A Writing Post – ROW80 2019 R4-14/15

Oops. I forgot to post on Sunday… In my head, I hear Harry saying, “There’s no post on Sundays.” So it’s totally OK, right?

Anyway, work has been pretty heavy. There’s a milestone we reached on a project, but I will be largely leaving the bulk of the rest to the woman I’ve been training since August and someone who isn’t there yet as I’ll be taking over for a colleague for a year while she’s on maternity leave. I do know it will be nice to eventually be focusing on one role. I’ll get to trade some current headaches for different headaches and learn some new things. It’s been a bit stressful and draining trying to train for that while doing so much else, so I haven’t had as much energy as I’d like for writing and other things when I get home at the end of the day. And my mind has been overly wired while trying to remember all the things.

I had a major revelation about my own writing while reading Thinner by Stephen King. No, I’m not comparing my work to his in an unrealistic way. There were three things I noticed about my own. When reading my book, I noticed that it’s not immediately clear what genre it is. Uh-oh! That’s a pretty major issue. Item Two was that I’m way under-descriptive. That’s a place to get more words easily. Yes, one can describe too much, but I think an editor would rather have things to cut. And the third item is that he, like Danielle Steel, repeats things often. Not everything, of course, but anything that is important. He just finds a different way to say it. A character may repeatedly ruminate on their problem throughout the whole novel. I almost never repeat anything. Oh, I also noticed his opening was pretty awesome, so I reworked mine with all of the above in mind. Anyway, it feels like the book is coming together more now. It’s easier to see what needs to improve and have an idea of how to fix it. Hopefully I’ll have the energy for it soon.

Stephen King does this other funny thing where he pokes fun at himself in this book. “This isn’t a Stephen King novel. It’s real life!”

HEALTH & FITNESS

  1. Glider: 200 steps while I was just testing its new location. I also have a new plan to hop on it whenever I’m really frustrated.
  2. Martial Arts: I’m mainly going to practice at home until I get my snow tires on. I just feel better about minimizing my driving, especially on the highway, until then. But there is a seminar this weekend that I decided to go to.

HOME

I’m getting through my clutter. At least in my main area anyway. It’s not all gone, but I’m seeing less and less junk everywhere. I moved my coat rack to a spot that isn’t in my way. I cleaned off my TV stand. It’s getting easier in some places. I also cleared off my dining room table. This year it’s holding my little yule tree, which has several benefits that include keeping the tree out of the way while I continue decluttering. My glider also has a better place now. I’ve been moving all the remaining junk to one pile, so it’s easy to get to and parse through. I never thought I’d get here. I still have a lot more in my bedroom, but having the main areas nearly cleaned up is really helping my stress levels and making me feel like writing more.

My tires are in my car and an appointment is booked to change them. I should’ve done this sooner, but my original plan was December 1st before the snow jumped Ottawa in a back alley. I also put a proper lock on my storage unit.

I’m doing well on paying off my debt. My mortgage has been renewed. Everything seems to be getting better there.

  • Declutter: (Goal 15 mins/day) On average, I’m doing more than 15 minutes each day. I think I can call this a regular habit by now.
  • Paper: I’ve lost track, but I’ll be going through a ton of paper soon as I have mostly paper left to go through in my living room. I think my plan is to digitize the writing notes from the one file cabinet drawer, so the other important house related papers can go in the cabinet.

GRIM TIES (NANOWRIMO)

I have been doing a little here-and-there on this project.

  • 9,525/50,000

PIANO

I really don’t enjoy playing Downtown Abbey. I want to learn rock and metal and it’s so far from that. Maybe I should try it with my distortion pedal.

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

I’ve finished David Christian’s Origin Story and I’m now working my way through Stephen King’s Thinner. I also read David Demchuk’s The Bone Mother, which was well worth it.

  • 2/3

SPARKS

I’ve been really motivated to work on this one.

  • 73,744/80,000

R~

Dating Frustrations – ROW80 2019 R4-12

Not that I’ve been making it a huge focus lately with other things I’ve been doing, but I feel the need to rant about dating at this age.

In short, it mostly sucks.

The online profiles of men are mostly useless in determining a fit. The options seem to be between dudes who never exercise or dudes who spend all their free time biking and hiking. Do you all just copy each other’s profiles or something? Also, there’s a key point missing. That is whether or not you are expecting your potential partners to also be bikers and hikers or if this is just something you like to do yourself. Like I’m a martial artist and while it would be cool to find someone who practises the same martial art(s) as I do, it’s really not a mandatory thing for me. And it’s almost better that they are into different martial arts than I am, so we have things to teach each other.

It would be awesome if they had their own things and weren’t the jealous type that doesn’t like when I’m out with my martial arts buds. Because that shit is annoying.

Also, what is with the shirtless pics, the sunglasses pics, and laying on the bed pics? You’re not looking for a relationship with those, so put your status to casual or don’t know instead of relationship. There are women out there just looking for sex, so stop wasting everyone else’s time when it’s obvious that is what you’re looking for.

Of course, I would prefer to be with someone who likes to read books because I’m a writer, and that’s a huge part of who I am. I’d also prefer to be with someone who is closer to me in political and religious views because I don’t want daily fights about these external things that have huge impacts on lives around the globe. There are enough other things to fight about in a healthy relationship like whose turn it is to pick the movie. I’d also like the man to be into horror movies because I regularly enjoy watching them. I occasionally like sappy stuff like Grey’s Anatomy too, especially when work has been particularly demanding. They must like dogs. I love them and I’m allergic to cats. I also like video games and music.

Maybe I should just post that as my dating profile. Of course, the field probably can’t fit all that.

Back to the rant though. It seems most single men are over a decade older than me, mentally ill (and it’s unmanaged), abusive, or completely incompetent at being an adult without their parents. Or they can’t carry on a conversation, so that getting to know them is even possible. And if it’s none of that, sometimes I just don’t feel attracted to them, but I suppose that could partly be that I haven’t gotten to know them enough.

So I don’t know where to go from here. Have friends send me on blind dates? Find some speed dating event? Lurk at dog parks perhaps with a shelter dog that could use a walk?

Anyway, this has been a somewhat brief update on my dating life. Back to the regularly scheduled programming.

HEALTH & FITNESS

I’ve been working on getting rid of more clutter in the living room and my glider will eventually be in a different location as I still hope to eventually have a recliner as my main living room seating for myself. I’m taking the fitness challenge off for now until I actually start it. Maybe it’ll be a New Year’s resolution.

  1. Glider: I lost count of the steps, but I got about half an hour in on Monday. My glider doesn’t reset from 0, so if I don’t remember what they were when I started, I’m lost. Maybe I’ll just measure time from now on because it’s easier.
  2. Martial Arts: I haven’t made it out, but I don’t have snow tires on my car yet and winter descended on us like a curtain at the end of a show.

HOME

I have fixed my heat with guidance from two friends.

  • Declutter: 355/1,050 minutes (Goal 15 mins/day)
  • Paper: 151 pieces (1/day)

NANOWRIMO

I decided I’m just going to write. I don’t care about hitting any arbitrary word count goal. I just want to jump into the stories and enjoy the process.

  • 9,525/50,000

PIANO

I will revisit performing in the Spring when I know more than I do now. I just want to keep learning songs and having fun.

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

As far as David Christian’s Origin Story goes, I’m still in the second last chapter.

  • 1/3

SPARKS

I did a little bit on this. I started a new chapter. I’m also trying to make the genre better defined.

  • 73,454/80,000

R~

Electrical Woes – ROW80 2019 R4-12

I’m looking forward to having tomorrow off. I don’t know that it will be all that spectacular though. Lately, it feels like I’m not making progress anywhere. Maybe some little things here and there. I dug out my old ereader and charged it, for example.

And I installed a programmable thermostat, but that has largely been a bad experience. Apparently, there was a problem with the ground wire that I didn’t see. This resulted in a popping noise and some black smoke. I guess it could be worse as it could’ve happened when I wasn’t home and caused a fire, so at least I caught it. The programmable thermostat may not be reusable. Actually, despite the manual saying it can be used with aluminum wiring, I’m doubting it at this point. Why? Because even before the short happened, it didn’t work right. It couldn’t tell the room was already way above the requested temperature and just kept heating!

This is all pretty bad timing wise as I don’t have my winter tires on yet and xmas is coming up quick.

Oh, and it’s on the same breaker as my stove because it’s electric baseboard heat. I taped the wires individually as my former electrician friend recommended, but I’ve still left the breaker off as I just feel better with it that way.

This is supposed to be one of the easy things to DIY, but I have all the wrong things going on to make it easy. It’s perhaps needless to say, but I’m pretty damned disheartened about it. I was looking forward to having one less thing to do in the mornings. With a programmable thermostat, one is supposed to be able to trust it to turn itself off.

No such luck.

HEALTH & FITNESS

Status quo for now.

  1. Glider: 0 steps
  2. OYO 10 Week Challenge: /70
  3. Martial Arts: 😦

HOME

I haven’t done much here in the past couple of days. I don’t know where to go next with the declutter. Perhaps I should get back to Diana K. White’s book for the answers or inspiration. With the electrical problem, I don’t think I can afford to do much with the bathroom right now, so I’m taking it off my list for now.

  • Declutter: 355/1,050 minutes (Goal 15 mins/day)
  • Paper: 151 pieces (1/day)

NANOWRIMO

I’m really hating NaNoWriMo right now. I think it’s the constant word count pressure. I feel like a failure if I’m not meeting them and then I just fall behind even more. And so the pressure builds continually. So I think I’m only going to update it here and not bother with the site for awhile and see if that helps take the pressure off.

9,147/50,000

PIANO

I decided I don’t want to do a recital yet. It’s too new to me and I don’t feel ready to be performing anything while I’m still trying to figure out how to read the bass clef. Maybe in the spring.

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

As far as David Christian’s Origin Story goes, I’m still in the second last chapter.

  • 1/3

THE SPARK

I did a little bit on this. Today, I finished editing Chapter Eleven. I only went up by 14 words since the last update, but it’s more than nothing.

  • 73,260/80,000

R~

ROW80 2019 R4-11

I had planned on doing more writing today, but as I was traveling home I stumbled onto a scandal. A scandal involving other writers I care about or whose work I admire and friends who have worked with ChiZine Publications who is at the centre of said scandal. It involves things like delayed or non-payments for one. Now, that isn’t normal, but also isn’t as bad as the rest. The rest being allegations of abuse, sexual harassment (including reviews referring to an author’s genitalia), and other extremely disturbing behaviours like trying to break apart marriages. At this moment there is a lot of WTAF in how I’m feeling about it all. These are people I’ve been around many times over the years. I have eleven books from their authors on my shelves and I would have bought more. Not now. I will read what I already own as many of the authors are leaving after having their rights revert to them. I’ll be keeping an eye on which ones are leaving as I don’t want to support the others.

For me, I feel fortunate to dodge the bullet as they were on my list of places to query. Not anymore.

More on this situation:
http://file770.com/authors-break-silence-with-complaints-about-chizine-publications/
https://www.highfeverbooks.com/reviews/controversy-erupts-around-chizine-publications
https://www.facebook.com/beverly.bambury/posts/10162313518730062

HEALTH & FITNESS

The new doctor was really nice. All my test results were in, so it’s not my B12 levels making me tired. I think it’s partly that I forgot it was the time change and lost sleep. He’s sending for my other records as I should be seeing a specialist at some point. I’m to follow up in two weeks. The specialist I had a couple of years ago moved to Toronto and didn’t bother to call the patients. Since I was without benefits and a job for awhile, I wasn’t in a rush to do anything about it. I’m tired of having joint pain and really just want to get back to being active.

  1. Glider: 0 steps
  2. OYO 10 Week Challenge: 0/70
  3. Martial Arts: 0

HOME

I got a new mop. My curtains are up in my bedroom and living room. The set for my dining room need to be washed before they can go up.

  • Declutter: 355/1,050 minutes (Goal 15 mins/day)
  • Paper: 150 pieces (1/day)
  • Bathroom: Nothing.

NANOWRIMO

I’m not where I want to be at all for this, but I have Monday off as a floater holiday, so I hope to catch up.

  • 7,450/50,000

PIANO

I’m going to go with Let It Be.

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

As far as David Christian’s Origin Story goes, I’m in the last chapter.

  • 1/3

THE SPARK

I have not worked on this as I’ve been doing NaNo when I do have writing time.

  • 73,244/80,000

R~

ROW80 2019 R4-10

Never ever bother with paper blinds. They lasted three days. It’s a good thing that my finances are in better shape than last year. I should’ve known better than to try them at all, but I thought they might last a couple of months at least. Nope. Ah well, I needed a hook to move my living room light to stop the glare from hitting my screens. I also got the shrink wrap for winterizing my windows since we had our first few snowflakes yesterday in Ottawa. Thankfully, they didn’t stick around, but it’s sooner than I hoped to see any.

I suppose I can make use of the paper blinds as a backing for various framed items as needed, so they aren’t a total waste. I plan on washing my window inside before putting the shrink wrap on it. I think I’ll be washing the outside too or I won’t be able to see out of it.

I will have to go back to the store at some point because I didn’t realize that I only got one curtain instead of two for my bedroom. The ones in my bedroom currently will replace the awful stained cotton ones that came with the condo when I bought it. I figured seven years of them is enough.

HEALTH & FITNESS

Well, I’m meeting another new doctor this week as the last one figured she didn’t have enough time to be my doctor since she’s only in the office twice a week. I did get blood tests done and have the bruise to prove it. I’ve put fitness goals on hold for now, but will get back at it really soon. It’s not great to exercise if my B12 levels are indeed low.

  1. Glider: 0 steps
  2. OYO 10 Week Challenge: /70
  3. Martial Arts: 😦

HOME

Other than the window coverings, I have taken all the stuff I had sitting around to donate. I also moved my bedroom around some, so my dresser is now near my closet and my instruments are actually accessible to me. In the living room, I have hung two small sets of blinds and one curtain. The other I’m still hemming.

  • Declutter: 355/1,050 minutes (Goal 15 mins/day)
  • Paper: 150 pieces (1/day)
  • Bathroom: Nothing.

NANOWRIMO

I’m not doing too bad here at all. My pacing is terrible, so I’m getting to the ending of my short stories about 7,000 words too soon, but there’s at least something to work with.

  • 7,450/50,000

PIANO

I’m going to go with Let It Be.

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

As far as David Christian’s Origin Story goes, I’m still in the second last chapter. I’m almost at the point of what he sees may be in our future on this floating rock. I’d probably be done, but I stopped bringing it with me to work in fear I’d finish and have nothing to read on the way home…

  • 1/3

THE SPARK

I have not worked on this as I’ve been doing NaNo when I do have writing time.

  • 73,244/80,000

R~

ROW80 2019 R4-9

Happy Samhain!

I’m a little frustrated. I haven’t been making much progress lately. I work on things, but they don’t work out. I got paper blackout blinds to go behind my curtains, which are definitely doing a good job of blacking out the world behind. This will be good for movies and writing. Do you think I could cut them straight? Nope. They’re not terrible, but they are slightly overlapping, so hanging slightly wrong. It’s probably not noticeable from the street though. But I also knocked an open juice container, which was fun to clean up.

That’s not all. I finally got my puzzle into its frame. But it won’t stay in place with double-sided tape, so I have to reopen the frame and try with something else.

I also met with a new doctor, but she thinks someone else at the practice should take me on instead because she’s only there twice a week. At least I got her to do some blood tests for things like B12, but I meet a new doctor again next week. The place I’m going to now is neat. There is a lab, a walk-in clinic, and a pharmacy in the building, so it’s kind of a one-stop shop for patients. They also don’t have a pediatrician, so there weren’t any rambunctious kids around.

I did get a nice little rug for under my piano at least. I suppose it’s pretty hard to mess that up, so it has worked out nicely even if everything smells like a mix between Lysol and berry pomegranate in here. It’s a solid neutral grey because I’ll probably get a rug for the main part of my living room later and I didn’t want it to clash. It feels nice under my feet.

Oh, I guess my jars have mostly worked out. I took the labels off of a bunch of jars and now I just need to put them through my dishwasher to clean them before I put them to use for buttons. I’ve been meaning to get to those for a long time, but I got busy with other things. There are nine jars ready and a couple with more stubborn glue that I’m pondering what to do with because neither baby oil nor Goo Gone have worked.

FITNESS

OK, so I’ve been exercising less because I have been feeling off. I think my B12 is low again. That would be one of the many reasons I’m cutting out alcohol for now. Booze is known to deplete it. I’m also restarting the process to figure out what my autoimmune condition is because I don’t like being in pain. I want to be more active, but it hurts. While medicinal cannabis helps, it’s not conducive to driving or being clear-headed while working. So I’ve met with a new doctor and I’m hopeful that this time I’ll actually get help.

  1. Glider: ? steps
  2. OYO 10 Week Challenge: /70
  3. Martial Arts:

HOME

Along wih a full bin, I have some old luggage and a smaller box ready to go. I have one new curtain hemmed and hung. I have to hem the other and I’m thankful it didn’t get juiced.

  • Declutter: 295/1,050 minutes (Goal 15 mins/day)
  • Paper: 145 pieces (1/day)
  • Bathroom: Nothing.

NANOWRIMO

Two. More. Days.

I’m really excited that I’m doing NaNo this year. I was so busy just surviving last year, that I didn’t do much for it. This year it feels like just a natural part of my life.

PIANO

I can’t stop thinking about the idea of the recital. My teacher said I could do Let It Be if I wanted to instead of being stressed out about Downtown Abbey. I think it might be better to go with the safer one?

  • Let It Be
  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

As far as David Christian’s Origin Story goes, I’m still in the second last chapter. I’m almost at the point of what he sees may be in our future on this floating rock. I’d probably be done, but I stopped bringing it with me to work in fear I’d finish and have nothing to read on the way home…

  • 1/3

THE SPARK

I have not worked on this as I’ve been planning for NaNo when I do have writing time.

  • 73,244/80,000

R~

ROW80 2019 R4-8

There are a lot of things I’m enjoying about my life right now. Sure, some things aren’t as far along as I would like. I would love to be done decluttering and only have my student loan to worry about, but I’m not there yet. Things are improving steadily. A lot of these things are better if gradual anyway, I think.

One thing I’ve been doing since Can-Con is cutting out alcohol. I don’t know if that is a permanent change, but aside from being beneficial to my wallet, it is a healthy choice I’ve made. I’ve been wanting to do it for several years.

It was budget week last week at work, so I’ve been pretty wiped. Next week will start the cogs for the next fiscal year though we have five months until it arrives. Lots of planning and spreadsheet work are ahead for me, but because it’s less intense I can listen to podcasts or music easily while grinding away at it.

Hopefully, I’ll be less tired after work as November rolls in and National Novel Writing Month is here. Oh, I changed my project. There’s more on that below.

I hope I can find the hair elastics I need for my Halloween costume. I was initially going to be an ewok, but I wasn’t feeling it when it came down to it. You can find out what I chose next weekend 😉

FITNESS

I walked a lot during the week, but I felt bad anyway for my paltry level of exercise. A 3-year-old had me running up and down the stairs tonight and I feel less bad now. I’m also drinking more water.

  1. Glider: 0 steps
  2. OYO 10 Week Challenge: /70
  3. Martial Arts: It was cancelled today, so I decluttered instead.

HOME

I have another bin filled and ready to go. I’ve largely been sucking on this, but I did have Thanksgiving, then Can-Con, and then budget week, so I think I’ve done OK considering. Today, I leaped forward considerably. One credit card has been paid off! Also, remember that space gym I got awhile back? Well, they never came through with a feature they had planned for the upgrade I purchased. They are giving me a partial refund for it, so that will be about half a month’s transit pass that I won’t have to pay!

  • Declutter: 250/1,050 minutes (Goal 15 mins/day)
  • Paper: 145 pieces (1/day)
  • Bathroom: Nothing.

NANOWRIMO

OK, so I changed my mind on this. Instead of a screenplay, which is really kind of silly for NaNo, I’ve decided to do an anthology. Tri will be one of the stories though, so I haven’t abandoned it! I was initially going to just do 5 at 10,000 words each, but I have several ideas that all fit into a theme, so it’ll end up being larger than 5 stories. I’m excited about it! I’ve had several ideas just kicking around for awhile, so it’ll be nice to actually write them. And short stories are close to being outlines for screenplays 😉

PIANO

I didn’t get much practice time in before my lesson yesterday. It was gruelling! She made me sweat! I didn’t know that could happen while playing piano. Anyway, there’s something else to sweat about as I have to decide whether or not to join the recital in a couple of months. It would be nice to conquer Downtown Abbey, but I haven’t played anything in front of people in years and I’ve never played alone. We’re working on my timing and counting right now as that is a challenging area for me.

  • Downtown Abbey
  • Lean on Me

READING

As far as David Christian’s Origin Story goes, I’m in the second last chapter. I’m almost at the point of what he sees may be in our future on this floating rock.

  • 1/3

THE SPARK

I have not worked on this as I’ve been planning for NaNo when I do have writing time.

  • 73,244/80,000

R~