A big, deep breath

I’ve finally come to the end of a long run that wasn’t the best for me. For months and months, I took on too many projects and constantly lived an overloaded lifestyle. My justification? I didn’t have one.

In hindsight, it was probably a combination of a work ethic that favours intensity and the lack of a well-calibrated filter for input. I understand this is not uncommon for people in Team Neurodiversity, which I have also recently learned is indeed my team.

Of course, being the kind of person who believes we make the choices that seem like the best idea at the time, I embrace the notion that “that unhealthy lifestyle” was actually very good for me at some point. Sometimes we need to struggle before we experience gratitude. Sometimes we need the rain before we get flowers.

Well, to continue the metaphor, I still need to tend to my garden before anything will bloom, but I have finally dug my way out of the mire 🌻 Here are the seedlings I’m currently tending:

WIP — “Sunset”

Act 2 of “Sunset” is done. I had a lovely break over the weekend, involving computer games and Thai food 😄 in preparation to get cracking on Act 3. This book has been a work in progress since 2018, and I’ll be over the moon when I finally get to share it with you.

Coming soon — About Henry: A Novella

About Henry: A Novella is now up on Amazon, pre-ordering is open, cover has been revealed, etc. 🙌 It feels great to have both stories, About Henry and About Her, in a single device-friendly ebook format.

This blog — a refresh

So here I am now at my new blog home, blog.jlperidot.com. I should have done this ages ago, as the new setup means easier maintenance and less faffing about every time WordPress releases a new update.

I hope you’re still with me and, if you are, that you’ll excuse any broken links still pointing to my old domain. They’ll get fixed in due course.

A bowl of Thai beef curry noodle soup and sweet Assam tea
Thai beef curry noodle lunch from the other day 😋

Status Update — Jan 2021

It was SO warm last week. With temps in the high 30s—even cracking 40 a couple of times—my homebody self has been uncharacteristically eager to go out just to enjoy 15 minutes of air-conditioning in the car. We had a little reprieve over the weekend, and despite predictions of the days climbing back up to 40, we seem to be back in the gorgeous Celsius bracket of first summer 🥵 According to the Noongar calendar, this is Birak.

Warm days generally adds an extra struggle factor to writing. This is the kind of weather to spend being restless, agitated, out and about instead of sweating away at a desk. But I do love it. And I’m trying to work better with the seasons. For example, we just started keeping our water filter jug in the fridge.

I know. Genius, right? 💁🏻‍♀️

This month, I’ve committed to getting just one WIP past the post. Surely focusing on just one thing means it’ll get done, because that’s exactly how life works 😅😅😅 It’s a sci-fi romance short story that’s been bouncing around in the ol’ coconut since November. And in case you’re curious, I’ll leave off with a wee snippet from Instagram:

A subroutine pours a drink for Roxy. Tanith studies the arc trajectories of particles as they slosh and swirl against the glass. So realistic. The latest patch to the Garden has all but eliminated the uncanny valley that reminds her she belongs to a different world.

Red wine spills into a glass

Status Update — Jan 2020

I didn’t want to do an “in review” at the end of 2019. The glut of family and social engagements over the holidays gave me too many existential questions to ponder—many of which I’m still pondering now at the end of January. Shortly after Christmas too, I copped a shoulder injury at the gym, which has put pretty much all of my fitness goals on hold.

But that’s fine. Though it’s all left me feeling confused and disheartened, I’m also obliged to be grateful for the opportunity to slow down as 2020 rolls in. It’s given me time—sweet, blessed time—to assess and process, as well as a chance to reconnect with, well, everything around me.

The Dragon’s Den

…is creeping along very slowly. Every time I think I’m close, I find another depth to plumb. This has been a bingo square in my BuJo for the last 3 months already, with still another 12,000 words at least before it can be coloured in.

And this is just the first draft—actually the third/fourth rehash of it 😬 Eeh!

The size of the project is certainly a challenge. Writing a novel-length manuscript is such a different beast to writing short stories and flash fiction. I’m in awe of people who can build such substantial tales. Also completely blown away by people who can do it with the intensity you find in short fiction. That’s #craftgoals for me. I don’t know if I’ll get there with this book, but I will damn well give it my best shot.

Short Story — About Her

I’ve been working on a little piece called About Her, the follow-up to About Henry. Back when CapriLuxe was still taking submissions, I never found the time to put this one to paper and it’s been tugging on my sleeve for almost two years.

Soon, my lovelies, we shall see how things ended for Julie Ho.

My new website

…is about 70% done.

Projects still on hold

  • “Project H”
  • Sunset on a Distant World

Self-caring

I promised myself at the end of last year that rewards and motivation would come in the form of nice-smelling things, like candles, lotions and lovely tea. So far, I’ve been very slack about keeping this promise. Stress tends to stack on, and it doesn’t bode well when one can’t even make time for tiny decompression moments. I must make the effort this week.

Reading

Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald. The Irredeemable Prince by Alyssa J. Montgomery.

Recently finished: Ghosts of Grace Cottage by Carolyn Wren. Loved Mars, Hated the Food by Willie Handler. Whistler Wonderland by Georgia Tingley. Aspergirls by Rudy Simone.

Watching

Yanxi Palace: Princess Adventures — so cute and it leaves me feeling so inferior for being so bad at Mandarin. Parks and Recreation — the more I see Amy Poehler, the more I like her. I Am the Night — because interesting and also Chris Pine #pinenut

Recently watched: The Witcher — loved the time-jump storytelling. The Office — you can never really finish this show. The Red Sea Diving Resort — liked it. The Gentlemen — came for Charlie, stayed for Hugh, took Colin home with me 🔥

Playing

RimWorld by Ludeon Studios and Tynan Sylvester. I love this game 🥰

Status Update — Nov 2019

Since my last update, N and I had our UK trip, which was bloody good fun. We got to see family, indulge in pub food, take short walks in the countryside. England is a beautiful place. It’s also a freaking chilly place this time of year. I burned a ton of calories just shivering in my grundies.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4ZkJkKArJq

We got home last Monday and it’s been an uphill slog to get my gears turning again. Partly from jet lag, partly from still just wanting to be on holiday, despite the fact I was severely missing writing and home and my mechanical keyboard.

Funny how context can make you switch gears like that. But I’m back in the swing of things now, hacking away at The Dragon’s Den. Turns out I need to redo all of Act 2, which then means changes to Acts 1 and 3 to accommodate the changes. I’m sure builders had an easier time constructing the house I live in. Next mailing list update has a preview snippet from this WIP. Subscribe here if you wanna see and you’re not already in the club.

Project H is technically not on hold, but if this week’s anything to go by, that’s gonna be a slow burn project. Luckily, the story is straightforward and I don’t see it needing many revisions, just a lot of tweaking throughout the creative process. It’s still too primordial to discuss at length, but I can tell you it’ll be more supernatural than scifi. More to come.

Reading: Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald. Boston Patriot Mermaid by Paulo Da Silva (short story version).

(Re)watching: The Office, again. We just got to Phyllis’s wedding—oh, the cringe!

Playing: Blueprint Tycoon 🤓

Status Update — Sep 2019

I’ve been terrible with falling into rabbit holes this year. When my mind fixates on things—projects, drafts, games, etc.—I tend to shut myself off and not post as much as I’d like to. Left unchecked, the habit can fall away entirely, and then I’m just an unshowered recluse in a suburban study.

Well, I promised myself I’d try to be a real actual professional writer this year, so here I am, attempting a somewhat structured blogging schedule 👍

It Starts With A Kiss launched this month — yay!

A small stack of paperbacks of "It Starts With A Kiss" by JL Peridot

Book 2 of The Basilica Conspiracy, The Dragon’s Den, is in the second-draft planning stages, following a thorough review of the first draft (read: crying and eating chocolate). I don’t fancy the chances of completing this manuscript before new year, but the story, the characters and the underlying conspiracy are coming together quite nicely. Would you like a sneaky peek? It’s rough, it’s first drafty and may change, but here it is:

Text in image: De Vries rose to his feet again. Adria suppressed a flinch, bracing for another ‘accident’. But he stepped around and sat on the table, beside her, casual and close.
“Maybe we can help each other.” He spoke gently. “We’ve got some cases to close, some families who want peace. Detective Carver’s report said you saved his life, Ms. Yuan, but with a file like yours, there’s not a lot we can offer you. But you work with us and maybe we can do something for your brother. A nurse tells us he thinks you’re a writer. Learning the truth about his big sister will be plenty to deal with, let alone how he’ll manage without you in his condition.”
Detective Wong’s smirk was as loud as a horn over by the door. Adria shrugged it off. Next to her little brother’s welfare, playing posture games with smug cops barely registered. No doubt they’d be bragging to the team later about how they cracked another bounty hunter. Everyone had a weak spot—not even Basilica City’s most wanted was an exception. All they had to do was lean on it. Some bullshit like that. Well, they could have it.
All of this text may change over the course of writing 

I’ve also been working on a story I can’t talk much about yet, as it’s still in the primordial stage. I’m about 70% through an early outline, and I promise I’ll tell you more about “Project H” as soon as I can.

This website has a redesign on the way. Yes, another one. A good friend asked me why I don’t use some of my old skills to try and do more than what WordPress can give me. I haven’t been able to get the thought out of my head since she said it. She’s one of the most highly respected web developers in my city and an internationally recognised industry face. If she believes in me, I feel like I can believe in me too. So, yeah, some webby things may be on the horizon.

Reading: (as opposed to what I’m not reading but plan to be reading soonNasu by Jet Lupin, Fairy Tale Lies by DK Marie, and Tequila by Sarah Smith.

Watching: The Loudest Voice — it’s a gut punch with every episode. It’s not hard to see how cleverly Roger Ailes plays the game in this show. It’s hard to swallow, yes, but very, very apparent.

Playing: Untitled Goose Game  honk honk 😂