Tag Archive | National Novel Writing Month

I’ll huff and I’ll puff …

And then I’ll fall over. As part of my family duties as the best oldest sister ever I went along with my family to check out the University of East Anglia yesterday. My sister might apply for a job there and so she wanted to have a look around the campus. So I dressed in as many additional layers as I could and headed out. It is a reasonably long drive from our home. Plenty of time for me to start and finish a medium length novel on my Kindle. Due to evening obligations we had to be back early so this mandated an extremely early start. I am not accustomed to eating breakfast at 07:30 anymore. My school days are long behind me!!


The campus itself was inoffensive it was just large. I took my stick and plodded my way round. We had plenty of sit down stops but my feet still felt like I was walking on hot coals. It took 2 hours of lying down before they lost their heat. On the last stretch when I could see the car so near and yet so far away, I thought I might actually be sick my stomach grinding away as I tried to catch my breath. My sister followed this ‘mammoth’ trek with a night at a laser shoot-em up evening. Sort of like paintball but in the dark with lasers. I went to bed and stayed there until my stomach demanded food!


So maybe after Christmas I might be losing my sister to grown-up life. Her own rented house and a well paid job while I stay at home and try to convert my father to watching my shows with me. Oh well, she does say she’ll still commute home to watch Strictly Come Dancing with me when that comes round again. Can’t watch couples dancing without someone to critique them with.


Otherwise life goes slowly. National Novel Writing Month has so far been a bit of a bust. I just haven’t been able to get to my computer what with all the other activities I’ve had going on. We are still counting the days until my mum gets her news – 4 days. But my headaches have been low and apart from my feet and legs from yesterday I’m not feeling to bad.


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 10 hours in 1 sessions 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 5 😦
Fatigue : 5 🙂
Brain Fog : 5 🙂

Is there a doctor in the house? …

Well the doctor has been and gone. I had to have a home assessment today with a doctor from the benefits people. If I get a good (bad) report from him hopefully my appeal will be considered and I’ll be given back some of my benefits. Now mostly I don’t care about the benefits. I mean I don’t need the money. I don’t have much to spend it on given I don’t leave the house except for medical appointments. However I do mind about not having a Blue Badge. The Blue Badge allows me to park places most people can’t and is a life saver for having dad drop me off near the front of buildings and such. I sincerely hope I am able to get it back. It has been a pain without it.


My arm is now going a nice sickly yellow with black and purple elements. I’ll see if I can get a photo on here soon. It is not to be missed. I am using it as research on how long bruising takes to fade. A long time apparently.


I got some writing done today so I am very excited that I am making some progress to being back on track for National Novel Writing Month. I got 1990 words written which is over the 1,667 daily word count required but I am 10,000 words behind so I have some catching up to do. Still I have some hope I’ll get there since the ending is starting to piece together in my subconscious.


The headaches are much better today. A bit of acupuncture and upping my Gabapentin dosage seems to have done the trick. Hopefully I can stay headache low for a while. 🙂


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 11 hours in 1 session 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 2.5 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 5 😐
Brain Fog : 3 🙂

When did Life take up kickboxing? …

Just when I thought life was ticking alone fine along comes a kick in the teeth. On Tuesday 6th November I went in for a chat with my doctor about getting my weight down which is an ongoing issue. She decided it might be worth taking some baseline bloods to check for baseline sugars and such. Normally this would be a minor inconvenience in someone’s day, I however am/was phobic of needles. As a 5 year old I had major surgery and so had bloods taken regularly. My mother had to hold me down to accomplish them.


So as a rational adult you would think I would be over it by now. Hah! After 4 years of weekly treatments I stopped having cold sweats as I waited in the acupuncturist’s for my sessions. It took another 2 years before I could relax enough to drift off with the needles in – this despite the fact that I can’t feel them! So I’m heading to have blood taken. I make sure I have something to eat. I remind myself that it does not hurt past a sharp scratch. I tell myself I am an adult and not a 5 year old child anymore.


So then I’m sitting in the car on the way feeling pretty calm – no cold sweats, even breathing. Everything seems to be going well. I get in to the bloods clinic and there is no waiting to speak off so no time to get nervous hanging around. I go straight in, sit down and realize I have non-English speaker as a nurse. I’m so busy trying to work out what he is asking me that I’m totally distracted. This guy was swift. He found a vein first time while I was still struggling with whether he was asking me whether I want some bootleg virus software. Turns out he was asking me whether I was going to use my computing degree to write virus software. Anyway I’m feeling fine apart from feeling stupid I’m having so much trouble with the conversation.


Suddenly the vision at the corner of my eyes starts to go black. I drag in a few deep breaths trying to stave off a blackout. Next thing I know I’m staring up into the face of my nurse. It takes me a while before I’m considered coherent enough to sit upright, then I have to sit attempting conversation with my nurse while they check out my mental facilities. Given I could barely work out what the conversation was pre-faint I’m not surprised they held onto me for so long. Finally I was released out to the waiting room and my waiting father.


Now you are thinking this is a rather minor medical event. I mean I fainted, yes, but I walked out of there and back home for a nap. No problems, right? I wish. For starters I have a huge black and purple bruise on my right elbow crease. I think it looks rather like a kneeling elephant with his trunk out – my sister thinks I’m delusional. Normally this would just be a cause for showing off a war wound. Unfortunately I have also been hit with massive headaches, exhaustion and nausea. I could easily not have crawled out of bed at all this last week. Sadly I have medication that has to be taken with food so some effort was required. The rest of my energy was spent on reading or if my sister dragged me from my room watching tv. The reading helps keep me focused away from the excruciating pain of the headaches.


Of course this week practically unconscious could not have come at a worse time. Well it could have but I was making good progress with National Novel Writing Month. Now I am massively behind combined with the problem that due to complete mind sludge I have still not solved my issues with the details of the ending. So I can’t just start writing either. Arhh! I did have a minor breakthrough this morning which may help me get to the final solution but it is slow going at the moment. I do now have a much more complete background on one of my love interests and his unnamed brother so I have been using my brain at little this past week.


Now I’m off to curl up with a book again and hope the head monster passes me by for the rest of the day. My wake up headache was quite enough pain for one day.


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 4 hours in 1 session 😦
Headache intensity / pain level : 6 😦
Nausea level : 4 😦
Joint / muscle pain : 3character 😐
Fatigue : 6.5 😦
Brain Fog : 7 😦

A dream come true …

A fabulous day. I got in 6 hours of writing and 4,471 words written. My National Novel Writing Month is going wonderfully so far. I’ve actually a wonderful couple of days. My writing has been going well. My sister and I have enjoyed some fun TV watching. I even found time to read a book in the wee hours of the morning. All in all it has been a great couple of days.


My sister is off out to watch Sarah Millican in London tomorrow so I shall yet another opportunity to advance my word count. Hopefully I’ll be able to pull myself away and actually get some food in me. Today it was touch and go whether I would eat anything so engrossed was I in writing. However since my tablets have to be taken with food I was under a pressing obligation to at least eat some dry cereal with my fingers in between typing sentences.


I think tomorrow I will steel myself to eat breakfast before starting writing. That way I can keep going for as long as I like without interruption!


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 9 hours in 2 sessions 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 5.5 😐
Brain Fog : 3 😀

Day One and I’m already sleep deprived …

Day 1 of National Novel Writing Month and obviously my brain was overeager. It woke me up at 5am to start writing. I crawled out of bed managed 3,179 words before crawling back into bed for a couple more hours sleep. At least the writing went really smoothly. Hopefully I can look forward to that every day though I’m not holding my breath.


The headaches have been back today but that is probably due to the sleep deprivation. I only have a couple of days to go before I can start taking another Gabapentin tablet in the middle of the day and see if that helps me reduce the headaches.


I spent this afternoon catching up on my emails to fellow nano-ers. Hopefully I’ll be chatting backwards and forwards throughout the month to get and encouragement and support. The middle of the month is always a tough writing time so hopefully we can get each other through.


Otherwise it has been a quiet day, apart from the rain lashing the windows. Now I’m off to bed to catch up on some sleep before my sister comes home and demands I watch TV with her.


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 7 hours in 2 sessions 😦
Headache intensity / pain level : 3 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 5 😐
Brain Fog : 5 😐

Headache, headache go away; Don’t come back another day …

I woke up today without a headache!!! 😀 😀 Does happy dance in head. The Gabapentin seems to be helping. Although by mid afternoon I was back in headache mode. I spent yesterday and today reading through my novel on my Kindle. Always very excited to see my work displayed on the screen! I went through and made notes about where extra scenes need to go in to line the novel up with my new and improved plot structure. This evening I went in yWriter and added in the extra chapters and scenes all ready for tomorrow. Hopefully I shall arise from my slumber, chow down on yogurt and fruit, and then begin to write about my young male hero trying to talk my young female heroine out of self harming.


It is just 2 hours until National Novel Writing Month begins. I can’t believe where all the time has gone. I think I am ready, ish! I now have worked out a rough outline for the ending. I’m not sure exactly sure how it will play out when I start writing but at least I have some sort of plan which is a lot more than I had yesterday! I have named a few more characters, worked through all the name changes with Search and Replace, taken out a few obvious overwritten passages. So I hope the draft is as it needs to be for me to start work on it tomorrow.


Apart from the writing month consuming all my thoughts I have actually watched a bit of TV. My sister and I sat down and watched the pilot episode of Elementary which we both enjoyed. We have Continuum and Arrow waiting to be watch so I shall have to spare some time from writing to watch them.


Anyway I’m off to rest my writing brain with a little R and R reading. I’m still working my way through the Mindhunter series – I’m reading Deadly Intent (book 4) next in the pile.


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 8 hours in 1 sessions 😀
Headache intensity / pain level : 2.5 🙂
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 4 🙂
Brain Fog : 3 🙂

Who do you think you are looking at? …

Yes, that is the question, who? I’ve been on a naming frenzy yesterday. I need to name 107 characters so far created. I had 88 characters remaining without names but I made solid progress yesterday as I named 22 characters so only 66 character names left to go. Oddly enough in the naming stakes the more insignificant you are the more likely you are to have a name. It is only the difficult or major characters who I struggle to name. For instance at the moment it is mainly family members, military officers and one major viewpoint character who are without names. The good thing about the naming process is it forces me to focus on the characteristics I most want to highlight. With National Novel Writing Month only 34 hours away it has been good to immerse myself in the characters before I start writing again.


Other than that life has been nice and quiet. My sister and I finished watching Series 3 of Being Human last night. Love that show!! Eagerly looking forward to seeing if Lovefilm will send us the first disc in Series 4 quickly. Otherwise I’ve been reading Kylie Brant‘s Mindhunter series. I finished off book 3 Waking the Dead this morning and now am looking forward to book 4 Deadly Intent. I also read Jaycee Clark‘s Kinncaid Brothers Deadly Shadows. I am just loving these author’s novels. I need to find a way to include the same kind of menace in my work. At least I can count such pleasurable reading hours as research for my own novel! 🙂


Right now I’m off to try to name 66 other characters as well as get my head in the game for November 1st and writing 1,667 words a day.


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 7 hours in 1 sessions 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 3 🙂
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 5 😐
Brain Fog : 5 😐

Head banging …

Finally yesterday I did manage to get some work done on my novel. I think I have the plot points sorted out for the four different streams of characters. I surprised myself by actually having a good number of the plot points already covered just not emphasized correctly. There is a fair bit of deadwood in the writing so far though. I need to go through and hack out all the scenes that aren’t immediately required so that I can see the bare bones of the novel and then work backwards adding in material.


Apart from that couple of hours bashing my head against a brick wall it was a nice slow Saturday. I spent most of the rest of the day reading voraciously. I’m trying to stem my recent Kindle addiction buying glut by re-reading my back catalogue. So far I’ve had some success in stemming my book buying urges. I only bought 2 books yesterday instead of 10 books like on Thursday.


With National Novel Writing Month approaching so rapidly I need to get a move on and get myself prepared. I must say I’m still finding it odd to get up in the morning and not worry about what Open University studies I need to complete for the day. Oh well, I just have to hold out till February when my next course on databases starts.


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 8 hours in 1 sessions 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 5.5 😐
Brain Fog : 5.5 😐

I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss …

So I woke up yesterday and thought ‘oh, after breakfast I must get started on some work’. By the time I finished breakfast? I ended up reading all day again. I was mostly working through old books I’ve read before on my Kindle. I was in a romance mood so was enjoying some happily ever after moments.


Today I decided to be more proactive and get going with my novel planning. National Novel Writing Month is just 4 days and 11 hours away so I need to start making some progress on what I’ll be doing during the month. I have some ideas but am still struggling to bring everything together. My beta reader has said I’m much better at the family stuff than I am at the politics stuff which I totally agree with. Sadly I think I have to have the politics stuff so I am going to have to heavily work on those scenes.


I woke up happy today though. The Gabapentin certainly seems to be working to some extent. I definitely woke up in less pain than I have in a couple of weeks. The dizziness I had on the first day seems to have calmed down so hopefully this is a new dawn of  a headache free life. But of course I never get too hopefully. During my Cognitive Behaviour Therapy session (Thursday 25th October) we got to talking about relapse and my anxiety about the possibility of that happening. My therapist wants me to think through a scale of ‘blip’ days to full relapse symptoms. So now I have to pour over my memories and try and figure out what the different gradations of health I’ve experienced are. Not something that makes me feel very cheery. Oh well, never mind, there is always a good book to take my mind of it all!


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 7 hours in 2 sessions 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 5 😐
Brain Fog : 3.5 🙂

I get knocked down, I get up again …

Nothing’s going to keep me down. Certainly not a rush job to get my final assignment in, an intensive thesis proofreading period followed by an all-consuming revision period. Oh, wait, maybe that will get me down permanently!! But have no fear I hope to drag myself out of the pit of exhaustion soon.


Today and yesterday have certainly helped buck up my spirits. Yesterday I had my review with the neurologist. She is a lovely lady. She gave me a lot of confidence for the future. Over the last month the severity of my headaches has been increasing. I’ve been gradually getting more and more concerned that the beta-blockers were not working to suppress them. My neurologist was unsurprised and immediately prescribed a new drug – Gabapentin – which is an all around pain reliever. She really inspired me to feel confident that there are other options and that we are only just beginning the process. There is no reason why we won’t eventually have the headaches completely under control.


Today I then headed off for my penultimate cognitive behaviour therapy session. We discussed my plan for the future. First we reviewed what I learnt from my sessions and then discussed how I can apply those skills in the future. The sessions have been a major help to me. I think I’ve now got a handle i) on saying ‘no’ when I want to, ii) on my anxiety towards certain stressful events such as travelling through an airport, iii) handling my need to always be on the go rather than resting. However there are still some areas that need a lot more work such as my anxiety about relapsing. But overall these sessions have helped my to move from ‘moderate’ to ‘severely’ anxious down to the top end of ‘normally’ anxious.


In my plans for the next month I am gearing up towards National Novel Writing Month. I started back into reading some of my half finished writing advice books as a way to get my mind in the right framework. I’m getting there but am still feeling pretty sluggish from my recent activities. Hopefully I’ll be up to speed and ready to tackle the novel once more come November 1st.


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 9 hours in 1 sessions 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 5 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 3 😐
Fatigue : 6.5 😦
Brain Fog : 5.5 😦