Hello. How are you? I’m good. Thanks for asking.

It’s been one of those insane weeks where even my Field Notes planner looks barren because of how up and at ’em I’ve been.

That’s not to say I wasn’t doing anything. We are in Full On Baby Preparation Mode, which means my wife started freaking out about the impending arrival of Baby C weeks ago and I started freaking out about it this week. Want to know what my kitchen looks like?

Tough. That’s not even a picture I would share.

This was an actual website that was open on my actual phone.

But we’re at the weird, larval stage of home ownership where we have space for everything, but not everything is in its proper space. Stuff is sitting around, positioned awkwardly in cabinets, and we have a large backlog of baby supplies to go through, clean, store, etc. Nothing is where it should be and my goal is to fix the kitchen, at least, by day’s end.

Meaning today is going to be rather quick.

(Side Note: I wrote, and rewrote, this introduction a dozen times in my mind while laying in my son’s toddler bed to help him sleep and ALL of them were better than this so when Stephen King says if you have an idea and then forget it, it probably wasn’t that good of an idea, don’t listen to him. What does he know? He’s just Stephen King. Always carry a notebook and use it and avoid the mistake I made.)

Work Update

Project: DEED is past the halfway point, last clocking in at 200 pages done of 385 of the 3rd draft. However, there were two planned Massive Rewrites I was expecting. This meant during the 2nd draft, where I used a red pen to mark all the grammar and spelling nonsense, I wrote in two separate areas, “This makes no sense, rewrite completely,” or, “Add in whole new section to elaborate more, you hack.”

Sometimes, even when you’re editing, you’re writing.

Which is an entirely different set of skills. It’s a challenge to switch your brain over from editing to writing, from fixing to creating, from touching-up to building-up.

So while I was making solid progress for a couple of weeks, I haven’t worked on it since Friday, when I came upon the first Rewrite. I know what I want to say, and how I want to say it, but I guess I’m afraid of jumping in with more new words when the book was already done.

Seems silly, I know, but that’s where I’m at. If my sons let me do more housework today without crying too much that I’m in a different part of the same room they’re in, maybe I can do this during their nap.

Girl Giant and the Jade War – Van Hoang

“But she was not a hero. Not in this story anyway. She had caused this. the Monkey King wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her. No one had wanted to help her. Maybe the Sage was right when he’d posted that question.

“What was really the bad guy?”

Van Hoang

I wrote about the first Girl Giant book by Van Hoang here, and can see the vast change of style and technique she used to write the follow-up (Not sure if this is the end, as duologies are becoming more popular in MG and YA books).

Thom is strong, suuuuper strong, and that’s because her lineage lies with the gods and immortals of The Heavens. After unleashing the true Monkey King in the first book, who is insistent on waging war with all of creation, Thom and her two friends, a dragon prince and a fox demon, set out to find help to stop him.

So good, so middle-grade, right?

But where Hoang’s writing differs is the amount of introspection she offers the main character, Thom, a girl so strong she could crack the Earth in half if she wanted.

While they travel to find help from the Immortals around the world, there is doubt with their journey. Her traveling companions aren’t sure what Thom’s endgame is, or why she’s making the choices she does. “Can they even trust her, if she’s the one that unleashed the Monkey King on the Heavens?” is a thought that comes up quite a bit.

You know Thom’s every thought, and while “auteurs” might say don’t ever tell the audience what the character “thinks” but only what they “do,” Hoang piles it on, layer after complex layer, so when Thom finally does act, backed up by her massive strength, you know how much panic and anxiety and worry and vengeance she’s been feeling the moment she finally swings her frikkin’ sword.

It was awesome, and I’d highly recommend it and can’t wait to see what Hoang does next.

The New York Times says sleeping in pieces is commonplace now, with life during pandemic meaning less people have to be places at specific times. I guess humanity used to sleep like this? Sleep for a few hours, wake up and do stuff at 2 in the morning, then go back to sleep.

All I have to say is I’ve been sleeping in pieces for two years now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change. I read almost all of Girl Giant using my wife’s music stand light while laying in bed next to my 2-year old.

Like tools? Like cool tools? Like cool tools that help you out with daily tasks that you never would have considered? Check this out.

Like “Life Hacks” but less lame?

And I’m out. Quick one, I know, but there’s a lot to do and I wanted to at least check in here so show I’m still alive.

The goal is the same. The dream is the same. Get paid enough to do this every day to the point where I can just write down every little made thought that comes into my head on here.

That’s a good goal, right?

Take care. Drink water. Go for a walk. We need you.

Thanks for reading,

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Contact: robertmichaelacosta@gmail.com