So, Progress.

My editing slowed down in book 2 (Entangled LEREs) of the Incomplete States series. I blame it on three things.

  1. Life distractions
  2. A poorly written chapter
  3. Mischievous muses
  4. Misophonia

Life distractions happen. Part of it this week was enduring my normal descent into the dark troughs of my being. It’s a regular thing. I scowl, swear, and endure it, hoping to emerge as a perkier and happier person on the other end (which I do) while trying to reduce the dark side’s impact (which I barely manage to do) and reduce the time I’m affected (which I don’t do). I shrug. It’s over until the next episode.

The poorly written chapter is another matter. The first time I read the chapter, “A Dark and Stormy Night”, I finished confused about what I’d read. I immediately suspected that it’s probably not good when the author doesn’t understand what they wrote. A second reading was required, and then a third to drill down into why I was confused and what I can do about it. Two days were then spent on fixing it before I continued.

During that period, I reckoned that the changes were not significant but that once I’m done editing the four books, I’ll have a complete set of the first draft. Then I’ll edit and revise it again.

I had resigned myself to no writing like crazy while I’m editing the series. The muses, though, have become restless and bored. That makes them mischievous. Out of this, they’ve begun tossing out novel suggestions. They often use, “Wouldn’t it be fun to write,” as their opening prelude.

Yes, I enjoy hearing their ideas. It’s stimulating and exciting, which makes it harder for me to rein the muses in and gently tell them, “I’ll keep that in mind.” See, the muses always want me to drop everything else and start pursuing their idea right now. I don’t want to discourage them, but I need to be disciplined and finish this series and publish it first. This is growth and maturity for me, because just two years ago, I would have let the muses ride me like a horse and answer their spurs.

Misophonia (in my terms, based on my limited knowledge) is a strong emotional reaction to sounds. I have such a reaction to people smacking their lips while eating, or walking around humming and singing to themselves in pubic places like coffee shops. I’ve always blamed Mom for this behavior in me because I thought I’d learned my reactions from her. Mom was always snapping at us about the way we ate or chewed our gum, or for humming, turning pages loud, or making clicking noises.

As I do with things that bother me, I sought information and stumbled across misophonia. That linked page states, “The latest research suggests it is sensory processing issue within the brain. Misophonia elicits immediate negative physiological responses to certain sounds that most people don’t seem to notice. This sensitivity can have an adverse effect on a person’s life causing problems with activities of daily living.”

Well, shucks, that’s exactly what I endured this week. Twice, a particular woman came in, sat down at the table next to me, and hummed and sang to herself. Except for when she spoke, she hummed, even when others spoke to her. She hummed whether she was sitting, standing, or walking.

It drove me nuts. I recognized that it’s not her being inconsiderate, and that murdering her or growling at her wouldn’t help anything. As I processed her sounds, I realized this could be a coping mechanism. It could be subconscious.

It still annoyed me. I struggled to cope. I looked for somewhere else to sit (but also resented that would need to move because of her). 

So, I didn’t cope well, and it affected my editing. She’s not here today. I’ll shrug it off while researching how to cope.

Now, I’m ravenous for lunch and I’m done writing like crazy editing like crazy, for at least one more day.

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Floofdigenous

Floofdigenous (floofinition) – particular places where we normally or naturally find our pets in our homes.

In use: “In many homes, sofas, couches, beds, or patches of sunlight are floofdigenous to our cats and dogs.”

Thursday’s Theme Music.

I guess this is a throwback Thursday. Of course, many of my days are throwbacks. Some are throwaways.

I found myself streaming some ZZ Top as I walked this morning.

Jesus just left Chicago and he’s bound for New Orleans.
Well now, Jesus just left Chicago and he’s bound for New Orleans.
Yeah, yeah.
Workin’ from one end to the other and all points in between.

Took a jump through Mississippi, well, muddy water turned to wine.
Took a jump through Mississippi, muddy water turned to wine.
Yeah, yeah.
Then out to California through the forests and the pines.
Ah, take me with you, Jesus.

h/t to Lyricsfreak.com

Why this song, today? I don’t know. Maybe a smell that I didn’t consciously notice triggered a memory, or two neurons ran into each other on an axon and reminisced about the old days. Perhaps I whiffed someone toking up and connected that to  ZZ Top. Perhaps, in worrying about the present and future, I subconsciously longed for the past, and dredged up times that were simpler and happier for me. Maybe there’s no logic at all, but just random impulses.

The world may never know.

 

Multiple Dreams

I had multiple dreams last night. Most remain in pieces in my mind like debris after a storm. The essences:

  1. I was plotting a murder and intent on carrying it out. I don’t know who I was killing or my motive.
  2. A cat was the size of an American nickel. A happy little animal, he was kept in a jar. I watched over him, ensuring he wasn’t lost or injured, and played with him.
  3. The third dream found me playing a game that may have been a show on television. I was winning by answering questions and advancing through levels. It seemed to combine physical prowess and the ability to answer questions.

Not much further information is available on the murder dream. Awakening and thinking about it, I attribute it more to my writing muses than an intention to kill another person. I’m always thinking about escaping, surviving, killing, investigating, flying, traveling, exploring, and robbing places. They’re exercises for my imagination, IMO.

The cat dream was a simple anxiety dream. Quinn hasn’t been well. His breathing bothered us. We’d endured a summer of wildfire smoke and hazardous air, so I put his breathing problems down to that. We’d been keeping him inside and addressing his breathing issues. When he didn’t improve after the air improved, I thought I’d take him in for an antibiotic shot.

But the vet found a lump on Quinn’s neck, so we’re going through the challenge of treating him, keeping him hydrated, and feeding him. We’re not certain of his issue, yet. Never a large cat, he dropped two pounds and now weighs just five. He’s mostly perky, though, but not eating and drinking enough on his own. I take comfort and hope in signs like him rubbing up against me, jumping on my lap, stretching, trying to claw furniture, and yawning.

Meanwhile, I’m going through the process of letting him go. I’ve endured this with other pets, so I understand some of the emotional, physical, and intellectual dynamics. It’s always different, of course, and it’s never easy.

I enjoyed the game show dream. First, you’d press a button to start the big wheel spinning, and press the button again to stop it. The big wheel had activities and numbers. If it landed on the activity, you did it. Doing the activity, such as twenty push-ups, authorized you to rob a competitor by taking a token or moving them back by a spin on the punishing wheel.

If the big wheel landed on a number, that was the number of spaces you’d move. Climbing, crawling, jumping, and swinging on ropes were required to move along squares. After moving forward and stopping on a square, you were asked a question. Fall to answer it correctly — it was timed, but you had three chances — meant you faced the punishment wheel.

Come to think of it, there was a television audience cheering us on. Writing about it today prompts comparisons to an updated game of Life combined with Trival Pursuit, which sums up my writing life, I think.

Spinning wheels, killing time, chasing trivia, and hoping to advance, it’s a writer’s life.

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