June 20th, 2021 – 998

Just got back from seeing dad for Father’s Day, so that was nice. A bottle of Disoranno has become my “when in doubt” gift but I know it’ll always go over well. I’m trying to love towards gifts like that which don’t add clutter but add to an experience, like say, watching the football tonight. My step-mother’s ties to Wales as well as my general fondness for the country lead me to really hope for an upset against Italy. You never know.

I write before heading out, and it’s just so nice that thanks to the diet, I feel more prompted to stay on track in my routines in general, making early target much easier. There’ll be other Thursdays like last week’s but my confidence is up instead of down. And what’s more, we’re now 2 days from the big day, so I’m just feeling elated that fingers crossed, I’ll go into it content and in control. That’s all I ever wanted for it.

Was speaking to one of my closest friends today about her struggles with overwhem and motivation. We ended up having a bit of a revelation that the best thing she can do right now is puck the goal she cares about – art – and treat her life like a video game where getting better at art is the goal. It was a lovely conversation and the kind of lightbulb moment that sorta reminds me of early 1K. I really hope I can take what I’ve learned through all this so far to help people like her.

Right, time to sit back, chill with some Graveyard Keeper, and look ahead to a productive week. Life won’t always be this stable, but just like my dietitian told me with food, you’ll enjoy it more of when it’s here, you savour it, make it last, and make a note. God I love this blog.

June 19th, 2021 – 997

Another week that went wrong. I’m not surprised, but it’s still gratifying that I can say I recovered from the bad day of Thursday pretty much overnight. I have noted that I tend not to bounce back fully in a day, so I am all too aware I need to take things slow and not take for granted that I’m ok. The good news is next week, I’m off on Tuesday and that will break the week up a little. And, as of today, I’ve booked the next part of that. One ticket, and the furthest I’ll have travelled in nearly two years I believe. That’s a strange thought, though, forgive the cheesy metaphor, I’ve still come a long way in that time.

MAL hit 75K today, just about clearing that bar. I don’t write 75K novels anymore but it’s still a milestone that lets me feel I have now written this novel, even if it’s not finished just yet. A lot of polishing to go before the whole novel is done of course, but I’ve come to really like this story in a way I was not expecting. Of all the B-stories I’ve come up with on the fly, or even all of them full stop, this one is my favourite. So yeah, all is well, and in three days, we reach that milestone. It, feels weird, but good. We were talking yesterday about PirateAba – author of The Wandering Inn, one of my favourite series – and how she churns out a million words in a pace that makes me look slow. I wonder if in the next thousand days I’ll find my own secret to that. I sure hope so.

And no I am not doing 1K+ again that was stupid. But, there may be other ways…

June 18th, 2021 – 996

2pm. Back on track. Today was a much better day, even if the weather hasn’t reflected that. Granted, I like the rain, but still, it’s a bit dingy outside. I have to get through this weekend by sleeping at a sensible time and waking at one too. If I can do that, I’ll go into Monday with all my energy, and then Tuesday ready to celebrate in style. We’ll have to see, given I’ve no way of knowing what the weekend will hold. But I’m feeling, positive. Life isn’t perfect right now, but it’s getting there. Even with Thursday as a setback, I feel that confidence that I’m going to come out of this stronger renewed. Maybe, because of Thursday.

I did some editing on TWO today, and on a chapter I’d listed when writing as the best in the book. It’s, a nice feeling when your own writing gives you chills. I hope one day, I can have a book full of chapters like that. With AWS Polly I feel that’s more of a realistic goal than it’s ever been before. I cannot wait to make myself an audiobook of WHT once I’ve combed that one, and just be able to sit back and enjoy one of my own books. That’s all I ever really wanted, and now, it’s cheaper than a take out to do it. Just a shame my bank account is about to take a £40 hit from the Mark Poole Secret Lair. Then again just look at it.

June 17th, 2021 – 995

Well today went, wrong. I held together my habits, got through my day job and, everything else became a mess. The diet held, but as you might guess given I’m writing this at close-to midnight, the rest of my routines fell apart. Thursday, it’s damn Thursdays. Actually, I feel yet again the real culprit was Wednesday, and a bad routine I’ve set up. To get used to being back in the office, I’ve been doing 4 days a week there, and Wednesdays at home. Great in theory, but in practice all it’s done is leave me a little disrupted going into the day of the week my routines already get disrupted.

At least MAL is still going well. Ish. Man today was not, not a good day. I hope I get my act together in the next 5…

June 16th, 2021 – 994

Today is going surprisngly well. You’ve probably noticed this, but I keep having this lull going into the second half of the week, but I think a lot of that came from my day being a bit of a mess. Work would go fine, but then I’d be in the evening with all my 1K tasks still to do and no time for gaming. And if I chose to go to the shop? Guranteed late-night target. So yeah, it’s 2pm and I am all done with 1K tasks, my work queue is nice and clean, with a steady flow of work, and my god my diet is helping a lot. I had a baked potato for dinner yesterday and that was so nice. I will be making many more I am sure.

MAL went well today, but my main focus was actually on my continuing AWS Polly edit of WHT. Hearing a story read aloud to me to get it sounding right is such a huge breakthrough. It’s so easy that I can finally focus all my early drafts on the structure, plot and themes, rather than on how it sounds. That’s a heck of a big deal, streamlining my creative process a lot, and allowing me to tell a great story first, then make it sound how it needs to. So yeah, things are good. And I have my plans ready for 1K1K. All I need to do now is buy a ticket.

June 15th, 2021 – 993

Another day, another earlier target. This time I managed AM target, even if only just, and that’s a huge confidence boost. I owe that in part to the new diet, and my sleep getting back into a good rhythm. Of course, the heat still butchered my ability to drop off quickly, but not by much. I need 45 minutes to fall asleep, and 8 hours for a good night. Basically given awake/restless times, and a 7:55am wake up time, I have to realistically have lights out by 22:30 if I want to guarantee a good night. Ok ‘guarantee’ is strong; I had other reasons I couldn’t sleep properly yesterday. Just the whole untangling the mess of some projects that suffered in my latest dip. That they’re all out-of-work projects at least means there’s no rush, but I do want to get back to all cylinders as fast as I can.

MAL hit 70,000 words today, and I’m estimating that in the next 3,000 words I’ll have the All is Lost beat. On its current length, that would but the novel at about 107,000 words. That’s far too long, but I do have about 8-10K earmarked to cut. If I factor that in, I come out at about 90K. That’s much more like it, but it does also mean finishing this draft by the end of the month is a bit tight. We’ll see, but I’m putting a soft deadline of July 9th. I should be able to finish it sooner, but that would allow the novel to gain another 24,000 words, so 93K – 97K, the upper end if I bank my average extra words. That’s a reasonable target I feel. More important, I feel like I’m starting to get this novel a lot more now. But none of this is as exciting as yesterday’s breakthrough…

So I finally got around to playing with AWS Polly. It is a game changer. If you’re not familiar – entirely possible as you are imaginary my dear reader – Amazon Polly on in the Amazon Web Services suite, is a TTS – text to speech – service. TTS is a thing I’ve wanted to use for years, but whenever I try it sounds too robotic. The advantage is, as I am far more used to audiobooks than physical ones, what with my paper texture problems, I find this a much easier way to edit. And well, halting as it may be, AWS Polly’s Neural AI TTS is, amazing. It’s legitimately good enough I may release free audiobooks of the series using it. That makes my upcoming plans a little easier, and the start up biblically cheaper.

So yes, things are going well. No reason to be complacent but plenty to be optimistic. Life might finally be ok again. I hope so.

June 14th, 2021 – 992

Another early target, and another day of the diet seeming to fix things. I’m gradually improving and making the best of the day. Work is going well, and I have a definite sense now the coffee machine is fixed that life will get gradually back on track. I’m a little tired still, but I think it was the heat. Normally that’s why this time of year is so hard for me: I can’t sleep as well. But if I manage to figure that out, then there’s no reason for this month to get worse. I’ll be vigilant.

MAL is progressing well. I think as of today I’ve managed to connect back up to the cards I created of scenes. If I manage to continue that, then the rest of this story should be easier to lay out. The flashcards seem to be a great asset to my story creation, and for that matter to a whole bunch of stuff. I may need to buy several hundred more of them when I can, and I could do so today with my latest Amazon voucher – thank you ONS – but I should put that towards some scales and a new FitBit charger. As important as innovating my storycraft is, my wellbeing is the task I need to focus on for now.

Eight more days after today. And when I write on the eighth, a thousand. I know I’m repeating myself, but, it still blows my mind. And I really hoped I would be better in time for it. I never imagined I might change as I have in just three days. Too early to call, but here’s hoping.

June 13th, 2021 – 991

Well isn’t this a nice change. I kept yesterday’s post short because I wanted to make sure I got to bed as soon as I could, and see if it worked. Instant results will vary of course, and I am expecting a rocky few weeks as I adjust to a healthier diet but, it’s two in the afternoon, and all my writing is done. Like, placebo or just a sign of how much I needed to cut certain stuff out of my life I do not know, but as if I care? I feel great right now, ready to face the day. And what’s better, I have managed to figure out what to fill the missing MAL scenes with, that being pretty much what I came up with. 1,100 words banked today on top of the 1,450 yesterday mean I am getting back into an April-like stride.

Caution will be the watch word as we continue down this path, and I do need to not get too hung up on a pristine 1K1K day. Hiccups will happen, and that’s ok, because I’ve had those all across the last thousand days. But I have to say, if I go through this final stretch feeling as I do now, that’s a hellava end to the first thousand. I can only hope that the next thousand days after see anything close to this improvement. For once, not a cloud in the sky outside.

June 12th, 2021 – 990

So I’m gonna keep this short as it’s quite late and I’m finishing up tasks, but today went really well. I’ll probably not go into too much detail about what we discussed, but suffice to say, I have a plan. I’ll get past this.

June 11th, 2021 – 989

Got lots of lovely Squirrel cards this evening, and just did my best to relax after what’s been a kinda challenging week all told. I’m not sure what it is but the last fortnight and a bit have been real tough on me, I suspect because my sleep has gone out of sync again. But with luck I’ll fix that this weekend. Riiiight after I tidy the flat…

I’m into a strange stretch with MAL. I did my full scene by scene storyboard, with the exception of there chapters I just have no ideas for. Unfortunately those happen to be the next three, so I’m flying a little blind. However, I also know to scrutinise them more in the edit and may just lop them out for different chapters. Pace is a little slower this month, closer to March, but still faster.

11 days from tomorrow. It’s weird, because it’s not like 1K1K is the end of 1K, it’s just a milestone, but, it feels like a big deal? I dunno, and I still need to book it off work. I keep forgetting because a) I’m bad, and 2) it still doesn’t feel real? A thousand days of any project is, bizarre for me. And with my therapy starting tomorrow, hopefully it’ll also be the turning point in my health.