This week, with my usual inclination to play while doing adult things, I chased plot bunnies and dinosaurs. Jurassic World has a Pokémon Go type game out now y’all, only it’s better than Pokémon Go, because it isn’t boring. Here, I’ll show you how excited I became.
It turns out, dinosaur hunting is better than nature treasure hunting for a reason to get out of the house and move around. You can really stretch your legs between spawn points instead of meandering across a field. And, you can still play around in the spawn points and find little nature treasures. When I move, spawn points are probably going to be where I seed-bomb first.
I absolutely have got to walk more. Reclaiming my previous physical strength, which softens the soreness of fibromyalgia, is a pretty big goal right now. I’m about to have a lot more freedom to possibly travel and maybe even (hopefully) take up camping as a hobby.
Besides, I need to be able to hike without coming to tears, even if it’s just to walk around New York seed-bombing to feed pollinators. Before meeting Joe and becoming his softened spoiled brat, I would walk or bike for a few miles carrying groceries, so I know it’s possible to get into hiking condition. A big rare dinosaur showing up just around the corner, followed by another desirable creature just over that hill, has ended up being exactly the motivation I need to get me there.
I have way too much fun with it, pretending the ghetto bird helicopters are my team members in on the action as I save the hood from rampaging horrors to a (and this is the best part) theme track of adventurous dinosaur hunting music. (I need a safari hat. My wicker gardening hat is all full of holes anyway. It’s starting to get comments.)
In fact, I had so much fun that I overdid it, and ended up having to force myself to turn off my GPS unless it was time to walk. I would spend so much time dinosaur hunting that I didn’t spend time doing chores or writing. It was great though, I did the whole going through pain while raising my physical limits thing, I look forward to working in a day to overdo it every week. Balance it with light chores and yoga the next day. I can plan it all out in my new bullet journal.
This bullet journal has been a lifesaver. I stopped keeping a physical journal when I got a laptop, thinking I would be more productive if I planned out my creative projects the same way I did my papers in school, digitally.
At the time it felt productive, as I type faster than I write by far. I’m thinking now that was a mistake, and I regret thinking bullet journaling looked “too complicated” when I ran across it before. I didn’t realize the whole concept can be explained in a three-minute video. Pie is more complex.
So now I’m well on my way to using it to adapt my routine into something that will help me meet my physical goals, keep on top of household tasks, and be creative while I am doing it. All I do is start the day with a creative writing prompt and begin a collection page for it, then as I clean (while dancing for cardio) I can daydream and jot stuff down.
That’s three goals at once. It only works well if I also make sure to stop doing everything and journal while I rest, allowing me to refresh my focus. It’s a great time to doodle and daydream. I also don’t count it as exercise time, that’s deserving of undivided attention as well. But it helps ideas flow while I clean, and I stop and rest while I clean a lot anyway.
Much more fun than keeping the laptop open to stop and write when I had time. I had methods I thought were organized, but they ended up with me feeling like everything was chaos and unmanageable. Now I have a book I scribble in, and I feel like it’s all slipping into place just fine. It looks like a wreck but it’s the smoothest sailing ship in my fleet so far.
The biggest way I’ve been using it is to set it up with a writing prompt in the morning, daydream up plot bunnies, which I then can write about during Her Fussiness’s afternoon nap. Then, when she wakes up, I take notes on how to develop the idea further, or come up with more plot bunnies while I continue with my normal routine. Then I revise my notes in the evening at the kitchen table while dinner cooks.
I finalize the day with tasks that help me feel closure, like a little yoga and checking off the completed tasks for the day. Pleasure reading then stops the flow of ideas or I never sleep. I know writers are supposed to be open to the ability to take notes at 3am, but if I let my brain stay active it will never let me get any rest. Letting it have the freedom of my entire day instead seems to be working out well.
My prompts have been coming from Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer, edited by Bret Anthony Johnston. I browse it until something strikes me as I sip my coffee, then I put the book down and set up a prompt page.
This page about Thisbe Nissen’s Fiction Through Artifacts prompt turned into a board on Pinterest. It’s devoted to collecting visual prompts for plot bunnies. I’m doing her postcard exercise from my gallery today. I also have a bullet journal section in my journal gallery. If you have anything similar, leave me a comment so I can check it out.
Which all sums up my current plan. Shake up my muse a bit for a few weeks, until I have some plot bunnies that are shining, prized gems. The next step will be working on them one at a time, then after a bit I’ll pick up alternating quick projects with the larger projects I have resting. For now, I’ll have tons of fun, and a schedule that allows me to create while organizing for the move.
P.S.- I highly recommend Abney Park (a steampunk band) as background music to dinosaur fights, I can stream it on Spotify and still hear the dinosaur sound effects. 60s music also gives it a nice surrealistic feel.