Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction


Molasses is Faster

I’m a slow thinker. Though I can be witty, it takes a little time to happen. Frequently, I’ll come up with witty and clever comebacks to comments days after the conversations which inspired them. It takes me time to adjust enough to habitually include new things in my daily habits, even if I’m at a job. If there’s a typical pattern to things, it takes me a while to adjust to changes regardless of what that change might be.

This slowness of thought is evident in my learning process. It takes me seeing a movie several times before I catch the whole thing, even if I’m focused on it throughout the first viewing. Same goes for videos. For this reason, I prefer not to learn by video, especially if I’m in a class situation where I’m unable to stop it or watch it multiple times to make sure I’m picking up on things as I should.

Part of the reason I haven’t been opening GIMP is because most of the tutorials I’ve been referred to for things are video tutorials. The two or three I’ve actually tried to use have had instructions like “Click on this, then enter this number in this field here . . .” which are not helpful to me at all. Unfortunately, GIMP is not a very intuitive program; I need the tutorials. I’m not quick enough to follow the mouse around the screen and see what all is happening.

I work best with written instructions, and friends have been pointing me toward more of them. My experience with the video tutorials has turned me off of GIMP for the time being, however, though I do intend to open it up and try to learn. Just need to print out the instruction booklet that I found online and do the same with the tutorials my friends have pointed me to.

And, once I’m comfortable with it, I have the insane desire to go through whatever video tutorials I find I must use and transcribe them with better instructions than “click this here and enter this number in this field.” It’s a goal. LOL

In other real-life things, I put a lot of forethought into them. For instance, my fitness goals. Up until the first part of last month, I was in the process of contemplating how I could become more active in my lifestyle. But this was only in a general sense. I was working myself up for taking walks, not realizing part of my aversion to it was due to a mood swing which had made me incredibly antisocial (to the point of not even checking my snailmail daily—I was that afraid of encountering someone I’d be hooked into having a chat with).

I was discussing contemplation of fitness goals in Forward Motion for Writers chat with a friend who happens to be a Beachbody coach. I mentioned part of what was holding me back on anything besides walking was my knees, and she did a search of the Beachbody site and came up with a fitness program based on tai chi, which had been developed by a fitness expert who also is an expert in tai chi—it’s called Tai Cheng. I watched the little video she pointed me to, and I heard some things from people who’d used it which I liked, and ordered it the day I got paid in May.

Ever since then, I’ve been contemplating adding this fitness regimen to my daily habits, and I’m getting there. Buying the program was just what I needed to galvanize me into thinking of fitness more seriously, and I’ve already done the best I can with my current budget to change my diet according to the program’s suggestion.

On occasion, I make quick decisions like with the Tai Cheng fitness program, then put the thought necessary behind them. But, there’s always that thinking process I go through, whether it’s before or after the decision. It’s just the way I think.

Still, when compared to me, molasses is often faster. LOL

Nano Winner

I have completed the 50,000 word goal of Nano.

I’ve won in previous years, but this year there’s a big difference. I still love my stories. Previous years, writing the gay romances, I absolutely detested them to the point of not wanting to look at them the moment I reached 50k and had won Nano. This was the same whether or not the project I’d actually worked on throughout the month was complete. I had to set it aside because I absolutely detested it.

I wrote more on TPOM3 than I did on Brotherhood. Part of the reason for it is that I’ve been struggling with the latter’s outline somewhat. The rest is simply because I have quite a number of plot cards done on TPOM3, and I knew I wouldn’t reach 50k before I finished those plot cards.

My problem with Brotherhood is that I need to organize the last plot points before I can finish the outline. I’ve done some math, and if I want the story to come out at 120-150k, I have about 25 plot cards left I can do on it. I’m not sure I can fit everything into it with that few. Now that I’m done with Nano, I can spend a day getting down the remaining plot points in order and work out plot cards for them. I have quite a number of things which must happen before the end of this book.

TPOM3 is a little easier to work with. I’m getting better ideas for what to do with the finale, and I need to work out a syllabary for the language. Then I’ll have to go through both wips, since Bremma is mentioned in Brotherhood, and change the name of the country and whatnot. This is simple and straightforward, so I should be able to get it done if I just focus on it.

To help me with the syllabary, I have Holly Lisle’s Create a Language Clinic book, which I’ll use judiciously. The way she has it worked out, I’m afraid I’ll end up with repetetive languages if I just go through as instructed and do everything as it advises, so I pick and choose the exercises I use to create my languages. This was a great help when I worked out some aspects of a language I created for a Science Fantasy project I’m not sure I’ll get back to, so I can’t see a reason why it won’t help with a syllabary.

Once I have everything done with the Syllabary and a new name for Bremma and Enemy Mage, I should be able to make further progress on TPOM3’s outline. I figure I’ll work the rest of it out, alongside the remainder of Brotherhood‘s outline, so I can pick them up and finish them in one fell swoop later.

For next month, I’m planning on printing out the online instructions for GIMP, a graphics program I hope will enable me to make decent covers. It’s a free program, which is why I got it. I can’t afford Photoshop, though I’d love to be able to buy it and use it. I intend to spend all of December working on GIMP, aside from necessary plotting on my stories. I don’t plan to add new words to my wips next month, but I may if I get desperate. I just want to get to know GIMP well enough to fiddle with it for my covers.

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