Quick update

First draft of the fourth Modern Gods book, Gods and Monsters, is finished, as of yesterday.  It’s about 84.5K words, currently.  I’m setting it aside for at least a week, if not two, before I do a second draft.

Also yesterday, I finished the first chapter of the Liquid Diet Chronicles book 2.  Tentative title for that is Having a Pint.  Started chapter 2 this morning, and am still working.

All this while ignoring the distraction of a stranger puttering around me, putting in ceiling fans and lighting, in a house that was built outside city limits in 1970, and clearly not up to code in some areas–the ceiling fans replaced were not in fan-rated boxes, but bolted to braces laid across the rafters, and the rafters weren’t spaced evenly or correctly, which took some creative, lateral thinking for the electrician.

If you are in Jasper County, Missouri, I heartily recommend JB Electric.  The young man did a stellar job, and cleaned up after himself (drywall bits etc from putting in the junction boxes).

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Back to work

Monday and Tuesday were okay.  Wednesday, though…on Wednesday, I woke up with what I thought was a sinus headache.  As it turned out, it wasn’t just a sinus headache.  I’ve been guzzling coffee and Cherry Coke, munching aspirin and acetaminophen every six hours, and taking antihistamines at night since I woke up with that headache.  Because it turned out to be a light and sound and cold sensitive migraine.  I got a little bit done on Wednesday, but not a whole lot.

Thursday, the kids had a snow* day, so I didn’t have to get out in the cold…but I couldn’t find my sunglasses to deal with the light levels needed in the house on a cloudy, nasty day outside.  And yes, the pain was a good deal worse and more persistent than Wednesday.  I skimmed through some of what I’d had written on Gods and Monsters, and discovered that, in switching over from Word to LibreOffice Writer, all of my formatting had been stripped out.  Nothing I wanted to be centered was centered, and Italics were gone.  So I started going through, fixing stuff.

Friday was a scheduled day off for the kids.  I found my sunglasses, but also discovered that a couple of the kids’ favorite shows really exacerbated the migraine, which hadn’t eased in the slightest from Thursday.  I did get some more editing done–I finished the day about halfway through G&M, fixing formatting (which will likely need fixed again), and fleshing a few things out.

Today, when I woke up, my headache had eased off some.  It hurt only as much as it had after the meds had taken effect on Thursday and Friday.  It’s currently only a dull murmur, two and a half hours after aspirin, generic Tylenol, and about 30 oz of really strong, black coffee.  I’ve been able to focus thoughts, so I’ve picked back up with actually writing.

This week has been far from a total loss.  So far, not counting what I hope to accomplish today, I’ve managed almost 7,000 words on Gods and Monsters.  At the moment, between that addition and the small revisions I’ve made, I’m a bit over 80K words on that manuscript draft.  I’ve got three chapters to go, and I’m working again.

And I’ve got the day to do it.  My much beloved other half has taken both the kids to visit his parents, and left me here to ride out the dregs of the headache (which should be all the way gone tonight or tomorrow).  Yeah, I’ll have some work to do when they get home (homework I didn’t make them get done while their little voices were literally painful for me and housework), but it’s going to wait while I can write.

Honestly thankful for the ability to think, and to focus.  I really hate it when I can’t.

 

 

 

*Snow, my ass.  Southwest Missouri didn’t just get snow.  We got thunderstorms.  Freezing rain.  Freezing fog.  Thundersleet.  Some areas got tornadoes.  We got a little bit of snow on top of that, but it was mostly liquid that froze, or ice, coming down.  And the temperature at 12:01 Thursday morning was the warmest it got all day–the temperature plummeted from 29 degrees Farenheit to 14 degrees (with a wind chill of zero) over the course of the day, and Friday’s morning low was 9 degrees (wind chills below zero).  And we’re just about forty minutes north of Arkansas.

Oof.

I’ve got three more chapters, I think.  And then the first draft of Gods and Monsters will be finished.

As of yesterday, word count had increased to 77,200 from 72,000 before this week started.

I am currently writing the first of the side-plot chapters I was planning.  I’ll see how much I can get done today.  Should be interesting.

I can tell you this, though–between the writing and the weather, my hands are really aching something fierce.

Finally making progress again!

Last week took a lot of worries off my mind: we got ahold of people to do some repairs–some electrical, some roof–and lo and behold, the muse jumped me today.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right one at first.  I’m still working on Gods and Monsters.  And it may be the last volume in the series for a while–it seems like it comes in fits and spurts rather than like other pieces do.

But today, Meg from the Liquid Diet Chronicles butted in line.  I got the first part of the first chapter of book 2 (about 1200 words) hammered out in about half an hour this morning, and I know where the rest of the chapter’s going.  Got a good idea of where the rest of the book is going, too.

That would have been enough to have me celebrating.  But that wasn’t all.  I also got 400 words of the climactic chapter of Gods and Monsters written.  And I have an idea of where and how the side plot’s going to fit in, and about how much that’s going to be.  And I’m not done writing for the day–not if I want to be able to go to sleep easily in an hour or so.

Yes, I have other work I need to get done tomorrow.  I have to talk to my pharmacy and unfuck a FUBARed set of thyroid ‘scrips, and I need to get our trash service switched over to autodraft.  Because I’m downright sick of buying stamps for bills, and everything else is autodraft.  I may need to actually go get my ‘scrips, too.

But I’m still hoping tomorrow’s as productive as today was.

 

Ugh

Last week was…not a good week.  Monday, both kids were home, and Daniel spiked a low-grade fever (lethargic and flushed).  Which meant he was home Tuesday, getting into stuff, and hanging about under elbow (he felt pretty much all the way better, but school rules keep him home for 24 hrs after fever breaks on its own).  I got a couple things done on Wednesday, and then he came home broken-hearted: his girlfriend (yes, girlfriend–never mind that he’s 10 and she’s 9) was moving out of the school with her family.  So I wound up with a weepy boy in my lap for a lot of the evening.

Friday, I triggered a CFS flare.  Kinda came out of nowhere–hit fast, hard, and nasty as I was finishing up the grocery shopping.  Spent the rest of Friday out of commission; spent a lot of Saturday like that, too, because there are always things that need done on a daily basis and I can’t take a day off of everything.  Kept pecking away at writing, but longhand, mostly, and longhand on Sunday.  I still need to transcribe what I got done.

Like I said: I did get a couple things done, even transcribed and finished, early in the week.  Gods and Monsters is sitting at 72,000 words.  4,000 words more than it ended the previous week at.  I have no idea how much I have to transcribe sitting in my draft book.  And I’m working today.  I still hope I can finish the first draft within the week (or two).   Cross your fingers for me, please.

New laptop

I got my new laptop yesterday.  Spent some time setting it up and getting it usable, and tightening down the privacy settings (shutting Cortana off to the extent that I can–the stupid thing always runs in the background, and I can’t totally kill the program so that it doesn’t eat memory).

I got a tiny bit transcribed today–it was a family visit day, so I took the laptop up to my mom’s and did a little bit (both file/folder organization so I can find the stuff I’m working on, and transcribing from draft book to novel file).  The thing was telling me that I had thirteen hours of battery life.

Got home and started re-downloading my music from Amazon (all I can do until later–the one jump drive I can currently use has irreplaceable photos and files, so it won’t get used).  On battery.  For the past two or three hours.  And it’s saying I still have 7.5 hours left.

I’m impressed.

The keyboard is comfortable and responsive, and the up/down arrows are half-size keys, set between the left/right arrows.  The shift key is your standard itty-bitty-bit longer than your enter key.  Which makes for comfortable, more accurate typing.

Next week, my kids go back to school.  Not Monday (teacher in-service day) but on Tuesday.

Currently, I have 68,000 words, with another 10K planned between here and the end of the book.  I have maybe another 10K-15K words planned to flesh out some of the side plots and characters, and weave it into the main plot.  And then, the first draft will be done.

I think I can get it done in the next two weeks, but I’ve thought that before, damn it.

However.

This time.  This time, I have the tools for the job: a laptop with a good keyboard, good headphones, writing music, pens, paper, and ink.

Mildly irritated

I got this laptop, a Lenovo IdeaPad, in July of 2017.  Right away, I had a mild complaint: the shift key on the right side is half-sized.  And there’s an up arrow right next to it.  I got an ergonomic keyboard (that I shouldn’t have cheaped out on, because I have several complaints about it), and used that while getting used to the stupidity that Lenovo did with the keyboard.

I’ve had another complaint for the past two months: the case around the monitor has cracked, and is getting worse.  Despite being incredibly careful, and no longer closing the laptop at all, it’s gotten to the point that the monitor will reposition itself, and the plastic case around the monitor separates when I try to move it back.

I’d gotten fifteen months’ use out of the damn thing.  And this is beyond the irritation with Windows 10, the keyboard, and Office setting itself up as a rental rather than a purchase.

When I was using Acer laptops, I usually got at least two years’ use out of them before things started going tits-up.

I have an Acer Aspire on order from Amazon.  It’ll arrive on Friday.

In the meantime, I’ve been fighting wave after wave of chronic fatigue flareups.  Four months ago or so, my endocrinologist reduced my thyroid meds, and I started having issues.  I’ve been put on a different one,* and I’ve started feeling better.

I’m irritated that a slightly high level of thyroid hormone, to the point my doc’s concerned about it, seems to be best for the chronic fatigue, and that I feel awful when the doctor’s happier.

I’m hopeful that the new meds don’t wind up with my doc hyperventilating and shoving me back on the synthetic T4 replacement without listening to my preferences because it’s what she thinks is best.

I have been still writing, but I’ve been having to back up almost as much as I’ve been going forward.  When brain has the dumbs, the words just don’t work right.

That seems to be, finally, fixing itself as I get used to the new meds.  Crossing fingers.

 

*I’m on natural thyroid replacement, which includes T4 (inactive) and T3 (active), rather than just the T4 that my body’s supposed to convert and maybe doesn’t do properly.