It’s going to be interesting to see when this blog post will actually see the light of day. I’m determined to post it this weekend and if you’re reading this you can see if that plan worked out. I guess this post will definitely live up to the post’s title, because it is a collection of a lot of random thoughts. I’m obviously unable to write a coherent blog post about just one topic these days. [Edit: it took me 48 hours to write and post this ;-) ]
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I’m still enjoying my new job a lot. By now we’ve got our own assignments to work on, but it’s still a lot of learning by doing :-) I like it though and it’s definitely keeping me busy. It’s such a change from the old job and exactly what I wanted. but I rarely have the time to check Twitter, websites, mails during the day because now at the beginning there are still a lot of work meetings and getting to know people and such and I’m so busy. But seriously, I’m very happy about my busy work days. I feel productive and it’s a very good feeling. I’m still unsure about some stuff and in the back of my mind there sometimes is this nagging “you’re going to screw this up” voice, but most of the time I’m able to shut this voice up.
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One of my work projects even provided me a very interesting idea for the thesis I have to write in order to finish grad school next year. Well, the plan is to finish next year and I only have to finish one class, write a short (30 pages) research paper and then the thesis. So it’s not a bad time to think about a topic for my thesis and this might be a very interesting one, which I’d love to explore in more depth. Before I even think about putting together an exposé to ask my school if this idea would be worth exploring, I really have to put some more thoughts into it. But stumbling on this possible topic, gave my motivation for anything grad school related quite the boost. And that’s just what I needed.
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This new and hopefully lasting motivation also contributed to my resolution to cut down on my TV time. Because I really don’t have that much free time anymore and it’s making it difficult to keep up or to catch up with as many shows as I was watching or started watching or started catching up with before the summer. I was probably watching an unhealthy amount of TV shows anyway. And I realized that I don’t want to spend the few spare hours of my evening or weekends watching TV as entertaining as some of the show have been. I’ve always have known that it’s a rather unproductive way to spend my free time, but I didn’t mind that much before, because I had a lot more free time.
Nowadays I feel like I want to spend these hours more productive, creative or whatever you want to call it. Spend it writing blog posts. Reading newspapers, magazines, novels, which I used to do on the train during my daily commute, but which I can’t do in the car. I miss it.
So I’m planning to give up a few of the shows I was actually planning to catch up with and to not keep watching some of the shows I used to watch last year. There are only three shows at the moment I plan to continue watching this autumn: Grey’s Anatomy (I can’t give that up *g*), The Good Wife, Parenthood. And I guess next year there also will be Rookie Blue, The Newsroom, Suits and White Collar again. Still sounds like a lot of time spend in front of the TV. Hoping for rainy weekends in the spring 2013 then…
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Another reason why I’m planning to cut down my TV time this fall is that I’m seriously considering to take part in NaNoWriMo this year. Which is a crazy idea with my busy schedule. And the fact that every fictional piece I’ve ever written in my life (a few years ago) was fanfiction and I’m not planning to do that for NaNoWriMo.
Which makes this idea even more crazy is, that I’m planning to write my novel not in my mother tongue German, but in English. I know it sounds insane. It probably is. I’m really not sure if I have good enough command and/or knowledge of the English language (in fact most of the time I already berate myself for this stupid notion), but the thing is: In my head the story is happening in English, probably because most of the fictional stuff (novels or TV) in my life is in English these days. And because in my head it all started out as movie idea for Patrick Dempsey, so of course it was happening in English *g* Not that I was or am planning to ever write a movie script for anyone, but one of my favourite ways to relax or to keep my mind of more serious or even worrisome stuff, is and always have been to let my imaginative daydreaming wander in all kinds of directions regarding TV shows or novels: whether it’s wondering what will happen for Andy and Sam on Rookie Blue or which kind of movie I’d like to see Paddy in or how I will think the next encounter between Jamie Fraser and William will play out ;-). My imagination just sometimes is running wild and I can’t stop it. But why should I stop it in the first place :-)?
This particular story idea didn’t leave me alone and then I remembered NaNoWriMo and after a lot of thoughts I decided to go through with it, as insane as the endeavour might seem. I just know that I might regret it later if I didn’t even try to transform this vague idea in my head into something more solid on paper. And I did try to write a first scene in German, because I thought that’s what I as native German should do. But it felt weird and wrong, because the characters are not talking German in my head. So I gave up on that idea and will let them keep their language ;-)
Once I’ve made up my mind I started pulling the few “How to write a novel” books I own from my shelves and started to skim through them. I don’t know if I should be reading so many of “How to” instructions instead of just start writing and then go with the creative flow. But those writers make some very good points of how important it is to have a very good grasp of the characters and to have the plot worked out in advance, because otherwise you might reach a point where you don’t know how your character should react to a certain event. Or he/she will react in a way that changes the plot in a unforseen way and screws up the whole story. So, preparation is the key and in the next few weeks I will probably spend a lot of my free time (or whenever I can let my mind wander a bit) thinking about my characters and the big major conflict every story needs and how to resolve it etc. It’s going to be fun. But to be able to spend most of my free time in November on NaNoWriMo I’m also determined to spend a lot of my free time in October working on that last grad school class I have to finish working on. It’s one of the upside of distance education and a flexible study schedule
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At the beginning of the year there were was the whole “Promises 2012” project, but that somehow get pushed way in the back of my mind and everyday life. So much for determination and resolutions. But my life has been so busy over the summer with getting ready for the new job, that I couldn’t bring myself to do some of the stuff I had actually promised (to myself) that I would do. I should maybe write another post about why that doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would or as much as I usually would have let it bother me.
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During the last few days I was tweeting about the crazy, reckless (in my eyes at least) drivers I encounter on the highway every day, now that I’m driving to work instead of taking the train like I used to in my old job. I mentioned that I might need a Saint Christopher medal in my car to keep me safe. I wasn’t serious about that at first, because even though I’m a Catholic I’m not a devout one. But as much as I want to consider some of the Catholic traditions and rituals as religious superstition, deep inside of me there still is this “what if it isn’t?” thought. I mean, I lit votive candles (and said a small prayer) in every church we stepped in in Rome during our New Year’s trip in 2007/2008, because my Mom was still so sick in the hospital at that time. Did it help her recovery? I don’t know. But it definitely couldn’t have hurt either.
Somehow the idea of a Saint Christopher item in my car stayed with me and after an online search for something suitable and not cheesy, I found a beautiful simple pendant for a key chain, which would be perfect for my car key. It’s being sold at a christian book store in the town where I had planned to go shopping an Friday afternoon anyway, so I dropped by there after work. They had to order it and I will have it sent to me next week.
When I steered my car out of the town centre an hour later I once more had one of the “Holy God, please keep me safe” moments, which had put the idea of a Saint Christopher medal in my mind in the first place. I was driving on the right lane of a two lane road and at an intersection I noticed the car on my left side and then there another car coming in from the right in front of me. All of a sudden I knew they would crash and only a blink of an eye later they did.
It was only a minor collision, but still kind of scary to see it happen right next to me. I stopped my car at the next possible moment at the side of the road to calm down and to maybe offer to be a witness for the police if they needed one. But when I tried to recollect what actually had happened, I only came up blank, because it had happened so fast and I couldn’t really describe what I had seen. I would have made a terrible witness, because I don’t think a “I just knew they would crash” is a helpful testimony. In my rearview mirror I saw the drivers and passengers and maybe even also pedestrian witnesses talking, so I thought they’d be able to work it out without my vague testimony. Still… it was a weirdly scary moment. A Saint Christopher key chain pendant definitely can’t hurt, religious superstition or not ;-)
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Last, but not least: This afternoon I’ve seen my hockey team play live for the first time this season and they’ve won! Yay! They’ve won all of games so far (four in a row) at the start of this new season and they are top of the league at the moment. Can’t remember the last time that happened, so I’m planning to enjoy it while it lasts…