Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I'm sitting quietly by myself at a table by the wall in a crowded cafeteria at the Denver Airport trying to decide what to eat for lunch.  I've already, in a moment of annoying weakness, had an entire milkshake.  I was starving when I got here but since it was only 10:30, I convinced myself I'd wait until 11 for lunch.  Then I saw someone wiping the excess of melted milky goodness from the side of his Ben & Jerry's cup and in the span of 5 seconds I went from resolute to not having anything for another half an hour to deciding I couldn't possibly loiter here in this cafeteria without purchasing something from one of the surrounding restaurants.  So I drank the whole thing in less than 10 minutes, it wasn't even that good, and now I'm wondering how I can find something 'light' for my actual meal.

The flight boards at around noon so I have an hour to walk around with no commitments or responsibilities other than to get a Denver Broncos t-shirt for a coworker (almost forgot!).

I should look for a movie to watch on the plane...

Or should I read on the plane?

McDonalds for lunch....the pilot sitting in the seat next to me is having a burger and fries and apparently I'm extremely impressionable today.

Monday, January 25, 2016

In a Rut

I was doing fine...staying up late and writing and/or editing nightly for over a week...then I had some recurrent shingles pain so I took a pain medication and the next day felt like I was afflicted with vertigo or something.  I felt nauseous and like my brain was swimming around in some kind of thick liquid, like I couldn't think clearly and felt swollen and noises echoed and I was dizzy and I had motion sickness all at once.  It was the worst kind of feeling, and it lasted into the next day so I took two nights away from staying up and dedicating time.  Then, worse, a negativity and insecurity settled in and I haven't been able to shake it since.  The questioning of myself, but worse this time, than normal.  The idea that I could ever write something like a readable, publishable, full-length's ridiculous.  It's like winning the unlikely and so out of my reach.  What was I ever thinking?  All the work I've put in up to this point and for what?  Two books that I've already reread dozens of times and have never once thought "I think this is close"...I've never felt like my work has been anywhere near the realm of truly publishable.  It all feels a million miles away...a million hours of work away.  A million re-writes, a million's never going to happen.  Give up. Give up. Give up.  That's where I'm at so I have been avoiding it.

In other news, I'm flying to Phoenix on Wednesday for work and I couldn't be more excited.  To finally be the one to leave for a work commitment.  Makes me feel so much more than just a mother and wife...for once.  I mean, working itself is one thing, but flying to work is so much more legit...right? I also can't wait to see my co-workers...who(m?) I love.  I miss them so much.  I see them sometimes on Skype for staff meetings and random calls but it's so not even nearly in the same realm as working with them in the office.  This new arrangement is fine...I'm certainly more productive working at home with very few distractions, but as I suspected, I miss human interaction.  And I miss my friends from work.  I've moved from Pennsylvania to Louisiana, back to another part of Pennsylvania, then to Arizona, and each time I worked at new places and met new people, and each time I made friends I still keep in touch with.  And now I'm in Colorado and I'm afraid I won't meet anyone in this new city.  I'm not outgoing enough to join groups of any kinds or to find mommy and me type things (yuck).  There's a really good chance that I won't make any friends in Colorado Springs.  On a lot of levels I'm fine with that.  Especially right now, when it has only been a little over a month since I left AZ.  But in a year, I know I won't be okay with that anymore.  And for the 3.5 months that my husband leaves again I really won't be okay.  At all.  I can't even think about it.

So here's to traveling by yourself, something I can look forward to...not needing to answer to anyone on a plane or in an airport.  I can drink what I want, eat what I want, read what I want, watch what I want and I don't have to worry about any interruptions...It's the very rarest of pleasures for me (I've always said my favorite thing to do is to fly...the people watching ...the fact that there's literally nothing to do but what you brought with you ...browsing airport shops...taking your pick of the various variety of airport foods...and on the plane itself you get uninterrupted hours of's the best...and I haven't flown anywhere by myself in ...over...2? years?...maybe more...and it's really one of my favorite things to do).

I leave the day after tomorrow.  I'll be gone for 5 days...I will very much miss my children and I hate that they will be missing me, but I'm not going to feel bad about looking forward to this trip.  Maybe I'll even find my way back to writing with all the alone time and people watching at the airport.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Thanks Apple!

So they replaced my happy!!!  And right now I'm trying to renew my morning's motivation.  Not that I'm teetering too far from sticking to my new plan (well...after the 6 pack of beer, pizza, snacks and Steelers Playoff Game...I guess that's not really true).  I keep hyping up evenings like this...knowing I'm going to eat and drink a lot so then when I do eat and drink a lot, I go overboard and waste all the fun building it up and end up feeling sick to my stomach for half the night.

My kids are about to go to bed, so of course they're creating a final colossal mess in this house, like they're marking their territory.  Abby is so tired, she's falling asleep on the pirate ship pillows her sister is setting up on the living room floor.  She turns 2 tomorrow.  Two years ago at this time I was in labor...the doctor had broken my water and I was starting real contractions.  I made it about 2 hours before I asked for the epidural.  That was disappointing but not really surprising.  Pushing a baby out is terrifying, think about it, for real.  And it's not like I've ever been morally opposed to drugs.

Love these girls.

Good night...hoping for the second wind in a couple of hours.

Writing and Time

My new year wasn't full of its regular resolutions.  I think I threw a few together in my drunken state some evening before the ball dropped but I haven't taken anything seriously in the week+ since 2016 made its appearance on all of our calendars.  So this morning, while laying in bed, trying to squeeze out a dozen more minutes of lazy half sleep, I realized that I'm not doing anything to dedicate time to what I really want to be doing with my life.  And now I have all the gadgets I could ever desire to facilitate that process and I'm still pretending I can just wait until another, less busy, time of my life.  But that's such a delusion.  So I've decided to put aside another chunk of daily time to dedicate to writing or the process or editing.  Any time throughout the day is almost impossible to set aside without inconsistency or other equally important priorities like exercise and children and work and doctor's appointments interrupting the schedule.  Right after the kids go to bed would take away a good chunk of real quality time with my spouse, so I had to sacrifice that possibility.  I'm more anti-morning person than anyone I know and would fight it and skip it regularly with excuses like "my kid woke me up for no reason at midnight" that leaves me with the one true time I have ever successfully managed to set aside for writing.  After 10 pm. But instead of the 2 hours I dedicated nightly back when I did NaNoWriMo in 2014, I'm going to set aside 1 hour and look at this as a permanent, year-long solution.  From 10 pm (or 10:15, depending on if my husband  miraculously stays awake for a whole movie) until 11 pm (or 11:15 pm, depending again on the husband, who is usually drooling with his head to the side in front of the TV by 9:30) every night, starting tonight, I will sit on this beautiful, convenient, reliable (knock on wood), Surface tablet and either edit my Earths Project manuscript or come up with a plan for a new book...or both.  And if I want to stay up later working, all the better.  All around I think this will leave me feeling more satisfied with my days and my choices with time.  I think it'll make me more mindful throughout the day, and it'll give me more motivation to research agents, edit my query letter, etc., during my daytime hours.

Today, I'm going to the Apple Store in CO Springs to see if they can please find it in their hearts to replace the screen on my beloved iPod Nano (mostly lightly used with no screen crackage of any kind but suddenly there's a bleed in the ink under the screen, which I'll live with if they don't replace, but it'll make me really, really sad).  If they say it's not covered under warranty, it could cost up to $100...which is just ridiculous.

Maybe I'll head over to Barnes n Noble after this trip for a little extra writing time...still staying up tonight for it though!

Super psyched about my new plan!!  Love feeling the resurgence of motivation!

Monday, January 4, 2016

It's Shingles

The doctor at the urgent care clinic only had to look at my rash for about 2 seconds before he confirmed the diagnosis.  He prescribed me an anti-viral medication, a steroid, and two types of pain medication.  I took one of the pain meds tonight and it hasn't kicked in at all yet.  I'm hoping it does soon because in the 24 hours since I posted last, the pain has become 100% worse.  There's a pinching muscle pain like I pulled the muscle under my shoulder blade and there's a burning pain in the area the skin has the no fun at all.  Basically my whole left torso feels like it's on fire.  Okay...after about 30 minutes since taking my pain pill, the pain is dulling a little bit.  Like 75% now.

Here's photographic proof.  And one thing I didn't really understand when I researched this was what was causing the pain.  That red rash hurts...yes...but the worst pain is in the muscles and deeper than that rash.  Like under the skin all around my torso is tight and all the nerves need to adjust but keep getting caught on each other.  Which is essentially exactly what's happening.

Now I should probably try to get some sleep.  Husband has to get up before 5 tomorrow so I'm going to end up waking up early too.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


So I'm pretty sure I now have physical proof of the amount of stress I felt over the past several weeks. For about a week now I've had an itch all along the skin of my left torso.  I kept wondering if maybe I was dying because along with the skin itching, the area under my skin felt tight and ached dully...back behind my lung and in the front of my chest as well.  So yesterday I noticed a few small red bumps forming around this general area, which I chalked up to the fact that I'd been scratching the area and irritated it.  But then today I woke up with two much larger red patches and half a dozen more smaller bumps like hives all throughout this area...and all of them are sore to the touch.

Somehow it dawned on me to check if I had the shingles and the more I've researched, the more convinced I am that I do.  I knew a friend of mine had them a few years ago so I told her about my symptoms and she agrees.  When I first brought it up to my husband, he laughed and then got mad at me for being such a hypochondriac, but after reading him more about the symptoms of shingles and showing him my bumps, he believes that's what I have too.

I'm really kind of relieved.  Not only am I not dying of lung cancer, but I now have a real battle scar resulting from this move to Colorado.  I can now say that even though I am only 32 years old, I was so stressed from moving to Colorado essentially by myself, that it gave me the shingles!

Of course, if they spread up to my eye and I go blind, I might not be as excited about this.  I'm not really excited about the fact that I have shingles...I'm just one of those weirdos who always thinks she's dying.  Then, whenever I get a real scare (dull ache in my chest) and find out it's something much less life threatening (shingles will hurt pretty bad for a couple of weeks but that's usually as bad as it gets), I feel a mild sense of euphoria and a resurgence of an appreciation for life (I really am this crazy).

Drinking a whole lot of alcohol over the past few weeks probably didn't help my immune system much either, but I'm still going to blame the stress.  If it weren't for the stress, I wouldn't have made it a nightly ritual to drink a bunch of wine before bed.

I'm still able to exercise, which is good.  We got a treadmill about a week ago and almost died trying to carry it into the house and down the steps to the basement.  But other than a baseball sized black bruise on my leg, we survived and we've both been running on it pretty regularly.  I also ran outside today for the 3rd time since moving here.  I count it as the real first time though because when I ran with Ike a day or two after moving in, it was 19 degrees and windy so I felt like Ana trying to find Elsa in that crazy monsoon of snow at the very end of Frozen.  So clearly I didn't get very far that day.  The next run was just to test out how my legs would handle hills.  They didn't like them much.  Today, however, they handled them like a boss.  I felt great on the run and feel great now (other than the sharp pinching pain in my back).

Today is the last day of this intermission in our lives though.  Husband checks in for real at his new job tomorrow and I start working from home.  Unfortunately we don't yet have our kids signed up for daycare.  There was a short waiting list when we got here and they haven't called us to give us the thumbs up yet.  I'm going to call them tomorrow though and hope for the best.  I'll get as much work done with my girls home as I can until the daycare opens up.

Even though these past few weeks have been stressful enough to inflict a physical ailment meant for the elderly, I'm sad this time is coming to an end.  We were finally getting to the good part.  The part where we had time to just relax and breathe and look around at what we accomplished.  And now real life has to start again, damn it.

Time to go research the shingles some more then email my boss to update her on my daycare/work situation.