The next chapter weekly: Jan 8-14, 2023


Welcome to the next chapter weekly for the second week of 2023.

I must say that coming into this experiment, I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough to fill up a weekly update, but I think I like this new format. What do y’all think? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

This week, I drew the Ace of Cups and The Salmon.

The ace of cups represents abundance, relationships, and contentment. I was hoping that the abundance might have something to do with my financial situation, but alas, that was not the case. Instead, I received the confirmation that all would be status quo at least until the new fiscal (April 1, 2023) and probably longer.

What I did have an abundance of this week was workdays with minimal meetings. I was able to make progress on a project and that did, indeed make me content. I also made progress on my creative endeavours. More on that, below.

And I was quite content in my relationships, noting several of them in my nightly gratitudes. I try to record three before I go to bed. Sometimes, I record them when I get up the next morning. I haven’t successfully incorporated this new piece into my bedtime ritual.

The salmon of knowledge or wisdom is associated with a young Fionn mac Cumhaill, who inadvertently absorbed the salmon’s knowledge when he burned his thumb while cooking it for the poet Finegas.

Am I becoming wiser? I don’t know. More knowledgeable, certainly. About instructional design, about autism, about my craft. If only I could access that knowledge “on demand” by biting my thumb, like Fionn does 🙂 

The week in writing

My goals were again simple. Seven more chapters of Alice in Thunderland in the map and more work on Reality Bomb’s first three chapters.

I accomplished both, but I’m still experiencing a lot of self-doubt when it comes to revisions for RB. My next assignment is due on the 15th, so the night this post goes live, and at this point, I have no idea if I’ve managed to do a good job. I’ll find out next week, one way or the other.

Here’s how the week broke down.

Again, there was a lot of up and down with respect to RB. I edited down the second chapter by a couple of pages. I think. But it’s still too long and I’m not sure how to shrink it further. Same goes for the third chapter, which is, again three chapters slapped together.

This week, I’ve cut a net 636 words. Not bad. And despite the adding and cutting, I’m now down a net 606 words on the first three chapters overall. We’ll see what Suzy says next week.

My two weekly curations and this update amount to 1,785 words, and my total bloggage for the month so far is 3,807 words.

I meant to mention my new colour coding on the Excel. This year, I’ve decided to give myself a visual of my days off, days of significance, like full and new moons, and appointment days on my spreadsheet. My hope is that it will help me be more realistic with respect to my creative output on any given day.

I got the idea from “colour blocking” my calendar at work. So far, I like it. Visually, if nothing else 🙂

Filling the well

On the 14th, I attended a FOLD webinar called “Unsettling Poems” presented by Liz Howard. It was an interesting session and I think I have some ideas swirling around in my head. I’ll let them percolate for a while, I think.

I also attended a webinar about “Autism and Mental Health” on the 10th presented by Dori Zener, the therapist who set up the autism support group I attend. It’s all part of my learning.

What I’m watching and reading

In the viewing department, Phil and I finished watching the first season of Willow, the series (Disney +). It was a little uneven. The elements didn’t all come together for me. I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong, but I was hoping for better.

I’ve seen some critique of the series as too grimdark for the original movie, but I don’t think that was the case. I think, rather, that it’s the result of things not being properly woven together, as I mention above. Their attempts to attain the comedy of the original were clearly there, but they didn’t land. I’m not sure if it was the script or the acting, but that’s my opinion.

As for the grimdark content, I read the book that was written as the sequel to Willow, yeeeears ago. It was called Drumheller, and I can’t find it online. Madmartigan and Sorcha were both dead, and Elora Danon was purposefully hidden, as in the series, because a powerful sorcerer wanted to control/enslave her and failing that to kill her. Unfortunately, when her guardians die, Elora is lost, and Willow has to become the Drumheller (a process that almost kills him) to find and protect her before the big bad does his worst. If memory serves, it made the series look like Looney Tunes by comparison. Now that was grimdark.

Then, I watched The Boys: Diabolical (Amazon). Fun shorts that are as bloody and chaotic as the series.

I also watched Swiss Army Man (Amazon). I decided to check it out, because it’s another movie by the Daniels, who were behind Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. I’m kind of glad I didn’t see SAM first. I would have gone into EEAaO with completely different expectations.

It’s as much of a mind fuck as Bunny was. Right up to the end, you’re wondering if the main character is delusional or if any of this is really happening.

Moving on to the week in reading, I read Another Richard Wagamese book: One Native Life. Another balm for the soul, but also, a compassionate look back at the author’s life and what it taught him as he struggled to regain his identity as an Indigenous man.

In audiobooks, I’ve decided to catch up on the podcasts I followed. Catherine Hernandez’s Imminent Disaster was fun. I’m not big into sketch comedy, but it was good.

And that was the week in this writer’s life.

Until next tipsday, be well and stay safe; be kind and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

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