Making the Best of It


This morning I’m very cranky.  For reasons I know but don’t want to get into (it’s a post in itself, and one I don’t want to deal with) I was up at two am and couldn’t sleep till four thirty am.

This morning I’m cranky and out of sorts and debating whether I should shower before getting in painting clothes and finishing painting the “decent looking but paper veneer library system” we bought last week, or just shower afterwards.  Because I will need to shower afterwards.

Because I love showers, you know it’s just crankiness, and not wanting to relax (though admittedly if I relax I might never do anything, because I’m tired and cranky.)

Yesterday read myself into place on novel in progress, which has been dragging since January.  There have been reasons for it, and I understood fully the reason I haven’t forced it.  The last chunk was forced (eight weeks ago) and I realized I had three blind alleys in it, which had completely destroyed the plot I planned and left me floundering.

I’ve written … well… I’ve written and published something like 35 novels, not a bad reaction to them, unless politically motivated.  So, it’s not lack of craft.  As I told a friend this week, the craft never leaves you.  And my subconscious knew I’d gone wrong in pushing and going to weird (and unexpected) twists, because … well, because none of it worked.

I don’t often go down bizarre sidelines that end in cul de sacs when plotting or writing.  And my unexpected twists usually just add subplots or depth.  So the book has been dragging because I haven’t been fully functional.  (Even today, despite the tired, I’m more functional and less depressed than I’ve been in years.  Maybe in 10 or 20 years.  Part of this is the treatment of apnea, which I’ve probably had that long [it’s not even really weight related, though the weight doesn’t help.  I have the lungs of a 5 year old child, due to infantile TB.  So when you add lying down and even a little overweight — I’m more than that now, but wasn’t for many years — my O2 levels crawl in the basement. The apnea has only been treated for about 7 months, so the final recovery is still setting in.)

Frankly I haven’t been fully functional for twenty years.  And that was the hypothyroidism.  The entire span of my career has ranged from “profoundly difficult to write” to “okay to write but so tired.” Keep in mind this affects all action scenes because you can’t write them if you can’t live them in your head, because so tired.  It affects other things too, like complex relationships.

Look, maybe that was a good thing.  Up till 20 years ago I had a tendency to plots so complex you needed an ax to cut through them.  Perhaps it was my puny craft then, or perhaps a mind that turns in on itself that made those impenetrable to readers.  Who knows? At least the last twenty years have given me craft.  I had to have it to function.  But craft isn’t enough when you’re dragging, and I have built-in controls that stop me pushing when I’ll destroy the book if I do.

Anyway, now I see the problems and I think I can finish it, and get back on A schedule, hopefully relatively fast.

I can’t tell you why since January, since a lot of this is not mine to tell.  (I know, but it’s still true.)  And the parts that are would be of no interest at all to most of you.

Let’s say each year has its character and 2018 has been a year of “everything goes wrong/emerges me in turmoil/miraculously turns out WAY better than expected.”

Look, it beats 2015, the year of everything goes wrong and stays wrong and everything I need to do will take ridiculously long.

However a lot of it HAS been emotional turmoil.  A lot of you will ping me expressing sorrow I’m sick, but I haven’t been sick as such.  I had only one major infection, and that was May.  Mostly I’ve been plunging into autoimmune due to stress.  But I found a doctor who is helping me manage things, and I’m losing weight for first time in 10 years, which also helps.

Of course, losing weight takes time, because if I don’t walk 5 miles a day I don’t lose.  Yes, I should learn to dictate, but so far I’m WAY too self-conscious and sound like a loon. OTOH I really am getting healthier.  “Everyday in every way I’m getting better and better.”  It’s actually true, I just had a long way to go.

Anyway, one of the hardest things to get over right now is “the years undone.”  I wish I could have worked for the last twenty years with my full mind and my health.

Maybe things would be very different.  Then again maybe I’d never have been published.  Who can know.

Which is why I need to let go of the anger and make the best of what I have.

It’s not so bad. As a friend pointed out, I could be seventy and just coming out of the funk.

So… make the best of what you have.

And while at it: we were born, most of us, even those in their seventies, into a world infested with Marxist theories which lead to socialism national and international.  This is bad enough, but they also corrupt the foundation and base of civilization.

It’s only in the last ten or twenty years we’ve had the means to start fighting back.

When you guys express despair, you’re doing what I’m doing when I say “but I lost close to twenty years, and I’m so old now, and exhausted by the fight of fiction.”

Take no counsel of your fears.  It’s not our fault how the world got before we were born.  A lot of it was the form of technology — mass manufacture — leading to mass production, mass reporting, mass entertainment.

Well, that’s changing and going smaller and more personal.  The appeal of Marxism will wither too.

Sure, sure, they still have strength and we still have bottle necks in communications.  But we’re ALSO still here.

Would I prefer we had got this ability to fight back earlier?  Sure. But then again, like my having been healthier through my career so far, what bad things come with that? Because I guarantee some will.

This might not be the best of all possible worlds.  It is the world we have.  And it could be much worse.

We could have an easier battle. We also could have a much harder one.

Be not afraid.  Go and build and love and create. Fight by being you as hard as you can.

Do the best you can NOW and throw away your regrets.

Take no counsel of your fears.  Ignore the gibbering voice that says all is lost already.  Nothing is ever fully lost, certainly not liberty and individualism so long as some people believe in them.

All you have is what you have now.  Make the best of it.


110 thoughts on “Making the Best of It

  1. Sometimes it’s just a matter of “do the next thing.” I just wish the “next thing” would result in the kids actually showing some initiative in cleaning, rather than me having to stand over them every second.

    1. And then there is that point, which I have reached at times, of “critical mess” which Must. Be. Dealt. With. Now. Not someone telling me, but me looking at things and going, “This IS getting fixed.” I’m in the midst of one of those.. hopefully it will last long enough to get things into an easily maintainable non-clutter/mess state. Hey, I can dream.

      1. The good news is, if you deal with it long enough, then dealing with the mess becomes a habit. And when you achieve a happy equilibrium of clutter, you can keep using that habit to maintain that lightly cluttered state to clean instead of stopping and letting all the mess accumulate again.

        Of course it never stay perfect… but even when the flu, or the Massive Project From Hades hits, then you don’t end up as far behind as you were in the first place, and maintain the confidence that you know it can be tackled and conquered again. 🙂

  2. I realize every person is unique. I lost a big chunk of weight going low carb, but that has stalled. Personally I can still lose if I do intermittent fasting. I’ll fast all day and have a small late snack of pure protein before bed. It used to be hard to fast eating ‘normally’ but now on low carb I don’t get the horrible deep urge to eat I used to. No guarantee this will work for you Sarah – and it is an inconvenience to eat differently than the family, even for a day. But it might help if you want to try it. Sometimes it’s a relief to find ANYTHING that works.

        1. Learning to tolerate the CPAP is tough for a lot of people, but there are some things that can help.

          To begin with, a lot of people wear the mask too tight to stop leaks. Not only can this be uncomfortable in itself, but it can cause the mask to rub sore spots on your face. You need a clean nasal or face cushion against a clean face. Clean the soft plastic part of the mask that comes in contact with your face each morning when you get up. (Morning is better because facial oils cause the particular type of plastic used in most nasal or facial cushions to break down faster, so the cushion will last longer if you always clean it when you get up.) There are special CPAP wipes that are sold for this, but baby wipes work about as well and cost less. (If you have very oily skin you can use what I use, Wet Ones Antibacterial.) Similarly, always wash your face right before bed so that you’ve removed the oils from your skin. The combination of a clean mask with a clean face will give you a better seal without having to tighten the mask so much.

          The next thing is that in a lot of cases the standard six-foot hose doesn’t give you the freedom to move. You can get a hose that is ten feet long, though that may be overkill. I have a hose that totals just under 8 feet long, consisting of a standard 6-foot hose, a male to male adapter, an inline antibacterial filter, and an 18-inch hose. (I’ll get into the filter in a minute.)

          The standard filter on a CPAP basically just reduces the amount of dust being force-fed into your nose, sinuses, and lungs. Smaller dust particles, pet dander, smoke particles (if you use a fireplace,) some pollens and other allergens can still get through. So it often helps to add an inline filter that catches smaller particles. Depending on the season, whether you use the fireplace, and how far from the fireplace you sleep the inline filters will last up to six weeks. (Where I live now I change it on the first of the month so I don’t have to try and remember the last time I changed it.)

          The usual inline filter has a male and a female end. This works fine if you have enough clearance between your humidifier and the nightstand. Otherwise, you need a short piece of hose and a male to male adapter. I’ll put links to this stuff in the comments.

          Some people are bothered by suddenly having that cold plastic hose touch them during the night. It’s never bothered me, but I’ve had people tell me online that it wakes them right up. You can sew your own hose cover, or you can order a nice one that is six feet long and made out of flannel. (Yes, I know that I suggested a longer hose. But you really only need to cover the part that is closest to you.)

          If you tend to roll or move a lot in your sleep then you might want to go for maximum hose length, a 10-foot hose if you can connect your inline filter directly to the humidifier output, or else an 18-inch hose, a male-to-male adapter, then an 8-foot hose.

          No, this doesn’t mean you’re going to be wrestling a 10-foot plastic snake all night. You need to get a towel ring like you would use to hang a dish towel in the kitchen, or the hand towel that you actually use (as opposed to the ornamental ones there to impress guests that are hanging on the regular towel rack in the bathroom. (Towels that you aren’t allowed to use tend to break my male mind, but I’m not going to argue with the ghosts of my mother or my wife.)) You mount the towel ring on the wall or headboard right above your head and then feed the hose through the ring. This lets the mask come down from above, allowing you to turn your head without wrestling with the hose.

          One more thing that only relates to comfort insofar as having green stuff growing in your humidifier and hoses WILL make you uncomfortable. You should clean your humidifier and hoses. Doing it every day will make you crazy, but if you use distilled water and clean your facial cushion you generally don’t need to. Use the fancy hard surface antibacterial stuff they sell you for use on CPAPs about once a month. Once a week use a solution of one part white vinegar and four parts water. The vinegar solution will keep most things from getting started, and the fancy cleaner will wipe out anything that survived the vinegar before it can really spread.

          Hope this helps someone.

          1. Because of the limit on links in a single post, I’m going to put Amazon links to stuff I mention in replies to this. But I should say here that if you are fairly new to getting CPAP accessories and want to ask about the differences the folks at are great. I’ve been a customer of theirs almost since they came into existence. They’ve been selling CPAPs and CPAP supplies for twenty years, and in the almost 18 years I’ve dealt with them I’ve had exactly one problem. (A new employee thought a part needed a prescription that didn’t. It was cleared up the same day via e-mail.) If you know what you’re looking for and how to use it you can sometimes save money on Amazon. If you are looking for things like parts for a specific mask you may not find it on Amazon or you might want to look at another place for a price comparison. There are other places that sell CPAP gear, but is the one that I know and trust.

            1. One last comment on hose length, if you go for really long you should check with the doctor who prescribed the CPAP as they may need to recalibrate the machine to get the correct pressure with the longer hose. I’ve never experimented over ten feet, the good folks at say that recalibration is needed over 15 feet.

              1. I am within the range that I can get away with using the “Mandibular” device. Visualize heavy duty aggressive hard plastic retainer’s for both upper & lower with a device to force your lower jaw forward.

                We camp, granted with a trailer, but still we don’t camp where there is power. Running a generator all night is not allowed. The CPAP option was problematic from the outset.

                Add to that. I had enough problems with the small hoses & cables during the in home sleep study, CPAP might have been a problem with the hoses. Of coarse the cats didn’t help. “Hey, Mom! What is this you brought us to play with … all night.”

          2. My weirdest find on losing 32 — at last weighing — pounds: I went from a medium to a small mask. I had to tighten the medium so much it was making my teeth ache.
            Since I still have 50 lbs to go I’m a little worried.

            1. I had a similar experience at my latest CPAP refitting. I ended up going from a L/M mask to a M after losing about 40 Lbs over 2 years. Honestly I wonder who the XL masks are for , Perhaps Andre the Giant? Admittedly I’m short (5’6) but I’m built like one of Tolkien’s dwarves and I have a rather disproportionate head 🙂 and still a M is almost too big for full face mask for me .

              And yes Mr Reynolds has it right, clean face, clean mask makes for better fit. If you’re having to tighten the heck out of it to keep the seal talk to your provider about trying out some other make of mask. They may have some ideas as they deal with lots of faces and just trying things out on or similar will get expensive FAST. Also check how old the headgear is, over time it stretches and 9-12 months is the absolute maximum to go without replacement for most of them. Most health insurances will splurge for a new set every 6 months or so.

      1. My wife – the accountant – had great success with WW. Go figure, right? She counts things (like points at a meal) really well. Then WW shifted to a model focused on how everyone feels as their new general meme. You can imagine how well that went over with my accountant-in-chief. She now counts points on line and skips the meetings. And yes, she’s losing again. Bless her persistence!

  3. I haven’t been taking the time to exercise but I’ve been watching my husband who walks for almost two hours a day and has started lifting weights as well. (He’s also lost 40 pounds.) And he’s not getting less done than before.

    You’d think that with two hours out of your day you’d get less done, but it very weirdly doesn’t work that way. It’s counter-intuitive at the very least! And yet every successful person, every overachiever I ever hear anything about, takes that time to exercise. The most productive people take that time out of their days and somehow, *somehow*, they do more than those of us who don’t.

    So please don’t give up taking your walks or your Sundays.

    1. “I can’t exercise, it uses time and energy I need for other things.”

      * exercises *

      “Wow. Where’d this energy come from? Hey, I bet I can do…”

      But it’s so easy to fall back into the trap. Dadgummit.

      1. I know that this is true in my brain and can even tell you why it’s true, but I still haven’t made the time to make the time.

    2. Thus the adage that busy people hate: “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.”

      I have found that I must get the gym in the morning, right after rising, or I’ll never get to it. Which means morning shifts leave me even more exhausted than morning deadlifts… Strange, but true.

      1. “How are you?”
        “Busy is good” — ALWAYS said by a very much NON-busy person. Who is really lucky to survive the encounter, really.

    3. Your comment reminded of a hysterical Guardian column I read last month by Zoe Williams.
      “I have been writing a fitness column for a year and in this time I’ve digested very little about what exercise does for your body … but I know everything about what it does to your personality, and none of it is pretty … unavoidably, over time, this makes you more rightwing, as you descend into an aerobics-powered moral universe where only the weak need each other, and all the strong need is a waterpouch in their backpack …”

        1. It was AMAZING.

          Now, I will say that people who “discover” fitness (my husband *cough*) do tend to become advocates that can be just a little annoying, like someone newly converted to a religion. And they can (not so much my husband) express things in terms of “why haven’t you then?” Which is super annoying.

          But are they wrong? Do I really have an excuse? I don’t have a medical condition, I’m just tired all the time and overwhelmed all the time.

          And generally the newly converted aren’t saying that they’re better than you because they know exactly how hard it was and how much effort they put into it.

          Maybe it’s more like those comics and memes about the artist who “works out” creating art every single day for hours and then someone else whines about how they could never be good at art or have that talent. Well, not without working on it several hours of every day!

          So which side of the equation is “projecting” the most in this scenario?

          I’m pretty sure that every musician who’s spent hours and hours every day practicing responds to “I wish I could play guitar like that” with a barely suppressed impulse to bash the guitar right over that person’s head.

          1. Heh. Starting Strength wrote up a lovely piece on their corporate culture that will likely send that Gruniad author into hysterics and fainting fits if she reads it. Because… if she touches a barbell, this might happen!

            “It is impossible to overstate the importance of the lessons learned when starting and then completing a physical task you are not sure you can actually do. Those lessons bleed over into all aspects of life, as a few seconds of reflection will reveal. These are the Lessons of the Barbell, our common bond.

            With this in mind, our company has a few characteristics shared by all of us here in Wichita Falls, and by lots of the people who find our methods interesting. We don’t like big government, government regulation of the workplace and personal space, and government safety nets for those who decide not to finish life’s heavy sets of 5. We don’t appreciate people who are constantly offended for other people at no cost to themselves, and who feel the need to force us to agree with their opinions, which we cannot be made to do. We like people who take personal responsibility, who do not ask for charity, and who give freely when they feel compelled to do so. We appreciate an honest effort toward a worthwhile goal, and we will help if we can.

            We like nice guns, good food, strong drink, talented musicianship, thoughtful art, and the effort it takes to create them. We appreciate beautiful women and handsome men, masculinity and femininity, and we know the difference. We also understand that some people have different opinions about these things, and we respect their opinions at precisely the same level of enthusiasm with which they respect ours.”

            And so on. The only thing they’ve put out that makes me giggle harder is the “Don’t sue us if you get hurt here” waiver, which I shall have to find and post some day. Mockery, sarcasm, and common sense blended perfectly.

            1. Giggle giggle. Went to the weight-room today. Back didn’t bother me for the first time this year. And I still hate flyes.

              1. Yay for your back not bothering you! Today, my shoulders are telling me all about the bench press I did yesterday. I haven’t tried flyes in years, and I think I shall continue strenuously avoiding them 🙂

        2. Yeah, if Sarah keeps doing my work out, she will become me. (Actually, she seems to be doing quite a lot more, more consistently than I do.)

          Whatever anecdotes in mild support, there’s a fairly significant anecdotal counter argument. DC apparently empathizes work outs to the point that the inhabitants basically discuss them in place of churches.

          The Guardian writer sounds like a moron, or someone who has spent so much time in a left wing echo chamber that fitness culture is impossible to distinguish from Drake, Kratman, and Mad Mike doing a panel on starving orphans.

      1. Croly Hap! The Guardian published something that wasn’t Marxist wet-dream or political insult or yes? That sort of article is of the class of things that unicorns do not believe in.

        1. That is astounding, though I bet it still had typos to beat the band. They don’t call it the Grauniad for no reason you know 🙂

  4. “Yes, I should learn to dictate, but so far I’m WAY too self-conscious and sound like a loon.”

    So dress business causal with good shoes, and wear a noticeable bluetooth headset and everyone will think you’re a successful entrepreneur multitasking business and exercise.

    Marxism corrupting the foundation and base of civilization.

    That”s precisely what’s wrong with the “Destroy all Civil War Memorial Statues (and any founding fathers who owned slaves too) as Racial Oppression” movement. Toss in the we have to rewrite history to show that all minorities were really the major inventors of everthing; and that’s the recipe to destroy the foundations of civilization.

    Weight loss. The Stalled Plateau.

    Oh yeah. Been there. Doggone physiological set points are a bear to break through. And so discouraging when you bounce off them and gain 10 pounds back. Sometimes you just have to accept being at that weight for a year before you stomp on the gas to lose more. Just remember, it took years to sculpt that perfectly rounded form; it’s probably going to take years to safely shed the weight, especially for the long term.

    1. I think the plateaus are what Intermitten Fasting or Fat Fasting (thank you Dr. Fung) try to break or bypass. And the ‘cheat day’* even makes some sense if not overdone – a message to the biology saying, “We are NOT in famine.”

      * One person put it that as often practiced it is really a Sabotage Day. A cheat would get you to the desired “finish line” faster.

      1. Also, if your stomach isn’t sufficiently trained to stop whining just because it’s empty (being not the same as genuine body hunger) — an ounce or two of cheese makes a good bribe, and won’t cause carb-hunger when it wears off.

          1. The harder the cheese, the less the whey content, and therefore the less lactose remaining. Yay for aged cheddar and sliced sausage, the old faithful of low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat snacks!

    2. Listening to audio books or other entertainment has value, too. I wouldn’t assume that good things aren’t happening because a way hasn’t been found to make every moment “productive.”

    3. I can’t get myself to dictate – the words don’t seem to want to come out. But if I ever try, I am absolutely pulling off your business casual and Bluetooth headset plan. Which will work fine until someone hears me talking about terrorist plans to blow up the space station…

    4. Oh, my problem is not dealing with people who see me. Our subdivision is ridiculously empty and almost everyone is talking on the phone when they walk.
      No. My problem is giving it to someone to transcribe and knowing I sound crazy.

      1. Have you tried the Dragon voice to typed page software that Weber uses?
        He says that it works really well and speeds up his writing.
        Might be worth a try.

        1. Yes… have you ever heard Sarah talk? (I think it’s absolutely adorable but “thick” accents usually are.)

          1. I’d hate to have to correct 500 incorrect spellings of “Darksheeps”. 😀

                1. Actually, that makes sense. If she’s a gateway writer, then she got the encrypted gateway to high-level communication from elsewhere… Yeah, given the quality of her work, I can see that. 😛

                2. Hmm Can we use our hostess as a code talker in the coming 2nd civil war like the Navajo were used in the Second World War? Except we have only one of her so to whom would she talk? Ah well, another brilliant idea ruined by physical reality. Wouldn’t slow me down if I were an NPC/SJW :-).

              1. My phone does some fun ones for me.

                This morning I used the voice recognition to send my husband a message about how we’d given the puppy a cow esophagus (dog treat from Costco) and as I couldn’t find the thing that perhaps she’d eaten it all up and that it was sort of large and now I was worried about the results.

                Kawasaki pagis.

                I have no idea what pagis is, but there you go.

                1. Heck. I can’t properly pronounce words to find the correct spelling when I type them; there are times I don’t come close enough for Spell Check to actually list them on a list … I can’t even imagine what Dragon or other speech recognition software would pull. I can’t even get the TV to properly pull up anything on stuff I know I’m pronouncing correctly.

                  Yes. I’ll get right on using the phone to message dictation … uhhh, No …

                2. Dr. Grumpy has a “No Dragon, I said…” post every so often. Used to there was D@mnit Dragon! for people to post the worst dictation software errors. Some were side-splitting, some potentially lethal, all were completely believable for anyone who has worked with voice-rec stuff.

      2. I remember from a young age “telling myself stories”. Of course, I lived on a little farm out in the country, so I had plenty of empty space with nobody to hear me except a few cows and maybe a chicken.

        Fairly recently, I overheard one of my daughters doing the same thing (she really is a mini-me) She sounded like an unhinged lunatic (lots of repeated phrases and incomplete sentences), but it was so adorable (ok, she’s my kid so I’m allowed to think anything is adorable that I want to).

        I have a hour commute each way for work. That’s some time I would love to be able to do something more constructive with, so I’ve been trying to come up with a way to record plot ideas, scenes, etc. while I’m driving. That way I can use my rare free time to write rather than plot. I haven’t come up with anything that works for me yet.

        Any of you have a good system that works for that?

        1. I have an irresistible image of a viking– complete with horned helmet and blond beard– in a generic commuter car, using a pen-type tape recorder, but it’s shaped like a dragon, because of Dragon talk-to-text.

          1. Or.. the pen-type recorder is inside a stuffed-animal-dragon? It guards his word-hoard, after all!

          2. There was a time when I looked like a movie viking, now I’ve gotten old and fat, so not so much anymore. 🙂

            Besides, the horns on the helmet kept tearing up the headliner in my car and making a mess.

          3. I’m imagining a car with a giant dragon-head hood ornament and a roof rack for the swords.

            1. I recall an article about a fellow with a large-ish refracting telescope that was transported on roof-rack, with a “nosecone” to protect the optics… it looked like he had a roof-mounted missile.

      3. I’m reminded of a story that Issac Asimov told on himself where he set up a reel-to-reel system and tried to dictate a story for his then wife to transcribe.

        hen he got to the point in the story where the two main characters were arguing heatedly his voice started to rise and at the climax he was generating inarticulate snarls.

      4. Somewhere in my BIX session captures there’s a post from Jerry Pournelle, talking about the time he tried dictating stories while (jogging? hiking?). His transcriptionist said the result sounded like a cross between an obscene phone call and a heart attack…

      1. I’m still waiting for the Californians to start pulling down statues of Martin Luther King…

  5. Hang in there. You got this. You go girl!

    After Christmas I weighed more than I ever have before. I cut out most of the snacking and junk food, and limited my soda intake somewhat. I’ve been losing about a pound a week, or so. Hopefully by next year I’ll be down to my goal weight. It might take some exercising though. Rats.

  6. I’ve been in a bit of a funk because things at Day Job are starting to shift into higher gear, which means “less putzing around time.” And because I needed at least two more students for a major academic contest. As of today I now have 10 students lined up for the contest, including someone who already knows part of the material cold.

    I am going to get fussed at for my weight, as usual, when I get my physical in January. I put on 7 pounds since last October. However, now it is far easier for me to work-out and still get enough sleep.

    1. Funny, I get in a funk when things aren’t busy at day-job. “Why must I be here, doing nothing, when I could be doing nothing at home?”

      I’m making progress on my projects: how-to-job instructions for current job are almost complete, at which point I can quit without notice, and I finally put down the tile on my kitchen counter! (Cutting curved corners with a straight-cutting saw takes… less time than I thought it would, actually. It’s apparently a really soft stone. And I only had to do a little bit of epoxy work to fill in the over-cuts.)

      1. I have a notepad at work, so I can try to get my word count in when there’s nothing else to do. Not that this happens often, but it’s always glorious to come home with a few pages to transcribe (or, in some cases, rewrite, but it goes so much faster when I have the general bits worked out in my head.) This means, instead of being bored at Day Job, I’m excited that I can finally get Story in.

        1. Ooooh, I do that when I sub teach at the local schools. Gets me out of the house and gives me a deadline for working – have to work this pm, therefore, get some words in.
          I carry around a tablet computer or notebook, and make notes. It jumpstarts my writing when I get home.
          Sometimes, I stop off for coffee after, and crank out some lines.

  7. Remember DO NOT let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good.
    Do what you can not what you think you Should.

  8. I can relate to the weight & Apena.

    Weight isn’t helping the sleep mild sleep Apnea, but it isn’t likely causing it either. That is age & physical alignment of my jaw & tongue. I get to use the mouth piece all night (get dreams of eating taffy that I can’t pry off my teeth …)

    Weight. I swear I don’t eat, I gain weight. Exercising, by itself, doesn’t help either. Neither does giving up sweets or carbs, although those I have to give , or severely limit, for other reasons (turns out the artificial sugar/no-fat is causing MORE problems). Very frustrating. I was down to 203, back up 20#’s, again … It is going to come off & stay below 200, damn it!!!

    1. Starving yourself doesn’t work. Although the once a week fast day does reduce the calorie intake by 1/7th without making your body go into famine mode.

    2. Food diary is the only thing that helps me. But, yes, eat. Enough to convince your body it’s not famine.

      1. Yes. Food Diary & water intake. Every program I’ve been on emphasis both. It works, when I stick to it. Sticking to it, OTOH …

  9. I’ve been in the autoimmune dimension now for 16 years and if I hadn’t gotten sick, I wouldn’t have written my first novel yet. With my full brain, I went into electronics and then was going into teaching. Now!!!! I might not be as financially secure, but I am writing. So no reason to regret the last twenty years of illness. It is what it is.

  10. After two weeks off due to lungs hating me, I got back to the gym this morning. I suspect the scale is down from lost muscle mass, so I won’t celebrate until I get back up to where I was on the deadlift, squat, and press. I could wish for better lungs (If you ever find them on special, I’ll chip in for a group buy!), but at least I can still walk, and breathe. We go on with what we’ve got, and make the world better from where it has been!

  11. It is terrific that you are starting to feel better, Mrs. Hoyt. I have auto immune disease that was misdiagnosed for years but when I was able to get it under control it made massive difference to my life. I hope your health continues to improve and you can write more books clear headed.

  12. Let’s say each year has its character and 2018 has been a year of “everything goes wrong/emerges me in turmoil/miraculously turns out WAY better than expected.”

    You wouldn’t think that “hey this is WONDERFUL NEWS, I can’t believe it turned out so great!” would tire you out– but it does.

  13. Because of you and Sarah’s Diner I started writing a book that’s been growing in my head for a while. I’m 57 and have just figured out that I can totally do this and that I may actually be good at it! Leaving the security of a tenured academic job is scary….but, as I heard a while ago, “jump, and the net will appear.” So, I’m jumping.

    1. Just finished something last night. Just under 80,000 words. Handed it off to people who are not me to read, to find out what not-me people like, and don’t like, and where there are stupid things that need to be corrected.

      I’ll probably try and bump it up to just over 80,000 after I get feedback, because why not?

    2. If you want to leave the job, I recommend a book by Kris Rusch – the Freelancer’s Survival Guide. Because it’s a whole lot easier than reinventing wings and learning to fly after you’ve already jumped!

      Good luck on the book, and have fun!

  14. One of the issues I run into with dieting and/or pregnancy is straining with the end result.

    Fiber helped, but the drinkable stuff’s texture gagged me, and it’s expensive.

    Konjac root works, though; I take one or two of the cheap, clear tabs (three is the standard 2000mg dose) in the morning so I don’t get a stomach ache from my iron and Bs, and then I can do my usual coffee-and-tea-until-lunch thing. If I get really hungry or feel sick, a spoon of either Carnation Instant Breakfast or coco mix fixes it. If I’m really hungry or I know I won’t be around the coffee pot, I use a full serving of Carnation breakfast mix and go.

    YMMV, if you’re one of those folks who can eat breakfast every morning, I don’t suggest it; if you’re the kind who only WANTS breakfast once in a blue moon, but you need to space the supplements to get a good effect and need something in your stomach, it works.

  15. but so far I’m WAY too self-conscious and sound like a loon

    Uhm….about that…:)

    Anyway, one of the hardest things to get over right now is “the years undone.” I wish I could have worked for the last twenty years with my full mind and my health.

    At the risk of second guessing can I suggest this isn’t just finally feeling well. Some of it may be life stage.

    I was born four years after you, but I’ve lost a lot of time lately with the same topic and my health has been good all that time. If anything, finally maybe slightly having to accept I can’t do what I did at 25 anymore has been part of it (that said, at Power Prog I hung in the pit with guys half my age and lasted longer than most of them). For you the boys are moving into adult life and you are at the summing up point, where you look back and see what you’ve accomplished and compare it to where you set out to go.

    So places where the path was crooked and maybe not all you wanted are going to wear at you. I know. Your boys are moving out. The sons and daughters of most similarly aged friends are and I’m having to accept every day that I wasn’t able to do a key part of life (being the only son of an only son of a very Southern family isn’t helping…I didn’t just let myself down but failed at the whole reason my father wanted to have me).

    So, try not to beat yourself up about the undone years not just because you can’t fix them but because of how much you did do, not just in writing but in inspiring and teaching and mentoring (you brag about some of your mentees success in indie for example).

    And for all the writing that was done under the gun of a bad thyroid and other ills you must not have been that bad. You might not have the 1st Corps the Federation with two divisions of MI like the Lt. did, but you’ve got another 30 years and your Huns are a cracker-jacket rump battalion who are, “A tough outfit with a nasty reputation.”

    I’d say that’s not half bad 🙂

    1. My boss just shared a story about how, umpteen years ago, an unknown fellow with an unknown startup called him to see if he wanted to invest… in… Microsoft.

      And he said no.

      1. People tell those stories. But they never seem to recall the ones about the time that they were approached for investment funds from some guy whose company was never heard from again (because it didn’t succeed).

        1. Ah. Dan and I remember one of those. It looked great. Really great. But there was just an uneasy feeling for both of us. Feeling like saps, we said we’d pass. Six months later the company was GONE.

          1. “Invest, no…interviewed with to watch them disappear, several including one where I took a job.”

            Yes. Four times. Both the small ones were boom/bust, for year before fading down to one person.

            Corporate one divested itself of our divisions assets & let most go. Technically employees had an option to move within the corporation, but it really wasn’t an option for most (including me), no matter where you were on the employee scale or skill (high management or not). Still a good company, we carried the stock for a long time, made good money off of it. Had stock because that was back when you got better 401(k) matching rates if you put the matching percentages into company stock. Only one that wasn’t tech oriented.

            The larger one, was bought out by another company, who really had over extended ending up bankrupt. They tried to “encourage” employees to buy stock, with a lot of incentives. Told hubby, don’t you dare. About the only time I put my foot down. Normally I stay out of our stock portfolio. I didn’t have any information that he didn’t, but it just didn’t feel right. Employees who did take the company up on the incentives, lost a lot of money, as well as their jobs in the end.

            As many of us can attest to, this is the down side of IT & computer programming. For every Google, Microsoft, People Soft, etc., there are many, many, more companies that fail. Even then most the large ones purge their ranks, or hire temp to hire to determine “fit” as much as skills.

            This was the last company I worked at. I just refused to quit (until we could afford for me to retire). Heard rumors after my 6 month mark, talked to someone else who “didn’t last 3 weeks”, who went on to be a manager for a larger software firm locally, & saw it in action with someone hired after I retired. People don’t get fired, they quit, because of management style, not related to the actual work. Not a “bad” place to work over all. I’ve heard of worse. FYI. Best place in the world for someone introverted to work at. If you actually want human conversation with co-workers even when you are working at the office, nope, don’t bother.

  16. Glad things are looking up for you. And “Take no counsel of your fears” is a reminder I always need since my brain’s alignment is out of whack.

    1. My problem is when the rational part of my brain says, “Quit that. It is not the end of the world/cancer/whatever” but my endocrine system has already started screaming, “Shark! Shaaaaarkkk!!! Run!!!”

  17. Human nature is inevitable. Entropy is inexorable. Neither Islam nor Communism will ever disappear so long as pride, envy and wrath endure. The best anyone can reasonably hope for is to fight the good fight. Make the rubble bounce. Take as many of the gorram pinkos down with you when you go before all you love is destroyed.

    And yet, Mrs. Hoyt is right. Because we live in a world of miracles and wonders. And sometimes we win.

    Ca ira.

  18. It’s true that twinges of mortality will focus your brain wonderfully. I first started crafting the book I will be tackling after January when my father was undergoing a health crisis, and I thought “I want to create something to make him proud of me before he dies.”
    Now, many years later, I can accept that he was always proud of me. I just need, now, to create a body of work for ME.

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