Gardening helps writing

I expanded my garden today, in anticipation of planting in the upcoming weeks. I wanted my plants to be less cramped, preferably with spelunking not being a harvesting skill.

Later on, I noticed a spike in creativity, to the point where I solved a major issue with one of my writing ideas. It seemed so trivial, as I was showering and the thought struck me.

I just might sit down and start editing tomorrow, providing I can get this project done.

Business and stellar alignment.

I was working away developing IT products and services packages, minding my own business. And what happens?

I get a letter in the mail. After two months and a couple of emails, Quebec has finally decided to make my business registration official and has sent me my business number.

I’m pretty stunned. I’d figured they’d take much more time, or excessively nitpick my company name. Today, I went from self-employed consultant to business owner.

This is a whole new ball game. And frankly, it’s a little intimidating.

It seems this is a fortuitous week. I get a sweet project and essentially a way more awesome version of my old job back, and now I’m in business and can do all these awesome business things I’ve been planning to do. Such as making more money. In addition, I finish my first short story and come up with a few more ideas.

This week is shaping up to be incredible, and surreal. Hopefully that internship of mine will call me up and we can get started with that soon as well.

May’s short story rough draft complete.

I’m not bringing out the champagne just yet. More like a hacksaw. The first parts of the story illicit  a “who wrote this crap” reaction. The rest needs significant cleaning up, and I need to break my love affair with certain words.

I’m still in love with the concept as much as I was initially. Now that it’s all down on paper, I can start doing it real justice. I’m my own harshest critic, and I know that I can be a real monster.

I’m hoping I’ll be comfortable enough to put it out here for the world to see in the middle of May.I have a slight fear that I’ll pigeonhole myself into writing nothing but existential zombie stories forever. However, since I’m not exactly a traditionalist, I don’t give a damn about what anybody expects of me anymore. I’ve spent enough of my life worrying about shaping up to other people’s dreams. So I’ll write whatever lame genre fiction, nonfiction or literary prose I like, and everyone gets to like it!

I might have to hold off on starting the edits for a couple of days, because I have a giant consulting project to research and work on, with preliminary mind-maps due Monday.

Maybe the technological and creative pursuits give me a kind of balance and grounding. I can always turn one off and work on the other, if needed.

Maybe I’ll go play more Portal 2. I’m on chapter 7 and I really want to know what happens!

The one short story per month challenge!

I’ve decided to challenge myself to write one short story per calendar month. I want to gain experience writing fiction from many perspectives, and this seems like a good way to not only get my creative juices flowing, but also to work up to writing something of novel length.

Speaking of novels, I have some awesome ideas, but I want to be able to do them justice.

In other news, a database I work on is growing nicely, and I may even have another interesting outlet for it. I got that consulting job I was talking about late last week. It seems there is a lot of good opportunities there to move up and grow. I worked for them in the past, but rather than reprise my role as Business Development Manager, I’m to be a Product Development Manager. I wonder if this is a title side-grade or an upgrade. As long as the pay is good and lets me keep working on my writing, as well as not interfere with my quality of life, it’s all good.

Little coming up on the reviewing horizon other than a punk show sometime in May, as well as some rock/metal album for the end of May. Still waiting for that internship to get back to me. I hate waiting.

With regards to the short stories, I’m hoping to have my first one out for reading/viewing pleasure in early/mid May.

Ways to make Grandma’s Easter.

This one is easy. Plan a surprise roadtrip, show up and watch the Blue Jays game with her.

Bonus: The look on Mom’s face when you interrupt her own visit by accident.

Grandma’s garden is already gorgeous, and it hasn’t even begun yet. Small mayflowers dotted the beds, each so tiny but so detailed. A big woodpecker made some very awesome holes in a nearby tree. I love the country.

We also took a long walk with my mom up around some of my old haunts. It was sad to see my dad’s old house again. The new owners really neglect it. The two-story shed/garage where I made my fort seems to be on the verge of collapse, the brickwork is crumbling on the house and they’ve let the raised vegetable gardens that my dad had built for my brother and I utterly decay, or demolished them completely. The balcony is sloughing off the front of the place.

Then went back and hung out with mom and the stepdad for a bit before packing it in for the four hour drive home.

Going back home is nice, but there are some things that should just be left alone.

Unproductive, nonproductive, antiproductive

I’d classify myself along the lines of “nonproductive” today. I’m just not doing any formal work. I’m not self-sabotaging, which I’d say would be antiproductive, but I’m not trying and failing either.

My main work computer is being plagued by problematic freezes and crashes. I fear becoming reliant on my laptop for essential work, because my wide screen dual monitors are pretty essential to a lot of what I do. I did it before without them, but it is very inefficient. Although, arguably, my laptop is technologically superior to my desktop, I still like to keep “work” and “writing” segmented.

My boyfriend is on the cusp of putting together his own dream computer. Hopefully this issue will resolve itself when I inherit his old machine and I turn this one into the Linux box of my dreams.

Played more Portal 2 last night, I’m blown away by how amazing it is. I’ve been trying to make it last, because I blew through Portal and felt sad when it was over.

I beat writer’s block! (This time)I have a plan, and a review is live, too!

I managed to gain some momentum and made good progress on my first story.

Now, for the plan. I did promise a plan in the title. And Team Thea delivers!

Once this short story is “done”, and by this I mean that I can read it over without cringing, my proofreaders like it and it has survived the rigors of editing by those with objective eyes, I’m going to put it on Wattpad.

It’s like YouTube, but for ebooks. I want to see if it will stand up to anonymous scrutiny. If it’s a hit, great. If not, then I learn and can re-write the story, or do better with the next one.

So many possibilities.

In other news, it’s Earth Day, and my review of African Cats is now live on Orcasound. It was very enjoyable, and the proceeds are for a good cause. It was nice to see a documentary for a change.

Enjoy your long weekend, world!

Writer’s block angst: Blogging irony edition

Naturally, the first thing I do after realizing that my muse would rather take a nap than inspire me is to work on some really boring database. This is possibly the least creative activity known to man, and time flew by.

However, I may have unknowingly used up my creative mojo by cooking a tomato sauce of unrivaled flavor and aroma.

It could be that this is a day for analytic thought. Seems I have a decent consulting opportunity closing in, which will be nice. More business is good. Gives me more things to do if one of my designated “writing” days ends up a bust.

I’m pretty amused that I’m blogging about writer’s block. I don’t even have that much to say, which is pretty telling.

Maybe I should take another crack at that database.

What makes good dialogue?

Today I’ve been agonizing over dialogue. Having almost no experience with creative story writing, I find I am hypercritical of how my characters speak and act.

Are they believable? Are they too formal? Is it interesting?

I want to just relax and write. Hopefully I can find someone honest and perceptive who is willing to edit weird existential zombie horror stories.

What does Portal 2, hot yoga and internships have in common?

Short answer: They are all awesome.

I woke up early. Despite its early launch, Portal2 refused to run in the wee hours of the morning, and I love sleep. The anticipation woke me up bright and early, and I devoted about 100 minutes to playing. It was simply amazing, but I had work to do and reviews to write, especially if I was going to make the afternoon community yoga class. Needless to say, Portal 2 good. Well worth it so far, and I’m going to make the time to get more into it further pre-weekend. Traditional workday gaming seems unprofessional, even if I’m self-employed and have been known to regularly put hours in on weekends.

Hot yoga was slightly suffocating. I’ve been missing out the past few weeks because of schedule conflicts, and it was 90 minutes of sweaty exhaustion. The incredible endorphin high afterwords is worth it, especially when I got the good news…

A print-magazine internship I had applied for almost a month ago, and had interviewed for two weeks ago and presumed filled contacted me. Now, they didn’t offer me the internship I had applied for (executive assistant), but rather, something more suited to my strengths. I’ve been offered an internship as a backbeat reporter for the festival season. This means I’ll go to events and write really detailed backstories and reviews on them.

All this the day after I write about my disillusionment with reviewing. This won’t be my usual 300-500 word requirement while trying to say only nice things review. This just got real! I’m still going to carry on with my current reviewing gig as well, because it’s still crazy fun, and I like getting into movies/plays/shows for free.

So, life awesome, hot yoga attempting boyfriend too cool for words (but slightly singed), and things are looking good for seeing my work in print.

On the creative front, I’m trying to figure out a realistic schedule for writing short stories. I’m thinking two per month, or one ever three weeks or so is a good target. The trouble is inspiration. Many of my short story ideas come from dreams, and I have an incredible amount of zombie dreams.

Zombies are cool and all (perhaps overused?), but I need to request a new form nightmare.