lighterthanair: (language)
I'm been in such a writing mood lately. No idea why. I guess it's just one of those things that strikes every now and again.

Problem with me and my writing moods is that I'll write, and I'll hit on some good ideas, and I'll write until the flame dies and then I'm left with a half-finished idea that ends up being hard to go back to because I can't rekindle that same flame. I break all the writerly advice and have a large folder on my hard drive filled with half-finished stories and novels.

And I'm more than a little afraid of that flame burning out again too soon for me to get something finished this time, too.

That won't stop me. A half-finished story is better than no story at all. And the fact that I want to write now is more of a good thing than I'm making it sound. After NaNo 2012, I pretty much didn't write again until NaNo 2013, because my health was such shit that I could barely stay awake during the day, let alone put creative energy into writing. I had to put all that energy into getting a spoon into my mouth so I could eat. Fiction took a back seat to just making it through the day. It wasn't until I stopped having blood thinner than water that I felt like I could tackle writing again.

And even if it's been a couple of months since I last did any serious writing, at least it hasn't been a year. Which means that even if I'm still struggling with some health issues, they're not as bad as they were a year ago, and well I know it.

I'll probably spend some of today doing a bit of writing at work, in between calls. There, I at least get out a decent wordcount even if the quality isn't always high, because what else am I supposed to do between calls? May as well do something productive, and then on my days off I can do anything else and not feel like I have to panic and write all the stuff I wanted to write during the week.

I've had this idea floating around for an inversion of typical dystopian stories. You've always got the oppressive and divisive society, and the protag is always dissatisfied with how things are, and they meet other people who feel the same way, and then together they bring down the regime. But most people are content to let themselves go with the flow, or feel secure in the oppression that's been built around them, so I wanted to tell things from that standpoint, from the viewpoint of someone who turns their rebellious friend in to the authorities in order to keep society stable.

Not the most exciting story, and it doesn't have the "root for the underdog" element that people love, but I thought it could be fun to write.

So I will.
~ Didn't budget for things properly, and now I only just have enough money for rent but not to pay anything on credit cards or get groceries. Luckily there are still a lot of groceries in, but I wanted to do something special for Samhain, and now I might not be able to do what I wanted to do for that. Might just have to see if I can accomplish some kitchen magic and only use what I already have.
~ ~ Doing that wouldn't be so bad, since it would pretty much only involve me missing out on making a chicken pie. I have vegetables, I have a peameal-encrusted ham, I have the stuff for a decent dessert, even if it wouldn't be what I originally wanted to do. But I don't doubt that I could still make tasty things, even if I have to be a little more frugal.
~ ~ ~ Being low on money does suck because I currently have a cold and don't have any daytime cold meds, though, to help me get through the day. I'll live, obviously, but it won't be comfortable for a bit. :/

~ I ended up losing everything I'd accomplished in Pokemon X thanks to that Lumiose save glitch. :/ So I had to start over. I'm trying not to look at that in too negative a light, since I was struggling to build a decent team due to choosing Fennekin in the beginning, and I seemed to be having lousy encounter rates for some things (it took me over an hour of hunting to find a freaking Pikachu!), so a restart wasn't the end of the world. I think I'm doing much better this time around, even if it's slow going because I've only been able to play for an hour or two a day, at most.
~ ~ If anyone wants to know, my 3DS friend code is 4914-3830-2347. If you play Pokemon (or any games, really) and want to add me, feel free, and I'll do the same if you give me your code.

~ NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and I actually have an idea this time, and I hope this year won't be like every other year, where I go full steam ahead for a while and then get stuck and start working on another idea instead. I get to my wordcount goal, but I end up with two unfinished stories instead of one, and it's frustrating. I'm not worried about making the wordcount goal, at least, since even if I just take 5 minutes between calls to write at work, I usually end up getting 3-4k words written over the course of a shift. I've written reviews and short stories that way before, nobody cares so long as I keep my stats decent, so I can't see why November would suddenly change that,

~ Still chugging along with reading, though I keep falling behind in my goals there. I read at work when I can (breaks and lunch), but I spent a couple of weeks playing Pokemon on my days off (before I lost the save file), so that meant about six hours a day for two days in which I didn't read, and that's a lot of reading time. I'm trying not to do that so much. Even if I don't get as much of the game played, I need to keep up with reading more than I need to play a game. With luck and good timing I should be able to finish Veronica Roth's Allegiant today, and then I can get back to Jaime Lee Moyer's Delia's Shadow. Probably be able to finish that by the end of this weekend, too.
~ ~ It'll get easier, too, if I just forgo leaving work right when I leave to walk uptown for an earlier bus home. A bus goes right by work half an hour after my shift ends, which means that if I just stay and wait for that bus, I save myself a 20 minute walk in the cold (then a 20 minute wait for the next bus that gets me home), and give myself half an hour in which I can read. Extends my daily reading time from 1 hour plus commute time to 1.5 hours plus commute time, which is a significant boost.

~ There's every chance I might end up moving to another province in about a year and a half. Rachel might end up getting a good job in Charlottetown, and while some people might see that as a step backwards (PEI isn't known for much besides potatoes and Anne of Green Gables), the university there will allow me to work for a degree that will get me one step closer to my own goals, and Rachel will still be able to work at a good job in a city we both know we like. It's only a possibility, but I've got my fingers crossed that it works out that way.

~ Weather's definitely getting a lot colder. I mean, I know that this is Canada. In October. But brr, does it have to be constantly dipping to the freezing mark? temperatures don't get very high even at noon now, the leaves aren't so much turned as fluttering off the trees with every puff of breeze, and I don't relish the really cold days when my lungs will seize up and refuse to let me breathe properly. :/ Well, just another reason to stay in after work and catch that later bus so I don't have to walk in that weather, right?
Just got back from the hospital, where I spent the morning in a barrage of pre-surgery tests. Had swabs done for MRSA and VRE (is it odd that the nasal swab was more uncomfortable than the rectal one?), an ECG to check and see if that heart murmur has gone away (they suspect it was caused by me being so anemic for so long), and then 2 vials of blood taken so that they can type-and-match me all over again, because it's likely that I'll need yet another transfusion after the surgery.

2 vials! I figured they'd only need 1. I'm starting to wonder if the reason I'm anemic is due to so many people drawing blood to check to see if I'm still anemic!

And now I'm back home, enjoying a nice cup of tea while I relax a little before I start a load of laundry.

Last night I signed up for an online writing workshop, one that will hopefully revitalize my writing urges and send me on the road to good creative outlets again. I've really missed writing lately. Not just writing book reviews and babbling on about how cruddy my health is. But creative writing, fiction writing. Original stuff and fanfiction. I used to have so many fanfic ideas floating around in my brain, and some of them are still there, but I just haven't been able to let the words from from mind to fingers lately, and that bothers me. So hopefully the workshop will help get things back in gear.

And it doesn't start until halfway through June, so I should be recovered enough from my surgery to sit up and do some writing by then. I'd damn well better be, really, since it'll have been a full month between slicing me open and starting the workshop.

Charging my Kindle now since it's almost dead. I finished rereading The Golden Compass the other day, and today I finished The Future is Japanese, which is a collection of sci-fi short stories featuring Japan. It was okay, but some of the stories were outright boring, or felt like they were sections from other complete novels and so I was missing part of the story vital to having it all make sense. Other bits, though, were fantastic, and I enjoyed reading them.

Not sure what I'm going to read next, though. I still need to finish Who Fears Death (not on my Kindle, but an actual paperback copy), but for electronic reading? I have a whole load of review copies piling up again, and I ought to read one of them, but the problem is there are a good dozen that I'd like to start right now! I think I need to clone myself and link all the minds together, so that I can have the time to read everything I want to read.

Especially because in addition to all of this, I got the urge to start rereading the Harry Potter books for the umpteenth time, too.

Flipping a coin won't help. Maybe I should roll a D20?
Well, as predicted, I have more time off work. I'm off until April 15, which gives me a week to recover from the procedure in early April, and gives me time to bust my butt and recover my hemoglobin levels before said procedure.

I actually had to talk my doctor out of putting me off work for longer than 2 months. If there's one thing that can be said about Dr. K with absolute certainty, it's that he's not stingy when it comes to giving people time off work.

So now I have to go into work and give them various notes, find out how to sign up for their ridiculous mail order medication program, and also remind them that this time, they need to send out my RoE so that I can get EI benefits. They didn't bother with that last time. How compassionate of them...

With more time off, in addition to really working extra hard to get on top of my health, I'm going to put a little more work into returning to some crafts, and probably reopening my Etsy store, so that I can at least try to make a little money on the side. It probably won't be much, if any, but it's worth a try, and doing crafty stuff again will definitely keep my mind occupied when I'm having a bad day. Lately I've been working on some more embroidered bookmarks, branching out with different colours. I want to get back to messing around with some paper crafts, but that requires cleaning off the living room table, and at the moment that's just a little too much for me. Maybe in a week or so, when I'm feeling better again.

I should also have the time to focus on reading, much as I have in February. I return from my book blog hiatus at the beginning of April, and so far even if I don't read another book this month, and I post 2 reviews a week from the books that I've read so far, I'll still have enough material for regular posts for 9 weeks. Weird how that takes the pressure off even more. I have to spend maybe one writing-filled day typing up those posts, and if I really don't want to, I don't even have to touch the blog again for another two months after that!

Which will be good, because part of the reason I went on hiatus was because I was getting burned out. I'd read a book, review it, and then feel like I couldn't just pick up whatever I wanted to read but instead I had to read the review copies that were due to be released soon. I didn't get burned out on reading, but on almost having it pre-decided what I read next. I wanted to read what I wanted to read. If I wanted to read 5 Valdemar books in a row, I didn't want to have to deal with the guilt of inundating my blog readers with a few weeks of nothing but reviews of Valdemar novels. I felt trapped. But taking the hiatus, I got to read what I felt like reading, caught up on some books that I let languish because I had other review copies that I ought to read first, and I feel like I'm in a better headspace for returning to reviewing.

Especially since now I've read all the Valdemar novels. :p That urge won't get in the way again! Admittedly, I didn't get to read everything I wanted to, and I still put some focus on reading review copies when I could, but I read a lot more of what I wanted, without worry. Maybe in the coming 2 months where all my posts are pre-planned, I can do the same thing. No reason why not. Focus on some review copies, but take breaks and read what I damn well want to, continue catching up on books that I bought with my own money instead of just what other people send me for free.

I mean, out of the 18 books I've read that still need reviewing, 5 were review copies, and 7 were Valdemar novels, so that's not a bad ratio, really. Almost 1/3 of my reading material were review copies.

And I know there are at least 2 more that I'll finish before the end of this month that are review copies, too. Mazarkis Williams's Knife Sworn and Aimee Carter's The Goddess Inheritance. So really, nobody can say that I haven't been trying to catch up on responsibilities at the same time as having a little fun.

I've been enjoying some video game time, too. Thanks to Swagbucks, I had enough in gift certificates to order a copy of Persona 2 for the PSP, so in anticipation of that, I've started replaying Persona 1. Now, I say "replaying," but last time I played I didn't get very far before I thought, "Screw this, I just want to play Persona 3 instead," and put the game aside. I probably played for no more than a few hours. Now I'm definitely back to where I left off, stronger than before, and enjoying the plot of the game. P2 should be here in about a week, and I don't know if I'll be done with P1 by then, but I'll give it a shot, anyway.
I had my appointment at the hospital yesterday. I was nervous as hell about it, because I simply had no idea what to expect.

It turned out better than I feared, though, which is good. The doctor I saw was very lte for the appointment (by about an hour an a half), but made a good impression on me by apologizing for being late. She's not the first doctor I've seen who has run behind, but she is the first doctor I've ever seen to acknowledge that fact and apologize for it. That got us off on the right foot from the beginning, and I started to relax after that.

As it turns out, she's not completely sure what's causing my problems. The tumour is still there, and I managed to impress her by its size (one of the largest she's seen, apparently), but it's a slow-growing kind of tumour, and has likely been there for about a decade, so while it may be contributing to my symptoms, it's unlikely that it's the root cause of them. Things only started to get really bad for me this past year, and if it was solely because of the tumour, I would have noticed a more gradual ramping up of symptoms, not such an abrupt change.

She doesn't want to consider surgery so soon, though I like her reasoning better than my family doctor's. Where his reasoning was, "We expect everyone will want at least one child some day," hers was a very simple, "There are other less invasive options to try before we think seriously about surgery." Same outcome, in the end, but I like that her reasoning had nothing to do with assumptions about my reproductive desires. It was actually grounded in medicine.

So for the moment, I've been given prescriptions for a couple of pills that will help get the bleeding issue under control, an order for blood tests, and a follow-up appointment in a few months to see what the next step should be.

So after I got out of there, I felt all that nervous energy drain out of me, giving way to nervous exhaustion instead. Which was bad, because I still had to go to work that afternoon. I decided to give myself a bit of a break and go home first, get changed, then go uptown and get some tea at The Infusion, where I haven't been in a while. That got me calmed down and energized at the same time, and though I only ended up working for 2 and a half hours last night, at least I was capable of doing that.

So that's where I stand right now. Better than I'd feared, and I'm happy for that.

On more mundane notes, I'm now behind in my NaNo count because I didn't get time to do any writing yesterday. So I'm trying to catch up before I go to work. And today at work should be a nice and easy one, since it's only a 6 hour shift and 2 of those hours have been scheduled in meetings so I'm off the phone. Not a bad way to spend my last day of work before my 'weekend'.
It's going to be one of those days. I don't mean to sound so pessimistic, but it's just got that feeling. I'm so tired right now that I could cry. My body feels heavy and sluggish and slow, and I can't seem to pull myself together. I slept longer than normal last night, and so now instead of waking up and feeling fine for an hour and then getting so tired I can barely stand, I just woke up that way.

And I have to get through three more days of work like this. I'd call in sick and just spend the rest of the day in bed, but my attendance already sucks and they're watching me like a hawk because of it, and I can't really afford it anyway. They might give me a bit of a pass because of the tumour thing, but that still doesn't make up for the pay that I wouldn't be getting. I just have to go in there and tough it out and hope that it gets better later.

I was actually looking forward to today last week. It was supposed to be an all-day training session at work, but due to the storm and the expected call volume, head office cancelled the training. I thought I might have been able to rest a little more while still being at work, but nope, no such luck.

I don't know if the iron supplements aren't working to combat the fatgieua and anemia, or if they are and I'd be feeling worse still if I wasn't taking them.

On a happier note, I actually cooked a full meal and dessert yesterday, for Samhain. Pan-fried pork medallions and apples, turnip and potatoes cooked together, and carrots. Followed by a pumpkin/cream cheese roll cake for dessert. Things didn't go perfectly in the kitchen, and I made a couple of mistakes, and by the end my feet and back hurt so badly that I could hardly walk properly, but it was fun anyway, and I at least learned from my mistakes. And the food was better than just merely edible.

This Sunday, I'm planning on a roast chicken and vegetables for supper. Probably with stuffing, too, because I like it so much. At least roasts don't require so much active work. Pop 'em in the oven and let them go. Easier to do even if I am really tired that day.

But now it's time for me to get offline and go to work. Leaving a bit early today, so I have time to pick up a drink in between busses. That leaves me with a spare half an hour uptown, but it still beats missing a bus or not having a drink to get me through my shift, so I'll take it. I can read a bit while I'm waiting, after all.

And if I can keep my eyes open when I get home, it'll be time to work on the first part of this year's NaNovel. It'll be nice to get some hardcore writing done again. I finished last year's NaNovel in under 2 weeks, and I know I won't be able to handle that pace this year, but I'm still going to do my best to reach the goal.
  • I saw my mother off at the airport today. She's returning to England. It was a sad moment, lots of tears, but I firmly believe that she's making the right decision for herself. She's got more family back there, more friends, more government support, and just as much chance of getting a job there as here. I support her decision. But it's weird to realize that at this very moment, she's over international waters, not even in the same country as me anymore. You'd think I'd be used to that, after all the time she spent in the States with my father, but that wasn't quite the same. It's a bit of a heavy feeling. I'll adjust in time, of course, but for the moment, it's still sinking in that I won't just be able to call her tomorrow and go out for tea if I want.

  • I decided against selling at the ren faire this year. I didn't give myself enough time to get stock together, and by the end, when it came to crunch time I just had too much stress on my shoulders to keep going. So I cancelled my table there. I still went to look around, and had a good time. I watched a wonderful belly dancing display, bought some polished stones, and some delicious strawberry-chocolate-mint homemade jam. I'm going to try harder to make things through this coming year so that I can have a table there next year instead.

  • I've started watching Juuni Kokki again. It's just as addictive as I remember it, and I have no idea why I never finished watching it the first time around. Also, after all this time, I still ship Enki/En-ou. I really wish that more of the novels were published in English, too, so that I could read them.

  • Catching up with my reading. I've just started Gwenda Bond's Blackwood, which I'm hoping will pick up soon, because with few exceptions, it seems like a standard YA supernatural novel at the moment. Admittedly, I'm not very far into it, so I'll give it a chance. Still have to write up reviews for Martha Wells's The Serpent Sea and Catherynne M Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, which might just win some sort of award for the longest book titles in recent years.

  • I think I might spend some time this weekend making some more paper beads and bracelets. I had inspiration for a different style of bracelet than the ones I normally make, and I want to give them a try and see if they'll work out as well as I think they will. Also, I have a lot of paper strips cut for beads, and more magazine pages than that waiting to be cut into strips, so I really ought to make some better use of them. It'll give me a little break from sewing so much, too.

  • Speaking of crafts, I do have a whole bunch of embroidered bookmarks that I need to put a backing on. I made about 30 for the ren faire, but as I previously mentioned, didn't actually sell anything there. So now I've got a bunch of bookmarks sitting around. I'll probably list them in my Etsy store in a day or so, since there's been some people interested in them.

  • Been feeling the urge to do some fiction writing again. A friend and I have talked idly about giving each other writing challenges, the way we used to years ago. I hope something will come of it. I really miss having so much inspiration to write, having my fingers dance across the keyboard and having stories flow from my mind onto the screen. Hmm, probably should also go back and rework some older things that I wrote, too...
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