Tuesday Tabellion – The Writing Routine

Questions: What is your writing routine? Do you have a writing space?

Answer: I write in the mornings. Not because I am a morning person – far from it – but because I know I will get distracted by other things as the day progresses and I will forget I need to write. It isn’t uncommon for me to go back to sleep after I’m done writing in the morning because ugh, mornings. Sometimes, I do write in the evenings without issue especially if I am at write-in or I’m struck by a really good idea. I try to write everyday but that rarely happens unless it is NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, or NaPoWriMo. Something about the deadline is very motivating toward me getting my butt out of bed and have focus on writing rather than sleeping. I spend a lot of time in coffee shops writing, either with paper and pen or on my laptop, as I am typically most productive away from home since there are fewer overall distractions. When I write at home, I use to have a desk setup for work/writing purposes but over time, I have found it too restrictive so now, I write on my laptop from a small table next to the sofa or I write in a notebook while lying in bed. When the weather wasn’t unpleasant in recent evenings, I went out with a notebook and wrote at the picnic table that was installed in June at my apartment building. I find that enjoyable and will continue to write there as weather and neighbor usage of the space allows. Anubis does not enjoy this evening writing venture outdoors without him. On the fourth evening of my writing time out there, he discovered my whereabouts. (The bedroom window overlooks the yard space with the table.) He spent the entire hour and a half meowing intermittently and glaring at me – this from a cat who is practically mute. Never had my writing been met with such judgement, disdain, and disapproval. Anubis now just glares at me until I look at him then he meows his displeasure. Sorry, my indoor-only feline overlord.

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Simple Things Thursday – Establishing Normalcy

A week and a half ago, I began moving into my new place even though it wasn’t done yet. This past weekend, things were finished up and should have been completely done, but the stove started shooting out sparks. The sparks started a small fire. Queue the need for new stove which should be arriving today. For all intents and purposes, I live in my new place full-time now. Anubis, the feline overlord, arrived here on Sunday much to his terror. He’s slowly getting use to the noises and quirks of this place.

I may not have a functional kitchen yet but I have the rest of the basics.

After two years of living with other people and one year without my feline overlord, it is very strange for it to just be the two of us.

After two years of having 80% of everything I own in boxes, it is strange to unpack. The process reminds me of unearthing unknown treasures.

I am grateful the rehab process on the new place is done. I am grateful that I have been able to move in this month, and move in at my own pace. I had hoped to move in October but it was beginning to look like December for such. More than happy to split the difference in the end.

Since moving in, I’ve experience one blizzard that was to be a trace of snow, and another blizzard which turned out to be nothing but really strong winds with very cold temperatures. Very grateful, however, for the warm weather during the days of home rehab and repair.

Once I finish settling in this week (next week?), things will be start getting back to normal on this blog. I did think I had set up Poetry Wednesday for the month of November. Alas, I did not. Oh well. It is NaNoWriMo after all which – by some miracle – I have managed to keep up with despite all the rehab, repair, and moving chaos.

Meditation Monday – Anubis

Trying something new…starting the week with things beautiful, beloved, or both. This week’s theme is Beautiful & Beloved.

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This is my beloved beautiful feline overlord curled up next me on the a sofa, sleeping, while I read.

NaNoWriMo 2013: Days Nine through Fourteen

I survived the second move but finding it difficult to get my “groove” back.

Day Nine did not give up any poetry, only free writing. Suffered a drought on Days Ten, Eleven, and Twelve as I moved, unpacked, worked to adapt to my new living arrangement & role, and tried to gain some familiarity with Denver. Release Day for the last three chapbooks in the Moments of Self series – The Mirth of Equinox, The Solitude of Harvest, and The Embrace of Solstice – passed without much acknowledgment because I was too distracted. They are presently available on Kindle for 99 cents each or for free with Amazon Prime Membership.

So far, living with my sister and brother-in-law is a little odd but mellow. They leave for work before I get up and I only see them for a few hours once they get home from work. Keeping their house picked up is pretty easy since it was clean to begin with plus most areas they never use as they are rarely home. My main task everyday is cooking, which is fine with me, and the meals on this week’s menu are fairly simple, leaving me time to write, read, and continue unpacking. I do a lot of baking too. My very pregnant sister loves sweets and is delighted that desserts keep being on the menu. The desserts have also been a big help in using up the 5 pounds of apples she bought a few weeks ago and never ate.

I am almost done getting my wayward cave setup. During the move, I acquired a new bed frame and desk. The bed frame I needed and the desk was something multipurpose I desired. These new items sort of cement the concept of the clean slate, a new beginning.

Day Thirteen had me scoping out the local (and horribly pathetic) coffee shop scene within a few miles of the house. There are two Starbucks (crazy busy and hardly any seating at either location) and an Einstein Bros. Bagels (ample seating even if it is a little on the busy side and closes at absurd times). I spent a few hours that morning at the Einstein Bros. Bagels and got two poems written along with a bit of free writing. However, word count was very minimal. I, now, need to write around 2,500 words a day in order to get 50,000 by the end of the month. Pretty sure that such isn’t going to happen.

Found out that a SCA friend and fellow WriMo lives on the other side of the neighborhood. I knew she lived in the general area but couldn’t remember where exactly. I thought she was a bit further away in Aurora. We may try to get together to write-in soon. Most of the Denver Region write-ins, while inconvenient from where we live, are near her work so she attends when ever possible. She is reasonably excited about the potential of having write-ins near home too.

Day Fourteen had me back at Einstein Bros. Bagels and their internet connection kept dropping. Oh well, should be writing and not checking Facebook/Blog/NaNoWriMo.org obsessively. Not feeling the creative vibe in wayward cave yet. I am hoping it will show up as soon as I get everything put away. The bulk of the day’s words were free writing but a few poems snuck in too. This, very surprisingly, brought me to 2,500 words for the day. Given recent writing tendencies, clearly, I will not be finishing the first draft of Reaper’s Moon this month.

While my sister wants the baby to come NOW, I am hoping he holds off just a little longer so I can settle in some more and get a lot of writing done. I also have a manuscript to edit. I received it just before the move and haven’t gotten a chance to work on it. I have less than two weeks to get it done.

While unpacking things, I downsized more of my belongings. I could not fathom why I kept certain clothing items when I had never worn them and/or they were always ill-fitting. This weekend, the local SCA branch is having an event and the event “fee” is a donation to a local charity that collects food and clothing so they’ll be getting three large bags of clothing. This downsizing process makes me feel very accomplished. My sister, however, gave the impression that she did not think it was much of an accomplishment.

At this point, writing a single poem feels like a big accomplishment too.

I do miss my fur babies and wish they could be with me. I pray that we can be reunited in a place of our own in 6 to 8 months if I can find and obtain an apartment I can afford. Apartments are in very short supply post-flood and apartments in my price range are like unicorns. I do have a lot of concerns over what will happen if I cannot find a place in a timely fashion and/or something goes wrong with/for my sister or my brother-in-law. I do not wish to live with my mom or my dad again nor do I want to be homeless. I am trying not to dwell on the negative but it is a very real concern given my present situation and very limited income. Hoping for the best but considering my options if the worst comes to bite me in the rear.

I suppose it is time to cap off today’s writing stint in an attempt to get the rest of the wayward cave unpacked. Maybe tomorrow, it will be a good place to work in.

Big Changes

This post is brought to you by drastic changes which about after August 25th. Most are for the best, I hope.

My sister asked me to watch my nephew five days a week while she and her husband are at work. Given the amount of time and the distance between our homes, it would be easier to spend the nights as well. This means my furbabies have to go elsewhere – my mom’s house – as my brother-in-law is very allergic. This ends up with me at my mom’s house on the weekends in order to spend time with my furbabies. It became very clear that I should sublet my house for the next year. Yes, my sister would like my ‘nanny’ services from January 2014 until, at least, February 2015. However, she keeps talking about me moving to an ‘affordable’ apartment after that time in order to be around to keep watching my nephew and the future baby #2.  I, personally, want to see how this goes for the year before I make any further commitments plus her idea of affordable and mine usually differ.

I primarily agreed to do this for the money. I have a variety of medical bills festering on my credit cards. The extra money would mean digging out of the debt black hole I have ended up in. Contrary to the often popular belief, being a writer is synonymous with being poor. Very few authors make a lot of money and it takes a lot of books being published before they may even make enough to pay their monthly bills.

I am looking at this opportunity as a chance to finally get my ‘clean slate’. I started working toward it in November 2011 with the beginning of the decluttering process. My debt was a huge stumbling block to my end goals. The whole notion of subletting will also finish off the decluttering process. I will also have the chance to live very simply in a small space as I will be living in the guest room with only a small amount of personal possessions. The rest of my belongings will be in storage at my mom’s house.

As of Labor Day weekend, I have lived here at Al-Bisslii for six years. It is bound to be unsettling – at first – to no longer have a home and to live with others. Moving out also means more money coming in to pay off the mortgage on the house. The sooner the house is paid down, the sooner I can do something more with it and gain the possibility of downsizing to a small house.

At this time, I am striving to have the entire house packed up – except for daily essentials – before November so I can spend November focused on writing. December’s focus will be moving out the packed items. Moving includes the selling of the larger furniture items. Do not have the space to store them and I’ve been contemplating on selling them anyway because they are much too large/bulky for a smaller place. Some of them haven’t been used in years too.

I do look forward to spending a lot of time with my nephew and be part of his upbringing. It is has been a long time since I have cared for children so I am a little nervous although not as nervous as my sister. She has never held a baby and has never really spent time with children. December will bring a learning curve for all of us.

If I become quiet here on These Words I Scribble, I’m probably surrounded by boxes wondering what kind of hell I have gotten myself into.

Did I mention that I hate moving?

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2013 – Day 16

Woke up 15 inches of snow but the street had been plowed which ruined the white effect. It was strange too as I do not recall the last time there was enough snow to warrant the plowing of the side streets. By 4pm, it had gotten just warm enough to dry up the street, the sidewalk I shoveled, and remove the last bits of snow I left on the car. Sadly, we’re expecting another 6+ inches this evening.

Aside from the shoveling of snow and the writing of today’s NaPoWriMo piece, Burlap, today was a lazy day. After I came in from the cold, I sat down with a book and joined quickly by Anubis who draped himself over my lap. He napped and I devoured the whole book. After I was done reading, I fell asleep. Suddenly, it was 4pm and time to get stuff done. So here I am, making an attempt at productivity. Not sure how long it will last or how productive I will actually be. I suspect that I will be curled up with Anubis and another book soon enough.

Anubis, on the other hand, is wide awake and running all over the house like a psychopath. This is primarily due to the squirrels nesting in the attic. Yes, there are squirrels in the attic, and the roof is due to be fixed during the next two months – hopefully. There are several babies who make a whole lot of noise thus tormenting Anubis greatly. He wants to hunt them but that darn ceiling is in his way. Poor Anubis, he just can’t win.

Today’s final counts are:
1 poem for Kirsch & Kerosene
0 poems for Obiter & Oleander
0 pieces for novels in verse
298 total words
1 NaPoWriMo Post
1 Camp NaNoWriMo Post

Worse Case Scenario Or Where I May Be Paranoid

As Colorado comes under siege by fire, I find myself consumed with the ‘what if this happens to me?’ line of thought. I do live in an area where large long burning fires are immensely rare but, as the Waldo Canyon Fire has proven, no area is exempt. In the nature of this thought, I contemplated what was critical for me to take in an evacuation – beyond the basics of identification, credit cards, car & car keys – and most of it pertained to intellectual property. Laptop, backup drive for the laptop and desktop, a set of notebooks with story ideas yet to be typed, iPod, eReader, and a bag containing heraldry submissions’ paperwork. In addition to those things, there were items for my three fur kids – their carriers, travel cages for the guinea pigs, a bit of food, water bottles and disposable litter box for the feline. The only item of absolute irreplaceable sentimental value is a bracelet my great grandfather made for me. I keep it housed in a small fireproof briefcase with a passport and some of the intellectual property. Late last night, I found myself collect these critical items in haste and grouping them together. All the pet carriers are unzipped and staged so they are ready to do their job. The travel cages and disposable litter box found their way into the trunk of my car since they are rather awkward to get out in a hurry.

Traumatized by the potential prospect of losing thousands of books but at least 60% of them are logged and I plan to log the rest in the next few days so I have a listing of what needs to be replaced. Decidedly, if I have time, I will grab a couple absolutely favorite books, the few award scrolls (with their one-of-a-kind illumination) I’ve been given, sewing machine and KitchenAid mixer. Yes, these things can be replaced (more or less) but I figure the sewing machine and books will come in handy distracting me from myself should the house go up in flames.

As I type this, it comes across as fairly major paranoia but those fires keep coming and it
never hurts to be somewhat prepared.

Away from the planning for a worst case scenario, I find irony. I am 16 poetry pieces away from completing two poetry collections – A Hundred Flames and Smoke & Spirit. Fires and smoke throughout Colorado and I am writing books with flames and smoke being used in a metaphoric fashion. I’ve been writing the collections for about nine months so there is no correlation but still there is a thread of irony in the present.