We all knew it was coming. It was unavoidable. We can talk about the knowns and unknowns as much as we want, but until you’re staring down the barrel, you really don’t know how you might react!
April 26, 2021
Now, that might sound a little dramatic, but in Ontario, we are back in lockdown. We’re only supposed to leave the house for essential services. That, of course, means that my son’s school has switched to virtual learning… So, it may sound dramatic, but it is. I have a day job that requires a lot of focus and I don’t think that’s going to be forthcoming.
Before COVID, I would sit in my cubicle and often go a whole day without speaking to anyone. That suited me fine because it meant that I could get all my work done during the day distraction-free and then when I left work, I would switch off entirely. I never took the job home and I liked it that way.
Now, with virtual learning, I get to listen to my son’s classes as I try to work. That’s not all, I get to help and only having a very basic level of French, I’m not a lot of help. I try, but then I’m also trying to get my work done for “the Man”! As you might imagine, I don’t get much done during the regular hours. That means my work slips into the late evening/midnight hours, which is supposed to be my time.
That’s right, I’m back to working the night shift once everyone else has gone to sleep, even the dog. And, of course, with two kids and a dog, I haven’t slept past 06:45 in a long time… So, in order to keep things moving on all fronts, I’ve come up with a bit of a plan and I’m going to use my competitive side to try to make it work.
Outside of work and family, I currently have four projects ongoing. They are blogging, editing the Black Death, writing a paranormal rom-com, and plotting my dark fantasy series. With blogging, I have reduced my schedule to four posts a week here and four posts over at EcchiHunter.com. That’s just over one a day.
So, my daily goal will be to schedule one post, edit one chapter, write one chapter, and plot one chapter. Hopefully, as things settle in I’ll be able to do more, but that seems like a reasonable starting place, especially if I start tracking it this way and try to get a good run of days going. There are some easy wins there with the editing and plotting. Editing a chapter doesn’t take as long as writing one and plotting is basically a paragraph-long description of each chapter.
The way I work, I know that once I settle into the routine, I will try to beat myself… I mean, I will try to better myself. I did the same thing when I first started writing my dark fantasy series. I began by writing two hundred words a day and over the space of a month pushed it over one thousand words a day. At my heights, I could get in five thousand words a day.
As I continue to attempt to make the most of my time, I have been listening to podcasts on craft and have picked up a couple of things that I think will really help my writing, and coming from an anime reviewing mindset, I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me naturally.
One thing that has really got me thinking is using a colour palette in storytelling. This works for characters, settings, and the story. I’ll try to give an example. If you look at Harukana Receive, it is almost entirely clear skies, blue seas, and white sand. It’s calming and warm, just like the story. Another thing I noticed was the designs of the eyes and their bright colourful glow.
For contrast, look at Goblin Slayer. Its colour palette is mostly browns and greys. It’s dark and full of shadows. It wants you to feel enclosed and trapped. These are all things that I can bring to my various stories. I also love the idea that the characters can have distinctive colours which tie in with the outlandish hair colourings of anime.
Another thing I want to try to bring into my stories is smell. Now, I can’t make my stories give off scents at certain times, but apparently, I can trick your brain into thinking I have. It turns out that the nerves that deliver smells to your brain pass by the memory area and, for want of a better word, tickle the synapses which is why memories and smells are often intrinsically linked. So, expect some more smell descriptors.
So, with the blogging, I am coming towards the end of Record of Grancrest War and KonoSuba which I have been looking at for almost half a year. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve preferred to look at a show that I can work at my own speed, pushing on ahead if I have the time. Admittedly, I did pick up Fruits Basket season three instead of continuing in this manner, but that was because it’s the final season and I had to.
For my next series, I’m going to pick something shorter, most likely twelve or thirteen episodes. Since I’ve already finished both of those series, if I stick to my new routine, I will continue to work into the future. That takes a lot of the pressure off. Being tied to a weekly schedule is challenging.
I think that’s all I’ve got for now, but as always, it gives me lots to do and that helps to occupy my mind. The pandemic has certainly been stressful and if I hadn’t kept up with the blogging and the seasonal shows I was covering at the beginning, I’m quite certain I would have lost my mind. Anyhow, stay safe and thanks for reading.