It's August 10th, and I'm pretty much all better. My hearing is returning (near normal now), and my nasal congestion is almost nonexistent (I have morning and late night allergies at home.).
Yesterday and today, I was working on playing catch-up here because I was editing and writing in late July and early August, but hadn't documented it in this blog, yet. So, my game of catch-up: Counting how many words I did each day. Manually. Because, as you know, I'm writing the very beginning of this book long-hand until I reach the part where I started it in the electronic (typed) document of G4:O. I've just finished and updated the "July 2016" post, so you can see the days you have not seen before. Not much to look at, to be honest. Since I didn't write much more than a bit of editing one or two words, and how I didn't post them the same day I wrote/edited, there isn't much of my usual rambling towards the bottom.
One thing I forgot to mention, however, is that I bought a few pet fancy mice on July 23rd. Unfortunately, one of them was chasing and biting the smallest one. From the answers I could find, it was either displaying dominance, or their home was too small. Since we didn't want a mouse that had a history of aggression, regardless of the reasons, because you never know if nothing works, I took it back to the pet store.
Bad news, though: The smallest one, a black mouse named Luna, died yesterday. She was sneezing the day I got her, but I just thought it was food dust because she was eating at the store. Wrong. She slowly got worse, and I looked it up and determined it was likely a cold. It seemed likely at the time because I had a cold the week prior, and mice can get sick with many of our illnesses. I didn't think about how she was sneezing at the store. Her symptoms even seemed to be a cold, and I learned in a pet mouse forum online that colds in mice would end on their own but that the flu was deadly to them. So, I guess it was the flu, instead? Odd thing was that she seemed to be getting better for her last two days; more lively after several days of sleeping a lot and barely having her eyes open. Then she straight out-of-the-blue died. I'll call the pet store tomorrow, but I doubt anything could be done about it now. I don't know actually. We'll see. What I do know, though, is I'll never buy the runt of a litter, let alone a mouse by itself in a tank, ever again. It didn't seem to make sense at the time why Luna wasn't in with the others, but I get a hunch now that they separated her because she was sick and getting picked on by the other mice. But since I'm guessing and don't know the full truth, I won't be dead-set sure just on that information.
(Ramble, ramble, ramble. I'll finish this blabber tomorrow)
*Next earlimorn, Aug 11th* (Nope. Not tonight. Too tired. Maybe tomorrow.)
*Next earlimorn, Aug 12th*
I haven't called the pet store yet. Maybe I'll do it this weekend since I'm feeling better.
Man, illness after illness around here. I got a cold, then a sore throat, cough, post-nasal drainage, and an ear infection so bad, it made my ear bleed a little for a few days. (There was so much pressure, my ear drum tried to rupture, but it didn't.) Then there was me getting my mom and sister sick, and the mouse dying after getting sick. Thankfully, the other mouse, whom I named Tree for her markings (I'll post a picture here later of her. There's a tree on her side, so I named her Tree. I'm not good at naming pets.
Characters are a fair bit easier to name, but I still haven't decided on one particular character. I created him 9 years ago. I think once it gets close to writing his first appearance into the book I'm working on right now, I'll have a name for him. Many of my characters were named like that. I don't know him a lot, yet, so it's hard to match a name to his personality. I don't really have hugely important scenes with him (as originally planned when I daydreamed the whole book so many years ago). He's rather quiet and solitary, wise but leaves younger folk to take care of most problems. People respect him, so he doesn't have to talk much.
I like him. Even though I live in a technological world where people's faces are super glued to their phones and other electronic methods of communicating, I have reason for not liking to talk. Speech problems, slow mental processing, people not understanding, people being too chatty, being sensitive to being interrupted all the time (I'm more patient with people other than my mom, but with her? It's countless times a day! She has problems of her own, though.), lack of self-confidence, beating myself up for my failures to be a normal human being, and social anxiety.
Why in the world did I want to work in a library with social anxiety, you ask? Well, I knew it'd help me in the long run. The only way to tackle a problem is to run into it. I've actually been slowly improving.
Eye contact is my main issue, now. I'm afraid of looking at a person for too long, afraid people will think I'm staring at them or something. People around here are paranoid. I remember it as a kid especially: When anybody would look at me, I'd wonder why they're looking at me. Remembering it now, since I had nightmares of people staring at me wide-eyed without answering me ("What's wrong? What is it? Please! Tell me!") on many occasions, it's probably because of those, too. I'd always start crying in my dream because I despaired from their torment and wanted them to stop. I'd wake up choking and sobbing myself awake, only to find my eyes soaking in tears. ...Come to think of it, I think it all started because of those nightmares. Good to know.
1 word (writing beginning of G4:O longhand)
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Half-midday, half at night
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Woohoo! Look who's back! *strikes imaginary illness flat with a cartoonishly large hammer*
But I'm falling asleep with a cat sleeping on my lap, so I bid you a good night/day.
12:27 PM (15 minutes)
202 words (writing beginning of G4:O longhand)
I haven't been getting much sleep since I started working again. Grr. I'm glad I'm back to writing again, but must it also come with my usual restlessness at night? Going to bed and getting up in the earlimorn isn't my cup of tea, especially when I wake up, and it's a habit I'm struggling to break from ever since I finished writing G3:DF. Trust me, if you don't have a job and/or get out of school, don't get into an awful habit of going to bed around 4, 5, 6, or 7 AM and getting up at 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 PM. Besides waking up bewildered at seeing a sunset instead of a sunrise and not seeing and enjoying the light of day for long, you'll also be inclined to gain a little weight (depending on your genetics and many other factors, of course), have less energy (odd levels of melatonin, perhaps?), have uncomfortable dreams, sometimes feel like the waking word is a dream, and have difficulty re-regulating your sleep cycle (even after 2 years). Just... don't... do... it. I don't care what Shia LaBeouf says.
P.S. In case you've forgotten, "earlimorn" is a word I made up to use in my book series. I occasionally like making up words when I find the means "early morning". That's normally 12 - 8 AM. If you think 8 AM isn't early, then you aren't an early bird. I normally wake up on weekends anywhere from 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM, depending on how much sleep I get the night before. My main characters are early birds, but I'm not. Lol.
25 words (writing beginning of G4:O longhand)
I had a long, busy day. Nothing really new. Just busy. On 3 1/2 hours of sleep. I had to do a bunch of things before bed. And trust me, this little sleep is not about to be a habit. *moans*
Approximately 12:30 PM
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My little cousins came to visit yesterday! (The 14th. Today's really the 19th, but I'm writing here for the 15th.) At first, we thought they were coming over on Saturday, so I was busy rushing around all day to get the place cleaned and organized.
My mom and sister are slobs. The kind of people who drop stuff on the floor like shoes or books and leave it sticking out in high-traffic areas. I don't know how they don't trip. Er, well, they do stub their toes a lot at least, but they don't learn. I'm always the grumpy one who stops before a thing or two (or three) in my way, shoves it aside with my foot, and gripes about the obstacle course they somehow don't mind being there. If I had my own place, it'd have half the junk, be organized using containers, and own little more than what I do now. (I keep my possession count to a minimum due to lack of room thanks to the two clutter clowns. Lol. But I'm happy doing that anyway. It doesn't take much to make me happy. Having once lived with an abusive clutter clown that had too much money and always bought me mountainous piles of gifts for my birthday and for Christmas, I can whole-heartedly say that money does not make me happy. It's being with a family that loves you and knowing what you love most and sticking to it. My mom and sister aren't perfect, but at least it isn't near as bad as when I lived with the aunt of terror and torment.
Anyway, about the fun day with the cousins: Who came: My cousin L (names abbreviated for privacy reasons), her three children: K, age 8, girl. D jr., age 6, boy. D, age 2, boy. Also who came over: My cousin L's sister-in-law (can't remember her name) and her little 18-month-old boy. (I can't remember his name, either. It was noisy and chaotic, and it takes me several days of meeting a person and re-learning their name to actually learn it. Same or worse problem with their face. I can't place a face if I've only seen them weeks or months apart, and it has to have a name and memory attached to it that stands out in some way, or it simply becomes just a stranger, a face that's part of the crowd called "the rest of the world." For the longest time, I felt bad about it. I still have an awkward moment now and then, but I've come to accept that it's just the way I am. I'm not a "normal" person. I don't have a "normal" brain. I learn at my own pace. If I tried to force myself to be what I am not, to do what I can not do, I would simply be frustrated at myself to no end and hate my life. Just like I did countless times before for years. I struggled through school imploding all the time. It didn't help how my teachers got frustrated, too, but my inner struggle didn't help me, either. I'd get so frustrated trying and trying to concentrate and understand my schoolwork, I'd implode. Little did I know that anxiety and stress made me partially shut down so that the words coming out of the mouth of my teacher were little more than the "hwa-hwa-hwa-hwa-hwaaa" of the adults Charlie Brown heard in Peanuts. As the seconds passed by, the pressure built up higher and higher until I'd totally shut down. Nothing in the world was able to come in and be processed by my brain. Nothing in the world around me made sense. The world itself made no sense. I would sit there in a void with a moving image, as though in a movie. It was simply there because it wasn't there. It was just a burned-in image, as though you just shut off a TV after it showed the same thing for hours on end. Nothing existed anymore but yourself. Not until I was 17 did I truly feel confident when I was learning things new. After I had the dream that inspired the " G" book series I'm currently writing, I strove to improve myself. I had a goal to "at least learn a little about a lot of things", and I firmly stuck to it. I started to find ways to help myself learn, to find the right perspective on learning. I had the drive to improve myself, to augment myself, as though adding more blocks to a Lego robot to make it look bigger and cooler. Reading books and textbooks helped the most with this. Sometimes I wouldn't do my homework and would just read well beyond the stopping point. Because things were just so interesting. Everything. It was there that I learned that it was knowledge that was interesting. History wasn't interesting. Literature wasn't interesting. It was knowledge.)
...Okay, I think I got carrying away there quite a bit and went way off topic, but that's okay, I guess. I got it out of me.
...Nope. I have a thought to add to it:
...That's why I think teachers shouldn't ask all the time, "What is your favorite subject?" It makes kids choose. It separates different kinds of knowledge into categories which allow them to be stereotyped. "History is boring." "P.E. is fun!" "Literature is boring." No. Knowledge is fun. Learning is fun. That's the message that many teachers are trying to get across. If you are just as enthusiastic as each other about teaching, if you make it known that you are passionate about teaching the subject and that you love it so much, and you are excited about it, they will see it and will get so jealous that you're having fun and they're not, they'll want to get in on what you're so excited about. They'll think, "What is so cool about this? Come on, tell us!" And then they'll be on a search by themselves to discover the fun in the subject. Learning is a journey, not an assembly line.
I've had teachers who taught like they had to just so that they could get paid. I've had teachers who've put a lot of energy and effort behind their teaching. Even if you really don't have much energy inside, fake it. It will do wonders on your students' behaviors and grades.
A shout out to my awesome teachers through the years: Mrs. White (I've had two in my life: 1st grade and 6th grade, at different schools, both with husbands in the military. This one's for 1st grade Mrs. White.), Mrs. Mace (also 1st grade, same classroom), Mr. Davis (4th grade, Aniwa Elementary in Wisconsin, now closed down. I was only there for a few months, but it was pleasant knowing him, learning how to make my desk organized [I had poor organization skills.], and learning to sing "Jolly Old Saint Nicolas".), Mrs. Mitchell (5th grade. Boy, did she have a love for teaching! She taught all kinds of stuff. And she had us do a lot of hands-on things, including making and painting plaster masks on our faces similar to how the Ancient Egyptians did long ago to the bodies of their dead that turned into mummies. I still have it. I'll take a picture very soon and share it to you. Oh, and she also took us on a field trip to Camp Casey, directed class plays in the school library, and played the piano while she sung in a sweet, cheery voice that still makes me smile to this day. I can still sing most of the Fifty Nifty song. Her singing it sounded way better than any YouTube video that's ever been uploaded. Trust me, I've tried. They all sound corny. "Fifty! Nifty! United States from thirteen original colonies! Shout 'em! Scout 'em! Tell all about 'em! [etc.] Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut. [etc.]" There's about five or six states I've forgotten over the years, but it's otherwise stuck in my head all these 14 years. I've found quite a use from it. Everything from school assignments in later years to online quizzes. And that is how you teach, teachers.), Mr. Ayers (12th grade, Washington State History. He looks, sounds, and acts like an enthusiastic military guy. Not strict. He had a voice loud and firm that slightly echoed in the room, but he never barked or screamed at us. He was like everybody's dad. He loved teaching. I'm pretty sure he's still teaching the same class, too.), Mr. Weiner (Pronounced "winer" to those of you snickering. 12th grade, same school, World History. Hands down, the best history teacher. Except when he gets mad at you for talking over him. There was one dude that kept pushing Mr. Weiner's buttons all the time. Mr. Weiner would either yell, smack a yard stick against an empty desk next to him, or both. One time, he hit it so hard, the yard stick broke in half. It was loud enough to make everyone jump. He taped it together later, but then it broke again not long after, so then he stopped using it altogether. But about his teaching: He would make bulleted slideshows for us to copy down and take notes from. Even though he could have printed them off, it made us memorize it better by writing it by hand. Plus, the length of each of them would have taken millions of expensive printer paper to accomplish. What was funny was how he'd do the slides: Funny pictures every now and then that were still on topic, and one sound effect whenever a leader would make a big mistake [and history repeats itself, so there were a lot of them]: Homer Simpson shouting, "DOH!" Mr. Weiner would also talk in a casual way, pointing out the flaws in leaders' decisions in a critical point of view. Like when a country would stupidly try to invade Russia on foot in the middle of winter "not once, but twice in a row! You'd think they'd learn the first time, right?" *clicks a button* Homer: "DOH!" *we laughed* Oh, yeah. One more awesome thing about Mr. Weiner: He had an obsession with Star Wars. In fact, he had huge Star Wars posters on every wall of his classroom. It certainly kept the room cool when the morning sun would shine in. He had the upper windows covered in posters, too. When we were quietly working on tests, he'd play instrumental movie music, with a few Star Wars songs mixed in. Then he had his idol, Yoda, sitting atop the projector. It was a vinyl plastic decoration about a foot tall. He was so old, his hair had fallen off in places. Mr. Weiner would sometimes joke that he was watching us, so we'd better be working. Yoda is his favorite Star Wars character.), and finally...
Mrs. Watson-East (Everybody called her Beth. She was like everybody's close pal. Sometimes like a mom, too. If I had a favorite teacher in all my life, it'd have to be her, followed by Mrs. Mitchell, Mr. Weiner, and Mr. Ayers. 12th grade, same school, Simplified Algebra A and B. Yep, I still struggle with math to this day. I can't multiply in my head beyond 2s, some 4s, 5s, and 9s. I forgot for the umpeenth time how to do division on paper. And I can't add or subtract high numbers without doing it on a calculator or on paper. Thankfully, I'm not required to do it a certain way anymore. It's not like I didn't like Beth's class and her teaching. Math just doesn't stick for very long. I just don't have a mathematical sort of brain. Maybe my imagination stole a chunk of that space in my head. My imagination section is beefed up and muscular from frequent use and my math section is a skinny wimp. When I was in her class, though, I did do well. Sometimes, I even figured out alternative ways to solve questions using methods that I made up that worked for me. Whatever works, right? I still have plenty of papers I completed. I used to be a C and F student, especially for math, but in her class? She rocked it, therefore I rocked it. It was a smaller classroom, so she was able to come to me sooner when I needed help, which kept inner frustration at a minimum. I wasn't one to internally implode or anything, but I would have felt bad about me being stupid and gotten restless from having to wait too long. That was one word that I was no allowed to say around her: Stupid. When her kids grew up, she never allowed them to say the word, "Stupid". For any reason. It's understandable. Stupid can be directed at a person to be mean, it could be directed at the self to beat oneself up, or it could be used to increase or promote ones hate towards something. "Math is stupid! This is stupid! This stupid zipper is broken!" Nothing is stupid. You can tackle anything. You can fix it. You can improve. I think that's why she didn't like the word. I use it a lot, and frankly it barely has much meaning to me. Sure, sometimes I'll beat myself up with it, and that's not healthy, but I've been using it for humor and all sort of things. It's just a funny sounding word. It was once one of my alternative cussing words (I once cussed, but then I got bored because everybody says the same things all the time. It's also bad and frowned upon in general, so I fixed it by making up my own "curse words". I've been making new ones ever since. But, yeah. Beth genuinely cared about all of us. Individually. She'd stay as long as three hours after school ended for the day just to help a kid with his/her homework so that they could improve their grades and help them learn how to do something. She stick around and listen to someone's story about a bad day they're having, or about chaos at home. She'd give great advice, give out useful numbers to call to help them out, even tell stories of her own hard childhood. I stuck around often because I couldn't concentrate and do homework at home. I'd fall behind in a class, too. I only failed one class because it required me to read a bunch of books I did not have time to read. AP Literature. Reader's block is a real thing, too. Oh, and I'm never reading Huckleberry Finn ever again. Reading that book was like trying to read in another language. Too many words and terms not commonly used nowadays, and the speech took me forever and never to read and understand. Making a bunch of quizzes and a major test that affected the majority of a student's grade was a huge mistake. It make me so upset to hear that several of the students in my class failed to pass the class, too. But I made up some of the credits lost by volunteering in my school library. Which marked the beginning of my public library life. With the things I did in the school library, it was basically equal to a library page position at a public library. Checking in and checking out books via the computer and book scanner, pushing a cart, etc. Of course, I did more than that. I helped out with a bunch of extra things such as helping with setting up a long poster, fetching textbooks from a storage room, running errands, and I can't remember what else. It was quite fun. I like feeling helpful. Always have. Ever since I was little. I often felt left out or unimportant, still do, so I've always like running errands, fetching things to solve problems, finishing things, etc. I guess by keeping busy, I feel more accomplished. I prove to myself that I am important for some things.)
...Uh, I'm getting way off track again. It's 2:36 AM. The mind train has derailed. I don't know where I'm going here, so I bid you a good night/morning.
...No, shut up, Jen. You totally forgot that you were originally talking about your cousins coming over.
To make it short and quick, lest I ramble off topic again:
My cousins came over to visit, I gave them some baby books, clothes, and a giant floor piano mat I found at a yard sale a couple of months ago. I had a bunch of [exhausting] fun running back and forth with the kids on the piano. Even the babies loved it. It went home with them 70+ miles away. I wonder how long the batteries will last? Hahaha!
Oh, and my sister gave them each a giant stuffed animal she was getting rid of. Cousin L said they slept with the stuffed animals that night. ^_^ So adorable.
Approximately 12:30 PM
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It's going to be in the lower 90's (Fahrenheit) this weekend. Ugh.
[Who knows what time? I'm getting a little fed up with keeping note of the times. I'm writing all over the place. I'll write a little midday, stop, then do a bunch more at night. I'm going to start not recording the times I stop writing, because it's just not practical anymore. I write when I will, and I write when I can. It was fun for a while, but I was doing it for myself because I thought I'd find it interesting to see my writing time patterns in the future. It was for a while, especially looking back in G3:DF, but now I'm a busy lady who doesn't stay up as late as 4, 5, 6, or 7 AM. I'll only pick it back up again if enough of you complain in the comments section below. Honestly, I don't think anybody is reading this blog. Blogger, a.k.a. Blogspot, is rather unpopular compared to Tumblr, Wordpress, etc. But I don't mind. I originally made these writing log blogs for my own records, just for fun, and to give me an extra motivational push to keep writing. I went from a cute sticker chart to this, and now I might soon start recording it elsewhere. Actually, since some of you might not like saying goodbye, I'll keep this blog running and do my initial writing here, making you still the first ones to read a new post as it's posted or edited. I like the simple style with all the tools in full view.]
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