A New Approach -September 24, 2019

Hello, again, everyone.

It’s been a bit longer than I had planned since my last blog post. I really have to get used to doing these regularly again.

I haven’t had a horrible week, all things considered, but as usual, I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as I had hoped to. That’s not to say I haven’t managed to accomplish anything, just that I’d hoped to have more done by now on several of the projects I have on the go.

The hall and stairs are coming along. I have to get on to making the bullnoses for the steps and landing, and I have to paint the stair railing, and sand and re-stain the handrail, but I did manage to finish most of the trim.

I haven’t done much more work on my cosplay project, but that doesn’t need to be ready until November, so I have time.

I’ve taken some time to work on my greenhouse again. I have to get it all shored up for winter, and it’s getting close to the date when I can test out my rocket stove, so I’ve got to get moving on building the mass heater to go with it. I’m still experimenting with some ways to go about that, but I’ll have to settle on something soon and get moving if I’m going to have the heating all set before the cold weather sets in.

Last week was pretty uneventful. Mostly I just tried to get some projects done, and sporadically worked on my novel. I did have an event I hosted on Thursday, one of my “community” social events. It was ok, but I was ready to leave very early on. I had to stay until most of the guests left, so I made the best of it. There was no real drama to speak of, so I’m thankful for that.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my weekend.

We had a couple of parties to attend on Saturday, but my work had scheduled us overtime that day as well. By the time we got to the first party, which was about two hours away from home, I was very tired. To make matters worse, we got caught up in someone else’s drama while there, which totally derailed my mood for the night. I don’t want to go into too much detail about what happened (someone thought it was a good idea to mix prescription and recreational drugs with alcohol, and, well, you can guess the rest) but it was a giant mess that was very poorly handled by the people who should have been responsible for dealing with it. I was thankful that we had to leave that party early.

We had an anniversary party to attend afterward, at my good friend’s home that we usually stay at when we’re up that way. After a couple of beers and some venting, I managed to calm down a bit and did end up having a good time. It was a small party, but most of the people in attendance were great friends, and we had a wonderful time hanging out with them.

I had to keep myself from getting into an argument with a friend over coffee the next morning, though. He’s an arch-conservative, and his wife is deathly afraid of him getting into any type of political argument. It was their anniversary, and seeing the look in her eye, I just decided to keep my mouth mostly shut and let him rant, even though we are on complete opposite sides of the political spectrum. It was tough, but I managed to keep quiet.

I spent most of the rest of the day, after driving home, just relaxing. These six-day weeks and packed weekends take a toll on my old bones, and I had to go into work Sunday night, so I thought it best to just rest up.

As far as the novel, things are going slowly. I’m still struggling to find a method for editing it, though I do think I may have finally settled on one. I found a good point by point guideline for manuscript editing which says that after you’ve let your draft sit for a while, you should read through it once, from cover to cover, without taking notes or making changes, as you would if someone else had written it.

So I’ve started doing that. It’s been both better than I thought, and worse than I imagined. The draft is a mess, as it should be, with a lot of repetitive passages, extraneous characters, and side plots that tend not to go anywhere. But there are moments that are good, and some that are really good, and over-all, there is a good story there so far. It’s tough not to stop and make changes as I read through it, but reading it is giving me a good perspective on what I’ll have to work on when I get back into editing. I’ve forgotten so much of it since I first wrote it, so it’s been good to read through it and remind myself of the actual story.

This past weekend marked one year since I started this attempt. I really thought I’d be farther along with it by this point, but I do tend to underestimate how long any given project will take, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. NaNo ‘19 is coming up in a bit over a month, and though I should probably just buckle down and continue to work on editing my draft, I don’t want to let November go by and not participate. NaNo was a big reason that I managed to finish my draft in the first place, so, while it’s probably not the best time to start on a second novel, I’m hoping this NaNo will give me a push to write another, and apply what I’ve learned so far to my next project.

I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend coming up, one where I don’t have to leave the house much and get further along on a few of the projects I really should work to finish.

Well, that’s it for this post. I hope you’re all enjoying this early fall weather.

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