quiet day diaries: week of July 19-25

Monday

wfh today. caught up on several tasks that required concentration and outlined points for a video series that I need to record for work. WFH days are not new for me, but I’ve learned to value the uninterrupted time that I can get when I’m away from my office. (I love my office, but there are a lot of distractions and it can get chatty)

Tuesday

Back to the office to record those videos. Goodness, I’m out of practice talking with my presenter voice. Recording the podcast used to take it out of me during the start of the pandemic, but my work voice is more “professional” (re: clearer and louder) and I don’t have the same break in conversation if I’m talking to myself for hours. Seriously, like 2 hours of recording and editing for what came out to roughly 15 minutes of content 😅.

Wednesday

Learned that my cousins caught Covid and their mom caught it for the second time. They’re the side of the family that refuses to get the vaccine. My feelings are very complex. There’s a part of me that wants to roll my eyes and say I told you so but I also don’t want anything to happen to them. There are a lot of emotions tied to this side of the family too. We were estranged for years and there are still a lot of tangled feelings around that.

Thursday

The elder of the cousins ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. My mom called me in tears because the hospitals are closed to visitors and it hit her what that means for someone on the inside. It’s just one of the many tragedies of covid that so many died alone.

If you can get your vaccine, get the vaccine. My cousins are another statistic among the “young and unvaccinated” that are driving this current wave of infections.

Friday

wfh again today. It’s so hot though; I miss the cool air in my office. I told myself I would get some writing done today, but I’m having a rough time of it lately. This round of revisions is kicking my ass in terms of motivation and I’m starting to think it’s just burn out.

Saturday – Sunday

Feeling that low energy mood, but managed to get back to revisions. Baby steps. Stuck to the easy revisions instead of the energy-intensive ones… future me will hate me for it, but this is what I need right now.

I’ve been making some lifestyle changes lately. After a mild case of maximalism, I realize that it’s time to get back to a saver’s mindset and reevaluate what brings me joy and what I can go without. I’m going on a targeted No Buy for the next few months, starting with excess food spending (goodbye subscription box) and curbing my recent makeup and skincare binge (I really don’t need more makeup, it’s a sign of my dissatisfaction with life at the moment rather than a genuine need).

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quiet day diaries: week of July 12-18

Monday

My summer of vet appointments is on a roll. All regular checkups minus the drama, so that’s a plus. I took the day off but it turned into a family day rather than a catch up on writing day. Let’s just say no writing has happened in days, though I did finish reading the draft and outlining revisions.

Tuesday

To work we go. I’m mostly alone in the office at the moment, which is great for my low-level anxiety re: covid.

Wednesday

Having a really hard time focusing this week. My PMS fatigue is at an all-time high, which is making it extra hard to focus on anything that requires solid concentration.

Thursday

Had an encounter that left me shaken. Saw a guy fall off his bike next to a median (moped type thing). It happened as I was turning onto the road (it’s a side street), so I pulled up to help. He was down and on the floor when I stopped to ask if he was ok, but he proceeded to blame me for his fall. Unbelievable. He looked fine and I didn’t want to get into an argument, but way to treat someone who wanted to make sure you were ok. Of course, my anxious brain keeps fixating on this.

Friday

Hosted an hour-long training session at work and realized how long it’s been since I’ve used my “work voice” for an hour straight.

Saturday – Sunday

I managed to write! I set a very modest 5k word goal for Camp NaNo because I’m revising minor details and rewriting specific scenes at this stage, but even that seemed next to impossible until this weekend. TBH, I’m unlikely to reach that goal with my current list of revisions, but I rewrote two scenes and got up to a 1230 words, about 600 of which were brand new to the story. That feels like some sort of victory after the last two weeks. I’ve barely managed to focus on developing my outline for draft 4 and it’s been a struggle to sit down and get to work. Hoping this becomes the start of a productive streak. As always, my goals are modest, but an hour a day should see me through this draft without too much strain on my wellness.

Recently on the pod…

Minisode 45.5: Follow-up & First Impressions The Bluestocking Circle Podcast

Kat amps up for a summer of love, Gricel is won over by coffee, and Bee preps us for a princess tale. The lady nerds unearth a forgotten 90s gem, continue to be charmed by Brendan Fraser, and give a millennial classic the royal treatment.

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quiet day diaries: week of June 14-July 2

in which I disappeared for a few weeks.

Monday, June 14

Office time. Spent the morning updating my CV for work… I really should get better about regularly updating this thing, but I know I won’t. It’s a pain every year, but not a high priority. At least I keep a general list as I go, it’s just not pretty.

Tuesday, June 15

So I finally made an appointment to see a neurologist about my migraines. Don’t ask me why I waited this long, I have no real excuse. Just been tired of having to see so many doctors over the years, but I’m growing increasingly concerned about my brain health given my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s. I’m just scared that the migraines are affecting my brain… Anyhow, I have an appointment. In January. Sigh. It’s a step, at least. I’m on a waiting list for cancellations in the meantime.

Wednesday June 16 through today

also known as the days I was too distracted to track

I didn’t mean for it to happen, but with my draft off to betas and my autoreply on, I had the chance to go offline for the first time in… well… years. It wasn’t even planned. I took a day to read, walk, watch TV (let’s be real – it was YouTube and Netflix), and enjoy the little things. Then, one day became two, became three, became a week and a half away from my laptop. I signed on at the end of the second week to pay bills and meet to record the latest podcast episode, but otherwise, it was the perfect way to treat myself after years of writing on vacation or worrying about time away from writing.

Getting back to work felt different after being offline for so long. Almost like a fresh start.

Sadly, much of the weekend and week to date has been filled with updates about the Surfside condo collapse. The images are heartbreaking, yet I can’t look away. The chance that someone survived in the rubble is looking slimmer by the day, but officials say they still have hope because they’ve located air pockets in the rubble. It’s so tragic. It’s the sort of event that makes me value every second with my loved ones.

If you’d like to help, you can find how to donate on the Miami-Dade Emergency Management site: https://www.miamidade.gov/global/emergency/building-collapse/home.page

You can follow developments here: https://www.miamiherald.com/topics/condo-collapse/

On a lighter note, the latest episode of the podcast is live and it’s a fun one.

Episode 45: The Mummy The Bluestocking Circle Podcast

In which we revel in the combined hotness of the cast, give props to strong female leads while also wishing for stronger female supporting characters, and unanimously agree on the high enjoyment levels of the movie. All this and more as the Bluestockings discuss the 1999 film The Mummy.    

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quiet day diaries: week of May 31 – June 6

Monday

Day off! Finally sat down to record a very long, very belated thyroid health update for my channel… Besides my tieks reviews, this is the video that gets the most views and comments.

Also recorded a very long writing update about my current WIP. I’m feeling the existential dread of post-beta revisions (received feedback from my first reader, out to a second, and posted a couple of calls for volunteers). Baby steps.

Despite all that, today was a low level depression day. Likely hormonal, but never a fun time. Every little thing set me off and made me want to cry.

Tuesday

Off to work. Caught up on a fair number of tasks that were starting to pile up. I can’t tell if I’m getting more comfortable being in a public setting, or I’m glad to have the right people for company on the days when I go in to work. Either way, it makes for a nice change of pace even if I spend most of the day stuck to my desk.

Wednesday

It was a productive day, then I saw the power and light trucks roll up to the street beside my building and knew it was a bad sign. I blasted the AC units until the power went off at 8pm, dug out the camping lights I use for hurricane season, and sorted through the fridge for foods that could be shipped off to my BF’s house before they became a loss. It was a long night.

Thursday

Got to bed around 3:30 am. The cats thought we were having a sleepover as I tossed and turned on the couch, jumping every time the power guys made some crazy new noise that tore through my tired brain. Up at 7:30 when the cats demanded food then back to bed before having to settle in for the first hour of chat I optimistically signed up for on Monday. It was a long day and I was grateful for my hoard of ramen by the end of it.

Friday

It’s the first time I’ve gone to work on a Friday since returning to the office. Apparently, I was too sneaky because they shut the lights on me.

Saturday – Sunday

Saturday became a take care of life stuff day… As often happens, the laundry piled up while I was taking time to take care of all the other stuff that I set aside in favor of writing. The single life is lovely, but I do envy writers who have a partner that likes to take care of the cleaning and cooking. There, I said it.

The rest of the weekend was a blur of cleaning and laundry with too much caffeine to keep me going. The boy also decided to try to teach me to play some of his instruments. I failed as a musician years ago; this might not be a promising start.

In other news, the latest episode of the podcast may be my favorite to date 🙂

Episode 46: The Princess Diaries The Bluestocking Circle Podcast

In which we fail to do the homework, impart a heartfelt lesson on friendship and the sunk cost fallacy, and are annoyed by senseless adaptational changes. All this and more as the Bluestockings discuss the book and movie The Princess Diaries.

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video: quiet days in May [weekly vlog]

A very late update, but writing took precedence over the last two weeks.

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quiet day diaries: week 1 (reset)

new title, same old semi-socially distanced days

Monday

Back to work… Monday is turning into my usual office day simply because I like to get into the work mindset to start the week. Day two is pretty variable, but it’s been Wednesday or Thursday for the last few weeks. Later during the term, I’ll build up to three days a week. Not that I’m looking forward to three days of terrible commutes… case in point, today’s afternoon commute took a little over an hour and I only live about 15 miles away.

Tuesday

Spent a few hours trying to make Scrivener produce a decent ebook for reviewers… it’s ok. It’s not great. It also didn’t work as planned, so I had to resort to producing a PDF anyhow. One of my work friends agreed to be my first reader, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying. I usually don’t give my books to people I work with, but she’s the perfect fit to get feedback on certain aspects of my heroine’s appearance.

Also confirmed my suspicion that it is not going to be that easy to find a good stock photo of my protagonist. She’s biracial (Cuban and Dominican), with curly hair, tan skin, freckles, and hazel eyes. I found a decent free image, but the model isn’t as tan as I picture my character (may try to mess around in photoshop). Still, it works as a mockup 😉.

Wednesday

Back to the office so I could wrap up my office days and take part of the day off on Thursday. It was my longest office day yet with a series of literally back-to-back meetings and scheduled tasks that made it nearly impossible to walk away from my desk for more than bathroom breaks. The one thing I hate about working in the office under current circumstances is that I move very little throughout the day because I’m not walking around my apartment, setting up my laptop in different areas for a change of scene. I also don’t want to linger in open spaces or around other co-workers (for my safety as well as theirs). My office days are productive but I feel like a robot sitting in my office.

Thursday

Celebrated my mom’s 70th birthday. Last year, I delivered her presents and stood outside for a while to celebrate her 69th, but this year (thanks to Pfizer) I was able to take her out for the first time in a year. Because she’s my gran’s fulltime caretaker, she hasn’t been able to leave the house much, and the handful of outings have been for medical reasons. I do her groceries, but I’ve offered to watch my gran a couple times a month for her to get some air, so to speak, though she hasn’t taken me up on my offer yet. It felt so nice to be able to give her a day off. My BF watched my gran for a few hours while I took her to lunch (she wanted to go to Denny’s) and went on a light shopping spree at a new Ross that opened near her place. It was a simple outing, but she was thrilled and I was happy to make her day special. (it was also the first time I ate INSIDE a restaurant since 2020)

Friday

Today was my mom’s actual birthday, so I dropped off a pair of indulgent treats from the French place I tried in one of my recent vlogs. Spent the rest of the day up working from my bed though. My periods have been unusually painful for the last two cycles and my hips were super achy. I suspect a cyst 😥

Saturday – Sunday

Cramps made me ache all weekend. I’ve barely moved in three days because of the soreness in my legs. It feels like I ran a marathon.

I took most of the week away from writing, except for attending a workshop on querying tips and prep (it was excellent!). Just got feedback from my friend who agreed to beta a while back, and sent out the draft to a reader who I read for a few months ago. Going to reach out to two of the writing groups I joined earlier this year and try to connect with a few more readers before I dive into the next round of edits (video update on this novel coming soon). I’m excited but also feeling that anxious ball in the pit of my stomach that comes when I think of the next stage and how long it takes me to complete each draft.

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social distance diaries: days 422-428

Two days late, but you’ll know why when you get to the last entry 🥰

Day 422, Monday

Back to the office, may have gotten on the last nerve of one of my colleagues, but I wouldn’t be silenced (plus, I knew what I was talking about). Forgot to put my mask on when running to the restroom during a quick break and was dreadfully shocked by the nakedness of my face. Luckily, no one noticed (not that it even matters anymore – see Florida politics).

Day 423, Tuesday

Woke up with a mild migraine that I suspected was coming last night… currently, under wraps, but 🤞. My mom has a dreadful cold that I hope isn’t a breakthrough Covid case. She’s extra delicate when it comes to infections because of all her health and immune issues, and she recently had a number of health workers in and out of the house because of my grandmother’s home needs. We used an at home rapid covid test… the result was negative, but those aren’t as effective or sensitive as a proper PCR test. Still, it’s all I could manage because we can’t leave my grandmother alone and my mom doesn’t know how to get to the testing locations on her own (she has a lot of anxiety re: driving. Only made worse by the last year in isolation). Anyhow. Hoping for the best. I ordered her some meds to alleviate the symptoms and she’s been taking the stuff I stocked up on last year (because I panic prepped for exposure). I’m going to get myself tested on Friday, but was told that I don’t need to quarantine because I’m vaccinated. (the university has a covid response department to screen cases)

Day 424, Wednesday – Day 425, Thursday

Online conference days and my first fully online, remote presentation went live (really wish there was an interactive component though).

Day 426, Friday

Feeling a bit burned out lately. It’s been really difficult to focus, particularly on reading and writing.

Day 427, Saturday – Day 428, Sunday

Set out to work on revisions and charged through the weekend until I got to the end of the draft! Hooray! Small victory but still a victory. Next step: betas and proper query prep.

I set myself up for success by taking care of all the housework before Saturday. Being a single adult who still has to feed herself, take care of two cats, and clean the house/do the dishes/do the laundry, etc. really takes a toll on my writing time (and that’s not counting work, commute, and migraine days).

Question: since I’m not entirely socially distanced anymore, I think it’s time to change the title of these entries. Should I go with “quiet day diaries” to match my vlog? Or something like “living alone diaries”? Thoughts?

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video: quiet days in May – random story time and visiting a new to me café ☕

quiet days… with captions!

Also, new pod minisode 😉

Minisode 43.5: Follow-up & First Impressions The Bluestocking Circle Podcast

Bee is holding out for a hero, Kat reminisces about men in tights, and Gricel is a meatball-head loving trash human. The lady nerds are astounded by the love for Shrek, fail to grasp the concept of time, and uncover the secrets of the Moon Kingdom.

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social distance diaries: days 415-427, a snapshot of thoughts and emotions

Days 415-421, Monday-Sunday

Started the week with that achy fatigue that often signals the start of a migraine. Trying to head it off with some of my preventative tools, but it’s the kind of thing that makes me regret the few good days when I give myself a break. And I know how contradictory that sounds. I took those days because I felt well and needed a break to reset, but sometimes it feels like there are so few good days, that any time away from the projects I need to finish feels like a net loss. I shouldn’t dwell on it, but it’s hard to think of all the days, weeks, months I’ve lost to migraine since I started getting them around age 23 (I can pinpoint it to my last year of grad school when I developed a three month migraine that wouldn’t quit).

vet day on Wednesday – anxiety after getting results of blood work – low platelets

library day on thursday to stop fixating on cat situation

weekend of writing and outings involving dessert

Days 422-427, Monday-Sunday

Back to work with a twist—the university reopened at semi full capacity again, which means slightly more students than we’ve seen until now. Not too different than our normal summers.

Among the 2020 disasters that keep having an impact on my life, the pain that led to the discovery of the enchondroma in my arm returned with a vengeance two week’s, so I made an appointment the breast specialist that my doctor recommended. He suggested that it might be an injury to my chest wall, so great. More doctors to consult.

Lots of nausea to start the week and rain migraines. Also, it’s hot AF, but kitty is starting to act more herself, even if she is more ploppy in the heat.

Overall, I’m having a hard time finding the mental space to focus on reading, even though I REALLY need to focus.

In the same way that last week’s post came a week late, last week’s vlog is coming tomorrow, along with a cleaning vlog (if I can find the time to edit tonight. If not, it’ll go live later this week.).

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