Etcetera

Writing first.

Hera launches next week.

Grim Port is with my beta. I keep forgetting to check in over the past week. Grim Haven is halfway through the first edit and I’m not sure how effective I have been this time around but I’ve got stuff going on.

I’m shifting my plan there to produce a box set of the Reaping in April, then (hopefully) I’ll have Grim ready to go for May to July. That’s how months work, right?

Given recent events, I’ve been trying to dial back on writing but it’s my go to for everything. The only reason I tried dialing back on it was because that’s all I can dial back on.

I had a week off of work then it was canceled, then I was promised as many days as my boss could manage off. She delivered, which I have to say is surprising for my company. It took three days for me to start to unwind but it was only a sart.

My oldest cat passed away on Saturday, which leaves me obviously upset.

It and how much I’m struggling daily leads me to believe I’m mentally unstable. Not in a hurt someone or myself type of way. At least, not physically. No, this is the kind of unstable that takes a strip off someone for taking the last brownie in the cafeteria at school even though I’m back on my diet and am determined to stick to it.

The vindictive little bitch, I think I’ve heard people call it.

Not too many people realize that the ‘moodiness’ people see that appears to be for no reason is really for no reason. The person dolling it out is probably having a freaking breakdown, they’re struggling to hold onto whatever ground they have and can feel it slipping through their fingers.

I need time and to take a step back but as I said, stepping back from the writing didn’t work. I did try, really, I casually world built as I went along and now am writing again. Whole different project there, an entire story to go along with it.

So I’ve sat down and looked at my options for what I can do and it really comes down to to.

Quit school or quit work.

I am halfway through my program and, when done, can get an office job the likes of which sound mildly entertaining but also a lot less stressful. My program is for medical based offices and getting into a medical office is super exciting for me. Why? I don’t know.

At work I am still part-time and feel like the others are pulling away. They don’t want to know what I have to say on a topic and would rather do it their way or do things which doesn’t sound like how the company wants things done but is a grey area so I’m certainly not going to fight them on it.

I don’t have the energy for it.

I’m tired of that fight with difficult team members. I don’t have the energy. All I really want to do is whip out my mother’s special tone of voice and say, “look, we’ve been over this, you need to do your job.”

But I’m still sane enough to know that’s not right.

Two opportunities have presented themselves. When the first appeared I was like yes that’s me, pick me, pick me, pick me.

Now I’m not so sure. Am I ready for the change? Yes. Can I handle the change? Yes. Am I afraid of the change?

Yes, but I’m afraid I’ll be chosen, take it, and regret it later.

The other opportunity, is almost the same. I’m not quite ready for the change. I can handle the change, considering I can handle almost anything. And I’m petrified of the change because I worry I’ll get out there and not be perfect.

Whoopdeefreakingdo, you aren’t perfect.

Welcome to being human.

So while I’m off in my corner, having a bit of a meltdown and waiting for a few things to slide into place or work out or… whatever… I have no idea what’s going on, which way is up, or the time.

Ah fuck, I’m late for school.

Plan Changes

I need to change my publishing plan.

I have the books written, I’m trying to edit them, but it’s not going so well. Hera will be done in time, but the Grim trilogy is barely started and I don’t want to rush on through it. So. That’s got to change so I can relax a little.

Work, school, writing, cover design.

I’ve got a lot on my plate.

The plan was ambitious, it was meant to give me a lofty goal and it was something I desperately wanted. But it’s not something I can do right now.

So I’m going to finish the edit of Hera. I think on the side as a breather, I will take chapters of The Others and rewrite them. If I don’t go exclusive, I can publish on Amazon and all the rest. There will, of course, be additions to the book. I’m hoping to do about double the word count. It’ll include expanding on the smut, of course, and possibly adding a few chapters.

It’s just something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and doing this is kind of like a me thing I can do.

This means the publication dates of all books have been pushed forward except Hera.

In the real world something came up. It was the thing that, going into school I said if it ever happened I would quit school and do that instead. So, when it came up, I ventured forward.

Only to be told it was never going to be an option. Not because I wouldn’t qualify or could be trained for this opportunity but because that, while, yes, this thing had happened, the opportunity no longer exists.

Changes happen everywhere, all the time. Supposedly it’s a sign of progress. My guy… suppose I should name him. Uh, let’s call him Flynn. Obviously not his real name, anyhow. When the opportunity came up, I needed someone… or four… to talk to. It’s kind of a big deal, even if I had made the decision back before school started.

When it fell through Flynn said something like, “okay, so, your plans just stay the same.”

I went through my day, got home, and started crying in the shower.

Okay, so I guess I wanted to go through that opportunity more than I had expressed. It would mean leaving school, which would mean a significantly shorter week for me. More time for editing, art, doing what I want to do. I wouldn’t be stretched so thin.

I wouldn’t be tired all the time.

All.

The.

Time.

And the thing is, yeah, I considered not writing because it’s extra work. But the writing is filling in gaps. A break here, two hours between work and school there. It gives me something to strive for and something that is a me thing. It’s a reminder that I’m doing all this for something just like the opportunity.

Something that, once I’m in it and there, I can focus less on editing, formatting, cover design, because I could finally afford to hire out. Then instead of being all stressed out about getting a cover done, or getting it positioned just right, I can relax more.

Quality would improve, time would be found. I could do so much more.

That’s why I’m doing all this.

Checking sales each morning and keeping track of them helps keep me sane. It’s a regular structure that never changes.

Unless I have no sales.

Editing over coffee gives me something besides the next year of exhaustion to focus on.

New fountain pens is weirdly getting me through this heart wrenching time. Heart wrenching isn’t a term a normal person would use, but I’m super not normal. So, there’s that.

There is a slight possibility that I will be obtaining a fountain pen that was a special edition a couple of years ago and is Mr. Wrightworth purple.

I’m going to be getting two more fountain pens so I can have three colours on the go. Then I can take my notes and do world creation and start the writing journal I want to make. The pens/markers I have now are very narrow and it’s hurting my hand to do writing.

When I got the fountain pen it was like a freaking revelation. Suddenly I enjoyed writing things out by hand. I haven’t enjoyed that in years. I’ve looked at it with distaste because of the ache.

The co-worker who gave me the pen suggested those little triangular foam bits that children use as grips on their pens and pencils to teach them to grip it properly. It’s a fantastic idea and I’ll look into it but I don’t want to attach them to the markers I use at school because they won’t fit into my binder cover. The other option is to swap them out from marker to marker and suddenly I’m tugging on markers constantly when I’m already getting looks because whenever I have to open a marker I look like a crazy person who has never seen a pen before.

Basically, I have to wrap my hands around the cap and then the end but not while making a fist with my right hand, just kind of using half my hand and then tug and wiggle until it comes off.

Except I’ve got this thing about sudden changes and such so when it pops off I always look super surprised. Like I just discovered that these stick things open and there’s stuff inside them.

So, to go along with the Mr. Wrightworth purple, I’m going to be getting an apple green pen. It’s an odd choice for me, but of all the colours offered that’s the one I like best. Which is weird. You’d think I’d go for black or blue. Maybe even a nice white to pair with the black one I already have.

Mr. Wrightworth purple and witchy green.

See, that cheers me up and there’s no way to explain the why.

For inks I’m getting a sample of true turquoise, which is just luscious, Moss Green, and … I don’t recall the exact name, but I think it’s Dragon Rage orange.

There’s also a chance the purple pen will come with a Mr. Wrightworth purple ink.

Little things.

I’m already trying to buy all the inks. When the co-worker talked to me about inks and we reached three he said, “and…”

And I said, “No, that’s it. I do not need to hoard ink. I want all the ink, but I don’t need the ink so three will work for now.”

Hera Update

The first edit of Hera is done. Yay.

My laptop is acting up, like it hasn’t got enough memory to run Grammarly. The next edit is to try out a new program. But today I’m taking some time to try a cover design out for it.

I could order a cover and I’m still seriously considering doing that, but I need to tell her what to do.

Therein lies a problem.

So I’m slapping something together. See how it looks, burn it to the ground, and try again.

Need to sort out the laptop to use it for the next edit. Word has been acting funny, shutting down without warning, and it keeps dumping things into the cloud and then claiming it can’t merge the files from the cloud even though I only used the laptop for the files in question…?

Apparently, I need to go back to USBs. I like the convenience of the cloud, but it’s being a bugged out piece and I just can’t have it doing this. It could lose necessary information and that’s bad.

With a little luck, I will have a pre-order set up sometime tonight.

With luck.

This morning, I woke up feeling good. It’s been a long time since I felt good. I’ve been in pain about … frig, I don’t even know. It might have been the start of December. The last two weeks or so my knuckles have been red. Even holding my phone hurt.

I have to be careful about what I take because I overreact to medication. We don’t need to be chasing my floating self through the aisle at work. But yesterday it got so bad I felt I had to go home, so I went to my purse to take something and realized I forgot my pills.

Note: these are just OTC ibuprofen and acetaminophen. I don’t have a doctor so I have to self-medicate.

Anyhow. Cue me swearing until I remembered a little ‘first aid’ pack a co-worker gave me when I called her a pain in the ass. There were both in there, so I took one of each, got curious, and googled the ibuprofen brand.

It was Aleve, which is not ibuprofen.

But an hour later the red in my knuckles was gone. I was so pale that I had an entirely different concern, but I didn’t have as much pain. Oh, I still ached. I didn’t realize how freaking much I ache. But the pain had gone down to a throb.

So I’m now on a quest to find Aleve in town. Pharmacies in Canada don’t display what they carry on their websites, which is frustrating for me, but I get it.

Because I felt good when I got home is likely why I completed Hera instead of wrapping up in a blanket and grumbling at the cats for the night. It’s why I went looking for a cover and figured that all out, sorted it out, and maybe came up with a plan. One I hope will work.

This morning I took another Aleve and felt good but the cold caused an ache in my right hand so I paired it with an acetaminophen. There’s a frustrating ache in my right hand but otherwise I still feel good.

When still being in pain is a good day… ugh.

Trying to source CBD but the store is constantly out and I don’t want THC. That helps the anxiety and the pain.

Which would all mean getting more work done. It’d mean less grumbling at the cats while wrapped up in a blanket.

Maybe clean my room. Organize some so that if it came time, I could have the new guy visit and not be worried that he thought I was some kind of slob. I’m not, honest.

It’s just the idea of cleaning when I’m hurting is too much to bear and when you have to decide whether your energy goes to getting through the day, or is split between that and cleaning, it just… it just doesn’t happen.

When Anxiety Walks In

This weekend was not fun for me.

I was supposed to go to a movie with the new guy on Saturday but he cancelled about twenty minutes before for a migraine. Cue the crazy voices. I was having a good day but the second I saw that message, my heart sank in my chest and I almost started crying in the parking lot of the movie theater.

I almost went in anyways, but we were supposed to meet for dinner before the movie and none of the movies spoke to me in that way besides one that had just premiered a couple of days previous, which meant it would have been packed.

So, I bucked the fuck up, turned the car back on, and drove to a McDonalds to get dinner even though I know I shouldn’t eat there.

I let people know it was cancelled, my aunt and  a friend. The friend invited me out to a church function, I declined on the basis that I was super insecure, the voices were really loud, and I was feeling quite self-pitying.

Basically, I assume this is the beginning of the end. Except the end will come up quickly.

He wants to meet for dinner tonight and after I asked him to walk me back to my car after he gave me his first choice, he changed the location to a place with a parking lot right beside it.

You have to understand, in my life this means he’s not planning on walking me back to the car, or anywhere after.

And then this morning he disappeared from online right before he knew I would be up. He hasn’t been back on since, which is outside of his regular pattern.

You know what those are?

Those are crazy people thoughts.

Driving into school today caused quite an anxious mood. I’m not sure if I’m going home after school or staying, because it was just so bad that I’m not sure I’d make it back in for dinner.

I spent my weekend playing video games and basically wrapped up in a blanket feeling sorry for myself. I don’t like feeling sorry for myself, but there it is.

Yesterday, I finally talked myself into doing some edits. Except, I did it by playing Minecraft in creative mode and doing edits at night. Halfway through the day, I realized the monsters don’t attack in creative mode.

But I also got a quarter of the book done, so I’ve got that going for me.

I have a test today and I’m pretty certain I’m going to fail/get a bad mark. That’s adding to my anxiety. I have a writing course today. Somehow that is adding to my anxiety. My last assignment I got 90% on and I feel like a total failure.

I got 90% on it.

I hate when I have to argue with myself over mundane things. It’s a good grade, it’s a fantastic grade. The average grade of the class is probably 70%, if not 80%. I got a good mark.

Tell the voices in my head that.

Oh, and the Ontario government has made changes to OSAP so I’m not even certain if I’m covered for next year. As in, I don’t even know if I’d qualify for a student loan under their whatever-in-the-fuck ‘improvement’ these people have made to the OSAP program which only benefits the richest students.

Fuck.

So, that’s got me annoyed and a little anxious because money, and because the trip to Mexico would have paid for my last semester at the school. Had I known they were going to be assholes.

One. It’s non-refundable.

Two. I still really want to go.

I’m just pissed at this petty feud the Conservatives and Liberals have at the expense of students and taxpayers. One comes in and changes the laws that the other one had brought in, wasting time. Then one (either side, really) makes a step in the right direction and the other one turns into a petty little bitch and reverses it.

You legalized pot, you’ve got plenty of money you greedy cunts.

So, doubly can’t quit my job even though I want to, and I have to work full-time hours through the summer (if I can get them) because I now need to prepare to pay for my schooling on my own because the government has decided that educating people to raise their income, which would raise up the economy, is somehow a bad idea.

But, hey, those $1 beer and the stripping of sexual education back to, “when a man loves a woman very much…” was totally worth it. /sarcasm

Editing Update

I haven’t been doing so well with the edits. I’ve been manic with no direction. I think I described it as feeling like I had swallowed a hyperactive toddler and a bag of sugar.

Oh, I have all kinds of attention problems. I’m the person who had to read books in class while taking notes for the class because I just couldn’t pay attention to one thing. Got caught on numerous occasions but in the words of one teacher, “I can’t penalize you. I want you focused on me, but I also want everyone reading more books, so penalizing you wouldn’t be a win for anyone.”

I’m up to page… 17 on Hera? And pg 32 or so of Grim Port, which is the first book. Although the problem there has been that I keep forgetting the kindle at home, so I don’t have a copy of the books to read while at work on my long days.

There is a two hour period, give or take, when I could read that. Which means I could probably be almost done by now.

Because of the mania, I’m not focused on anything in particular unless it’s an oddity. I obsessed over Access for a few days, but it wouldn’t do what I wanted, how I wanted. Then I learned about two sentences more of Excel this week, and spent six hours, six hours, writing up a budget in Excel for my writing and my income and my outgoing and teaching myself formulas.

I did averages for each year and then for each book and I linked them between the spreadsheets and I found a way to deal with compound interest on Excel and then I started colour coding it all and itemizing lists.

I got lost in Excel, basically.

And sure, it’s not some gorgeous creature, but that’s okay. It’s less likely to break than Access and I can get the numbers to update across the board, the ones I had to redo… three times.

I’m not even done yet. I need to set up a yearly sales page going forward. I should do that separately though. Well, I mean. No. Because if I do it separately then I can’t link it back to the main component that I need to update.

Can… I?

I can ask someone, maybe. He said he knows Excel. I just don’t know if he knows Excel to that extent.

Anyhow, to solve the mania, I’ve stopped taking St. John’s Wort. One of the side effects is mania. Another is nausea, and insomnia, etc. Basically, I was showing side effects of the supplement I was taking to fight off my anxiety.

Which is back already. Yay.

How do I know?

I’m seeing someone. It’s not serious, only a couple of dates so far. I’d be all in, I think, but that’s the way my brain works, so I suppose, especially for me dating, it’s serious, but it’s not like we’re long term committed or had the conversation.

We’ve gone to coffee and a breakfast date this past weekend. This upcoming weekend we’re going to the movies. We’re both very busy people. Him with his job and then two separate after work things, plus he has family events mingled in among that all.

I have school and writing and work.

Anyway, this morning when I said, “morning,” he said, “Hi :)”

Normal stuff.

My brain went: yup, so, this is falling apart.

And immediately started trying to cycle through what I had done wrong or what had caused everything to fall apart.

I had a little anxiety attack on the way to school because I thought I had left my travel mug open when I put it in my backpack. (I did not)

When I got to school, someone said hello to me and my first reaction was, “why is she mad at me?”

She’s not.

My anxiety makes me think that everyone is upset with me. I read into subtle signs that I shouldn’t read into. I hear the class laugh and my first instinct is they’re laughing at me. Even though I know better. I know these people.

I toss in my earbuds and start typing, they assume I’m writing and trying to meet a deadline so they leave me alone. They don’t talk about me, they certainly don’t laugh about or at me.

Tell my stupid brain that.

But I can feel an alertness waking up. A focus there, at the back of my mind. I swear I can feel the swirl that makes me actively work on writing or editing. That obsessive little tumble as my mind is trying to figure out how many ways I can break a world and put it back together before the characters blow it up just so they don’t have to deal with me anymore.

Anxiety is already eating away at me. Not enough to cause an attack, but enough to seriously affect my interactions with other people.

I never realized before how much my anxiety alters my outlook on the world. That person who said hello to me at school has said hello just like that for most of this year and yet today I assumed she was mad at me.

I just have to make it through today, then I have two, maybe three days off. There’s a snowstorm coming and the teachers are bracing themselves for the school to be closed Monday. But they did that the first week of class too and the school opened anyhow.

Except, if the roads are bad, I can’t go. I can wake up and make it to school if I’m going to take a pill at school, but I can’t if I’m not going to. I would spend the entire day shaking and on the verge of tears, if not actually cry.

And I have to leave the house for the movie tomorrow night. I’m looking forward to that, but that voice at the back of my mind is back, whispering its poisonous words.

I need a doctor. And actual medication.

Except the waiting list for a doctor in this province is between five and ten years unless I get pregnant or wind up in the hospital for a specific sickness. So, since I have to have a broken bone or spurting blood to go to the hospital… the only way for me to get a doctor earlier is to get pregnant.

Which isn’t happening because it’d be super awkward, to say the least.

Winter Term

Work killed my back and shoulders… and legs and arms ugh. So much pain that I wound up taking acetaminophen for two days while at work, then being in agony the last couple of hours as the pills wore off.

Why?

Because acetaminophen gets me high. High as a freaking kite. Well, not quite that high. But I have been found staring off at nothing, drifting aimlessly about, and giggling at nothing at all.

Hey, if you’re going to break me, you’re damned well going to still pay me while I take medication. I was still working, just not up to my usual self.

And because of the high effects, I couldn’t take it in the later four hours of my shift because I had to come down in order to drive safely. It hurts, damn it.

That at least reminded me to take a pill before I start moaning in class…

So, after a conversation with the temporary me-position, I bought a specialized punch and have made my own notebook for class. Binders kind of piss me off. I don’t even know why. Something about looking at them makes me want to shove them off the desk like a cat who is four seconds past their feeding time.

I made one with card stock paper, which is thicker. I can now pop it in and out and about however I please. If I only write a few pages, I can pop them out and file them with my school paperwork and then use it for a world instead. Or any odd and end that I might do. No more guilt over having a few pages filled out. It’s basically a perpetual notebook with thicker paper that takes my markers that I love so much and my fountain pen.

Oh, yeah, a co-worker gave me a fountain pen for Christmas. He collects them and ink. Says he has over two hundred colours and when I empty this one I should take it back to him and he will refill it.

It currently has purple ink, is thicker like fountain pens are, and is fucking magnificent. It’s a ‘cheaper’ fountain pen, of course. He didn’t give me a three hundred dollar pen. He has hundreds of pens of varying pricing and gave others in the store ones that he bought for three or so dollars overseas but are still really nice.

He just shops really well.

I’ve been helping with some work off on the side and used the pen for most of it. Love it. Love it to freaking bits. Now want more fountain pens with more inks.

Two and a half chapters of Grim Travels remains to be written and I’m already way off course for my plan. Makes me want to swear. I can’t get back to work today, I’m in too much pain and rather than sinking into writing, all I’m thinking about is how I’m feeling. That’s not going to get the book done.

I also can’t get editing done. For some reason the idea of editing makes me want to drink. But that’s probably also the pain talking.

Changes

Harvest is live on all sites. I suggest grabbing it and all the Coffee and Blood series if you prefer Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords.

I will be pulling Coffee and Blood to go into Kindle Unlimited next Sunday, January 6. Do I regret this decision as both a reader and a person?

Yes.

But as the owner of the small business that is my writing, it makes more financial sense to return to Kindle Unlimited at this time. It is a bone in my throat and it still sticks, but I need to make income to move forward with my plans for world domination.

In order to be available outside of Amazon, I need to get my print books back up to snuff and ready for purchase. Those can be bought on all sites, in all stores. It’s just the e-books that are restricted.

Grim Travels isn’t finished yet. It kind of feels like my body is cramming three months of illness into three weeks and I just feel like warmed up poo.

The covers for Wraith’s Rebellion haven’t been redone/finished yet.

Hera hasn’t begun edits yet.

I’m behind on everything.

But at work the shop/area didn’t fall behind solely because of my work. For the first time since starting work for my company I said that out loud. When someone praised that it was caught up, I made certain they knew it was by my hard work.

I’m angry that my dreams and wants were put on hold because of the laziness of others, or the sheer audacity to try to tell me that we didn’t have that discussion last week and six weeks ago. That I didn’t try to give them the tools they needed to succeed, only to be ignored.

And so, my wants and desires went on hold again because I cannot see a situation like that, where hundreds of bystanders are affected, their Christmases ‘ruined’ because of nepotism or laziness. So I fixed it, again.

But if that wasn’t the kind of person I was, there’s no way I could do what I do. I don’t mean for my company, I mean for me. If I wasn’t that determined bundle of raging energy, I would have been stomped to nothing years ago and have absolutely nothing left to give me. The thing is, I want more to give me. I want me to be my first priority and I want the ability to be able to do things for me.

I deserve good things. I deserve good pay for good work, I deserve not to be trounced upon because of the way things were done before, or because someone else made a mistake or neglected to do something. That’s not my fault.

Which is why I spoke up this year after twelve years of working like that, of being the reason why things succeeded only to have others reap the benefits of my time and life.

I’m going a little crazy. I’m more than a little overworked, and people like to be ungrateful brats about it.

So I’m going to Mexico in June, even if I have to go by myself. A five-star resort. And if I go by myself I’m getting the room with the private Jacuzzi. Although, now that I say that, I’m sitting here thinking that’s a terrible idea considering the fact that in June it’s supposed to actually be hot.

They said it would be hot in April and it had its moments, yes, but especially in the morning or sitting around the pool, I wanted more heat so, you know, June could be great.

The secondary boss is back Wednesday. That’s good, really. But there’s still no new manager for the area I’ve been covering.

I’m going to book time off work in March and June. I should still have a week’s worth of hours after that. Maybe I’ll take a week in August and go beach hopping or something. If I plan it right, I wonder if I could get more than a week off.

I can always hope that switching to Kindle Unlimited goes better than expected and I can take another week off based just on royalties across a month paying for that week off.

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.