The Internet Situation

When I applied for this job, I was excited because I heard that they had internet. Not a lot, but some. Some is something I can work with, especially considering the last time I was out somewhere remote, I only had internet when I managed to snag it from someone who had it open. Which was very often. Here, though, they said they had internet. Not great, but internet.

Turns out that not great is terrible. Terrible terrible terrible.

So the way it works is that there are a few routers at the front of the property and several boosters throughout the property to bring the internet to the far reaching places. Except the problem with that is that all the bandwidth gets used up before it gets anywhere near the back of the property, and guess where the staff housing is?

You guessed it. At the very back of the property. So it’s a very exciting day when you can actually check email or something at the house. Occasionally I wake up in the morning and my emails have updated and that is the most exciting thing ever. It’s very occasional, though. Most of the time when I want internet, I have to take myself up to the front of the property, where the signal is the best. And even then, it sometimes sucks. Right now I’m hoping for the best and I’m at the gazebo right near the water, and I’m going to be really happy if this will post. In fact, just checking, I see that the internet is maybe not working. AWESOME.

So yes, my plans to blog regularly are a little bit hindered, and as a result of the internet not reaching the house, it’s a lot harder for me to bring myself to put the effort into being productive.

However, tomorrow is Monday and I’m hoping that that will be when I finally settle into a groove, and not only maybe blog more, but also write more. I spent a few days reading an old novel that I wrote in hopes that it would make me feel more jazzed about getting into the writing game. We’ll see come tomorrow especially because some people want to change my schedule now. However, if it works out the way I would like to see it go, I’ll have more time free in the afternoon, and that could work well for my writing. So we’ll see. And we’ll see what the bosses say because they’re not in on this yet. Also, I don’t get it because the part of the schedule that is being complained about is staying the same, it’s just changing who is off during that time. Like, it’s still the same hours. But, whatever. I just work here. I’ll just do my job, and that will be how it goes.

But with that, I think I’m going to head out of here. I want to try to pre-emptively get some writing done before Monday starts.

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Measuring Cups

Of all the things that I miss out here in the great wilderness, measuring cups are way up there. Here in the new staff house, which someone told me is called The Palace (although I think she’s just trying to make that name stick), we have odds and ends of all the things, but measuring cups are not one of them. It’s been an exercise in calamity as I’ve tried to figure out the best way to measure my rice. I mean, the nice thing about rice is that you just need a ratio of 1-2. Turns out the serving spoon is a decent size, but if I only do one scoop, it’s not quite enough. And if I do two scoops, it’s a little too much. I actually think that one scoop could do it, if I wasn’t cooking on propane, but propane makes things stick to the bottom of the pan a little bit. I’ve just had the brilliant thought that a ladle might be the perfect thing because it’s bigger than the serving spoon, but smaller than two serving spoons.

This is really what my life had become, in case you are wondering.

I might see if I can sweet talk the chef for a measuring cup if he has an extra one. I did give him an expired chocolate bar today, so I think I have clout. But also, he might not have extras. Maybe I’ll bat my eyelashes at one of the owners, or something.

The other thing that I miss a little sometimes, but not all the time, is the internet. It’s a weird thing. I think I could easily live without it, if things like my vlogging and blogging didn’t rely on it. We sometimes get it in the house, but we are at the back house, aka The Palace, so we’re basically the furthest away from the router that we can be. So that means that sometimes the internet reaches back here, which is super exciting, and other times it’s an exercise in futility, trying to get an email or something. But I find that my days are filled, so I don’t really miss spending my time online. I’m not going to lie, I would like if I could get on Netflix for some binge watching, I totally would. But it’s not a deal breaker. I should have downloaded more of my stuff from iTunes before I left, or maybe brought my external hard drive that it packed with stuff, but I didn’t, so I’m just going to watch a lot of Psych and some Survivor, because that’s what I have. Apparently it is possible to download movies to Netflix over the internet out here, so that’s always an option, but I’m not that desperate yet.

We’ve taken to chill nights here at The Palace and I quite like them. It’s nice because it’s just the morning staff, as in the ones who have worked during the day and have the evening to do what we will. So it’s usually late night dinners, with all of us dancing around each other in the tiny kitchen as we attempt to make our own meals, and then calm music with reading, drawing, writing, etc. My kind of evenings. And then the late staff come home and the dynamic definitely shifts a bit. Not to say that we haven’t had fun nights with everyone here, but they’re not usually so low key.

Anywho, I think that is it for me at this juncture. I’m not sure when I will be able to get a solid internet connection to upload this, at least without me dragging my computer all the way to the gazebo at the front of the property. But then again, the rain will probably prevent me from doing that, at least for a while.

And away on adventures we go!

I think I mentioned it a month or so ago that I was going out to a remote place to work at a resort. I say place because it’s really nothing much, just a few houses and outbuildings to service a marina and supply for a family. So, as you can see, I can’t really call it a community, so we’re going with place. But then, I guess you could get all into the “what defines community?” but I won’t because I’ve already pressed on with this train of thought longer than I was hoping to.

Anyway, here I am, out in the middle of nowhere really, to a place I had never heard of until I applied to work here. It’s small, it’s quaint, it’s rustic, but so far, it’s good. We’ll see if I have something else to say tomorrow when I actually start working, but as I said, so far, so good.

How did I get here, though? And I don’t mean that in a really deep, insightful way, but the actual “how did I arrive here today?” It was pretty easy. I met the boat at the marina, and also met another staff member that was coming in with me, and then one of the family members that run the place, and his kids. They were super cute, by the way. And then it was piling on to the boat for a three-hour tour. Just kidding, it was just under and hour and a half. We saw ocean, trees, mountains, eagles, and a cruise ship. So pretty much a regular Tuesday in town, but it’s still nice to see it outside of the city and more in nature.

We eventually got to the dock and I met some people that I’ll be living with, whose names I immediately forgot, but now I think I’m good. I also met a puppy named Strudel. Well, he’s probably not a puppy, but I don’t care. He’s the best. I want him to be my forever friend. Legit. He seems to live here, so now the next course of action is to convince him that he really likes going into the general store and staying there. Of course, if I manage that, I’ll likely get no work done, ever.

Anyway, after loading up the little gator, we headed up to the shop to drop off some of the groceries from town, and then up to the first staff house. It’s crazy for me to think that they have two staff houses, because when I was last out in a remote place, we had one, and one of the rooms wasn’t even inside the shack, it was more like a shed that they had decided someone could sleep in, and most of the rooms were shared. Here, there are two houses, everyone gets their own room, and the one I’m in is brand new. It seems like they’re kinda trying to be proper by having girls in one house and guys in another, but also, we have one guy with us, so I don’t know. Maybe it’s supposed to be young and old, but in that case, I’m pretty sure I’m in the wrong house. Don’t tell anyone.

So we dropped off the guy I came in with at the first house and then headed up to the second one, where I managed to score the last room. That kinda sucks, because my views aren’t the greatest, but considering I just have to walk out of the door to see the ocean, I think I’ll get over it. The only thing I wish my room had that it doesn’t is a desk. I do a lot of work, and having a desk would make that easier, but other than that, I’m good. Before the boss man left, he had invited me and the new guy to go to the restaurant for dinner on them, which was a nice welcome.

I had like an hour before I had to go to dinner, so I unpacked as best as I could, and I think I’ve done a decent job of it. There’s still a few things I want to organize, and I haven’t unpacked my dry food yet, but I’m sure it’ll be fine sitting in its tote under my beside table.

And then I headed down to the restaurant for dinner. It’s such a cute little restaurant – I say that, even though I would guess that it can seat over 30 people, but still. The food was too fancy for my blood, as it so often is, but I managed to get myself a steak and some spuds, and that is all I need in life. Still, I’m looking forward to eating my own food. I know how I like it, and I put a lot of effort into prepping before I came out here.

Tomorrow morning I start my first shift in the general store, so we will see how that goes, but I’m sure it’ll be grand. I can’t be that hard, right? (I ask hopefully.)

Anyway, away I go for now to pretend I’m going to revise my novel. We’ll see if it actually happens.

So Many Days

Honestly, it’s been almost a year since I last popped on here and said something. But it hasn’t been for a lack of general productivity or anything. In fact, when I stopped posting was about the exact time that I started really ramping up my production and got stuff done. Seriously. I’m not even lying.

Through August last year, I was starting to get all my ducks in a row and I had finally come up with a plan. I was going to use August-October to plan out my story and get everything ready to go in anticipation of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve done NaNoWriMo several times, but for the most part, my preparation was pulling out all the various notes that I had ever made about the story and putting them in a pile that I wouldn’t reference. This time it was going to be different, because this time, I was going to use it as a jump start to get my story going. And so those three months were crazy.

I was dog sitting at my auntie’s house near the end of September when I finished planning out the final book in the trilogy. It was something like 10am because I had woken up stupid early that morning to go get the SNES classic, and then decided to stay awake and be productive. I remember wanting to cry, I was so happy to have finally got there. It was pretty special. But I didn’t get to stop there. Nope. Now that I had everything planned out on paper, well, in a thick notebook, it was time to get it typed up and organized on the computer.

I had spent some time typing characters and places up as I went, but this was the point when I really buckled down to make sure that I didn’t miss a thing. It was almost the end of October by the time I got everything sorted, and then I did something that has been incredibly valuable for my sanity and my writing productivity. I loaded my characters and places to the Staples printing site to get them put into a coiled book. And then when I saw how awesome that was, I did the same with my plot. One is 92 pages, and the other is 74, and I bring them around with me almost everywhere as a quick reference. Sure, I could pull the files up on my computer, but I really like having something tangible that I can grasp, and highlight, and mark up. It’s something I love, and I know it’s something that I will continue to do and use after I finish these books and as I move on to other stories.

Then November hit, and it was time to start running. And I did. Amazingly. Shockingly. The goal for the month was 50k. That’s the official number for NaNoWriMo. I knew I would hit that. I’ve done NaNoWriMo enough times to know that I can hit that in eight days. I don’t recommend only leaving yourself eight days to write 50k, but I now know it can be done. No, I wanted to go big, or go home. So I set my minimum goal to 50k, but my actual goal to 75k. I made 80k with a few days to spare, but traveling and all that meant that I missed out on a few writing days. It was okay, though, I was happy with the 80k.

What followed were a few months of doing nothing. After pushing myself for three months prior to NaNoWriMo, and then outputting so much in November, I was a little burnt out. Throw some year end holidays in there, and a trip abroad, and, well, you can imagine that I wasn’t super productive. But then in February, I started to get the itch again, and I decided to start setting up for a productive March. I set my goal for that month at 60k, and managed to put out just over 76,000 words in the end. April was Camp NaNoWriMo, and I set my goal for a modest 25k, something I had set before I even started writing in March. I decided not to change it, because I was afraid that I wouldn’t write much more than that. Privately, though, I had my eyes set on 60k. I didn’t reach it. But, I did surpass 40,000 words and that’s nothing to scoff about. This month was supposed to be another 50k, I think, but then things started to unravel a bit.

See, I’m still technically working on book one of my trilogy, but I’m over 200,000 words in. That makes me wonder if maybe I’m trying to put too much into one book. The whole reason that I split the books where I did was because I was so set on having three books. Now, the more I look at it, the more I think it’s actually four. And so I stopped writing for a while, and I did a bunch of thinking. While I was thinking, and trying to figure out the best place to cut the first book into two, I came across a note. This note told me where I had planned on cutting the first book off in the first place. It was the same place that I was looking at to make the division. I guess it was meant to me.

So, now my trilogy has become a four part series (at least), and that means I have a decision to make, and that’s what’s been holding back my word count lately, and also making me immensely unproductive. I don’t know if I want to continue on with the story as it is and then take care of the split later, or if I want to stop my forward momentum and get back to the actual first book and start cleaning that up. The Queen of Quantity tells me that I should just keep going and write all the words. But, I also know that I do have areas that I have to fix, because I basically just skipped them, and that will give me a chance to add a ton of words to the mix.

As it turns out, in an effort to not choose, I’ve just been kicking back and forth between the two options and not really doing much on either, choosing instead to binge watch Netflix shows. In good news, I think I’m running out of things I want to watch and also the rest of the internet has become pretty boring to me. At least for now. I think I need to jump on this and use it to be productive. At the moment, I’ve decided that I’m just going to keep writing. Tomorrow, it might be a different story. The only good thing is that I know I have the option to switch paths at any point.

This summer, I’ve taken up a remote job. Should be interesting. I’ll either get a ton written, or nothing at all. Time will tell, but I’ll get more into that later. Actually, the job is kind of the reason that I’ve decided to get back into this blog, other than the fact that I kind of missed blogging. See, I usually daily vlog, but out in this remote place, internet is scarce, so I can’t exactly be uploading a gig or two of data every day. Gotta adjust to the environment, so look forward to more of this.

A Change of Scenery

I feel as if I’ve been quite remiss in all things social media for the last few days. My vlogs have been lackluster, and I haven’t been posting here. I do have a reason for it, at least. I was “moving” into my auntie’s house over the last few days and getting to know the ins and outs of the pet schedules so I can keep them alive for the next three weeks or so. Plus, on both Saturdays for the last two weeks, I’ve made a trek down island and back up in the same day. That’s a bit exhausting! So those are my reasons for being lame and not posting.

I know I mentioned this before, but in the past, when I used to blog on a daily basis, I would get so stressed out if I didn’t post, and the quality of the blogs would suffer because of it. Now, I don’t get stressed out and I think that’s good growth for me. Granted, I’m not sure how great the quality is still, but at least I don’t stress out about it. This blog is supposed to be fun for me and to talk about my writing progress. In case you were wondering, there has been very little since I finished the plot document for book two. Mostly because I finished late last week and had some trips and then the moving bit. Plus I’ve been working more than I want to in my retired life, and that just takes up time.

I am, however, very excited to be at my auntie’s for the new couple of weeks. I am hoping that I will just have all the time in the world to write with the only life distraction being the dog and some cats. Cats who are refusing to get near me, by the way. My cousin will be in and out, too, but she works a lot, so I expect that I won’t see much of her. But when we do, we’re already decided that we are going to make forts, like the good old times. When my cousins were growing up, I spent almost every weekend over at my auntie’s house, playing with my cousins, hanging out with them, and building forts. Now that we’ve all grown up and gone our separate ways, I think it’ll be nice to have this time. I actually had my oldest, younger cousin stay with me for a few months a few years ago, and that was awesome. So I’m hoping these next few weeks with his little sister will be just as awesome.

But I should go now because airport bound people are about to leave and I need to go say bye. Hopefully I’ll be back before long.

Welp, I Did It Again.

It turns out that I’ve gotten really bad at writing my blog. I’m going to go ahead and blame it on my not using my agenda. I don’t think I wrote anything in it for this week, and last week was a half job. Oh well. I’ll get back to it. With finishing the plot for book two, I’m re-invigorated to work on the story. Which means that maybe I’ll start actively using my agenda again.

In any case, I did start on the third book today. I’ve had a few pages written for a while, but they’re nothing fancy and not set in stone. So I don’t really count those as real pages. I should probably read them over first, just to make sure, but I’ll get to that. In any case, I hand wrote about three pages today, it wasn’t a lot, but it fixed some of the issues with the end of the second book, so that’s good. It makes more sense now, and the reason that I’m plotting everything out in advance is so that everything will make sense. Because I haven’t really planned out book three, it’s wide open, and that means that I have a whole bunch of planning and plotting to do. And I’m not really sure where I’m going. I mean, I know what I want to happen and where I want it all to end, but the little parts in between are questionable. That’s fine, though. I’ll get there. I think there’s a few things that I need to put into book two to make things work in the third book, but that’s fine. I’m like super positive and zen-like. It’s just all gonna work out, I’m sure.

A Reason To Celebrate!

After weeks of slogging away and procrastinating like the best of them, I finally have a reason to celebrate. And not a small reason, but a HUGE reason. I finished writing out the plot for book two of my trilogy! It’s so exciting! Especially because that book has some of the harder parts of the plot that I had to work out. It’s definitely not perfect, and I’ll obviously have to revise it, but I am so happy with the way it turned out. I think it’s got good pacing and exciting things that happen, but most of all, it has a good ending. I’m a fan of that.

And now, here’s so issues that I know off the top of my head. The document for book two is almost 10,000 words and about fifteen pages. I would say that it’s quite detailed. I would say that it’s the right amount of detailed. Granted, there is something that I need to add to it, that isn’t super important in book two, but that starts to come up a lot more in book three. Now, let’s compare that to the document for book one. It’s eight pages and just over 4,000 words. I can’t remember when I wrote it, but I do know that it is not nearly detailed enough. But this is why I’m plotting everything out right now.

Next step is book three.

Book three is the one that I am most concerned about. All along, I’ve wondered if I have enough story to do a trilogy. This is part of the reason that I’m trying to flush everything out right now. Right now, all I have is three notebook pages of scribbles, which is not going to be enough, obviously. I have to make sure that book two flushes out a few things to round out book three. If I can manage that, then I think it will all work out find. However, I do have a contingency plan. If I don’t have enough to write a full third book, I will just re-examine what I have and shuffle it all to be two books.

BUT! I’m going to ignore that all right now and just focus on how awesome it is that I completed this step!