Friday, September 25, 2015

Progress for Quarter 3

Wow. I can't believe it's the end of September already. The next time I do this post, it will be at the end of the year. 

Before I start, though, just want to say sorry for my absence this month. I was stuck without internet for most of it and simply couldn't get onto Blogger, let alone post anything. 

But here I am, so let's see how I did so far. 

The comments in blue are from Quarter 1. Quarter 2's comments are in blue italics. Quarter 3's comments are in blue bold.


I want to finish as many of the following as possible:

(For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to list my projects by the Acronyms I use for them, since that’s what I use on my year planners as well. Also, I haven’t gotten around to revealing some titles yet, and now seems like the wrong time.)


Currently busy with final proofreading and copy-edits. 
Final submissions made. I'm waiting for proof copies so that I can OK the paperbacks.

Published. Some loose ends to tie up. 

Currently busy with final proofreading and copy-edits.


Currently busy with penultimate round of copy-edits.
I'll be getting into prepping for publishing in this quarter. I just need to recover from the first two a bit.

Am in the process of editing this for publishing before the end of the year. 

Rewrite complete. Awaiting revisions.
I've gone through the book and there's not all that much to revise, so I'll be getting in some critiques soon. I might even do it in July/August.

Ended up not being able to get critiques in yet due to a variety of factors from my life. I am planning to get started this coming month, but obviously, publishing has been postponed until next year.

My Untethered Realms Anthology Short Story.
In for edits.
Feed-back is in. I need to submit for proof-reads at the end of July.

Done. The anthology will be out at the end of October.

Publishing Edits (possibly for publishing in 2015):

Rewrite Prepped. Had to draft the whole thing again, which is why it's a bit behind. 
I've managed a chapter.

Had a huge spurt of productivity and am currently in serious rewrite mode. I'm hoping to see rewrites completed next month.

Rough draft in progress. 
Haven't touched this since May. I've literally put everything except my two books for publishing aside.

Haven't touched this, but am planning to start after finishing rewrites.

Revisions and Rough Edits

Rewrite in progress. This is a bit ahead of schedule. 
Now solidly behind schedule.

Rewrites are done. I'm giving myself a short breather for this before revising and sending to CPs. 

Still awaiting rewrite. 
And still waiting.

And waiting... (Seriously, though, I'm hoping to at least start rewriting before the end of the year.)


Postponed drafting this until next year, because editing Wo6C1 and 2 kept necessitating me re-drafting Wo6C3, which wasted time. 
No change.

Still no change, although I've been figuring a lot of things out while rewriting Wo6C3, so I'm excited to get to this baby. That said, the time wasted from repeated re-drafts taught me a lesson, so I now have a strict no-rough-draft-sequels-until-previous-books'-edits-are-done policy. Which means the rough draft for this only has a hope of being started somewhere toward the middle of next year.

Awaiting rewrite.
No change.

I've decided to move the rewrite to early next year after another project cropped up and stole my attention. I will get to it. Just not as soon as I'd anticipated.

Rough draft complete, but I'm not happy with it, so I'm putting some thought into my concept and plot before drafting it again. 
I'll be doing this concept work this quarter, hopefully.

The concept still hasn't fallen into place, so I've decided to put this onto the back-burner, which means I'll probably have a chance of looking at this again in the next two years or so.

Awaiting rewrite.
No change.

Still no change, but I'm trying to see if/when I can squeeze this in early next year.

Rough Drafts (The ones I do by hand):


Postponed as the concept still doesn't thrill me enough to actually work on it. So I'll probably get around to this one at some point in the next five years. (Yes, I am serious, and yes, I do have all these things scheduled. In fact, my current schedule runs until March of 2020 now.)


Postponed due to that no drafts while still editing previous book policy. I'll get to it before June next year.


Drafts will start in January, but I am currently working on the concept and research.


Postponed this until 2017, so that I can have the whole of next year for research. I might need more time for research, though, since it's something that requires intensive information that can only be found at the other side of the country.


Haven't started with any of these yet. 
Still haven't started.
This has been on my to-write list since January, but the other projects higher up on this list has simply taken up too much time. I'm hoping to at least write a little bit of it before the year is out.


I want to read 75 books next year.
18 so far. 
26 so far. I'm way behind because I didn't have time to read much in these past three months.

33 so far. It's a bit depressing, but then, I can't complain because my writing has been remarkably productive. (My choices for spending free time are usually between writing, reading or anything else. Writing has won most often this quarter.)
The minimum amounts of which must consist of:

5 books or plays in a language other than English.
1 so far.
2 so far.

Currently reading my third for the year.

5 plays by Shakespeare
1 so far.
Still only one.

Two so far.

5 classics other than Shakespeare, of which one must be Chaucer.
2 so far. Neither Chaucer. 
Still only 2.

Am now on my fourth, but still not Chaucer.

5 non-fiction titles.
4 so far.
Still 4, with the fifth in progress.

I'm still on that fifth book, although it could be more, given that some of my blogging friends' books were non-fiction.

5 books by some of my blogging friends.
None yet. Siiiiigh. 
Busy with my seventh.

10 so far.

Social Media:

I seriously need to sort out my Social Media stuff. I haven’t been near active enough last year. What this entails, though, is something I still need to wrap my head around.

Mostly, I'm working on getting back to blogging regularly, visiting blogs and getting out and about on Wattpad. Taking little steps that add up to some sort of whole. 

I've fallen off the wagon a bit the last two weeks while I finalized my publishing submissions, but otherwise, I think I've been doing quite well. Especially on Wattpad, where my main "books" have been ranking on or off for some months.

I've been doing great for about two months, and then the internet disconnection this month screwed everything up. Now I'll have to start again.


Help my family build our own house. (Yep, brick by brick.)
This is side-lined for now, since we actually found another house to live in. 
No longer relevant. Long, sordid story.

But I will say: Thank HEAVENS.

Sort out some sort of business that I can do on my own terms. (SO over trusting people to help me when they only help themselves at my cost.)
Working on this. Time will tell what pans out, though. 
I'm in fact now working on two businesses, both of which seem to be doing well, although it's hard to be 100% sure when they're so young.

It's still a bit early to tell, but I think that in about two weeks I can call this one done.

Seriously. I need to get back to singing.
Nothing on this front yet. Life's still a bit rough. 
Still nothing. I'm hoping to still get to this as my life continues to settle back down.

Holy cow. How is it already September?! Rough year. Hopefully I can still pull something together before this year is out.

Also, I really really want to paint this year. Other than the above-mentioned house’s walls.
Haven't started one yet, but am busy with some other crafty stuff. 
Nothing new to report here.

I started a painting, but had to stop, because we might have to move soon, and moving a huge canvas covered in wet oil paint is no one's idea of fun.

Then, I want to continue with my more healthy diet, since it makes me feel good and gives me a lot more energy. (Useful when I’ll be lugging lots of bricks around.)
Yeah this is a bit harder than I thought. Still trying, though.
This I've done almost immediately after my last stock-taking post. 

Er. Yes and no... I'm trying, but it's not easy when you have to pull in your belt and healthy food is EXPENSIVE.

Last of all, and probably most importantly, I need to get past all the stuff that’s happened this year, so that I can get through 2015 with as little contamination as possible.
Working on this, but it's also pretty dang difficult. 
I seem to be getting there, but sometimes, I get reminded of it, and then I have to chill out all over again.

I feel like I've made some real progress here. Plus, this past quarter has seen my faith in humanity restored on multiple occasions.

Overall: I've been making some progress, especially with regards to publishing and my life. I think that especially my businesses are part of the reason why I'm a behind on my writing/editing goals, since my previously free time has largely gone into work. Which isn't a bad thing either. 

Overall: I've had to shift a lot of goals around to later, but I am still getting a lot of things done this year that'll serve as a great foundation for the next. 

Did you set goals for 2015? How are you doing? 

Monday, September 7, 2015


Recently, I started re-reading The Three Musketeers. The last time I read it, it was abridged and I was in grade 10. The other time I read it, I was... gosh I don't know... ten? And it was unabridged. 

This time, I'm reading it unabridged in French. 

It's slow going. (Because I have to stop frequently to check that I'm translating correctly, and the book is huge.) 

I'm now at the scene where D'Artagnan meets Rocheford. I stopped just after D'Artagnan challenged Rocheford. 

And you know what's the one thing that's still sticking in my mind two days later?

D'Artagnan is being a bit of an asshole. 

It's strange, because in neither of the two previous readings did I feel this way. In fact, he was always one of my favorite characters out there. (Although Athos beats him by a mile.) 

Part of me wonders if I was just so young the first time that I simply decided that he was older (at eighteen) and therefore had to be right and just in his outrage.

However, I have a very good memory for books I've read (so much so that I can translate most of what I've read so far simply because I remembered the English unabridged wording from the first time I read the book.) 

I don't remember this, though: 

Rocheford, when confronted for laughing at D'Artagnan's horse, pointing out that he doesn't laugh often, but that he does reserve the right to laugh when it pleases him. 
D'Artagnan says something along the lines of "Yes, but you should not laugh when it displeases me." (Which I took to mean: It's rude to laugh when it's upsetting to other people.)

Rocheford's response to the eighteen year old kid who already threatened him by pulling a foot-long section of his rapier out? "Truly sir? Okay. Fair enough." 

And then he walks away. 

D'Artagnan is the one who further instigates the fight between and Rocheford. 

I don't remember ever reading something like this. Or seeing some version of this in any of the (many) movie versions I've seen. So much so that I think that either something is lost in the translation to English, or the editors in English have left this scene out. (Although I could be wrong and I just missed this scene twice.) 

My point? 

I couldn't help thinking, as I mulled this difference over, that this beautifully illustrates how tricky perceptions can be. Not only in reading, but in life as well. We have our perceptions manipulated all the time. (Having more stuff will make us happy. This is what "beautiful" looks like. Oh, so this is the hero of the story, but we can't have the complexity of him being a bit of an asshole, so let's take this bit out.) 

Whether we like it or not, we make judgments (e.g. D'Artagnan = good, Rocheford = Bad) and those further form perceptions, not only in ourselves, but in the people who are being judged. 

Such as poor people who are judged for being poor, without us even knowing the people. And then they, believing these perceptions, act according to the roles we've given them. 

It's definitely something to be mindful of. 

Does it mean that D'Artagnan's douche move will mean I don't like him anymore? Well... no. I might actually like him a bit more for his imperfection. But it is nice to get a clear view of him now. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Battle of the Bulge, Week 2 Update

It's Friday again, which means it's time to let you know how I'm doing on my weight loss efforts. This week, it feels like the scale is lying to me. According to the scale, I only lost 200g (7oz) all week, but from the photo, it's clear that it doesn't make sense. 

For one thing, I now have a middle, and my stomach is flat. So I don't think all that can only be 200g. 

I suspect the cause might be water retention, so this week I'll be trying to eat food that prevents this like cucumber, yogurt and salad. 

In the meantime, I'm still struggling with what might or might not be flu. So far, I'm not showing most of the symptoms in my family, but I have been going through bouts of sore throat and achy body, so I don't really want to risk exercise. 

Hopefully this goes away soon, though, because I'm really looking forward to being more active. 

Anyone else with some health goals? How are you doing?

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Thing About Wisdom and Voices Lost Through Censorship

It's actually Tuesday today. August 25, but something has been going on on my Facebook for the past two days that is bothering me so much that I decided to write about it. At the same time, I am not giving the person behind it the influence required to make me change my posting schedule in order to publish this and this is why this post is only going live today.

The truth is that I am furious, but I am trying to keep myself from ranting, because there's really no point. In fact, it would go exactly against the point I am trying to make. I am, however human, so if I come across as sharp in some way... Sorry. Kind of.

Yesterday, I got a status update on my Facebook that goes along the lines of the following:

"It scares me when people younger than the age of 30 gives lifecoaching and advice about living. And it's even worse because they try to be wise and then they're wiser-than-thou too. You only really know what life is about at 40, so before you try to give some advice, try living a little longer."

To which I responded, in short, that I am 26 and posting to this blog (and yes, I do give life dvice on it) and I think that it's wrong (specifically stereotyping) to assume that all people under (or over, for that matter) a certain age gives bad (or good) advice because of that.

The response:

"Blog or not, I won't fucking believe that anyone that hasn't lived 40+ years has enough life experience to advise anyone else on life. Once people reach that sort of age, they hang their head in shame for what they said in youth, because young people live in a bubble and believe it to be the whole world, and then they are arrogant and cocky too." 

I typed a long response to this, but ended up deleting most of it, because I knew that in the end, it would only waste my time to engage further than I have. And my long comment most certainly would have resulted in a longer and longer argument with someone who doesn't even respect my opinion. The point is, though, that this kind of thinking needs to be talked about. And it goes beyond age. It goes to any possible form of otherness that we can think of. (Color. Sexual Orientation. Where you're born. How you speak. What language is spoken. Beliefs.)

For simplicity (and because it was the discrimination I have just been exposed to), age will be my focus.

I am aware of the fact that as discrimination goes, 
I got it easy.

Although I wrote a short comment to close out my part of that discussion and left it at there, I feel that this needs to be part of a larger discussion. The gist of my comment was this: 

I don't care what you think. 
I will speak out. 
I will share advice. 
I will share my (much larger than people would think) life experience with other people.
Because if doing so helps one person,
my goals in writing this blog has been achieved.

More importantly: 

Dismissing people's voices/advice
simply because of some otherness
creates a situation where all you ever hear
reinforces your own possibly narrow-minded world view. 

And this is how wisdom is lost.

I might be 26. I might not know everything about life, but I am wise enough to know that I never will until the day I die. And I am open-minded enough to learn from people around me. Be they my age, younger, older, white, black, Asian, Hispanic, straight, trans, gay, Christian like me, Christian not like me, or any other faith. Or of no faith whatsoever. Or any number of other othernesses that I'm not naming because to name them all would take a book. 

Because being different from me
DOES NOT make your voice
have less value than mine.

Be it physically, or through ridicule,
or through trying to convince you
that somehow, 

Our opinions might be wrong,
but we deserve to have those opinions weighed by merit
instead of having them discounted simply because we're different.

And call me an idealist, but I expect similar treatment. Respect is a two-way road. Always. ALWAYS. 

The world would be a much better place if a lot of people

And sadly, that's not an age thing. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Battle of the Bulge: Week 1

Last Friday, I decided to get serious about my weight, which means today's a good time to measure my progress.

As a reminder, last week I looked like this:

This is me a week later:

Wow, looking at these two pictures together, you can already see a huge difference. How huge?

I weighed 96kg (211lb) and lost 4.6kg (10lb) this week. Current weight is 91.5kg (201lb).

Which means that at the rate I'm going, I'll be hitting the overweight range by next Friday (although I'm not counting on it). If you're worried that I'm crash dieting, I'm not.

What I have done is this:

1) I've started drinking a glass of water before and after every meal.
2) I temporarily cut out most dairy and fruit, but still eat things like sweet potato, carrots etc in controlled amounts.
3) Speaking of controlled amounts: I'm dishing up less food for myself, and then paying attention to how I feel if I'm done. If I'm still hungry, I'll get myself a smaller second portion. Most of the time, though, I'm not.

Next Week:

1) I want to continue with the way I'm eating and drinking water until Friday. After that, I'm slowly going to start introducing fruit and dairy into my diet again. It's just not sustainable to eat the way I have been, but it definitely gave my diet a good kick-start.
2) I want to try and get some exercise. This week, I (and my mother) have been feeling flu-ey, so I just haven't been able to do much. Hopefully, this will change next week. (Don't worry, if I exercise more, I'll eat a bit more because I'll be hungrier.)

Most of the weight I budged is probably water weight, so I'm thinking I'll lose a bit less next week. But that's okay as long as the weight keeps coming down.

Anyone else working on losing some weight? How's it going?