Bring it on, 2014

I resolve to be true to myself.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to ramp up for a bright and shiny new year. This cold is going to get kicked to the curb and I am going to kick ass all over 2014.

At least for the first month.

Here are my resolutions, goals, whathaveyous, to keep me on track to accomplishing my dreams this year.

Resolutions

I resolve to be true to myself. This is the only resolution I feel comfortable making and it’s a tough one to keep, when I’ve spent so much of my life swaying to please other people. With this resolution, I promise that I will please other people only if it pleases me to do so; that I will think of my own well-being first and foremost; that I will not forget where I end and another person begins; that I will treat self-care as a primary goal, not something I tack on after everything else and then feel guilty about.

While I am a stronger supporter of the idea of a community of humanity over “self-made” and “bootstraps”, there is no way I can be a contributing member to ANY community if I am not taking care of myself first. I believe anything I give a community is worthless if I am being untrue to my deepest self.

Goals

Unlike resolutions, I have a lot of goals and they fit better into categories…and subcategories.

Writing

Word count:

  • Write 150,000 words in 2014. That’s 411 words a day. Things that count: fiction, poetry, blogging. Things that don’t count: worldbuilding, journaling (any writing I do at my Livejournal or Dreamwidth blogs are considered journaling, unless they’re cross-posted here — which very rarely happens). To help keep me accountable and on track, I’ve joined the communities getyourwordsout and inkingitout on Livejournal and Dreamwidth, respectively.
  • Reach 50,000 words in either Nanowrimo or one of the Camp Nanowrimos. I’m not sure if I’ll make this one or not — I embraced quitting Nano this year and that may be the start of a trend, or it may be a one-off event. I’m setting it as a goal mostly to see if last November was a one-off or the beginning of the end of my relationship with Nano.
  • Utilize the 750words site again. My word count goal every day to make 150,000 words in 2014 is 411. I’m going to try and top that every day by hitting 750, and the 750words site is a great way to do it. Also, there are some badges I want to attempt to get.

Projects:

  • Finish rewrites/edits for The Jade Star of Athering (book 2 in The Third Age).
  • Finish writing From the Ashes (book 2 in The Borderlands Saga).
  • Finish worldbuilding for Dead Transgressions.
  • Get halfway through Dead Transgressions (includes some necessary rewrites).
  • Assuming I find back the files, finish The Man of Bronze.
  • Start work on Anala, book 3 in The Third Age.
  • Start work on Book 4 in The Third Age, as of yet not titled, occurring at the same time as Anala. Outline is a must!
  • Start work on The Moonrunner (book 3, Borderlands).
  • Non-official goal: make real progress on my web serial, Dark Fascination.

Blogging:

  • Postaday: post here every day in 2014. (I am not going to be too harsh on myself if I miss a few days, but the idea here is to post consistently, not once or twice a month.)
  • Find back my blogging voice. This isn’t a goal that’s quantifiable, but it is something I want to work towards in 2014, so I’m listing it here.

Personal Stuff

Reading

  • Read 10 books for pleasure. For pleasure means they’re not for worldbuilding research or school or something similar.
  • Make a real dent in my To Be Read pile. Ideally this would mean reading 100 books; my TBR pile is massive. Instead of giving myself a number that I’ll feel worse about not getting any closer to as time goes on, however, I’m just going to leave the goal as is: make a real dent. I’ll know when I’ve done it.

Cooking and baking

  • Learn to bake bread. Seriously this time. I didn’t do it in 2013 even though I said I would. I WILL in 2014.
  • Start making more things from scratch. There are a lot of things we go out and purchase that I think may be better made in the house — both financially and health-wise. I’m not a huge fan of highly processed food and it seems more and more everyday we just…don’t know what we’re eating. (It also seems more and more that people want to put aspartame into the weirdest things, which means I have to read the ingredients on EVERYTHING or die.)
  • Figure out my kitchen rhythm. When the Ogre and I live together I will be doing the cooking during the week. I need to figure out a way to make that happen so we’re both eating good, home-cooked meals and I’m not bone-exhausted by noon.
  • Bake something once a week. I used to bake about that often, when I was in high school. I miss it, and I’d like to expand my skills and repertoire.
They are SO DELICIOUS #cupcakes #omnom #getinmymouth
I mean, there definitely needs to be more of THIS in my life.

Physical

  • Start physiotherapy again. This is dependent on funds being available, but I have hopes I’ll eventually be making enough money that I’ll be able to start doing physio again (and thus, able to function more normally — normally for me, at any rate).
  • Following that: find some sort of exercise that I can do daily that doesn’t strain my back and gives me a mild workout. Do said exercise.
  • Get my sleep schedule back on track and keep it there. No more of this switching to nights BS every weekend.

Mental

  • Work on finding a therapist. Not an easy thing, but therapy is a good thing for me and I haven’t been in far too long. I have some stuff I need to work through and I can’t fix all my problems via journaling.
  • Create a real manifestation board. I had one of these set up on my vanity mirror for a while, but had to take it down when we were showing the place to people. I’m going to set up one that can be moved from place to place and isn’t dependent on furniture.
  • Do another Good Things Jar for 2014. I did this in 2013 and it kept me going to see it full of pieces of paper, just covered in all the good things that had happened (even if they were as simple as “Still breathing”). I’m doing it again, and being more diligent with it.

Spiritual

  • Set up some sort of weekly practice, and blog more often at the spiritual blog. (The two things are related, as I need something to blog about at said blog.)
  • Spend more time with my dog. If you don’t think that’s a spiritual experience…you’ve never shared your life with a dog.

I think that’s a good list of goals for an entire year. Now to write them out and have them scattered around my house so I can see them as daily reminders of what I want to accomplish.

What are your goals for 2014?

Oh Dear Gods, Why Am I Still Up?

Site news, new sites, a makeover to my mom’s blog, coffee, insomnia, workaholism, NaNoWriMo, Literary+, Smoke and Shadows, bugs, boobs…you know. The usual.

This is what I get for drinking three cups of coffee in the morning. Coffee, plus “Oh, I’ll just work for a few minutes…” when I got home from my boyfriend’s place at 12:30am.

FOUR HOURS LATER…we find our heroine still sitting and working.

I’m a workaholic. I admit it. I have a problem. I get into a flow and I just keep working and don’t even look up or think about eating or peeing or sleeping. Then suddenly my eyes will flick innocently upwards, and I’ll catch the time in my glance. And I’ll pronounce, with great solemn dignity, “What the everloving fuck.”

And then I stumble to bed and collapse and sleep all day. When I get up I will proceed to vegetate for several hours, until I fall asleep at some ungodsly hour again. This will continue until I finally right my schedule to one where I’m waking up before noon, and for the days that happens I actually manage to be productive, until I get into a flow too late at night and…. Lather, rinse, repeat.

On the plus side, I do have something to show for my toil. PresentingKatje Writes. A brand spankin’ new site that showcases all most of my writing in one, easy to find place. At Katje Writes you will find Bellica‘s first 11 chapters, as well as various bits of fiction and poetry on the main site, and last but not least, my stories for Smoke and Shadows.

I mentioned it once before that Smoke and Shadows was a series of short stories written by Literary+ authors. Long story short is that Literary+ is going in different directions, but enough of us decided we wanted to continue with S&S, and we did. So far there’s only the one story up, but expect more after NaNoWriMo is over. (Oh, and you should go read Sanna’s posts at her blog. She writes about Witches too!)

But wait! There’s more!

Continue reading “Oh Dear Gods, Why Am I Still Up?”

The Saga Continues: Katje is still persona non laundra.

It’s the end of the month and yet again, I’m standing (well, sitting) here wondering what the hell just happened.

I’ve spent maybe a week, tops, at my new place — I’ve spent so much time running around between Coquitlam, Nanaimo, and Powell River — not to mention Ogre’s house — that I really haven’t had a chance to be at my new home. My herbs are suffering.

I’ve gotten very little writing done, and none of it on The Jade Star of Athering. I’ve worked very few hours. I haven’t the faintest clue what I’m writing for NaNoWriMo (because, let’s face it, I’m going to be participating — the event is a damn drug) and October, or NaNoPlanMo, is starting tomorrow.

I’ve done no Autumn Equinox celebration, and the full moon has passed me by (not to mention the rest of the moon cycle for the past month and a half, if not longer). Bad witch! No gingerbread cookie.

Oh, and yes — I still don’t have a working washer and dryer.

I’d had high hopes of having a working washer and dryer by the end of September. That was the plan — to have it all done by the 27th or 28th. But, as we know, plans just sort of roll off me like chicken crap off an armadillo.

The guys came over on Friday. By now we’re on a first name basis with each other. I offered them tea, because good hospitality is sort of a genetic imperative for Dutch folk. (At least it is for Frieslanders. Or maybe just van Loons. I admit to not visiting many other Dutchies at their homes; mainly we go clubbing, because we also have a genetic imperative to p-a-r-t-Y? I just told you; it’s genetic.)

They looked everything over and got to work…and it quickly became apparent that they didn’t have all the parts. The vent kit, yes. The clamp-thingamajigger, no.

They called the Brick and it turns out the clamp hasn’t been delivered yet. So when it does show up, they’ll come and finish hooking things up. So for another week, probably, I have no working washer and dryer.

I’m not at the freaking out and calling mom stage yet. Mostly because she’s in Nicaragua and is not only hard to reach but also can not do much from there. I’ll keep her apprised of the recent developments via email, and for now I’ll just keep on going. I’ll try to make October a far more productive month than September was. I’m also going to try to make it last longer, because it is my favorite month. Mind you, making it last longer may require far more knowledge of quantum physics and sorcery than I have, so I’ll probably just settle for it being more productive.

Happy end of September, everyone. Pray to whatever gods you follow, though preferably the gods of clean clothing, for working laundry for me by the end of this week.

Can’t stop now! This is Nano country!

As many of you may know, November is National Novel Writing Month: Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon.

Some may say that phrase is quite literal, that we abandon literature. I’m sure there are NaNo novels for which that is true, but is is not true for mine, because I’m a damn good writer. (And a lot of other Wrimos are as well.)

This year, I actually planned. I wrote an outline. I figured out the First Plot Point, the Mid Plot Point, and the Second Plot Point. I wrote an overarching vision for my story. I came up with a partial Beat Sheet, outlining the scenes I would write and the missions they had. (Thanks to Larry Brooks at StoryFix.com for his 30 posts on how to outline your NaNo novel. I found many of his tips useful.)

A glazed Tim Hortons donut
This is exactly what I ordered, too.

At midnight on the first of November I started writing with my fellow Nanaimo-Wrimos at our Tim Horton’s kick-off party. In the two hours at Timmy’s and the three hours when I got home, I wrote 3,331 words of my novel. (I was planning on sleeping as soon as I got home, but someone at Timmy’s gave me a coffee instead of a hot chocolate.) I decided sleep was the better part of valor at that point, and when I woke up later that day I rounded off my day’s word count at 5,560. My goal today is 10K.

You know what happened? I followed my outline…loosely. I found as I wrote, other things cropped up, and I ended up adding them into the story quite nicely. My main character’s best friend showed up in Chapter 1, instead of Chapter 3 as I had planned. Which meant I had to actually figure out the right name for him before moving on. I had been tossing around name ideas (I’m a writer who can’t write main characters without the exact right names, because I believe your name is such an integral part of your being that to write a character without a name is like writing one without a soul) before starting, but had not been able to settle on anything. I figured, no big deal, I’m not introducing him till Chapter 3 or so, so I can figure out a name before then. Well, he had other ideas.

Continue reading “Can’t stop now! This is Nano country!”

Cloaking myself in portability and the Mystery of Moving

I am currently moving, and the entire process — while exhausting — is definitely one of Life’s Mysteries.

The definition of Mystery: an event that only those who have been initiated into it understand fully; it’s generally difficult if not impossible to describe the Mystery, which is why it’s a Mystery.

There are various Mysteries in different religions, but there are secular ones too — the mysteries we go through as members of a society that places importance on those things. Moving, in our North American society, is generally more of a Mystery the first time one goes through it on one’s own — I’m speaking of the “moving out of your parents’ house for the first time” move, not any ones you may have done as a family in your youth. (Those Mysteries are different and have less universal meaning attached.)

I’ve moved several times at this point – I first moved out of the house when I was 18, and have lived on my own more or less steadily since (minus a few moves back to Mom’s place to save money). This current move is another one back to my mother, because now that I am out of school until January at least, I am not on loans until then either — and I cannot afford the rent at my beautiful one-bedroom basement suite.

Continue reading “Cloaking myself in portability and the Mystery of Moving”