April 2017 in Review

Well, this April had some serious ups and downs. Since I am clampering out of the down right now, I am not very happy with it. But objectively seen, it was a decent month with some very great weeks. I’ll feel better about it with a bit of distance.

Art

Four new sketches and five republished images  – Roughly the same as last month.

I do worry that I am running out of things to re-run soon. The trick to Instagram seems to be a combination of posting frequency with the right hashtags, at least in my case. Posting quality does not seem to matter much, although I know artists notoriously bad at assessing their own work.  So make more, publish more, see what sticks.

Well, maybe that’s the trick to build an audience in general, I know all my favourite artists and authors are the highly productive ones. I tend to forget those who are better but only put out stuff once in a while.

Writing

I actually posted a non-review blog post, so this new blog thing is working out! Still need a decent skin for it, though.

Wordcount: 66.376 – only roughly 4k more than last month.

Time I spent writing: 9:08h

Time I spent editing: 3:31h

I reached the end of my free writing on Nyx and Nyssa; I’ve seen the whole arc of the story and so I started editing it. Story-brain got impatient with it, and now I know enough about the characters that I can bring, you know, character to them.

But maybe editing is not the right word? I’m turning Draft Zero into Draft One; I sort through that word vomit to sort out what’s usable, what’s not and adding character telling moments and story meat here and there.

Draft Zero isn’t a story yet, I am making it one now.

Health & Happiness

Much of this month has been taken up by visiting my family over Easter and oh, I loved it. Hadn’t had so much fun and joy in ages.

I crashed hard afterwards, though. Staying in a different place with different habits always messes with my habits, and I need my habits to stay mentally healthy. So I started binging again, both on food and on video games – Rimworld’s good, but that’s not the main reason I play it all the damn time. Nope, that’s my brain being off-kilter.

On the upside: I started running again, redoing my trainings program from the beginning. It works; I need my runs.  I expect things to get better soon.

February 2017 in Review

February was a mixed bag, but it contained far more good than bad. All in all I am happy with how the month went.

Health

I over-trained. I must’ve been slightly sickly most of February, and so I missed the warning signs, and suddenly I couldn’t keep up with my old running routine anymore.

*sigh*

So, gotta step back from my old fifteen-minute-run-in-three-chunks run, and do a few shorter runs. March will be mainly about rebuilding.

But you know, it’s merely a setback.

Weightlifting’s fun though, even if I do it less than I’d like. Need a better routine for that.

Art and Writing

Got a lot of things done writing wise this month. Some statistics:

  • spent 21:15 writing on Nyx and Nyssa, aiming for 500 words a day. I do not always hit it or write everyday, but I often  overshoot my 500 words, so i averages it out.
  • Figured out how to pull word counts out of Scrivener iOS! on 7th February I was at 40.433 words, today I was at 47.106. Wordcount in itself doesn’t matter much for what I do – especially not when it comes to the raw draft that needs a ton of editing – but it is motivating!
  • I finished six scenes. Just put the last few words on “the burial and the staff” yesterday. I am think I am around two thirds done with this particular story. It’s going towards the climax very quickly.
  • Spent half an hour putting words on ToC. Hey, it counts!

Art wise, I found that tracking time like I do for writing does no help me (yet). Right now I don’t have a dedicated drawing time, instead I have a sketch book I scribble in whenever I am on a loading screen, flight path or otherwise waiting on something/someone. Found out that this happens more often than I’d like in the kind of games I enjoy.

But this, together with Instagram, worked out very well for me. Because:

  • I got seven (7!) new pieces done; four of them are already on Instagram, three are still waiting for uploads. They’re all simple, but its NEW ART, and that hasn’t happened in ages.

I stalled on my website rebuild, but that’s okay. It’s important, but not urgent, and I had stuff to do that matters more.  Instagram is truly enjoyable and most importantly, uploading is NOT a chore, and so I went and closed down a few other social network/gallery accounts I am barely using anymore. Instead I will focus on a few spaces and learn how to use them well.

Social

Still raiding, still a hermit otherwise. But I think my friends in Germany want me to spent more time in WoW together with them. 🙂

January 2017 in Review

2017 is off to a good start so far.

Things are moving – It could still be faster, but having this sense of progress is a HUGE relief. I’m quite thankful for this, too.

Health & Fitness

I caught a cold and could not go running in the last week. Bleh. But it’s almost over and reduced itself to occasional sniffles, so I’ll hit the pavement on Sunday again. I am REALLY looking forward to that.

Doing push ups after running worked out great, so I am thinking about adding weightlifting to my routine – just a few dumbbell exercises. I enjoy working with weights as much as I enjoy running. There’s something pleasurable about finding the limits of myself and stepping up to extend them, you know?

Honestly, half the reason I am thinking about weightlifting is because my weight loss has stalled. It makes sense, though. My resting heart rate went down, so did my weight which means day to day, and I got used to my current exercise routine. I just hit a spot where calorie intake and burn are in the balance again.

A limit, to extend.

I know, I know, the usual approach is to lower calorie INTAKE, but that, with my medical history, is a very hard NO. My current way of eating works for me and I mustn’t mess with that. That way be dragons.

Art & Writing

With ToC on break, Nyx+Nyssa is blooming. Lots of writing getting done, mainly on the phone during my commute. And since washy accounting doesn’t help anyone improve, some exact numbers.

  • I added 3 new scenes to Nyx and Nyssa, one of them a rather big and complicated fight scene. I wish I could give exact an exact word count, but the iOS version of Scrivener doesn’t do that right now.
  • I wrote 2 scenes I pulled from the main script, because they were explanatory. They were still important to write, because it helped me assess characters and especially Theodora’s movement until she met our heroes.

Together that’s 18 hours of pure writing time, most of in on my commute. I may not have word counts, but I have toggle statistics. HAH!

  • 4:45h writing time: wrote the beginning of what will become Traces of Chaos’ new framing story – it introduces that world so much better.
  • 2:50h writing time: Typed out the script first seven pages of Thunder Cliff Falls, a Sci-Fi superhero one I might eventually do after ToC and N+N. It was mainly describing some rough sketches I found while cleaning my folders. The idea for ASCII is great and worth following up eventually.
  • 40 mins: Writing specs for a game I’d one day like to do.

Otherwise, I spent 4:55h reworking my online presence: I’m nearly ready to move imaginaryskies.net back to a self-hosted wordpress install; everything is set up hardware and content-wise, the issue is the design. Time for me to teach myself sketch and fix that, so I can write the February review in wordpress.

Untracked and more of a time saver: I pretty much stopped using twitter and am building an Instagram presence instead.

Social

The new guild is working out great so far! I am raiding two till three times a week and it’s nice to speak German regularly again – and to talk to old friends, too. Running out of pixel-money in WoW though, tanking is EXPENSIVE.

Otherwise I’ve been making a point of doing things together with James, because, well, I enjoy spending time with him; and just sitting in the same room together playing different games really does not count. But, you know, two introverts, so go figure.

Happiness

I’ve been BUSY and productive – which translated into a very happy Carina. There were two or three hick-ups, but they got handled well.

I really hope I can continue this momentum through February into March.