Janus, Part One

Here we are–December 31, the end of the year, New Year’s Eve. And, just as in previous years, it’s a mixed bag for me.

I have had to restart writing the latest draft of my first novel more than once this year; it is now the end of the year, and I still haven’t finished writing this draft, nor is it ready for me to submit to an editor. I’m halfway through my latest attempt at writing this particular draft, and I’m hoping within the next year I’ll have it ready for an editor.

I’ve just looked over my records of everything I’ve done this year; I haven’t accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish, but I’ve done quite a bit. My exercise routine has faltered within the last couple of months, but I intend to make physical fitness a big part of my life, alongside my creative projects. Oh, and making a living. Among other things, such as cooking healthier meals and packing up my house.

I admit I had a pessimistic attitude towards my activities in 2019, but, having taken a more or less objective glance at my accomplishments within the last year, I refuse to be so hard on myself, while I’m determined to improve.

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.