jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-07-23 08:59 am
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Weekend Update Is Counting Down the Days to Vacation!

At this point next Sunday, A and I will be preparing ourselves to head out to the airport and catch a plane to London again!  Yes, once again we're heading out to our other favorite city in the world for a few weeks to see the sights, visit friends, and hit all the pubs.  And maybe buy a bunch of books and tunage, heh.  Bur seriously, we've been looking forward to this vacation for some time now.  We've both been overly busy for the last month or so with our Day Jobs, so this will be a very welcome reprieve.  Looking forward to it!

Once again we're in Kensington near the Earls Court tube station, at a 'boutique apartment' not that far from the hotel we stayed at previously.  We do like that neighborhood as it's within walking distance of a lot of really cool museums and shops, not to mention easy access to the Underground that can get us pretty much anywhere.  Plus it's relatively quiet at night!

In the meantime, we have one more week of Day Job drudgery and getting (reasonably) caught up before handing the baton off to one of our coworkers for a few weeks.  I'm hoping I won't have a crapton of things thrown at me this week, but given the last couple of weeks, I wouldn't be surprised.  Still, not going to worry if I don't get to all of it.

I'm actually more worried about not doing any work on Meet the Lidwells for a couple of weeks!!  I'll be bringing my tablet and Nook so I can do a bit of reading of what I have so far and maybe taking notes for what I can do for revision, but that's about it.  I *might* also bring a spare notebook or two and work on Secret Next Project, though...that one's coming along a lot faster than expected so perhaps kicking off a longhand rough draft of that might be in the cards.  As for my blogs, I'll most likely be doing fly-bys in the interim, as blogging from my tablet and/or phone isn't always the easiest thing to do.

And of course we have All the Packing to do.  Which I'm sure we'll have done by Tuesday, even though we won't be flying out until Sunday afternoon. :p

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-07-20 11:07 am
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Going through the motions

Related to a few previous posts.  Been thinking more about my current adjustments in time management.

Noted, giving myself reminders has always worked well for me: keeping tabs open for the blogs and the daily words, and closing everything else unneeded or unnecessary.   Jumping in on urges to work on something rather than 'I'll get to it soon enough.'  [This last one can be tricky during Day Job hours if I have fires to put out, but it there are slow moments, I can usually at least sow a seed or two that will bear fruit when 
I fully focus on it later.]

Going through the motions of time management for necessary evils.  (In some respects, the slower, more automated moments of the Day Job, where I'm just answering emails or doing minor research.  If dedication and focus is needed, it'll be provided.  Otherwise, I'm Going Through the Motions.)  Less stress, less concern about things I don't necessarily need or want to be concerned about.

I seem to be doing the same with social media.  I no longer want to be #LIVE and #BREAKING.  Things are much calmer and more serene that way.  Just me, some tunes, my creative projects, and maybe some coffee or tea, and I'm golden.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-07-18 02:52 pm
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Holding Pattern

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a holding pattern.  A slow loop around the airport, waiting for my turn to pop into the queue so I can land.  I used to feel like that in high school, waiting for that bit of compulsory education to be finished so I could move on to the college thing.  It's like a slow waiting period I have to go through before moving closer to my goal.  I took it with patience instead of impatience...just something I had to get done.

Currently feeling the same way right now for a few differing reasons -- upcoming vacation, writing situation, long-term career outlook, that sort of thing.  A lot of personal reasons as well.

Today I was thinking about this, and realized, wait...why am I waiting, anyway?  I mean, sure, some of this wait is due to hard and fast dates (like the vacation, two weeks away) or needing to actually finish the cycle (that is, finishing the first draft of Meet the Lidwells).  I'm talking about other things.  Why am I future-dating my plans when I could start some of them now?

Sometimes this holding pattern is of my own making, and the landing strip is wide and clear.  Perhaps it's time to land.

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2017-07-15 07:31 pm

Weekend Update Has Plans

After a frustrating week on the Day Job -- no stressful situations, just a ridiculous volume to slog through -- my best laid plans for having a writing session on Friday evening fell by the wayside.  Instead we watched the insanity that is Nichijou (a good example of the inherent absurdity of this anime can be seen here).  Ten out of the thirty some-odd episodes.  It's quite ridiculous and fun.  And the opening and ending themes are very catchy!

That said...having a nice relaxing weekend so far, recharging and planning ahead.  We'll be heading to London for a few weeks at the end of the month so we're both going through our projects to see what to bring along and what to put behind.  I will most likely be working on Secret Next Project during this time, as I won't be bringing my laptop but will be bringing along my tablet and/or Nook.  Sure, I'm a little nervous about being away from the Lidwells project for a couple of weeks, but I'll at least have access to it via Dropbox so I can give it a read-through and make notes on things I need to fix/revise 

In other news, recently I did a bit of cleaning up and rearranging in Spare Oom, straightened up a few book shelves (and pulled off some titles I can donate), broke down a lot of boxes, and put away things that needed putting away.  The access to the closet is a bit wider now, and the guitar stands have been angled to take up less room.    Now I just need to get myself back into the habit of playing that keyboard more often instead of using it as a temporary table to put things on!  [Come to think of it, I should probably change the batteries in it as well, as I'm sure they're old and on the verge of getting sketchy.  Also: do we have a power cord for that thing?  I should see if I can find it, or order one from somewhere...]

This ties in with my plan to get back into my other two creative loves: art and music.  I still fiddle around a lot on my guitars, but I haven't written many new songs in years.  I'd like to try my hand at laying down some new tracks with some cheap mixing software, just for the fun ot it.  And for the art, I'm hoping to get back into that as well.  It's been far too long since I've done any art of substance other than maybe a few maps and whatnot.  I have the supplies and the art pads...I just need to do something with them.

That's in store for the latter half of 2017: time to come back to my love of writing, art, and music, and dedicate more time to them.

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-07-11 03:20 pm

Tearing about, tearing about

No, Jon.  Making plans to get stuff done today and then doing the exact opposite is NOT what you should be doing.  Eesh.  You're done distracting yourself?  Good.  Now GET TO WORK YOU LAZYBUTT.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-07-08 07:40 am
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Weekend Update Is Up with the Birds

There's a small bird that I think as nested on our roof that Will. Not. Shut. Up.  No specific birdsong other than a consistent 'chip....chip....chip...chip...' all day long.  It'll start up at first light, start up again in the afternoon, and once more in the evening.  Suffice it to say, I was up by 5:30 this morning and up and making coffee by just before six.

Meanwhile, it's finally dawning on both of us that we'll be heading off to London in just a few weeks for vacation!  We've both been making soft plans for places to hit -- including a possible day trip outside the city -- as well as a few definites like going to see one of the Proms at Albert Hall (we were both pleasantly surprised at the affordability of the tickets!).  I don't have that many requests of places to hit other than a few record stores and Waterstone's in Piccadilly.  I do love stopping by Sister Ray every time I'm there, as it's a fantastic shop, but this time out I'd also like to check out Rough Trade's Brick Lane shop as well, as I've heard many good things.  Other than that, I'm open for anything.  Visiting a few of our our friends there is also definitely in the cards!

Also noted: the Hugo voting is due by this Friday.  This was a rare year in which I'd already read a good portion of the titles that ended up getting nominated, so I didn't need to cram this time out.  There are definitely some strong stories that I really enjoyed that I'm hoping will win.

Writing:  I believe I've just entered Act 3 (of 3) for Meet the Lidwells, which means I'm doing pretty good.  Already having thoughts about things to fix in the revision...good things to make it better.  For a first draft it's coming along quite nicely anyway, so most of the revision work will be to make it stronger and tie it all together.  Also: the Secret Next Project has a lot more world building than I expected.  I may have to resort to some flash fiction for it just to keep it fresh in my head.  Also: trying something old again for my poetry/lyrics -- experimentalism.  I'd started it off that way so many years ago but along the way it became more introspective (and that was partly why I put it aside late last year...I had to grow back out of that).  More on that later.

Plans this weekend?  Not much, other than looking for new sneakers and grocery shopping.  I'm thinking we may have to do something outside, as it's supposed to be quite a nice couple of days!

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-07-07 11:05 am

Sunburst and snowblind

I've been listening to a lot of Cocteau Twins and other bands from the 80s-era 4AD label lately.  I blogged about the band over at WiS but it occurred to me afterwards that their music always evokes a certain time of day for me.  Specifically, right around 4:30-5pm during the fall semester.  I'm quite sure it's because that's about the time I'd be wrapping up most of my homework after I got home from school.  My radio would be on from the moment I got home until I went to bed that night, and it would always be stuck on WAMH.  Blue Bell Knoll, their 1988 album, was getting some serious airplay then, having been released mid-September.

I'd be wrapping up my homework - or at least finishing up part of it - and my mom would be getting dinner ready.  Dad would be coming home from work.  The sun was setting behind the treeline behind my house.  Sometimes I'd look out there, listening to the echoes of traffic of the highway about a mile south of us, everyone heading home.  It was the end of the work day and everyone was coming home. This was ages ago, when the far edge of Massachusetts seemed so far away, and the rest of the country was a vast unknown to me.  I had images, but I could only imagine. 

It was that stretch between the end of the day and the start of the evening, two separate lengths of time.  The intermission before prime time television, or in my case, the evening radio shows.  The afternoon shows were brighter, more exciting, but the evening shows were stranger, more experimental.  Those later shows were where I'd hear the industrial, the punk, the weirder side of college rock.  I'd listen to these throughout most of the evening while finishing up my homework and working on whatever story, poem or lyric I was writing at the time.


I think about this now, looking at my present daily schedule.  It's more of a blur now, given that I have music streaming from the moment I log onto my home PC, and my Day Job is a work-at-home situation.  That afternoon entr'acte sneaks up on me, where I log off the Day Job at 4pm.  Sometimes we'll head to the gym or walk around the neighborhood, sometimes we'll just sit around and watch something on Acorn or PBS until dinnertime.  Come 6:30 or 7, I'll head back into Spare Oom for an hour or so of writing.  More tunage playing, often my own collection.

I suppose that mystical reverie I once felt with the time and the music hasn't really left me, but it's certainly been muted by maturity and distraction.  There were many years between then and now when Real Life took precedence.  I've also become a bit more worldly in my years and the Earth isn't as beyond my mental grasp as it once was. 

The reverie will come back now and again in odd places and times, and most unexpectedly, and I always embrace it, each and every time.

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-07-02 09:32 am

Weekend Update Midyear Review

This past week I had the fun task of finishing up my mid-year self-review for the Day Job.  I'm sure I speak for others as well by saying we all know what these reviews are for, but none of us really knows what the hell to say in the comments section.  Do we celebrate the fact that we were able to avert a catastrophic system failure?  Do we celebrate finally making a ridiculously complex process shorter and easier?  I suppose so, but it always feels weird to talk about it, because more often I do those things because it's actually part of my job.  Celebrating it seems just a bit...weird.  I guess it's just me, though. :p

On a writing note, I think I've done pretty well in 2017 so far.  Starting Meet the Lidwells in March, I'm already at the halfway point in the story, so I'm still relatively on schedule.  I'm pretty sure I can hit the late September goal if I stick to it, but I'm okay with it being pushed to mid-October if need be.  As long as it's going in the right direction.

The Secret New Proejct is coming along quite nicely as well.  Working on two completely new and unrelated projects in tandem to this degree is a relatively new process for me.  I don't count Love Like Blood because I wrote that when I put the trilogy aside.   Same with the side projects recently, because those were more about writing new things while working on trilogy revision; those were distractions to keep me from going crazy, and to keep my creative (non-editing) mind moving.  Regardless, I know I've been able to write tandem projects like this, given that I've been juggling projects and exercises for a good few years now...it's just that I haven't had the chance to put it in motion with two new projects.

So how does it feel?  Well, it's definitely a juggling act.  The temptation to work on the shinier one to the detriment of the less exciting one is quite high.  Especially when the less exciting one is actually a lot of fun to write, but just needs some rewriting and revision.  At the same time, the two projects are so different that it would be pretty hard to get them confused.  The trick for me has been to assign specific times for working on them, which a) keeps them separate by a few hours, and b) gives me enough time to switch from one to the other.

So what about other stuff?  What else has gone on in 2017?  It's been a slow slog in some respects...a few non-writing things I've either put aside or pushed into the future that I really should get around to.  Personal things that I really should get around to doing.  Not a failure here, just a matter of getting these things up and running is all.

Other than that, I think I've hit a Meets/Exceeds rating so far this year.  Can't complain.

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-06-29 11:25 am

Further thoughts on revisiting old habits

When I was in high school, particularly junior and senior year, I had an ongoing experiment with time management.  You know how it is when you're a teen -- all the boring classes go on for eons, the study halls (where you're doing homework that you should have done last night) are far too short, lunch period doesn't start until 11ish and you're hungry by 10.  That sort of thing.  I wanted to better manage all that.

More to the point, I wanted to even it all out a bit, if that makes sense.  Make my day a little more consistent.

Somehow I worked it out by always being conscious of the time.  I got pretty good at assuming I was coming close on the halfway point of a class period.  I figured out the best times to run to my locker and switch books and so on (which, as it happened, was pretty far down one hallway and not that close to some of my classes).  I got quite good at this, to the point where I stopped using a book bag; by the end of the day I only had the needed textbooks and notebooks for that night's homework.  Everything else (pens and my pocket calendar where I wrote down my assignments) was in the pocket of my green trenchcoat alongside my Walkman and tapes.

It seemed to work pretty damn well for those last two years of high school.  My time management, not to mention my grades, got a bit better near the end there.

As for college...?   Well, that's another story entirely.

Anyway...I forgot about that process for a while, mainly because my work and life schedule didn't really need it.  I revived it a bit in the early 2000s when I was working at Yankee Candle.  The reason then was because my Day Job schedule was in fact quite strict by design, to ensure the warehouse floor had unbroken coverage.  It also let me find pockets of free time during the Day Job where I could sneak in some writing prep in the form of short-term outlining.  You all know the rest of that schedule: the mid-afternoon punching-out, the Wednesday comic/cd run, the afternoon anime watching, and the two solid hours of writing work down in the Belfry.


I say all this because I've been thinking about revisiting the process once more.  Sure, I'm kinda sorta doing it already, with my whiteboard schedule, taking strict scheduled breaks at my Day Job (again, same reason -- unbroken coverage), using said breaks for writing exercises, and sneaking in some extra writing during slow moments.

I still feel like I could better manage my time, though.  It's partly the distraction of the internet, but that's easily fixed and I'm not going to dwell on that part.  I've gotten much better in the past few months, especially now that I have my new projects to work on and a solid blog schedule, but I still feel like I'm sort of passively letting time waste away, especially during the Day Job hours.  Even during busy days, I feel I haven't quite managed my time that well.  Perhaps it's time to revisit my time management process again.

Does this sound like being a bit too anal retentive?  Well, maybe, maybe not.  I only get aggravated by screwy schedules when it totally messes with something I really need to get done ASAP.  

But other than that, it's not really about adhering to a strict schedule.  It's just about being more aware of where the time goes and what I do with it.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-06-25 08:46 am

Weekend Update Has Been Sooooo Lazy

I don't know what possessed me, but I took Friday off from writing.  I just sort of happened...I'd thought of working on my Daily words and new Lidwells words....and didn't even try to get to them.  It was like a conscious choice to take the day off.  And I took Saturday off as well.   After all these years, I'm still not used to doing that.  The funny thing is when I do take a day off, everyone around me will invariably say "Good for you!  You should take a day off now and again."  Never fails. 

It's not that I actually needed it this time out.  I'm not exhausted or overworked.  I'm not feeling creatively drained at all.  It was just an 'I don't want to work today' couple of days.  

Which of course means that, like being in school again, it's Sunday and I probably should stop procrastinating and get some work done.


In sort of related news, I'm quite proud of myself for coming up with a possible idea for Secret Next Project while falling asleep on Friday and remembering it the following morning.  I have a few secondary characters that need a lot of fleshing out, and as I've pretty much got the four or five major ones nailed down, I needed to work on these people as well.  The neat thing is that this is the second time around where my world building work on one project has been in tandem with the main draft writing of the main project.  I just sort of fell into this new way of working, and it's working quite nicely, so I'm very happy about that.  I'm really looking forward to sharing SNP with you soon, but alas, I need to finish Lidwells first! :)


Hope everyone is having a good weekend!  Happy Pride! :D

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-06-21 11:07 am
Entry tags:

[no label]

In the music world, when you have a sneaky promotional title or an acetate or bootleg, in the old days they'd be called 'white label' releases.  Usually because these were extremely lo-fi (or illegal) productions, thrown together and pressed on blank records with white labels with maybe some track information crudely typed out, or an ersatz label logo that someone had made as a rubber stamp.  Nowadays this would be in the form of a burned cd with maybe some notes written on the top in Sharpie.  [Or even more currently, a zip file of minimally-tagged mp3s downloaded from a fileshare site.]  Some of these releases are legitimate, others less so.

I've been thinking about labels lately.  Personal labels can be a source of pride or a source of control, depending on who is using them and why.  I've never been the biggest fan of personal labels, if only because it gives myself and others a way to compartmentalize me.  I include myself here, because it's really easy to label myself with something and then use that as an excuse for my actions.  I often joke that I've got French-Canadian blood in me, so that means I talk far too much about nothing in particular, and flail my arms around while doing so.  But the last thing I want to do is let myself be a tedious chatterbox, let alone have a reason to knock over someone's expensive vase due my lively expressiveness. 

A silly example to be sure, but you get what I mean.
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2017-06-19 11:47 am

Monday once more

Oh, it's Monday again?  Our weekend kind of flew by, considering the two of us went on a road trip up north sort of as our little anniversary vacation (it's our 12th as of the 28th).  We drove up to the Mendocino/Fort Bragg area and had a lovely time.  It's a LOOOOONG drive -- 230 some odd miles round trip, per our odometer.  It was also stupidly hot at some of our destinations, which we're no longer used to.  Still...lots of picture taking, lots of drinks, lots of tasty food eaten.  And even a few good local radio stations found!

In other news, it's kind of sad yet amusing when an online troll ends the argument with a version of 'you make no sense you're stupid whatever bye have a nice life'.  It usually means I've not only won the argument, but I've also cut off all their avenues for clever comebacks.  FTW!

In other other news...during this weekend I also read what I have of Meet the Lidwells as well as the Secret Next Project outtakes and I'm glad to say I think both are coming along quite nicely.  Both need a bit of correction and revision work, but for the most part I'm really happy with what I've got so far.  I'm really looking forward to getting these out into the world.  MtL is (hopefully) going to drop in September or October, and Secret Next Project will most likely be released next summer the latest.  Suffice it to say, I am so not used to quick turnarounds like this (given that my last project took two decades...!!), but it looks like I can handle this speed and output without too much stress, which also makes me happy. :)

OKAY.  Time to get back to the boring ol' Day Job.  Woohoo. :p

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-06-14 08:51 am

Media whiplash

Oof.  Too much going on in the world today to keep tabs on it all.  Not going to complain that I'm overwhelmed, though...I can only do what I can do, feel what I can feel, and not wear myself out. 

I'm not even going to complain that things were better in the past, because they sure as hell weren't.  I remember the wild, weird, horrifying, bizarre, amusing and fascinating things from the 70s, 80s and 90s, thank you very much.  [It helps that music is such a lovely memory trigger, one of the many reasons I'm a committed music nerd.]  Different faces, names and events, of course.  But the message is often the same.

When A. and I got rid of cable/satellite for our TV, we'd long since stopped watching network television and relying on antenna (we'll watch PBS and the local morning news on the weekends, but that's about it), relying mostly on streaming setups like Acorn and Netflix.  (And recently BritBox, which is where all the Really Good UK Shows went when they vanished from Acorn.)  I do miss watching those home improvement shows they had on DIY and HGTV, but I believe I can stream those as well if I ever feel like it.

The end result is kind of interesting:  we have no idea what primetime shows are on nowadays, and those we have watched in passing, our reaction is usually "...wow, that's...a lot of crap."  Sure, there's some good stuff out there, but there's a lot of really bad work out there as well.

The fascinating thing is that I've kind of had the same reaction with Twitter and Facebook lately. I've been quite purposely passive on both platforms over the last six months (for many reasons, some glaringly obvious).  I've finally trained myself to shut down the browser when my shoulders start hunching and I feel my blood pressure start rising.  And not opening the pages every five fecking minutes.  [That, I should add, is part of my devious plan to provide myself with more time to write.  And OH HEY it seems to be working!  How about that?]

ANYWAY.  Lots going on, even today alone.  Going to keep my wits about me and keep it all calm and ordered in my head.  
I don't need the whiplash, thankyewverymuch.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-06-10 08:47 am

Weekend Update wonders where the week went

Wait, it's Saturday already?  When did that happen?  It was a fast week of Day Job stuff and catching up on writing, and not much else of import, so time seemed to fly by rather quickly this week.  Not that I'm complaining.  Midweek had some crappy weather as well, but currently there's no clouds in the sky so it looks like it's going to be a really nice weekend all around.

I'm still concerned that I might not make my autumn deadline for Meet the Lidwells but I think that's mainly because I'm having a bit of trouble at the moment.  The first act is done (creation of the band up to their initial success), and now I have to shift from that to act two (the highs and lows of success and creativity), and it's a bit harder than I expected.  If all else fails, I think I'll have to just make a hard shift there for now, and smooth it out in revision.  We shall see.

Secondary Project, aka The Apartment Complex story, is slowly evolving via the 750 Words site (much like I did with Lidwells a few years ago), and this one promises to be a lot of fun to write.  I'm coming up with some really fun characters and story ideas for it.  I don't think I'll be outlining this one as strictly as I did with Lidwells, but I should at least get the characters and places down. 

Related, I think this might end up being my writing process for a while.  I like the idea of working on new ideas in a playground atmosphere to let them grow and expand (thus letting me work on them during slow points of my day), while dedicating more serious writing time to the current project (which I'll have given a deadline for finishing).  This not only gives me a quicker turnaround, but also lets me work on and self-publish more projects.

Which of course brings up the question, do I want to keep self-publishing?  Well, funny thing about that:  yesterday I got a completely unexpected email response from an agent.  It was a rejection for a submission of A Division of Souls and I couldn't find the date of my original response...so I have no idea when I sent this.  This was before I ultimately decided to self-publish, so this must have been at least around 2015, possibly earlier.  I'll be honest, I'm amused and touched that they got back to me even after this long, even if it was a rejection!  But at the same time, it really put things into perspective: I simply don't want to spend all my time waiting for a yes/no from an agent or a publisher and not knowing either way until then.  I don't seek vindication...I just want to know if I'm Doing It Right or not, and I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to go that route.  Sure, self-publishing means a hell of a lot more work, but I've already proven to myself that I'm willing to do it all.

Anyhoo...going to have a relaxing weekend here, hope you have the same! :)

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-06-05 10:46 am
Entry tags:

Pithy mottos

My brain has been latching onto pithy mottos lately.  Not the poetic quotes you see in fancy italic fonts over some calm-inducing Shutterstock photo, but more like the Nike 'Just Do It' kind.  The two most recent have been 'back on the horse' and 'own it'.  I fear that my years as a banker have crept into my psyche, considering I always felt they were empty cheerleading in the past.

Anyhoo.  "Back on the horse".  That's relating to fighting my frustration at not having a productive writing day.  I get annoyed with myself for delaying and avoiding work I need to do.  Mind you, it's not as bad as it sounds; I get a few hundred words a day and let myself have days off now and again, as is normal.  It's that I know I can do better, if only I stopped fucking around on social media and YouTube.

"Own It".  Or "Just own it."  Or "Come on, just own it already."  Tying in with more personal things.  Coming back to parts of my personality that I'd held back or turned down for the sake of others.  Complaisant, as my word of the day calendar showed me (mocked at me?) just last week.  I made that my default when I was a kid, and even though it's disappeared for the most part, there are parts of me that still hold fast to it.  There's a difference between being a nice person among others and being an incomplete person to avoid any upset, and I'm speaking about the latter.  It's okay to be me for my own sake.  Owning it.

On a side note, I still have that card I picked up in the Mission some time ago:  "Somebody needs a nice hot cup of STFU."  That's just a personal reminder to shut my yap when I'm complaining about not doing stuff but doing nothing about it.

We're all a work in progress.  Whatever works to get us back on the horse, yeah?

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-06-04 08:23 am

Weekend Update Needs More Coffee

Another sleepy Sunday arrives and I'm up with the sun as usual.  Sunday mornings I'm usually up around 6:30ish and head into the living room, check the internets, and watch some of the morning news.   And of course start the first pot of coffee.

This weekend has been less frenetic than the previous weekend, as our only plan was to go see Wonder Woman at the Alamo Drafthouse in the Mission.  And yes, it was indeed as excellent as everyone's making it out to be.  I only had one or two writing-related issues with it -- a couple of clunky bits and two underused characters -- but other than that, we loved it.  Would totally see it again and buy the DVD. ;)

Also:  the Drafthouse is indeed an awesome place to go see a film.  VERY comfy seats, really fun atmosphere, great sound and visibility, and good food that gets delivered straight to your seat during the film!  [And if you're concerned: the seats are all high-backed and the food servers are well trained in crouching, so you don't actually end up missing much of the movie at all.]  Extra points for having completely silly PSAs about safety, not talking during the movie, and so on.

This past week has been kind of an odd one in terms of productivity.  I've been dealing with some kind of allergy that's left me with an occasionally sore throat (although I think that may have been by cereal going down the wrong way last week, but that's another story entirely).  Allergies usually mean my sleeping habits get all wonky, leaving me exhausted during the day.  I did what I could to get my work done, but there were a few days where I felt I didn't get as much done as I'd wanted to.  It took enough energy for me just to get through the workday, so my word count was kind of low this past week.

I did try to turn it around, though, and I'm glad to say I did get a few thousands words across two different projects.  Yes, you heard me correctly...even though Meet the Lidwells is still my main project at the moment, I've been playing around with what will most likely be my next project after that.  It's sort of inspired by Studio Ghibli, a story about a teen growing up in a family-owned apartment complex that houses all kinds of beings -- monsters, angels, dragons, aliens, vampires, and so on.  [Yes, it was inspired by a dream I had.]  I posted a rough outtake on my Welcome to Bridgetown blog on Friday if you're interested in checking that out.  Anyhoo, I'm feeling a bit better this weekend, so I'm hoping to be back on the high horse come tomorrow.

Hope everyone's having a lovely weekend!

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-05-28 09:25 am

Weekend Update Forgets What Day It Is

It's a four-day weekend for me, and almost immediately I forgot what day it was.  Normally this isn't a problem, but we've had some big plans this weekend so I had to remind myself what was going on that particular day.  Such as today, when we are not heading down to San Mateo for BayCon but instead will be heading to the symphony.  [The tickets for the SFS were bought well before the BayCon ones, and I don't have any panels at the con today, so it's all good.  Especially since we'll be going to see a chamber quartet perform one of my favorite pieces, Samuel Barber's String Quartet Op. 11 (you should of course be familiar with the second segment, the adagio).  Really looking forward to that.

I'm taking just a tiny bit of a vacation from writing this weekend as well, choosing to enjoy a bit of a respite before I jump bank in.  In the past I'd be fine with going straight out for months on end, and as much as I'd love to continue doing that, I think my energy and creativity is better spent spreading it out a bit.  Spending a bit of time having fun with playing music, making art, whatever.  I'm no longer working on a long-term project that's eating up all my time, so now is the best time for me to spread out the fun things a little bit, right?

Speaking of the Con, I have to say it's quite a pleasant surprise to have a completely random person walk up to me a few hours after a panel I've been on and have them thank me.  I try not to be one of those panelists that take over the conversation (or diverge from the point of it) (let's be honest, I try not to be that audience member that does the same), so when someone comes up to me to thank me for providing some insights or making it enjoyable for them, it's a great feeling.

So!  Tomorrow we have one more day of the con (I'm on two panels -- one on book covers, another on conlangs) and I'm looking forward to them.  Yay!

And then it's back to the Day Job grind on Tuesday.  Boo!

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-05-20 02:26 pm

Weekend Update Almost Trips Up

This past week worked out pretty well, I think.  My original intent was to take the week off from blogging at my WordPress sites just as a mini-break, but in the process I ended up doing a lot more head-clearing than I'd expected.  A new way of approaching various things in my life (or as I'd been hinting, a return to an old way of approaching said things that makes a lot more sense to me).  This past week was a trial run to see if I could actively make it a real thing instead of yet another Best Laid Plan.

All in all, it went pretty well except for Wednesday night, in which A and I are woken up at almost exactly midnight by two young local policemen (about whom A commented that they looked young enough to be our kids).  Allegedly there had been a hit-and-run in the neighborhood in which a few local cars had been sideswiped by a possible DUI and the offending person may have entered our building.  Aside from not recognizing the car (which they'd shown A via their phone), life went on, and neither of us were able to get back to sleep until about 1am.  The both of us spent most of Thursday in a sleep-deprived loopy haze and multiple cups of coffee.  Thankfully we were back on the ball on Friday!

So what *did* I do creatively this past week?  Well, I'm glad to say that I've been consistent with getting some good solid words down for Meet the Lidwells, still averaging about 500-700 a day.  This is all first draft, pre-revision and pre-editing work, of course.  I'm a little nervous that I won't hit my hopeful deadline of mid-autumn for a release, but I think if I keep this up and not overwrite (an issue with the trilogy) I should be okay.  I'm already at 13k words and probably about 1/5 of the way done...this is going to be a short novel compared to my last three!

Also, I took the time to retune all my guitars -- the weather changes have detuned them all at least a half-step -- with the intention that I will pick up and play at least one of them once a day.   This is a change from my usual default, which is to pick up my electric and play it unplugged, which is all fine except that everything else is gathering dust.  I should also probably start using my little Danelectro HoneyTone mini-amp I bought recently at Tall Toad Music.

I may have even returned to the poetry, after deciding to drop it some six or seven months ago.  That may or may not have to do with the current administration, but it's also part of the creativity reboot I've been working on this week.

One last creative thing I must kickstart again:  the art.  I really need to start doodling and sketching again.  Finishing up the Trilogy Project really took a lot of time and energy out of me and it fell by the wayside for far too long.  I even got a nice case for all my art pens and pencils so they're not all hiding in forgotten nooks of my desk.  Really must make room for that again.

Thankfully, the weather has decided to turn gorgeous here in SF, with most of the morning fog burning off rather quickly and revealing lovely blue sky and warm temperatures.  We did our grocery shopping and went for a walk earlier (filling ourselves at the Korean/Japanese fusion restaurant for lunch).  We'll be going to the Symphony tonight to listen to some Mendelssohn and Schumann, and tomorrow I believe we'll be going to see a movie at the Vogue down the street.

Other than that, it's been a nice weekend so far.  Can't complain!

jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-05-17 09:27 am

Yes, I know...

...I've been posting furtively and obliquely the last few days.  Lots of thinky and changey stuff going on lately, in a good way.

In other news, I finally made the move and deleted Ye Olde LJ.  RIP 2004-2017, you had a good run.  [I moved it all over here, so it's not as if I lost any of it.  Though I may delete a few entries I find insufferably misguided or have dead links to memes that no longer exist.  Life goes on.]

As you were. :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
2017-05-16 09:40 am

Really, though...

...who am I trying to kid, trying to come up with something witty on Twitter?  I'm not impressing anyone.  Unless I put some trending hashtag on it, it'll only be seen by my friends, and they all question my taste in humor anyway. :p

Seriously, I'm kind of proud of myself that I've finally reached the point where I can't be arsed to type a Twitter response to whatever drama is going on.

It feels good to not be monitoring it so passively like an addict.