February good things

It’s been a semi-productive morning down in the study, today. A big win was rewriting a section that I lost on Monday when my Scrivener syncing went wrong somewhere between the iPad, Dropbox, and my computer back at home. I was really resisting going back and writing it, though the section (mostly dialogue, thank god) was pretty fresh in my mind.

A bit part of my frustration is that I’ve realised I’m basically writing a new story with my re-write. Oh, not really, the main characters are all still there, and their history, the locations and technology, and all the rules of my world. But a large section of the first draft is going to be removed, with the intention to focus more on the path of my main character, and her story. In the first draft it got a little lost as bigger and splashier things started happening. So I’m really happy that all the questions I was asking as I wrote the first draft have indeed been answered, and I know the heart of this story. It’s just the frustration with the process, and realising that a crazy number of hours have been spent on this so far, and there are a lot more needed before I can consider this story finished.

But I wanted to write about some of the (other) things that are making me happy this month. There are quite a few of them, so, yay!

My journal: I’ve really got back into writing in my paper journal, ever since I took a journaling workshop with Helen Lehndorf last year. I’m trying to be more playful with it, pasting in bits and pieces, receipts, maps, scraps of things I find, stickers, etc. I’m terrible at drawing, so I have to make do with looking for interesting scraps in mags and the rest. But it’s fun, and nicer to flick through than my suitcase of earlier diaries and journals with endless scrawl…

The library: I’ve given up buying books at the moment, with my reduced income (I’m hoping to get more hours working this year, but it’s tough, even with my wee one at school; you can’t exactly go full-time, unless you want to look at after-school care, and stress about basically bloody everything all the time. I’d rather have less money, to be honest). I love that I can just go online and reserve books and they get sent from practically anywhere in the Hutt / Kapiti / Porirua and just appear at my local Eastbourne library a few days later. So good. This year so far, Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire, Embers by Sandor Marai, & In the Dutch Mountains by Cees Nooteboom have been standouts for me. Oh, and the Saga graphic novels by Brian K Vaughan. Oh my god. I love these.

Music: I’ve finally restrung my guitar, and it’s sitting in the kitchen where I play music to Leila when we’re meant to be getting her ready for school. Our latest fave is “Puff the Magic Dragon,” though I have to sing the last verse really quietly, it’s so sad. Steve also got me some replacement speakers for Christmas, to replace the Logitech ones that blew up a year or so ago. It’s bloody brilliant listening to music while I’m at my desk again. On heavy rotation: Trilok Gurtu, Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Smiths, and various Flying Nun playlists.

Telly: yeah, there’s been good stuff on TV lately. We just finished watching Star Trek Discovery, and I’ve just started watching Altered Carbon. Travelers is good too. So much good sci-fi.

Games: I’ve been gaming a wee bit in the evenings. Pillars of Eternity (which I started back when it first came out but never got round to finishing). I love Life is Strange (played the free Vol 1 and will buy the rest once PoE is done!), and Va-11 Hall-a is fab too (bartender visual novel? You make drinks for people who come into your bar, and get different conversations based on what you make them).

There were lots of other things I imagined I’d like to do when Leila went back to school. I really wanted to do the Whitireia novel workshop / class. Really wanted to start Ancient Greek at Victoria. Start some intense exercise program. But being poor means I can’t afford any of these right now. I don’t mind so much – having options limited can be a good thing too.

Everyone did that “word for the year” thing for a bit in January. I couldn’t really decide on one, but I like the idea of GO DEEPER as my motto this year. Not to keep bouncing from different idea or activity to another. To learn more about the things I already have an interest in. To aim for deeper understanding, deeper mastery. It’s as good as anything else, I suppose.

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