June 2nd, 2023 – 1,710

“What quality do you value most in a friend?”

Kindness. Doesn’t have to be directed towards me, I just mean that I like being around kindhearted people. People make mistakes, people have bad days, they aren’t perfect, but if a person defaults the majority of the time to being kind and compassionate, even if it’s masked by a ‘persona’, then I tend to value their friendship a lot.

One of the flaws in my writing is actually I tend to write a lot of my characters to be exactly that. There are dramatic exceptions, but even with my three titans, one of them fundamentally is kindhearted, just broken. It’s a bit of an issue as I don’t want to write flat characters, and I do need to work on this. But, not right now. I’ll be honest, I;m currently in a ‘write content and rest’ loop, because I’ve been all-go for so long that my creative batteries are running quite low. This is actually one of the big advantages to 1K, because what I’ve found – for me at least – is that my writers block comes from a combination of no core project, no creative energy, and then when I stop, no routine. The routine is the only one of the three required to write, but you can have energy to write and an idea, but not get off the ground without routine. Thanks to 1K, even if I spend months writing drivel, I am always ready to write at a moment’s notice.

Still, I do want to vary my characters more. Like a lot of writers I’d imagine, I fall too often into writing comfort characters. Or, well I wonder if that is a bad thing. Who cares right? Why don’t I just write the kind of characters I’d want to spend time with. One to muse on.

June 1st, 2023 – 1,709

“What jobs have you had?”

Volunteer shop assistant/paid assistant manager across several charity retail stores for five years; whatever the heck my current job is – I’m called an MIS Assistant Analyst but that bears little to no relation to my actual duties so I guess ‘education tech trainer/builder’ for eight years. That’s pretty much it, though I have done election volunteering in Eastbourne and up and down England too. I also have done odds and ends between all that but by that point we’re stretching the definition of job.

Just got back from watching Essex beat Sussex in the Twenty20, so that was a great evening out. It’s funny, I’ve lived in Sussex my whole life, but both my cricket and football teams are Essex-based. One of the many areas that I am just ‘weird’ I guess. Tell you what isn’t weird though, Clockspinning broke 20K, so it’s now becoming one of my substantial stories. There is something about that 20K barrier, at least for works that aren’t collections. The two I’m thinking of there are my ‘Living Earth’ short stories that I haven’t touched since 2019, and ‘A Timeless Moment’, which I haven’t done anything with since about December I think? That one I am absolutely returning to however, whereas the Living Earth shorts are just, eh. They’re more of a relic before I started tying all my stories together into one grand narrative.

May 31st, 2023 – 1,708

“Do you practice religion?”

Depends if you count 1K.

So I didn’t sleep. Again. I am just gonna try to survive today, and hope that I can avoid getting ill, which I won’t if I keep not sleeping. You can bet as soon as I finish work today I am going straight to bed, and I hope so bad I am able to sleep this time. The one upside is I get a super early target, as it’s much easier to do when you haven’t slept, and have the motivation of the cure for ‘I’m dying and just want to pass out.’ No really, when I hit target, even if I haven’t slept, I just feel so much better.

I also managed to build a villager breeder in Minecraft yesterday, which is the first time I’ve ever gotten one working. I can’t tell if that’s a point of pride or kind of embarrassing.

May 30th, 2023 – 1,707

“Do you remember life before the internet?”

Vaguely? We got internet when I was super young, enough tech enthusiasm in the family that we became early adopters, so we had it since the late 90s. Mostly what I remember before that is my Gameboy Color, which is hilarious because I still use that exact one to this day – well, yesterday was the last time I did but same difference. But yeah it means that my perception of pre-internet is a little skewed. Granted, if we’re talking pre web-2.0, which was a whole change all over again, then I remember enjoying the internet a whole lot more. It’s all become a bit, bleh now. Even before AI generation came onto the horizon to make everything even worse, it just got unpleasant around that time. So I guess, I do, and can we go back?

He says, on his blog…

In all seriousness I am grateful for a lot of what the internet gives us now. Misinformation sucks, but it’s never been easier to find accurate information too. And Audible literally changed my life, even if I dislike Amazon I have to concede affordable audiobooks when paper physically hurts is a game changer. Speaking of, time to continue operation Don’t Burn Out with some reading. Just finished and am rereading ‘Killing Thatcher’ by Rory Carroll. If you’re interested in learning about the Troubles it is a fantastic work, although I found it strange for a book based on IRA terrorism’s effect on Thatcher, the fact he doesn’t even mention Eastbourne in the coda is a bit weird. I get it, but it actually fit the argument he was trying to make, so I don’t feel that would confuse the narrative. Might have been because we don’t know exactly who killed Gow but still. Be aware, it is a grim read, but an important book for sure.

May 29th, 2023 – 1,706

“What are you good at?”

Writing, which isn’t all that surprising given how much practice I’ve had. Breaking down problems and objectives with spreadsheets. Bullet and regular journaling. Not half bad at time management. Day of the Tentacle, which is oddly specific but I can play the entire game in my head and often do. Being an agony aunt funnily enough, I seem to have a knack for it; even though I have less spoons than I used to the act doesn’t seem to drain them still. A few things in other words.

Today I was good at getting a much earlier target banked, so I am going to switch off and relax for the rest of the day, a task I am decidedly bad at. But practice makes perfect.

May 28th, 2023 – 1,705

“What does “having it all” mean to you? Is it attainable?”

All is overrated. Have enough, and you’ll have all you need.

Today went pretty well, and I certainly feel I got enough out of it. The most important development was buying two huge bins for the flat to make waste disposal less of a hassle. I’m hoping they’ll make looking after myself and my environment at home a lot easier, and I’ve been saying I want to get them for months so it’s good to finally tick that task off. It feels like I’m ‘finally’ ticking a lot of tasks off my to do lists of late, which makes me a little nervous. Why? Well it hints that there are improvements I find it physically hard to make when I am hyper busy with work and uni, and I need to come up with better strategies to mitigate that. That’s ok, I will, but it’s just one of those ‘be aware’ points that it’s not nice to find you weren’t aware of already.

Clockspinning is ticking along well, and while I do feel there are pacing issues, after rereading what I have so far, not as bad as I expected. As long as I make sure there’s intrigue in every scene, that seems to do the trick. That’s the goal anyway. That, and fleshing out the ensemble cast.

May 27th, 2023 – 1,704

“Who would you like to talk to soon?”

My fiance, who since I started a call with so now I am talking to them. So I’m happy.

Clockspinners is going so well this time, and I am having a blast with it. The one worry I have is that I’m not pacing it at all. I’ve gone for much more of a stream of consciousness, with loose chapters dotted in that, so far, are about 3k each. Gonna keep tinkering with them as I go but I’m not gonna fret about it for now. I’m just glad to be having fun.

May 26th, 2023 – 1,703

“What personal belongings do you hold most dear?”

Well the stuff in yesterday’s post would seem obvious candidates, but to be honest, it’s my journals. See what makes the 1K era of my life so unique is, I have 300 words in journal entries from October 1st, 2018; a bunch of word dumps I did near the start I called ‘Extra Ideas’ that show where my head was at on my worst days; this blog since February 7th, 2019; bullet journals from January 3rd, 2020, and between all of those, a near complete record of my life across this journey. Experiences are the most valuable part of life, and thanks to those journals – and yes, I consider this blog a virtual journal – I have that experience to reflect back on at any time I like.

My manager had his retirement party today. Funnily enough, he started managing me all the way back right alongside me starting 1K. And while yeah I built a lot of this myself, I gotta say the support I got at work from him and the wider team played a huge role too. Today is a good day for reflection and gratitude.

May 25th, 2023 – 1,702

“Do you have any collections?”

Let’s see:

  • A full signed set of Dungeon Crawler Carl books – which won’t be complete soon.
  • Every single version of Day of the Tentacle – though the Limited Run versions are still in production.
  • Assorted Monkey Island memorabilia, think I’ve posted the shelf with the new statue.
  • Pokémon Base Set, Jungle, Fossil, Team Rocket, all complete.
  • A modest but still respectable Switch library.
  • Every gen 1 – 4 mainline Pokémon game, plus Black, White2, X, UltraSun, AlphaSapphire, Sword, Legends Arceus and Violet.
  • I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue memorabilia.
  • I guess Magic? That sort of counts.
  • I used to collect train tickets, but I’ve culled that down by a lot now.
  • Story ideas. I keep an extensive list of these that I’ll occasionally run with or blend into other stories.
  • Birthday/Christmas cards – Working on turning this into a scrapbook I can flip through.

When I think about ‘collecting’, those are what spring to mind. With the exceptions of story ideas and birthday cards, I’m not actively seeking more of the above. I might try and get the missing Pokemon games, but it depends if I end up feeling like going beyond Gen 4 with the Pokedex challenges. I’m on 144 for Yellow so I’m very close to starting Gen 2.

Looking forward to a quiet weekend and doing some needed housework with my spare spoons. Keeping my chin up and trying not to overthink waiting for my results to come back. Clockspinning is still going well, but I am also all too aware that I need to flesh out the cast a bit. Ensembles are not a strong suit for me.