I’ve made a significant change in my life since the last time I posted, and the change is the reason why it’s been so long since my last post. After seeing how well a Fitbit motivated me to push harder in my morning runs, be more active, and stay hydrated, I decided to apply the same logic to my writing. I found apps that would motivate me to work on my novel for an hour on every day where it’s at all possible.
It’s working very well. So far, there have only been four days that I haven’t worked on my novel, and three of those days were related to my niece Mari’s birthday and my related trip to Fresno. Between getting there, being there, getting back, and then doing the meal prep I normally would have done over the weekend, I didn’t have time, not without cutting into my sleep, which I’m not willing to do.
I don’t know where that leaves me with my blog. The hour a day I’m spending on my novel means that I don’t have the time on workdays. I could make it happen most weekends, though I haven’t done that so far. I think part of it is that this blog has very low readership. Part of that is a lack of promotion on my part but part may also be that my content just isn’t doing it for people. I don’t know, but I’d rather spend the time on my novel at
I accomplished a lot today on an adulting level but not on a creative level. I’ve seen something floating around online about how working full time (40 hours), cooking dinner, exercising regularly, keeping your home clean, and enjoying weekends isn’t something designed for single people to be able to do (but rather for couples where one works and the other cares for the home and children). I’d never quite thought of it that way and it makes me feel better about not having nearly as much time for writing as I’d like, especially since I’m also adding in getting enough sleep and having sleeping problems that make that difficult. As a side note: I’m thoroughly impressed by single parents.
After eating the surprisingly delicious egg scramble prepared for him by Dominic, Joshua follows him out the kitchen, through the dining room, through the living room, and into…well, Joshua isn’t sure what to make of the enormous empty room. It reminds him of the indoor basketball court where his high school held assemblies, except without the bleachers and with semi-soft flooring. The walls and floor appear to be nearly identical shades of gray, with the floor being only slightly darker. There are no windows.
Joshua consciously realizes for the first time that he was asleep when Dominic brought him in. “So it’s more a safe mansion than a safe house?” he half asks, half jokes.
“It’s space to spar and train in.”
“Oh, the sparing room! Of course! My family had
I wrote this on Saturday but a confluence of unexpected things have kept me from posting, including (in no particular order) poor sleep, being sick, thyroid issues, and being worried about a friend undergoing an unexpected surgery:
The part of me that grew up watching Star Trek still believes that a society that cares for the wellbeing of all its people is possible. The human race has had many innovations and will have many more. We can come together for the good of all, but only if we put that good above the desire for money and power. And that’s where the Star Trek part of me steps back and I’m left wondering if human nature is too selfish as a whole to make such a shift.
I’m still not feeling particularly like Storying so here’s an important poem by Shane Koyczan, called Shoulders. I found the words online and corrected some mistakes, but I’m sure the lines aren’t broken up the way the poet wrote them. It you prefer, you can listen here.
Like many, I love to look at the stars.
I love the fact that ours is just one among many.
What I love about astronomy is that our constellations tell a story.
Our constellations were born from mythology.
Mythology was our first attempt to understand the world in which we live.
We put a god in everything and those gods would give us our reasons.
Why is the sky blue?
Who chose blue?
I’m very drained by the state of things. It’s hard to pick something that’s the most concerning, especially with the flagrant disregard for human life that I don’t have to look hard to find, but the one that could have the most catastrophic effect on a global scale is climate change. I know a lot of people don’t believe climate change is real, or that if it is, it’s not something we’re responsible for. Okay. But think of it this way. If scientists are right and we don’t do enough to fight it, a lot of people are (eventually) going to suffer (to put mildly). If scientists are wrong then we make changes to protect the environment that aren’t strictly necessary. Those worst-case scenarios don’t begin to compare. It matters what world we leave our children and grandchildren. And I say that as someone who doesn’t ever plan to have children.
So, after that, another short one:
“I don’t think there’s any way you can possibly blame me for not being sure about that anymore.”
I’m (still) struggling to find a balance. Between work, exercise, relaxing, food prep, pet care, getting enough sleep, and writing. We work too much in this country. We incentivize people to put in long hours at work, but it’s not healthy to work 50 or 60 or more hours per week. I wish more employers cared for the wellbeing of their employees. Well-rested people who have time to do the things they love and be with those they love are happier, more productive people. Really, it should be a win-win. But a lot of things aren’t the way (I think) they should be, and the list of those things is longer and more tragic than I have the energy to get into tonight.
I’m tired of how our society as a whole treats people.
With my somber mood tonight, this will be another short one:
“I want to drink your blood,” Dominic deadpans.
At first Joshua thinks Dominic is actually a vampire but then he sees the slight upward turn at the corner of his mouth and realizes he’s joking.
“Vampires aren’t real, Joshua.”
Sometimes you can do your best and you won’t get the results you want. Sometimes you can do your best and it won’t feel like it. Try to remember that your best changes from day to day. Your best today may be better than your best yesterday while tomorrow it may not be. If we’re struggling to do better then the best we can hope for is an overall upward trajectory across our lives.
This weekend I went to Rohnert Park (in the Bay Area) to visit my mom and uncle and celebrate my mom’s birthday. It was a lot of fun and I loved seeing them. I’d fully planned on posting yesterday evening but then I spent an hour looking for my favorite ring, which I put in a “safe place” when I moved. Hilariously, and rather predictably, I found all the other jewelry that I don’t explicitly remember putting in a “safe place.”
Today’s gotten a bit away from me too so this will be really short.
“It’s a safe house in 2019. Of course there’s WiFi.”
Recently there have been several signs that my thyroid has slipped back into overactive territory. The most aggravating sign is that I’ll be trying to fall asleep, drifting off to sleep, or actually asleep, when suddenly adrenaline will shoot through me, yanking me into wide-awake-fullness. It won’t be prompted by anything obvious (this isn’t happening when I’m thinking anxious thoughts or having nightmares; I’ll be totally relaxed and then HEY!!!! ADRENALINE!!!!)
As a result, I haven’t been sleeping that well. I’ve also been tracking my (restless) sleep with a Fitbit that a good friend gave me. Both of these things are prompting me to get serious about keeping a strict bedtime again. This is why I haven’t posted everyday recently and it’s something that will probably continue for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, my standing appointment with my endocrinologist is coming up soon.
That’s it for now. I’m sitting in the dark, typing this in dark mode on a way dimmed down phone, and will be off to bed as soon as I post. Here’s wishing you more restful sleep than I’ve been having recently.
This weekend I went to Fresno for a wedding. Between that and being sick, I haven’t had the time/energy to post. I mostly seem to be down to a cough and I’ve caught up on my finances tonight (rent is obscenely expensive) so I thought I’d continue Red:
“Were you dreaming?” Dominic asks he’s own question instead of answering Joshua’s.
Joshua tells him.
“She’s alive because you brought her back.”
“What!? No, I didn’t. How the fuck would I bring her back? Back from where?”
Tsubasa returns her attention to Dominic, nosing against his hand. Dominic finally greets her, scratching behind her ears and petting her snout. “It’s good to see you, Tsu. Sorry about the ambush.”
Tsubasa barks once, wagging her tail.
Joshua sighs. Loudly. Exasperatedly. “You know I don’t talk to exercise my voice, right?”
It may not seem like it but I have been working on my blog the last several days – small functionality updates that took way too much time because WordPress and PHP are pains. I’d planned to get back to Red today but last night I had my worst night since February 20th and I’m exhausted. Also (minorly) sick. The good news is that these kinds of nights used to be more frequent. It’s pretty amazing that it’s been since February. I’ll feel better about that tomorrow after more sleep.
I’m going to leave you with a favorite part from my favorite current poet and the first poem I ever read/heard by him:
And if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself
Get a better mirror
Look a little closer
Stare a little longer
Because there’s something inside you
That made you keep trying
Despite everyone who told you to quit
– Shane Koyczan, “To This Day”