Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Today there was a lot of needless day job stress, which annoys me, because it’s not needed and my stomach felt like glass as a result for the rest of the day.
It’s been odd in other ways.  As I went into the office a colleague asked me how I was.
“Brilliant,” I said, truly meaning it.
“But,” I added, “I’m sure someone will come along and ruin my excellent good mood.”
And so they did, with a complete drama that turned out to be due to people not telling the truth on issues that are outside the scope of my control.
I think that’s one of the things I love about writing: you’re in control.  Sure, editors and agents make suggestions (largely for the better) but ultimately, it’s your words.  And unlike being in control in the real world,  you can’t be arrested for murdering a load of troublesome fictional characters.  It’s a very safe place to be a dictator (not that your characters always comply).
To make matters worse today, I forgot my headphones.  So whilst I waited for some downloads to complete, whilst waiting for an email from someone to tell me that they were available for me to guide through something I’ve never done myself, I could have put on some music and if nothing else… chilled the fuck out.
Mostly I wanted to work on the outline to what is currently chapter 14.  I’d been giving it some thought on the drive in, so I managed to get some of it down, but I would have liked to have worked on it more thoroughly.
I spent the morning working on some social media stuff.  I’ve been scheduling some Facebook and Twitter posts so that they stagger a bit better.  Twitter is starting to get a bit empty so the plan is to start repurposing some of my media created for Instagram.  To test out the concept I took one of the images I didn’t use for yesterday’s The Climb image, and created a quote based on something I’d written here.  Then I uploaded it and gave it a bit of context and some hashtag love.
It came out quite well, and it’s got above average likes so I’m pleased.  It solves one problem I’ve been having, which is to feature more in my Instagram posts.  This isn’t some ego-driven whim, but based on market research in case you’re wondering.
At this stage, most of my social media is still about trying things and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
I was training sword & buckler tonight.  A really good level of analysis from everyone.  We again only did 2 techniques but we got them to work, and it was nice to see that people who struggled on the first technique were the people who unlocked the second and vice versa.
And to top it all off, I’ve got a new weapon.  The two-handed mace I mentioned back in The Climb #11 was too heavy for the person who wanted it so they said I could have it.
It’s a monster of a weapon and so heavy that I think if you dropped it it could crush a man’s skull.  In fact, I’m worried that it’s probably the only weapon I own that due to one bad swing I could probably kill myself with (purely from blunt trauma).  But like the single-handed mace, it’s one of those weapons you never know when you might need.  Come the zombie apocalypse, I’m going to be a one-man slaying army.
I also found out today that I’m going to be joining a Canadian storm chasing team this year.  Of the bunch of friends who were interested in chasing, only the Canadians are able to afford it.  I did some checking on flights and it’s cheaper to fly to Winnipeg than it is to Oklahoma.  So I’m flying into Canada and then driving down into the US Mid-West with the team to chase.  I just need to check that, given the current political climate, that there’s no problem with doing that.  Last year I wouldn’t have even worried.
There’s so much to plan.  It’s going to be much cheaper to chase than previous years so I’m wondering if I should do an off-road driving course.  There’s a lot of dirt roads in the Mid-West and all the cars are automatics.
I’m so excited about this.  It’s going to be such an incredible experience.  I feel like my stabilisers are coming off and I get to be a 100% ‘proper’ storm chaser  (although I would argue that when to call yourself a storm chaser is a bit like the question of when to call yourself a writer?  If you write, you’re a writer.  If you chase storms, you’re a storm chaser).  But still, I feel like I’m levelling up this year.
In the next week I need to sort out ESTAs and flights.  And then it’s a case of getting gear together, working out what jobs need to be done and then splitting up the workload.
Lots of work to be done, and less time than I think before we head out.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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