I’ve done a little writing today and managed to do two job applications. I also took a walk this morning “with” my friend Emily (we talked on the phone while we walked around our perspective neighborhoods) which was really fun actually. At work we often take walks in the morning on our break. She and I spend a good bit more time at work being sociable than we should be maybe. But seriously, not seeing each other for more than a couple of days at a time is sort of weird. I mean I know I worked last summer and she didn’t but that seems like … well several years ago if I’m honest. Last summer seems as far away from me as working for iTunes four years ago. Isn’t it strange the way time passes? I can’t believe how quickly this past year went by for the most part. I felt like I blinked and it was gone and at the same time, the last few months feel like they were years ago. Maybe it’s something about having this summer off that makes everything else feel so strange. Being off right now, it almost feels like this was always my life and I just had a weird dream about working the last year.
Time is so strange. The last few days have gone by quickly too but in a different way, I think. I thought I might try to make a schedule for myself, but I tend to not follow schedules even when I’m the one that makes them so I don’t figure I’ll bother, at least not at the moment. So far I’ve done a good job at staying productive - even if I’m behind on some of my homework. I did make it to the “office hour” today too which made me happy. They’re having an extra one this week on Friday but in the evening so I don’t think I’ll be able to attend that one. If they still have the one Saturday morning, I might make it up in time for that. Emily and I are going to a performance by one of our other co-workers choir group on Friday evening and then of course there’s Wynonna Earp and any squee-ing that might involve. Last Friday I was so exhausted I barely made it through the episode before I was unconscious.
Speaking of Fridays, I think Killjoys is back next week which is lovely. I sure do enjoy Killjoys too. And what a lineup! I think Dutch would love Wynonna.
I digress. Not that this really had a point except for that I think I find it a little easier to write my fiction after I’ve rambled for a bit about my real life.
I’ve got another busy day lined up tomorrow and hopefully that means I’ll be working on my assignments. Wish me luck y’all.
So to qualify for unemployment I have to apply for jobs and I just so don’t want to. I’ve been working pretty hard with all my stories and online classes and errands. I slept pretty late today. I suspect I was a little worn out. I’m not particularly a morning person and I’ve been up late and up at an almost reasonable hour the last few days. I’ve been awake by 9:30 - 10am which I know is not “early” but it can be for me. I usually need a 10 - 12 hour night every now and then and last night seems to have been the night. I’m still sleepy today. It might be the rain too. Rain often makes me kind of sleepy.
So last night I had every intention of going to bed after I finished writing a big. I went upstairs, brushed my teeth, got into bed… and realized I had woken myself up a bit with the getting read part. So I thought I’d just listen to a bit more of my book Silver Silence by Nalini Singh. It was just after midnight and I figured I’d just listen for a few minutes. But see, the book was really, really good. I’ve been following the series for about five years now. I think the first book was published in 2006 but I didn’t find them until there was a sale on the Audible editions and I came across them by chance.
It’s interesting that with this series there were a few I didn’t love and the second most recent was a giant monstrosity that flipped back and forth between nearly every remotely significant character she’d ever written about in the series (that wasn’t dead, obvs) and was basically all these characters we’d been following for fourteen books and innumerable short stories, novellas, and extras having babies or obsessing about babies or thinking of having babies. It was A LOT OF BABIES. Which makes a certain amount of sense really. I mean how you can write romance books that take place over several years in the same “world” and not have at least some of them popping out babies? You can’t is the answer to that. It was hard to focus though because there were just so many perspectives. It was still good, but I was starting to wonder how much longer I was really going to be invested in the series/world - especially since she didn’t really have any gay characters.
HAHHHHHH. I stayed up until after 5am last night desperate to get to the end. And while the main characters of course get together and start their lives together, the book still managed to end on one MAJOR cliffhanger and a minor one or two. So I listened to a 16+ hour book in about a day and a half even with all the Father’s Day activities we did yesterday and the writing and editing I’ve been doing and my exhaustion. Obviously, I’m going to be fighting to get my hands on a copy of the next one as early as possible which will still, very likely, be at least a year from now.
She also added a couple of gay characters who look like they might get together. There’s a potential - in my opinion - for a whole book. I don’t know how likely it is that she’ll write a whole book about them but I’m crossing every part of my body in hopes of a novella dedicated to them. I mean she’s given them the similar build up to some of her other characters in past books who went on to get their own books but I just don’t want to get my hopes up too high. I’m so excited and thankful that they exist and them being gay is treated totally casually and their interest in each other is treated in a way that’s just so freaking cuuuuuute that I have to say I am ecstatic about things thus far. I would buy seven more copies of this book if it gets me more of these two. God, I loved it when we got a hint of them. They’re not the focus of course and you get lots of information about each of them separately from each other. One of them is a trusted “second” of the main male character who is a changeling (read shapeshifter) bear and the other is the brother of the main female character (who is a powerful psy). The bear is flirting with the psy who is pretending not to be interested (he’s totally blushing and verbally sparing with the bear) and it’s AMAZING.
I’m a little stressed about everything I need to do tomorrow - submit my story to the contest, work on my lit mag course work (I’m behind), file for unemployment, take my dad’s car to the shop for him, finish doing laundry, start looking for jobs to apply for to qualify for unemployment, and pick up some books from the library for dad. I feel like I’ve forgotten something which isn’t helping the slight panic attack happening in my chest right now. I’m thinking about going back on the Wellbrutrin for a bit to see if it eases the panic attacks a little. I’d rather not get back on the medication if I can help it. It messed with my period in a way that’s super annoying and I already have PCOS (a hormonal disorder that comes with all kinds of lovely extra risks) so I really hate making that worse. I also feel like I did an amazing job at kicking depression (I totally did) and I feel iike that means I can kick the shit out of the anxiety too.
Let me be clear, there is no shame in taking medication. There is nothing wrong with taking medication. But I grew up with a mom who called medicine “third aid” and never gave us medicine unless we were dying (or killing her with our complaints probably). It’s one of those things that just stuck with me. So now I have to decide if my anxiety is killing me (or making me whine enough to make someone else want to give me the medicine) or if this is still treatable in other ways.
The other thing about the panic attacks is that they’re also a sort of barometer for my actions. If I’m doing things that are making me scared, it’s because I’m doing things that really matter to me and I’m afraid of succeeding and I’m afraid of failing and I’m totally headed in the right direction. I honestly believe if there isn’t a least a part of me that’s scared of whatever it is that I’m doing, I shouldn’t waste a lot of time on doing it. I want that gauge and I feel like it’s possible I’d lose it on the medication. If the medication is doing it’s job, I really should lose those indicators. It’s complicated against.
I’m not sure I’m making any sense any more so, peace and love y’all.
It doesn’t yet feel like I’m on vacation. It just feels like another weekend. I haven’t had a summer off since the first year I worked for Scholastic so I have to say I’m feeling a little nervous about the unemployment thing but also really excited to have six weeks of not going into work. I have about 43 days until I have to go back to work I think. I know that it’s going to go by in flash. I know that I will have barely taken a breath before I’m back there again, but at the same time - 43 days.
I am a walking zombie today. I’ve been juggling so much and pushing up against my own fears so constantly so I’m just driving on fumes. Last night I tried to go to bed early to help me make up the difference and I ended up having crazy dreams and waking up every hour or two all night so I’m even more tired instead.
I wrote another bit of what I hope will be a book eventually today and it came so smoothly and easily. I only wrote about 500 words but I did it in less than 20 minutes so I was really pleased with that. I think I’ll be able to add more tomorrow.
It feels good to be writing again though I feel like I’m nearly constantly at the edge of a panic attack these days. Just living with the tightness in my chest that’s hard to breathe around. I’m not living with it constantly but I feel like it does happen every morning on my way to work. There’s this one stop light I come to when I get off the highway and I’m close to work and it’s like the point I wake up on my way to work because I’m basically just driving on autopilot and half a brain cell up to that point. I feel like that’s the point I see the signs of a panic attack. I take deep breaths and just try to recognize that I’m not dying without “fighting” it. A few minutes later I’ll be busy doing the math to figure out if I’ve made it “on time” since you have a small window to still be “on time” if you clock in (for example, 8:05 is 8am by the time/payclock) and my car clock is six minutes fast. Once I get to the “am I late, late or technically on time, late?” stage, I’m usually not feeling too bad.
Well, I’m a little behind on my writing goal for the month (goal of 30,000). I should be at 13,000 but I’m only at a little over 11,000 but that’s okay. I needed the break I gave myself. I’m addicted to reading right now which, look I know that I’m always a reader but I go through periods of intense reading and I’m in one of those places right now. In the last week I’ve read or listened to over 1200 pages. And that’s just counting the books and comics I’ve finished - not anything I’m part way through, fanfiction or short stories, or reading to edit.
I think it might be the time of year. I mean my schools are shutting down, it’s summer, and I was conditioned in school and in my current job that summer meant reading. This might be a pavlov's bell thing. Or it could just be my own natural reading rhythm which brings these kinds of things up every 3 - 6 months.
I’m not sure.
Anyway, my POINT is that... Nope, no idea what my point is. Possibly that I’m well ahead on my reading goal for the month and my editing goal for the month so I just need to buckle down and get to work on my writing and such. I’m scared of re-working my Mrs. Clause story but I’m also determined to do it.
But no more of that today. It’s my bedtime.
I’m feeling a little burned out, I think. I know I'm a little disappointed that my Mrs. Claus story didn't get accepted to the anthology BUT she was very nice and I think she's right about why she passed on it. I'm very much considering re-writing the story and submitting it again later. Her submissions are done, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't fit anywhere else eventually if I work on it.
I had a pretty unusual day today - work was short. It was employee appreciation day so they brought us in brunch and we got to play games and leave early. I won’t go into all the details, but our little group playing scattergories and at some point someone was trying to say they were going to use “dung” as a weapon, but they said dong instead and I was crying actual tears and could barely breathe before we moved onto other things so that was really fun.
I think one of the things I’d like to do for myself is start making better short term to-do lists. Lists that are more like 24 - 48 hour rather than just weekly and monthly to-do lists.
Since I’ve finished Wynonna Earp and my Mrs. Claus stories (Reb has kindly looked through my Mrs. Claus so it’s still in the editing process) I haven’t been sure what I wanted to work on next. I picked up working on a creepy story I started while I was working on the StoryADay challenge - it was one of the ones I liked the concept of from stories I wrote or started during those days. I have a little more written in it since I started it but it’s a creepy topic/story to me and since I’m holding down the fort with just the dog, I don’t want to work on that after dark. It’s one thing to work on it when it’s sunny and warm, but not this close to dark.