~Happy Birthday to me… Happy Birthday to me…~
Did that sound forlorn? I didn’t necessarily mean for it to, but considering how many midlife crises and existential breakdowns I’ve been having recently, can you really be surprised that my birthday is less than an entirely welcome event? I mean, that’s not to say that it’s been unwelcome, but…I dunno. I don’t even know how to explain how I’ve felt about this particular birthday. Okay one moment…morose the next. I got to spend it home, at least, instead of at work, but it was also incredibly uneventful. Basically I slept in way too late, did a whole lot of nothing, and lamented about the new laptop that I wanted but haven’t gotten yet for reasons. And through it all I just kinda felt a sense of encroaching dread. Thirty-eight is hardly old, but I’m getting dangerously close to forty, and it’s becoming more and more evident as the days go by that I am nowhere near where I thought I’d be at that particular point in my life. It’s a depressing thought that is unfortunately very difficult to avoid on the day that everyone is congratulating you for existing another year more.
Clearly I am in absolutely desperate need of, like, a full-day spa treatment or something. Christ.
Anyway, when last we spoke I’d been laid off, which was extremely frustrating, but I can’t honestly say that being home again hasn’t been nice. I get really touch-starved when I’m out West for work, so it’s always pretty great to come home and absolutely torture my husband and daughter with non-stop snuggles. Plus, you know, it’s just nice to take a break back home in my own bed, with my own bathtub, my own food, my own constant-access to coffee and tea, and so on and so forth.
That said, I am hoping to get back to work again sooner rather than later. As we all know, the past couple of years have been a real kick in the teeth as far as finances are concerned, and I was really hoping to build up the funds a bit before being off again for any length of time. So, keep your fingers crossed for me to pick up something else soon, okay? Thanks.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at how off the rails my goals have gone in the past less-than-a-week of being home again.
Goal Set #1: Creative Fulfilment
As tends to happen whenever I’m moving from one side of the country to the other, the creative side of things got a little wonky this past week. You’d almost think that I’d use travel days as an excuse to get lots of creative stuff done since there’s not a whole lot else that I can do on a plane or while languishing in airports during layovers. And I do tell myself every single that that that’s what’s going to happen…but it rarely does. Instead I end up watching a show, reading a book, or passing the hell out just long enough to screw with my head before I tip forward and scare myself awake.
That said. I have a little bit to report for last week.
Firstly, I did do a little bit of scribbling with my tablet. One of the two pieces is a Our Flag Means Death drawing of Ed and Stede, but thus far I’m annoyed with the way Stede’s face is coming out, so I’m not even going to share a preview yet. The other came as the result of realizing that I hadn’t drawn Crowley in a collar for a long time, and apparently that was unacceptable to my weird-ass self, so…
You only get a little sneak peak because the full rough is up on my Patreon, but I assure you that it’s a fun position. 😛
I’m not sure what’s going on with his eye though…something is off there. Meh, I’ll figure it out when I get back to doing the proper line art.
On the writing side of things, I mostly worked on The Other World: Book Three last week, which is good, but I’m also at a little bit of a frustrating spot to write, so progress was very slow-going. In the end I didn’t come anywhere near my Pacemaker.press goal for the week, which is a bit frustrating. It wasn’t even that difficult of a goal either. Pacemaker wanted me to write 8009 words, but I only managed to squeeze out 5927 by the end of the week.
I’m really hoping to get through whatever has been blocking me this week, so fingers crossed there… I really want to get more of Book Three done, because fuck this book I want it out of my face, but also I need to write at least a full chapter for You Can Stay At My Place this week since I’m all caught up on what I had written in advance. And since I’ve been losing Patrons left and right lately, I really don’t want to leave the ones who have stuck around hanging. Soooooo…yeah, throw some writing mojo at me, would ya?
Goal Set #2: Physical Focus
I’m going to start this section by stating that I really wish I had the means to hire someone whose entire job it is to control everything that goes in my gluttonous mouth and force me to move on a regular basis. Not that I shouldn’t be able to theoretically do that myself, but, well…I can’t. I really can’t. I have neither the will, nor the capability. My brain just refuses to work that way, and my willpower wanes exponentially as a day goes on. I start out all full of piss and vinegar and motivation, and by suppertime I just want to curl up under a blanket with a whole cake and cry.
Annnnnnd, now that I’ve gotten that visualization out of my system…
I have genuinely been trying to do better since coming home, but it’s agonizingly difficult. I feel like there’s practically no way to keep myself satiated and still be taking in fewer calories than I’m expending. My body just doesn’t seem to burn calories fast enough to make up for basic meals. And to be perfectly honest, I’m getting sick and tired of searching for help on how to combat the weight-gaining side effects of my meds when the only results I ever find can be boiled down to “just eat less, you fat pig”.
Like…DUH. No fucking kidding. Christ.
Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding
Mostly positives this week, so that’s nice, although as usual the gains are so minuscule that they would hardly be noticed by anyone who didn’t record everything like me. It’s an issue, my dears. I’m not entirely certain why I do these things to myself.
So on a different and yet very related note, I wanted to bring up something that I touched on over on Twitter the other day that really drives me to new levels of anxious fixation. When your books are made available on Kindle Unlimited, there is a separate “sales” report based on pages read, because that’s how you are paid for being in that program. It’s something like a cent per every two pages read, so the report shows you a daily sum of how many pages from your books have been read by anyone who opened them that day.
But here’s the thing; when you’re as small and unnoticed as I am, you get random little blobs of pages read at any given time, and those little blobs make it very obvious when someone has started your book…and then decided that it isn’t for them. For example, a few days ago I had 6 pages reported read. The following days there was nothing. That means, undeniably, that someone checked out one of my books, read roughly a third of a chapter, and said, “Nah” before deleting it.
As a writer with far too many emotions than are good for me, this is a painstaking thing to see and have no control over. Because now I just keep wondering, what was it about the story that made them quit out so soon? What could be different to convince them that it’s worth sticking with it a little longer? And why do I bloody care so much when I should be focusing my anxiety-ridden ass on the next book, rather than the ones I can’t do anything about any longer?
Just something that I’ve been obsessing about for a while now. 😐
Goal Set #4: Mental Well-Being
Okay, well, at least I can say something here.
First off, let’s look at gaming, because this is the first time in a while that I’ve actually bee able to talk about it. I started a new game of Borderlands 2 while I was travelling home last week, and have played it several more times since then because I adore Borderlands games to death. I’m playing a different class than I usually go with, and I’m dying more than I care to, but its still fun as sin. Maybe this time I’ll even actually finish the darn thing. Anything is a possibility, right?
Also, I started playing Cup Head with the kid, and fuck my absolute life, I knew it was going to be hard, but fuck. I suck at it sooooo bad. lol The kid is actually pretty decent, but I make everything ten times more difficult with my absolute ineptitude. I should not be allowed to even look at games like that one. It embarrasses everyone within a ten-mile radius.
On to reading, I haven’t really sat down with a book lately, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been reading. I’ve picked through a few shorter fanfics, for one thing, and for another I’ve been continuing to listen to Michael Sheen’s wonderful voice reading The Book of Dust‘s first book. There is a 100% chance that I will be grabbing the rest of the series, partly because it is quite an interesting story, and partly because I would happily listen to Michael Sheen read in bloody, I dunno…Korean or something. I don’t have to understand it; his voice is just soothing as all fuck.
On a note that is somewhat related to reading, I thought I’d take this moment to mention that I’ve been trying to learn Scottish Gaelic via Duolingo. It’s been fun so far, but I am bewildered by how some things are spelled versus how they’re pronounced. How the hell does a bh make a ‘v’ sound? Or an ag make a ‘ack’ sound? And the less said about the word ‘mhàthair’, the better. SHEESH.
Anyway, closing out on the ‘watching’ category, there’s been a fair bit going on since hubby had a list of things that he was waiting for me to come home to watch with him. Firstly, we watched the new Jackass movie, Jackass Forever, which is precisely what you likely think it is. It’s genuinely amazing how these men have aged without maturing in the slightest.
We’ve also been working through the Scream movies with the kid before we watch the new one, which is always good fun.
We’ve also also been binging the final season of Attack on Titan, which is a fantastic anime, although we’ve reached a point where all the double- and triple-crossing has made our heads hurt with trying to remember who is trying to do what at any given time. I’m very curious to read the manga now, just to see if it makes any clearer sense than the show.
And finally, we’ve been checking out the new Halo series. Thus far I’m kinda into it, although it really makes me twitch that we’re seeing so much of Master Chief outside of his armour and helmet. He’s just one of those characters that you’re not supposed to see. And I can see how that would be difficult to do in a show, but hey…The Mandolorian did a pretty decent job, so… Anyway, I’m reserving further judgement until I’ve seen more than just the first three episodes.
So that pretty much wraps it up for another week. I’m hoping that I’ll be a bit cheerier come this time next week, but I’m not encouraged by the weather forecast, which is showing a lot of rain. I’ll be more pleasant in the summer, I swear!
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! ❤