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Echocheanic: The guide


Echoceanic

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Now with that out of the way, let's get into the first challenge of 2019 shall we? Week zero is holiday week for me (Christmas is on the 7th of January here) so it means a lot of food and a week off work for some, but nothing else is changing. I took December off the challenge thread but it actually wound up being one of the best months I had all year when it came to things I did - mostly because of a newfound laser focus I have grown to love:

 

- I finished all of my tasks that I planned on - even introduced a new habit that has been going really well for being a chore I hate - dishes.

- My days have been more active than ever, and even if my sleep took a nose dive I was not tired.

- I finished first year of school and started my second - without panicking.

- I did an entire month of exercise - I did Athena's Playbook every single day (minus one where I missed but the program is 30 days and December is 31) so I am finishing it tomorrow fully. Which means I have discovered I really like working out every single day and it's something I can more easily maintain than doing progressively more and more - so active rest is the ticket. And I got a giant boost in strength (and a giant needed boost in calories that I will need to accommodate).

Another thing I have learned from this is that from all of the exercises, calf raises are what murder my legs the most. Interesting. I also think that this was one of the biggest changes I did., since it made me move more I actually wound up having more energy and both did more and was aware I did more. If you've been here a while you know this is a big deal for me.

- I do very well when I push myself, but only in an encouraging way, which is a skill I have only recently developed. I like this skill, it makes me feel like a badass.

 

 

Because of this awesomeness and my second wind when it comes to NF I decided to do something I have always wanted to do, but have never had the actual courage or tenacity to before - narratives. Since I am writing semi-professionally (published but it's not my career) I want to have a place where I can have fun with words without having to edit, and this will be it. So, these are my goals:

 

  • Big life goal - book rewrite - I have about 30 000 words to do this month, which means writing every day. I will finish this by the end of January and send it to my editor in February, since this is an exam-less month.
  • Another thing is I need to copy some material by hand - so that will be something I spend a lot of time on this month.
  • Life is a challenge - The crux of this is to push myself but not beat myself up, and mindfully make decisions about my day. So far December has been a great example as to why this works,  which is why instead of a singular goal, I am sticking to this. I have a (bullet) journal, with all of my goals for the month and a daily plan, in excruciating detail. Parts of it are work, exercise, social, relaxation, priorities and chores. So, life.
  • I need to keep at it, balancing between doing all the things and knowing when I need to take a break. Because of this these challenges will be based on the journal instead of the other way around, so the goals won't necessarily start when the challenges start - I do a review at the end of each month and see if anything needs tweaking, set up new milestones and change things. The only thing this will change is that some challenges will have two goal posts depending on when they happen. Because of how extensive my planning is, I will not be writing it all out here (too much information, not enough time), but I will be mentioning when things are relevant.
  • NF challenge - two narrative posts this challenge. Minimum. If I feel like doing more I will but two you will get. When is not important. I already have an idea, so you will see that one soon. To give the narrative something to do (and to give my character someone to argue with) I will be including some DnD characters I used to play as (cause I don't have the group to play as them anymore, this is the second best thing). Which means I will be also geeking out a lot.

 

I did manage to lurk on some challenges and even post on some last challenge, so greetings to the ones I managed to get, and to the ones I missed. You are all awesome and a big part of why I am back here.

 

Been listening to a lot of Alter Bridge recently -  and this is the song that has been stuck in my head. It's a pretty good note to end on. Now I need to go get to work.

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Salinger said:

Good luck for the book!!!! xx

 

Thank you, and glad to have ya.

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So glad to see you back, and that your forum rest was a good thing for you overall!  Looking forward to your writing! ^_^

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i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

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"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

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10 minutes ago, shaar said:

So glad to see you back, and that your forum rest was a good thing for you overall!  Looking forward to your writing! ^_^

 

Hi shaar! Glad to see ya. And yeah I think it'll be fun. ^_^ 

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6 hours ago, Echoceanic said:

Life is a challenge - The crux of this is to push myself but not beat myself up, and mindfully make decisions about my day.

 

Overall challenge is solid, but I especially love this.  I think most folks could learn something that simply considering mindfulness while going about their life!

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1 hour ago, Rurik Harrgath said:

Overall challenge is solid, but I especially love this.  I think most folks could learn something that simply considering mindfulness while going about their life!

 

Thanks! For me at first it was simply because I did not feel I accomplished much even when I did, so looking back at my schedule became second nature. I really had to find a way to focus on my day.

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The guide

 

  Echo had learned to like guide duty. Especially now that she didn't have to hunt people down. The word has spread - you need to get through Nefer Woods alive, you find a Ranger guide station and you pay to get escorted. It was easier to keep people from getting maimed or killed if you didn't have to run them down first. Though it meant she had to find a different way to polish her tracking skills.

  She had just finished her meal and was comfortably resting when she caught movement. Two men, headed her way. One was small and portly, in robes definitely not suited for the woods, and he was walking ahead, vividly explaining something. The other man was taller, and heavily muscled, obviously an adventurer, another Ranger if she read him well by the clothes and the way he moved, though not someone she recognised. There was a large bow on his back. Echo walked out to a more visible location, a relaxed grip on her sword.  The small man waved at her.

  "Greetings my good lady I-"

  Greetings my good lady I-

  The man stopped when the words he had said were repeated back at him. Same pitch, same tone, a second later.

  "My word!"

  My word!

  The tall man, who Echo could now see was a half-elf, though he was far taller than any she had ever seen, and his light blond hair was strangely short, stopped the other from saying anything more. Echo figured it was safe for her to pull out her pad and pen now. She wrote down her lines - she used to have these pre-written but organisational skills turned people off for some reason.

 

My name is Echo, and I will be your guide through the Nefer Wood. You may speak but please keep it concise, because I will repeat everything you say.

 

  The half-elf nodded, and motioned for his friend to sit down, then did the same. Echo was glad he at the very least seemed capable. Good quality gear, but not brand new, indicating he had been doing this for a while. Though the pea green was a bit much. Now that she was closer she could truly see the bow was the work of a master.

  "I'm Evander. I was hired to lead Mr Shell," Evander pointed at the small man next to him, pausing so that Echo could catch up, "over the mountain. We have your cut here." He dropped a bag in front of her. While Echo counted, she noticed Mr Shell kept opening his mouth, but he'd glance at Evander and then close it again. The payment was good - he didn't go overboard, but didn't underestimate her skills either. She was certain he was a tracker, though one without a guild, there were no insignia on his armour or signs that one had been there before. She wrote on the pad again.

 

We are agreed. We can leave as soon as my replacement gets here.

 

  Before leaving, she pulled out the signal whistle from her belt and blew it three times. The closest Ranger would come to relieve her. She used that time to gather her supplies. The Ranger that came greeted her with a "Good Luck" in sign language then took her post. Then they were off.

  Nefer Woods was not so bad if you've lived in it for a while. You got used to the changes in climate and the random magic bursts through the ground, the monsters and the wind that seemed to whisper in your ear. You learned to navigate, to only go to the spots you could handle. Which is why the Rangers here were so different, everyone had a focus and you needed to work together to survive. Leading experienced people through was bad enough with all the twists and turns, inexperienced people got bored, or twisted their ankles, got tired too easily. Which is why Echo expected this trip to last.

  It took about an hour for Mr Shell to realise that it didn't matter if he spoke quietly, if he spoke to her, or even if he spoke in a language she understood. If it was within earshot she would repeat it. She thanked the silence after that. Evander however was the silent type. And not the kind that had to work at it. He could convey a lot in a look, and Echo had the feeling that if she wasn't here Mr Shell would be talking to himself.

  They were resting before they knew it. Echo stopped them from making a fire and wrapped her cloak around herself. It would get warm soon, and you didn't want to draw attention like that. Food would have to be rations. She pulled out her pad, wrote, and tapped Evander on the shoulder.

 

Tracker?

 

  Evander smiled, and nodded. Turning towards her he began to sign. "You?"

  Echo was relieved.

  "Used to be."

  "Curse?" Evander signed, then pointed to his neck.

  "Maybe. Long story." She didn't want to spend all night telling her troubles to a stranger. And, hey, point to Evander, he didn't push.

  "How long is the trip?"

  "At this speed a day and a half. If we have to go around, three." Echo glanced to the side and noticed Mr Shell was staring. Well, more like gaping.

  "Trip specifics." Evander said.

  Trip specifics. Echo repeated.

  "Is there something we should be worrying about?" Mr Shell asked.

  After repeating the sentence, Echo signed at Evander.

  "Usual. Monsters, random magic, weather. No bandits, we keep it clean."

  Evander nodded at her, then turned to Mr Shell.

  "No."

  No.

  "Oh okay." Mr Shell didn't sound too convinced.

  Oh okay.

 

 

 

Hope you like this little thing. I figured if I was going to have a name like Echo I better do something with it, and the guide through Nefer Woods (get it? :D) seemed like a good place to start. Hope no glaring typos passed through. As I'm pretty sure everyone figured it out already, Evander is one of two DnD characters I used to play as and he is awesome (though yes I'm biased). I made him in 5th edition which simply means he has a broken powerful bow (shoots accurately at over 400ft I think) which just makes me laugh - though I didn't get to use him much since the game I was playing with him broke apart. Echo is me, or as me as you can get in a narrative. :D

 

No update today, I have nothing much to say about my day.

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6 minutes ago, Salinger said:

Great Echo, loved it :) Hope you are having a lovely NYE x

 

Thanks, it was fun to do! So far so good, it's the afternoon here so I am just trying to knock stuff out before the evening comes and I curl up with a movie. 

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Just now, Salinger said:

Sounds lovely, any plans with what to watch ?x

 

Probably a musical or comedy, standard for nights like this. Laughter and nice visuals you don't need to pay much attention to. :))

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Following along. Loved the narrative entry! 

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" Always aim for something stupidly crazy." - Charlie Quinn

2019 Races: Cliveden MTR 06/01 | Nuts Challenge 02/03 | Reading Half Marathon 17/03 | W.A.R 27/04 | RRDW 11/05 | Nuclear Oblivion 19/05 | Man vs Lakes 20/07 | Spartan Trifecta Weekend 05-06/10 | OCRWC 11-13/10

 

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19 minutes ago, jonfirestar said:

Following along. Loved the narrative entry! 

 

Thanks, and good to see ya!

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I loved the echo part, that was brilliant!!  Can't wait to read more!! I already like Evander too. ^_____^

 

 

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i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 50 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

» visit me @ my BATTLE LOG~

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2 hours ago, shaar said:

I loved the echo part, that was brilliant!!  Can't wait to read more!! I already like Evander too. ^_____^

 

 

Yay! I'm so glad you like it. 

The idea came from the Greek myth about Echo who was cursed to repeat everything said to her. But of course I have no idea where I'm going with it, and I kinda like that. :D 

Haha. I am happy you like Evander, he's easy to write, and fun to play (even if he is quiet and I am a talker in real life). :D 

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1 hour ago, Miaulin said:

Heyoo Echocheanic! Cool cool writing, and i love the inspiration you talked about! Best wishes for you to get those goals!

 

Hi! So nice to have ya here.

 

 

Anyway Happy New Year! 

 

Going to go to bed (it's about a half an hour after midnight) now. Had a nice time, watched Moulin Rouge with mom, had some wine and food and laughter. I called the friend I couldn't be with and now I'm tried. Here's to a good start of the year tomorrow!

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May have arrived here for the narration (awesome inspiration to go with your name), stick around for the daily life stuff. I have similar goals on trying to get used to the one day at a time stuff. 

Glad you were able to have a happy new year!

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6 hours ago, LovelyBouncer said:

May have arrived here for the narration (awesome inspiration to go with your name), stick around for the daily life stuff. I have similar goals on trying to get used to the one day at a time stuff. 

 

 

Hi and welcome! I am so glad to see you. If I can find your challenge I'll check it out too. Support is awesome.

It might have taken me almost two years of active work on it  but I have enjoyed finding out what works and what doesn't, which mostly lead to me going up to my problems and asking 'why' until my brain finds the thing. :D 

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Update: Echo is calm

 

So far so good these two days. I have been calmer lately and it has been easier to plan things and prioritise daily, which is fun. I like my new planner set up, the vertical days (one page split in half vs three days under each other) means that I get to see the amount of stuff I've rammed in a day and that is very awesome, since I get an easier overview.

 

I found out that I have been exercising for almost 2 years, or well, trying to exercise would be a better way to put it. I am shutting down the critic that is trying to say that I haven't gotten far, because I have just not in the way I thought I would be and isn't that just what life does to you?

 

Exercise: a light get moving yoga video yesterday and an incline push up countdown today (was supposed to be a 100 - 10x10 but wound up 50 - 5x10 cause of me getting up really late). This is my 'light' week, so no exercise groups, but doing countdowns and other stuff like that. If I get to it after I turn off the computer it'll be two days of meditation too.

 

Writing: it was hard to focus but was better today - broke through the 1k wall. Technically around 2k written this month already but not all on the book. Setting a timer helps, it usually takes me about half an hour to get in the groove and hyperfocus.

 

Howl by Florence and the Machine has been on repeat today for some reason. I like it.

 

Already have something percolating in my mind for the narrative so if I hit the two early, I'll be moving the goal up. Maybe writing it will make me write more in the other capacity.

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The guide's book

 

 "Why are we turning around now?" Mr Shell whined.

 Why are we turning around now? Echo whined with him and winced. She closed her eyes so she could roll them. Writing down the answer gave her enough time to think how to phrase it nicely.

As I said

 Echo flipped the page and tried again.

If you don't want to get

 She flipped the page and wrote again.

I am guiding you through a safe route.

 

 Evander hand't tried to shut Mr Shell up at any point of their journey. He seemed to be blocking out anything the man said. The only time she thought he was going to say something was when she pulled out her red leather notebook and jotted something down. He was taller than her so he could probably see the red ink shifting under her pen, the hand-drawn map adjusting to the notes she placed under it. When she looked up at him he raised an eyebrow.

 "So we don't get killed." Echo signed.

 Evander nodded.

 Echo continued moving in a long arch around the middle of the forest. There had been a lot of magical activity there before, you could still feel the ground rumble with it, and she preferred to add a day to her journey over having to deal with it.

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Update:

Apparently two narratives was a low goal. Though I guess this second one is super short, but it means this goal is being upped to four.

 

Some pluses for these days - I have been learning how to prioritise and in general have been dealing with things well mentally. Working through them instead of bottling them up.

 

Exercise: yesterday was the day of a 1 000 leg lifts. Today I am gonna move in a more fun way (so combat moves and dancing), I have the rest of this week to do this light stuff - and figure out how to stop underestimating it. No meditation apart from those two days in a row.

 

Food: my caloric needs have jumped and I have been trying to catch up with them in a healthy-ish way. Which basically involves - up your estimated hunger-quenching levels, eat real food, watch the amount of bread you eat (cause sometimes I can go 6 pieces a meal and that is only fair if I am low on other food in the house). 

 

Writing: we'll see how I do today but yesterday I broke through the hard chapter and wrote 2k words, putting me back on track on the 1k a day goal. Because of that however I stayed up on the computer longer and...

 

Sleep: My sleep schedule took a nosedive again, need to get it back on track tonight. Did get up early but I wanted to lie in bed. Not sleep, just be horizontal. 

 

Still stuck on Florence and the Machine and Alter Bridge. I have also been watching The Wolf Among Us playthroughs. Why? No idea.

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18 minutes ago, Salinger said:

Do you know the Florence song called 'Girl with one eye' ?

 

Oh yeah, that one, Howl, Seven Devils and Rabbit Heart have been on repeat a lot these days - I've discovered recently too. I like the sound of them a lot.

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