Friday, March 27, 2015

I Did Not Do Well This Month

Today's my father-in-law's birthday. Poor guy's been so preoccupied HE forgot about it.

March has not been a very productive month.

I didn't realize how crazy the month would be, and how far off the wagon I'd fall. I failed at one of my New Year Resolutions, and I'm most likely going to fail another.

February was so productive for me, and then I had practically a full month of Zero Days. So much for my goal to have no more than three in any given week. I also only made it through another 10pages or so in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, and so I doubt I'll hit my other resolution to read a book a month.

From my previous blog posts this month, you know that I started March with a trip to my hometown to celebrate my godson's first birthday as well as my sister's birthday. Last post I got around to publishing also set up that I was attending Cyhyr's and Ronoxym's wedding. That was more time consuming than originally anticipated.

Aside from their wedding itself on the 14th, I also spent a great majority of the previous Friday running around the mall trying to find something to wear to the event. Only for me to come home empty handed and find a dress easily at the local Walmart.

The real kicker was THIS week. Since I talk about Cy - and mostly Ron - so much in this blog, I wanted to do something special here to celebrate their marriage. I decided to go back to my good old pixel doll making that I used to do for the X-Future characters, and I even used X-Future characters for my project. Thing is, my desktop died a few months back and my netbook can only run Microsoft Paint. Customizing the dolls in Paint instead of Photoshop is WAY more time consuming than I had anticipated.

I ended up spending about five hours this past Tuesday working on the project; mostly wading through all the different doll makers on Dollz Mania to collect different options for me to try. I ended up missing my blog update because I spent so much time on the project; only to lose the whole thing when I accidentally unplugged my netbook and crashed the darn computer. Knowing more-or-less exactly where I needed to go, what pieces I needed to grab, and the overall look I was going for, I attempted a second time on Wednesday; thinking it would be another quick piece-together and then I could actually work on my blog. Sadly, I was mistaken. I didn't remember nearly as well as I had thought. Yesterday I had the day off, and so I was determined to finish the project with ample time to write this post. I was ALMOST DONE when I realized I had a layering error and tried to undo it. When the error ended up being too far back for the Undo-Tree I was forced to reload the project. I hadn't saved as frequently as I thought, and I put myself back about six hours worth of work! Said work went faster the second go since I didn't have to do so much trial and error, but still.

I nearly gave up. Something that was supposed to be a 2hr-at-most project for a cute little nod to the happy newlyweds had devoured close to 20hrs of my week and forced me to postpone my blog update by DAYS. Still, I didn't want my delay to be for nothing, and so I was more determined than ever to finish. I finally did finish yesterday, but much later than I hoped. So here I am working on this darn blog TODAY.

I sure hope this gesture was worth all the annoyance it was and the delay it caused. Pain in my butt.

While I did end up making a picture that semi-closely resembled the couple in real life, in order to keep their internet anonymity I decided the picture I was going to post here would have them designed to look like Ron's characters Devon and Nyssa. As much as Ron denies it, everyone who reads his scenes with those two know that there's something romantic going on there. Plus, anyone who knows Ron and Cy knows that Devon is more than just a little bit of Ron and Nyssa was definitely based off of Cy.

Unfortunately, Ron didn't really describe Nyssa's physical looks all that fully, and so I was left with two options I think really work for Nys. I decided to just dump both here.


Man, what a pain in the butt...

Thank goodness Phfylburt is already married, because I don't know if I'd be able to do this again for his wedding...

Speaking of Phfyl, he's been grinding away at his own Choose Your Own Adventure book. For those who may not have ever read one before, it is a category of second-person stories that has the plot branch off in to different possibilities. Whenever the main character - the reader - has to make some sort of decision, e.g. to go to the attic or to the basement, the choices are provided at the end of the prose section. Each choice also directs the reader to a different page in the book. In my example, the attic section may start on page 20 while the basement section may start on page 52. You turn to the page you're directed to for the next portion of the story and keep following that pattern - different choices take you down a different storytelling path - until you reach the end of the story that particular path takes you down. Most CYOA tales have a "good ending" which is usually the core story the author would have told if he wanted to write a typical story. CYOA also usually have "bad endings" that more-or-less involve the reader dying or ending up in a bad situation such as jail. The number of paths a reader can take really ups the re-readability of a story; a reader will typically reread until she's gone down every path available to get every story the book can tell.

There are a series of CYOA games that are the same way. They're typically just a picture on screen with text provided; the picture changes to illustrate the story as you click through the dialogue. Once a choice option arrives the player clicks on his choice for the main character and the game jumps to the appropriate reaction branch. Much like the books, these games tend to have a lot of replayability due to players wanting to find all of the paths; especially the "good ending".

Anyway, as I mentioned, Phfyl wanted to try his hand at one of these stories. His wife was very accommodating by not only allowing him to "wallpaper" his writing area with sticky notes color coordinated based on plot branch, but also PURCHASING the colored sticky notes for him.

Honestly, even though he comments about days slipping by with little to no advancement in his story, based on the activity of the Struggling Writers Society's Facebook page, he's been the most productive out of all of us this month.

Not to say others haven't been productive. I was surprised to discover that DarkAngel1326 did a thing last week! Silly girl didn't even tell anyone. Luckily, I follow her on DeviantArt and so I was able to find this gem:

It was just a small piece that she wrote while on Spring Break from college, before jumping right back in to the crazy of schooling. Still, it's the first thing she wrote recreationally in a while, and it is so beautiful.

But what about me? I mean, I'm assuming that's why you guys are all here.

Well, like I said, it's been a crazy month. There have been three birthdays, one wedding, St. Patrick's day - which turned in to a mid-week mini-vacation where Hubby and I played Diablo III for 40hrs while over at Quarthix's home - and power vacuums at work.

See, the assistant manager of my department got promoted to department head in another store, which obviously means her position is now open - and that her normal weekly hours can be given to everyone else - and so there's been a mini power struggle between two of my coworkers for her spot. And one of the coworkers is the supervisor for the department closers, which resulted in me possibly taking over THAT role. Sprinkle in that a couple other departments are yet again clamoring to swipe me away - resulting in me being trained in all but three departments now - and work has been..... interesting.

I've either been too preoccupied, too busy, or too tired to do much of anything while I'm home - that includes both cleaning and writing; man the place is a mess!

I even completely forgot about this blog last week. There I was at Quarthix's place playing Diablo III with him and Hubby when at about 2pm it dawned on me "Shoot! It's Wednesday!" I didn't have my laptop with me and we ended up staying so long that we spent the night a second time. By the time Hubby and I got home on the 19th it was time for work, and then I just forgot the blog yet again. Which is why I started working on the Devon/Nys photo this week instead of last week when it was more appropriate.

Come Sunday I was so disgusted with my slacking - even in regards to reading - that I was determined to do SOMETHING beyond writing this post this week. I didn't get much of anything, but I DID go back to brainstorming for the X-Future Reboot again. I was mainly focused on finally finding a darn title for the thing so I didn't have to keep using the working title of "x-future reboot". While pondering what else to call it, I thought maybe I should title the webcomic off of the orphanage the kids all stay at. Which of course meant I needed to first figure out what the heck to call the orphanage. That resulted in me pondering more about the actual structure of the orphanage and attached boarding school. Lots of brainstorming. I already warned poor Phfylburt that I'll probably be bombarding him with notes in the next week or so.

My main goal is to get everything more-or-less set up to at least get a first draft going throughout next month. See, while the Office of Letters and Light ended up discontinuing Script Frenzy due to lack of participation - opting instead to add a "script" format to their much more popular NaNo - I still equate April with Script Frenzy Month. Which means I'm once again going to attempt to write a 100pg script between April 1st and April 30th. Given that I've never written a script for a comic/graphic novel before, this will prove interesting. I also have both my niece's birthday and Easter next weekend, so it will be a crazy start to the month. Especially since I still have to finish off her gift. Luckily the last bits shouldn't be too hard to make - I have about 80% of it done - and it's small enough that stuffing it shouldn't take too long either.

I also have the vampire LARP tomorrow, and so that's gonna cut in to my writing/crocheting time a touch, especially after a long work day. Plus side will be seeing the newlyweds again, and possibly poking Ron in to giving Please, Let Me Explain a quick read through so I can post the next chapter before the month is out.

In the meantime, I think I'm gonna hop back on over to Writers’ Huddle and see if they have any advice in regards to coming up with decent titles...

Here's to hoping that I actually remember my blasted update on time next week, and that April will be as productive as I intend.

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