When Is An Achievement Not An Achievement

So, I haven’t touched the blog for almost a month!  I hadn’t realised it was quite that long since my last entry.  Mostly my absence is due to ongoing health issues and trying to focus on my novel writing.

Health wise, things are beginning to look up.  It’s always difficult once you’re in a cycle of injury-fibromyalgia trigger-fatigue trigger and so on, to find a way out but I have started to slowly climb out of the abyss so to speak.

Writing has been sporadic and I’ve been kind to myself and allowed myself to simply write what I’ve wanted to on any given day even if that wasn’t the novel.  Mainly because forcing myself to write the novel when I have a quite natural block takes energy that I don’t have at present.

I did pass my last psychology module with a 2:1 result which is great.  Convincing myself it’s great is taking some time though since I’ve passed the others with distinction.  I’ve had more distractions (other responsibilities) than the psychology this year with trying to get the business more promoted so the result is the one I planned for and is an achievement even if it feels like a let down after the other results.  (It is an achievement, I say again to myself).

And if nothing else, finally doing another blog is an achievement. 🙂

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Easter Madness

I say I’m busy every week but I really am!

Health: The good news is that I am getting a much better handle on what my body can cope with, what it can’t and how to manage the whole enchillada. The bad news is that I’m pushing myself.  Some of that is intentional; some of it is not.  And it’s incredibly difficult explaining to people still.  My Dad and sister, for example, need music when they’re driving: I mostly prefer silence these days because of noise sensitivity issues.  We had a six hour journey to Durham and back on Saturday so I endured six hours of music.  And then pushed my body by watching Doctor Who.  I had to spend all of Sunday in silence to counter the incipient migraine.   

Family & Friends: Lots of friends and family this week.  Caught up with my best friend via a long phone call.  Made contact with a friend who’d just suffered a bereavement.  Most importantly, we (meaning Dad, sis and I) took the cat’s ashes up to my mother’s grave and scattered them along with my Uncle.

Psychology: Shoved to the back burner last week but I’m bringing forward this as I have a lot of reading to do for the project! 

Coaching business: Excitingly I’ve had more queries come in from the website which is great!  More networking on Wednesday with a counselor but I really enjoyed that.  Still, lots to do in terms of getting course material sorted.  I also went on a first aid course on Thursday which was enlightening.  CPR is very hard work!

Writing: Still writing although plans to do more SGU reviews fell by the wayside for a variety of reasons including my need for silence yesterday. 

Most fun thing of the week: Actually the most enjoyable thing has been the writing this week.

Random thought of the week: The vacuum cleaner works much better now Dad has connected all the bits together correctly…

Two weeks down, Fifty to go

My second week of 2011 and I actually do this on time!

Health: So more resting but the stress levels have been off the scale because the cat isn’t very well.  I knew he wasn’t very well because there have been clear signs that I recognise from the last time I went through a cat getting old and dying.  But as he’s been unwell on top of the usual stuff I thought I’d better take him to the vets.  Two trips to the vets later (the second where they knocked him out took blood, urine and x-rays) and we know he has a severe kidney disease.  We’re trying him on medication but if that doesn’t work than it’s only a matter of time before I’ll need to have The Discussion whether it’s kinder to put him down or not. Needless to say that has all been very stressful leading to a 3 day migraine and a post-migraine dizzy spell.  I am resting though.

Friends and family: My uncle is now safely back to his own home so it’s mostly been myself and Dad this week which is easier as he and I make fairly good house-mates (we mostly leave the other to it).  My best friend has been a Godsend, propping me up through the Cat Troubles.  And I’ve managed to email friends and past colleagues a Happy new year note so keeping in touch gets a big tick (and even better I’ve even had emails back).   

Psychology: I did check out the student page on my OU profile – does that count as study?

Coaching business: Well, surprisingly moving forward as the initial business development stuff is underway.   

Writing: Yes, there has been writing.  Finished my Dr Who Christmas Special review and an ad hoc one of Lois and Clark, and sent them to the editor (they’ll be published shortly).  I’ve also published a couple of fanfic stories and tracked the ficathon I’m running so not bad at all for one week. 

Most fun activity of the week: Hmmm.  Did I have fun this week?  Trip to vets.  Migraine.  Trip to the vets.  Migraine.  Call from the vets telling me the cat is very sick…really this week has sucked.  Still, on the bright side (since both coaching and CBT tell me to look this way), possibly the most fun activity of the week has been the ficathon: 6 stories published in the first week and mine went down a storm picking up 2 unsolicited recommendations!  So I’m a happy bunny deep down underneath the mountain of worry about the cat.

Navigating Reality

When someone writes something they do give away a part of their reality.  A part of their worldview is set down in the words, in the sentences, in the twists and turns of a plot and the sketch of a character.  Maybe it’s not everything the author has experienced or everything that they believe in personally but there’ll be a strand or a speck of something that will ring true and sincere and will define them.

Perhaps in original fiction it’s less easy to tell; the characters are a multitude, the plots may be original or not, there may be enough confusion in the prose to hide the real view of the author within the forests that readers will assume are simply trees.  But fanfiction where the characters, settings and many of the plots are taken from the original materials, provide less easy places to hide because the reader knows what is true to the character and what is not.  Just a thought.

Controversy on the Internet

There really should be a “How to not Fail on the Internet” guide handed out to writers.  Lesson 1#: Do not say something controversial.  Lesson 2#: In the event you do want to say something controversial or accidentally say something controversial, be prepared for a response.  Lesson 3#: Do not deny that you didn’t mean what you said or don’t understand how people have misinterpreted what you’ve said (you’re a writer, for crying out loud, all writing is open to interpretation: you should know this).  Lesson 4#: A polite rebuttal is acceptable even better is a “I will think about what you’ve said.”  You have permission to ignore the ghoulish crazies and vultures that show up because they do speak only for themselves and fandom has no time for them as they give it a bad name.  Lesson 5#: Do not delete the entry or the comments that have already been posted (either individually or as a thread).  You’ll lose all credibility and the truth is someone has already screen-capped it all and posted it on the web somewhere so it is an exercise in futility.  Lesson 6#: Either accept you made a mistake with a public statement of retraction or apology or stand your ground on principle and revel in the controversy (some people actually thrive on it).  Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away; memories are long on the Internet (Seriously, I’ve seen people commenting about controversies from the days before I even knew there was an Internet).  Lesson 7#: Renew your commitment to Lesson 1#.  Rinse and repeat.

I have to admit that I’m beginning to think that being a SF and Fantasy writer will inevitably lead to making some kind of controversial blog at some point that will end up being upheld by fandom as another example of fail and a subsequent uproar with fans proclaiming that they’ll never buy another book again.  It seems many SF and Fantasy writers fall into this trap.  Is it just the genre or is it a problem for the crime and thriller writers, the romance writers too?  Or do they just not interact with fandom in the same way?  Hmmm.

Renewal

So I’ve spent the day reading Stargate Atlantis fanfiction and I have to admit that it’s renewed my want to see the show.  I may pull out the DVDs tomorrow. 

There’s nothing like fanfiction – good fanfiction as opposed to the bad – to actually make you want to go and see something again or read something again.