Can you feel it?

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Christmas is in the air!  I’ve been struggling this year to maintain the spirit because work has been so incredibly and insanely busy… booked with few to no breaks.

Then I had some employee issues that needed to be addressed… ho hum!

But I have been having that itch once again… the itch that is telling me that I need to get off my butt and figure out a way to start writing again and stop stalling on that.

I feel like I have yet to find “my groove” because something is always changing.  Whether it’s schedule changes for myself or my daughter or if it’s something I remembered last minute that I have to do or if it’s my health issues cropping up—like all the headaches I’ve been getting lately—it seems something always gets set aside and that is usually my writing!

I have also been feeling pretty depressed lately.  Part of it is my Seasonal Affective Disorder which I’m trying to control but there hasn’t been a lot of sun lately.  It’s also the constant comparison to last year when I was home and recuperating and feeling not bad and getting a few little things done here and there and enjoying all the holidays had to offer.  Now I’m doing that in the bits and pieces of my spare time.

I am actually reading a book but the fact that it’s by a favourite author the next section is starting to scare me.  It’s a typical romance type novel where she has met him at a time of crisis and she has fallen live with him and now she’s about to find out that he’s been lying about who he really is and has a criminal past.  Of course they’ll end up together in the end, somehow, but I just kind of sigh and wonder if I want to put myself through that emotional turmoil right now… on PURPOSE!  Do I finish it?  Do I set it aside?  Do I skip that bad section?

I’m off the next two days and my intention is to put myself in as much of a Christmas mood as I can!  I still have to finish marking for my class that wrapped up last week so that HAS to take priority… see! Always something… but hopefully it won’t take me too much longer to do that.

I also had my laptop do a restart the other day and when I opened Word it had come up with all of the restored items… somehow they disappeared and one of them was the very start of a new story.  Now I can’t find it anywhere!  😦

Anyway, I guess the first step to getting back to writing is writing this.  It’s always encouraging when I can actually sit and develop a blog post.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas filled with love, hope, joy, and peace or, for those of you who do not celebrate Christmas may you just enjoy some love, hope, joy and peace with your families in the time that is filled with the newness of life.

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Slowing down? HA!

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Wednesday was the first day I’ve had off and spent the day AT HOME doing whatever I wanted to do… I never drove anywhere!  I walked around my complex and delivered a few Christmas cards to neighbours.  That’s it.

Of course, as these small moments go, the day did not start the way I had anticipated… breakfast, a cup of tea.  Nope… not at all!

My basement ceiling is made up of panels made to look like individual square tiles.  A couple of squares have come down.  One of the missing ones is above a bookshelf.  The kitten (well, not really a kitten anymore, he’s over a year but he’s still small) spends his nights down there still because he doesn’t calm down and stop meowing at bedtime.  Wednesday morning I open the door to his usual cries and he’s not at the top of the stairs.  I went down thinking maybe he had hurt himself because who knows what he does down there there all night by himself.

I didn’t see him in all the usual places and then I looked UP!

There he was peeking down out of the hole and crying away.

He wouldn’t let me lift him out… he was terrified.  It was too far of a drop to get back to the bookshelf so I stacked up some boxes so he could walk down.  His front feet came down but he wouldn’t bring his back legs down.  I tried to lift him out again and that’s when I realized he had wiring between his back legs.  Got that unwrapped and finally,

FINALLY…

He was FREE!!

The rest of the day was spent wrapping a few gifts, making a hat and starting a short story… all of which I did little bits of because, it was a free day off and I allowed myself to do whatever it was I needed to do!

I’m so glad I spent that day doing that because I’ve had a migraine ALL weekend and have been feeling too under the weather to do anything other than some laundry.  The sun is shining! I should be enjoying it and all I want to do is close the curtains and bury my head in the dark!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful lead-up to the glorious holiday season.  There are 16 days to go… I’m pretty much ready… are you?

It’s ONE MONTH til Christmas!

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Are you ready?  Are you starting to get ready?

As I start to write this I don’t know, for once, what title to give it!  Of course most of my written work starts off without a title and gets a title at the end when I can summarize… so today will be the same!

What a productive weekend! Yesterday was my first Saturday off since I started the new job and it was amazing!  I did all my laundry and got out to see the horses and my daughter and I decorated the tree… yes, my decorating is done for the year and you can check it out…

Christmas_Tree_1

This morning I got my Christmas cards written and just need stamps.  Most of my shopping is done too.  Of course wrapping is another story!

I have been falling behind, as usual, on my writing.  My blog posts are picking up again and, once more, I’m trying to decide if I want to push myself to do a month of daily blog posts.  When I did that last time it was incredible and it helped my brain get back into the thought processes related to writing.

Of course I could decide to do that starting January first… New Year, New challenge for myself.

I’m also still working on a short story and might have another one in there, possibly a new full-length novel and that’s an incredible feeling as the characters start to form in your mind.  It’s a little like knitting or crocheting when you are merely setting the stage by creating that first link meanwhile it doesn’t look like anything, it’s not going to do anything to keep you warm and you have no idea how many stitches will get dropped and how many times you’ll end up backing up to do repairs or how many repairs you’ll have to do when you’re done.

You hope for no holes to fix or dropped stitches but I think ALL writing will have the same plot holes and require edits/repairs before the story is presentable.

Second-to-last it looks like I’m going to really be able to get into the blogging game with the wellness studio and start getting some real health-related blogs going up on their site.

Lastly, I’m trying to find a time to put my books on Amazon on sale.  I need to also get Changes in Time back onto my website and Lulu.

As soon as I know when I’m going to do the sale I’ll be doing a blog post about it and posting it on my Facebook page.

We’re so close to the holidays it’s like being able to feel hope in the air!

By the way, as you noticed, I found a title!

Five weeks…

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and two days…until Christmas!  Maybe you didn’t want to hear that but, in all honesty, it’s kind of what’s keeping me going these days!

As you know, from previous blog posts, I’ve been feeling kind of melancholy and to those of you who know me really well, that’s an understatement!

So Christmas is helping to keep me going.  I have my bells on my door and I set up my Nativity on Thursday so I have started.  I’d have the entire place decorated if it wasn’t such a disaster!  All in good time!

Much of that comes from the reflection I have been experiencing since my surgery… it was one year ago on Friday and it was one year ago today that I came home (a couple hours from now yet) and crawled onto my bed and promptly fell asleep!  But I have a greater appreciation for the holidays because of last year.  One thing I am going to miss is being home and curling up on the couch and watching Christmas movies with the cats and having some wonderful visitors.  I feel like this year will go to waste if I’m not careful!  But everything I’ve been through also gives a sense of joy.  I have not regretted having my surgery which is probably the most important part… besides, I even managed to write a book out of it!

I have been a bad girl and not been doing much writing for NaNo… ho hum!  Most of the time I’ve been too tired after work to write.

Which brings me to an interesting post I came across on Facebook last night posted by CBC… it says that Canadian authors make $9,000 a year.  Someone, who is clearly NOT a writer, commented to say that we should get a job and write in our spare time… okay, go ahead and try that Miss non-writer.  Often times, after you have spent eight hours at a job where you’ve put a smile on your melancholy face and given your best you just come home and crash rather than have the energy.  Of course Mondays I come home and turn around and head on what is turning into a 40 minute drive to the college to teach for a couple more hours!  So I just want to let Miss non-writer know that we writers do our best but it often isn’t the reality… it often isn’t that simple.

I also have a big baby at home who seems to be feeding off my moods and does everything he can be to be in my lap and, well, on the laptop as I try to write this!

I finally saw a former patient from family practice yesterday and we had a great chat.  That actually helped lift my spirits a bit towards where I am now and what I’m doing.

The new furniture in the office looks great and I think I can finally, maybe try to settle in for a while and just be… maybe I can find some peace after all!

What I really want is my energy levels to boost back up (which is also very difficult with the onset of my SAD) so I could come home from work and have some energy to write.

Well, my friends, all in good time!

 

 

Figuring it out… slowly

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It’s always amazing how the mind works.

In my situation, I was incredibly unhappy in my job for more reasons than I can share here because some of those issues should be addressed but, unfortunately, it’s impossible for me to be the one to address them with the right people.

So I finally managed to step away but have found I’m still not happy… as I shared in my last post.  But I’m the type of person who always needs to identify the answer to the question “why?” because I feel it’s important.  Most people who start a new job should be ecstatic and when you tell people it’s a job they tend to want to know why!  So little things slowly come to light when I least expect them too.  Up to now it had to do with tearing the office apart and putting it back together again and doing it again and that the rules are constantly changing.

Today, just now, I also realized the one email that had gone around saying that even on our days off we should be checking our email!  I don’t know why that didn’t strike a chord sooner but it certainly did in these moments!  I’m having an issue focusing on anything to do with writing because I’m so overwhelmed and I realized that I was online at my old job and was able to take 30 seconds to peruse an email pertaining to writing to see if it was worth following up on later.  I was always connected and in sync.  Now I don’t have that but what has replaced that as well is that email thing… when I was off on Wednesdays, I never gave much thought to work.  Unless someone texted me from the office to ask a question I was able to do whatever I wanted.  I never had to get onto the system to check anything.

So yet another point against!

So I guess that’s why my agitation levels are rising.  I am feeling very overwhelmed by everything and everyone.  I guess that’s also why Christmas movies are a constant on my TV right now too… the entire season, the message that Christmas sends are soothing.

I actually started to write a short story the other day… I’m just not feeling into finishing it…

And so it goes!

I’m Just Not Happy…

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I have been busy, yes, too busy to even come up with a blog post.  Too busy and too overwhelmed to come up with a blog post.

And incredibly disappointed.  In myself, in the new job, and, in some ways, the world in general.

I should write about it!

As anyone who has been following this blog knows, I was incredibly unhappy at the old job.  And I actually have NO regrets whatsoever in leaving.  I miss it because it was my home for more than 12 years but I don’t miss the stuff!

I knew going out that the new job was likely not to be my final stop but I didn’t think that a month in I’d be as disillusioned as I am already.  And maybe it’s completely related to being told on day 2 that the entire office needs to be packed up for painting and then not being given enough time to unpack it and doing training on top of it all which meant less time to unpack and organize.  Out of only 15 shifts I have had a trainee with me for 7! I never really got the chance to settle in… oh, and now we’re getting new furniture which means that at some point in the very near future, everything has to be packed up, again!  I also haven’t adapted to the new schedule yet either.

So I’m starting to open my job post emails again though I haven’t applied for anything, yet.  I really thought I could just coast through the rest of the year at least before I ramped up the search.  I have to admit, I do miss the challenges of family practice.  In whatever I do, I also need to make sure I have free time and hours to offer the wellness studio.

So starting Thursday is NaNoWriMo!  Let’s see if I can not only get off my butt and write every day but that I can find, deep in the recesses of my brain, a story to tell!  There’s not much there right now!

The other awesome, exciting thing is that Christmas movies start on Thursday on W Channel here in Canada… tonight on Hallmark in the US.  Just in case anyone needed to know that!  So this Thursday, since it’s one of my days off, my intention is to have W on all day and just bask in the movies and the messages they send.  I am going to miss that this year… it was one of the upsides of my surgery last year even though it didn’t happen until the 16th of November.

I am so excited about the movies starting this year because it has made me realize that despite my surgery last year and the circumstances around that, it was a very special Christmas.  Being off (yes, post-surgical pain and the subsequent repercussions included), allowed me to bask in the season… my favourite season.  I had visitors, I was surrounded by my Christmas decorations.  I could listen to my Christmas music and watch the movies.

I recorded about a dozen of them and I have been watching them… they have been grounding me almost… and with the endings, yes, as predictable as they are, I am usually in tears… that’s how much the messages are getting to me.

It has been a long, tough year, almost 2 years and I’m seeing things in much different light than I did… hopefully that’s as much a part of maturing as it is growth.  Spiritual growth even though the waist is growing a bit too.  I can feel the change and, when I’m at peace, I’m enjoying it immensely.

Belated Thanksgiving

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Well!  Here I am!  I tried desperately to write a post last week… to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving…

I failed!

Miserably!

I have now finished two weeks of the new job and have FINALLY just opened up three hours of available time at the wellness studio!

I also spent the last two shifts at Passport Health training someone new.

And through it all, I’m still trying to wait patiently to hear from the publisher about my book!

On the writing front it has mostly been attempts at blog posts and business letters and introductions for the wellness studio.

It’s supposed to be an exciting time yet I feel tired and uninspired.  I’m finding it difficult to focus on anything.

Last Monday we finished closing the pool.  Wednesday I took off to the trailer and the weather was fantastic!  I went to the beach and we had to turn the A/C on to cool the trailer down.  We never had to turn on the heat.  Had I actually worn my water shoes, I might have actually gone into the lake!  However, on Thursday we closed the trailer.  Summer, my friends, is O.V.E.R. and that makes me sad and gloomy too.

But that does mean Nanowrimo is right around the corner… full on writing for a month! At least I can HOPE.

If you’re thinking of joining Nano this year, now is the time to jump on the website and get signed up!

It might be time for me to work out the sequel to the novel that I’ve sent out to that publisher.  Sometimes forcing yourself to write 1,667 words a day is what it takes to get a story out of you and onto the page.  You have to work so fast that everything comes pouring out.  Then you can pick through after the 50,000 words are there and organize it all and see what you can come up with.  It works… it has worked for me many times and I hope that I have the time and patience for it to work again.

So, come on, join in the fun!

Writing on my mind…

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So I don’t know how much my stress levels have lessened vs. just changed source!  Despite all the stress I did feel from where I was I feel a different stress due to the change in schedule… as I’ve told people before, I don’t do stress well… I don’t manage it well.  Unless, of course, it’s something that I REALLY, REALLY want!

So in that regard, now that the job has changed, my mind returns to writing.  Like I said to someone yesterday, I get EXTREMELY agitated when I can’t write… either due to writer’s block or lack of time so, of course, you can begin to imagine where I’m going with this!

Add to that this next little tidbit and you will understand why I’m feeling like crawling the walls…

September 6 was #PitMad on Twitter… a pitch day for novels!  So I tossed up six of my novels.  Well, I got a bite!  I got a like so I followed the instructions and sent the first 50 pages and then last week they contacted me… they had read the first 50 pages and asked, if the book was still available, if I could send the entire manuscript!

So now I’m sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear from them again!  I can’t help it… isn’t this the one thing that all authors wait for?  I realize that it can still go either way but it’s certainly exciting and it serves as fuel to fan the flames of my greatest desire which is to write.

I played the what-if game yesterday… what if they come back to me and want to know if I could write a sequel?  What if they want that sequel in a hurry?  Can I do it?  I’m not asking that question on the true basis of can or can’t… as in ability but I ask Can I do it from the perspective of having the time and that spark of creativity at the moment that I need it?

So I am waiting… and I continue to wait since Sunday night I had to resend it because, for some reason, they couldn’t open the file… I might have been excited about sending the email and hit send before it completely attached.  It’s the only thing I could think of that made sense.  Of course there were some Higher Power thoughts there too but I’ll keep those to myself for right now because I don’t want to jinx myself too much!

So I started to flesh out some ideas just in case… because isn’t that what authors do?

The End of Chapter 12…

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Are our lives written as chapters?

With the change of jobs after 12 years it makes me wonder.  It feels like the old chapter has closed and new one is about to begin.  I’ve never really thought of it that way despite being a writer.  Despite having sat to start writing my memoirs of writing a few years ago I never quite put life into the context of a book with scenes and chapters and sometimes even THE END followed by a sequel.

I am back in my room, at least for this post!  I carried my laptop upstairs last night and set it on the desk exactly for this moment.  How does it feel? Good actually.  This is my usual Sunday morning stomping ground, or it was until almost 2 years ago when I got the new laptop and I left it on the dining room table which then became my main workspace as the writing desk in my room became the new headquarters for recently worn clothing that may or may not need to be washed… you know the pile… you have one.  We all have one!

So Friday was my last day at the office.  This past week was very teary for me especially on my drives to and from.  The mood in the office was subdued and I had many of the patients that I had contacted ahead of time drop in for last hugs, farewells, well-wishes and even some parting gifts.  That’s not why I notified the 60-odd that I was departing, I notified them because I helped them in some way, and they left an impression on me too.  I know I don’t have to do it but many have also become my friends and I’d like to maintain contact even if only to help them in the future if I can.

So my new adventure begins on Monday, well, one of my new adventures.  I had written up, to the best of my ability, the descriptions for the wellness studio and submitted them for critique and editing but haven’t heard anything back yet.  That’s okay, with starting the new job I feel the need to postpone that, still.

As for writing, well, I do hope that I can get up and functioning for NaNoWriMo in November.  Hoping I can find some storyline that will help boost me easily to 50,000 words!

I feel like I am on extremely unsteady ground, or as in my favourite song, stormy waters.  I guess the question is “where do I go from here?”  “What happens from this point?”  I’ve spent 12 years with the same schedule going to the same place and now all that is changing.  It’s amazing how, as we age, we become less adaptable to change.  I know some of us have no issues whatsoever  but I do.  Maybe it’s simply because I had so much negative over the course of my life that the idea of change is a scary one.  After all I don’t like horror movies and the idea of scary!

So, I will go now and get ready for a party this afternoon…

 

One Week to Go…

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As a writer, my intention is to NEVER stop writing, like so many of us, however, as most of us are aware, that’s also not always feasible.

I’m in that situation right now… again.  I am getting frustrated because I keep going from one thing to the next and have been so incredibly busy that both my Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Course and my writing have paid the price and to what?

Well, I have one week of work left in family practice.  The place I have gone every day for the last 12 years of my life.  Where it was a home away from home for 11 of those years.  Despite starting to feel like it was time to go a few years ago that has intensified enormously in the last 17 months.  Now I’m making my move… well, moves, plural.

In the long run my writing is, again, what ends up on hold.  I scroll through Facebook and I read posts from authors I follow thanks to Street Team mostly and I read posts from the Practice Makes Perfect team which is all about my Life Coaching and CBT and I frown because I’m currently reading Medical Directives and trying to create descriptions of what I’ll be offering at the Enhanced Wellness Studio in the next little while.

All I can say is that I am hoping that things all settle down and become a little bit ho-hum again and not because I like things boring but the last couple of weeks have had me losing sleep and feeling stressed.  I want to get back to a routine and I want to get back to writing.  I want to SLOW down.  I want to be able to blog every week, or more again and I want to be able to participate in NaNoWriMo in November.  I want to be able to come up with some great story ideas and follow them through!  In some ways I don’t even care if they are short stories or novels right now.

So, my friends and readers, keep writing, as always… live life but SLOW down.