The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

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The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).

MY CHECK-IN

What am I working on this week?

I start heading into QWC once a week to work on GenreCon this week, in addition to doing my last full week of shifts at the Queensland Health gig and catching up with friends through most of Monday, so I’m actually doing very little creative work in the next seven days. A little short story tinkering will probably take place, but mostly I’m focused on rethinking most of my planning systems to account for the fact that I’ll be working from home a awful after January 31. This brings with it an incredibly high potential for procrastination, and I’d really like to lock down any habits that contribute to that and nip them in the bud.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I picked up a copy of Elmore Leonard’s Fire in the Hole and Other Stories, which is best-known these days for including the titular novelette that eventually became the TV show, Justified. I’m a fan of Leonard’s novels – he’s an great stylists who has a real knack for character and dialogue – but they kinda pale in comparison to what he does at shorter word counts.

What’s really interesting is watching…well, not a formula, but a definite recurring motif in terms of the way he likes to end things…get rolled out alongside an ironic final statement in story after story, to the point where you can predict it happening. It should be incredibly irritating, but it’s become the thing that I really enjoyed looking for.

What part of my project an I avoiding?

I’m intentionally avoiding writing projects for the next week, but I’ve been unintentionally avoiding a bunch of writing-adjacent work like signing contracts and processing email. I really should set aside a few hours to clear the decks before Friday.

  8 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

  1. 15/01/2017 at 11:50 AM

    Peter: I imagine it’ll be particularly tricky regarding procrastination with the shiny new console in the house, too. Speaking of which – my PSN id is ‘fengshuiguy’ – if you add me, there’s at least the knowledge that there’s another set of eyes knowing you’re playing games at odd hours, if that’s any help?

    How much of the character of Raylan Givens do you find in Fire in the Hole, versus expanded for the show?

    • 17/01/2017 at 8:23 AM

      The PlayStation is less of a distraction than I thought it would be, honestly.

      Book Raylan and TV Raylan are slightly different beasts, but the broad strokes of the character are the same (and ep 1 of Justified is basically the short story)

  2. 15/01/2017 at 12:04 PM

    What am I working on this week?
    This week is working on progressing the commercial demo, along with recording some long form narration, and volunteering for midnight shift at the Global Game Jam this weekend. (the Game Jam is a global event where amazing people go along to make a game in 48 hours. I just go along to provide voice acting and be a warm body helping out overnight)

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    Continuing to listen through Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit, it was really juicy to hear her talk about her practice of reading fat, where she likes to engage with work chronologically on either side of a given piece of art in a creator’s timeline, or enjoy fiction/non-fiction material surrounding a piece of work. It’s a little bit of confirmation bias, but it was great to have part of what I’m now obsessed with doing confirmed. And I shouldn’t be terribly surprised, given that it sprang out of The Accidental Creative’s deliberate consumption of stimuli.

    I’ve been playing through The Witcher 3, and reaaaally enjoying it. Narratively, it’s one of the most deft and complex roleplaying games I’ve played, providing scope for player choice in interactive fiction while still making the outcomes of those choices complex and often unpredictable. It has a wonderfully varied tone, being able to shift from bleaker reality to outright goofiness at times while still feeling cohesive. I’m actually enjoying what the writing team have done with the source material more than I was enjoying the novels.

    What am I avoiding this week?
    By necessity, work on restarting Now Playing is going to have to take a back seat, which is a little regrettable. Still working on carving out time in the evening to take back from the habit of making it complete leisure time, especially with a large narration gig having come in the door this week. Thinking I’m going to try a practice of recording in the morning and editing in the evening.

    • 15/01/2017 at 2:43 PM

      Sounds like you’ve got a lot going on Kevin. Balancing leisure time vs work time in the evening is always tricky. Let me know if you crack the secret to getting the right balance!

      • 15/01/2017 at 4:12 PM

        The year’s definitely starting in 5th gear, which I’m loving so far.

        I’ll keep you posted regarding evenings – I’m definitely finding it difficult to split time at the moment given that there’s only about 2 hours of time once our daughter is asleep at the moment. One compromise that I hit on that worked for a bit was using the evenings for reading that was useful, but not directly related to work stuff. Sort of filling the tanks reading.

  3. 15/01/2017 at 2:41 PM

    Hi Peter, I’ve only read a couple of Elmore Leonard’s novels but I loved them. He has a way with voice that drew me right into the characters’ world. I’ve never read his short stories but now you have me interested in tracking them down.

    Here’s my Sunday Circle.

    • 15/01/2017 at 4:07 PM

      Congrats for getting the writing practice spinning back up, and I hope the blog post writing goes well!

      With regards to reading translated work, is some part of attraction the novelty of very different rhythms of speech due to translating from another language’s idioms? How do you mentally separate the role of author and translator, given that both have a significant impact on the shape of the translated text?

      • 15/01/2017 at 8:42 PM

        Hi Kevin, with the translated works I’m more attracted to reading voices and ideas from different cultures. However, when it comes to a translation, I think the translator moves into almost a co-author role. When I was studying (and having to read a lot of Foucault) I read something that said something like, any translation of a written work will always have the translator’s interpretation of the original writer’s thoughts – things will always be missed. So when reading a translated work I accept that I can never fully understand the writer’s vision as written in their mother tongue. But, that’s often the way when reading in English. Once the writer lets a book out into the world, every read will add their own interpretation – they are reading it through their personal lens of reading and life experience. The translator adds another level, and that can’t be helped. But I view that as a positive addition to the story, not a negative.
        As a side note, I’ve been learning French for 3 years in the hope that one day I might be able to read Foucault in French, and do away with the translator’s interpretation. I have a long, long way to go…

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