Sunday, May 5, 2019

State of the Schafer, Vol 4

Writing Progress:

With the kiddo back in school, this week was a bit more productive than last week, though my dreams of "serious progress" didn't quite pay off. The White Serpent is sitting now at 22,388 words, which doesn't seem like much increase from last week, but that's because I ended up rewriting one scene a bunch of times before I felt happy with what's in the draft.

You'd think outlining scenes would prevent this, and in many cases I believe it does. Yet I sometimes find I have to actually write a scene in full before I realize it isn't working the way I hoped. And then rewrite it, rinse, repeat. Argh, this is why I am not a fast writer. Oh well, onward ho! My motto at times like this comes from Dory in Finding Nemo: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." So long as I don't stop, I will finish the draft.

Skating Update:

I drove over to Queenstown for another practice session, this time carpooling with another adult skater from Wanaka, which was a lot of fun. The trip over the Crown Range doesn't seem half so long when you can chat to a friend on the way!

At the rink, I had my first lesson with a local coach, and she was great. She worked on cleaning up my take-offs for my singles, which have gotten awfully sloppy after all these years. On a single jump, you can do all kinds of things wrong and still haul yourself around in the air and land okay. Not so with double jumps, which are a lot less forgiving.

Even in the short half-hour of the lesson, I could really feel the difference in height and flow for my singles with the corrected take-offs. Now I'm all excited that maybe with this kind of work, I could not only regain a double or two, but make them consistent enough to land in competition. But first I've got to put in the time to cement the newer, better habits, so they become reflex, in advance of trying any axels or doubles. Doubtless my back will be grateful.

I'm also excited at the idea of competing, period. There's an old program of mine from 2006 that I always wished I had skated better; I'm thinking I'll use that program again, so I don't have to spend precious ice and lesson time on learning a new one. Ha, though to remember all the footwork and everything, I had to dig up an old VHS tape of me skating the program at Adult Midwestern Sectionals back in the day, pull the video off the tape to a computer, and watch it a whole bunch of times. It's always kind of cringey, watching yourself skate. Every little error and moment of awkwardness seems tremendously magnified. But now I'm all the more motivated to achieve my goal of skating that program clean, with no mistakes.

New Zealand Life:

The house staining continues. My goodness our house has a lot of exterior wall. At this rate the job may take us all winter. Perhaps I can make it a race: what will become a beautifully polished, completed project first? The outside of our house, or my novella?

In parenting news, I've been fascinated by how many toys, TV shows, etc, from my own childhood in the '80s are still a thing today, albeit sometimes in updated form. My son has loved the modern versions of My Little Pony and Voltron and Pokemon. And now, for a real '80s classic, he and his best little buddy at school are super into Rubik's cubes. I guess in this modern era it's a heck of a lot easier to solve them, thanks to the internet. After mastering the original cube, now he's on to the Rubik's Tower. (I myself spent a fair chunk of time yesterday working through the solution to that one. Even with some internet help, it's not always easy the first time through.)

Pic of the Week:

Moody autumn day on the bank of the Clutha River

Reading Corner:

I'm not yet done with The Bone People, since I didn't have time for more than a scant few moments of reading this week. But I know what will be up next once I finish: Gabriel's Road, the brand new Devil's West novella from L.A. Gilman. Gabriel was my favorite character in the original Devil's West trilogy, which are weird westerns with a fascinating premise and some really cool nature-based magic. I loved Gabriel's struggle to confront and accept his ties to the Territory, and I'm hoping this novella will provide the satisfying resolution to his arc that we didn't get in the main books, where he wasn't the protagonist. I'm really looking forward to reading his story.

No comments:

Post a Comment