The mind must create and sustain a separate world for itself - a sanctuary for the lightest and darkest of thoughts, where creativity gives birth. Illustrare Sanctum. Est. March, 2016.

 
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Sarah
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PostSubject: Journal   March 28th 2016, 3:51 pm

Entry One

Considering I'm having so much difficulty posting fiction, but I have no problem journaling daily, this is my attempt at a combination. Eventually I want to be able to get everything in my head down in writing. I want to be confidant in all the little pieces of fiction and scenes that pop up. They've been spawning there since I was young, and I'm not going to be happy until they're as easy to put down as my conscious string of thought.

Now the thing with a posting format, vs. physical journal, is I don't have a finite number of lines to fill. The notion of the intimidating "blank page" is more prominent here. But the more I practice at filling up this space, the easier it should be when I attempt it with my fiction.

There is room for me to elaborate on fiction here. My first drafts if you will. Currently I'm playing with rewriting/re-imagining the Fallout 4 encounter at the Cambridge Police Station. The Brotherhood of Steel have this intolerant and zealous agenda that just begs to be deconstructed. How better to do that than to have them completely botch a "friendly fire" situation, nearly kill a potential ally and "enlist" a reluctant civilian? Of course the more I think about it, the stickier and harder to write it seems.

Ideally it'd be a straight-forward retelling. Same beginning, radically different middle, slightly different ending. The story goes that the main character is recruited into the BoS. But I want the BoS extreme rhetoric to actually result in extreme actions; forcibly conscripting foot soldiers, putting Ghouls down on sight, coercing settlement populations into handing over shelter and hospitality. If you're not absolutely with them, you're against them. That's a completely understandable and compelling attitude to expect of three BoS soldiers cornered in a police station with no back-up or military presence in the area. So how to convey this in writing?

Apparently I second-guess myself a lot when I'm thinking hard and constructing a scene. This needs to help, not hinder my progress. I have to be confidant about what's written. So what's the angle that I'm hesitant about here? The stakes. I don't want to get locked in a scene where I make stakes so high that logically one side doesn't come out alive. I think the answer to that is to come at it from the threat's point of view. If I think the BoS might kill my characters, I need to get into their shoes and really believe that they need help more than they need more bodies to clean up.

The action should feel exhausted as well. Killing shouldn't be on the table anymore because all the effort and momentum is expended. Keep this in mind, and also set the following goals.

  • BoS does not want to let any untrustworthy witnesses go.
  • BoS desperately wants more fighting power.
  • Liam and Hancock want to run.

Okay, let's throw in a nightly threat of ghoul herds. Forcible containment is a given, in the face of that. And then remember that BoS thinks anyone who acts on their own device is a threat and a liability. Everything is in a state of war, and controlling the masses is the way to peace for mankind. Enlisting recruits is for safety and the greater good. It's saving people from the wild waste.

Right. In this case I want to separate Liam and Hancock. Have it be a story of rescue, but the question is who's the true rescuer? Hancock or BoS?

I love it when my brain generates questions like that. Pure poetry.
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PostSubject: Re: Journal   March 29th 2016, 2:08 pm

Entry Two

I was lectured at work. Again.

Lee has had enough of my tardiness. We've addressed the problem before, but within the context of more serious problems. This time, it's the only problem.

The only reason I have is bad sleep, combined with a laziness and a sense that it's not going to get me in trouble. Well, now I'm in trouble. Wow. You'd think I'd have learned, after past mistakes. But I am not going to dwell on it. Thankfully Lee's lecture didn't trigger any stress - possibly because literally nothing is on my desk right now and I know she uses stern words to bring out the best in me. Her disappointment is more like a tool than anything else.

So how to fix this, long term? It's my sleeping pattern. It's also my slackened attitude. But I've improved my work ethic long term so far. I've proved I can prioritize.

Okay. We just have to change how we think of this. Let's just take this one week at a time. So I'm just going to focus really hard on getting to work on time this week. Don't think about other weeks. Just this one. This is how we do it. Focus really hard on the present. Wait for the habit to sink in.

I'm not entirely confident. But I'm determined at least.
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PostSubject: Re: Journal   March 30th 2016, 1:22 pm

Entry Three

Little moments really matter. Little victories - such as getting up plenty early, doing chores and arriving on time for work. I'm clean, my clothes are clean, everything is on track or close enough.

I think the interesting thing isn't that I'm living stress-free - it's that the stress-free moments are becoming the norm. This? It's back-to-normal, instead of wow-for-once. That makes me grateful more than anything. I'd also be excited for tonight - movie with Emily - except that I know I'm not going to enjoy the movie. Maybe it'll irritate me enough to get a scathing review out on my site though. Yay? In other news, I backed out of a walk with a friend today, when she gave me the option. Rainy. I wasn't sure in the first place. Mm, but I'm more confident in working out tomorrow. Hopefully it won't be rainy, and even if it is, I'll have this good day to motivate me.

I put some music on to help me tolerate the quiet office. It's going to be a boring day. Maybe I can get some extra work? Sigh. If Lee has any for me, she'll let me know. Meanwhile all I have is my imagination.

After drafting that Fallout fanfiction, I'm not that...invested in it anymore. I like having it on the side though. Something to make. The main thing that bothers my brain when it's idle is...erotica. I kind of wish I could just write it out as it comes and just be satisfied. But of course it's not that simple. The thing is it gets all loopy and indecisive up there. I think if I just wrote down a straight-forward formula and stuck to it, this wouldn't be so bothersome.
    Like:
    Character enters
    Drama occurs
    Character exits.

It should be like opening the door, shutting the door. And it's distinct. Something like an environment/setting that's defined by what's about to happen. But more intriguing and less cliche than a brothel or fetish dungeon, blah blah blah. Hm. I'll have to think on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Journal   April 4th 2016, 2:08 pm

Entry Four

I could linger on how disappointing the last few days have felt, and yet at the same time nothing to worry about. Practically. Emotionally...I'm stressed. What a surprise.

It's nothing new so let's just move on. I've had fun developing Liam in the world of Fallout and coming up with more story. I also thoroughly enjoyed the in-game cut scene with Paladin Danse confronting Arthur mother-f**king Maxon. It was glorious. The usually drab and repetitive animation actually stepped it up, and Maxon's voice actor cut everything loose. I could imagine him literally frothing at the mouth. Beautiful. That said, it's a shame it had to be a forced video game script and I had little to no way to actually affect the confrontation and freaking say what I really wanted to. It was just either push it a little bit that way or a little bit the other. Sigh.

In my own story, my main character Liam would become a fast enemy of the Brotherhood, even after a heralding, dramatic first encounter with Danse. I'd have BoS do what they always freaking say they'll do and move in on Commonwealth settlements for proper occupation. Goodneighbor would be a disaster, and Diamond City faring little better.

For Liam's unique shadowstepping powers, I'd use the in-game little affair with artifacts. It'd make a great addition to the Cabot House story arc, wherein Liam is lured to the Parson asylum and falls under Lorenzo's control. It retains the mystery, works with the world while also giving it another twist. It adds more questions than answers, always a good thing in the Fallout universe. After a bit of long-winded research on the Cabot family, I have everything I need to make the scene. Except discipline.

This is going to be a long day.
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PostSubject: Re: Journal   April 5th 2016, 2:23 pm

Entry Five

I can't focus.

On one side of my brain, it's stewing in weird innuendo and perverse "story" ideas. On the other, I'm scolding myself, trying to carry a conversation online, write this entry, and monitor the phone and email at work.

Actually if there's one thing that's a welcome relief at the office, it's Denis promptly answering the phone. Two rings, he gets it. Boom. The thing is, most callers have a travel card issue, so it's nice to let him get to that right away. Before Denis, I answered the phone all the time, and I often had to transfer the predictable credit-card problem over to Ashley's desk. And she was often too busy. Denis is busy too, I can tell, but his kind of busy is more designating. Sometimes a little too designating. But still, it's better than coming to work and feeling like I might as well be alone, for all Ashley tries to interact and work with me.

So it's the first time I've seen Lee since our little...talk...last week. It's all fine. No more obvious disappointment. And she even complimented my timing with the latest Pro-card bill. Yay! That's a weight off my back. I'm too aware of how slow I feel and act right now. I want to speed up, but I'm at the same time to change pace. Although, when I think about it, I don't know why. It can't be hard, I mean it literally can't, because the only obstacle is doubt. Ugh, that sounds like a sappy quote from some Facebook page dedicated to inspiration and feeling good.

I have a lot of things to do. I don't know if I can pick up speed. I know I want to, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Journal   April 11th 2016, 1:45 pm

Entry Six

Wow, first half hour into work and my brain is already bailing on me. I have plenty to do, but every fiber in me just wants to screech to a halt and sit on my hands. My thoughts just went into an incoherent whirlwind of random things I remember watching mixed with...this vegetative feeling. You know, that feeling you get when you're zoned out on the couch, watching TV. But I'm not watching anything!

Okay, JJ said that when it gets hard to focus and act, making a list helps.

    Ricoh bill
    Avis bill
    Enterprise bill
    Time sheet
    Laundry
Hm, not very much to do when you boil it down. So let's just do one at a time. Ricoh shouldn't take long.
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PostSubject: Re: Journal   November 14th 2016, 4:48 pm

Entry Seven

I'm not going to bother explaining everything that's changed. I know what's changed at this point, and what's continuing to change. I will always remember November, 2016.

I do love what I made of this site, but doesn't make it any less pitiful that I'm not using it. Ha. I even had a recording on my phone, the evening when I first dreamed this all up, and really thought it was the answer. It's not. It's just another whim that I grew quickly tired of once I'd spent all my petty ideas on how it'd look. Sure, I'm proud of the design, but an empty site is an empty site.

It reminds me of how useless I feel about the story content I come up with but don't ever write down, and then it just loses all appeal. And when I tried to explain this to Emily, we couldn't understand each other. She sees an inherent value in any idea, made up for fun, never finished, but fun to work on while it lasts. Any other perspective doesn't make sense to her. I tried and tried to convey the kind of wasted, guilty feeling I got from dropping a story, but the words just didn't work, and we both ended up agitated and confused. In a way, we both know how the other feels, but we can't get over how different those feelings are, and that stings.

I'm probably overthinking it though. As usual.

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PostSubject: Re: Journal   November 15th 2016, 8:28 am

Entry Eight

Today I'd like to rework things.

- Change "Beat" so that it's less ridiculously nuanced, but no less intense or graphic. Maybe cut out redundant paragraphs or words, and try to also add an ending that has more closure. Every time I've read it, I've been left with an overwhelming sense that there needs to be more, that I need to know "what happened after?"

- Take down the "Drifters" excerpt, for now. It's too long, and it's part of something that was never finished. I'd like this site to host things that aren't too much to read. Or if it is, break it up into short posts, so that I have lots of stopping points.

- Definitely make better use of this place for posting notes and story ideas.
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PostSubject: Re: Journal   November 17th 2016, 9:02 am

Entry Nine

Took a sick day yesterday, but nothing fell apart at work. When one of my supervisors surveyed my scans, she got concerned with some of the originals I threw out in favor of making copies. But when I told her I was indeed being careful and including what I needed to, we were good. Still. I should have communicated better. I can't help but get that "slacker" feeling about all this.

But one bad day doesn't mean I'm bad. I don't know why it's difficult for me to accept that. I even have the hours to spend on it. Maybe it is right that I feel bad, though. I consciously dropped my effort and work ethic, after all.

It's just not the end of the world if I do. It's only a problem if I let it become one. My strength has to lie in holding out despite these urges to hide and drop everything. My weakness would be giving in.

Also if I keep fretting about it, I won't get anything done.
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PostSubject: Re: Journal   November 18th 2016, 10:47 am

Entry Ten

I'm not working fast enough - my energy is at what feels like an all-time low. I'm worried that this will be noticed and I'll just get called in one day and asked if I'm okay, or reminded that I need to pay attention and not slack off.

Granted for some tasks, I can focus, but sometimes I can't focus at all no matter what I'm doing, and it looks bad. Ugh.

And it all reminds me of those times when I hear my dad or my sisters talking about how to act and behave for employers - considering Emily and Laura are trying to find work right now. Well. Laura is. Emily is just taking measures to secure an expensive UT course that's supposed to get her a job. Supposed to. Sometimes I just get concerned that it won't work out. Emily will be end up being some kind of "exception" to their oh-so-reliable statistics.

So I tried to write some meta fiction the other day and it just didn't work. There wasn't any substance. The idea was that Monique would notice I'm using the site again, and it'd be about her reaction. But I just couldn't get into it. Sure I was multi-tasking, but still...

I hate questioning myself when it comes to writing.
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PostSubject: Re: Journal   November 24th 2016, 2:37 pm

Entry Eleven

Happy Thanksgiving, where a throng of people get a chance to eat together, but also show each other just how incompatible they are in a high-stress, crowded environment!

But seriously, I am not ready for this. I have no interest in just doing social games and talking, and meeting relatives for the first time in years. I just need to relax though and I think I'll feel better. I can't believe Seth doesn't sound any different from years ago. I've always enjoyed his voice - it has a higher register than most guys, but isn't nasal. It sounds more like his mom's voice than you'd expect. Also he's just a generally cool guy, though I've never really gotten to "know" him, not like I know Aunt Suzy, or JJ and Jayden. I know him about on the same level as I know Jennifer.

The worst part about Thanksgiving is it makes Dad fussy. And when someone like my dad is fussy, he's relentless. It's not even funny or endearing. It's just straight-up agitating.

But enough complaining. I do honestly want to relax and just enjoy company, once I'm over the fussiness of the situation.
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PostSubject: Re: Journal   November 28th 2016, 2:27 pm

Entry Twelve

Wow, problem after problem keeps clogging my day. On top of my wasting thirty dollars after a misinformed conversation yesterday, the scanner in Vouchering seems to have gone nuts. It spits out nonsense for proof-reading, on every cover sheet. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. It was fine before it got cleaned. I have no idea what's going on, except that it probably has to do with the OCR and Stamping stage.

Meanwhile, the weekend ended rather nicely after a rough start. I'm working on packing up my room, finally, and the Sunday game with Jacob took an interesting, albeit tragic turn. We lost a whole army to a dragon-turned-god. I was understandably depressed at the end, but mostly frustrated that throughout the whole epic battle, my rogue wasn't as effective as he should have been. He didn't even get a chance to hit the dragon, before everything blew up.

I reflected somberly as the session ended, and decided my character had had enough. I needed to switch him out. So we'll see where that goes.
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