Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Back on Track

Getting sick really threw me off schedule for my writing, but I think I can still get all the books I wanted to publish done before the end of the year. I'll just need to focus and make sure that I kick my husband off the computer as often as I need to.

I've got everything I need to finish and publish the Hike with Me on the most recent trip to the Olympic Coast, and I've done all the workouts that I wanted to do for the CrossFit book. Those I plan to get published this weekend. Then I just need to finally finish writing the September ICT segment that I did and pick photos and get that all put together.

That last one will take some serious time, but I'm going to have a whole week off of work over the holidays, so there's no reason I can't get it all done before the new year. And then I'll have published six books in one year which would be a new record for me. I can't believe I have so many Hike with Me books now, but doing three in one year will really bump up the overall total.

As my cold is fading away, I'm starting to feel my stomach again. I kind of hoped that I would just be sick through the adjustment period and the Prozac would be working by the time I felt better, but it was not to be. I'm back to feeling painfully bloated and gassy. But I'm not feeling the side effects as much, so that's something. Tomorrow will be four weeks, and I'm supposed to give it four to six to start working, so I really hope it starts working soon.

Even with being sick, I've been keeping up with my Spartan training workouts. I'll have to take a week off of those when my gym is closed for the holidays, but other than that, I want to keep steady on it. I know that it takes time and consistent effort to get results, which is why I started training in November for a June race. If I could be half as disciplined with my writing, I'd have dozens of novels by now...

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


I haven't been sick like this in a while. I've got that awful rattling cough and I'm exhausted and all I want is to feel normal again. I mean, on the bright side, I'm not thinking about getting used to the Prozac anymore, because the crud has taken all of my attention.

So that's something.

But the big thing is I haven't been working on my writing. I still need to finish the write up for my latest ICT segment, and I'm needing to do final proofing on the Olympic Coast book.

However! I did get my other ICT book out and published. Yay! That's three books published so far in 2018, and I'm actually going to try for three more before the end of the year, which seems kind of nuts, but it will just take some focused concentration.

And not being sick anymore would be very helpful, please, thank you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Well, my blogs are late this week. I'm not adjusting well to the current medication scheme. I can only hope that things start to improve soon. In the meantime, I've got work to do.

Ambrose has finished his read-through of both proofs, which means I have some editing to do. I've already fixed the pictures for the solo trip; I just need to place them, which I'll do as I do the text editing he has recommended. Well, some of it. We disagree, in some instances, as to the proper place of the comma. Since I have a degree in English, I win those arguments.

I've sent the proof of the ONP trip to Bill (who went on that hike with us), who has already reviewed the text but deserves a chance to review the captions as well, especially since some of them are his pictures which I want to make sure I've attributed to his satisfaction.

Once I get all my editing done, then I'll need to create the ebook versions. I sometimes do that before I finish editing, but then I have to edit two documents with the same corrections and that's not really very efficient.

I still need to finish writing up the account of the September solo trip; I've fallen off of writing regularly again. No excuses really. I just need to bear down and get that last bit written. I think I will be able to publish all of these in 2018. Plus the CrossFit book, for which I've redone the first CrossFit workout that I ever did. I want to redo a few more, but I might not, depending on timing. I'd like to release that book on the 5 year anniversary of my starting, but we'll see. That's 12/17.

I have plenty to do, I just need to figure out a way to do it while I'm experiencing constant stomach pain.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Rocky Start

Taking anti-depressants while not depressed is a strange sensation. In my experience taking anti-depressants in the past, I never noticed any kind of effects until I tried to get off the medication. Well, there were a couple different ones. On the Effexor, I never noticed much until the head zap withdrawal symptoms. On Wellbutrin, I noticed that I no longer wanted to smoke cigarettes and I actually quit while on it. And then the withdrawal from that was just needing to take a nap for about a day every time I decreased the dose. Not bad.

But with this Prozac that I'm taking to try and treat the IBS (an off label use my doctor has prescribed), I noticed effects really soon after I took the first dose. My doc said that I might feel "activated" and I didn't know what that meant until I felt it. I wasn't feeling hyper, but I just felt a little more... active. In my thoughts and also somewhat in my body. A lightheadedness. And my stomach went from feeling bloated to feeling super bloated.

Now, I'm taking this to try and fix my IBS, and one of the side effects is, essentially, upset stomach and constipation, the exact things I'm trying to avoid. My doc told me to look at any GI symptoms in a positive light, in that if the drug was affecting that area, that meant it might help it later on once I reached an effective dose. Which is not very comforting when I feel like I'm going to burst. I even dreamed that I was pregnant, which I completely blame on the feeling of largeness in my tummy (I'm not pregnant).

I won't really know if the medication is helping until I've been on it for 4 to 6 weeks. I really hope I start getting used to these side effects soon.

Or at least that the tummy issues subside, because right now I feel like I'm making the problem worse instead of fixing it.

On the brighter side, I'm getting well on with the books I want to publish before the year is out. Amazon switched its paper copies from CreateSpace to the Kindle Direct interface, and I wasn't sure how those would look, so I ordered a proof copy for the May ICT section book to be sure the new service translated my files correctly. It looks good, and I'm just waiting on Ambrose to do a proofread before I go in, fix things and publish.

I'm working on captions for Return to the Wild Coast, and I hope to have the proof for that ready to go by the end of this long weekend. Then I just need to finish up writing the September ICT trip and my CrossFit book. I just might get them all published in 2018!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

IBS Alternatives

At my annual wellness exam, my provider suggested that I might consider trying low dose anti-depressants to treat my irritable bowel syndrome issues. She said that using about a quarter or less of what was considered a therapeutic dose for depression had been shown to help with IBS. I said I would do some research and get back to her.

I'm not entirely convinced that the issues I have are caused by IBS and not, say, chronic appendicitis or something else that is difficult to diagnose. Partly because no matter what I try, nothing seems to help.

I've done elimination diets to try to find triggers. Nothing. Sometimes, my stomach will just protest when I eat something for seemingly no reason. It could be a food that I've eaten before, the day before even, without issues, but suddenly it hurts me.

I workout a good amount. I try to keep my stress levels in check - and the exercise definitely helps there. I get 8 hours of sleep or more per night - except when my stomach pain keeps me up, or makes my sleep more restless than restful.

I'm going to try this solution. Supposedly there are similar neuro-transmitters in the gut as there are in the brain, so it makes sense to me that this might work. I haven't been able to find many studies backing this up, but I don't really trust that the studies would be good proof - of safety, sure, but not efficacy for my particular issues. So I'll try this out, and if it works, great. If it doesn't, then maybe my practitioner will be willing to consider that maybe what's been diagnosed as IBS isn't.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Holding the Streak

I finished my write-up of the coast trip, keeping to my 1000 words per day even when I really didn't feel like it. The last day I went over that since I could feel the end and wanted to go ahead and finish. Ambrose has done his preliminary read. After I go over his suggestions, I'll be sharing it with Bill, since he was on the trip, too.

I almost let go of the streak when I finished the coast story; I figured I would have other things to do and could write the story for the Stanley Lake to Dagger Falls section of the ICT after I caught up on production work. But I changed my mind at the last minute and snuck 1000 words into my evening to get started on my the writing for the 6th book I'm planning to publish this year.

I mean, I did finish the initial captions for the Hammett to Willow Creek book, so I was moving pretty well on production even with 1000 words per day of writing.

In 2018, I've already published two small guidebooks. And I'm planning on two ICT books, the coast book and a CrossFit book.

That seemed like a crazy idea when I first thought of publishing that many books in a year. But now that I'm closer to realizing it, I think I can do it. I'll need to be focused, because the Hike with Me books take a lot of time at the end, but I can get there.

Even if it means pausing on the writing streak once I finish the last write-up.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Progress Amid Madness

Last week at work was one of the craziest weeks I've had there. In a normal year, a busy week would have been loading 1000 applications in a single week. Last week, we loaded over 4000. It felt like madness, and I'm so glad it's over.

I'm also glad that I was able to keep up my writing in the face of that work time madness, even on days when I had to do some work from home in the evenings because of the madness. There was one day that I missed my production work goal, but that was more from my computer crashing than anything else. I really need a new computer, and so does my husband, but we just can't bring ourselves to budget for them. Not when there's so much backpacking gear to buy.

I've picked the pictures for the solo trip book, and I'm working my way through captioning. I'm also doing some more culling as I go through, because when I try to come up with captions, and they're redundant, that emphasizes where I have too many pictures of the same thing. In this case, the gravel roads that make up the ICT in the section I was hiking. Still working on day 1, but I think I'll get a good push in next weekend.

Another recent point of madness relates to my recent annual checkup, wherein my cholesterol levels turned out to be just a bit higher than my provider preferred. So I got a call telling me to avoid fatty meats and increase exercise. I wanted to laugh over the phone at that one, but I refrained. Because I already exercise a lot. I've gone to at least 20 CrossFit classes per month for the last 14 months. I bike commute to work. I hike long distances on a regular basis. Increasing exercise would leave little room in my life for anything else.

But, by the BMI scale, I'm "overweight", so I'm sure that was simply the standard talking point. Because that message didn't come directly from my provider, and I did tell her just how much I exercise. I had really good cholesterol when I was eating oatmeal on a regular 5 day a week basis, but then I got diagnosed with IBS and oatmeal was one of the things that I got triggered by, so bye bye oats. Maybe I'll try oats again and see how they do, but I'll probably wait until a month or two before my next annual check up for that trial.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep up my "normal" level of exercise and focus on the things I can control.

Like finishing these books!