Happy New Year

I fell down today and twisted my ankle! Ow! My dogs were not sympathetic and now I am sitting, foot up. No swelling but it hurt a stunning amount for a while. Less stunning now. Still very hard to walk.
This is the year of writing! I don’t think I can do a meaningful wordcount though, because I’m doing it in such stages…. writing a summary, dictating, cleaning up dictation, eventual rewriting. But goal-wise, I’d like to finish three books and may aim to finish four. Well, by ‘finish’, I mean ‘in rough draft form’. I’d like to do detailed world creation for two settings. And I’d like to submit the TFN trilogy by September or so.

Um. I have a lot of self-doubts. My reaction to hurting my ankle was to lounge around on a couch playing a video game, instead of soldiering on. I haven’t met any deadline I’ve set yet. I have a role model self inside but I’ve fallen down on pressuring myself to measure up to her. Hoping too much for external pressure, I suppose. And falling prey to too many distractions. I WANT to stay aware of the world, want to pursue external adventures, but I think especially without medication, I need to utterly lose myself. I will probably be able to post about myself when I feel like it and I think I should since I forget my past otherwise, but… wow, tuning out is hard.

I HAVE been very sleepy lately, and in my sleep, dreaming again. Yay!

Merry Christmas!

Cathy, Kevin’s mom, is here for the holiday. She’s leaving before New Year’s, though. We decorated our artificial tree last night– Kevin finally gave in on the real tree issue because Raymond is allergic to tree sap. It looks very nice. I made cookie dough which I’ll probably bake half of today and half later in the year; I think Raymond likes those cookies.

I have been playing Disgaea and Kevin has been playing his early Christmas present a Nintendo DS. He also informed me that he was giving me a Wii for Christmas, just as soon as they were in stock somewhere.

Kevin’s insurance has changed and apparently they’ll cover Stratterra now. So I need to decide if I want to go back on it again. Long term, I would like to. But if I get pregnant, I’ll have to stop again, and, well, theoretically it could happen at any time. And yes, pregnancy is something I kind of have issues about, but Kevin and I want the end result so I guess I’ve got to suck it up and cope. Well, I hope I have to suck it up and cope. I’ve read enough infertility stories to not want to go there. Anyhow.

I have lots of excellent presents for Kevin and I’m reasonably happy with my presents for other people. Perhaps more on that later!

Christmas always raises my anxiety level significantly, so hugs and kisses, everybody. Be well and be happy and, if you feel so inclined, reassure me that you care.

I understand why people put quotes from songs and movies here.

I keep burning my arm on the oven.

I have a new dishwasher, which Kevin installed because Sears didn’t. Yay Kevin.

Work on TFN 2 goes Very Slowly.

We don’t have a Christmas tree yet. Christmas shopping goes apace. My family should give me a shout-out about what they want though, or they’ll get truly random things. I think I have ideas for most of my friends. Even Raymond.

I sleep, I clean, I work on creative projects. Sometimes I cook. I play with the pets. I play video games. Currently enjoying Ninety-nine Nights. I still spend too much time goofing off. It’s hard. I miss the ADD medication, it turns out. I don’t know if it would actually be helping but I do seem to lose a lot of time to random semi-productive tasks that nonetheless don’t need to be done NOW… but I do them anyhow.

I’ve been rereading various David Eddings novels. 4/5 of the Belgariad, and I just finished the Elenium. Encouragement for TFN 2, I suppose. Today I was thinking about horses in Ceria; their gaits and the injuries sustained by riders after unexpectedly long rides. In the Elenium, they apparently canter their horses all day. These are men in full armor, too. Hah hah hah. And the warhorse is faster than the palfrey. Time to break out Tough Guide to Fantasyland!
We’re recording Lost Room from the Scifi Channel but we haven’t watched it. I’m also enjoying reruns of Scrubs and am relatively current on My Name Is Earl.

Did I mention Dragon Naturally Speaking? I got that piece of software with my spare change jar, and finally the voice recorder Kevin gave me two years ago is getting adequate use; I can dictate into it and then Dragon Naturally Speaking (version 9) will transcribe it. It’s not perfect, of course, but I’m trying to teach myself how to write via dictation; it’ll be useful as my wrists get worse.

Alas ( a general update )

Apparently my blog was a lot more interesting when I was at work. I’m sorry!

In between novel work I’ve been playing Star Wars Legos, Neverwinter Nights 2, and a bit of World of Warcraft. I’m also rereading the Belgariad. I chase the dogs around a lot. I gained a lot of weight during the move and I’m trying to bring my step-count up but it’s been raining. Shopping is good on those days but I’ve also been sleeping during the day a lot and that cuts into shopping time.

I don’t have nightmares about moving or being back at work nearly as much as I did last month. I’m starting to have other dreams again– but I haven’t yet recaptured the trick of remembering them, a trick stolen by the Zoloft (as far as I can tell).

The house is still basically a disaster area. It’s better in some ways than before we moved (we rarely run out of forks) but there’s still an enormous amount of unpacking to get done and it’s been hard to motivate anybody to work on that on weekdays. I keep wanting to post pictures of our house but I want it to be clean first, too. And unpacked. It’s definitely going to have some nice rooms once everything is in place and it shouldn’t be too hard to keep decent once everything is in place.

We had a great weekend planned.

Jenna rode the bus down. We were going to have many fried foods and play games and see a movie on Sunday.

Then Kevin, slicing French fries with a mandolin, injured hmself. Michelle wrote up an excellent post describing the day’s adventures. And we skipped the movie Sunday, too, since Kevin didn’t feel up to it. But Jenna finished reading my novel! Twice! And tried to steal the reading copy. So I suppose that’s a good sign.

I’m awake again. I’m pretty sure it’s not normal to sleep in 4-6 hour bursts, twice a day (or even three times). But I seem to be slipping in that direction. I had another dream about leaving work. The nightmares seem to be coming with less frequency now: the one where I’m failing everybody around me and the ones where I haven’t finished the separation process between myself and the old house, and/or myself and work. I think last night may have been triggered by Kevin’s injury, wherein I totally forgot my employment situation. The habit is still there.
Oh God, terrible thought just occurred. How is this different from dropping out of college? Perhaps I really am just a terrible quitter. Oh well, sorting that out is not my job; it’s my subconscious who does all the heavy lifting here.

House is a disaster area. I have a Draft post started long ago called ‘Meet My New Bosses’. It was supposed to be a clever post anthropomorphizing my goals for un/self-employment. However, I just now glanced at the title and realized how happy I am to be able to bumble along at my own speed for a while, without trying to live up to others expectations. I may not be accomplishing stuff, and I may not be happy with my own progress, but at the moment the only person I am disappointing is myself. And since I’m making tiny but steady daily progress I cannot be too harsh. I am kind enough to not expect a total 180 at high speed. Once the nightmares are gone and I no longer think I am on an extended vacation from Microsoft, I must make sure I am not drifting along at Grandpa speeds in the far right lane, but as I decelerate in one direction — er, yes. Perhaps this metaphor has gone on long enough.

Oh, bummer for your morning: the Flying Lab Software insurance situation change recently from the golden apple it once was to something I am assured is much more ‘normal’– and spendy. It’s mostly okay for me though we need to rework the budget, but kids suddenly have a bigger pricetag attached. Oh well. If Tiffany can make it work, I am sure we can. I wonder if I already posted all that? I can’t be bothered to go look. You’ll all forgive me. It’s part of this drifting along mid-spin thing. Well, and raging ADD untreated by anything but Zoloft and self-indulgence.

It’s so dark. I wonder if Daylight Savings Time changeover came and went and we never noticed. The web says next week. But I think all of our clocks are self-adjusting these days so I wonder if it COULD come and all we’d notice is a bit more morning darkness. Or is it light? I think it’s light, now, and darkness in spring. But whatever. I am not a farmer, and it is my earnest desire to someday find a school for kids that does not function on farmchild hours. If, you know, I have kids to send to school.

I saw a bit of Date Movie last night. I sat through all the fat-girl humor designed to make it clear how I could never get a man, but the poop and vomit jokes drove me away.

My immune system is rebelling

Near total collapse the last couple of days: achiness, exhaustion, lack of focus. And weird, disturbing dreams about violations of the natural order.

And this puppy is so much work. He’s losing some of his housetraining, probably inspired by our crappy housekeeping and our inability to read his cues. The cats are in total exile during the day, all the doors are kept shut, and he’s put to bed in his inescapable crib at night (and the cats freed from exile). He destroys things. He cries. He whines. He attempts to assert his independence. He begs. He gets into everything he can see. He puts the most astonishing things into his mouth. He has accidents. He gets ridiculously carsick. He can’t control his bladder very well or very long, and I have to get up at the crack of dawn to take care of him. Anytime I can’t hear or see him, I assume he’s doing something bad and half the time I’m right. The way I feel responsible for him, all solitary ‘the buck stops here’ish, is why I never want to have kids unless Kevin is also completely enthusiastic about them. I don’t ever want to feel guilty about a kid of mine waking up his father the way I feel bad about Dante climbing all over Kevin when I take him out of his crib for the last hour of the night.

Kevin and Raymond both find the loud, mobile, bumpy growl-filled dog games that fill our hall a bit overwhelming in our small space, but I never mind because I always know exactly what Dante is up to when I hear those sounds and there’s a chance he’ll take a nap afterwards.

On the bright side, he’s a practically indestructible BiteMeez for Hannah, he plays sit-and-fetch even better than she does, and he’s a surprising master of the Baby Mammal Defense System (which invokes the Cuddle the Untaught Tolerance Engine).

But oh, he’s exhausting. Switching between providing limits, guidance and discipline for a rambunctious stubborn unruly hellion to providing affection and comfort for a young animal to providing positive reinforcement for good manners is so tiring. The constant sense of need-to-monitor is tiring. It’s stuff I recall from babysitting Nathan when he was young, but at that point in my life I had a lot less going on.

The frustration is tempered some by knowing he’s supposed to grow out of much of this. I know I could lock him up a lot more than I do and minimize some of that sense of exhaustion, but I sort of think that will make some of the problems into ones that extend into adulthood– that if I don’t teach him about chewing and destroying now, and redirect that energy, it’ll be a bigger problem when he’s an adult and weighs 75 lbs instead of 20. Same with toliet training.

He has temper tantrums. I don’t know how else to describe them. Not the tears and yelling part of a child’s tantrums, but when he wants to do something he simply isn’t allowed to do, that he knows he isn’t allowed to do, and I have to physically restrain him as he squirms and whines and wriggles and tries desperately to get away and do it anyhow because dammit, who am I to say what he can and can’t do? That sure feels like a temper tantrum. And, somewhat like what I did with kids, some of the ‘who are you’ is answered by ‘somebody a lot bigger and stronger than you who is patient enough to sit through your kicking and screaming’.
I don’t know if that’s entirely the ‘right’ thing to do with a dog. But it seems better than, uh, overwhelming negative reinforcement and of course there’s no appeal to reason. I guess we’ll find out.

Heavy posting day…

I’ve been playing WoW a lot. I haven’t been working on my novel much. I’m going to have to rebuild my schedule but I hope to still have a finished readable edited first draft by the end of the year, if not sooner.

The reason I’m playing WoW so much is that it’s my current anti-brooding device. I’ve been doing a lot of brooding lately when I’m not involved by an anti-brooding device. A lot of things are going on and most of them are good, but it doesn’t change my circumstances at present.

In some ways, a long descent that I predicted many years ago is reaching its conclusion. As with a diving airplane in a movie, we wonder, Will the plane pull up in time? Will it crash and burn?

We’re getting awfully close to the ground. And it shows. Many things are going well, so since I can’t obssess about my personal life (much), I get irritated by… almost everything. I spend a lot of time hating the state of the world. I develop and nurture new pet peeves. For example, one of my pet peeves is poor reading comprehension. Another pet peeve is the national tendency to prioritize risk-mitigation over… almost everything else. Sometimes, taking a risk is the right thing to do.

Anyhow, I don’t like hating the world, I don’t enjoy being irritated, these are not my preferred states of mind. So I seek constant immersive distraction. It has short-term negative consequences, but, I believe, future positive consequences. Because brooding is bad for me. I pick at scabs and create wounds where once none were. And I have to hold myself together for a while longer yet.

I dreamt of Metatron

I worked on my story last night. I started revising the initial synposes of the trilogy to fit with certain discussions Kevin and I had on what makes a structure work. This led me to revising the metaphysics of the setting some to better support the necessary structure of the story. I really don’t know if I’ll ever be able to return to Engines of Heaven (Caleb & Indigo) if that kind of sacrifice is necessary to make it into a functional story. It’s not the characters fault if their story isn’t structured well. Events happen, one after another, and that the pacing of /life/ is not suited to that of a story isn’t… a reason to totally gut them. But maybe finishing the tutorial will help me understand ways to tell /any/ story and fit it to a working framework.

We woke up to go to the gym this morning but didn’t actually go because I realized that the drones at the desk wouldn’t let Kevin in even though he filled out payment paperwork yesterday– his temporary card was single-use and his paperwork wouldn’t be processed yet. So instead I got to work early. I went to bed too late last night anyhow.

I’m starting to feel like accomplishing things again. Here’s hoping that desire keeps gathering steam.