Thoughtful Thursday – Itch from Hell

Sometimes, when I have a bad day, I think I’m the target of some cruel joke. My life hasn’t turned out the way I planned. Some things are going well. I’ve gotten some short stories published and will have books in my hands very soon that I can sell to fund my novel. That’s surreal. I need someone to pinch me so I know I’m not just having a good dream.
My health is an area that makes me really sad at times. It’s where I keep taking the most hits. I started having symptoms at age 14. My parotid salivary glands would swell up. It’s always painful when that happens.

In my twenties, I experienced an episode of sleep paralysis while hallucinating. It wasn’t until about 5 years after that, they said I had narcolepsy. I lived with that for 3 years until no stimulant medication helped and I had the symptoms of stroke so took myself off the meds. My body had decided it wasn’t narcoleptic anymore. This was all proven both times by the tests.

After that it was discovered that I was sensitive to dairy, eggs, and yeast. That has been a fun diet.

Next, I began having joint pain. I remembered during a check for carpal tunnel in my twenties that I had a positive RA factor. So I got some blood tests done and was sent to a rheumatologist. 

Many of my symptoms match an autoimmune disorder. One that features dryness, so stimulants were about the worse thing I could be on. The trouble is that my body is again rejecting medication. Rather violently through a rash. As a baby, I reacted this way to penicillin.

So I’m at a loss right now as I feel rather like I’m in hell. I’ve been reacting since the 8th, despite hydrocortisone cream, allergy medicine, baking soda baths, tea tree oil, antifungal cream, aloe, calamine, apple cider vinegar, and diaper rash cream.

It’s clear my body is pissed off for some reason.

I see my specialist tomorrow. Hopefully she’ll know what to do. 

Until then, I expect to have another night of difficulty sleeping. 

I wish I could trade skin with someone.

I’m exhausted but too itchy to sleep and I just want to cry.

R~

Merry Monday – Time Management

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Normally,  I’d be less annoyed that it’s unseasonably warm. After feeling awful on Friday, Saturday had me visit the urgent care place. I’ve been fighting with an itch (no, not that kind!) and one of the spots looked rather round and perhaps like a bullseye. But the doctor thinks it’s just a fungal thing brought on by getting sweaty in the dojo. Ringworm, actually, which involves no actual worms just appears in rings on the skin. While I’m thankful that it’s likely not Lyme Disease, it’s no fun trying not to sweat in this weather. I need to stay clean and dry!

My visit to the urgent care place may have been just what I needed to get out of the funk I’ve been in. One never knows what will inspire. As waiting rooms are a mecca for a variety of ailments and personalities, the observant and introverted writer can glean some interesting information. One particular woman stood out to me. She is a member of a minority group, has cerebral palsy and anxiety, and was also suffering from a twisted ankle due to a mishap with her walker. What did she speak of? Once her anxiety was under control she planned to get a job, her own apartment, and would be having her parents over to treat them to dinner. With so much crap going on, she was immensely positive and so full of smiles!

All that to say that I’ve put myself on a bit of a schedule to carve out writing time and time for guitar practice. It was needed. I haven’t put anything else on my schedule yet. I like to make gradual changes rather than have so much of my time scheduled that I feel overwhelmed. It’s working so far.

I’ve discovered Yousician. I wish I could afford the subscription because it’s a really cool app. For now, I’ll just see how far I can get on the free version. It’s really forcing me to improve my timing, which is sorely needed.

I’m slowly making progress on my Steampunk Romance short story I’ve tentatively called “The Language of Love.”

Yarr! I hope you scallywags enjoyed International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Well, I need to get to French early if I hope to have a parking spot.

Ciao,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday

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There is a lot on my mind today. Yesterday, I received a rejection for The Page & The Magician, so I’m processing that and trying to figure out the direction I should take with it. Most erotica publishers only do ebooks and if I’m going that route, I might as well do it myself because I want the option of print books for conventions and such. Plus, a lot of my friends actually prefer physical books with signatures.

The job is going mostly well though I’m unsure if I’m completing my work fast enough. I love it though. I often get to work from home often and have a lot of autonomy, which is something I’ve been craving for a long time now. I still have to pay the parking ticket I received on day one. Meetings are going to be shortened slightly so I don’t have to lose half of my day’s wages. YAY! The parking in the area of the Gatineau office is street with a limit of 1 hour. Some spots have 2 hour, but those are always taken.

Every time some progress is made on the planning for the martial arts seminar, something else happens to block it. I spent yesterday trying to get a restaurant booked and no matter how hard I tried it wasn’t happening. The prime choice of restaurant was already booked by a large group. I tried calling our next option, but they must have had their phone automatically hanging up. There was a change room snafu and I ended up having to speak to the custodial staff that will be there on the day in question to get it sorted. The whole thing has been way more complicated than is necessary and it’s partly because their computer system doesn’t allow much of anything. You can request one thing on the permit like just the gym. Everything else has to be added by their admin. If your permit is approved before they add the other things, you don’t get those things. Lessons learned for next year’s seminar… What’s left is with Sempai to finish except for some signs.

My last edits are in on the short story for the mystery shifter anthology coming out soon. I’ll definitely be shouting about it when it’s ready! Researching for a Steampunk romance story and also planning ahead for a pitch to a group I really want to write for. Incidentally, that pitch had me waking up repeatedly last night to scribble some ideas down. I was extremely sleepy but actually managed to convince myself that no-I-would-not-remember-it-in-the-morning and I had better write something no matter how tired I was. They mostly make sense today, so I call that a writer win.

As if that all wasn’t enough, I ponder my love life or lack there of. Because my brain is a jerk sometimes.

Off to ponder Steampunk things combined with Samurai things because that’s how I roll. Also known as possibly having bitten off more than I can chew.

Ciao,
R~

 

Merry Monday – Labour Day Weekend

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In retrospect, I should have suggested Wednesday as the first day at my new job.

This weekend was amazing, enlightening, and reassuring.

I was fortunate enough to spend the bulk of it with four fabulous women that I am thankful to have as friends. I got to know several of them better outside of the training environment and I learned we have more in common than I could ever have guessed.

I was blessed to be part of a taikai (tournament) team that won bronze, so I have another medal to add to my collection which includes my Catholic school graduation (I was never actually Catholic, but that is a story for another time) and the bronze medal I won at the last taikai I competed it. I have yet to receive even one flag, but I expect if I work harder to improve, they will come in time.

Today, one of the wonderful Sensei from Japan told us that taikai is often judged more on strength and that ability to show strength is good for little else because ranks are not given for that but for much more.

We were punished for improper etiquette. This was a problem with people from most divisions. Indeed, many failed their gradings this weekend either because of something small or because they went over time by 1 second.

There are quite a lot of little things I learned that I think will help me greatly improve. The slightest incorrect foot placement can have a profound effect on hip placement, which results in a bad cut and possibly means having missed the target completely.

Also, something from my past came full circle this weekend and I am finally able to leave it behind me. I’m very happy about this.

I was able to start my next short story. Despite never having heard my editor’s voice, I hear her in my head each time I write something to vague, so I put questions that need answering in parentheses and keep writing the first draft.

Well, I must be getting to bed as I start my first day as a content producer tomorrow. That is a fancy title that means writer plus a few other things.

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday – Sitting Around

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I spent a lot of today at a doctor’s appointment. Telemedicine is wonderful except when there are technical difficulties. If the chairs were comfortable, I think  people wouldn’t mind being stuck waiting as much. Do medical offices ever test the chairs before they buy them?

They say that sitting is as bad as smoking now. I suppose streaming services have contributed to this. Before, I might watch one episode of a TV show at night and during the commercials, I would get up and do something in between like put a load of laundry on. I would get up several times during an hour long show. Now, I watch several episodes in succession only getting up to use the washroom or grab a snack.

But I’m an active person at heart. I like taking walks. I love skating. I’m a passionate martial artist. I like geocaching. When I play my guitar, I’m almost always standing.

As a writer, I sit a lot. It’s on my mind, lately. It has affected my posture to some degree. I notice it at martial arts.

I’m going to start writing from a standing position at least part of the time.

I’m going to take more walks too. I got out of the habit because of the heat waves, but those should be ending soon. I like walking with the Charity Miles app. It’s the perfect thing for me because I have a hard time choosing between charities. I can pick a different one each time I go walking. It could use a random button, but I think I’ll pick a charity for each month.Since it’s nearly 11pm, I’m going to wait until tomorrow to start regular walks. My neighbourhood can be dangerous once the sun goes down and I like all of my bits in their current configuration.

Off to do some research for my next short story. It’s working title is, “The Language of Love.” It’s a Steampunk Romance. For research tonight, I will begin reading “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” as I’ve not written a Steampunk story yet. I’m going to have to watch my tendency to turn romance into erotica as I don’t think this publisher is looking for that. What can I say? I can get a little carried away in my writing…

Oh, and I forgot to post Friday’s post on Friday. Sorry for that. It’s up if you want to read it too.

Ciao,
R~

Fortifying Friday – Limbo

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I’m in limbo right now. The job application and interview process is a slow one. Companies take months to get from advertisement to selection. I know this. It doesn’t make me feel better, though. I don’t want to end up on EI, even if it would be nice to get a little of it back after paying into it for so long.

My days are currently taken up with job searches, applications, etc. And otherwise, I’m trying to get a martial arts seminar booked into a location, which is more difficult than one might think. Some places give preference to organizations that have booked with them before even if it’s not a recurring weekly event or they haven’t yet booked with them. Seems odd to me. Why wouldn’t you go with the guaranteed income? Maybe they’re friends.

My job coach says that this period where I’m waiting to hear about jobs is normal. He recommends going to more networking events.

I have an appointment tomorrow to get professional photos done. I need them to go with my writing bio (rather than a selfie) and my LinkedIn could use it too. There’s a promotion on at this place a couple of blocks away, so I’m going to try them out. I was told to bring two outfits, no black. Apparently, black thins you in person, but does the opposite on camera.

I got a few more outfits from the thrift store today. They had $2 off pants, skirts, blouses, and blazers. My lucky day. Now I need to do laundry, though. I also need a couple of camisoles as two shirts are a little see-through. For $30 I got 1 pair of pants, 2 blazers, 2 scarves, 4 blouses, and 4 skirts. One blazer needs a small repair. The back hem has come out in one area. That’s not a big deal though. I have to get fixing my fancy martial arts pants before seminar and taikai next weekend anyway.

More edits have been made to my mystery story Sandra’s First. One was left over from before. I couldn’t decide which way to go with it then. The other, I think was missed because of the mess of tracked changes markings all over.

Ciao,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Stir Crazy

I haven’t felt myself most of this week. The job hunt is ongoing and it is emotionally taxing.

On Monday, I felt anything but merry. I realized I was going stir crazy and the weather was absolutely perfect for a visit to Papanack Park Zoo. I took more videos than photos as my camera is not a DSLR and isn’t so great at taking action shots. I spent the bulk of my time there admiring the big cats. Perhaps a strange thing to do for someone with a cat allergy, but they were fascinating. As I walked toward their cages, I could feel the danger in the air. Some of the enclosures reminded me of a wooden version of those found on Jurassic Park. Lions act rather like a mixture of house cat and dog. They pounce if you turn your back on them and jump up excitedly when they see their feeder. This doesn’t go on for long as they wear themselves out quickly. They were surprisingly adorable. I never heard any roar, but would have liked to. Tigers are more active and are surprisingly hard to lose sight of despite their orange colour. During the feeding, I didn’t get much chance to take pictures of the tiger, so I went back alone and watched it until it snapped at me. At that point, I told myself it was best to leave it alone if that was what it wanted. I had left the tiger as I was following the feeding tour. Our next stop was the snow leopard. What a fluffy kitty. It had a pretty relaxed demeanor and I swear it was walking by the cougars on purpose to rile them up. The cougars were right next to her and they were nasty. One female cougar in particular was terrorizing the male. The other female left the two of them to fight while she stayed hidden from the crowd. The male let the other female push him around until food came and he was hungry. He snapped back and she threw herself to the ground and tried to act all sweet. He wasn’t buying her act, though. I visited the monkeys and realized their poop smells the most like human poop. There were a lot of them too. The squirrel monkeys only did cool things when I didn’t have my camera out. Figures. Now for some pictures… The first is of a pair of owls. The one on the right wouldn’t take its eyes of me and turned its head around more than 180 degrees. It was a bit creepy.

owls

There were creepy bald eagles too. Somehow I didn’t notice until after I took my picture that there were three in the cage that were all in the exact same pose. Other birds were so still I wondered if they were alive or even real.

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There was a capybara, which I thought looked rather like a giant beaver.

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I also got to see cute things like a wallaby. I fantasized briefly about having one as a pet.

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There were zebras too.

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I felt better after the zoo visit. It surprised me how much the wild dogs looked like regular pets. I did not find them scary, but should have. I did start sneezing after a while, but by then it was time to go home anyway. I didn’t spend much time looking at the North American animals. I was more interested in the exotic ones and had only so much time.

On Tuesday, I finished the edits on Sandra’s First and sent them to my editor. I was dreading my afternoon appointment with Dress for Success. I felt like there wasn’t much point to getting clothes for interviews as it seems I haven’t been selected for any. At the start, I wasn’t confident in some of her selections for me. She gave me a mint green shirt to try, which was as awful as I expected. Shortly thereafter we found two outfits that I can mix and match. They make me look great. Also, older and taller. I can’t wait to wear one to an interview!

Tuesday evening was somewhat frustrating. One member of my martial arts club was being subtly jerky to me by uttering comments meant to make me feel stupid. I will defuse that situation in due time. It caused me to lose a lot of sleep and I won’t let that continue.

Because of the lost sleep, I was barely functioning yesterday. I couldn’t even manage to use my scanner properly, but I also couldn’t nap. I caught up on Supernatural and picked up a package. I also got an ergonomic cushion to make my office chair better and did some shredding. At least I got more than nothing accomplished.

Today, I’m still a little sluggish, but almost back to normal. Caffeine helps. I’ve been watching more TV than I should, though.

Back to working on the to-do list.

Ciao,
R~