[Quick update]

Temporary feather quill tattoo hidden by my watch strap and mi band

This month has been crazier than usual.

The way my schedule is setup, I just don’t have enough focus to write. Note that it’s not the time to write, it’s the focus. For some reason, this year is extremely draining. I can kind of guess where my time has gone, and while it’s not a bad thing, it’s not a completely good thing either.

So exactly how is Nanowrimo going, you may ask?

Not very good hahaha. I’m far more behind in my wordcount for the first time in years. Week Two is kicking my ass, but it’s not so much the week that is kicking me, as it is the energy required. Freelance today is also driving me nuts, though not in the way I expected.

I admit that right now, I feel like Slyvia Plath’s The Fig Tree. (Link leads to a Zenpencils comic, by the way).

There are a bunch of contests and writing places I can submit to, but there’s only so much of me that I can focus on. Do I do this, or do I drop it and do the thing that’s much more interesting? But then there’s also that other thing! And ah, I want to submit a story for that too!

So yes, my focus is distracted and all over the place. Everything is new again, everything is fun again, but do I really have the strength for it all?

The short and true answer is, no.

And so, I have to learn a new habit: Self-reflection and determination on what I can do.

Also, in case you were wondering, in the days since my BAH articles, I’ve managed to create and keep two simple habits that eluded me for the longest time:

Making my bed (current unbroken streak: 30 days) and drinking water when I get up (generally 5 out of 7 days a week).

And while we’re at it, Inktober helped cultivate a habit of creating/writing a day, and so now I have an unexpected problem: I can’t write and socialise like I used to do in previous Nanowrimos. My attention span is much shorter, but the ideas, when they come, are far more intense and full-fledged. Now I have to figure out how to take advantage of them.

[Poem] May…

May your feet never rest
May the sun shine always on you
May your life always be simply snapshots
And never your soul be full.

Copyright belongs to me, please ask before using thanks.

I should be sleeping but need to settle stuff before I start the next sleep cycle.

Brief Update

Nanowrimo 2015 Participant Badge
Nanowrimo 2015 Participant Badge

It’s November! That means Nanowrimo is back~

Which also means I need to take better note of my sleeping patterns because it’s one of the first things that goes out of whack eheh. Unlike previous months though, this year’s Nanovel has gone into dark places I never even planned for, and I’m rediscovering the joy of being a pantster again.

Then today I woke up feeling unwell. Got myself to the office, took a Telfast-D, and then tried to work. I actually skipped my morning coffee, which I rarely, if ever, do on weekdays. Halfway through, I found myself being extremely drowsy and tried to power through with some loud music. Didn’t work.

So I stood instead and stretched, because I needed to go see a colleague. Within 10 seconds, the fatigue disappeared. A brisk walk later and I noticed my nose had stopped running, I wasn’t sleepy anymore and I was very alert. Apparently sitting slows your circulation.

And that’s this week’s brief update. Thanks for reading. Here’s a delicious non-halal treat for reading this far.

Image of crystal char siew

On finishing a short story…

Keyboard (closeup), red key with heart
Keyboard image by be2blog_es on Flickr.com

26 hours…?

Well, somewhere there.

It’s roughly the amount of time I took to submit my story to the Commonwealth Short Story competition this year. Last year it took me about 2 weeks from start to finish. I am not confident of winning, but this time it’s not about the prize.

It’s simply about the inspiration.

I actually had another story that I wanted to write and submit, but I kept hitting walls with that story. The concept, I think was great, but the fleshing out bits.. not so much. 300 words in, aka after the initial burst, it’s dead. I will probably revisit in the future, but for now, it stays where it is.

This new story though, I’m sort of satisfied with it. It’s a neat little package, and apparently I manage to scare a few people with it. That’s an achievement I didn’t expect.

It wasn’t easy though. Because in this story I confronted ghosts. Things in the past that I’d never had the courage to admit I questioned. Denying a piece of myself, if you will.

It’s strangely heady, this process I went through. Bitter. Raw. And not unlike drinking. I had to take breaks during the actual writing process because my heart was beating too fast.

Thankfully, I didn’t end with a hangover. Though I do wonder if I made the right choice to submit that story. It might have done better in a Malaysian context, but oh well. What’s done is done.

It’d be great to win this, but we shall see.