[Novel 02] Implied Valentine’s Plans

I’ve been planning to write “The Story” for years now. It’s been a declared plan for maybe six years? As far as mentally needing to write it, however, closer to twenty-plus. I went from writing “Novel 01” to completing it in less than two months. I’ve been planning “Novel 02” since I stopped writing “01,” and doing more formal writing/recording now for a few weeks. I believe another year will give me the time to write it properly.

Spoilers?: Major [time of year]

I’m writing this essay on February 14, 2023.

Valentine’s Day is one month from today. I’ve never personally celebrated it, and I don’t find much attachment to the material world or anything like that, so for me, I’m unfamiliar with much of the culture and nuance of what this day means to some people. However, for Sammohini, I think this might be a sort of emotional weight that she will carry particularly difficulty in “Novel 02.”

This might be the first year she is without her partner of many years.

I don’t know the details yet about what made her break up with Jane, however, I know that the two are separated, and perhaps over a nasty argument. Maybe Jane did something, said something, or acted in some way that was abhorrent for Sammohini? Maybe Sammohini did something nasty in exchange? I know that in Part 4, after Sammohini’s health problems in Parts 2/3, Jane flies back from wherever she went off to to visit with Sammohini in hopes to reconnect. I know that when they meet for the first time, both apologize and both look to reconnect. Rebuilding relationships with exes is also something I’m unfamiliar with, so, I don’t know much of the nuance of how this might work in real-world situations, but I’m going with what I brainstorm about during the week.

When I think about “Novel 02,” ideas start flowing freeform.

I might think about the setting for Part 4, starting with Sammohini’s parents’s house, or I might think about scenes that take place there, such as Jane entering into the house, being greeted by some of the family dogs, and then meeting Sammohini again. I might think about the drive that doesn’t appear in “Novel 02” where Sammohini’s mom picks up Jane from the airport as a surprise for Sammohini, and on the drive back, Jane and Brigit talk about the events that caused their break-up and the health problem that encouraged Jane to reconcile with Sammohini. I might think about the provocations that might lead up to this, including how Sammohini might encounter situations where she meets someone named Jane – let me include that note at 9:01pm, which the video watchers of this essay will see in full, however the readers-only will not, concluding at 9:05pm – where it’s less of a direct one-event stress that causes Sammohini’s health problems but more of a multitude of stressors from various angles.

I thought about being on-call this past week.

I have been applying to myriad jobs over the past few months because my contract will end at some point in the next few months. Before I received the news that my contract would be extended, I had been talking to a recruiter that had a temp-to-hire contract that looked promising. This was for a healthcare organization, so, I could get more direct inspiration from working there than at the non-healthcare organization I’m currently contracted with. The major reason why I no longer entertained this contract, because I’m still looking for work afterall, is because the role would require “occasional” on-call duties. These recruiters always write this in shady ways that imply like being on-call is a casual thing that might happen so seldomly that you shouldn’t even worry about it. In reality, you’re on a 6-8 week rotation schedule where you hold the pager or answer equivalent phone calls at any hour of the day or night for a week.

Being on-call could be a stressor for Sammohini, too.

Except, she’s probably the kind of worker that is just naturally addicted to the working process and learning as much as possible about every bit of nuance involved at Eville Medical, so there would be no distinction between work and life in terms of balance with Sammohini. I was only briefly in that mindset, and I never have been on-call, so I didn’t want to start now. Still, though, this was an interesting opportunity for me to think about my life versus Sammohini’s life, where she wouldn’t mind being on-call at all, and she would probably jump at the opportunity to do so to help Eville Medical succeed more than if she weren’t on-call.

So, that’s not much of a stressor for her, but it would be for me.

In these sorts of comparisons, we can learn more about ourselves and our characters through which we write about. I look at character designing or uncovering less in terms of finding generic personality types, but more about figuring out whether a character might act in a certain situation based on how that character might perceive the overall value of the event. Sammohini might not care to be on-call with, say, a company she doesn’t believe in, but for Eville Medical, she most certainly would. I might feel the same, but my tolerance for that would be so minimal that I would – especially in moments like this where I’m recording video while writing – not consider being on-call unless the money I made for being on-call was so outrageously against the employer that it would be wild for me not to accept that possibility of being interrupted.

Besides, legally, employers don’t need to pay much for being on-call.

The last time I encountered any on-call situation was about eight years ago, maybe seven, and the way that this was introduced was a month-long on-call duty, when I had just been put on a performance improvement plan that had given me enough motivation to hide my plans to look for work for hours per day. When I was told about the situation, I said that I wanted to go “next” on the on-call rotation, which bought me the time to get the hell out of there before I could take even one call on-call. At this time, I had learned that the employer only needs to pay once a call is answered, so there is no particular need for me to feel obligated to take a job like that to help a business that will only minimally compensate me for my time.

I’ll do the research to confirm that at 9:17pm ending at 9:20pm agreed.

These ideas about what is or isn’t stressful might be good for me to think about, but I believe I want to spend another year brainstorming before I begin writing, because I want to set “Novel 02” during the month of February or around that time. I want to figure out exactly how long I want to write “Novel 02,” both in terms of the setting itself and the pace at which I want to work. If I’m working full-time, on a 40-hour per week basis, then at most I have maybe one or maybe a handful more hours that I can write per week in a video-recording and writing environment which is how I want to write all of my fiction going forward.

The compromise, then, would be to write between contracts or “on vacation.”

To get to that point, I would need to have my life comfortably set well enough to where I could spend, let’s say, two months of mid-January 2024 to mid-March 2024. That would roughly estimate out to 15 days for Part 1, which is the introduction and all of the stressful bits for “Novel 02,” the maybe week that would be Parts 2/3 for “Novel 02,” and the recovery time would would be the rest of “Novel 02” and that two-month process. If that’s the case, how will I get to writing for two solid months, or, if not, how can I reduce my time allocation for labor worked in exchange for income in exchange for housing and food, primarily, for time spent on writing?

Well, that’s a problem for another day.

Quotes: None
Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.
Inspirations: My personal experiences.
Related: Essays helping buildNovel 02.” This novel is formally called “A Story About Self-Confidence: Something About Anxiety,” and is a sequel to “Novel 01,” which is part of the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”
Picture: Video thumbnail
Written On: 2023 January 14 [8:51pm to 9:26pm]
Last Edited: 2023 January 14 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.