Update from the end of the world

America, as far as I know, has survived the Mayan apocalypse. Then again, I have not seen another human being this morning, as I haven’t left my bed yet.

IS THAT A BAD SIGN

Also, hi. I haven’t posted in a month a while. Since I finished Privateer D1 and December hit, life has been ridiculously hectic. Good thing I finished the draft before finals, because I’ve been kind of dying for the past few weeks.

Without fail, I always forget that having finals right after NaNo is quite possibly the worst thing in the world. If you don’t believe me, I will gladly trade you lives next year, because I can 100% guarantee that I will follow this exact pattern next December, having forgotten this post completely.

Exhibit A: an excerpt from my December 11, 2011 post.

Post-traumatic stress: a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world. In other words, finals. Directly. After. NaNo. I am a total mess.”

It’s inevitable. My memory for pain is obviously shorter than that of the average human being. One of these days I’ll probably find it just chillin somewhere around Rock Bottom.

But I am done with finals, and according to the Mayans the world is supposed to end today. Since I’m still alive, I call that a double win.

So, updates since November…

PLOT BUNNIES:

I literally could leave it there, and you would have my month in a nutshell. It’s really strange to have “free time” again, i.e. not having a major project to consume every minute of my non-academic life. I almost miss it. And then I remember all the emotional trauma, and blocked hours/days/weeks I spent staring at a blinking cursor, and plotholes I hit while forcing myself to drive on (…bad metaphor-pun-thing), and… I still miss it.

See? Short memory for pain.

And so my free time has basically turned into Attack of the Plot Bunnies. But these aren’t your normal, cuddly, aw-maybe-I’ll-write-that-someday plot bunnies… they’re like narrative rabbits on steroids, they’ve got laser vision and fangs and they demand I WRITE THEM RIGHT NOW OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.

I’ve been choosing to suffer the consequences.

The bunnies are displeased.

My ideas notebook has been growing thicker with every passing day, and there’s at least one novel idea, three short stories, and a play that’s calling to me. And it’s strange, because now that I have a choice, I don’t know how to make it. Before, I’d cram all the bunnies onto the shelf of my mental closet (…worse metaphor-pun-thing) and tell them to suck it up because I couldn’t work on them just yet; I had Privateer, I already had a full-time job.

Now it’s like they’re all invading at once, and I feel a little bit like a chihuahua at a birthday party. Not in that I’m going to start shaking uncontrollably and possibly pee myself, but in that I’m so excited that I can’t settle down and handle one idea at a time.

My New Year’s resolution is to start submitting my work to literary magazines, so I’ll be gettin’ on dat this winter break, before I leave for London on January 2, as most submissions open in the new year.

WINTER BREAK ART CHALLENGE:

Maybe some of you know that my roommate is an artist of the animating/drawing/painting kind. If you don’t know that, I don’t know what you’ve been reading because I talk about her a lot here. But anyway, she and I have decided to challenge each other to… essentially DO OUR ART this break. For me, that means writing. For her, that means drawing and storyboarding and other such things.

It’s kind of like NaNo, but without the crying and for only two weeks and with other media.

We haven’t really laid out the terms of the challenge—mostly because she keeps posting on my Facebook wall with new ideas for what I should do—but at first she said she would complete an animatic (don’t know what that is? It’s ok. I didn’t either) if I completed a play… and then she wanted me to blog every day while also completing a play. Like, I don’t know exactly how much time she mistakenly believes that I have, but I am too crazy to not turn down a challenge like that, so I guess it’s on now.

Goodbye, cruel world.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Privateer will be coming down from Figment in January 2013! I am beginning revisions, and I don’t want the whole draft online while I work. So if you’d like to read it, you’ve got two weeks to get through 135K words. I’m totally pulling for you.

Also, this blog may or may not be getting a makeover. I’m very afraid to redo the theme partially because I’ve had this one for so long and I don’t like change, but mostly because I don’t think you can find this theme online anymore. But I am also sick of looking at it. Blergh blergh blergh. So the redesign is a definite maybe.

NEW OBSESSIONS:

I have lately found myself really intrigued by sort of Gothic-inspired, black and white photos. I don’t know why, but I’ve been saving them to my computer in a file titled, “Things I Find Inexplicably Wonderful.” I don’t usually like this kind of thing, but it’s not the first time I’ve had a sudden infatuation with something out of character for me. I’ll probably end up writing about/inspired by it.

Faceless people, smoke, revolution, gas masks… kind of an unstable beauty that’s begging to be written.

Something else that has a similar vibe, from Kimbra, an artist I happen to love with all my heart:

I’ll leave it at that. Would it be weird if I wished you a happy apocalypse?

Samantha Chaffin

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