May. 20th, 2017

 I'm steadily working my way through the flash vignettes for the DOAIS characters. I'm finding it a really worthwhile experience. Delving into their pasts is a) making them more real to me and b) giving me insights into them as people, which will c) make them more rounded in the novel. One of the things (and there are many!) I love about FFXII is that the characters feel like they have REAL pasts, lives that happened before the story begins. It makes them so much more interesting.

Another suggestion I came across this week was to write down 20 things about a character that the reader will never know. The idea being that some of the sense (and potentially the things themselves) will seep into the writing. I already have pretty detailed character sheets but it's something to keep in mind.

Anyway, I have 7 more vignettes to do, which will take me nicely to the end of the month. I'll give myself the final couple of days off from actual writing but I will have a think about how I tackle the next step, which involves replotting the whole thing. Which is, of course, the thing that I've been putting off in the name of 'getting to know my characters better'!

The other discipline I've applied the last few weeks is Leo Barbauto's 44 day challenge. He's introducing readers to 11 practices designed to help one become more Zen - starting with breathing and body awareness, and moving on to managing the thoughts that will intrude when one is meditating. On a personal level, it's about quieting the monkey brain and just being more present. On a wider level, it's about being more in control of one's emotions and recognising that people don't always behave the way we want them to - and that's OK. Well, unless it isn't - it's not a free pass to abuse.

Anyway, although I haven't ever managed to meditate on a regular basis before, the first few practices are all things I have experience of. I am also familiar with letting things go, managing the stories I tell myself about my own and others' behaviour. As well as my daily (almost!) Chi Qong practice, I am now managing a few minutes of meditation most mornings. It hasn't (yet) changed my life but I appreciate the way he's layering the practices, and I expect to hit something new further down the line.

Work-wise, in contrast,  I've been allowing myself a bit more slack! But I'm still getting the stuff done that needs to be done.

Doctor Who tonight, following some cleaning and possible DS9. Saturday's are always fun.

I also need to have a conversation with my mother about her house. And I need to have a conversation with my son about behaving like a home-owner and not a squatter.

Fingers crossed they go well!

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