Tag Archives: evil day job

Interruptions, Distractions, and Annoyances

Predictably, no writing over the weekend.

I seem to have done an awful lot of running around on Saturday so pretty much nothing at all got done.

Most of yesterday was spent doing paper crafts. I have one more artist trading card to do to finish this swap and it’s almost done but it still needs… something. I just don’t know what that something is.

I had to cancel my car inspection for Saturday – it’s been rescheduled for tomorrow morning.

So today I have to:

  • do the Rainbow Snippet blog hop I didn’t do over the weekend
  • do the Snippet Sunday blog hop I didn’t do over the weekend
  • write the thrice cursed space battle!

And deal with the day job that is being super annoying as I’m trying to write this.

(I got a text that they didn’t get my time card so I scanned it and emailed it, and in the process of doing that I got a phone call that they didn’t get my time card. So I sent it and got an email that they got the emailed timecard but could I scan and email my log as well. Seriously? You couldn’t have asked me that when I was talking to you? I just got my scanner and program shut down. They’re gonna have to wait because now I’m more thoroughly annoyed than I was before.)

(On the plus side, I’m gaining a lot of villains for future stories!)

Off to find my logs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Already?

Why didn’t someone tell me?

Seriously, I’m having a major issue with the day of the week today. On the one hand, I know it’s Friday because I have an appointment to get my car inspected tomorrow (Saturday).  But on the other hand, I had stuff to mail today and almost panicked thinking it was Saturday and I had to get to the post office before noon.

Work being weird isn’t helping. The kid I ride the van with was supposed to be back in school on Thursday, but then they called and said he’d be back on Wednesday.  So, yay for a three day pay instead of a two day.

But Thursday morning I got a phone call telling me he was back in the hospital until the 29th. A few hours later I got a phone call telling me he’d be released on the 22nd instead, and would be going back to school on the 25th. (Could someone please make up my mind?)

So, that’s where work stands, at least for now.

Despite the lack of structure with my job I have managed to get a little more writing done, but we’re coming up on a space battle and I’m dragging my feet (fingers?) because I really hate writing fight scenes.

So, inspire me, folks. Or at least let me know I’m not alone.

What kind of scene do you find the most difficult to write?

 

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Anything But Routine

This is the promised follow-up to Monday’s post.

Well, so much for routine.

When the staffing agency was telling me about this job they said it would be from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, then from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  (I’m riding a school bus (well, van) with a special needs child.)

Great! I thought. Three hours in between to work on writing or whatever.

Ha! It’s more like from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm with an hour from 11:00 to noon which turns out to be more like half an hour sometimes. (It’s a three hour round trip twice a day, plus time to unload and load the kids. And that doesn’t take into account traffic and road construction.)

So, anyhow…

My first day was Tuesday and I was pretty wiped out. I hadn’t slept well Monday night, and Tuesday was rainy and grey and dull and it was almost impossible to stay awake. I was also getting moderately car sick, which didn’t help.

So, nothing got done on Tuesday other than survival.

Wednesday was better. I slept well Tuesday night so I was able to use my down time (“lunch” and waiting for the kids to get out of school) to work on… not writing exactly (as in, I didn’t write any sentences for a novel) but I did start on some character sketches that I need for Soraine’s crew.  Only one of the three has a name so far (well, maybe two – I think I named one in the last attempt at writing this scene) but they all had descriptions by the end of the day.

Thursday…

Thursday was not so good.

The kid was getting a little out of hand and being a distraction to the bus driver. When I tried to get him to stop he hit me in the face, then bit my arm. (Fortunately I was wearing a hoodie so all I have is a bruise.) By the time all was said and done I’d been hit in the face three times, head-butted in the upper arm I don’t know how many times, and warded off a couple more bite attempts. I think I got kicked somewhere too but he’d taken his shoes off so that’s no biggie.

But on a more productive note, I rewrote my notes for Soraine’s crew, enhanced their descriptions, and actually gave another one a name.

And that brings us to today.

Today started out well. I actually wrote some real words. The kind that go in a novel.

Then the van arrived and my work day began, and about an hour later I got hit in the face again.

So I called the agency to tell them what had happened and that I was sorry, but I was done.  They agreed that I shouldn’t have to deal with the abuse and would take me off the assignment after today’s shift.

Then they called me back with another question: “Where was the monitor?”

Me: “What monitor?”

Apparently there was supposed to be a monitor/aide on the bus to deal with the behaviors and I was only there for medical emergencies.

After much back and forth and at the very last minute they got an aide to start on Monday so I’m not unemployed at all.

Yet.

We’ll see. This whole thing has been a SNAFU heading for FUBAR since it started and I’m seriously out of patience.

So, I’m still trying to find my routine, but I did get some progress made.

Finally.

And as promised, here it is. (Please keep in mind that this is a rough draft.)

(This is part of an added scene for Onyx Sun. Taliya and Ayess have responded to a distress call and have rescued the crew of the StarFire, captained by Soraine, who will be getting a spin-off eventually.)

Soraine was tall and busty and flamboyant – everything that Taliya wasn’t – but there was genuine relief and gratitude in her eyes.

“Captain,” she said, extending her hand. “Thank you for the rescue. I was beginning to lose hope.”

“I’m glad we were in range,” Taliya replied, accepting her handshake.  “You are a bit far out from the normal shipping lanes.”

“Yeah, well…”  Soraine shrugged, a glint of mischief in her eyes. She turned to the three people behind her. “Allow me to introduce my crew.”

Taliya suppressed a smile as Soraine avoided the issue of her ship’s coordinates.

“This is Olleen Osten, my engineer.”

Olleen was a short thin man with fine blond hair plastered to his scalp. He wore a form fitting heavy shirt with another looser heavy shirt over it. Round green eyes darted in constant movement and seemed to be looking in different directions at the same time.

“Welcome.” She extended a hand but he ignored it, giving her nothing more than a quick nod, and it was only a lifetime of training that kept her from frowning.

“Chelu Sulov, my navigator.”

Chelu was tall and slender, her head and shoulders covered with long fleshy protrusions that stirred and shifted slightly around her. It was the protrusions that had earned her species the name Medusens from the humans who had first made contact with them.

“Welcome aboard. We may have the ship a bit too cool and low-lit for Fidian comfort, but feel free to adjust the climate in your cabin to whatever you would like.”

Slitted eyes registered surprise as she accepted Taliya’s proffered hand.

“Thank you.”  The warm voice carried an inflection that said she was grateful not just for the welcome but also for the courtesy of using the proper name for her race.

“And this is my first officer,” Soraine said. “Dektlan Arigral.”

Dektlan was tall and burly, with a wide mouth and leathery skin. He was completely hairless and his upper body was covered with geometric tattoos.

Taliya’s gaze traveled over the markings and she smiled and interlocked her fingers in front of her and bowed slightly.  “Mahishi.”

He started and withdrew the hand he had extended, interlocking his fingers and bowing.  “Sho-mah. Mahasho.” He tilted his head curiously as he straightened, and Taliya smiled.

“I had a friend who was a Desrath. I spent a lot of time with him and his family and learned their – your – customs.  And enough of the language to probably not get myself executed.  And this,” she added, pulling the collar of her shirt to the side to reveal a geometric tattoo.

“What happened?”

Taliya took a deep breath. “There was a fire. Arson. They – and a lot of other good people – did not survive.”

His eyes closed briefly.  “I knew that house.  They were honorable people.”

“The youngest boy survived. I’ve been trying to find a sponsor so he could return to your home world and be raised in your culture, but…”

“But my people are suspicious of the motives of outsiders, especially humans.”

She nodded.

“My family will sponsor him.  We’ll make arrangements when we are back at our home port.”

 

 

 

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Happy End of Un-Labor Days to Me

Tomorrow I start my new job.

It’s been two months since I worked at my last one, and I am… nervous? anxious?

Part of that is because…

Well, because it’s been two months since I put on a set of scrubs and dealt with people.

So there’s the “hermit doesn’t want to leave her cave” anxiety. The longer I’m away from people the happier I am and the harder it is to go out among them again.

And then the fact that it’s kids and I’m… not a fan. (Yes, I know I was one once, but that was a long time ago and I didn’t really like them then, either.)

Add to that the fact that I still don’t know anything about the kid I’m to be riding with, (and as far as I know the agency still doesn’t have any doctor’s orders on him either), and the fact that the logistics of what I’m doing have changed four times since this all started, (not to mention the fact that this was supposed to have started last Thursday) and I’m really not looking forward to my first day.

I am (kind of) looking forward to getting back into a routine, though. I’m hoping that it will give me the chance to get more done than what I have been doing (which is basically nothing so anything will be an improvement).

It will, however, probably take a week or so to find a rhythm. Keep your fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to write at least a hundred words this week. (Low goal? Yeah, but it’s a hundred more than I’ve been writing.)  And I’m going to post them on Friday so watch this space…

 

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A New Adventure

As of eleven o’clock tonight I will be unemployed.  The long term care facility that I have worked at for the last three years has been sold and I have elected not to sign on with the new company. They’ve been less than forthcoming with information and what we have been able to glean just doesn’t sit right. Still, it’s going to be rough emotionally. Goodbyes are never easy and I’m going to miss some of the people, but I won’t miss the stress.

I have applied for a job at a different site with my current employer, but unless I get a call from HR today I will out of a job.

Scary? Yes.  I do have feelers out and some half-promises of a job but the uncertainty is unsettling.

On the other hand, the stress at work has been slowly sapping my energy and every shred of creativity. (I still want to do creative things, but they just haven’t been happening much.)

So, a new adventure awaits.

And what new adventure doesn’t have an element of fear and risk?

I do feel rather like my life is running along without an outline at the moment. Or maybe it’s taken a sharp left away from the outline.  Whichever, I am rushing to get caught up to it and get it back on track. Or maybe I should just pants it for a while and see where it goes.

I do know that at midnight tonight I plan to start writing for Camp NaNoWriMo. I still haven’t changed my goal from 31K for the month, but I might kick it up to 50K.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’m definitely going to be working on the extra scene for Onyx Sun that I have started, and maybe a couple other minor ones.  And then I’ll work on the Elven Bard novel. And I promise to ignore some rather insistent plot bunnies because I don’t want to start anything new until November.

Well, except for a new job. I would like to have one of those before then.

 

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De-Stressed

Well, somewhat.

I had an appointment with a cardiologist yesterday and he cleared me – no stress test needed.  Happy happy happy day!

The countdown has begun – only 16 more shifts at my current job. Just having made up my mind to not go with the new company has relieved most of my stress. Now if my doctor would just get back to me with when I can pick up my physical form…

And with the stress starting to fade away my energy has started to come back.

Yesterday I planted some tree lily bulbs, Dutch iris bulbs, and some other kind of bulbs that my mother thinks are some kind of lily. I also planted some chocolate mint and regular mint.

This gives me hope that my will to write will come back soon too, so I can do something about these plot bunnies that are nibbling away at my mind.

Meanwhile, I still have other stuff to plant, and some columbine to pry out from between the bricks in the retaining wall and transplant to my garden.

And lots of other craft stuff to keep me occupied.  (Not to mention the Kindle app on my phone.)

And I only have three weeks to decide what I’m doing for Camp. I should work on Onyx Sun or the Elven Bard novel.  But doing one thousand words for 31 different plot bunnies sounds like fun too.  And then there’s the werewolf thing that’s preying on the edges of my mind. It has some characters (without names) and a scene or two, but no real plot. Of course, I have 3 weeks to flesh it out. But I should work on Onyx Sun or the Elven Bard novel…

I hate being undecided.

Or, rather, I hate being decided on too many things – I want to write them all! Right now!

Sadly, I have to go to work.

Sixteen more shifts.

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Plot Twist

There’s a meme on Face Book that says something along the lines of “When life throws you a curve ball, yell ‘Plot Twist!’ and move on.”

Well, yesterday I got a plot twist.

I’m not entirely sure how it will play out yet. I’ll know more by the end of the month if not before, but for now let’s just say that my stress levels have about tripled.

So, anyhow…

I’ve been thrown off balance and am trying to regain my equilibrium. I’m sure I will and I’m sure it won’t take too long, but in the meantime I find myself in that weird author place where you’re not only caught up in an emotional whirlwind but you’re also outside it, observing the physical sensations.

And as another side effect, there’s also a line kicking around my head that wants (or maybe needs) to be worked into a novel. (Unfortunately, probably not any of the ones that I already have started.)

(Of course not. *sigh*)

Anyhow, I’ve written it down for future use.

In other news, I haven’t made much progress on any of my writing goals.

That’s not to say I haven’t been working on anything. Onyx Sun still needs more scenes added and I’ve started working on one to explain the relationship between Taliya and Soraine, which falls somewhere between friends and rivals, or maybe spans both. Soraine only has a couple brief appearances in the novel so far, but since she’s going to be getting her own book someday I thought maybe I should expand her a bit.  And this is a fun bit of writing because it showcases her rather wicked sense of humor. It’s also going to tie in nicely with a couple other scenes, which makes me super happy.

(By the way, I really need to use different paper for different things. I left to run errands on Wednesday and grabbed my shopping list from my keyboard shelf. When I headed into the store and opened it I discovered I’d grabbed my note about how the scene introducing Soraine ties into other scenes. Useful, but not what I really needed at that point in time.)

So, anyhow, life – and writing – go on.

Just not always in the expected directions.

 

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Why I Write

A conversation with a writer friend prompted me to ask myself why I write.

Is it for the money?

Oh, hell no!  I have two books out and I doubt I’ve made $10 total – I know it hasn’t been $20. (A large part of the reason for low sales is that I don’t do nearly enough promotion. I have good reviews, though, so there’s that.)

For the fame?

See above. If no one’s reading (because I’m not promoting) then fame is pretty much non-existent. And as an introvert (to the point of being a hermit) I’m not sure I want fame. I sure don’t want to have to do public appearances anywhere.  And my handwriting really sucks so I’m not sure a book signing would be a good thing, either.

So, then, why?

Why do I push myself to write and edit (and eventually publish, honest!) all of the books that I’m working on?

Because…

Because for as much as I hate it at times, I love it.

I love creating/meeting/getting to know characters and telling their stories. (For as long as I can remember I’ve always had stories in my head. I remember as a child thinking in third person, as if my life was a book.)

I love creating worlds and exploring them.

And I both love (and am terrified by) the thought of others reading the stories that I share. I love the idea that, perhaps, at least for a while, I can take others away from their day to day existence and give them an escape, another place to live for a while.

And I write because sometimes I need another place to live for a while.

And, who knows? Maybe someday I’ll be able to make it my day job.

But before I can do that I need to get more books published. I have a ton started and some almost finished, but with my current focus on Onyx Sun and the Academy of the Accord series they’ve all been on the back burner.

I see some authors who seem to have a new release every month or two and I wonder how they do it. (Granted, when The Academy of the Accord is finally released it will be at a rate of one book a month, but there will have been years of writing and editing behind the series. Hopefully not twelve or thirteen years, but still…)

Still, I wonder how they do it.

Then I realize that I do it all myself (except for covers). I write, edit, send to beta readers, revise, edit, format, publish…

And I do it while working full time. (Sometimes I am so jealous of those who can write full time, without needing to work around a day job, but since I am my own (and only) source of income…)

I also tend not to write short novels. (Science fiction and fantasy novels tend to be toward the top of the chart for average word count, due to the world building necessary.)  Longer novels… take longer.

Do I wish I could stay home and just write? (And make a living from my novels?)

Of course I do! (I’m a hermit at heart, remember?)

Is it likely to happen?

Um… no.

But I’m not going to quit writing. I never even considered quitting.

I can’t.

I love it too much.

And that’s what it’s all about.

It’s not about money or fame or recognition.

It’s about doing what I love.

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Brain Dump

So far my plans for the month aren’t going too well. I’ve written approximately 400 words in one of the short stories I’m planning to submit to an anthology and that’s been about it.

Why? I have no idea, other than the fact that the evil day job has been draining and by the time I get home I’m too brain dead to do more than poke at a jigsaw puzzle on JigZone.

Remember my plan to use 750words.com for writing instead of brain dumping my day? Yeah. That (obviously) hasn’t happened.  I tried. I poked at one of the short stories in 750words and… couldn’t focus.

Maybe because I haven’t been using it for writing lately and I need to get back into the habit of doing that, so that my muse or subconscious or whatever you want to call it knows that when I log in it’s time for some creative writing.

Or maybe I’m going about it the wrong way.

Sometimes, brain dumping is necessary.  It can help clear the way for writing by getting other concerns out of your head.

The trick, I think, is to do the brain dump, and then write once the day has been cleared from the mind. I’ve been failing at the second part of that.

I was thinking the other day about how odd it is that I seem to get less written now, when I’m less than five minutes from work, than I did when I had an hour long commute each way.  But maybe it’s not so odd.  That commute gave me time to clear my head on the way home, and time to psych myself up on the way there, so I was able to be productive when I was home.  Instead, I now have to use my time at home to get myself mentally prepped for my day job, and to de-stress from it afterward.

I don’t want to go back to that commute just to test the theory, though, so I’m going to have to find a way to balance brain dumping and writing.

 

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Camp Update 4-24-17

(Yeah, I know.  Catchy title, huh?)

Less than a week left in Camp and I still have 110 pages to go. According to the stats page I have to do 16 pages a day to finish on time, and at my current rate I’ll finish on May 31st. (Hey, at least I’m into May now instead of the end of June.)

All my blog hops are caught up, though, so I should be able to get some pages done before I go to work today.

(Except Pentatonix just released a new video…)

And except there’s stuff I need to do to apply for a new job, too, so… Of course, I’m not going to be mailing the packet of papers today – or tomorrow – so I can work on that when I get home tonight and work on revisions now while I have better lighting to read my handwriting with.

(I’m not sure if that’s a compromise or a procrastination because I dread paperwork.)

I have two more days off this month to attack the revisions, but on one of them I’ll be going to my mother’s to dig up some pink wisteria to bring to my house. (I can’t wait to get the stuff to put up the fence around the yard so I can plant stuff! Fortunately, that’s not happening until next month.)

In more productive news, if all goes well I should finish the first round paper edits of Book 11 of The Academy of the Accord either tonight or tomorrow night.  I’m not looking forward to Book 12, though because it’s going to be a nightmare. I have two different beginnings for it, and two different versions of a scene in one of them, and later on I have at least three or four versions of a different scenario. I’m thinking it’s going to take most of May to figure out.

It may also take most of May to figure out what I did with the three ring binder that holds the concordance that I started. (It wasn’t where I thought it ought to be, so if anyone has any ideas as to where it might have gone, feel free to let me know.)

 

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