“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

… why does that not apply to writing? 

To say that I’m behind on my updates and my writing would be an understatement. I totally failed after those first few days and I have to take complete responsibility. No excuse this time. One could argue that I’m really good in finding excuses or reasons why now (as in any time I could have written in the last few weeks) is or was a bad time to do so. This “talent” extended to pretty much any aspect of my life. There’s an argument to be made that I’m really relaxed at the moment and that’s definitely true but I don’t this that’s treason why I’m not doing things that are good for me and or I really enjoy, at least one I’m actually doing them1

So do I have a plan to change that, not really but I’m going to take it one day at a time. Next weekend we have our big concert. So this is a really bad week to start, and that’s exactly why I’m doing it. I’m going to set asides some time, to work on Alaska. I hope to resume the “one page a day” schedule pretty soon bur for now I’m  starting with 30 minute write sprints. That time frame seems manageable, even during a busy week and The goal is to make writing part of my daily routine again. 

Other than that, life’s pretty good. I have a handle on my diet again, I’m on track to be my best possible self again. School is going great as well. So there’s nothing to complain about besides my lack of drive and #Momentum but I’m working on that. But Now I have to go rehearse for the concert and I also need to get 30 minutes of writing done. 

  1. Starting to write is so much harder than actually writing.

#Momentum – The first five Days

Quick update. I started with the “One Page a day Challenge” on Monday and so far it has been a success. I had to force myself to start and the first two days were a bit difficult but once you’re having a “streak”1 you want to keep it going. I decided to stick with the one-page goal, I could’ve written more on some days but I figured it was a good idea to know how to start the next day so I try to end every session a with a prompt for the next day. I like knowing how to start and once my brain is in writing mode, new ideas keep coming but I like the initial spark from the day before to get me up to speed again. 

I’m quite happy with the pages. They will require a couple of rewrites obviously, the dialogue is too on the nose,  I’m still “finding” the story and I’m probably missing many occasions to develop the theme but getting this first version of the story written is more important than unachievable perfection. First drafts always suck but that’s what rewriting is for. So fingers crossed that I can keep the streak going. The plan is still to have a decent draft by the end of the year.

In other news… not much. The Netflix “Dark Crystal” show is pretty good. Judging by it’s premise, “Carnival Row” should be right up my alley but I had to force myself though the first episode. Not a good sign. Other than that, there haven’t been that many new shows that caught my eye. It’s probably because there are too many to keep track of. 

While I wait for a new must see show, I’ll try to keep writing and I might read a couple of D&D and or Pathfinder 2nd Edition books, speaking of that, Amazon, please hurry I’m so looking forward to compare rules. I obviously looked at the P2 Playtest but comparing books is just so much better than looking at pdfs… and I’m saying this as an DnDBeyond Power User. 🙂

 

  1. I’m on day 4, probably too early to call it a streak but this is my blog so…

#Momentum – Here we go again…again

Yeah, let’s do this again…again.

First things first. I’m back and I’m well, very well actually. I took my time adjusting to normal work life but I can honestly say that I feel exceptionally well. My trip through Ireland had the intended effect. I feel rested, content and ready to conquer the world. Those five weeks really relaxed me in a way I haven’t thought possible. I’m as good as new and ready to embark on the next phase of this hopefully final self-improvement project.

Not sure if this is the second, third or whatever relaunch of #Momentum and I don’t really care. I decided to stop caring about unimportant things and focus on the important stuff. One of the many things I learned or rediscovered in Ireland is the fact, that I am a writer. Yes, I just typed that, and I’ll type it again: “I am a writer!” and I will try to prove that from now on.

Doesn’t matter that I’m an unsuccessful one, doesn’t matter that most of the things I write suck, I’m a writer. I might have to remind myself about that from time to time, but at the end of the day, I like writing and I don’r care what wether I’m successful or not, I love telling stories, I love writing them down, not as much as making them up but nothing is perfect.

#Momentum has been successful in the past but I have to make it permanent. I’m currently listening to the Podcast “Write Along” by David Chen and C. Robert Cargill and I feel energized. I will try to follow the advice from the first episode and set myself a reasonable writing goal. I will probably go for 1 or 2 pages a day, dosen’t sound like much but the idea is to be consistent in achieving your goal.

Another thing I care about is doing a good job teaching my students. Even though I haven’t prepared too many lessons over the summer, I had a good start, my students return a bit more mature from their holidays and I’m cautiously optimistic about my new class. They seem nice and eager to learn so far.

So what are my goals for the immediate future, let’s say December? They can be summed up in three words: Write, work, weight.

Let’s elaborate. As I already mentioned, I’ll try to write one page a day. I might increase that number but for the time being, one page a day, five days a week. That seems achievable. I’m also focusing on work in general. I include teaching and my responsibilities for the “Verbandsmusikfest” in that. I also have to work on my weight again. Stupid me, wha did I let myself go again. Well, long story but I did it once so I know that I can do it again.

This is it for now. I have a lot of work to do.

#Momentum – The Seven Year Itch

It’s been a while, but I think I’m good to go now. I know, I might have said something along those lines in the past (might have been this January), but this time I mean it. Things are good right now and I feel like I have my shit together again. I just needed some time and a few things have changed in the meantime and I feel good of some new found free time.

I started my diet and exercise regiment again…I have to lose 10Kg by summer… and I finally cracked the beginning of Alaska. I have to admit that I had a hard time incorporating some new ideas, the set up wasn’t working anymore but finally after month of (honestly not thinking about it that much) I finally had the fix for the issue. I’m on page 10 now, I have to continue to make some adjustments but my (realistic) goal os to write at least 5 pages a week.

I hope to be able to increase that number when I rearranged and adjusted all plot points. If everything works out, I should have something presentable after the easter holidays. Stay tuned.

I also managed to get a D&D group together and we’re running a Homebrew adventure. Our first session has been really fun an The next one is in April, finding dates is really hard if you have a bunch of people with lives. 🙂

Other than that, life was pretty uneventful. I read a few books, or am in the process of reading them and I watched some fun and some mediocre movies and TV. Into the Spider-verse is awesome though. Thumbs up. There’s this one shot in that movie that is absolutely spectacular and I hope that 2019 is going to be the year that I “rise to the occasion” as well. If I put the work in, who knows.5c758524eb3ce87cd655fca4 750 562

Happy New Year

Happy new year. Regular programming will return to this site in the very near future. 🙂

Seriously, that’s the plan.

Writing wise, 2018 was a bust. The ITFS and Whiteworms Work Week were great and definitely personal highlights, and I wrote some decent blogposts but other than that, total bust. I Tried to write a few things but nothing besides a few pages here and there, nothing finished, nothing polished, thing worth showing.

Personally 2018 wasn’t that much better. I gained some weight again and I think that all these things are kind of connected. I need to get back on track with everything. I need to do more sports, more writing, more reading and I’m confident that 2019 is going to be the year I get my shit together.

So do I have new years resolutions? Yes, I do.

  1. More sports: I started with 10-15 minutes on my home trainer and once the snow is gone, it’s running season. I’ll also try to eat less. Wish me luck.
  2. More reading: I reactivated my audible account and I’m ending everyday with some audiobook time. So far, great way to fall asleep.
  3. More writing: This one speaks for itself. I need to get going with Alaska. The plan is to get something done by easter. I’ll also try to update the blog regularly. I don’t know whether I’ll do progress reports or something but regular programming should resume.
  4. More D&D: Yeah, I just want to play more D&D, as a DM and as a player. It’s fun, you should try it.

I think this should be manageable and I hope that I won’t disappoint myself.

This is it for today. Take care and stay tuned.

 

Dear 2018 Fuck off already Thank you

#Momentum – 6th Sense

I stopped numbering weeks, I’m back to numbering posts. 🙂

So, love was really busy but there’s light at the end of the tunnel and I started writing “Alaska” yesterday. Well, I typed “FADE IN:” and thought of some character names but I felt the excitement building. There’s still a lot of work to do and I’m already preparing for some heavy rewriting but I just felt that I needed to stop outlining and start writing. Hence this short post.

I need to get back to Alaska, I want to get at least another page done today maybe even two, remember, I need to get the #Momentum going. 🙂

Iditarod Dog Sled Race Global Warming

No Spoilers!

#Momentum – Week 5 (?) – November

… I hate November.

It’s not that November is a bad month or anything, but for some reason everything has too happen in November. I don’t know who decided that everything has to happen in November. It’s probably the busiest month in the year and there are so many things I have to do, that I don’t have time to spend them on anything else.

I’m correcting exams, rehearsing for a concert, doing teacher training, a lot of meetings, matura preparations, …. I can’t even name al the things I’ have to do. I obviously enjoy some of these activities but I’m looking forward to a time where I actually have time to focus on other things, like writing.

I came around, and I’m now trying to implement Orlindo’s idea for Alaska. I’m not totally sure that he was right but the fact that I have new ideas is a good sign. I’m confident that I can tell the story I want to tell with these adjustments. I obviously won’t go into details, you have to wait a couple of month for those, but I hope that I write a first draft, or at least part of one around christmas time, once crazy busy November is over.

I’m actually so busy, that I don’t even have time to blog. I’m basically stealing myself away from schoolwork. So many exams and meetings but I want to offer a quick update on Red Dead Redemption 2. I finished the main story. I like the game but I don’t love it. The game is a tremendous achievement, very immersive and the story is fantastic but I’m still yearning for better fast travel. There were instances of a “long journey” that made perfect sense and had purpose but sometimes it felt like a chore to ride across the map. Unlike some other people I don’t have issues with the gameplay or the controls, hey I love Witcher 3, but I still, prefer to play Spider-Man, maybe it’s just because I prefer web-slinging to horseback-riding. 🙂

Red Dead Redemption Detailed Game Map

Damn, that map is big. Really big.

#Momentum – 2 – This is not a review

Greetings my friends. It’s about to be November and even though I’m not starting to write a novel, I decided to use NaNoWriMo to get me writing again. I need some kind of reason to start writing again until the momentum sets in and I get excited again. I’m just a bit rusty, but if I remember correctly, that’s what #Momentum and NaNoWriMo is for.

So I hope to give you some good news on that front and I’m confident that Alaska will make some progress in the following month. I won’t finish the script but some words on a page is a start.

Meanwhile… I played some games during the last couple of weeks, research… who am I kidding…..so I decided to write about that. Full disclosure, I’m not a game reviewer but I want so share some thought’s on three games I played recently.

Spider Man PS4 cover

…does whatever a spider can.

Spider-Man

What a game. So much fun. Spider-Man has always been one of my favorites and this game showed me why. The character is spot on and very likable and the story and the gameplay is just a blast. It’s just awesome to swing through New York, probably the most fun I had playing a game in years.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

ACOdysseyCoverArt

This is Sparta!!

Is the Assassin’s Creed series perfect? No, is it fun? Yes.

Black Flag is still my favorite but I had a blast playing this game, up to a point though, and then it got a bit tedious. Not that the gameplay or the story was at fault, I just didn’t progress fast enough to get to the things I wanted to get to. My biggest complaint ist that the game is too big or too long. I love the world they created but I don’t have 100 hours to see everything which makes me sad because I want to. So plus points for the amazing world (Athens looks stunning) and the gameplay, some deductions for the grindy parts of the game.

Red Dead Redemption II

Hi-yo, Silver!

Red Dead Redemption 2

I’m in Chapter 5 and I don’t know if I like this game.

Part of me obviously does, I mean I’m in chapter 5 but for everything the game does right, there are just some really annoying things. It’s a slow burn and I don’t know if it’s too slow or just very deliberate. The game is definitely highly immersive but sometimes I yearn(ed) for have Witcher 3 like fast-travel (the signposts). I spent hours riding out and back to camp and I just feel that I’d enjoy the game more if the made some of the mechanics less realistic.

Don’t get me wring, the game’s momentous achievement but sometimes, less is more. I’ll continue playing the game but so far there were only a couple of missions that really captured me. There should be more (successful) heist missions.

So, all that being said, what’s the one take away from my gaming experience I’ll apply to my writing? Easy; less is more. 

#Momentum – Week whatever – Do I really care anymore?

I lost count, well losing count would imply that I actually counted but let’s just say that I have definite proof now, that I don’t do well without pressure. I have absolutely no excuse for not blogging and not writing. None, zero, nada… I was just too lazy and I basically had too much time on my hand. I literally postponed everything to tomorrow… yes, hat magical place where all the things happen and get made….too bad that tomorrow is always one day away. I have no-one to blame but myself, well there was a bike accident I was involved in, but I didn’t get much done before that as well, so I can’t really put blame on that.

It’s not that I didn’t do anything. I worked a bit on “Alaska”, that’s the working title of the new project and I’m quite happy with how the story is evolving but I need to get off the brakes and go full throttle with my writing and my life again. It sounds strange, but I’m feeling a bit too content right now. Most of the things in my life are going well and I don’t or didn’t feel the urge to change too much, so I fell back into old habits. I gained a few pounds and I have to admit that I’m probably a bit too comfortable in my own shoes.

I think I have to change my ways again. I need to get my shit together and start “adulting” again. I need to take better care of myself and I need to focus on the things I want. I’m not giving a timetable right now, and I think the change has to be a bit slower than last time. I strongly feel though, that I need to start logging my activities and my calorie intake again. I hope that this blogpost is a first step in that direction. So, I guess I need to get the #Momentum going again.

Orlindo just gave me new idea for “Alaska” that I have to think about. I’m not totally against the new idea but I need some time the get used to it. Maybe that can be first foray into writing again. I’ll keep you posted.

On another note: Skyscraper finally has (some sort of) a poster. Lisa, Orlindo’s girlfriend designed as a title page for a treatment we sent in to a competition. I totally love it and not just because it might be the closest I ever get to a movie spotter of one of my ideas. Please enjoy.

Skscraper Cover3 Title

#Momentum – Week 2 and 3 – WWW

I’m back and I’m not even pretend to be sorry because of my broken promise. I really wanted to blog last week but WWW (Whiteworms Work Week) was a success. We worked hard on some new projects and old projects and I think it’s fair to say, that I feel energised and motivated to hit the keyboard again. But what I liked most about last week wasn’t the actual writing it was the way to get there. We had some heated discussions and I think our new project is the better for it. I don’t want to spoil too much but I just finished a new draft of the new project’s first act and I have a pretty good feeling. It is so much better than it was a week ago. I now where the characters need to go, I have a pretty good idea about their journey all I need now are some interesting set pieces which force them to change and become better… I don’t want to spoil anything.

All I’m saying is, it’s not a sequel to “Skyscraper” but in a way it is. It’s set in a different part of world, a different time and everything is different but there’s a similarity in tone and theme to “Skyscraper” that seems to be the thing we/I aspire to when writing. If I write something I need to say something, it actually doesn’t matter that much whether or not the audience gets it, I just need the story to mean something to me and both “Skyscraper” and our new animated feature have something to say that is very personal.

In fact, the new project is probably one of the most personal things1 I ever attempted to write, but not in the sense of an actual story, more in an emotional way. It’s not that I lived through these events, it’s more that similar events and experiences made me think a certain way and this story is a way to share these ideas and feelings. I think it’s probably my version of Finding Nemo’s Andrew Stanton realisation that he was an overprotective father that led him to write Finding Nemo.

Finding Nemo‘s roots back to a 1992 visit to Six Flags Marine World  and started Andrew thinking about the amazing possibilities of capturing an undersea world in computer animation. The film was inspired by a fleeting moment of realization in which Stanton observed that his overprotective fatherly instincts were preventing him from properly bonding with his son. It tells the tale of a young clown fish who is whisked from the ocean to a dentist-office aquarium and his father’s quest to bring his son back home safely. As with Stanton’s other writing efforts, Finding Nemo focused on character development and provided an emotional resonance and heart rarely seem in animation. – http://www.pixartalk.com

I’m not saying that my story is as good as Finding Nemo but I think the fact that I the idea had a similar way of coming into existence is probably a good sign. As I say before, writing is not just for entertainment, it’s also about ideas and communicating those ideas. Even blockbuster movies, actually especially blockbuster movies need something to connect them to an audience and it usually helps if the writer or the director or preferably everyone who works on the movie has a personal, emotional connection to the core theme or message of the story.

I actually think that’s what good writing is really about, finding that emotional center, and it actually doesn’t matter if everyone in the audience gets it. Maybe someone takes something different away from the movie, who am I to judge. I’m not going to explain to anyone what he or she should feel after reading or (hopefully) watching one of my stories. I’m going to share with you what it means to me but if it means something different to you, be my guest.

IMG 0040

No Spoilers!

  1. Well, the most personal is it probably “The Passion of the Geek” but let’s not go there, it’s a silly place.