I’m emerging from the absolute hell of serotonin withdrawals. Physical symptoms are abating but now to see if my brain can balance out production to a survivable degree on it’s own because right now, I’m really struggling.
Everything is going well. I’ve been planning some new projects in the front yard for when I have the energy to work on them.
Dollmaster & Vagabonds
Everything has been on hold while I acclimate, which is endlessly frustrating because I was doing SO. GOOD. with the pomodoro technique, and now I’ve got to start over with conditioning myself after my downtime.
I may not be working on my main projects, but my hyper fixation on the Forsaken Land has been haunting me. When I’ve been able to, I’ve done some work on the wiki, written down some ideas, ironed out character timelines, considered some story arcs. I also worked on a new map! I blew up and printed the section of Meg’s map, traced it, and have been reworking my original concepts into the new map. Here’s the almost-finished product (still need to identify a few new features). I finally justified my purchase of a set of colored mechanical pencils.
I should just accept it. Biweekly. But if I do that, will I then slip to monthly? Because realizing I forgot after the fact makes me more motivated to do it the next week!
I did manage to do some garden work in the evenings off and on. I cleaned up my tomato planters–trimmed off lower leaves and thinned them out, cleaned up the companion plants, and gave them a new layer of topsoil and fertilizer. I’ve been able to harvest leaves off the kale and chard multiple times. I also had my first zucchini, lots of sugar snap peas, and herbs! The vining plants (morning glory, moonflower, and spanish flag) that I planted at the bottom of the racks are climbing the racks just as I wanted, but no flowers yet. In the flower bed, the spanish flag and a couple sweetpeas that avoided being slugchow are growing and flowering! I think the soil here still needs more enrichment, but I’ll get there after a couple seasons of permaculture.
Inside, I’m expanding my plant collection too! I’ve got spider plants everywhere that I repotted a few months ago in coconut coir and have been watering with distilled water because they’re very sensitive to fluoride in tap water. I also must confess that I killed many succulents by caring for them much more than necessary. However, I’ve been doing my research! I also learned how easily you can propagate succulents, so I’m doing that too. This week I set out to try and find a venus flytrap, with little luck (but I’m picking one up today from a local gardener!). Instead, I came home with a new porthos (my mom accidentally killed my old one by leaving it outside overnight when we had a surprise snowstorm) and a zwartkop or black rose aeonium on clearance!
I started growing some more basil indoors to avoid aphids. I also cleaned up my little greenhouse–still need to get a new panel on top after Victor fell on it, but Ikea has been limiting services so I put it off. I have my avocados in there, brought in some of the thyme, started some more marjoram and catnip. The catnip hasn’t sprouted, so I think I’m going to toss that soil and plant some perilla instead.
The Dollmaster & Vagabonds
I made some great progress, but this week I’ve been dealing with some health stuff, so I haven’t been feeling well and struggling to focus. I’m about half-way through the revision of the chapter 5 material, added some new content to that chapter.
As for Vagabonds, I was eager to get back to work on it… and then all my edits from when I came back to it hadn’t saved. Normally I have autosave turned on, but it had been disabled somehow, my computer auto-updated, closed my docs, and then reopened it without recovering the edits. Nothing kills motivation like losing work you felt good about.
World Building & Other Writing
So I had some ideas about Danaij floating around and I started revising the original article and putting it into the wiki. This also led to me thinking about the Forsaken Land storyline I have planned, and ended up writing 10 pages and over 6k words on an erotic backstory piece for my character Adriel. So, um. There’s that. Maybe that’ll get some attention on Wattpad if I put it there.
I’m still doing biweekly, dammit! I should have updated last week too, because I made progress! These last two weeks have been rather good for work. I finally decided to give the Pomodoro method a try with an app on my phone. I should have done this sooner.
I finally completed the revision of chapter 4 after struggling with it for months, thanks the Pomodoro app I tried. I sent out an invitation to my beta readers/RPers to read. I’ve started revising chapter 5 using the same method. Chapters 4 and 5 bring Talen’s perspective on the day before his wedding. In chapter 4, we’re introduced to his inner turmoil before his sister’s arrival. Chapter 5 brings Adra’s arrival to the estate. Chapter 6 will jump to the next day, primarily introducing Thalia and Pharen.
With the success of FINALLY completing that Dollmaster chapter, I’ve decided to alternate working on TDM and Vagabonds throughout the week. After doing a deep-dive into Talen’s obsessive thoughts, I really needed to get myself out of his perspective for awhile, and since the next Dollmaster chapter continues his perspective, I have to break it up a bit. I revisited the Vagabonds manuscript for a re-read and some editing first (always good to doing some editing after an extended break).
Man, this seems to be turning into a biweekly thing. I will try to bring it back to weekly.
Still working on my revision, but I’m almost done with chapter 4. I did go back and edit the manuscript a bit. I want to lean into the more familiar terms like “elf” and such for readers’ sake. I might need to reevaluate my editing technique, but ugh, I don’t want to change it, just do it faster.
Happy Juneteenth! If you’re white, please find something meaningful to do to support your black neighbors. We are seeing a massive cultural shift toward justice, so if you’ve been protesting police brutality and systemic racism, don’t let up now. If you’ve been on the sidelines, step up and do something meaningful. Keep pushing, keep fighting for a better world. I have a hope that the society that will come out the other side of this period will be a better one for all of us.
I got a little bit of work done, but my focus has been pretty bad this week. I didn’t sleep well last night and I’ve been stressed about my son as he becomes more and more teenager. Five more days until he’s officially a teen. We had a sunny weekend, followed by some good rain, so my plants are happy. So far I can really only harvest lettuce, but I can’t wait for tomatoes and strawberries and fresh herbs!
I wrapped up a scene about Lianora. It’s been so long since I wrote about her that I’m discovering her all over again. She may be interesting–I can see readers disliking her at first glance from an outside perspective, but from her own perspective, she certainly shows a lot of complexity and room for growth. Her tense relationship with Thalia came up and may play a role in her development, even if Thalia is nowhere around.
I got back to work on revising chapter four, exploring Talen’s upbringing and setting his stage. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted. Focus has been such a rarity this week.