Assails

Assails
Image provided by Moonlight 徐宇峰
https://www.flickr.com/photos/9706990/

It’s three days until New Year’s Day. Have any of you made a list of resolutions to work on during the coming months? I’ve never been one to make such a foolish list because, for me, it would jinxes anything I want to accomplish. Yes, I’m one of those who firmly believe in hexes, especially the ones I seem to put on myself.

This last year has been sorely disappointing for any advancement in my writing. I had such high hopes for this past year. I had been so certain I could get that first draft done and get, at least, halfway through the second one. As it was, I barely made it to the beginning of the middle of the first one before finding myself beating my head against a formidable wall of indecision,anxiety, and apprehension. Only through great stubbornness have I sat at this desk to try to go on every day.

My health problems these last ten months just added to the mental torture I insisted on flinging upon myself. Who would have thought as a scantily senior, I’d begin to suffer with the digestive problems my mother didn’t have until her late eighties? All I can do is be prepared to cope with them, which, I’m finding, isn’t any small matter. One thing is for sure. It wants to cut into my writing time.

At any given time over the past twelve months, I could have taken a break. I could have concentrated on the house, my relationships with ones I love, made more of an effort to make friends with the outside kitties, anything but keep on struggling at the WiP. My health might have improved, or, at least, learned more ways of how to cope with it better.

I tried conversing with other writers about these disputes I’ve been having with my WiP. All had excellent suggestions and advice. Somehow, though, nothing they were offering to me seem to fit with the tribulations glaring at me from the screen. I even tried taking bits and piece of what I was given, trying to weave a cure for the multiple dilemmas I saw before me.

You’d think I’d give up, right? I just couldn’t, still can’t. I’m obsessed, possessed, bewitched. What gets me is that it’s all a self-made plight. Maybe I need some time in a loony bin.

I’m hoping this next year will be more amicable. I’m still fixated on writing every single day. However, I’m becoming rather jaded with this WiP that’s been brutalizing me for months. Slivers of other stories are dancing in my head, sometimes calling to me in a sing-song voice.

No resolutions though. I stay firm on my belief of ill winds.

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“Writing is really just a matter of writing a lot, writing consistently and having faith that you’ll continue to get better and better. Sometimes, people think that if they don’t display great talent and have some success right away, they won’t succeed. But writing is about struggling through and learning and finding out what it is about writing itself that you really love.” ― Laura Kasischke

 

Stomping On Hate

Stomping on Hate
Image provided by darwin Bell
https://www.flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/

A few days ago I woke up with a multitude of health problems. Some were easy fixes. I opened the new bottle of Ibuprofen and swallowed two with water. That took care of the headache and the chronic leg pain for a while so that I could come up with some sort of plan to alleviate what else was wrong.

I’m not used to chronic illness. Most of my life has been spent being healthy despite the disability. That’s always been thought of as a constant annoyance instead of a health issue. Now I’m at that place in life where health problems are becoming more frequent. I can tell you right now, I’m not adjusting well to this.

I had been to the doctor just days before. According to all of the blood tests, I’m in great shape for a disabled person who’s entering senior-hood. So why do I have all of these digestive difficulties? Truth be told, I know what part of the problem is. I’m eating food I’m sure are ones I should avoid. But I love these foods and I used to eat them all the time. I’m older now. I know this, yet I want to eat as if I’m just embarking on adulthood. Yes, I’m foolish. The rest of the tummy issues may subside a little once my body doesn’t have food in it that hates me.

Maybe that’s where this other hate I have inside me is coming from.

Since the middle of July, I’ve been trying to work on my WiP. I let this blog slack a little, hoping to create more time being productive with the hope-to-be novel. I made some progress–for a while. Then I hit a big black wall of hate. I found myself hating all of my characters, settings, and how slow it’s going getting from one part of the story to the next. Yet, at the same time, I was certain that these characters were worth this story I long to write. And I knew the settings were working. All contradictions.

So, what has happened? I have a feeling I’ve gone into self-loathness as a writer–at least as a story-teller. Rationally, I know that many writers go through times like this. In my head, I have to admit that this knowledge does help me feel a little better. However, the emotional side of me still wants to delete all my story ideas, all my character sketches, and anything else I have pertaining to serious writing. It all sucks.

The inspiration and motivation had died somewhere within a four-day span.

I went searching for free writing courses online. Although many of them are what I would consider worthless because they’re so elementary, there are some excellent free ones too–just a few though. I found a new one at Creative Writing Now. I’m in the middle of their one free email course, struggling but learning. Through taking this class, I’ve seen how I’m not paying attention to blogs that have good advice. I had become shallow when reading them because, after a while, they were all hitting me the same way. My reaction: I know this already. Move on.

It’s time to read posts as if I’m a brand new writer and see what knowledge I can scrape up from them. I’ve started a digital journal in my OneNote program for all the notes I’m going to take with a new attitude–okay, hopefully a new attitude.

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There are some blogs that have never hit me as being all that repetitive. I thought it might be good to share them with you.

Blogs that Help Me Write

From WP

Amanda Staley: https://staleybooks.wordpress.com/blog/
Today’s Author: https://todaysauthor.com/
Writerish Ramblings: https://writerishramblings.com/
Sharon Bonin-Pratt’s Ink Flare: https://sharonboninpratt.wordpress.com/
A writer and her adolescent muse: https://awriteradolescentmuse.wordpress.com/
Quintessential Editor: http://quintessentialeditor.com/
WordDreams: https://worddreams.wordpress.com/
Jean’s Writing: https://jeanswriting.com/

Out in Cyberspace

Jami Gold: http://jamigold.com/
Fiction University: http://blog.janicehardy.com/
The Writing Practice: http://thewritepractice.com/
Creative Writing Now: http://www.creative-writing-now.com/

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From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate. ~ Socrates

 

Bickering with Writing

Bickering with Writing

I’m told that anyone who has a passion for writing goes through periods of confusion, hatred, utter disappointment, focused depression, and the list of negatives goes on and on. I’ve been going through this since before Christmas.

Everyday at approximately 6pm, I sit at my computer desk trying my damnedest to keep writing on my writing project, what I now call my novel project. I struggle with words, phrases, and sentences until 8:30. The way I figured, all I had to do was keep plodding along and something in me would jiggle loose. The words would start flowing as they had with my first page.

Did it happen for me? Well–no, but if I hadn’t pushed myself for almost two months, I don’t think I’d have ever seen any light in my passion again. All during this distressing time, the concept that writing is hard work never left my thoughts; and there’s no getting around it either. Still, by the time New Year’s Day had come and gone, I was feeling some serious doubts about my capabilities.

It was about that same time a friend blogger, Cat started giving me moral support. At first I thought he was just being a friend and trying to boost my spirits. By the third post I had written since the first of the year, his uplifting comments began to sink in as being sincere. I’ve never quite believed in compliments before. This isn’t to say that I don’t like myself. I do–but I also believe that I’m not any better than anyone else. Additionally, although I have talents, they aren’t the kind that will make me stand out. Now I wonder if I could stand out eventually as long as I keep on pushing forward.

I’m still bickering with my writing as I head toward the end of February. Some of this is due to habits that have been ingrained in me since childhood. I am having a terrible time looking beyond misspelled words when writing a draft. This slows down my progress to a snail’s pace. Somehow I have to get out of this habit and just keep on writing (typing). Using Word, Docs, LiveWriter, or whatever other writing software, the mistakes are going to be underlined. I’m not going to miss or forget them if I jump over them during the drafting. There isn’t any reason to have this habit of correcting every word as it’s mistakenly typed when using a computer. Sure, some errors will still be missed, but with diligence, I’ll find and correct them–later.

A couple of things I didn’t dream would affect my approach to writing is personal complications and health.

My husband wasn’t working for three weeks, part of January and part of this month. We do have some savings and he has a small military pension, but I knew we couldn’t live on that for very long. I was handling it okay. I was able to continue to keep my anxiety level relatively low. I had a little problem sleeping but it wasn’t major. He’s been back to work for a week now and seems to be doing well at his job. I no long need Tylenol PM to get to sleep now. It did affect my writing, which I didn’t recognize until after the fact. My focus and motivation are elevated from what they were before as well.

The stomach issues I’ve had for over a month now haven’t been causing a lot of pain. Still, I guess enough underlying pain or ache does affect how I do some things, and unfortunately, this includes writing. It does distract me. Just think how much better my writing will be once this trouble is taken care of.

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My message to you–If you’re a writer, do not give up. Find a way to muddle through the difficulties. And let someone be nice to you.

 

Stop being Indecisive

Stop being Indecisive

Honest, I’ll not directing this at any of you. Some of you are so grounded that you’re astounding to me.

As far back as I can remember, I have loved colors. Each one has a specific place to be in this world. The Crayola box of crayons, no matter what size, doesn’t have all the colors seen in the world. My love for colors is only surpassed by my love of writing, and not by much.

I know you haven’t missed it. I changed colors and header picture again. I am desperately hoping that I can make this one last long. I had started off with a different palette and picture. I must have had some misgivings somewhere in the back rooms of my mind because I asked my writing buddy, Tess, to give me feedback on my decision. Although her answer was positive, I sensed somewhere in the words she used that she either thought it wasn’t what she would pick or that she thought it really didn’t fit me. With the new color and picture you see before you, I didn’t ask the opinion of another living soul before putting it on my blog. Do you like the turquoise background? I still love this template. Does that mean I’m headed toward finding what look really is me? Quite possible. 😉

Because I can’t seem to stay away from colors, I have decided to get back into web art manipulation. No, I’m not leaving writing behind. This will be something I do as a deliberate distraction from writing. There are times when I just can’t look at what I’m writing any longer and need a distraction to clean my head. Yes, doing housework is one of the ways to get this done, but shouldn’t there be something else to do? Lately, there is nothing on TV worth watching. I can’t afford movies. I’d get out of the house, but with mobility problems, often it isn’t a good idea. So, I will dabble in manipulating photos using my PaintShop Pro.

I wish I could get to the bottom of this fickleness that clings to me. It makes life complicated when it should be simple. Do I try to finish cleaning despite the fact that I feel tired or do I risk taking a break? I may not get up again until it’s too late. Do I keep on trying to write this scene that has me frustrated, or do I go read? Both are important parts of writing but… Do you see what I mean. And most of my days in general are like this. Could it be that the medication for my GAD needs to be increased?

I’ll figure it out. I just need some time to do it. 🙂

BTW, Happy Ground Hog’s Day! 😛

 

My 6 ½ Year Tussle

My 6 ½ years Tussle
Image provided by
KaMa Photography @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/katharina_90/

Hubby and I moved to Tennessee with the one thought in mind of helping his mom with the last days his dad would be alive. He was in the advance stages of Parkinson’s disease and also had a stroke.

My mother-in-law (We’ll call her MIL here – short for mother-in-law.) couldn’t bear the thought of putting him in a nursing home. She toiled every day to keep him comfortable and as well as possible. To say the least, after 3 years of this, she was beginning to feel like she was losing her sanity.

Having her youngest son there, Hubby, to help with getting his dad up and comfortable in the morning and then help put him to bed at night made a huge difference in MIL’s general attitude. During most days, Hubby was looking for a job while I helped with the household chores and stayed with my father-in-law where MIL needed to go to the store or had an errand to run.

Life wasn’t really terrific, as you might guess, but it wasn’t that bad either. My days were boring but I did feel needed and I did have a purpose. The only thing was I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep. It wasn’t the bed. That was fine. The only thing I could think it could be was ‘new surroundings and experiences’.

After about eight months, Hubby was getting terribly worn out from trying to find a job. The economy in Tennessee was really getting a beating, making it hard for even the locals to find work. With our surroundings being a small town, we were considered outsiders. The one thing we had going for us was that Hubby’s brother and his family lived in the area and the brother had a good reputation in town.

That next month, Hubby found a job finally as a Direct Personal Assistant, in other words, a caregiver. MIL insisted that we look for our own place to live. It wasn’t that she didn’t want us in her home anymore. She just didn’t want to feel guilty anymore for interrupting our lives. Also, Hubby’s dad was definitely seeing his last days by then. MIL knew it wouldn’t be long until his body would give up the fight.

It took us 4 months to find a house we felt would be okay for us. Along that path, we almost bought 2 other houses. We got so close on one of them that we were all ready inside fixing and cleaning before we moved in. However, the home inspector wouldn’t approve the home for residence because of the plumping underneath the house. Thank God for home inspectors. The second one we almost bought had a ramp to the back door. We thought it was a nice feature seeing that I’m disabled. But it was way too steep and the owner wouldn’t fix that problem. We marked it off as bad.

The house we bought was a foreclosure residence. Yes, alarms went off and flags waved. Yet, we could find nothing wrong with the place other than there wasn’t a stove or a refrigerator. A lot of houses are sold this way. It had clean walls, the plumbing worked, and all we saw amiss was holes on doors where the doorstops had gone through. For a house built in the 1970s, it was in good shape. And the deal we got on it was worth the minor repairs.

Even after moving into our ‘new’ house, I still was having problems sleeping. Hubby’s hours were changed at work, which didn’t help matters. Hubby working the second shift was easier on him and because it didn’t seem to make any difference in my sleeping patterns, I said very little about my tribulations.

Fast Forward 4 years…

Just 2 months ago, I went to the doctor for one of the regular visits of letting the Vampire, Eric (will tell you more about this at another time) take blood out of my arm. I mentioned to him that I was having problems sleeping. He, of course, being the fantastic tech. he is, notified the doctor who caught me in the hall before I had a chance to leave after the blood experience.

I told him what was happening with me, and told him what I thought it was. I ended up being half-right. The part I was right about was that it did have something to do with my GAD. I needed to change when I take my second dose of medicine during the day because it does affect sleep patterns. The part I was wrong about is that it didn’t have anything to do with getting use to surroundings or experiences. This should have been obvious to me seeing that I had been in my own home for 5+ years. So what was wrong with me? I have Restless Leg Syndrome. The doctor didn’t want to put me on any more prescription meds. (I love him for that.) He suggested I take Tylenol PM and, if needed, an over-the-counter med for arthritis.

Believe it or not, it’s working, at least so far anyway. I can’t believe how much my general attitude has changed and how much more I can get done.

Do you have underlying health issues that are ruining your daily life?