Life right now

Quicksand_9977I haven’t felt much like writing lately. I think my depression has raised its head to torment me because I really haven’t felt much like doing anything. I also haven’t been sleeping well. It just seems that everyone either needs something from me or wants to tell me what to do lately. I just want to hole up in a cabin somewhere away from people. I want to turn my phone off. I don’t want to check social media or talk to anyone on the phone. I don’t even want to text.

When I sleep I have nightmares. When I am awake there is always something I have to do. Reservations for a hotel for Libertycon, change reservations for Libertycon, cancel old reservations (still need to do that), make optometrist appointments for the kids because I am tired of wiring together my son’s glasses with jewelry wire, doctor’s appointments, therapy appointments….the list goes on and on. I just want to be for a little while. I want to just sit here and not worry about work or paying bills or fixing the car or the toilet. I just want to sit still and breathe.

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Wind and Rain

ireland-1273293_1920You know how in stories they always say the wind “howled” or “wailed” or “moaned”? For a long time, I considered that a literary device; a way of staging the scene. Then I moved into the house I live in now.

It has been several years but I still haven’t gotten used to the way the wind cries as it whips past my house. I don’t know what causes it. It could be the shape of the house or the configuration of trees in the yard. It could be some hollowed out limb capturing the air as it passes over the branches. I do know that I am secretly thrilled every time I hear it.

Surely it is supposed to be a frightening sound, especially at night to hear the wind wail and moan as it shakes the wind chimes on the porch. You can almost track the sound as if some escaped spector is gliding over the porch and around the corner of the house.thatched-roof-981891_1920 It makes me think of Irish cottages made of stone and thatch. It makes me think of fireplaces, warm drinks, and stories told in warning or to keep the dark at bay.

This is all pure imagination of course. I have never even stepped foot into a stone house but I’ve read about them. I’ve read the fairy stories and I’ve watched movies. There is no Baen Side (banshee) calling outside my window, or at least not that I’ve noticed. (If there was she would be extremely frustrated by now, as I have lived here for at least seven years and I’ve listened to the wail off and on that entire time. Or maybe she is happy someone appreciates her singing. Who knows?)

rain-2362871_1920It is supposed to rain today. And tomorrow. And the rest of the week. There will be flooding. The sky is overcast gray and the wind is shaking the still bare branches of the trees as well as dancing among my wind chimes. I expected the rain to be pouring down by now from the way the weather forecasters spoke. The ground is damp so some moisture has been squeezed from the clouds, just none that I’ve noticed.

The animals have been on edge since last night. Today they are restless, last night they were on self-imposed guard duty.  They paced the hall and watched from the window. Panda, my cat, finally settled enough to sleep but only because she curled up on my pillow and snuggled into my hair.

Last night the air was still and black. No stars shone and the porch light didn’t seem to reach as far as usual. The silence was eerie. To me, that becalmed, breathless, starless darkness was way more unsettling than the howling wind today.background-3394066_1920

A Late Night And A Full Moon

dscn0227[1]Last night I stayed up too late. I didn’t actually go to bed until after five this morning. I took a nap yesterday afternoon because I knew I would want to take a peek at the Lunar eclipse. If I didn’t take a nap, I probably would have been warm and comfortable in my pajamas by the time the eclipse started and then I wouldn’t want to go out into the cold. And it was cold, 18 degrees to be exact.

The moon was full and round, as something called a Super Blood Wolf Moon should be. The eclipse itself was pretty spectacular too. We won’t see another total lunar eclipse until May of 2021.

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I managed to get a few pictures before I could no longer feel my fingers and toes. Some of them turned out pretty good considering my camera isn’t exactly fancy and doesn’t have extra lenses and such. I warmed up with a hot drink then sat down to read since the cold had made sure I was wide awake. I only have one book of a trilogy left to read and then the first one of the next trilogy. After that I have to wait for the author (Yes, still Mercedes Lackey,) to publish more.

I have been able to focus more on writing lately though some places feel like I am struggling through a swamp. I have to write a magic battle coming up next and I need to visualize it so I can describe it properly. However, this is harder than it sounds. At first, my brain kept basically showing me Dragon Ball Z reruns with my characters substituted and I had to convince it that there would be no Kamehameha-ing going on. Now I have an inkling of an idea. I just have to flesh it out.

I am also working on another nonfiction book I hope to have completed by May. If I focused solely on it I could probably have it done earlier, but I have other things I am working on too. I am also thinking about putting out another book of short stories. I haven’t decided for sure on that yet but I am gathering my orphans together so to speak.

Next weekend, if all goes well, I will probably be popping in at a local convention.

We must use time creatively. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

December 23, 2018 Morning thoughts

coffeedeskI am awake. Well, I am faking it to the best of my ability. I’ve had coffee but it really hasn’t kicked in yet. Today is December 23, which means two days until Christmas. I don’t feel ready. Just like being awake, I am doing Christmas to the best of my ability but I’ve got that nagging feeling that I’ve forgotten something important and I won’t remember until it is too late.

This year is a lean year. There are more handmade gifts under the tree than usual. I don’t see that as a problem though. It took more time and effort to crochet a hat or scarf than it would have to pick out an item online. I’ve also spent more quiet moments just thinking of the people I care about.

I think my main issue is this sense of worry that keeps lingering in the background of mypaper-933661_640 mind. My muscles are tense and won’t relax. Maybe I have been watching the news too much. The government shut down has me concerned because I know too many people that either work for or are dependant on money they receive from social security. It isn’t hurting those who actually make the rules. It hurts those that live check to check. Maybe everything will be okay by the first or third of the month, but I worry about the theoretical elderly person that spent a little extra this month because it is Christmas and planned on paying their electric bill just a little late.

I know this should be a happy and uplifting post because it is so close to the holiday but these things have been spinning around in the back of my mind and it does me good to let them out. Everyone has been sick in my family so my normal schedule has been completely wrecked, which also accounts for my unease. So far only my sister and I have escaped the flu, and I still managed to catch a sinus infection. Everyone is on the mend now.

plumbing-840835_1920My poor brother even came over with some friends yesterday to fix the massive leaks coming from every faucet in the house. It seems the water company must have turned up the water pressure. They had to crawl under the house to put in a new regulator valve (I think that is what they called it) and take apart the bathtub spout to put in something else. I am down to a trickle still escaping from the kitchen sink but I will take it over the tub full of hot water I was losing every six hours or so.

My brother coughed the entire time but didn’t complain. He should have been in bed with Netflix instead of crawling under my house. The two men who came with him to look things over and help should have been at home with their families instead of helping me, a stranger. I am thankful for all of them. The help they gave was the best Christmas present I could have received. I don’t think they even understand how much of a blessing their kindness was to me. I hope that they receive it back tenfold.

….So that is where my mind is at right now. How about you? Is there something you are currently spinning your mental wheels on? Sometimes it helps just to put things down in words, it doesn’t have to be here but the comment section is open if you just need to lay down a worry or two. You can share good things as well. black-41201_640

Happy Thanksgiving

I am listing to pleasant instrumental music as I sit here. The turkey is in the oven and the pumpkin pie is cooling. In another couple of hours, I will sit down with my children at the table and enjoy the feast.

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My brother should be at my mom’s soon with my sister-in-law and his friend Bud in tow. I love whenever he brings Bud over. Bud is an elderly gentleman in his 90’s. He fought in WWII and often shares his memories of that time as well as how things were when he was growing up. This first-hand look at the past through the eyes of someone who has lived it is always a blessing.

Normally I would have baked a couple of pies and headed over to my mom’s by now too. However, my mother reminded me that kids grow fast. She said that sometimes it is important to slow down and savor these holiday moments while I have them. I am of course welcome to join her, my dad, and the rest. I may even stop by later just to visit but I am also taking her advice.

Often we get caught up in obligation and rushing from one place to the next that we don’t get to enjoy the holiday. We get wound up and stressed out from travel logistics and traffic. This is a time for reflection. It is a time to count your blessings. Yes, it is a time for families to come together as well but love doesn’t care about miles. It is there between people if they live in the same house or in another state. Love stretches great distances.

My love for my family is always there. So while I might not be part of the busy bustle at my mom’s table in person, my heart is there with everyone and it is also here at my home with my children. That’s another thing about love, it can be in multiple places at once. It’s not limited to Thanksgiving dinner.  And that is something to be thankful for.

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Writing in November

dream timeLife is weird. Life is also busy. It is now November. I have two sick kids who are on the mend and I really just want to take a nap right now. I slept well last night, aside from strange dreams, but I feel like I need an extra thirty-minute nap or something to reach fully recharged. I think these days that is a permanent feeling. I am always a nap away from not being tired but I never actually get the nap.

November is National Novel Writing Month. Three days ago NanoWriMo kicked off and thousands of people out there are furiously writing away at what will hopefully be a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. My friend Lori is giving it a shot. I have competed against time and life to write that 50,000-word novel in a month before too. I am considering doing it again. Only this time I think I will give myself a break. I mean I did just finish a book. Not quite a 50,000-word novel, but a book none the less.

I think I will write a book of short stories. There are hundreds of writing prompts you_fail_only_if_you_stop_writingfloating around out there so I can just pick one or two a day and write a bunch of short fictional narrations that will eventually add up to the necessary word count.  That is the tentative plan. I also have another book idea but I have so many writing irons in the fire I really don’t want to chase after another long project right now.

If anyone out there wants to hop on board the National Novel Writing Month train, I have provided links to the website. It is fun and challenging, especially if you have never done it before. I am just giving it a shot for fun. I know I can write a novel in a month if I need to so I am not as worried about if  I can. I am just writing to support my friend in her endeavors as she runs the race and to enjoy writing just for writing’s sake. Who knows, maybe I can churn out something useful by the end.

Taking Punches

road-sign-940644_1280Someone said something to me a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. It just pops up every now and then. I can hear the voice and everything.

I was sitting at my desk at the beginning of a long shift at work when one of my co-workers, several desks down, looked up and said: “I want to be Tammi.” I remember my surprise and the way I replayed her words to make sure I heard what I thought I heard. My clever reply, of course, was “What?”

So she said it again. “I want to be Tammi. Nothing ever seems to bother you.”

I blinked for a moment as all of my current struggles flashed before my mind’s eye. “No, you don’t. You really really don’t.”

Looking back I am still surprised at her words. I don’t know if I will ever get over the surprise. It isn’t that I have a bad life. I am actually pretty blessed. However, it is not all roses and sunshine. This person knows this. She has been there to see when life sucker punched me over and over. It has taken a while but I think I understand what she meant now. I guess I have rolled with those punches and gotten back up. That is what she was expressing envy for.

I still don’t think it is that big of a deal. I think I do a crappy job at this whole existing as a responsible adult thing. It is hard. Every day is hard. It feels like life is just one big constant fight.

I fight to wake up in the morning. I fight to get Toby to school on time. I fight to get to boxing-415394_1920.jpgwork. I fight the school when they can’t understand Toby’s Autism. I fight to pay bills, to write, to have groceries, to walk the dog, to feed the cats, to wash the laundry and the dishes…every single day is pushing against the wind. It may not seem like it on the outside. Many of these are things everyone has to do.

Simple things take so much energy. I am tired all the time. Which is why I guess I don’t react as much as others when life throws me those sucker punches. I am already fighting. It doesn’t make sense to stop just because I got decked with a harder blow than normal. That doesn’t mean I like it and that doesn’t mean I don’t loudly express my exasperation and frustration. Sometimes I throw myself a toddler style fit until I cry and have to take a nap. I am not unaffected by life’s punches. I just don’t know how to stay down for the count. I don’t wish those punches on anyone else either, because I know how much they hurt. boxing-984174_1920

(I am honestly a little afraid to post this because the universe might see it as a challenge. Please Universe, don’t see my words as a challenge. Life punches hard enough already.)