The End of Hiatus

I have returned, dear friends, though I obviously didn’t physically go anywhere.  No…I just spent the month attempting to write my next novel, but instead of doing NaNo, I did a NoNo (have you missed my puns?) insofar as novel writing was concerned.

NaNoWriMo 2017

I’d planned to physically write 50k words by hand, which is around 1667 words a day, but I didn’t count on arthritis being a greater factor than it was back when I wrote my first novel (by hand).  The pen, which rested right against the joint of my thumb, caused excruciating pain to the digit, and it just became harder and harder to accomplish much at all.  The first day I probably did around 1800 words, which is more than the target, but each day following, I wrote less and less.  I finally decided I’d switch to Word, but then the second problem arose…

The handwritten/Word dilemma is a logistical issue, which was fairly easy to overcome (once I swallowed my stubbornness and pride), but I made a fatal error in story planning: I only considered what was going to happen directly around and after the inciting incident.  I knew I wanted to have my MC/heroine do something to establish herself as talented, resourceful, and intelligent (yet another “feisty ingenue” character for the books), and of course I want to show rather than tell.  In portraying her, I also wanted to establish how she fits into the world of the story and what that world is like; however, but as I delved into the meat of it, it just fell flat.  I think I’m fairly good at telling when something isn’t working, and I read some advice that has stuck with me: if you’re not excited writing it, chances are your readers won’t be excited reading it.  I didn’t want to start on the day of the inciting incident, because that changes any and everything that would be established, and I wanted to establish things before throwing my heroine that horrifying curve ball (there’s another bit of advice I recently heard about authors who refuse to be mean to their characters.  That makes me cackle).  I also have a rule that I always write stories in order without skipping around.  I build off of the foundation of what I’ve said before and make reference to it.  If I haven’t written it, it’s harder for me to do that and/or to tie what I’m currently writing to something I wrote in the past.  Of course I can always go back and formulate the foreshadowing, but it’s nice to have something established to draw from as I’m going along.

But…I’m not against breaking my own rules, if I have a good reason for doing so, and I do something different in every single story I write.  Not on purpose, mind you; it just happens that way.  Once I came to this conclusion, I was going to “restart” the story on the day of the inciting incident, write from there, and figure out what (if anything) was going to happen before.  All of my notes center around after that point, and it just made sense.  I just wanted to write it, because this story is the reason I wrote The Broken Rose as a test for the same paradigm.  I knew I’d blown any chance of me writing 50k words by the time half month came around, but I still wanted to at least get back on that horse.  Alas, my health had other plans…

My chronic fatigue, dizziness, and concentration issues became worse, and to combat it I started drinking more and more coffee even taking my anti-narcolepsy (amphetamine) medicine with the caffeinated brew, but I think it was the mint chocolate brownie that was the last straw.  Oh, it was delicious (and I’m not going to lie and say I don’t want one right now), but I seem to have a love/hate relationship with chocolate.  When I had gallstones, it was the only thing that triggered them, and for a while every time I ate it (red velvet, too, since it has cocoa in it), my heart would go haywire.  I’d try to have a doctor catch it, but they’d only brush it off as PVCs.

It felt like I had a “fluttery heart” or it was trying to fly out of my chest, which is really annoying when you’re trying to sleep.  Oh and tachycardia (rapid heart rate).  I have so many games downloaded on my phone due to this, because while it doesn’t hurt (no chest pain or breathing problems beyond my typical asthma), I can’t really sleep until it subsides.  This is another reason I love cats, because this one would sometimes knead my chest to help.

Kin-mei-chan is in in attendance.

To be honest, this is my husband’s fault.  It started when he proposed to me, and it turned out I was having anxiety attacks without knowing it (???).   Yeah, that can happen (I’ve also had the other kind.  They..are not fun).

Early in the morning after consuming that brownie, I woke up with racing and fluttery heart.  I thought, “Ugh, this again,” and assumed it would subside by the time I officially awoke for work.  It…didn’t.  This was a Friday, so I dealt with it all day then the weekend until I called my doctor on Monday, taking the first available appointment (I have the type of job where I can just sort of do that #lucky).  They give me an EKG, then TELL ME I HAVE TO GO TO THE ER.

Apparently when you’re in aFib 170, they don’t let you go back to work.  The nurses at the hospital did say I was the funniest person to come in in that condition (I’m hilarious when I hate being the center of attention.  Ironic, I know, but if you’re funny, it’s a great way to deflect), but annoyingly when they gave me their own EKG, they only found tachycardia (that pesky elevated heart rate), and the information from my doctor never made it over.

I was so stoked that finally something would be found, but nope.  All systems normal except for a slight magnesium deficiency.  The issue with aFib is not when it’s going, but when it stops.  Due to the erratic heartbeat, blood can get trapped in a swirl, clot, and when your regular heart rate returns send that clot to either your brain (stroke) or your lungs (pulmonary embolism); both of which are bad news.

The worst part was calling people.  First I hate calling people on a good day.  Second, calling your 69 year old father to tell him you’re in the ER just sucks.  I abhor being the center of attention, and I was fine.

Seriously I was!

Worst part is I know exactly what he was thinking, and I want to bang my head against a wall right now.  Of course I called my husband, followed by my brother after calling my boss to tell her I wouldn’t be back at work (I’m a responsible Narcissist).  I felt really bad, but everything was okay on the work front.

So anyway your friendly neighborhood TSN is still alive.  This isn’t a ghostwriter.

I’m going to avoid caffeine until I see the cardiologist next Friday.  Well…I was going to.  I wound up having a small cup of Earl Grey tea (is that supposed to be capitalized?  I’m capitalizing it.  Captain Picard drinks it, so it’s important enough to warrant it), and I did feel some minor deleterious effects.  Poo.  So it’s been lemon tea for me (which I really want to help with my voice), and I have been taking my narcolepsy medicine sparingly.

I did work on a writing project during November, which is another reason NaNo was pushed to the wayside.  It’s for a Final Fantasy collaborative project, and I’m currently trying to do an audio recording of it…if my voice would cooperate.

Huh, I didn’t mean to spend so much time on this, but it was part of the reason I didn’t continue or finish NaNoWriMo, but I fully intend to write the novel so described.  I also plan to return to editing The Broken Rose, figuring out a way to balance the two of them somehow, though I think I’ve figured out a way to facilitate that with…

Status Post Frequency Changes

I suspended all posts for November in order to work of NaNo, and while it was a bit refreshing and stress relieving not to worry about my weekly statuses, I missed interacting with you all, and also talking about myself and what I’m doing :p  I did try to keep up with your posts and of course reply to any comments, but I’m happy to return to blogging, though there are going to be some changes.  I was going to institute this in 2018, but I think December, as hectic as it is, is a better time to start.  I can test it out and see how it goes.  The status updates aren’t going to be the only change; I’m also modifying my reading schedule, because seven books at a time is just not sustainable when I want to do all the things.  Really, I just wanted to see how many books I could read in a year as an adult with adult responsibilities, and I’m going to wind up over 70, which is pretty impressive.

I’m moving all of my State posts to a biweekly basis starting in December.  State of the Writer and State of the Gamer will be posted next week, but State of the Reader and Final Fantasy Friday won’t be posted until the week after.

Note: This isn’t exactly right, and I’m glad I picked it up in the edit.  I’ll be posted FF Friday tomorrow, because it’s the end of the (arbitrarily picked) first week since December starts then  Then SOTW and SOTR next week with SOTG and the FFF again the following.  I didn’t want to rearrange the links since WordPress has been wonky with not putting them where I place them lately.

I’m hoping this will give me more time to catch up on my book reviews, write, play more video games, do audio recordings, and just be less stressed.   SOTW might switch to Saturdays, too.  I may just do a “update it on the weekend” type thing.”  I’m also going to change up my SOTG post (again), because everything is always evolving.  I’m noticing there are two types of games: ones that are ongoing and narrative oriented like Final Fantasy, and ones that are sort of spur of the moment, sporadically played, and/or without any definitive ending like, well, Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (look,it’s not my fault Squeenix has its hands in a million markets), and I’m probably going to start incorporating more games into Final Fantasy Friday since I’m so into Super Mario Odyssey, and I want to throw some questions out there about that.  I might rename it Final Fantasy Friday Plus, but something better that also begins with an “F.”  Accepting ideas 🙂

Is that it?  I think that’s it.  I’m actually writing this Thursday night, but I scheduled it for Friday morning so I know the future #timewizard #timelord #whatever

What have you all been up to this past month?  I follow many of your blogs and still kept up during my hiatus, plus there’s Twitter and Discord, so we’re rarely strangers 🙂  Now I’m going to eat Thanksgiving leftovers while watching a Valiant Hearts: The Great War Let’s Play, as I think of how I’m going to get Christmas sorted (I’ve already bought presents ya’ll.  This shit is serious.  Whoohoo early Thanksgiving!).  I hope you all had a wonderful month! ♥

42 thoughts on “The End of Hiatus

  1. Ouch, it’s nice to hear from you again, but I’m sorry you had to go through all that. December is indeed a rather hectic month, so if you feel drained at any point, feel free to take a few steps back. It’s perfectly understandable after all that.

    I’ve been up to the usual. I ended up reviewing Ocarina of Time, Transformers: Mystery of Convoy, and Rise of the Robots last month. Right now, I too have been playing through Super Mario Odyssey, which is really good and totally lives up to the hype.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thankfully, I wasn’t there overnight and was able to get back to my normal life relatively quickly (also I reached my deductible back on October, so no doctor’s bills whoohoo!).

      I will definitely have to check these out! I love Ocarina and have never heard of that Transformers game! How is it? I’m guessing it’s based on the more recent movies. The best current iteration of Transformers I’ve seen is Prime, which is one of the best shows watched this year.

      Mario Odyssey is amazing. I’m in the Luncheon Kingdom right now, trying not to constantly burn myself hehe. I’ll probably play a bit more of it tonight. I also have a demo of Etrian Odyssey V (speaking of Odysseys), but I think I’ll need to look up a guide for the best initial set up, because I died on my first venture o.O

      Liked by 1 person

      • The best hospital visits are the ones you don’t have to pay for, I’d say.

        Anyway, Mystery of Convoy is a 1986 Famicom game based loosely on Gen 1 Transformers. It’s… not particularly good for various reasons, so it’s for the best that the West was spared from its presence. Not at all like Ocarina of Time! Among other things, I feel it managed to capture a certain je ne sais quoi the 2D installments didn’t (and arguably couldn’t).

        Hey, that’s where I am now too! I’m looking forward to seeing what else the game can throw at me because it’s amazing how varied the gameplay is. Usually, that would imply a lack of focus, but there’s a surprising amount of cohesion here.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think Gen 1 Transformers are my nostalgic favorite, but Prime is the best iteration of them ever.

          Yes! It’s amazing how varied the kingdoms are, but the game doesn’t remotely seem thrown together. It’s because each kingdom is like it’s own self-contained world, and every time you traverse to the next, you get new enemies to capture, new currency, a new aesthetic, etc. I think because the basic rules of Mario stay the same that holds it together, while still offering the opportunity for wide variety.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds as though November was an incredibly hectic month for you – it’s good to hear you’re ok and looking after yourself. Sometimes it’s good to take a break but I know what you mean about missing everybody. 🙂

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Valiant Hearts but I haven’t actually played or seen any of it myself. How was the Let’s Play?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m definitely better! It was definitely more annoying than anything else, but I’m glad I got it checked out. I kept telling my husband I was being kept alive by sheer will and pure hatred alone hehe. He…wasn’t nearly as amused as I was. Damn my morbid humor!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I did miss posting even as I was happy to have some breathing space, but I think I’ve figured out a much better schedule. Like today I was able to get the State of the Writer post out even though I had some place to be this evening. Usually I’m scrambling as it gets later and later. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m liking it so far. Instead of adding more things on, I’m going to try to finish projects up then replace them with new ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome back! I write all my reviews in Word, because it makes editing so easy.

    I find that writing stuff by hand can be good for notes, as it makes the info stick in my mind better. These days however I type 99% of the time. Don’t know how I survived school because jotting stuff with a pencil causes my wrist to hurt after a few minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to write in Word first, too then copy/paste to WordPress. They’re compatible so there’s no formatting issues. OneNote is good for that, too.

      Dude, I hear you. I have NO idea when it became so difficult, but I suspect I always had problems. My handwriting was always sloppy because eventually it would start hurting my wrist. Now it’s like instantaneous with the added bonus of my right thumb. I’m 100% okay with aging, but this getting old bullshit is the pits.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome back! 🙂
    Sorry to hear that you had such a rough go of November and NaNoWriMo this year. 😦 Your health scare sounds awful. Sorry you had to go through all that. Here’s to what will hopefully be a much better December! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was actually more annoying than scary. Like I hated the fact that I had to make phone calls that I knew would make people worry rather than dealing with the issue itself. December has actually been looking pretty good. I’ve done most of my shopping, and I’m working on Christmas card prep. We were going to get a tree today so for the first time ever I’d have my tree on the first day/Sunday of Advent, but both my and my husband were too tired, so next weekend it is! I pretty much ordered everything from Amazon, so now I wait.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, nice! I’ve got a big chunk of my Christmas shopping done, too. 🙂 Just a wee bit to go still. I think we’re putting up our tree next weekend, too, actually. Glad to hear your December is off to a nice start!

        Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, my boyfriend and I are having a “wrapping party” this weekend to wrap a bunch of the gifts we got people. I hate wrapping presents, but it will be more fun if we do it together. 🙂
            Haha and I agree, it IS always fun getting stuff in the mail, even if it’s for someone else.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m making cookies with my sis-in-law and mother-in-law, hopefully getting my tree, and then working on Christmas cards. I’m debating drinking a strategic cup of coffee though I’m a little bit wary about it lol. I managed to wrap my husband’s presents, which is hilarious, because I’ve never wrapped presents before getting a tree before lol. I also spent way too much at Target, almost stole Christmas cards, but went back and paid for them. Santa IS watching :p

              It’s like you get a present even if you don’t get to keep it!

              Like

  5. Pingback: The State of the Writer: 12/3/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  6. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 12/6/17 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  7. My sympathies for the health issues getting in the way of your Nano. Health scares are the worst.

    I’ve tried Nano a few times, in the past. Never made it to the 50,000 mark, but it always did get me writing a lot more, so it was a productive month nonetheless. And hey, there’s nothing stopping you from taking on the challenge in any of these further months if you’d like to give it another go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was honestly more annoying than anything, but I appreciate the sentiment! It’s been a struggle over the past few years with chronic fatigue, but I keep on fighting, because I have so much I want to write and do. I had to take a nap today because it was a bad fatigue one, but it’s given me the energy to be on now, and I’m extremely lucky to have a job that’s super flexible and that I actually really enjoy (problem solving and math ftw!).

      It’s so hard to write 50k words a month especially if you have a day job. Maybe one day I’ll accomplish it, but I don’t beat myself up over it, because you can only do so much in a day. Plus, you’re absolutely right: it’s productive no matter what. You establish a schedule and generally get more writing done than you normally would.

      I’m just going to write it like I’ve done all my other stuff! Right now I’m working on revising and editing the last story I wrote. I want to figure out what the heck I’m doing with my latest short story AND I have an original novel I wrote years ago that I need to revise/reedit. The busyness is real!

      Liked by 1 person

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