Monday, June 27, 2005

So, I had a nice debate with myself tonight. I drove around for a little this evening and then returned to the homestead. Upon getting back, I said to myself, "I should go for a run."
"But you just ate twenty minutes ago."
"Yeah, but I'll be okay."
"No, it's hot and you'll feel like throwing up and will stop running early."
"I don't care I'm going running anyway."
So, I went to the dryer to grab my running clothes because I washed them this morning so I wouldn't have to jog in day-old sweat, but to my dismay, I didn't actually transfer my laundry to the dryer.
"So, hah!"
I must now wait for the dryer to dry my clothes, which means that my food will have a chance to digest and the weather might cool a fraction of a degree. Funny how things work sometimes.
*EDIT* I just got back from my run. Successfully delayed, it was pretty difficult. I attribute that to my shoes. Running barefoot (or in a shoe that accurately models the act) builds up the muscles in the feet and calves, and I'm feeling the burn. Well worth the investment, but not for the casual runner.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Well, it's about time for an update. Samantha came over this weekend for a late birthday celebration. Still haven't been to the bars since I turned 21, but I did order a mucho margarita at Applebee's. So, since turning 21, I have bought, consumed, ordered and provided alcohol. Not bad it I say so myself.
In other news, I finally picked up a new pair of running shoes. I bought the new Nike Free shoes. You know, the ones with the tagline: "Run barefoot." They were very comfortable in the store, and I'm looking forward to running in them.
I also received the Associated Press Guide to Punctuation. I love books about punctuation. The subtleties of English grammar are so fun to learn about. That's right. Fun. F-U-N.
I spent way too much money this weekend, but my apartment actually looks like a living space now. Samantha got me decorations for my bathroom and I used gift cards from mis padres y abuelos to buy some stuff for my kitchen and living room.
Well, not much else that I want to write about right now. I'll update again sometime.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I haven't updated in a couple of days, but that's because my life is pretty boring. I have some yearbook work to do, but I seem to be putting it off. Samantha's coming over this weekend, but I'm not sure we have any real plans. It'll be fun to just hang out.
I'm in a bit of a weird mood. I'm not sure exactly what's bugging me, but I feel a general mild annoyance with everything around me. I guess it's just a funk. Maybe it's because I don't feel in control of my life right now. People seem to have plenty suggestions of what I should do and different deadlines are looming, and I just feel like my input isn't very important in all of this. That's why I enjoyed going on a walk with my friend Beth tonight. We have good conversations about random things and she never offers me any unwanted advice. It's a rare thing to find in a person.
Well, I need to clean up my apartment before Samantha gets here tomorrow, so I'm going to cut this short and get started on cleaning things up a bit.
*EDIT* Pickup trucks that kick rocks into your windshield really suck. Some stupid truck outside Kirksville cracked my windshield and now I have to pay $387 to fix the damn thing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Well, the day is coming to a close, sort of. I still have homework to do, but I'm seriously considering putting it off until tomorrow morning. Thanks to all of you who wished me a happy birthday today. I'm sure you're all excited to hear about the adventures of my 21st birthday, so here goes.
I woke up at 7 a.m. I thought this was highly irregular so I snoozed until 8. Finally deciding I shouldn't fight the morning, I woke up and took a shower. In the shower, I decided I should go for a morning run, but I realized I'd have to shower again before class, so I decided against it. I made myself scrambled eggs for breakfast and had some yogurt too while I watched E.R. on TNT.
At 10, I left for Design II, where I quickly finished the in-class assignment and then left. My upper back was hurting me. Probably because I sneezed Sunday and since I was in a reclining position I lifted myself up and sneezed away from the furniture and fell back down hard after the very powerful sneeze. I think I threw something out of whack.
Made myself a nice lunch of grilled chicken breast with some olive oil. I watched half an episode of Judging Amy while reading through Google News. At 1:10, I left for Reporting I. Went about things as normal in that class and then came back to my apartment. Decided it was time to go grocery shopping because my fridge and shelves were empty, so I headed out to Walmart. While there, I did pick up some alcohol just because I'm 21 now. Came back to my apartment and proceeded to track down a missing package. Found it and called my future in-laws to chat.
Watched some Charmed while waiting for my dinner meeting. Went to A&G's with Laura Widmer and discussed several things re: Tower yearbook. Very nice meeting, and I had one of my favorite foods: gyros. That meeting lasted about an hour and after I stopped by the Episcopal chuch to pick up some materials for my design class. I also revamped the hymn schedule through July 17. That took about 45 minutes.
Come 8:30 and I decide to go running. I'd give the exact route, but that would take too long and I forgot all the roads I ended up taking. I ran 8.2 miles and was going strong until my right calf suddenly spasmed and cramped up. I almost fell down. I walked it off for about .2 miles and then decided to give it another go. I made it .1 miles before my left leg did the same thing. So, I walked the rest of the way home. Total trip distance: 9.7 miles. The one bad thing about my run (besides the cramping): I ran out of water at about 6.5 miles. Needless to say, I ended up very dehydrated and now I feel like vomiting.
That's basically my day. I'd say that there is more excitement to come, but I'm exhausted and not feeling well after my run. All in all, I think it was a great birthday. No big celebrations, just another day. Nice.
Hope your 20th of June was as enjoyable as mine.

Monday, June 20, 2005

And in the interest of celebrating 21 years on this planet, I decided to share a memory from each year of my life...at least those I can remember.
(0-1) In the first year of my life, I did the same things other infants do. I don't actually have any memories of this year of my life, but I'm sure it was a total blast, for infants of course.
(1-2) I started to diversify my portfolio. I became less like a crying mass with limbs and started to gain my independence. Crawling, walking, whatever. I did it all. But I still pooped my pants all the time. What can I say? I was still young.
(2-3) Major birthday party this year. All of the neighborhood kids were invited and we had a blast. Slip-N-Slide, swimming, running through the sprinklers, and upside down ice cream cones that looked like clown heads. Arguably one of the best birthday celebrations I've ever had.
(3-4) At some point during the summer, my family only had one car. I'm not sure if the van was in the repair shop or what happened, but it was gone for at least a few days. One hot, muggy morning, my mom, brother and I walked from our home to the local Osco drug at the corner of 39th and Noland. That memory is quite vivid in my mind. I remember the morning was already hot and we were all sweaty by the time we had walked up the hill, down the street and under the railroad bridge to get to the store. I think we're not completely aware as children, but I can still recall this event with absolute clarity. I think it was the beginning of my awareness of the world.
(4-5) Hello preschool. The beginning of my educational journey was at Sycamore Hills Preschool on 39th Street in Independence, Mo. We had those permanent markers that are in the metal casing. You know, the ones that are really strong smelling? Now, I always think back to my preschool days when I catch a whiff of one of those. And let's not forget all the awesome songs you learn in preschool. I guess it was the beginning of my musical career too. Good year.
(5-6) The family moved from Independence to Buckner, Mo. My favorite toys were wooden blocks, and I also was addicted to coloring. I had a collection of coloring books to be reckoned with. My aunt & uncle got me giant coloring books for Christmas, and I would use these as platforms for my constructions. I also began to pick up writing. I remember my favorite restaurant was Taco Bell, and I wrote "TB" everywhere. I couldn't spell the whole name, but I knew the initials. It was like one of those middle school notes, but I would write to my mom: "TB Y N." I'm not sure I ever got an answer on my media (I wrote it everywhere, including inside my dresser drawer).
(6-7) Ah, kindergarten. I went to school in the afternoons. This meant I didn't have to be at school in the morning, so I could continue to watch Regis and Kathy Lee and The Price Is Right with my mom. Actually, she usually found something else to do during The Price Is Right, but Bob Barker had my complete attention. It was an odd year, and I think that was partly because my kindergarten teacher's husband died so we had a few different subs for awhile. This year also included the birth of my sister. I don't remember much about that time, but I did know I was no longer the baby of the family. I became "the middle child."
(7-8) In first grade, I was thoroughly convinced that I was smarter than my teacher. They tested me for the talented and gifted program, but they didn't actually explain why I was talking to the school counselor. I thought she was wasting my time and I didn't care about the questions she was asking me. I think I was somewhat spiteful because I was missing silent reading time to do the test. Nobody messes with silent reading time. I also didn't care from what direction the sun rose. I remember thinking my counselor was really wasting my time with that question. I wonder how different my school life would have been if I had actually committed to the test and joined TAG then. Oh well.
(8-9) D.E.A.R. Mrs. Gussman was the best elementary school teacher ever. Drop Everything and Read was preceeded by episodes of Reading Rainbow. I've never met a teacher who was so dedicated to literacy as she was. I remember lots of fun times in that class, including being timed to walk from the classroom to the office to get staplers. The classroom shared a corner with the entry, so you could look out the windows and see into the office. When I got there and asked the secretary for the supplies, Mrs. Gussman buzzed the office and they heckled me from the classroom. Good times.
(9-10) Sweetness. Mrs. Gussman moved up with the class and it was almost the identical roster. Tom Reese transferred to his aunt's class in third grade, but the rest of us were all there. We still had D.E.A.R. and we still watched Reading Rainbow. I remember learning some algebra in the class, and it was difficult, but I don't know many third graders who are good at algebra. However, we also worked on handwriting, cursive in particular. I hated that because I was left-handed and thus had more difficulty with it. My cursive is still horrible, so I developed my own form of print/script.
(10-11) Fourth grade. This was the year I first received actual voice training. You remember Mrs. Gussman from (8-9) and (9-10)? Well, her husband, Leo Gussman, helped with the choral programs at Fort Osage and William-Chrisman high schools. Anyway, he wanted to put on a production of Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors," so he auditioned me for the part of Amahl. Well, he liked what he heard, so that started the training. I increased my range (I was a soprano 1 when I was that age) and I was hitting high D's and high F's in the music (the very high ones). Not many fourth graders receive opera training. Well, the high school student who was to play my mother had a nervous breakdown, so I didn't end up performing. However, I kept the training. It was like free voice lessons.
(11-12) Ah, fifth grade. Enter nerd-dom. Actually, I was just over-dedicated to school. I was quite the computer-savvy kid, and I went to school early every morning to help my teacher, Judy Oetting, with the computer and classroom maintenance. I also ended up joining the Journalism Club, which I actually wasn't a big fan of, but that was because I was pressured into joining. Fifth grade also included the living rainforest exhibit in our classroom. It was where we decorated the entire room with rainforest related cutouts and information and then led classes through the room.
(12-13) My first book was published at age 12...sort of. It was supposed to be, but my teacher lost all the materials. It was *actually* published the next year, but this was when I produced it. I joined the Artist/Author Club at Fort Osage Middle School, and I wrote a book about the rainforest exhibit as seen in (11-12). Did I mention I illustrated it? Poorly. I guess I could tell people I've been published, but this seems kind of like cheating. Sixth grade also saw the fad known as the "Macarena." The P.E. and music teachers had lessons in the gym to teach the entire school the "Macarena." Looking back, it was a waste of time.
(13-14) Remember TAG from (7-8)? Well, I read most of the books on the recommended reading list long before the class was even close to being done with their second book. My reading teacher knew I needed more of a challenge. She tested my reading level and I was reading at the 12+ level, so they tested me for TAG again. Now that I knew what they were doing, I actually answered the questions carefully. I made it in. Never actually heard what my score was on the test, but I remember word problems involving buckets of water. I did quite well on those. It was an oral IQ test. And thus I joined the Talented and Gifted Program. It was basically a slack-off class for the smart kids where we did a lot of logic puzzles and some independent research on various projects. Fun times.
(14-15) In eighth grade, I entered an area math competition. That's right, math. I entered the fractions category as well as a couple of others that I forget now. Anyway, I didn't do too shabby. Wasn't the top winner, but I did place. Despite my mathematical adventures (I wanted to be a math teacher at the time), I was still popular enough to win the election for Student Council Freshman Class Treasurer that spring. However, my high school schedule did not lend itself to the French, Spanish, Art and Choir electives I wanted to take, so I had to narrow it down to Spanish and Choir. I still kind of regret giving up the chance to be trilingual, but I guess it's never too late.
(15-16) My dad remarried in April of 1999, and (15-16) saw some of the most embittered family battles ever. The reason being that I hated my step-mother with a passion. This hatred was augmented by the fact that she wanted to move to Michigan and I had no desire to leave my life at Fort Osage. Luckily, this year also saw my involvement in the Fort Osage High School Freshman/Sophomore Chorale. We were a force to be reckoned with. Truly a great high school choir. At the Spring Pops Concert, I had a solo performance where I sang/played "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again." My father came to the concert. He was the only one from my family who did. I didn't do very well, but I blame it on nerves.
(16-17) Major change in lifestyle. It's hard to believe how much happened in this year. I started out knowing no one in Michigan and I ended the year recovered from my depression and dating the woman who I will marry in (21-22). I traveled abroad. I got my first job (Walmart Pets & Live Fish). I began accompanying choirs. I really grew as a person this year. At Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (the camp they make fun of in American Pie - "one time, at band camp...") I became part of a posse. At some point, the four of us - Mike, Jamie, Emma and me - adopted names from the Wizard of Oz. I was the Tin Man. Mike was the Scarecrow. Jamie was Dorothy. Emma was Toto. That week before the international tour was quite odd, but it was kind of fun too. That week also included one of the counselors instructing the entire choir the process of the courtesy flush. "Poop. Flush. Wipe. Flush." Crude, but direct.
(17-18) I spent my 17th birthday in Flensburg, Germany where an entire German high school jazz band/choir sang a nice rendition of "Happy Birthday." I loved my time in Germany, especially Flensburg. Walking around downtown at night, I have a vision engrained in my head of everything I loved about Europe. Have you ever seen Van Gogh's "Cafe Terrace at Night"? I saw that image. It was so awesome. That evening, some of the members of my group stolled down the red light district in Flensburg, but I was with another group that decided against it. From what I heard, it was just a bunch of hairy, middle-aged women standing naked in the windows. Not sorry I missed it.
(18-19) Varsity Singers, 7th Hour Concert Choir, 8th Hour Concert Choir, SSA Honors, TTBB Choir and the Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir. I was involved in one way or another in all of these choirs this year. When Melissa Risk, the accompanist, quit, I became the student accompanist for all choirs but the SSA Chorus. I also participated in the MSVMA Region B Honors Choir, the Southwest Michigan Vocal Festival and the SWMVF Honors Choir that year. Add personal piano lessons, an independent study in music theory, a role in "South Pacific" and teaching private piano lessons, and you get a music-filled year.
(19-20) Fresh-faced and freshman. An escape from Michigan and return to my home state was just what I needed. However, I was still burnt out from my music-filled senior year and the stress of working too much on my high school yearbook caused my to take a semester off from journalism and I only accompanied voice lessons to keep up on my piano. The year did grant me an opportunity to join the Residence Hall Association, and RHA quickly became my cup of tea. I was thoroughly involved and I received the First Year Experience Award at the regional and national levels. I thought it was kind of cool that I was judged the most involved leader in residential life for all first-year students at colleges and universities across the country, but no one else outside the organization seemed to care. Oh well. The final evening at the National Association of College and University Residence Halls National Conference, I did some hardcore dancing and totally got my groove on for a long time. It was there I showed my RHA friends that I do have some real moves. I have to be in the mood to dance though.
(20-21) Let's see. This year. Hmm. Became addicted to Tower. Joined Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Made a surprise visit to Michigan for Thanksgiving. Joined Tower Choir. Finshed my term as RHA President. Strengthened a lot of friendships and made quite a few new ones as well. During first deadline for Tower, we were all pretty pepped about the whole thing and deadline weekend was a total blast. That weekend included chair bowling and the ever-popular "qua?". I really got to know my Tower friends that weekend and I stopped being quiet around them. Hell, I was jumping on desks and yelling random things, usually "qua?" to keep things going well...I guess. Good memories of another year.
(21-22) Thus far, I've updated my Xanga. This thing took an hour and 45 minutes to write, so I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The_Boy_Named_Blue has been slacking off in the update department. In his defense. he's been out of town the last few days. He went to see his fiancée in Kirksville and had fun hanging out with her through Saturday. It was nice to get out of town for a little while.
Back to first person. I spent my Father's Day in true laziness. I went to church at 8:25 this morning, and after finishing the service, I returned to my apartment. I spent the rest of my day napping or playing Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories on GameBoy Advance. I'd complain about having no life, but it doesn't bother me tonight.
I have a longer, more reflective update to write either tonight or tomorrow, but I figured I'd write a "what's up with my life" entry first. No big plans for tomorrow. I have design II, reporting I and a dinner meeting with Laura Widmer, but no other plans. I am looking forward to getting mail tomorrow because I should have some nice things coming my way. I love non-bill mail.
I'm disappointed that I missed Family Guy this evening, but I slept through it. That's okay. I'll see it on Adult Swim soon enough. Well, no more to write right now. More to come later.
BTW, to those of you who read my xanga and didn't comment: I know who you are. Tsk tsk tsk. Can't you follow instructions?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Another day. Another book.
I think my voracious appetite for reading has abated with the completion of the third book in this series. My thirst for reading is insatiable, but I think I'm ready to start writing for myself now rather than reading others' works.
I'm feeling a little bit more at ease. I'm not sure what caused this weird emotional/mental state, but it seems to be fading. I still have no desire to do homework. I suppose I should write my reporting I story before I go to sleep tonight because I don't want to get up early tomorrow and write it.
I'm going to borrow an idea from Tipps and write a very long post and require those who read it to comment. But what to talk about? I could tell you all about the premise for my novel, but then I'd have to kill you. I suppose I could let you know that it's loosely based on an actual event, but that wouldn't be very accurate. Maybe if the actual event were changed dramatically and people who were involved with the orginal were wiped from history. Even then it wouldn't be accurate. I guess I got the idea from somewhere in my subconcious. I just hope people will like the story once it's completed.
It's late evening, and thus I am wearing my hat. I picked up this nifty Adidas hat when I went down to Kansas City Memorial Day Sunday. I'm not a big fan of hats, but this one called to me. And Adidas always reminds me of my trip to France. "Why?" you may ask. Simple, I browsed by many Adidas watch shops, and that's how I decided that I liked the brand. Rather than one of those digital sport watches, I have a cool analog silver Adidas watch, but I need to get it fixed. I haven't worn it at all since Feb. (I think) because I broke one of the posts and I haven't investigated getting it fixed anywhere.
Beth came over for dinner this evening. I had fun hanging out with her and our conversations always seem to drift aimlessly. We ended up talking for a good 2.5 hours, but it was quality. It's always nice to sit down with a friend and just talk about whatever comes to mind. I also made a pretty kickass chicken and rice dish, so yay for me. I'm pretty handy in the kitchen, but I have limited tools and supplies here on campus. I found one recipe that I really wanted to try, but the ingredients were a little obscure, plus I'm not 21 yet and thus cannot buy the wine to use in the recipe. Soon enough, but even then I'm living on campus. Dry campus.
I'm really looking forward to going out of town this weekend. I've been out of town for afternoons or even whole days since I started classes this summer, but I've spent every night in Maryville. I just need to escape the town, you know? I've always been the kind of person who needs to change things up a bit once in awhile. Usually that comes about in the form of a weekend escape or rearranging my living space. However, I seem to have blocked myself into the setup of my bedroom because of space constraints. I just can't live without a bookcase and I thought my keyboard would come into great use in the next year.
I've now decided that I'll just get up earlier tomorrow and write my reporting I story because I realized my tape recorder is in my car and this post is taking longer to write than I expected. I'm really glad Jody is so flexible in Design II. I'll probably just crank out the story in that class, but I may try to work on it before I leave in the morning. I'd rather have class at 7:30 and 1:20 in the summer and have to get up early than go at 10:10 and 1:20. I need a longer break between these extended classes.
Has anyone else seen those Nike Free shoes that have the tagline "run barefoot." I'm curious how those shoes actually feel. I ran three-fourths of a mile barefoot at the end of my last six mile run, and it was an pretty cool feeling. I'm sure they're expensive, but maybe they'd be worth trying on at least. I'm not sure I'll actually try them, but I'm considering it.
Well, that's about all I have to write for now. Remember that if you've read this far you are required to comment. This post was brought to you by the letter 'B' and the number 12.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Reading this.
Double update because I am addicted to both of these items. I love the BEP, and the Otori trilogy is one of the best I've read.
I don't know what's up with me lately, but I feel a little better now that I had a three-hour-long nap this evening. I really should be working on my design analysis and story analysis for class tomorrow, but I'm not really in the mood. I just want to read.
"What happened to your novel?" you may ask. Well, it's not dropped, but I haven't had the energy to pursue it lately. Maybe that's why I'm in a foul mood. Hey, I designed the book's cover in my design II class for my first project. The professor liked it a lot.
More to come when my brain feels like functioning.
Edit: One of the most difficult questions to answer: "What is your design strategy for this project?" I'm just flying by the seat of my pants on this project. I don't have a strategy. Time to b.s. But instead of further classwork, I'm going to work on the Basement Dweller Handbook because I have a dinner meeting to discuss it Wednesday. I suppose some work on it might be in order.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Another day, another book read.
I don't know what's up with my mind lately, but I need some form of escape. It's 2:02 a.m., June 13, 2005. In six days, it will be eight years. In seven, 21. I spent some time at the Episcopal church this evening playing the piano. I didn't practice for performance, but I just played for me. As I played, the rain began to pour and the thunder boomed around the church. I'm coming to terms with some emotions, but I still don't know what they are.
For now, I'm taking things one day at a time. I sleep when I need to sleep and I try to add some life into my daily proceedings. I need to work on improving myself now. I'm not sure what all this means in my life, but I guess that's what reflection brings us.
Don't worry about me. I get by. I'm going to go read.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I seem to be stuck in some kind of loop. Everytime I try a new route for running - six miles. Everytime I step on the scale - 195. It never changes. I suppose it's not the worst loop to be stuck in, but it's a little aggrivating, you know?
I didn't really have a productive day. I practiced at the Presbyterian church for two hours because I'm the "guest organist" this Sunday. AKA the substitute. I'm a little stressed about playing two different services Sunday, but hey, it's an extra $40.
Well, I'm currently rereading the Otori trilogy, so I think I'm going to go read for awhile and crash. I'm tired after my run.
P.S. I'm lovin' these thunderstorms.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Well, the headache is gone, but not much more point to an update. I spend a large chunk of my evening in the bowels of Wells Hall, where I accomplished much. As for EYE WATCH 2005, my eyes are now blue, but the inner circle surrounding my pupils are still green. Just so you know, my eyes naturally shift colors, but they usually fade from blue to gray, rarely green, and never as green as they were last night (at least that I've noticed).
I don't really like my classes this session, but I think that's partly because my brain is protesting the constant work. It wants to stop learning for awhile. Plus Boss is just an odd man, and I can't seem to catch the vibe that will actually let me learn in his class. I feel as if I'm just floating through Reporting I.
Oh well, c'est la vie, as they say in France (and Canada). I should look up some story ideas before I go to bed because I don't want to get up early tomorrow to look for them then.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Sorry I didn't have more of an update last night. I ended up falling asleep on the couch until 12:20, so I just got up, brushed my teeth, noticed my shockingly green eyes, updated and went to bed.
Right now, I have a horrible headache, and the sound of the keyboard spacebar is annoying me terribly. Therefore, I will update more later. By the way, my eyes are still green, but the blue is making its comeback.
When I awoke my eyes were green.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Had a good weekend overall. Made a few crazy plans, but they fell through. Went to Kara's wedding. It was nice. Saw my family since they were down in Independence. Spent the weekend with Samantha, which was nice because I hadn't seen her since May 7. We've passed the 1 year mark countdown toward the wedding. I'm not too savvy at math tonight, but I believe the official count is 363 days.
Picked up Tenacious D this weekend. It's a laugh. Feel like writing short sentences. Not feeling particularly anxious to write tonight. Story still spinning in my head. Reading "What Dreams May Come." Second time presents much deeper examination of afterlife theories. Trying to figure out exactly how death plays a role in my work.
Attempt 1 at Yoo-hoo cake. Not chocolatey enough. Will try again. Need to run. Prefer to sleep. Recent weather just makes me tired. Stream of conciousness. Reporting I. Media Design II. Another session begins.
More to come. Words might flow next time.
*EDIT* Most recent favored phrase: "best laid plans of mice and men."

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Well, it worked. I cranked out chapter one of what is hopefully my first novel. It was pretty effortless, and I feel like I have a good plot developing. I hope my readers will respond to it as much as I did while writing it. Although normally maintaining a very tough exterior, I was actually touched by the words that flowed onto the paper.
Unfortunately for all of you in Xangaland, I'm at the creative point where my work is unavailable for review. You'll just have to be patient as I work on this. Hopefully things only get better.