Everything Update 6/27/2016

Writing: I’m about 2,500 words into the re-write of my trilogy. I’m calling it a rewrite because even though I’ve written 40,000 of the story, it was all over the place. There are salvageable pieces but mostly I’ve started over. I don’t regret it.

A majority of the parts I’m saving are in both the second and third book so ‘re-write’ isn’t as horrible as it sounds. I did do the first scene over and it is a vast improvement over the original. The second and third scenes were not touched. The original four scenes following didn’t work where they were so they’ve been put aside for a later decision.

Instead I started introducing my characters in a more interesting way. When I wrote the first half of the book during Nanowrimo a few years ago I got the main ensemble together too quickly. There was no time for me, let alone a reader, to get invested in anyone but the main viewpoint guy. So I chose to introduce them in their native lands, dealing with their own lives before gathering for their save-the-world quest.

So far, it’s working better and I’m happy. I plan to change a pivotal scene. It didn’t play out the way I thought it should and has been bugging me since I first wrote it. I can tell you now, it’s a great relief to figure out what was wrong with it.

One of the reasons I’m rewriting this scene and the others is I don’t want to get into editing mode. Once my inner editor rears its ugly head, there is no shutting it down. So I just rewrite what I want and if I’m not sure how to change it I go ahead and write the next scene as if I’d already fixed the problem one. I suppose it’s somewhere between creating and editing, but it makes my muse happy so I’ll keep doing it.

When I started I would read what I wrote the first time then figure out what I really wanted to say. Bad idea! Editor alert! I have a decent memory of the original so I work from that. If I absolutely can’t remember I might scan a scene but I’m trying to avoid the old stuff.

I’ve made so many changes that it’s not been too bad. I don’t regret writing stuff I won’t use because it helped me improve my abilities. It also taught me I’m not really a seat of my pants type of writer. I need some planning. Because of the planning, everything is going smoother than it did the first time.

It will sound like I’m being overly critical of myself but I believe when I started this story all those years ago, I wasn’t a good enough writer to write it. It was and still is, a good idea but I needed to learn so much before I could tackle it. Now I think I’m at the level I need to be and I can only learn and improve from here.

Writing every day helped me more than I can ever explain. Thanks to Nanowrimo for that, even though I failed the first time (with this story).

My goal is to write at least 1000 words a day, on the days I write. Preferably more.

Photography: I finished the photography class I was taking online. Now I have to decide whether to take the advanced class starting next month or wait until September. Things are going so well with my story I worry that giving myself something else to do will cause problems. I am enjoying photography. I’m even getting good at it, but writing is my real passion. Nothing can interfere.

So I need to decide if the class will interfere or be a good break twice a week from writing. I’m capable of handling both. We’ll see if I want to. Either way, I’ll definitely take the class, it’s a matter of when.

Reading: There is nothing to report here. I don’t have much time for reading. I get 15 minutes in twice a week after physical therapy, while they hook me up to the stim machine with a hot pack. Also here and there when my back hurts from sitting and writing too long. I’ll grab the book I’m reading and lay down for 10-20 minutes. I’ve been trying to finish the same series for months. I miss reading but the reason I don’t get to is writing so I can hardly complain.

Physical Therapy/Medical: I guess it’s going well, with the exception of my last visit. When the therapist, who is not my regular therapist but told me they will all treat me, worked on my back, well it was awful. They do this each time. Basically I lie on my stomach and they knead along my spine. It is not like massage; it’s certainly not comfortable.

The last time was different. This guy got this foam wedge that you put your face on and it lifts your shoulders and chest up, forcing your lower back to arch, a lot.

Of all the positions I could get into, it’s the one that can, and did hurt me the most. I expressed my reluctance to get in the position but he assured me it would be fine so I did it. After it was over I sat up and thought I would fall over. The pain was overwhelming but I figured once I walk around for a second I would be okay. Nope. Walking across the room to do another exercise was excruciating. The exercise itself helped but it didn’t stop the tears.

I am the type to hold in reactions to pain. I might groan or grimace but I don’t yell or cry out. I certainly don’t weep, but I couldn’t help it this time. To make matters worse, once the tears started rolling, they didn’t stop, even once the pain lessened. I was so frustrated and a little angry that all I could do was keep wiping the stupid wetness away.

Of course the therapists noticed. The guy who hurt me didn’t have the guts to come near me for a while so one of the women asked if I was okay. I said yes and she checked on me a few more times. The man who worked with me eventually asked how I was doing then told me it would get easier to get in that position. It might hurt for a while but soon enough it would be no problem.

I stared at him for a second and he walked away, clearly unsure what to do. The lady who’d been checking on me took me to the stim machine when I was finished and went on and on about how chronic pain can bring on emotional responses. This irritated me because, sure I was pissed off, but the reason I was upset was the pain. I’m sure she didn’t mean to make me feel like they were brushing off the pain but I guess I was having the emotional response she talked about so it irritated me lol. I didn’t complain, I simply said as little as possible.

My next appointment is tomorrow. I’ll be honest, I hope I don’t work with the same man. He rubbed me wrong from the beginning and now I don’t trust him. I understand all these people went to school for a long time to learn their skills and this man in particular has been a therapist for quite a while. He’s been with the place I go to at least ten years. In general I trust in their skills and abilities. I know they know what they are doing. However, if he, or anyone else pulls out that foam wedge, I will flat-out refuse.

This isn’t stubbornness. We didn’t work gradually to get me into a position I haven’t been able to do for over a year. He put me that way too soon and the arch was too much. I’m a good read on body language and I could see he damn well knew it too. His explanation was weak and guilt ridden. I will not comply and they can think I’m just being overly emotional.

If he, or any of the other therapists, want me to do exercises to get me to the point of being able to do what he tried then I will grimace and groan my way through it, gladly.

So I dread tomorrow but hopefully it goes better than I fear. This guy told me no one has ever gotten bent out of shape because patients get shifted around to all the therapists. I hope I won’t be the first. I could never have imagined a piece of foam could bring out my rebellious side.

I’ll post another update later this week.





Two Days Ago Was The Day…

I thought today was the day, but I was wrong. My plan was to finish up with characters after the gym. I knew I only had a few more things to do and was excited to get to work.

The smile on my face as I walked into my writing spot made strangers stare. They probably thought I was crazy but I made them smile too. I pulled out my laptop and my notebook. While waiting for the computer to boot up I turned to the page I knew I was on and stopped in surprise. I’d already finished up that character Tuesday, cool right? So I went to the next one. It was done too. Man I must have lost my mind between then and now. I completely forgot I’d gotten so far.

It meant there was only two more characters to work on. Or not. On the third discovery I was laughing (again with making strangers question my sanity). On the final guy I just sat back and stared at nothing, actually some random stranger but I was zoned and didn’t know it until he smiled hahaha.

How on earth could I not remember I finally reached a major goal? Pain, as it turns out. On Tuesday I was still in a lot of pain from whatever I did to mess up my middle back and I had physical therapy late in the afternoon. It went okay until the doctor worked on my back. I went home sore and grumpy. To be honest, when I finished writing for the day and had to stop to go to therapy I was already grumpy.

I wrote in a new, miserable place that day. The chairs sucked, not helping the pain at all and there were bugs. Two flies made it their life mission to irritate me for the duration and I was forced to murder the weirdest looking ant I’ve ever seen, on a page I was writing on. Afterwards I kept thinking there were ants on me, just like every time a bug gets closer than 20 feet. I was miserable and distracted by the time my “stop what you’re doing and leave now” alarm went off.

Now looking back through those last few things I wrote, I can see my mood reflected. My handwriting is readable, but only to me, and with a lot of effort. The last sentence I wrote was: “It’s very upsetting!” I’m almost positive I groaned when I read it. First, I try not to use the word very, especially not in dialogue, because I’m only going to edit it out later. Second, it was said in this characters adopted persona (a big baby, and super annoying), but I was writing from his real viewpoint. Still, I’m not disappointed with what was written.

The most important thing is I’m done with character building! Now it’s time to write. Hopefully what I write will be nothing like this post. I’m glad I’m not writing this in Word, which would yell at me for how many passive sentences I used.

Wish me luck. I’ll need it because I’m nervous about digging into this story again after so long. It’s changed so much since it was first conceived, I hope I know where I’m going with it. I’ll roll with it and knock this story out!

Sidenote: This is day four of my eye twitch!

Photo by Ryan McGuire

Quick Update

This is more of an update to yesterday’s update. In it I stated I hoped to finish up with characters that day or today. Well, add my plan to the large pile of plans that didn’t work out. I was only able to work for forty-five minutes before I had to go home and do the photography course. It sucks but it was for a good reason

It started a few days ago. I was at my normal writing spot completely into what I was doing when something made me look up. It was just in time to see one of the girls who works there pull out the thing that holds tea/coffee grounds and drop it. The grounds went all over her hand. She was clearly hurt but only stood and stared at the ground. One of the other workers ran over and after some coaxing, got this poor young lady to go to the hospital.

Fast forward to Monday, she was back at work. Her hand was wrapped up and she kept it behind her back. Her stance showed how much pain she was in and her face was full of frustration.

Now I go to the place almost every day. I don’t precisely know the people working but I’m friendly with all of them. I spent some time talking to her about how she was doing. Second degree burns and little memory of what happened plague her. When the accident happened she went into shock. She told me when her coworker came running she only said “Why are you running?” Her friend had to tell her, she didn’t remember saying it. She laughed about it, but all I could think was it was a good thing her manager talked her into going to the hospital. Poor thing!

I don’t know how long we talked but when I got back to writing I realized I only had thirty minutes left. I’d only worked for 15 minutes before talking to the girl. It didn’t help that I took so much time to write the long post before getting down to work. Oh well, I don’t regret my choices.

It simply means I have to get a lot done today. I went to the gym, then instead of driving further away to go to ‘my’ spot, I just drove across the street to another place. It’s a different location of the same grocery store chain I frequent. Both places have a coffee/tea shop inside them and large seating areas. This one is set up in a way I don’t care for but I’m not so uncomfortable I can’t write. That said, I despise the chairs here and will probably regret this decision later.

They have a good salad bar so I plan to eat here and work until time for physical therapy. If I go home I will get distracted. If I can finish building my characters today I can start really writing either today or tomorrow.

Once I get really into the story I assume you will see less updates from me for a time. I tend to get lost when I’m making stuff up! It’s certainly happened as I’ve worked on characters.

As for my back, well, I didn’t get on the bike today but I could only use the elliptical for 12 minutes before it started hurting. It was a strange arc. I got to the gym with lots of pain. A couple of minutes into cardio I had no pain. Then right before the twelve-minute mark the weird pain from yesterday showed up. I’ll talk to the therapist about it this afternoon.

One last update, then I’m getting to work. My eye is still twitching! It’s very distracting. Maybe this is my muse telling me to give one of my characters a tic…


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!


It’s Definitely a Tuesday

Tuesdays generally suck for me. Im sitting in the surgeon’s waiting room. I’ve been here for an hour. There are seven of us waiting. My doctor isn’t a jerk, he’s performing a surgery.

Obviously I don’t want him to rush but I wish he was finished.

For a spine surgeon he has the most uncomfortable chairs. Also, this has messed up my tight schedule. I will have to put off the gym until after the stupid court thing I have to go to. It might not sound like a big deal but working out is really the only thing, besides pills, that helps with the back pain.

I was hoping this would be my last follow up but I’m in too much hurt to think I’m done with doctors.

I will find out if I still need this particular doctor though. I like him but I hope I never see him again!

I’ll post an update after I see him.

Pardon any formatting issues as I wrote this on my phone.

Is It An Update?

For at least an hour I sat in my regular writing spot away from the house not writing. Instead I was agonizing over a character’s name. I changed it five or six times before today so this was particularly frustrating.

The original, from too many years ago to think about, was Darian. I love it. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit the naming culture I’ve worked out. Also I must love the letter A because most of the major characters have it as either the first or second letter of their names. Also, there are too many with the same vowel sound in the first syllable. Did I mention I’m a creature of habit? Well it’s a problem in this case.

He’s not the only one giving me problems. Another doesn’t have an A but it still rhymes with too many others. UGH!

So instead of catching up on writing the story, I’m trying to come up with unique monikers. Oh and I suck at it. I narrowed it down to fourteen names but none of them really grabbed me. Well one was awesome but I am saving it for a different story. Writer problems right?

Finally, I came up with something I am almost positive will stick. Ironically it’s a variation of the original. I started changing the spelling and substituting letters until one stood out. I’m not posting it because I need to hold onto it for a while and let it make up my mind for me, or not.

As for actual writing, I’m still world building and half writing scenes that spring up from it. The process has been slow because I’ve been busy with other things.

Last week threw me off because it was the last week of school, which meant two early out days. This in turn meant my writing days were shot. It also meant the house was much louder than normal.

I keep thinking it will take forever for me to adjust to it but then I remember I go out to write in a place that gets packed with loud people at lunch and I still manage to work. Perhaps my kid being home all the time will actually be helpful, assuming she doesn’t interrupt every ten minutes.

I wrote several short stories – flash fiction actually. Two of them I posted recently. One titled Tauria and the other was The Key. The third isn’t where I want it to be but I’ll polish it up soon and post it. Writing shorts while working on a novel makes me feel like me again, almost normal.

All this writing happened despite a return of massive back pain. Something has either happened to the disk site or it’s typical pain to feel at this point after surgery. I go see the surgeon on the 7th and get an x-ray. Hopefully he’ll say the pain will go away. Or maybe put me in physical therapy. Either way, I’m not going to let it stop me from writing.

Oddly enough, the one thing that makes the pain better is going to the gym. I have to be careful not to overdo it but it helps a lot. The people who work at Planet Fitness probably think I’m addicted since I go every day. My reasons are silly. I’m not an outside kind of person. I do like going outdoors, but in limited doses. Besides, the elliptical is better for my back than regular walking.

So there you have it. I’m not sure if this is an update of simply me complaining. It’s probably somewhere in between. Now I’m going to try to write something other than a list of names or blog post!


What’s Up With Tuesdays?

Last Tuesday I was having ‘a day.’ Today is just flat-out crappy. Two Tuesdays in a row don’t necessarily make a pattern but if next week is bad I’m staying home!

It all started with an ill-mannered dog. His name is Link and he’s a pain at times. He always thinks he has the right of way. Also he likes to walk right where he knows you’re going to. He is the ‘any attention is good attention’ type. Normally I can avoid his foolishness and he does understand the word ‘move.’ Today was different.

I don’t know what made him do it but after sitting with the others to get a treat he shot out in front of me as I was stepping forward and there was nothing I could do to save myself. Down I went. I would have fallen on the other dogs but they were smart enough to dart out of the way. I have no idea what sound came out of my mouth but I know it scared the hell out of Link.

His usual M.O. when he messes up is to get as close to me as possible, to the point of trying to crawl under me at times. Not this time. He stayed as far away as possible. I was so angry and in so much pain.

I stood up and gave the dogs their damn treat and went to wake up my kid. Then I went to my room and sat and fumed. For the rest of the morning if the poor dog came near me when I was walking I firmly said move. He acted like he was going to be kicked or something. I’ve never struck an animal. Hell I already felt guilty for being so mad at him. It’s like being mad at a toddler for accidentally spilling milk.

Eventually I made Link feel better and let him try to crawl under me, adding to my pain because I got down on the floor but he needed it. I wasn’t mad at him anymore but I was still in angry mode.

The gym beckoned and I’d hoped to work off the frustration but it was not to be. The pain was bad enough I only did half the workout I normally would. I was on the Arc Trainer (similar to an elliptical) for 7 minutes before I was forced to give up. I was on the recumbent bike for about four minutes and that was only because I was pushing myself. I didn’t try any machines or weights.

None of this helped my mood. I was irritated I couldn’t really work out and scared I’d done some serious damage to my back. Planet Fitness has massage chairs so I sat in one for ten minutes and it helped so the fear went away. If that could help me then it wasn’t as bad as it could be. Knock on wood and all that.

I left the club and headed to my normal writing spot. There were a bunch of cars in the parking lot, which is odd for how early it was. As I parked I knew those elderly table hording couples had to be there. Sure enough they were. The ladies had learned to take up only one table. Unfortunately it was MY table lol.

There were others along the way so I sat down and started to get comfortable only to discover I never put my earbuds back in my laptop bag. It wasn’t the end of the world but not only was there loud, bad music playing, but this place gets super loud at 11:00 so I need to have my music in my ears or I won’t be able to get anything done. I packed my stuff back up and ran out to the car to grab the buds from my workout bag. I’m almost positive I’m going to be upset in the morning when I realize I forgot to put them back.

About ten minutes later the female part of the elderly group got up and started to leave. I waited until they were away from the table and I moved my stuff. It got a little funny because they hadn’t actually left but were standing around the table their husbands still sat out. One of them went to throw something away in the trash can near the sought after table and thought my stuff was one of her friends. When she asked if it was theirs her friend said “No, she’s moving.” Her tone was worthy of a pissy teenager. The one who’d asked looked shocked and kept staring at me as if I’d stolen the spot out from under them.

I couldn’t help but silently laugh. They were offended I wanted to sit at their table and I get all grumpy if they’re at my table. It’s nice to know that even older adults can be as childish as I can be haha. They are probably creatures of habit just as I am. Next time I won’t be irritated now that the silliness of the situation is apparent. In all likelihood I wouldn’t have been as grumpy about it today or last week if I wasn’t already having a bad day.

Reading back over the last paragraph makes me want to make something clear. I wasn’t laughing or cheered up because I pissed off some old ladies. I was laughing and cheered up because they made me realize how ridiculous I am at times, especially when I’m angry.

If I’m not too distracted I’m going to work on world building some more today. I also plan for one of my characters to have a bad day too (thanks for the suggestion Jesse) so I’ll be doing actual writing.

School ends this week, which means two half days and little time to work for me, so I might not have any updates until next week. I’m going to try to write a short story. If I do I’ll post it soon.

I wonder if writing this post could be considered procrastination?


Everything Update – 5/23/2016

Writing: Everything is going well with my trilogy. I’m still world building. I’ve got the culture stuff mostly figured out and while I know what I want in my world, I now need to work on the details.

I previously wrote quite a bit of this story but the setting was vague. I didn’t waste time describing trees, I simply said ‘forest’ and went back to the characters were doing. My beautiful, unique desert is clear in my head but I need to figure out all the practical stuff to get it down on paper. The sand lions need a realistic place to live after all!

The aspects of culture took a long time to get down but what I’m working on now won’t take as long. I’m not going to break my neck trying to figure out every aspect of every place, thing and type of magic before I write scenes. However, if I make enough of the world I’ll be able to move forward with the story more efficiently. I refuse to get lost in years of world building. I’m treating it as a battle plan and fully expect it to fall apart as I write.

Can you imagine spending weeks on an amazing city, with every detail figured out. Everything from how the buildings look to how the sewers smell. From the streets paved with an unknown substance to how the rooftops glow at twilight. You can know exactly what the rich eat and what the poor steal. It’s beautiful, a work of art and the thing you’re most proud of. Now, how are you going to feel when as you’re writing you realize your characters aren’t going to go to this city because it doesn’t fit the evolved plot.

I don’t want world building to break my heart! So I’m building as much as I need to write the scenes that come to me and will change what I need to as I go. This means I’ll be writing and building at the same time. It might sound confusing but it works for me. As long as I don’t slip into editing mode it will be fine.

As for other writing things, I’m going to make more of an effort to write some short fiction. There are times I won’t want to, or won’t be able to work on my work in progress. Writing flash fiction is a good way to not only keep my head in the game, but it’s an excellent way to get me back on track if I fall off the trilogy wagon. Sometimes a story can overwhelm you as you work on it and make you not want to write it anymore. Writing something else, especially something short and quick can help. Completing a story of any length gives a sense of accomplishment and sometimes is the confidence boost you need to go tackle your project again. At least for me it works.

This trilogy has overwhelmed me before, or more accurately caused me to be overwrought. I put it aside many times. The most recent was for the best but all the previous times were not good. So now I am determined to finish it, with acceptable short breaks to come up for air.

I have officially given up on the Story A Day May challenge. It’s a good thing for a lot of people but this time I’ve been particularly unhappy with the prompts. The few pieces of flash fiction I’ve written had nothing to do with the challenge (click here for the most recent one). I think I can write a story a day (which I did in September) but I will do it on my own instead of being limited by something I’m not enjoying. I wish the people participating the best of luck. It’s funny how some prompts work for some people but do nothing for other writers. For all I know I could go back to this challenge in a couple of months and love each one because my mood is different.

Health: I don’t know how I’m doing. In some ways I feel great. I’ve been working out regularly and I’m stronger than ever. The problem is my back hurts daily. Some of it is muscle pain, which I was told was normal at this stage. However, that was weeks ago. I don’t know if it’s still normal.

I suspect I am to blame for this particular issue. The way I sit when writing is not good. I try but often catch myself slumping or bending forward too much. In fact, as I typed that last sentence I had to make myself sit up straight!

The other pain issue is at the surgery site. It’s been hurting in odd ways. I’m going to see the doctor soon but I’m getting concerned. I hope going to the gym isn’t messing me up. I don’t think so because I always feel great, with no pain after I work out, besides my arms when I do weights (I’m wimpy).

Tylenol is my frenemy. I have to use it, almost daily but I hate taking any medicine and of course don’t like being reliant on it. I wish I could take Advil or Aleve instead because they last longer and work better for this type of pain. They also can make my recovery from the surgery take longer so I’m out of luck.

My ultimate goal is to not need any pain pills. We’ll see what the doctor says.

Photography: I went out a few times and took pictures! Unfortunately the days I chose were either rainy or still wet after the rain so I didn’t do a lot of walking around. Damp feet and a wet camera are not something I want. There were some good pictures but I need to go out on a sunny day. Actually, an overcast day would suit me better.

Reading: Not much to report. I’ve been writing more than reading.

Gaming: When my back allows, I have been playing Diable 3 with my husband again. I always forget how much I love it until I start up again. At the end of the summer the next expansion of WoW comes out. It’s safe to assume I will be playing it a lot, pain or shine!

Regular junk: I’m able to do regular household chores and cook but I’m having trouble getting back in the habit. I did manage to clean off my desk, which is always a large undertaking. ‘They’ say a messy desks indicates a creative mind. If this is true then I’m the most creative person on earth.

I’m hoping to get some writing done at home now that I have surfaces clear. I enjoy getting out of the house but it’s a silly to only be able to write while out and about.

If the weather goes bad during my regular writing time I don’t want to sit staring at an empty piece of paper or a blank screen wishing I could go to my regular coffee shop to write. The things I did to get more organized should help. We’ll see.

Oh and I successfully gave up Coca-Cola. I’m still drinking Sprite and ginger-all but I’ll give those up eventually too.

Music: This is a new category in my everything updates. I should probably put it under writing because I listen to music while I write, at least when I’m not at home. I need to find some new stuff. I am the ultimate creature of habit but even I can get tired of listening to the same songs over and over.

Pandora One is trying it’s hardest to help me but I keep skipping lol. Most of the new stuff that pops up is annoying. This leads me to believe it’s time to go with to something  completely different since Pandora picks songs that sound similar to what you like. I mostly listen to hard rock. However, I haven’t heard any new hard rock in ages. For a while every new song was blah or gimmicky so I stopped listening to the radio.

It’s been a year since I tried new stuff sadly. Hearing all the old stuff I love is starting to be distracting. Who wants to stop writing to skip a song? Unfortunately I do exactly that. I’ll do the same thing with new stuff but it will probably be worth it.

Alternative band had me for a while but I’m done with those for a while too. I don’t like most R & B and I refuse to listen to rap, with a few exceptions. Even though I live in Texas, country music isn’t really my thing. Soft rock annoys me and pop is hit or miss. I’m the type who likes a good song, regardless of genre so it’s not like I suffer hearing the types I’m not the biggest fan of. So I’m down to finding new hard rock. Wish me luck, I’m so picky this will be hard.

This post ended up much longer than I intended. This is becoming a regular thing, which is good. I’m still a little flighty after the surgery but at least I now have something to say and the ability to write it!



I’m Having a Day

I don’t want to say it’s a bad day, but it’s not good either, hence the title of this post. Maybe I should call it a blah day.

It started with waking up in pain and hearing growling. No, it wasn’t my stomach. Our dogs sleep in kennels. One of my kids, who is not a child, forgot to close the door of one last night. When that particular dog woke up and naturally came out of the kennel the others started freaking out. My dog named Link can’t see very well in the dark so he was losing it. Luckily the unpenned dog didn’t do anything destructive or get hurt. She’s very young and it could have gone much worse.

So I started the day irritated. However, today is the birthday of the offspring responsible so I reined it in. I woke him up and told him what happened; he felt terrible. Then I told him happy birthday and left to take my youngest to school.

Next was the gym. For the second time since starting my exercise regime I didn’t want to go. I knew part of the pain I was feeling would get better if I worked out, but the other part – the surgical site – was a different story.

I started on the Arc Trainer, which is like an elliptical but it makes you move your feet backwards, sort of. It’s easier on joints and good for someone in my situation. It wasn’t fun and after only ten minutes my back told me I had to switch to the recumbent bike.

The first bike I tried kept making weird noises and I felt a popping, jerkiness occasionally. It turns out the strap on one of the pedals was about to break. I let the staff know and got on a new bike. It worked but it made the most awful sounds. I’m not sure it will live much longer. Changing again would have annoyed me so instead I annoyed everyone who had to hear all the noise.

Oh, and there is this woman who is there almost every time I am. I found out today I’m not her favorite person. We do Not know each other but when her significant other is there he always makes a point of saying hi to me (I don’t know him either).  Yesterday me and this lady were both in the 30-minute workout room and she kept looking at me and shaking her head. I had no clue why. I figured I was mistaken but she made eye contact regularly. Honestly I thought maybe I was using the machines wrong or something but now I know better.

This woman gave me so many dirty looks today that other people working out noticed. It was like she was going out of her way to make me notice. After a while I started remembering how she reacted when her husband (or maybe boyfriend) had talked to me all those times and I can only conclude she doesn’t like him talking to me. It’s weird. I don’t really respond besides a quick smile and answer whatever he says: “I’m good, how are you?” or whatever, and I keep walking. I’ve never stopped to have a conversation.

Or I could be misreading the situation entirely. Perhaps she doesn’t like the way I look. Maybe I used one of the machines in that room when she really wanted on it. Who knows? I wish more women would work to help and build each other up rather than instant hatred and nastiness.

After I left the gym I went to my regular writing place. Every table big enough to fit all my writing paraphernalia (and against the wall which is crucial) were taken. There was a  group of elderly couples who I guess didn’t want to sit together. The women pushed together most of the tables I prefer together and the men sat at a different table. Also, both had enough seating for eight people but there were only four people were at each table.

This led to more irritation but they probably had a larger group before I showed up so I stamped it down and tried to get some work done.

I found myself too distracted to do the world building I’d planned on. So I sat there, starting at the ceiling and thinking about my characters. I’m pretty sure I’ve locked in the names for the ensemble of main characters.

But another problem reared its stupid head. I always listen to music while writing away from home so I don’t get sidetracked by the people around me. Unfortunately my ear buds were hurting one of my ears. It was enough I couldn’t use them anymore. I remember thinking ‘really?’ and ‘of course.’ Feeling sorry for myself was getting old though so I put the ear buds up and pulled out some regular headphones I keep in my laptop bag for just such an occasion.  I also laughed at myself, which caused all those greedy table grabbing people to look at me like I was crazy. The laughter continued for much too long.

Eventually a better spot opened up (when the couples left en masse) and after I moved the tables back where they belong I sat down with the intention of getting to work. Did I? Nope. I’m writing this post instead.

It’s better I get it all out of my system. This isn’t a terrible day but it’s enough to bitch and moan about for a few minutes.

Actually, as I’ve been typing I keep thinking of a scene where one of my characters is annoyed with another. I think I’ll go write it and instead of going back to having ‘a day,’ I’ll turn it around into a good, productive day.


Update 5/2/2016

I’m a bit late in getting to this update but I have a good excuse reason. Today was a very busy day. I took my kid to school then went to the gym. Afterwards I went home to get some story stuff before going back to the gym to speak with a trainer about an exercise plan that won’t do damage to my healing back. Also, I have a love/hate relationship with the elliptical.

The next stop was lunch where I worked a bit on my story, then I headed to a court thing. No, I didn’t break any laws. It was all about my ex not paying child support. I was early so I found a bench and did more writing.

I don’t know if it was the strange new place or if my muse simply wanted to show up for a while but ideas were bountiful while I sat on the terribly uncomfortable bench in the hallway outside the courtroom. I was across from the elevators so many people passed as I wrote as fast as I could trying to capture the thoughts before they evaporated, each staring at me as they passed. I must have looked like a madwoman. A man sitting near me stared in open…something. I’ll assume it was admiration, but it was probably confusion mixed with indigestion. I hope that’s all I was hearing, poor thing.

Anyway, the court stuff happened but didn’t take very long. From the courthouse I went home and took my older daughter to work then went to my favorite place to write, where I came up with some amazing questions to help me advance my plot.

Of course, these questions threw my story into a tailspin but in the best of ways. My husband got off at 4:00, which is a new schedule. I’m happy I was able to get some work accomplished during the day since I normally don’t write when he’s home. It will take some time to get used to him being home 3-4 hours earlier than he used to but it will be good to have him home in the evenings again.

It was such a crazy day. I was supposed to get a haircut this morning but I had to put it off or it would have been one too many things in such a short time period. I’m exhausted as it is.

As for other writing, there is none. I’m supposed to be participating in the Story A Day May challenge but I didn’t write one yesterday and haven’t read the prompt for today. My head is too wrapped up in my current work in progress. I’ll take a stab at some short stuff tomorrow but no promises. If I can’t write a story a day I won’t be disappointed because I’m too happy to be working on this no story. As long as I’m moving forward I have no regrets.

My back is extremely sore. I know the doctor said it’s normal at this point after surgery but I’m getting concerned. I’ll give it time though. The pain might have something to do with my new dog, who stole my heart when I shouldn’t have gone to the PetSmart adoption weekend thing, but that’s a story for another time. The relevant part is I spent a lot of time sitting on the floor the last few days trying to make her comfortable and making my two other dogs feel better about all the attention the new one was getting. The one I adopted is only 9 months old and was in a foster situation with many other dogs. She’ll adjust fast but my other dogs will take much longer. They hardly know what to do with a new addition around.

Just this once I’ll admit I had no business getting another dog but she became part of the family as soon as we made eye contact. She’s a joy.

I’ll post an update later this week on how the exercise program and (hopefully) my writing progress in the story a day challenge. Have a great week everyone!


Sidenote: I had my husband start playing around with fonts for logos, thumbnails, etc. Any thoughts on this one?