July 1st, 2022 – 1,374

Just had a very chill day. I had this Friday booked off for a while but didn’t make any plans for most of it, which worked out well as I went to the cricket for the evening. I’m an Essex fan, so it was fun getting to see them win yet again against Sussex in the Twenty20. Also I got a beer and accidentally got a two pint one, so that was an experience. I just wanted to have it in the plastic cup.

This weekend is gonna be a busy one, but I’m hoping it’ll still stay relatively chill. The good news is that TEL continues to flow like water in a gentle stream. This is my happy place.

June 30th, 2022 – 1,373

Man I’m tired. Not like catatonic tired, even if I am yet again blogging after 11pm. I am just a little bit conked out by the end of a wave of news and things to process in the last week+ or so. The good news is I am having a blast writing TEL. We’re 4 days in and I’ve written over 5,300 words, 1,600 of them today because I just got into the flow. It has been far too long since I felt flow with a story, and it goes to show I did not suit the Horizon Trilogy. That’s ok, the STO series was supposed to be a chance for me to road-test styles and genres and such, and I found I don’t much enjoy filling out dystopian worlds, and I like to break up trilogies and do them bit by bit.

Pokémon is still going well. I bit the bullet today and hacked in a Jirachi and a Deoxys, as the latter is straight up unobtainable without a GBA Action Replay and the former needs either that or about £100 in hardware, and that’s assuming I emulated the software, which I don’t really want to do for this. At some point maybe I will get a GBA AR, but right now I think limiting myself to the DSi one is fine, as that cost a small fortune. A GBA one will set you back £75 at least, and that’s sans-cable. I’d need a cable too. Ok the cables don’t cost that much but it’s the principle. Aaaand I’d need a copy of Fire Red. Man I wish I hadn’t sold mine…

Jun2 29th, 2022 – 1,372

Woof I am tired. This week hasn’t been particularly stressful, and in fact I think it’s dislodged a few stuck issues I’ve had at work with a few lingering tasks, but my energy levels are crashing into a large immovable brick wall of nope. I don’t even know if that makes sense. My brain is kind of fried right now and I need to go sleep, which is not helped by how late it keeps being by the time I’ve done everything I need to each night. The irony is my writing isn’t holding me up, my leisure time is. I keep getting lost in Pokémon and then realising ‘oops, it’s gone 10pm’, and cramming chores. That needs to stop; it’s the rubber band effect from me being so tense of late.

I keep writing well in excess of 1K for TEL, by 250 words today for example. Yes, the start of a new project and one I’ve been excited about explains that, but given my fatigue levels it also points to a truth Imma hold to for now: I don’t suit dystopia. I think I can make the Horizon trilogy into great books, but in terms of where I shine, ultra-grim is not my comfort zone. TUS works for me because it’s a contrast, that even though one character has it super grim, they can still draw comfort from the other’s world. That wasn’t possible in the Horizon books. Maybe I need to find a way to make it possible in the rewrites. Hm.

June 28th, 2022 – 1,371

Here’s a worrying trend, I keep writing early, then leaving blogging until late and not sleeping on time. Bad, bad, bad. That’s how to burn yourself out, and as I now know that a good night’s sleep is worth more than I realised it’s dumb to risk it like this. I’m going to have to get to the bottom of why that’s happening. Even though it’s not ideal though, I’m playing more video games in the evenings. And by more, I mean Pokémon SoulSilver and basically nothing else, but that’s an improvement.

Head is still not quite on straight. There are a lot of things to process right now, and it’s taking a lot of willpower just to stay stable. I just don’t know.

June 27th, 2022 – 1,370

And now, I have officially got all 14 drafts. Ok so one of them is only 1,320 words long at present but it exists, and it’s a strong start I feel. I got really into it too hence the extra 300 words. My goal is to finish this draft by 4Y1K, which is in 92 days away. That is more than enough time, and it’s all for TEL now TUS is done. Taking a handful of days to cement TUS’s draft was a great move in hindsight, though I suppose I won’t truly know if I left enough time until September 27th.

I also wrote right after work at 17:20, so I’m just blogging late as I left work late and went onto volunteering. That it’s gone 11pm and I’m posting this isn’t fantastic, but I should still get an ok night’s sleep. I do need to make that more of a priority but I have no regrets playing Pokémon for a few hours. My HGSS Johto Dex is up to 71 now after I spent several days grinding for a Tauros. It’s almost like I’ve found having pointless side projects is a major boon to wellbeing.

June 26th, 2022 – 1,369

And with that, we have 13 finished first drafts. I have a full view of the overarching story I wanted to tell going into book 14, and with that, I have a better idea of where and how I need to edit those stories. Continuity alone isn’t going to cut it of course, as I need to do some serious clean up work on the novels, and make them engaging, cut the boring bits, make the prose flow and do the painstaking work of making them give you those little spine tingles with every twist and turn. And then, maybe, maybe I’ll post them all somewhere. I don’t know. Guess we will, again, have to see on that.

Still a bit of a mix of emotions, and in part that’s because Project4 moves into a dicey phase this week, or I intend to move it there. This could be the point I put the whole of my life into total disarray, and I don’t know what to expect from it. It’s also the penultimate step – assuming that what I am running in tandem goes as planned – towards me at last being able to reveal just what the heck I’ve been dedicating hundreds of hours planning and work to across this year, even as I wrestle with some of the most existential difficulties and captivating ventures of my life alongside. Even not knowing what the big one is, I am sure you can imagine how anxious I feel about life in general.

Here’s hoping I sleep at least.

June 25th, 2022 – 1,368

I am so close to finishing the revised TUS draft, which by any luck when I post tomorrow will be 85k+. While the rest of the series goes from 87k to 99k, and WHT at 116k, I think 85k is ok. I am also pretty sure I will cut the rest down by a fair bit, whereas TUS is about where it needs to be. I need to sub out the bad words for good words, but quantity is there. And then, on Monday, if all goes right, I start writing TEL, and once that’s done, I have my first finished series. Neat. Then I’ll do lots of editing, make sure the continuity works, and probably never do anything with it.

I don’t understand me either.

June 24th, 2022 – 1,367

Late night post but I actually wrote several hours ago. I just ended up going to the shop after work and almost forgot to blog. Oops. No harm done, except for having to do this in the awful WordPress app. I used to love it before but now the text boxes are painfully glitchy and hide what you’re typing half the time. But eh still works.

TUS is 2K from a full first draft, meaning I’m about to finish two novel drafts in the space of a week. Neat. But it’s actually a third novel I’m dwelling on right now. The Supreme Court is a fairly major component of that book and I just don’t feel it’s appropriate not to either write a disclaimer or amend it in the face of the decisions this week. It needs more thought, but it probably wouldn’t shock you to know I’m angry about the regressive rulings.

In the novel itself, I actually touch on the case of Carrie Buck, which Taft presided over, and it’s a harrowing part of American history. I just need to expand on that and emphasise that the court’s power can be used to set society back. To be clear, the novel doesn’t lionize Taft or the Court, but still. One to think on. And there’s enough on my mind as it is.

June 23rd, 2022 – 1,366

It’s fitting that it’s pride month when I got this diagnosis, because the feeling of not having to hide that I’m in constant pain feels identical to the feeling of relief I got when I stopped hiding my pansexuality. It’s that feeling you don’t have to pretend, or act a certain way or even just worry about who I talk to about what. I ordered two things today, both from the UK Ehlers-Danlos Society: a wristband, and a medical card. I’m going to keep the latter at the front of my card-sleeve wallet, and the former on my wrist, and hopefully that’ll have me covered in case any medical emergencies come up going forwards. Thankfully I shouldn’t be at risk of dislocations unless I push myself too hard as I’ve no history of them, but if one happens I want to have clear things to point to that won’t rely on me being articulate.

I won’t sugarcoat it though, I have been in a dark place since Tuesday. It’s not been self pitying, at least for the most part. I felt a bit of that when I tried walking on my stick in town yesterday and found it deeply uncomfortable to be seen like that. It’s a hang up I need to get over, because I don’t look at other people who use mobility aids and such like that, I only look at myself in that way. It’s still offensive to those people that I view myself that way so if I won’t be nice to myself then I should do it for them if nothing else. But most of my dark thoughts revolve around how this will affect my friends and family. I hope physio works, and I have the discipline to maintain exercises, but there’s no point pretending I won’t deteriorate over time.

On writing, TUS is now 82k, which is amazing to me. There’s 3k still missing, and I’ve identified the three chapters I need to add it to, as well as how much to each. That means that by Sunday, I may have this novel finally at a range comparable with the others in the series. And on Monday, I might at last kickstart TEL. It’s a new beginning, and the world is doing a lot of changing and staying the same around me. Keeping it all straight is hard to do, but in my writing, that’s one place I’m still in control. Jean-Dominique Bauby wrote The Diving Bell and the Butterfly with one eyelid, and so long as I have any movement available to me at all, there will always be a way to hit target. I am in control.

June 22nd, 2022 – 1,365

I, spent today in agony. Funny story, when you have every joint on your body bent back to test the flexibility, it hurt. To clarify, was done with gentle care, and shout out to the amazing consultant for what was an emotionally exhausting experience made infinitely better by his patience. I’m not sure if I can make it into the office tomorrow but I doubt it. That sucks, but at least I now know why this happens. Also I got to try out a yoga ball as a chair on internet recommendation. Not for me.

I decided to finish TUS. I think it just makes more sense to go into TEL when I have the other 13 drafts complete, so that once I finish book 14 I can sweep through and work on all the different novels on an equal field. Also, I don’t wanna start TEL while I feel like this. It deserves more attention than I can realistically give in this current state.