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!

“I’m Allergic to Stupid.”

That’s what I’m going to say going forward until I get a diagnosis. I’m allergic to stupid. Not because it amuses me, though it kind of does, but because that bitterly sarcastic ‘stupid’ is actually the fastest way to describe what triggers my episodes.

I had one Monday morning. I then proceeded to continue working for several hours like the moron that I am, before I told someone. Then I worked a couple more hours before I tried to call someone in because I’m a freaking idiot.

I’ve been having these episodes since about the time I was fifteen. They started in or around my being struck in the head with a pot. The only reason I remember that is because I called my friend sobbing and told her something was wrong but couldn’t tell her what besides I got hit and she chastised me for it.

Which is… oddly the only bits I can actively remember about any other episode.

I know someone called my mother during my (I think) first episode and she probably came and picked me up. I remember her arguing with my father, though this was a later date, about whether it was a migraine or diabetes. Neither of them took me to a doctor. My mother, I think, insisted that my symptoms were exactly her symptoms and therefore it was a migraine but I don’t know if she was ever diagnosed and I don’t actually remember her ever having a migraine.

But she did self medicate with pot for dreams, sleep problems, and headaches so it’s possible given current studies that she inadvertently treated herself for years.

The thing is, I don’t remember my episodes. Not during, not after. There are flashes here and there.

Like I remember my workplace calling my father, back when I still lived with him, and forcing him to come pick me up. I remember being told by him on the drive home that it was my own fault, I had no one to blame but me and that I was doing it to myself. But I don’t remember anything else. I think part of my face went numb. Think being the keyword there.

I’ve had episodes for the past fifteen years. I am struggling to remember any of them. I know last year, I think it was, I walked into the breakroom and sat down as others of my job-level were sitting around gossiping. I remember being asked if I was all right and saying no. Don’t know how I made it home. Pretty certain they didn’t drive me.

That was about the time that I started saying, “I taste static.” How does static taste? Well, it tastes the way it looks and that white noise sound it makes on a television set, that’s how it tastes. Not like pop rocks. A co-worker suggested it might be like pop rocks but I’ve had those and that’s not it.

Since uttering those three little words, I have been able to pick up on several more episodes. Not all are as bad, but I’ll just be standing around doing my job or at home, frown and think, “I taste static,” which is now followed an hour later by, “Oh shit. I taste static.”

Tuesday morning I felt completely hollowed out. The anxiety was high, I was exhausted, and sitting on a bus with an old man with a cane who was thumping it on the floor. Every thump of his cane felt like he was beating me with it and I knew I had to find something to distract myself so I decided to look into Hypergraphia.

I have it, I’ve known for years that I have it, but research has always been spotty at best. Imagine my surprise that there is more research being done on the phenomenon.

Hypergraphia is currently viewed as a compulsion disorder that doctors want to medicate the shit out of because if your brain isn’t normal fuck you and take some medicine. By itself, and if controlled, hypergraphia isn’t a bad thing. There are a list of authors who have had hypergraphia or thought to have had it. Being hypegraphic is like having a wild imagination, or being a rambunctious child. You don’t need to immediately medicate it into submission.

Just shut up and let it do its thing unless it’s interfering with your life. Treat it like you do anxiety. Grunt and say there’s nothing wrong unless they’re screaming and refuse to leave their bed because you shouldn’t treat anxiety unless it’s seriously encroaching on a life and you certainly shouldn’t believe someone has it just because they’re high functioning most of the time.

I also have anxiety. My anxiety prevents me from speaking with my doctor about my anxiety. But then I can’t get her to do a test for my joint pain and that’s supposed to be easy, relatively inexpensive, and possible to spot any day of the week.

Try telling a doctor you have a neurological disorder and you’re told to come back when you have it on video tape, or have a grand mal in front of the doctor. Or your mother yells at the doctor until he gives in…

Sorry. It’s… hahha… it’s actually a symptom of … oh, I’m a broken little toy.

Hypergraphia has been found to coincide, but not always, with a couple of other symptoms. One of them is this one where you talk in circles, or write in circles, but eventually get back to the main point. Your brain takes all these little bits like a jigsaw puzzle and crams the pieces together until it makes a whole that makes sense to you but not always to other people. When it’s really bad, it’s bad.

Shortly before and after an episode, I’m suspecting mine is much, much worse. Like right now. Urgh.

The hypergraphia and spiraling are symptoms that have in the past been linked to temporal lobe epilepsy. I don’t have a diagnosis, my freaking doctor won’t even test my joint pain. Getting her to test for what is still often an “invisible” illness is going to be impossible.

I want to get tested, I do not want to be told I have epilepsy. I wouldn’t be able to drive unless I was proven to have gone six months without an episode. That’s pretty hard to prove from my understanding, and my episodes are caused by undo stress from people who continue to poke me when I repeatedly tell them to stop.

I am perfectly willing to tell you how to handle me, but if you ignore that, the snide tone of voice is going to come out and I’m going to start talking like a crazy person so you go away before you trigger an episode.

For the past couple of years I’ve been noticing days where some objects appear larger than they actually are. It was probably happening before, but I’m now in charge of an area that deals with measurements so I’m just noticing it now. There have been several occasions where I looked down and went, “oh! A quarter!” and it was a dime.

Know what those are?

… signs of temporal lobe epilepsy and possibly of me having a waking seizure.

Gaps in my memory might not be a traumatic childhood… they could be signs of temporal lobe epilepsy.

I’m a freaking broken toy.

I also suffer from generalize and social anxiety. Possible PTSD, the pot to the head wasn’t the only instance. Depression on and off, though to be fair that’s to be expected with everything else. Oh, and mal-adaptive day dreaming disorder. Is it a disorder or a syndrome? I can’t remember.

I like to sum all that up as “I’m an author who is allergic to stupid.” But people think I’m trying to start a fight. I’m just trying not to share my mental health with the world because I know the world doesn’t care.

But what does that really mean?

Well, the hypergraphia means that this post has been swirling around inside my mind for the past three days and wouldn’t go away. As hypergraphia is a compulsion, I can sometimes resist, I am not the worst case scenario by far and have diverted that condition into writing my books. But because of the episode and anxiety that followed, I had to write the post or it wouldn’t leave me alone and would start to physically hurt.

The swirled writing bit, where you talk in circles, is how I got to such a long post without actually making a point. At least I don’t think I did.

That all ties into the mal-adaptive day dreaming disorder which means that I’m really great at creating worlds and have taken to writing about them. But the hypergraphia paired with creativity does not mean talent. I could write a hundred thousand books and I could still die a second rate author unless I attempt to control my compulsions and fix my writing style going forward.

But I didn’t know about the swirled writing before. I read about it, then I went into work and read some of my notes and realized that my “communication problem” was a symptom of my disease.

So now, verbally anyhow, I’m trying to resist doing the swirls but because I keep interrupting my own thoughts I can’t finished what I was trying to say and things are both disjointed and a little slurred because I feel like I don’t exist behind my eyes which is something a normal person isn’t even going to understand.

I’m not crazy, I’ve never been tested, and once this passes I’ll read that sentence and wonder if I was on something at the time.

Because I had an episode, I’m unable to focus on more than one thing. It’s either watching a video or reading, I can’t do both at once because it hurts to try. When I’ve mentioned this to people in my past, and that it frustrates me because I feel like half of me is gone, I have been laughed at.

“Now you know what it feels like to be normal.”

The only people I think less of for not being able to do what I can do, is people who talk like that. It is not normal for me to feel like this. It is absolutely terrifying to be stuck inside my own head and unable to see any patterns. It causes anxiety because it’s just taken me more than my entire morning to do some receiving which normally takes me twenty minutes.

But, haha, normal people do it every day.

I think less of those people because they’re jerks and they should feel bad about how they treat others.

What this all means in the present is that at the beginning of the week I had an episode. The fallout of that episode was that I read up on hypergraphia because it is something I’m slightly familiar with, the new research was a distraction. But reading up on it triggered my compulsion which I can’t distract myself from because I’m unable to distract myself from compulsions. I have nothing but compulsions.

Mainly to weep and hide, but that part is really besides the point.

It all resulted in having to write this blog entry because the words had to be let out before they started aching and because I’m sick of listening to them swirl around inside my head. And I do, I feel better, I feel lighter and just a little unburdened at getting it out.

I’m still pooched for at least a week though. Guess I’m playing video games and drinking like I don’t have deadlines looming. Because sometimes you have to just give in to the crazy. You can’t fight it all the time, especially when your doctor doesn’t believe you have a problem so you can’t seek out proper medication.

Awakened Week Two

I’ve written about ten thousand words in the last week and I hate the struggle. I came up with the loose plot four days ago and then forgot it all. It’s like hitting a wall.

My sleep patterns have changed because the noisy neighbour moved out. Today I realized it’s been a year since I slept properly. No wonder I’m now struggling.

This morning I sat down and wrote out a rough geustimate of the plot. I started at the end and worked my way back because there was this little gap I was struggling with and working backward was definitely the way to go.

I’m hoping I can get a move on again. It’s about nine more chapters or about another 35k words. I’ll get about 23k this weekend but I do believe Awakened will be my longest project to date. I think even Contract Claimed was shorter.

I found and joined a high word count group and they think I’m burnt out.

I mean… Full-time job and the move and the life changes and trying to meet a project, okay. I guess they’re right but that’s not a great thing. I’ve been doing so good! I’m halfway there. May is supposed to be when I struggle.

When I’m going to Mexico the first week, and flying out for a wedding the the third week. Second week? Something like that.

I will have to just take it as it comes. This isn’t like the struggle with His Wings, I want to finish Awakened and I’m enjoying writing it.

All told so far, between writing and editing the books I’ve wrtten, I’ve clocked about 80k words a month.

Or about 320k from November until the beginning of Marcg. That’s still pretty darn good.

Oh, in other news. I’m about to finish the read edit for His Wings. The final draft will be up sometime this weekend. That’s another project down to bed.

If I can finish Awakened, I’m going to edit Contract Gifted again and hopefully get that up. Maybe get it up the first week of April. That’d be fantastic.

Awakened Week One

Just over 44k words in six days. I had to take today off writing because I feel sick to my stomach.

I’ve also been doing a read edit of His Wings on my commutes. It’ll be finished in time, but I’m going to avoid arranging a pre-order before the book has gone through the first couple of edits.

I haven’t been sleeping, working constantly. It’s no wonder I’m feeling sick and tired. But I’d sleep if my upstairs neighbour got evicted like they said he was going to.

Instead he does a bunch of drugs and stays up all night. Which keeps me up. If I could just sleep, I’d feel better.

Going to go curl up now.

Crop Week Three

Crop is done! I even converted the files over but apparently forgot to check the word count. It’s probably about 66k words, but with autocorrect being labotamized I’ve found it less detrimental to the story to write it all out and then go back for the additional information. This is what I’ve been calling the description edit.

Or, alternatively, getting to the end and realizing you gave no one and nothing descriptions. Like. At all.

Ugh. It’s only been like fourteen manuscripts since I started chastising myself about the descriptions, you know. It totally takes forty before it clues in.

The plus side of such description edits is that I don’t have to stop and backtrack going, “what do these characters look like again?”

It never seems to stick. That’s what happens when you want to pump out stories to get the ideas down before you forget them.

The detail edit also lets me get really into the manuscript and paying attention to details and typos

I finished last Friday and proceeded to take almost three days off to drink wine and play video games. I got bored halfway through day one when I realized my controller didn’t have batteries and I was out and feeling lazy. So I didn’t get to play the games I wanted.

The third day, I set up the wrap for Seed and wrote two chapters of Harvest.

Yesterday, I edited four chapters of His Wings, read five chapters of Fragments, decided to rework the description of Fragments my next day at a computer, updated the Worlds on my website, started plotting Awakened, and began working on the cover for Crop.

Yes, that was all yesterday along with a full shift at the day job.

It seems I was suffering a B12 and D deficiency, both of which can lower energy levels and cause depression on top of my home situation which resulted in me being a lazy bum.

I’m back to myself again!

Except I’m not cleaning my apartment. It’s this whole thing. Landlord thinks I should live in a mouldy home and pay full rent while my ceiling is leaking in three places and I’m kind of hoping the leaks cause an electrical fire and take it all out. But not until I move my stuff out.

And cleaning it never feels clean thanks to the issues in the building. But I’m sure it’ll make good backstory for something.

Awakened is so far the contender for March. Mr. Wrightworth has walked away from Contract Delivered again. But it could be because once it and Contract Gifted are written, the world will be closed. Only because I feel like the stories have been told.

I will be writing Harvest at the same time, on commutes, after I finish a read edit of His Wings.

And I need to pack at some point. Right… much to do, sort of enough time to do it in. Basically, it’s crunch time.

His Wings Week 3

Yeah, unless something turns around in the next six months, I’m going to close The Ethereal. It’s just dragging on and on.

The first draft is about 3/4 done, is only about 44k words and is mainly dialogue. I will get this done.

I thought I was just having problems because of the stress of moving. It does all kinds of weird stuff to my head, like swapping… homonyms? The words that sound the same but are spelled differently.

I contacted the moving company and three times used higher instead of hire in reference to hiring movers. I know higher shouldn’t be used, but it still happens.

I’ve reached a point where Michael pulls out his flaming sword (But on the physical plane it’s not exactly flaming without his grace) and all of a sudden tv replaced sword four times!

Stress, man. Whoever said stress is just an emotion and to get over it needs to be stressed out, shaken really hard and then thrown into their biggest fear.

Over the last two weeks or so, I have created an escapism world. Called The Others, I’ve been sinking into it at every available moment. While at work, on the bus, as I’m trying to sleep.

Long story short on that, I have a blog up for it and wrote about 3000 words of setup and just over 2000 words for the first entry.

So it’s the world, not necessarily my head.

I’ve decided to take a break from The Ethereal next month. I still want to finish the trilogy in the next eight months, but I need something that gets a little excitement in the writing department. Something I’m stoked to write.

Debating between The Awakened (there is no plan…) Prototype (a rewrite. A massive rewrite) or The Visitors (lots of plot, no ending) for February.

The Others has no clear ending so it’s going to be an experimental project and is on no list.

About 83 days to the move. I just want to get it on and going. I haven’t started packing, don’t have movers packed (waiting to hear about that question) and I need to start purging some stuff I don’t want to take with me.

Broken furniture, my ex’s stuff… the old computer tower I was like “I can totally save this!”

Anyhow, I’m on Chapter Fifteen, and I am desperately hoping to have the first draft of His Wings done by Monday.

The Trouble with Growing Pains

If you click here and are on a computer, you’ll see a bar with a little rounded arrow that slides the project to the left and into the menu. When I was first exploring this theme, that’s what it said it’d do with the blog posts.

I freaking loved it, so I selected the theme and now I can’t flipping find it again and I feel like this is all stubbed nonsense. The theme is about showing off portfolios. I think. 

I can’t remember.  But that’s what I want this to do. 

Roll the posts back into the side bar and out again if people would like to view them. I’d like the side bar to have links separated into like menus.

It just occurred to me how I might accomplish that second point, I will give it a shot. Worst that could happen is I start rage drinking, right?

The guides and how tos for both the theme and most things wordpress are half a decade old. They tell you to go through your control panel to change your theme. Or tell you to go through customization but then reference an option choice that isn’t there. Leaving me sitting at my computer feeling like a flipping idiot.

I used to do html coding. It was awkward and clunky and looked like a fourteen year old had done it. In my defense, though, I was fourteen at the time. I’m not stupid, I know how layouts and some coding works and I do know how to use Google to research what I need to be able to do other things. 

But freaking wordpress is a dead end? 

The problem may be that I don’t know what to call what I want to do. That happens all the time. I’m not entrenched in the world, I don’t know the jargon, it happens. 

But when your sample overlaid on my blog has the wheeling in and out of the blog posts, I expect the live version to do the same! 

Even researching the theme by name and asking for help, I got ads for the theme instead. I got places to purchase the theme, none of which appear to be the theme I’m looking for despite altering my terms to include wordpress. 

So, apparently, overnight my blog had no blog posts. Or pages. Or anything. Not because I set it and just walked away, I had been playing with it. But I thought at least the recent posts had taken to the sidebar.

I just want to shout at my screen, but as the floor/ceiling of my apartment is thin, I don’t want to wake anyone up. 

And the above? Is a portfolio. I thought if I added it, I’d be able to link it to the front page. Why allow me to host portfolios if you aren’t going to let me link them directly to the front page? Why would I go through a secondary page to link to a specialized page in the..

 Ugh.

Don’t worry, I’m not just going to keep screaming at my screen. I’m going to look into a new theme. Several of them did boast about the portfolios being shown off on the home page and I’m hoping they aren’t jerking me around, or are stripped away to nothing by wordpress’s  “customization” option. Remember years ago when customization on a blog meant actual customization? When did wordpress become LiveJournal?