Monday, 30 November 2015

NaNoWriMo success!

Hell yes! NaNoWriMo done, and with four whole hours to go. That's more than I usually manage, in the way of deadlines. The third novel in my trilogy (known by the name of Wings on my Back), is thus complete. The first draft of it, that is. Craptastic as it is, it's going to need a lot of very thorough revision. But I did get some brilliant ideas in the writing process, which is pretty much what I hoped to accomplish. That, and to push myself into getting into the habit of writing. Never mind the fact that I should have spent all that time writing up my master's thesis instead. The prospect of said thesis being on an anxiety level a couple magnitudes above that of my novel it isn't so strange that it has had to wait, though. This could even have been a good getting-into-shape exercise for finishing at last that final part of my astronomy education. (Final for now, at least, who knows what mad things I will endeavour in the future?)

But regardless of my mental issues, I wrote a novel! Another fucking novel, in fact, in a series I've been working on for over three years. If I manage to keep up this momentum the whole thing might be ready for publication before next year is at an end. We shall see. It feels great, in any case, to finally have seen this story to an end. It has been hiding within me for so long, so afraid of being laughed at. But at last the pain of ignoring it got stronger than the fear, and out it tumbled, in a glory of crappy language and plotholes, but with an idea strong and interesting enough to build an actual book out of through large amounts of hard work. I love and hate the process and learn a hell of a lot from it, just like so much else in life.

Oh well. Tomorrow begins the return to so-called normal life, where it is said that other things than the writing of words each and every day should be of highest priority. Maybe I'll finally get the rest of my life under control and manage to give loved ones the attention they deserve. That's the ambition at least, but right now I'll settle for nursing my fever-stricken body with ice cream and revel in the pride of having taken on this challenge and fucking owned it.

Love and success,


Exhausted, dazed with a fever and a cold, the apartment in dire need of cleaning and a mountain of dishes to do. The weather is lovely and I should probably take a shower, too. Or make some food. But all those trivialities can wait. I've got a novel to finish writing, and I'll be damned if I'll let such excuses come between me and the 6850 words I've got left to write before midnight.

Oh well, enough with the procrastinating. I'd better get to it. To paraphrase Robert Frost:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And words to write before I sleep,   
And words to write before I sleep.

Love and writing,

Saturday, 14 November 2015

This day a life

There is neither happiness nor misery in the world. There is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die […] that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.
— Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)

Today has been a pretty great day, in all its ordinarity. It just keeps hitting me that I have so much to be thankful for. I am alive, for starters, in no way to be taken for granted. I have a wonderful place to live in a town that I love where I have a lot of friends who I am lucky enough to get to spend much time with. I am in good health, and might well be in better physical shape than ever before. I ran 19 kilometres today (that's further than ever before), in brisk sunny windy weather, with an uncomplaining body that finally seems to be adapting somewhat to long-distance running. I have spent half the day working at a job that I enjoy, in daytime hours and for reasonable salary. I have written a lot of words today, on a book that I think I might actually manage to tie together in the end. NaNoWriMo is going according to plan, and I am enjoying the unexpected turns the story is taking. I made food and baked a cake and cuddled with two cats. I've got some time left before sleep, and I am damned well going to spend it doing things I want to do instead of things I should do. I hardly ever have to be lonely.

So yeah. Even though this year has been extremely rough, I'm getting by. More than that: I fundamentally love my life, which is a very effective way to keep going even when times are hard. I think this really is how I want to live my life, and I am privileged as fuck for getting to have my high ambitions and work towards them. Mostly through luck, probably, but some aspects of my life are actually awesome because I worked hard for them to become that way. So amidst all the angst I tend to exude through this blog, I thought it would be appropriate to just bask in my joy of being alive for a moment.

Egocentric, me? Well, I do engage with the outside world sometimes. But not today. Today belongs to me.

“What was personal gain, but the freedom to do what you wanted to do?”
— Kim Stanley Robinson (Green Mars)

Love and joy,