My Borrowed Writing Yard

The weather in Georgia is beautiful. What better way to enjoy it than to write out of doors? Unfortunately, my apartment complex is in the middle of some heavy landscape construction.

Luckily, some good friends of mine were partial to the idea of turning a wild writer loose in their (rather large) yard to play nice with nature.IMAG0250

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Outlets in the gazebo! It’s like it was built with writers in mind!

I’m Not Losing Focus, I’m Multifocusing

I’m still working on my novel and I’m still on track to have a working draft by Dragon*Con.

Stop looking at me like I’m trying to justify myself and you’re not believing a word of it.

The truth is that the novel has become a bit of a grind lately, as most novels do at some point in the writing I’m sure. There are some really exciting bits on the horizon, and even some exciting bits to write right now, but I think my brain is calling out for a break. I’m still writing six days a week, though.

So I need a creative side project. Short stories are out because that’s just more prose writing and that’s what I need a break from. TV and video games are fun, but I can only play them so much before I start to feel icky and unproductive. Providentially, the chance for a great side project has presented itself in the form of the CoolMiniOrNot Expo that just happens to be taking place next month only minutes from my house and right next door to where I work.

How is this a chance to be both creative and productive? I have, in my closet, a prototype for a dice and card game that my brother and I cam up with about a year ago. The best way I can explain its premise is with this handy visual:

How could anybody resist that, right?

Because that isn’t enough, Daniel and I have started working on an even more complicated game that looks something like this:

So, best case scenario we show off our games to some industry big shots and sell them for a majillion dollars. If not, we’ve having an awful lot of fun doing it and I think it’s just the creative break my mind needs right now.

 

A New Year, Novel Writing, and Failing to Live a Double Life OR “Too Many Hats”

Maintaining an online presence doesn’t come naturally to me. By that, I mean that keeping my blog, website, email, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ up to date is a task I find exhausting and difficult. Not to mention having anything to do with any of the many, many discussion forums I have joined over the years, a practice that I have all but given up as a lost cause.

I find online interactions rewarding and I’m constantly grateful to live in an age where technology allows me to reconnect with family and old friends, as well as providing a legitimate way to make new friendships. I’m afraid though, that my online socializing reflects the amount of socializing I get to do in the real world all too well, only on a far grander scale.

In the real world, when I get the rare opportunity to hang out with someone while I’m not working, writing, raising two boys, or spending time with my wife (sleeping counts as quality time, right?), I have to choose between dozens of people in my pool of friends and family. The reality of my online life is that during the course of my week, when I sit down to a computer, I am supposed to be:

A: working as a paralegal

or

B: writing fiction

It would be preposterous of me to pretend, when I am ostensibly doing one of these things, that I don’t occasionally peek at social media, look at pictures of things wrapped in bacon (usually as a result of peeking at social media), or play Torchlight 2.

When I get that chance to look at my social media feeds, I’m often utterly overwhelmed by the new information that gets uploaded by the minute. Maybe it’s a bit of an excuse to say I’ve been on social media less than a year and a half, but it’s still pretty daunting to me.

When the hierarchy of needs comes calling, things I want to do suffer unevenly and at different times. If you take a quick look at the two posts previous to this one, you can tell that my blog has suffered from this hierarchy of needs.

Other than the needs of work and family, the thing that has been eating most of my time is a new novel I’ve started. I wrote a novel a couple of years ago and then decided it was a glorious first attempt and I promptly trunked it to work on short stories for a while. Since January 1st, however, I’ve been back at the grindstone hard and I’ve already got 40k new words to show for it. Also, also, we joined the YMCA and really enjoying some healthy exercise.

In short, I’m still here, but busier than ever.