#ROW80 Check-in May 1st

This week has been tough because my wrist tendonitis came back and I had to take a break from writing. Yesterday, I started using voice recognition again, and it has been a bit frustrating. But I’m glad to have the option of doing it.

(Handwriting actually hurts more due to an old hand injury, so that was out.)

Actually, it went pretty smooth, all things considered. I ended up dictating a total of 800 words. It felt like it took forever, but it was only a few hours. I’ve been spoiled — I can bang out 1,000 words in 20-30 minutes. But it did the job which was the most important thing.

(I also had to stop periodically and transfer the words from the clipboard thingy and reformat. Also, Dragon didn’t recognize the names, so I ended up using placeholder names, which was okay…as long as I remembered to change them!)

So how did I do?

Ever Touched – 1000 words. Better than I could have hoped.:) Now at 81k.

Covenant – 200 words. Finally!

Exercise -2 times this week

AprilLove2016 – I managed 14 days out of 30. I was running behind, and then my wrist tendonitis popped up, and handwriting just made it worse. But I’m happy with what I got, and the experience was enlightening. Will definitely do that again.:)

Water – only three days this week.

Elysium – I worked on the outline some more. Making slow progress.

Chocolate consumption: WW sundaes, Twix bars, and hot chocolate.

So, all in all, I did pretty well considering. I’m hoping to give my wrist time to heal and soon hopefully I’ll be typing again.

How did you do?



#ROW80 Check-in April 24th

Annnd here we are again. Man, this week went by fast!

Overall, I’m doing okay. Still tired, but I’m managing. I haven’t hit all my goals, but I got some done, and that’s progress.

So, here we go!

Ever Touched – Due to getting a small editing job, I am slightly behind on this. But the good news is that I think I can make it up. And, extra money is always nice! Up to 78,145 words now (3,426 words sine last check-in!). My goal was to hit 80k this month, so I should make it. As for Camp, I still have 10k to go.

8 minutes/Covenant – Nada. Thought about it a lot, but never had enough energy to make it happen.

Exercise – 3 times this week – 2 walks, 1 bike.

Water – Every day except one.

AprilLove2016 – Still horrendously behind, but wrote 2 journal entries, and posted two blog posts. Here (Dear Future Me) and here (Dear Courage).

Elysium – Pondering, but nothing done.😦

Chocolate consumption: Oreos – oh man, Oreos. And WW Sundaes.

Hoping to get some more done this week!

#AprilLove Day 14: Dear Courage

Just chugging along. I’m still really behind, but I’m managing.:)

Dear Courage,

I did not know your depth until I was forced to find you. Until I was forced to reach for you, and use you to vanquish my fears, or get through something very scary. And there’s the little things, too — a tough situation at work, going to the doctor to investigate this or that, having to have 3 MRIs in a row when I am severely claustrophobic. Facing illness in others. When a co-worker died and I was grieving. Every time I put words on the page (or computer screen). These are all acts of courage, and without you, I couldn’t have done them.

Every book I’ve ever written has been an act of courage. Every poem. When I decided to self-publish Fey Touched in 2012, that was you helping me to reach for my dream of being published. It didn’t matter that I had no idea what I was doing or how the world would react to my book…I’d decided to put it out there, whether I got glowing reviews or bad ones, because I needed to. For myself. You stood by me every step of the way.

Rewriting Grave Touched was also an act of courage. You were there when I rewrote it and revised it, telling me to keep on it, that it will be good. And that was important because at the time, I couldn’t imagine this book being good. It just wasn’t in me, after the TN and low esteem and insecurity got a hold of me. But you were right. Grave Touched is great book, and I’m damn proud of it.

I remember a line from Rod Stewart’s song “Forever Young”: Be courageous and be brave/in my heart you’ll always stay/forever young. And when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and intractable vertigo in 2003, never have I needed you more. I was scared. I was faced with people not believing me. I was faced with daily pain and fatigue, and a zillion other things going wrong health-wise. I was faced with weekly doctor visits, and medications, and people’s ideas being pushed on me because they thought they knew better. I learned how to stand up for myself and advocate for my own health. My life had changed irrevocably that year, and not everything survived the change. But, most of all, I learned that I could find you when I most needed you — in those dark moments when I believed it a death sentence, those times when I had to make tough decisions about what to do or not, based on my pain level. When I was teaching, and I was so tired, but wanted to do it so badly I put myself through it anyway (and a full-time day job). It did a bit of damage, but it was what I needed to do for myself and my students.

When I had to have three surgeries on my jaw due to infections and rejection from a previous surgery, when I thought I would die, when my fear of needles was so overwhelming that I didn’t think I could go through with it — you were there, whispering in my ear, saying that everything will be okay and it will only hurt for a bit. I remember my last surgery, in August of 2011, the song “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin was playing on the radio, and somehow I drew strength from that (because music and my mind have been intertwined since I was a kid).

(Obviously, the song had nothing to do with the surgery, but a connection was made that somehow let me find you quicker and easier.)

And, the doozie was when I was in so much pain daily from the trigeminal neuralgia that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on, and you told me to never give up, and to keep on, as much as I can, because things WILL get better. (An they did, thanks to you!). But man, I was so scared and freaked out and couldn’t imagine living that way. And when I had my little meltdown after watching “The Fault in Our Stars” and my mom and husband were looking at me funny because I’d been crying for an hour, you were there with comforting words and the strength I needed.You gave me the strength to say, “I have never mourned the loss of my normal life due to this. I have never LET myself feel it so intensely. I was too busy trying to be brave.” But, as the movie has shown me, pain demands to be felt. And right then, I needed it, despite what others may or think.

My general philosophy in life actually comes right from you. I don’t believe in conformity, or being someone I’m not, or not standing up for myself. That, too, is very courageous. It takes courage to be your true self and live without apology or a care. I NEVER worry about other people and how they may react or think. I worry about what’s right for me, and what I’m doing or not doing. Because this life is mine, and I have one chance to live it. Living for someone else or censoring myself or pretending to be someone else is just pointless. Unfortunately, a lot of people do that and I just shake my head.

I’m cool as I am. I have hopes, and dreams, and things I want to accomplish. You’re there for me every step of the way, supporting me, encouraging me, and not letting me fall. You are truly my partner in this, and I look forward to many more courageous things in the future.

#AprilLove2016 Day 12: Dear Future Me

So I’m back with Day 12, Dear Future Me.


Dear Future Me,

You probably don’t know this, but you’re cool. Really, truly, totally, utterly, completely cool. You may not feel this way at times, but let me assure you: YOU ARE COOL.

You’re doing great things: writing, taking pictures, trying to get healthy. These things will stick at some point, and things will get easier. I know this, deep in my heart. I also know that you are capable of great things if you just keep at it.

Also? I can’t guarantee that your health will be good, because there are so many factors in this. But what I can guarantee is this: you’ve got this. Whatever life decides to throw at you, you’ve got this. You’re strong, you’re capable, you’re brave. Maybe even braver than I am now. I’ve spent years being brave and handling things, tough things, so you can work your way through whatever it is that happens. And…it’s scary. As we get older, things start going wrong. Not pessimism, just reality. And I have a lot going on now, and I’m just 40. So I do not expect it to be easy. But you can handle it. You’re made of tough stuff. You’ve watched your loved ones (Grandma and Mike in particular) bear illness with grace and dignity. You learned, and you were changed by the experience.

So much can change, you know? Like with the trigmenial neuralgia. I was fine one day, and the next, I was in excruciating pain for nearly three years. I never would have guessed that it could happen, that it would happen, and how much it would impact my life. But I got through it. It was tough, and sometimes unbearable, but I managed. I survived. So I believe that you can, too. You just need to reach inside yourself and find that strength you possess.

Don’t ever give up writing or photography. I know both can be frustrating, but they are what feed your soul. You need them like you need air to breathe. Eight years without photography taught me never to do that again. I felt the loss daily. And losing writing for three months was absolute torture. Don’t do it again. It’s not pretty.

Continue to be creative and to give thanks for each day. Some days just plain suck, and I know that. But another day is a gift. Some day there won’t be any more. Cherish them. Cherish your loved ones. Time is finite. Don’t ever forget that.

But most of all, enjoy life. Don’t forget about the little things. Don’t forget to revel in the beauty of life and living. Live each day as if it were your last.

And, chase those dreams. You’ll get there.

#ROW80 Check-in April 17th

Just rocking and rolling over here! Still very tired, but I’m working through it.

This will be quick as my wrist is acting up again. Must rest today.

Ever Touched – up to 74,719 (3,134 words since last check-in!). Almost to 75k!

8 minutes/Covenant – I have not felt up to this, unfortunately. Still planning on it once I do feel up to it! I feel terrible leaving it where I left it!

A preview of the pics I took yesterday. The white is actual grass, not snow!

Digital infrared – Took some test shots yesterday! They came out beautiful. They are here if you want to see them.

Exercise – Took a walk with hubby yesterday.

Water – Every day except two.

AprilLove2016 – Wrote Day 10 in my journal. Still really behind, though!

Elysium – Did a bit of work on it last night.

So, not too bad at all.

Chocolate consumption: several brownie cookies, a WW Sundae, and several Oreos. Yum.

Photo Notes: Digital Infrared Photography Testing

So, I finally got around to doing more digital infrared tests! I took some pictures outside in front of my Mom’s house and on the street. The sunlight was absolutely PERFECT for infrared, so I went for it.

These photos actually turn out red in the camera, and I convert them to b&w in post-processing. I’m getting the hang of it. See what looks like snow on the grass? It isn’t snow. It’s the GRASS. B&W infrared turns everything with chlorophyll white, the sky dark like it’s night, and stuff glows. Human skin glows, too.

It’s really neat. I’ve loved it ever since I was taught in college.

(Stay tuned for actual b&w infrared on film. That is also a plan of mine!)

Here they are!

Digital infrared, Mom’s house (and the house where I grew up), pic taken 4/16/16.
Digital infrared, my street, pic taken 4/16/16.
DSC_9499bw copy-RS
Digital infrared, my street, pic taken 4/16/16.
Digital infrared, my street, pic taken 4/16/16.
Digital infrared, my street, pic taken 4/16/16.
Digital infrared. Chevy HHR. Pic taken 4/16/16.


Digital infrared. Mom’s goose. Pic taken 4/16/16.

#AprilLove2016 Day 9: Dear Inspiration

I decided to make this one public, too.:)

Well, being a creative individual, inspiration is so dang important. Because without it, we are nothing…or are we?

On to the letter.

Dear Inspiration,

I’ll be brutally honest here. You are an awesome, thrill ride of a thing, but you can be the most vexing. I mean, writers/painters/photographers/other creative types depend on you for everything, but you can be as flighty and elusive and sometimes just not present. I speak of you as my muse, but really? You’re my right brain, my subconscious. Writer Holly Lisle, one of my favorite writers, says that you keep all the secrets and cool stuff and only speak in images. Sometimes words. You’ve caught me off guard with some of them, the most recent one being “old but new, incorporeal people trapped in cybernetic bodies” that spawned the entire war thread of Ever Touched, which was awesome and intriguing, but a bit…ah…different. Yeah, let’s go with that. I hadn’t expected that.

But I’ve learned over the years to expect the unexpected. You can be pure evil, unhinged at times, and at others, you can throw out pieces of cool things like crumbs but remain tight-lipped about the rest until about a third of a way into a book than shout, “hey! This is who he REALLY is!” or, “hey you writer person! She’s not this, she’s really that!” Or my personal favorite, “hey moron, how could you not figure that out? Seriously?”

Photography inspiration you hand me is often bizarre but cool. I’m still working on making your images come alive. You seem to enjoy self-portraiture, which is just awesome, but it’s easier than it looks, you know. So many things…costuming, location, lighting, etc. I’m a perfectionist, and I want to capture what you give me just right. But I have to admit, they are some cool ideas there.

But when you leave me dangling by a thread, like with the end of Survivor [my book, not the show!]? I think I hate you. Because dragging the one piece of information from you is like pulling teeth. Banging my head against concrete. Poking my eye repeatedly. It’s not fun, and it’s frustrating, and frankly? It freaks me out. I need you to work with me on these things. Do what you do best! And you are brilliant! So show me!

But at the end of the day, I’m happy for you, vexing or not. I need you, and I think you need me, too, to bring your ideas to life.

Let us never be parted, huh? Let’s do this together. And make some beautiful, awesome, heart-rending, joyful art and novels and poems.

Because we have to.