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!

Merry Christmas…

It is already halfway through this glorious Christmas Day that turned into a white Christmas overnight. It’s amazing how those things tend to happen.

This week ended up being a pretty awesome week… on Sunday night, after I was in bed I was on Facebook scrolling through posts and on one of the writing pages I follow there was a post looking for essays on reflections of a New Year for an anthology. I saved it, copied and pasted the link to my email and on Monday morning, as soon as I opened my laptop, I printed it off and read the guidelines again and started writing… however the deadline was December 23rd… I had a little over 48 hours. It took a bit of time and I was still at the beginning of what I wanted to say on Tuesday afternoon when I went to LJs but when I told him I was trying to meet a writing deadline for the next day I was sent off to write, write, write! I managed to up my word count from 700 to 1400 words (they were looking for 1000-5000 word submissions) and was pleased with what I had managed! I successfully submitted on Wednesday… only to discover when I went in that the due date had been extended to today!

Oh well, sometimes we write better under pressure and sometimes not. I was lucky this time because I so could have had my brain totally shut down as it has in the past. I think my brain needs to get back to writing but it’s always a matter of not only finding the time but having the energy! I often sit on the couch and before I know it time has passed and all I’ve accomplished is another round of CodyCross! Oh and I always have a cat on my lap when I’m sitting on the couch which is no help to me either and so I grab for my iPad and play the game.

I’m so far behind on my Haven of Secrets sequel that I will have to re-read what I wrote before I can carry it on.

I’m thrilled that this week leading up to Christmas I managed to get some writing done! I’d also like to write something about this horrible virus that has kept us away from our favourite things and people… some of the facts and figures and lack of logic and contradictions that have made up this year! Like the fact that contrary to what I said the other day about us having seven people when the limit is five is that if we do like the meme going around at Thanksgiving and have a funeral for the turkey we’re allowed to have ten people! Maybe I will but maybe I won’t. As far as writing something like that there’s this little part of my brain that keeps reminding me of The Pelican Brief where she wrote something she half made up and got it so correct that her life ended up in danger! Don’t ask me why!

So, I have managed another Christmas post. I wish you all the joy, love, hope and peace of the season. Enjoy the magic of the season!

And don’t forget to do a bit of writing!

Twenty-twenty

What a year.

How we managed to get to this point I’m not quite sure. We’re about to be forced into another lockdown with many questions still arising from many people. The mishandling and miscommunication over the last year has reached a peak in many people. There have been so many contradictions in the last four months as well as an extreme lack of logic in the handling of the entire virus that it’s no wonder there is anger all over social media. Answers fall by the wayside. Topics that have come up have been swept under the carpet and now it’s Christmas. The season of perpetual HOPE but people aren’t feeling very hopeful anymore.

I am, unfortunately, one of those people. I have kept my bubble small, to seven people, but even that is too large to make the powers-that-be happy. I feel like I’m being torn in two having to decide between my family who has always been there for me or a man who has made me happier than ever before but with whom I know that time is limited and I want to share all I can with him. They say that nothing can be bigger than five people. But we have been seeing each other for the entire virus so what’s Christmas dinner and some gift opening? I am not getting to see my brothers, their wives and kids and I’m sure there are families all over the region, province and country who will still gather. I have limited where I spend my time, I order groceries online, did most of my Christmas shopping online and I work from home! I wear my mask, I sanitize my hands going into and coming out of a store and I maintain social distancing.

However, all that aside, 2020 hasn’t been devastating for me! My relationship has blossomed, he acquired a trailer where I feel most at home, I have published a Christmas novella (that was written two years ago), I lost a job that I didn’t really like in the first place and managed to replace it with something that allows me to work at home and that, after being offered permanent and a new assignment, I’m enjoying! The team I work with is great, there are online exercise classes and all kinds of other wellness things to do! I love Medchart!

Of course we won’t talk about October into November after I had sprained my ankle and ended up having emergency surgery but that feels like it was just a reminder that I am surrounded by people who care! Not that I had forgotten!

We WILL all get through this… but I think it’s also acceptable to get down about it, especially since it’s my favourite time of year… and one of my favourite things is seeing my family all together around the dinner table. The hugs we give each other and the joyous conversations we have that bring resounding laughter to all! It has been so quiet and will remain. Quiet reflection… I’ve done okay this year but others have not. My heart goes out to them all as does my hope that Coronavirus will get crushed like an ugly bug!

Sad state of affairs…

It’s less than three weeks until Christmas and things just aren’t what they usually are. You’d think that after nine months of living this hell-like existence that we’d have adjusted by now. However trying to figure out who’s going to cook dinner, pack it into trays, deliver them as well as how will my nieces and nephew get their gifts from me is something else altogether.

Then there is the absolute vacancy where logic used to exist. I’d say a lack of logic but it’s not a lack! It’s gone. It has followed Elvis and left the building. How regions can threaten lockdown when the kids are still allowed to go to school or how they can force businesses to close again when there has been no evidence of a positive case coming out of that business is all beyond the logic that I have in my head. All I can do is shake my head and wonder how it is that the people in charge can still be in charge!

I’m thinking about writing a book about some of the facts. I may not be a doctor or a top doctor but I know a heck of a lot about medicine and the ways the human body works so much of what they say doesn’t make sense.

Something I will have to try to work on in “all” the spare time I have!

I am still looking forward to Christmas. The holidays are still magical this year as I can still share with a few special people in my life. Tonight we are going to build a gingerbread house. I’ve never built one so it should be fun but can imagine it to be frustrating too!

I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Four weeks ‘til Christmas

And all through the house…

How are you all?

It has been four weeks since my surgery. Physically I’m doing well… I get the odd pain at my belly button now and again that will catch me off guard but otherwise it’s good. However, the fatigue is what’s killing me. I am so tired, even after I sleep ten hours at night. The surgeon on Monday said it’s normal because what people forget because the surgery is simple but it’s still a serious infection.

So here I am battling that and working full-time. Despite that I have managed, somehow, to write a short story as well as make some hot chocolate bombs and write a song… well, the lyrics. Otherwise I’ve been watching Christmas movies like crazy, decorating and shopping.

As for the virus, well it’s got me down. My SAD has kicked in full force and that could be linked to the anesthetic/surgery as I’ve read that before… possibly three years ago when I had my last surgery except this time it was unexpected and related to serious infection.

I have a few people left to buy for, multiple things left to do and most of the time I’m too tired to do a lot of it.

But it is Christmas, a time for joy, hope, love and peace and I will enjoy it, eventually.

Challenges and Changes…

Life, as we know, consists of ups and downs. We face challenges, we face change on a regular basis. We adjust, most of the time, right away but then other times we don’t immediately bounce back.

At this moment I’m in the position of the latter. Less than a week ago I started feeling unwell. My stomach was upset to the point I only had soup for lunch. It continued through the afternoon with very bad abdominal pain and I thought it had to do with my irritable bowel. I had a low-grade fever and when I tried to drink some gingerale I threw up immediately. Late in the afternoon it started to shift to my lower right and I wondered… finally at everyone’s prompting I was taken to emergency.

Emerg wasn’t busy and my arrival at 7:50 had me in a bed by 8:15. It wasn’t long before I was examined, tests ordered and I waited for my ultrasound at 10:00 after which I was told I could dress and sit in a different room.

When the doctor walked in one of the first things he said was he had called the surgeon. I knew I wasn’t going anywhere and, before my mind leaped to the next thought, the surgeon said it… “you were right.” My appendix was 8mm, it’s supposed to be 5mm. It hadn’t burst. The surgeon would be along shortly.

Lucky for me I’m fairly familiar with most of the surgeons in the area and was pleased when my newly assigned doctor walked in and introduced himself. He explained we could try antibiotics but that doesn’t always come with guarantees. We agreed to operate and at 11:45 I was being wheeled to the OR.

Now I’m on that recovery road once more. It’s familiar to me still with the regime of incision care and the fatigue that comes in waves and impacts everything I want to do. At the same time I’m grateful… as silly as that may sound… but I’ve been very tired lately. I think this was how I’m being told to slow down!

I haven’t even managed to write anything much for NaNoWriMo but I do still have good intentions!

For all of you doing it this year, way to go! Keep up the momentum! Don’t ever give up!

See you at the finish line!