Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: Writing (page 2 of 7)

30Oct18: Out All Day

I woke up at 04:30 on Tuesday and started my day half an hour later. I did my languages and my 250 words. Before leaving, I put a bunch of dry food in Hendrix’s bowl in case I couldn’t come back.

Due to anxiety over missing my appointment, I headed out to the VA around 07:30 or 08:00. Even though they processed me fairly quickly, I didn’t get to see my Oncologist until my appointed time. We discussed my plans for transitioning, and I requested she put an order in for my Anastrozole, which she did. When we finished, I went downstairs to pick it up.

During one of my bathroom breaks, my phone took a tumble that cracked the screen. So, on the way home, I stopped by the Sprint store that here downtown to see what my options were. After discussing things with a salesperson, I ran home really quick, cuddled my kitty (and checked his food), and grabbed my one credit card to pay for a new phone. Well, I’m on a contract with a payment plan. I just had to pay for the repairs they’d do to the phone and the new-phone fee, which required payment on the spot. So, about three hours and a frustrating failure to login to my email account later, I left the store with my new phone and went directly to my volunteer shift.

There’s some people outside the pride center collecting members for a medical research database, which I started the process on joining. Videos failed, and they said I could access their site on my own. I just need to come in for phlebotomist stuff on another day.

Volunteer shift went pretty well. I fiddled with my new phone. The Duolingo app is malfunctioning from the transfer, so I trashed it and will be downloading it again when the 24 hour period is over.

Kevin kindly drove me home, and I idled for a while on the computer, then went to bed after midnight.

27Oct18: Masks and MOTS

I didn’t get nearly as much done on Saturday as I intended. Well, not of intended tasks. Did get my languages done and posted here. Also chatted with my friend Katie and arranged to go quilting at her place on Monday. Chatted with Mom twice on the phone and had her over for a visit as well.

But I spent most of the day working on 2 projects: Masks, and the first book of my Masters of the Schism series. It felt good to dig into Masks, but even better to work on MOTS1. An epiphany hit, and I sorted out the first several chapters of scenes because I now know what to do with book 1. Before, I had no idea how to end the plot threads to either (seemingly unrelated) storyline.

So there it is! a productive day working on long-incomplete WIPs!

26Oct18: A Visit to Tracy Aviary

Friday was a surprisingly good day. I didn’t expect to get done with as much as I did.

The day’s biggest event was a trip to the Tracy Aviary here in town. My friend JJ volunteers there, and he was able to get me in for free, and since he knows about the birds, he told me about them all. It was a great experience, and I feel privileged to know someone who’s so knowledgeable about the aviary and its denizens. Most of the birds there are rescues or were bred in captivity, which makes them vulnerable if left in the wild. There were also some wild birds there. I meant to take pictures, but I forgot to after getting a pic of a sign on the corner of the little nature reserve. We rode the bus downtown together, and I waited with JJ for the train to pick him up on main Street, then finished my own trip home by walking.

In addition to the Aviary visit, I got a number of tasks completed yesterday—more than I expected with thbie visit to the aviary. I chatted with Mom to arrange for her to visit me, posted Friday’s prompt on my group on MeWe, posted Chapter Eight of Measure of Resistance to Wattpad, wrote up a Fool’s Errand blog article and posted it, did both my languages, took a nap, and got my 250 words.

Honestly, I didn’t expect to get to the writing, which I made clear in my FE post. The hour nap was necessary because I was feeling left of center and my knees’ pain had climbed to excruciating levels with all the walking I did. While I finally broke my step goal for the first time since, I think, making the goal, I really needed to get off my legs for a while, and sitting wasn’t cutting it. The pain was so bad, I couldn’t even feel if my feet hurt as well. To prevent my knees from stiffening up, I flexed them until I dozed off, then when I woke up, flexed them some more before getting up.

But it was a good day yesterday! Despite the pain, I really enjoyed my aviary visit, and I had fun spending time with one of my friends I don’t get to see often enough.

Better Weeks

(This post was moved to this site on 19 November 2018.)

I knew I’d forgotten to do something last Saturday. Just tonight looked to see that I’d missed last week’s post here. My apologies. Here’s a combined report on the last two weeks instead.

Both have been better than the second week of this month. I’ve managed to write most days of both weeks, though it looks like I’ll be taking my second writing break tonight, though we’ll see. Still working on convincing myself it’s going to be a writing night for me. Either way, I did a plot card on UL on the 21st or 22nd this week, and those come out to anywhere about 250-500 words depending on how detailed I get with them, so I generally count plot cards as writing days.

Unwritten Letters is progressing nicely. So far, it’s taken anywhere from 5-8 writing sessions to complete a scene, and I’ve completed two since starting. I’m not stopping right on the 250th word every time. Sometimes I want to complete a thought, so I write until I reach that point. But I always go over my wordcount goal. And I don’t go back to write more until the next day.

Restricting myself to one writing session of a relatively small amount is helping me keep up with the goal. This pleases me, and was what I hoped would happen. Before, I think I burnt myself out on writing gads of words over brief periods of a few days to a week. Also, I was writing mostly due to feeling inspired, and the thought of adding another 1500-2500 words a day got daunting, so I didn’t bother trying. Now I’ve been saying to myself, “It’s only 250 words—10-15 minutes of writing max. I can squeeze that in right now.” Makes it really easy to get my goal in most days.

I spent a few days the past week taking notes on a brand new thing. This too was one of my goals—that I’d take notes and tell the idea to wait its turn in line. It helped, I think, that I also told myself repeatedly that I didn’t know where to begin the story. Not that I didn’t have ideas for the opening, which I did, but I didn’t let myself decide on one. This new thing has 3 MCs, triplet sisters, and no visible ending, so I’ve told it to wait.

Though I’ve got about 5 or 6 or so more notes in Scapple for UL’s plot cards, I’m going to spend next week or so figuring out what I want to work on next. No, I still haven’t finalized that decision. I definitely want to do that before I finish UL though. I may work on 2 projects, one with an outline, and one without.

Oh, I’ve had some important epiphanies about DH04-06 the past couple weeks. Spent about 30-45 mins rambling stuff to one of my long-distance writing friends one morning. I’ve also got more notes to add, once I remember them. Haven’t really forgotten them as much as I’ve just shunted them into a spot in my memory that’s going to require some focused time coaxing to release the ideas again. Years ago, I used to do this all the time, but I’ve fallen out of practice, so it takes a little longer than usual. Reading through the notes I have already should help too. Right now, DH04-06’s playlist has all of one song, and I’m debating adding a couple of those from DH01-03’s playlist. Not sure I’m ready to hear those on a regular basis again though.

So that’s where things stand on my Fool’s Errand. Next week, I’ll try to remember to post on Saturday—November 3rd. After I call and wish my sister a happy birthday, of course.

23Oct18: Busy Busy Exhaustion Day

I didn’t get any sleep Monday night, but I managed to make Tuesday really productive. Sent out Wednesday gaming emails, did 2 tarot cards, practiced my languages, set up 14 more tarot cards for lessons, did my volunteer shift, helped a friend work up a budget for November, crocheted for maybe an hour or two, did a survey for the clinic where I had my mammogram, finalized names for a couple characters for a project I’ve been taking notes on, and did my 250 words. So, a great day!

20Oct18: Another Productive Day!

Saturday, I ended up bingeing Forensic Files on Netflix so I could crochet, and I made a lot of progress on it. Daz came up for a visit midway through one of my viewing/crocheting sessions and watched about an episode and a half with me while we chatted. I also took some time to read through 2 of the character background questionnaires I’d gotten from my D&D players and emailed one of them to arrange a meeting to discuss her character’s background in more detail; I’m giving her an opportunity to help me develop her Paladin’s deity for the game. Also did my languages, tried taking a nap twice and succeeded one of those times I think. Got my 250 words as well. And I even managed to edit 2 chapters of DH03 for future posting on Wattpad. Another good day!

19Oct18: Quite a Productive Day!

Friday, for following the third night in a row where I got little, bad sleep, was highly productive. First thing I did was my languages, then I went to my mammogram appointment. They got me in early, and as I got off the train, I saw my friend Varick there too, and caught up to him to chat. He was coming to visit Daz, but had gotten no response, so I invited him to my place, and we hung out and chatted while he played with Hendrix.

I also called my Mom yesterday. That was an okay chat.

After Varick left, I laid down for a bit, but didn’t actually nap. When I realized I wasn’t going to get to sleep, I got up and threw myself into my tasks. I got my 250 words, wrote up a D&D To Do list, posted the weekly prompt to my MeWe group, posted DH03CH07 to Wattpad, and worked on my not-a-bullet-journal. I also read a little of one of my incomplete stories, but lost interest.

So, a pretty good day!

13Oct18: A Good Saturday

Yesterday started with me rising at 10:30. It was a pretty productive day. I chatted with my mom and my friend Anita. Got my 250 words, posted DH03CH06 to Wattpad, and wrote a Fool’s Errand post. Also took a nap, updated DH02’s and DH03’s covers on Wattpad, prepped my beverages for Lynn’s D&D, listed my week’s goals on FM, kept up with my daily journal (my not-a-bullet-journal), and took a nap—which threw off my circadian rhythm again. The only unhappy thing was having to cancel painting minis with Kit. He wasn’t feeling well and had to go to an apartment viewing and didn’t think he’d be capable of meeting with me due to his cold. I told him to take care of himself and proceeded to make my day productive in other ways.

A Bit Disappointing

(This post was moved to this site on 19 November 2018.)

Considering where I was on the 10th when I posted my last blog here, I had hope of getting more done over the remainder of the week. That, unfortunately, didn’t happen.

I’d really hoped to get a bit more writing in from the 10th-13th, but I think the only days I managed were Thursday and Saturday. Not really sure, I just know I didn’t meet my own expectations over the past few days. Because of a nap I took late Thursday afternoon (starting around 17:00), that lasted a little about 2.75 hours, I didn’t sleep that night. As a result of this, I had an exhaustion day on Friday, and was not productive at all. Beyond going to the VA to pick up a medication I needed a refill on in the morning, nothing really productive got done.

The most productive I actually got was in reading through what I had of TPOV2 and trying to make progress on it. I think I also managed to get some more ideas for DH04, which was good. Aside from those things, nothing else.

So, a disappointing week overall.

I intend to make some progress this next week, which is going to be a bit busier than last week. The difference is that I’m feeling motivated about the week, and when I feel motivated, things tend to get done. Honestly, I wasn’t feeling motivated last week, and I can’t really explain why, outside of possibly a bit of depression. Instead of writing, I did more houseworky things, which is odd in and of itself, but I felt then and feel now it was just procrastination on what the writing. The houseworky stuff would have gotten done anyway, but for some reason, when I wasn’t suffering exhaustion, I was in cleaning mode, and I let that distract me from my writing.

One thing I intend to do this week is take my laptop with me to Demolition Games so if people don’t show up to play Magic: The Gathering, I can work on my writing goal that day if I don’t get it done before going. Another thing I plan on is getting to bed by 01:00 each night; that’s an hour past my preferred bedtime, but I’m giving myself some time to argue myself into taking my night meds and hit the sack. Week after this, I intend to cut that hour out and go to bed by midnight—and No More Naps! Also, if I’m still awake after 2 hours, I’ll be taking one of my Trazodone to help knock myself out. I don’t want to sleep past 10:00 any morning this week.

So that’s where things stand, and the plans I have to get myself back into my writing goals.

Nine Days In

(This post was moved to this site 19 November 2018.)

The first 7+ days of actual writing have gone very well. Better, actually, than I expected. I seriously thought I’d let myself get distracted 3 or 4 days into October and move on to something else (if I was lucky), or simply give up. Instead, of the past 9 days, I’ve added words on 5 and actually brainstormed for another story on another day, so that makes a total of 6 days with some sort of writing task done. Much better than I expected out of the first 9 days of my Fool’s Errand.

In these first 9 days, I’ve added one scene of 1,647 words to Unwritten Letters. I’ve averaged about 330 words per day of writing, with October 2nd having the lowest count (247) and October 1st having the highest count (399). Writing time took about 10-15 minutes, but I round down my start times (if I start at :12 after the hour, I record it as :10 after the hour) and round up my end times (if I end at :12 after after the hour I record it as :15 after the hour).

My goal was to write, or do some writing-related task, 5 days a week, and I managed that the first week. Monday of this week (the 8th), I didn’t actually work at all on UL, but I did do some writing-related task. This was brainstorming on another project I’ve not made much progress on the past couple of years, Discordant Harmonies 4-6, whose titles are now up in the air. I got stuck on this project after DH03 because I had no idea where the next three books would go, and I’ve been waiting for some major epiphanies on them for at least a couple of years. Glad to finally have gotten those epiphanies, so I’m not going to complain about them coming “out of order” so to speak.

One of my other goals in this Fool’s Errand was to be flexible with my writing goals, but not too flexible. What I mean is, I wanted to allow myself some leeway in changing my mind on what projects to focus on, so if something popped up I’d allow myself to switch to it if it wasn’t too out of line. Since I haven’t actually decided on projects #2 and #3, I’ve got a bit more leeway than originally intended, but I’m comfortable with this. UL is going well enough that I should be able to finish it before I move on, so I’ve got plenty of time to figure out what I’m doing next. Being too flexible would mean I was allowing whim to direct my writing habit to the point of either dropping out of my 5-day-a-week writing habit, adjusting my minimum goal above 250 (because I’m consistently doing more, when the low goal is actually enabling me to look forward to writing, as opposed to dreading it), or hopping from one project to another according to whatever strikes my fancy.

Part of my goal with this has been to reestablish some discipline in my writing habit. That means I’m doing my best to hold myself to my 5-days-a-week goal, and that I’m going to make myself tell projects that start jumping up and down to wait their turn. For a while after 2003, I was able to firmly tell new ideas to wait their turn in line. One of the things that has broken down in the past decade and more is that ability to control my own creative urges well enough to focus on one project at a time. It used to work pretty well, and then, well, I sort of lost my ability to do that as time wore on. Well, I gave up on it, I guess is more to the point. DH01 held my attention firmly enough I was able to complete it within a few months of starting with very little distraction, but after that, I again gave up on that discipline. I think to make any progress on anything in the future, I need to reestablish that important little personal limit.

I’ve actually got more stuff in my head for DH04-06 right now. Need to sort through all my notes on the project and start organizing things, which I’ll probably do in Scapple. Right now, I’d really like to make the first of these books my next goal in my Fool’s Errand, because I’ve missed the characters who star in the series. I want to see how they’ll grow and develop over the next three books, and I’ve never, ever forgotten how important their stories are to me. DH01 got me back into writing speculative fiction after a year of hell with the gay romances I’d learned to hate, and I’ve always wanted to complete the series. DH04-09 have never been very far from my mind, no matter how little I actually did with them. It feels good to get back to them, and I’m sure I’ll love working on the next set of books in this series as much as I enjoyed writing books 1-3.

So that’s where things stand on my Fool’s Errand. I’m pleased with my progress so far, and I’m looking forward to making more.

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