I blanked on you the last week or so of July, and didn’t even notice that Saturday was my day for the Currently post. My bad. So this is a combination post, a complete July wrap-up and a goal post for August.
So, July. Time to look back at my July goals and assess: how did I do? I entered the Glimmertrain VSF competition, so big tick there. I have made some minor progress on my novel, painful bastard that it is. I finally finished that book I’ve been reading for forever. I kept up with one of the hashtag games OK, but not the other. So, a bit hit-and-miss. Never mind. Unfortunately, I didn’t post a single work last month or the month before, which is absolutely not what I’d been hoping for, but we muddle through, I guess. Onwards and upwards.
This poetry paper is AWESOME, you guys. I get to talk to people who like poetry! No one likes poetry! And it’s so different to, say, studying poetry of established poets. We’re discussing lines we like in one another’s work and what we could try differently, and because none of what we’re working with is considered a finished poem for the purposes of the class, it’s hard to take offence or feel defensive. I mean, that’s the instinct, but people are giving you different ways to read your own work, which sort of expands your mind.
I finished off Zone One, finally (review here) but I’ve been dithering over what on my immense tbr list I should pick up next. I want to read A Storm of Swords II but I tend not to read ASoIaF while Game of Thrones is mid-season, because I don’t want to confuse myself with the differing storylines. It’s tricky enough as it is. I need to read a whole bunch of poetry this month so I may just plough through some of the poetry books I have lying around before grabbing another novel.
Game of Thrones! I mean, trying to avoid serious spoilers here, but like I am super proud of my girl Sansa and lord mercy all those reunions and meetings… I have some issues with the season but I’m also hype af and easy to please when it comes to shows I love, so I’m not going to go on about it. Seeing the dragons over Dragonstone was the same sort of emotional moment as the hanging of the Stark banners in Winterfell. I cried when they unfurled those banners. Like, legit. “Battle of the Bastards” was some sort of masterpiece. Now I’m just holding out for a possible meeting of Sansa and the Hound again after five seasons. My Sansan shippers out there got their fingers crossed with me, I know.
Melodrama, over and over and over. With Lorde, I often hear one of her songs and I’m not that into it, until I’ve heard it about five times, at which point it becomes my new favourite. I think I did that with nearly every track on this album except for “Green Light” and “Liability”, which I liked from the off. (What’s the accepted method of writing song titles? Inverted commas? Italics? You’re not meant to do anything with poems.) Some of these songs are very lyrically clever; “summer slipped us underneath her tongue” is fantastic. Girl was born in my town so I gotta rep, but I genuinely think this is a great album, better than her first though it has a completely different vibe to it. Very much a “getting really drunk and dancing out the angst” album. Will purchase on vinyl.
It’s a new semester and I’m just starting to get used to the change in schedule. I have three hours of poetry on Tuesday, and . Naturally this means I can watch Game of Thrones as soon as it airs in the US – Monday afternoon our time – because I have no classes, so I don’t have to spend the day in an internet bunker to avoid spoilers. Great how that worked out. This is my last semester of my graduate diploma, so I’m starting to wonder whether I should be making plans for further postgrad work next year. Thinking about thinking about… you know. It all depends on money, and I don’t have the income for it at the moment. I guess this is the sort of thing I should be discussing with my lecturers and advisers, which makes me nervous. Nothing wrong with taking a year, but it’d be good to know my options. I don’t know whether I have enough points in History to do a postgrad diploma, so if I need another paper it’d be good to do it over the summer.
In poetry class, “composing” is its own special thing. I have been doing shit work, but work is work. I’ve also been writing fanfiction (shut up, I know) and I got really caught up in this monstrosity and wrote about 20,000 words in five days. Over 7000 in one day alone. Why can’t I do this with my original work? Where is this mad fervour during NaNoWriMo? It’s 7000-word days that make you realise artists are a little crazy. You basically end up dropping everything else, even coherent thought, to get words down. Doesn’t make sense? Doesn’t matter, you know what you meant, you can clean it up in a little bit. And you know, it’s sort of… I mean it’s not work, it’s a hobby. So it’s up there with reading. It can help with your writing, but it’s… indulgent. It’s fun. And that’s good! But a part of me still chastises myself for writing this instead of something more productive. Believe it or not, it still helped a great deal with my writing in general, but more about that in its own blog post. Watch This Space!
Look I’m going to be honest here, I’m not anticipating much of anything right now. US political turmoil aside, anyway; at some point the bus that has been driven off the cliff is going to hit the ground and explode in a massive fireball. Personally, though, I’m at a place where I’m trying to find my feet in the new semester and get the hang of my new schedule. I guess if anything I’m anticipating a time when it’s not raining so goddamn always so I can actually run again. I haven’t run in like a month. I keep finding excuses not to, and “it’s been raining for three days” is a good one. As you may recall, I have a bit of an anxiety about slipping on wet leaves. I’ve done so before on a run, and there are a lot of paths around here that have slime and mud on them, so I’m not a big fan of taking a run when the sun hasn’t had time to dry things up. Bad of me, I know. I love winter, but I’d love it more if I owned a treadmill.
I’m replacing “wishing” with “playing” and “eating” because they’re kind of redundant, but we’ll see how it goes moving forwards, I guess. I’ve been playing Fallout 4 a whole heap this month. I played it for a while about a year ago, but although I adored the characters I never got all that into it. I’ve been enjoying it a lot more this time around, and growing more fond of the NPCs you can’t take with you. Like that ghoul who’s so into the Silver Shroud? Precious cinnamon roll. And there’s nothing like turning a corner in the middle of the ruins of Boston and seeing that glowing neon sign. Goodneighbor, home away from home.
Fuck me OK we tried this new Thai place called “The Loft” and it is so good, guys. The food was fresh as hell and if I was talking to you in real life I’d just descend into snarfing sounds at this point. Goddamn. I also tried Ben and Jerry’s for the first time last month. They only arrived here about a year ago and I’ve been putting off buying a tub because they are sooooo expensive. $13 for that tiny tub? It’s actually incredibly dense as ice cream goes. You have to let it melt a little before trying to eat it. The serving size is something of a calorie-bomb so I try only having half a serving at once, and it’s dense enough that that goes a long way. The trouble is once it’s all melty and delicious it’s kind of hard to stop eating, so one has to be strict with oneself. I tried Half Baked which was pretty good and I’m keen to try the Phish Food one.
So that’s July. And all that brings us to August.
This month the hashtag games I’m playing are #ReadWriteRepeat on Instagram and #authorconfession on Twitter. The #WIPTruthOrDare worked well for me last month by making sure I was checking in with my novel from time to time, if only to find a line to match the dare. I’d like to get two books read, aside from poetry, and to post a creative work here which I haven’t done in ages. I’d like to make at least one submission, preferably two, and to get some of Chasing Regrets written, at least 10,000 words, I think. Finally, I’d really like to get some of Sin Eater edited. I put it in a drawer in, like, March and have barely touched it since. The poor thing needs some serious work done. In theory, all of that will be a step behind poetry composition, which I need to be doing a lot of. An hour a day. We’ll see how that goes.