Tag Archive | sister

An’ here I go again on my own …

An’ here I go again on my own
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known,
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
An’ I’ve made up my mind
I ain’t wasting no more time

… I shall read my books and write my novel and no more Catan !!! My sister has officially left the building. She is off to wow the academics in her field with her excellent research and presentation skills. She did a practice run in front of the whole family last night which went really well so I’m sure she’ll do great at the conference. I even managed to do more than just listen and read at the same time. I thought up some really tricky questions so hopefully one of them will get asked as she now has answers for them rather a different difficult question. We did practice some cunning sliding answers for if she doesn’t know what on earth the question was about.

 

I spent this morning on the computer completing various tasks. I am trying to complete the transcription of two interviews for my mum so that she can analyse the content for an assignment on the OU. My current rate is 5 – 10 minutes of interview in an hour !! Each interview is 40 minutes long, so I may be at this a while. 😦

 

I then took a couple of pleasurable / frustrating hours writing the beginning of Chapter 5. I’m having a bit of trouble with what to leave out event wise. My current choice is to write a Project Note containing what has happened between scenes so that I have at least got it written down even if I don’t include all the details in the novel. I’m struggling with this chapter because it is the first chapter where we meet the hero’s family. I want him to have a very complex relationship with his father (authoritarian), mother (nervous breakdown), and older brothers (patronizing / condescending). This, on top of a completely new palace to plan out,  fills me with trepidation when trying to write these scenes. I have got my hero to the door of the room but have yet to open it and confront his father. I think I feel as nervous as my hero at the thought of meeting him !! Hopefully if I get the rhythm of my writing right, the reader will feel this nervous too !

 

Last night I spent some time investigating what it takes to have a career in proofreading or as I learnt last night copy-editing. Proofreading is looking at the format and layout of typeset work, whereas copy-editing is the more traditional idea of checking for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. There is a very helpful website by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders which gives a lot of information about training and the skill levels needed. I would certainly consider doing training with them to improve my skills both for my personal writing and possible professional work.

 

Hours Sleep Today so far : – 9 hours in 1 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 3.5 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 3 😀
Brain Fog : 3 😀

Is it a bird ? Is it a plane ? …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 6 hours in 2 sessions 😦
Headache intensity / pain level : 4 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 5 😦
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

No it’s my sister !! She had an amazing time. I can see all her friends being regaled with the story and then persuaded to join her skydiving at some point in the future. I would say it was a ridiculously early start – we left home at 06:30 !! It took us 2 hours to drive there, time to grab a crumpet at Morrisons and then we were standing around watching my sister.

 

She did some basic training on how to hold herself when coming out of the plane, then kitted up and watched the first plane load go up and then come back down. It was really useful to see the first load of people since it gave my sister some idea what to expect and me an idea where I should be pointing the camera. I was on photo duty today. My sister likes to have everything documented so I’m well trained to just keep taking photos and she can pick what she likes.

 

Once you are all kitted up and on the plane it only takes 15 minutes in the plane and then 5 minutes on the way down. So it was all over by 11:00. We went back to Morrisons for a truckers breakfast and then it was home for a nap. As my sister said by the time we were on our way home it felt like we hadn’t been. It doesn’t seem quite real. I think this is due to the sleep loss beforehand !!

 

As always the English weather was interesting. We were not too worried that the jump would be cancelled as it was relatively blue skies on the drive up. However once the first plane load had landed the dark clouds rolled in. My sister went up and while we were waiting the heavens opened and we had to make a dash for the hanger. Thankfully the weather broke for 20 mins. Enough time to get my sister back on the ground much less wet than we were despite having fallen through the clouds. Since it was a fairly long walk back to the car park we sent Dad to get the car for us and my sister joined him so she got to enjoy the weather to it’s full since the rain began to pour down only moments after she set off. Of course by the time we were out of Morrisons at midday it was clear blue skies !!

 

Well my sister enjoyed herself and is already planning the next jump perhaps for a celebration of her (hopefully) passing her viva in September.

Filling my days with Happily Ever Afters …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 10 hours in 1 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

 

Sorry I disappeared again. I’ve had great difficulty crawling out of bed. My sister has had to resort to nagging and bullying in order to get me to leave my bedroom and watch tv with her. Thankfully she doesn’t give up on me and makes me interact with her.

 

Of course I can’t sleep all the time. I’ve been reading my easy reading books. I’ve been bingeing on romance novels. They make great light reading since I already know the main plot outline and it is just the details that change. They don’t require me to engage my frontal brain all that much, they tend not to have really awful things happen to the main characters and there is always a Happily Ever After ending. Although saying that I have needed my tissues handy on a few occasions when the heroes are particularly dense. Mostly I’ve been reading ‘read-once’ books but I also devoured Cloud Watcher by Lililth Saintcrow in a couple of hours after it arrived at the library. The next book in the series Mind Healer is already waiting for me at the library so I expect I will be nose deep in that soon. I also really enjoyed reading The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu. I spent my holiday reading Marjorie M. Liu’s Dirk and Steele series, on my Kindle, which I really enjoyed. The Iron Hunt is a very different style of book but I think I enjoyed it more if that’s possible. Marjorie M. Liu is a very talented writer to write so well across multiple genres.

 

I know I mentioned last time my Kindle buying weakness. I’ve decided I have the backbone of a jellyfish. I really wasn’t intending to spend any more money — really I wasn’t. That hasn’t stopped me though ! I have strengthened my resolve – I will not buy anymore new books until I’ve read the ones I already have !! Which just means I’d better get back to reading so I can zoom through the rest of the books so I can buy some more. 😉

Treacle sponge anyone ?

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 5 hours in 1 session 😦
Headache intensity / pain level : 0 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

 

What surprises me all the time is how unexpected my ME can be after all this time. You would think I would get used to it but apparently not !! The first 2 days back in the country I felt relatively ok. Then boom on Wednesday I felt like I’d had a truck of treacle poured over me. I’ve spent the last couple of days asleep or wishing I was. My sister has required me to watch tv with her but I’ve complied only after sufficient bullying to roust me out of my bedroom. I still managed to sneak away for a few naps and surreptitious reading sessions.

 

I’ve been trying to clear a bit of the backlog on my Kindle so I can justify buying some more books. I know, I know I promised I wouldn’t buy any more until I’d read the ones I already have. But I can’t help it, the urge to read shiny newly bought ebooks is driving me hard. The ones I’ve already got look dusty in comparison. I’m working on resisting my cravings but I’m not sure I’m succeeding ! Oh how I need those Kindle Anonymous meetings to give me strength. 🙂

Keep your finger off the button …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 10 hours in 3 sessions 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 3 😀
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

 

Well a bit of slow day today. My sister has been very ill so she was home today. We watched TV together for a while. We both crawled off for afternoon naps and I managed to read for a while when I woke up before her. I’ve managed to finish Winds of Fate and move onto Winds of Change. Since then we have been watching the latest episodes of The Secret Circle and The Lying Game. I watched a very interesting program over dinner on BBC 2 called Modern Spies which was very interesting to me as a recent addict to Spooks. After dinner Dad came to join us to watch the semi-finals of University Challenge from a month ago still lurking on our Sky box.

 

The library is still holding out on shipping my reserved books in fast enough. I was hoping they would have some in by today but sadly not 😦 Never mind I still have a library of my own books to keep me company. I did spend last night trying not to break my book buying ban. I spent a couple of hours looking over the Amazon recommendations and found quite few new scifi and urban books to try out on Kindle.  So I spent this evening sending my Kindle the samples and then in a loss of will power bought several of the books that were under £3.00. Most of the books I bought were £0.72 which tempted me into buying them rather than just getting the sample. Of course then you get sucked into thinking a £1.00 book isn’t that much different, then a £1.50 book, then £2.50. It’s a very slippery slope !! But I finally got my will power back in operation and resisted the £4.00 book. Still it is on my list so I might well end up buying in the future.

 

Now that I have a huge pile of samples to read I will have to make an effort to read them to check whether I would enjoy reading the novels on holiday. Although now I think about it I think the Whispernet will work in America, I mean I don’t think I have to register it or anything for it to work. So that means I should be able to download any book I’m interested in while I’m on holiday. I often use holidays as a good time to sort through samples into buy, might buy and no. Since they are short they are convenient for when you are hanging around for shortish periods of time and don’t want to get to engrossed in any one book, or for when I simply can’t decide what I want to read like a kid surrounded by sweets who can’t pick which one to start with.

It’s my precious book …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 9 hours in 1 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 2 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 0 😀
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

 

No luck with the library yet despite the number of times I’ve checked my account !! I’m nearly to the end of Winds of Fate and have started carrying the next book around with me just in case I need it. Sadly the number of times I check my account does not effect the speed with which my reserved library books travel from other libraries to mine.

 

As the holiday to Florida looms I took a few minutes out of my day to check my Kindle and see if I could improve it’s running speed. I have got 1762 items on my Kindle with 1GB of space used. Despite the fact that I have 2 GB free and only half less than 2/3rds of the storeable items used the Kindle is definitely running slower the more items I put on. I dearly wish that it was possible to have nested categories. I currently have 8 pages of categories since I store my books by author name for series or genre for stand alone books. Anyway I thought I could look through my Kindle and take off any books I wasn’t going to want to read on holiday. This proved to be more challenging than I anticipated. The problem is that I’d look at a category and think ‘Well I know I haven’t read anything in it for over six months but I might want to next week’. This basically happened every time I looked at a category. I ended up not removing any books / categories at all !! I’m going to make a more concerted effort tomorrow.

 

I’m intending to just move the books into a folder on my computer and move them back when I get back from holiday. Still I had severe difficulty today – tomorrow is going to be a real battle. I think it is shared toy syndrome ‘I don’t want it till I can’t have it’. I have the same issue when I offer books to my sister to read. When she gets near the end of a series I offer her a couple of different first novels in order to choose from. The moment they enter her bedroom I want to read them for myself. I think part of this is that I end up describing them to her which reawakens my own interest in the books, and part of is that the books are temporarily somewhat out of reach. Of course with my reading speed it is no problem to take the book from my sister’s bedroom, read it and then put it back before she is back from her work day. Some of the books do end up disappearing into her room for months as she works through a different series so I have her permission to nick them back as long as I remember to put them back in her room so we keep track of what she has left to read.

 

After 2 years of concerted reading I think my sister has now read about 1/3rd of the books I own. She probably only has 3 or 4 more series left that I’m certain she’ll enjoy. She has surprised me before though so I may yet convert her into being a more serious scifi fan with C. J. Cherryh’s Alliance-Union Universe. She did read Ender’s Game and the sequels by Orson Scott Card and seemed to enjoy them. I didn’t try her on the Bean companion novels though as I considered them a bit too politically intense for her. But that was right at the beginning of her dive into reading for pleasure. Since then I have persuaded her to read some other scifi novels Lois McMaster Bujold Vorkosigan series which she really enjoyed and the Kris Longknife novels by Mike Shepherd.

 

Because of my new tendency only to buy the Kindle version of books I want to read I am going to have to persuade my sister that she’s wants to use a Kindle which so far has been a lost battle. However maybe I can bully her into trying it for one book and hopefully she’ll get hooked like the rest of us addicts.

 

Binge reading the new addiction …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 5 hours in 2 sessions 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 3 😀
Nausea level : 2 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 4 😀
Fatigue : 8 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

 

Having started on my reading binge I was unavailable yesterday. Given the choice between opening my computer and finishing Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks I picked finishing the book. I was very surprised by how much of a page turner it was. I enjoy the urban / paranormal romance genre but it is very rare to come across a book where you HAVE to turn the page and find out what happens next. I literally couldn’t put the book down. Thankfully my sister was fully engaged with a jigsaw puzzle and gave me a free pass to spend 5 hours in my room reading.

 

Lily Yu has a great voice as the main narrator, the main male lead is interesting and likeable and I really like the world building. Given the number of books I’ve read in this genre I’m not sure why this particular series seems so good. I think I might like it so much because it has overtones of the In Death series by J.D. Robb. We have a smart tough police woman investigating a murder who encounters a rich ‘playboy’ as a suspect. She undertakes to prove his guilt or innocence. The two form a romantic entanglement during the process. Now while the two books have very different settings and the main characters are by no means identical in all ways I think if Eve Dallas and Lily Yu met they would be great friends. Perhaps I enjoyed it so much because Eileen WIlks doesn’t allow the romance to distort the plot or tempo of the novel. While the romance is well drawn it doesn’t push the other characters or investigation elements completely off the page.

 

In some ways I actually prefer the Lupi series since I find the trauma and violence in the In Death series a bit much to read one book after the next. Whereas the Lupi series seems to be a slightly less graphically violent set of novels. So once I’d finished with Tempting Danger I immediately went to my online library account and reserved copies of the rest of the series. Sadly none of the books I’m awaiting has arrived yet so I’m left only able to read any of the 1000’s of books I own. Given that I’ve gone back to Mercedes Lackey and am reading Winds of Fate. I did consider reading the Arrows Trilogy but I read them again reasonably recently and thought if I start with Winds of Fate I will probably read at the least the rest of the Mage Winds trilogy before bouncing back to the library books.

You keep needle-ling me …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 10 hours in 3 sessions 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 🙂
Nausea level : 2 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 3 😀
Fatigue : 7 😦
Brain Fog : 7 😦

 

Well I’m back from outer space or at least the outer ranges of my bedroom. I had CBT on Tuesday the 20th and basically fell off my perch since then. I’m just totally brain wiped. I could quite happily have stayed in bed all day yesterday. Of course I couldn’t ‘cos it was acupuncture day ! But that was probably for the best. I do feel better today having been stuck with needles so hopefully my acupuncture session has taken the edge of the CBT backlash fatigue.

 

I’m now getting into proper anxiety mode about my TMA (OU assignment) as the 4th April approaches with no sign that my brain is suddenly going to start functioning. I missed an online tutorial last night which I probably wouldn’t have attended anyway but definitely wasn’t going to make when my sister dragged my out of bed to go out to dinner to celebrate her birthday / Mothers’ Day. We went to our favourite pub where the food was wonderful but the wait was over an hour. My sister and I did most of the conversing. Mum played a game on her mobile and Dad did an impression of a wooden post. Honestly my family is very low key about these celebrations. Of course I wasn’t exactly in sparkling form either since I was trying to keep myself from falling asleep at the table.

 

One of the main topics of conversation was our up-coming holiday in Florida, whoo ! We’re still trying to work out what we might want to go and see. We’re staying in Orlando but we’re not really Theme Park people. There are some great looking eco-safari tours which look really interesting as well as a History Museum and NASA Center. We’re going for 2 weeks but usually only do activities every other day to give me some recovery time. That means we will only really have 6 activity days so we don’t have to find too many entertaining places.

 

Of course the next dilemma is reading material. Now with the Kindle I have no problems but I do have to provide for my sister and mother. Since the plane flight is going to be 9 – 10 hours and we’ll have plenty of down time then I need to make sure we are adequately supplied. I’m actually thinking of reading the Deverry Cycle books by Katherine Kerr. But the first four aren’t on Kindle so I’d have to read them before I went or take them with me if I haven’t made progress through all of them. Of course my Kindle is supposed to eliminate the need for paperback books but since Mum and my sister will need some I might be able to smuggle a few of my ‘own’ along.

Need an industrial fan to blow away the fog …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 11 hours in 1 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 1 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 0 😀
Fatigue : 6 😐
Brain Fog : 6 😦

 

I don’t know – another day of struggling along. I’ve been having very strong heart palpitations all day. I yawned while on the way to wash my hands and had my vision go black – not an amusing situation. Still I did manage to make my sister’s toast as ordered, like a good little slave, without falling over. My sister has yet to learn how to cook toast precisely to perfection the way I can so I’m always called in to make it when toast is needed.

 

My mum had a very quiet Mothers’ Day since neither my sister nor I managed to buy cards for her. We are treating her to dinner on Wednesday but still. She did get lots of hugs and doesn’t expect much from me given I don’t leave the house except for medical appointments. We’re not really a family that does big celebrations for annual events. Mum didn’t buy Dad a Valentine’s card. Birthdays frequently go uncelebrated except for cards and a quiet dinner out. We have made an effort for some events – my parents 25th and 30th Wedding Anniversaries, my 25th Birthday, my sister’s 18th Birthday, my sister’s graduation. But in general we just try to make sure that our family members know how much we love them everyday (not the royal we by the way!).

 

I have been enjoying reading my way through The Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey but I really need to be doing some coursework towards my first assignment for the OU due 4th April. I just can’t get my head on straight at the moment. The heart palpitations aren’t helping as anytime I focus inwards I can feel my heart beating away causing an ache in my chest and throat. I really need to be brushing up on Units 1, 2 and 3 from M363 but so far have only managed to scan the TMA 01 – enough to realize I can’t even read the questions clearly let alone try to answer them! Still I try to take a deep breath and hope for better brain health tomorrow. I’m definitely better this week than I was last week so it’s just a matter of wait and see. Hopefully as I increase my beta-blockers my brain fog issues might decrease too.