Friday Check-in: Week 16 – Desks and Domesticity

So it’s been an interesting week.Snapchat-4411462679557942561

Despite the lack of a job, permanent dwelling, or even household essentials like, say, plates, I spontaneously acquired a rolltop desk, a whirlwind which was recorded in this Twitter thread. Last week’s Ash Plain near my house has transitioned into a dirt patch sprouting many pleasant green shoots, promising bland, pleasant green grass. I also did another Productivity Maroonment, which went fairly quietly beyond a minor Word scare (thought I lost 5k of WIP).

Today, my parents were gone at a conference, and I did not lounge with abandon (as was my right) but instead 1) worked out, 2) did dishes while listening to first two episodes of the eerie and fascinating Alice Isn’t Dead podcast, 3) made an excessive amount of rice, curry, and chicken for me and siblings with minimal flailing. We feasted like kings, and only regretted it a little bit. We’re also set for lunch tomorrow, so A+, self.

Green Star Reads for this week:

IMG_20160418_143437
Things found within my desk. Creepy doll hand still my favorite.

I finished SAVING FRANCESCA, by Melina Marchetta. As usual, Marchetta’s characters are far from perfect, but they are perfect in combination and I love them to tiny, fragmented pieces. The shipping was strong in all corners here.

I started reading SCHAUM’S QUICK GUIDE TO WRITING GREAT SHORT STORIES, a book that I won in a drawing at the awards ceremony for a middle-school(?) writing contest through my library system. I found a bookmark part-way through, so I’m wondering if I…never finished it? This would explain why the majority of my shorts turn out so weird, so this time around I am determined to finish the thing.

I read HEROES OF THE VALLEY, by Jonathan Stroud, another of my Top 4 favorite authors. Somehow the existence of this one totally brushed past my consciousness until I found it in the library, but I liked it a lot! Different than the other books I’ve read by Stroud, mostly because it’s more high fantasy, but in the best of ways it was just like his other books; clever, and fun, with enough world-building quirks and twists in the plot to keep me riveted.

I am now about a hundred pages into the highly-recommended THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE, by Heidi Heilig. So far it is about half-and-half between “UGH DAD” and outrageous flirting with Persian thief LI, and I am here for it.

  • Soundtrack of the Week: Still listening to all favorited songs on Spotify. That’s been fitting my needs pretty well.
  • Go-to method of procrastination: This week I realized I have tried out like 14 new anime from this season. And I think that number has gone up now. Send help.

Sticker Check-in

2016-04-22 22.10.09

CURRENT KEY

  1. Blue – 1/2 hr revision(WEEK TOTAL:  3 & 1/2 hrs)
  2. Silver – draft 500 new words (WEEK TOTAL: 6,500 words)
  3. Green – read 100 pages (WEEK TOTAL: 800 pages)
  4. Gold – 1/2 hr studying Japanese (WEEK TOTAL:  2 hrs)
  5. Red – blog post (WEEK TOTAL: 1)
  6. NOT PICTURED – I’m tracking exercise and adult-like responsibilities in a separate baby-sized calendar also courtesy of Easter Seals.(WEEK TOTAL FOR EXERCISE: 2 times).
  7. TOTAL STICKERS: 33

Points of Note:

  • IMG_20160420_080701
    Bonus selfie / new Twitter pic

    No one talk about Camp ReviseNoWriMoIt never happened. We never had this conversation.

  • I thought I did a little better than last week, but my total stickers actually went down by one. So…oops? I did do some non-stickered bonus things, like job apps and cooking, so I’ll allow it.

Looking forward to the week ahead, I’ve got a Banquet thing with the English Department on my college campus, so I guess if people cry over the nearness of graduation, you’ll get to hear about that next blog post.

Thanks for reading,

Allison

 

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Friday Check-in: Week 15 – I May be Mortal

The strangest part of this week is, I’ve been going to bed at normal, human times for the last week or so. Tiring at 9-ish. Getting in bed somewhere around midnight. Getting like five consecutive hours of sleep before workout group at 5 AM. It hasn’t been unpleasant, exactly, but it is quite disorienting considering my reputation as a ridiculous night owl who does her best work in the wee hours of the morning. I’m as bewildered as you are.

Related: I worked out a whopping five times this week, and during one of these workouts I found myself traveling through an ashy plain, an acrid-sweet, cindery smell on the wind. Unfortunately, this ashy plain was not terribly photogenic.20160414_153629

Green Star Reads for this week:

Finished ZEROES, by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti. Last week, I forgot Westerfeld’s coauthors, entirely because he’s one of my favorites so I saw his name and glazed over for a while there. Anyway, I really liked ZEROES. Channeled all my love for Static Shock, Teen Titans, and other super-hero-y media. Loved figuring out the implications of all the characters’ powers, all the rules in this particular story world.

I also finally finished the writing book I borrowed from my mom: REVISION AND SELF-EDITING, by James Scott Bell. The rest of the title is “Techniques for transforming your first draft into a finished novel,” but the majority of the book was honestly still aimed at writing first drafts… Still, good information, some great exercises. It was a good read.

Last, I started SAVING FRANCESCA, by Melina Marchetta. I really liked FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK and loved JELLICOE ROAD, so I’m looking forward to this one, especially since the love interest already has me alternating coy, knowing smiles with offended huffs. Who knows if I’ll love him or hate him by the end of the book, but either way, feels like I’m in for a ride.

  • Soundtrack of the Week: Pretty much defaulted to all my favorited songs on Spotify this week, along with several hours of the “Mermaids” track from PotC 4 soundtrack as I revised a short story about Sirens.
  • Go-to method of procrastination: TV, running outside in the last few days. Other than that, the usual.

Sticker Check-in

2016-04-15 22.18.21

CURRENT KEY

  1. Blue – 1/2 hr revision(WEEK TOTAL:  5 & 1/2 hrs)
  2. Silver – draft 500 new words (WEEK TOTAL: 1,000 words)
  3. Green – read 100 pages(WEEK TOTAL: 700 pages)
  4. Gold – 1/2 hr studying Japanese (WEEK TOTAL:  6 & 1/2 hrs)
  5. Red – blog post (WEEK TOTAL: 1)
  6. NOT PICTURED – I’m tracking exercise and adult-like responsibilities in a separate baby-sized calendar also courtesy of Easter Seals.(WEEK TOTAL FOR EXERCISE: 5 times).
  7. TOTAL STICKERS: 34

Points of Note:

  • Let me just emphasize, I worked out every weekday this week. Twice, I walked/ran outside for more than an hour.
  • Am I even still doing Camp ReviseNoWriMo? Who knows? Not me. It ain’t going well.
  • I’m still burning through blue stickers at a disproportionate rate. Send help.
  • All in all this was not a fab week for sticker-earning.

Judging by my current level of tiredness, this “normal” sleep schedule may stick around for at least another night or two, so, we’ll see. All I ask is that if I slip into a hibernative state, someone comes to wake me up before my college graduation ceremony starts.

Thanks for reading,

Allison

Friday Check-in: Week 14 – House Hunting

Last week, I mentioned a house-hunting expedition w/ Sis. It went well, she found a place that seems like it’s going to be great, and more importantly we snooped on the extensive manga selection at the public library, and ate lunch at a restaurant which used to be a church and had gorgeous windows as a result. Sorry for the hideous lighting. Just know there were library books propped in the windows, and it was glorious.

Green Star Reads for this week:

I enjoyed reading JUST VISITING, by Dahlia Adler, especially the middle parts. Is that weird to say? Maybe. But the middle parts were my favorite, even or especially when they had me feeling very single, bemoaning my own lack of high school and/or college romances. Anyway.

I also burned through BLEEDING EARTH, by Kaitlin Ward, in one sitting as far as the last 200 pages was concerned. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it one way or another, story-wise, but my predominant feeling is: I couldn’t put it down. And happily–in the words of the one glimpsed Twitter image that made me pick this book up at the library days later–“The lesbian couple lives.” Sooo.

And then I pathetically read like the first page of ZEROES, by Scott Westerfeld, but I’m counting it on this week’s record because the author is one of my favorites and I like when I have a lot of books to list here.

  • Soundtrack of the Week: Lots of instrumental as I carved through a lot of short story revisions. For example, today I listened to 3.5 movies’ worth of the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack before I realized my film score playlist wasn’t shuffled. The Star Wars: TFA soundtrack was also glorious to revise too, especially with the advent of Rogue One trailer which is soooo exciting.
  • Go-to method of procrastination: Anime was probably the biggest offender this week, but also short story revision in itself is how I’m procrastinating ReviseNoWriMo, so even though I was quite productive, my lazy-schmuck-ness endures.

Sticker Check-in

Week 13

CURRENT KEY

  1. Blue – 1/2 hr revision(WEEK TOTAL:  12 & 1/2 hrs)
  2. Silver – draft 500 new words (WEEK TOTAL: 5,500 words)
  3. Green – read 100 pages(WEEK TOTAL: 500 pages)
  4. Gold – 1/2 hr studying Japanese (WEEK TOTAL:  6 hrs)
  5. Red – blog post (WEEK TOTAL: 1)
  6. NOT PICTURED – I’m tracking exercise and adult-like responsibilities in a separate baby-sized calendar also courtesy of Easter Seals.(WEEK TOTAL FOR EXERCISE: 2 times).
  7. TOTAL STICKERS: 54

Points of Note:

  • In an attempt to balance my sticker usage ratios, I switched the color key for Revision and Drafting. The attempt failed, however, because then I revised much more than I drafted, using even more of my well-used blue stickers. I’m nearing the end of my first sticker pack.
  • Got a lot of short story revision done this week, which I’m proud of. But that also means I put off #FairyPrisonBook, which is inopportune because I’m trying to do Camp ReviseNoWriMo or something… Basically, I really need to work on novel revision, too.
  • I still don’t have a proper way to document job applications, but that also got done a bit more this week, so it’s been a good seven-day period overall.

That’s about it for now. I’m sure I did other interesting things this week, but they have escaped my memory.

Thanks for reading,

Allison

Friday Check-in: Week 13 – An Ill-advised Run, Livetweets, and Doodling

General updates: After about 16,000 downloads, UP AND COMING: STORIES FROM THE IMG_20160328_0801242016 CAMPBELL-ELIGIBLE WRITERS is no longer available at the link where it’s been available up to now. It does have its own Goodreads page, which interests me in its own right. And, one last time, you can still read my horror-fantasy tooth fairy short story, “Decay” at Crossed Genres, along with my New Author Spotlight Interview.

I livetweeted a few more eps of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, along with the movie Chocolat, which I for some reason expected to be much creepier than it was. You can check out these and more under my livetweet sessions tab.

I also ran outside once…when it was arguably much too cold to do so. Here’s a picture to commemorate my surviving frostbite.

Green Star Reads for this week:

I finished PAPER VALENTINE, by Brenna Yovanoff, and while I did not trust the love interest as far as I could throw him for most of the book, he is–somewhat embarrassingly–a type that I adore in fiction, with similar vibes to one of my own WIPs. So I did swoon a bit even in the midst of vast distrust. Anyway, I enjoyed the book, apparently so much so that it sparked a short story which I wrote in like seven hours and seemed to go well… See: March 29 on my sticker calendar. FIENDISH unfortunately had to go back to the library before I could get to it, but I shall acquire it some other time.

I’m currently reading JUST VISITING, by Dahlia Adler, who I love on Twitter, so it’s strange to only just now be reading one of her books. My bad. I’m liking it, especially once I got through some of the set-up. Interested in seeing where it goes. And where they go. To college. Anyway.

  • Soundtrack of the Week: I took advantage of my last few days of free Premium Spotify by listening to my Musicals playlist nonstop (ha) so I could skip what I wasn’t in the mood for. Then I realized that Spotify renewed itself on the 30th, not the 31st, so like I guess I’m paying for more Spotify this month. At that point I reverted to Tricot radio and now I have the Interstellar soundtrack on.
  • Go-to method of procrastination: Ran outside once. Broke out my neglected Wacom Bamboo tablet thing so I could doodle. I am not a good or skilled or dedicated artist, by any means. But I like doodling, so like, whatever. One of the highlights:

    creepy skull raiser
    I don’t know either.

Sticker Check-in

2016-04-01 22.21.10

CURRENT KEY

  1. Silver – 1/2 hr revision(WEEK TOTAL:  9 & 1/2 hr)
  2. Blue – draft 500 new words (WEEK TOTAL: 10,500 words)
  3. Green – read 100 pages(WEEK TOTAL: 400 pages)
  4. Gold – 1/2 hr studying Japanese (WEEK TOTAL:  2 & 1/2 hrs)
  5. Red – blog post (WEEK TOTAL: 1)
  6. NOT PICTURED – I’m tracking exercise and adult-like responsibilities in a separate baby-sized calendar also courtesy of Easter Seals.(WEEK TOTAL FOR EXERCISE: 2 times–in a row!).
  7. TOTAL STICKERS: 50

Points of Note:

  • March 29 – In which a new short story unexpectedly ate seven hours of my day. It was glorious.
  • As it says in-key, I worked out two days in a row, and one involved running outside. It also involved me getting really sore the next day. Go figure.
  • I forgot about my goal for the week, but I worked more on #FairyPrisonBook AND short fic, so I’m content.
  • Overall, March was a bit thin in the first few weeks, but the last week really picked up steam, and I’m going to try to keep that going.
  • I do plan to go back through and get sticker-totals for each month. But not yet. Soon. Probably.

Tomorrow I’ve got about 8 hours in the car total, plus however many more hours wandering southwest Iowa to help Sis find a house, so here’s hoping I get something done besides sleeping on that trip.

Thanks for reading,

Allison