social distance diaries: days 127-133

surviving the summer of our discontent…

Day 127, Monday

Completed my writing goal for the month, which gives me enough time to start an extra chapter before July ends (if all goes well). My goals are super modest, but they’ve been keeping me on track for the last few months.

Day 128, Tuesday

Started my new running plan using Nike Run Club. Also gave in to an unplanned splurge (damn you clever marketing!) and upgraded my fitbit alta with a fitbit inspire, so I can finally monitor my heart rate.

Day 129, Wednesday

Planned to get started on a review, but best laid plans were unlaid. Oh well. If this strange period has taught me anything it’s to accept the unexpected with as much grace as possible.

Trying not to obsess over the possible hurricane churning in the Atlantic… I’m more prepared than ever because of my pandemic stock and excess of batteries from last year’s hurricane prep. Still… I really DON’T want to deal with another crisis on top of the current one.

Day 130, Thursday

IBS? PCOS? Who knows, but I felt pretty rotten. Hoping it’s a passing symptom and not a sign of something else. I’m one week into my post-Dr’s visit quarantine and feeling fine otherwise. And by fine, I mean low-key tired, but what else is new?

Day 131, Friday

Back to the vet. Mom’s outdoor kitty with the abscess has some sort of resistant infection, so he got a new round of antibiotics and the Dr. sent a sample to the lab. Same thing happened last time 😦

Met with one of my department faculty to figure out some plans for the Fall. Finding the motivation to plan activities for the Fall term has proven difficult. Not sure how successful we will be, but it’s a start and we both need the motivation.

Received my 30 day heart monitor. Maybe I’ll have some answers after this… maybe an inkling?

Day 132, Saturday

Completed my weekly running goal and a return to my old habit. It was hard. I can barely manage a few minutes without feeling like my legs are going to fall off, but it’s a start.

Writing and podcast recording in the afternoon. I completed my writing goal for the month a few days early, so I upped that goal by a chapter.

Day 133, Sunday

I planned to write but gave in to the siren call of a cleaning frenzy. Deep cleaned the bathroom, did the laundry, and sorted through my linen closet/supply cabinet. It’s not perfect, but it’s a darn sight better than it was before I went through it.

Spent the rest of the night reading, which felt pretty glorious.

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social distance diaries: days 120 – 126

wherein depression hits hard…

Day 120, Monday

Balancing work stuff and life stuff in this weirdness that is the WFH life while providing elder care from a distance… Picked up mom’s kitty from the vet. He looks a lot better than the last time he had an abscess (then it took nearly a month to heal, multiple trips to the vet, and several tries to find the right antibiotic to get rid of the infection. We thought he was going to lose his tail, but he didn’t). I’m not yet ready for another cat, but the possibility is possible…

Time to prep the special, multi-category grocery list for this month’s trip to Publix… where I will freak out several times and possibly have a nervous breakdown if the cart gets too full to push (again).

Day 121, Tuesday

Grocery time… and an epic migraine that knocked me out for most of the afternoon into the evening. Was it the weather? Was it tension? Was it hormones? Who the F knows?! At least it was strong but quick to leave fade.

Day 122, Wednesday

Back to the cardiologist for my results… I have a slight valve defect! Which might account for some of the weirdness I’ve been feeling for the last year and a half (and maybe more?). Waiting to be approved for a 30 day monitor to try to capture the events I feel. Like a wonky car, I had no symptoms during any of the previous tests.

Day 123, Thursday

I can’t even remember what happened… meetings?

Day 124, Friday

Back to the vet, which is a whole experience in lockdown. Kitty needed to have his wound flushed again and a new round of antibiotics. It’s been an emotionally draining week.

Day 125, Saturday

Writing for the first time since Monday. Finished the chapter I was working on — a long one that required more focus than I had this week.

Worried because more people are testing positive in my parents’ buildings (yes, plural, 2 separate homes). Started noticing the frequency of sirens over the last few days as well. I live on the same street as the local Fire Rescue/Police station, and the number of emergency calls is definitely on the rise.

Also worried about the boy and his risk at work and home 😦

Day 126, Sunday

Another morning of writing… I’m in a mood and it’s left me drained.

Boy changed the oil in my car, so I’m all set for future grocery and vet runs (although, please, no more EMERGENCY vet runs).

I want to start running again. I stopped when COVID started because I was anxious about getting hurt and needing to go to Urgent Care (not an unlikely occurrence), but I’m going to try short jogs and see how it feels. I’m months out of practice, so it’ll be a fresh start.

Also, not gonna lie… the days are starting to blend into each other and this “diary” is one of the only tools I have to make them feel distinct. Since visiting the Dr.’s office, I’m committing to a 14 day quarantine and hoping for the best. I debated getting tested, but I’m going to wait it out this time. There are so many cases, it feels futile to get tested right now. (It took 10 days to get my results last time.)

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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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writing: August update

writing

The draft is “done”. The words are down and the review copy printed. Next steps include: writing my synopsis, drafting a query, and reviewing the first 50 pages. As usual, I am left with writerly ambivalence (It was the best of drafts; it was the worst of drafts.) but there are only so many times you can rewrite before you’re just avoiding the next step. So, wish me luck.

The numbers, as they stand:

  • Words (re)written in August: 27,431
  • Words in 2018 to date: 135,148
  • Words before revision : 80,160
  • Words after revision: 77,930

Making this the second shortest version of “Anúna” since my 100+k first draft (the shortest draft was just over 70k). I’m brutal when it comes to trimming excess.

There are two other manuscripts I’d like to revise, but I’m probably going to focus on a fast draft of last year’s failed NaNo project. It’s a story that I may not be ready to write, but I’d like to give it another try and see where it goes. If I do decide to join NaNo, I will do so completely safe in the knowledge that I will fail to reach 50k in a month. I’m just not there right now, but it is a nice motivator.

writing: May draft update

writing

I have news! The draft is complete! Except, it’s not… not really, but you know what I mean. This draft, as it stands, is completely revised and mostly rewritten. I finished it on Saturday and had a nice lunch to celebrate, before writing up a quick plan for next steps.

The first step: proofreading and a deep review of the first 50 pages (plus, take care of all those notes I added in the margins).

Next: query and synopsis research, as it’s been a while since I’ve done this and need a refresh.

Agent research, list-making, and more to follow. But, for now, it’s in a happy place and I can relax when I go to my yearly library conference next week.

The stats: 

  • Words (re)written in May: 9,998
  • Total wordcount: 80,163
  • Previous wordcount: 83,124
  • Words that survived from the last draft: probably 163

*Patting myself on the back.*

writing: April words and progress

writing

I wrapped up the month just shy of my goal, completing 5 chapters (including the prologue. I started the month strong, with some serious, day-long editing sessions, but the end of the month brought a couple of health issues (knocked out by migraines and cramps) and some personal life drama that made it difficult to do more than the basics. That said, it was my best month yet (wordcountwise) and I’m ready to take on the last three chapters.

  • Words (re)written in April: 15,530
  • Words (re)written in 2018 (to date): 47,222

My goal is to finish this draft by May 19th (ideally, the 13th), giving me two/three weeks before I proofread, and time to focus on the switch from drafting to query prep. Deep breath. I’m going to get over my anxiety and do it.

 

writing: March progress

writing

March marks a small milestone for my current project: I’ve completed the first two parts of my three part rewrite plan! 7 more chapters to go before edits (and maybe [finally] querying prep).

  • Words (re)written in March: 11,024
  • Words (re)written in 2018 (to date): 31,692

I’m sticking to my weekend writing schedule and it’s working well for my mental state. My goal is to finish the last section before I leave for a conference in mid-May.

writing: on finishing draft 5

I can now say that I’ve finished draft 5. New prologue and all. I learn something new from each draft, but one element that really became obvious is how sparse I am when it comes to description. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, it’s just a fact. I tell myself to add more, but end up taking out. My very first rough draft was around 98k words (give or take, I have the numbers saved somewhere). The first draft rewrite clocked in around 90k. The next one was around 79k, followed by around 90k again. Current draft is complete at 83k.

Of course, now I need to do a continuity read, because I edited out of order and things might be screwy in places. But that will wait. For now, I will celebrate and get over the cold that finally got around to me. (I thwarted it for a good two months)

life: February updates and March goals

It’s been a month. Seriously.

So my Whole30 was an epic failure, but that’s ok. I realized half-way that it just wasn’t the right time. I wasn’t in the right mindset, and mindset is a HUGE part of that program. I will try again, but not right now. I’m just going to focus on eliminating the foods that make me feel sluggish, sick, or throw off my digestion. Focusing on health and feeling good, rather than restriction or program rules.

Yoga happened. Not every day, but it happened. Walking, not so much. There were migraines. Lots of them, and stretching and relaxing was my main priority.

On the upside, I finished my edits for the month! With time to spare! Yay!

Edit wordcount: 13531.

I call that a good run, so I decided to film an update video to pat myself on the back. Check it out 🙂

Goals for March:

  • Finish the draft! Do it!
  • Prepare for April NaNo experiment
  • Try to complete 30 Days of Yoga Camp, because I really enjoyed that series and feel ready for a repeat.

the view from Sunday: realizations and next steps

 photo AE2A7A80-213D-4C80-9592-09856562E5A6_zpsbtgw95ww.jpg

It’s a cold, wet, gloomy Sunday (cue Billie Holiday). Winter seems to have arrived (or what passes as winter in Miami), which means I want nothing more than to cuddle up with a book and a fresh cup of tea. No such luck.

This morning, in that lovely space between sleep and waking, I realized something that seemed so obvious, I’m a little ashamed I didn’t notice before. In the middle of what I thought were the easy chapters (quick revisions rather than full-on rewrites), I now see a glaring issue in the order of events that will require a complete overhaul of nearly 4 chapters. Luckily, they’re chapters I was planning to work on during February, but this will mean some serious attention to detail, and a much longer process than I thought. Nevertheless, what’s the point of revision if not to catch things like this? After all, no one is waiting on these revisions but me. I’m only accountable to myself, and I’m won’t skimp on editing for the sake of meeting a self-imposed deadline. Who knows? Maybe I’ll meet it after all.

January by the numbers:

  • Chapters revised: 4
  • Wordcount (new and rewritten): 12,492 (I started tracking. It keeps me grounded.)
  • 1 chapter in progress, 3 to be reviewed and outlined