I’m writing a Choose Your Own Adventure (actually Choose Your Own Romance) story and it apparently taps into all the same addiction centers as my latest iPad game obsession, because I’ve been spending hours on it every day. It appeals to both my working dog and curious cat sides: working dog, because it’s a sizable and fulfilling project (currently at 16,101 words), and curious cat, because anytime I get bored with a particular storyline, I just switch to another (or another fork in the same path). An extra treat for the variety-loving cat: I can even embed variability within the story itself, such that, for example, I can give five options for a character’s lunch, and the story will choose one at random each time you load it.
It really surprises me how much fun I’m having with this story. I began writing it because (a) my favorite iPad game has more than a month until its final update, and I was in withdrawal*, and (b) I tried a couple of CYOA-type games and they were just stupid, and I thought, “I could do better.” At the beginning I had some trouble keeping track of all the branching story bits, but now that the storylines have a little more heft, it’s easier. And the format encourages action and dialogue rather than lengthy description or internal monologue, which is very good practice for me. It’s not serious literature by any means, but it’s the kind of frothy escapism that I enjoy reading, and that makes it a joy to write. I can’t wait until it’s far enough along to share with you.
I started the story in Inklewriter, which is easy to use, but web-based and buggy; after the site lost an entire afternoon’s worth of writing on Tuesday, I downloaded Twine, which saves to my hard drive and actually has a lot more functionality. It also displays the story as a map of linked installments. (This is what it looks like zoomed-out; when I write, I zoom in so I can read the text.)
I mentioned last week that I started a Meetup group for non-9-to-5-ers who wanted to get out and see people during the weekday. That group is now up to 110 members, and we’ve had two successful gatherings so far (with about 7 attendees each time — not the full 100+!), with two more on the schedule next month. I don’t know if it’s the meetups, or whether I’m just at an “up” time in my creative cycle, but I’ve been both happy and productive since the group started getting together. Organizing the events encourages me to scope out new spots around the Bay Area, so I’ve been getting out more in general, which is definitely beneficial. I also notice the regular human contact keeps me outgoing and adventurous, as I was during our best travel moments, so yay, YAY for that, too.
On Sunday, my sister, brother-in-law, and dad came to visit, and we made a stop in Chinatown. My favorite noodle maker-slash-grocery was selling mochi filled with a mix of black sesame and peanut butter. Fab.
On Memorial Day, Erik and I went to Point Richmond for a walk, which turned into a longer outing as there was also a townwide sidewalk sale! We didn’t buy anything, but we enjoyed browsing people’s stuff and walking up and down the quaint old streets. Eventually we got burgers (well, I got fried fish on a burger bun) and took them to the waterfront.
This building was graffitied with this amazing line: “The weight of excess rests on fragile clouds.” I just looked it up and it turns out it’s part of a poem that adorns various locations around the East Bay.
I said last week that I was getting tired of my flower paintings, and that’s still true, though I’m feeling a bit more inspired by them now that I’ve mounted them all on the same wall, in chronological order:
The arrangement makes me want to fill the entire wall… but if I don’t want to lose interest, I’m going to have to come up with new approaches to the subject. This was my attempt, early this week: a sketch of my deck garden, painted at the cost of a light sunburn (I lost track of time).
*It’s actually a game with a storyline, so for a few days I moped around going, “But what’s going to happen between my character and her boyfriend?!” Hence writing my own romantic adventure!