NaNoWriMo 2017 and Other Things

It’s coming.

November of each year I grow face fuzz and attempt to belt out 1,667 words per day for 30 days. In this I hope to raise money for men’s cancer (#Movember) and to prove to myself that I can actually write a novel if I wanted to (I’ve written 3, technically).

That and it is a butt-load of fun! Seriously. It may appear chaotic, there may be running and screaming, weeping in corners, and the ilk, but I keep coming back to it, so there must be something to it, right?

Right.

As if it were insufficient punishment for the foolish, this year I have doubled my target for #Movember (to R 5,000.00) and volunteered to be the Co-Municipal Liaison for NaNo. I must hate myself or something, somewhere, deep down.

I’ve pulled in the help of StillDormant, a fellow NaNo’er to help me through my inaugural year, and have had my first meeting with the other Co-ML, David Seven. This year promises to be one of great learning (and I’m pretty sure skinned knees as we find out what NOT to do). Still, it should be a great deal of fun.

Any way, this was a short update on what is coming in the month of November. More later.

Peace Out!

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Musings

The end of another week, more films than is natural, more gaming than I should have, far too much sugar, and the usual day to day adversity that one encounters.

R 41 for bread and milk.

That, perhaps, is the thought that has stayed with me the most this entire week. I recall my father buying the newspaper, a loaf of bread, and a litre of milk for a couple of Rand back in the day.

I paid R41 for a loaf of bread and a 2 litre milk. Sure, the bread is low GI fair, and cost R 17, but still… It’s R 0.50 for a plastic packet these days. What the hell. Sure, I could have purchased a loaf of in house brown bread for R9, and a litre of milk in a plastic bag for R10. It just really seems to have gotten out of hand.

That we use about 14 litres of milk (or more) in our household each week means we spend upwards of R 150 just on milk. Every week. The majority goes into my better half’s baking, and her coffee.

R 17 for a loaf of low GI bread. You can pay R 40 for a load of rye (and it’s a small loaf).

We’ve survived the first ten days of September, and the blur that is life hastens on. More time spent thinking in the shower than at any other time. I do not mean the casual, usual thought processes of day to day living and work, but the thoughts gone deep. Sent far beneath the surface into the near-arcane.

Contemplations of spirituality and the disregard for the status-quo, rather to delve deeper into meta-analytics of the self and others. The role of the person against all other people. Government, the servant of the people…

That came from a comment about drivers licences (of all things). One of our esteemed and honourable ministers stated that a driver’s licence always belongs to the government. I found it ironic, and morbidly amusing. Of course the licence belongs to the government, it is issued by them, and we, the people, pay dearly for it (and continue to pay every five year cycle). However, is the government not an organ of the people? Is it not a servant of the people, paid for by the people. Does not all that which the government owns belong to the people? Ergo, does the driver’s licences not belong to the people.

I shouldn’t be left alone to muse on such things. There lie dragons.

Speaking of which, watched The Dark Crystal for the first time in my memorable life (I may have watched it as a child, but I do not recall). What a fantastic film for its time. The damned thing is thirty five! Still, the editing I found was superb (simply in order to keep the suspension of disbelief, we are watching puppets here), the story wrought with adventure and fantasy. Not one that relies so heavily of big explosions and boobs. The whole thing is made of puppets, and they are excellent.

In a couple of years my boy is going to high school, then tertiary education. I am suitably shitting myself. It’s going to be expensive, but it has been such a remarkable journey. He’s not a little boy any more. He’s on the cusp of teenagedom, and already there are more moments where he resembles a young man that a little boy. It makes me feel old. And so very proud.

His karate has come a long, long way. From that child who had floppy legs and arms. Used to fall down (I still think he thinks falling on his face is funny), and simply didn’t seem to take it seriously.

Now his kata has improved, his kicks, while not perfect, have come a long way. All in all there has been great improvement. He was involved in his first demo this last Saturday. For all of two minutes, but he did himself proud. For that I am thankful.

My better half – she is on the cusp of greatness. There’s so much opportunity before her and we’re working hard to ensure she gets there. I do not think it will be long before you will be able to purchase Cake Serendipity Cupcakes and Brownies at a retail store. We’re also looking into mass production of, of all things, butter cream icing in various flavours. Then there’s the lessons.

Yet that brings us to the question of energy, the vast amounts of it required to ensure that we can keep on going. Keep on achieving. I often sit back, exhausted from the day, wondering how in the hell our parents ever managed it.

There are seven and a bit weeks until NaNoWriMo kicks off and I start growing fuzz on my top lip.

For NaNoWriMo I have advanced: I am no a co-ML for Port Elizabeth (first year) and will work towards bringing in more writers this year. I will also look to raise about USD 100 from the writers that I bring on board. My target is to write the second half of the story I wrote in 2015 (2016 was a bust, but will possibly be completed in 2018). I should have around 110,000 words of story by the end of November. I already have 51K words, and will look at editing and revising to around 55K by the 1st of November. My target will then be to write the remaining 55K by the end of November. Spend December and January editing for a distribution to personal friends by the end of February. If they say it is sufficient, then boom! Novel!

For Movember this year, I am aiming to raise about R 5,000. Which is about 50% more than last year. I have this firm sense that this year I will hit that target, and I’ll be very proud of myself, and humbled by the generosity of friends and family, should I achieve it.

For now, however, there is this post, which has been meandering and loopy. Such is the path of the verbose who have not written for a very long time. My thoughts are chaos, but within that chaos, lies order waiting for a tether on which to build.

As I keep telling my boy; the more you practice something, the easier it becomes.

Peace, serenity, calm,

Jebb X

 

NaNoWriMo 2017

Hello.

I had to try to figure out how to post something after, what? 3.5 years of silence? So I figured I’d start with hello.

Hello. Been a while, hasn’t it?

The title of this post is NaNoWriMo 2017 and the reason for that is that I have foolishly volunteered my time this year to being a Municipal Liaison. What the hell was I thinking?

Needless to say I am now full of nervous energy, and will need to get back in the saddle of writing. No secret that I have written exactly bupkiss since NaNoWriMo 2016 which I didn’t win.

Let us leave it at this: I am quietly optimistic. NaNoWriMo 2017 has me excited, and I look forward to finishing up the first part of a project I started in 2015.

As part of the NaNoWriMo 2017 build up I will be posting a blog post once a week, and daily in November.

See you,

Peace, serenity, calm,

Jebb X

I Should Say Something

It’s been six months and I tend to update this thing once every half-year. So I suppose I should update this thing 😉

A lot has happened in the last six months. A truly terrible year has ended and a new one has started. This new year holds a lot of promise if one thinks about it. I’ve gotten / getting a promotion at work, will be taking on more responsibility. Trip to New Zaeland has been placed on hold for a bit, and my woman has started her own business, Cake Serendipity (check it out here http://www.facebook.com/CakeSerendipity).

My boy is doing well at school, got another merit award. Grade 4 (Std 2 to the rest of us) is kicking his ass a bit. The work load is considerably more than I vaguely remember. Having said that I’m still proud of him. He’s awesome at math (when he wants to be), and very good at other subjects (none of which look anything like I remember the subjects being called). Afrikaans is kicking him around the school yard a bit, but we’ve gotten him a tutor to help.

There’s an itch that has started again which I have been missing for some time. That creative edge that I used to put into writing and gaming. I think stopping game mastering for a while has helped, I think reading as much as possible has also helped. I’m slowly starting to get the urge to be creative again. I want to write, I want to design, I want to get something published. Which is a good sign. Last year it went away, I suspect that it may have largely been due to the constant negative events that happened last year.

I’m feeling positive, overly tired, stressed out my mind, but positive nonetheless. I am eager for this year, and I feel that it is going to go quickly.

Well, that’s all for now, peace out!

Who Moved My Cheese

Crap balls.

What the hell happened, I swear it was only January last week and now I’m staring the end of 2014 flat in the face. And this year has been colossally shite. Too many friends and loved ones have lost family members, have had major health scares, and have simply just otherwise been cruddy. As such things have changed and I’ve had a hard time getting back to where I should be. Recently, however, I feel like I have been coming back into my own and feeling the rough edges from illness and stressors fading back. I’m still dealing with a bit of a sinus issue that just will. not. fuck. off. But otherwise I am better.

And just in time too. Just a smidgen over a month before I get married (for the third time). I’m uber excited about this. It’s part of a grand master plan, really, marriage, then adoption (yes, I am adopting, can you believe it), and then… well, time to let the cat out for those that didn’t know, or don’t know. Shirlz and I are seriously looking into emigrating to NZ next year. Obviously there’s a lot that needs to happen between now and then, and making an honest woman out of her, and adopting my boy, and getting the paper work signed, is all part of the first step.

I have to admit that I have never been happier and felt more stable in my life than I have with Shirlz. She’s the real deal. There are challenges (like the fact that I’m a diabetic and she makes the most amazing cake in the world!), but they’re all easily overcome. And for the last couple of years I’ve been the de facto father of a 9 year old. That has been interesting, and definitely different. But he’s games and star wars mad, so there’s that. Tomorrow night I’m taking him to a warhammer demo which should be interesting, and further bankrupt me (my poor bank balance!).

As a family we took a severe blow in February and it’s taken me this long to actually get back on my feet, and worse, to realize that I was actually out of balance. As such, there’s seven months of physical and creative work to catch up on, but I have learnt to let things go, so it’s new tasks, new objectives, new goals, and the past will be left there until such time as I find myself with nothing to do (hah! As if). Over the next six months it is a focus on creativity, health, family, and finance, and Shirlz and I have been spending more time talking about a home, which is awesome.

From a gaming perspective the roleplaying has been put on a hiatus, but we’ve decided to spend Heritage… I mean Braai Day, starting the Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set and then sacrificing charred lumps of flesh to the sky lords afterwards.

So yeah, that’s the grand update seven months down the line. It’s a bit scatter brained and all over the place, but I’ve started doing more with task schedulers and note taking applications, so there’s a relatively good chance that there will be another update sooner rather than later. No promises, but keep an eye out 😉

 

Hey! Only six months this time!

So whaddaya know, I managed another post, and this time it’s been only six months since the last one. Improvement!

So what has happened in the last six months and why am I posting tonight? Well, my 3TB external hard drive just gave me the finger, and I’ve probably lost most of the photo’s I’ve taken in the last eight months, but my woman, who is ever more brilliant than I am, noted that she’s been posting most of them to Facebook, which is a supreme bonus! Maybe not all is lost, except for all the series, movies, music, books, and other paraphenalia that I had downloaded over the last fifteen years (yes, some of the archives go that far back).

In other news we’ve gone Paleo. What does that mean? Well, we’re only eating things that are on the Paleo list, which means crap loads of veggies, meats, and fair servings of nuts and fruits. No milk, pulses / legumes, or grains. So far this has been a crap load easier than expected, with the last two weeks having flown past (thanks work…). The net result? Well, in the last post you’ll remember me mentioning that I was tightening my belt a notch deeper, and was worried about my diabetes. So… truth time.

My Hba1c, the long term glucose watch that the doctors run in order to see how you’re doing has been creeping up over the last year. I had a level of 5.8 – 6.2 when I was in East London, moving to PE led to a “better life” which means an increase from 6.2 to 6.8, to 7.1 and to 7.2 on the last check. As a diabetic, I should keep that below 7.0. The doctor said we’ll measure again in June and if it hasn’t come down we’ll have to increase my insulin dose. What I didn’t tell the doctor was that I already had, from 32/16 units AM/PM to 36/18 units AM/PM. The good life.

Well, enter Paleo. We’ve stopped eating crap and started eating right. Net result, lost 2-3kg in the first two weeks (I’m under 100kg since 2009), I’ve lost 10cm on my gut. Better yet, my glucose levels have dropped way back down to normal, and by normal I mean “normal in a non-diabetic”. That’s right, 4.1-5.2 glucose readings before meals (tonight was 3.9, but it had been a while since I’d eaten). And the best part if that we’re stuffing our faces with food.

We’ve also joined a gym, Profiles, here in PE. I’m hoping that it will go well, and as we’ve joined as a family I’m quietly positive.

Work. Holy crapballs. Nothing much changes there: strength to strength, a bit of a weedwhacker with the staff though. One of our developers had to leave for familial reasons, and another left because her husband was moving to Jeffrey’s. Some people have it so hard (sarcasm). We’ve made an offer to a new lady to replace her after almost a month of battling, but we’re still struggling to find new developers. The frightening part here is that I have had to pick up the slack on our portal product, so I’m writing PHP code again. Getting my brain back into that saddle is proving a challenge.

Roleplaying is going swimmingly. We’ve moved to a once a week session, we’re playing in a steampunk flavoured Arabian setting, which is definitely different, and it’s an evolution of my game world that I’ve been creating for the last twenty years. I have no doubts that my friends from yesteryear would not recognize it one iota. Well, maybe some of the names. Regardless of that, my 11th level mythic rank 2 party seems to be having heaps of fun. When I’m not trying to kill or maim them, of course.

I’ve been to New Zealand which was a real eye opener to the challenges that we face in South Africa. The biggest, I think, is the common misconception that the government is something special, ruled by individuals that are more important than Joe Bloggs. They forget, I think, that government is supposed to be for the people, not for their friends and family. The president, ultimately, is a servant of the nation, not its king, and I think old Zume’s has forgotten that, or never knew it in the first place. 

Writing, well, I wrote a novel in thirty days during NaNoWriMo. I have one chapter to go, it’s been sitting on the todo pile for the last two months now. I’ll finish it, despite how much I think it is absolute drivel, but I’ll get it done. Why do I know this? Well, I’m improving. The change in diet has really made a massive difference in my function, I’m a bucket load more energetic, and can think! Which is a drawback that I had not considered. Other side effects? If I need to look at something closely I have to take off my glasses. Unexpected.

Well, there’s an unexpected update. Who knows, perchance the weather will turn and snow will fall and I’ll update this thing more often. But then again, hell could freeze over too.

Peace, Jebb out.

Jebb X and his cat.

This guy is going away, replaced by a newer model.

 

Cock Part the Deux

Fcuk!

Exactly. It seems that my promise of posting regularly has gone the way of dodo’s and other dinosaurs. It’s been more than a friggin year since I last posted anything. And by Josephat things have changed! While remaining mostly the same.

My health is up to crap, specifically my diabetes. Struggling to get control. So many nice things go wafting past my nose. Too many times I’m dipping into them instead of letting them go past, furthermore, exercise is something that happens to other people. My scale broke so I can’t even tell how much I weight. My belt is slotting one notch deeper, which would usually be a good thing, but is probably a side effect of my body being unable to process the junk I’m feeding it (see diabetes above).

Work is at “dear mother of sods” levels, and it looks like August will be spent bouncing around the country (again). However, I am taking steps in the right direction with project lists and the ilk which means that I am getting more done, and fewer things are seeping through the cracks, which is a damned fine thing.

Speaking of business, it’s grown, like stupidly in the last year. Five new customers, another increase of 50% in staff complement (we’re now 7 full timers), surpassing targets for net profits, return on investment, and cash flow is looking good. So hurrah there!

Family; eish. I heard via the grapevine that my brother is moving to Australia (Good on ya mate), my eldest nephew is now an iOS developer (thanks LinkedIn for the heads up), my sister and her husband have moved from Hamilton to Dunedin (which is as cold, to quote an acquaintance of mine, as a polar bears nipple), and my mother is still putting her children to shame by taking part in various walks (Discovery and other kinds) and winning awards. We worked out that she’s practically running 10 kays in these “walks”. Might not sound impressive, but you need to remember that she’s 76 years old.

And I can’t run that distance, do I have fucktard written on my forehead? What do you mean I do? Fcuk!

Improvement in my roleplaying group, it’s happening every fortnight on a regular basis, story is going well and developing nicely which is great. Get a fair amount of roleplaying in as well which is great.

I’ve also been spending some time each day trying to write. I started with the idea that I must write on the story that I’m meandering about on, but I’ve decided that any writing is good writing, it’s better than not writing anything. My target is a modest 500 words per day at the moment, and I seem to be achieving that, but I’d like to get up to 1,000 words a day by the end of August.

Home life has improved and challenging all at the same time. My relationship is going from strength to strength, and we’ve got two incomes again which is greatly awesomeness! However I am still having trouble determining when to voice my thoughts on the raising of her son and when not to. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I really am an old fuddy-duddy. Which is kind of mind-blowing. The worst part is when I hear my fathers or mothers voice coming through my words and actions.

That bit of introspection is something that others always tell you about but which never really seems to sink in. But when you’re shouting at the eight year old while throwing something away and then start laughing because you can recall the EXACT SAME THING happening when you were 8 and your voice is now just a reflection of your parents. Eish.

I spoke to my sister for a couple of hours the other day (she lives in New Zealand, me in South Africa, let’s hear it for 10 hour time difference) and the first thing she said to me was how much I look like my dad. It’s true too, I do, a lot. As I get older I look more and more like him too. Which is a bit on the weird side.

Anyway, enough blather. I wrote a post. It’s been more than a year than the last one. I haven’t really had anything to say, so I guess this is a start. As to whether I write another one, hopefully sooner than a year, probably if I get time in between Skyrim 😉

 

Peace. Jebb out.