Alex Callahan

Perfect mix of magic and mayhem

Context is key, so is the approach (a.k.a. Alex realized she knows how to English)

I try to police myself on Twitter these days, otherwise, it would swing between two huge subjects: current rage-inducing events and my hunt for the mythical beast, The Agent. It’s the introvert in me, not wanting to spiral into the extreme. It does mean I’m turning to my good old coping mechanism: The Distraction.

On Twitter, it’s all the funny stuff (and puppies). The Agent Hunt (yes, I’m capitalizing that, what you gonna do about that?) is a little harder because it requires my action. Which means the distraction has to be equally active and engaging.

Result?

I decided to start on a new writing project. Something shiny to keep me occupied. A perfect solution really, especially with NaNoWriMo coming up, as it promises to keep me busy until it’s time for Christmas. (Side note: in a twisted kind of blessing work has been keeping me super busy as well, but that wasn’t intentional on my part, so I don’t think it counts).

The new project is a sequel to my previous NaNo story, a supernatural YA story about a bisexual witch. It’s fun and though the story is a bit intense, is has low stakes attached to it, as it’s different than what I usually go for. It’s the perfect distraction. It does require me to read the first book in the series though, which (FINALLY) brings me to the point.

That book I have to read? It’s a first draft. It’s a first draft written during NaNo. So it goes without saying that it’s horrible. The number of typos, placeholder words (where I couldn’t remember the word in English and so I wrote it in Polish instead) and in one cringe-inducing moment, a POV change – it would drive anyone insane.

But what I also realized: It’s good! It’s fun!

It was the kind of epiphany I needed. After spending ages on The Novel I’m currently shopping around, I was doubting myself. There were moments I almost convinced myself I don’t know how to English. After 4 rounds of edits, I was exhausted and nothing I’ve ever written seemed good enough. So reading something fresh that reminded me I love writing and I’m actually not bad at it? The perfect way to get my energy levels up, get my stress under control and my enthusiasm up. Perfect timing, really.

Now, don’t get me wrong. When I start editing that NaNo draft, I will no longer be impressed with myself (editing does that to a person), but for now, I’m gonna enjoy the high.

Procrastinating like a Pro (Writer)

This week has not been the most productive in the history. Work has been challenging, with one of my colleagues out sick, and me having to cover for her. And we know what impact change and stress have on me. On top of that my laptop fell apart – like, literally, the bottom part cracked open every time I moved it, making me afraid to even try and adjust the screen.

So I took the plunge and got myself a spanking new laptop with a 4-year warranty so that I don’t have to worry about it dying on me anytime soon. But getting new hardware came with all its own problems: I spent almost 4 hours installing software and making sure things looked and worked the same way on the new machine, so it didn’t feel completely alien to me.

And here is where I make my confession.

My old laptop was a cheap, one-step-away-from-a-typewriter kind of a laptop. Which is one of the reasons why it only survived 3 years with me. I murder my machines with hardcore heavy usage. So when the time came to pick a new model, I figured, hey! I could get a gaming laptop. Those puppies are designed to handle anything people throw at them! They could handle 10K/day intense NaNo sessions!

And I could finally reward myself with a game or two of Hearthstone after a productive day. That would be awesome!

What could possibly go wrong, right?

Well, I got a new laptop, it’s wonderful, even if I’m still getting used to it. But after I installed everything I could think off, I also installed Steam and decided to install one game, to see if the graphics were working.

I proceeded to spend the rest of the week “testing” my laptop by playing Dream Daddy. So yeah, no actual work got done this week, but I got a happy ending with Mat, Craig, and Hugo, so I call this round of “tests” a success XD

Thankfully my friend Megan Linden decided to have a productive weekend and talked me into having one as well. So, who knows, I might catch up on all the tasks and finish the week on a high note 🙂

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