A chapter completed

Late yesterday I was able to finish off the first draft of chapter one. Due, entirely, to actually getting some time to write over the weekend. I probably could have gotten more done, probably started a good chunk of chapter two, but I spent too long going over notes and a previous draft. I also had an issue where, for whatever reason, I kept forgetting about the coffee the protagonists were carrying. I got up to a part where one character crossed her arms dramatically and I realized that in doing so she would have just splashed coffee in her face. Live and learn. I think I’ll be having a separate document open to keep track of the little details through each chapter.  I think I’ll print off the entirety of it tonight and ask my fiancée if she’ll be kind enough to read it over and give me any notes.  After I make her corrections from last time, which in all honesty there wasn’t much to begin with.

I also found it enjoyable to just sit down and load up GrooveShark while writing.  I’ve got a small selection of tracks in the mix right now but I’m not sure what else to add.  Music has never been my thing.  Which I’m sure infuriates Kristine, due in no small part to her actually knowing how to play some instruments and coming from a very musically inclined family.  But I, on the other hand, don’t care one way or another when it comes to music.  For the most part.  I have a fondness for video game music.  My working theory is because of nostalgia.  That listening to their music reminds me of every amazing moment.  Or terribly aggravating moment (I’m looking at you Airplane Hostage mission on Veteran from the first Modern Warfare).  But I have an emotional attachment to those tracks.  I can’t say the same for just about everything else.  Though I do enjoy Dragonforce.  I also enjoy Bad Religion and NOFX, but Kristine can’t stand the vocals.

In regards to the music though I think I’ll be trying an experiment.  I need to find some really… unsettling music.  I’m hoping it will get me in the mind-set to craft horrors.  Because those will be coming in the very near future.  I’m especially looking forward to starting chapter four.

Progress Tracking

Things continue to progress nicely.  At least in regards to the novel.  I’ve added a new page to the blog to track the progress of the first draft; I’m hoping that seeing that progress bar track across will keep me motivated to continue on.  I’ve also decided to set aside not only my lunch hours but another hour each night to writing.  Coupled with the an attempt this weekend to use a couple of hours each day the progress should hopefully track quickly.  Or at least more quickly than it has been.

As I said yesterday I like routine.  But that’s not to be confused with how lazy I tend to be (for future reference: Very).  I have, however, been making the effort to get up earlier each day.  I’m getting up at the ungodly hour of six a.m.  Getting up at this vile hour allows me to prep my lunch for the day and gives me time to exercise before my shower.  Yes… exercising.  One thing that I can easily say that I loathe without batting an eye.  I’ve been at it for a few weeks now, and will be making it a bit more strenuous next week.  Nothing major, I don’t want to injure myself and let things slip like… well every other time I’ve started exercising.  Currently I’m around 230 pounds, and at 6’5″ that’s not overly bad.  We’ll see if I can get down to 200 though over the summer.  There be plans in motion to eat healthy and not cheat.  However, I have cleared it with the fiancée that coffee is exempt from the cheating category so I think I’ll be fine.  With walking a ten thousands steps a day (her target) I think things will turn out fine.

I’ve been toying with the idea of taking the fiancée out into the country during nice weekends during the summer.  Just to see the sights, take some pictures, and get out and about.  Problem is she is deathly allergic to wasps so we’ll need to be on our guard.  I’d like to start including a random picture with each post, give it a little color.  We’ll see.

Strange New World

I’ve found myself conflicted when it comes to coffee at work.  I am, at my core, someone who likes routine.  For example, I could eat the same lunch every day and not get tired of it due to the routine nature of it all.  I also, for the most part, only drink Tim Horton’s coffee now.  Why? Because they took away my free supply of coffee at work.  Now that I’ve actually ventured down to the cafeteria this week I am conflicted.  There are so many different flavors of coffee down there that I find it paralyzing.  I had always just taken that coffee comes in two flavours: regular and strong.  My mind simple hasn’t processed such things as the French Caramel or Butter-something-or-other yet.  It’s like a new mystifying world has opened up to my taste buds.

I’ve had to put off Shadowrun for the time being.  One of our group will be heading out of the city for almost two months to go back to school.  Trades people and their extended training.  In the mean time I’ve been contemplating creating another Cthulhu adventure.  I always find the Cthulhu games I run to be incredibly hilarious.  I know I should be playing up the horror side more, but when we started playing a few years back the stipulation was that your character needs to be a pop culture reference.  Which was how Atticus Finch, Indiana Jones, and Arnold Schwarzenegger grouped up to fight monsters.  Or how another group ended up investigating and stopping a group of Krampus (Krampii?) from abducting and sacrificing children to a crude statue of Santa.  When you have things like that happening it’s hard to take the whole situation seriously.

I have also been told include the following text conversation with my fiancée.  Not entirely sure why but I oblige regardless.

Her: Yep need to wash the sheets.

Me: You could do that today.

Her: How?

Me: Take the card, laundry, and detergent.  Put detergent in the washer.  Add laundry.  Close lid.  Insert card.  Press start button.  Remove card.

Me: Wait 30 minutes, add wet laundry to drier.  Insert card and press start, remove card.  Wait one hour then remove freshly dried laundry.

Me.  Wrap self in warm laundry and roll around on the floor making satisfied orgasm sounds if you feel so inclined.  This step is optional.

Why did they take my coffee away

Didn’t get anything written yesterday.  I was suffering from a complete lack of sleep.  The day was a fog.  I can’t really remember anything that happened and what I can seem to be shrouded in a grey haze.  I ended up needing to buy a coffee from te canteen, our local supply was cut off back at the start of March for reasons I don’t understand.  And by don’t understand I mean I have no idea why they instituted this cruel and torturous punishment.  I will say that the Hazelnut Vanilla blend was delicious though.

I did get to sit down and write out some more of the first chapter.  I ran into a bit of a snag with Emi’s portion.  I’ve been trying to come up with a style for her.  Whereas Foxworth is a, mostly, reserved character she is a lot more vocal.  She has a take charge essence that is a lot more energetic in most situations.  She’s observant, but not to the same degree as Foxworth, and throws in more humor into what she says that he does as well.  I think I’ve hit my stride with her though.  I don’t plan to get the first chapter done until probably Wednesday next week.  But we will just have to wait and see.

I was also thinking about a later chapter where another protagonist is introduced.  I want to experiment a little, as the original planning for it had been a little… dry.  I’m thinking about starting it as an end result, the chapter relives bits and pieces of her life as it flashes before her and then snap it back into the present at the end.  I think it’ll give a bit more… oomph to it.  Maybe, maybe not but I want to test it out and see how it turns out.

I’m not entirely sure how to describe this post

Noon had come.  I praised the gods of feasts as I reached into my bag to procure my delicious meal.  A delectable mixed salad topped with goat cheese and a sprinkling of raspberry vinaigrette.  The sandwich… was adequate.  I began devouring the food having earned it through a morning of work.  Then I heard the voice.

“You know, Stewart, you should goof off on your phone over the break.”

“Go away, Procrastination.”

“Oh don’t be like that.  We go back a long, long time don’t we?”  Procrastination put a comforting hand on my shoulder.

“Unfortunately.”

“Why so hostile?  I just want to see you entertained.”

“Because I’ll never finish the novel if I keep listening to you.”

“It’sss,” procrastination decided to sound like a leaking tired just to annoy me, “what you want.  Deep down.”

“Maybe,” I take a bite from the not-so-amazing sandwich.  “Maybe not.”

“You’ve got Fire Emblem with you…”

“I do have Fire Emblem with me,” I felt my resolve waning.

“You love Fire Emblem.”

“I do love Fire Emblem.”

“So… what’s the problem?”

I sat there, staring into my pastrami sandwich.  My body was undecided, conflicted.  What do I do?  I thought.  I need to keep on track.  Need to fight back.  Need to keep this train rolling and not get side tracked.  I need to finish this novel.

“You know what?  I’m good.” I finally respond, taking another bite of the dry sandwich.

Procrastination twirled it’s mustache like Snidely Whiplash, “I’ll get you next time!”  I wasn’t paying attention at this point, but assumed he shaking his fist as he rode off.  Stage left.

“Yeah yeah, ” I replied, giving the finger at Procrastination.  I took another bite of my sandwich and wished that I had added hot sauce to it this morning.  Once done I sat down and began writing again.  With a modest amount of self-satisfaction.

Lunch: a complicated time

Work on the novel has continued as expected.  Though the whole writing during my lunch hours is proving a little difficult; for no other fact than I keep getting interrupted.  There is also the part where I need to eat during my lunch hour.  Regardless progress has been made, and the first chapter is almost half-finished.  If I get the chance I’ll work on it again tonight or tomorrow night.

I’ve been toying with the idea of taking time off work to finish the novel.  I’m still feeling things about but I am contemplating taking a week off work once I reach the halfway point.  It’s really all about judging how quickly I would be able to finish the novel and whether or not a week off is enough time.  There’s already been more progress on it than in the last few years and that’s enough to keep my excited.  Not to mention that Kristine keeps mocking me about the novel and how long I’ve been thinking about it.  Doesn’t help that whenever we watch Family Guy and Stewie starts mocking Brian she just turns and gives me the biggest smug grin ever.  It is infuriating.

Working things out

Currently the novel is sitting around half the length of Within the Shadows.  Which is still the longest bit of writing I have successfully finished.  Not the longest that I ever made progress on however.  There was a previous attempt at a novel, back when I was fourteen or fifteen that made it to roughly 25000 words before I realized how ridiculous it all was.  Zombies, mutants, etc.  I may or may not have touched on this affront to narrative before.  If not?  Then it’s for the best.

I’ve recently learned that I’ll be taking part in the 2012 Global Corporate Challenged.  If you aren’t familiar with the program it is essentially used to promote more exercise in your life.  And I’m definitely in need of more exercise.  I started getting up a little earlier last week, and have been easing myself into working out a bit before my morning shower.  The end goal was to get up around 5:50 am, maybe a little earlier, to make my lunch and go for a half hour walk/workout.  So far I’ve made it to 6:10 am.  Almost there at least.  Hopefully the GCC will help get me in gear some more.  They want me to take the stairs to get to my floor.  But there is not way in hell I’m climbing ten floors with my heavy ass work-bag each day.  Especially when it comes time for the summer heat.

I’ve got a Shadowrun session that I need to plan out for Thursday.  I know what I’m going to run with.  The group, for better or worse, are both stealthy and murderous.  And prone to running head long into danger, but with a plan.  It’s… a bit surprising given that two of the players have consistently played without regard for their characters’ well being.  I’m thinking of a two-part mission: the destruction of some machinery critical to a revivals production plant, and distracting the plants guards so a small extraction NPC team can extra a top-level scientist.  I also plan to end with a car chase, because the last one ended with a safe being hurled at the cops following them.  And I find that ridiculously hilarious.