[Journey first scarf]

One of my overall goals this year is to be a better writer. I hope to be more thoughtful about the pop culture things I’m consuming. My brain is pondering over Journey and Interruption Junction at the moment. Whoever said writing is like excavating isn’t kidding – I feel like there’s a germ of a good idea somewhere buried under miles of rubble. I’ve written a lot of words about these games that feel empty and tangential to what I want to get at. I wish the good stuff comes soon.

[Twine map of "Wait and See"]

New month means new project. I got stalled in my January project, which was to be my first ever fan video. Finding a working free video editor for Windows 7 that wouldn’t constantly crash was more challenging than I thought. Add in some personal issues, some January blahs, and it didn’t get done. I know I’ll get back to it someday, but February’s project is time-sensitive so I want to focus on it.

I want to make a self-directed Twine guide to help people do their taxes. My primary audience would be college students, young adults, and those who dread and fear the process. Less like TurboTax, more like You Feel Like Shit: An Interactive Self-Care Guide.

The initial plan is to educate the user of resources they might not be aware of, like the IRS’ free tax software that’s available for those who earn under a certain threshold and to walk the user through the 1040, 1040EZ forms. If I have enough time to introduce more complexity, I hope to include some or all of the following:

  • Itemized deductions vs. standard deductions
  • International students (1040-NR?)
  • Credits the audience should be aware of (student loans, moving, EITC?, retirement)
  • Info on hobbies vs. freelance business (Etsy, tumblr artists?, Schedule C)
  • Multiple visual encouragement packs (cute animals, Courage Wolf, etc.)

This week’s plan is to go through the 1040 and 1040 EZ forms, make notes, and get a rough outline of how to proceed. I’m going to use Twine 1.4.2 since it seems more flexible than Twine 2.0.10 for potential multimedia encouragement and I’m more used to the formatting in 1.4.2. I want to focus on getting the thing to work before I make it look good.

(The screencap is of a Twine I wrote last night that helped me decide to use version 1.4.2 for this project. See how much work I need with writing?)

Ever since I read the life-changing magic of tidying up*, I’ve been going through my stuff and figuring out what to keep. I went through my clothes last week and my books this morning.

It feels remarkably good. Productive. I have a better idea of the kind of person I want to be and how that shines through with my stuff. I’m not who I was years ago when I got X or Y and that’s okay. People aren’t supposed to be immutable. We all grow and change, hopefully for the better.

And yet this isn’t some aspirational “fake it ‘till you make it” thing. It’s very much being in the present moment, being comfortable with who I am today with an eye of who I want to be. It’s weirdly liberating? Which is weird because I thought I was already comfortable with myself. No, that’s a lie but I’m not going to get deeper with potential net strangers, sorry.

I’m producing a space and acceptance for myself. I can’t stop looking at my bookshelf and feeling really happy. I feel good. The results are so odd to me, but I’m glad I gave it a shot.