social distance diaries: days 169-175

in which I am in injured…

Day 169, Monday

Kitty woke me up too early, so I decided to get to work right away… missed my morning walk, decided on a post-lunch stroll and bam tripped on a massive pothole behind my building, twisting my ankle 😦

An officer was driving by and saw me fall. It was pure serendipity because I’m not sure how I was going to hobble back to my apartment without something to lean on.

Glad it wasn’t a break, but not feeling great about being injured, alone, and unable to get much help from my family because of covid. Not being able to reach my mom or boyfriend for well over 30 minutes while crying and stumbling around my apartment with a swollen ankle and a bloody knee brought a lot of my living alone fears to the fore.

Day 170, Tuesday

Living that peg-leg life. Wasn’t able to sleep with the boot, but at least the pain decreased and managed to get some rest after switching to a brace. Being a chronic painer means I’m well-equipped to deal with the situation. sort of sigh Slathering on arnica, triflora, and cbd cream between icing sessions. Elevating all day with my WFH setup. It makes for some interesting zoom sessions.

The knee that I scraped is badly bruised, but my knee feels fine (thank goodness!). Not an attractive sight.

Called the city to report the pothole. I can see it from my bedroom window… hoping they fill it.

Day 171, Wednesday & Day 172, Thursday

Apparently, my body doesn’t like naproxen. Two days of dizziness, drowsiness, brain fog, and near inability to function. The side effects of the meds were worse than the sprain.

Day 173, Friday

24 hours after my last pain killer and I feel significantly better. Switched to advil as needed, which isn’t often. As long as I’m wearing the boot, icing, and taking care to rest, I don’t feel pain. The bruising is well and truly purple now.

Getting my head back helps.

Day 174, Saturday

I stayed up reading, something I haven’t done in a VERY long time, which means kitty was most displeased when I didn’t get up for her breakfast. I received a nip on my arm for my disrespect.

Still having a hard time finding my focus. Edited for about 25 minutes before my attention was shot.

Spent some time with the boy, which always makes me a little nervous (he has to physically go to work twice a week and goes shopping more than I ever do), but he wears his mask and I really need the help if I want to leave the house.

Day 175, Sunday

Back to writing (focus on point today), but there’s so much that needs doing, I have to split my time, even on the weekends. Plus, my leg feels uncomfortable if I sit too long—not that standing is any better. I mostly have to lay, which has me feeling all manner of dejected after 6 days straight.

Started working on a cookbook review project, but I’m limited by mobility and ingredients at the moment, so this is going to be interesting…

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social distance diaries: days 155-161

in which we miss a storm and do too much

Day 155, Monday

A Monday like any other. I wasn’t ready to get back to work after my short break and it took some time to find a groove. A lot happened while I was gone (just two days and shit hit the fan), so it was a matter of sorting through the backlog in order to catch up.

Day 156, Tuesday

An unexpected return to the vet for a follow-up no one mentioned… A weird encounter while waiting to pick up the kitty that involved a woman who refused to pay her vet bill after leaving him in the office for 10 days and then proceeded to open the carrier in the parking lot… on the edge of a main road. Cat got out, chase ensued. Luckily, her cat went into the bushes and wasn’t as skittish about being handled as mine because my heart was in my throat the whole time.

Lots of meetings in between drop-off and pick-up and a bit of emotional turmoil throughout. It was a difficult day, but I’m glad we’re almost done with vet visits for this one (minor surgery next week).

Day 157, Wednesday

Trying to recover from yesterday’s upheaval. I settled in and managed to catch up on projects, meetings, and cleaning my inbox (which was completely unmanageable). My mind hasn’t been clear enough to focus on creative writing, but I’m on target to meet my goal for the month if I can push through the weekend fingers crossed.

Paid bills after dinner, which is an event of late. Since I’ve started managing my mom’s orders and payments, it’s been hard to keep track of my budget using my account. I’ve resorted to a manual list of purchases to sort between her stuff and mine. The total always gives me a shock, but I have to remind myself that I’m managing bills for two homes and ordering stuff I would normally buy in person with cash, so it’s not breaking my budget, but highlighting our spending habits (and all the vet bills I’ve been charging to my card).

Day 158, Thursday

So much happening as we prepare for the term to start on Monday AND we have a will-it-come-our-way tropical storm/maybe hurricane situation on the rise. Long, tired sigh. If it does, I’ll have to pack up and head back to my mom’s with a cat that hates being picked up and REALLY hates her crate. Ordered delivery for lunch because I couldn’t handle the thought of dishes.

Day 159, Friday

After an Instacart fiasco wherein the groceries I ordered for my mom ended up at someone else’s house (felt really bad for the shopper, but there was no way to communicate the error for a number of reasons)… I packed myself off to the grocery store at 7am to avoid other shoppers and get out before things got busy.

A long day. Didn’t get enough sleep. Caught up on work stuff to make up for my slow start.

Day 160, Saturday

No hurricane watch (for now)! One of the local meteorologists recently called it “selfish, but good news” when he reported that the forecast track had shifted far enough to keep South Florida out of the storm’s path. It does feel selfish, but I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with the mess of another trip to my mom’s with my cat… plus the fear and anxiety that comes with every threat.

Day 161, Sunday

Another sleepless night. Got up to feed the cat and went back to bed. I hate sleeping in, because it feels like I miss most of the day, but I was desperate for sleep. Didn’t do much good though. Got up to a cat litter box incident (hoping it was bad aim and not another urinary issue–she literally just finished a round of antibiotics), impromptu cleaning session ensued. Sigh.

Didn’t meet my writing goal for the week, but I’m still likely to hit my goal for the month.

Podcast (recording) time in the afternoon. Reading time until bed.

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social distance diaries: days 148-154

in which I commit to self-care

Day 148, Monday

Back to prepping for the start of term, though it feels like the summer lull is never going to end. Not complaining about the lull, just the weird limbo that comes with not being able to work on the sorts of projects I normally complete during the summer (usually physical reviews of the library collections and planning for events… neither of these is happening any time soon). Research is at a 0 because who cares at this point? Not a great feeling.

It’s too hot to think. Finished the scene I started editing on Sunday, but focus was tough.

Day 149, Tuesday

Back to the vet run… follow-up for injured cat and dental cleaning for feline sister.

Day 150, Wednesday

So feline sister had to stay overnight on Tuesday, so my day started with yet another trip to the vet. I have now been to the vet more times in the last three months than I have in the last three years. And there’s at least one more trip to go for the injured cat, as his abscess has dried into a hardened thing. He’s on antibiotics to see if it clears up, but will likely need a mass removal. sigh.

Spent the rest of the day catching up on the projects I started on Monday. Pretty productive, actually.

Day 151, Thursday

I’m taking two days off. Last week’s day off became a vet day, and the week before was full of anxiety because of the storm… I’ve realized that work and home life have blurred into each other, and weekends are not always the relaxing, barrier-resetting events I’d like them to be, so I cleared my calendar for two days of writing, reading, resting, and not scheduling other people’s needs into my day.

Briefly had to break that last goal because my mom’s smoke alarm started blaring for a new battery and she couldn’t reach it because of the bursitis in her shoulder. Luckily, I had the right batteries at home and the drive was quick. Tomorrow, I’m not dealing with anyone else until I finish my writing sprints for the day.

Day 152, Friday

Success! No drama! (mostly. There was some work drama, but I got is secondhand via two of my sources. Not getting involved. I don’t get paid enough to fight this fight.)

Caught up on my writing goal for the week 🙂

Day 153, Saturday

Had my first run of the week. Legs are starting to feel stronger, but my heart was struggling. I don’t run with the heart monitor because it’s massive and I’m scared to break it (there’s a $1500 you-break-it-you-bought-it fee), but my heart rate goes pretty high according to my fitbit. Still building my stamina.

More writing. It’s been a good weekend. Hoping to maintain this momentum.

Day 154, Sunday

My grandmother turned 89 earlier this week. I don’t know if she really recognizes me anymore, and then there’s the mask, so… but I wanted to commemorate her birthday in some way, regardless of her awareness of birthdays. I’ve been buying her toys and things to keep her hands busy for the last few years, but she’s been fisting her hands a lot lately and bruising herself on hard toys. Found some soft, slo-rise squishies that fit in the palm of her hand and took them over today. I haven’t been out in weeks, beyond those trips to the vet (all cats and cards exchanged outside), so I went inside for a little bit (masked and keeping my distance, of course). She seemed to enjoy the squishies. Seeing her decline has been rough. It’s gotten worse since quarantine; she’s getting so little stimulation at home, but at least she’s safe at home.

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social distance diaries: days 141-147

in which we reach the cleaning frenzy stage of quarantine…

Day 141, Monday

So glad to be back home, but still tired despite getting a full night’s rest. Two days of sleeping on my mom’s couch with three of her colony cats to keep me company means I’m still catching up on lost sleep and dealing with a crick in my neck.

A slow start to my week and another return to the vet, though this time for a planned visit rather than another emergency.

Day 142, Tuesday

Slightly more rested today, so I managed to catch up on some of the project’s I abandoned during last week’s storm prep. Work writing, but no novel writing because the energy isn’t quite there.

Ordered some pizza for dinner with what I hope was vegan cheese (I really couldn’t tell and part of me suspects it wasn’t). My tummy will tell… Cheese aside, had a really weird moment where some random lady “literally” got up in my face before I could dodge out of her way—mask hanging from her ear and all. My anxiety could’ve done without a stranger invading my social distance bubble. In brief, it was a small pizza place, I was standing to the side, blocking the soda fridge so I wouldn’t block the register. Woman walked in, didn’t pause or give me a chance to shift before walking straight at me (it was three steps from the door to the fridge at most). I twisted away, but it was still too close for comfort on a day when the state reported more than 7000 covid cases. Not pleased.

Pizza was good though.

Day 143, Wednesday

Much more productive today. Managed to get started on several projects between meetings and chat. I’m not mentally prepared for the start of Fall, if I’m being completely honest. I’m so grateful that I’ll be able to continue working remotely (and that’s a privilege I don’t take lightly).

Randomly, decided to sweep on some eye shadow. It was unexpectedly invigorating after nearly 5 months of 0/minimal makeup.

Day 144, Thursday

Just tired today. Kitty’s random cough/sneeze turned into a series of cough/sneeze attacks that concern me, so off to the vet tomorrow.

Day 145, Friday

Kitty has to stay at the vet because they had too many appointments and she needs to be sedated to be treated (she vicious). My mind has been drifting all day and not having her around has me anxious.

On an ever-in-the-back-of-my-mind sidenote… I live in a tiny, privately owned apartment building that is attached to two commercial spaces (all under the same property owner). There’s been a lot of discussion about rent and evictions and everything that is happening in the world… I’m not in that situation, but I am constantly worried about the possibility that a) my landlords won’t be able to pay their property taxes (because 1 office and 1 apartment are currently empty, and they haven’t been able to keep their business going) or b) they die (because hello, hotspot). It’s a very real fear that rears it’s head at the worst moments and my “worst case scenario” personality has been spinning circles. I don’t feel sorry for my landlords — they definitely have more options than I do, but the possibility that they default on their taxes makes me nervous and definitely makes me feel sorry for me.

Sigh. Just praying for some good neighbors.

kitty had to spend the night at the vet’s because they were so swamped with cases(!). She’s so small, they just needed one xray (tiny nugget!)

Day 146, Saturday

Kitty came back home. She hasn’t sneezed or coughed since her treatment started, but we’re waiting on a radiologist’s report to see if anything is going on in her lungs. I’m hoping it’s a run-of-the-mill infection and not asthma or anything chronic.

Spent most of the day in a funk. Low energy and not much desire to get things done. I hate feeling this way, but it happens.

Day 147. Sunday

Started writing again, but it’s a VERY slow start. I don’t have the energy to focus and the mood I’m in isn’t helping. I don’t think August will be as productive as July. It’s also increasingly hot, which makes me feel lethargic.

To feel some sense of accomplishment, I organized the storage in my closet. Having one closet means that EVERYTHING gets stored in there and, while I don’t have that much stuff, it piles up when there’s only one shelf.

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social distance diaries: days 85-91

yes, I’m still working from home and keeping my distance. cases are still on the rise.

Day 85, Monday

Interrupted sleep and another bout of whatever hit me on Saturday = a very lethargic day. Maybe it’s a migraine coming? Maybe it’s PMS? Maybe it’s whatever I had in March giving me second go? Who knows. Living with chronic issues is a guessing game.

My general fatigue manifested in some rather low blood pressure in the evening. 75/63

Day 86, Tuesday

Meetings that went on too long, nothing resolved.

Day 87, Wednesday

I’m experiencing empathy fatigue re: my parents. I can’t help them, but the constant barrage of negative emotions coming from my mom, and my inability to do anything for my dad (he lives with people who are actively out and about and bringing people over without a care) are wearing me out. I speak with both of them multiple times a day, but there are times (like today) when all I want to do is say yes, no, and hang up. TBH I have a lot of unresolved issues that stem from the f*ck ups of these two humans.

Day 88, Thursday

We had more than 1600 new cases of COVID reported in Florida in today’s update and, somehow, we’re opening even more places where people gather in large groups… We’re f*cked.

Right now, everything feels hopeless.

On a lighter note, I visited my dad for a distance date. It’s the first time I’ve seen him since quarantine and it relieved some of my anxiety. I brought him a bag of his favorite bagels (he calls them donuts) and he was very pleased by the surprise.

Day 89, Friday

Cue the latest migraine. I’ve been feeling it coming for the last few days — extra fatigue, clumsiness, inability to concentrate, and generalized achiness (also, wrist pain, which is one of my first warning signs). Two days of interrupted sleep and neighbors slamming stuff didn’t help.

Decided to whip out the smaller of my teapots for a renewed, reading time tea ritual. I’ve also started using a small coffee cup with saucer to slow down my morning coffee moment.

Day 90, Saturday

Laundry in the morning, weekend chat in the afternoon. Amused (and confused) to receive an email from the university telling my I owe $3.50 for tuition… I’m a faculty member and haven’t taken a class since Fall 2008. I’m hoping it’s a glitch, but emailed them to investigate. I had enough issues with records when I WAS a student. (as faculty too if we’re being candid).

Podcast recording. (latest minisode)

Day 91, Sunday

Writing and dealing with mom drama. She is the greatest source of stress in my life right now. Yes, including covid, because keeping her safe from infection is compounded by the fact that she has a million health issues and keeps needing to go to Urgent Care Centers with more frequency than ever before… ugh.

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video: Camp NaNo update, hitting a wall, and saving a plot

An update on my Camp NaNoWriMo project, what happens when I overthink, and how I hit a wall and worked my way back to save the plot.

Cue obsessive thoughts and Upholder tendencies.

Are you working on a writing project? How’s it going? Let me know in the comments 🙂

life: April – month in review

Month in review april

Met my Camp NaNo goal! 30k words = a solid start.

Tried my hand at 1st person POV and did not hate it.

Took a writing retreat (technically, still on a writing retreat).

Found myself an amazing vintage bag c. 1994 and am loving it. It’s classic, mahogany leather, and holds all the essentials.

Finally created my author website. It’s just a placeholder, but it’s a start – gdcowan.com

Set up a coffee budget and it’s been pretty life changing (video to come).

 

The Bag

video: Querying, WIPS, and revisiting dropped projects

It’s time for a writing update! What I’m working on, current and future plans, and revisiting shelved novels. Today’s update is a long time coming, but I’m excited to start working on new projects.

Are you working on a writing project? How’s it going? Drop a comment down below! 🙂

writing: June & July update

writing

So all plans re: blogging/vlogging/social media were tossed out the window in July. But that’s ok—the writing is strong and the words are coming. Unexpected circumstances aside, this draft will be done by the end of the month…

Now, for the stats:

  • Words (re)written in June: 16,888
  • Words (re)written in July: 33,609

good job, self. keep at it.

writing: Crown of Ice, Crown of Air, a summary

 photo WIP_zpsp96gclxs.png
Summaries are difficult. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Writing a summary on something I’ve been working on for nearly 4 years, that’s a whole other level.

I’ve written and rewritten this manuscript multiple times. I’ve edited and restructured. I’m looking at more edits to come. Though the details may change, the story remains. So, today, I’m being brave and putting my little draft of a blurb out into the world. No going back.

The day Siobhan tried to kill her, Anúna swore she’d never return. Never seek her power. Never seek her crown. Three years she’s locked her truth away, hiding in the mortal realm, letting the iron drain her magick and steal her power. But Siobhan will not rest and Anúna knows it. Now, the walls she’s built are starting to crumble and her wards are beginning to fray. It’s only a matter of time before Siobhan finds her. When Marek, Anúna’s friend and mentor, and erstwhile leader of the Queen’s guard comes to call, Anúna is forced to make a choice—-take back the crown she lost or leave the realm at her sister’s mercy.

Crown of Ice, Crown of Air is a story of magick and power, love and war… about finding yourself and something worth fighting for.

It needs work, but it’s a start. I also keep debating whether Air or Ice should be first… that’s a whole other set of concerns.