Week 28: A New Visitor

Hey everyone!  I hope you all are having a nice July so far.  This week my something new was one I wish could be repeated more frequently.  This week my brother was in town and he stayed with me for a few days.  My brother lives on the other side of the country, and while this isn’t his first trip out west, it is the first time he’s been able to stay with me.  Normally he stays with our mom because she has both a bed for him to sleep in and he’s able to use her car a lot of the time.  So normally when he comes to visit, I only get to see him briefly on weekends.  However, I now have an actual bed in my guest room as opposed to an uncomfortable blow-up bed (exciting, I know!)  I still don’t have a car he can really borrow, but this time we were able to make things work for the three days he stayed with me.  He had work to do in the city where I work, so he hitched a ride with me to work and was able to get his stuff done while I went to work.  Then, the managers at work were kind enough to let him in as a guest so he could hang out with me at work getting his own work done until my shift was over.  It really was a great situation.

Of course, I would have loved to be able to hang out with him more outside of work so we could actually talk, do something fun, and enjoy our time together, but this was better than nothing.  We got to hang out at my house, he introduced me to the BBC show Top Gear, which was pretty funny despite the fact that I really don’t care about cars.  We also got to talk on the drive to and from work, and he went on a little trip down memory lane with the playlist I listen to while driving.  I honestly didn’t realize how old most of the songs are (90s – early 2000s), although I probably should have considering boyfriend usually commandeers the music controls when we’re driving together…

Anyway, I’m always thrilled when I get to spend time with my brother and this was no exception.  I hope he’s able to come to visit again sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, I’m visiting his side of the country as I write this, and will be returning the favor by staying at his place for a few days, which is also something new for the both of us.  Can’t wait to tell you all about it next week!

Week 27: New Task, Familiar Block

Hey everyone!  I hope you all are doing well.  As I mentioned last week, this week my something new was to draw some illustrations for the story I wrote last week.  Now, I didn’t expect to create master works of art immediately.  I figured I’d sit down, sketch out some ideas, then refine and edit them from there.  Basically, I figured it would follow the same process as writing and editing the story.  However, what I found was that every time I sat down to draw, I basically faced the illustrator’s version of writer’s block.

One would think, or at least I thought, that since I already had the story written, and had images in my head, sketching them would be relatively easy.  Nope.  Not the case.  I did make some sketches, and I still have the images in my head, but when I try to translate those images to actual drawings, I stumble.  Suddenly, the image in my head becomes fuzzy and in some cases, evaporates completely as I try to draw it.  It’s almost like when I was writing, I had a very far away view of what was going on, then when I tried to draw it up close, I realized there was a lot I couldn’t see.

That’s not to say it’s all bad.  Like I said, I did draw, and much like I often find with writing, the more I forced myself to draw, the more I was able to see my vision.  I also got some new ideas that were not part of my original vision as I was fiddling around with my drawings.  Not to mention ideas I hope to use in future alphabet stories.  For example: H and I are very friendly and very close neighbors, X feels a little left out since he doesn’t get to start many words, and J and K are best friends and quite the pranksters (for my fellow Harry Potter fans, think along the lines of Fred and George Weasley).  I haven’t started writing any new alphabet stories yet, but the ideas are swirling, which is always encouraging.

Hopefully next week I will have some more progress, as well as another something new to report.  See ya!

Week 26: A New Routine

Hey everyone!  Happy July!  I hope you all are doing well and trying new things.  My something new was semi-successful this week.  Since I was so excited about the writing space I created for myself last week, I decided that this week I was going to create a new routine for myself so I would be more likely to use the space every day.  My workday doesn’t start until the afternoon, so my plan was to set my alarm, wake up, get ready, write for an hour, then still have a little time to relax before I had to leave for work.  It was a perfect plan, I wouldn’t have to go to bed really early, I would still get eight hours of sleep.  No problem, right?  Eh… maybe, maybe not.

I did actually stick to that routine for two days.  But for the rest of the week I was unable to stick to my desired wake up time.  I thought it would be easier after day 1 because I was so tired all day from waking up early that I figured I’d have no trouble getting to sleep a little earlier than normal.  Yet that just didn’t happen.  Does anyone else notice that sometimes regardless of when you woke up or how exhausted you feel all day, when it finally comes time to go to sleep your brain suddenly wakes up and flat out refuses to cooperate?  So, that was part of this issue, another part was that this week I seemed to have trouble sleeping in general.  I woke up every 2-3 hours every night, and I have no idea why.  Finally, I ended up having to stay late at work 3 out of 5 days.  It was a pain in the butt, but that’s what happens when you are dealing with live TV; things don’t always go according to plan.   As a result, I didn’t always get an hour of writing in before work, but I did write every day, and made my hour writing goal 4 out of 7 days.

Clearly there is room for improvement, but the daily writing did result in an unexpected achievement.  On Wednesday, I had an idea for a children’s book inspired by my friend’s daughters (the friend and kids I wrote about in Week 22).  That is what I set out to write for the remainder of the week, and I am happy to report that I have completed the first draft.  The finished story bears very little resemblance to the initial idea I had in my head, but that is beside the point.  I don’t want to give it all away, but my elevator pitch for the story is:

The letters of the alphabet are preparing to sing their song to the kids at school, but Z is missing.

Next week my goal is to edit the story and draw some illustrations for it.  Wish me luck!