Monday, November 21, 2011

Diary of a NaNoWriMo - day 21

If anyone can find figure out where the weeks have gone in November that would be fantastic! Honestly it only feels like yesterday that I was writing up a few extra measly words on Day 7 and not many more on Day 8. FINALLY inputed them into the computer and here is the new total!

Day 7 and 8 - Words 920
Total Word Count 11,277

Dismal hey? On the bright side though, far better than sitting on 10,000! I honestly don't know how I'm going to go finishing this challenge, with only 9 days to go and finding time and life is getting rather busy (today for example I had EVERY intention of getting a tonne of stuff done, but by the time I've managed to finalise Assignment 1 for my creative writing course and get started on another section of the 2nd tutorial... well the day is nearly gone!) It is hot, my feet are swollen and I'm bloody tired.

I did however use the short story I wrote as part of my tutorial today as some of today's word count! Actually it's amazing how out of practice you get by not doing anything for 2 weeks. The prompt today was place beginnings. Basically we had to describe a place, the weather, the atmosphere, physical description and the smell. We then had to introduce someone either casually, violently happily etc. We were advised to write quickly. I wrote relatively slowly and came up with 535 words. It's on the same story I am writing for NaNoWriMo, but it really has no particular place in the story unless I somehow write it in as a moment of reflection perhaps? I'm not sure...

Day 21 - Words 535
Total Word Count 11,812

I did promise that I might share a few snippets of my NaNoWriMo journey along the way which I haven't done yet as to be honest I've not been entirely happy with the flow nor the descriptiveness of my work... but today, I want to share a little of today's exercise

Silence enveloped her as readily as the black clouds flitted across the bright yellow sun, leaving the world awash with a greenish hue. As suddenly as they arrived a blinding white flash, attracted to the earths magnetic force bore down and the world around her was bathed in an eerie glow. Her hair stood on end as the force of natures electricity connected a little too close for comfort and the silence was shattered by the enormous overhead rumbles and booms. A deafening crack nearby was a sure sign that a tree had been struck and in the momentary silence that followed she raised her arms high above her at one with the crackling atmosphere.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Break in Transmission

So I've been going to see a Psychologist for the past several months. The first few appointments were spent discussing my health and subsequent infertility woes. It was hard work and each session I felt thoroughly drained and more often than not, in tears most of the session. I turned inward and began writing in my journal more and left this space blank. I guess I felt a little awkward because admitting that I wasn't coping and needing to see someone about it made it all a little too real. I have learnt many things since I have been going and the biggest thing I've learnt is it's OK. I'm not nuts or anything close, actually some sessions I do wonder why I'm going at all? But the reality is just having someone to talk to, who at most times is impartial has made it easier to deal with things and I have moved far from my initial visits. No longer are we spending a whole hour discussing my infertility and health woes, & while the pain of that still remains and probably always will in some small way, I have learnt to cope with what is thrown my way and no longer feel a crushing sadness that feels as though it will break my chest in two. Nowadays it's a lingering sadness, but I am looking at other ways in life to go on and accept my little family of three.

However. Now that we have worked through my initial issues (and I know those issues will crop up again eventually, at the moment I am living parallel to it - not quite accepting, but getting on with life so to speak.... far better than where I was a few months back) we have also touched on some aspects of grief that I have successfully managed to bury beneath all the other stuff; I sat at the last appointment & felt like I was about to twiddle my thumbs. Not wanting to waste dollars, I briefly touched on a subject that has been bothering me for many years now and one that I know should have been addressed when it happened. With the stigma attached to therapy and a chance meeting with a psychologist many years ago (that did not give me one iota of confidence in what they can do) I have been putting off dealing with my issues that stem from a bad car accident nearly 14 years ago.

A little background, I was 20 at the time I had a head on collision with a car trailer (which doesn't sound too bad) but at 80klms an hour and the car trailer going even faster, it managed to total the car and both my passengers ended up with broken bones. Personally I was fine, a few bruises and a small bump on my head I was very lucky indeed. However the mental side has been suppressed for years and it's only now that I am actually finally admitting that I might need help. And help I need. I have gotten myself to a stage where I won't let anyone else (except my husband) drive me anywhere. My daughter aged 4.5 has been in ONE car trip with my best friend and that was a 10 min drive only, she has never been with anyone other than my husband and I. I can't see myself EVER letting her get in someone else's car. Which may seem a little over the top to you, but I can't do it. I just can't. Thankfully most people close to me know my past and understand my reasons and they don't push the subject.

After mentioning it to my therapist, she agreed that I most likely have PTSD (considering the number of years I have tried dealing with it alone) it has compounded to the stage that if I see a car pull out in front of another, even if there is plenty of room - I will have some form of panic attack. It feels s though my heart actually stops and aches for ages after. These are fucking scary as. I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy and I am so thankful that after the initial shock, it does tend to go back to normal and I feel better not long after. The only problem is these attacks have been occurring more frequently and apart from drugging myself (with Rescue Remedy) every time I go driving with DH, I need to feel safe once more. Actually it's not even ME not feeling safe. It's a fear for other drivers. It's so hard to explain. Anyhow to cut a long story short, we discussed this and it was suggested that I try EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. I probably should have read up on it before today's appointment, but I didn't and I sat there with a ball of anxiety in my chest cavity and waited for the pain. Thankfully it didn't hurt.

Basically I had to focus on a happy place, and develop a safety word before a series of two fingers rapidly crossed back and forth across my eyes began. Back and forth, following it with my eyes. Remembering the day of the accident and then having to say ONE word to sum up how I felt that day.


Which is odd, I wasn't at fault in any way shape or form - I just felt guilt that I had control but couldn't control the situation & that my passengers were injured when I was not.

We continued doing the 2 finger movement and each time I had to say how I felt. A lot of the time was the same. At one stage, I felt there was light surrounding the accident scene, making it feel less horrific, as though there were a greater force at play (I have my theories on that, but don't want to go into it today) Once we had completed a series of maybe 6 of these focus exercises, we moved onto my feelings of Guilt and where I felt it in my body. Again another several series of movement finishing each with how I was feeling and where I was feeling it. At one stage it felt as though the feeling was stuck between my chest and my head. A tug of war, perhaps between what I feel in my heart and what my head tells me? Perhaps?

This went on for a while until finally I just felt tired. During the set where I felt tired, my eyes watered and I couldn't keep a smile off my face and ended up breaking focus and laughing (trust me when I say I felt like a complete loon at that point) but when I explained that I was really tired, she decided to stop as that was enough for me. For the next 10 mins we chatted about other things. Tomorrow and the next morning, I need to record any dreams I may have as this therapy can unlock the trauma and let the brain deal with it during sleep.

I'm not sure if it worked, while I've never been big on mind control I have always believed in the power of the mind and in the old days I would be able to concentrate and will a headache to leave my body or ease my body into a false sense of relaxation. So I guess in a way I am in awe of the power of the mind. I will say as soon as I walked out of the room today, I developed the hugest headache above my eyes as though the built up tension was released.

I feel drained and while I'm a long way from cured - perhaps I have moved a small step toward recovery and some hope for the future!     

ETA - Three nights later and I haven't had any dreams that I was aware of, so I guess time will tell.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Diary of a (failing) NaNoWriMo - day 16

Well... life and the month seems to have gotten away from me. This challenge has thoroughly whipped my backside (though quietly between how busy my last week has been as well as reaching the 10K milestone, I'm partly to blame ;)
I have not written since last Tuesday. Slack. Slack. Slack.

I knew last week would be difficult as I had booked a 3 day retreat in the mountains and while I had every intention to steal away and write to my hearts content while I was there, the lure of constant sewing grabbed me instead. I needed that refreshment and break in routine, but boy am I finding it hard to get back into it this week. My house feels more cluttered as I am only half unpacked. I'm trying to squeeze a million projects into one room & the junk room seems to have swelled in size since my return. And I'm tired.

My story while it was writing itself without thought, feels too stuffed. I took the approach this month of NaNoWriMo to pick relevant sections and write my daily word count on them. Daily word count is not a problem, but it feels like too much padding is being created? I don't know. I know I still need to learn more about characterisations and writing in conversations which is coming up in my course, but I won't get to them until well after Christmas (heck I haven't even touched my course in weeks, and can't see myself doing so with Christmas rapidly approaching PLUS daycare days coming to an end) With my conversation flow, every line seems to incorporate "he said" "she said" *sigh* I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling this disjointed and saddened by my lack-lustre attempt. I probably didn't plan it as much as I should have and I know all this I'm feeling is probably hump day blues and knowing I'm now days and days behind the word count I should be at right now.

Is it just me or is November a shit of a month to be attempting this task? It's just so darn close to Christmas and I want to create and get into the spirit of Christmas without burning myself out. But I also want to write my book.

One thing I have learned in my few short weeks into this challenge is that in theory this NaNoWriMo is a great challenge, it's all about getting you writing. Actually sitting down and writing that book that's in your head. What is not so great about it is tying to fit it in and around family and life. One busy day can throw you out and then you are behind and that sort of stress does my head in (guess it's a good thing I am debriefing with my shrink tomorrow hey?) for now, I've decided to just continue writing my story. It matters not if I only write 200 words a day, as long as I aim for something. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about right? Writing that story. Word count or no.  

My health hasn't been the best over the past month either. If you've been following my story, my endo is wreaking havoc on my body and constant spotting day in, day out has left me feeling drained and oh so tired. I am off to the Dr again next week to try and find some answer and relief. I really don't want to go down the path of iron tablets if I don't have to, but my caffeine intake is steadily increasing daily and that in turn is bad for the endo too. So it's a no win situation :(

So that's where I'm at right now. It's difficult, but I'm going to keep soldiering on, just without the added pressure of myself. See you on the flipside!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Diary of a NaNoWriMo - day 8

Stepping out of my comfort zone earlier today, I did stop off at my local Zaraffas cafe and I sat down with my Grande Cappucino and my notebook and I wrote. Only about 400-500 words, but a vast improvement on yesterday's efforts of a measly 200. Remembering also I am on time constraints today being between appointments.

The funny thing is my local Zaraffas is at our local shopping centre! Once I got over my initial nerves of sitting there all by myself *shock-horror* I pulled out my notebook and thought stuff it - just write already! Many a time I have seen others sitting on their own writing, typing or reading.

It felt so exhilarating. My story flowed as I munched on some yummy toasted banana bread. I was surprised at how well I did blocking out the conversations and general shopping centre noise around me. Next time I will have to find a cafe that isn't so open. A tiny corner in the rear of a quiet cafe might be more suitable, I just need to think where I can find me one of those!

I did realise one very interesting fact about myself today though, it appears that when I write my head tilts to the left (I am right handed). Now I'm not sure why but I do have a crazy theory about it. You know the right side / left side of the brain in terms of analytical / creativeness and all that jazz, well I think that perhaps I lie my head to the left to get the information flowing down from my right (and more dominant) side. Or maybe I'm just making all this up to procrastinate and waste time before my hair appointment. I did a quick online test (on painting, which in hindsight was silly because I am not a painter) and my score came in at 55% right side. So it appears I am pretty much using both sides practically equally, maybe the head lolling is just to balance that 5% buffer across the two???

Monday, November 7, 2011

Diary of a NaNoWriMo - day 7

MUST NOT give myself a day off.
MUST NOT take my eye off the ball.
MUST NOT pretend that it's ok if I don't write anymore this month.

MUST FIND inspiration
MUST FIND perseverance

Must get off this computer and go write or else it will be a big fat FAIL at NaNoWriMo 2012, but hey did I mention I am currently sitting at over 10,000 words.
Perhaps I am feeling a wee bit proud of my efforts to date & know in my heart of hearts that I at least started it this year, so even if I don't do anymore this month, my story has started you know what I mean?

PS I am not intending to give in this early in the month, I think I'm just tired and overwhelmed with a busy week / weekend ahead of me. I just need to sit & find my flow of words once more. Perhaps I will burn the midnight oil again tonight, or maybe I will just find that half an hour in a crazy busy day tomorrow to sit at a cafe and write to my hearts content. Actually that sounds like a damn fine idea. I've always wanted to sit by my lonesome and write...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Diary of a NaNoWriMo - day 6

I am officially giving myself a day off from writing today. I had every intention to write and add to yesterday's fantastic word count, but to be honest I am all out of words ;)

So tonight I will kick back and take in some TV, maybe do a little crochet and consume a lot of chocolate.

Tomorrow I will be back with the story and as I will have a few hours spare, I am hoping to churn out double the daily average word count!

So until then - happy Sunday writing (or not) and see you tomorrow!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Diary of a NaNoWriMo - day 5

OMFG. I have just calculated yesterdays word count and I'm up to 8865 already :o sweet jebus!!! That means if I get a good count tonight, I will crack the 10,000 in 5 days - can I do it!

For something a bit different today, I thought I'd share the other things in and around the world wide web this November (well most Novembers, I'm just discovering them all now :)

1. NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month; 50,000 words in 30 days. This is what I'm attempting!

2. NaNoJourMo - National NonStop Journalling month; a prompt a day to get your creative juices flowing.

3. NaNoCroMo - National NonStop Crochet Month; from the same mind, though I don't think this has taken off yet, sounds like a good one though, don't you think?

4. PiBoIdMo - Picture Book Idea Month; I've seen a few of my tweeps finishing NaNoWriMo at a certain time of night and diving right into this one too. Eeek. And I thought I took on too much!

5. NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month; as it says one post, once a day.

Wow. That's a lot of writing, journalling, drawing, writing, blogging and crochet going on in November! What I'd like to know is how many 'do it once a day' can be thought of? The mind boggles at the endless possibilities within!

I'll be back later tonight with my current word count and most probably celebrating if I crack the 10,000!!!

It's a Wrap... 
Todays' Words written - 1492
Current Word tally - 10,357     
Replenished the chocolate stash, substituted the coffee for decaf (surprisingly worked) and nearly fell asleep while writing. Although I was pushing myself to hit the 10,000, I gave up when I was too tired to keep my eyes open and thinking I only had 1000 or so words was totally FREAKING EXCITED to see I cracked the 10,000 last night. NOW to go write today's instalment :)     

Friday, November 4, 2011

Diary of a NaNoWriMo - day 4

Very slow today, I wrote up a blogpost earlier tonight and was sitting on a measly 200 word installment, with no inclination to pick up my notebook or computer I was thinking I would have to rely in yesterdays excess word count. Luckily the words started to flow after a big meal and a little mindless TV!
plugged into the Glee soundtrack, my pen flew across the page and have reached my average page count (actual word count tomorrow) and OMG I wrote a love scene :o Im not sure how I feel about that as the main character at this point in my story was my Great Grandmother! I mean everyone knows parents shouldnt be you know "wink, wink" let alone grandparents or great grandparents. Perhaps I will cut it out of the final edit, or perhaps not - it adds meat and I needed that!

Tomorrow I will be back to share with you some other hige things happening in November (I keep losing this post, so really must publish it before I throw a tanty!)

It's a Wrap... 
Todays' Words written - 2261
Current Word tally - 8865    
SOS... ran out of milk and chocolate; desperate run to shops on the cards tomorrow AM!!! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Diary of a NaNoWriMo - day 3

Today I decided to start writing early. I cannot do yet another late night of writing like the last two (only day 3 and I'm feeling burnt out, what will the remainder of the month hold in store for me?)

After dropping my girl at Daycare this morning, I raced home and did a few hours work for my hubby, that I don't have an option on - it has to be done. Feeling better that side of my life is relatively up to date, I came inside and finished a few crafty  projects that had been lying around.

Tired but determined, I brewed a coffee from my new machine - this is the most awesome coffee machine around! A delonghi Nespresso pod machine. It brews a cup in minutes. Best purchase ever!

Hanging out in the office today, my coffee and some quality music to get the soul singing and the fingers flowing.
And supplies. Chocolate to fortify me and my notebook so far. Although today I typed my next installment. Using Omm Writer, it is a full screen writing app that blocks all other apps on the computer. I have only today discovered how to reduce it to get access to emails, facebook and twitter. That could be a bad thing! 

It's a Wrap... 
Todays' Words written - 2176
Current Word tally - 6604     
Only one coffee (so far) and a couple of peanut M&M's 

Feeling very happy with my word count to date, working on the average daily words needed to reach my goal (1667 words) I should be sitting around the 5,000 mark. I feel pretty good knowing I've got an extra day up my sleeve already for those days that I can't write anything.  From here on in, I am going to aim for 2,000 words per day - I think it's achievable without too much pressure on myself. I hope.    

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Diary of a NaNoWriMo - Day 2

Well it would appear that my approximations on word count are a little out. Basically I counted the first page and there was approximately 200 words. So I wrote my 4 pages back to back. Today upon typing up what I had already written I totalled 2180 words. That's 513 words more than what I needed to produce! Yay Me! 

Today has been yet another busy day with the 4yo at home with me. I didn't get a chance to write anything this morning, but after we returned home I bribed the girl with back to back Scooby Doo episodes so I could churn out a few more words. I am thankful I did this as
1) she needed the down and quiet time and
2) I needed a head start;
writing at night is hard work for me. My brain can no longer cope with the strain! 
I'm not sure if it's because I haven't done any study or hard on the brain taxing stuff recently, but my head is hurting at the end of each day and I have another 28 ahead of me setting the same pace... can I do it??? 

Funny story, I said to my girl this afternoon "thank you for letting mummy write today" and she replied "that's ok and thank you for letting me watch Scooby Doo today so that you could write"

It's a Wrap... 
Todays' Words written - 2248
Current Word tally - 4428    
Three cups of coffee, numerous chocolate muffins and a hot apple pie (with ice-cream)  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Diary of a NaNoWriMo - Day 1

The day dawned bright and early, though I was raring to start NaNoWriMo there were mouths to feed (mine and hers) and things to do. Like baking a batch of chocolate mini muffins. Priorities people! I sat while they were baking and I wrote. Handwrote my first 200 words, it came to me easily and it was hard to stop after just one page in my new purple colourhide journal! A shower and some rushing about to get ready (we had an interview lined up at the school) and I somehow managed 20 mins between all that to sit and write the next 200 odd words.

With 400 under my belt by 10am I was feeling pretty darn hapy wth myself. The day spiralled crazily from there, my daughter had a day off from daycare, PIL & SIL came for coffee. I had grocery shopping to do and MIL jumped at the chance to tag along by the time we returned it was late afternoon, a tired toddler, a tired mumma and dinner, baths and bed time ahead of me it was looking as though my count would remain as a measly 400. I felt it slipping away from me on Day 1. I dont do well writing at night, but maybe that is all about to change!

I picked ip my notebook while sitting on the lounge. With TV distracting me and a new show to sink my weary mind into a measly 150 bafly written words emerged. It was going from bad to worse. Maybe I had gotten in too far over my head.


Picking up the notebook after that show finished. I wrote. Page after page. Word after word flowing from my hand. Four pages, back to back. Approximately 1600* words. Yay. Day 1 = success!

Total word count to be confirmed after I type it up (based on an approximate 200 words per page average) could be more, or less.

With only 2 hours to go till Day 1 is over, this little duckis off to dreamland. Sweet dreams xxx