Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Suicide Awareness and Summer Challenges

It saddens me that I feel I should do this every Late July/Early August.

Just before the weekend, the world lost the frontman of the band Linkin Park: Chester Bennington. Another celebrity who succumbed to suicidal thoughts. Another bright light snuffed out by his own demons. Another reminder of how many struggle with this.

As I stated when Robin Williams died, and as I will always say. ALWAYS. You are loved. I don't even necessarily know who YOU are, the person who is reading this sentence right now, but know that you ARE loved. I love you. I care for you. I want you to be alive. I can only imagine how truly loved you are among the people you interact with. Maybe you don't know. Maybe you do, but those demons inside you make you doubt that love.

Still. KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOVED AND PEOPLE WANT YOU TO FEEL BETTER. Please, if you have any suicidal thoughts, PLEASE talk to someone about it. Ask for help.

If you know someone who might be having suicidal thoughts or might otherwise hurt themselves, also reach out. Ask for help. Have someone help you with the stress and burden of knowing these concerns, and help you get help for your loved one.

We need to watch out for each other. We need to let each other know how much each one of us is loved and valued. We need to make sure that mental illness is no longer stigmatized so people don't fear asking for help.

Virtually no one feels overly self-conscious anymore for needing braces or corrective lenses, so why not have the same social normalcy for mental illness?
In honor of Chester Bennington, Linkin Park started up
It has words of grief and encouragement,
but most importantly, it has places to get help.
Please share.

OK, I guess I should get to the real reason you stopped by, to talk about my writing.

Well.... about that.... Um.... yeah....

There is none. I mean, I continued working on my Camp NaNo story, but nothing that I'm really ready to share. The story isn't done, I don't have a good edited spot that I could share as a teaser, and I haven't worked on anything aside from this project so I don't have a practice or anything to share. Sorry.

I also slacked off over the weekend. Friday I spent speed-cleaning the apartment so it would be ready for my family's arrival. Saturday was work and Family Time with my mom and sister while Hubby was at work. Sunday was my birthday, so it was more Family Time followed by me being a bum and just relaxing on the couch. Catching up on all my birthday notifications and doing more reading of that "Miraculous Ladybug" fanfic Smoulder by midnightstarlightwrites. Then, yesterday Hubby had invited one of our friends over to play Ninja All-Stars, which we haven't done in over a month, so I really wanted to join. So much for my idea of having a quiet writing-catch-up evening after work.

I'll have to squirrel myself away today to get back on the ball. Luckily, I was far enough ahead of my goal that even with all these missed days I'm still in front of where I should be today. Breaking my 10,000 word goal down to 31-day chunks, by July 25th I should have at least 8,064 words to be on-track. I finished Thursday with 8,553 words. Nice buffer for the weekend, but it's time to get back to work.

I also figured out what to do for the Writers’ Huddle summer challenge. Clearly this word-count tracking is the way to go for me. I may not be consistent with it, but since I can never seem to lock down which plot bunny to follow, using word-count allows me to work a little on all of them while still continuing with my challenge. Follow wherever the Muse takes me. Want to work on some more daily practices? How about the "Hey, Arnold!" fanscript ChibiSunnie and I started years ago; get that thing done before the actual movie airs in November? Create character studies for my new D&D character, my almost-forgotten Numenera character, or my new Dread character? World build Gyateara by coming up with more culture studies, describe more main cities, or jot down more myths? Keep going with my Jolene story? Work on the Glitches script I started last summer or work more on character rebuild backstories? It doesn't matter! I can do them all! I just need to remember to count the words I add to each project.

My goal between now and Quarthix's wedding, which marks the end of the Summer Challenge, is to write 22,000 words. That's less than a Half-NaNo in an extra five days. Should be easy, but then again, I have 31 days to write less than half of that amount - 10,000 words - and I'm going to just make it. So, I consider it a challenge still. Besides, as I mentioned last week, my mom will be helping me re-organize my place for the better part of a week, so who knows how much writing I'll be able to get in? I'm also part of the bridal party for Quarthix's wedding, so there's probably going to be a lot of last-minute stuff I'll need to jump in and help with. Plus both Spink's wedding anniversary, and Cyhyr and Ronoxym's daughter's first birthday are at the end of this week, so I'll probably be spending the start of next week visiting to celebrate with each of them. I also have my cousin's wedding to get ready for. August is going to be jam-packed. I think all that considered, over twenty-thousand words in six weeks might be a good challenge.

Besides, if I can beat it that doesn't make it any less of a challenge. It just means that I'm up to meet it. If I get 22,000 words written by the half-way-point, however, I may have to just push it to a full NaNo of 50,000 words.

To add a bit of extra flavor, though, I'm not going to do the same thing as NaNo: take the word-count total and divide by number of days. The true challenge is trying to increase my over-all daily word-count.

So I'm going to slowly increase what I'm expecting of myself. This week and next week I'll be aiming for 500 words of narrative writing per day; at least five days out of the week. This brings me to 2500 words by the end of the week. It also allows me two days per week where I can slack off; already used one of them yesterday.

Weeks three and four - August 7th through the 20th - after I've gotten used to punching out 500 words, hopefully easily, I'll turn up the heat. I'm going to aim for 700 words per day instead. I'm still going for five-days-a-week. This will bring my weekly goal up to 3500, and my overall word-count target to 12,000 words by the end of week four.

The final two weeks I'm kicking it up another notch by increasing by 300 words. An even thousand words per day, five days a week, totaling in 5000 words per week. This will lock in my final 10,000 words to bring me to my total of 22,000. That also means, while I allowed myself a full month to write 10,000 words in July, I'm only giving myself 2 weeks to do the same thing by the end of August.

I'm going to need a lot of pokes to make sure I don't slack.

The real fun is that my first week of the Summer Challenge - writing 500 words 5 days a week; ending with 2500 words - is also my last week of Camp NaNo, where I need 1447 more words to hit my 10,000 word goal, and that's with me finishing on the 30th instead of the 31st.

As long as I hit my Summer Goal I'll more than pass my Camp goal. The question will be, however, will all those extra words also go to the Devon/Trish story, or will I need to supplement?

It's me. It's all going to the Devon/Trish story.

So, I may not have anything new to share to you guys for a little while, but I'll be sure to keep you updated on how well I'm doing on these challenges.
Hacker Boy Facebook Sticker
by Birdman Inc
Also, Happy Belated to both me and my nephew.
Also, to my aunt and her husband...
And an early one for my coworker and his mom...
And of course Ron & Cy's daughter....
There are a LOT of birthdays at the end of July!

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