Where have I been?

I can’t believe I haven’t written since April 12 and feel ashamed that I haven’t! I think there’s only been a few times over all these years that I haven’t written at least twice a month. I think I’m going to have to give myself the challenge of writing a blog post a day for ??? TBD. If I do it for a month do I wait and start in June? Or do I start May 15 and go for two weeks? I could still go a month if I can manage two weeks can’t I?

It’s been frustrating because when I have little pockets of time to write I’M TOO TIRED! Yes, most times I just want to sit on the couch after work and do NOTHING. Not even get myself my water. Just do nothing!

Yes, I’m busy. Work, relationship, family. We are all exhausted with the status of the lockdown and I keep seeing comments on the few news outlets I still follow on social media that think we should still go into a full lockdown meanwhile40% of the province is now vaccinated and by May 11 our region should reach 50% and by the end of this horrible stay-at-home order it will be at 60%… a mere fifteen away from what they are deeming as herd immunity (since herd immunity in the medicine world has always been 70%). My thinking is that if the case numbers don’t go down, then someone, somewhere is lying to us!

As for writing, well, it has been pretty non-existent though I have done a little here and a little there. I have a new one for the paper, IF they want it. I wanted to have three but it’s impossible.

On the other hand, I’m at the trailer! This is fabulous! It might be pouring rain but as I sit at the kitchen table to work I can look out the window directly in front of me and see the lake anytime I want to. You have no idea how amazing that is to me. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but, for me, it has changed my world since Saturday and I will be sorry to leave tomorrow and not get back up here for almost two weeks.

Unfortunately with two cats and a daughter at home it’s still not possible to just uproot completely and be here. Of course laundry becomes an issue too so there are reasons to leave.

I do hope to get some solid writing done here this summer as I do plan on taking some vacation time… all of it… this summer!

I will, as always, keep you posted on changes and updates! I missed this!

What do I want?

In these moments of major depression caused by multiple people’s inability to make decisions I end up evaluating, over and over, what it is I want. I’m not talking about my personal life but my professional life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying Medchart. But there is this little nag in the back of my mind that almost has a chant going on about earning a living from writing.

I think after 20 years it’s probably the next step along the way, honestly. It does make a LOT of sense that I go that direction. I guess my writing and photography studio will never work out so it’s kind of hard! My dream studio of A Thousand Words dims with each passing year and with the virus putting us all into constant flux, how does anyone proceed with anything? It’s not like I can offer a writing course by takeout! Would Doordash even deliver that?

I’ve just been thinking about it so much. And this deep desire that is burning my insides from the gut outwards just keeps telling me to do it. Everything is freelance. Everything is based on what you can write either casual or part-time. Unfortunately I don’t have time in a week to write much more than I am managing now. I have wanted to write more articles for the newspaper in these last months but time eludes me. It comes and then it escapes on me. The other issue I’m having with that is the inability to find my voice for it… I can’t seem to dig up my conversational tone. I’m trying too hard when I DO have the time and I’m slamming the notebook closed because I’m no closer than I was when I started.

I am, however, just shy of 30,000 words in on my newest novel which is a feat in itself. I have hit a bit of a roadblock but part of that is because my other thought is to offer my writing programs online but, again, how? I don’t want to get in to having to have or use Zoom and I don’t know that much about it… I suppose I could look into it further and see what I can come up with! Again, it’s all about time… do you see the trend?

So I will continue to forge forward with the thoughts as they come to mind but, all at the same time, there are never any guarantees as far as having the ability to actually follow through on them.

Lastly, I have updated my NEW website… most of what I want on it is there now except for photos of book covers. I’m also missing Changes in Time in my library and only today realized that it wasn’t on my old website!

So feel free to check it out! http://www.pamelaclayfield.ca

Selfish Thinking…

Do you ever have the selfish thought of I hate my life? I do and am experiencing that right now. It’s incredibly selfish because at the exact same moment another part of my brain is saying hey, wait a minute, we are grateful for everything we have been given so how can you say that?

And I can only wonder how it is that I can get so angry and upset that I can spew out the evil thought of I hate my life. Often it comes out as In this moment, I hate my life and passes very quickly. Other times… well, like today, not so much.

What is there to hate? That’s where it makes me feel selfish. It’s as I haul five bags from the car into my house after spending the night with LJ. It’s being greeted by two cats who have already been fed by my daughter yet they behave like nobody has fed them EVER! I trip over them as well as the stuff that has been just left on the floor for no other purpose than sheer laziness. It’s looking at the pile of laundry there is to do and the vacuuming that needs to be done.

I think the unhappy thoughts stem from feeling trapped behind a computer for 40 hours a week with two cats who get underfoot or spend time fighting and who always want to eat as soon as I enter the kitchen and the ideas always rolling around in my head about writing but most of which I can’t attend to until the end of the day when all I want to do is crash on the couch and not look at another computer screen!

And yet, on the same breath of those thoughts I am grateful for what I have been given. I’m grateful for the job, for the home that I have worked hard to get and to keep, for the creative mind that allows me to write anything, the family and friends I have who love and support me (I love you too!), and the man who accepts me as I am, who cares unconditionally, supports my crazy ideas and has shown me yet another aspect of a relationship that I have missed these many years!

What do I normally do when I feel this way? Journal, write, or whatever else I can do to try to put the thoughts out of my head. Then the cats start to fight under my feet again and it starts all over again.

I will blame the virus. The reason… because it has contained us for over a year. The human body and brain are not designed to deal with that kind of stress. And, no matter what, it is stressful. There’s an anxiety that builds until we can’t take it anymore! Then our brain snaps.

Maybe mine has just snapped at the place where it has reached the point where I can only manage to say the words I hate my life even though there are very few things to hate about it. Maybe that just needs to be my silly mantra temporarily and then this, too, will pass.

Can I carry on from my 20,000 words now? I really want nothing more than to finish this novel! Can I do that?

Thanks for listening!

Keep Smiling…

Well it has been one year!

One year tomorrow (though 52 weeks today) I was unceremoniously tossed from my job! I realize that hindsight is 20/20 and that the company would be bankrupt by now had they not but at that moment in time, the moment the phone rang and I was told I was done at noon but asked if I wanted to kick around and work the ten hours a week that coincided with the other office where I would remain working. I had to turn that down and I’m grateful, all said and done, that I did.

The last year, as previously discussed, has had its ups and downs. So much has happened in what feels like a short time but that year has felt like decades have passed us by. So much has been delayed and so many have developed mental health issues! Myself included. It’s not an easy thing to admit to for anyone. I’m not looking for sympathy but if I am feeling the depression I’m certain others are too!

I wasn’t brought up to show that side though. I was brought up to always smile and never let anyone see the hurt inside. The episode of Superman & Lois (a new show that’s only four episodes in on Sci-Fi Channel) had those exact words near the end of the episode last Tuesday. Many of us were brought up that way. For the last two weeks I have felt ready to burst into tears. I couldn’t tell you why but the tears have been there just wanting to burst forth but I have carried on.

I can definitely blame it on looking at the same four walls most days of a week. Though it’s great to work from home, it’s not when the weather is blah! There is so little interaction in a work day and the cats are not great conversationalists. I know they understand some of what I say but I have no idea what one mew means vs. the next meow. Although little Tigger will get going and it does sound like he’s saying hewoe and I will call “hello” back to him.

One thing I wonder more and more about is where life would be at if all this hadn’t happened? If we had carried on… if our borders would have been closed, all planes grounded, and we had actually nipped this whole thing in the bud and been able to return to a more normal existence after that four week (that turned into six weeks… just saying) lockdown.

We’ll never know but we will always wonder. No matter who we are we will always wonder.

I realize that, at times, that only adds to the anxiety, frustration and depression we’re all feeling. To add to that frustration is I’ve been trying to write a number of articles, similar to the topics I have covered here and I don’t like anything I have come up with. I just feel like everything I say is backwards or easily misinterpreted because I can’t organize my thoughts to form proper sentences!

I’ll stick with the fiction for now!

So big announcement! After all these years of WEBS hosting my website for free… and a bit of yada, yada, yada in between… I have finally taken over MY name and am paying for my website… it can be found at http://www.pamelaclayfield.ca and it’s under construction. The story behind the giant rose and red colour is from my business cards, etc. that I purchased from Vistaprint over the years. Maybe I’ll change it but for now, I’ll see what I can build, then go from there!

When is The End?

I’m struggling… big time! I haven’t exercised in three weeks, my fatigue is winning the battle and I don’t care what I eat!

Can you say something is wrong? I know it is; I’m fully aware. I still take pleasure in reading, listening to music and writing but, well, honestly, I think I need a vacation. A year ago when I found myself out of work I was still working a day and a half a week and I had no choice but to apply for as many jobs as possible which was a job in itself. That said, it wasn’t a vacation no matter what anyone says.

I haven’t had a vacation since the summer of 2019 and I’m starting to feel it! Instead of having an hour or less a day to do things, including writing, I’d like to have several hours a day. With so many things to do around home even a Saturday and Sunday can’t be spent just writing.

I have had several ideas for articles to send to the paper… IF I can ever find the time to get them written. I’m also progressing slowly on my novel which I also feel good about.

Mental health issues are seriously on the rise. Being locked down in the midst of the darkest, coldest days has been a huge contributing factor to the symptoms of my SAD and I know I’m not the only one. Add to that the anxiety all this has created being cooped up at home and the frustrations that sheer stupidity creates and people are experiencing mental health issues like never before! (A perfect example of the sheer stupidity I’m talking about is the latest headlines from our newspaper… Ontario Reporting 994 more Cases; Ontario could be headed to a third lockdown due to variants… We are significantly lower than we were but another lockdown might be called anyway… where is the sense in that?) When we are allowed to return to normal there will be a bigger need for services than ever before.

Journalling and writing has helped as has seeing LJ and my parents. Without those short outings I don’t think I’d even be getting out of bed anymore.

Let’s do our best to keep our chins up a bit longer and maybe, somewhere, the politicians will have an awakening and let us be ourselves again.

Love, Family, Winter & Liftoff!

What a few weeks it has been. I always feel so bummed out this time of year and with the virus and lockdowns it all contributes to making it all worse. We haven’t had a lot of sun lately so the SAD is affected. I’m sure some of you can sympathize. However, it’s also been fun. Last weekend we had the combination of Valentine’s Day and Family Day that formed a long weekend! I spent some extra time with LJ and we had a beautiful Valentine’s weekend with Filet Mignon for dinner and chocolate cake for dessert! We exchanged gifts, watched movies and just chilled.

Coming out of the weekend our lockdown lifted bringing with it the ability to get my nails done! I also had a look and my article ran in the Waterloo Region Rural Post!

I also decided to revisit a couple of old projects since I just can’t quite get my head around the sequel to Haven of Secrets yet. Sometimes the problem is the first book hasn’t let go yet so it’s harder to think outside the box. So I have moved away from that and will, of course, come back to it. I, instead, decided to work on the third installment of my Mysteries of the Past series. Kicking off that series is The Writing on the Wall followed by Confessions in the Mural. Both mysteries that I enjoyed writing and had always intended to carry on the series except I couldn’t figure out what I wanted it to be. Well I haven’t perfected the title yet but it’s going to be something like The Diamond Under the Floor. And that title might just stick.

I actually came home on Monday and wrote 6,000 words! Today I added another 1,000 but I have a headache that’s making my head pound and, though I want to write, I just can’t get past the notes I made from the other night. Actually, I think I just figured out the resolution to that. Thanks!

It’s been a busy few weeks! I can say that. I have been learning new things at work every week for the last three weeks and this week we learned how to audit. I packed away all 600 files I was assigned and I’m wondering why my head is pounding today! I also feel like all the snow has snowed me in. I have finally managed to get a frame for a friend who lost her beloved dog a month ago. He was a sweet boy and I have just a little something for her. I will have to start chanting “I’ll get it there, I’ll get it there!” I miss being able to slide my feet into flip flops and taking off out the door.

Well, I wish you all the best and I will do my best to try not to wait three weeks before I write again! Time has just literally escaped me these past weeks and, though I’ve managed to get a lot done, I still feel like I haven’t caught my breath!

Anything else?

Just thought I’d ask! It seems that when one thing clears, something else magically appears!

Our beautiful Palomino ended up having to see the vet… well guess what? It turned out she had a cut that was about three weeks old and she had developed cellulitis! Twelve days on antibiotics and she’s behaving like a little kid again! She has more energy and is happy again… though we’re sure she’s also in love with her new winter blanket that is keeping her cozy warm!

So last Thursday I get a really weird email… it’s a confirmation from the hospital that I have been booked for an ultrasound… WHAT? So call the doctor… apparently when I was in emerg and they did the ultrasound there were cysts on my lonely little ovary and the radiologist recommended a repeat in three months.

Ummm… THREE doctors and not a single one could have told me? Given me a heads-up at least? So I went yesterday for that (just where I wanted to go… the hospital which was a different story for a different day) and my doctor was on the ball and emailed the results this morning. There is a single, solitary little cyst that is typical and benign. He figures that the appendix issue was actually what was showing up which makes sense because the inflammation would have caused some free fluid. But, despite knowing that it likely wasn’t anything I came home from the ultrasound yesterday and shed tears of frustration and a bit of fear.

I was so glad to get the news today, yet another thing to be grateful for in all this s**t.

Otherwise, we decided to go for a drive on Sunday and headed to the beach which is currently snow-covered and/or frozen! It was great being up there though and the sun was shining there. Most of all I had my camera and took pictures of the ice which always fascinates me. The entire lake is not frozen but there appears to be white cap waves except they are frozen in time!

Despite going for a drive I also managed to come home, on the same day and submit a story to another anthology. It didn’t work out last time but I do hope it does this time! A nice little short story that’s in time for Valentine’s Day!

I might share it one day but I also know I say that and then tend not to.

As for the rest of the writing? Well, it’s not going right now and that’s pretty standard… the SAD is still hanging on tight even though the days are getting longer… of course it’s now colder so that still bums me out.

There is a long weekend coming after one more Monday and maybe, just maybe, I can have that extra day for writing!

Writing Becomes Me…

Amidst an Ontario stay-at-home order that’s been more confusing than anything else my anxiety skyrocketed before coming back down to earth. I know I’m not the first to say it and I won’t be the last but I’m fed up with it. It’s time for the numbers to just go away! It’s time for someone to find a helmet that will fit the ugly, spiky beast and sling-shot it into space!

But writing has not been slowing down! I have another anthology that I want to submit a story to by January 31st and, though I knew about it, I thought it was an essay not a short story so I have to change course on that! Additionally I got a surprise message a week ago from the Waterloo Region Rural Post who I had been writing for and they asked if I could write a story! That was exciting but I struggled… I struggled because the story they asked for was so close to the essay I wrote just before Christmas for the other anthology that I wasn’t starting with a clean slate… the previous piece was too fresh in my mind and was obscuring what I wanted to write. I finally got out what I wanted in the way I wanted and sent it off last night at 9:38!

I do have a couple of short stories I want to run edits on but really do need to try to meet the deadline with a short story… that was my error! I have written so many short stories, I’m wondering if I can alter one of them to fit what they’re looking for?

My biggest challenge with writing outside of the limited time I have is cats… yes, cats! Yesterday afternoon I sat down to get to work on finishing the story for the paper and I had company… Tigger laid right across the table! Across all my papers! So I had to grab a different notebook and continue writing in it instead!

My writing “helper”

I’m not going to complain! A writer can never complain when writing is in abundance! At least I don’t know of one!

Blue New Year

While the song Blue Christmas by the great Elvis Presley goes through my head it seems that eight days into a New Year it’s more of a Blue New Year for me.

Why?

Well, that’s always my challenge. Though I feel blue I can’t explain exactly why I feel so blue. I know part of it’s the Seasonal Affective Disorder no matter what and no matter how much glorious sunshine is out there. I’m not sleeping great as the cold is impacting my pain as always. For the last two days I have had pounding migraines and have managed (somehow and barely) to work full days.

Plus there’s all the added stress that the virus and lockdown is adding on so that impacts my sleep and my back pain as well. I also am desperate to just sit and write for a while and working 40 hours this week has not been conducive to that, as you would imagine. By Sunday I had all these ideas of where to take my sequel and now it’s all gone. I’m so tired today I can barely keep my eyes open yet I’m being quiet and working… mostly!

Close to my bedtime last night my daughter texted me because she’d been notified that her horse was lame in the field and had been brought in and put in a stall! My heart was pounding. Though I don’t get out there nearly as much as I used to I don’t love that palomino mare any less than I did before! She’s a sweetheart and since I don’t like winter, AND it’s a pandemic, I’ve been trying to do my best to not be out there. Tomorrow I don’t care. I’m going to go out to see her. Even if we have to stand in the parking lot!

So I’m going to end this now and go get some more work done. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough, since I started at 7:40 this morning, to finish early and then maybe I can put pen to paper.

If I don’t fall asleep first!

Happy New Year…

We have passed through and are now out of 2020. A horrendous year for most of as far as the pandemic goes. As I said before Christmas, this year has brought me good things. The pandemic cost me a job that I wasn’t happy doing anyway and, though I was out of work for four months, I found something that’s more me!

Last evening was beautiful. Of course I was with LJ and we sat by the fire, watched Canada win another round of hockey and, eventually, watched the ball drop. I had been given a bottle of champagne as a Christmas gift last year which was supposed to be popped our first weekend at the new trailer but that ended up not happening. My champagne flutes were transported over successfully and we popped the cork shortly before midnight and toasted to 2021! Of course finding the cork after was lots of fun but we found it!

During my time off I DID manage to get back to my sequel and did a number of new edits as my mind is taking on the story day after day and developing more direction with it. I’m hoping to get the rest of those edits entered this weekend, but obviously not today.

It has been challenging and it’s still challenging. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I can see things changing slowly and then day to day.

I wish you all well on this New Year’s Day and all year through!