video: quiet days weekly vlog – 1.18-1.23

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social distance diaries: days 310-316

in which I am trying

Day 310, Monday

Back to editing – mostly checking Spanish grammar because this book is very much a book of my heart and that includes Miami-isms and Spanglish. I recorded my first writing Study with Me, which was a good motivator to keep going, It gives me the sort of push I get from going to a coffee shop or the library – if I’m going to all that trouble, I might as well focus.

Migraine started in the afternoon. I could sense it coming – I was too energetic and had that frantic feeling in my chest.

Day 311, Tuesday

Took an impromptu morning trip to South Florida’s most popular strawberry and cinnamon roll destination… a two hour drive for a 5 minute delight, but it made for a nice treat. The drive, not so much. My migraine was much the worse for it and I had to log on for meetings as soon as I returned home.

Day 312, Wednesday

Took half the day off to take my mom to the doctor for a follow-up. Next time, I’ll have her text me when they take her in to the exam room because 2 hours in the sun did not help my head at all. I’m working on Saturday to make up the time and I feel regret coming on…

Day 313, Thursday

Barely slept as the pain worsened over night. I was dizzy, nauseous, seeing massive white spots of aura, and couldn’t lay down or close my eyes without making the pain worse. Spent a few hours with a cold pack over my left eye and a pillow pet wedged under my neck for support (migraineurs have a wide collection of weird pillow shaped things for this very reason). Felt a bit better after lunch, but the pressure still lingers.

Day 314, Friday

Felt ok this morning. Trying to catch up on everything I couldn’t get done this week.

Day 315, Saturday and Day 316, Sunday

Started working on the blurb and detailed plot summary for my current project. I struggle with writing a summary, not because it’s hard, but because I have to wind myself up to do it. It’s been especially hard to find the motivation after taking two weeks off because of my arm. Then, this week was a bust. Consistency is key for my to stay motivated and stop spiraling with doubt.

Worked the weekend chat shift, which was actually a very effective way to force me to focus on all those projects I needed to get to.

Went through my cookbooks for some additional inspiration and made two very nice dinners to share with the boy. I normally donate a lot of my review books, but I’ve built a stash of physical and virtual copies in the last year and they’ve served as a nice break from the norm. Tonight, I let the boy choose the protein and he turned up with skirt steak. Luckily, the latest book I’m reviewing had a recipe just for that.

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social distance diaries: days 289-295

in which I relax and look back

Day 289, Monday – Day 295, Sunday

Second and last week of vacation before returning to my WFH desk life. I took the time to indulge in good food, sweet treats, and time with my partner. There were walks, solo Just Dance marathons, a return to my Animal Crossing island, and a few socially distant explorations.

I started using my new bullet journal and felt a huge sense of accomplishment when I finished draft 3 of my current manuscript. Next step: recruit betas and review the notes I scattered throughout the draft for future fixes (the future is now!).

It was a struggle to revise draft 2; it coincided with the start of my WFH life and the terrible anxiety and depression that marked those early months. Still, I pushed through and finished draft 3 a month ahead of schedule.

In total, I spent 214.62 hours editing and revising (including a major development edit and a thorough revision), spread across 10 months beginning in March. Draft 1 was completed January 2020. In February, I reviewed the draft and prepared my notes for revision. Now, I’m enjoying that brief sense of relief before I dive back into the manuscript. My goal is to query BYCMB this year and plot a rewrite of Anuna (COI), which I stopped querying at the end of 2019 (but that’s a longer story and may become a self-publishing adventure).

I hope you too had an indulgent and satisfying end to what may be the worst year in many of our lifetimes. 2016 was one of my worst years for many reasons, but 2020 is a close second.

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video: week in the life vlog – 12.21 – 12.26

Because I really needed another creative outlet, I’m trying my hand at weekly vlogging… ordinary days at home, kitties, and more.

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social distance diaries: days 282-288

in which we have the best holiday possible

Day 282, Monday

Went to the doctor. Still don’t know what the growth is, but it’s not a liquid cyst, so I’m going in for a CT guided biopsy. Sigh. She’s still fairly positive it’s not aggressive, but I’m starting to consider the very likely possibility that this will be a surgery rather than a watch-and-wait situation.

Because it’s not going to be a regular Christmas, I popped a fresh mask on and went to visit my mom and gran so I could hand them their presents. I sat by the door and recorded them from a distance. There is a very real chance that this will be the last Christmas my grandmother is lucid enough to sit up in a chair and chatter along, even if she no longer has control of her vocabulary.
It’s been a melancholy year.

Day 283, Tuesday

In light of the fact that my dad is also dealing with a cancer diagnosis, I masked up again and sat outside his building to give him his present. There’s a dog park in his building and some long, shady benches, which make it easy to spend some time with him at a safe distance, though I’ve been loathe to take the risk in the last few months (not that the people who live with him have been taking similar precautions, I’m always worried for him).

Day 284, Wednesday

Today was for me. I’m nearly done with the current draft and might be finished by the end of the month at this pace, so I focused on writing for much of the morning despite a lingering pressure headache that refuses to go away.

I’ve been recording my days for a week in the life vlog, so that’s been a fun side project. I also uploaded a new Study with me/Write with me video that I recorded last week.

Day 285, Thursday

Happy Christmas Eve! Noche Buena to mi gente. Normally, this would be a night for family gatherings and dinner with my loved ones, but this year I’ll be doing takeout with the boy in a well ventilated space. I’ve been buying takeout at least a few times a month to support local businesses and give myself a break from cooking and cleaning. My diet has been more varied and experimental than ever, which I enjoy, but the cleaning is the worst.

Day 286, Friday

Happy Christmas! It was a different sort of Christmas for us all, but a lovely day overall in my experience. The boy rigged a screen up in his yard so we could watch WW84 while keeping our distance and I baked a cake for both of us to share.

We recorded a special episode of the podcast all about our cozy favorites that aired as this year’s Christmas special. You can find it at The Bluestocking Circle.

Day 287, Saturday

Back to writing. Lots of cleaning (I purchased the WORST cat litter ever and it keeps getting on EVERYTHING. I’ve had to vacuum every day this week).

Day 288, Sunday

Another day of writing and taking care of stuff around the house. Edited a collection of clips for a week in the life vlog that will be going up soon. Follow me on YouTube for updates.

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social distance diaries, days 162-168

in which my sense of time only gets worse…

Day 162, Monday

First day of the term, still working remotely. Attended the virtual resource fair as a rep for the library, but it was really too early in the term to host a virtual event IMO. It’s not the same as a pop-up event on campus, where serendipity lures them in (and freebies).

One student showed up for my “table,” with 10 or so showing up for the event as a whole (based on my count).

Day 163, Tuesday

Back to the vet for scheduled surgery. I’m going to call the kitty Cookie Cat, so he has a moniker in these posts. Vet called after the surgery to say the growth may be a tumor rather than the hardened pus pocket he expected to find. Hoping it’s not a sarcoma. My feelings have been pretty tender since I lost my cat in May.

We’ll have to wait and see. If it grows back, we’ll talk next steps. Praying it doesn’t.

Day 164, Wednesday

Cookie Cat was cheerier than expected. The wound is bigger than I expected, but makes sense given the vet’s findings. I hate seeing him in pain, but he has such a sweet temperament. He’s back at my mom’s house to recover.

Watching the hurricane forecast and sending lots of love to the folks in Texas and Louisiana.

Day 165, Thursday

Been frustrated lately by the level of “service” that I’ve been semi-compelled to commit to this year. One of my colleagues tried to volunteer me for another committee and I had to nip that in the bud right quick. On my annual assignment, I have service listed at 20%, but it’s more like 25-30% of my time, if I tally the hours spent in meetings. Then there’s the administrative side of my job and all the meetings attached to that. It’s frustrating because I have a small department and a lot of pressure gets placed on whoever is available when the rest of us are in meetings. Long, complicated story. It’s an uneven level of expectation for my unit because of inter-campus politics.

Day 166, Friday

Woke up early, but feel extra run down… Took a walk before settling in for work, but a migraine is threatening to start (massive storm clouds looming, sinus pressure building). Trying all my interventions…

One of those days where too many people tried to turn their problems into mine… not going to happen.

spoiler – my interventions worked

Day 167, Saturday

My sense of time is a mess… Woke up slightly earlier than I have during the last few months, and suddenly it felt like I had hours to get stuff done. Thought it was lunch time at 10 am and it only got more confusing from there. Still, managed to get a lot of stuff done.

Released the bird I rescued last month. Its mother was hit by a car and its wing was injured, but a few weeks in my mom’s care too care of that and it flew straight into the sky.

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Rescue bird 🐦 graduated to free bird 😊

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Day 168, Sunday

Tired after yesterday’s day of high energy. It’s to be expected. My energy has peaks and valleys.

Recorded a life update… now, to find the will to edit it.

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social distance diaries: days 134 – 140

better late than never…

Day 134, Monday

Had a weird night with weird aches. Not gonna lie, I get nervous every time. My nightmare scenario is something going wrong and having to go the ER in the middle of this mess.

Went walking after lunch and took a path I haven’t taken in a while… I live near one of the nursing homes with the most covid cases in the state and lowkey panicked because there were two unmarked white trailers across the street. (update: they were gone the next day)

Day 135, Tuesday

Started my second week of running 🙂 Happy about it.

Trying not to panic about the storm that may be heading our way. There’s only so much I can panic about at one time, and I’m not going to freak out about this one (yet). It does, however, mean that I’m making an emergency plan and grateful that my post-cardiologist visit quarantine has resulted in no symptoms.

Rescued an injured bird… glad my mom has a cage just for these situations.

Day 136, Wednesday

It’s been a struggle to stay motivated today, but I reached my writing stretch goal for the month so I’m taking a couple of days off to focus on other tasks before the start of the new month. Also, charging backup batteries in case the power gets knocked out in my neighborhood because, let’s face it, it goes out during a strong rain storm and there’s a light pole in a precarious situation just down the road (and has been for at least a year while they repair other poles in the area).

As I write this, I have taken two naps and had 2 non-breakfast coffees. (I’ve scaled back while WFH-ing, so that’s a lot).

I am itching to do more cleaning and decluttering, but keep reminding myself that there’s not much I can do to pass it on if I do… decisions… In the meantime, I got nostalgic and ordered Fall candles and a retired fragrance from Bath and Body Works that I definitely don’t need. This will be the summer of my Cucumber Melon comeback. We’re going to spray it like it’s 1999.

Day 137, Thursday

Darn heart monitor woke me up at 2:30 am and I didn’t fall asleep until nearly 4:00 am. Sigh. Tired, but completed my morning run… Not sure what Saturday run possibilities will look like, what with the storm threat and all.

Watching my first virtual conference of the season. TBH, I feel like a I’ve “aged” out of these conferences. Everyone is doing the same thing they were doing back in 2009 when I attended my first one… Also, next year marks my 10th year in the profession… it all circles back.

Day 138, Friday

Another trip to the vet with the outdoor kitty, and the “watch and wait” game with Hurricane Isaias. I’m not too fussed, but I’m still debating waiting it out at my mom’s house or staying home. Pro: mom’s place is less likely to lose power, Con: I’d have to finish packing and stuff my cat into a crate that she hate. (There are some other issues too, including the always present threat of asymptomatic covid transmission, but the cat/crate situation is the most pressing and draining).

Day 139 and 140, Saturday and Sunday

Spent the weekend at mom’s, waiting out the storm that veered away (no complaints here). It’s always hard spending a significant amount of time at my moms—we get along and I love her and my gran, but it always reminds me why I left. I can only help so much and we work best when we have our own spaces.

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social distance diaries: days 78-84

Day 78, Monday

Meetings and lots of them.

Started writing again. It’s slow going, but it’s a start. It’s been difficult to write in my current mental state, especially when trying to write a Romance that has some heavy angst.

Day 79, Tuesday

I don’t even remember what I did on Tuesday…

I wrote for an hour.

Day 80, Wednesday

Collected Cara’s ashes. They didn’t have my number on record, which is why it took so long. I called to ask and they already had him. They provided a ceramic paw print, which broke my heart just a little.

Meetings that I didn’t have on my calendar threw me for a loop.

Wrote for another hour.

Day 81, Thursday

Tired and feeling a little off, but I suspect mid-cycle hormone mess. I’ve noticed this increases my anxiety and makes my heart race.

Meetings and work on writing projects. I have ideas for future research that I’ve been mulling for months; I think the time is nearing for introspection…

Day 82, Friday

What would’ve been the uni’s chair’s retreat was hosted on Zoom. It was very informative. Our local infectious disease expert spoke candidly about the situation and what’s going to happen moving forward. Her conclusion: herd immunity won’t save us and vaccines (if/when we have them) will likely be annual.

I wore makeup for the first time since March…

Day 83, Saturday

Suddenly, incredibly sick with indigestion. Spent most of the morning feeling awful and the afternoon in a languid haze. Managed to get some writing done.

Day 84, Sunday

Donated blood for the first time ever. I’ve always wanted to but haven’t because of reasons (not least of which is my episodes of lightheadedness). It went well. Phlebotomist said, “Wow! You’re a bleeder.” Friends, I am apparently. It only took about 5 minutes to complete the donation. Part of my motivation was to donate, but the more selfish motivation was to 1) learn my blood type 2) participate in the covid antibody study that the blood bank is supporting.

Stay safe, wear your mask, register to vote!

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