Thursday, June 30, 2016
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The last few weeks, I've been having some horrible headaches. Nothing seems to touch them. I take pain killers, nothing. The heating pad hardly helps. And then I noticed that my shoulders were hunching up higher, muscles between my arms and neck tight and bulging.
So, naturally, I took to the internet for answers. No, my trapeziums were not overdeveloped, but they were under extreme tension. The tension pulled at my neck and, I believe, created a lovely tension headache.
Since I don't like getting tension headaches, I tried to figure out how to release the tension, other than getting a massage, which I'd actually love to do, but can't afford at the moment. The recommendations that I decided to try involved my old nemesis: posture.
If I had a dollar for every time my dad told me to stand up straight, I'd have a heaping pile of cash. I've never been good about standing or sitting up straight. Every once in a while, I'd make a concerted effort to do it, but it's never stuck. I even read that when you work on pull ups, your posture should improve, so I kind of expected something to happen when I started getting pull ups. But the only thing I got was tension headaches.
And, according to my research, I needed to relax my upper traps (the part I could see bulging up a bit) by pulling my shoulder blades together behind my back with my mid and lower traps. I needed to hold my head high, centered over the spinal column rather than letting it lean forward. In short, I needed to improve my posture with these new muscles I'd developed, rather than letting my bad old habits give me headaches.
So far, the practice seems to be working. I'm being conscious of my posture, and my headaches have not returned. Of course, it's only been a week. And next week I'll be going on a backpacking trip, and I'll be too tired to be tense.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
Got back from the woods today. I started a new story on the 23rd at the trail head, in part because my phone battery was running down and I couldn't write on my old story. I'll be back to it tomorrow and work on both until one of them is done and then keep going. Forward motion is good.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
I've got a backpacking trip this weekend so I won't be posting again until Monday. I'll go for 250 words each tomorrow and Monday and 100 on each of the other days when I'll be hand writing in the wilderness. I've got a killer headache today but I'm sure it will fade when I get to the trail head.
I do want to start another story, even if it's another short one. Not only will that improve my production overall, but it can help me keep moving forward with the other story. I like being able to play with whichever one I feel best about on any given day, rather than having only one work in progress that I must produce 500 words for. And, I also like being able to settle into a different character for a change of pace. The differences help remind me who I'm writing and how they would think and speak.
My accountability goal is also going well. I'm posting once for every night I spend at home, with the nights I'm not at home recorded and posted with the first night back. That's not a problem at all, except for that one night that I thought I'd hit publish but it didn't acknowledge the button push and I had to backdate it. Still, that was a software issue. I had the post ready and every intention to publish the night of.
I told someone at work the other day that I'm writing fiction. This person only knew that I was writing non-fiction, specifically, the backpacking books. They were quite eager to read my stories, being, as they said, an avid and nonjudgmental reader. On the one hand, having another person to read through what I've written could be quite helpful. On the other hand, I have to work with this person and I'd hate for them to lose esteem for me based on either subject matter or perceived skill. I still lack confidence about my fiction, partly because I've never sold anything.
So I will keep writing, keep reading, keep practicing and get better. But I don't know if it will ever be any easier to point acquaintances to my writing with the expectation that they could, if they like the style, enjoy it.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Monday, June 20, 2016
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Friday, June 17, 2016
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
A better day though I was frustrated by my computer's needing to reset itself before I could start working. And by reset itself, I mean I had to do a hard reset and wait for the disk check to finish. Someday I'll get a new one, I hope.
Last weekend, then, was the true test of how I would do with keeping up my writing streak on a backpacking trip.
I packed four sheets of blank, unlined paper in a quart plastic bag and a mechanical pencil in the top of my pack. I had to be careful about where I put the mechanical pencil, because it's sharp and pointy and I don't want it tearing anything. Since this was a short trip, I also took my Kindle, not only for the purpose of reading a book when I had time, but also because it serves as an excellent surface to write on.
I got my words written in the evenings on this trip, laying down on my stomach in the tent and alternately writing and counting my words. I chose to go a little over 100 at a minimum so I wouldn't have to worry about counting the words in my chicken scratch handwriting with complete certainty.
I was correct in thinking that I would be tired at the end of the day and might not want to write, but the streak is keeping me motivated. I did my writing before the sun went down each night, but we were done for the day before six in the evening each night.
The second night, I wrote over 200 words and could have kept going, but every word I wrote out there would need to be transcribed, and that's not my favorite thing to do. Plus, I reached the end of a chapter I didn't know which chapter number came next. That's a good excuse, right?
I'm not keeping up on my production goals when it comes to writing a short story a week, but I didn't realize how long that first new story was going to be. I'm hoping the new new story will be shorter so I can start adding up some finished works.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Monday, June 13, 2016
Sunday, June 12, 2016
I decided that since June 9 and June 12 were both partly backpacking days and partly home days, I needed to do at least 250 words for each of them. The words for the 9th through 11th were all on my old story. Today's words were on a new one because I didn't want to dig out the handwritten ones from over the weekend and transcribe.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Now I get to start writing another story, as well as keep wording away on my old one. Good timing, I think, because I'll be going backpacking this weekend, leaving internet range on Thursday after work. There will be an early post tomorrow - I aim to get those 500 words before I leave.
The two larger campsites, closer to the bathroom, were thoroughly occupied by a different kind of camper than us. There's nothing wrong with camping your own camp, so to write, but it can be interesting when styles that are so different must co-exist.
They were fire builders, ATV riders, hard talkers, drinkers and shooters.
The fire wasn't so bad. We were upwind for the most part, so I couldn't even smell the smoke. I didn't hear any extra coughs from Ambrose, so the fires only bugged me at night when I wanted to look at the stars and the light killed my night vision.
The ATVs were noisy and smelly, but they served a good function. They took the rowdy folks far away and allowed the quiet campsite to be invaded by a visitor.
|Make yourself at home.|
|Don't mind the trucks.|
|You can come closer.|
|Or walk away...|
|That dot - it's Mars. I think.|
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Monday, June 6, 2016
An interesting writing day. I wrote a good amount before I got home from work, either before work or during breaks and lunch. But then I got home and got onto a roll so I wrote more than 500 for the one story. And then it got late so I didn't get a chance to work on the other one.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
I got a little stuck on the new story, but then I used something that I read on Dean Wesley Smith's blog and I asked myself, "What's the next sentence?" And then I wrote the next sentence.