So last week, my wife and I got our first shots of the Pfizer COVID vaccine. She had slightly more side effects in the days that followed than I did, but neither of us felt anything alarming. We both definitely were hit with a wave of pretty profound fatigue and minor shoulder soreness. I have heard the second round hits people harder, but thankfully we’re in a situation where we can take the day off if need be.
Here is this week’s Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure. If you have an artist you think I might enjoy based on this or past playlists, leave a comment below. Always up for listening to someone new that clicks with my tastes.
It’s so strange to look back on the last year because it feels like it both happened in the blink of an eye but was also interminably long. I don’t know how to articulate this other than I think many people’s relationships with time are incredibly askew due to COVID. The first three months of this year have sort of just melted past strangely. I’m still of the mind that we aren’t close to being done with this virus anytime soon. Daily deaths continue to number in the 1,300 – 1,500 range regularly and, while infection numbers appear to be going down, I’m noticing positive test results are trending upwards in my area at an almost directly vertically ascent. I think fewer people are getting tested or able to because of the slimy things being done by our state government, and it’s created the illusion that everything is fine. Schools opened back up to 100% across the region today, middle & high school included, so in a month, we’ll undoubtedly see the results whether we are ready or not.
This weekend I did the first recording session for my upcoming PopCult Podcast. The exact format isn’t entirely locked down, but I know an hour or two of just listening to me would not appeal to the audience. So, I have recruited my wife into the endeavor, and she’ll be joining us for our Top 5 countdown, inspired directly by the fantastic Filmspotting podcast, which I’ve been listening to off and on since 2006. We did the Top 5 in two segments and ended up with fifty minutes of content and some great discussion. We don’t share our lists before the recordings, so it was fun to find out what movies we included and what differences we had. As for what that Top 5 list is about, you’ll find out on March 28th when the first episode drops.
I’m finding I enjoy this slower pace of the writing process. When I was in college, I would often hyper-fixate on something for a short amount of time, get bored, move on to something else, resulting in lots of unfinished things. The Art of Character by David Corbett has been a great read. While it doesn’t unlock the magic secrets to being a great writer, it is an incredibly comprehensive breakdown of multi-dimensional characters’ aspects, whether they be your protagonist or a supporting player. I don’t think I’ve ever spent this much time just sort of meditating and jotting down notes on characters as I have before this experience. I have to say I understand my main character and, by extension, the people around her a lot better. This has led to changes in the story’s direction because I realize what makes sense for her and what scenes and moments will highlight the aspects I want to write about.
I’ve also been adhering to some advice I remember seeing David Lynch give in an interview. I love listening to him talk about having ideas, and he’s adamant about preserving our thoughts. He’s spoken of feeling like he wanted to die because he had this great seed of an idea; he didn’t write it down, and not it’s gone. As a result, as I work on this particular story, I have new things pop into my head and make sure to write them down in as much detail as possible. They might come to fruition or be incorporated into some future piece down the road. I know the process won’t be so slow in the future, but pumping the brakes was a good move, I believe, as I get back into the habit. It will result in better writing, still rough around the edges, but with a better flow and understanding of what I am doing.
Just a reminder, I have a Patreon to help build up the blog and now podcast. I’d like to offer some fiction as a revise & edit it over there to get patrons’ feedback early on. If you want to jump on board and engage in making PopCult transform into something even better, consider joining our Patreon and helping to make that happen! This post goes into more detail on our tiers and what you get in each one.