Hello World (v3.0)

3 years gone, but we’re just going to keep swimming

Hey all, it’s been a while (years) since I’ve posted, but I’ve decided that new year new post seems like a plan. Especially since there’s no way to start the new year off with a half-assed attempt at going to the gym. Instead of buying a year of gym membership, of which I’ll use between 3 and 5 days in January, I figured I’d stay home. For once, it’s actually better for my health.

Why did I stop writing? Eeeh… nothing terrible. Life. Living alone = having to do all your own cooking and cleaning, and then there’s the draw of the couch and the tv and scrolling endlessly through social media… we’ve all lost hours to that particular Lotus blossom, right?

I seriously considered starting off on an entirely new blog, because there are a few people I know in person who started following this one near the end of my consistent writing schedule. We’re instead going to pretend that there is no one from my off-line-life checking in on this, because self-consciousness slows my roll.

While we’re pretending years didn’t go by between blog posts, I’ll still give a brief update.

Gwynn’s love of mud – eternal

The dog is dogging along. He has loved the pandemic, as it allows him to nap on the couch beside my desk while I put in my working hours. He’s 11! This makes people’s “… months?” response to his age just get better and better. He’s slowed down a bit, but he’s still enjoying his long walks and hikes, as well as some fun agility lessons.

The family is good now, though we went through a very rough stretch. My mom is down a kidney, my sister is up a kidney. One of the other health scares proved insurmountable, while the other few did not.

As mentioned in one of my most recent posts, I did move out of the city, and am loving it. I’m curled up between mountain and waves (well… “mountain”), with trails galore and an outdoor activity for every season. Since moving north, I bought a house, took up curling (the most rural-Ontarian winter social), and discovered that my green thumb wasn’t black, it was just severely challenged by living in the twilight of old-growth trees and woodlands. Living in a 15 year old suburb means that my back yard is South-facing and Full Sun. Yes, the lovely people working at the annual gardening club fundraiser sale were very excited. Indoor plants are also delighted with the lighting.

Covid – my sister got temporarily laid off at the first shutdown, and moved up to my place for a few months. This was great, as living alone during the most isolated part of covid would have been a lot more challenging. It was also great because I had chosen early march to start painting my house, and having a second person there to help with it meant that painting got finished in time for me to set up an at home work station. My work switched to being fully from home, and while some people have gone back into the office, I have not yet. With round two in full swing, I think it’ll be another month or two before I do start working in-office part of the time, but we’ll see!

Directly beside my home-office chair

What’s the new game plan, Stan?

Short stories will definitely recommence. I’ll find some new writing prompts, reconnect with some old ones and get back in the habit. Drag myself from my giant funk of apathy and do the things I enjoy doing.

House and DIY and Crafts – Having my own place means I’ve actually gotten to do some things like switching out lights and doing my own garden beds. I’m planning to do more of this, and you might see some posts documenting things I’ve done around the house. Also sewing – I’ve recently taken up sewing (along with everyone else, I’ve been making masks, but am also trying to expand into clothing and things).

Thoughts on de-popcorn-ing ceilings? Dusty. But at least I was fashionable while doing it.

I plan to start posting more frequently about things I enjoy. This is likely to include:

Podcasts – I upped my walk lengths by adding podcasts to my listening habits, and am a bit addicted. I try to support them where I can, and figure that I can improve my support of them by recommending them to you all! I listen to a pretty broad range of things, so if podcasts are a thing you like, at least one will likely be up your alley. Unless your alley is true-crime. I just can’t get into that.

Books – I’ll likely recommend books and series that I’ve read. If you’ve written a sci fi or fantasy novel, and want an honest review of it – definitely reach out! I would prefer if it’s available on the library system, because I’m really trying to keep the volume of things I own down.

Angel-wing Begonia

Stuff – as mentioned above, I’m really trying to reduce my buying wherever possible, but when I do find a thing I like and that genuinely works well, I’ll bring it up! Stay tuned for Lexy’s rant about the amazingness of Aftershockz Trekz Titanium. This is not where I’m suggesting people who make things send me their stuff for review. I genuinely… do not want stuff. Unless it’s plants. Want me to review your Hoya Carnosa Compacta? Send ‘er on over.

This is all, I guess. Seeing as how this is set up to post on new years’ day, and assuming I get a flock of visitors, let me end on this:

“The same boiling water that softens the potato will harden the egg.”

– unknown

I try to remember that when I start stressing about resolutions or healthy habits or whatever. Be kind to yourselves!

The Physics of Writing

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Do you ever get an idea for something to write, run over to the computer, open a document and …………….  nothing?

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying “You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.”

And that sums it up very well.  I think, though, you have to consider the other side of things.  Not using your creativity – does that make you have less?  Like the speed difference between two people, one who goes out 3 times a week and walks regularly, and one who just decided to get off the couch for the first time in, like 40 McRib sandwiches and a new PVR with 500 hours of recording space.

Or is it like physics – An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted on by an unbalanced force.  That actually sums it up quite nicely.  In writing, it is much easier to keep writing when you are writing regularly.  The creative juices keep flowing.  But not easily – even on a writing roll, you have to be aware of the unbalanced forces that are leaching the urge to write, the creativity right out of you.  Work, school and family responsibilities, time management, and, for the love of all that is holy, they just added that show to Netflix, and there are seventy thousand episodes!  And once you find yourself at rest, it is a bugger to get back into motion.

There are a lot of things a person can do with their free time that don’t flex your creative muscles.  *Cough* TV *Cough*  And they’re fun!

And don't forget about lazing about in bed - that's pretty fantastic as well
And don’t forget about lazing about in bed – that’s pretty fantastic as well

Not to say that creative writing – blogging, fiction, etc – isn’t fun… but it does require a bit more focus than sprawling on the couch with a bag of chips and a Sudoku while also watching episode after episode of Supernatural.

Add on regular exercise, dog walks, making/eating food, socializing with human beings, face-to-face, and all the other things it’s necessary or at least desirable to do, and you’ve got one big lump of not in motion.  It’s just so much easier to not.

Easier, but so much less satisfying.

So, despite the fact that this took me far, far too long to put into words, I will try to get that ball rolling again, and hope that no external unbalanced forces come up for at least a little while.