Merry Monday: Or is it Tuesday?

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

Sorry. I was exhausted after a weekend full of martial arts and my draft was only on my phone rather than the computer, so I went to sleep last night without posting.

Well, it seems Ottawa is having a cold spring so far as it was -16 C on Sunday, but I’m not letting it stop me. We’re also expecting a huge dump of snow tomorrow, so I have a doctor’s appointment, naturally.

I’m training a little more in martial arts now. I made it to karate on Saturday after meeting my Camp NaNoWriMo goal for the day. And on Sunday, I finally started Jodo before Iaido, which I’d been planning to do since January. At iaido, we did a really awesome partner exercise that involved throwing our opponent to the ground and punching them in the face. It was like an aikido meets iaido moment.

As sore as I am, my body mostly feels better. We did a lot of roundhouse kicks at karate and I think they helped loosen my tight hips as they feel better. It good to be getting back to being more active again. My right Achilles could use some Voltaren, but otherwise, I’m feeling great. Oh except for my abs. We only did 10 sit-ups and 10 leg raises, but my abs are killing me. I suppose the roundhouse kicks may have exercised my obliques as well. It hurts to climb out of bed in the morning, but in that good, making-my-body-stronger way.

I’m finished chapter 9 of 24 today after attending a write-in at Starbucks in my neighbourhood. I think I might start hanging out at the one inside Chapters in the future as it’s very close to home. The dairy free white chocolate mocha was scrumptious, but a bigger size is preferable for next time.

I often feel like my early versions were written by or for a child, so there is much work ahead of me to make it appropriate for the readers. Someday I’ll be finished revising… Not soon, though. As I was removing things, I stumbled upon a character that was almost written off, but I decided to give him a way more important role in the series. He went from cannon fodder to potentially an integral part of Josy’s future.

Grammarly is arguing with me about the spelling of neighbourhood because it doesn’t realize I live in Canada. It is, at least, helping me improve my comma usage.

On that note, I have an early morning tomorrow combined with a possible snow storm and need to go to bed early.

Ciao,
R~

Updates Galore

Writing

I submitted a horror story on Saturday. It’s a wonderful tale *possibly* involving cannibalism. After looking at the critiques from my writing group on another story, I’m slightly worried it’s riddled with grammar issues though.

I’m unsure why I’m having trouble with grammar lately. Passive voice is likely creeping into my work because I’ve been listening to classic novels. I’m a little worried about this grammar issue. I used to tutor others in English. Hopefully I’m just going through a growth period. In any case, Purple Ribbons will need more fixes before it goes out the door.

Writer’s group was tonight. We have several new members who gave great feedback. It’s really nice having some new perspectives and varied experience.

I haven’t heard about my novel yet, but they’re a small team and I know it takes me a long time to read one book let alone several. Of course I’m eager to hear from them, but I’m keeping the project manager within me at bay.

Health

I’m starting to feel more energetic, but usually by Thursday I feel utterly exhausted. Hopefully I stop feeling exhausted simply from going to work soon.

I am producing a little more saliva, which is a great thing for my teeth. This is weird for me though. I feel somewhat like a newborn experiencing things for the first time. I also keep wondering if I’m drooling, but keep telling myself it just feels like that because I’ve been dry for so long.

Small movements make my muscles hurt, like just lifting my arm. Doesn’t seem to matter how much water I’ve drank. Hopefully that lessens as it’s really not encouraging activity.

Reading

I’ve got several books on the go. I’m listening to the Libravox recording of Dracula by Bram Stoker as part of research for my own tale. Also as research, and really sheer enjoyment, I’m reading Human by S. M. Carrière.

Also on the go are Isaac Bonewits’ “Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Druidism” and American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The guide is for my own spiritual growth, but will likely help me with any edits to The Page & The Magician as a bonus. I read an article that said writers often write specific stories depending on what point of life they are at. I guess I’m at the spiritual discovery point, which is on target for my age.

TV

I caved and for Netflix. I’m working my way through the old seasons of The X-Files. I was 12 when they first aired and there’s a lot I don’t remember. I also never finished the whole thing.

When I’m needing a break from that I check out movies I missed like The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo or Django Unchained.

Martial Arts

Didn’t do much last week. Hoping to get back to it tomorrow evening. I was too tired to go to karate on Saturday, but tried to practice a bit of the second kata. I did something wrong with the reverse punch on my left side and hurt my bicep muscle. I read this happens commonly with shadow boxing on the off hand. Unfortunately that made me unable to use my arm much on Sunday and meant no iaido. Driving didn’t hurt today though, so hopefully I’m good to go tomorrow.

Recently my grand sensei (my sensei’s sensei) posted about how he still struggles with sword grip. It’s very timely for me. I’ve been wondering if I’ll ever fix my grip hahaha. Now I know I’ll be working on it forever. Hopefully I improve to the point where my sword is definitely cutting most of the time. I’m only shodan, so I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’m not sure if it’s reassuring to know I’ll still be struggling with it should I ever make it to 7th Dan or not. That’s iaido though. It’s an art focused on continuous self improvement.

Music

I haven’t been doing much in the past couple of months, but I’ve been getting back into my guitar this week.

Lots on the go. Getting back to normal is a wonderful thing, but I want to fit some reading in before bed.

Ciao,
R~

Slowing Down, Temporarily

Writing

Writing is progressing at a relaxed pace. I haven’t done much with my novels in the past week or so. Instead, I’ve been focusing on two short stories for contests. With the horror one I’m at the point where I need to polish things to make it more emotionally gripping. With the other I had a beginning and end, but I needed a middle. I have the story written now. It is my first attempt at literary fiction. I’m working with a character and plot from generators and changing elements that I really can’t connect to like a hobby of stamp collecting. It needs to be under 2,500 words and right now it’s at 1,923. I’m wondering if I need to make it longer or not. I’m reading last year’s winning piece for guidelines.

I haven’t been writing a lot before today as I’ve just felt too ill.

Health

I’ve been really lucky, I think. Despite having a condition for at least 20 years untreated, I haven’t (so far) had anything worse than B12 deficiency. Not that I’m minimizing that. The anemia from it is kicking my butt pretty good, but I’ve been to an optometrist and she took neat photographs of my eyeballs and my eyes are in great shape despite the dryness. I’m getting new glasses. They’re a vibrant purple befitting a fantasy and sci-fi author. My boss might hate them, but there’s a lady at work with some blue in her hair so :P. They look great on me. I’ll post a picture when I have them. Boy, am I glad for OHIP and benefits! Eye exams are really expensive, but I only had to pay a small fee for the photos. I’ll have to pay for my glasses and get refunded later, but that’ll be OK. My benefits might even reimburse for the photos.

As I mentioned, I’ve been feeling pretty awful. It’s mainly exhaustion on workdays. I’ve scaled back my martial arts as a result. It’s probably because my body is trying to regulate my immune system and is trying to deal with the B12 deficiency all at once. It’s always feast or famine for me though. When I began having food sensitivities, I was also dealing with a divorce, and my workplace was being divested. Literally everything in my life was imploding. It’s not that crazy right now though, just hard to do much more than one thing in a day. Hopefully it will level off soon. Early on I had SO MUCH ENERGY! Now I get good spurts then usually crash hard. My sleep has been messed up too, which doesn’t help the tiredness.

I still get a little dizzy sometimes too and that’s not fun to exercise with. My legs also get shaky pretty easily. At least almost all of my moodiness and irrational anger are gone. I was getting pissed off at cabbies driving like idiots and considering there are a lot of cabs one drives near daily in this city… Well I was angry A LOT. I seem to be getting my sarcasm back, which I haven’t seen in several years. They say that’s the sign of a healthy brain. I’m not sure who they are… Aliens, perhaps. At least that’s probably what Mulder would say or the government that covers up the aliens.

Budget

I need to do one. May is going to be filled with excitement and adventure. I really hope this B12 thing and my immune system are happy by then. The weekend of the 1st has Ad Astra, which I missed last year and want to attend this time. Comiccon is May 13-15 or the weekend Mother’s Day falls on. I bought my mom Sheena comics one year. Then the long weekend is usually the Sei Do Kai iaido seminar in Guelph. All this to say, I better make sure I have cash for all of the events and sleeping places. I’m waiting on some reimbursements hopefully from my benefits that will help.

Martial Arts

I just watched yesterday at karate. It was fantastic though. Our Sensei was there and he went through a lot of bunkai for Heian Shodan. I’m really looking forward to training more. We’re doing shotokan with some aikido. They really go well together. Add that to my sword art and I should hopefully get a really good sense of distances. This will teach me a lot about my own body too.

Speaking of the sword art, we did one of the oldest sets today and were encouraged to be pretty free form about it. We’ve done this before, but I’m a little more experienced this time around and my focus is also better, so I found the possibilities enthralling.

Anyway, time to rescue my clean clothes and head off to read a little before bed.

Ciao,
R~

 

ROW80 2016 – Round 1

What are my goals again? I think I’ve sort of forgotten, but I think I’m also accomplishing them anyway.

Writing

This week I’ve been working on a short horror piece that I want to submit somewhere in a month or so. It’s a fun tale involving cannibalism. The working title is Northern Horror, but that may well change before submission.

I haven’t done much on The Blood Waitress Club this week. Need a little breather.

Waiting to hear about The Page & The Magician. Supposed to hear something this month.

Health

B12 shots are awesome. Yes, they make one feel a little yucky at the start, but that wanes. I have a lot more energy and now that I’m getting used to it, I’m feeling like I can focus a lot better.

This week I learned that Venus Williams has the same autoimmune condition as me. She doesn’t let it stop her from being a top performing athlete and I won’t let it stop me from leading a full and happy life. I also read that she struggled with the decision to go public about it. Why did she? Because it’s one of the most prevalent conditions yet it’s virtually unknown. I agree with her thoughts that it needs to be talked about more.

I just signed up for a green smoothie challenge. I’m hoping to have more breakfast options than I currently do. That’s my hardest meal of the day.

I’ve also resumed my karate lessons after 2.5 years away. There’s some rust to shake off, but it’s slowly coming back to me and I think I missed it more than I realized. It feels good to be back except for the abundance of push ups… They’re good for me though. I think I pretty much know Heian Shodan again. I think I have muscles in my ribs I forgot about…

I received my DNA kit to check for other health things and to hopefully connect me with long lost relatives. It took about an hour to fill the thing with saliva. For someone else, it probably would have been easy.

Home

I really need to clean my home. I made some progress just after Christmas, but that’s been mostly undone.

So much to do!

Oh, I’m on Instagram now. You can follow me here: https://www.instagram.com/thetinysamurai/

Ciao,
R~

Learning to Relax

Well the year and I have gotten a bit of a slow start. I’ve been feeling awful lately. Dizzy, rage-filled, moody, and beyond tired. I just thought it was related to chronic inflammation and the whole having an autoimmune disease thing. Nope. Apparently my B12 has been low. I’ve been feeling like telling much of the world to go F**** themselves, which isn’t like me. During this time I avoided people more than I normally do. I’m an introvert type, so I love my me time, but I dreaded being around people. I also couldn’t get my butt out of bed at a decent time in the morning.

So I’m on monthly injections of B12 for 10 months. The first one made me feel ill. I went from no energy to ALL. THE. ENERGY! Then I felt tired. Then I got suddenly overheated. Next I was chilled. Then I was nauseous, shaky, and shortly after that I was ravenous and wondered if there was enough food in the house to satiate me! The next day I was a little sick feeling, but that passed and after a little bit of tiredness I now feel pretty good.

I haven’t got far with my goals this week given all of that, but I’ve been learning to relax. I’ve never been particularly good at it. As a child I always multitasked except when reading Nancy Drew; I used to devour those books. I did my homework or a puzzle while watching TV, or I played solitaire (the old-fashioned way with actual cards). I’m often knitting, hand-sewing, colouring, or writing while watching TV. I’m trying to reduce that. Knitting is reasonable, but I shouldn’t be always multitasking. Why? It leaves me in this always on mode and my muscles knot up.

Tonight I took a bath with Epsom salts and baby oil. I’m trying to take better care of my skin as it’s always too dry. I watched Supernatural by itself, though I felt like I had idle hands. I did briefly feel truly relaxed. It’s a start.

Tomorrow I return to  karate after nearly 3 years away. I’m really looking forward to it!

Writing wise I’m plugging away at The Blood Waitress Club and I’m going to tweak a short story to enter it into a contest soon. I’ll hopefully start that this weekend, though with the sudden extreme increase in energy it’s been hard to focus on one thing. I’ll be used to it soon I’m sure.

I have a sewing project I’m gearing up for as I finally finished a small Harry Potter blanket. I’ve decided to make my own fabric rug as rugs in stores are expensive and never go with my decor. I’ve had some fabric kicking around for years and finally have a project for it. After that I may start my costume for Comiccon because it’s always good to have extra time for it.

I think 2016 is going to be a great year!

Ciao,
R~