I’m Wearing a Shirt!!

That might seem weird hearing me say that, but I have not put on a normal shirt that I could buy in a regular store in over a decade. I have been wearing huge, baggy dresses that are either specially made or come from “super-size” women’s clothing stores.

But since I’ve lost 70 pounds, I thought I would give it a try. It’s the biggest size, but it fucking fits! I have tears I am so excited.

Of course I had to put Queen on first!

Queen Shirt Fits

A Night at the Opera Queen

Yay, me!!

Below, Brian May sings his song “’39” from Queen’s A Night at the Opera album. 

This is a song about traveling far and fast, then returning to a changed world. This is exactly how I feel.

Thanks, Bri!

Being Ghosted

I’ve been ghosted several times in my life. It sucks every time.

Ghosted

I’ve been ghosted by midwives, but they are weird, so I am not horribly shocked by that. Although I do want to say, “We did experience life and death together. And now you can’t bother talking to me anymore? How did you come to hate me so much? Some of us worked side by side for years!” Again, midwives are weird women. So be it.

But what about best friends for life? People I have known for 50+ years? People who have seen the best and worst of me and I of them? People who know my favorite music, my bodily functions, my slightest moods? What could I do that is so horrible as to alienate them until the end of my life?

Sex It Down

Ghosted

There are two best friends who have ghosted me, both of whom (I assume because I have not been told exactly) because of sex. Not our sex, but the part sex has (and has had) in my life. One who found out that BDSM had a part in my life and the other because I’m a sex worker. It’s not even like I talked to them about these things! I am not that stupid.

The BDSM one happened through the grapevine. The other one, I told her what I was doing now that I have retired from midwifery, nothing more. I had no idea either would freak out so much they would cut me out of their lives.

I just saw this meme:

Ghosted

I tell you what, this helped me a lot.

Is It Me?

As much as I know the issue was theirs, there is a part of me, a good-sized part, that feels I am bad, wrong, a horrible person. How could people I love turn their backs on me during good and bad times? I know these people! They would never unfriend someone unless they were terrible people, right?

Sharing these thoughts, my vulnerabilities, gives them more power. I understand that. But they had that power by giving me their friendship in the first place; I gave it (friendship and power) to them in return.

For me, it was without limits. Well, if they hurt someone I loved, that would disqualify the relationship, but for fuck’s sake, what they did in their bedroom or for a living? Why the fuck does that make a difference to me?

Hmmm… a little aggro showing. (Hear my British verbiage? HA!)

“You’ve Got a Friend”

It’s true.

You do.

Working on Stuff… and the bloody clock!

I am watching so many Brits now I’m picking up British slang. When I say, “Taking a piss” (kind of meaning “pulling your leg”) you can worry about my up and moving to the UK. (Nevahhh!)

Tristan’s Birthday

Today is my first baby’s 40th birthday. It’s just shocking how fast time flies. He was just put in my arms a minute ago. I love my boy so very much!

Tristan 40

“Operator”

I’m working on a post that is now interminably long called “Operator” which is based on the Jim Croce song. I like it a lot, but it’s more intricate than I expected. Who knew that word could lead down so many rabbit holes?

Operator

The Clock

The fucking clock continues annoying me endlessly. The blue numbers are often in licking blue flames, jumping out of the clock’s face. I wish I were an animator so I could animate what I see. It’s frustrating I can’t show you all this dancing and flashing, the numbers with a life of their own.

I can’t help wondering why it is the clock that’s tormenting me. Am I not in the moment enough? Do I need to watch my time more closely? What’s going to happen when NaNoWriMo starts in 12 days? Will I really be “against the clock” then?

My Clock

Hallucinations

I have mild hallucinations elsewhere. (Can hallucinations be considered “mild?”) I continue being in a deliciously energetic place, so can only assume it is the high end of hypomania. I am sleeping more, so that’s good, but I am continuing to be somewhat impulsive and weird. Work is benefiting greatly from my productivity, so there is that. 

flower

Oncology Report

My labs at the hematologist/oncologist were relatively good. My doctor was shocked at my 70 pound weight loss. I keep being asked if I had a gastric bypass. “Yes. In 2001.” They ask, “A revision?” Nope. I just quit eating Uber Eats and all processed foods. 70 pounds in 5.5 months without starving or denying myself food is pretty damn good. I am proud of myself!

I do need an iron infusion, but that’s no big deal. I’ll have that done next week. Then I don’t see her until the end of December. Wheeee!

Iron Infusion
My Iron Infusion IV… pic from my vantage point.

Scrivener

Off to Scrivener to do some NaNo prep. It’s rushing closer and closer!

Scrivener
NNWM = NaNoWriMo – a few of the projects I need to do for November.

“Death on Two Legs”: When a Writer Gets Revenge

There are plenty of songs, articles, and posts about getting revenge on someone through words.

There might not be any better song than “Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…)” by Queen on the 1975 A Night at the Opera album.

Death on two legs
Tearing me apart
Death on two legs
You never had a heart (You never did)
Of your own (Right from the start)
Insane, should be put inside
You’re a sewer rat decaying in a cesspool of pride
Should be made unemployed
Then make yourself null and void
Make me feel good (I feel good)

This section is not even the worst of the lyrics. Give a listen for the whole picture.

Warnings Abound

When Googling “Revenge Memoir” a slew of posts and articles come up explaining why revenge memoirs are not the way to go about exacting revenge on someone.

It seems like revenge songs are way more common. They would be fun to sing, wouldn’t they?

Queen’s “Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…)” was about their first manager, Norman Sheffield, who swirled in Queen’s money while they were still broke. While Sheffield’s name or job was not mentioned, Sheffield outed himself by suing Queen for defamation. They settled out of court and Sheffield, many years later, wrote Life on Two Legs: Set the Record Straight where, of course, he denied stealing from Queen.

What I Wish I Could Write

There are plenty of people in my life, including midwives, who I wish I could write trash about. Sadly, I doubt that will ever happen. If I do write about my midwifery life, the bitches will be composites and while they can’t know for absolute sure, they will know who they are by their own words still floating around trying to stab me and polluting their own air.

That felt good.

(And yes I know my own words affect me, but they are inside even if you don’t see or hear them and writing them outside is a release. Of sorts. I’ll accept the consequences.)

The following song is perfect to close on.

Funko Roger Finally Arrived! (Quite Hungover)

I got the notice that Roger had arrived, but when I checked my doorstep, it was empty. I looked the 1/8 mile up to the mailbox and saw the box hanging out.

I got dressed, put shoes on, brushed my hair, grabbed my phone in case I fell down and needed help, and began my hike out to the front 40.

Not used to trudging further than to the kitchen, I walked. Rested. Walked. Rested. Cursing Roger the whole way. If there was an Uber that could have picked him up to bring his too-hungover-to-walk-to-the-house-himself Funko, I would have called one. Instead, I had to go pick the yummy idol up m’self (my bad British accent there).

Finally in my arms, Roger’s box (haha, as opposed to allllll the other of Roger’sboxes“) tucked under my arm, I hiked back to the homestead, again in fits and starts. Again, cussing at Roger for not being sober enough to walk his own ass to his new home.

Roger Finally Joins the Queen Funko Team

Once I caught my breath in the house, the journey became irrelevant as I scissored the box open, opened the Funko box, and tipped Roger out of the clear, hard plastic into my hands.

Roger Taylor Queen Funko
Queen’s Roger Taylor Funko

Do you see his hooded eyelids? He even looks hungover! If I had sunglasses, I would put them on him because I’m sure the light is a tad much for his brain at the moment.

My Own Funk-Y World

Above, you get to see how my bizarre mind works. I should put these mental shenanigans on paper and make some cash out of it.

Watch Roger’s amazing live performance of his song “I’m in Love With My Car.” It’s the second song in this medley starting with “Killer Queen.”

It’s gloriously fantastic!

Queen Has a Typo (I’m Going to Faint)

What do I do? 

It is on Instagram on Brian May’s site: @BrianMayForReal and I wrote a comment, but deleted it a couple of minutes later not sure of protocol.

I really am quite distressed.

Queen Typo
“Memebers” instead of “Members”

The Scheme of the World

I know that, with what is happening in the world, this is a nothing.

In my pitiful defense, I can see typos 100 miles away. They make me twitch if I see them randomly. If I see them over and over, I want to fix them with a black Sharpie.

My girls explained that some people/sites put typos in to slow readers down. It slows me down for sure; I leave the site. I do make allowances for non-English speakers or not-English native speakers.

But this is Queen, for fuck’s sake! They have millions and millions of dollars! They have to have proofreaders! I will be one for them if they need one. (Can you imagine? My Funkos on my desk at Queen Headquarters?)

I’m trying to avert my eyes.

It will be a “Miracle” if I can.

How Have I Lived Without Dolls?

There have been no dolls in the house since the kids were little and even then, I don’t remember playing with them, making them listen and talk. The last time I remember playing with dolls was with Barbie Dolls. I was about eight before I was “too old” for them.

Queen Funkos Are the Bomb

I am having the best time with my Funko Deacy (John), Freddie, and Brian. I’m still waiting for party-boy Roger to arrive. I talk to them all the time. It’s so funny how easy they are to talk to. Avid listeners, they hold their instruments and Freddie has a grip on his mic. I squint and wonder if Freddie is going to hold his microphone out for me to speak into. He’s not remembering that what I share is kind of private.

(I am so crazy.)

Queen Funkos
John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Brian May – Queen Funkos

Writing as Dolls

I have kept journals for decades and suppose I talk to the pages as I am to the dolls, but something feels different. I get up to grab a Diet Coke and ask the boys (for they were boys then; ask Bri) to make sure no one takes my seat. Or I ask them to monitor the phone and let me know if I’m getting a call. I’ve never done that with writing.

With writing, I am talking to myself and then answering myself. In writing, it’s more introspection – just like here in the blog.

Would writing as dolls be all dialogue? Would I ask, then answer?

It seems quicker to just yack with the boys.

Sing for me, Barbie!

Bipolar Diary & More: “Time Keeps On Slippin’…”

I am still in this weird hypomania thing. It’s yummy as hell, so not complaining, but time is just weird.

And the fucking clock is still messing with my head. Glow. Not glow. Float. Fall over. Annoying.

I figure as long as my Queen Funkos aren’t singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” to me, I’m not totally losing my mind. (Roger still hasn’t arrived. I am sure he is partying somewhere en route.)

Poking Around

I got myself some poking today. Not the fun kind, get your head out of the gutter.

I got a pneumonia shot, a flu shot, and my third COVID booster (full dose). It’s been several hours and I feel great. No arm soreness or feeling odd at all. I don’t usually have negative reactions to vaccinations, so that’s good.

Scrivener

Scrivener is the software I use for writing. I’ve written in Scrivener for almost four years now, so you would think I know it well.

Somewhere along the way, my Toolbars got wonky and I can’t figure out how the holy hell to fix it. I have Googled, YouTube’d, Scrivener Manual’d, Scrivener Forum’d, Reddit’d, and if there was an adult book named Scrivener, I would have found it from searching the issue so intensely.

Scrivener
Me, throttling Scrivener.

NaNoWriMo Preptober

I’m still prepping for NaNoWriMo in 16 days. It’s getting closer and I’m trying not to get nervous. I have to quit talking about it because people keep asking if I’m finally going to finish this book I keep talking about. I sure hope so!

Be well!

Enjoy The Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle.”

“Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’ slippin'”

IllumiNations Baby

This is a fun birth story I have rarely shared.

When I was a doula for a client, another Disney fan, she went into the hospital to have her baby.

Searching her bags, her husband couldn’t find her iPod. She got more and more agitated, saying she had to have her music. She knew exactly what she wanted to have her baby born to (not unusual for clients to do this).

Mom was telling dad he had to go back home for the music and I told her he would not have time. That made her even more distraught.

I suspected it was something Disney. Baby of Mine from Dumbo is a common Disney birth song. I had my iPod and asked her what the song was, maybe I had it on my iPod.

Crying, she said I would never have it and moaned out, “IllumiNations.”

IllumiNations Music

IllumiNations was the closing water, fireworks, and light show at EPCOT from 1999-2019. It was glorious and I can still see every detail in my mind and it’s 2022. 

As my client cried, I dug out my iPod and connected it to her speaker (that they had not forgotten) and turned on the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth music.

Her eyes opened wide and she said, “You’re not serious. You really have this on your iPod?” 

I said, “Listen for yourself!”

She leaned back, her face went from tight and teary to utter calm with a smile.

Baby Born to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

The birth was wonderful. Mom got her music and it was good.

Afterwards, we could not stop laughing that I had the one thing she wanted for the birth. How many doulas in the world would have that music at that moment for her?

I was never happier for a serendipitous moment as this one.

 

Cut-Up Writing Technique (Thanks Bowie!)

I have easily read 100 books about writing on a wide variety of topics:

  • Inspiration
  • Motivation
  • Technique
  • Tools
  • Strategies
  • Planning
  • Timing
  • Zen and Ethereal
  • Practical
  • Meditative

…and goodness knows what other topics I’m missing.

Writing Cut-Up Method

David Bowie’s Cut-Up Method

Well, it isn’t quite David Bowie’s, but he famously used it.

I do not have one clue how I’ve missed this writing idea, but if I’ve missed it, others probably have, too, so here we are.

William S. Burroughs and painter Brion Gysin developed a variation on a collage, but for writing. Starting with pulling words out of a hat, it has now evolved to using random cut-up word generators online.

Pieces of Words

You can choose words from anywhere. Books, magazines, your own journals, thesauruses online, dictionaries, ads you see on the side of the road… anywhere you see words, write them down for your cut-up sessions.

Once you have them, literally cut them up. One word or thirty; random numbers of words would be my style.

Writing Cut-Up Method

Arrange Them… Randomly

Just pull the words out of a paper sack or a Crown Royal bag, put the words down in no particular order and voilà! You are writing!

Writing Cut-Up Method

Head Start for Writer’s Block

If you are having a hard time thinking of something to write, this is the method for you to try. It is fail-proof! You can throw a handful up in the air and let them fall down like confetti and go from there. The options are endless in how you can do this wonderfully random trick.

Let me know if you have done this before or might give it a try.

Freddie & Bri (Funkos) Move In

Freddie and Brian came today and already I am yacking with them about their new song Face It Alone (below) that came out today. Deacy (John), quiet as always, just listens. Roger needs to get here, but he is probably sleeping with some Funko Babe and running late.

Funko Freddie Mercury Brian May
Freddie Mercury and Brian May Queen Funkos

I’m the Village Crazy Lady

I really am hilariously nuts.

My Funkos Need Air

People are hollering about my taking the Queen Funkos out of their boxes, but I am not a collector. I want them where I can touch them, hold them, and yes, even talk to them.

I haven’t had a doll in far too long.

This is rather cool.

A Writer’s Lament: “Face It Alone”

Queen dropped a new song this morning. It’s so beautiful!

Queen is credited as the songwriters, but it’s clear Freddie Mercury had a large hand in this beauty. It was written as he was sick with AIDS, knowing he was destined to die. The poignancy is palpable.

As is usual with Queen’s music, and all music for that matter, the meaning of the song shifts depending on the listener. I hear it as a writer’s lament, the solitude of writing, and how the words burn inside, needing to escape.

A new song added to my Queen Meditation Playlist, I shall listen as Freddie, and Queen, sing to me as I write.

Queen: Face It Alone (Lyrics)
Video Below

When something so near and dear to life,
Explodes inside,
You feel your soul,
Is set on fire.

When something so deep and so far and wide,
Falls down beside,
Your cries can be heard,
So loud and clear.

Your life is your own,
You’re in charge of yourself,
Master of your home,
In the end,
In the end,
You have to face it all alone.

When something so dear to your life,
Explodes inside,
You feel your soul,
Is burned alive (burned alive).

When something so deep and so far and wide,
Falls down beside,
Your cries can be heard,
So loud and clear.

Your life is your own,
You’re in charge of yourself,
Master of your home,
In the end,
In the end,
You have to face it alone.

When the moon has lost its glow,
When the moon has lost its glow,
When the moon has, when the moon has lost its glow,
When the moon, when the moon has lost its glow,
You have to face it all alone.

PrepTober: Today’s NaNoWriMo Prep

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, aka November… the month when many writers challenge themselves to write 1667 words a day for 30 days, or 50,000 words in a month.

50,000 words is the length of a typical novel.

What’s to Prepare?

Folks in my life chuckle when I say I’m going to “prepare” for NaNoWriMo.

“Don’t you just sit down and start typing?”

In theory, yes, but writing that many words in a month is daunting. 1667 words is about five and a half pages. Not book pages, but computer pages. 250 words a page.

No big deal, right? I sit at the computer all freakin’ day long typing anyway.

Diversions

Damn, the AC isn’t blowing out cool enough air. The path to get there is blocked by the Diet Cokes and the case of water. The large trash bag needs to go out and that’s in front of the computer table that has the water and Diet Cokes under it. It won’t move out of the way until I move all of the crap first. I need to get the vacuum cleaner thingie… the small one with just the right attachment so it will suck up the dirt in the weird AC filter area. And that’s in the back. I’ll have to turn the AC around, but make sure I don’t pull the hose out of the AC unit or the window or I will be seriously screwed trying to get them back where they are supposed to go. Every time I turn the AC, water pours out of the bottom, so I will need to make sure to have plenty of washcloths and towels near, but I’ll have to hang them on my shoulder because I will have moved the table out of the way to get to the AC. I have to unplug something on the plug tower to plug the vacuum thing in… what will I unplug? I guess the fan. Damn, it’s going to get hotter in here. I better get this done fast.

See my dilemma? If I was going to do this on a NaNoWriMo day, half my day would be taken up by scut work instead of writing.

Diversion Definition: Scut, aka Scut Work – work no one wants to do but that has to get done anyway. Often the least senior person on a team is relegated to scut work. This is a common term in the medical world and where I learned it first. Drawing blood, starting IVs, taking vitals, cleaning bedpans, cleaning instruments, making sterile packs, etc. are all considered scut work.

NaNoWriMo 2022

Stop Hopping Around

See how my mind can jump around? Probably like yours, but in different ways. So when I sit down to write during NaNoWriMo (and what I “should” do any time I sit down to write), I need to not wander the Internet, not search for definitions, not look for music to listen to, and certainly not watch YouTube videos.

Oh Yeah, Preptober

I needed a prep for Preptober, but am catching up now.

I’m looking around my space and getting things done that I can ahead of time.

  • Making a couple of playlists (Plenty of writers have a playlist for each character! I am not that particular.)
  • Filling my medication boxes
  • Making a menu so I don’t have to think, just toss something in the microwave
  • Keeping up with the laundry
  • Cleaning the room well and then keeping it clean
  • Etc.

<sarcasm> I’m sure this was the most fun blog post you’ve read in a long time. </sarcasm>

Off to see what else I can prep!

Oh, and I did get the AC filters cleaned, the trash out, and the Diet Cokes and water restacked and every surface cleaned and the floors vacuumed.

Too bad I can’t sleep or I’d take a nap.

Waking Myself Up – Write Already!

I am thinking about this book I’ve been working on for at least three years, three NaNoWriMos and then some.

The working title remains In the Bushes.

Here’s an unedited snippet from an early chapter:

Lisa heard Manny whispering, “Is that one over there?”

She looked and saw a tallish man wearing jeans and an AC/DC tee shirt slip behind the azalea bushes.

“Lake Eola is hopping tonight. Let me go talk to him,” Lisa said.

She stepped away from her friends to follow the older man, now in the shadows. When she was also hidden in the darkness, she softly asked, “Are you looking for someone?”

His answer was more a grunt than an assent.

She continued, “I think your friend might be over there.”

He looked towards her friends chatting out on the sidewalk. She knew they were deciding who would be the first “friend” tonight and who would be the decoys for the cops so the cocksucker would be safer with the guy in the bushes.

“Yeah, you know where my friend is? He got lost. Tell him where I am.”

She went back onto the moonlit sidewalk, pulling Manny by the hand, the hand that was sweaty and sticky before he even got near the stranger.

“Don’t be nervous. Once you get going, it’s easier.”

She yanked him back behind the azalea bush and dropped his hand before turning to go back to the other two guys waiting for her to find them a “friend,” too.

Lisa, Glenn, and Jason sat on a bench together, chatting. They acted as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on except they were out at Lake Eola at midnight, watching the space ship-shaped fountain changing colors. There was no indication that two men were just out of earshot – one sucking, one getting sucked – and that Lisa had facilitated that connection.

She had become their pimp.

Running Out of Chances

What if I died? Would anyone ever see what I’ve written? Or would it end up like the grand majority of unfinished manuscripts, tucked into a bottom drawer that’s dumped out when the writer dies?

I want people to read this. It’s a topic that is part of our history, gay history, and part of my real life. While it’s embellished with a bit of fiction to add depth to characters and scenery, much of it is right from my life.

What will it take for me to finish?

Bipolar Diary: The “Bicycle Race” Speaks

Something I heard yesterday, but was drown out by the other activities of my brain, surfaced again in the night and continues this morning.

You remember the sound of playing cards on bike spokes?

They are humming along in my room.

I have a huge AC and a tall fan on 24/7, so nothing has changed as far as equipment. I turned them both off, together and separately, and I still have the cards-in-the-spokes sound. It’s not as loud as the video above, but it is distinct and I can hear it over both the AC and fan. I have to turn the music up pretty loud to drown it out.

So I do.

Tired of This Reporting

There’s more, but I’m tired of telling y’all every detail of what my head is doing. I think I’m going to take the day off writing about my mental craziness and find something else to chat about.

In the meantime, enjoy Queen’s “Bicycle Race” video below.

There’s nudity.

Have fun!

Bipolar Diary: Rushing “Headlong”

Today got weird.

I am in a small room and it came to life, scaring the bejeezus out of me.

“Fallin'”

A can fell off the shelf (but didn’t really). The smoke alarm rang out twice (but didn’t really). Someone slammed their hand on my desk (but no one was here). A pane in the window cracked (but didn’t really).

I covered my head with my pillow until I could get control of the fear that I was the one cracking up, then I was able to sit and allow the hallucinations their performances.

Why do I think they are gone, and they are gone for days, then come back full-force for no apparent reason? Am I going to have several more days or these noisy, annoying visions and sounds? No scents, at least so far, just the visual and auditory hallucinations. When I was in bed, I thought I felt something crawling on me, but ignored it and it went away, so maybe some tactile will wander back to my skin.

I tried to sleep, but the random noises kept occurring so I got up to write. This way I have some control over validating if these things were real or not.

I have a lot of canvas pictures on the walls and they keep tilting, which is impossible since they are stuck on with Command Strips. I blink and they regain their correct positions.

The best way to describe it is like a not-too-serious earthquake shaking things up, but when I blink or close my eyes for a few moments, everything goes back to their proper place.

“Headlong”

I do wonder if I’m going headlong into mania. I thought I’d avoided it, but now things are picking up steam again. I still refuse to take the Risperdal, so if I fall over, it’s my own fault.

I have not slept since I woke up 23 hours ago despite the try when all the action abruptly started and I gave up an hour later.  I would love to sleep, but am not remotely tired. I do get a bit worried when I have not slept for 24 hours or more, but not much to do about it.

I guess I’ll just keep writing.

Bipolar Diary: Tormented by “Time”

I know y’all are tired of hearing about the clock… as tired as I am talking about it… but for fuck’s sake, it has a life of its own.

Mental Health

This morning, the numbers are dancing to Brian May’s “’39.”

I wonder if I am having hallucinations that I’m missing what with all the focus on the clock and time.

Time

Time is weird because I wake up and think it is the opposite am/pm than it really is. This has happened several times. Not sure why I am turned around, it isn’t like I go to sleep in the light and wake in the dark. 

I counted how long I slept last night because I’ve wondered if I might still be in hypomania. 2.5 hours. Hmmm… probably not so good.

I am kicking ass working, though, but am talking a tad too fast and loud and have to consciously slow down and lower my voice. I’m also writing like a banshee. Work blog posts are pouring out of my fingers. Not doing so bad here, either. I feel alive!

If someone told me what I just wrote up there, I would tell them they need to talk to their psych because 2.5 hours of sleep isn’t normal and needs to be more. But I justify it that it isn’t every night. Some nights I’m sleeping for four hours. That’s better, right?

Fuck, I love hypomania.

Happy it’s still here.

One of My Main Characters Died IRL

While my work-in-progress, In the Bushes, is a novel, it is an Autobiographical Novel and there are composites of real people that make up the characters.

Non-Composite George

One of my friends from my 1978 gay days, George -the name he chose for his character- is being written as his real self. He’d be easily distinguishable because he was widely known.

Was.

Can you see me wince?

My real life friend George died a few weeks ago. My heart aches missing him.

And now I’m at a place where I’m lost as to how to continue with his character. He is integral to the story and being gone doesn’t really move the plot along.

(This feels incredibly morbid even talking about him in this manner, but I have to imagine others have similar issues, yes?)

Real Life Mimics Novel Life -or is it the other way around?

It never occurred to me to ask George what he would prefer I do if he died. Talk about morbid! He was active in the theater community and loved being the main focus of attention, so I like to think he would tell me to just go for it. Make George anything I want or need him to be, just let him have fun.

We had a great deal of history with each other, starting when I was 17 years old and ran into him at the front door of the Parliament House’s sprawling complex. Immediately, we went from acquaintances to confidantes and eventually roommates in several locations. We knew each other well.

We lived for the drag shows. We befriended folks in the piano bar. We disco danced quite clumsily.

When I had my kids, he was a sweet friend who supported me through my foray into straight life.

And now he’s gone.

Where to Go From Here

This is the challenging part of the “autobiographical novel,” – how much is me and how much is creativity?

I’ve pondered how to move forward for these weeks and think I’ve decided to let George lead the way. He does yack with me, so I could ask him what he wants to do next. I could let him have control of my hand and just write it out. I could listen as he dictates his desires then wake up and write the notes quickly lest I forget his words.

I could do all of that.

I miss George.

3 Generations at NaNoWriMo 2022

After being censored out of NaNoWriMo back in March 2022, I vowed to ignore National Novel Writing Month in November, but my daughter Meghann talked me into joining her last night. She and her daughter/my granddaughter are going to participate.

How Could I Refuse?

Three generations doing a NaNoWriMo together? How cool is that?

(Thanks to the dear friend who said, “three generations”; it hadn’t even dawned on me!)

NaNoWriMo for Young Writers

I didn’t know there was a program for writers under 18 years old. They say they start at 13, but for those under that age, with parents along for the ride, they, too, are welcome. I can’t wait to watch my granddaughter’s writing unfolding.

My Own NaNo Prep Begins

I have re-opened my NaNoWriMo Dashboard and updated my profile. The saddest part is having to say, “My project this year is a rollover from 3 years ago.”

What happened to completing a novel in one month? Here I am three freakin’ years later still on the same project. Ugh! That’s just sad. I better make some progress this year or I am really going to be angry at myself.

NaNoWriMo 2022

I know I “shouldn’t” be angry. I am just a slow writer who struggles with finishing things. It has been a part of my life always, starting something with great enthusiasm then petering out. Ugh. I am embarrassed to even admit that.

Scrivener

For the next couple of days, I will get my Scrivener in order. I write in Scrivener, a wonderful program that keeps things beautifully neat and allows writing in a plethora of ways and styles depending on how one writes, keep notes… Planner, Pantser, or (like me) a Planster.

As a Planster, I have a sort of outline, but I also write out of order and spontaneously, changing the outline when I feel it needs to be different. Planners are meticulous order-keepers. I can’t do that.

Save The Cat!

I used to be a Pantser, but read 1000 How-To-Write-A-Book books and saw the benefit of outlines. I tried incorporating them, ending up with a variation on the Save the Cat! Beat Sheet mixed with…

NaNoWriMo 2022

…The Hero’s Journey

I mix Save the Cat! with the Hero’s Journey.

The Save the Cat! Beat Sheet is, to me, simpler and I can embellish highs and lows in the basic outline. Combining them both, with a loose connection, allows me to move freely through my writing.

Besides being a story with an actual journey, my WIP, In the Bushes, has Lisa traveling through her life, inner and outer, as she comes to terms with the lives and deaths of so many around her. The Hero’s Journey works well with those aspects.

NaNoWriMo 2022

Heroine’s Journey

Being the good feminist I am, I tried to map out the Heroine’s Journey, but there were parts that didn’t work so well. I know it shouldn’t matter, but my book feels like it has a lot of masculine energy so the Hero’s Journey seemed to work better.

NaNoWriMo 2022

Confusion to Order

My Scrivener has been a mess, but now I keep it pretty neat.

When it was messy, I was writing scenarios and they seemed to be chapters all on their own, but they were too short for a chapter. Chapters are between 1500 and 8000 words. I feel good with chapters about 4000 words (16 book pages), when I read and when I write.

I’ve moved short scenarios that I thought were chapters into one full-sized chapter and that feels good. If I had a small section on a party (1000+ words), I combined it with the part that explained who lived at the house and who attended the gathering (>1500+  words) and added the day after the party’s section (1500+ words), making it all one chapter with 4000+ words.

Combining the smaller sections has neatened things considerably and it’s helped me to have some sort of sequence I can follow.

“On My Way Up!”

I feel good prepping for NaNoWriMo at the moment. The focus ahead seems doable. I just have to remember to work, too, not just write. (I tend to get hyper-focused and have a hard time multi-tasking sometimes.)

Preptober has begun.

I am on my way up!