December 21st, 2020 – 817

Kinda typical that a once in a lifetime solar system event got blocked by clouds. That’s 2020 in a nutshell, even if it’s a benign grievance. The good news about today is I made a chilli and it was incredible. Unfortunately it was so good that I ate two days worth in one day, so whoops. But good news is it’s dirt cheap to make so who cares. Chilli is the best.

Writing is a bit slow but I’m starting to increase my wordcounts, even more f they’re still being met pretty late. TWO is turning into a really interesting story with a lot of potential, so I’m pretty chuffed all told. I’m looking forward to beginning my type up around February.

Too early to call, but I’m doing better. Cooking for myself, even if I overate, that’s a huge deal.

December 20th, 2020 – 816

Well I called it yesterday to a tee, but I was also so tired I left it in my drafts folder. Oops. Ah well good thing no one reads this thing. Still wrapping up my writing whilst rereading The Martian. God I love this book, it’s just so charming, always brings a smile to my face. It’s getting easier to smile.

December 19th, 2020 – 815

I managed to wrap up by 21:10, not super early but that’s a huge leap forwards. Even so I’m willing to bet tomorrow will be a late one, but for good reasons I hope. I’ll be playing a lot of Civ VI with friends. And I’ll need to cool off a bit because today I wrote an intense scene. How intense? It features the one and only swearword across all 14 books, and it’s said in rage.

Gonna go get an early night and just sleep now. It’s been a long, long year, but the next few days of writing will be less intense. Thank god…

December 18th, 2020 – 814

End of term, and just 13 days left in the year, and hey, when has that ever been an unlucky number? Eh? Eh? Ehhhhgh…

I’m knackered and would love to just sleep in tomorrow, which I woooould but I’ve got house viewings. Yep, come February 4th, I’ll be moving to a new place, £200 a month cheaper, nearer to town and most of all, I can’t believe I’m moving for the fourth time in the span of a year…

Actually I’m surprisingly ok with it. This flat has been good to me and I love it, but I can’t ever hope to actually own it on my income one day. This new place is not only cheaper rent, but with an understanding from the outset that I would like to buy it one day if possible. Future is hard to know, I mean, look at this damn year, but it’s promising. Reason to hope.

Doing a spring clean and then I’ll write. Then, imma crash. I’m so tired…

December 17th, 2020 – 813

Well today’s gone well. I’ve been able to churn through a lot of work uninterrupted, I’ve managed to write and do all my 1K tasks and it’s what, 14:10 as I write this? That’s pretty darn impressive and likely my most productive day in months. I’m hoping this is the norm after Christmas, though I’ll likely be doing some work during Christmas just to have inbox zero going into 2021.

So in the book ‘Willpower’ by Roy F Baumeister and John Tierney – one I heartily reccomend – they talk about the importance of glucose to willpower. In particular, they discuss how researchers will give a milkshake or similar quick burst of glucose to subjects to test willpower depletion, as to ensure all subjects have a full tank. It got me thinking, yes slow release glucose is better, but what if I only need a burst?

So yesterday I bought a milkshake. I panicked a bit when asked to choose three ingredients…

But aside from that I sat down with it when it arrived – it was as you’d expect for that price, huge – and tried to see if it’s boost my willpower to focus on writing. And well yes it did. But there was so much I had to put the rest in the fridge.

This morning, after morning tasks and such I was mulling writing and I remembered it was there. I took it to my desk again, laid the journal for TWO next to it and gave it a shot. Wouldn’t you know it, it worked again. Granted this is not scientific at all, there’s so many untracked variables and of course I did dip a little into quick responses to emails as they came in what with being “on break but bad at taking breaks yes I know I’m aware it’s baddddddd” but all told, a promising first test.

The real next question is how to build on this. I got the fancy milkshake because I thought it’d be fun but that’s not a long term plan. My thinking is I’ll pick up some cheap bottled milkshakes and try those next, along with Lucozade and I guess coffee as a control, though perhaps nothing should be the control. Tricky one as I’m not sure I want to cut out coffee for an experiment like this, and I’d rather just keep drinking it and preserve the habit.

Cautious optimism that I’m starting to rediscover my old self, curiosity and all, but this year isn’t over yet. Back to work now, and here’s hoping that no more surprises pop out of the blue to further sour this year…

December 16th, 2020 – 812

Slept on the brackets idea and to be honest it could be a nice reprive for the closing month of TWO 1.0, so no promises but it’s looking plausible if nothing else. I switched 6 and 35 for more interesting match ups and so my final results matched what I feel is an accurate representation of my favourite games. It’ll be fun to pick apart why I love them and to see what I can learn for my stories.

A chapter and a half from the midpoint now and the book is roughly 41,000 words. That’ll make the midpoint 44,000 words, and a final wordcount of 88,000 for the first draft. I’m pretty chuffed with that, more or less spot on with my original intention without feeling like I had to pad anything. The next chapter is going to be, tough. But I’ve been psyching myself up for it now for years so no time like the present. Still, glad I’ll be writing most of it on the Christmas break.

December 15th, 2020 – 811

So in my never ending quest to procrastinate from writing when I haven’t in the evening, I’ve come up with a cool mini project I want to start in January. Basically, I want to really find out what my favourite games are, and unlike you know, a normal person, my immediate thought was of course, bracket:

So that’s 31 individual head-to-heads, which conveniently enough matches the number of days in January. So I’m thinking what I’ll do is write a little article, either as an appendix to blogging or more likely with a standalone searchable tag, and put these games of my life against one another vying for my love. And boy is the first match up a doozy: Magic Arena vs The Secret of Monkey Island. Just looking ahead I can see they only get tighter.

Writing is, going. It’s not gone today yet but it will, though in all honesty I should have done it hours ago. I want my darn AM targets back! But as Friday is the last day of term, I guess there’s a chance I can fix it. We’ll see. The story itself is going well at least. About to build up to one of the most significant moments in the series, so that’s neat.

“So that’s neat”? Way to sell the hype…

December 14th, 2020 – 810

Starting to climb out of the dark place I’ve been in for most of 2020, just in time for the wretched thing to be over and done with. TWO is beginning to flow better, hit 1,100 words today and were it not a working day I could have gone for more. Life is still a mess right now but I’m putting it back together slowly. I just wish it didn’t take so long. It’s been such a long year and I don’t have much left in the tank.

Started using a new pen, Zebra Z Grip Flight. Honestly it’s a breath of fresh air and I think I’ll be stocking up on a lot of these. At some point I want to get a replacement Parker but I’m not quite financially free enough to do that yet. I’ll try to as soon as I’m able though.

Only other thing of note today was I sketched out a potential future painting. I’ve always wanted to see what all the Monkey Island islands would look like on one map, and while there are some of 1-4 in promotional images, I’ve always felt they kind of chuck islands wherever – especially Escape putting Booty and Phatt island on opposite sides of the damn map. So I’ve laid them out (names only, but if I do this they’ll have images) and I’m pretty proud of the WIP result:

December 13th, 2020 – 809

There are only 19 days left in 2020. Yes, the ‘year’ is arbitary, and January 1st 2021 will be for all intents and purposes identical to December 31st 2020. Granted I despise New Year’s Eve with a passion so it’s not entirely true, but my broader point is this mess in my head, much like the one in the wider world will not go away on the stroke of midnight. But, I hope I won’t be writing at the stroke of midnight that day.

TWO is not so much a hard book to write as a hard one to get my head into when also psyching myself up to write by hand, and writing so late at night. I’m thankful I’ll be forced to do a complete rewrite of the story as that is going to help iron out a lot of the fug that’s gotten caught in the spokes along the way. Without that kind of bottom up redo I’d have a lot less confidence in this story. But I’m also convinced for my health’s sake that typing is the way to go for now afterwards.

It’s been a lonely year. I cannot wait for a time where I can leave the house and feel free again, not anxious that if I mess up I’ll put my family at risk. Touch of the old paranoia has managed to resurface on the back of that and it’s not welcome to stay. Fix the sleep, fix the routines, and hopefully, I’ll fix this defective brain. Maybe not by the 31st, but I will.

December 12th, 2020 – 808

One year to the day from the General Election. That was such an unpleasant chapter of my life, as are all elections if I’m honest win or lose, my health always collapses. And yet I honestly can’t even remember it. I had no heating in the flat, I badly bruised my lower back falling over on the day and, well the result wasn’t exactly my cup of tea either. But so much happened this year that feels like a decade ago.

I’m working to stay positive, though I’m finding the flat is cluttering up with my slip into lethargy. I just need this darn foot to heal up already and make getting about easier. I did about 4,000 steps on it today and now I can’t put pressure on it. I need to figure out exercises to do that don’t involve my feet, and frustratingly, that rules out most of the actual effective options…