2022: The Year of Trying Desperately to Keep It Together (Weeks 35)

I’m going to start off this week’s post by telling you that less than a minute ago, when I was attempting to load up the image above that is in every one of these posts, my computer had a digital aneurysm. I honestly have no idea what happened, but for just a couple of seconds the screen went dead, then turned into Matrix-esque green-lined nonsense, and then just…came back precisely where it had been. Believe me when I told you that I had a mild heart attack. Not because I currently had anything open that I would risk losing, but simply because I cannot be in Fort McMurray without a laptop. I’m not joking, you guys. I’d be hauling my ass into town at the first possible convenience because I need my laptop to survive out here. I need to be able to write digitally, I need my art program, and these things are genuinely necessary for the continued gluing together of my mental health.

Okay, I just needed to get that out of the way, because my brain was shrieking there for a few moments.

Okay, moving on.

SO, this is the first time I’ve done this in ages, but I am actually writing this post on Sunday night before going to bed! That’s right, I’m actually getting ahead on something! Gasp, right?! This was my weekend off, and I spent the better part of today making sure that tomorrow’s A Touch of Heaven chapter was ready to go up. As a result I’m currently in “omfg I’m getting things done, keep going while the motivation is there!” mode, thus, I’m seeing if I can get this post out of the way so that I’m already basically done with my writing stuff for tomorrow. Let’s see if I can get through it all before my brain decides that it’s very much time for bed. XD

Goal Set #1: Creative Fulfilment

Coming right out of the gates with ART!

I actually wasn’t expecting to get much in the way of art done this week, partly because of the 12-hour shifts I’ve been working, and partly because I had other stuff that needed doing this weekend so I wasn’t expecting to have a huge amount of sit-down-and-focus-visually time.


I started playing around a bit with the striptease series while I was on the phone with my family the other day, and I ended up completing not only piece #3, but also piece #4! That completes the series and means that I’m ready to start posting it! I’m hoping to do so tomorrow, so keep an eye on my Twitter account if you’re interested in that.

Obviously I won’t be sharing the two pieces I finished this weekend here and now, but as with the other two pieces, I’ll give you the face thumbnails. :3

Interested yet? ^_~

Moving on to writing, I do have to admit that my momentum slowed down a bit last week, mainly because of the 12-hour shifts, but also because I had a wee bit of writer’s block going on in, well…all of my stories. If that seems improbable, believe me when I tell you that I’ve honestly been at difficult spots in literally all of the individual stories that I’ve been working on. lol

Despite that, though, I still managed to work through my weekly goal. Pacemaker.press wanted me to write 8541 words, and I pulled off a very respectable 9854 words. Those words were spread across numerous different fanfics, with – unfortunately – none of those words making their way into The Other World: Book Three. The good news, however, is that my desperation to get ahead on my two currently-posting fanfics is finally starting to pay off. If I keep pressing on a daily basis I think I might actually manage to get some damn Book Three written this week.

On a sidenote that falls under the creativity umbrella, I had plans to record a podfic this weekend that, as you may have guessed before the end of this sentence, did not happen. I played around a bit with my microphone and Audacity, but things just weren’t working out. For one thing, it’s difficult to get enough quiet in a place like a work camp. Even when I’m on days off and almost everyone else is at work, there’s always cleaners and other workers wandering about making random noises. For another thing, my voice was not cooperating with me. The playbacks just weren’t sounding great. So in the end I decided to set it aside for the time being and hope for another chance in the hopefully-near future.

Goal Set #2: Physical Focus

Firstly, let’s get the exercise side of things out of the way, because I just finished my second run of the fifth week of 10 Rounds, which is pretty fantastic. Tomorrow (or, uh…today, by the time you’re reading this) I’ll be starting week six, which is the final week of the program, and that’s pretty sweet because I don’t think I’ve ever done a program completely twice through before. I’m seriously considering moving into a third run as well, since I still have a few weeks of work left here before I go home. I suppose we’ll see how I feel when I get to the end of this week. :3

Considering diet, that has been going pretty well too, despite more than a few hiccups along the way. And this is where I get to tell you that I have, officially, lost 20 lbs! 😀

That number is a bit skewed because I technically gained before I started properly losing, but I’m going based on the highest number the scale hit before it started moving back in the right direction again.

I do also have to admit that I had a bit of A DAY today, and definitely overindulged in a bid to keep myself glued to my laptop and getting shit done. But it’s only one day, right? There’s no way one day could possibly throw me that far out of whack, right? RIGHT?

*cough cough*

I’ll be fine. It’ll be fine.

On a related note: you guys, I’ve never been so goddamn hydrated in all my life. Partially that’s me attempting to keep cool at work because it can get really stifling under those coveralls, but partially I’ve been guzzling water to keep my appetite under control and Christ… So you know how you’re supposed to take your weight in pounds, cut it in half, and that number in ounces is how much water you should be drinking in a day? Well that means that I should be drinking roughly between 80 and 90 oz of water per day. I’ve been drinking a minimum of 125 oz per day. MINIMUM.

Pure insanity.

Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding

For the most part I have just as little to report as usual. A few numbers wriggled up, a few others tripped a step down. Nothing really worth nothing.

There is one thing that I want to point out though, because it caught me off guard.

I logged in to YouTube studio to see the numbers for the two channels, neither of which are actually active at the moment and thus don’t have much in the way of anything for me to look at from week to week. However.

The other day I did a quick TikTok video using the She-Hulk filter that is currently trending on there. There was nothing special about the vid…it’s just, like, twelve seconds of me looking cute with green skin and pretending to punch my phone screen. It’s not what you’d call fine art. Certainly nothing I put even the smallest effort into.

I uploaded that video as a YouTube short, and in 4 days it amassed approximately 1348 views. I am bewildered by this. I’ll fuckin’ take it, but I’m bewildered.

Goal Set #4: Mental Well-Being

Inevitably-teetering mental stamina aside, I have to admit that I haven’t been giving much of my energy toward media consumption recently. I’ve been more focused on either writing or sleeping. I think you’ll forgive me for that.

That said

Looking at games, not much has changed past previous weeks, but I actually did spend a good two hours this weekend playing a rhythm game with my daughter online. It’s called ‘Colorful Stage’, and is based around some of Japan’s anime ‘idol’ singers. It has the same feel as games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but you use your fingers to tap, flick, or hold the notes as they come. All the songs are Japanese in origin, and some of them are PSYCHOTICALLY difficult. I wanted to scream most of the time we were playing, but I was also enjoying it thoroughly. All in all, it was good fun for me and the kid while we’re still so far away from one another.

Looking at watching stuff, I just really haven’t been able to convince myself to sit down and watch things lately, because it means less time that I’m spending getting shit done. I know that’s a dumb, stressful concept, but I just can’t help it. :3

That said, I did manage to wrangle my brain enough to watch Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Saturday night, and I’m so glad that I did because it was ridiculously cute and I was giggling like a fool the entire time. I don’t know if it’s necessarily better than the first one was, but I adored Tails and Knuckles, and I’d totally watch it again sometime.

Lastly, we have reading, and you guys will be impressed to hear that I’ve continued delving through my Audible library! Firstly, I listened to a short story called The Neil Gaiman at the End of the Universe, which was written by Arvind Ethan David, and is about a man waking in a spaceship in deep space, all alone just with the ship’s computer, with no memory of how he got there. All he knows is that the ship calls him “Neil” and that his personal reader-computer is packed full of books, comics, and short stories written by a prolific writer – Neil Gaiman – who is 200 years gone. The story is cute and hilarious in places, and the best part about is that Neil Gaiman actually narrated it as “himself”. I barked with laughter several times throughout it, and it’s a super-quick “read” at only about 30 minutes.

After that I moved on to Wolf’s Bane by Kelley Armstrong. I can’t remember why I had this book downloaded – I suspect it may have been a free offer at some point? – but I was in the mood for something supernatural and decided to give it a try. It’s a very…teen book, if you know what I mean, but that’s not a bad thing. It took me a little bit of getting used to, but it’s an amusing story with interesting characters. The Audible version is dual-narrated since the chapters move between twin characters Kate and Logan, and I really grew to like both of them. What kinda pissed me off is that after roughly 8.5 hours of listening to this story…it ended in a cliffhanger and it was only at that point that I discovered that it’s a two-part story. -_- Luckily the second part, Wolf’s Curse was already available, so I grabbed that with one of my credits and am listening to it now. I need to know how the mystery turns out!

And would you look at that?! I am just coming up on my usual bedtime now, and I’ve managed to finish this post! All I have to do tomorrow morning is hit “Publish”! Fuck yeah, you guys, it’s gonna be a good week. I’ve got a feeling. ^_~

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 (Weeks 34)

Firstly, I just want to take this moment to record the fact that I have begun this post at 5:51 pm on Monday. I do so simply because I am genuinely interested to see whether my fatigue allows me to power through and actually finish the post tonight, or whether it’s going to end up being another one of those posts that takes a good 24 hours to get from conception to completion. 😛

With that put aside, I want to take a second moment to joyously shriek that the end is in sight! I came out for this job on May 9th, and I now have confirmation that I will be going home sometime between the end of September and the middle of October. This marks my longest ever consecutive run on an ‘out West’ job. It was absolutely needed, and I am very grateful that the work was available to me, but I am most definitely ready to go home for a while. I’m exhausted – physically, mentally, and emotionally – and I’m hyperactively excited to get home for Halloween, since I missed it last year and that sucked.

So basically, while I’m destroyed in pretty much every conceivable way, I’m also extraordinarily happy. Soon I shall be able to breathe, and I fully intend to spend at least a full month doing fuck all beyond reading, writing, playing video games, and watching shows with hubby and the kid. Anyone who wants to judge me for that can bugger right off. 😛

Not that I think anyone actually would judge me for that, but you never know. People can be kinda assholes sometimes. XP

ANYWAY, I am clearly starting to lose the thread here, so let’s sweep on into the goals, hmm?

Goal Set #1: Creative Fulfilment

Starting out with the artistic side of things, I didn’t get much done last week, but I did get something done, and I’m pleased with that. If you saw last week’s post you’ll know that I shared a thumbnail preview of a piece I did for one of those “get this post to X likes for a striptease” posts that artists do on Twitter sometimes. Well, I worked on the second piece in that striptease series last week, which is a lingerie pose. I still might go back to it and add some more detail because the upper-body part of the lingerie seems a little plain to me, but the majority of it is done and I want to focus on the other two pieces in the series first.

Once again I won’t be sharing this piece because of its purpose, but I will share a face-shot again because I’m pleased with it and my Patrons enjoyed the wink. ^_~

And yes, in case you were wondering, I absolutely am obsessed with Crowley with long, wavy hair, what of it?

Moving on to the writing side of things, I am very pleased to tell you that I absolutely murdered last week’s Pacemaker.press goal. Just drug the bastard out into the street and beat the absolute crap out of it.

Okay, I’m not sure where that came from…*nervous chuckle*

And, alright, I have historically had better weeks, but that doesn’t change the fact that this one was pretty sweet. Pacemaker wanted me to write 9827 words, and I sailed on by that with a finishing total of 13,156 words. BOOYA, baby!

Now…I do have to admit that those words were pretty much exclusively fanfiction…but that’s only because I’m still trying desperately to get ahead on my two current posting fics so that I can stop rushing out chapters at the last possible minute. >.>

Hey, writing is writing, and ya gurl wrote 13k+ words, so shush.

Goal Set #2: Physical Focus

In last week’s post I mentioned that I’d gone a little overboard on the weekend for my days off, and I needed a bit of a detox from that overindulgence. Luckily things have gone much better since then. I managed to get back into the proper diet and stick to it with only the occasional pouty moment when I wanted something fat or sugary, and as a result I managed to reverse the damage that I did with my absolute loss of sanity from my days off.

My second run of 10 Rounds also continues to go well. I haven’t had a single hiccup there, and I can definitely tell that I’ve gotten stronger, faster, and significantly more flexible since I started the program for the first time roughly eleven weeks ago. I’m using heavier weights, kicking my heart into peak zone without absolutely gasping for breath, and the other day during our morning stretches at work I got accused of being a demon because instead of touching my toes I put my hands flat on the ground in front of my feet. XD

In addition to these lovely results, this morning I officially hit 20 lbs lost! That’s a bit marred by the fact that I actually gained weight when I first came out on this job, and thus I had a higher starting point to contend with, but just the fact that I managed to pull off 20 lbs in roughly eleven weeks makes me feel hella motivated to keep going. I don’t really have a specific ultimate goal in mind because the last time I was at a healthy weight my body was also very different, so that same weight might not make sense anymore. But as long as I keep toning muscle and burning fat – plus, you know…feeling better – I’ll be happy.

Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding

Complete and utter standstill on all fronts. I honestly just…don’t know anymore. Is it even possible to grow your social following? I’m starting to think it’s a myth.

Goal Set #4: Mental Well-Being

I won’t lie and say that my mental health has been flawless or anything, but it has definitely been looking up since the news that I’ll be heading home soon. I already have lists of games I want to play, books I want to read, shows and movies I want to watch, and more, but in the meantime…

In gaming, I continue to have nothing to report because when the fuck would I find the time to play games?! I’m still just poking away at Cookie Run Kingdom while doing other things throughout the day. I’m getting excited though, because hubby has been trying out the new PS Plus tier that gives you access to their online streaming service, and I’m curious to see what’s going to be on the menu when I get home. Plus, I mean…there’s also dozens of physical games at home that I never got around to playing, so… *cough*

In watching, there is similarly nothing to report because, similarly, when the fuck would I find the time to watch anything?! That said, this weekend coming up is my days off again, and I have little to nothing planned for those three days, so I intend to catch up on a few things. In particular, the hubby and kid watched the newest JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure episodes without me, so I’m gonna have to fix that bullshit for sure.

In reading…wait, wait, get back here! I have something to report, for real! Okay, so yes, I definitely read fanfiction last week…quite a lot of it, to be honest. (*further coughing*) BUT, you guys, BUTTTT…I got my stubborn ass back onto Audible. 😀 I started out with a short one that I knew I could devour fairly quickly – a gothic vampire story called Carmilla – and I quite enjoyed it. It had the same kind of feel as Dracula, but without all the fluff that makes that story drag so much. Humorously, I believe Carmilla actually predates Dracula, so maybe Stoker should have taken a few notes. 😛

Anyway, I did enjoy Carmilla, partially because it featured a female vampire and a female victim, which was nice when it’s almost always a male vampire and a female victim. It also didn’t hurt that David Tennant played the doctor who helps fight the vampire, though he’s only in maybe a fifth of the story.

After Carmilla I moved on to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I’d been curious about for ages and happens to be one of the free options when you’re subscribed to Audible. I’ll be honest, I was expecting it to be slow and plodding, but it moved with a fair pace and I rarely got distracted or bored at all. Of course the best bits of the whole thing are the ones with HAL, but if you’ve seen the movie you’d probably expect that. And speaking of the movie…I watched it with the hubby a few years ago and I was absolutely fucking bewildered come the end of it. So much of the damn thing is just visual and left to interpretation, which isn’t necessarily bad but when you leave something up to interpretation it’s nice to have something to interpret. Anyway, long story short, the book makes the whole thing make so much more sense. I had so many lightbulb moments. lol

Hey! Would you look at that! I actually managed to finish the post before my body said “NO MORE”. Not too shabby! And now I only have to survive three more days before my three days off! See, things are looking up all around. Balance is returning to the Force. :3

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 (Weeks 33)

Can you guys believe that it’s almost September? My brain is having a difficult time comprehending this, although that’s probably not surprising considering that I spent the entirety of the summer on the oilsands, bloody working, because fuck me.

I’m not going to lie: I suspect that there is a very good possibility, at this point, that I am having a full-scale mid-life crisis. I’m not sure what this generally looks like for the average woman, but given the kind of shit I get up to on Twitter, the fact that I tried (with very limited success) to dye my hair purple this weekend, and the way inappropriate comments about me starting an OnlyFans are starting to low-key make lots of sense, I’d say that it’s probably a pretty good description of my current mental state.

But can you really blame me? I mean, for one thing, when I first started coming out to the oilsands for work I told myself that I was only going to do it for a maximum of five years…and it’s now been ten. I’m also working as a laborer despite having a university degree and nearly a decade of experience in industrial instrumentation, and while I expected to have my mortgage paid off by now, I’m nowhere near that goal. Add in the fact that my kid is starting JUNIOR HIGH next week, and yeah, I’m feeling my age, feeling the looming specter of never being able to fucking retire, and I kinda just want to pack up and disappear somewhere with a garden large enough to keep me moderately fed.

But that’s neither here nor there. *cough cough*

Despite what appears, above, to be the starts of a complete nervous breakdown, things are actually going half-decently, and I have some fun things to report throughout the goals sections, so let’s go ahead and get into that before I tangent off into hysteria again.

Goal Set #1: Creative Fulfilment

I did art, you guys! Even better, I completed art! Two pieces! The second one isn’t exactly super-involved, and I’ve restricted myself back to only adding color for the eyes, but I’m quite pleased with how both pieces turned out!

Firstly, Con O’Neill (who plays Izzy Hands in Our Flag Means Death) posted this adorable photo of himself laying with his dog on social media the other day, and I was wholly inspired. I thought up this whole concept involving a dog being allowed onto the Revenge, and long story short, I ended up with this:

I am very, very pleased with how it turned out, and I’ve gotten some lovely comments about it, but that’s not the best part… The best part is that when I shared it to Twitter, Con O’Neill liked and retweeted it. Now, the thing is, Con has been liking and retweeting piles of Our Flag Means Death stuff over the past months because he’s absolutely feral and has been having a blast being one of the icons of the show, so it’s not super surprising that he did the same with my piece…but that doesn’t make it any less a HUGE FUCKING THING. Not gonna lie: I may have swooned a little.

I also did a second piece, but I can’t share it yet because it’s going to be a multi-part release through Twitter. In case you’ve never seen one of these, there will occasionally be an artist in the GO or OFMD fandoms who will do a ‘striptease’ of sorts. They’ll pick a character (occasionally more than one) and draw them in varying levels of undress, sometimes with the final piece being NSFW, and they’ll be released based on interaction with the original post. So, for example, a fully-dressed pic will be posted, with an explanation that 50 likes are required for the partially-disrobed pic, 100 likes for the next one, and so on for however many pics there are. I’ve been wanting to do one of those for ages, but I know that I don’t draw fast enough to do it on the fly as the numbers are it, so I’m going to prepare all of the drawings in advance. This past weekend I got the first one done and the other three drafted. ❤

So yeah, I’m not going to share the whole thing, but I will share a close-up of the face because I’m pleased with it. :3

And if you somehow can’t tell who that is by the BRIGHT YELLOW EYES, obviously I’m using Crowley for this particular challenge. Because he’s mah boi. And he looks good in lingerie. *cough cough*

Moving on to the writing side of the equation!

I mentioned last week that I’ve been a bit all over the place with writing lately because the new schedule with the 12-hour shifts has my brain all melty and, as a result, I can’t seem to keep track of which stories need new chapters when and what bloody day of the week it is at any given time. That is starting to get better now that I’ve had a weekend off to reset and catch up a bit. Just thought I’d mention that.

I’m still writing eighteen goddamn things at once though. I think that’s just…how it works for me for the rest of my days now. *clears throat*

Anyway, Pacemaker.press wanted me to write 10,068 words last week, and I skipped on past that number with a healthy final total of 12,092 words. Those words were spread out between my two currently-posting fanfics and the two fanfics that will be following up on those once they’re complete. I did not, unfortunately write anything toward Book Three last week, but the good news is that I worked out a few plot issues and empty scenes in my head, so those should be significantly easier to write when I get into them. Also, I should actually get to some of those scenes this week, since I seem to have managed to pull myself into some kind of vague schedule regarding what gets written when.

Honestly, I probably shouldn’t have admitted to that, because I’ve probably jinxed myself now. Whoops.

Goal Set #2: Physical Focus

Okay, firstly, I will readily admit that I went a little bit apeshit on the weekend. Since I’ve been working and 11-and-3 schedule, I’ve pretty much been sticking to a strict regime for the 11 work days and then taking it easy on myself and having some treats on the 3 days off. I think that’s a pretty decent system, because you can only restrict yourself for so long before you end up going on a massive binge and just end up feeling like utter shit afterwards.

That said

Maybe it was the fact that I was guzzling coffee and snacking on donuts while trying to get some writing done, or maybe it’s that I stepped into the camp dining hall for the first time since I’ve been here and there were WAFFLES, or maybe I pushed things a little when I decided to treat myself with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, or-

Okay, just…I went a little apeshit on the weekend, okay?

That said

My second run-through of 10 Rounds is going well; I continue to burn calories and build muscle, which is obviously great. And the diet side of things – not including this past weekend, obviously – has been going well too. I’m starting to get a little bored of the same few things that I tend to eat over and over again, but that’s honestly more about camp life than it is about diet choices.

Long story short, things are going decently, but I definitely need a detox from the weekend. :3

Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding

Blowing through this one again because I just don’t even know what the heck to say about it. Basically, the author Twitter account gained a few followers, and everything else pretty much stayed stagnant.

And that’s all I have to say about that!

Goal Set #4: Mental Well-Being

I mean, clearly we can say that my mental well-being is…iffy at this point, right? Right. Glad we’ve got that covered.
Actually, I just had a conversation with my boss today about how I’m slowly and inevitably going mad. I’m pretty sure he thought that I was being goofy. Spoiler alert: I was not.

So, on the gaming side of things we have nothing more or less than the same dumb mobile games I’ve been mentioning every week for ages now.

On the reading side of things we continue to have fanfic, though I think I might finally be hitting a point at which I’m having trouble finding fics with premises that I want to read, so maaaaaaybe that might change soon? (I’m thinking not likely, though.)

And on the watching side of things, I’m actually a bit surprised to be telling you that I haven’t watched bugger all since last week. I totally intended to finish watching The Sandman, and the kid wanted me to watch season 2 of Cuphead, which should have been an easy binge, but all I technically turned on all weekend was a re-watch of Good Omens, because I needed it. Don’t judge me. I NEEDED it.

Now we come to the end of another weekly post, and I can tell you that I once again managed to take an entire day to write one of these. That is ridiculous. Why do I keep doing that? Rawr. Ah well, at least I managed to actually post it before Monday was over. 😛

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 (Weeks 31 & 32)

My sweet, summer children…let me tell you a tale. A tale about a time, not so long ago, when I worked multiple, consecutive 12-hour shifts without issue or complaint. When I took my lot in stride and I scraped and clawed for every free second of time between breaks and delays and bus rides and meal times in order to squeeze the maximum amount of art creation out of the day. And still, somehow, I managed to chat with my family across the country, eek out a daily exercise schedule, and get at least seven hours of sleep each night… It was a glorious time, my sweets. It was the peak times…

Okay, so I might be exaggerating a bit about all that, but seriously… I do recall a time in recent-ish history when I managed 12-hour shifts for weeks at a time without having a nervous breakdown, but after the past three months of 10-hour shifts, it’s as though my mind and body have forgotten the ability to survive those extra two hours per day. I am a wreck my friends, and at this point I’m not entirely confident that I am capable of clawing my way back up into something that kinda-sorta resembles a successful routine.

You may have noticed that I just completely missed last week’s post. That, my dears, is because it was Wednesday before I even thought about the post and went, “Ah shit, that’s a thing I usually do.” This was already after I’d missed a GO-fic post, and was gearing up to try desperately not to miss an OFMD-fic post, and so, yeah…I was a wee bit of a dumpster fire, scheduling-wise.

At the time of beginning this post, it is Tuesday morning at 4:47 am. (Don’t be shocked; my shift starts at 6 am…I’m not, like, getting up several hours early just for this.) By the time I finish writing this post it may very well be bedtime. If not tomorrow. We’ll just have to wait and see, because that’s how things have been going lately!

So I’m on day nine of the 12-hour shifts, with two more to go after this before I have a weekend off, and let me tell you that I am really looking forward to that weekend. I used to try to weasel my way into getting as many consecutive shifts in a row as possible because that’s where you really earn the overtime cash here, but honestly, I’m well on my way to a full-scale breakdown if we don’t hit Thursday evening soon. Not that the work is hard or anything, and my crew is small and pleasant, for the most part, but fuck. My sleep has been shit, the weather has been ball-meltingly hot, my brain can NOT seem to catch up enough to get used to the new schedule and stop forgetting to do things, and yesterday I had my first really bad bout of Rejection Sensitive Dysmorphia in a while, so that definitely did not help the situation.


*Ahem* Alrighty. Moving on.

Goal Set #1: Creative Fulfilment

Okay, firstly, I have to sadly admit that I haven’t drawn a goddamn thing since my last post two weeks ago. Remember when I shared the snippets of the spicy GO piece I did? Yeah, that’s the last thing I worked on. My poor, beautiful tablet has been sitting in the closet in my camp room since then. ;-;

There just hasn’t been time. These fucking 12-hour shifts, man… Two more days of work and then I have three days off. Pray that I can find the strength to beat my executive disfunction and pick up the damn tablet when I am actually faced with the available time to do so.

For the record, I do have, like…a hundred bloody things I want to draw. Including, but not limited to, a piece of Izzy Hands, because it turns out that Con O’Neil is one of the nicest guys in TV, and he fucking loves that people are making fanart of him, so I want to support that.

The fact that he’s also pretty hot does have some bearing, I won’t lie.


On the writing side of things I can at least report that I’ve continued to manage to hit my word counts. Two weeks ago Pacemaker.press wanted me to write 10,681 words, and I blew past that with a final total of 13,134 words. Then, last week, Pacemaker wanted me to write 9584 words, and I blew past that again with 11,318 words. Not too bloody shabby at all.

Some of those words even went toward Book Three! Several thousand of them, in fact! And while we’re on the subject, Book Three is now officially longer than either Book One or Book Two, and there’s still a ton of story left to go. :O

Now, because I have to add at least a little bit of a downer to the writing section, I do have to mention that since the 12-hour shifts began I have been completely and utterly in capable of having my fanfic chapters posted at their normal times. Yesterday’s A Touch of Heaven update at least occurred before the day had ended, anyway, but damn…I really, really need to manage to get my shit together enough to get ahead by a week or two so this stops happening. :<

Goal Set #2: Physical Focus

It’s a bit difficult to talk about this stuff right now because, a) I’m sore and tired, and b) I want SO BADLY to go eat twelve pieces of cake from the camp dining hall. But I’m not gonna do that, because I’ve been SO GOOD YOU GUYS.

Okay, so I’m now on week 3 of my second run through 10 Rounds, and doing great. I’m definitely better at some of the moves this time around, and I’m noticing a distinct difference in my ability to hold up longer during cardio stuff. I’m actually having trouble getting myself into my peak heartrate zone because my heart and lungs just seem to be getting better at the exercises, which is obviously amazing.

But what I’m obviously most excited about is the fact that I’m GETTING SMALLER. Perhaps not super-noticeably-so…I’d need to ask someone who hasn’t seen me in person in a while…but I am losing weight and the last time I took my measurements I’d lost roughly an inch in several places. That is immensely exciting for me, you guys, and is outrageously motivating. I seem to be have gotten past the first plateau, and I’m seeing fractional weight losses on the daily, and while I know it’s not necessarily the healthiest way to do these things from a mental and emotional standpoint, I can’t tell you how much it helps my willpower to actually see that number trickle down a tiny bit each morning.

Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding

Why do I do this to myself, year after year? Tell me that, would you? Because I honestly don’t know. I never get any better at this stuff, nor do I ever figure out how to go about reporting it. It is a ridiculously stupid waste of a spot on these posts, and someone PLEASE remind me of that come the beginning of next year? -_-

For the record though…the author accounts all went up slightly, and that’s about it.

Goal Set #4: Mental Well-Being

If you guys know me at all by this point, you’ll probably realize that my brain has been MELTING recently, and thus I don’t have much good to say about my mental health at the moment. Let’s just go ahead and say that I’m surviving, and that I haven’t put my head through a wall yet, and we’ll move on to the other stuff, okay?

Gaming continues to boil down mostly to Cookie Run Kingdom and Pokemon GO, which I recently started playing again in the mornings while I’m leaving camp on the way to work. I couldn’t imagine even attempting to play something more involved right now. Frankly I’m quite amazed that I’m still awake and working on this post (yes, it did in fact become night…)

Reading, you can probably go ahead and guess, although I can tell you that I haven’t been reading a huge amount of anything recently because the only way I’d be able to pull it off is if I clawed back writing time, and I’m not willing to do that. That said, I’ve read several Our Flag Means Death fics now that are at least as beautifully-written as some of the devastatingly excellent Good Omens fics I’ve read.

Now, watching, I definitely have to mention two major things. Firstly, at hubby’s insistence, I watched the new Predator movie, which is called Prey, and I fucking LOVED it. It was very well done, a major love letter to the original movie, with some great cinematography and an amazing main character who I adored. Seriously, go watch it. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Secondly, I watched most of The Sandman (will finish it on my days off), and I can wholeheartedly inform you that it is masterful. Anyone who is gatekeeping, or whining about casting choices, or bitching about certain changes that were made from the comics…they can all just fuck right off, because the show is practically perfect. The actors are all excellent in their roles, most of the changes make sense in the context of the cinematic version of these stories, and the worldbuilding is gorgeous. I’m loving absolutely everything about it, and I am officially in love with Sturridge, who plays Dream/Morpheus. He is now one of my boyfriends. It has been decided.

And that, as they say, is that. I shall certainly attempt to not miss next week’s post, but with the way my brain has been working of late I won’t preemptively put it past myself. Just pray for my sanity, will you my dears? Thanks. ❤

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 30)

Another week another Mond- er… Tuesday! Yes. That’s totally what I meant. Yup. Nothing at all unusual about a fine, sunny Tuesday morning. *cough cough*

On that note, I would like to preface this particular post by saying that my brain has been EVIL recently. I don’t know the particular cause (I suspect it’s a combination of several things, none of which I really have any control over at the moment), but I feel like I’ve got the worst kind of ADHD-brain this past week or so. I’ve been see-saw’ing between “TOO MANY THOUGHTS CANNOT FOCUS!” and *zero thoughts; blue screen of death* with very little time spent at anything approaching a happy medium. As you can probably imagine, this has made it rather difficult to get any damn thing done. And you’d be right! I have been managing to get some things done, but I genuinely believe that the only thing that has saved my meager productivity is the fact that I’ve got myself into a kind of routine at this point, such that my body tends to work on autopilot most of the time without any actual input from the broken thing between my ears.

It’s…it’s not bloody ideal, guys. Basically, I’m in survival mode. And it’s bound to crack at some point. I’m just hoping that I’m on my days off when it does so that I don’t have to lock myself in one of the work trucks to have my panic attack.

*throat clearing*

Doom and gloom aside…

Goal Set #1: Creative Fulfilment

Okay! Art first, because I’m excited to share what I’ve been working on since last week. Well…I can only share a small piece because it’s a NSFW piece that’s exclusive to my Patreon right now, but you know what I mean. 😛

So, firstly, I left it up to my supporters to vote on what kind of piece they wanted me to work on first with my new art tablet. Surprising precisely no one, my horny little bastards voted for a NSFW piece featuring our favorite Ineffable Husbands. So I thought about what I wanted to do, and when I realized I hadn’t drawn Crowley in a collar recently, I decided on a bondage piece. >:)

Now, here’s the thing… Normally I would do a sketch, and then I’d clean it up into sharp line-art, and then I’d maybe add a tiny splash of color in the form of the boys’ eyes or a bit of blush on their cheeks, something like that. And that’s where I’d generally stop, because actually adding significant color to my work tends to end in tears and recriminations. It’s always been a slow, fidgety process for me, not to mention that I’m ALL KINDS OF AWFUL when it comes to shading and lighting and all that good stuff that makes a piece look…not flat as fuck. It’s never been my strong point. If anything it’s been my weakest point.

THAT SAID, I’m having so much fun playing with my tablet, and I’ve been experimenting… I added proper color, and yes, I’ve been playing with lighting and shading, and surprisingly I’m actually quite pleased with how it’s turning out so far. O_O I’ve only been able to pick at it in bits and pieces, but here’s a little gallery to show you how the piece has progressed:

LOOK AT THEM! Loooookkkk aaaaatttt theeeeemmmmm!

Now, I’m not getting cocky, believe me. I see SO many flaws, and every time I see someone else’s gorgeous art on Twitter or Instagram I make this face –> :,<

BUT. I’m having fun, and I’m liking the results, even when my inner critic keeps bitching and moaning. This is progress. This is definite progress! ❤

On the writing side of the spectrum, I definitely can’t complain about what I somehow managed to pull off last week. I don’t even know when half of this writing happened (see previous mention to ‘running on autopilot’) but I can’t really argue with the results. Pacemaker.press wanted me to come up with 9934 words, and I blew past that goal to settle out at the end of the week with 12,601 words.

The words in question were all over the spectrum as far as which stories they belonged to, mainly because I’ve run out of what I had written in advance for my two current fanfic WIPs, which means that I’ve been manically blasting out chapters a day or two before they’re set to be posted. Not my best method in terms of stress, but there you have it. *cough*

That said, even though I spent a rather large chunk of last week panicking to finish the coming-due chapters of Two Ships Adrift at Sea and A Touch of Heaven, I did also manage to spend a bit of time working on The Other World: Book Three. And on that particular note, Book Three has recently reached the same word count as Book One…but is only roughly 3/5ths of the way done. o.o You guys, I’m telling you…the massive amount of fanfiction that I’ve been writing over the past few years has given me so many ideas and taught me so much about how to extend a story without stuffing it full of pointlessness. Seriously. As a result, Book Three is going to be my longest published novel by TENS of thousands of words. That’s…that’s kind of a big deal, you guys. ❤

Goal Set #2: Physical Focus

Okay, onto the physical health side of life! This is where routine has really saved me, because if I hadn’t worked myself into a series of habits that now come naturally without me thinking about them I definitely would have fucked up royally by now.

Firstly: exercise. I mentioned last week that I was starting the Core de Force program. That…that didn’t last. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent program, but there are several things about it that weren’t working for me, not the least of which is that some of the vids are just a bit too long for what I can currently handle, especially with my work hours. There’s also a LOT of push-ups (which I’ve never been good at, no matter how hard I try), and a significant amount of jumping-style moves, which just aren’t working for my knees and ankles right now. Once I’ve lost some more weight, maybe, but my poor joints are just not capable of that kind of thing at the moment. Thus, I’ve decided to return to 10 Rounds for now. It might seem a little counterintuitive, going back to the beginning of a program that I’ve already completed, but hear me out… Even though the cardio bits seem a lot easier now, going back to step 1, I can move a lot faster and with a lot more energy now, meaning that I’m burning just as many calories on the beginning videos now as I was burning on the ending videos just over a week ago. Additionally, while I’m returning to easier strength training, I’m now able to bump up the weight I’m using for those moves, making them more effective. I think the overall result is going to be good. Plus I genuinely enjoy this program, which makes it that much easier to stick to.

On the food side of things, I’ve been doing well, and have mostly managed to keep myself in a calorie deficit without driving myself mad. I’m eating more-or-less the same things every day, but with just enough variety to keep myself from losing it, and with enough sweet things to keep myself moderately happy (greek yogurt with fruit, artificially sweetened maple syrup…things like that). All in all, I’m getting a bit bored of salads and I do, occasionally, look at the baked goods at camp and want to just shove my face right into the stack, but in general I’m doing well. I’m keeping my appetite under control for the most part, and I go to bed at night feeling perfectly happy with what I consumed that day.

That said, I am going to devour an ENTIRE POT of my husband’s chicken stew when I eventually go home. Just sayin’.

Goal Set #3: Self-Promotion/Branding

Not much to report here, as usual. Most numbers stayed pretty steady where they usually are, although I did have a little bump in TikTok followers, which is kinda amusing since all I really do on there is play around. *shrugs*

Where I’ve been annoyed recently is the lack of book sales. It’s nothing that I haven’t experienced month after month after month, but the little boost in sales that I had last month has made me greedy for more. I’ve been thinking about maybe reading some chapters of my books on TikTok to see if it sparks any interest, but I haven’t really had the time required for something like that. Maybe I’ll look into it when I’m on my next days off.

Goal Set #4: Mental Well-Being

As pointed out in the beginning of this post, my mental health has been less than ideal, and I don’t see that amending itself any time soon. For now I’m just clinging to that survival mode and hoping that when my next days off come I’ll be able to massage my brain into some semblance of acting right. I’m not going to hold my breath or anything through. After all, I’ve been out at this job for over three months now. I miss my family. I miss my home. I miss my own bed and the ability to go where I want when I want. And the thought of dealing with this for roughly another 2.5 months is giving me twitches that I am predicting are going to coalesce into a panic attack at some point.

But for now I’ll self-medicate with content consumption. *cough*

Gaming: I still haven’t been doing much beyond the occasional tapping away at Cookie Run Kingdom, and though I haven’t actually deleted the app I’ve basically banned myself from opening Candy Crush because I ain’t got that kind of time to waste. 😛

That said, my kid introduced me to a mobile rhythm game called Colorful Stage, and it is infuriating, but in a fun, addictive way. And at least it actually uses reaction time and a few braincells, unlike the other phone crap I’ve been playing. lol

Reading: You know what? I’m not even going to dignify this one with an input this week. Y’all know me.

Watching: I put a hold on my background-House binge because something that I’ve been waiting for was released at the end of last week and I’ve been aiming heart-eyes at it now ever since. That release is the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman, properly done with Neil Gaiman actually involved. Now, to be fair, I’ve never read the comics…but I have listened to Acts 1 and 2 of the Audible Original full-cast production, and I fell in love with the world and the characters through that. Thus, I was super-excited to see what would be done with the TV production.

Now, I can’t lie and say that I’m 100% on board with changes that have been made for this version, simply because I grew so attached to certain things about the Audible version. For instance, I thought Michael Sheen made an absolutely fucking fantastic Lucifer, so I’m a wee bit thrown off by Gwendoline Christie…not because she’s not good (because she definitely is), but just because she isn’t Michael. 😛

That said, for the overwhelming part I am absolutely enamored with the show. Tom Sturridge is fucking fantastic as Dream, and has officially been added to my Thirst List. The Corinthian is precisely what I imagined, the smarmy bastard. Desire hasn’t featured much in what I’ve watched so far, but Mason Alexander Park is perfect in the role. And the entire The Sound of Her Wings episode was CHEF’S KISS in the best possible way. Seriously, I was enraptured by it and will be vibrating to rewatch it once I’ve finished the whole season.

Basically, I can already tell you that this is going to be one of my favorite shows of the decade, without doubt.

So there we have it, a day late but still here. The next update should be coming after I’ve had a couple of days off, so hopefully my brain will be in a better state by then. Cross your fingers for me, my friends!

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!