It’s been awhile. Over two months since I’ve posted last. In deference to emails I’ve received from folks, I figured it’s about time I posted something here. I’m not wanting sympathy or anything — I’m a pretty happy camper these days, despite the lack of communication to you, faithful reader. So I’m not fishing for compliments or support. Just want you to know what’s going on with the long absence.

My motivation has withered on the vine, and I’m having trouble getting off my fat duff to do much of anything but work and sleep these days. I’ve been reminded by several folks that it’s been some time since I’ve posted any.  Many thanks to those who’ve asked after me (and apologies to everyone who reads this blog.) I live and am truly better than I’ve been in a good while.

For those not wanting to be bored to tears, you can move on. This post will be a loooooooooong one.

On Writing:

This is one of the major reasons for my absence online. Can’t very well update a writing blog if I ain’t writing, can I? It’d just be post after post saying, “Didn’t do anything today.”

I can’t seem to focus on anything. As noted before, I changed jobs at work to something less physically demanding. I’d hoped that’d give me the oomph to get something done. Didn’t happen. I wonder if part of the problem is that I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing. Nothing inspires, nothing motivates, no project jumps out to grab my attention. My previous job had lots of stress piled upon my shoulders. Now that it’s gone, I don’t have the gumption to do much of anything (let alone writing.)

I’m spending a lot of free time watching DVDs of TV shows and movies I’ve missed. I’ve worked through Lost, Carnivale, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Kyle XY, and am now going through Rome. I’m also reading a lot these days, both old favorites and new fiction and non-fiction. Updating my ‘Now Reading’ section will take a day or more, I’d bet.

I wonder if a lot of my issue is jet lag from the supervisor job I left. I’ve spent seven years eating, drinking, and sleeping work. Now that I’m not constantly dealing with work issues, my brain’s taking a much needed time out. I know from experience that it’ll swing back into action when it’s had enough lazing about.

Just wish it wouldn’t last so long.

Iditarod edits are on hold because I can’t get my poop in a group. Two new Slow Movin’ shorts are about a quarter completed. I AM forcing myself to slog through Azrael edits — that’s contracted work and I’m on a deadline.

On Hearing

Yet another reason for the lack of motivation, this is by far an excellent one!

My second surgery was on May 2nd. It was a success. One complication with a hole in my eardrum that no one noticed until they got in there. It’s been patched up and most the exterior healing is complete. I’ve been told it takes up to a year to fully heal from the surgery, which just means my balance issues aren’t all that unheard of.

I can hear in stereo! WOOT! There’s still some stubborn packing in the canal that I can’t get out. I’m due at the doctor’s office in August. If it ain’t out by then, they’ll remove it themselves.

My last hearing test (on the previously operated ear) showed my scores had gone up from profoundly deaf to mildly deaf. I’m seriously thinking this second surgery will show the same. Even with the packing, I hear well enough to locate people speaking behind me.

It’s been odd as I’ve relearned how to hear a second time. If I’m sitting with my left side facing a sound (the first surgery,) I have no problem identifying a sound. If I hear the same with the right, I can’t place it. Weird, but fascinating.

I’ve been listening to my music again. Anyone who has an iPod knows what the volume bar looks like on the screen. Before surgery, my volume was up to less than a quarter inch from the maximum. Now it’s the exact opposite. Whew.

Music I picked up fifteen years ago sounds so much clearer than I remember it being. Those ten years ago have more depth than I can recall. Anything I’ve picked up in the last five years is amazing! It’s like hearing them brand new all over again. I’m hearing nuances of instrument and voice that I’ve never heard before.

When I write, I plug into the iPod. I’ve got specific playlists for the stories I work on. But the music is distracting now. Rather than coast along and let the words flow, I’m constantly drawn to the tune as I hear things I didn’t know were there.

Hence another (joyful!) reason for the lack of writing motivation.

On Health

Coming off a cool, wet winter, so the joints ache a bit. Nothing big, just draining. I’d hate to think what it’d be like if I truly lived in Alaska like Scotch Fuller in Iditarod.

The arthritis is ever present, but doesn’t seem to be getting worse. Methatrexate seems to be doing the trick fairly well. I’ve had to start using Prilosec for the damage done to my stomach from ibuprofen. It was to be expected, really, and these days I don’t suffer from a constant low-grade heartburn.

Just had a full physical and all is well with one exception — cholesterol. * sigh * So I’ve just begun a pseudo Jenny Craig diet. Lots of veggies, less fat, using some information I’ve received from an acquaintance at work. My metabolism has increased, that’s for sure, but it’s still too early to see weight loss. And since my current job is far less physical than my last, I’ve taken to using the health club at work to get the exercise I need for both the weight loss and the rheumatoid arthritis. The goal is to lose forty pounds, and keep it off. Wish me luck.

On Work

As I said, it’s been fantastic! I’m no longer running a department or overseeing every meeting and banquet function the hotel brings in. What a relief! I’m sure my physical exam would have shown high blood pressure if I was still in that job!

Instead I’m in security. I’ve been in the department before. I worked with three of the four other officers eight years ago, so the transition was an easy one. I just had to retrain myself on standard procedures for emergencies, paperwork and the like.

It’s been interesting going from the constant ‘on-the-go’ mindset of Catering to the laid back Loss Prevention department. I keep looking for things I’m supposed to be doing, but there’s nothing there. I observe, I report, and I make myself available for emergencies. That’s about it.

So my mind wanders a lot. Previously, I’d spend the time thinking about whatever story I was writing, working out dialogue, character motivations, and plot points. Then I’d have at least a half hour to write. I’d hoped to do the same this time around, but most my time is spent in unproductive daydreams. Again, I think it’s a reaction to the last eight years of hel. As I work my way through the various meanderings of my mind, becoming bored with each one, I’ll eventually get back to where I used to be. Then the energy will be spent more productively.

On Artwork

Prior to writing, I was an airbrush artist. Those who’ve read the bio on this site know the story, but I’ll repeat it here.

We’d moved to a teeny loft apartment in 1998. There was, regrettably, no room for a studio. It was all packed away. Unable to create anything, I got hooked on the internet and Xena fanfic. When I’d read all I could, I began writing it. I have an overpowering need to create, and this filled the void in my life.

By the time we’d moved into a place big enough for a studio, I’d been diverted to writing instead of painting. I couldn’t focus on both, and my books were being published. So I decided to stay on the writing schtick for awhile to see what would come of it.

Then I began suffering from the rheumatoid arthritis. Eventually, I sold my compressor, airbrush and table. I knew there was no way my hands would ever allow me to paint again. It took too damned long (about two weeks) to complete a painting, and I couldn’t hold an airbrush with the proper tension on the controls for the time it would take.

But now I have a Wacom tablet, and digital art software. It takes less time to put out a piece, less physical effort. I can use both a mouse and a pen, so I can swap back and forth to ease the ache in my hands. I still have to learn the programs, though. That’s taking awhile. Photoshop is a very extensive program to figure out! Plus I have Bryce 5.5 for 3D backgrounds and ArtRage2 for drawing…

When I was doing art full time, I put out about $900 to buy the gear needed, and ended my first year a mere hundred bucks in the red. Then we moved, and it all went south.

Don’t worry, though. My motivation there is just as lacking as it is for the writing. LOL! The focus remains just as blurry.

On Winding Up

So, that’s where I’m at right now. Limbo. Nothing to be done for it but ride it through. Orycon occurs in November, and I’m hoping it’ll fire me up some, if I haven’t worked through this miasma between now and then.

I’ll try to keep up the blog entries more often. Hel, I’m not even reading that many blogs these days, so I’m completely out of touch with everyone. I have to get my head out of the clouds someday, right?

Take care. Thanks for the emails and comments. Feel free to comment here!