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Tag Archives: mental-health

Ouch! and Day 3 NaNoWriMo

Alright, fair warning. This ones going to be a little personal, and talk a bit about politics, and how it effects me personally. So if you hate politics, or just came here to hear about writing, you’re free to go.

It’s 6:30, and I just woke up with a splitting head ache, and a tingling sensation in my left hand. This isn’t unusual for me. I’ve been dealing with this issue for the last ten years. I know what will make it stop too…. A quick trip to the chiropractor for a few weeks and everything will be right as rain.

Nearest thing we can figure, it’s a slipped disk that is pinching a nerve. Not enough to do any real damage, just enough to cause the sensation of lost circulation in one arm, and severe head aches. The chiropractor sets everything back in place, and I’m good again. It’s actually been four years since I’ve had to go to the chiropractor, and I’ve only started having this issue again within the last eight months. I’ve been putting off going because of a lack of time and money. I take ibuprofen, hot baths, and try to stretch and pop everything back into place myself… but it’s taking more pills, and the stretching is working less and less.

What does this have to do with politics?

I live in the quasi area where I make too much to get public assistance with health care, but not quite enough to afford health insurance.

So a couple years ago when I had to get a root canal because my jaw was swelling with infection, I had to suffer for six months, hoping the antibiotics would do as much as possible until I could afford the surgery. Just over $1000 to have the tooth fixed, and I only had $500 in credit at the time, so I had to pay the other $500 up front.

Now, to be fair, I do usually have a little savings in case something like this happens. But at the same time my tooth was aching, my car was breaking. So I was broke, in pain, and unable to do much about it. A dentist was not on my list of things to do.

So now, with my back hurting, and causing head aches, I am loath to go to the chiropractor.

BUT! In January I finally get insurance. Thank you Obamacare.

I know there has been a lot of debate on weather or not it’s worth it, if it works, etc. etc. Well the exchange in Washington is working fine (at least was), and I got insurance that I could afford, something that I haven’t had in YEARS! But it doesn’t kick in till January, so I am patently managing my aches and pains until then.

On the NaNoWriMo front… I’m behind. Today is the 3rd day, so I have 3000 words to write today just to keep up. But today is daylight savings, and I’ve been up since 6:30, so I think I can at least get close to that 3000 words.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in NaNoWriMo, Personal Notes

 

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Influences of the Past

I was talking to a fellow author today, and we started discussing authors we know and love. There are a number of them I love at the moment. Neil Gaiman, Kim Harrison, Elizabeth Hayden, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman… all fantastic authors with wonderful books that drew me in, and kept me reading. Kept me looking for the next book.

When I was younger my tried and true authors were Piers Anthony and Anne McCaffrey, with a little bit of Mercedes Lackey thrown in. If you caught me with a book (which you often did) eight out of ten times it would be one of these authors.

I was a voracious reader. I have read about 80% of Piers Anthony’s, and Anne McCafferey’s books (both of who are/were prolific authors. Piers Anthony is still writing to this day, and is currently writing a book through his twitter feed.)

Thinking back, I realize that my consumption of these books had a great influence on my writing. Piers Anthony especially.

I once found myself in a discussion about his books on Reddit. Now, Reddit is an odd place, and  you can find some incredibly thought provoking commentary in there. You can also find a bunch of trolls just looking to get a rise out of people. That day I just happened to meet someone who honestly didn’t like Anthony, and when she saw my comment about what a good writer he was it pushed her buttons.

Apparently some people think of Anthony as “an old pervert”. Okay, I’ll give you one, but not the other.

Yes, Anthony writes about younger girls falling in love, flirting, sex, and centaurs and mermaids with their breasts showing. He even wrote an interesting book called “Pornucopia” which is exactly what it sounds like. Does that make him a pervert? I don’t think so. Writing erotica doesn’t make you a pervert any more then enjoying sex because, you know, it feels… GOOD!

Sex is a part of the human condition. So are the subjects of body image, love, relationships, gender equality, and age of consent. Issues that he addresses in many of his books.

I kept reading his novels because they spoke about the human condition without being preachy. He often addressed race, religion, beliefs, fear, politics, and social and political issues of all kinds, throughout many of his books. But he did it in a way that even a young adult could understand. And he did it without shoving his own personal beliefs on you (even if they were sometimes pretty obvious.)

In “Race Against Time” Piers Anthony deals with the complex idea of “conformity” and how that could cause the stagnation of society and innovation. Written in 1973, it still rings true during a time when political correctness is almost crammed down our throats. We are taught from childhood to sit down, follow directions, and learn and grow just like everyone else, and if you stand out your risk punishment for being a “disturbance in class”.

I wonder if “Race Against Time” would be publishable, through traditional means, in this decade, especially if Anthony were an unknown. Some have openly called it racist because he uses race as a device to accentuate “conformists” to “individualism”, but it was never meant to be about race.

When I say that Piers Anthony influenced my writing today, I mean that if you take the time to read between the lines of my stories you will find a deeper meaning. It isn’t just about a pretty leaf, or a scarecrow, or death. There is something behind it, some deeper meaning, even if that deeper meaning is “pay attention, ask questions, think for yourself.” Especially with my “Eversword Saga“.

I only hope that I can do half as well as Anthony, and others, did.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Commentary, On Writing

 

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Being called out

I’ve been trying to surround myself with people who believe in me, and who push me to do… better… to do things I am not comfortable with.

Alright, lets be a bit honest. I think I have a touch of social anxiety disorder. No, I haven’t been diagnosed, and I don’t think I have the full onset disorder. I just know that sometimes I have to retreat from everything, and everyone, and hide in a little space where I slowly breath and cry, and try so hard to forget there is anything outside my little head. Try to find a place that is safe, and secure. One where the world isn’t closing in on me.

I do this as a self preservation technique. I actually started it when I was in my teens, and during my marriage it got worse. Since my divorce it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does happen the moments can be almost more overwhelming. I think because it use to be a constant stress that I was holding my walls up against  and now that the stress is gone I have let most of the walls down, so when a sudden stress happens it gets closer to me. Closer to my core, and my identity. It hurts much more and I have a bit of a freak out. But I also recover a lot quicker then I use to.

So that brings me to today, and The Story Telling Podcast. Sigh, and YAY at the same time.

Okay, I really like Garrett, and I consider him a friend. An internet friend, to be sure, but a friend. He’s read one of my stories, given me a nice review, and said “KEEP WRITING” often. That means a lot to me. Oh, and he’s actually laughed at my jokes, which doesn’t happen much.

So today… Garrett asks for people to call in and leave voicemail, and he CALLS ME OUT! Okay, so I watch every episode. I tweet them during the show. I comment, etc. etc. I suppose I deserved it, but…

No one knows this. I’ve been trying to get the nerve up to do some audio recording. I’d like to record one of my own stories, or just a little mini podcast on my blog here. But every time I pull up the recorder I look down at the glowing red button… and… freeze… It scares the hell out of me.

I am so afraid of sounding like an idiot. With type I can change the words, rewrite, edit, and adjust things for a while, and then release it to the world. With audio it starts with the fact that I absolutely hate my voice, and ends with the fact that I can’t think of words when I am speaking. They just suddenly fly away into the surrounding air, unwilling to land upon my tongue. I have no idea why I don’t have that problem while typing, but with speaking… it’s a HUGE problem.

But, on this journey that is my life I am trying to improve myself. I am trying to do things that make me uncomfortable and doing more. Doing things to get where I want to go.

So yes, Garrett, I will send you a comment or question. I will be your “bathtub girl”, lol. I will be scared, but I’ll do it anyway… Because I can.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Commentary

 

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Stats

year graph
Half way through March, and I thought I would share my progress.

Now that I am tracking my daily word count I am having a lot fewer days with zero word count. I have had a few days, this month, of less than 200 words, but a lot more of them have been over 500, and I see it growing.

Last night I sat down to write and kept checking my word count after ten minutes or so watching the numbers go up hundreds, not just tens and twenties. I was thrilled! The words are tripping off my fingers with ease now. It isn’t a struggle to sit down and write. It’s more of a demand.

I bought a new game. Tropico 4. Instead of playing it I dangled it as a reward to get myself to write. Now that I’m in the habit of this it is completely natural for me to deny myself something until I write.

I do not yet have a set word count that I need to reach each day, or else. That is my next goal. At the moment I have a monthly goal of 9000 words for March. That’s about 300 words a day. I am just about half way there, so I think I need to increase my expectations.

What I’m learning is that just putting that expectation that I will write, no matter what, each day has been the most effective way of getting the words down on paper. And the more I exerciser the muscle that is my brain, my fingers on the keyboard, my imagination, and my story telling skills… the easier it all comes.

I’d been fretting and lamenting my writers block for all these years. And I am going to give myself a small… I guess it’s an excuse, but I really did have a reason to fall into the trap of writers block. I did not, however, have a reason to STAY in that trap, especially for as long as I did.

I think I’m going to talk about the trap of writers block, and the exercising of the brain like a muscle next blog post. It’s been on my mind a lot lately.

 
 

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Taking a Stand

One of the problems with writing is the wear and tear on your body. Of course the idea that sitting down at a keyboard and typing is bad for your health is actually counter intuitive.

Now we know about repetitive motion disordercarpel tunnel, and similar issues. We know that slouching can hurt your back, and there are even articles that people who sit down a lot at work die sooner. Diet and exercise?  Sure, in between the 30,000 words I’m trying to crank out just this month.

They have standing desks available, but they cost a $2-300, more if you want something nice. Even worse, you already have a desk that you then have to get rid of. And if you want to stand for some things and sit for others… You can get cheap ones for $30, but the good ones cost more.  The best option, a tred-desk that keeps you walking while you type, can be $3000.

Today my legs were killing me just from sitting down too much over the last few weeks. I’ve been writing a lot (a lot for me, of course) and I don’t have the luxury of a standing desk. I decided to find a solution to it today. Something, anything, free so that I could just stand up while I was editing.

My solution:

pic
I bought an old secretary from the thrift store when I moved into my apartment. The cord on the monitor was the perfect length to put it on top of the desk. Then two boxes to set keyboard and mouse on… simple solution. Free.

My legs don’t hurt as much today. I keep moving, walking back and forth, getting water, or dancing to my favorite song, and it feels so much better after just a day.

And my writing is going so much better because I’m not stopping every few minutes just to get up and stretch. I can just keep going. And I’m not distracted by games, because it wouldn’t be very easy to play them this way. Much easier just to write and edit.

Best of all, when I want to sit down and play a game I just move the boxes and the monitor back in place and get to the games.

 

So I have a convertible standing desk that makes me feel better, and more productive, which I paid nothing. Ya, Good day.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Commentary, On Writing

 

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