New Project for November– ALWAYS CLOUDY

So National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is coming up soon, and I have been trying to figure out what I want to write about this year. 

For those of you who haven’t yet heard of it, NaNoWriMo ( Nah-No-Re-Mo shortened to Nano) is a month-long writing challenge, where you write 1667 words every day. 

Why does that sound so very simple and yet weirdly specific?

Because the actual goal is to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month, and to do that your goal is to write at least 1667 words every day during the month of November. 

That’s right, from the bum-end of Halloween to the beginning of socially-acceptable Christmas Music, the challenge is to write a novel. You’ve been planning, in general, to write a novel for some time, and this is a chance to kick into gear, with events in your area with fellow writers if you’re interested, and it’s entirely free. People who reach the 50k goal even get a free printed copy of their very own novel, and discounts for otherwise pricey writing software. 

It’s neat. 

My sister Lexy (link to her blog) has participated with me, and this year we’ve convinced our dear Mother to join the fun.

I’ve participated for roughly 5 years now, and recently succeeded in reaching 50k this summer, in Camp Nano, and have succeeded in 3 of those 5 years… but it’s always a question of what I want to work on. 

Sometimes I’ll work on fanfiction, because I like writing fanfiction, and it’s good to stay in practice. Because fanfiction is writing practice, pretty much. What I post is pretty darn popular, too, so as I post I get a lot of feedback. And that’s nice. Link to my stuff.

But I also do work on my own original stuff… I’ve got a couple of stories ongoing, but I work on them pretty consistently during the year, so when I decide not to write fanfiction in November, I like to start on a whole new story. 

Stretch my literary wings, crease my spine and flap my pages free from previously thought up rules and universes. 

And then I thought up Always Cloudy

I’m going to write a blog-story, from the pov of my main character Sunny. He can control clouds–well, only the one, and it only sort of does what he wants, but it’s not like he can tell anyone about it, so… blogging. Nice and anonymous. 

If you’re interested either click the link above for Sunny’s About Me page, or go to>    cumulonimblog.wordpress.com    <for updates starting November.

Thanks be to Lexy for that gem of a blog name :)

Wet Wash Cloths and Comforters– Sleepwalking ‘Pro’ Tip

So I’m an infrequent sleep-walker.

I’m a less infrequent sleep-TALKER, which Lexy updates me on the apparent hilarity my sleeping mind voices, but as I don’t have a “‘pro’ tip”  for that, I’m going to have to leave that topic alone for now.

As you may have guessed, I sleep walked–slept walked?– last night, and I almost made it past my door when a wet wash cloth stopped me.

It may sound a bit odd, but it’s actually pretty impressive. I’ve been rearranging and going through EVERYTHING in my room for roughly the past month (it hasn’t taken that long, the cleaning sessions have simply been spread out), and I’m nearly done but that means that stuff I’m planning on banishing entirely from my room are temporarily taking up floor space so the rest of my family don’t have to deal with it–

So the fact that I MADE it to my door is pretty darn impressive. Dreaming me didn’t even give me any bruises, so yay for that, but WOW. Boxes, laundry baskets, and some stacked other things between bed and door, and dreamer me made it!

Only to be stopped by a wash cloth.

A cold one.

See, being near the end of my cleaning rampage, and having already rearranged my room into something with hopefully less nooks for me to shove things into, I decided sheets were a thing that needed to be dealt with. Unlike Lexy, who has flannel sheets for winter and (I think) cotton ones for summer, I just have the same, super soft cotton ones year-round. I also have this HUGE down comforter that’s just amazing in the winter months–but obviously not so great in the summer.

I dunno if it’s just me, but the transition from Comforter-on-bed to no-comforter-on-bed is a weird one– For half the year you get used to the weight of many blankets, and then everything is too light to sleep once you take that away.

But I also find that when I finally DO remove my comforter, after shoving it aside to a still-giving-off-heat lump of fluff next to me in bed when it’s crazy hot at night, it inevitably turns into a cold snap the night of.

So last night was freezing.

Boxer-shorts and t-shirts are amazing pj wear when it’s hot, but otherwise it’s a no-no.

I think dreaming-me was trying to go in search of blankets.

But was stopped by a wet wash cloth.

If you are curious as to why there’s a wet wash cloth in my room, I will remind you that I’ve been cleaning up my room, moving things around–that means dusting, which translates to using a wet washcloth to wipe everything down. Why was it STILL in my room after I was done with it? Well I was a bit bored of cleaning and didn’t feel like bringing the cloth to the basement for it to be washed, so I just hung it to dry on the door handle to my room.

Yes I’m that lazy when I get bored with something, and hey, it stopped me sleep-walking outside of my room, so.

Sleep-walking me made it across the tripping-hazard that is my room’s floor, and made it to the door, tried to OPEN the door, and was startled by the feel of a cold-wet-something in hand to wake me up.

So.

Do YOU have a sleep-walking problem? Close the door to your room before you go to bed.

Can you open doors when sleep-walking? Well how about a damp wash cloth? Cheaper and safer than a lock on your door!

There’s my sleep-walking tip for you.

*jazzy hands*

Ta da!

Also when changing from winter-appropriate sheets to summer-appropriate sheets, have an extra blanket on hand.

Or make sure your window is closed.

I Am the One Who Knocks (And No One is Home)

oh god ali

So, I’m only now getting into Breaking Bad (I know, shut up, I am the one who knocks last apparently), and found this picture, and turned to show it to my much-farther-into-the-show-than-I-am sister.

She smiled, but looked a bit confused, so I said “It’s blue rock candy,” because that’s probably the only confusing part of the picture.

She gave me a look, and, still smiling, said,

“But why does the baby have a goatee?”

She thought the baby was supposed to be a leprechaun.

A leprechaun guys, a Leprechaun.

She says she worries that she’s living inside of a blonde joke sometimes.

To those in the know of my other blog posts, you can find my sister, Lexy, at the link in her name.

Tired

It’s very easy to wallow in the feeling of sadness and the lack of any urge to do something. 

Very. Very easy.

Especially if you’re experiencing a sudden change in your day-to-day life. You lose some part of the ritual of your 24hr day.

Your pet dies, you lose your job, you move someplace new, you’re removed from someplace you’re comfortable in, you finish a long-term goal… something you’ve been working on is no longer an option, and it’s a weird, sad sort of feeling. 

It makes me tired. 

It seems like suddenly everything on depression has been popping up in videos, has been coming up in articles, in every social media and blog-ish type thing, so in my infinite wisdom, and knowledge of the subject, after noticing this tiredness soon after… a big change in my life, that took away a portion of what I did every day, I’m not quite up to talking/writing about it now, I was like, Ah, Yes, Depression. Hmm

I think the start of depression is enforced stagnation. Except that doesn’t quite get the right idea across, I think. Stagnation in general sounds bad, and, ike flat soda or water that’s been left out too long, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Enforced stagnation sounds a lot like you have no choice but to stagnate. 

Not what I was trying to get across. 

Enforced stagnation is when you’re stuck in a rut, stuck in a divot in your life that so far, no matter how many times you try to pull yourself away from it, you end up rolling back to where you were before. I think some people don’t even notice that it’s happening, which must be even more upsetting as you can look around your divot, see nothing wrong, but still feel unhappy. 

And, seque of all segue’s, I think this is why tiredness goes hand in hand with depression. Because it is very, very easy to get tired of failing. 

Also failing is stressful, and wouldn’t you rather have a nap than deal with stress? I would. 

Because, as Lexy has so eloquently put it, my spirit animal is an ostrich. Avoidance is key. 

But I have a plan to get out of any kind of funk I may soon experience– because this change-in-life-and-daily-ritual of doom actually only happened earlier today, so kudos to myself for jumping on this writing opportunity while it’s still grumbly– but am feeling tired already. 

Like, I wanted to just go to sleep at 7pm. 

I’m 21, got up at about 9am, and was feeling exhausted enough to want to end the day at 7pm.

Fuck if I’m going to let that be my week. 

So, my game plan is to get the ball rolling again. Hard to do, as I think that just before The Change Of Doom the ball had been slowing down exponentially, but still doable. 

So I look at The Big Goal. 

What does it take to get there? Ah, yes, part A must first be completed. 

Want a certain job? What will it take to get there? Schooling? Need money first? Is there another job you can do to get money, or perhaps can you take a course or look for an apprenticeship program so that you can get yourself moving in the direction you want. 

The thing about having a Big Goal is that it’s a bit like a Gorgon. It’s the Medusa of your life. It’s much safer, less likely to freeze you to a standstill–less likely to turn you to stone–if you come at it sideways. Use a mirror and come at it from different angles. 

Or, if Greek Mythology isn’t your thing, how about mountain analogies? Everyone loves those. 

Big Goal is at the top. How do you get there? 

Well, you could climb straight up, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll have the right equipment for it. Much more dangerous, and what if you turn out to be afraid of heights? I’m not saying you shouldn’t face fears, or try something daring, but you should also be aware of your own limits. Push them, but don’t push yourself off the side of a cliff. Because you might just find  better path up the side of the mountain.

It may zig-zag, and hey–there might be parts where you can climb straight up to get to the next part of the path!–but you’ll find waypoints on the path up, you’ll build yourself up along the way, and should you slip…

well. Less of a drop straight down, and much less likely to cripple you. 

Wow I’m cheerful right now.

But now it’s 12 and I’ve challenged myself enough and NOW I can go to sleep.  

 

Waking Up

So I am not an easy person to wake up.

Or rather, I am, but I’m not an easy person to keep up.

I can make myself get up when I feel enough need for it, such as going to work or getting up to bring Gwynn on a walk (when Lexy has crossfit in the morning), but otherwise it’s very easy for me to sleep the day away.

I’m getting much better at getting a regular up-by-X-time sleep schedule, but still I have issues.

I like my sleep.

To give you an idea of what I do to myself to get up, and also what I can go back to sleep after, I illustrated this mornings’ waking.

Lexy has a system where she turns on my light a little while before she actually wants me to get up, which I’m thankful for, but today I had a little early wake-up call…

from my brain.

drawn by me, my brain is a paranoid SOB

drawn by me, my brain is a paranoid SOB

Anxiety over being late is usually what gets me up when I have things like work I absolutely have to go to during the day. If you know what I mean, you can laugh, and if you don’t know what I mean, do you at least know about those dreams you wake up gasping from? You shoot upright, chest tight, anxious… maybe from a dream where you’re falling?

Yeah, well, my brain does that to me with anxiety over being late.

Lexy then turned on my light, I hid from it for a while, and then she told me to get up… I did… and I am ashamed to admit it, but I basically got up, put on chapstick, and went back to my still warm bed.

I feel like I should tell you now that all of my clocks are set at slightly different times, mostly earlier than it actually is, like now where my watch says 11:18am, my phone says 11:15am, and I think my alarm clock upstairs is somewhere in the middle. I know that my watch, at least, is a few minutes ahead of the clock at my work so even when my watch says I’m a few minutes late I can reassure myself that I’m actually going to be exactly on time.

Maybe early.

Maybe within the 5 minute grace time given for when you can clock in.

But I digress.

Shameful but comfortable me of this morning knew I had to get up sooner rather than later, but I could languish a little bit longer.

Then, wake-up-attack #3 (though I think of it as #2, really, as Lexy’s approach is less of an attack and more like a peaceful take-over) starts up.

My phone is bubbly. Also named Dam. Because when I first got it it autocorrected "Damn Phone" Into "Dan Phone" And that's as close to an introduction as I think we'll ever get.

My phone is bubbly. Also named Dam. Because when I first got it it autocorrected “Damn Phone” Into “Dan Phone” And that’s as close to an introduction as I think we’ll ever get.

I have multiple alarms set on my phone, and most of them with different songs so I can’t get used to one sound and tune it out, and this usually works.

Not today.

The fumbling of trying to figure out how to snooze my new phone are done with, and now I know just where to swipe to snooze it, just how to flail to always reach it, and that alarm is silenced.

But there is still yet one more attack.

I’m going to pause here to say that I don’t think my alarm likes getting up any more than I do. The buttons are old and don’t really work that great–the snooze works fine, thank the gods, but if I want to change the hour I’m supposed to get up, instead of hitting it once, twice, 23x’s for earlier wake-ups, I have to keep on clicking at it until I find the right angle and the right pressure, otherwise it doesn’t change.

MY alarm is old, has room for a cassette tape, has stubborn buttons, and doesn’t like getting up any more than I do.

It must collect the souls in the dark of night, which is why it hates getting up so early

It must collect the souls in the dark of night, which is why it hates getting up so early

And also lets out a sound like the screams of the damned mixed with a fog horn.

Where my brain fails to scare me out of bed, my alarm always wins.

And that’s how I get up in the morning.

P.S. Lexy the walk went fine this morning, both dogs are passed out and slightly damp, but…

I went down to MC park and it was a slush field.

Still a good walk.

Calvin seems happy too :)

Gwynn: Orange Fluff Aussie Doodle Calvin: Sausage-y fluff Corgi

Gwynn: Orange Fluff Aussie Doodle
Calvin: Sausage-y fluff Corgi