Week Two (Day Five)

Writing first: Cover designer has backed out due to personal reasons for myself and four others. No replacement is being offered so I’m looking for a new artist for The Last Prophet.

Wrote some for The Last Prophet and put some edits into Crop.

Looking into making a box set for trilogies.

Now, the hypergraphic/personal:

 

2ifb0b

 

See the above. No one is really in dress code, which I’m fine with, wear whatever. The office dress code will vary, etc. But because I was told there was a dress code, I purchased dress pants and black shoes.

Though, to be fair, my shoes needed to be replaced anyhow.

No one is in dress code, no one talked about dress code. There are ripped jeans, leggings, and bulky boyfriend-style sweaters daily in the class. Flip flops on the feet and old runners.

Again, I’m not complaining in the least. They can wear whatever they want. But I kind of look like a crazy person snuck into class.

My dictionary informed me snuck is not a word, but sneaked sounds so flipping weird. I think this is one of those things I need to defend to the end of my days.

Anyhow, I’m in dress pants and button up shirts. The shirts have been in my closet for years, they’re what I’m most comfortable in. I know, crazy person. The dress pants are new and the shoes were a kind of hold over until they told us the dress code.

I have hip and leg problems and the shoes didn’t offer proper support, so I bought new ones yesterday. Happy feet help the Bitter Betty feeling a little.

So, new shoes, same shirts as always, but still dress pants. I could go back to jeans, which I wear for work. But I’ve decided to keep the dress pants.

I like how they make my butt feel.

And it’s really the little things, right?

Had an altercation last night with someone who is in a position I was in for years. One which I fixed the area she deals with and re-trained everyone.

She spoke to me like I was a child, like I had damage the property of a client. Like I had walked around her desk, bent right over and licked her between the eyes. Peed in her wheaties, wrote my name in black marker across the side of her cat, or car.

Walked right out and slapped a client, literally, not figuratively or metaphorically.

She spoke to me in a way which she is not allowed to speak to me. Clients don’t get away with that tone of voice. My parents don’t.

The problem in question?

There were things overdue the day I worked in her area and the person who put them together made a mistake on every single one. The last time I worked in her area, the rule was that they had to be left, even if they went overdue because that person is not a stupid moron and has to fix their stupid fucking mistake.

Now, the last part of that sentence is implied by how she behaves toward us. That’s not how we’re supposed to talk to one another.

Or what we’re supposed to do.

My boss came in two hours before I was done and said that it had been changed around and to fix the mistakes. We discussed the problems and how long they would take. She agreed with me to leave the one I left.

By that time, I was mid-way through completing the item due the next day. Not yet overdue, but about to be.

The one that I didn’t do was a fix of a previous error made by someone in this person’s area. We weren’t waiting on anything to come in, all the components had been there for two weeks and they ignored it.

I have no sympathy for people who take fixes and then pass off the work, make the client wait two weeks for something that’s not their fault.  But it was also a complicated process that I knew I didn’t have the time to fix.

For that? I’m a God damned fucking moron.

My boss has told me not to argue with this person. It’s not worth it, I get what she’s saying, but at the same time, I’m not just going to stand there and listen to someone talk down to me.

Me.

I’m fuckin’ perfect at everything.

(That’s a joke)

I know my limits and my history and I know the appropriate way of doing things for my company. I am an experienced, rational, balanced body. If I weren’t a good body, I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in of working/school thirty-seven days straight, of covering for the boss on Sunday while she’s on vacation.

I am an able body and this person makes me feel like nothing I ever do is good enough, will ever be good enough, but she just keeps demanding and taking more and more.

I left the uh… discussion halfway through.

And immediately began bawling my eyes out because that last bit? That’s a trigger for me.

I give and I give and I give and this company just wants my blood and my bones and my soul itself and I’m not willing to give it up. People like the one I had the discussion with are products of their training, of their upbringings and someone will say that I need to be the bigger person and understand and console and just say I’ll do better.

But you know what never changes if that happens?

Her attitude, behaviour, the cloud of negativity and hatred that surrounds her.

I’m not a goddamned saint. I’m out to slay the dragon (metaphorically). I can be the white knight on the horse, but if the bitch keeps getting caught by dragons, keeps falling into traps… well…

I let her die.

Again, metaphorically.

I went to the break room, grabbed a kleenex, realized if she came in I’d be cornered and those types go right for the throat when you cry. Oh, and I go for the soft parts when they do, so I headed out and found what I thought was an empty room only to have another manager look at me and ask what was wrong… and for me to start bawling again.

I’m tired, I have nothing left to give, but still they demand more and nothing I do is good enough. I bawled my eyes out until I managed to force myself to stop and then I got mad.

The manager in question tried to joke with me as she left. Like everything is good now that she’s rubbed my face in someone else’s shit.

I am not okay. It is not okay to talk to someone like that.

But my feet didn’t hurt as much at the end of the day. I’m also not as tired as I have been the past couple of weeks. Almost energetic physically. Mentally, I’m okay. Emotionally, though?

I’m done, so done. Negative Nellies, Talk-down Tanyas, Bitter Betties and Whiny Wilmas need to leave me alone.

 

Week Two (Day Four)

I feel weirdly alert today. The little voice in my head suggested it’s because my valerian might not be valerian. Did an internet search, it’s not possible to remove the smell of Valerian entirely. So I opened a capsule… know what didn’t happen?

I was not mauled by cats.

Uh, so, I’m going to pick up some of the stuff I know is valerian and put it on my shelf, but I might not be taking it on my long days. Little worried that could be part of what’s causing the joint pain.

Need to pick up new shoes (again) but hopefully this time they have my shoes in black, like they have every other time I’ve gone in to buy shoes. Ah, well.

This is something like day twenty for me, of thirty-seven or so. I’m halfway through, so I’ve got that going for me, right?

Stomach is upset, nose can’t decide what it’s doing but I’m hanging onto that until I get full on sick. I’d rather be fending off a cold than full on cold. Joints hurt more today than yesterday besides my shoulder.

Last night I got out of the shower, looked down and said, “why do my feet bones hurt? What the fuck is wrong with my body?”

It wasn’t the ache of foot ache or bad shoes. Yeah, intimately familiar with that kind of pain. Unfortunately, it was an echoed ache from my hands, but in my feet. I knew, logically, that feet are basically malformed hands, but it didn’t quite dawn on me that the same joints that exist in my hands are in my feet until last night.

Yay… I say sarcastically.

Next week work is doing a strip-and-wax of the floors and guess who has to move all the stuff for it to happen? Me.

Yay… I say bitterly.

I was given one extra body to accomplish this task… which takes five people two full hours to do and cannot be done while the store is open. I don’t think my joints will magically be better, considering the fact that I am on my feet, moving and using my hands constantly between now and then.

My boss said she had given me someone else and you know, she could have not. I’m almost certain that was sarcasm, not a ‘threat’ in any manner as she and I have both been expected to do the same task with fewer bodies before. Having the body doesn’t change the fact that I have nothing extra to give and that kind of work needs a lot of extra and energy, pep and cheerleading because everyone is tired very quickly and they all think the company should just curl up under a rock and die already. It’s a lot to expect of people you’re paying minimum wage to.

Oh. Then there’s the week after. Yeah…

The next Wednesday, I do my driving test.

Yay… I say sarcastically/anxiously.

Oh, and the head honcho of the country for our company is visiting. At first, I shrugged and said whatever, I dun care. He won’t be there when…

Oh, wait. Fuck.

He’s visiting us last in the day and expects to arrive about the time I walk in with my grumpy, stupid face. After my driving test, which I’m trying to put into a frame of mind like I already have my license so I don’t stress as much, but can you imagine that meeting if I don’t get it?

Me. Thirty-three days in, just failed my driving test, have a bunch of homework to do because mid-terms are about to start, and he’s visiting, oh but I also hurt still from the strip-and-wax because that takes about a week for me to recover and it’ll have happened just shy of a week before?

Dear lord…

But, as I said. I’m more than halfway through my thirty-seven day straight. So, I’ve got that going for me.

Right?

Week Two (Day Two)

It took until I reached school for me to recognize that weird heaviness all over. My joints are aching, on top of more pain, and I’m already sick. Yesterday my nose started running after lunch so I could very well be sick and tired, and in more pain now.

I should have suspected when I had an internal argument with myself this morning over shoes and my backpack. I wore the backpack as I put on my shoes, normally I take the backpack off and kneel to put on my shoes, you know, like a normal person. The idea of kneeling made me whiny and the idea of taking off the backpack only to put it back on again made me call the inner voice who argued with me a very nasty name.

Normal people don’t have full on conversations with themselves, I realize, but I do. Especially when stressed or annoyed. Heck, the voice even helps me remember things, it’s like my personal Siri or Cortana.

Anyhow, I’m supposed to be imputing edits for Crop this morning but I think I need to do some self-care to get through this day. Then, when I get home, I need to medicate with a couple different things and go to bed early, hoping I’ll sleep the night through. At this point, it’s the only help I’ll have.

In a month, though, another option becomes legal. I wouldn’t have to take ibuprofen for the swelling, Valerian to keep me in a deep sleep, and St. John’s Wort to take away the brittle edge that pain puts me in. I can stop at a dispensary, buy a little something, have a puff (quite literally one puff) and then sleep the whole night away.

It’d even have the added benefit of replacing anything I take for anxiety or insomnia for about three days. Replacing such side effects as agitation (how exactly does an anti-anxiety helper cause agitation?), insomnia, and all sorts of medication conflicts with dry mouth, the munchies, and sleepiness.

All without breaking my brain, writing, or mood, so I’m super excited about that.

So, obviously, not working on Crop today. Instead, I ended up reading The Last Prophet on the trip to school. I think I want to expand on this a bit. I think the wrap up doesn’t have to end like a movie does, I think we can do wrap up in the book and not write a separate novella about Sweetheart. Well, not about her outcome. I think I need to add more about P.P. Marky.

A prophet who became a rapper and exists in the modern day, obviously conflicting with the title of the book. I kind of want to hug Marky, as his songs make it onto the radio and later on Abby recalls one and uses his prophecy to save them. Prophets aren’t supposed to be able to cross the thresholds of other prophets, so that could maybe be where her title comes in? I dunno.

I’m looking forward to expanding on this.

The cover artist contacted me a few days ago and I responded. She had been on vacation and then sick. Woops. I checked for a blog or news page, I must have missed it. Completely my fault that I didn’t give it another week, but it’s ingrained in me to follow up. A cover will eventually be in the works, when she is recovered and goes through her messages and puts me on the schedule.

The Last Prophet has distracted me from my pain today, and my frustration and emotions over the past couple of days. I’ve found myself opening the file between classes to read more. This is a good thing, especially for me.

The only trouble being, I requested a wrap with the cover artist. The e-book cover is free, I would pay for the wrap. But the poor woman needs to know about how many pages the book would be, and I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about it and I might be able to add another 80k words to The Last Prophet. It’s going to be a beastie, but there are other things I want to add and explore and delve into. Everything is just a flash, and partway through I asked myself: why? Why is it a flash? Why can’t there be a couple of chapters extra? Why can’t David take lunch with Sweetheart so we learn about her, but also to show their relationship instead of having him just tell Richard? Why don’t we learn about Abby and her parents? Why does she just casually mention her father is dead, when there’s a magical force behind that?

Why doesn’t she call her mother when she awakens?

There are so many other things that need to go into this. And you know what? If it winds up being so freaking long, I can always break it into books like I do all the others. Let’s face it, if I took my trilogies, I could probably work them into one book quite cleanly, besides maybe Contracted because of the time jumps and changes between books.

I feel like I have the bones of The Last Prophet, basically. They’re good bones, they’ll work very well, but they don’t have as much flesh on them as I’d like. So, I’m going to take my time and do what I will with the book. I’m going to turn it into my vision instead of pushing the first copy out in the world.

I seem to be moving away from erotica and romance more, but my bio does say “whatever takes her fancy” and “when she finds a world she loves, she dabbles endlessly.”

Sure, The Last Prophet could go under its own pen name for high fantasy or something, but … no. This is me, this is how I write. I know there are people who insist an author must write only one genre, but that’s just not how I can work. It’s not how most of us work, and few seem to realize that. They hear about Stephen King switching from horror to the dark fantasy genre and they were scandalized and thought he was an exception to the rule.

I like to think of it as authors switch genres as much as readers do. Just because I love Robin Hobb, doesn’t mean I read her exclusively. Nor do I stick to her genre for reading. I also love Anne Bishop, Anne McCaffery, Anne Rice, and Stephen King when I’m in the mood. I’ve picked up single books from some weird scifi/fantasy hard boiled detective something before. I enjoyed it and put it down and never picked up another.

My writing is the same way. So, despite a four day debate about switching The Last Prophet to another pen name, I’ve decided to keep it under Aya DeAniege. And, yeah, it’s the same pen name that published erotica and plans to again. The same pen name that dabbles in vampires, witches, werewolves, and angels. Both in sexual and non-sexual context.

I suppose, with my love of the book, I should save up royalties and pay for an actual editor for this one. But at the length I’m looking at it would be $3-5000 to edit it.

If my writing paid that kind of money, I wouldn’t need a student loan, heck, I wouldn’t need a job. When I felt like this, I could take a long, hot bath with a glass of wine and a good book, then sleep the day away.

I have a vision for The Last Prophet, and it’s keeping me sane and just a little stable.

Now it’s just a matter of how to get what I want.

Planning etc

So, school starts on Tuesday. Most of my work will be wrapped up by then. There are final edits I will have to make time for and work around but that was bound to happen.

The schooling I’m taking is a technical college, I think they call it. Basically, they are going to teach me how to do a new job. It’s also a little like on the job training and I need to network and be a happy person every day.

… this is the part where I swear.

Ah, well.

School is taking priority over both writing and the day-job. To be fair, though, after this long I can do my day job in my sleep. I need physical energy and nothing more.

But over all that time, what’s going to happen? I’ll just vanish for nine or ten months and reappear?

That’s not my plan. Instead, over the next nine or ten months I will find bits here and there for writing. I have to, or I will go mad. I’ll make time for edits, or I’ll start editing text books and the instructor’s notes. I’ll update The Others between school and work.

I will still do things.

But I’m making only one promise: every Monday I will write up a post. It could be what I learned the week before, how I’m doing, some snippet I’m working on. Whatever it is, I will write an update. I will post it here.

With any luck, one of my first updates will basically be: no homework. Totally writing another book.

But I’m not leaning in that direction.

Instead, I’m looking out over my time and am weighing things carefully. I don’t want to fatigue myself too much but I could have an hour or more of a wait between getting off school and getting home, a two hour wait on days I work the late shift.

It’s my own fault, should have gone for driving lessons sooner.

My first priority is obviously homework. That needs to get done, I need to put in an effort for getting the tasks down pat. My second is supposed to be networking but I need a handle on my anxiety to be able to talk to people.

I might join student union.

I didn’t feel that anything much was said about the Student Union besides that they raise money for Cystic Fibrosis, had a bouncy castle last year, and do ‘lots of things.’ Events change between years, but I feel they could work on their communication, especially if they want to get everyone involved.

Because I’m in a leadership position at work so I forgot I’ve got this problem.

The problem where, when the orientation lady looked over a group of ten, I’m handed the paperwork and then I manage the whole scavenger hunt.

It’s not even my anxiety doing it. My level is about a one right now and that’s probably because my new supplement is starting to wear off.

A gym full of people smelled sulfer and I was the only one to get up and ask about the weird smell that reminded me of natural gas. Everyone else stayed put.

Which… is super weird and concerning.

I think that means I need to add ‘natural leader’ to my resume, right? Except I loathe taking on leadership roles when I’m not certain of the surroundings. I can do it, but the fear of failure in those environments is enough to spike my anxiety. Which causes an attack, which makes me cry, which… etc.

I want to buy all the books now, but I’m a broke bunny until the grants come in. Which apparently isn’t for everyone? I assumed it was, but when I went to the student center the nice woman I dealt with was very surprised that I obtained so much in grants.

Apparently, I’m a broken but lucky bunny.

All I did was go in to show my notice of assessment and then I asked the question I’ve had for the past couple of weeks about what I need the first day. Then I shut up and nodded and listened. I caught myself trying to run, though, and made my feet return to where they had been.

In doing so, I learned that the student union has a book sale of donated books from past students. I spoke with the president one on one for about two seconds, she kept staring at my boob (I realized after she might be committing my name to memory, crap) and she’s in the same area as me and knows they have one of the books I’ll need and that it’s the right edition. It might not save me much, but every bit helps.

Right. Plans.

I’m converting books and all else over to OneNote. It’ll free up space on my phone and allow me to access from any of my devices. I’ve been worried of late about the phone dying or me losing it / it being stolen. This way if it is lost, I don’t lose part of a book as well.

Trying to Work

I have struggled to get edits done for Crop over the past week. I have goals, I have timelines, but I’ve been so stressed out by the day-job that I’ve managed absolutely nothing for two weeks.

And that sucks.

This morning I started editing Crop and even got through a couple chapters of removing ‘was’ (one of the many things I’m trying to do to strengthen my writing) then I finished my coffee and went out on an errand.

When I got back, I should have gotten back to work. Instead, I took a nap.

I did deserve a nap, but it’s also hours not being put into the work that I’m already behind on.

I miss the days when I’d stumble home from work (stumbling because I was tired) pour myself a glass of wine and spend the rest of my night editing as a way to unwind.

I’m working night shifts is why I can’t try to do that, I think. That and being constantly broke.

My school year is fast approaching and between it and work, I won’t be able to relax into much writing. Especially if the student loan doesn’t go through. Then I’ll need all the hours I can get to pay for the school but unlike a university degree, I can afford to pay for school with my current situation.

Come on, student loan.

The writing hasn’t really come back yet but my backlog for editing is pretty extensive and I wrote out all those plots weeks ago just in case this happened during the school year. It just so happens that my ability to write ended months earlier due to stress and anxiety.

Tonight, I’ll do more edits while watching tv shows. I’m also factory restoring my little tablet/netbook thing so I can start working while at work. They insist on working me full time hours (but since I need the hours, I’m not really complaining) on night shifts so I’m going to make it work one way or another.

As in, this works or I’ll be taking a baseball bat to it.

The writing I have been doing, for books of course, I’m trying to watch how I write and do it stronger to start with but words fail me. It’s an indicator or stress and overworking.

I’m going to be removing the games from my phone and avoiding certain sites like Reddit where I only read half the titles and have mucked up my attention span.

Going to have to read books again instead of skimming, oh noes!

Updates

The site has a new look, at least for the moment. Well, it might be given yet another new look in a few days but I’m not minding this one. I’ve adjusted the menus up top and two new pages for sub-series. The only trouble I’m having is that the older cover images added for Contracted and Wraith’s Rebellion have a weird white border around them. I’ll re-add them later and see if that solves the issue.

I already want to go back to writing Coffee and Blood. I’m kind of thinking about writing Gaia next. We’ve kind of beat out the details, so that’s good. Ish.

I have not done up the timeline yet because I’m trying to figure out how to fit forty-thousand years of human innovation and exploration into forty-two inches of paper. Recall, the closer to modern times you come, the more events and inventions there are. I think in the first twenty-thousand years of Hera’s life the most significant human discovery/change was the domestication of dogs.

Of course, I’m generalizing the timeline. There were lots of stuff happening in there like the recent-ish discovery of stone jewelry, and I’ve read articles about them discovering agriculture as far back as forty thousand years.

I like history and I like myth. My retention of that information is spotty at best but I do love reading and re-reading it.

The past three days or so I’ve been consumed by anxiety. Sitting in my basement room, playing Sims, and basically pouting.

Because I knew I was anxious and that it was holding me back but I couldn’t drag myself out of it. You know, that ‘upset that you’re upset’ feeling.

I updated The Others yesterday and wrote part of a second post for that. At least I got something done. I had trouble sleeping which isn’t necessarily a problem, but as the anxiety has abated some but not entirely, it wore on my for three days, and I didn’t really sleep last night means that this morning I’m mentally exhausted.

It took an hour and a half to put a chapter of At Death’s Door through an edit. But, I did it. I’m going to try to do another when I get home. Then I’m going to make a cover, maybe two. My thought on Wraith’s Rebellion has changed slightly so I have to go looking again. I also need a colour that would go well with the books. I used a red-orange for The Reaping so that’s not an option. I could use the brown that is in the original covers because I had thought of using the original texture too but brown on a cover that’s not completely consumed by an image?

Might look funny.

Barring that, I can start an edit of Crop.

My only trouble at this point is that I want to play Sims but also work. I’ve done that before. It’s very possible. I just need the computer for At Death’s Door because nothing else I have is capable of running my editing programs. Which means I have to be done the edit and covers before I can move on to playing Sims and editing at the same time because only the computer can use the photo editing software.

The more I think about all this, the less I want to do the edits and cover design. Likely, I’m feeling burned out and I haven’t had a new book out in several months and yet have been reading and hearing too much about how you’ll never succeed if you aren’t pumping out books every couple of weeks.

I can keep that pace, if I don’t do editing and covers. At the same time, I’m not a big believer of rushing things to publication before I’m happy with them.

And you can succeed if you don’t publish constantly. And by constantly I mean once every three weeks.

But at the moment I’m in a slump and I’m feeling rather like the world is telling me I’m going to fail. That’s likely linked to the anxiety I’ve been having, as I know I get like this sometimes.

Then one day I wake up and decide the whole world can burn, I roll up my sleeves and get back to work.

I guess this is still linked to the ‘upset you’re upset’ that I’ve been feeling.

I still haven’t gotten around to making covers for sale. It seems the price of them has gone up meaning not only can I not afford them ‘even more’ but also if I was making them, I might be able to afford an editor/cover designer for my books rather than struggling through them finding what’s right for the book I just wrote.

Suppose this ended up half-rant, half-update.

Back to work after the day-job and until school starts. Then writing has to go on the back burner because working and full-time school and the boyfriend.

I don’t have time or money to do all that I want.

And my luck is poop so I can’t even joke about winning the lottery because I’d never win it.