I Guess This Is An Update – 6/20/2016

Today started with me not wanting to get up. I stayed in bed for at least forty-five minutes after I fully woke up. This is unusual because it hurts my back if I don’t get up quickly. I didn’t care. I played silly games on my phone for a while, stared at the ceiling, and did my at-home physical therapy exercises. Still I didn’t sit up, I just felt off, weird.

One eye was twitching and both felt swollen and dry. Aha! Allergies! Technically I have allergy issues every day, so I should have figured it out sooner. Today is a special day for histamines. It must be since they came out to play in full force. It’s one of those days where my body laughs at Claritin and betrays me. Now, hours later, when the meds should have kicked in, I still feel yucky.

I also decided this would be a good morning to not take a muscle relaxer. I can’t blame allergies for dumb choices.

I managed to drag myself out of bed and eat breakfast before going to the gym. While there I made another bad decision, but I didn’t know at the time it would work out that way. I got on a regular elliptical for a while, then switched to the arc trainer. I felt decent afterward so I moved to the recumbent bike. This was the bad thing. I set it for a fairly low intensity, the one I always use. Normally I go for about ten minutes, or until I reach a mile because if I stay on longer it hurts my tailbone.

Since nothing about today is normal, after five minutes my back started hurting again. You know, as if I hadn’t taken a muscle relaxer or already done cardio. I don’t know if it was a one time only happening or if the meds were masking problems caused by using this equipment all along.

What I do know is I’ve been going to the gym for a while now and when I leave I have almost no pain but after a couple of hours it all returns. It’s bad enough I’m in physical therapy. So I’ll talk to the therapist and see what he thinks.

Speaking of therapists, let’s talk about another potentially stupid decision I made. I started going to therapy a couple of weeks ago. My therapist set up a program, including him being okay with me doing cardio at the gym every day if I wanted to. Then he went on vacation. Last week I worked with a different therapist and she told me not to go to the gym on days I have therapy.

I was not happy! I’m not addicted to the gym but I am a creature of habit and I knew not going would throw me into a tailspin. It did. I didn’t go on Tuesday or Thursday because of the therapy. On Saturday I didn’t go because…I have no idea! Time just slipped away from me. I never made a conscious decision not to go, that I know of. I simply didn’t make it to the gym. I tried at one point, was almost ready to leave. Then I realized it was almost time to go pick up my husband from work, something I don’t normally do on the weekend. Why didn’t I go after that? No clue.

Sunday’s workout was hard. Really hard. I struggled with the elliptical and arc trainer both. I got it done but it was a struggle. In fact, as I realized on the way home, it was hard on Wednesday too, and Friday.

This bring me to my potential stupid decision. The two therapists have opposing opinions so like most humans I am going to go with the one who said what I wanted to hear. I’m not skipping the gym again. I’m finally getting stronger and it’s not hurting me to go daily. Today was an exception but I think there is a fix.

Now I’m at my favorite writing spot. After I finish this post I’m hoping to either finish working on my characters or get close. My time is limited here because I have photography class live online at 1:00. I’ll get as much accomplished as I can while out though because it’s so much easier to work away from home. The class lasts an hour and I hope to finish up whatever I need to with characters.

If I can finish this part today then I can concentrate more on just writing. I still have some world building to do but I’ve got enough to start with. I figure I’ll build more as I need it. This appeals to me more than spending months building the world only to have half my work go to waste as the story changes. My muse is a tricky bitch so I have to be cautious.

Building characters has already taken much longer than it normally would. If I’d only worked on a protagonist, antagonist and a couple of major characters it would have been fast. I needed to build six main characters for an ensemble, and two bad guys. I’m writing a trilogy so I’ll have a lot more players but I don’t need to do deep building for each. The characters I’ve spent so much time on are all very different. Three are from the same place but the other three are all from other lands so their cultures are nothing like the first three.

Working on them was beneficial. There were two characters who were important but I hardly knew them. Sure I knew what they looked like and what they would do in the story, but they were so generic. It was like having two level 100 human paladins. Each was just a representation of a trope. Now they are fully fleshed out characters. Each is a person, with hopes, dreams, flaws and needs. Coincidentally they can’t stand each other, which was interesting to learn.

When I started writing this story, more years ago than I like, all I had was one character (one of the ones I felt like I didn’t know actually), and some dragons. I didn’t know it would be a trilogy or have an ensemble cast. I was pleasantly surprised when some demigods showed up and astounded when they morphed into real gods.

The biggest shock was when the first character I came up with turned out to NOT be the main character! All these awesome changes happened when I decided to spend some time planning instead of trying to write by the seat of my pants. It’s been worth it to build each major character and their realms.

Now, well hopefully tomorrow, I can write the story without working myself into a corner. I know where I’m going, what I want to happen and how it will all play out. There is even plenty of room for my muse to swoop in and make major changes. Planning hasn’t destroyed the magic of writing, it’s made it possible to concentrate on only the magic.

I don’t do real outlines, I make index card outlines instead. There is wall across from my bedroom door where I’ve put up large cork board squares. I write a one sentence (most of the time) scene description on each index card and pin them up. This helps me see holes in the story and it’s easy to rearrange or replace cards if I make changes. I can hardly wait to do this.

The original boards I did for each of the three stories are pinned over my bed. I made them with poster board and Post-It notes. For the new one I’ll only be working on the first story in the series. When I have it finished I’ll take down the originals and make new ones for the last two books. I will only fill them in with what’s necessary though.

I’ll post another writing update on Friday if I can to let you all know how the story is coming along. I’m going to try to write in a linear fashion. Jumping around is more natural for me but it also gets me in trouble.

Unimportant sidenote: My eye is STILL twitching!



  1. From all the hours of physical therapy I’ve taken through the years concerning my disability, I’ve always been told to do as much as I can as long as there isn’t that lasting pain that tells me I’m doing an exercise the wrong way. But then, I know almost zilch about the back. I have back pain once in a great while but it’s usually because I need to get out of my bed clothes and put on a bra to support my back or I’m doing something I haven’t done in a while that is putting stress on my lower back. If it’s the latter, I just stand up super straight, arch my back as far as I can a few times, and the pain is lessened. With both scenarios, I’ve got quick fixes. Yes, talk to the therapist about your gym activities. You might want to go one better and talk to a Physical Therapy Doctor because that person would know more about the nerves involved.

    Question: How do you create so many characters before even writing out your outline/summary of your story? I’m trying my best to be a plotter seeing that the pantser approach has been failing. My stories are character-driven but only by the protagonist. So far I have three main characters, one being kind of an antagonistic one. My real antagonist isn’t a person per se. What is going my protagonist in is a mental illness. Anyway, how do you wrap you head around creating those other characters?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did have a bit of a summary. I sat down and wrote out what I wanted to happen, even though it was vague. Each of the 6 major characters has a specific job to accomplish to save the world. As for bad guys, there is one main villain and her priest, who is a tortured soul. These characters just kept presenting themselves as I went along.

      As for PT, I see my regular therapist today. Hopefully he can straighten this all out.

      Liked by 1 person

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