Interruptions

So. I finished writing The Schrodinger Paradox last week. The first draft came in at just under 102K words. I finished Thursday, then took Friday off.

And then Friday, I got a call from my primary care physician’s office that I had an appointment set for Monday morning. I printed a copy (accidentally got one and a half) of Having a Pint, and took it with me, to show up for the time I’d had written down. I had to run a paper check to the bank to deposit, first, and then (after some dumb bastard who clearly hadn’t had enough coffee nearly smacked into me pulling out of his driveway), I went to the clinic.

…and found out I’d written the time down wrong. I got there at ten after, and my appointment wasn’t at 8:30, but at 9:00.

I did get some catch-up grocery shopping done, but it still ate into my productive time.

And then, when I got to the doctor’s office…I had to wait. I did get some editing done in ink on paper. But not a lot. The doc came in, and started in on me about my weight (I’ve lost 20 lbs according to my scales, since December, but their office scales didn’t show that much of a loss–which has me wondering about the accuracy of their scales since I’ve gone down two pants sizes), my blood pressure (which is controlled by an herbal supplement, but mildly elevated from the earlier near-miss traffic incident), my cholesterol (not even going there, since elevated cholesterol is not a problem in and of itself, but rather a symptom), and other tests she plans to bully me into (good luck–I don’t bully).

On the other hand, she knew exactly what I was talking about when I mentioned being unable to do what I used to do, and that my previous doctor (who had her head on straight, but got promoted to supervise babydocs) had diagnosed me with myalgic encephalomyelitis. There were no attempts to tell me it didn’t exist; just asking me how I was managing it, and asking if whatever I was doing working for me.

So, yeah. Yesterday was shot, except for the editing by hand I did while waiting for the harpy. I’ll give her a chance to be a good doctor–I’ve got an appointment scheduled for six months out–but I’m strongly considering jumping to my kids’ and spouse’s doctor, since I don’t need a whole lot of care with the exception of the thyroid meds monitoring.

I have gotten dug in this morning, while I was drinking my second cup of coffee. Gotten about 500 words added, and a good bit changed, and I’m not even done with the first chapter. I’ll be digging back into that in a few minutes, but I thought I’d tell y’all what was going on in the writing world.

A quick status update

I’m back at work. I mentioned having the new laptop all set up, and finding all of my files I needed, right? In any case, I’m back at work. I have The Schrodinger Paradox up to 95K words, total, and I’m not done for the day. We’re moving fairly quickly toward the end of part 3, though. It’s just not coming easily.

Honestly, at this point, there’s not much that is. There’s too many other things going on in my personal life and distracting me for the planned writing to be coming easily.

Unplanned writing, on the other hand, is ambushing me right and left. I wrote a story based on a prompt in December. Then, earlier in this month, another story ambushed me–and I thought I might have a theme for a collection, if more appeared. The day I got this laptop delivered, I was ambushed by a third story…but this one really surprised me. Instead of having a dragon waltzing into normal people’s lives, I had a Cheshire kitten follow a beat-to-hell rescue tom in through the cat door, and start talking to the narrator.

That’s for later, though. The stories will come out as they will, whether I will or no.

In the meantime, I will be finishing the draft of The Schrodinger Paradox. And then, I will re-read and revise my first draft of Having a Pint, so I can get that out to my beta readers.

I’m kind of done setting goals–between one thing and another, I never manage to meet them.

I think this will work…

My Dell laptop arrived yesterday evening. I had to argue with the Acer to get it and the Dell to see each other, so I could import my bookmarks…because the Acer wouldn’t export/save them for me at all. That, right there, took all evening and night last night, after having gotten the setup done. I had the laptop handed to me right around dinner time, last night, started work, then got done and went to bed around a quarter ’til midnight (with a 6:30 wake-up time, to get the kids ready).

I’ve got my backed up documents, music, and pictures loaded. I’ve gotten a browser downloaded. I’ve gotten a music player downloaded (essential, for my writing process). I’ve gotten Office ’07 loaded. I’ve got LibreOffice downloaded to see if it’s more functional for what I want (so far, yes).

I’ve hunted through my files and found the ones I need (I really need to reorganize my documents), and gotten Paradox open for work. Found my short stories I’d been working on and collecting (oh gawd have I been ambushed, lately!).

So far, this laptop is…perfectly adequate. I’m not a gamer, so I don’t do the stupidly huge graphics card and high resolution. I have a Bluetooth speaker that my darling husband got me for Christmas (and the Bluetooth on this laptop actually works–my Acer’s never did), which sort of negates the need for the (honestly better than average) laptop speakers. I have maybe 62GB of files, so the 256GB drive is more than adequate to my needs. The keyboard is fairly quiet, and easy to use. No awkwardly placed keys shortening my right hand shift key (looking at YOU, Lenovo!) and FUBARing my typing. It’s quick, it’s responsive, and it seems to work well.

I’ll be getting back to work, starting probably tomorrow. I am still freakin’ beat from fighting with the dying Acer to get everything off of it that I wanted.

Me and my big mouth…

I should know better, by now, than to predict success. Every time I do, something comes along to FUBAR my plans.

Before Christmas, I had a panic attack. It was warranted, but it certainly threw me off big time. I did not get the draft finished.

Over Christmas break, I wound up having to diffuse arguments between the kids, and deal with multiple attacks of the chronic fatigue mess going on with me, complete with brain fog making me lose time.

And now that the kids are back in school, I’ve got issues with my laptop cropping up. As in: my hard drive is in the process of dying. Things aren’t working quickly, aren’t processing, and are frequently freezing in the middle of trying to do things, to the point that I sometimes get half a paragraph typed before I realize that the laptop’s frozen and didn’t register it, and I need to wait.

I have everything backed up, at this point, no new work going on, and I have ordered a new laptop. It should arrive tomorrow or Wednesday, according to the tracking.

I haven’t quit writing–it’s just all in my draft book. And will take time to transcribe, once everything’s transferred, the new laptop is set up, and Office ’07 is installed.

Whew.

I finished editing the second part of The Schrodinger Paradox today. Part 1–Cataclysm–came in at just under 40K words; part 2–Heisenberg’s Point of Observation–came in originally at around 17K words….the revision did a bit more than double that, ending at 35K words. In about a week and a half. With one of the days being totally non-productive due to brain fog and pain.

Yes, I am proud of myself.

I have just finished the first read-through of the 12K words I had done for part 3–currently titled Rewind. I’ll likely go through it again, at least once, before I really start in on it. I’m planning on starting in on it seriously tomorrow.

All told, current word count is just around 87K. And that…that’s not totally first draft, but it’s also not final draft. And not complete. We’ll have to see how it turns out.

I am, for the most part, holding to my goals of 2000 words/week day, 1000 words/weekend day. With the exception of the day I couldn’t focus on anything but the ceiling, that’s been about the average–some days more, some less.

If I can keep this up, I can almost certainly finish this before Christmas. Maybe not before the kids are out for Christmas Break at 11:00 on this coming Friday, but before Christmas.

And then…then, I’ll pick back up with editing and revising Liquid Diet Chronicles: Having a Pint. That shouldn’t take too long, either, and I’ll be able to get that done and dealt with before January, and out to beta readers sometime in early January.

I promise, I also have other projects in the works–these are just what I’ve got going right now, and what’s most immediate at the top of my attention.

Progress!

I mentioned, last week, that I was picking The Schrodinger Paradox back up to work on. I pulled up both the file for the work itself, as well as the file containing a friend’s read-through and feedback on part 1–a friend who was kind enough to help me with the stuff I not only didn’t know, but didn’t know that I didn’t know.

Anyway, I’ve got part 1 read through, edited, corrected, and expanded. I’m working my way through part two. Part 2 is taking a lot more work. It was really bare-bones (more detailed outline than story) in way too many parts.

So, last week’s starting word count was 54,700 words, with just part 1 and part 2 in one document, and 12,000 words in a separate document, starting part 3. When I started working on this, last week, I hadn’t even added in what I had of part 3, and I’d had part 2 only part of the way done. This week, I’ve got everything compiled properly, and I’m about halfway through revising, editing, rewriting, and expanding part 2. Current word count is 77,000, and is climbing rapidly. I’m holding to my goals of an average of 2,000 words per week day, and overshooting that on many days.

I should finish with my revision/expansion of part 2 sometime this week, hopefully before midweek. I hope to finish part 3 before the kids break for Christmas. They’re out a week from Friday, and honestly, at the rate I’ve been going, I think I have a pretty good chance of managing exactly that. Barring family emergencies that require my attention away from being able to write.

If I do manage, the plan is to pick Having a Pint back up, and doing a read-through/revision of that, then sending it to my beta readers in January.

I won’t hold my breath, though. This year has been a massive, nasty bitch about throwing curve-balls at literally everybody.

Yay!

I finished a day later than I wanted to, but I did get Liquid Diet Chronicles: Having a Pint fully finished in first draft form. It came in around 52K words. When I revise and edit and expand, it’ll likely fall around 60-63K words.

I wrote yesterday from the time I got the kids dropped off at school until I broke for lunch when my stomach started growling (around 11:30), then wrote from when I’d finished eating until I was done (around 1:45 or so). And then sat back and took a deep breath, let it out, and checked the day’s word count.

Yesterday’s word count ended up at 4,800 words written. And I felt like the joints in my hands were on fire and my brains were going to melt out my ears.

I have set Pint aside for now–I need some time away from it before I go back in and go through it again–and pulled up my next project: a science fiction project inspired by Starset’s Transmissions album (which I highly recommend). I have about 2/3 to 3/4 of the first draft done–it’s a story in three parts, and the first two are finished, with the third part of the way done.

It took some serious hunting to find the files for that one. I haven’t worked on it since this time in 2017, and I’ve replaced my laptop at least once since then. I have found them, though, so I’ll be starting back in on that today. I’ll probably start with re-reading/revising/expanding/editing so that I can get back into the headspace for the book. I’ve already pulled up the album and set it running on my music player.

Well. Back to work. I’ll try to keep you updated.

This year…

This year has been an utter bitch. I am working, but it’s slow as fuck, mostly because I keep getting my feet knocked out from under me (stupid lockdowns, stupid sudden need to replace a well pump, stupid need for more insulation, stupid mask ordinances, stupid amounts of election fraud…all adds up to stupid stress levels, and a stupid higher likelihood of getting sick…which is what keeps happening). No excuse, but definitely a reason.

I did manage to get a short story written last month. First draft ended up at around 6,600 words. Not bad, considering. I am going to probably go back and revise and expand it, before I set it aside to decide what I want to do with it.

I read and edited two friends’ works, and enjoyed the absolute hell out of both.

And I’ve got the first draft of Having a Pint about 2/3 done (I have managed around 8,000-9,000 words in the few days I’ve managed to write), and am starting to head toward the climax. Poor Meg’s got complications coming at her from all directions. It’s kind of fun to play in her world and learn more about it with her. I just hit 40K words today, and am going to see how much I can get done this week, when I’ve not got laundry every damn day just to keep the kids’ school masks clean in rotation (believe me, it’s a heavy enough chore that, even with the kids doing their own laundry two days, Andrew doing his another day, the other two or three really knock me on my ass).

Thing is, and I’ve been forced to accept this very much against my will, writing work is still work, and it does actually take from my energy budget, even if and as it refreshes me mentally and spiritually.

Freakin’ long summer

The kids started back to school last week. They started having stuff to study this week. And they’ll start having tests over the stuff they’re studying, also this week. I’m keeping a close eye on homework, but otherwise, I have quiet time to myself, again.

The kids had no outlet all summer: no enrichment classes, no swim lessons, few trips to the store…nothing. And they broke two sprinklers1 over the course of the summer, setting them up and riding bikes through them, just to have something to do. That meant that they were under foot (and under elbow, randomly) all the time, and had the TV going more than half of it…and fighting frequently, always as soon as I plugged in my headphones to drown out the TV. School let out for Spring Break, then never really picked back up. The poor kids were really ready to go back in April. Instead, they had five full months at home.

I am mentally worn out. I really, really am. Last week’s two days of school helped, but I think it’s going to take a while to get back into the headspace to write.

In the meantime…I’ve got something fun to edit/offer feedback on.

1 The sprinklers were cheap, Chinese-made pieces of shit. But the kids still went through two of them.

Oh, ffs!

I have managed–barely–to top 30K words on Having a Pint.  I’d planned to be much further along, by now.  Last week, however, was…less than conducive to writing.

We’ve needed a new riding mower for a while.  The one we have works, for the most part, but it was second hand and beat to hell when we got it.  And last weekend, Andrew went to shop for one.  As he was leaning over (way over) to look underneath it, he lost his balance and fell on his shoulder…just exactly in the right way to dislocate it.

I was not there–my mother-in-law was with him.  She called me from the urgent care parking lot and told me that they were there because Andrew had hurt himself.  No details, not her fault–they didn’t know exactly what had gone bad until the urgent care had a chance to look him over.  Not long after that, she calls again to tell me that she’s driven him from urgent care to the emergency room because urgent care wasn’t equipped to handle whatever.  She wasn’t sure at that point.  Mostly because she’d done the transport, and Andrew was in too much pain to answer questions.

About 4:00 or so, I finally got a call from Andrew.  With an explanation of exactly what had gone wrong–dislocated shoulder–and that they’d knocked him out briefly to put it back.

Yeah…about three and a half hours of suppressed panic to not scare the kids.

I’m thankful it wasn’t worse, but this…really did me in for being able to think for most of the week.