Time Moves Along in a Steady State

My work 2016 diary appeared on my desk the other day. It bought with it a wave of conflicting emotions before I was able to safely hide it under the wonky pile of papers which have yet to be dealt with—paperwork and I are not dealing well together at the moment—to be thought about at some later point. As I work from yearly contract to yearly contract the diary is a little hopeful and a little threatening—there is no guarantee that I will be around to use it but it’s existence means that I should at least begin to start considering wrapping up 2015 and planning out 2016. Continue reading

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Reading with your ears

I am over-tired like a two-year old who won’t have a nap at the moment. I am not entirely sure what went wrong last week but I seem to have come into the weekend exhausted and my Sunday morning sleep in was destroyed by the vacuum cleaner at 7:30 am (Gah!). So I am slouching around trying to at least tick something off my to-do list before it gets to hot to concentrate this afternoon (36C predicted for today so I am totally taking that as an excuse to lie on my bed with a fan, perhaps read or listen to something). Even a Tardis full of coffee hasn’t helped my tired level this morning.

So one of the things on the list is to blog. As the last couple of weeks have been a little less productive on that front than I would have liked. Most likely as I made my usual mistake of over thinking the content, then predictably I get stage fright and it all goes down hill from there (otherwise known as the no content production yet again fail).

So if you have guessed that I am not entirely sure what I going to talk about here. Then you would be right. I gave myself the introduction paragraphs to make a commitment on the couple of ideas that I have in my head and now I am actually here I have to make a firm decision.

And that decision is…… Audiobooks* Continue reading

Hello 2015………. Goals and Resolutions Oh My!

I am planning at some point to post an actual review of my reading in 2014 but my last post went in its own little direction so the 2014 reading post will have to wait. For me this is the end of my first official week of 2015 as the days before I head back to work for the New Year exist out of time in a strange way, not really part of the year before or the year ahead, so the reality of New Year only hits when I swipe into my office.

2015 is going pretty well so far, still managed to get sucked into working some really long days at work, so that’s started already. And this is probably only going to get harder to control, as due to funding issues, I am working for two different projects/supervisors with the ability to time manage entirely being placed at my feet. I don’t mind the work so much but it is the fact that by the time I make it home I am so exhausted I can’t do much more than dinner, shower, and if I’m lucky read. And this leaves a lot of pressure on weekends to get all the external non-work stuff done.

Ok, anyways let us get back on topic as to what this post is meant to be discussing. Namely my creative and cultural goals/resolutions for 2015.

I really enjoy setting goals/resolutions every year. I try to follow the SMART goal setting system (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely). I have six goal fields, or areas of life, that are important to me. For each field I have an overall aim of what I want out of this field for my life and a set of things I would like to achieve in the coming year. I also write out what I need to do to make this happen. As you can imagine I do end up with a rather lengthy document but I do love headings and dotpoints.

I’ve been doing the particular system (with refinements) I have for a few years now and I think it really helps me to go into the New Year with some perspective on what I want out of all the aspects of my life. And when I reviewed 2014’s master list I was pleasantly surprised by how many of the points I had chipped away at over the year and also how most of the points were still relevant. I still have a long way to go before I achieve all that I set out to do (but then my experience tells me that this is true for everyone I know) but I like having a written record of what I thought of as important and what I did or didn’t do to achieve in any given year.

For 2015 I have included a blanket aim to try and be more consistent with how I work towards things. As I tend to make this awesome document at the beginning of the year and then subconsciously achieve the things on the list, rather than review them regularly and so actively work on the things I should/need to do but am avoiding. And also new things come up throughout the year that I want to work towards, which I would like to incorporate into my goals, but as there is only a finite amount of time, I’d like to be able to make more conscious decisions to put things on hold or change my direction on certain fronts.

The two  goal fields relevant to this little corner of the internet are ‘Culture Goal’ and ‘Creative Goal’.

The ‘Culture Goal‘ came from a reflection I made several years ago about the person I had wanted to be as a teenager, and the experiences I wanted that person to have, compared to what I felt I had become (one day I will write about the wasteland that was a large chunk of the middle of my 20’s). And though my teenage daydreams were both unrealistic, and a bit pretentious, I did feel that some of the things that I most enjoyed doing had fallen by the wayside (for a number of reasons). So I created this goal field to spur me into, excuse the bogan terminology, ‘gaining some culture’ and not just passively but in a participatory and reflective manner (ok so some of this goal is still pretentious, and also very white middle class).

So applying the SMART principles for 2015 my ‘Culture Goal’ is the following:

Reading

  • Read 55 books/25,000 pages
    • Write a paragraph blurb on all the books I read in Goodreads.
  • Start making videos for youtube again – 1 per month
    • Comment on other booktubers channels regularly
  • Write 12 book reviews (a friend of mine run a review website and I have been promising to write some reviews for an embarrassing amount of time).
  • Read 5 non-fiction books/ 5 modern classics/ 5 graphic novels/ 5 novels in translation
  • Do 12 things off the Book Riot Read Harder List
  • Reduce TBR
  • Read and vote in the 2015 Hugo awards
  • Continue as a short story reviewer – review 52 stories in 2015 (this is for a sci fi and fantasy fiction magazine and has been lots of fun so far).

Concerts/Festivals

  • Melbourne Theatre Company and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra subscriptions
  • See a new to me Shakespeare performed live.
  • See at least one National Theatre live at Nova
  • Attend Melbourne White Night Festival
  • See something at the following festivals – Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival
  • Continue fortnightly movie tradition (we have a local independent cinema two blocks from my Melbourne apartment)
  • Go to a concert/art exhibition/play every quarter (not included in the above)
  • Write a sentence blurb on each of these experiences at least in my journal, if not on my blog.

The ‘Creative Goal‘ is all about my creative self expression and also trying to gain some solid skills in some of the crafts that I enjoy (again another area of life in which consistency is difficult to achieve, and it is very telling in both my writing and creative endeavors).

So applying the SMART principles for 2015 my ‘Creative Goal’ is the following:

Visual Art Projects

  • Complete Dr Who Scarf/Blanket
  • Complete William Morris Cross-Stitch (without having a breakdown)
  • Start mushroom cross-stitch
  • Submit entry to Linden PostCard show

Writing

  • Finish a draft of ‘the current novel’ (100,000 words (of which I have 65,000))
    • Workshop as long piece in March
  • Complete Camp Nano and Nanowrimo 2015
  • Write and publish 12 short pieces of fanfiction
  • Redraft short story (working title the Mistress and the Maid) and send out for possible publication
  • Complete story for my writing group anthology
  • Write serious chunks of five new (short) stories (or at least play with some new story ideas).
  • Be a fully present and unflappable member of my writing group
    • Make sure to read and review well all pieces submitted
    • Turn up to as many meetings as possible
    • Workshop twice in 2015

General Creative-ness

  • Schedule weekly craft and writing times
    • Organise work schedule
    • Organise writers den
    • Organise crafting supplies
    • Stay on top of hoarding tendencies
  • Blog Monthly on creative blog and Green Eyed Gal Reads
  • Keep personal journal on my creative process (and life generally).

Realistically I will not achieve all of these things, but then on the flip side I will do things that I haven’t even heard of, or thought about, but this is sort of how I would like my 2015 to shape up.