May 9th, 2021

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April 2021 in Review

Health & Fitness

In April, I ate a little more and exercised a little less than in previous months. I am making an effort to do better this month. I only managed exercise 16 times, below my target of 4-5 times per week.

In better news, I received my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer) on 4/22. As of this writing, I am in the “fully effective” state of being vaccinated. Woohoo!

In worse news, the immunotherapy treatments Lut has been receiving each month have become less effective. So they didn’t administer it as scheduled in April. Instead, he’s receiving radiation treatments every weekday for two weeks in May, and after those he’ll start on two immunotherapy pills. One is new, the other he’s taken before and I didn’t love the side effects of it -- it seemed to impair his cognitive abilities. But we’ll see how it goes.

He’s had radiation before and tolerated it well, so we’re not super-worried about the side effects there.

Writing

I didn’t finish You Thought You Wanted to Be Level 99, But Really You Wanted to Be a Better Person in April, but I did write 33,000 words. Just as important, I was close enough to finishing it that I did manage to finish it in the first week of May. So the first draft is done as of now. In fact, the reason it took me so long to do my “April in Review” post was that whenever I sat down to write, I wanted to work on Level 99.

At the end of the month, I was chatting in email with Maggie about Shadeslinger, and noted that the problem with me writing a LitRPG is that it’d have a pacifist protagonist and the target market would hate it. “It’d be a portal fantasy litRPG, where the game becomes reality for the players, and most of the players would be like ‘I WILL BECOME A GOD’ while the protag would be all ‘if this is the only world we have now, it's not right to treat it like a game. The creatures and the people in it are not expendable and they don't exist for our convenience.’”

And Maggie responded with ‘so there’s a sub-subgenre of LitRPG that this would fit so it’s not hopeless, you should keep the idea for future use.’

So I put it into my Schenectady folder, and then noodled around with it. I wanted the players to have been brought to the world to defeat some kind of Big Bad. So I’m thinking: “what are the Big Bad’s motivations? I don’t want it to be ‘The Big Bad is evil and there’s no room for reason or negotiation.’ But I also didn’t want it to be ‘aw the poor Evil Overlord is just misunderstood and can be reformed through kindness and philosophical discussions.’”

And then it struck me what to do with the Big Bad, and suddenly I really wanted to write this story.

So my next project is A Game to You, and it will probably be gamelit because I do not have the patience to create an entire RPG system for a book. It is not a romance! The protagonist is a 68-year-old-grandmother! I have to do a ton of background and worldbuilding for it first, but I am Extremely Excited to start writing, which is part of why I was so motivated to finish Level 99 so I could start something new.

Incidentally, my plan to have a new writing project ready to start as soon as I finished Level 99 so that I wouldn’t be depressed when I finished Level 99 did, in fact, work. I am not depressed! WHO KNEW.

The Business of Writing

I finished re-reading the first two books of the Demon’s Series and highlighted stuff that I wanted to remember when editing the latest two books. I did not do any actual editing, though.

Reading

Still chewing through India After Gandhi at the same glacial pace. I might actually finish it in May, Amazon says I only have ~8 hours left, and I think that estimate is based on my actual time spent reading.

I started and finished Shadeslinger, which was fun, but I haven’t started another work of fiction yet. I’m having trouble convincing myself to read my own works, which is a new low. I do have a couple of not-by-me books I’ve been thinking of reading.

Art

Nope, none of that. Just writing.

Gaming

I learned “Schrödinger's Cats”, which is a card game based on bluffing. It technically has a two-player mode but it is a terrible two-player game. But it was quick to learn so I don’t mind. I should probably pick a game that isn’t quick to learn eventually. Although, strictly speaking, my way of picking a game to learn has been “that game name/one-line description entertains me” rather than any analysis of the actual game.

I did the CampNano event in 4thewords, and I’ll talk about that here because it’s basically gaming.

There was A Lot of event stuff added for CampNano this year. So Much Event Stuff. o_o I finished all the CampNano quests, but I didn’t get every item I wanted to pick up. On the other hand, 4thewords is bringing everything back, so I can get it later. On the gripping hand, 4thewords is adding way more content than I can keep up with writing anymore, so the odds of me getting back to it are ... not great.

My new plan for 4thewords is “actually finish all the non-recurring quests in my questbook”, and this will take a Very Long Time to complete because the non-recurring quests clogging my quest book are all things like “fight 60,000 words’ worth of different monsters from different areas”, and I’ve finished like 10,000 words’ worth of them and don’t want to ditch the quest but it’s still gonna take a month plus to finish it.

One of the 4thewords staffers has a rubric for “X amount of editing counts as the equivalent of Y amount of words so just paste in that many words to get credit for it”, and I think I will ask them what their rubric is again because getting credit for the editing I have to do would be motivational in getting it done. o_o;;;

April Goal Scorecard

  • Assist Lut you betcha
  • Look at goal list occasionally: another “technical completion”. I didn’t look at the goal list that much because mostly if I wanted to do something productive, I wanted to write Level 99. A lot of my goals are less “You Must Do These Things!!!” and more “so if you’re stuck for ideas on what to do at the moment, here’s some stuff you wanted to get done.”
  • Participate in CampNano on #4thewords: yup!

Stretch goals

  • Work on notes/outlines for a new book: I actually did this! SO EXCITE.
  • Exercise 20 times this month: Nope, 16.
  • Consumption tracking: Oh got this one!
  • Post a few blog entries, apart from my usual month-in-review: I did 3, so this is also complete
  • Maintain bullet journal: Yep
  • Learn a new game: done!
  • Finish reading a book I haven’t read before: done!

May Goals

  • Assist Lut
  • Look at goal list occasionally
  • Finish first draft of Level 99
  • Make editing list for Level 99
  • Start revisions on Level 99

Stretch goals

  • Work on notes/outlines A Game to You
  • Start writing A Game to You
  • Exercise 20 times this month
  • Consumption tracking
  • Make an art
  • Work on cover art for Demon’s Alliance and/or Angel’s Grace and/or Level 99
  • Practice art
  • Post a few blog entries, apart from my usual month-in-review.
  • Finish revisions on Level 99
  • Start revisions on Demon’s Alliance
  • Start revisions on Angel’s Sigil
  • Maintain bullet journal
  • Learn a new game
  • Finish reading a book I haven’t read before


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