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
This one’s a short chapter. Honestly, chapter breaks may still shift but finalizing those is pretty low on my list of priorities at this point. You can find the rest of the chapters here.
Two weeks after the three-day telepathic hell fest, Carson petitions the Educational Board, receiving preliminary approval pending completion of the teaching program. He enrolls, tackling the challenge with a determination that has him finishing it in a record six months, a frenetic period during which he’s hindered only occasionally by the remnants of allucinari and somehow always makes time for his efforts to broaden my perspective through human media. The colleagues who oversee his supervised teaching can’t praise him highly enough, nor can the Board find much to criticize in the yearlong outline he provided for his course. The school schedule is modified to include his class, and he’s given a room, supplies, and a generous salary. He’s astounded by how simple the process is.
I’m equally astounded when he tries to pay me rent after receiving his first paycheck on the day before his class begins – many Shelter jobs provide a ‘start up’ check to help employees settle in.
<How much do I owe you?>
<Nothing,> I reply briskly, glancing at him before returning my attention to the advancing and receding line ahead of us where ocean meets sand. Two miles of beach fall within the field of the Resonance Deflector, a fact I’m increasingly grateful for the longer I’m
I stop short a couple paces from my bedroom door. Carson’s in the hallway, staring at the wall. Then he touches it, shakes his head, takes a couple steps, and stares again. He’s clearly unaware of me so I send him the lightest of telepathic nudges, a gentle nok.
“Eyan!” he exclaims, hastily distancing himself from the wall and giving an abashed smile. “Hi.”
<Hi… What are you doing?>
<I’m looking for the hallway computer interface.> He gives me what I can only describe as a partial glare, as if it’s my fault he can’t find it.
I laugh, walking past him halfway down the hallway and gesturing at the wall to my right. <It’s here.> I activate it by touching the camouflaged panel at eye level. It’s virtually indistinguishable from the surrounding paint when deactivated.
Carson joins me, shaking his head at the computer. <Why is it hidden?>
<It’s not hidden, it’s discrete.>
He frowns. <What’s the difference?>
<Subterfuge versus aesthetics.>
The corners of Carson’s eyes crease with amusement. <All right. Why are they discrete?>
<Because computers are just tools. We don’t want them dominating our lives the way humans have let them.>
His mouth thins. <I wish you wouldn’t disparage humans so much. We would be just like them if not
I have a friend visiting so my posts this weekend will be brief.
It starts with a nightmare that’s spikes and flashes. Tsubasa knifed, whining as she dies. Breaking glass. Wings and sharp teeth. Red light. Screaming. Screaming. Screaming.
Suddenly, Joshua realizes he’s the one screaming.
I’m submerged in my novel today, reading it after too long away to get a sense of what is left for me to do. I decided to take a break to post an update to the end of Chapter 5. I literally just did this earlier today so there may be typos.
This happens right after Eyan is given the memory as punishment:
The Council allows us to leave.
<I’m going to find Mara,> I tell Carson. <I’ll meet you at home.>
<All right,> he agrees.
We part ways on the street, him heading toward my house and me toward the one Mara shares with her amari. From the way her amarim greets me, I don’t think she knows I assaulted her daughter, who she tells me is at the park.
I find her walking under the trees with Yhuri. They stop when they seem me approaching.
<Good afternoon,> I say to them both.
They don’t return my greeting. She’s clearly told Yhuri, who rightly shows none of the warmth she did when I went to the hospital to see Carson.
Recognizing that I have no right to ask to speak with her alone, I get to the point. <Mara, I apologize. I was trying to help Carson, who lost hi-> I stop myself with the shake of my head. I sigh. <I didn’t come here to give you excuses. I just wanted to say I’m sorry that I harmed you.>
Mara and Yhuri exchange a glance. Mara
We return to the Shelter once my conscience gets the best of me. I leave our reentry to autopilot and all goes as planned.
<Back to the house?> Carson asks on our exiting to an empty room, the ceiling already back in place.
It’s still but that won’t last. <Or as far as we make it.>
He shoots me a quizzical glance. Before I can elaborate, Davonte and several others – the Council, I realize with some surprise – enter. It’s a crowded fit for such a small space. I resist the urge to quip about a road trip.
Davonte is all in black except the yellow sapphire pendant that makes me look at her eyes, ablaze with that fury I know so well. Face rigid, she advances, flinging an avalanche of anger. It hurls into me with such force that I stagger back and gasp, temples pounding. Carson remains steady. Not a loss of control then. A focused explosion, the equivalent to a punch.
<Explain yourself,> she commands icily.
<It’s my fault,> Carson interjects. <I wanted to collect my mom’s Imprint and Eyan helped me.>
<As admirable as that motive is, it does not excuse attacking a fellow Chosen, stealing this Shelter’s only ship, and risking that ship’s destruction, or worse, capture by the DOH!>
Each word is a pulse of pain. I wince, grateful
This is the first paragraph of my novel the Other Side, of which I posted an excerpt a while back:
My name is Taia Marie Eaton. I am 23 years old. A graduate of UCLA. A planner. A dreamer. A teacher. A student. A woman of creativity. I am multifaceted and always changing. Contradictory. Flawed. I am things I like and things I dislike. Intelligent. Questioning. Beautiful. At times, selfish. Doubtful. Complacent. Always striving to give. To ask. To be. To try. To improve.
I generally think the novel has a really good premise that I did the most obvious possible thing with. Just the fact that a romantic love story is important to it is proof of how much my writing preferences have changed. If I were to rewrite it now, the closest thing it would get to having a romantic love story would be for the main character to be in a happy relationship that adds no drama to the novel at all.
What really strikes me about this paragraph now is that she knows she’s beautiful. So while it may have a love story, at least it doesn’t involve the cliched protagonist who doesn’t think she’s beautiful and doesn’t expect any guy to ever think she is. So that’s a win for past me.
Necessity keeps me going. Necessity always does. I’m a doctor. When people are hurt I have to help them. There is no other way for me. It almost makes it easy. Or at least simple. I don’t have to think about anything other than the patient, their vitals, their treatment. And when I’m done with one patient there’s another. Enough to fill all the minutes. So I let them.
Today did not go as planned. Sometimes I wonder why we even make plans.
Regardless, I’ve succeeded in going to bed at 9:30pm the last couple nights and plan to do so again tonight. Hopefully I can keep that up for the next week or so and then work on moving it up to 9:00pm.
I think my thyroid medication may need to be adjusted. I’ve had a harder and harder time getting up in the mornings and have been waking groggier than usual. My next appointment with my endocrinologist is Monday so we’ll see.
Here’s a First Sentence:
The chime sounds hollow and too loud. It doesn’t make sense for it to be both. Maybe it’s neither. I don’t know. Nothing makes sense right now.
The picture is of me and my dog, Darcy. I think we’re very aligned in how sedate we’re feeling at the moment.
On February 20th, when I last posted, I had a terrible night. I’ve struggled with insomnia since middle school. It can take me hours to fall asleep only to spend the night waking every hour. It is, if I’m honest, profoundly wearying.
The night of February 20th was a tipping point. I spent the next morning exhausted and in a foul mood following 3-4 hours of much interrupted sleep, feeling very much the victim of the anxiety and restless thoughts that make it so difficult for me to drift off every night. Then I decided that I was going to solve my insomnia problem. Having often read that consistently going to bed and getting up at the same time every day would help with sleeping problems, I made a point of being in bed by 9pm every day and getting up at 5:30am every morning. I also invested in a Philips Wake-Up Light in an effort to wake up more naturally.
I experienced great success following this regimen. I, in fact, fell asleep more easily and woke up feeling more refreshed. It was challenging, however, to fit in everything I wanted and/or needed to do every evening after work and still be in bed by 9pm. Posting on my blog wasn’t something I’d yet fit in to my new routine, though I had every intention of remedying that.
Life, however, does insist on unfolding contrary to our plans and I had a very busy several months. Selling my condo proved