Everything (Mostly Nanowrimo) Update

Nanowrimo: I’ll start with my most important update – Nanowrimo word count as of day 6: 15,006.

I went to the first write-in of the month last night thinking I’d be lucky to get a few hundred words in but was pleasantly surprised to end the night with 2868. This helped my poor deflated writer ego because the day before I only wrote 863. I’m ahead of the average daily goal of 1667 a day but I need all the padding I can get because of days I won’t be able to write much if at all.

So my muse is happy with me for the time being and my story is going well. There are some things I need to figure out still. For example, I need to either find more ways to destroy/get rid of ghosts or make some up. Researching this has been…interesting. Last night I searched for ways to force a ghost to rest and one of the results was: Everything you need to know about ghost sex. Seriously, ghost sex? If it wasn’t perverted stuff it was silly crap. One site recommended asking the ghost nicely to leave you alone and another said religion works but only if you believe in the religion. Yes, it was really that vague. My story is about a war between humans and ghosts. I need more than polite questions. I don’t think any ghost who witnesses my character salting and burning bones will respond well to asking nicely.

I’ll probably make up some religious ceremonies and spells. Looking up real spells has been laughable. In spite of all this the story is moving along great. I need to introduce more characters, which I still need to come up with, and I’ve been working on a battle scene, actually the most important one of the story. Most of the other ‘battles’ have been one-sided. Humans can hurt and stop the ghosts temporarily but haven’t found a way to destroy them all. Ghosts however, while they can’t physically harm the humans themselves, they can still cause the death of a human through trickery and fear. They also can possess people and use their hosts to kill.

I wrote a few scenes where humans are fighting possessed humans. They are as horrifying as I can make them. These fights demoralize the human survivors of this ghost apocalypse. Imagine the only way to avoid death is to kill a hapless victim of possession. Every choice these people make comes down to the lesser of two evils. There are no good options, yet.

Today I plan to skip ahead and write about the things that happen after some good options are finally discovered. Plus finish the big battle scene. There is an ‘un-write-in’ in my Nano region and I’ll be going. The site is my usual writing spot when I get out of the house to work so it’s perfect for me. I’ll be there early to eat lunch and save some tables for the others.

Medical: Early yesterday morning I had some injections in my back. It was my third time but this time it was a different type. They did a temporary nerve block in three discs in my lower back. The point was if it gave me pain relief for up to six hours, then in couple of weeks they will go in and permanently block the same nerves. I didn’t have much faith in it because nothing else we’ve tried has worked but this did! It’s not perfect relief but it’s enough to justify doing the next procedure. It also keeps me from having surgery, at least for a while. That’s a big deal since the surgery I’ll eventually need is pretty serious. So yay!

Other writing: HA! What other writing? Actually…I did write a flash fiction piece right after Nanowrimo started, a 100 word story. It needs a lot of work but nothing could convince me to get into editing mode this month. So other than that piece I’ve stuck strictly with The Ghost War. Even when I get distracted it’s still within this story. The other day I went to a coffee shop and there was a very grumpy barista working. I spent twenty minutes watching her interact with her coworkers and customers, then turned her into a character. I needed someone to kill off anyway. This girl was fascinating as a character. I don’t know what was wrong with her but everyone in the place stayed as far from her as they could manage. For a while I didn’t think I was going to get any writing done since I couldn’t stop watching lol. Eventually I decided that not only had I seen enough but I was going to give the girl a complex so I got to work on the fun scene she inspired.

Everything else: My family is surviving me doing Nano. My dogs have become experts at guilt trips and my husband is amazing about everything. I finally did my laundry. I had put it off almost to the point of having to wear skirts and tank tops, right when the temperature dropped! Let’s not talk about everyone else’s laundry…at least I washed the towels!

Hope everyone else doing Nanowrimo is doing well. We’ve got this!

Hot Tea Adventures

Why is a good cup of tea so hard to find? Unfortunately, for me, the only places to get hot tea (away from home), are coffee shops. Of course those places are not going to have a large selection of not-coffee, but it makes me sad. Even the places that say “coffee and tea” in their name only tend to have adequate hot tea. I love going into places like that to write because even though I don’t drink coffee, I think it smells divine. There is something about that aroma that speaks to my muse and brings my creativity out.

I’m not asking much. I drink plain black tea, typically named British breakfast or English tea time. I’m not asking for adventurous flavors or strange mixes. Just a good strong, wonderful cup of regular tea, and some sugar please.

I’m sure some of you reading this know of places that I would kill to visit but while I don’t live in a small town, I don’t live in a big city with a lot of choices either. We have many Starbucks, which I have always thought was only alright, but they recently changed brands of tea, to a less desirable one.

I’ve been to a bookstore in town that has a cafe inside it. They have great tea, amazing, perfect, exactly the flavor I want. The problem is I keep the exact tea at home and I can drink that whenever I want. Plus I don’t really care for the place. It’s tolerable but it gets rather loud because it’s across the street from a high school.

There is a local coffee shop here that previously only had a few choices in flavors and none of them were for me. I was confused as to why they didn’t have a plain option. This was particularly a downer because the place is great, especially for writing. The atmosphere is soothing and the people really try to make sure you have a good experience. It’s nice and quiet too. It’s too bad the tea I tried tasted like flowers.

A couple of weeks ago I went to their website, on the off-chance that they added new flavors, and was astonished to find they added a tea I could drink! I couldn’t get there fast enough. I went in, dragging my husband and looked at the cute tea menu they had set up. Want to guess what wasn’t on it? As my kids say: FML. I asked if they had the flavor I wanted and the guy working said they decided not to carry that one anymore. They only had it for a few months so I was quite surprised. He suggested another tea that was the closest to regular black tea. I looked up the ingredients online and found that it contained blueberries. I’m allergic to salicylates, found in pretty much every berry and most fruits, hence the pickiness about tea flavors. I left sad. I sent them an email today about it, which is why this is all on my mind. I may have pleaded for them to keep serving the one I can drink. 🙂

There are two more places for me to try, but they are tiny and each time I’ve gone, both were so busy there were lines out the door and I never made it in.

Maybe I merely need to try coffee again and force myself to like it. Nah, the mental block is too strong for that. Read The Surgery if you want an explanation of my weirdness about coffee. For now I go to the coffee and tea cafe in the local supermarket and drink the adequate stuff when I want to get out and write.

There is a small ray of tea hope on the horizon. A new place is opening sometime later this year. I hear they will have a better brand but I’ll believe that once I’m addicted.

Do I have to give up my writer status if I don’t drink coffee?

If you think my being overly selective over tea is bad, wait until you hear about the ongoing search for the right flavor of gum each time they discontinue the ones I like!