Sunday, October 11, 2020

Wishing My Words Would Flow Like Tears - ROW80 - Preptober


Still haven't started writing this round.  Though I have set myself down in front of the screen with the file open and also sat with paper and pencil but only doodled.  Every time I sit quiet and invite my thoughts to express themselves they do so with tears instead of words.

I had a major meltdown Friday afternoon and have been a big wet mess all weekend.  The only times I was able to stave them off was when engaging in an activity that kept me focused elsewhere.  Binge watching 30 Rock and Game of Thrones was one outlet and the other was dealing with the variety of tech issues with my slew of devices with a particular focus on getting them set up to promote my NaNo and ROW80 goals.

The one big task I'd hoped to accomplish today was to get my entire 1 Terabyte Laptop disc backed up on my new 2 Terabyte WD Passport Wireless Pro.  But after churning it's wheel for nearly an hour it gives me the message that there isn't enough room.  So then I started reading the User's Manuel but discovered my brain was fried and I realized it was probably a blood sugar thing as I hadn't eaten for over twelve hours.  So tho I had no appetite I fixed something to eat but by the time I was finished with that it was getting too late to continue working on that project.

We had just got Mom to bed and I had to make a decision as to whether I was going to post my update tonight or wait until tomorrow.  If I chose tonight I would have to be as quick and brief as possible as the window of time when I can safely take the Trazadone and be sure to be alert and coordinated enough by 9am for Mom's wake up routine was fast closing.  I have until midnight but I shouldn't take the entire two hours just because it's there.  I'm already sleep deprived so ideally I should give myself the opportunity for over 9 hours of sleep.

All that is in reference to the plan I described in last night's post: to keep the weekends Rx free and allow myself to wallow in the feelings but to take the Trazadone every night that Mom will be home in the morning.  Which is Sunday through Thursday.  Tho I've left Thursday as optional as Mom is gone before lunch so as long as I've gotten enough sleep to manage the wakeup routine at 9am it's fine.

I've also decided today that I am putting a time-limit on the week-end wallows.  I'm giving myself the October weekends and that's it. I don't know for sure how I will manage the curtail yet.  I guess I will have to be open to a nightly regimen of Traz if I don't find alternatives.  But I do have a couple ideas related to meditation and getting back to the sort/organize project in a focused way.  Those were the two tools that helped me the most in the weeks after I broke up with Ed last June.

Putting the pictures away for a time would go a long way as well.  I know because that's what I did in June.

I also know that writing itself is a huge tool for helping me process so I'm going to have to break that barrier soon. Obviously I'm writing this post so it is not impossible.  And I was just thinking today that I regret not having kept a simple record of the events and the things I learned and accomplished since the phone call on Sept 28.  And right up until I wrote that sentence I was keeping my eyes dry for this task..  

The only things in the goals list I rate as a success this past week is items 2-6.  But there was a whole lot of progress and focused attention on solving issues related to management of tools, self and time with an eye to facilitating my writing goals.  Too bad I hadn't included any of that in the goals list.

On the other hand Ed used to always accuse me of spending more time polishing my tools and to-do lists than doing the actual work they were intended to create or facilitate.  Procrastination and avoidance were words he used.  Stop talking about it and just do it he would say.  Just start!

Backstory highlights and high and low notes:

The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life

NaNoWriMo 2020

2020 Round 4 ROW80 and NaNo goals:

  • Sleep 7.5 hours Daily Minimum --  This used to be a major challenge for me but I've got it managed since mid March.  Or at least I had until this past week.  Grief has taken a toll.
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15 min Daily minimum  -- proven to provide a high yield return on investment as whenever I've practiced any of them it stimulates creativity, memory, and insight; lowers anxiety, and increases energy, stamina and a positive mood.
  • Storydreaming with note-taking tools at hand. 15 min Daily MInimum -- This is a technique I learned from Robert Olen Butler in the book From Where You Dream.
  • Read Fiction 30 min Daily Average
  • Read/Study Craft 15 min Daily Average 
  • 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.  The autism diagnosis helps explain this but doesn't let me off the hook.  If anything it makes it more important.  Plus this is preparing the ground for future promotion once I'm ready to publish
  • 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. --  It's been years since I've made clean copies of manuscripts in my portfolios and for most of the noveling writing challenges I've never printed hardcopy.  That is a lot of words to mine as between 2004 and 2015 I participated in more than one such challenge per year-- Nanowrimo, Junowrimo, Camp Nano, ROW80 and Sweating for Sven.among them.  That is a lot of novella length WIP just gathering electron dust.  A conservative estimate is over 20.  I've been wondering for sometime now if the neglect of these stories after the challenges were over is at least partly responsible for the storyworld's elusiveness over the last several years.  I'm hoping that this exercise in honoring their existence will cure my character's recent shyness.
  • 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.  This will take most of the Round as there are over 80. See Poems by Joy Renee Portal.  Another exercise in honoring old work to encourage new work.
  • Via the above mentioned Scavenger hunt: Collect everything resembling personal essay into a Scrivener file.  Either this will be added to the self-pup poetry ebook or will become the second ebook.  Or a combo of those options.
  • Personal Journaling 20 min or 500 words whichever comes 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.
  • NaNo Novel 1666 words per day on average. Am going to rebel a bit and bring back a previous NaNo WIP and rework it.  It is fitting because it's premise was rooted in the dynamics of my own marriage. I'm hoping this can be an exercise in grief processing. It's title is The Storyteller's Spouse and it was an exercise in 'unreliable narrator'.  The wife in my story is a YA novelist and the husband is a life-of-the-party natural born storyteller aka raconteur aka tall-tale-teller. I think the reason I got discouraged with the effort after that NaNo ended was because I had tried to lay all the unreliableness at the feet of the husband not realizing how much the wife's denial about the extent to which his storytelling was not confined to social gatherings put her squarely in the same camp. Older and wiser now.
       Am tweaking this goal to combine Storytellers Spouse with another story.  I had forgotten that I've made it a tradition since 2008 to write my election year NaNo in the same storyworld as Mobile Hopes which is set in a mobile home park called Hope Estates.  Each of the novels is set during its election year and the families in the park are living the issues that dominate the campaigns: health, jobs, housing, immigration, women's rights, law and order, climate change, race relations and so on.  Alll I have to do is have the characters move into Hope Estates and share the novel with several other families and I don't have a reworking of an old NaNo but a new story in the Hope Estates series. 
  • 2 tell me a story:

    Rae 10/13/2020 4:16 PM  

    My ex used to tell me to just write, but he'd also say I'd never be good at it. It takes time to get that negativity out of one's heart and mind. Take all the time you need. The words will be there when you're ready. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been very helpful for me.

    Anonymous,  10/14/2020 5:15 AM  

    A friend of mine recently told me we should just cry when we need to, so I guess you need to get the tears out of your system, especially with the many things you need to grieve.
    I wouldn't fret about not being able to write just now, you probably need to focus on yourself and your needs.

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