social distance diaries, days 36-42

Day 36, Monday

Woke up at the crack of dawn to get myself to the grocery store. No lines, because I went to a store in a part of town that’s mostly under construction, so it wasn’t the horrifying/overwhelming experience I had the last time I went shopping. The bill was insane. My mom/gran go through a lot of meat and milks (yes, plural. different kinds, like fishes) and stuff that comes in boxes. $$$$

Took a nap and felt like I lost a decade coming out of it…

Day 37, Tuesday

Ended up having to go back to the grocery store to pick up prescriptions, but there was a refill snafu and inadvertently ended up at the wrong store. Three grocery stores in two days was more excitement than I needed.

Day 38, Wednesday

Had enough mental focus to focus on work and writing. Noticed my feet looking ratchet and decided to give myself a pedicure (damn you seasonal eczema!)… which escalated to an epsom bath, masking, and self-care reading time.

Not so great stuff: kitty has been having what looks like a hairball issue, but we’re going to have to go to the vet to be sure. My gran’s Alzheimer’s has gotten worse since her daycare routine was disrupted and my mom is having a hard time getting her to eat and drink.

Day 39, Thursday

Had a bad night. Insomnia hit and the worries spiraled so that I spent a solid hour thinking about death. I’m nearing my period, which often means insomnia and depression, but this is a darker turn than my usual.

Gran ate, but mom had a hard time with breakfast. It’s hard not being able to help and worrying about what it would mean if she starts to refuse food and needs support. My anxiety isn’t great.

I took a “nap” which was more like an hour-long meditation on the couch. No moving, just being.

Drafted my annual report for work which includes a lot of false starts and “because of coronavirus” explanations for things that didn’t happen.

Day 40, Friday

Was planning on taking kitty to the vet because she was having a hard time passing a hairball, but then I woke to the best hairball ever! Never have I been so happy to see a weird cat by-product.

Chat and video chat with coworker friends. Then a quick trip to mom’s to drop off some stuff I ordered for her. I convinced her to go outside with my gran and kept my distance for a quick visit. My gran looked happy and I’m glad I was able to cheer her up. It’s the first time I’ve seen her in person since her fall and her bruising is mostly gone, but there’s a small bump on her forehead that still hasn’t gone down.

Spent the afternoon alternating between updating my CV for my annual report and driving to and from BF’s house to do my laundry. I’m counting the weeks by the number of laundry trips…

Too tired of cleaning, so I asked the boy to pick up some takeout. It’s the second time I’ve given in to the lure of food from the outside. I gave him cash, since it was my idea, and extra for a decent tip.

Day 41, Saturday

Writing, more housework, laundry. Realized in the evening that I forgot to take my meds, something that’s only happened a handful of times in the last 15+ years. No wonder I was exhausted.

Day 42, Sunday

More writing (I’m so glad I found some of my focus) and lots of rain. Met online to record the next episode of the podcast, which marks my semi regular return from hiatus.

I was tired this week (PMS) but felt generally well. I’m glad of that.

 

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social distance diaries: Days 22-28

Day 22, Monday

It was a long night. I was up from 1-5 because I was having a hard time breathing through my nose and major pressure behind my eyes/forehead. I eventually fell asleep for a few hours after emailing my folks to let them know I wouldn’t be showing up for my 8-10 shift.

Consulted with the university’s medical director (v. nice doctor) who recommended I get tested just to be sure. Based on our conversation, it’s a 50/50 whether my symptoms are mild “asymptomatic” covid (given my possible exposure at the ER and pharmacy within the last two weeks) or anxiety spurring my usual ailments into overdrive (my temperature has fluctuated but never hit fever level, have had chills, rapid heartbeat, tiredness, sinus pressure, a scratchy/sometimes sore throat that comes and goes, and migraine type headache above my eyes, and toilet troubles that haven’t quit for 5 days at as of today).

I managed to get an appointment at one of the local testing sites and have a follow-up appointment with my PCP to discuss my anxiety.
After lots of phone calls, went about my day and finished with meetings and email.

Day 23, Tuesday

Went to the testing site. It was VERY organized (and Miami people behaved themselves!), Showed up an hour early, lined up (you never leave your car), and was being tested an hour later (exactly when I was scheduled). Whether it’s positive or negative, I just want some closure at this point.

Day 24, Wednesday

Went to see my PCP. Wore a mask, everyone at the office was wearing PPE. He ran some bloodwork but shared the same sentiment as the doctor I spoke to on Monday – this virus has a range of symptoms, so we won’t know until we have a test result. Either way, he tested by CBC, HDL, and TSH, to rule out issues related to anemia, cholesterol, or my pre-existing condition.

I’m calm and not in a state of heightened anxiety but my heart still feels like it’s over exerted sometimes and I have to take a deep breath. Lungs checked out fine. Like I told a fried, I wanted that stethoscope action to give me some insight.

The wait for results continues.

Day 25, Thursday

Slept ok. I’ve managed to get a full night during the last two days. Heart has been a little thumpy today.

Worked my usual shift and trying to catch up on emails from the current and last week. So many messages getting lost in the shuffle.

Trying to get back to projects that I haven’t been able to focus on.

Day 26, Friday

Meetings and stuff to catch up on. I haven’t gone outside in a few days because there are too many people out when I’m free. Played Just Dance to exercise.
Started re-watching Buffy as research for the podcast… it’s going to be hard choosing my episodes.

Day 27, Saturday

Another day indoors. Did some writing and took care of housework. The house is still a bit of a mess, but at least it’s something. Joined in on the podcast for a brief return.

Day 28, Sunday

Worked on another scene. At this rate, I will be working on this draft for months, but it’s the best I can manage in my current state of mind. I have regrets but I’m trying to work through them and keep going. Did half my laundry, the rest to be done tomorrow or Tuesday. This is what happens when you don’t have access to a washer and need to borrow your BF’s in order to avoid the laundromat.

My mental state is better at the end of this week. I also feel better despite needing a few more naps than usual throughout the week. Hoping for results (and answers) this coming week.

 

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video: writing and living with chronic pain (a followup)

In which I sit down and blather on about trying to write with chronic pain, and how the heck you’re supposed to get on with work when you can barely think (?!).

Also, my sense of time is the WORST. In the video, I say I posted on this topic a year ago… friends, it was 2 months ago *facepalm*

MENTIONED

the view from Sunday: July 7, 2019

Happy Sunday! It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these posts (I even removed the category). Maybe I’ll turn it into a thing again. Anyhow, editing of the “Sea Story” has officially begun. Kitty is happy to lounge among my mess of planners and documents.

This is what happens when I clear my desk.

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life: June – month in review

june in review

It was a busy, productive month.

Sent out more queries.

Finished the read-through for my current WIP, which will see me through the next quarter.

Bought my first maxi dress, which makes me feel extra breezy and stylish (not something I thought possible because maxis always seem the purview of taller girls). Much needed for the hot, hot heat. (I may have settled on this particular brand because the name sounds like mine – Grecerelle)

Took a week-long break and ate a lot of cake and things to celebrate my birthday, including real dairy ice cream (with the help of Super Enzymes). My body did not hate me for it (although my joints are currently protesting and my eczema is flaring *sigh*).

But the pièce de résistance(!)

The boy surprised me with a penguin encounter for my birthday.

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video: May 2019 writing update – WIP

(I swear, I’m pleased in this picture. I just have RBF.)

Going off plot, switching genres, trying a new POV, backtracking, and figuring things out… finishing my Camp NaNo project, accepting that it’s just a draft, and planning for my next project. *hint: it’s more revisions*

Are you working on a writing project? Want to share your revision process? Drop a comment down below 🙂

 

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video: writing with a chronic illness

I’m a writer who deals with chronic illness. Fatigue, migraines, and generalized pain often leave me with brain fog and deep exhaustion (among other things). I also have a 9-5 and a 2 hour commute. Time is short and the stories won’t write themselves. I don’t have a magic fix, but I have developed strategies to make the most of the good days and plan for the bad.

How you do you cope? Comment below.

5 things: writing implements

five things

I like pens. I’d say it’s a fairly common addiction among writers and academics (or nerds in general), and I am all these things.

I went through my collection and identified my pens of choice.

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In no particular order…

Stabilo point 88 (in mini and regular) – colored ink 

I’m especially partial to pinks, purples, and green in this range. I pick these up at my local Michael’s, but have also bought the minis on Amazon (if you have pen friends, the minis make great gifts). Will ghost through thin paper.

PaperMate InkJoy retractable ballpoint pens – colored ink

Bright colors and smoothie smooth ink. These are great for color-coding. I like the gels too, but the ballpoint pens won’t bleed through delicate notebook paper. I buy the 8-packs.

TUL retractable pens – black gel ink

I use these exclusively for my nightly journal. The ink is stark black and quick-drying. It will ghost through thin journal pages, but I’ve never had it bleed. All in all, A+. You can find these at Office Depot or Amazon (the white barrel was a special edition that I refill).

Sakura Pigma Micron 05 – purple and black ink

Microns are the darlings of ink-based artist (or so it seems). The 05 tip is the perfect thickness for a nice, bold line without scratching (common with the thinner tips). No bleed or smearing, but will ghost through thin paper. I usually buy these at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, but Amazon has them in packs.

Ticonderoga pencils

Who does not love a Ticonderoga? I prefer pens, but when I want a pencil, I reach for these. I am especially attached to the ones I find around campus (it’s like the fry at the bottom of the bag).

 

Are you a pen addict? What are you favorite brands? Let me know 🙂

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 🙂

writing: writespiration and pinterest

Pinterest is one of my online happy places. I make regular boards for the podcast, but one of my writerly pursuits is curating boards for WIPs and saving writing tips for easy access.

Current project: “Red Dragon”

note: my WIPs have a “code name” before they have a title. There are no dragons in this novel. *shrug emoji*

 

For inspiration, tips, and more, follow “Writing and Fiction”