Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Category: Uncategorized

2017 Writing Goals

Well, last year, I outlined some goals for my writing in January. This year, I wasn’t quite up to it. At the time, I was struggling to come to terms with the new, lower, level of my Creative Mind’s functionality. I honestly was in no way prepared to establish any even tentative goals for my writing then. My Creative Mind still isn’t functioning even half as well as it was last year, but I’ve finally gotten used to its new lower level of productivity.

Allow me to amend that. I’ve gotten used to its new focus of productivity. While I haven’t been making as much forward progress on actual new words for stories this year, I have been extremely creative. I’ve conceived several new stories and magic systems, and I’ve been doing a lot of editing and prework stuff. Also, I’m doing much better, on a mental and spiritual level with regards to my writing. I think, if I’d had a deep downgrade in new-word productivity before 2016, my spirit would have suffered a great deal more than it is this year. Not that I’m happy with this lower level of new-word productivity, but I’m actually handling it well. This is a very, very good thing.

With my acceptance of this situation, I think I’m now ready to set some goals. They are as follows:

  • Write 300,000 words in 2017. This goal may not be attainable, even if I am able to complete November’s Nano with 50k or more words. LOL
  • Outline every story I work on or begin. This means creating an outline of 15-16 cards ahead of where I’m writing and then outlining one card per scene written. This also means going through stories I haven’t outlined and doing reverse outlines on them (ugh).
  • Make some sort of writing-related post to AEP regularly. To meet this goal, starting June, I’ll post once a week, probably on Tuesday.
  • Share some of my writing on AEP. I’m thinking these posts will fall on Fridays, and I’ll also be posting these stories (and others) on Wattpad.
  • Do prework on DH4—this story is fighting me and has been for a couple of years now.
  • Do prework on TPOV2—this story is just complicated. So far, I’ve had to add about three or four plot cards to the middle of what I have of the outline because I keep on realizing I need to include different things so that later events in the book will make sense and won’t seem to come out of the blue.

Reading Goals

I used to be an avid reader. Literally any book had a chance of catching my attention. I checked out books from the library, bought books, borrowed books from friends, picked them up at flea markets and from FREE BOOKS bins and boxes. Recently, though? Especially the past several years? I haven’t been as avid for books. I don’t know what changed in my psyche, but I now spend more time reading my own work than I do reading others’ writing. This is something I don’t like.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for books, I do want to read more. This is more a conscious decision than anything else. I’m in a place where I have to be conscious of my reading habits, since they aren’t natural to me any more.

So this is what I’ve done:

Right now, I’ve got a number of books I haven’t finished readin. My goal this year is to finish reading at least some of those books. There are eleven books I need to finish reading, but I’ve set my reading goal on FM to twelve. One book a month is doable, even for me.

My sister got me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas this past year. I’ve already added some new books onto it, and I’ll be taking it with me wherever I go. These, I’ll start reading after I finish a few of those incomplete novels. Also, I’ve set up an Amazon Allowance of five dollars a month to use for getting more books. In addition, I’ve created a Goodreads account since it sort of “comes with” the Kindle, and I’ll be reviewing books I’ve read there. For those I’ve purchased at Amazon, I’ll be reviewing them there too—basically copy-pasting my review.

I also own a Nook, and it’s got a number of those books I’ve not finished reading on it. This year, I’m going to read those books, and review them on Barnes and Noble’s site, as well as on Goodreads.

Also, I’ve signed up for a Wattpad account. In part, this is to post some of my own writing, but it’s just as much to expand my reading. Since there was a smartphone app, I downloaded it to my phone. I’ll start reading the books I’ve selected on Wattpad after I’ve finished those I need to finish reading.

Lastly, there are a number of print books I need to read. They’ve been sitting on my bookshelves for years in some cases. I haven’t read them in part because my hands cramp and grow tired with holding print books these days. So I can read them, I must set them on a table or my desk—something that holds the book for me. Doing this requires me to bow my head over the book, which in turn causes a tension pull headache, where a muscle at the back of my skull tightens until I have difficulty moving my head. As a result, I don’t often read print books. I think I’ll be looking for them as ebooks and purchase them as I have the funds.

In this way, I’ll never be without a book at hand. So far, it’s worked this year. I’ve read more of others’ books than I did by this time last year.

Eye Exams and Glaucoma Test

Back in April, I had an eye exam. It was one of the more thorough ones I’ve undergone since becoming eligible for optical care at the VA, and I spent at least an hour with the doctor who did the exam.

This exam included a pressure test. Basically, the eyeballs are numbed, then they’re tapped with a little machine that measures the pressure in the eyeball. Eyeball pressure is an indicator of the possibility of glaucoma, and the pressure in both eyeballs was high—which isn’t good. On further examination, she also discovered pigment from my irises had been scraped off by the tiny filaments on the back of the lens, which also seemed to be an indicator of the possibility of glaucoma forming later on.

They had me come back in a few weeks ago for a baseline glaucoma test and a further eye exam. The glaucoma test is pretty simple, if a bit uncomfortable. It involves the use of a machine that flashes lights in the patient’s peripheral vision. The patient sits close to the machine, which is shaped like a hollowed-out box with a computer incorporated into it, and props their chin on a chin rest facing into the hollowed-out portion of the box, and holds a little remote to click the button on when they see a flash of light anywhere in the machine. The examining doctor uses the computer to make the flashes.

The first part of the test for each eye involved me staring straight ahead at a steady light so the doctor could get a measurement. I can’t remember of what, but this step was absolutely necessary. I had to stare straight ahead through a lens that corrected my vision for my eye, and not blink. This didn’t take too long, though. Following this part of the test, the flashes began. Each time I saw one, I clicked the little remote. If I remember correctly, the doctor’s advice was for me to click the little remote even if I wasn’t sure I’d seen a flash.

This part of the exam took at least twenty minutes. About halfway through, I started hallucinating a green haze filling the box, and my left eye dried out. The right eye went much better; I blinked more often, so my eye didn’t get so uncomfortable.

When I finished the baseline glaucoma test, we went back to the exam room and she performed another eye exam. A pressure test was done again, then they put special lubricating eye drops in and placed an exam magnifying glass directly on my eye ball. This sounds uncomfortable, but it was actually one of the most comfortable parts of any eye exam I’ve ever had. The lubrication made my eyes feel fantastic. In this exam, they discovered more flakes of the pigment from my iris collected in the groove where the lens sits in my eye, which is apparently another indicator of possible glaucoma.

Still, even with all these indicators, they need another glaucoma test with the box. The one I’ve already undergone was a baseline, so they have something to compare the second test to, in order to determine whether the results from the first test were simply because I was undergoing an uncomfortable new type of eye exam, or the results from the first test were accurate.

No Post for Friday, 11 December, 2015

I’m sorry, but there will be no post this evening. I rose late, and I was unable to devote any time to coming up with a topic this afternoon/evening.

No Post Today

I’ve been online all day, but doing business stuff. Don’t think I’ll be putting up a proper post before bed tonight. Check back in on Friday.

No Post Today

I’ve had some bad news about a friend of mine, and I’m having trouble focsing on things besides this news, so there will be no post today.

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