Review catchup and other good things

Today was spent catching up on reviews, and researching my new assignment for late June. It will be a very exciting summer review-wise.

My garden has doubled in size over the weekend. If you don’t hear from me, I was eaten by mutant cucumbers.

Tomorrow may be a productivity neutral day. Might be good for business, may also be encouraged to resume work on my d&d campaign, which has fallen low on my priorities list.

Advertisements

I’m an anarchist.

It’s been obvious for a while. I’m probably some kind of anarchist flower child. I gave up on conventional work about a year ago, and becoming self-employed has been the best thing I’ve ever done. Self-employment has its ups and downs, I won’t deny that, but it’s so rewarding and enjoyable. I have autonomy, creativity and a complete lack of authority and bureaucratic bullshit.

Without self-employment, I wouldn’t have the will or the time to write, create or do much other than exist. I like living, and material goods are largely pointless distractions after a certain point. Give me a bike, something that connects to the Internet and can work some necessary software, some good books and a robust red pen. And a good kitchen. Can’t forget that. I must start taking photos and writing down my recipes for that cooking/gardening blog I dream about starting.

I went to Montreal’s Anarchist Bookfair this weekend on the advice of a former roommate. It seems now we have much more in common than we did when we were roommates. I find it funny how that turned out. She’s off on a farm somewhere for the summer so I couldn’t visit her zine. It’s kind of a pity, I want to pick up a copy of her book and get her to sign it.

The Bookfair was just a quick walk from the Atwater Market, so anonymous boyfriend and I walked over to enjoy the sights and shops. It was his first time there. I love the fromagerie with the epic beer selection. That and the place with the wall of hot sauces are some of my all-time favorite shops. We grabbed some Blair’s Mega hot sauce. This will be exciting!

I need to get back to Earth after a whirlwind weekend. My Neovella needs all the crazy love I can pump into it. Maybe I should give up zombie fiction and other “serious” genres and just do the utterly absurd. I doubt the Zombie Empress would approve, and I need to keep giving her reasons not to eat me. That reminds me, must finish edits and pump out another draft, lest I lose my self-imposed short story challenge.

Neovella, the most fun I’ve had in a while.

Today whilst ambling through an online forum I discovered Neovella, a very cool site that lets you take turns collaboratively writing stories with others. Myself, anonymously-obsessed-boyfriend and Trish, another writing buddy jumped on the bandwagon.

Wanting to do something absolutely hilarious and possibly (as of this writing absolutely) disgusting, I started a story called Bobby the Incontinent Space Cadet. Most viewers will find it disturbing. Clearly I never got over the poo jokes of my childhood.

It’s disturbed, but it’s genius. I love this site. Best tool ever to not take yourself too seriously. Especially since my serious work is getting a sweet facelift. I’ve learned a lot, and it will be better off for it.

This weekend is the Anarchist Bookfair. I’ve been told it’s good fun. Some geeky events, gardening, edits and creating the most freaked out weirdness possible with Neovella seems to be the plan for this weekend. Oh, and I have some products to design. I finally received some instructions so I may begin! Those government grants will never see it coming.

I’m off to get some criticism

I have a long and detailed critique ahead of me today, which has to be given and explained in person. Should be fun and a good learning experience.

I have some gardening to look forward to this weekend, the sun if finally out and I want these tomatoes out of my office. They do smell wonderful, though.

I’ve registered for NaNoWriMo, a novel writing contest. 50k words during the month of November. Since festival season will be over, I want to try it out for a few reasons. One is that it will make me swallow my self-doubts and fears so I can just write the damn thing. Another is for the challenge, of course. Lastly, I want to feel like I’m really a part of something, and this seems like a good thing to be a part of, because at worst I drop out and beat myself up. At best I end up with 50+k words and I can finish a story and have written a draft for a novel.

Outlines and character sketches are legal. I have at least three novel outlines/ideas that are in various stages of outlined. No character sketches yet. I need another notebook already.

In other news, my awesome brother started a blog of his own. Go awesome brother, go!

Zombies and rain don’t mix. New review!

This weekend my boyfriend and I had hoped to make a bunch of fake blood, soak ourselves in it and make book covers. Sadly, the rain would have made it rough to do our favorite idea with his good camera, so that’s on hold. I need to come up with more excuses to drench myself in fake blood. (No, not writing vampire stories. I’ve read Dracula and some old book by Christopher Pike, which is about as far as my interest in the subject goes.)

I received an excellent critique on Friday. I’m supposed to get a few more back Monday, and I’m excited to get to work straightening things out and polishing off my draft. It’s been a busy few days so my interesting work productivity has been low. I find I don’t take criticism personally. I’m only human, and after staring at the same piece for so long I’m bound to miss a lot of things, in addition to never having written fiction before. I really appreciate all the support my friends and family have been giving me, they’re very literate people and I’m lucky to have their help and patience. You guys rock. Especially you, Mom and anonymously-obsessed-boyfriend.

Friday night I went to review the punk bands Dead and Divine and The Architects UK. The review is live on Orcasound. Thanks again to my awesome boyfriend/cameraman for getting pictures for me. I’ve been trying to convince him to get a blog of his own, so many amazing shots go unused and it’s a real shame. I’ve been tossing around the idea of writing a “What I really think while reviewing Punk Shows” blog entry, but it just might get me lynched.

The more interesting part of the evening was when I was approached by the manager of Calgary band Fall City Fall and was requested to do an interview. This was my first solo interview, and it went very well. I was impressed by their thoughtfulness and very insightful answers. I’ll post a link to it once I have the audio and transcribe it. It was such a cool experience. I’ve assisted/sat in on interviews before, but this time I was asking the questions. Maybe someday, somebody will be asking me the questions. That’s a scary thought.

Rain is nasty, I have a bunch of plants to go into the garden and now it’s supposed to drop to 9C tomorrow. I guess they’re coming in for the night. I don’t want my tomato, cucumber and super chili plants getting chilled and dying. I need my sunny day outdoor ambiance.

A new week is coming, and I’m going to rock it. Maybe I’ll even have time for some yoga.

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.

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.