A Full Plate

Life got extra busy last week.

I procured a Post Office Box, so I can get ISBNs without providing my home address. I felt it best to ensure I never have people showing up on my doorstep uninvited and I doubt I will live there forever anyway.

I requested 10 ISBNs to get rolling on putting up short stories on Amazon and Smashwords. Waiting to hear on those.

I’m working on a short story for an anthology one of my writing groups is putting together. It’s a solar punk tale.

I’m making substantial changes to The Page & The Magician. At one point her powers came from her spirituality, now they will come from her connection to nature. Now I need to figure out what to have her do to find her animal form rather than a vision quest. Perhaps a nature hike of some sort. Perhaps in Gatineau Park? I really like the vision quest though… Maybe I can do something in between the two. I’m on chapter 7/24 for major editing.

I’ve suspended work on The Blood Waitress Club temporarily. I’m not in a rush for that one. It’ll probably have to be self-published as it features vampires and most publishers don’t want those stories today.

I’m taking a sewing class to learn how to make the fancy pants I wear for one of my martial arts. With the US exchange rate, I don’t see myself getting new ones soon otherwise. I want a practice set, so I can leave my grading ones for grading. My pattern hasn’t arrived yet, but we went over my current pair and took measurements. I also got the chance to fix my top as I had taken it in, but not done it completely properly, so had weird bunching by the underarms.

I’m also learning to draw. Perhaps someday I’ll do my own covers. Or perhaps I’ll be able to draw scenes as I see them and put out illustrated editions. Who knows? I’ve always wanted to be able to draw though.

Working on some boxes to hold my POP dolls, so I can put them up on the wall.

I’m also trying to figure out how to make a video with a picture in picture. I took video of a videogame as I was playing it. Now I want to record me talking about the game and combine them. I don’t want to spend a lot on software. I think what I want to do is pretty basic…

Working on improving my leg strength for martial arts. I was planning to start that soon anyway as I want to be in good shape for the annual spring seminar. Yesterday one of the senpai gave me tips on something concrete to try, so I’ll incorporate that into my training and outside of that I started one leg squats, two leg squats, and lunges. My quads and glute muscles should be in fine shape in a couple of months.

I’m feeling a little run down, but then I’m due for my B12 shot soon. I forgot my water in the car yesterday and didn’t have it during martial arts. That was awful. I hope I never do that again. Not sleeping super great either, which is making it difficult to write stories.

Perhaps a lunchtime nap is in my future.

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~

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~

Getting Back on Track

I’ve been rather distracted as of late while waiting on medical test results. I was writing, but not very much.

I’m not a New Years resolution type of person. I’m a goal-oriented type. So here’s the writing plan for 2016:

1. Finish the second draft of The Blood Waitress Club. It is a tale of a team of roller derby girls who happen to be vampires.

2. Finish the first draft of Scion. This one is an alien conspiracy involving a particularly skilled boy.

3. Do whatever is needed to get The Page & The Magician to publication. It’s my urban fantasy romance that’s set in Ottawa. This one is currently in review by a publisher, but they could decide it isn’t actually something they’re into, or that it needs a lot more work.

4. Polish some of my short stories and send them out into the world.

5. Attend Ad Astra and Can-Con.

That should keep me busy.

Ciao,
R~

NaNoWriMo 2015

Well I’ve been doing terrible at National Novel Writing Month this year. Why? Life has been busy.

At the end of October, from the 30th to November 1, there was Can-Con. I successfully pitched my novel to one of the publishers, then spent two days touching up my manuscript before submitting it. I had gotten some outside feedback at Can-Con and wanted to apply it. So that took me to November 4th as a start date. Then I had to spend some time ensuring I had food to eat at the Iaido seminar on the 7th. The 6th and 8th were partially lost to travel. I didn’t get much writing done in the first week.

In week two when I could get some time to write, I was facing the challenges of full-time work, writing course, plus social life. I was also facing a challenge of, “Man, it’s been so long since I looked at this manuscript. What’s it about again?” Also, I had updated my Scrivener to the newest version and it moved some of the text files around, so I had to reorganize and read to figure out what I had already written and what needed to happen in the story.

Week three had me facing a bladder/urinary tract infection. The antibiotics quickly cleared that up, but not without other issues. I was nauseous, lightheaded, dizzy, light sensitive, sinus headache, fevered/chilled… It was fantastic.

Somehow I was able to write 1,019 words on one of the days despite how ill I felt? That’s the only day I’ve written over 1000 words.

So as we head into week four, I have 5555 new words written on Scion. I have martial arts tonight, food allergy treatment tomorrow, and physio on Friday.

There are only a couple martial arts classes left before grading. It’s likely best I spend my free time on that if I want to pass it.

On the upside, the writing course is done and I received interesting and helpful feedback from the other students on several of my stories.

I’ve been terrible at ROW80 for this round. I’m posting a day early, because.

Next month should be a little better for getting my writing in. Not that I’m going to stop working on Scion. I’ll just stop feeling bad about not being up to Nano word count. And when I’m stuck, I’ll work on edits for The Blood Waitress Club. Whichever one is ready first will be my next pitch.

Goals for the Rest of the Round

Scion: 250 words/day

The Blood Waitress Club: 1 chapter/week

Ciao,
R~

Slightly Broken

Writing

I’m working away at The Blood Waitress Club in-between the coursework for the fiction writing course I’m taking. I’m enjoying the course, but not always the reading of other people’s work. It’s all first draft content and doesn’t always make sense. I’m enjoying the other readings though. I’m taking my homework along with me on my family visit for Thanksgiving this weekend.

With The Blood Waitress Club, I’m doing an editing experiment. I’m using The Hero’s Journey as a guide to organize the first draft into a story. This is helping reduce the pain of editing so far. I’m unsure if there are other guides like The Hero’s Journey out there, but I figure it’s worth a try to see if it helps me up my quality and reduce the pain in producing it.

Social

I’ve been rather busy of late. Last weekend was the Geek Market. The boyfriend and I had gone through much of the market when we decided to do the scavenger hunt. It was a new addition to the market and I enjoyed looking for clues. After all of that, we got three geocaches nearby. I now have 10. I’m hoping to get an earth cache this Sunday.

Also at the Geek Market were quite a few of my friends such as Heidi who owns Decypher, and fellow authors Benoit, Kris, and Patricia.

My boyfriend is keeping me quite busy with kisses. He’s also helping reduce my neck pain. He’s a massage therapist and an architecture student.

It’s strange. I’m not used to having a man who takes away my pain rather than causing me more. I’ll get used to it, I’m sure 😉

He got me a gift for our one month anniversary, which happens on Saturday, but I’ll be visiting the family for Thanksgiving. He also totally pampered me last night 🙂

The gift:
image

A beautiful fan and a pair of tofugu, or Japanese socks that separate the big toe from the rest of the toes. That fan is going to be great in the summer for the Japanese festival. It’s always on the hottest day of July or maybe it just feels that way because I’m in a black keikogi and hakama while demonstrating iaido.

I’ve taken to dropping the capitalization on the name of my martial art due to the prevalence of sans serif fonts. I’m tired of people thinking I practice something called “Laido” as that isn’t correct. It’s iaido and it’s pronounced “eee-eye-doh”, for the record.

Health

I’ve gotten the results of my neck MRI back and I’ve got two bulging discs and one protruding disc. No wonder my neck is upset. The X-ray showed my neck is straighter than it should be. I’m missing the natural backwards C-curve that should be in it. The treatment? At least six rounds of physiotherapy, which begin next week. As I’ve been to physio before for this, I’ve begun the exercises while I wait. Aside from the injury I’ve sustained, a bad habit of leaning forward to read screens is a way this happens to people. It ends up compressing the discs and pinching the spinal cord, from what I’ve read.

I may have to take some time off of iaido because I’m not allowed to do heavy lifting. Six weeks brings us to grading weekend. I’ll have to postpone grading until Guelph seminar in May unless some other opportunity comes up first, but I’m okay with that. Necks are kind of important after all.

It’s probably best I put a hold on dance class as well. Skipping and hopping around aren’t great for the injured spine.

So what will I do? Write, of course!

Also, I’m looking into NAET therapy to rid myself of food allergies. I think that’s worth postponing travel for, if it works.

I voted today. I know, and have known for a while now, who I’m voting for, so why wait ten more days? Plus now I don’t need to do anything but wait and see how it turns out.

I better get to packing.

Ciao,
R~