[personal profile] indeliblesasha
I wound up rambling at [personal profile] dine a couple days ago about my need for a project. It rather helpfully pointed me in the right direction, so thank you. :)

Camping and fishing and cleaning. These are my projects, in addition to my writing challenges.

First up lets talk about the writing. I have a story that I am attempting to wrangle into something publishable. Because for the first time I have something that is an original idea and I love it, and I want it to be loved by others.

But my writing and critical thinking skills have atrophied over the last few years as I've taken refuge in fandom and the lack of effort it takes me to read fanfic. I don't have to put any thought into retaining new character details, finding the little pieces in the world building. It takes nothing but absorbing the words.

And that's bad for my brain, enjoyable as it is, as much as it exposes me to varied styles of writing.

So step one is take a break from fic. Not forever, just to reset my brain a little.

Step two is changing the way I think about writing in general. My husband sent me this article that just clicked for me. Musicians start by playing music they already know, over and over until their fingers and their voices have the notes and the positions. Why don't we do that with writing?

And since I'm pushing myself to be more serious about this thing I do with words why not take some time to reflect on the things I love most. So I've got a journal and I've started. I want to do it every day but lets be real, it's not going to happen right now. But occasionally, taking the time to sit down and copy out a passage that I love and think about why I love it? That can't hurt me.

Step three is the writing itself. I need to do it. I need to edit the story I have already written, and rewrite parts of it wholesale. Maybe even the whole thing. But I'm starting with editing and seeing how far I can push my characters.

But I can't write all the time, which brings us to the second point.

Camping! God I love camping. I haven't done it in years and the boys are finally old enough I think we're ready to start.

I've been researching. Because we have absolutely nothing for camping. not sleeping bags, not a tent, nothing. And you don't need very much to get started, but there are a few things that I know I want, because we had them growing up and I know how to use them, and why.

But I want to make sure we get the best. We're starting from scratch, might as well start right. So lots of review reading, lots of blog posts from "experts" and experienced campers, lots and lots of research into the best locations near us.

I'm really getting excited. We've decided the first thing we're going to do is go shopping. R. gets a bonus from work this week, we have it earmarked for [savings] and [fun] and the fun was going to be a new couch. But I think I want camping gear instead. We're going shopping on Wednesday and getting the tent and the dishes and the camp stove...

The second thing we're going to do is set everything up in the backyard and do an overnight camp just like we are in the wild. No one goes in the house unless it's for the bathroom. We need to figure out how everything works, what setup is best. Do we need ten gallons of water for a weekend, or fifteen? How does the stove work, before we're in the middle of nowhere? Do we have everything we need?

The third step is going to be camping at a pay site, one with water and bathrooms and such. Yes it will be less "getting away from it all" but it will be a good next step in getting the four and five year old children used to not being at home, and comfortable out in nature beyond our backyard.

But this all leads me to the third thing, which is cleaning my house.

Because coming home gross from living in the woods for three days and walking into a messy house? Yeah, that's no fun at ALL.

And lets be real, I keep the house relatively neat. It's not too cluttered, I vacuum and even mop occasionally. I wipe down the bathrooms and even clean the tub.

But usually not until I go, ew, gross. I need to do it more, I need to to it better and I need to make sure everyone else in the house is doing it too.

So this weekend we made checklists with a basic and simple plan for things like "wipe down the bathroom" on Mondays and "mow the lawn" on Tuesdays. "Vacuum the kitchen and quick-mop it" on a schedule. As we get more used to these things other things will come naturally. In order to mop I have to vacuum, and in order to vacuum I have to sweep (wood floors, you know), and in order to sweep the boys have to pick up their toys.

Thirty minutes in and the kitchen is kind of shiny, because while the boys made sure they got all the duplo pieces from under the counter, I unloaded the dishwasher and wiped off the counter.

And now I'm sitting on my couch writing a blog post about it, and feeling pretty good.

I think I have a plan. I have a goal, a couple of them. And I've gotten my whole family involved. :)

So. Do you go camping? Tell me things. It's been a long time for me, and I was never in charge.

Date: 2014-04-28 08:26 pm (UTC)
dine: (night tree - destina)
From: [personal profile] dine
my family camped some when I was a kid, but of course I wasn't responsible for much then - and the one time I went as a young adult was decades ago, mostly with borrowed equipment, so I cannot claim any expertise at all - but it sounds like you really have put lots of thought into it! I think your plan for easing into camping makes lots of sense - ensuring you know how to set things up and use all the equipment, and get a feel for what it'll be like before venturing out into the wilderness is smart.

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