Moving Forward

I met with my writer friend last week and told her of my plan. Well, she gave me such a scolding (you know, the ‘tough love’ kind) that I’d have to reconsider my plan that I laid out before. Not the whole thing, no, just the decision to go back and fill in the holes. She said it’s better if I just keep going and fill the holes later, because by the time I finish the whole first draft the book might be changed a lot, again, and then I’d have to go back and rewrite everything that I’ve rewritten, again, so it’s not productive and waste time. You won’t see the whole thing until you finish it, right? So I should just ignore all those empty plot holes and stuff that doesn’t make sense and keep writing until you’re done.

I did not like that, because I’m the type of person who has to make sure everything is perfect before I go on. So moving on while everything sucks is torture to me. But she’s right about me being stuck, though, so I think I’m going to listen to her and move on. Yikes! I’m not sure what’s going to happen because there are so many things that I have to resolve and so many things I have to research, but moving on is important, so I think I’ll just have to grit my teeth and go. I see why authors usually abuse some kind of substance now. One is because they tend to be depressed, but the other one is that moving forward requires courage and a bit booze or weed would make you lose your inhibitions and fear. Allegedly. I’m not going to abuse anything because that’s bad for me in general haha. So I guess a lot of relaxing video games is the way to go?

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Writing Reboot

I started working again. After the two-month health hiatus. Before I continued anything, though, I did a thorough re-evaluation of what I’ve written so far. Because I’m pretty much half way in (got 40k words, aiming for 80k now instead of 60k because that’s just not long enough) I thought it’d be a good idea to see what needed work, how the timeline changed, character development, etc. Well, let’s just say I spent a good few days re-writing the entire outline. And what I’ve realized is – holy crap there’s a whole lot of holes I have to fill that I have not written yet. Including any and all research on the McGuffin item that I’m going for. Great.

So. I’ve decided that I’m going to go back and sorta star over? No, I’m not rewriting the entire novel, but I am going to go and streamline what I’ve written and fill in the holes. Which is quite a feat because I’ve kind of re-written the entire character development arc of a character, and so NONE of her pieces had been written. Great. But I figure if I do now just saves me time to do later. I mean it doesn’t do me any good to finish the first draft and then basically have to rewrite 90% of the second draft when I can finish the first draft a bit later and rewrite 50% of the second draft, right? I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m going with the first option right now. Plus, I feel really stuck on where I am because so much had change since I started that I don’t even know my character’s motivation anymore because it changed in the course of me writing. I assume that’s the normal process of writing but my god, sure feels like pulling teeth. And unproductive. I just have to steadily add words. How hard can that be?

(yeah, rhetorical depressing question don’t think about it too much).

My Adventure in Health 2018 Edition: Part Two – Hospital Stay

When life gives you lemons, you make…a really stressful trip through the hospital and they remove your tumor. Yeah…that didn’t flow I know, but life really gave me a bucket of lemons and I guess I’ll squeeze them one by one. Today, we shall talk about the procedure.

I opted for the open procedure where no robotics were used and they got the whole tumor out in one giant lump. And it was giant – weighed over a kilo and pretty much had been impeding my bladder function for the better part of six months. Benign, so that’s a relief (apparently even the technicians thought it might not be so the result came in like 2 days instead of the usual week, surprised even my doctor). Because of anesthesia I pretty much don’t have memories of anything an hour before and apparently five hours after the surgery. My husband had to recap me on what happened – the procedure took all morning, and they just couldn’t bring up my blood pressure to stabilization for like hours afterwards. When they finally did I was rolled (on a gurney, with two dude nurses moving me – I’d be scared or bewildered had I had the energy to be any of that at the time) into my hospital room at 7 pm. I wasn’t in that much pain because they used a nerve blocker (ah the progress of medicine). I was hopped on a lot of painkiller after so in that regard, it was fine.

The hospital was really nice and all the nurses were attentive. And the food wasn’t shit. Like seriously, I mean hospital food are usually bland and horrible but it’s true that to patients like me, it’s actually palatable because eating things without wanting to throw up is a major feat. So is going to the bathroom. I had a huge blood clot afterwards that again, blocked my bladder function, so they had to put a catheter in me. And as painful as inserting a catheter is, I’ll have to say in my short, relatively healthy life the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced was the sensation when you want to but can’t pee. It was horrendous; I never want to go through that fucking ever again. It was so bad I think I started crying uncontrollably. I’m sure childbirth will be more painful but, you know it’s different. Pain I know how to handle and what it means, this thing, man, it’s a different sensation and it’s just so bad.

That was the first day. After that my blood pressure was super low so they had to do a blood transfusion. Well, guess who has really small and deep veins that’re dehydrated because, you know, surgery shit? So they had to put the IV on my hand instead of my arm, and boy did the blood transfusion hurt. My entire hand and up to my elbow felt like someone’s pumping 5 thousand liters of water into a small 1 cm tube. The nurse had it on the slowest setting and I was on a lot of painkillers and it still hurt like a bitch. It worked; I’m alive, my blood pressure stabilized, the blood count went up, I didn’t have any allergic reactions and to my current knowledge no weird diseases, all that good stuff. So yeah, another prop to modern medicine?

It was less eventful after that. I got up and walked (because they force you to walk around because apparently that makes you better quicker – there’s actual research about it) a bit. I had to keep the catheter in until after I get home because the swelling wouldn’t have gone down that quickly – a whole new situation which I will talk about next time. The nurses all had different shifts so I’ve probably seen like a dozen people during the time but I only vaguely remembered people in the last day and a half – the first two I was too out of it to recognize my caretakers. They were all very professional and nice and attentive so props to them! Sorry I was so bad at remembering – too many drugs going on at once.

My Adventure in Health 2018 Edition: Part One – Overview

Hello everyone. It’s now January of 2018, and I’ve been pretty much MIA from the net (and computer in general) since right after Thanksgiving 2017. Truth be told, 2017 was a shitty year. It started off okay, was good when me and my husband went to Japan in May, and then it’s just as steady decline to shitville. I am so glad it’s over. 2018 has got to be better than last, although, now that I’ve said it out loud, I probably just jinxed it so it’ll be much much worse.

But hopefully not.

Anyways, since I want to start fresh, I need to get rid of my last year’s baggage. So I’m going to spend a few days talking about my last month health-wise. I’ve had a major operation where a large fibroid tumor was removed, leaving me a 5 1/2 inch scar on my abdomen like a c-section. I was in the hospital for four days, had 1000 cc (a full liter) of blood transfused into me, was basically bed-ridden for the majority of the month of December, and to date still can’t bend my middle section nor lift anything heavier than 10 lbs (hence I could not sit up on my desk chair and so my computer was off for basically the whole month) In addition, I’ve had another cornea abrasion – that would be the third one. Yes, it busted open again as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning, and I will talk about why later, because I am just that unlucky apparently. I’ve got enough narcotics to jump start an addiction and am tapering off them (successfully, I might add, no I did not get high because that’s dangerous. Nobody wants to voluntarily be a junkie.) One good news is that my tumor was benign, so no cancer for this girl, but everything else accompanying it was shit.

And that’s the overview. I’ll write in detail later, because sitting in this chair right now is a feat, and I still can’t laugh (the belly kind) without hurting myself. Nor can I cough or sneeze without wincing.  It’ll be another month before I could function more or less normal. I’m certainly looking forward to that.

Scratched Cornea – Round Two

Remember me getting my cornea scratched and it healed really slowly? Yeah…no…it didn’t heal at all! I was with my therapist last week and then suddenly my eye hurt something awful. I went to doctor’s and turned out that my scratch didn’t heal because there were loose skin and a lot of other things in it. (Should’ve gone to an ophthalmologist but I didn’t have one and didn’t have time to properly search for one. My fault.) My primary physician got me a recommendation so I went. The ophthalmologist cleaned the wound, put in a stem-cell membrane (never knew they exist!), and then put a contact on top of it to keep it in place. I got prescribed some serious antibiotic drops (like it burned when put in and my eye was sore for an hour afterwards) and a good dose of Vicotin for pain management (can’t take ibuprofen due to upcoming surgery). First time I had actual narcotics, btw; I feel like House. Anyway, after a week of constant checkups and adjusting medication, my eye healed. Finally. My doctor was like, okay, you need to eat more fish and omega-3 supplements, because you have a large deposit of oil around your eye. Either genetics or because you use computer too much (probably both), but anyway it’s not good since you’re so young. I’m like great, I just got my iron levels up and now it’s more pills. But at least I’m aware of it now, right?

So yeah, sorry I’ve been so sporadic with my posting and it’s all filled with bad health things and nothing fun. I’ll try harder hen I get my surgery done and in bed resting with nothing to do but…type on my laptop and watch TV? I hope you guys at least had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Mine was okay – we didn’t invite anyone and had a really small meal (comparatively) for the two of us. I’m just glad I’m generally okay-ish now. Need my energy for the upcoming crap.

Doc Week

This week is filled with doctor appointments. It’s getting close to my operation and there’re more things that need to be done before then. Find a will online (no time for lawyer) and get that notarized, clean the house, call insurance, find eye doctor, etc. etc. My eye’s behaving badly because it’s dry as a desert right now and the stupid cornea abrasion hasn’t completely healed yet (trusty humidifier saves the day!). So much to do with the holidays coming up. At least it’ll keep my mind off the operation thing.

I went to my ob/gyn for the pre-op session. Basically just talking about the risks and recovery process. I learned that there’s a risk for undiagnosed cancer hidden in the fibroid – a form of sarcoma. If they use the minimally invasive procedure that requires breaking up the tumor in many pieces they could unintentionally spread the cancer, which would turn a Stage 2 cancer to a Stage 4. (This isn’t a hypothetical; it has happened before and hence why the information). Sarcomas’ survival rate is pretty low in general, though, so it wouldn’t make that much of a difference I suppose, but a 40-60% definitely looks better than a 15% survival rate (although a completely recovery longer than 5 years seems to be only about 15% – if I have this cancer I probably will just die of it). I mean the likelihood of me having a rare hidden cancer while exhibiting no symptoms whatsoever is pretty damn low. I could opt to not do the minimally invasive one and just let them cut me open like a C-section, which they might have to do anyway since my fibroid is too big, but the recovery time’ll be doubled and I’ll be in much more pain. So all that for a .3 – .06 % chance of cancer. I’m not sure.

I have until the day of the surgery to decide so I think I’ll take my time. They took more blood test to see if there’s any sign of malignancy, which I’ll get the result in a few days. Meanwhile I think I’ll just wait for my Pokemon UltraSun to arrive and play that to keep my mind off things. Oh and also calm my husband down. He’s at work right now freaking out about that I might get cancer (again, I don’t think I have cancer, and neither does the doctor at this point). Good thing I see my therapist regularly. Maybe I should really try to convince him to go to one, too?

Can’t You Write Something Simpler?

So I’ve had sort of an epiphany like, earlier this week. I’m redoing an outline for my novel, because it has progressed to the point where my current outline doesn’t make much sense anymore, so I figure I’ll just write a detailed summary and then break it up to sections (also thinking of reorganizing the file so it’s by actual chapters order instead of grouped by narrators). I thought it’ll just be a basic rewrite with some things added. Nope. The big elements are still around but everything else needed a change, because it made no logical sense for one person to react to point B when they’ve just went through point A, etc.

And it dawned on me. Why is my novel taking such a long time? Because it’s a friggin’ complicated novel! Holy smokes, batman! My novel has 5 narrators, each with their own subplot, an overarching plot, both emotional and physical trials, and it’s in a completely made up semi-steampunk without the Earth Victorian setting. I needed to do more research on the technology (magnets, how do they work?!) and…yeah. So. It might not sound too challenging, but it’s no way an “easy” or “simple” novel. And I had thought this was a short story/novella length when I first started out. George RR Martin took like 5-10 years to write a single GoT book. I don’t think (hopefully not!) this’ll take me 10 years to write, but for a first novel this is a little insane, I think.

Or maybe I’m just feeling overwhelmed and some actual writers’d be like, that’s normal it ain’t Finnigans Wake. Well, Finnigans Wake took 17 years so, me spending about 3 years on my novel doesn’t seem too far-fetched. At least now I don’t feel super bad that I’m taking so long, because it’s not because I super suck, it’s just that for a first novel it’s pretty hard to write.