Hope you all had a lovely holiday (I know I did!)

I know I haven’t posted much at all this month. I tend to go a bit dormant in the winter, like a bear. Or some other winter slumbering large blubbery mammal. Seasonal depression, holiday stress, etc. is typically the case. This year, however, it’s just been holiday stress and working on a writing project.

I’ve said before, ages ago, that I write fanfiction as well as my own original works. But for those who didn’t know – Hi, I’m Z. I write fanfiction for all kinds of things (formerly mostly Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and Sherlock Holmes related stories). It’s a fun hobby and I’ve met some really amazing people this way.

Now that that’s out of the way, my holidays went rather well despite the stress. I hope all of you had a good one yourselves! My husband made ham for Christmas and it was absolutely delicious. The best one he’s done since our first Christmas together. He does it in the rotisserie, and holy crap it’s amazing. Always comes out perfectly cooked and perfectly glazed (I always make a home-made maple brown sugar honey glaze. This year it was molasses and orange juice based… or it would have been had I had enough orange juice. So I cut it with part of a bottle of Motts for Tots apple juice and some Sicilian orange marmalade). My husband got me a Ninja blender and my mom got me an electric skillet. Now, I know most women don’t like getting kitchen appliances for gifts but holy crap it’s perfect and they are exactly what I wanted for Christmas!

I wasn’t the only one to luck out though. We got my mom a new desk weeks ago, as an early present. My husband was able to put it up tonight. I had to clear out a space in her room and get rid of a bunch of junk she’d just kept holding onto for no reason other than not feeling like dealing with it. Well, she’s got her desk set up now! My husband got some retro game systems (you know the plug and play types with like 100 games pre-loaded into them). And he got a new set of tools that includes a new power drill and hammer and all sorts of goodies.

My son also had a great haul this year. Lots of DVDs (mostly Paw Patrol), a big marker/crayon/art supplies set (also Paw Patrol themed), plastic dinos that he absolutely loves (gift from my sister and her husband), a giant crayon filled with megablocks, a Paw Patrol themed sleeping bag with matching little pillow. And a Paw Patrol bike complete with training wheels. I’m taking him to the park tomorrow sometime so he can try it out!

I know it sounds like a lot of stuff, and sounds rather greedy. But I am genuinely grateful for the fact that my family was able to afford giving each other such wonderful gifts this year. It sounds like a lot, but it really wasn’t. And most stuff was bought from the discount dollar bins at Walmart (except for most of my son’s stuff).

Anyway, onto the other reason I’ve been busy. My writing project. That bit about fanfiction up there is pretty much what this relates to. I write fanfiction mostly as a stress reliever, and over the course of the last month and a half I wrote a story for a fandom that I hadn’t posted (publicly) for before. There was this show from 2007-2010 called Heroes. NBC came out with a continuation/sequel a few years ago called Heroes Reborn, and it well and truly sucked. So I tend to pretend that the sequel doesn’t exist. Anyway, I won’t bore anyone with plot and details and stuff because I’m pretty sure none of you really care about my shipping preferences, my OTP, and my ridiculous daydream fantasies. What I want to talk about is the process/method of my writing it.

Typically when I sit down to write a fanfiction, or any story really, I have a loose idea of what I want to do and where I want to go with it already sort-of thought out. I make a very bare bones outline for each main character’s motivations and personalities.  I make a very bare bones outline of the plot and the conflict I want to take place, then I get to work hammering out the details chapter by chapter. For fanfiction especially once I complete a chapter, edit it, correct it, check it for more editing, then it gets posted online, and i get to work on the next chapter.

However I knew that for this particular story that wasn’t going to work. There really wasn’t any way I could break it into chapters and bite-sized chunks for readers to enjoy bit by bit.

The resulting story was a 48,000+ story, nearly novella length, hammered out into a single stand alone tale. Segments are broken up by month rather than by chapter, with the entire story taking place in the course of one year in the character’s lives. I wrote it all in a single file in Notepad so that I could not keep track of wordcount and the red and green squiggly lines of typos and gramatical errors would not distract me from writing. The only numbers I paid attention to were the file size itself – as my current primary laptop, that much loathed Acer Cloudbook  have hate posted so much about in the past, has a very limited amount of storage I can use. I backed up my story using Evernote (love that thing) and occasionally checked my wordcount out of curiosity that way. And the entire story was written with a smattering of ideas in mind but nothing much solid

The only truly solid ideas I had were that the two main characters, formerly enemies (they were this weird sort of place between enemies and not-quite friends in the final episode of the TV show with the villain having reached the end of his redemption arc to becoming a hero), would end up having to live together. Most everyone they knew would have a major problem with it. One of them would temporarily gain the ability to see the future and it would be pretty weird and make things awkward for a while. And lastly the two main characters of the story would at the very least become best friends over the course of the year. That’s it. That’s the only solid idea I had going into the project. Everything else was just constantly shifting what if scenarios that I couldn’t really pin down until I started writing. The entire thing was written stream of consciousness, which I haven’t done since around 2011/2012 with a Sherlock Holmes story.

I am rather pleased with how it turned out, and apparently so are others because I’ve gotten small, but much appreciated praise on Archive of Our Own for it. Enough that I’m considering writing another. Regardless, the process I chose to pursue for the writing of this particular story was very relaxed, and is one that I think I may begin employing more often in earnest. I felt far less stressed writing it, as I didn’t have the pressure of an audience waiting for the next installment of the story, and having to make them wait longer than normal due to life problems and so forth. It was very pleasant all around.

Well, that about wraps it up for me. Both my boys, my mom, and even the dog are asleep so I shall likely be headed there myself before too long.

I wish everyone the best in the new year, and hope it goes better for all than the last one.

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Not dead. Happy Holidays!

Hello hello!

Just been busy with life and things of that nature.

Mostly holiday shopping and writing. Our power went out for a day last weekend when we had snow. Nearly the whole town was without power. So that sucked.

Anyway, I realized I hadn’t posted anything for a while so just wanted to let anyone know that

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My joints, my joints, my joints are on fire!

We’ve officially hit, I believe, cold wintry weather. With lows in the 30s at night, and the grinding of bone and cartilage in my knees, it’s kind of a hard thing to miss.

My pain management, however, has taken the unfortunate turn of now having to take the meds as soon as I get up because I’m waking up to anything from lower back and full leg pain to whole body joint inflammation. I’m calling my doctor after the holiday – I need new X-rays done on my back and now both my knees.  It feels like I’m getting stabbed in the patella with a very thin knife every time I bend my knees to walk or sit. Heaven forbid I need to kneel down on the floor for something.

Now, I know I could have hurt myself when dealing with my kitchen, but this was a problem before doing all that hard labor cleaning (well, hard labor for me these days anyway).

I know some of you deal with far worse pain on a daily basis (one of you in particular I would never wish your condition on my worst enemy because holy fuck that’s… I honestly can’t even imagine what you deal with guy) but keep in mind we all start somewhere which chronic pain before hitting that point of “whelp, this is my life now then I guess”. I’m hoping that the majority of this is just due to the cold weather aggravating my pre-existing problems rather than the normal evolution thereof. I can hope!

As a result of adjusting my medications to compensate my body’s been doing the whole “it takes 2 weeks to readjust to this shit” sort of thing so I’ve been sleeping weird times.

Plus side, I’ve gotten some kitting done, and some writing too. So score one for the bonus team!

Thankfully my mom, also chronic pain sufferer, is off on Wednesday and Thursday. Together we make 1/2 of a functioning human being which incidentally is all you need to pull a Thanksgiving dinner together.

Self reflection and a clean kitchen.

One week ago I began cleaning my kitchen. Not a typical wipe down and mop job. Oh no. A full on deep strip clean. Literally scrubbing the walls from top to bottom and within an inch of their lives. Treating them with anti mold and mildew chemicals because the owner (we rent) used poor quality primer instead of real paint and after exposing my walls to all that water and bleach I don’t want to risk problems down the road.

Weeding through pots, pans, and containers that overflow from the shelves we installed a few years ago and taking out ones that we simply have too many of, don’t use, or for containers – no matching lids.

I’m also going through the cabinets. Going to pare down the dishes, especially the cups. We don’t have space to put them all. I need to fix that. Also going through the food and disposing of things that have been there so long that they can’t be used anymore. Then I’m scrubbing those out, too.

And THEN I’ll scrub and mop the floor.

The reason for all of this? I’m not having the best time of it mental health wise, and my marriage could be in better shape (communication issues). And I just feel like I’m losing control over my life. All of my hobbies have gone to the wayside because I’m always having to take care of everyone else. On top of this my pain issues have gotten worse, causing me to be even more limited in my movement and activity level. What energy I have goes into child rearing and errands. Hell, most of the time I have just enough energy left in me to make a cup of coffee – only because it literally requires adding a pod to my machine and hitting one button – and making lunch or dinner for my son.

Hell, I hardly can keep my eyes open most days to make a note to myself to make a draft of a blog post here.

So, my kitchen cleaning has been about taking back control of something in my life that I alone decide how it’s done, when it’s done, and where it goes from there. It’s also about learning where my limits are now and which ones I can push through and which ones I can’t anymore.

Since starting the project I’ve noticed a remarkable side benefit. It has helped me to work through my emotions so that I do not fall immediately into the knee-jerk reaction scenarios. It has also helped me with my focus, and allowed me productive time to myself. When I have taken breaks while doing the hardest parts of the work I actually got a lot of writing done. Enough that I was actually surprised that I’d written most of a story without meaning to.

I plan to paint the kitchen next month with a glossy pastel green paint so that it’s easier to clean and won’t require so much elbow grease next time.

Looks like I should probably post.

I haven’t posted anything since the 6th. And that’s a bit of a shame. Life as it does got in the way. My son had ear tubes put in last Wednesday, and the Thursday before that he had a dentist appointment. Next week I hope to get him back on his normal schedule with his therapist with so much going on this last month and a half with him I had to make a judgement call on how much I can actually handle in a week. All the other appointments we’re far more important.

In other news PayPal is being a dick about giving me my card reader so I went with Square. It will be here soon I hope. Then I can finally accept cards for payment on my readings.

So the Android app is nice.

Yesterday was a great day for me. My mom had a day off that was truly a day off. She and I also needed new phones. So we went down to MetroPCS since it was getting harder to find a TracFone that fit her needs. We got 2 phones that were under $100 for free because I changed providers and ported my number over from Safelink. All we had to pay was 1 month service, activation, and tax. What was expected to be a $300 trip became $150!

After that we went out to lunch at IHOP and had a fun time of me teaching mom how to program phone numbers into her phone and what apps are useful for her (like the one for our bank!).

We then went across the street to Kroger’s and did a bit of shopping. She knocked over a vase of fall flowers, then a pot of orchids! We had Starbucks and got a Crock-Pot with owls on it. And had a wonderful me and mom day, something we haven’t had in months.

And now I’m addicted to a game called Pocket Mortys, which is like Pokémon but is Rick and Morty themed.

And in honor of October my wallpaper is from Ash vs Evil Dead.

Sleep, sleep! My entire collection of blogs for some sleep!

Ah, it’s been quite a while hasn’t it? I’ve gone since the 9th without so much as a how do you do here. Life gets in the way, you know? That’s pretty much always the reason these days.

It’s been pretty hectic of late. Doctor visits all over the place, dealing with my son’s SSI case, dealing with his school, mom’s work schedule, my insomnia and back issues. Ugh.

Recently I’ve mainly had sleeping issues – or lack of sleep thereof. It’s the same old story – insomnia. I was going days at a time with little to no sleep (and when I say little I mean maybe 20mins cat naps every 12 hours if I was lucky). I just simply didn’t have the time to sleep because there was so much I had to do.

This week is no different – only that it is. I went two days without sleep, just to force my body to get enough sleep a few days before having to drive out to Rome, GA this morning/yesterday morning. It helped. Downside? I’m up at 3AM after falling asleep before 10PM. Can’t get back to sleep at all. And if I take something to make me go back to sleep, I won’t hear the 6AM alarm to get my son up and out the door for school.

Plus side to all of this though? In the wee hours of the morning I finally, FINALLY, get some time to myself. I get to read, write, watch my shows, relax and have a hot cuppa, fill out any paperwork I need to fill out for the latest round of doctors.

Just yesterday morning I was able to sit and watch the Game of Thrones season 7 finale (TORMUND!!!!! NO!!!!!) without having to yell at people to be quiet or leave me alone, or stop eating paper, or stop peeling the paint off the window sill, or leave the dog alone, or get up to fetch someone a snack, food, drink, make dinner, put all the DVDs back where they belong, etc. (And no, not all of that is directed at or about a certain rambunctious toddler either).

It’s a bit refreshing to get this time to myself, like this morning. I can think. I can plan out my day. I can catch up on my favorite fanficton stories where I delete an entire paragraph I just wrote here because holy crap I didn’t realize I loved the Tormund character from GoT so freaking much. I just want him and Brienne to get together and have big blond and ginger babies and the house of Tarth to just be these awesome badass warriors like the Mormonts because holy fuck Brienne needs to just be loved for who she is and Tormund totally is down for that.

And that’s where I’m going to end this post otherwise I’m going to lament the end of GoT season 7 and what may or may not be the fate of my favorite wildling.