Repost October 3, 2016: Knitting and Storytelling

dogsweater111815I tried the sweater on Foxy before I did the finishing touches (i.e. tuck the ends into the sweater. I should have sewn the sweater to the neck, but I was more worried that it would fit too snugly.

I was wrong. It fits just right except she can wiggle out of it and turn it into an off-shoulder sweater.

But for some reason she wants a sweater. I have an old one that I bought at PetSmart. Unfortunately it hasn’t lasted that long. I have knitted sweaters for myself and others that have lasted years. The one I bought is falling apart after one winter of use.

Since the world is falling apart right now, I find that knitting is relaxing. I have a dog that sits on my lap as I knit and watch “Closer” or some other TV episode on Amazon or Netflix. I am still unhappy that most of my favorite shows “Constantine” and others have been canceled. NETFLIX for the love of the fans– Please get those shows and make new episodes. I would watch.

If Netflix won’t listen to me, then AMAZON I don’t want to see a middle-aged (almost late aged) transgender. I want to see more Marvel with superheroes and great story lines. Heck, I’d even watch some of Neil Gaiman’s old graphic story lines on TV.

One of the reasons (I have a lot of reasons for writing including that if I don’t write, I’ll act out in my dreams), is that I am tired of the story lines on national TV. The mystery detective shows that I have enjoyed for a long time have been co-opted with message fiction. It seems that global warming, gamergate, or bad corporations mixed with evil returning soldiers has taken over the entertainment. Seriously I am tired of messages… since I was in the Navy from 1988-1994, I am tired of messages that denigrate our returnees, whether combat soldiers or support personnel.

It became fashionable to spit on our returnees after Vietnam. A completely alienated generation is bad for us all.

But back to what I want to see in entertainment. I want to see stories. Something that will help me escape. Something that will make me laugh and cry. Something that will make my life a little more hopeful and a little more worthwhile.

Don’t tell me I am a bad person. I know that I am the hero in my own story. And you are the hero in yours.

One of the reasons I have a problem with dystopia is because many of these stories are– it was bad, it was your fault, and now you’ll die. Huh?

So this is why I like Marvel– as bad as it gets, the hero wins. Not always big… and not always apparent. I can relate. I have small wins every day. I take a pill and my disease is pushed back another day. I walk and my muscles move another day. These small wins have added up from 2003 to the present day. I am still living.

I want to write this way, too.

 

It’s a good day for shining your shoes

brown classic color design

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Pexels.com

I’ve wondered if the so-called Monday blues was only because I come from a culture that works hard Monday through Friday and then plays hard on Saturday and Sunday.

I get that “I don’t want to work.” I really do. I started my first job outside of my family when I had just turned sixteen. I was a cashier at a steak restaurant. It was the fanciest one in our town. I worked the counter for a few months and then the owner taught me how to count back money. The hours were late, but I have to admit that I enjoyed that job. I also had to get out of my extreme introversion. I was grateful that there was a script of how I should talk to the customer.

Yes, the owner wasn’t leaving anything to chance. He told us what to say. i think he took a particular interest in me because he saw I was smart, young, pretty and had a great memory. How times have changed. My brain has really dropped since chemo and immuno therapy.

The reason I left that job is that my mother decided to quit. If she quit, then both my sister and I had to quit too. I think my sister bussed tables. To be fair, it was over forty years ago.

I was a farm girl before that. Taking care of animals is an every day thing. So before I went to work outside the farm, I hadn’t understood the “Monday blues.”

Its easy for my emotions to slide into the blues category. With a mind like mine on prescriptions, I can get into these loops and ruts that can take me down. I have a few tricks for that though.

  1. I take a nap. Sometimes I start to slide because I am overtired.
  2. I eat something. Sometimes I start to slide because I am hungry.
  3. I take vitamins. With being on immuno suppressants for years, my body doesn’t break down vitamins very well in food. Vit E, Vit D3, and Vit B2 are essential for me.
  4. I take a break and  walk.

So it is food, exercise, and sleep that are the main ingredients for helping me get out of that slide. Plus when I loop because everything is going to shit around me, I use the app “Calm” for a brain break.

But my biggest weapon against the blues is music, especially Peggy Lee’s It’s a Good Day as I am walking the dog. I think this was one of my grandfather’s favorite songs.

On another note, I am sharing a link to Stephanie Osborn’s Alpha and Omega first book in her Division One series. Reading is another way I get out of the blues.

Happy Reading.

State of the Writer

IMG_0708So yea, I’ve been having a year of procrastination. A lot has to do with my health and medications. A few months ago my doctors thought it would be a good idea to try out medications for cholesterol and gout. It didn’t end well. It also didn’t help my writing brain.

Today I want to make an accounting and let you know what I have on my writing plate. No excuses.

Since January, I decided to take down “Shira: Hero of Corsindor,” and do an edit. What happened is that the edit turned into a complete rewrite. I’m almost halfway through with this project. I actually printed out the entire thing. I changed the name to Hero of Corsindor. Yes, the one in the Tuesday Snippet. I am working on this one daily and my deadline for the rewrite is September 30, 2018.

Also in January, I took a course with Dean W. Smith called “Depth in Writing.” It actually turned my writing upside down. Whenever I take one of his courses, I feel like my skin is being ripped off and it takes me a few weeks to get that thick skin back. I’ve taken four of his courses now and I have come out a better writer each time. I would like to be more prolific.

These are the projects that are in orbit, waiting to land:

  1. Xandra Peel – a story of a hybrid ogre-human who survives both people and Fae in a post-apocalyptic world.
  2. Unlicensed Sorceress – third book in the Hilda’s Inn world. Hilda has proven she has elemental powers and gets training in a highly political environment.
  3. I’m not dead, yet – non-fiction memoir of the last ten years of surviving WG/GPA, thyroid cancer, and Stage IV kidney disease
  4. The third book in the EJ Hunter world – I don’t know why but this one wants to percolate in my subconscious. The captured boy in the first book wants a voice.

There is a few more on my list, but I am not listing them here. I want to finish these first.

In my short story offerings, I am writing more “Green Knight Terraforming Company” stories. I am going to write more shorts as warm-ups.

One things I have learned is that saying I am going to do something, and actually doing it are two different things. So my next goal is to write every day, even if it is only a sentence or two.

I have no excuse. Even if I find myself on a dialysis machine, I can write during those two or more hours.

I was asked recently if I could see a future. I answered, no. There are too many health variables in my life. I do know two things: I want to finish what I write, and I want to care for my dog. At this time– that has to be enough.

Talk Like a Pirate Day

otto-tune It has been two years since I held his hand as he slipped away from me. His christian name was Edward Dave Tune, but I called him Otto.

He wasn’t a Saint. His sense of humor was what took him through life and it is the one thing that I miss the most. So it is fitting that he died on “Talk like a Pirate Day.”

I used to have dreams that we buy an RV and go from State to State– sometimes in my dreams we would fly from planet to planet and find new places and new scenery.

He was the one that had no fear. He would stand on roofs and the edge of mountains. I am the cautious one. I would stand behind him on the cliffs so I wouldn’t fall. I miss that he would protect me. Up until I met him, I had never had anyone protect me. My exterior is tough because I have had to be that way. It was the same for him. He could scare people with just a look.

Inside I considered him my soft teddy bear. With him I was a better person, a kinder person. So I think of him with a tinge of sadness because I miss him so gawd damn much. I was much better with him. Yet,  I am so grateful that we had twenty-two years together.

RIP my sweetie.

A day, a day, and another day

So I had an appointment on Tuesday, a lunch on Wednesday, and another appointment today. Then at the beginning of next week after the holiday, I need to get my labs done to check my kidneys. In between I have been looking critically at what I have overflowing in closets and other spaces, and I have decided to get things cleaned, sold, or given away while I have the energy.

There is a thought in the back of my mind that I won’t have the time or energy to complete all of this in three months. Don’t ask me what is going to happen in three months because I don’t know. When I think that far ahead, I feel a heaviness that tells me another big change is coming.

I used to like change. When I was younger, moving to a new place wasn’t scary. I thought that adventure was seeing new places and making new friends. Then off I would go to another adventure in a new place with new friends. It changed when I had my huge health change. It wasn’t just a scare– it was an entire change of life. I had orders that I couldn’t be around large groups of people. Since I live near Las Vegas, it meant that while I was on a chemo like Cytoxan, I couldn’t go to events, theaters, or malls. My late-hubby used to take me to malls during the time of day when most people were doing other things. I carried wet wipes and we would wipe down every bench before I sat. I would walk twenty feet and then have to sit down again. Those were survival days.

When I lost my hubby, it was another huge change. It changed my physical, social, and mental frame of reference. I am still dealing with the aftershocks. I suspect this change that I am dreading has to do with my kidneys.

I notice that I cramp more at night even when I take vitamins and drink enough water. Sometimes I have a low- grade fever. Both of these symptoms can cause sleep deprivation which can cause the short-term cognitive problems. Or it might be the kidneys again. So last night I slept like the dead. It was good. The little doggy jumped up and down on my side before I woke up. I could have slept another two hours.

So I am beginning to dread change– change means illness and more problems to solve. Change means that when I move, I can’t carry those heavy boxes, like I used to do. It means that when I move the furniture, I spend two to three days resting.

Change means that I meet new people and worry about getting new infections. On the other hand, I have met others who are dealing with some of the same problems. Plus I am learning tolerance for the ill and infirmed. Sadly, I had to become one of them before I could feel for them.

Still– I have cleared out things that I haven’t used or seen used in a decade or more. The apartment feels lighter.