(Interlude – March 2021, part 2)

Hi, friends.  I’m still on hiatus.  I probably will be for a while, until I get some things figured out in real life.  I promise I’ll have new episodes by the beginning of May at the latest, possibly sooner.  Last night I worked on outlining what would happen in the start of season 3, so that’s progress.

If you’re new here, this is not a typical post.  Don’t Let The Days Go By is an episodic continuing story set in 1996 about a university student figuring out life.  Finish reading this post first, then please read some others.  There are currently 88 episodes, listed either to the right or at the bottom depending on your device, so even if you’ve been following me for a while, most of you will have some that you haven’t read.  So you can read those over the next few weeks while you’re waiting for me to write new ones.  The episodes are best read in order, but can be read out of order, so if you’re new and ready to commit to be a fan of this site, you’re best off starting from the beginning, so you can experience the story as it unfolds.  But, still, read this post first.

So I’ve been thinking about a few DLTDGB side projects, and I’d like your opinions on whether or not you’d be interested in these:

(1) A recap.  I could do one post where I outline the entire plot of DLTDGB from the beginning of the prologue on July 5, 1993 until the most recent episode on June 15, 1996.  I would summarize the highlights of Greg’s life so far, in a post no longer than one typical episode.  I could also include links to a few episodes about the key turning points in Greg’s life, for those people who want to go more in depth without reading 88 full episodes.

(2) Avatars/Bitmoji/some kind of artwork depicting the characters visually.  I can’t draw well, just to let you know.  I made a bunch of fake email accounts and started using them to sign up for multiple Bitmoji accounts, with the purpose being to create Bitmoji for the main characters and show my readers what these characters look like.  I did that for Eddie and Kristina and put the Bitmoji faces on top of the real faces in the photo I used for the most recent episode.  I was having a hard time getting the Bitmoji to look exactly like the real people, but I know that I don’t have to make them look exactly like the people they were based on.  In fact, it might be better to have them not exactly the same, for anonymity purposes.  Most of the people that these characters are based on do not know that I am writing about them.

However, another glitch is that Gmail does not like that I made a bunch of fake email accounts, for obvious reasons. It makes me verify by text that I am a real person, and now it won’t even let me do that because I’ve used the same phone number too many times.  I could start making fake emails with Yahoo or other free email services, I suppose.  But there are so many characters that I could not possibly do this for every character, at least not with Bitmoji.  I was planning on doing this for Taylor, Pete, Sarah, Liz, Ramon, Caroline, Eddie, Xander, Haley, Kristina, Brian, and Shawn, at least for now, adding others as needed if I needed to cover their faces in photos.  I would not do every character, since the cast of characters for DLTDGB is just far too large.  But those twelve are definitely among the most significant supporting characters at the current point of the story.

What do you guys think… is this something you would want to see?  Also, if anyone knows a way to make characters similar to Bitmoji without having to have an account for each one, that would be helpful.

(3) Maps.  Fantasy books with detailed geographical settings, Tolkien for example, often have maps to help the reader.  Since I tend to describe Jeromeville and the surrounding Capital Valley Region in detail, I thought maybe I could do the same thing.  The problem is, every time I’ve tried to draw these maps, they end up looking just like a slightly distorted version of the real-world places that inspired these stories, and while DLTDGB is based on true stories, I also want to make it my own fictional world, and I have not yet figured out how to make the maps not look like real places but still be true to the story so far.  Any thoughts?  Do any of you want to see maps of my semi-fictional world?

Finally, in addition to sharing any thoughts on anything above, please ask me anything you want in the comments.  Questions about things happening in the story, questions about me as an adult, about the writing process… whatever you want.  I’ll answer it, unless it would involve major spoilers.

Have a great week, everyone!  Like I said, if you’re new here and you want to start from the beginning, go here, then click Next at the end of each episode.  https://dontletthedaysgoby.home.blog/2018/12/09/july-5-1993-prologue-my-first-visit-to-jeromeville/

(Interlude – March 2021.)

Welcome!  If you are new here, this is not a typical post.  Don’t Let The Days Go By is an episodic continuing story about a university student, set in 1996.  It is a story of living, learning, growing, and self-discovery, amidst a world of alternative rock and the emergence of the Internet into the mainstream.

Last week’s episode was the Year 2 season finale.  I will be taking some time off, during which I will be planning for year 3.  Also, in real life things may be kind of busy and unpredictable for the next few months, so I could use one fewer commitment.  I do not know right now when I will start writing again, but I will someday soon.  If you are new here and hoping for more episodes soon, you can always go here to read the first episode and then just read in order from there by clicking Next.

Just as with Year 1, I made a playlist with all of the music I used in Year 2:

I also added a new “Music” page to this site, with links to the playlists for each year.  And I updated the Dramatis Personae, adding character bios for Abby Bartlett, Amelia Dye, Josh McGraw, and Dr. Gabby Thomas.  I also added a number of new characters to the lists of other characters, and updated some other characters’ bios.  I will be starting a new Dramatis Personae for Year 3 soon, removing people who are not part of the story anymore. I wonder sometimes if the large cast of characters makes the story more difficult to read or follow, or if I need more character development for the other main characters. However, in real life a university student is likely to know a lot of people, and this is primarily one person’s story, not a story with an ensemble cast. On a related note, I have considered, someday when I am done telling the main story, going back and retelling some of the more interesting episodes from another character’s point of view. Or maybe I could start doing that during these interludes, when I am taking a break from the main story.

I take a break like this after every June and December in the fictional timeline.  One of the recurring topics has been the community shared by some of the Jeromeville Christian Fellowship students.  Eddie and his housemates had Haley and her housemates right down the street, and Shawn and Brian and their housemates around the corner, to the point that it was almost like living in a Christian dorm.  In real life, I have come to learn that that kind of community among Christians is very difficult to find in adulthood, outside of the context of being a university student.  I have had a lot of struggles finding a church and a community as an adult, and in talking with people I have come to the conclusion that most Christians just do not have this as adults.  Instead, they have families of their own around which their lives revolve, and outside of that, church friends are just one among several compartments into which life has been divided.  Will I ever find that sense of community again in real life?  I do not know (and COVID has thrown more complications into this, of course).

I have often found that I need to keep reminding myself that, first and foremost, DLTDGB is a work of fiction.  Much of it is based on true stories, but I stress too much about getting every detail right.  Maybe two people who are in the same Bible study in DLTDGB weren’t in real life; that’s okay.  

Thank you all for your support.  Please leave comments.  I wish people would comment more often on this blog; I enjoy interacting with my readers.  If you have any questions at all for me, about anything, please ask.  If I get a lot of interesting questions, maybe I’ll share them as a question-and-answer post next week.  Or offer suggestions and thoughts on my writing.  Some of you a while back told me that my posts were too long, and ever since then I have kept them under a certain length.  Or just say hi and introduce yourself and tell me how you are doing.  I want to hear from you.

Finally, I will leave you with this picture from the oak grove in the University of Jeromeville Arboretum, with different kinds of oaks from all over the world.  I took it in February 2021, the last time I was in Jeromeville.

(May 2020. Blog awards and other stuff.)

It has been some time since I have written here.  Life has been busy.  I started the next episode a few days ago (it will be about moving back to Jeromeville into Las Casas apartment #124, on the weekend of September 2 & 3, 1995).  But I’ve had so many other things going on that I haven’t taken the time to sit down and really write.

I did get tagged in blog awards twice over the last couple weeks.  For you non-bloggers, a blog award is where you answer questions about yourself and nominate the authors of your favorite blogs to answer the same questions.

The first time I got tagged in one of those as this blog, I incorporated it into a regular story.  Blogs and blog awards didn’t exist in 1995, so I pretended it was a chain email that some girl I talked to on IRC sent me.  But I have been tagged several other times, and I don’t want to spend my storytelling words just writing about answering emails.  So I stopped doing posts about blog awards, although if I was specifically tagged I would always answer in a reply to that person’s post.  Also, when I have answered blog award posts in the past, I usually answer “in character” as 1995 Greg, answering as I would have answered in 1995.  However, I’m going to start asking specifically if the person who tagged me wants me to answer as 1995 Greg or as adult Greg.  Also, most of the names of people and places have been changed in my blog, so I will use those pseudonyms in the answers to my questions when applicable.

I’m going to try interrupting my usual story every few months for a post specifically to answer questions I get in blog awards and other things like that.  But I probably won’t be nominating people to do the awards.  I always feel a little self-conscious about that (because of an incident I explained in the story where I answered blog award questions before).  I know that that kind of takes away part of the blog award experience, since I don’t get to share other blogs, but I will at least share the link of the blog that nominated me.


Bekah (owlservejesus.wordpress.com/) nominated me for the Real Neat Blog Award (thank you!)

The rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you
  • Answer the 10 questions the blogger gave to you
  • Nominate four bloggers who deserve the award
  • Create 10 original questions for the nominees to answer
  • Let them know they’ve been nominated

Bekah’s questions for me:  (I am answering in character, it is August 1995)

1. What is you favorite book to read?
Hmm… I don’t know, I’m not usually one to read a book more than once… I’ve been reading a lot of Stephen King lately.

2. Do you have any allergies?
Not that I know of.

3. Spring or fall?
Fall, but I prefer summer to both of those

4. What is your favorite color?
Not pink

5. What sport do you play?
I don’t. My brother got all the sports talent in our family.

6. Prefer the City or country?
City, but I’m more used to small cities than big cities.

7. What would be your dream pet to have?
Hmm……. I grew up with cats, I can’t really see myself having any other pets… I don’t think I’m going to get a pet for a while, though

8. Favorite veggie?
Corn

9. Hot cocoa, tea or coffee?
Hot cocoa

10. Favorite fruit?
Banana


Lydia (inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com) nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award.  Thank you!

  1. Put the award logo on your blog
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  3. Mention the creator of the award (Okoto Enigmas, but the link I had didn’t work)
  4. Answers the five questions you were asked
  5. Tell the readers three things about yourself
  6. Nominate ten to twenty bloggers
  7. Notify the bloggers (tell them you nominated them) by commenting on one of their posts
  8. Ask your nominees five questions with one weird or funny one
  9. Share a link to your best posts

Lydia asked for my answers as an adult.

Three things about myself:

  • I attend a church that has a total of nine people right now.
  • I’ve been to all of the lower 48 states in the USA, but I haven’t been to Alaska or Hawaii.  (And for the record, 1995 Greg has only been to four.)
  • The longest I have ever stayed awake in one stretch was around 42 hours (but sadly, it’s because of stress and insomnia, not some great epic adventure).

Lydia’s questions:

1.  Do you prefer solid color clothes or a pattern?
I have no fashion sense as it is… I tend to prefer solid colors, but I have a lot of stripes too.  I guess it depends on what the pattern is.  And if I’m not dressed for work, I prefer shirts with pictures and words and favorite sports team logos and stuff like that.

2.  What are your 3 favorite things you do every day?
Breathe, eat, and sleep.

3.  How often do you post on your blog?
I don’t keep a schedule, and I don’t stress about it anymore.  I post when I’m ready and when I’m done writing something.

4.  When you handwrite, do you write in cursive or print?
img016 (2)

5.  When was the last time you ate bacon?
About a week ago.  I had breakfast for lunch.  I made bacon and waffles.

My best blog posts:
… that’s a tough one.

The one about the time I was sleeping and my friends woke me up (part 1, part 2) is a memorable one, because that was an important event in my life that led to other important things I haven’t written about yet.

The one about my last day of freshman year was good in a bittersweet way.  My mom said she got teary-eyed.

And I always enjoy telling the story of the time we played Sardines in the Death Star building.

It’s hard to narrow it down, though… so many of these stories mean so much to me.


I nominate whoever wants to do these.

My five questions for the Real Neat Blog Award:

1.  What is your reason behind blogging?

2.  How did you choose your blog’s name?

3.  If you could live anywhere else, and money and immigration laws were no object, where would that be?

4.  What is something you’re a fan of, but a little embarrassed to admit?

5.  Tell me a funny story involving farts.

My ten questions for the Mystery Blogger Award:

1-5. The same ones as the Real Neat Blog Award

6.  Tell about something that most people you know like but you don’t like?

7.  What technological advancement of your lifetime do you wish had never happened?

8.  What is a food that you really like to eat but hate to prepare (or go through whatever you need to do or wherever you need to go to get this food)?

9.  Tell me about the weirdest thing you’ve ever been invited to do by a friend.

10.  Are you typing your answer on a PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, or other?


I apologize if anyone else tagged me for something that I did not include here.

While we’re at it, let’s make this a question and answer post too… feel free to ask me any question you want, questions for 1995 Greg, questions for adult Greg, questions about blogging or life in 1995 or whatever.  I won’t make a separate post for that, but I will reply to comments here.

And stay tuned… in the next few days, I will finish the next actual episode, I promise.

2020. A note from the author.

Hello, friends.  I started this project fourteen months ago, and now that I have reached a natural stopping point in the story, I will be taking a break for a few weeks, maybe more; we’ll see.  Life is busy.  I need to plan what I’m going to write about for the next school year in the story.  I also have a few related tasks I’m going to work on; for example, I need to organize some notes to myself, so I can stay consistent with characters’ names and such.  There are already at least three Mikes, two Jennifers, and three Kims in the story (although to be fair those were common names for people my age).

This is not a regular post.  If you are new to DLTDGB, it is an episodic continuing story about a university student in the western USA in the 1990s.  Scroll down to other posts to read some of these stories. Or if you are in this for the long haul, click here to start from the beginning.

One of the related tasks I’ve been meaning to do is complete: I made a playlist of all the music I used in year 1 of DLTDGB (42 songs).  It is mostly early and mid-1990s “alternative rock” and pop-rock, along with some classic rock, because that is what I was listening to at the time period I am writing about (and I was going through a big Pink Floyd phase at the time, so they’re in there several times).

 

Anyway… I definitely want to thank you all so much for your support.  I have enjoyed getting to know those of you who have interacted with me and shared this journey through my past.  Hopefully you have found something in my story that has influenced you positively.

But I want to hear from you.  I have a lot of thoughts about this.

Do you have any comments or suggestions on this project?  How am I doing? Is it easy to follow, or is my storytelling too confusing?  Are the episodes too long? Too short? Just right? Does it depend on the story I’m telling?  

Should I change the title of the blog?  I took the title from a song lyric from the time period I am writing about, but I did so without permission from the artist, so if this blog gets too big I might have to change it.

I wonder sometimes if I have too many characters.  I’m not really sure how I can do this project without a lot of characters, though (and this is why I included a dramatis personae page).  But do I need more character development for the minor characters, or does that not really work well for short episodes told by me?  Should I name other characters by just their first names, or would it make it easier to remember if I referred to more people by first and last names at least once per episode?  Do I need more physical descriptions of what the other characters look like?

Of course, DLTDGB is based on true stories and real people, but I have taken liberties with many of the details, particularly conversations.  I don’t remember every word of every conversation from 25 years ago, obviously. I also made some minor changes for artistic reasons.  For example, I know I did not actually listen to Bush on the way home from my last day in the dorm because I never owned that album until I got it at a used music store in my late 30s. I wrote that in because I want to end every school year with the song that this blog is named after, but that song was not released to radio until early in my sophomore year, so the album was the only way I could have known the song by the end of freshman year.  Another obvious example: the episode about the “football championship” did not use any actual NFL team names or trademarks, and the real life events that inspired that story happened during a regular season game, not the championship game.)

But I still wonder, how much should I deviate from the truth?  Should I keep it mostly true in broad strokes as much as possible and just fill in the details, as I have been so far?  If I have a story from another time in my life that would make a good DLTDGB episode, can I adapt such a story and pretend it happened in Jeromeville in the 1990s?  Or would that take away from the integrity and truth of this project? I suppose ultimately only I can answer this question, since this is my writing project, but I am curious what people think about this.

I am also unsure exactly when to end the project.  My original thought was to go up through December 31, 1999, since that is the last day of the 1990s, and then tie up a few loose ends with some “epilogue” stories set in 2000 and later.  I am still leaning toward doing this.  I also considered continuing the main narrative up to July 2001, since that is when I actually moved away from Jeromeville, but it seems like most of my most interesting stories happened before then, and if I deviate from the truth slightly, as I mentioned before, the most interesting stories from 2000 and 2001 I can probably rewrite as if they happened earlier.

So, yes, please share if you have any thoughts about any of the above, or about anything else, or if you just want to say hi.  I can also answer questions about anything you read on here, although I might give incomplete or evasive answers if answering your question would give away major spoilers for future episode.  (I know, for example, multiple people have asked me what my career is as an adult.  I have not answered that question, because I will eventually write about experiencing the process of exploring and discovering careers throughout most of 1997, and since I am still today in the same career field that I settled on before finishing my undergraduate studies at UJ, answering this question would give away things that I will write about later.)