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Orchestra and Tidying

exhausted

Going to have to blame pregnancy fatigue for today. I keep crashing, even after a full night of sleep. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m either waddling about hoping to rock Jackson to sleep (he moves so dramatically) or if I so much as sit down I lose consciousness. …I should maybe try to write this standing up.

Thanks to this silly business, I haven’t had time to read almost anything, so my day’s mostly been seeing to the important matters of steering Owen away from insisting that he needs me to buy him a cello RIGHT NOW. He wants to start his own orchestra. Apparently timing is super crucial. Thankfully, we’ve convinced him that he can cobble together pretend instruments using whatever he can find around the house.

I wish the music festival was more often than annual.

IMG_6540

He’s also very interested in possession, but only when he is the one doing the possessing. His kitchen pot drum became his and now the dogs are disallowed from sniffing it.

Aside from that, I’ve been cleaning up my formatting in my posted book reviews to reflect how I want them to look from now on. I hope it doesn’t take too long, but who knows how long anything takes anymore. I’m exhausted all the time and when I’m not exhausted, I’m hurting.

But I’m not in hospital just yet! I’ve been having Braxton Hicks, but no real contractions, thankfully. Still at least four weeks too early.

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Little Birthday Boy

optimistic

I’m officially 32 weeks pregnant, otherwise known as eight months~ And boy do I feel it. Uff da.

Today is Owen’s last birthday as the only child! We’ve got a family party planned and I have tidying up to do, so I’m taking the day off from other stuff.

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Delays

worried

Today was given over to a lot of work. I got a minor editing gig that I only half-expected, as well as a planned team meeting. I still have a lot of phasing to do, but I’ve more than doubled what I had already done. Once I get the first relevant map, which I should receive in a couple of days, I’ll be able to do the intro. I’m really excited to do a new scene.

I suppose in the meantime, I could script it more exactly. But it feels weird not to do it on the fly in the Maker. Maybe I can’t say I’m used to anything since I haven’t done it in a year or so, but I feel like I’m used to coming up with what a character should say and fitting it into the text windows as I go.

Obviously I’m not getting the time to read that I hoped for / expected. However, hope springs eternal. I did read two of the books I needed to read, so only a few left to go. I can totally read a 500 page book in a single day, right? …that is sad and not very likely, but I did read at least the first two books in Gail Z Martin’s Necromancer series in a day each. I think I had more free time back then. Less pregnant. certainly.

Owen made a new friend and they are the most amazing besties I have ever seen. We all went out to dinner today and Owen introduced Nathan as his brother and started bragging him up as strong and amazing. It was the cutest thing I’ve seen him do, and Owen is basically non-stop cute.

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Elephants on parade

exhausted

Listening to: Owen watch Steven Universe

It’s funny how I can be overwhelmed even when not much is going on. I hit 30 weeks of pregnancy on Sunday, and it came with a wave of fatigue that’s swallowed me up since. Even reading is hard to do when I fall asleep at the drop of a hat.

If I don’t sleep, I have weird hallucinations. My favourite were the elephants at boarding school. They had little uniforms. Now I want the elephant version of Hatoful Boyfriend.

I managed to summarise a possible beginning for a game that I’m working on in a group. It’s an original story idea by one of the others, but the whole thing is a bit fluid at the moment. Without the relevant maps, I can’t start scripting/blocking it, but the summary gives me a basic blueprint and also tells us what kinds of maps I’ll need.

Today I’ll probably continue the summary if I get a moment. The hardest thing will be changing from my older method of working as I go. It feels weird and alien to even think of outlining the entire storyline when I’ve only finished the character sprites and made half of a mock map for a near-opening scene.

I still have reviews I want to write for books I finished recently. I’ll probably do one today, and then I’ll almost be caught up. Although I might end up being perpetually two books behind… Oh well, that’d give me time to let things settle and get my thoughts in order.

Reading-wise, I’m in the middle of three books right now. All quite different. One is an ARC of Mask of Shadows, and I love it so far. A gender fluid thief competing for pride of place as the queen’s assassin? Best premise EVER. I’ve also got a copy of A Canticle for Leibowitz, which is taking me longer than I expected. And for all the weirdness, I have Hadriana in All My Dreams. I saw this at the library and actually picked it up and put it back three times until I realised that I needed it.

Speaking of the library… the system allows for the loan of 50 titles and right now I have 45 with three holds available soon. Six of the books are due in six days. Good thing I’m on bed rest due to a minor pregnancy complication, right?

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Summer resolutions

Everyone has that thing they come back to every few months or years. For me, it’s this blog. I let it lie for months at a time, more so as time passes, and then I’ll come back to it, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. I tend to like it best when I have one of my weird summer reading binges. That one summer in Oregon is still my favourite.

It isn’t quite summer yet, but I returned to a reading binge after spending three months writing a novel that is currently undergoing its fourth revision. I didn’t see the book flood coming or plan it. But it happened the way it always has, like I’m a migratory animal and this is the V that I fly in. Heh.

After a hard year of medical troubles and family upheaval, I finally managed to get pregnant and now I’m looking at Week 30 and a lot of back pain. Looking at the last time I was very active on my blog, I realised that I got the amazing news about a week after the last post. So if my blog were a person (a very patient and non-needy person…) it would have had no idea. While I’ve been through worrying about GD (came back negative), premature birth (got the 28-week betamethasone shots), and finding out gender so we could finally pick a name. It’s Jackson. :D

I started going through and organising all of the series I’ve started and not finished, either because I didn’t pursue them steadily or often because there is another book coming out. I made a big project of it, because it can be fun to organise things (I did marry the king of spreadsheets, after all) and I enjoyed writing summaries to see how much of the previous books I remembered.

While I didn’t end up with something efficient that could render statistics like how many series I had “open” and I didn’t cover ones I’d finished before starting this project, I did realise that I’d like to finish or at least bid farewell to everything I’ve started. I even made a (much much much) larger section of my project for series I want to read or have had recommended to me.

I started getting books from the library that would help me finish up these series so I could move them to the Completed section. Then one day I went to the library and browsed. What a loaded word that is. When I browse at the library, I come home with fifteen to twenty books.

I’ve always kept a very minor book journal, but I started making more copious and frequent notes in it. I reviewed a few books off and on. It was nice to be an active reader again. So I joined NetGalley. It feels different to read a book knowing that it isn’t out yet, and my review will help let people know it’s awesome (or not). Luckily, I have yet to read an ARC that I didn’t like at least a little.

Also getting back into RPG Maker, doing the thing I’m best at. Which means not struggling to do the things I’m crap at, like mapping and combat systems. I’m excited to do scene scripting and blocking. I miss all of my own nerdy talk about nesting conditional branches and move path routes.

I need to get some characters made, probably using RPG Maker MV’s character generator and maybe some Photoshop touching up. I need to have the four main characters done by Monday to pend approval from the others in our group.

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What I’m up to

scared

Listening to: Nightmare – Set It Off

It’s been a full couple of weeks. I started NaNo, and it’s going terribly. But I’m getting words every day, and that’s what really matters in NaNo, isn’t it?

I’m also studying Korean. That is also going terribly, but I enjoy it a lot more. It means I get to do fun things like watch Dramas for four straight hours and swear that I’m studying the whole time. I need to get some more study material, since I want to take this seriously. Free online material is great, but it isn’t very consistent.

My greatest recent victory was getting Hubby to watch Yuri!!! On Ice with me. He never thinks he’ll like things, but I effing love this anime. On Episode 7 and have yet to be disappointed. Animation-wise, it’s quite ambitious, and it looks great. I love the characters and the music too. It’s a nice, nonstressful show to watch. Unlike Dramas, where I spend a good deal of time berating the characters for never talking to each other and having flashbacks of things that happened five minutes ago.

Whenever I’m writing a lot–especially when it’s all going well and I’m happy with what I’m writing–I tend to stop reading. I had to lower my reading goal for this year already, and I still don’t think I’ll make it to my shortened goal. Everything goes in stages for me. I’m either reading hundreds of books and writing nothing, or writing a novel and editing the first while I read maybe a book or two a month.

Maybe I’ll swing back to reading primarily. It’d be nice to start reviewing again.

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친구 – Friend

“Look at me. I’m a heterosexual cisgender white American male. Under forty, even. You know what that means? It means I can support anyone I damn please. Nobody can stop me. I have a lot of fucking power that I don’t want. I’m gonna use it on behalf of other people.”

This is part of a character dialogue I wrote in August. It’s in the latter half of a book I started writing in July, which I’m nearly done editing now. I wrote it because a protagonist’s best friend behaved like a derp pretty much of the time, but he had hidden depths. In his first major dialogue, he warned one of the protagonists not to “chase after pretty boys just to piss off his dad.” Kind of an asshole about it. He’s not very eloquent usually. I wanted to clarify his behaviour, and I felt that this explained where he’s coming from. He’s a young man, married with two small children. His wife works and he stays home with the kids. He gives people a hard time, but he cares. He gives some people a hard time because he cares. This speech is simply an answer to another character’s question: “How are you so cool about this shit?”

Today I saw someone express a similar sentiment only to come under fire. Perhaps it’s easy to misunderstand–to accuse a person of creating a divide when they meant to promote unity, or to see condescension instead of love and concern. It’s a damaging social attitude, to seek negativity and to condemn without empathy or contemplation. I choose to think about what people say and try to understand what they mean by it, not just what their words mean to me. This can be difficult when communicating only through text, email, or social media posts. I think it’s worth the effort to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings. I think anyone who can respect someone else’s opinions or values without also sharing them is admirable.

Everyone’s feelings are valid. They don’t have to express them well, and you don’t have to like them. But they are valid. Always. Invalidating someone else’s feelings is never a good thing. I know I want to be treated with respect, and I assume all people do. Having been in abusive relationships and bullied in school, I know what it’s like to be disrespected and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. There are worse things in the world than being insulted or ignored, but scale doesn’t render small problems nonexistent or painless.

I bolded empathy and Everyone’s feelings are valid because those are things I’ve lot about a lot over the past few days. This character, as a function in the story and a fictional person, is first and foremost someone’s friend. Like any real person, he’s imperfect and doing his best. I couldn’t think of a title for this post, so I chose a positive word from a language I’m studying right now. Sorry if it looks generic or cryptic.

As a sort of disclaimer, I suppose I should say that this character doesn’t represent me and he isn’t based on anyone.