Getting Ahead

Choosing a header image is hard! For stuff like the weekly podcast and future weekly or monthly shows it's quite simple after the first time. The microphone image I chose for the podcast review took me about 25 minutes to find, since I waded through a bunch that just wouldn't work very well. After that I simply bought the license for it and now I can use it whenever I want. Every time I write a new podcast review post I just pull that out of the library and set it as the header. Easy peasy. But, when I go to write a daily post or a rant or something like that, I need to come up with a picture to use for the header. Sometimes it's easy, like for the one I wrote from the seat of my work truck I just took a picture of the truck to use. That's a connection that does not take a lot of brainpower to make. But posts like the one I'm writing today are a little harder. I'm talking about a few different things, and none of them are overly photographable. I think from now on for posts like this I will do what I've been doing and use close up pictures of stuff that's on my desk or in my room. I've used keyboard pictures before, and I'll use them again in the future because I love mechanical keyboards, but we'll talk about that in detail in a future post. I'm rather fond of the one for today, I've always liked these types of asymmetrical photos of random objects, close up. I find them quite aesthetically pleasing. 

The header isn't the only thing I want to talk about today. I almost didn't get the chance to talk about anything at all actually, since I almost had to go to work. Anyone not familiar with the brilliance of the oilfield might think to themselves something along the lines of "what do you mean you almost had to go to work? Wouldn't you know if you needed to work or not? If you got called to work wouldn't you be working right now?" All of these are legitimate questions, ones I ask myself quite often in fact. The sad truth though is that the oilfield is a giant piece of unorganized shit, diarrhea essentially, and no one ever knows what the fuck is going on. We were told last night that we would be notified today if we needed to get a load of oil from a location. Nothing came in during the morning, so I was able to sleep in a little bit, go for a run, make some delicious coffee and poached eggs for my dad and I. Then I sat down to write a bit and the call came in to go get this load. 

Now it's a really weird feeling when you get this call. Firstly, yes, I know that I'm on shift and I should be expecting calls like this to happen. We don't always know first thing in the morning if there is going to be work. That's totally understandable. And I know that this is a really well paying job and I should be happy to have any work at all with the way the economy is right now. But none of that is able to stop that feeling of dread and annoyance whenever I get the call to go to work. Like I've said previously, the work itself isn't bad at all. It's the emotional torment surrounding it that really gets to me. The only times I can be truly at peace are on my days off, but for some reason I can't get my brain to fully comprehend that. If I don't know the night before if I'm going to be working in the morning, it doesn't matter how much I tell myself that there's almost certainly going to be a call coming in, that I can't make plans because I'll have to go to work, or anything else. As soon as that call comes in I immediately get angry and depressed. I wish I didn't, and I tell myself over and over that the worst case scenarios will happen, so even when I do get called it's better than what I was imagining. But there's still that little part of my brain that thinks that maybe I won't get called out to work. Maybe I'll get an unexpected day off. And he is crushed when the call comes in. 

I've used this phrase many times before, but it's truly apt. The work really is a double edged sword, because if that call never comes in, if I've had the whole day off unexpectedly, it's still a shitty situation. First of all, I probably didn't get anything of high value done that day because the back of my mind was constantly concerned with the fact that a work call might come in at any moment. Furthermore, and this is the worst part, I'm disappointed because there was no work and there's a days worth of pay gone down the tube. Don't worry, the contradictions here are blazingly apparent to me as well. I don't want to go to work because I hate it, but when I don't have to go to work I get anxiety over money problems. It's just so soul crushingly maddening that I can never win. No matter what happens, the days that I'm on shift are rife with depression and anxiety, because I lose if I go to work, and I lose if I stay home. 

So today was one of the worse situations. I got the call to go pick up a load of oil, fired up the truck, finished up the thing I was working on at the time, and hopped in to take off. An hour of driving later I pulled into location to see a ton of people there. Right off the bat I'm annoyed because whenever there are people on site I get nervous that I'm doing something wrong that they will tattle on me for, and I won't be allowed to go back to that site. As a small little tangent here, that is easily one of my most hated aspects of the oilfield. They have all this nonsense safety stuff in place, most of which is useless garbage, and if you fuck up in spite of that safety stuff you've probably just lost that job. It's incredibly toxic to work in that sort of environment. 

Anyway, there are people on site, and I can't quite tell if there will be enough room for me to sneak in beside them to load, so I get out of the truck and throw all my gear on to go talk to them. Turns out there's room for me to get in, but I ask what they are doing and I don't really remember the exact answer because I wasn't listening all that hard because I didn't care, but it had something to do with using all of the oil on the site. Uh, well that's problematic for me, the guy sent to pick up a third of your oil and take it away. After a short call to dispatch and a bit of waiting I get the word to head back to the yard. So I take my gear off, climb in the truck, and drive home. After two hours completely wasted I got home, had lunch, and now I'm sitting on my computer typing this up. Like I said before, it's great that I don't have to work today and I can use that time doing something I actually enjoy, but on the other hand I just lost out on several hundred dollars. Ugh. 

I'm not going to waste this time I have here at home today though. It's 2:30 right now, which means I have about 6 or 7 hours of time left after you factor out eating and cooking, although not necessarily in that order. I have a few small housekeeping type things to do, like folding the laundry or organizing my bookshelves, but after that I'm going to buckle down and do some writing and planning. I want to get my backpack review put together so that it's at least nearly ready to be posted. I've got lots of pictures to upload for that one, which will eat up a bit of time, and I want to draft out the general plan for the review post. I've noticed, and maybe some of you have as well, that the podcast reviews can get a bit rambling or incoherent at times, and I think that's because I don't really have a cohesive plan of attack for those. I know the bullet points of what I want to talk about but that's it. I want to put together a review formula that I can use in the future. That's one on todays schedule. 

I also want to do some preliminary planning for the podcast. To do the actual podcast itself I'll have to get a little farther in my worldbuilding, but I can organize recording space, programs for editing, general structure of the podcast. Right now I'm aiming to start in January. I was considering doing it earlier, but I'll probably be travelling in December, and doing NaNoWriMo in November. January works better to as the start of the year. I'll call it a new years resolution. 

Many of you might be scratching your heads right now going "dafuq is 'NaNoWriMo'?" It stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is a really simple concept where you write 50,000 words in one month, which is roughly the size of a small novel. It works out to just over 1600 words a day. That's not all that much when you break it down like that, and it's not supposed to be finished, final product type writing. The point is to get you writing every day. You can go back and edit later, and do revisions and maybe actually turn your work into a functional book. 

I've "participated" in the last two NaNoWriMo's. I use that word loosely though, as I don't even remember the concept for the book I wrote in 2014, and last year I wrote approximately 3000 words of a horrible thriller story. It was shortly after the last NaNoWriMo though that I decided it was my dream to become a full time novelist, so this year is going to be different. If everything goes to plan - and why wouldn't it, plans always work out perfectly, right?... - I'll be able to finish up my stand alone character study novel in November, at least the first draft, and get to my fantasy novel series. This will bode well for the podcast, as I can spend all of December working on the initial worldbuilding, then start writing and worldbuilding side by side in the new year, talking about it on the podcast. This plan is so obviously foolproof and impervious to human error that I can't see any scenario where it doesn't succeed! 

So, for anyone reading this blog before the month of November, 2016, I'm issuing an official challenge. Take part in NaNoWriMo with me. Sign up on the website, linked above, and here, because why not, and write with me this month. My author name is "Verminyard". It's my online handle, no judgement! Join up and become my writing buddy and we can write novels together in November. I'm stating it here now, that even if they are the worst pages ever written by humanity, I will have 50,000 words at the end of November towards my novel. My plan depends on it!