the time being and move on to one of my longer fics instead, but I’m not going to dedicate myself to anything just yet because it is definitely a time-consuming hobby.

Goal Set #2: Physical Focus

This one is quite broad and basically boils down to: DO BETTER. Because goodness knows I’ve been letting things get out of hand more and more as time goes on.

One specific point I can make here is that I want to lose some weight, especially after packing more on over the holidays. For the sake of being completely transparent, I managed to hit 190 lbs before the end of 2021, which is absolutely outrageous for my 5’1″ frame. I can honestly say that I don’t look like I weigh that much, but I definitely feel like I do. My knees are shot (one more than the other), my belly is holding far too much fat, and I’m tired, like…ALL THE TIME. So, taking on whichever methods such a thing requires, I am setting a goal to be down to at least 150 lbs by this time next year. That will still actually be heavier than what my body is realistically designed for, but I want to set myself the kind of goal that I actually have a chance of achieving, so…there.

This goal set may change throughout the year, depending on what I have going on, but for the time being I’m focusing on water, steps, sleep, and short exercise programs – of which the current is #MBF, which stands for ‘Muscle Burns Fat’. I’ll reassess each month and see where I think I need to improve or change things up to have better results.

Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding

I almost hate to make this particular goal set, because this is something that I am ridiculously, monstrously bad at, but I do want to get better. In a myriad of ways.

First and foremost, vying for attention at the top of the list are Author Tracey and YouTuber Tracey. Of course, promoting those two versions of myself require actually having something to promote, so there will need to be books written and videos filmed. These things are priority.

Coming in underneath are Twitter Tracey and Instagram Tracey, which are closely linked to Author Tracey and YouTuber Tracey. They require time and attention, but are also paramount in the promotion of Author Tracey and YouTuber Tracey, so that will need to be taken into account.

Sliding in beneath those is a relative newcomer to the fray: TikTok Tracey. She’s a fledgling, stumbling thing, but she is highly amused and easy to lose time with, so that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Then there’s always Artist Tracey, Musical Tracey, and the oft-ignored but all-important Employee Tracey. They all deserve their own kind of promotion as well, if I’m to continue to exist as a moderately mentally-maintained human being. All things to keep in mind.

The parameters for this one are going to be vague, at least for now. I’ll, uh…I’ll figure out how to go about reporting my successes or failures later.

Goal Set #4: Mental Wellbeing

This goal set was previously known as “Free-Time”, and is being re-branded to represent basically anything that allows me to relax and keep myself from having a complete and utter nervous breakdown, or otherwise experience massive burnout.

This goal breaks down as: do shit that makes you smile and recharge. These can be things such as reading the dozens of books on my TBR list (including ebooks and audio books), watching shows or movies that I’ve been meaning to, playing video games I’ve neglected, or whatever else I feel I need at any given time in order to turn off my brain and allow myself to get a bit of a reset.

I’m putting this on my goals list because I have a rather destructive all-or-nothing mentality that tends to result in my going for weeks at a time without STOPPING and allowing myself to TAKE A MOMENT and just ENJOY SOME SHIT. So yeah. Making a goal to make a point to not do that.




Okay. So, now that we’ve finally made our way to this point, you may have noticed that I sneaked a “Week 1” in the title of this post. That implies an update, right? Right! So, although I did, for the most part, absolutely bugger all for the first nine days of 2022, let’s take a quick look at what I may have managed to sneak in concerning my goals for the coming year.


Goal Set #1: Artistic Fulfilment

The main issue here was not a lack of ideas coming in to the new year…it was a lack of the ability to get my brain to work with those ideas. Multiple times in the first nine days of 2022 I sat down with the full intention to write. After all, I’m only a few chapters from the end of ‘The Prince’s Consort’, and I’ve got seven more holiday prompts to write before I can wave goodbye to December’s ‘Ineffable Holiday’ challenge. Yet every time I sat down with my laptop in those nine days, my brain seemed to become a complete and utter blank. In fact, I think if I could go back and make a chart showing the hours I spent actually physically typing words compared to the hours I spent sitting, staring at my Chromebook’s screen, it would look as though I was actually falling asleep with the device on my lap.

(Which, let’s be honest, I may have actually done a couple of times.)

Going by the random nature of my Pacemaker.press challenge tracker, I should have written roughly 10,131 words in those first nine days, but what I actually wrote was 5619 words, which you may notice is barely more than half. I’m really hoping that my writer’s brain wakes up soon, because I’d prefer not to repeat that kind of performance too many times this early in the year.

What I wrote was entirely fan-fiction, as I attempt to catch up on the several weeks of missed updates I incurred over the month of December. Don’t worry though; I have plans to start heavy work on ‘The Other World: Book Three’ this week. I swear.

As far as art goes, my brain was even less helpful in the first bit of the year. I tried sketching something one day, and doing a digital piece another day, and both attempts were massive failures in every sense of the word. My fingers and inner visualization are out of sync, it seems. Here’s hoping they find their way to working together again sometime soon.


Goal Set #2: Physical Focus

When I implied that I did basically nothing for the first nine days of the year, I wasn’t exaggerating. I hardly moved, if I’m being honest. There was a lot of lounging on the sofa, trying to convince my brain and body that they wanted to team up and get something done. Thus, my physical ‘focus’ was all but nonexistent.

Things began to pick up, however, yesterday. I finally managed to drag myself out of bed at a reasonable time, had a glass of Pre-Workout, and kicked into a lower-body strength-training exercise on Beachbody. And let me tell you, it whooped my ass. By that evening my legs were killing me, and by the time I woke up this morning I was fairly confident that I had crippled myself. Even as we speak, my legs are stretched out on the couch and feel like stiff pieces of abused rubber. Yet, I still managed to get through today’s core exercise! So go me!

I’ve been drinking lots of water and working hard to avoid late night snacks, but I expect it’s going to take a while to reverse the mess I got my body into over the holidays.

Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding

On this one I don’t really have anything worth reporting yet, because I haven’t really made any visible attempt to actually work on it yet. The best I can tell you at the moment is that I’ve taken ‘before’ notes of my social media numbers and have played around a bit with the options available on TikTok.

More next week, perhaps, when I’ve actually worked on it a tad.

Goal Set #4: Mental Wellbeing

Now this one I can actually say that I accomplished in those first nine days, because relaxing is pretty much all that I did successfully. As previously mentioned, hubby and I destroyed a Lego game, which was the first time we’d really played a co-op game together in quite some time.

We also watched several shows and movies, including the second season of ‘The Witcher’, the entire season of ‘Squid Game’, the silly and fun ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’, and the big-dumb-fun ‘Red Notice’. I thoroughly enjoyed them all, although watching ‘The Witcher’ has just made me believe all the more that I require Henry Cavill in my lie.

I didn’t read any books, but I did read a book’s worth of fan-fiction, and it was all lovely and delightful and delicious.

And finally, I worked several times on the gem painting that my mother got me for Christmas. I haven’t got a huge amount done on it so far, but it’s strangely soothing, so I’m enjoying it a lot more than I expected to. I may even work on it some more tonight, when I’ve completed this post.


Speaking of completing this post…I believe I may have! It was a long one for sure, but I had a bit of catching up to do. And now that I’ve done just that, I believe it’s time for me to stretch, get a glass of water, and see if I can accomplish something a bit more. Wish me luck, my dears! I hope everything looks pleasant on your horizon as well!

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! ❤

Plans & Goals 2021: Week 45

Totally random question: have you ever begun your day with the sound of someone, somewhere nearby, retching violently in a way that sounds very much as though they’re about to lose a vital organ or two by way of their throat? If you haven’t, I can not-so-proudly say that I’ve got one up on you.

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE.

Okay, but seriously, we are at the precise half-point of November, I have been at my present work site for 26 days now, and I am happy to announce that I have not gone stark-raving mad yet. Go me! I ended up doing 22 consecutive days of work (all 12-hour shifts, except for the two that were 13 hours and the one that was 15 hours) before they cottoned on and made me take a few days off. Yes, I did that shit on purpose, because the overtime is fantastic, but if you were go back in time nine years and tell my former self that I’d be doing such a stint, she would have laughed right in your face. My, how the times have changed.

Anyway, living in camp and working positively stupid hours doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else cool or interesting to be happening in life, so I don’t really have any other excess information to share this week. Thus, let’s go ahead and jump to the goals!


Health

First off, I’m not going to repeat all the same excuses and explanations that I’ve done the past few weeks. You guys know by now that I’m living in a work camp and am therefore restricted to the food that is made available to me. Let’s leave it at that.

That said, I will honestly admit that my willpower has been, hmm….let’s say lacking. There is so much junk food here, you guys. Cookies and pastries and muffins and pop and chips and- Well, you get the point. My psychological ability to avoid such things varies day to day, based on such things as how much caffeine I’ve had, who much water I’ve managed to force down my gullet, what the work day was like, and what shitty thing they’re serving for dinner on any given day. Also, after an extended stint at camp, the cooked food begins to do weird things to my stomach (I suspect it’s the MSG that’s in EVERYTHING), and it becomes physically and emotionally easier to eat the baked goods and packaged junk than the actual prepared meals. That’s not an excuse; that’s genuine facts. My poor stomach, you guys…dear lord.

Anyway, point being that it’s not been the easiest few weeks when it comes to consumption. That said, I’ve been getting better with cramming water into me, which helps with the desire to cram loads of sugar and salt into me, so there is that.

On a more positive note of the physical activity variety, it’s been a long time since I got so many steps so easily. Just walking from my camp room to the dining hall and back is a thousand steps…and I’m not exaggerating there. And that’s to say nothing of the steps I get while actually at work. Plus, earlier last week the area where I was working had a busted elevator…so for three days my coworkers and I had to trek up ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY-TWO STAIRS four times a day. To say that I had an overjoyed reaction of divine ecstasy when the elevator was repaired would be an understatement. If there was ever a way to prove to me, without a shadow of doubt, that I am overweight and out of shape, that was definitely it. Wait, this bit was supposed to be positive, wasn’t it? Oh well, you get my meaning. There’s been physical activity. Without me having to go out of my way to perform it.


Creativity

Hoo, wee, creativity ahoy, my good people! Beyond just the stubborn insistence on cramming as much writing in as I possibly can while I’m writing, I had three days off from work this week and spent a good bit of it on things I’ve been dying to do for a while now but could never find the time.

Let’s actually get writing out of the way first this time, because it’s the normal bit that we’re all used to. I’ve continued to write during every possible waking moment when I’m not eating or working, so things are still going pretty well on that front. Mostly I’ve been scribbling scenes for various works in a notebook that I keep with me at all times, but I also caught up on ‘The Prince’s Consort’ and started working on this year’s ‘Ineffable Holiday’ prompt fics (which I compiled myself with suggestions from friends and followers). Last week Pacemaker.press set me the tough but reasonable goal of 13,498 words, and I managed to squeak past it with 13,890 words. Phew!

Moving on to art, by the time I hit my days off at the end of the week I’d been dying to draw for a while. One of the first things that I did was to have one of our little drawing ‘competitions’ with my daughter, and the models of choice were the Cookie characters from ‘Cookie Run Kingdom’. No, I’m not kidding. lol We’re both a little obsessed with the game, and it has fun characters, so we played at picking characters for one another to draw. I’m not going to share all of the ones I drew because it was a three-day process of constant doodling, but here’s one of my favorites of the ones I did:

Then, of course, I’d been positively aching to draw some NSFW stuff for ages, so I indulged in a bit of that. I finished one piece and did most of another, and obviously I’m not going to share the full images here, but I’ll give you a couple of heavily-cropped bits to give you an idea of what’s going on here… *cough cough*

Both of these are firsts for me, regarding the acts that are happening in them, and knowing that, I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. I’m thinking that I’ll sneak them in to one of my fics somewhere, because I’m quite certain they do a good job of representing some of the scenes I’ve written. ❤

Then we have a brand new project, because apparently I didn’t think that I had enough going on already. *cough*

I’ve decided to start playing my hand at recording narrations of my stories. I started with my 2019 holiday fics because they’re short, and after the first attempt I got some advice from a friend on noise reduction and avoiding those spitty saliva noises you can get from speaking for a long time. I then re-recorded that first fic, and what I wound up with is now uploaded to a new YouTube channel I’ve set up specifically for this one purpose. If you’re interested in checking it out, here’s my very first ever fic narration:

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, if I’m being totally honest with myself! There are going to be growing pains, for sure, but I think that I spoke pretty clearly, and I think I’m half-decent at expressing emotion when I narrate. The only thing that I definitely feel like I need work on is the voices/accents for the dialogue bit, but I’m expecting that that will become better and easier as I record more and more. I’ve already got one more recording already set to go, but I still have to edit it. I’m hoping to get it uploaded sooner rather than later, and then hopefully I’ll get a chance to record some more on my next day off (which should be sooner this time than it was last time).


Down-Time

Please see the ‘Creativity’ section above…lol That’s pretty much where all my down-time went last week. I suppose you can’t really call it down-time, except for perhaps the drawing with my daughter, because it was all work of a kind. But it was work that I wanted to do, so there is that…:P

In all seriousness though, I didn’t do a whole lot of reading, watching, or gaming last week. I read a few short fics, but nothing major because I was more focused on writing. The only thing even remotely close to gaming that I did was a few minutes a day of ‘Pokemon Go’ and ‘Cookie Run Kingdom’. And as for watching stuff? I mean…I had Netflix or Prime running most of the weekend because I like background noise, but mostly it was just silly baking shows playing back-to-back while I wrote or drew or what-have-you. Aside from that I watched a few hockey games and a handful of YouTube videos, and that was pretty much it!

That said, and on a related note, Tik Tok is a goddamn dangerous app that I’m going to have to set major restrictions on myself for. I started scrolling a few minutes before bed last night and ended up looking at the clock with utter dismay two hours later. o.o


And that’s pretty much it for another week. I can’t honestly say that I’m not pleased with how the past week went, and I’m hoping for a similar one this week. Though I don’t have any days off this week, so it might not be quite as productive. lol Wish me luck!

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! ❤

Plans & Goals 2021: Week 44

I want you to imagine, if you would, a woman who has just rolled out of bed. Her long hair is fuzzy and puffed out from poor sleep and dry weather, creating a lion-like mane around her head. Her eyes are hazy, and there are large, dark circles beneath them. Her hands are puffy from weather she isn’t used to, and probably a little bit of dehydration. She is waking up to face her nineteenth twelve-hour shift in a row…mind, two of those shifts were thirteen hours and one was fifteen. She is, by all reasonable accounts, very tired. Very tired. But she is also surprisingly cheerful, because for the first time in ages she’s making some money, and three days ago she passed the threshold for hours she needs to make an unemployment claim when this particular job ends. So she’s exhausted, but she’s pleased.

Three guesses as to who I’m describing, and the first two don’t count.

Yes, my darlings, there is really no mincing words here; I am absolutely knackered. But, as explained above, I’m also quite pleased. Though it’s not exactly going to change my financial world, I’ve been making some money again, and I can rest easy knowing that when this job ends, I’ve got enough hours for an EI claim until the next one comes along. I can’t possibly tell you how much of a weight that is off my shoulders. Mind you now, EI hardly pays the bills, so it’s not as though I’ve got clear sailing ahead, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the alternative, let me tell you.

A few random things before I dive into the goals:

  • This particular job (which has actually been two jobs, technically, since the first one is done now and I got shuffled to another part of the plant for the second) has been almost exclusively spark watch, which, put simply, means I watch to ensure nothing catches fire while other workers are doing hot work like welding. It is, by and large, quite easy work, and my coworkers have all been awesome, so that’s quite excellent. 🙂
  • There were a few days there during which the service elevator in the ‘coker’ where we’re working was broken. This did not go over well, as our work site is on the top ‘floor’, which is one-hundred and ninety-two steps up. On a twelve hour shift that means that my entire crew was going up and down those 192 steps four times. Nearly eight hundred vertical steps per day. To say that my legs were screaming would be a massive understatement. Thank fuck the elevator was fixed yesterday, because I honestly think my knees and ankles were about to give up the ghost, and that would have been quite a scene…me tumbling backward down several flights of stairs in full construction gear.
  • I am lately realizing, with mounting horror, that Christmas is rapidly approaching and I have virtually no presents bought, aside from a few things picked up for the kid here and there. This is not how things normally go for me at Christmas, and I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. @_@

Okay, that’s enough randomness, I think. Let’s get to the goals!


Health

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… I mean, based on my complaining about the stairs above, you can probably see where this one is going, can’t you?

To be quite honest, I really don’t know how to report anything right now given that I: a) don’t have a whole lot of control over what I’m eating, and b) wouldn’t have the time to do any proper exercise even if I currently wanted to. Plus there’s the fact that my hands are so puffy that I can’t get my wedding ring off, but at the same time I’m yanking up my pants a hundred times a day… Yeah, no, I really just don’t know what’s going on with my body at the moment.

What I can tell you is that I’ve been trying very hard to get my daily water in, but it’s been difficult because I’m also guzzling coffee in order to keep myself functioning. I’ve also been doing my best to get lots of fruit and veggies in my diet, but if I try to keep myself away from the cookies I just end up miserable and biting people’s heads off.

All in all, I think I’m a bit of a mess at the moment, but that is unfortunately something that comes with working these weird shutdown shifts. On the positive side of things, if I make it to this coming Saturday I’ll have ‘timed out’ on the max number of days this site allows anyone to work in a row, which means I’ll be forced to take four days off. I may very well sleep an entire one of them. 😛


Creativity

My friends, I have been aching to draw for ages, but I have mostly not been able to find the time or energy to do so when I finally get back to my room at the end of the day. I have IDEAS, but I suppose they’ll just have to wait a little while longer. Maybe I’ll get to some of them during those days off I mentioned above.

I did manage to finish a little bit of line-work I’d started before I left for this job, but that one will have to wait a bit longer to show up here because I haven’t even posted it to my Patreon yet. What I can show you is this itty-bitty snake I doodled the other day when I was feeling especially fluffy:

It comes with a story concept… It was the first snow of the year in London, and it had come with an unexpected cold snap that left residents shivering. Aziraphale is opening the bookshop when he feels something wriggling in his pocket and reaches in to pull out…itty-bitty Crowley, all coiled up and seeking heat, flicking his tongue up at the angel. ❤

Yeah, I’m a big old sap, leave off.

Anyway, as far as writing goes, things have been going quite well, mainly due to my insistence on carrying a notebook wherever I go and finding every possible moment between work and sleep to scribble out a few words. Mostly last week I worked on catching back up on ‘The Prince’s Consort’ so that I would have chapters to post at the appropriate times, but I’ve also been scribbling ideas for another fic that I’ll get to at some point, as well as scenes that I’ll be sneaking in to ‘The Other World: Book Three’ when the time comes. All in all, believe it or not, this was one of my best weeks in ages. Pacemaker is being rather harsh on me now that we’re getting to the end of the year, and it demanded 16,277 words of me last week. I just barely managed to squeak through with a final word count for the week of 16,369.

Just imagine what I could do if I was also allowed to drink while out here.


Down-Time

I said it last week, and it hasn’t changed: down-time is not really something I have at the moment. In fact, I’m writing this post on the bus on the way to work, and I’ll finish it in the lunch room while waiting for the morning safety meeting to start. That said…

I haven’t really been reading (not even fanfic…gasp, I know!) but I did finish the Audible recording of ‘Good Omens’, which was pretty fantastic. I know I’m a bit biased in these regards, but honestly, I didn’t enjoy the book nearly as much as the show, so I wasn’t entirely certain about the audio book. Having it narrated made all the difference in the world though, and it was absolutely wonderful. I especially loved hearing Michael Sheen and David Tennant’s voices in it, of course, but the other voice actors were quite good as well, and the narrator was excellent. My only complaint would be the actor(s?) who portrayed Warlock. His voice was absolutely grating in the worst kind of way and didn’t sound at all like a child. I’m not sure what they were thinking there, especially since The Them’s voices were quite good and normal. Anyway, it’s another thumbs up for audio books for me! Now I just have to survive until the 24th when my next credit comes in so that I can get Act 2 of The Sandman. 😀

Games? No. No games. Just five minutes a day of ‘Pokemon Go’ to keep my streaks running and grab some coins, and some random plucking away at ‘Cookie Run Kingdom’ in the background while I’m doing other things. On a related note, though, I recently had an almost agonizing desire to play ‘Borderlands 3’, so guess what I’m going to be doing in my down-time when I get back home from this job?

Now watching, well…well I haven’t really been doing much of that either. lol The main thing I’ve been watching recently is the Leaf’s games, but even those have been in little spurts and fits because they always seem to start while I’m still at work. Other than that, I did recently set two Bo Burnham Netflix specials playing in the background while I did some other stuff back at camp. I adore the dude. He’s a bit off-the-wall and definitely an acquired taste, but if you enjoy comedy ripping on society and/or have ever experienced burnout, you might enjoy checking him out. Each of his shows makes me giggle like a fool, while also making me feel seen and desperately want to give Bo a hug. Check him out, guys.


That about covers that for another week, I believe! Now, as predicted, I am currently finishing this post in the lunch room while waiting the day to start, so I’m going to go have my coffee now and pray to Cthulhu that the elevator is still working today. Wish me luck!

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! ❤

Plans & Goals 2021: Week…uh- 43?

Woooo-eee! Hello there everyone! Check it out, I’m still alive!

Yeah, so, I missed a few of these posts because life got rather busy there for a little bit, namely because I finally – finally, FINALLY – managed to pick up a job. As usual that meant several days of trying to get as much done as fast as possible (while also doing the drug tests and online orientations and what-not), followed by travelling across the country, and for the past nearly-two weeks now I’ve been working 12-hour days, each day. Plus I was still attempting to participate in Kinktober, plus we did our yearly ‘Halloween Store Hunt’ video before I left. So, yeah, suffice it to say that I didn’t even realize that I’d missed a few weeks of these posts until, like…two days ago.

*cough cough*

On that same note, I am actually writing this post before I pass out for the night, so let’s get through it so that I can curl up and snooze, okay? Okay.


Health

Okay, so, it’s difficult bordering on impossible to really judge how things are going in this vein while I’m working out West. For one thing, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m limited to the food that is made available to me, and while there are plenty of healthy options, there aren’t plenty enough of them to really avoid the not-so-healthy ones for long. For another thing, even if I try to focus on only the healthier stuff, I can’t track calories or anything because everything is cooked on site, so I have no way of knowing what all is included.

On top of those, I don’t have access to a scale, so I’ve only really got looking-in-the-mirror as a way to let me know if I’m indulging too much or making some progress. And then there’s always the fact that I’m obviously not exercising when I’m working 12 hour days. Just figured I’d drive that particular point home.

So basically, I’m just hoping for the best at the moment, but I’m also not confident that things are going well. That could be mostly due to the fact that it’s hard not to eat like a ravenous beast when you’re working these kinds of hours. But also, it’s really difficult to make sure I drink enough water right now, partly because of the nature of my work (you don’t generally carry a water bottle in the oil sands…that’s a good way to end up swallowing a pile of bitumen-laced dirt), and partly because it’s so bloody cold out here right now that the only things I can actually convince myself to drink are coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. All diuretics.

Suffice it to say, I’m probably going to end up going home a little worse for wear than when I left, but, um…at least I’m getting fresh air for a change?


Creativity

[In the spirit of full disclosure, I shall inform you now that I, in fact, passed out with my Chromebook on my lap and am now completing this post the following morning. Exhaustion is a hell of a thing! lol]

Getting art out of the way first, since I have not actually managed to find the time to draw anything in a few weeks now. I’m hoping to locate some time soon, now that Kinktober is over, but NaNoWriMo has begun, and I’ll no doubt be writing fics for Christmas prompts soon, so we’ll just have to see what happens, I suppose.

Writing, however, has continued to go well. As we grow closer to the end of the year, I’m not certain that I’ll be able to hit my goal of 550k words, but I will definitely hit 500k, which is more than acceptable to me.

In the past three weeks I’ve destroyed my Pacemaker.press goal twice, and flubbed it once, for a net profit of basically exceeding it a little bit. Three weeks ago my goal was 10,387 words, but I only managed to make it to 6698 words. The following week I had a goal of 15,935 words, and managed to pass by it with 16,587 words. And last week, my goal was 13,542 words, which I managed to destroy with 16,052 words. I don’t have the numbers for the first week of October on me, but I’m fairly certain that I ended up with on or around 50k for the month, which is funny since that’s what I now have to try to write for this month.

Yes, my dumb ass is still participating in NaNoWriMo. I don’t generally end up doing any of the social aspects of it these days, but it feels like a tradition that I can’t skip at this point. I’ve been doing it for a decade! And, I mean, I’m going to be writing anyway, so there’s that.

October was devoured by Kinktober, which I thought was a pretty decent success (if the comments on AO3 are anything to go by, anyway). As a result I got behind on ‘The Prince’s Consort’ so that I’ve no longer got anything written ahead, so I’ll likely be working on that this week, but once I’ve finished with that (there aren’t too many chapters left!) I’ll be dedicating myself to working on Christmas fic prompts (so that they’ll be done ahead of time) and ‘The Other World: Book Three’, which I’ve put off for far, far too long. I know at least four people who might read this and raise an eyebrow in gentle disbelief, but I swear it’s going to happen! I’ve got ideas, even! I promise!


Down-Time

This, my dear friends, is something that I don’t really possess, at the time. I suppose you could make an argument that I’ve been writing during my down-time, but if you try to make that argument I may smack you, because enjoy it as I may, it’s still work.

The very little bit of reading that I’ve done recently has gone toward snips of fics during my lunch breaks at work, but I can also report that I have officially delved into the world of audio books. I noticed the other day that Audible had a two-month free trial going on, with an instant 2 credits toward whatever books you want, so I took advantage. With one credit I preordered the ‘Good Omens’ audio book (because of course I did), and with the other I got Act 1 of ‘The Sandman’. And let me tell you….I’ve always been a physical book kind of person, but I fucking adored Sandman. It was nearly 12 hours of excellent storytelling, awesome acting, and wild and wonderful adventures in the DC universe. In particular, the chapter featuring Doctor Destiny in a diner, fucking with everyone’s minds for 24 hours straight? That was fantastic (and also, a little bit, makes me concerned for Neil Gaiman’s mind). I finished it yesterday, and am now bouncing on my heels for my next credit to roll around so that I can grab Act 2.

In the meantime, though, the ‘Good Omens’ preorder was completed this morning, and I’ve already started listening. I’ve read the book before, so it’s not as though I’m not expecting everything that comes through my earbud, but guys, it is fantastic hearing the original version of the story with David Tennant and Michael Sheen’s voices involved. I like to think that when Gaiman was approached about making the audio book, he basically told the publisher with no uncertain terms that people would revolt if Tennant and Sheen weren’t the voices of Crowley and Aziraphale. Because it’d be true. Just saying.

In the watching vein of things, you guys know damn well that we always spend the month of October watching horror movies. Honestly, I didn’t really keep track after that first week, because that’s when things began to get far too busy, but we watched several oldies-but-goodies, several old favorites, and a few new ones as well. One new one that I can mention is ‘Blood Red Sky’, which we were curious about because of the bonkers premise. Basically, a woman who has been taking medications to stave off vampirism is travelling to the US with her young son when the plane is hijacked by terrorists. In order to save her son, she ultimately has to let the vampire instincts take over. It sounds a bit silly when I say it like that, but honestly it was very bloody, very violent, and miserable in quite a few places. It was a bit plodding in spots – I definitely think that the story could have been tightened up a bit – but I enjoyed it. Worth a watch, you guys.

Coming on the end of the month, after having travelled out to work, I only really watched a few random things in the background while dealing with other stuff, and all ones that I’d seen before. On that note, though, I would like to violently scold my past self for thinking that it would be a good idea to watch ‘The Mist’ again. I love the story, but FUCK ME that movie has the most god-awful depressing ending of anything I’ve ever watched. It seriously makes me feel like just laying down to die. Christ. And of course Stephen King loved it. -_-

What’s left? Oh, playing. Yeah, there’s been no playing. lol Unless you count ‘Cookie Run Kingdom’, which is a mobile game that my daughter weaseled me into playing and that I am now obsessed with. Luckily it’s the kind of game that you can have open on the table next to you, and you just have to tape a few things every few minutes, so I generally just play it while I’m writing. 😛


And that is pretty much it! In the spirit of further full disclosure, I shall inform you that I ran out of time to finish the post before having to run to the bus, so I am now officially finishing it at my spot in the lunch room at work. 😛

Twelve-hour days, man. Twelve-hour days.

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! ❤