Healer Report #1 – Dangers of major surgery (TMI ahead…if you’re squeamish, watch out!)

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Hello everyone. First, you’ll notice the blog changed again. That’s to proudly display the Amberwoods Station banner that my friend Sara made for me. She did some other stuff for the Amberwoods Station for me, and you’ll get to see those later.

Second, yesterday I went to the OB/GYN to discuss the possibility of a major surgery to deal with my monthly cycles. That was what I really wanted. However, he laid out what the risks for me were. I’m a high risk candidate for major surgery. I have a clotting disease – it’s genetic (we tested that a few months ago) – and if I have major surgery, I run a high risk of having more blood clots that could easily form in my lungs and kill me. I could also have a stroke, which would either paralyze me or kill me. Or I could have a heart attack or two…which would most likely kill me. Can you see the trend here?

We discussed several different options and I finally agreed to try one that I wasn’t sure I wanted, but if it takes care of some of the issues I have every month I’m happy to try it. The first option we’re going to try will take six months to start working, but six months is better than death.

One thing that my doctor said has stuck with me, and I thought I’d share it here. He told me yesterday: “People think surgery is like buying a plane ticket to New York City. You buy the ticket, go to NYC, then fly home. They think, ‘hey, that was easy and I’m very happy.’ Surgery isn’t like that all. It’s a very serious thing to consider, especially if you have other health issues. Always do the research before you request a surgery. If you’re referred to get a surgery, research the procedure before you go through it so you know what to expect.

–End report

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It’s been a while…

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Hey everyone. So it’s been a while since I posted here. Let me assure you it’s not because I’ve been meaning to neglect all of you. Life just seems to keep getting in my way – that and I’ve got one hell of a crunch to get my novel done in time for my June publication date.

As you can see, the blog got another overhaul. I’ve decided to incorporate both my fantasy and my science fiction into one place. That place is Amberwoods Station. As the tagline says, it’s the “waystation for the characters from all the worlds created by Alison Guynes.” And Alison Guynes is, well, ME.

I have so many stories knocking about in my head that I decided I wanted a collective umbrella to put them under and – ultimately – publish them under. So Amberwoods Station now exists. It exists on Facebook as both a business page as well as a group. My DeviantArt page, as soon as I figure out how to change things up a bit, will reflect this as well. And the website I abandoned working on several months ago will also bear the Amberwoods Station name.

I have a good friend who’s working on my logo for me, so right now the images you see on this site are placeholders until I can get the full work up done. Also, as my publication date gets closer, you’ll be seeing more hints of my cover art, snippets of The Tiger’s Keeper (aka Tiger, Tiger), and other fun stuff tied into everything I’m doing.

So watch this space closely!

You never know who or what will show up. 😀

Amberwoods Station – Part 1

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(I know I said no more novels. Believe me, this won’t be one. I hope. XD Amberwoods Station is the name of the online store that will be centered around me and my books that I plan on eventually starting. I may even do a couple more little stories from it once I finish this one. Who knows?)

“Welcome to Amberwoods Station!” As you debark from what you THOUGHT was an ordinary airplane, you’re greeted by a cheerful young woman with almond shaped blue eyes flecked with black who stands at around the height of an average woman’s shoulder. Her blond hair is pulled back in two braids so you can see the elegantly pointed ears adorned with some very ornate gold jewelry.
“Anila, make sure you show them around this time,” someone calls. He’s tall, taller than anyone you’ve ever seen. His hair is the color of ink, and he is blessed with one amber eye and one green. His distinctly Asian look is at odds with his muscular build, and the military uniform he’s wearing doesn’t look like any you’ve ever seen.
The girl he called Anila sticks her tongue out at his back before turning back to you. She’s still smiling, but there’s something more in those blue eyes. The black seems more prominent and there’s a lot of pain and sorrow there that wasn’t there a moment before.
“Oh, you want to know who that was?” Anila asks, and the pain is gone. “That’s Commander Kuen Nakano. He’s part of the Sector Military Strategic Command.” She tilts her head and smiles. “If you want to know which Sector, you’ll have to wait to enter his universe.”
]
Universe? What the hell is going on here?
Anila smacks her forehead with the heel of her palm. On her wrists you can see odd marks, almost like writing but not in any language you’ve ever seen. “I really hate when the multiverse shifts like this. I wonder where the poor sods who were in the transport that was supposed to come here ended up. I hope they’re having a better day than you are.” Anila takes a deep breath. “Guests, you’d better follow me. There’s a lot for you to learn, and you’re going to be here for a while.”
“Anila, you were told to show them around.” The man who’s speaking now is shorter than Anila, but he appears to be built like a rock wall. He’s wearing some kind of high tech armor that looks well used. As you look, the armor moves as if it’s alive. You take a step back and his head snaps around. “Are they a threat? Do I need to eliminate them?” The armor begins to creep up his neck.
“Donnevon, stand down,” Anila says firmly. The man’s eyes go blank, and then his armor settles back into its old position. “There was some kind of error with the transportation system. I need to report this and have our new arrivals cleared for further exploration of the station.” She pauses. “I’ve never had this happen before. Who do I talk to?”
Donnevon looks at her. “I would say your best bet will be the Silver Wolf and his breeding partner,” he says. “I believe they are the security commanders of this level.” He pauses as well. “Or there is always…her.”
Anila blanches. “I’m not taking them to her unless I have to,” she says. She turns back to you. “I’ll take you to Gar and Lira. He’s one of the Wolves, and she’s a Wilding. It’s really funny. They’re both extremely low tech people. I mean, they come from a land even more primitive than mine. At least our magic is capable of making our lives simpler, much like your technology. In their home, magic is still very much a frightening thing and only a very few are allowed by law to use it. Lira’s one of those. Gar is her husband. Ignore the whole ‘breeding partner’ thing from Donnevon. There are no actual marriages in his world, or so he claims.” Anila shrugs. “His world is way more high tech and bloody than I can handle. So I only peek through the gate when it opens as someone travels through.”
Finally, one of your traveling companions gets the courage to speak. “Young lady, this game has gone on long enough. I’m going to be late for my daughter’s wedding,” she says.
Anila raises an eyebrow. “If your daughter lives in the mundane reality of 21st century Earth that I’m guessing you’re all from? You’ve most likely already missed it. Time here is, um, tricky. I think it’s only been a day or two since your vehicle disappeared, but I could be wrong. That’s something someone in Multiversal Space and Time Management should be able to figure that out for us.” She turns and starts down towards what you swear is a corridor in a space station. “Come on, this way!” She beckons and slowly all of you follow her.

Medical update

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It’s been a long time since I did one of these. I know a lot of you are more interested in my fiction rather than my reality, but this blog isn’t just about my writing. It’s about me, my life, and everything I do outside the writing.

I’m due to go to the vascular surgeon next month to discuss a surgery to reduce swelling on my left leg. My right leg, which is always swollen, is ineligible for the same surgery because I had a DVT (blood clot) in the main vein when I was in my late teens, early 20s. How I didn’t notice – and survived it – I don’t know. But there is scarring in the vein to prove it was there. The surgery basically shuts down the main vein, leaving a lesser vein in charge of blood flow. This reduces the swelling. Because of the DVT scarring, it’s too dangerous to do the surgery on the right leg.

As a result of the swelling, I’m stuck wearing compression pantyhose for the rest of my life. I’m not going into the gritty details, but I actually had to put my surgery consultation off for an extra three months because I kept getting shitty compression hose from Ames Walker (an online medical supply store). I left multiple poor reviews on their site as well as other places online and finally got a halfway decent pair…that ended up with a huge whole in the butt within a week. The legs are in good repair, so I’m still wearing them. I can’t afford to get more. The really good ones run $150+, and that is WAY above my financial abilities right now.

The reason for the three month wait is because Medicare requires three months in the compression hose before they’ll pay for the surgery. It’s the wonderful bureaucracy being arseholes again. But I go see them next month, and we’ll find out when the surgery is and how long the recovery is. And what the recovery will be like.

I’m on a blood thinner now because of a history of blood clots. We did a DNA test and I have the genetic marker for a hereditary clotting disorder. My dad has the same thing. Both of us are on the same blood thinner, which is a newer one that doesn’t require constant blood tests and doesn’t have the dietary restrictions that Warfarin (Coumadin) does. I like it because I’m on a maintenance dose for now. I’ll check in with my hematologist in a year and we’ll go from there.

I’m still dealing with my seizures, but I haven’t had one in almost a year. I’m going to talk to my neurologist about reducing my meds the next time I see him…which is in March, I think. My seizures didn’t start until I got put on the Zyprexa, which has a side effect of seizures. I’m off that med now, and have been for about a year. So now I’m wondering if that was the source of my seizures since I’d never had one before that time.

Going to the mental health side of things, a lot of things have changed there. My original counselor moved to Canada, so I switched to a new one closer to home. I like my new counselor because she specializes in trauma and PTSD. I’ve only seen her a few times, but she’s already been a big help. I also have a new med manager – again, one closer to home – which makes me happy. This is mostly because she’s closer to me. But it’s also because the bitch in Newport wouldn’t listen to me and has caused me no end of trouble. She’s been reported to the state numerous times, and I don’t know if something’s being done now about all of the infractions that were leveled against her.

Between my counselor and my med manager, we’re beginning to wonder if I’m actually bipolar. We tossed around borderline personality disorder, but I didn’t fit the symptoms for that either. One of the things both Adriana and Patricia pointed out was the fact that PTSD could be misdiagnosed as bipolar.

I was 16 when I was first diagnosed, and right in the middle of the worst childhood ever. (Abusive mother, distant father, violent older sister, oblivious older sister, disinterested older brother, and a younger sister that needed constant protection with me being her only protector.) The counselor we went to called my mom in with me so I couldn’t tell him anything about what was really going on. Not that I would have at that point. I was too scared.

He decided I was bipolar II rapid cycling, and put me on lithium. That was the most horrific medication I’ve ever taken. Then he added Depakote. Talk about zombie. I eventually took myself off those meds and my life was chaos for many years. I finally got things sorted out and was put on all sorts of different meds over the years. Finally they settled on Prozac and my anti-seizure meds. They turned me half numb and I had a hard time with some emotions.

I also had issues (THIS MAY BE TOO TMI FOR SOME) with my libido. As in I didn’t have one. Sex happened maybe once or twice a month, not for a lack of trying by my husband. It either hurt or I was so disinterested that he couldn’t get me to even want to try to get in the mood.

Finally, my new med manager decided that maybe – just maybe – I was just suffering from PTSD and that I wasn’t bipolar and didn’t have borderline personality disorder. She thinks that with dedicated therapy a lot of my mood issues will vanish. To that end, she took me off the Prozac I’ve been on for years and put me on Effexor, a drug that takes the edge off of the anxiety that comes part and parcel with PTSD.

It took a few weeks, but a whole new world opened up to me. I could feel again in every situation. I now like to laugh, to play, to move. Walks are more enjoyable. I’m happy again. I’m more active. I have a real desire to improve my health, lose weight, and make myself look better. I want nice clothes (like dresses, skirts, blouses, jackets, etc.), which I haven’t wanted for years. I’ve had a whole personality shift once I was off the Prozac.

Another thing that’s happened (again, this might be too much TMI) is my libido has kicked back in. I’m not nearly as active as I used to be. I’m not in my 20s anymore. But I’ve been enjoying my husband’s company again. That’s another thing that’s changed. My husband and I are getting along better. We fight less, talk more, and can understand each other’s emotions.

The downside to being on the Effexor instead of the Prozac is I’m feeling again and don’t know how to deal with some of these emotions. I lash out when I shouldn’t, I get really snippy at times for no reason whatsoever, and I act impulsively when I’m agitated. I’m having to learn how to deal with all of this stuff again. It’s hard, but worth it because I’m enjoying life even more now.

I was diagnosed with a sleep disorder with a long, fancy name that boils down to “we don’t know what the fuck you have so we’re just giving you a general narcolepsy disorder.” I tend to fall asleep whenever I feel tired, which is usually all day and all night. I’m getting used to it though and I’m finding ways of getting more sleep and/or staying awake during the day.

I’m dealing with a lot of pain these days, but I use pot from time to time to deal with it when I just can’t ignore it. I don’t take pain pills of any kind. The damage OTC pain pills can do to you is astounding and very dangerous. I also won’t take opioids because of the risk of addiction. Speaking of addictions, the pot is actually killing my desire for alcohol too. As a recovering alcoholic I find that to be a highly useful side benefit. I hate smoking, so that’s my last resort for imbibing in the pot. I make cannabutter from one of our crops and make edibles. Those are my preferred method of partaking in cannabis.

I think that’s it for now. I’ll update you when I have my vascular appointment.

Hugs to you all, and may the rest of your week and the weekend be amazing and full of life and laughter.

Writing & publishing schedule update

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Hi everyone! Normally I publish at 8 AM. I know this. And I’ll get back to publishing at that time soon. I’m just trying to sort out my daily schedule right now so bear with me. I’ve got a lot of stuff to get done during the day so I need to work out how I’m going to do it all.

As the title suggests, I’m altering a few things with my writing projects for this year. First, before I start working on any of my serious novel work, I’m going to do little fifteen minute writing exercises. Just random little drabbles, maybe set in the worlds of the stories and maybe not. But they will be in the genres I write – fantasy and science fiction. I’ll be posting those here on the blog, very similar to what I was posting before I started putting Tiger, Tiger up here.

Now, I do still plan on self publishing a book in June and one in December. Tiger, Tiger will be published in June and Into the Flames will be published in December. I was trying to work on the two stories in alternate months, but it’s just not working. So I’m devoting all my time and attention during my writing times – except for the writing warm up exercises of course – to Lilavati and Manas. I’ve got a lot of work to do and five and a half weeks to do it in. I know I can do it in, but I’m going to be working really hard.

Once I’m happy with Tiger, Tiger – and get it beta read and edited – I’ll get back to work on Into the Flames. I’m struggling with it right now anyway, so restarting it probably isn’t a bad idea.

I’ve also decided to work as a plantser for Tiger, Tiger. I’m going to read through what I’ve got, pick out the main plot and the subplots and post index cards on my wall. Once I do that, I’m going to figure out how I want to address each plot point and just set up some vague notes on how I want to work those points in and weave them together. I’m also going to keep notes on the foreign words I use and the names of places/the meanings of the words because I kept forgetting the name of Lilavati’s home. 😀

So keep your eyes open here for further updates, and watch for Wattpad links. I’d like feedback on the new format and chapters as I post them there, so please leave me comments when I do a link post here.

Everyone have a wonderful day and I’ll see you when I get the next post written. (Hopefully tomorrow…and hopefully it’ll post at 8. XD)

PHEW!

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Holy Hannah in a handbasket…that took way longer than I expected it to. For those of you who are curious, Tiger, Tiger comes in at around 90k words as a first draft. *falls over dead* Thanks for sticking around to the end (if you have) and what a way to end the writing year.

Also, I’ve learned a very valuable lesson – I am NOT going to do another novel on my blog. Well, maybe not “never,” but not for a long time. That was exhausting. And this is a reminder for those of you who might want to scream at me about continuity errors at the end – if there are any, which I’m sure there are – this is a FIRST DRAFT. Completely unedited, and I didn’t go back and read anything I’d already written, except perhaps the last couple paragraphs just to see where I’d left off if I needed a reminder. I treated it a little like NaNoWriMo – get it done without dithering.

If you want a more coherent collection of chapters in the story, I have them on my DeviantArt account. At somewhere around 3k-4k a pop for the chapter lengths, there are twenty nine chapters. I’ll toss the link up at the end of this.

What I’ve learned from this is that yes, it is possible for me to write a novel without going back and editing the crap out of it as I go. That’s been one of my biggest downfalls when writing a novel is I never finish them because I’m always editing instead of writing.

By this point I’m working on (if I haven’t already finished it) the new first draft of Into the Flames…and the chapters may even be going up on DeviantArt. I’m considering using that as a tool to keep me from editing as I go. I have a deadline to get my chapters up (self imposed) because I have a bunch of followers who want the next story, the next chapter, the next tale. If I do that, then I won’t have to worry about keeping them entertained. I won’t have to worry about wanting to edit as I go.

So, we’ll see how my little experiment goes. Wish me luck!

And here is my DeviantArt account – you’ll find lots of stuff here.

100 Truths

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Hi everyone! A friend of mine did this on her blog and challenged her readers to do this on theirs. So…here I am! I’m answering these just for fun. Enjoy!

The Basics
1 What’s your name? Alison Margaret Guynes
2 Any nicknames or aliases? Blondie, Ali Cat, Ali, Dear
3 Your gender? Female
4 Your star sign? Taurus
5 How old are you? 40
6 Your relationship status? Happily married
7 Any children? I have 4 children, 2 girls and 2 boys (born in that order). I haven’t seen them since 2010, when Idaho took them away from me and we gave up our parental rights. It was the best thing for them since we couldn’t take care of ourselves, let alone four young children (they were 7, 5, 4, and 2 when we last saw them.) I do miss them terribly, and I wish I’d been a better mother to them. My hope is one day they’ll come looking for me and I can tell them how sorry I am and that I hope they’ve had good lives.
8 Any pets? Yes – a cat (Reidar) and a terrier/something mix (Whiskey)
9 Any tattoos or piercings? I have a tattoo of two roses with crossed stems – one black and one red – on the back of my right shoulder blade. I intend to have more eventually, starting with a semi colon. (If you want to know why, look up Project Semicolon.)
10 What do you like about yourself? My creativity and my imagination.
11 What do you dislike about yourself? How depressed and negative I can be, as well as the fact that I have to deal with PTSD.
12 Righty or lefty? I’m right handed.Lasts
13 The last thing you drank: Hot chocolate
14 The last thing you ate: A breakfast scramble
15 Your last phone call: To my neurologist to request a refill on one of my seizure medications.
16 Your last text message: Confirming with Whatsapp that my phone number was correct.
17 Your last email: To my friend Deb, I think.
18 The last song you listened to: Run Boy Run, by Woodkid
19 The last book you read: Crimson Bayou by Alizabeth Lynn (go buy it…it’s awesome!)
20 The last time you cried: A few days ago maybe? I don’t remember.
21 The last blog you read: Armand Rosamilia, Project Entertainment Network
22 The last person you spoke to: My husband
23 The last place you visited: Portland, OR
24 Your last holiday abroad: 12/5-12/6 (when we were in Portland, OR)Have you ever?
25 Have you ever gotten back with an ex? No
26 Have you ever been cheated on? Yes
27 Have you ever cheated on someone? Yes
28 Have you ever lost someone special to you? Yes
29 Have you ever been so drunk you threw up? Yes
30 Have you ever fallen out of love with someone? Yes
31 Have you ever met someone who changed you? Yes
32 Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are? Yes
33 Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have? Yes
34 Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back? Yes
35 Have you ever broken someone’s heart? Not that I know of.
36 Have you ever kissed a stranger? I don’t think so, but I might have.
37 Have you ever had your own heart broken? Yes
38 Have you ever had sex on the first date? No
39 Have you ever been arrested? Yes
40 Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive? Yes
41 Have you ever done something you regret? Many things
42 Have you ever had a threesome? No
43 Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public? Several times.
44 Have you ever misjudged someone? Many times. I’m not a good judge of people.

Your Beliefs and Opinions
45 Do you believe in God? No
46 Do you believe in yourself? Some days I do, some days I don’t.
47 Do you believe in Santa Claus? No I don’t, and I stopped believing in him when I got a letter from him that was in my older sister’s handwriting. My parents denied it, but I’d gotten enough letters from her to recognize it.
48 Do you believe in ghosts? Kind of.
49 Do you believe in aliens? It depends on what you mean by aliens. If you mean the Grays, no. If you mean life on another planet somewhere in the universe, then yes I do.
50 Do you believe in miracles? Yes
51 Do you believe in the power of positive thinking? Yes
52 Do you believe in love at first sight? No
53 Can money make you happy? No, but it will help relieve some of the stress we’re under.
54 Would you describe yourself as a feminist? Meh
55 Are you pro-life or pro-choice? Again, meh
56 Do you have strong political beliefs? Yes
57 Do you have strong religious beliefs? Yes
58 What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is? Love

Right Now
59 Are you eating anything right now? No
60 Are you drinking anything right now? Yes – water
61 What are you listening to right now? Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap – Episode 110 (There are 252 actual episodes plus little travel intermissions.)
62 What are you thinking about right now? Cooking the pizza.
63 What are you waiting for right now? For the oven to preheat.
64 What are you most excited about right now? The possibility of going to Portland for Christmas with our friends.
65 What’s your pet hate right now? People who beat a dead horse, aka continuously go on and on about things after they’ve already made their points very clear.
66 What’s your favourite thing right now? My big teddy bear and my new wireless gaming headset, both Christmas presents. My teddy bear is from my husband and the gaming headset is from the friends who live in Portland.
67 If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now? Either working on Into the Flames or working on something else for a weekend blog post.

Firsts
68 Your first best friend: Athena Whitmore
69 Your first kiss: 1st grade, my “boyfriend” Jake Zierow
70 Your first celebrity crush: I don’t know that I ever crushed on a celebrity. I thought some were good looking – both male and female – but realistically I never actually crushed on any of them.
71 Your first holiday: If you mean holiday like a trip, it was to the aquarium in Spokane, WA. At least I think it was in Spokane. I was 5 and I can remember the fish and that’s about it.
72 Your first pet: We had two – a black lab/German shorthair mix named Dan (he was 18 when we finally put him down right before we moved from northern Idaho to southern Idaho – I was 7 at that point), and a cat named Cleo who was a real bitch (we gave her and her one set of kittens away before we moved.)
73 Your first regret: Not being able to protect my little sister from violence
74 Your first job: McDonalds…and that isn’t a pleasant memory
75: Your first childhood memory: Getting into trouble for spilling grape juice on my white church dress…I was 2

Which would you choose?
76 Love or money? Love
77 Twitter or Facebook? Facebook
78 Hook up or relationship? Relationship
79 Dogs or cats? Both
80 Coffee or tea? Tea
81 Beer or wine? Neither, I don’t drink
82 Sweet or savoury? Both
83 Introvert or extrovert? Introvert
84 Vampires or werewolves?
85 Seaside or countryside?
86 Summer or winter?
87 Books or movies
88 Horror or comedy

A few random questions to finish on
89 Do you wish you could change your past? Yes and no – I’d like to change some things, but if I did I wouldn’t be who I am, I wouldn’t have met my husband, and I most likely wouldn’t be this close to becoming a published author.
90 What’s your dream job? Full time, professional author
91 What’s your guilty pleasure? “Shopping” for custom content for Sims 4 (it doesn’t actually cost me anything, other than time…and I spend a lot of time doing it)
92 What are you afraid of? Water, abandonment, people
93 What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up? A ballerina
94 If you could have any super power, what would it be? Telekinesis
95 If you could change anything about your life what would it be? I’d get rid of all my health problems.
96 Would you want immortality? No. Life is meant to end.
97 If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose? Anne McCaffrey and/or Andre Norton – they were among the first women who wrote sci fi. I want to know what it was like and how they did it.
98 Would you say you are happy? Meh – some days are better than others.
99 What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen? Don’t hook up with that derpy woman you meet in Institute. She’ll destroy your life and your older sister’s marriage.
100 Where would you like to be in five years’ time? I’d like to have several books published. I’d like to be attending writing cons, and I’d like to be living in my own house with my husband and NO roommates.

 

If you want to participate in this, here are the questions. Post them on your blog and answer away!

The Basics
1 What’s your name?
2 Any nicknames or aliases?
3 Your gender?
4 Your star sign?
5 How old are you?
6 Your relationship status?
7 Any children?
8 Any pets?
9 Any tattoos or piercings?
10 What do you like about yourself?
11 What do you dislike about yourself?
12 Righty or lefty?

Lasts
13 The last thing you drank:
14 The last thing you ate:
15 Your last phone call:
16 Your last text message:
17 Your last email:
18 The last song you listened to:
19 The last book you read:
20 The last time you cried:
21 The last blog you read:
22 The last person you spoke to:
23 The last place you visited:
24 Your last holiday abroad:

Have you ever?
25 Have you ever gotten back with an ex?
26 Have you ever been cheated on?
27 Have you ever cheated on someone?
28 Have you ever lost someone special to you?
29 Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?
30 Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?
31 Have you ever met someone who changed you?
32 Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?
33 Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?
34 Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?
35 Have you ever broken someone’s heart?
36 Have you ever kissed a stranger?
37 Have you ever had your own heart broken?
38 Have you ever had sex on the first date?
39 Have you ever been arrested?
40 Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?
41 Have you ever done something you regret?
42 Have you ever had a threesome?
43 Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?
44 Have you ever misjudged someone?

Your Beliefs and Opinions
45 Do you believe in God?
46 Do you believe in yourself?
47 Do you believe in Santa Claus?
48 Do you believe in ghosts?
49 Do you believe in aliens?
50 Do you believe in miracles?
51 Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?
52 Do you believe in love at first sight?
53 Can money make you happy?
54 Would you describe yourself as a feminist?
55 Are you pro-life or pro-choice?
56 Do you have strong political beliefs?
57 Do you have strong religious beliefs?
58 What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

Right Now
59 Are you eating anything right now?
60 Are you drinking anything right now?
61 What are you listening to right now?
62 What are you thinking about right now?
63 What are you waiting for right now?
64 What are you most excited about right now?
65 What’s your pet hate right now?
66 What’s your favourite thing right now?
67 If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

Firsts
68 Your first best friend:
69 Your first kiss:
70 Your first celebrity crush:
71 Your first holiday:
72 Your first pet:
73 Your first regret:
74 Your first job:
75: Your first childhood memory:

Which would you choose?
76 Love or money?
77 Twitter or Facebook?
78 Hook up or relationship?
79 Dogs or cats?
80 Coffee or tea?
81 Beer or wine?
82 Sweet or savoury?
83 Introvert or extrovert?
84 Vampires or werewolves?
85 Seaside or countryside?
86 Summer or winter?
87 Books or movies
88 Horror or comedy

A few random questions to finish on
89 Do you wish you could change your past?
90 What’s your dream job?
91 What’s your guilty pleasure?
92 What are you afraid of?
93 What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
94 If you could have any super power, what would it be?
95 If you could change anything about your life what would it be?
96 Would you want immortality?
97 If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?
98 Would you say you are happy?
99 What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?
100 Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

Goals for December 2017

NaNo-2017-Winner-Badge

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I managed a weekend post. I’ve been having some issues as well as just general laziness, so those are my excuses. They’re not good ones. But there they are.

I was decidedly unmotivated last month. I don’t know if that’s because I forgot to do a goal post, if I did a goal post and ignored it, or found that I just didn’t care because November was a month full of stress and depression for me. I did manage to win NaNoWriMo though. I barely squeaked by with 50,067 words, though if you look at the NaNo website it says 50,167. I heard from a lot of friends that the validator on the site added 100 words to their documents too.

So, here’s December’s goals –

  1. Get back on the weight loss train. – This is getting rather vital as I’ve gained back all the weight I lost and my health isn’t that great because of it. My end goal is 135-140 lbs, which is the “healthy weight” for a 5’3″ woman. At 40, this is going to take a lot longer to get rid of than if I was still in my 20s or 30s, but it is possible.
  2. Document more of my cooking adventures. – My ultimate end goal with a lot of my cooking adventures is to write a cookbook. I can’t do that if I don’t have pictures of the foods I’m preparing. So I need more pictures! I also need to be better about writing down the recipes I make up off the cuff so I can repeat them later if they’re popular.
  3. Finish the first draft of Into the Flames. – I want to be able to start the rewriting process for The Tiger’s Keeper (aka Tiger, Tiger) in January so it’s hopefully ready for publication by June. To do this, I need to get the second draft done and into shape for my beta readers.
  4. Try to get non-fiction posts up every weekend. – Yes, this is still the goal. It’ll continue being the goal even after Tiger, Tiger is done on my blog since you’ll be going back to the short little drabbles of fiction during the week, sometimes supplanted by my “slices of real life” posts as things happen.
  5. Focus some time on personal growth plans. – I have a lot of ideas for what I want to do to and for myself to become a better person. I really need to do this, as some of my less pleasant personality quirks are causing issues for people. So I’m going to be addressing at least one of those this month.

I think this should be enough for me to get through December. We’ll see how everything goes in January. I hope you all have a great weekend and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Questions, questions – too many questions (or is there such a thing?)

question-mark-2492009_1280

Again, the picture is from Pixabay, courtesy of qimono – CC0

If you’ve seen The Dark Crystal, you should remember Augrah and her great machine that maps the heavens. Here’s the scene where she’s discussing the Great Conjunction. Pay special attention to what she says to Jen at the end.

“Questions, questions, too many questions.”

How many questions do we ask in a day? In a week? In a month? In a year? As a writer, I should be asking a lot of questions. Yet I don’t. I’m too scared to ask questions. If I don’t know something – like the definition of a word or some idea of science – I’ll look it up. Yet when someone says something I don’t understand? I’m mum.

I’m afraid I’ll ask too many questions. I don’t want to be a bother. Yet am I a bother when I ask questions? Will I annoy anyone by asking questions when I don’t understand something? I’ll tell you one thing – it irritates people even more when I assume and don’t ask questions.

If you’re curious? Ask. If you need to know something? Ask. If you want help? Ask. If you don’t have all the information and the temptation to guess or make an assumption, don’t make the assumption. Ask questions!

On the other side, when people ask you questions, don’t evade them. Answer them. At the very least tell them that you don’t know the answer, or that you’re uncomfortable giving them the answer and would prefer not to say. You can tell people no and mean it. Inversely, you can tell them yes and mean it.

Don’t be afraid to question everything. Don’t be afraid to answer questions. Live your life in a cloud of curiosity and honesty (as much as possible.) Be happy, be healthy, and enjoy your life.

Enjoy your day and we’ll be back to Tiger, Tiger tomorrow. I hope you’re still enjoying it, because we’ve still got a long way to go. 🙂

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