The People Who Surround You

It’s amazing what the right people can inspire you to do.

I’ve been planning on an update post for a while, once things start calming down. The last few months have been incredibly busy. And I’ll eventually get to that, another day. Tonight, I was spurred into writing action not because I need to summarize my period of lack of everything creative, but instead because there are some great people in my life.

Its important to recognize how much the people around us can impact both our moods and what sorts of actions we take, either creatively or not.

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Bookbinding Problem

I knew I wasn’t crazy.

In the process of making hardcover books, I’ve run into one major issue—one big thing that keeps bothering me. When gluing the text block end pages to the actual cover, the book doesn’t close nicely.

At first, I cropped my bookbinding problems up to having slightly off measurements despite double checking them. But after making two more books, which had the same exact issue of not closing without severely warping the decorative end pages, I wasn’t convinced that was completely the case. Something just didn’t make sense. And the problem wasn’t just due to tired delirium either.

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Starting a Collection

For a long time now, I’ve wanted to start a book with a collection of related stories in it, not necessarily in order, but fitting together somehow all the same. I didn’t want them long, nor with any special morals or points to drive home, but just slices-of-life type stuff.

Well, today I went and finally started this project. For now, the codename is Collection because I don’t have any title in mind, let alone a good one. I don’t even really know what the entire book is going to be about save for the general topic. Stuff like that will come eventually, when it’s ready. Hopefully.

It’s going to be a lot of work. But I realized that if I just sit and deliberate this project, telling myself that I’m still prepping or that I don’t have enough ideas yet, that I’ll never start it. It’s been years already at this point. So I just started.

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The Energy of a Place

So in my pursuit of finding a suitable home, I made a spreadsheet. It occurred to me that I’ll probably be viewing multiple places, and having some sort of way to organize them would be helpful.

On this spreadsheet is a checklist of things to look into with each place, like cost, pet friendly, laundry, and parking. There are also some other nuanced things like amount of light, number of outlets per room, and if it’s located on one of the atrocious hills or not—things that aren’t deal-breakers but are useful to know.

However, there is one particular entry that stands out from the rest as being a little odd-ball: the energy of it.

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Home Searching

Recently, I have begun the ever-laborious search for a new home. My current place, although nice on the surface, has some issues I don’t really want to deal with anymore. Mainly the water. And the cave-like living due to lack of sunlight. Plus electric heat that is crazy high in the winter.

Aside from those things it’s not horrible. But it doesn’t really feel like home either.

It occurred to me the other day that one of my characters in my D&D-esque novel is searching for a home too. And that’s influencing how she acts quite a bit.

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Those Moments That Just Make You Want to Face-palm

Man, sometimes I’d like to just hit my head on my desk for some of the dumb things that happen. Ones that are my doing, of course.

It generally occurs when things are going great, and then I get stumped. I spend a few moments—or, in more dire cases, a few days—trying to puzzle out what went wrong.

And so it went with my latest hardcover project. I found a burlap-esque sheet that’s large enough to wrap a decent book. But I encountered a problem.

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But Does It Iron?

Today, I used an iron for the first time. That is, if you don’t count watching as a small child and probably messing around with it. First time in my adult career, at least.

And I didn’t burn the house down! Or burn the material I was working with, for that matter. I consider this a success.

I didn’t use the iron for clothes, exactly, although some of my shirts could probably stand to be ironed a little bit. Instead, the driving force behind actually buying an iron was again, a bookbinding project.

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Writing on the Job

So I work at a place that serves blended coffee and non-coffee beverages. No, it is not Starbucks.

Recently, we started a thing where, between specific hours of the day, those beverages are on sale. It does help draw customers in. That in itself isn’t a bad thing.

The thing that gets to me are the overhead announcements we have to make. As predicted, they are very campy and corporate-esque. I hate them. I am not a great public speaker at the best of times, let alone saying something that makes me twist my nose. Seriously, saying “that’s right” in your announcement is lame (in a classy store setting, anyway).

But, considering making those announcements is part of the job (to announce the promotion, to bring people in during it, and to declare the ending), I can’t just not do it. So I’ve made a compromise in doing this task that I’m not a fan of.

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Let the Main Character Help Build the World

Thinking a lot about my NaNo draft lately. I have a ton of work left on it, including creating a whole new continent for this adventure to take place on.

Then, this quote, from the Endever Publishing Studios blog, really resonated: “Don’t make your protagonist someone that the story happens to. Make it someone that happens to the story.”

I like it not only because I’ve been really trying to break down my main characters, but because it encourages world-building.

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Writing in the Kitchen

There’s nothing like cooking up a pretty pasta salad that gets me in the mood to be creative.

Something magical lurks in the kitchen. I’m not a super great cook, perhaps because I haven’t dedicated a lot of time to it, but when I do partake, I enjoy it immensely. There’s some self-accomplishment wrapped up in finishing a dish, and I’m convinced food tastes better when I’ve cooked it myself (minus the couple of things that haven’t turned out).

The kitchen is probably the most common place I get creative ideas (or at least expand on ones I already have).

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