Gosh, still can’t believe we’re firmly in the second half of the year. It’s been a rough couple weeks personally, though it’s reminded me of just how important it is to focus on the people and things that fulfill you.
Fiction from others
I’m not sure if this has been a subconscious thing, but lately I’ve not been reading a lot of fiction. Instead, I’ve been reading more manga (ex. previous post) – perhaps it’s just more nostalgic since I grew up with it? The difference from my younger days to now is that this time around, I’m focusing on reading manga in Japanese rather than English translations. It’s been a while since I last formally studied Japanese so doing the translation myself takes quite a bit of active participation, to say the least! Sometimes it can be frustrating because it takes a while to figure out even what the characters are (kanji will continue to be the bane of my existence). But the feeling that comes when I finally understand that one word and everything clicks – definitely makes it all worth it.
I believe it was sometime earlier this year that Fiction University began having posts focused on short stories and I always look forward to them. I was going back through some older ones and this post by José Pablo Iriarte was especially helpful – not only in the concept of layering but also how the author used his own story to illustrate how he used that concept. I’ve always been a fan of “breakdowns” and “behind the scenes” videos for music and film, so it’s a nice treat to see this happen in fiction as well.
Health and wellbeing
When the pandemic began, I did a DIY setup for my “work station” at home. I have chronic neck problems so having an ergonomic setup is important to me. I’ve relied on a foldable laptop stand (looks like the one I have currently has now been discontinued) placed atop some containers but I started to miss standing up. I finally made a taller setup by using a projector/laptop stand (this is the one I have currently but there’s plenty of others out there!). While my full setup takes up more space now, I’m finding the additional option really valuable for meetings and just stretching out my legs during the day.
Fiction of mine
There’s been a lack of fiction here because I’ve been trying a new thing: Regularly submitting my work to professional publications! It was something I was really anxious about before – still am, to be honest – but it feels good to send things out. I haven’t gotten any pieces purchased yet, but I’m slowly increasing the number of stories in circulation by going through old pieces saved in my files. I’m both flabbergasted at myself for not submitting these earlier and also grateful for my past self for having written these – it’s been really fun to “rediscover” these old pieces and all around remember how fun it’s always been to just make things up for people to read!