Update

Writing:

Tonight I’m going to be doing chapter titles for Harvest and formatting to get that up. Today I’m supposed to go back to Grim Travels but see below for why that might not happen today.

I’ve been debating putting all of my books back into KDP Select. I know this will affect certain readers. I know I have some readers who are from Apple, at least one from Smashwords who purchases every time I release a book and that’s great. I love that I’ve reached more people.

But from a business standpoint, I’m having difficulty explaining staying in wide distribution when my income from writing has taken a sharp decline since removing myself from KDP Select. I don’t like the idea of returning based on their customer service and how they treat authors, how they may be undercutting us by not reporting specific sales, and how they’ve created certain systems which inaccurately report page reads and they know it’s a problem but refuse to correct it.

Oh, and because us authors suspect that Amazon is using our funds to make their big purchases. You know, all those things Amazon has started doing like real stores and buying up companies?

Why would we think that? Because Amazon is like the biggest dick out there to authors, with Facebook snitching to Amazon anytime it sees one of us managing an author page where someone who left a review on Amazon has also liked our page.

Yeah, you lose reviews that way.

Anyway, so, obviously I’m having a debate and it’s stalling me from making the decision but, whatever. It’s really easy to remove from wide distribution because surprise, surprise, my wide distributor cares what authors think or want and the moment you click that unpublish button they send out to all the other sites. It takes an hour or so for it to all come down.

Contract Taken has been wide for almost two years and still hasn’t gained enough reviews on Apple Books to show any of the reviews. I do like that Apple waits until you have at least ten, to balance that all out, but it looks like I wrote something that no one is interested in.

It’s something I have to decide and I’ve yet to be able to make up my mind. But if I decide to do it, it wouldn’t be until after the launch of Harvest.

For personal…

I feel like poo. Nauseous, aching, exhausted, weird headache, lethargy… Might be sick. Might also just be stressed out. Might just be tired.

Might have eaten a bug.

Some mornings I just can’t get food into me, I’ve learned not to force myself too much otherwise I’ll make myself sick so I keep a little plastic container with almonds in it. It’s from Ziploc brand, so we’re not talking cheap as far as those go.

As I ate an almond this morning, I saw what looked like spiderwebs. So I shifted it about because I don’t want to put my fingers near a spider. I hear black widows live in this general area. I saw nothing so I popped another in my mouth and happened to glance at the lid. There was a white thing there.

I basically think it’s an egg sac and pick it up to look. Nope, some kind of larvae.

Fuck.

I spat it out into the container and took a wander down to the halfway cafe to pick up junk food for breakfast, which I really didn’t want.

So that was my morning, but I felt sick like that before I found the bug.

This is the last week of classes, in fact it’s today and tomorrow, then exams the rest of the week. Then it’s into 40hrs/wk for three weeks. My first day off is next Monday. I have one close shift, two mid-shifts, and two morning shifts.

I hate mid-shifts because I feel like all I do is work, like there’s no time around it to do anything, but I’d rather a mid-shift to a close at this point. The one close is fine, it’s something like 3pm -… midnight? I don’t even remember.

Ain’t nobody need crafts that late!

If you do, I think you may have a problem.

As an introvert, I’m super done with all this bullshit. Getting my stuff from my locker, I heard the loud extrovert from the lockers. She was in the classroom, which is at the end of the hallway and I sighed and swore.

There’s nothing wrong with her, don’t take it that way. It’s that I want quiet and just for people to shush. Just shush. Leave me alone.

She does a good job at that, but I can hear her until I crank up my music and I’m reaching the point where I just want to sit in silence.

And I still have to go Christmas shopping for two people. Do you know how close to Christmas it is? How busy it will be? Ugh. I hate the Christmas shopping rush. I like Christmas, hate the commercialization and crazy, stupid things people do. Hate how they try to walk through me, snarl at me, hit me with a cart, or generally just get themselves so worked up that I’m uncomfortable with the idea of going to get St. John’s Wort from my usual place because it’s sure to be packed.

 

Negativity

The Math teacher is great at getting the class riled up about nothing at all. Not sure if it’s a test, or his actual beliefs. And I don’t care that he makes such comments, he’s an older guy and besides those slip ups he’s a level headed, rational person with a brain between his ears.

I’m not some pitchfork wielding crazy person, is what I’m saying.

And I can’t figure out if it’s herd mentality or the fact that I’m in a classroom of people who have a problem with LGBTQ people basically saying, “I’m here, I’m queer, get over it.”

Mind you, the first time was for two assemblies that overlapped and talked about promoting LGBTQ topics through art. I believe in the movement and everything it stands for, I do not want to sit there for an hour in a lecture from a school that let our student body president say, “well, if you want to pop out some babies, that’s up to you.”

If they let the student body president say that, what are they going to let a guest speaker who will be leaving say. I just felt like it would be an hour of “heteronormatives should all die.”

I’m not heteronormative, but that doesn’t mean I like hearing that kind of thing. I get enough of “you’re breathing, so you should die or kneel at my feet and bask in my glory,” from my people in my past and the one man in the class.

True story, he keeps trying to invite me out alone to places. He does this with every single person. He kept touching the person he sits beside despite her asking him to stop on numerous occasions and the first time he reached for me I snapped at him.

I have knees and know how to use them.

He doesn’t respect boundaries. He calls me darling, hun, but calls everyone else by their names. He’s called me Rachel and some other name, at which point my response was, “I’m sorry, what’s my name?” and he heard how I find it disrespectful of people not to use my proper, legal name.

On Monday when I hurt myself, he overheard me telling my friend about it and then proceeded to command me to call him the next time it snows and he will do it. I informed him that we had a snow guy to do that for us. He commanded me again. I said no.

He said it again and again I said no. By that point we were with other people again and I said no once more and then tried to change the conversation.

He keeps inviting himself to the houses of single women, except none of us have told him where we live. None of us want him showing up and I’ve overheard several people telling him as much.

I think it was Tuesday when he pulled out a card and said, “see, I have first aid. If anyone needs CPR, I will be the one doing it.” and then giggled.

So there’s this whole history of disrespectful behaviour. If he wants to treat others like that and they accept it, fine. Like I said, I’m not some pitchfork wielding maniac. I’m not going to stomp my feet and hold my breath until he’s in a cage or something.

He just can’t do it to me.

It makes me very uncomfortable. In all my years, I have never been in contact with a man for so long who makes me this sort of uncomfortable. I feel like I can’t say no because he’s not listening. I feel like if I say no he’ll just keep going and I’ve never really encountered that before.

I have this tone of voice and posture that basically scares people off.

And it came out yesterday.

We’re having a potluck today. After a day of basically fighting, people being controlling but not offering to actually help, people throwing up barricades to success, we were done class.

Now, the class has leaders and queen bees and those who are solitary and slip into groups and back out again. I mean, it’s a group of individuals. The leaders, I think, have sort of recognized one another and we’re working together and compromising in places.

What’s the difference between a queen bee and a leader? Compromise.

A queen bee got upset because we didn’t want to give something to just one of the teachers, but collected for everyone. The person who brought this forward even gave her credit for the idea. She still looked unhappy.

Anyway, this isn’t about the queen bees.

One of the leaders decided to bring in a table for our potluck. She asked for the sole man’s help moving the little table to make room for her table. Now, she’s a tiny little woman, the little table was almost as big as she was and I couldn’t move it myself. I don’t know why the others couldn’t help.

He agreed but immediately began saying it should go at the back of the room, which would block off the back rows, which I sit in. I’ve been called tiny before. One person claimed if I turn sideways, I’d disappear.

Another person who is in the back row was with a cane until recently. Walking sideways, changing gait, I know that freaking hurts. I’ve been going through it the last two days because my bad hip was aggravated from my stupidity last week.

So, I told him it couldn’t go there because it would block accessibility to the back rows. I didn’t want to point out that this other person would have problems getting back there. I mean, for starters, she’s my friend. Also it’s a dick thing to do. So I generalized. He talked over me and said no, laughing as he did it. I repeated myself and he did it again so I looked him in the eyes and said, “No.

With every drop of my mother’s temper that I could muster up on short notice.

My friend, in the back corner of the room goes, “cranky pants.”

She’s allowed to talk to me that way. We’re friends and she says a lot worse about herself. And, yeah, sometimes I need someone to call me on my shit.

The man (by the way, he is a full-grown man) giggles and says, “cranky pants,” and then as I’m walking away says, “okay *nickname for my legal name*”

I was out the door, I turned back around, walked back into the room and before I knew what I was saying, out came: “I’m sorry. What is my name?

And he giggled again and said my legal name. To which I thanked him with what I’m told is that special rage only a short little woman can ever muster up and I left.

Today he left the classroom before class, then came back and started trash talking our decorated door. The door that me and my friends spent about two hours decorating after no one came up with or offered ideas for. That everyone watched us decorate and offered absolutely no conversation on besides the leaders who agreed it looked adorable and good.

Well, my morning started with him debating whether he should miss English class to go to Walmart or something to redo the door that we spent two hours doing because it’s, “terrible” and “we’re going to lose” and “the other class did much better” and “we shouldn’t have done that.”

Now, there’s no outward reaction from me, as I had my headphones on and I kind of feel like he thinks if I’m wearing headphones I’m oblivious to the world, but that’s only if I get into doing something and focused. Like really focused.

And I’m sitting here trying to figure out if I’m being negative or sexist, or if it’s just the view of a demisexual who’s feeling like someone is ignoring the signs.

Except these aren’t signs. I’ve said no, stop, that’s inappropriate, absolutely not, that’s sexual harassment, you’re making me feel harassed, and no again.

So, you know.

When I say no, quite literally and in about four different ways, that means no. I gave him plenty of warning before I snapped. But still it remains, and I’m probably the only person to sit back and think, “am I overreacting?”

Which has now caused an anxiety attack because I have social anxiety.

Sarcastic yay…

Update

The read edit of Harvest is done, I’m about halfway through putting the edits into the book. I had been hoping to have it done by today, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’ve also re-written the introduction for Hera and edited it, so it can slip right in there once it’s done.

I’m thinking in covers, but I’m thinking in covers instead of words because of the pain I’m in.

Turns out, I can’t shovel a driveway. It wasn’t even that big of a spot! Just the end of the driveway so I could get my car out to go to work early. My back, hips, and shoulders put me in absolute agony.

So, for less than it takes to fill half my tank (I found out on Saturday) I put myself in agony that hasn’t stopped yet. And trust me, I’m not feeling like it’s worth it or that I did a good thing. I wound up leaving work Saturday night so I actually lost hours last week.

Yay.

If it weren’t for having this weird ‘saving bot’ attached to my account, I’d be in full panic mode over Christmas right now. What with the money situation and my stress over spending money.

Almost everyone is getting alcohol. Sure, I wish I could do, like, handmade, thoughtful gifts, but I just don’t have the time, energy, or thought process to figure it all out. This morning, though, I had that weird flickering.

It’s been years since I bought a gift for someone and they actually reciprocated, and money isn’t raining off trees or anything of that sort for me. So there’s this voice at the back of my mind being a petty little bitch and saying I’ll get nothing.

Naw, voice, I got a bottle of rum.

Why rum? Because it seemed like a holiday drink type of thing. And eggnog. And hot chocolate. White rum in a hot chocolate is quite divine. But also, it was part of a package deal the liqour store was having. Purchasing gifts put me in just below the of four by like $6 so… basically I got rum for $6.

And I don’t plan to drink it all myself. Still have tequila and a bottle of wine left. It’s some good wine too, a pinot noir.

I keep forgetting to ask if they do stockings.

But I should really do my own stocking. I mean, I have certain traditions and traditions and rituals are important when you’re stressed out. So I should fill my own stocking. It’s all really basic stuff, but still.

Yeah, I should do that.

I’ve got a couple of presents left to get but my little saving bot has more than I will need. Which is good. That means I’ll just leave the money there for next year. You don’t have to spend everything you save up for Christmas. For all I know one of the cats might explode come January and I’ll need money for that.

Although the saving bot wouldn’t have enough to do that, but it’d go a long way to making me not lose my freaking mind.

School ends next week. Our last day of class is Tuesday, then it’s tests the rest of the week. Only five in total and I think we’ve reached the point where I’m obtaining a good grade no matter what, so I’ve got that going for me.

On Friday we’re having a pot luck, of course all the instructors were invited. They claimed we are their favourites and for the most part we haven’t believed that because instructors are like parents, they aren’t supposed to play favourites.

The other junior class (is for a slightly different program than us, but same core) argues among themselves and are negative toward one another. There are definitely little groups that work well together. I’ve witnessed a thing or two where I was shocked by the response I saw but it didn’t really alter my view of the instructor because I felt the animosity coming from the students.

The senior class (of our program) is… uh… they are fractured. We spoke to one briefly at lunch. She’s not the sort I’d want to work with. As soon as I saw her, I fought back a grimace, but I shut up and let her talk. She coughed phlegm on the floor and was like, ‘oh well,’ to which one of my friends looked absolutely furious, but in the defense of the friend, this  person very nearly coughed that on her. I’d be furious too.

She had nothing really positive to say. She had a job from the end of first year. In a clinic. So, doing the thing she was training to do. And she had nothing positive or nice to say. She hasn’t even graduated yet and she already sounds like she’s a decade in at a bad job.

Apparently most of our job is babysitting doctors and being their eyes.

She said as if there were no otherworldly outcome of her job. Not even like the wage (or salary) is worth the effort of getting out of bed in the morning.

Now, she’s still working said job. So it’s possible that she’s burnt out between the two of them. Maybe she was having a bad day but it just… I’ve seen her in the halls before and I don’t feel like that’s the answer. I feel like she’s always like that. A little negative and a little bitter and just wearing on the ego and psyche.

She’s not my friend though, so there’s that.

Rumour is, on our last math test someone wrote “I don’t know” on a 25pt question. Like, a quarter of the test and you just write it all off. One of my friends tried and is stressing because she didn’t get the same answer, but I think I know how she messed up and it was in the last step. I keep telling her 24/25 isn’t bad.

Especially compared to the rumour.

Courses for next semester aren’t available yet. But thanks to the one from the senior class we know there’s a presentation class.

I’m going to be a freaking administrative professional. Know the impolite term for my job? Secretary.

Why does a secretary need to know how to do presentations? Why do I need to do a presentation?

Fear of public speaking, I’ve never been good at that sort of thing. Crap, but I suppose as an indie author I could use that skill in many different ways.

This is the point where I sigh loudly and tell them to lay it on me.

Found an instructor and who I think is a senior student in the bathroom gossiping about a student in my class. It wasn’t anything bad at all, but ladies, come on. Suffice to say, said student is making an impression. I had a flare of jealousy because I am human, darn it, sometimes that icy heart of mine expresses emotion.

And then it faded away.

Look, I can spend my time being bitter and grumpy about the fact that someone else is being noticed, or I can shut up and take notice myself. She’s being noticed in a positive way. How can I learn from her to also be noticed in a more positive light instead of being the person whose only interesting fact or claim to fame are nineteen published books that don’t pay the bills?

Over the Christmas holiday I’m still in the shop, but I’ve been asked to take a step back. Not allowed to fix or change anything. I assume I did something wrong, but the boss didn’t say what so I’m not going to pursue it.

I don’t even get that feeling of accomplishment now, so I’ve basically stopped caring.

Oh, I’m doing the work. I’m still out producing everyone else. There’s just no way to shut that down, and since I can stay in the back when I keep up on production, that’s what I’m doing. But since I don’t actually receive any compensation for working harder… and it’s not going to be reflected on my record. It’s not going to determine a better pay increase… Why?

This isn’t the first time the company has expected more of me for the same amount. I feel like they’re counting down until I’m gone and they can replace me with someone cheaper.

It’s twelve months, by the way.

I just… I don’t feel like the company cares that I’ve served loyally for such and so many years, or that they can rely on me to pick up the pieces when three out of five managers suddenly quit. Or the store manager goes on leave and no one else will step up to fill the role temporarily, or someone calls in sick half an hour before her closing shift because she knows I’m the only one in.

Stuff goes wrong, my company turns to me instead of others in the store and I keep saying I’m just going to let them sink but then I wind up doing it anyhow.

I need time off. I need a break. I mean, the last vacation I got was back in May. Normally I take two weeks about six months apart. So, I suppose I should be thankful I haven’t gone full feral and started chewing my own leg off.

But what I get is maybe two days a week, Mondays and Tuesdays, because I set up my availability that way. Because I need the money and because …. stupid. Just freaking stupid. Stupid and stupid some more.

376 days to the end of my program. To a better job, which pays better and expects less of me, that’s challenging in a new way.

I need to look into an actual vacation. Wonder how much it would cost to head to P.E.I. for a week. Not right now, I’m not setting foot on that bridge until spring. If I went in a tent it’d probably be super cheap.

Then again, if I can’t shovel a driveway, I probably can’t pop a tent.

Stupid, broken body.

Update

I need to figure out a name for these besides ‘update’ and I’ve lost track of the week.

So, there’s this week and next week full of classes, then two days and then our final tests. For our specific program these are just regular tests, not exams. Unless we’re failing, in which case we have the choice of taking one massive exam on everything we’ve covered. Now, 60% is failing, not 50%.

And, I think I’m at the point where I will receive a passing mark in all classes even if I slept the next two weeks. I think I’m going to finish Grim Travels over winter break…

Harvest is being edited now, and it’s going well. I’m catching things I wouldn’t have caught before thanks to what she’s taught us. It’s still my worst mark by far.

Thanks to Black Friday sales, I have a couple of lifetime memberships to one software I had wanted, and one I already had which is coming due on a yearly subscription in January and I was worried I’d have to cut it out because I can’t really afford it on a yearly basis, but it’s been quite helpful.

I may have to cut out Grammarly, even though I’ve come to rely on it so heavily. Especially if the new program can do almost as well. Why have two that do the same thing, such on and so forth.

And yeah, it’d be another set of eyes, especially with how much editing I’ll be doing over the next year, but I just can’t explain the redundancy of the expense.

Could have bought an X-box One… and I thought about that, but it it had been a gaming console, I wouldn’t have put out the money.

A major project is coming due next Monday, I’ve had it written forever and hated it then, and I think I still hate it. But I have to revise it on what I’ve learned over the semester and edit it a bunch. It might be going to the writing teacher as well. Her course outline said we’d have three or more assignments and I think we’re up to seven now…

Math, we have a test tomorrow. I’m not even certain if we have enough time to get through the course curriculum. Our class missed out on two weeks. And most of what he’s teaching us now we don’t need for our jobs, but an administrative professional should know.

I mean, I like it. Seems the more complicated he tries to make it, the better my mark is? I dunno, it’s just weird, I guess.

In Document Formatting we’ve moved on to Memos and Business Letters. So boring. I was hoping she’d teach us more about making things look pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why we need to know how to make Memos and Business Letters. I am trying to pay attention. We definitely need those in our jobs.

Accounting has us working on Bank reconciliation now, we’re right on schedule, I think, for that. Payroll is stupid and I never want to deal with it in the workplace unless it’s through a system.

In Interpersonal Communication on Friday, she brought in a sample job posting. It’s all union based, which means you pay a union fee, but there are benefits and steady hours. I’ve never really been against unions. Not having unions is why retail workers and food-service workers are treated like trash.

Except, if they unionize, the company will close the store without notice. Yeah, because fuck everyone for wanting an agreement. Stable working conditions? Regular hours? Have unemployment!

I’m actually starting to get excited about possibly working in the hospital. At first it was like, okay, this is a place that is always going to have jobs, but now I’m getting into the idea. It’s a whole new environment with a whole different set of people and expectations. The personalities are probably the same, but it’s something new.

Except about seventeen of twenty people are interested in applying to the hospital. I only hope they have that many positions open. I figured the number would be lower. I figured it’d be more like 40% of us would want to go to the hospital. Ah, well. That sucks.

Work, well…. work is poop really. It’s different than other poop situations, wherein the boss is saying the things I’m thinking in my crabby state, but she’s putting it professionally and in polite terms. Without attitude.

I was almost in tears when I arrived yesterday morning do do a shift of just production (basically) because the day before I had had to redo two pieces because someone hadn’t written any notes on our order forms like they were supposed to, and then I received a late night text as I was trying to sleep about how I had done another piece wrong and not followed instructions.

Not from my boss, no, from someone working in the area. I told the boss I was going to break them of the habit.

Here’s the thing: if they ask about one thing, it’s just fucking constant. It has always reduced to “how do I tie my own shoes?” which I don’t need to answer, they should know. So I cut them off early and tell them to problem solve. I’ve started to do the same thing when they say they’re going to text the boss. I tell them no.

Unless it’s like, damaged art or something. But I think the one item was a bit had to be reordered. Why would you bother her at home? Reorder it and then tell her the next morning, when she’s in and you’re in and… just don’t bother her at home.

Can’t set the alarm? call the boss.

Store gets robbed? call the boss. (it’s never happened)

All the tills go down? Call the boss and the district boss.

You have to reorder a mat that looks like someone chewed on it? Don’t contact the boss. It is not an emergency situation.

I also need them not to contact me at home because I so rarely have time at home and to myself. The most basic way to put it is: fuck off, this is my time. But the polite way would be to say that I am working 30-40hrs a week, going to school 30hrs a week, and most of the time only have enough time to drink a coffee in the morning and shower at night before I go to bed. Whatever time I have is absolutely sacrosanct.

I need to be left alone.

So, I’m going to enforce that. The laws, I’m almost certain, say that if anyone from work reaches out to me at home, I need to be paid three hours. I’m an hourly employee, you want me to do work over text.

Fuck off.

Except, it’s not the boss doing it.

My next day off is December 17th. Why? Because they got ten frames done across three days. I did eleven in my five or six hour shift, the next time I was in there. And you can make excuses until the cows come home, but on Saturday I made my sales and did eight pieces, then redid two of them because the notes didn’t happen.

So, I don’t get time off because otherwise there will be screaming customers, and these guys are trained to throw others under the bus and I just can’t have that, can’t do it either. I like being back there and doing production. I’ve been playing my personal music as I work because it can’t be heard from the door of the shop, certainly not by customers. It’s kind of nice and, as I stated before, I need the hours.

Except, I’m tired and people are doing stupid things that I’ve talked to them about. Nothing seems to get done once I step out of the shop. The boss is trying, but there’s only so much she can do.

Their manager left the store suddenly, they’re still tail spinning and they were trained to fight against one another and everything they were told. They were gaslighted, told lies, blamed for every mistake like it was the end of the world.

If it sounds like psychological abuse happened, that’s because it did. And she got away with it for years because it was just status quo so no one bothered trying to fix it.

And we need to, somehow, fix this. We’re mid-busy season and it’s just tuck and roll but I’m already drained from school, where I need to be bright and perky, then walk back into problems day after day and it resulted in me almost in tears as the boss walked into the shop over the piece that I was told I didn’t follow instructions on.

I already had a plan to start the process of preventing it from happening again, but the store was closed, I was alone, and she walked in as I broke down, talking to the frame.

Here’s a plus side, I haven’t felt like this since I left Ontario. There’s just this weight sitting on my chest and I don’t want to get anything.

Car needs a windshield wiper and winter windshield wash, but the idea of walking across the parking lot to the store is too much. I’ve needed litter for a week, can’t seem to get myself to the store and I have access to a freaking car. There’s even a pet store just down the road from my school and work. You’d think I could just hop on over and pick it up but no.

And lunches. Well… I have lunch until Wednesday. Left over lunch from last week. Need eggs for breakfasts. How do you say breakfasts out loud? That’s just weird…

Between it all, I’m worn right out. So I grabbed Sims for the laptop, well, I just downloaded it as I already owned it, and I’ll probably end up playing that most of the next month. I’ve got Harvest edits to do and I think I will get through in time. Considering I can’t play my game at school. I’ll get it done.

Forgot my external mouse. Stupid… Hands hurt along the joints. Think we might be in for some nasty weather again. My fingers are also cracking around the nails. So touching them makes it feel like I’m being stabbed in the side of my fingers. But apparently I didn’t bring my hand salve during the move…

I probably found ants in it. But still, getting in to get that? Not happening. I also need socks. Weirdest thing, I’ve started wearing through my socks but my shoes are still fine? Normally it’s the other way around.

I am forcing myself to get the right amount of sleep, though. Any night I’m not working, or if I’m off ‘early’ I go straight to bed and sleep through the night. I’m forcing myself to eat. When I get like this I don’t want to or don’t remember to. Yesterday I didn’t eat until 11 a.m., about six hours after I got up because it just didn’t occur to me. That was stupid, but I’ve only skipped one meal in the last week so I do have that going for me. I’m making sure the absolutely necessary is done.

Well, besides the windshield stuff, the litter, lunches and toilet paper. But I can pilfer toilet paper….

Update

I’m definitely coming down with a cold. So exhausted even while in bed.

This weekend just killed me creatively. I had to look at my plan and then put the entire thing on hold. Turns out, I’m working full-time hours around school. Now, I can’t put either of those on hold. If I did that with work it would require stepping down and, frankly, I need the hours. So I’m going to take them where I can.

And school holds the promise of  a position with regularly scheduled hours that don’t increase around the holidays (though I know it’ll be hectic around them) that comes with benefits and a pay increase. So, I need to pay attention there and do as well as I can.

Which leaves, as I stated before, the writing to suffer.

My plan for the year has to go on hold. Grim Travels is seven chapters in and I basically have to stop. I’m still going to aim for 50k words to ‘win’ NaNoWriMo, but  I don’t think I’ll actually make it.

Starting tomorrow, I’m back to doing the read edit of Harvest. Once I’m done that, I’ll likely return to Grim Travels, which I want done still. With the Grim trilogy written I will turn to editing.

Edit Hera, and the Grim Trilogy. Then I’ll see where I’m at and how it’s going. I could just launch right into editing Nate’s Story. If I can arrange for all of them, I think I’m one project shy of publishing a something each month next year. That’s still not bad. That’s nothing to thumb my nose about.

Because I’m sick and I’m tired and I’m just not feeling well, I’ve started reading some old stories. And when I say old, I mean old. Like a decade ago?

I like the stories, I hate the writing. I want to re-write the stories because I want to read them in proper form.

Except, that’s a stupid thing to do, right? Re-write a story just so I can read it? Pfft.

So I may, maybe, work on that instead of new books after the Grim Trilogy is complete. I would really like to write Dire Consequences (D.o.t.A 3) but I need to figure out how and where and what. So, basically everything except the plot has to be figured out. Maybe next August, or July? I just don’t know right now.

But my plan has shifted and changed. Editing is much less work for me, though it’s also more at the same time, if that makes sense? It takes more out of me to write than it does to edit. Editing, at least, I can put down and come back to later without worrying about losing my place. And, this way, I get that backlog almost cleared out.

I just want to sleep the whole day away.

For some reason I suddenly feel like I should do that with a bucket… ew.

Grim Update Two

I am coming down with a cold, an arthritis flare up started, and a blizzard is expected today. To say I’m not having a good week is about right. I mean, a good writing week. The blizzard isn’t helping matters.

Considering the college isn’t closing and work isn’t closing and we’re expecting 20 – 25 cm of snow (that’s something like 8 – 10 inches for you Americans out there) and the clearance on my car is more like 15cm (or about 6 inches).

“Don’t approach shop lifters, your life is more important than our product.”

“Even in a blizzard you are working, people still need craft supplies.”

No, no, you can’t say the one and then not the other. But it basically amounts to: my work doesn’t want us getting injured on the property but if we die on the way there or out again that’s our own fault even though I’ve had managers in the past threaten to write me up because the snow was hip deep on a full grown man (who was not short) and my car literally could not move.

I mean, it could rock back and forth, of course, but that’s as far as it got.

So, I’m drained from the cold and the pain from the arthritis and when the anxiety started… I was done with this day before I left the house.

I don’t have the option of calling in to work. (see above)

I didn’t have the option of not coming to school. Apparently, a few years ago, the person in charge of all that didn’t shut down the school until taxis and buses also shut down. So there were stranded students sleeping at the school because they had nowhere to go.

I don’t care if we live in Canada, screw you if you do that. Especially with threat of docked marks, black marks on our records, or write ups.

A lot of people are like, “oh, just get a hotel room for the night.”

Do you know how much I make?

Basically, not only do you want me to risk my life, you now want me to pay you so I can work.

I don’t make enough in a shift to pay for a hotel room, I don’t make enough in three freaking shifts to pay for a hotel room. Or a motel room. Or a freaking dog house. Can’t sleep in my car, that’s a good way to die. Can’t spend the night at work because if you do, even if you can’t physically leave the parking lot, you’re fired.

This is so freaking stupid.

The closer you get to the Bay of Fundy, the worse the snowfall will get. Guess who lives closer to the Bay of Fundy.

I’d have no problem if it was 10 cm. I mean, I’d be a little anxious about driving, but I’d know I was getting home.

And with the co-worker gone, I’m now responsible for running her area through peak season. Which means I’m not getting days off. I’m not getting any sort of a break over my winter break.

I look worn out and it’s so fucking stupid. But, hey, at least the store doesn’t suffer and they don’t lose money.

Sometimes I really hate humans. And stupid greed.

Just running that position through peak is stressful, if you want to keep up on things. I can run it and keep it ahead and on time throughout, but I’ve walked into someplace that’s behind and is continually behind. And I’m already struggling to right things because it’s like any change, no one wants to do it but I’ve got sixteen freaking balls in the air and a seventeenth was added.

At some point, I’m probably going to end up saying, “I don’t care what you think. Do it the company way.”

Except it’d probably come out more like, “I don’t care what you think. Do it the company way.”

I have seventeen balls in the air so the first thing to take a hit would be my writing. And it has, I’m exhausted, though it could just be from the pain and the cold draining me. I don’t get time between school and work because I head to work and start right away because I have to devote as much time as possible.

If it was functioning, yes, a manager wouldn’t be needed. But to get it functioning, you need a full-time manager or people who are willing to change when you say something.

“This is the expectation…”

… I just looked out the window and witnessed what looked like our student body president walking into the school in knee high boots and a skirt that came down to about mid-thigh in a blazer that was open and a blouse underneath. Head down, clearly cold.

But at least you’re fashionable, woman. That’s all that really matters.

Ugh, I’m super anxious and tired and that’s making me bitter and cranky.

Grim Update

Well, that sounds ominous, doesn’t it?

But that’s the title of the trilogy, so there’s that.

With the next year set out, I realized I had to make time for updates. I could write until my little heart explodes, it wouldn’t really do much unless I kept everyone up to date on what’s going on.

So, Monday mornings is the update day. Except I had no Monday this week because school was closed for Remembrance Day and work gave me the day off, so I actually had a three day weekend.

Tried to get into a video game, didn’t work, tried pounding through Grim Travels, ugh, did not work. I’m standing about 22k words still. I mean, it’s not bad, but still. I’d like to be further along.

What’s going on? Did I just lose my words or something?

No. I finished Grim Haven on Tuesday, took it and Wednesday off to recuperate. I was ahead, I was feeling good, but I also knew I needed to give myself a little time. Thursday I started writing but we had a test, then we gathered after the test to talk among ourselves out at the tables so I didn’t get much done.

Then I was informed that the troublesome co-worker, who caused anxiety attacks, threw things at other people, and was the cause of that mental breakdown I had at work back when the boss was on vacation, is no longer with the company.

Slight… little bit… of an issue there.

The only one currently capable of filling her position is me. There are all kinds of problems in there, so many issues. So many broken things. So much hoarding going on, things all over.

Oh, and a guy from corporate is visiting. He’s… mean. If he finds out that I was her position and I saw that stuff going on and I didn’t immediately correct it, he’ll take my head off.

I mean, it’s his job, but, come on. Have you met–oh, wait, no, you haven’t.

I will not be paid more for this adventure of mine. No one outside of the store will be grateful for what I’m about to do and some within the store are going to be very upset about it. Because she’s gone and suddenly I’m changing things.

She’s not dead, she’s just no longer with the company. If we look at the health of the shop, we can clearly see that policies aren’t being followed and we have problems in there. I’m just trying to put it to rights before a replacement is found because there’s no way a new person can walk into a shop like that and weather the storm.

More work, no more pay, no bonus of any sort. Oh, and I still have to do my other position. Though we do now have a temporary me, so there’s that little possibility that I won’t have to run two positions at once.

I have no problem proving to the company that the position can be done by a part-time body. I’ve been saying for years that the position is no longer necessary, that, if anything, it could be done by a full-time position, just not a management one. Because there is nothing that body does anymore that can’t be done by someone else without the manager capabilities. They could save a lot of money by switching over.

Could also avoid this happening, because then the manager couldn’t hide in their shops and start stock piling supplies from thirteen years ago. Like, really? Why wouldn’t we… ugh, whatever.

I was told second hand that she was a self-declared hoarder so I don’t feel bad about the literal clean and purge I have to do.

Anyway, you can really tell that it’s consuming my thought process, it’s now at the back of my mind. I have to do this and this and this, and this is how this might be taken, and this is my weakest point in there, and that needs to be handled and this needs to be changed, and oh gosh, what am I walking into after three days away?

All of a sudden, I’m starting to see where I was struggling before. As my part time position, all I need to worry about is me and cleaning the store. That’s getting harder and harder with our busy season coming across us, but being unable to use more bodies, having people just up and quit or not show up, having to swap from one person to another who just doesn’t have the same capabilities as others.

Then I’ve got the writing and school.

How’s school going? Well, about the same.

Writing is officially my worst class. It was a little amusing for me the other day when the instructor said something like, “what you can get away with in fiction writing, you can’t do in business writing, they’ve very different,” but it wasn’t directed at me, it was in answer to why you don’t use and at the beginning of a sentence.

But I like doing that.

And sometimes it helps emphasis a point.

I try to avoid doing that in formal writing, however, as I know it’s not the best. I’ve seen some terrible emails come down from our head office and higher ups, but that doesn’t mean I follow their example.

Math we’re all falling behind. It’s not quite our fault. The instructor was gone for that week and a half or so. The other class is ahead of us now.

Document formatting, I think we’re about to get into stuff I don’t know, but I’m already using this in my writing. Love it, need to pay more attention, not less.

Accounting, my grade has slipped below 99% because I made a silly mistake. Ah, well. It’s just the way of the world sometimes. I enjoy accounting, I do like how even headed the instructor seems and how she gets to the point while giving us the time to practice.

For Interpersonal Communication, I need to edit the book report. I could submit it early but I suspect I’ll be beating my head on a wall for this. I don’t… mind interpersonal communication, but it does make me uncomfortable due to past experience with people ‘helping’ me learn to change. So, there’s that. But thankfully there’s not necessarily a test in the class.

There is something called a reflection paper, and I dun wanna. No reflecting for me! Reflecting is bad.

I’ll still do it, I just feel grumpy about it.

And writing (as in publishing) what’s going on there? Well, Crop is coming out next week. Harvest hasn’t finished its read edit because of the plan I set out. While reviewing the plan for my year, I realized I forgot to include spots to edit the three Wolf books. I have Wolf 1 scheduled, but not the rest.

How exactly was I planning on publishing them next December, if I wasn’t going to edit them?

Ugh, okay, so I changed the plan again, which isn’t a problem really. It’s all penciled in for a reason. I removed D.o.t.A 4 from the writing schedule because it was a spare novel, then I attached Wolf to the second month of summer vacation for editing. Since the first book would be edited, the month should be enough for two, considering I’m planning on editing the entire Nate’s Story trilogy through July only. That seems a might bit ambitious, even for me.

Ah well…

I did start working on a post for The Others. Still struggling a little with how that should go.

Suppose, I should get back to work if I want to finish Grim Travels next week.