Chapter 7

Finished rewriting chapter 7. I rewrote it almost entirely, and I had to go back to chapter 2 first to fix a significant portion of that yet again, but the end result is much better I think, so I’m pretty pleased.

The main thing I learned from this is not to be afraid to go back and rewrite from scratch earlier chapters and scenes that I have already reviewed, if the resulting narrative is tighter and more coherent in the end.

So far I’ve managed to cut almost 9,000 words out, which is good progress, but the longest chapter (chapter 8, at a whopping 12,339 words) is still ahead of me, so I need to hunker down.

D&D Game January 8, 2018

Tonight’s D&D game, the first of the year, featured a group of card playing skeletons (that whooped our ass with table legs), a fog spewing magical wooden chest, and a blood thirsty cursed flail that’s our fighter’s new best friend.

A session to remember.

Roses in the Dark

Just so you realise how hot this winter has been – roses are in full bloom in January.

Tealog: Yunnan Bi Luo Chun

A chocolaty black tea from Yunnan Sourcing that’s worth trying out, naturally sweet and malty. The half rolled leaves look like tiny golden snails, but don’t let that put you off them.

Sketchlog January 6, 2018

  • Really glad that I snagged one of Adjiashvili’s charcoal drawings.
  • Yoga is turning out to be more enjoyable than I thought. The new yoga workouts in the NTC app are really good.
  • Wrote a good deal today and going to write some more.
  • 2nd day of the 30 day plank challenge was OK. Yesterday was test day – I can hold a plank in good form for 1min. We’ll see where I end up.
  • Not pictured: I saw “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”. There’s a reason it’s not pictured.
  • This made me laugh, because it’s true…

My 2017 – an utterly positive roundup


2017 was the year I ran a race in my underwear.

I also read 42 books, almost twice as many as I originally planned on reading.

I finally finished the first draft of my novel and started working on the second draft.

I went on the Big Thunder Mountain Ride in Disneyland Paris, despite being afraid of heights, and I ran a 5k and a 10k mere hours apart in the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend.

I translated and heavily adapted a Parsley game for a friend’s wedding, arranged a Tabletop Day gathering, played  and I started playing Pandemic Legacy 2. So far Matt Leacock is killing it with the story on this one.

I saw and enjoyed Wonder Woman, and I saw and loved Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I planned on going to more movies (I can’t believe I missed Coco, but travel plans will do that to you), but I’ll make up for it in 2018 I’m pretty sure.

I ran three 10K races, two 5K races (and 3 virtual 5Ks), more kilometres than I have ever run in a year (over 700), and I broke my 10K PR. I ran like through downtown Washington to the Mall and Lincoln Memorial, and through Greenwich Park all the way up to the Greenwich Observatory. I learned to appreciate yoga.

I joined Tel Aviv’s Urban Sketchers and went to sketchcrawls in Jaffa, Neve Zedek, the Carmel Market, Rothschild, and Florentine. I drew 100 people in a week as part of Liz Steel‘s challenge, and I sketched more frequently than I ever have. Learning to let myself experiment with my drawings, let my lines be looser and fortunate mistakes to happen has been a revelation that I plan on exploring more in 2018.

I journaled each day for most of the year, and finally started filling all those notebooks I bought. 2017 was also the year I fell in love again with Moleskines, but more on that perhaps later.

I challenged myself to take a photo a day, and succeeded, and I plan on continuing with that challenge in 2018. It makes me stop, look around, think about composition, lighting, atmosphere — all things that are valuable to me both as an artist and a writer.

2017 wasn’t without it’s challenges, fears, troubles — but it was also full of triumph and hope, good things that I plan on carrying on with me to 2018 and beyond.

Happy new year!