Does Life Begin at 40?

I attended the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF) this weekend, and I’ve developed an interest in adding writing comics and graphic novels to my oeuvre/portfolio. But, of course, I need practice. Lots of it.

I turned forty last month, and only now I’m developing an interest like this. I’m also interested in video games–an interest I’ve developed in my thirties–and various forms of technology. But I realize I’m not getting any younger, so I’m determined to do something about these interests now.

I didn’t know why I didn’t develop these interests when I was younger; now I realize it may be because I was a cultural snob, starting when I was, at my youngest, a pre-adolescent, if not sooner. I could go into ‘coulda-shoulda-woulda’ mode here, but what’s done is done, and I have to live with that, and the consequences.

Now, back to the present.

In terms of my career, I still have gotten nowhere, though I am trying. In terms of just trying to survive, I’m lost at sea. Conventional wisdom states you’re supposed to have everything figured out, and be settled down, at the age of thirty years old; I’m forty years old, and I’m still not where I want to be. And I’m torn between being ashamed and being grateful I’m still alive to do something about my circumstances. For instance, I’ve started writing out a chapter outline for the latest draft of my first novel after I’ve lost count of how many attempts to get the the damned draft written (again, I could go into ‘coulda-shoulda-woulda’ mode here, but I’m doing the outline now, before I’ve shown the draft to an editor), I’ve gone back to doing practice sketches, and I’m now interested in learning how to create and produce comics. (I know, at this point, I should do things in bits and pieces, but I’ve got ideas, and I like to at least write them down and start work on them while I’m thinking about them.) Also, I’ve increased my exercise schedule, and I’ve decided to start eating healthy, while tidying up my place and preparing to move house within the next two years (which I’m doing now, as opposed to waiting until the last minute and scrambling).

At this point, I’m asking myself if life begins at forty, or if I’m just using that as an excuse for wasting the previous years of my life. But I guess time will tell.

New Year, (Hopefully) New Me

A new year has begun, and I enter it with the best of intentions. I have made my plans for this year, and have even found at least one way to make myself accountable for achieving my goals. At this juncture, I would do anything to make sure I have something to show for all of my efforts at the end of this year, especially since I’ll be turning forty this spring.

The one way I have found to make myself accountable for achieving my goals this year is what’s known as a bullet journal, which I’ve created to keep myself on track vis-a-vis my tasks for this year and which I plan to use often. I’m sure I’ve made some mistakes in creating this journal–it’s my first bullet journal, after all–but it’ll definitely serve its purpose.

My goals for this year are: complete a novel I’ve spent a good decade trying to write; finish planning another one; start saving money again, and get my finances in order; get on a regular exercise schedule; eat healthier food than I have been; get most of my belongings packed up (I’m moving house in 2021, or before), and improve my housekeeping habits; increase my visual art and photography skills; find other income streams besides my current job; increase my output on my blog and vlog and start a podcast; and return to political activism, if only part-time. I know that sounds like a lot, and I’m going to try not to spread myself too thin, but these are things I feel I need to do.

I don’t know if I’m set for 2019, but it seems I’m on my way.

National Novel Writing Month: In the Winners’ Circle

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I’ve last posted, but I felt I had to put this, among other things, on the back burner while I participated in this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It was worth it, though, because, on my second attempt with this particular contest, I made it past the 50,000-word benchmark, and made it into the winners’ circle!

Make no mistake, it took some doing on my part to make it to 50,000 (or, in my case, 50, 682–50, 482 according to the NaNoWriMo web site) words. Yes, I experienced frustration, especially during the last week of the contest, which was also the last full week of November. But I did it, and now I want to take a breather before getting back on that proverbial horse.

National Novel Writing Month

As many of you may now know, it’s the first of November here in the Northern/Western Hemisphere, and I’ve spent the better part of the day writing the first chapter of my entry for this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), as today is the first day of that event. One chapter down, twenty-nine days and nineteen chapters to go.

I’ll confess I didn’t adequately prepare for this year’s NaNoWriMo: I didn’t storyboard, and I finished my chapter outline for my entry only late last night, after wrestling with it for less than a week; truth be told, I squandered my preparation time watching YouTube videos. But I managed to get through this first day relatively unscathed; however, I’m hoping my novel doesn’t suffer too much on account of my lack of proper preparation and planning. But waking up this morning was like waking up on Christmas morning–there was joy and excitement in the atmosphere in my immediate environment, and the feeling that anything was possible. Here’s hoping I can keep up that mindset until the end of the month.

Anyway, it’s been a long day, and I want to relax before going to bed, and then getting up early tomorrow morning to do it all again.

Back to Work, 3-Day Novel Contest, and New Blog

Labour Day weekend is over, as we all know, and it’s back to the bump and grind.

I am now back at the job I quit back in May; I recently realized I may have quit prematurely. More about that at my new blog, http://chloe_desilets.livejournal.com/, as soon as the wrinkles get ironed out (I’m having trouble posting my first entry to my actual journal).

On a happier note, I participated in this year’s 3-Day Novel Contest, and I am now half-way through typing it; I’m hoping to have it completed by the end of this week. All I need is a character witness statement declaring I wouldn’t cheat on something like this, and I’m set. The sooner, the better.

On all fronts, I have high hopes.

The Pemberton Music Festival Through the Eyes of a First-Timer

I returned yesterday afternoon from Pemberton, British Columbia, where I worked four shifts as a parking lot attendant at the Pemberton Music Festival–the first ever I attended, in any capacity. So, in short, I got to attend an event I would not, at this juncture, under normal circumstances, be able to attend, and I got to make money while I was at it. Not a bad deal, if I do say so myself.

My impression on the Pemberton Music Festival itself (remember: I’m a first-timer), is that it’s equal parts fabled spring break (only in the summer) and fabled Summer of Love, with some cosplay thrown in for good measure. Thousands of perfect strangers bonding, however temporarily, over their favourite bands who played at the event. OK, there were some elements I wasn’t particularly fond of–most of them falling under the camping category–but, other than that, I’m glad I went. I left the festival with a couple of regrets: I left the first show I attended early so I could make my second shift on time, and I never took advantage of any opportunity which presented itself to make the acquaintance of a young man who so closely resembles my brother it’s surreal, solely out of chronic nervousness when even considering initiating interactions with people I don’t know.

Regrets and peeves aside, I would attend the music festival in Pemberton again. Depending, of course, on the lineup of musicians.

Home Sweet Home (Be It Ever So Humble)

I know I should be sleeping off my jet lag right now, but I guess I got too eager to get on with things. Besides, I can take naps throughout the day.

I got up at 4:30 AM New York City time (1:30 AM Vancouver time) yesterday, so I could catch a cab to LaGuardia Airport and thus be on time to catch a 7:00 AM flight. Not having access to a printer before I arrived at the airport, I printed my boarding passes at the airline kiosk, but forgot to check my suitcase, so one of the clerks helped me. Upon leaving the scanner and gathering my things in the security area, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a young woman get arrested. From then on, it was smooth sailing–or, in this case, smooth flying.

Until I got to Seattle.

At Seattle-Tacoma Airport, I tried calling the station where I was dropped off last Monday to see if I was to catch my train home there, but nobody answered. I wandered around until I found an information booth, and there learned about Seattle’s LINK Light Rail, and thus took that downtown; I’m pretty sure if I’d known about LINK Light Rail when I first arrived in Seattle, I could have saved myself some money on cab fare, and some worry in New York about how I was going to scrounge up cab fare from Sea-Tac. Once in downtown Seattle, I asked a couple of police officers to direct me to the train station–which was indeed where the bus from Canada dropped me off last Monday–where I sat it out for the next five hours–and had some empty calories to ward off hunger pangs. But then, how was I to know they would serve food on the train, and I could get what actually passed for a meal (a veggie burger and a cola)?

My train got caught behind a freight train some time along the journey, and apparently the freight train moving faster than it did (molasses, I’m sure, would have moved faster) was too much to ask, because the train I was on was basically on stop-and-go (slowly; though it did gather speed at some points along the journey, only to have to stop again). Couple that with the time I spent at the border checkpoint–which, by the way, is at the Pacific Central Station here in Vancouver (something else completely new to me)–and it was after midnight this morning when I finally got home and fell asleep. Oh, and I caused myself some embarrassment on my declaration card, when I initially overestimated the monetary value of the goods I had purchased in New York which I was bringing back into Canada, and added that value to the amount of money (US) I still had on me. So many lessons to learn for next time.

I love New York City, though I’ve only been there once, and I have every intention of returning, hopefully sooner than later. But Vancouver has its charm, too, and, like I’ve said to so many people over the years, I’m in no hurry to leave. And it feels so good to be home.