Monthly Archives: January 2018

Zero Draft

My first draft of Hunter’s Hell is done. Now it needs to sit for a couple of days before I can begin the process of doubling the length, filling in the little details, and making sure it’s all consistent. Then it will head for a beta or two and then I’ll style it up some and send it to my publisher. Until then, I’ll work on one of the other stories I want to finish telling.

I really like where this book went and where it ended up and, hopefully, where the threads for book #3 are leading. I figured out a few things in the last section that were as surprising to me as I hope they’ll be to my dear readers.

Now, it’s time to work on a different kind of book. A little war, a little faith, a lot of magic in a far-off place, and a main character who is not quite certain she’s supposed to be the main character. I really like Gods of the Fallen but it’s again one of those books that is a little hard to stick in one genre over another. Definitely speculative fiction though. I’ll work on the first drafts of both GOTF and HH at roughly the same time – it’ll help keep me focused that way.

Yesterday was my best writing day in probably a year, maybe more. I’m paying for it a little in the hands but, it is what it is and it’s worth it.

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Filed under WIP, Writing

Can’t Turn Back Now

Sometimes my self-doubt is crippling but not today. Today I did it anyway. Today, the two books I’ve been sitting on for a while have been submitted. I have never met a writer yet who doesn’t have the same sort of self-doubt, at least sometimes. The key is really and truly just doing it anyway. There are a lot of really great writers and storytellers who the world will never know because they never do get past that self-doubt. Though there are some not so great writers who’ve never had a moment of doubt in their amazingness and  I really do envy that a bit. And now I’ve got to try very hard not to obsess over those stories or overthink the process or let that doubt-voice get any bigger than it already is. And really, the worst that can happen is that someone says no – I’m used to that by now.

I didn’t get words today but I did exercise and I did do submission prep and it’s Wednesday. Wednesdays are my med days and that makes me very sleepy. I also finished that last two episodes of Stranger Things, Season Two and I think I can safely say that that show is one of my favorite things to have ever been on any tv service ever. My oldest kid was watching it with me but our schedule got messed up and he went ahead without me so I’ve had to catch up. Season Three can’t get here soon enough.

Tomorrow it’s back to writing new words and not just formatting, proofreading, and double checking finished words. I’m determined to get Hunter’s Hell finished. I may even bump my total goal to 1500 before I’m allowed to work on one of the other books I’ve got going (and yes, there are too many of those). And I’ve got to get moving on my thoughts on the first half of this special limited season of the X-Files for The Geek Girl Project – that should post sometime after next week’s episode since there are only 10 episodes and tonight is #4.

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Filed under Health, TV, Writing

A Week in a Day

I got more words yesterday than I did during all of last week. That’s not terrible. I didn’t get many words today but I did discover that weather shifts and running errands don’t really play well together. I did snag a pair of New Balance shoes on super clearance to wear inside the house to do my exercise because my good shoes are out of the house shoes and I need more arch support than socks can give me and I’ve got somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 pounds to lose so said exercise is important. I also found two additional eye shadow brushes on super clearance to add to my kit that I’m probably going to keep for sparkly, shiny stuff.  Hopefully, I’ll get a few more words in this evening during Flash because that show might still by my kid’s favorite but it’s gotten pretty irksome for me but Black Lightning comes on right afterward and I’m looking forward to that.

I got the Wii Fit board out, charged up, and working again (even if it is terribly mean to me) and I started up the MyFitnessPal app again. Counting calories is my best weapon, even if it means eating all the veggies so I don’t eat all of the gummy bears. Of course, not buying the gummy bears in the first place helps with that too but I really do love me some gummy bears. In any case, I’m trying.

I’ve given myself some rules on the writing front – if I want to work on the project that’s giving me twitchy fingers, I’ve got to put in no less than 1k on the projects that need to be done soon. It worked yesterday anyway and it’ll likely work tomorrow and, if I just keep going, I’ll get all the books done. Well, no, I know I’ll never actually get all the books in my head written – there are too many and I keep finding new ones. I just hope I can keep finding people who might want to actually read them!

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Filed under Health, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Writing

Still the same after all these years

Playing with makeup again after all these years is making me feel a little like one of the lost boys in Hook when they’re finding Peter’s face. After all these years, it’s still me under the weight, under the effects of time. Maybe a little more Morticia than Lily now – no more too pale powder for me – but that’s a good thing as it was always Morticia I wanted to be. Well, with slightly purple hair, in the right light.

I am completely capable of appearing normalish. For the sake of my kids anyway. I’d really rather not. I’m so much more comfortable with the darker, wilder, sparklier stuff. And really, I don’t actually go out much so what’s it matter if I look like I’m headed to see Peter Murphy or Lisa Gerrard play every day?

In any case, maybe the rest of me is still in here too – that fearless one who didn’t overthink every single word she said or every single step she took. The one with too much confidence and too loud a mouth. I kind of miss her sometimes.

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Water is better when it’s coffee

Really.

However, it does seem that adding water to my schedule has minimized my Thursday discomfort almost as much as it helps my monthly blood draws go easy. Even with the increase in my dosage this week, I’m not having my usual weekly feel bad. I have a little tummy upset but not enough to keep me from a celebratory jalapeno burger.

We increased the dosage of methotrexate so I can get completely off the prednisone. I did make the doctor laugh though when I explained my problem with prednisone. It makes me hate everyone. It sounds ridiculous but it’s true. I’m super glad it helps and gets me through the flares and my body’s overreactions but it just makes me so angry that I’m even gladder to see the end of it. Hopefully, the new dose gets my numbers in order as I’d like to stick to this one thing that I know is nicely covered by my insurance and not risk some of the ridiculous numbers I’ve heard from other ladies with RA.

I did not make my word goal this week and I’m ok with that. I had a huge computer malfunction. Fortunately, a reset worked just fine, even though it took me all day to get things reinstalled. Technically, I’m still not done doing that but I’m not complaining because I didn’t lose any of my work and I got a reminder about making sure I do my backups religiously.

Really, it’s been a good week overall and it looks like I’ll actually have both kids back in school without any delays or closings or snow or flooding. I don’t know if I remember the last full day the kids had. I’ve got to get readjusted to the ridiculously early start times which is less than ideal but it’s also great to get back to our schedule.

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Filed under Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Writing

Counting begins today

The title is relevant to a couple of things actually when I think about it…

I turned on the MyFitnessPal app again today for the first time since my knee first exploded last year and started me down this road. Really, gaining back 20 lbs after six months of being mostly inactive, Christmas eating, stress eating, and wanting to sleep all the time isn’t so bad. Especially when I remember that some of that was also the prednisone and, as of tomorrow, unless the doc says differently Wednesday, I’m done with that! So, I’m back to counting calories and minutes of activity. It worked very well last time I was consistent with it so I just have to really push to do exactly that. I’m working on some stretching and yoga for now until the hurt knee seems better able to do more than that. Next week, I’ll dig out the fit board and listen to horrible chipper voices tell me how fat I am before reminding me that my weight isn’t balanced right. As if I didn’t know that already!

The other way the title makes sense has nothing to do with weight but with words. My short-term memory is not what it once was. If I don’t set alarms and make lists, things aren’t getting done. I think that’s going to apply to my writing also – I was doing fairly well with word counting during NaNoWriMo and I can set up a spreadsheet with all the things I work on during any given day (and I’m including all writing that’s not my personal handwritten journal) and get back to writing consistently, regardless of the tired, the fingers (which are doing much better with all the things – gloves, braces, balms etc), until I can do 10,000 words per week, 50 weeks out of the year. If I have to count to make this work then that’s what I learn to do.

I’m making weekly to-do lists and trying to do daily schedules and it’s so weird because I never used to need these sorts of things to get stuff done. I’m really not a fan of this part of things. It is what it is. This week, the count will definitely not be that high because part of my list of things to do this week is prep one of my books for the submission process and have it out by next Monday and that’s going to take more time than I’d like because it has to be as perfect as possible.

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Filed under goals, Health, Writing

An actual productive day

I feel like I should have had more of them so far but, I’ll take whatever I can get at this point. I did everything on my to-do list today (not that it was a long list). I even put words in on Hunter’s Hell – a grand total of about 800 of them and that’s a whole lot better than yesterday’s 0. I put my face on and, while I need a lot of practice with the pretties, I can do my eyes. It’s not as pretty as what Heidi did yesterday but yeah. Pretty. I’m a very happy lady.

My list of things to do this year is pretty long and I’m doing my best to get on track to get them done. I added a few things to that list today, a few things I’d like to learn how to do or get better at doing. In theory, I know how to make paper. In practice, it’s been 25 years since the last time I did that and I don’t have my mom to help me now so I imagine there will be some trial and error there but I know I love artisan paper and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that. I’d like to learn nuno-felting only not with lamb’s wool because I would like to not make my skin hate me but it’s just such a neat idea and I’d love to see if I can make something like what popped in my head when I read about that the first time.

Now I’ve got to set up my to do list for tomorrow that hopefully includes getting the kids ready for school again… fingers crossed it stays just a two hour delay.

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Filed under Crafting, Crafts, education, etsy, goals, Interesting, Life, Writing

Feeling Pretty

At least around the eyes…

One of the side effects of the medication I’m on is splotchy, icky skin. It’s not actually as bad as I think it is but it’s bad enough that I don’t really want to leave the house without makeup. I did today though because the Hubby of Awesome took me to Sephora. I’ve never been to one before, just online with their Play boxes and how-tos and stuff. For the most part, unless there are super specials or whatever, if today is any indication, I much prefer the shopping experience in store.

The lovely lady in my most local Sephora color matched me, walked me through the foundation options for my very specific issues and then she gave me pretty glittery eyes. She explained how to do the eyeshadow myself also – we’ll find out tomorrow if I understood it properly. I’m really glad I went in person as the two foundations I was looking into are both heavier and have harsher ingredients and would likely make my ultra sensitive stupid skin worse (she didn’t say stupid, that’s all me).

I struggle with people skills – anyone who follows me long enough will eventually hear about my anxieties and lack of proper peopling abilities. I’ve had some really not great experiences as a customer, especially in places geared for women and the act of helping women look or feel beautiful. Today’s trip was probably my best ever experience with customer service. My worst was about eight years ago at, surprise, surprise, a Victoria’s Secret.

I am not a small girl by any stretch now but I used to be. When I was more Cher shaped and less Venus of Willendorf shaped, my favorite bras came from Vicky’s. My favorite undies too. Just about eight years ago, my youngest kid was finally weaned, my boobs belonged to me again! I wanted to celebrate with a pretty (and very much needed) new bra so, of course, I went to my favorite over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder purveyors. And it was the last time I’ve been in one of their stores. Apparently, that store isn’t actually for the women who most need a good bra, no pretty lace whatsits if your measurements aren’t just right and the ladies who work there  (or did eight years ago in yuppy central) are not shy nor kind about telling you so. I know I’m not the only one who has dealt with similar phrasing from that particular store.

My poor husband got dragged along partly because I’m not quite able to drive myself there yet and partly because I didn’t want to go alone because I didn’t want a repeat of Vicky’s. But, because of Heidi’s awesomeness and ability to put me quickly at ease, he got to go play in the mall instead of staring at the pretty sparkly things he couldn’t care less about, waiting to bolster me, should I need it. Because he’s awesome like that too. Maybe there’s a glimmer of a sunrise on the horizon of this year after all.

 

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Filed under Fun, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis

I think I’m a hedgehog

I learned a thing today. There’s a thing called the Hedgehog’s Dilemma which uses the hedgehog’s gathering together with other hedgehogs to share heat but having to stay their distance so they don’t hurt each other with all the sharp pokey ends to illustrate the introvert’s biggest problem. I am a Hedgehog – there’s nothing more in the world that I want those close relationships and camaraderie and shared experience, I just want all that from over here where no one is touching me. Or looking at me. Or expecting me to be able to use real words that make sense in a vocal fashion.

We’re a few days into January and I’ve had the kids home extra days for the cold so I haven’t had but 5 hours to myself since the first day of Winter. I am not getting words outside of my personal journal where apparently I have a lot to unpack. I’m still working to get back to normal from the injury I sustained in mid-December! It should have been a minor thing, a bruise at most but my immune system just gets so excited at having something to do that it treats it like a mortal wound instead. I’m so close to being back to normal but it’s still stiff and sore and I’m still moving like it is both of those things. I enjoyed the kid part of Christmas but I struggled a lot with the rest of it. I’m missing my dad a lot and thinking about my mom a lot. I’m weaning off the prednisone but my family says it’s still mucking with me.

I know my methotrexate is doing its job, with every dose, the inflammation in my joints really does go down but with every upping of the dose, my icky, sick, tired time the next day increases by about an hour. Really though, five hours of ick is worth it for being able to do stuff the rest of the time. I’m even adjusting so I’m not terribly tired after taking it. I think it’s likely to adjust up at least once more before we settle out but I do hope it’s not much more than that.

I do need to get back to writing. I need to get the last threads down and finish Hunter’s Hell. I know how it ends, I just have to fill in the odds and ends and get it done then set it aside for a short time and come back to it when I’m not a weepy, emotional mess because it’s absolutely creeping into the words a bit. It’s not like I don’t have projects to work on – Hunter’s Hell, Eldercynne War*, Gods of the Fallen, Long Is The Way,  and Soul Eater are just the main titles I have in various stages of progress (though I have two more I ought to be submitting to places). I’m struggling to even read books right now, let alone write them. I’m far too emotionally involved with fictional characters, my own and other writers’.

This year hasn’t started that great. I think I was hoping for some kind of switch from awful to awesome but I think it’s going to take more than a switch. I think it’s going to be a slow transition but I’m pretty sure it’s going to transition. I can’t take another year like last year so it’s just going to be better when all is said and done. Period.

 

 

*working title only, likely to change.

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Filed under Anxiety, Health, Interesting, Life, Writing