Saturday, January 4, 2014

There was a time when I was like..
a New year= a new me
Now I say, No way.
My New Years resolution is just to find out what works for me, and do it.
It involves trial and error and tweaking. It is not about rules. Or some program I can be on or fall off of. It is about aiming for something and finding out my best way of working toward it.

Sure the specters of ideal weight, hair color, parenting, housekeeping, wanting to be a writer, at times still haunt me. But it is starting to feel different from the way it did before.
There is no idealized version of me, tsk tsking over my shoulder. There is just the me I am now sitting here, working toward things that matter to me, and letting go (eventually) of the things that I can't control. I am breathing in the space where I am. And mostly I feel good.

My son is a senior in high school (my only child), so I value spending time with him. He plans on commuting for the first two years of college. But I am very aware that over the next several years my life will be changing.

I feel an internal shifting. I know it wont settle and land for a good long while. And okay.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I am so tired of writing software underlining my words in red.
Smidge IS a word, and I have it spelled correctly.
Leave in utero alone.
It goes on and on.
And since my spelling is horrible, I can have no confidence in it.
So I have to look up every underlined word.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Quadruple drat



Oh apparently I've totally botched distinguishing affect from effect. What is the effect of not realizing this? As I wannabe writer (and someone who doesn't like seeming an idiot) persistent bad grammar affects everything. This issue has always confused me, so I gave up using affect (at all) years ago.  I thought it meant acting- an affectation-an emotion one doesn't feel. But that is not the impression I just got. No. And the effect is that I feel stupid, that is how this affects me. Affect is a verb, which I clearly needed to have been using. Oops.

But most of what I read about it, just made me confused. The whole aardvark easy noun thing for remembering affect is a verb. And if you replace transform which is a noun for affect in a sentence and it works then that shows it is right because affect is a verb. Say what????? Though elsewhere on that site, it does say to try using-to transform- as in transforming- transformed- etc which are verbs- but that if you can use transformation then it isn't affect it is effect (that I can comprehend).

However, I am still not sure if I am using them right. Eeeerrr, boggy brain.

Darn research, and grammar, time swallowing annihilators.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Typing up my notes for NaNoWriMo is diving into a crazy mind hopscotching through a story. What mind writes everything out of order? Certainly it can't be mine. Turn a notebook page and land anywhere in the story. Scenes are strewn and scattered, never sequential. Never.

 At least now that I am on the second notebook, entries read from left to right, in the first one, I put entries in from the back of the notebook to the front, plus I randomly opened it and wrote notes in. So when I turned a page I never knew if I was looking at the first or last page of an entry.

 I type and type on, even though some of it is clearly awful. No point in struggling over single puzzle pieces before I see the overall picture.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Well it is that time of the year again-November-National Novel Writing Month- NaNoWriMo. And so I have to decide what, if anything, that means to me. It certainly doesn't mean playing by the rules and totally pantsing (sp?) it through an entire novel. Nope, so no badge for me even if I make it to the 50,000 goal. My best bet as far as personal progress goes would be to type up all the bits of my novel J.A.D. which I have scattered across different notebooks. This would not follow the rules of play at all, as it isn't coming up with stuff on the fly. Though my typing up stuff does always include coming up with additional ideas and scenes. Still, intermittent bursts of spontaneous inspiration aside, it would be masses of notebook prewritten cheating.

So why am I considering signing up at all? Well if you look over at my novel progress bar on the right- all those that are over 50,00 words well that is because I worked on them for NaNoWriMo. Because of the energy in it- the daily word count goal- the virtual company. Generally NaNoWriMo requires over 1,000 words a day to finish on time. And if I toss myself into that stream, that flow, and require myself to play along- then it will be a giant push to end November with 50,000 words typed in, rather than the 8,000 I have now. And it isn't that exciting going through my notebooks, trying to decipher my scribbly scrawl, butt in chair transcribing. I need an outside push. I did sign up for the same reason with the same project last year- but let myself be sidelined by confusing and frustrating health quirks and questions. I shouldn't need this external motivation. I have been working on typing this project up. But I want my words to surge forward rather than waddle forth. So I guess I have decided, I am going to play  under this heading, a different game with the same goal, so yes count me in.  Okay signed up- and stated in my synopsis that I am working on the same novel as last year. Conscience clear.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My new playmate

Scrivener. I love it. And I haven't played around with it much yet.  First I have a lot of JAD to type up from three different notebooks, when I am done with that and feeling restless, confused, and uncertain- that will be a good time to procrastinate by learning more about Scrivener.

Right now I'm just using it to write. But with the added bonus of chapters and scenes- which are wonderful compared to what I was doing. The old way- I would be going through these notebooks and having to scroll repeatedly through the whole body of text to find my section. Now I know where things are-listed on the main page, in order-so I can find things. I turn a page in my notebook and find something I wrote for the end of the story- and type that up in a chapter- then turn another notebook page and I'm in the beginning of the story- so I click on the first chapter and add the scene there. It is so much easier than the stupid way I used to work. And is turning notebook pages that flip back and forth randomly through time, into a sequential entity.

I also really enjoy the ability to drag photos in for my characters- and to see them all on a page together. I click on them, type info about them there- click back. It is much more useful than my old way of doing things with desktop folders with different bits of info and related parts scattered all over. Plus it is fun. It is so easy to go back and forth between things. I usually write in fullscreen composition mode- I imported a picture of the beach- which I faded out behind my text-it's a lovely way to write.

There are many other features just waiting for me to take the time to learn how to use them. I have no doubt that in the future, they will prove extremely helpful too. When I first read about Scrivener, and watched the tutorial on youtube I was intimidated. I am not a computer person. It looked complicated to use to me. But then I downloaded the free trial, and realized I didn't need to learn how to do everything right away. I just needed to know certain things for right now to move forward with my writing project- and I didn't find anything I needed to learn for that to be hard at all. It was straight forward enough that I could figure that out by just playing around with it.

My only complaint is that I had to abandon my outdated laptop because it wouldn't run on it- not much will these days- and move upstairs onto my husband's computer. So I had to reconfigure this whole space so his desk has a view out a window (he doesn't care one way or the other)- and clear piles of stuff off of it- so I can set down my notebook and a glass of water and work here. Headphones are now important too, as it is still summer, and my 17 year old son is on the other side of the room, on his own computer, listening to music that I am not at all able to block out. Though I try and try and....

Monday, August 5, 2013

I fell down an unwell

last November and was stuck there for a while. I wandered around the dank dark corridors wondering if something was wrong with me. I spent my time there reading books, doing internet research, and tracking what my body was doing, trying to figure out how I fell into this unwell and how I was going to get back out.

It started with dizziness October 2011. Like I was always on a boat- like the ground was going up and down undulating below me, sometimes this was merely unpleasant, sometimes I had to hold onto shelves to look around, sometimes it made me nauseous if I didn't walk really slowly, and sometimes it made me stagger around like a drunk person. The least pleasant was feeling like I was falling through the ground when standing still or sitting. Eventually my body got tired of that, so did it off and on, and mixed in other tricks that also came and went for no apparent reason.

I would be standing and suddenly it would feel like the rug was being pulled out from underneath me, and I would almost fall backward- flailing my arms, or grabbing onto furniture or a person to stabilize me. Last September I felt awful at Longwood Gardens when the person I grabbed was my son. He was 16 at the time so it wasn't like I pulled him down- but I am supposed to protect him, not as he said, "use me like a pole."

I did fall three times that year- 2012. Twice when bending over- my toes (front half of my feet) went up off the ground, I couldn't get them back down-and I fell down backward. I was just cuffing my pants. This feet thing also happened once getting my socks out of the sock drawer- and I had to hold onto that drawer and fight and fight to get my feet back down and restore my balance. I am better at it now-more prepared- because I know when I bend over my toes might go up, or my heels might come up.

The other time I fell into the refrigerator- because my husband was blocking my way at the counter- and my mind couldn't figure out what to do- I was moving forward- couldn't go to the side, couldn't stop- so my body just threw me back. I fell on the fridge shelves, and had to deal with my husband's "what the hell was that?" And he had to deal with my yelling at him for being in my way. It wasn't
the first time. I've had trouble walking around people in crowded areas, and through narrow spaces. I'll just be moving along like a normal person and then suddenly, my body becomes very heavy, and the resistance of walking through air is like moving through sand. And I struggle and use all my effort to move a very short distance. Husband says I look like a robot, all stiff and slow. He doesn't help me, just looks at me oddly. After a couple of minutes I get passed the situation and my body releases. And I go somewhere wide, open, or just go sit down.

Lately I've been edging back into this territory, with trouble walking around people in certain situations. And once again when I bend over now- like to feed the cat- my toes can suddenly come up off the floor- or my heels can come up off the floor, threatening my balance. My heels came up the other day when leaning forward over the sink brushing my teeth, and I toppled into the counter. Consequently I have noticed that I am preemptively leaning on counters to aid my balance.

I had buzzing, tingling, vibrating. Hot cold water sensations of head. Electric zaps. Electric spine. Sparkler bursts on my arms and legs- like someone was holding a fireworks sparkler up to me. Burning feet like walking on hot sand for ten minutes one day. And twice the sensation of walking on cotton balls. Etc. I haven't had this in many months. Except my left shin has started vibrating- while I wash dishes or brush my teeth- again.

Last fall I also had twitching above lips, and jaw. And these internal shaking feelings in my legs, mostly when I got up in the morning, or when I did something physical. If I work outside and squat down I know they will full on shake externally- but after a few seconds they stop. And I have realized it is easier to let them shake and then move on- then to try and keep them from shaking.There where some days when I felt so shaky and unstable I had to sit down in the tub to take a shower. And there were a few occurrences of what I call the herky jerky- where the arm goes side to side and the leg front and back teeter totters-glad I haven't had that in long long time.

Left arm jerks, happening mostly when stopped at a red light when driving, or when watching tv. And once it starts happening again, it will happen if I am startled, or if there is sudden noise or movement. If it is happening a lot, and if I am also having an exaggerated startle reflex, whole body jerking occasionally at sound or sudden movement- then it will also happen when trying to sleep.  After not having this since January- in June on vacation while bike riding it came back. Left arm jerks while trying to have relations with my husband...super embarrassing. After a little over two weeks of this- the jerks have receded.

Besides random, and directly being startled- sometimes jerks, left arm, lower legs, or full body, happen because I feel like I am being compressed. Like there is a band around my body, or one pulling down on my arms, and it gets wound tighter and tighter. I become a spring being wound tighter and tighter, and I can feel the tension building, and sometimes I can fight the feeling (sometimes I can't), but if a sudden sound comes, or movement, or stimulus, it is like a button is pushed, and bam, big jerk. So I have learned that if I feel this feeling while driving it is better to give in to a small jerk, then to hold it and risk suddenly having a big one.

Another thing that has come back to visit- is freeze frame. Again on vacation- tried to hand something to my husband, an ice cream cone, and my left hand wouldn't let go- it only lasted seconds, but he noticed. "Uh, are you handing this to me or not?"
"Yes, of course I am."
"then why aren't you letting go."
"God, I am trying. Can't you see that I am trying?"
It happened with something else too. And when packing up the trunk to go (I am the only one motivated enough to fit all our junk into the trunk) leaning into it, I got stuck. Again I am sure it was less than a minute, but for that minute while I kept thinking, okay lets get back out of the trunk now, and nothing happened, it was super frustrating and vaguely scary. My husband was nearby, and I said, "I'm stuck." and he said, "I can tell."

On the fourth of July the counterpart to this one, the one I used to get, visited me. I went to grab a deviled egg, and my left arm wouldn't bend back in. I tried and tried. My son made some comment about my being indecisive about which one I wanted, I got nervous that people might realize I was having trouble, and with my right arm went and got my left arm and pulled it in. It was just fine after that. It becomes sort of head trip. I am like, is this a physical problem or a psych problem? Do I just think I am trying to bend my arm, but really I'm not. ? This rarely happens but when it does it feels like I am trying to move my arm, and it shakes around, it just doesn't bend back in.

 One time it did scare me when I leaned over the passenger seat of my car to get something, and part way through lifting myself back up, my arms stopped lifting me up. I was stuck, and that time it had to have been a whole minute. It was exhausting, trying and trying, and nothing. Then suddenly my arms worked like normal, like nothing had happened.

Last November and December I had trouble with leg cramps, for a month and a half my calves cramped every day-while driving, eating, watching tv, sleeping. Forget trying to exercise. I became addicted to a heating pad. I don't know that it helped, but psychologically it made me feel better, and the heat was a distraction. My calves and foot have been threatening to this again- but haven't full on done it. Mostly now I feel like a tight band is across my calves and I'll get the start of a cramp feeling, a subtle ache starting to twist-and be very careful with how I move and so far so good.

I saw a neurologist in January. He was disinterested- totally unimpressed with the assortment of physical riffraff that is making such an impression on my life. But offered to treat whatever issue bothers me most. But since whatever is going on with me is a cast of rotating characters- I never know who is going to visit in any upcoming episode. So I wouldn't know which to try and prevent.

I was mad after that appointment, and for a pity party present, decided to give myself the gift of doing less.  Two weeks later I started feeling better.  I had a great three months, with only a few days of trouble each month, seeming to correspond with being several days after stuff like shoveling snow, and rearranging furniture. More activity also corresponded with times I cheated on my low wheat, no store bought icing new year's resolution. So I could still go with a food intolerance cause.

Still I felt so great in April I tried Tracy Anderson's the Method exercise program and less than a week in realized I had to give up the cardio dance. The world was starting to tilt again. Two weeks in with the floor exercises I was full blown awful- like I couldn't do the routine and function. So I had to stop.

Two weeks later I was fine again. And did well including the digging of holes, and planting of many hostas and hydrangeas. I did well until vacation mid June. Now over a month later I am still having problems. I don't know what to blame, all the packing and unpacking, third floor- three flights of stairs, daily bike rides, walks, the boardwalk, the sand. Eating donuts (wheat) with icing (fake) everyday. Plus more yard work and wheat and icing since then.  I need to blame something, so I can do something, or not do something.

So here I am, doing less again. Heck standing feels like doing a lot in this heat. And I'm going back to eating wheat only one day a week, and no more fake icing. We'll see if any of this helps. I guess the bottom line is, it does seem like I have some sort of a movement disorder. I can't say for sure that it isn't psychogenic (psychologically caused), but I looked that up and it doesn't seem to fit. But stuff like Parkinson's and MS don't seem to fit either. So...here I am, feeling kinda like a head case. But as my husband says, "it doesn't really matter the cause, it is happening to you, it's not going to go completely away, so you just have to find ways to deal with it." We are thinking of it as my own unique sort of thing- a quirky body to go with an eccentric mind.

This whole post because I want to go rollerblading. But I am scared. I haven't fallen this year, stumbled into the wall just today, but haven't fallen.  I hate feeling like I can't do it, if I did it and had no problems including the week afterwards- I would feel so great. Rollerblading, music, summer! Ah, yes. But if I do it, and then I fall over backward while just standing still doing some mundane task later in the week- I will be devastated. My self image will plummet. I asked my husband his opinion, he looked at me like I was crazy, said, "Uh, no, you shouldn't try to go rollerblading. Your left arm is jerking again, the last thing I need is for you to fall." It bothers me that my life is like this again, one where everything I consider doing is being weighed against possible outcomes. But heck overall I am still pretty good. And enjoying reading the Mortal Instruments series.

Update-since this post has been in drafts-before July was over I got stuck in the closet (not like Tom Cruise). I reached up got clothing off a shelf- and then got stuck. My back was tilted back, and my left arm was straight and raised (kind of like in a superman flying position), and I couldn't move my arm down, or my back forward. I was making noises- eeerrr, as I struggled and tried and tried.  Out of my peripheral vision I could tell my husband had walked into the room and was accessing the situation. First he took my left arm and put it down- when he saw that I was still stuck, he moved my back forward. And I was able to reach and grab onto the doorframe- which was awesome because I was still feeling like I was being pulled backwards. So I had to stand like that for few minutes until I regained my balance. During which I said to my husband, "I was stuck." and he said, "I could see that." and I said, "Thanks for helping me."

We talked about it the next day- because it upset me, because it feels like a new thing- related to other things, but a particular concern I hadn't had before. He considers it just more of the same. He now just expects something to happen on a regular basis.
Which brings us to last week when I bent over to look at an ant in our foyer, and when I stood back up lost my balance, my arms where flailing backwards (like I was doing the backstroke) and I was stumbling backwards, and it felt like I was being pushed and shoved back, and I kept trying to grab onto something- went four feet- finally each hand struck a wall- and braced me- just before I crashed into the glass terrarium. Again had to stand there for a little while before regained balance. My husband heard me stomping about but assumed I was killing a bug or something. But you know I am more of a catch and release girl.
So yesterday I was weeding and had minor issues but was functional, we went out to eat as a family, and then went to Staples so my son could buy compressed air. And I couldn't get out of the car- I was leaning forward but no go. And my husband said, "I think your Mom is having trouble getting out of the car. I'm having flashbacks of Nana." Which upset me- I am 43, she was 80 when she had this problem. So I trouble shooted and with my hands got my left leg and moved onto the parking lot next to my right one, and was then able to get out. And I was just fine getting out at our other stops.

 ? I just don't get it. I don't know what to think about it, how to feel about it, what to do about it. But just adjust and adapt. And as long as it never progresses, never gets worse, I guess it is okay. Things have happened that have embarrassed me, and scared me, but I've never gotten hurt. Mostly it just makes me feel tired, and older than I should. My self image struggles. And when more stuff is happening I do less stuff unless someone else is around.

And I hate that there is no one to talk to about this stuff. I know I just end up sounding neurotic, and that is embarrassing. And it makes me feel vulnerable and stupid. I mean yeah I know this post is super boring. Who wants to read or listen to a person go on and on about every little quirk. I don't, and it is my post. And if I go around talking to people I know about it, I'll sound old and pathetic, a dreary debbie downer. Plus most of the time I am moving around and look just fine- so people would probably think I was making stuff up,  just some odd sort of attention seeking. And my husband doesn't like talking about it, because there is nothing he can do to help me, and if he worries about it at all he feels overwhelmed. But like I said before- it is summer, I'm on the fourth Mortal Instruments book, I am hanging out with my son, nothing is really wrong....this stuff just unsettles me at times.