After reblogging the spoon article I pointed my sister to read it. This led to a very insightful conversation with my sister. It’s not that I thought she didn’t understand my experience just that I was surprised how instinctively she recognized that the spoon explanation is not a perfect metaphor. Even I hadn’t noticed some of the issues it ignores.
So some add-ons to make it cover M.E. that my sister suggested:
the number of spoons you start with in the morning is variable and not always dependent on yesterday’s activities. M.E. seems particularly sensitive to variations in daylight and atmospheric pressure.
activities don’t have a set tariff of spoons i.e. the more tired you are the more spoons a given activity will take. On a good day eating breakfast will cost ‘one spoon’ but on a bad day it might cost ‘3 spoons’.
above a certain number of spoons it is possible to borrow against tomorrow’s allotment however it will cost you more spoons than the activity would usually. i.e., it might cost one spoon to do today but it will reduce your starting total of spoons tomorrow by 3.
under a certain number of spoons borrowing spoons is impossible and attempting to do so will led to a total meltdown of all spoons. It is this trying to borrow against tomorrow that leads to major relapses.
One other thing about M.E. is that your number of spoons varies and it is not always possible to work out how many you are starting with on a given day. I.e. when you first wake up you think it’s a good day and you have lots but by the time you have eaten breakfast you realize that you needed more spoons than usual to complete the activity and so actually must be on a low level of spoons today.
Camp began today! I actually made a good start 🙂 : 2,206 words. I only need 1,667 every day to ‘win’. I had an ‘easy’ chapter today. My new female point of view character, Victoria, is being very helpful and co-operative. Unlike my young male point of view character, Joshua, who keeps trying to go on plot detours despite my remonstrating with him. I think I’ve pacified him for now but I’ve come to dread seeing his name on a chapter heading; hPOe is definitely making me work for my streamlined plot.
Proofreading / editing
You might remember me moaning about transcribing interview over the last couple of days/weeks. Today mum finally submitted her assignment. This meant me having to employ the full range of my proofreading skills. Getting the flow in these experimental papers is really hard. The tight word count makes it tricky to cover everything needed in a succinct but fluent manner. I did manage to teach my mum a new grammar rule: the abbreviations etc., i.e., and e.g., should always be followed by a comma.
Right I will shut up now and go focus on the men’s gymnasts. Yum :-p
Another day crawls by. I’m signed up for the August camp of National Novel Writing Month. 6 days to go! Time is going too slowly. I haven’t got much writing done – only 74 words today. I can’t really focus on writing when I’m this tired and distracted.
I have got my mum’s transcription done though so that’s one less thing on my agenda. Of course then my sister became a much bigger priority in my life. When one door closes a whopping great big hole in a wall opens.
My sister is doing well – tossing back the painkillers ever 4 hours. I managed to get a bit more sleep today but my body is still resisting me. I’m intending to up my dosage of beta-blockers so hopefully that will help. Still I don’t really mind. Time with my sister is never wasted. Looking after her makes me happy even if it is just watching over her as she sleeps.
A trip to the acupuncturist today means at least my back pain is down to normal levels and my headache reasonable. Dark glasses are still as standard though.
All four of us have been laid up today with headaches and generally feeling awful. My mum and sister are on the cough sweets, Dad and I are tossing the painkillers back.
Despite all this, prior to the brain sucking monster returning, I managed to get a significant piece of writing done. After reading my novel through yesterday, or whenever it was, I realized there are huge chunks of information that I know that the reader doesn’t because the point of view characters don’t. So I was mulling it over last night. Currently I have the details of invasion covered as well as the details of the surveillance covered. But I don’t have any information included on the wider military and political action. So I have created a new point of view character ! A big step since this is a completely new character and therefore I haven’t got any fleshing out work done on her. It is useful though since I can use her to give me inside information from the palace as well as female voice to balance the two current male point of view characters.
Right that’s enough writing talk. I must have done something else with my day right! Hah, not really. I pottered about on the internet, watched a episode of Dexter Series 2 and went to bed for the afternoon. Upon crawling out of bed at 19:00 I simply pottered around on the internet looking at NaNoWriMo forums until I could physically get the energy to chew anything. For dinner I went for scrambled eggs, toast and chopped tomatoes – anything to avoid chewing as much as possible. The painkillers eventually kicked in and so I tackled an hour on my mum’s interview transcription.
Since then I’ve been making the rounds of my internet favourites. I was hoping my new book on writing ‘The Elements of Style’ by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White would have arrived today but sadly not. So I shall patiently ( 😦 ) wait for it to arrive on Monday. Please Mr Postman !
Hours Sleep Today so far : – 11 hours in 2 sessions 😦
Headache intensity / pain level : 6 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 1 😀
Fatigue : 6 😐
Brain Fog : 4.5 🙂
For the record four hours sleep is not sufficient for a healthy working day. I was up at 05:30 enjoying the dawn chorus 😦 ; I would much rather have still been asleep. My heart is acting up again. I’ll be lying in bed and it will feel like there is a think layer of insulation around it right in the center of my chest. I get this heavy feeling which feels a bit like indigestion accompanied by that tickle at the back of your throat. Sometimes it even feels like I can feel a value fluttering away in my heart. I’m not even sure that is biologically possible !
Anyway I gave up on lying down and decided to tackle my novel instead. I haven’t been writing the last couple of days and was worried I’d lost my flow. So this morning I read through my novel so far on my Kindle to get back into the rhythm of it. I avoided editing, even though there were some obvious word omission issues. The Superhero Nation articles got me thinking about who my characters are – are they real people or cardboard cut outs? Reading through my novel I feel like they aren’t perfect people so that is okay. But there are some issues with follow-on. The shift from one chapter to the next is quite abrupt. I will have to work on a way to smooth over the transition or key the reader into the change in POV, date and location.
I did manage to write 1607 words today. I think I have the timeline worked out so that I can cover the next set of significant events. Looking at the timeline it is clear I am going to have to go back to the early chapters and add in some details so that it is clear what information is flowing where. I was considering whether I need another POV character to cover the capital and the internal military intelligence situation but I am hoping my main male character will be able to that from now on. So I will have to work out a way for him to be told the information needed in the early chapters.
I managed to do an hour of interview transcription so I only have 20 minutes to go ! 🙂 I still have some commas to check but I am nearing the end of that project. And to cap the day off I won twice at The Settlers of Catan bringing my sister’s benevolent reign to a crashing halt. But mostly whatever I’ve been doing today if I wasn’t writing I wanted to get back to it. I’ve got the writing bug again 😀
Hours of Sleep Today so far : – 7 hours in 2 sessions 😦
Headache intensity / pain level : 6 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 1 😀
Fatigue : 5.5 😐
Brain Fog : 5 🙂
I’m not sure what I did today really. I did spend an hour doing my mum’s transcription – 14 minutes completed, only 30 to go !! I then spent a bit of time checking comma usage before I gave up and crawled off to bed. Of course I did spend a bit of time pottering around on the internet. 🙂 I’ve got a regular routine of pages I check through when I get on the computer first thing: Hotmail, Facebook, NaNoWriMo, Superhero Nation, here.
My sister arrived home not long after I got up so we have spent the evening watching DVD’s: The Big C – Season 1 final 4 episodes and Las Vegas disc 3. A good way to spend 6 hours !
I still haven’t got back to reading any fiction yet but I have looked longingly at a few of my favourites. I’m intending to implement The NORTAV Method on a couple of my favourite authors once I get some time, so I have made a ‘little’ pile of them by the TV.
Novel wise I haven’t written anything for a couple of days. I’m trying to work out what I need to do with my male character to make him believable. I’m a bit worried about him being too ‘nice’. I’m thinking I need to have someone read what I’ve written so far and tell me what they make of the characters so far. That way I can gauge whether my image of the characters matches the readers experience of them. My best friend V said she would help me out with proofreading so I may ask her to be my beta reviewer. I know she is not a big reader, or fan of fantasy so she would be a naive reader to the genre. I might have to find someone familiar with the genre who will be mean to me if I need it.
I’ve written 4000 words today. None of them in my novel !! It is that darn website www.superheronation.com. I had a look at their page asking for individuals to write articles for them, just out of curiosity mind you. This was a mistake. You see they have a list of topics they would like articles on and I went and read it. Big, big mistake ! I found a topic where I immediately had some thoughts. I then spent last night unable to escape thinking about it.
I spent my hour to and from the acupuncturist mulling it over in my head. Then I spent 5 hours tonight writing up an outline and fleshing it out. It just happens that this topic coincides with a on-going process I’ve been working through in my own writing. So I am bubbling over with advice on the topic. (I’m keeping the topic a secret for now!)
Well even after all the time spent on it so far it is best not to get my hopes up. I mean it’s not like I’ve got any professional skills, nor any way to prove my knowledge of the field. I’m not a published author or even a professional writer in any form. Well I emailed the site tonight with my outline and an example of my style and we’ll have to wait and see what happens next.
Of course what I should have been doing was transcription for my mum and checking comma usage. Oh well maybe tomorrow. 😦
I spent far too long on the NaNoWriMo forums today. I dragged myself to the dentist to get the last of my fillings, yeah! 🙂 I then spent 4 hours pottering about on the internet when I got back. I should have gone straight to bed but I kept getting sucked into another post ! Worse I found a new website to get sucked in by – www.superheronation.com
The website contains a great set of writing guides which had me absorbed for hours ! I worked my way through:
You can see why I got stuck on the internet for far too long today!
Before I got stuck in the sinkhole of forums I did manage to get some plotting work done on my novel. I went and found a piece of free timeline software which will allow me to keep track of where everyone is across three story arcs. I’m not actually including the villains much in direct text but their actions affect everyone so I need to know what they are doing and when. It is especially useful because I need to know when certain parts of the campaign happen so I know when the news would reach my characters. I can’t have them reacting when it hasn’t happened yet or a week too late ! I don’t think I’ll actually use a date system in my book but it helps me keep track of the time between events i.e. traveling between cities takes time.
I started reading Elizabeth George’s Write Away: One Novelist’s Approach To Fiction and the Writing Life while hanging around at the dentist’s. I’m not very far in but I am enjoying it so far. I really must get back into reading fiction again. I’ve been off the boil for the last week or so. I shall make a determined effort to read a J.D. Robb or Lois McMaster Bujold tonight or tomorrow to keep my hand in. Also I really must get back to doing some Open University work but I still have the interview to transcribe for my mum, boo! 😦 Maybe tomorrow / today I will be more productive.