Project Overload

That would make a good name for a book.

Between job, writing, editing, blogging, vlogging, keeping up with twitter and yet more job life is becoming hectic. I try to do job stuff in the morning, and writing in the afternoon. It keeps a routine.

But as of now, I think I need to shop around for project management software. All of my projects are becoming just too much to mentally keep track of. I have a Google Apps account, maybe it’s time to go shopping.

This week’s goals: Finish next edit of Locked In, and get Locked Out to 75%+ complete. I’m taking it easy. Friday is Canada Day, and it’s hard to get stuff accomplished on holidays when the boyfriend is home and wants to have fun. Plus, it’s Canada Day. I want to have fun!

I have muted hopes that this version of Locked In will be the last.

The Blog Improvement Project

With release of my first story hopefully about one month away, I decided to clean up a little, make this joint just a little nicer. There may just be one or two more drafts before I stick a fork in it. Additionally, the rough draft of part 2 is approximately one third done.

I noticed the About page is getting some hits and badly needed some love. As well, I realized that I had no dedicated place for my magnum opus, Zombie Bedtime Stories. I fixed that, and tried to express my vision for the project, and why it’s unique and deserves your attention.

Contact me is basically shameless self-promotion, and an email address. In case anybody wants to email me. I like emails.

Otherwise, my cover for Locked In is getting an overhaul. I realized that the text is unreadable in the thumbnail. Anonymously-obsessed-boyfriend (Now on Twitter!) is on the case.

Vlog-wise, I’m hoping to get my cooking videos up. I made one about how to cook chili that needs a good amount of editing, and today I made matzoh balls, which also require edits and cuts. The latter half happens to be hilarious, but I need to learn to look at the camera, not the cameraman. It makes me look psycho. I might step up the standard vlog a little, too. Make it edgier.

Going on Camera about writing

One way of getting exposure for yourself that I don’t see happening a lot is Youtube. I was browsing through it earlier today, looking for writing vlogs to friend/subscribe to, and while there are many book reviews, I don’t see a lot of actual writing talk. There’s a few noteworthy bits and pieces, but unless my search-fu is off, there’s not as much as you would think.

I’ve been trying to fill the gap, not only because one has been perceived to exist (which can’t do at all!) and because I want to do it.

So far, hits are as can be expected. I started less than a week ago, and I only fixed my tags earlier today. This will be an interesting experiment.

I always wanted my own show. I’m thinking of doing book reviews, and maybe I’ll do some at the Ottawa Rib Fest I’m going to this weekend. Maybe some geek things, too.

Food and writing are good for the soul.

I was thinking about character names today

I see lots of threads about naming characters. They all recommend baby naming sites. I hate these sites. I vlogged about this.

It’s a cross between an irrational hatred of all the absolutely terrible names that are popular, and them having no random-name function. I want the awesomeness at my fingertips! The power!

Instead, I use the following approach for female characters:

  1. Think of a name you like and would consider naming your own child. Preferably one that is easy to spell, because I will typo it.
  2. If it can be easily be made fun of, or turned into a stripper/porn name, then keep it. If not, save it for the “baby” pile. (If you plan on staying child-free or have all the kids you want, skip that. I do this so my hypothetical future children don’t ask why I wrote them being eaten alive by zombies. Awkward.)
  3. Choose the more normal/mainstream spelling of name possible.

I’m not usually one to make up names. They come out like Agamemnonicusatrix. That is a bad name. Again, spell-ability, memorability and coherence are important.

For fantasy, I like to go through Ancient Greek and Roman names. They were popular once, so we know they’re pronounceable. Some tweaks and changes can be made to give a consistent and unique feel.

For men’s names, I go with the same formula. I find there’s not so much of a porn/stripper stigma, which makes selection and screening easier. Nice and simple names. Easy to read, easy to spell and easy on the memory.

Setting Goals and Challenges

Having realistic goals is important. So is challenging yourself by pushing your limits. I decided that since I’ve never exceeded 900 words in a day, that I would do 1000 words per day this week. This is in addition to blogging and vlogging, and normal work obligations.

Here’s what I’ve learned about goals and challenges:

  • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. (Ripped from my high school agenda) This is so true. Not setting hard word counts for myself has done me no favors in terms of productivity. The same goes with any other measurable goal.
  • Set measurable goals. You can’t plan for abstracts, which winds you back to point #1.
  • Know your limits. Set some solid goals and figure out your own strengths and weaknesses. Then try again. It’s all perseverance and insight.
  • Aspirations are not goals. Go back to the drawing board and create a plan of attack, preferably in goal-oriented form.
  • Work hard, then work even harder. Everything is a function of the time and energy you put into it.
  • Learn some project management principles, and apply them to your goals. Even a simple task keeper/to-do list on your cellphone helps.

Some words of wisdom.

Now, go watch my vlog. I talk about writing, editing, my cats and cooking chili. You’ll love my chili.

I started a vlog, for fun and other demented reasons

On Twitter I got talking with some other writer-type girls, and we all decided to start vlogs together, because we were nervous about the entire enterprise, and for moral support. They started their vlogs, and not wanting to be left behind, I started my own channel. People who watch me ramble don’t need to know about how much Viking metal and Rammstein I listen to.

As a result of an off-the-cuff joke, and me running my big mouth, I chose spanking as a topic for my first vlog. It’s a little risque, I know, but supposedly it’s entertaining.Sorry if the quality isn’t perfect, I only have my 2MP laptop webcam to work with.

My youtube vlog

I haven’t forgotten about my podcasts. I was going to get caught up today, but then there was some technical emergency with the company I consult for and I was needed all day to fix up an old computer to grease a big deal that’s supposed to go through. And I haven’t written my neovellas in a week or two. So much to do, hopefully tomorrow will be quiet so I can kill my brand new keyboard.

I started a Google Apps account as per a nice recommendation from a kind Fish. I happened to have a domain lying around, so why not? So far so good, and I can create all the email accounts I want and need.

I think I’m going to vlog and podcast my stories. Why not? More exposure, and it would be a great experiment.

I studied physics in university, I love experiments. I’m pretty good at them, too.

Hypothesis: I am awesome.

Proof method: Infinite validation.

Am I attention seeking? Probably. But you only live once, and I want to make it a good one!

Review deadline met, bring on July 1

I got my reviews in on time. I’m embarrassed by how stuck I got, it’s like my mind blanked out the whole play.

Tomorrow it’s back to creative writing. I missed you so much! Day job is becoming more day job-like, as in I have to do work. But the extra security sure is nice.I got a complete critique of Locked In back, so I have a project for the rest of the week. Then I’m putting out version 6 for my test readers.

I had two more ideas for zombie universe expansion. It’s kind of strange, the more I stressed about the review, the more good creative ideas I had. Well-worn idea notebook to the rescue. I swear I’ve used up the majority of an 80 page notebook.

I’m thinking of playing around with Microsoft OneNote for mind mapping and character sketches. The hierarchies, sup-pages and ability to move ideas around on the page strike me as potentially very useful. I’ve been using OneNote for my work quite a bit. One downfall is that it won’t work on my Android tablet, Linux laptop and computer (where I do most of my writing) or my Blackberry. None of the mind-mapping/organizational software I’ve tried (that’s free) even comes close to what I need.