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. 🙂
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!
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.
11 days until Open University software development exam – ahhh! :-S I began my revision this morning with creating a breakdown of the 6 past papers I own. It is amazing the patterns in questions. I can now tell you with 99.9 % confidence that I will need to draw a state diagram for question 6, that at some point I will need to draw an activity diagram, state the signature and specification of an operation and redraw a communication or sequence diagram to it’s counterpart diagram. I’m feeling much more confident now I see what I need to revise and what I don’t.
By the way my sister’s thesis was submitted on Thursday 28th September. I had only one day where I only got 3 hours sleep trying to get it all down. However we did have a week of eating, sleeping and proofreading! The end product was well worth it – it looked like a professional document, which is what we were aiming for. I am incredibly proud of my sister’s hard work, determination and professionalism. I’m expecting that she shall excel in the academic world. She has already been asked to oversee an analysis of undergraduate statistics performance. Now we begin the preparation for the viva (an oral exam) – she is worried about it but I know she’ll do herself proud.
After all that stress I’ve had a few days hibernating with a series of good books – getting my head out of thesis space. I’ve found myself in a romantic suspense mood so I’ve been motoring through different series – I think I’ve read about 15 books in the last 4 days. I’ve added Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick), Suzanne Ferrell (Kidnapped), Katie Reus (No One to Trust), Tess St John (Don’t Let it Show), and Julie Ann Walker (Hell on Wheels) to my list authors to watch for new releases list. I’m very excited because the nest book in Julie Ann Walker’s series is out tomorrow so I am counting the hours! I’m gradually working my way through their back catalog’s; it will be a good way to get some time out from software development definitions and diagrams.
I did manage to get a little time in on my novel on Saturday. I tried to outline my plot using the 7 Point System. I know I have to outline the plots for at least 4 of my characters since they are point of view characters but I think I may have to outline other characters as well mainly the bad guys. It is much harder than it looks! But I’m getting there. Hopefully once the exam is done I’ll have time before the November National Novel Writing Month to get myself ready to rewrite and finish this novel.
Wonderful but exhausting. I slept on the way home which is very rare for me and then had fours asleep as soon as I could stumble into bed. I find the face-to-face tutorial extremely useful for the exam revision. I wish we had been able to go a bit more in-depth with the exam question analysis but what we did was helpful. I was able to get some of my quibbles answered regarding my final assignment so I shall be fiddling tomorrow and then submitting as soon as possible.
National Novel Writing Month
I had honest to goodness tears in my eyes as I validated my novel yesterday. I made it! 31 days of thinking about my novel everyday, supporting my fellow campers and here I am a successful National Novel Writing Monthwriter.
I’m a winner!
This is me hitting the 50,000 word bullseye
My total word count for this month came to 50, 802 words. I did cheat slightly. I’ve been using acronyms for a lot of my military characters like DHMI for Deputy Head of Military Intelligence to save my fingers as I write. But this morning I went into Search and Replace and put in all the full names so I increased my word count without actually writing. Of course on the re-write I am going to have to think of actual names for all these people. They can’t just be job titles forever!
The assignment is complete – all six questions!! Whoo 🙂 Does imaginary dance around room. Well, not complete, complete but mostly complete. I still have a few questions to clarify marking niggles with my tutor face-to-face on 1st September. But hopefully he can clear up that slight concerns I have over whether I’m answering the question as intended. Then it will be ready to hand in! Of course my up coming tutorial is also covering the imminent exam so I’ll have plenty to keep me busy course work wise after this assignment is sent off.
NaNo August Camp
My writing has been going stupendously well. I’m now on 45,000 words for NaNoWriMo August Camp and 90,000 words overall. My characters are organizing themselves to all be in the same place at the same time so I feel a finale coming on. It looks like the novel will run to about 120,000 words after all. Though I am going to probably going to either have to add in some scenes or flesh out some current scenes. At the moment I see to be missing any external antagonists for my main characters so I am going to have beef up those elements. There is probably plenty of stuff that can be cut though so I imagine the word count will end up decreasing over all as the rewriting / editing process rolls out. I hoping to finish the first draft of the novel by the end of September. I’ll take October off to focus on my exam and recovering from my exam. Then come November and NaNoWriMo I shall tackle the rewrite and editing – oh, won’t that be fun!
In meantime my assignment might be resting but my sister needs her PhD proofread, all 80,000 words, by September 28th. So I shall be keeping busy!
Great day yesterday. I got 1,800 words written and then another 2,000 this morning, whoo! I have to write 3,356 words over my daily amount of 1,667 to get back on track though. At least I’m back writing again 🙂 I was writing some scenes I skipped the first time so there is only two more back scenes to have work added in. All these back scenes were worship ceremonies which took me an age to write as they needed me to go and do a lot of research to get the tone of the prayers right. Now I have choice between tackling a whole new set of characters in a big family meeting or going to a back scene where bad news is given and fleshing it out. Humm, not sure I like either of those options!
The big event of yesterday was I took a shower. Not something I do often as it is a huge physical strain for me. But I am now squeaky clean and sore all over. I requested a nap afterwards but was required to join in family time. Somehow I managed to fool everyone as to my goal and win at Anhk-Morpork: Discworld Boardgame – on points rather than completing my goal but still.
I’m counting down the days until my assignment deadline (14). I have an estimated 7 days of work left to do on it so I thought I was safe to take today writing rather than studying. I’ll probably take Unit 11 in the care with me to read on the way to my acupuncture appointment so I’ll get in 20 minutes of work today. I’ll most likely be too tired to read on the way back but I might be awake it does vary week to week.
As I’m now on the countdown to leaving the house I best get into my scripted actions. First off breakfast!
I love her, really I do! But yesterday, in her absence, I stormed my way through a pile of work. Of course I probably should have taken some time out but that’s neither here nor there. So I managed to get Unit 10 and it’s questions done. I got in my 2 hours of writing and 2066 words written. I cleared my backlog of email replies. I also finished up some amendments to an article I’m working on. All in all, a very full day.
This morning I’ve managed to get Unit 11 and its questions done so now just Units 12, 13, and 14 to read. I’m not sure about Unit 12. It is a case study unit that is not directly assessed. I might leave reading it until later. Yesterday I also downloaded past papers for my exam so I’m ready to face revision post the September 5th assignment deadline.
Today is going to be a big day because we are out to dinner as a family. It is my parents 33rd Wedding Anniversary so we going out to celebrate them not killing each other or us children in all that time. We also have a present for them which will need immediate family time after dinner so I don’t expect to back to work before tomorrow.
If I’m sensible, for which I make no claims, I’ll take tomorrow off to recover. I might even be persuaded to go outside and enjoy the glorious sunshine.
You’ll be pleased to know that I’m actually back on the work wagon. I’m only about 6 weeks behind! I have an assignment due on the 5th of September and six units to read. I read my first required unit today and answered the accompanying questions. So only five more units and four questions to go. Unfortunately today’s unit was the easy one. Tomorrow’s is twice the size and complexity and it only gets worse from then on. The questions for the unit involve word counts – always a bad sign. 10 marks for 160 words is a lot of pressure per word to perform!
I should have more time to get work done now. The Olympics is finished so I have a couple of weeks without sport competing for my attention. My sister is also back to her normal self now and so is working for longer sessions. Still there are plenty of distractions. We have the last disc of Dexter Series 2 to watch, four new variants of The Seafarers of Catan to play for the first time, a new board game currently in hiding and my parents’ wedding anniversary on the 18th. I still have to get the final proof of the novel I was copy-editing finalized. I have my writing advice article in the works. And then there are the ever present NaNo emails and forums.
My sleep seems to have reverted back to a normal-ish pattern now and I’m feeling much more alert so hopefully I’ll be able to stay on track. I need to get over 80 in my assignment to have a chance at a first in this course so I need to work hard at really understanding what the question wants. Once the 5th of September passes it will be onwards to the exam 😦 I’ll need to start preparing and revising as soon as I can if I want to get over 80 on the exam!
70,000 words!! Woo 😀 I had a blinder yesterday and actually wrote over 3,000 words in one session. I’m now well ahead of my daily count for NaNo August Camp. I think I might end up cutting or reworking some of it in the editing stage though. I was struggling with how to show a particular event. Should I use flashback or real time? Which point of view character should I use, as three of my main characters are present? It took me a few attempts but I finally settled on real time and my usual point of view character, Joshua. I think the other participants reactions are easily understood from observation but his internal emotions are more complex in this particular incident.
I am a bit lost as to what happens next. I have a strong pull to write up all the details concerning this incident but I wonder whether that is overdoing it. I already think I may have written too much detail. It might be better to skip forward in time and just show the rest of events in summary. Anyway I’ll have to figure it out soon!
So I’m lying in bed, and feel a tickle on my arm. I think ‘oh, a hair is tickling me in the breeze from the fan.’ I brush my arm down and think nothing of it. Then I feel a tickle on my other arm. I brush it off but decide since I’m not all that tired that I’ll get up. So I have pulled my clothes on again and turned round to get my phone. There sitting on my pillow is this HUGE spider. I mean not a tiny, little penny spider. No, this thing had a body the length of my thumb knuckle.
Repressing the desire to scream and brush my arms off frantically I turned urgently to find something I could trap the intruder with. I located a bottle top and a piece of paper. So now the little blighter is roaming free outside my bedroom window. There was no way I was going back to sleep after that. I came downstairs to enjoy an hour pottering about on my computer before I got tired enough to lie on my bed without being totally creeped out. I did seriously consider sleeping with my light on. I definitely did a complete scan of all vertical surfaces in my room for any black spots before turning out the light.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
I talked myself out of working today. My therapist got me talking about overdoing yesterday. I am a chronic work-a-holic. Once I start feeling better I find it very hard to take rest and relaxation time. My CBT lady was helping me to work though my anxiety about stopping and taking a break. It turns out that I have seriously skewed ideas about cramming everything in just in case tomorrow I can’t. Of course this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as over-working causes relapses so then I can’t do.
So she has said that I shouldn’t do any high mental activity before 9am. Given that I’ve been doing all my novel writing at 6am this is a major change to my schedule. She has also said that I should be taking at least an hour or two out every day to rest and relax. So now I have to mandate an hour of fiction reading everyday. This is going to cause serious issues in my email replying schedule.
But it didn’t impact my novel writing though. I stayed lying down in bed until 10am and then was lucky as my sister crashed out. I got three hours writing. The words were flowing out. I got three scenes and over 3,000 words written. So now my total word count is just shy of 65,000 words. So looks like my CBT therapist knows what she is talking about.