Knowing When To Stop

I have very nearly made up the ridiculous shortfall of the last week by writing 5k today. The thing I’m struggling with is whether to charge on, or stop here, recharge my batteries and attack the particularly juicy scene I’m writing tomorrow when I’m fresh.

Let it not be said that I’m not proud of my achievement – that kind of word count is something I haven’t managed since the heady early days of NaNoWriMo, when I was consciously dedicating large blocks of time to knocking out a novel.

This is a different beast, as I am focused on getting into the habit of writing a significant amount every day; that’s why I think I ought to stop. There’s no prize if I tear through a scene tonight only to run out of energy for it tomorrow.

There, I’ve decided – less is more, when I’m on a roll.

I will write again tomorrow!



I have just had my worst experience of cloud-connected writing.

Not only have I previously been smug about being able to access my files wherever I like, I have taken advantage of that exact feature to do some writing in unlikely places – like my son’s swimming lesson today.

The writing I’d already done today – 2460 words, I was rather proud – was extended to 2685 in a little burst of inspiration. I saved the file. All good so far.

I get home, open up the laptop… and the file is corrupted. No matter, I think to myself, and look for the copy stored on my hard drive.

Too late – it was also corrupted.

Now, and I will most certainly be taking backups going forward, I need to try and recall what I wrote this morning, or drown in a pool of my own tears.

Unsmug Kitten Out.

On Marriage, a Rant

A sad realisation this morning. Even if I were to somehow get a proposal before my 30th birthday (we’ve been together since I was 18; I’m 25 now), I’d probably still say no. You don’t take 12 years to decide to keep someone; a year of living together is plenty.

I know I have an attachment to the concept of marriage. We’re raised with it, with this ideal of sharing your life completely with someone else. What used to be an exchange of paternity and security has become an expression of shared commitment. What used to be the thing everyone aimed for has become optional, at least as far as men are concerned.*

This has a downside. No longer is the assumed future of a relationship a piece of paper stating union; it’s a mortgage and kids without that binding that cements the partnership. I, like many others, have had to resign myself to this. What do you do? For me, it was finding an acceptable alternative. Something that would make me feel as though I had grown up for real, instead of pretending like I do now.

My solution: a name change. When I reach the determined age, I will change my name. I will own a new self, complete with new middle name spelling.** My surname will no longer be my father’s; it will be mine. I’ll always regret not having my son’s name, but I’ve come to terms with never giving him a sibling as much as I have never sharing a name. He’s named for my maternal uncles and grandfather (they had the same name, not three different ones), and that’s good enough.

It makes me wonder, this dream we keep instilling in our children, whether we should. I’m not saying we should teach little girls (and boys; my own is a wee fairy princess) that no-one will choose them for life like in the stories. I’m saying we should maybe change the rules. Rules like ‘you have to have a diamond engagement ring’. Rules like ‘it’s the most important day of your life’. Rules like ‘you can’t call yourself ‘Mrs’ until you’re married’.

That last one is a particular bugbear of mine. I will forever be ‘Miss’ – no ambiguous ‘Ms’ for me – and it irks me that women can’t be addressed as women as a matter of age like we do men. We aren’t in the olden days, when women belonged to their fathers and then their husbands; we’re in an age where women can earn ‘Dr’, ‘Maj’, or ‘Cllr’ just as easily as men. Why, then, do we not start addressing grown women as such as soon as they attain adulthood? My other half (we need a new word that isn’t ‘boyfriend’ or ‘partner’) has been known as ‘Mr’ since he hit 18. My son will do the same (though when post arrives addressed to ‘Master’ it’s pretty fun). Why am I stuck with ‘Miss’? If I started calling myself ‘Mrs’, everyone (no, really) would assume I was married.*** We should really remove marriage as a rite of passage if it’s not going to be done by everyone.

Because a woman is just a girl until she gets a man. That’s what I really object to. Doesn’t stop me craving that piece of paper though.

*as men are concerned and told to perpetuate. It’s not ‘manly’ to want to get married.
** ‘Voira’ is not how my mother spelt it.
*** a lot of people already assume that. It’s really awkward telling people I’m his girlfriend and not his wife, especially sweet older relatives of his uni friends. Especially especially when our son is standing there. Some cultural norms die hard, especially especially especially in my romance-novel-loving head.


I’ve somehow fallen into the position of being tired all the time and extremely busy when I do have the energy to deal with things. I haven’t properly written anything since Christmas, and I feel terrible about that. I seem to be emerging from the other side of a minor episode of SAD, so now is the time to take my life back in my own hands.

All my typical excuses (bar the fatigue, that probably won’t go until I’m drinking again) are now exhausted, so I need to get off my backside, sit down at my laptop, and get to typing. Irony fully intended.

The loose plan for what to write is one of my fantasy projects – not the NaNoWriMo one and not the one earmarked for Camp NaNoWriMo – then in February (of course) knock out some steamy romance, which is always a good fallback when I’m in a low mood.


I stumbled onto my Tumblr blog recently, and was pleased to discover that I was just as coherent when writing about a finicky toddler who wouldn’t sleep in his own bed as I am now writing about him reading and asking intelligent questions. Not that I’ve done much of that in the last month, what with my obsession with novelling.

Another cause for reminiscence, though with less impact, was the discovery that I could now get an app for my [Android] phone which I haven’t used since my six-month foray into iOS back when I had the aforementioned toddler. It’s Path, by the way. I’m poking around what I posted, marvelling at the short hair and how little I did back then. There is an excellent picture of me though:

wpid-wp-1448377864139.jpg[It’s a witch!]

There’s also the looming spectre of my previous company – we’re just tying up the final loose ends of our corporate divorce. It’s depressing how adversarial we are now…


Yesterday, I was happy. For a good few hours, everything was lovely. No drama to follow, merely the realisation that this, just spending time puttering about the house with my family, was happiness. It was wonderful.

Of course, that can’t last, but I’m still utterly content, though there was the obligatory frustration with my work computer taking its sweet time loading up this morning. It looks to be a good week.

That was all I wanted to say for now. Just getting my happiness logged for later in the month when I’m having a meltdown and everything looks grim…

Blood Sugar (and other complaints)

I’m having a lot of trouble lately regulating my blood sugar – I get hot dizzy spells every couple of hours, which reminds me I need some more. How do I sort this out? I can’t very well sit there munching on sweets all day. Despite Ryan’s blanket hatred for any kind of starch when trying to lose weight, I’m pretty sure keeping complex carbs in my diet is the best choice. However, having leftovers for lunch, as I’m doing to save money (I have nowhere near as much as I should thanks to a couple of lean months), is not conducive to this. Nor is trying to cut back on portion sizes, as it tends not to be the meat or veg which gets axed.

Whether I figure this out or not, I do need to get looked at again, as I’ve noticed more pain than expected whenever I bump into something, which happens a lot – I am the clumsiest person I know, by a long way, and always have been. It used to be about a second of pain and gone – I would quite literally forget all about it and then wonder where the bruise/scratch/cut had come from several days later. Nowadays, I’m debilitated for several seconds, and then it takes ages to fade away. There does seem to be an upside though – I feel a lot more pain, but there are a lot fewer bruises/scratches/cuts. Helpful when I ding my leg every time I climb onto my bed as there isn’t room to walk around. Less helpful when I accidentally brush against the door frame and can’t continue because it feels like it’s getting cut off.

Then there’s my hearing. I’m not sure whether I need to get it checked by a specialist or if the doctor can do it, but either way when I have to ask my five-year-old to look directly at me when speaking it’s time to give in. I’ve already abandoned earphones in hopes of an improvement, but I actually feel deafer than I did before.

Another complaint is that contact lenses seem to have lost the fight with my eyeballs – I’ve been wearing them for eleven years now and only twelve months ago did I become unable to wear them for the whole thirty days. My eyes get drier faster, and the picture the optician took was pretty scary at my last check. They keep calling me back at six-month intervals, and it used to annoy me, but now I’m seriously considering going for glasses full-time.

Add to this with the advent of colder weather a general flight of blood from my extremities and the accompanying nerve tingling, along with the ever-more frequent shaking of my fingers. Not happy.

Finally, there’s my continued loss of cognitive function. I used to be able to pick things up quickly and remember details with ease, and some of the drop in that can be attributed to no longer being a teenager, but the rest can’t. I find it incredibly difficult to revise concepts I used to know well – such as earlier this week when I tried to do some differentiation and couldn’t follow at all. It’s increasingly difficult to remember what my other half has said to me, which is at best irritating and at worst hurtful. I can’t just chalk everything up to blonde moments, not when I’m headachey and dizzy from the flu-like thing that brought me down last week.

I’m beginning to get a bit scared.

Reading Material Choices

So I’ve reached the point where I have no posts in reserve – and I need to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

I’ve had a spate of ideas this week – including some impressive opening scenes. The fact that my current reading material (Shifter Romance) seems to have strongly influenced most of these suggests that I may need to be reading fantasy in order to write it. On an ongoing basis, I mean, rather than in general. This stunning conclusion also ties in to the knowledge that two weeks ago I was reading different things (an Old Kingdom reread) and it seems to be the result of that most taboo of subjects: the female menstrual cycle.

Let’s be clear; I’m not talking about PMS or the actual functions. I’m talking about the hormonal balance’s cyclical shift from day to day in women between the ages of 13 and 60. It’s taken me until this year to work it out, but my self-esteem fluctuates massively based on the time of the month. My mood swings low (as low as was fairly consistently at the age of 17 – that was a bad year for me), then up to slightly happy, then low again. Outright joy seems to be limited to short bursts during the general positive stage.

The way I’m feeling, of course, has a big influence on the things I want to read at any given time, as when I’m low I really don’t want to be trying to focus on something big and serious. When I’m low, I want to be reading pick-me-up humour and happy endings, hence the preponderance of romance. During that light uplift, I can focus on the workings of another world, but as soon as my mood plummets again I have to drop it.

The website I have half-heartedly been building since I bought the domain has been decidedly neglected of late, with my web focus having mostly been on the TiddlyWikis. Having uploaded them this morning, I now have no excuse to keep ignoring the site, which I really need to spend some time standardising. I may just create a ‘page under construction’ message for everything until I’m happy with it. Assuming I’m ever happy with it. Deciding what’s going to be included is the hard part. Should I put things like progress bars, or should it be sample chapters? Should I create the Runic bookstore or wait until there are a certain number of titles available?

The questions will all be rendered moot, however, until I decide the most important thing: will I do this myself or pay for someone else to do it?

The next item on the agenda is the big backlog of books on my to-read list. See you next time for a rundown of what, when and why.