So I've just got to the end of the crazy business that has been the last couple of months of my life.
There was July Writing Prompts, of course, and the associated burned-out mental exhaustion. Mr. Two Years Old's birthday party. And then today was Mr. Four Years Old's birthday party. Attempt two, because as our first date approached it became clear that our house and our family were a biological contamination hazard, and we would all require worming tablets and a week's worth of conjunctivitis medication before we were fit to recieve company. Yeuch. In any case, all better now, so that's a relief. And we got to have a Zoo Party! I did an amazing cake
, as usual, and also carved a watermelon
to look like a hippopotomus, which I've never tried anything similar before, and went down a treat
In the meantime, I had to do a whole lot of terrible, horrible, parent homework in videoing and editing Mr. Nearly Six's oral presentation for school
about the construction of his house. It took a long time, but apparently went down well with the class. He was the only kid in school who did part of his video from on the roof
of his house, which earned him lots of cred in school (and coincidentally made him forget to be a grumpy teenager-before-his-time for long enough to make at least *some* eye contact with the camera for that part). So yay.
Same child went a bit scissor mad a month or two ago and cut 1) some bedsheets (actually, that was a while previously), 2) an electrical cable, and 3) one of the seatbelts in the car. Not happy, Jan.
Consequences have had to happen, which has been making him very grumpy, but we are now we are out the other side of that and he's got his scissor privileges and his iPad priveileges and his lap-sash belt privileges back again, the car is roadworthy again, and things are more settled with him. Then of course I discovered Mr. Two Years Old running through the house while attempting to give himself a haircut with some pilfered scissors ("Nip! Nip! Nip!" "OMG GIVE ME THOSE!!!") so.... Scissors are good for development of fine motor control. Yes, yes they are.
I've made a couple of new online friends I've been getting to know, which has proved interesting, as it always is. I think the thing I love most about online friendships is the way they go deep so quickly. You don't know how the other person looks, but you know how they feel about the things that matter to them the very most, in words they've had time to consider. It's cool to make that connection with something real
rather than, you know, just mums in the schoolyard commiserating about how tough life is with kids and day to day trivialities, oh I know, etc. Which, yeah, but it's different online. Maybe that's just for me.
I've been keeping up with fan_flashworks, and now I've done eight challenges in a row. Loving the way the urge to keep my streak going is forcing me to keep up the flashwork momentum, making writing and finishing little things just another part of life rather than a Big Deal. Thinking of trying something a bit different for this one, an idea I've had niggling for a while, so an amnesty's perfect to actually do it.
And I've partnered up with Wild Pear to work on Futureproof. She's both acting as my arbitrary deadline to get chapters finished, and looking at chapters as I send them to her, reflecting back what she gets from my characters, telling me where it gets a little bogged down or confused... and omg, it's so good. So reassuring. So affirming.
And so inspirational to hear those little edges of things she doesn't see in the characters and the things that resonated with her that she does
. *loves* If I'm actually going to get this thing done by my self-imposed deadline, I really need to focus on drawing lines and getting it out the door. But there's so many distractions and other things I can just get done first, there's always a good reason not to do anything on it today. New rule: my ten minutes writing per day isn't ten minutes in general, I know I can do that: it's ten minutes of Futureproof
Speaking of Futureproof
, I've spent the last week battling brain weasels again. I've been alternately super busy or super exhausted by it, and I guess I've been caught up in my own brain researching... stuff. Things I'm questioning about myself that don't really matter in the scheme of things, but that have activated the must-research-and-question-absolutely-ev
erything mode, so I haven't managed to get the downtime I need to keep a lid on my anxiety and I haven't been sleeping well, and it's all just been snowballing.
I managed to write it out with the last flashwork--despite the fact that my writer's brain insisted the story should go a different direction to what I felt would be truthful and real. It was an interesting conflict to deal with, usually the only battle I have to fight is 'this is wonderful, but am I really comfortable revealing that?' rather than 'this is something that I want to explore, but it is narratively unsatisfying'. It made the final few lines very difficult for me, that battle between true
, because unlike anxious wibbling which must be crushed, both of them are good reasons in their own right. If the story doesn't... come full circle, to a satisfying ending, then is it really a story? How can I stop writing it if it doesn't end? But if it doesn't tell the story I want to tell... is it really doing its job? And I was super busy with party preparation and just needed to post it and stop obsessing, which I did
. *pats self on back* Apart from a couple of nods to narrative causality, I ended up making it the story I needed to write for me
, even though the ending felt weak.
I'm pretty sure the catharsis it made me feel doesn't come across in the same way to a reader who doesn't live in my brain, but ambiguity is part of the joy of an unreliable narrator anyway. It reminds me a little of On Becoming an Axiom, which people seemed to think was a sad story, when to me it was a shiningly glorious truth. I might end up tweaking the end a little when I crosspost, if I can think of something that unites the trueness and the rightness a little better. And I've also left it open for a sequel if I need to do any more soulsearching along the same lines, so... good enough is good enough. Out the door and posted, and out of my brain, for now at least.
I've got a couple of emails and a couple of comment replies still waiting on my to do list, which I need to just do
rather than continuing to find them daunting. Someone asked an insightful question on one of my stories which I am trying to to write an epic essay in response to the fact that I'm intrigued and not really sure of the answer myself. The comments on my stories that give me most joy are always the hardest to respond to, but I'm working on just doing it without trying to do it justice. And hopefully with a few of the real-life jobs out of the way, and with Pear backing me up, I can get things back under control and focus properly on Futureproof again.