Thursday, December 31, 2009

GOALS for a New Year (2010)

New Year's Eve 2010 -  Times Square, NYC  - 12...Image by asterix611 via Flickr- do you know how stupid hard it is to find a picture of the Times Square Ball???
I looked at my GOALS from several months ago and realized that I had in some ways accomplished most of them.

Having a job has allowed me to loose some weight, if not as much as I would have liked by now. I won a copy of Guitar Hero for Xbox that I had no use for and sold it on eBay so I finished that GOAL in a very random manner. My portfolio is 90% set up and I won National Novel Writing Month on my first try, which not everyone is able to do. Downside is that I'm bored with Illuminated University for the moment now and am not sure if I wil be editing my National Novel.

But this is a traditional time to make GOALS so here it goes.
-Reach my goal weight of 175 lbs. I should be able to do this by the end of March at the earliest, by the end of the year at the latest.
-Get a job in theatre. Obvious. Perhaps I'll be less picky.
-Participate in Script Frenzy. 100 script pages in the 30 days of April. Like NaNo but with more dialogue.
-Get a home. Directly attached to the job part. Hopeful, very hopeful.

I rechecked this a couple weeks after first writing it and I can't add anything to it, though expect a "how I intend to do it" post in a couple of days.

My Weight Ticker

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Circular Problem

I thought this would happen. I like having something to do with my day, as in work, but I tend to be tired afterward and therefore don't feel like looking for "real" jobs. My employment only lasts for a couple of more weeks and I really should be preparing for another year of job searching. Some people are saying that I should stay on, but I'm not an idiot. There is a reason that there is only one chain toy store left.

I've gotten used to waking up again, but I really don't like the wacky schedules that change every week which creates an inabiltiy to plan my week very well. Okay, it's a lot like my weeks had been, but instead of sleeping through everything I plan to do, I'm standing through it (I work in retail, remember?).

I got hit by the snow and foolishly went to work anyway. Got stuck getting back and my alternator died. Possibly a good thing if my alternator was planning on dying anyway, but it cost money (Luckily, the car is my parents property. The one time I broached the subject of switching it to my name my father told me I could pay the taxes on it, not telling me that the taxes are about ten dollars - because it is a '92 Caprice. So they get to pay for repairs, I get embarrassment whenever someone looks up who owns my car.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Positive attitude

Something I have learned in my few jobs is that a positive attitude is the most important thing you can have. Sure, it sucks that I am working at a certain popular toy store during the holiday season, but if I was down about that my days would be that much longer.

And this doesn't just go for the employees, it goes for the customers too. My job description is to help you and I will, surprisingly happy at seven in the morning. Yelling at me, or dissing the store is not going to make a toy suddenly appear out of thin air, and rarely will it cause the management to let you buy two hamsters instead on of one.

I originally learned this working in the Scene Shop at Radford. We had volunteer help for the Theatre 100 classes and the most important thing I would tell them was to try to enjoy the ten hours of slave labor. The ones who came in and were excited about playing with power tools for a couple of days had their hours go by quickly and made my hours go faster too. If they sulked about and acted like they didn't want to be there it took forever.

Today was a long day, not because I worked for seven hours but because customers kept having problems, some were real, others were imagined and the imagined ones were the ones that make the day long. One had the attitude that the store was trying to screw them out of all of their money, at the same time as she was trying to cheat the coupon system.

And no I didn't get bonus points for trying to help them cheat the system.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Knocking on wood.

GenoProImage via Wikipedia
I have been writing as one would guess as I won NaNoWriMo. I have not written any fiction since the end of November, but I am trying to form ideas of what else to write, whether it is an idea for NaNo 2010 or Script Frenzy or just writing something outside of those events.

To help keep me organized I use a Word Document that maps my linear outline and I have been using GenoPro to map families and relationships. The examples in the help menu use Harry Potter characters. It really helps even when I am writing in a fictional universe and can't really use real time measurements. So I have decided that I should actually buy a license for it.

It costs $49. I get my paycheck on Thursday (probably deposit on Friday unless I am really awesome), which I really shouldn't be spending on this. I can't turn off my laptop for about four days or I will lose the map for my current project. If I lose it, it will be gone forever, because I make many random assumptions while writing the information down - choosing birth dates, especially years, as well as names.

I half turned off Windows Update. It keeps telling me that I need an update but I don't think I actually have the software that it wants to update. Not to mention it whenever it tries to restart for "critical" updates at three in the morning it freezes up on the shut down and/or start up screen. Sometimes I can't tell.

Bad laptop. You're not allowed to die yet!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mid December update

I'm exhausted tonight for some reason and I need to start updating.

I am currently working seasonal retail after getting pissed off at my mother for "putting me to work" raking leaves. I don't really mind it but I prefer a concrete schedule. In theatre you have an odd week every six weeks, but you know about the other weeks, and even that week, the bad week (more commonly called tech week), and the weeks after are going to roll out. At the toy store I'm working at we find out once a week and it changes dramatically every time and the hours are odd. Otherwise it isn't that bad, though I must resist buying toys. I now have money coming in and my student loans are still in deferment because I am not working for more than thirty hours a week for a period longer than three months.

Funny/scary story, I added my student loan accounts to the Bank of America "My Portfolio" feature that allows to see all of your accounts across different banks on one site. It lists my net worth - about negative $25,000. It has a bar graph that only shows the loans from when I added them to the site. I looks really bad.

As I mentioned in my last post I succeeded in writing 50,000 words in 30 days, therefore winning National Novel Writing Month. I still need to change the web badge on the site to say "winner", but I'm really tired right now. That said it is far from readable. I wrote a passage early on that I thought I would have to remove before I could let anyone see it (for fear of being institutionalized, not for lack of quality) and by the end of the story I had been forced to add several different sub plots that were not well-thought out and in some cases not in good places. I'm not sure if I will seek publishing for it. At the moment I not suppose to look at it for a month, then I'm suppose to read through it and begin revision. So beginning of January I will decide if it can be saved.

An on a fun note I saw I Fight Dragons when they were in Baltimore. totally worth the two hour drive. And the cram sessions to finish writing.

Well that woke me up a bit. Another post sooner rather than later.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Response to Peter Carey's NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

Hi everybody!

(chirp... chirp...)

Oh well. Anyway on November 29th I successfully wrote 50,000 words in (less than) thirty days making me a winner of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). After we wrote our words and validated we are kind of still on a high from it all and we continue to troll the message boards afterward.

We also get info on how to edit our novel and seek to publish it and we get one last pep talk.

Sadly the last pep talk was lacking in pep as one poster pointed out.

Here's the thread it was posted in near the bottom it's the longest one, I'll give the real link when I can. Anyway I ranted about it in the discussion thread (the second longest post) and some people (okay one person) complimented me on it.

Therefore to save it forever.

-Most of this was written from my first read through. You may notice what I got from it in the first pass. I realize that I am somewhat harping on a single thing ("turn off your television"), but of course I don't want to be a writer, I want to be an artist-

Shortly before I heard about NaNoWriMo I read the Idiot's Guide to Novel Writing, mostly just to see if there was something important I didn't know.

The author, Thomas Monteleone, got a Masters in English because he felt that to be a novelist he needed a high level degree in English, yet he discovered that academia didn't think that much of "commercial" writing (he was derided by his professors). He stated that he never made use of his masters and could have better spent the time. He also comments that many authors think that writing should be a painful, boring arduous task.

He disagreed. You should enjoy what you are doing. Otherwise why are you doing it?

Personally I have a degree in Theatre. My plan is to become a theatrical designer. I like art and I have a broad definition of it. A fiction novel is art, as is a television show as is a major motion picture just as much as the Mona Lisa, Stary Night or Shakespeare's Twelve Night or "Ave Maria" or "My Heart Will Go On". They vary in quality, but I understand that they are art. They are reflections of human emotions and in many cases they are felt by others and help them realize that someone else has gone through (or thinks about, or fears) the same thing.

If you want to be a serious writer watch television. Watch shows you don't like, because your characters won't all be writers and they will watch those shows. Watch chick flicks and the movies that bomb in the box office. Realize what those writers did wrong and do the opposite. See live theatre, see classics, hear the door slam that rang across the world, but also see how an animated film can be brought into real life too. Attend concerts, see a live orchestra or a rock band, note how they differ from the recordings. See how people react to their favorite idols in person. Travel, see your country, see your mother country, see something other than your own hometown. Watch the news, understand politics in your country and others. When a world leader does something you don't like, understand why they did it even if you still disagree.

Do these things and your stories will be greater for it.

Then Get Excited and Make Things

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, everyday, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.”
- Christopher Morley (American writer and editor 1890-1957)