Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Blue Screen Angst - ROW80 Check-In

Blue Screen Angst

On the evening of Tuesday, June 23, while my mom was preparing for bed my computer froze in the middle of a video and then presented me with the above screen.   I recognized it as the screen that announces "Your computer has a problem.  We're gathering date and preparing for a restart"  But the text was unreadable with the pixels all crawling all over each other.  Half an hour later nothing had changed and there wasn't any sounds of hard drive activity.  I planned to do a forced restart as soon as Mom's lights out ritual completed but when I returned from Mom's room the screen was black with white text that read: Please insert boot disc.

I yelled down the stairs for my nephew who came up and sat in front of the screen shaking his head for a long time.  I was freaking because I'd just realized that I hadn't backed up my files onto the external drive for months.  Not since at least last summer well before I started prep work for NaNoWriMo.  Tech geek tho he is, he had no better idea than the one I'd been planning to implement on the first screen:  forced restart.  So with my blessing that's what he did.  And I lucked out when the restart ended on the usual sign-in page and the sign-in landed me on my desktop.  But he cautioned me that since we had no idea what triggered the issue I should not open the browser nor any aps until I had rescued my files.  That way if opening a file or ap triggered another crash at least I would have my files.

That took the entire night.  The last of the file transfers happened nearly twelve hours from the moment the blue screen appeared.  By then Mom was awake and dressed and awaiting her breakfast tray.  And I had found myself passing the 24 hour mark awake for the first time since the April read-a-thon and for the only time in several months that had nothing to do with an event for which I'd planned to stay awake.  There was a time when I would have seen this as a failure because I'd broken the long streak of successful full night sleeps but I was able to see it instead as a simple anomaly and be grateful I had been able to stay awake to rescue my files and confident that it was not an harbinger of a return to hit-and-miss sleep.  I knew I had the tools and skills to get right back on track.

And so I did.  I planned my day to make sure I was ready to crawl into bed as soon as Mom was ready for lights out Wednesday night and I slept twelve hours and by the time I'd had my first coffee Thursday I felt as though nothing untoward had happened.  Mood, energy, stamina, brain power were all back to the status quo I'd been enjoying for months.

That brings me to today's events that are affecting the fulfillment of the ROW80 goals I just posted Monday.  My computer started getting sluggish late Tuesday and then it told me it needed a restart to install updates.  But I as usual had too many aps and browser tabs open with tasks awaiting completion so getting those handled had to take priority over the ROW80 goals especially any that required opening any more aps or windows.  Tho I did allow myself to open browser tabs to complete social networking tasks, visiting ROWers to see their goals and leave comments.  I probably tripled the goal for that while completely bypassing anything involving opening a word processor or Scrivener.  I wrote long comments in a few cases which might be considered a substitute for journal entries.

To add to today's angst, my sister informed me late last night that she was going to have to take Mom to the doctor today and ended up spending the afternoon and evening in the ER with Mom who'd been exhibiting signs of a small stroke since Sunday night. Mom has been spending the week with my brother's family and the symptoms weren't texbook so it took awhile for the back-and-forth texting and phone calls between my sister and my brother and his wife to lead them to that conclusion. Turns out there were no signs of stroke in the scans so it's still a mystery why her speech is slurred and she's listing to the right.

Do I need to spell it out that this has taken up a lot of mental and emotional bandwidth for the last 24 hours?  If I could have opened my journal and invested that particular angst into it that would have helped but I couldn't or rather I couldn't open the established one on my main computer and the alternatives I've worked out since and discuss below had not yet occurred to me.  i.e. having alternative journal options for emergency situations. 

Overall tho I consider the first half week a success.

2020 Round 3 ROW80 and July Camp NaNo goals check-in:

* Sleep 7.5 hours Daily Minimum --  Very Good
* Move/Breathe/Meditate 15 min Daily minimum  -- Satisfactory effort
* Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15 min Daily Minimum --  a technique I learned from Robert Olen Butler's From Where You Dream. -- Satisfactory effort
* Read Fiction 30 min Daily Average -- Above and beyond
* Read/Study Craft 15 min Daily Average -- Satisfactory effort
* Social network activities 30 min Daily Minimum (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) -- something I've a strong resistance to.  -- Above and beyond.  Probably clocked two hours each day.
* 30 min Daily minimum engagement with a scavenger hunt though all my creative writing files including Joystory looking for better than shitty first draft scenes, sections, stories, poems and essays and edit, organize and make hard copies. --  Zero effort but understandable due to circumstances so will not say unsatisfactory.
* To prep for self-pub: Gather all my poems into a single Scrivener file. Minimum one poem per day until all accounted for.  Adding new ones encouraged.  . --  Zero effort but understandable due to circumstances so will not say unsatisfactory.
* Personal Journaling 45 min or 1000 words whichever come first Daily Minimum -- This is the heart of the writing challenge.  The preceding provides the structure and the nutrients that nurtures and honors the work which I've learned over time must exist to ensure that this becomes more than just dabbling.  . --  Zero effort but understandable due to circumstances so will not say unsatisfactory.  

note to self:  set up a tree notebook journal I can default to in future and/or an Evernote notebook I can access with one of my android devices and the Bluetooth keyboard I use with them.  Having alternatives provides flexibility and encourages thinking outside the box in the midst of unexpected events and stressors. Lack of flexibility is an issue with Asperger's and if I knew how to create a measurable goal to address it I'd include one for ROW80.  These concepts just came to me while I was prepping this 'report card'.

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