Things Were Going So Well

When I first moved into the apartment building, I had my Amazon, FedEx, and UPS orders delivered to my door because the building is relatively secure. This worked just fine. Then we were given a new manager and assistant manager.

One of their first changes was to encourage residents to use the lockers down by the lobby for package deliveries. It seemed like a good idea to me, so I signed up. Amazon delivery people generally utilized the lockers for their deliveries, but some just left the packages on the floor beside the lockers. FedEx and UPS delivery people generally continued to deliver to a resident’s door.

The apartment manager gave the leasing agent the responsibility to manage the lockers, especially when the Amazon deliveries ended up in the floor. That worked for a few months until the leasing agent quit. Then it fell onto the assistant manager to handle the lockers.

I didn’t have any problems even though things seemed to be in total disarray.

Then yesterday my recent order was delivered. According to the Amazon delivery person, my order was left in the mail room. There was a picture of it in a locker. Unfortunately, the delivery person didn’t send the code I need to open the locker. I went to Amazon Customer Service and communed with the chat line app. It’s sending me a refund for my order. I reordered my product and we’ll try again.

A Touch of Depression

Although I take 150 mg of Wellbutrin for depression, there are times when it simply won’t go away, like today. It’s not so bad that suicide is an option, but it’s still weighing heavily on my consciousness. I have an urge to go away for awhile. Just get in the car and drive for a few days hitting motels wherever I find them.

Of course, I can’t go this weekend because I’m having my new mattress delivered tomorrow. And, I can’t be gone next week because my new computer has shipped from the factory in Chongqing, PRC.

So, maybe once I get the new computer up and running I can take a little road trip. I’m thinking east would be a good direction. Go see the Atlantic. Maybe, go see St. Augustine. But, maybe not there considering the neuropathy is bugging the heck out of me. My feet are tingling something fierce and walking around something historic doesn’t sound like fun.

Then there’s my novel The Companion that needs to be rewritten into first person. Maybe a trip to the ocean is what I need to do first. Load the car up with CDs to listen to Richard Dawkins and James Patterson. Then there’s all the music CDs I have. It doesn’t have to be like the drive down here from Gold Bar, all a big rush. It can be a slow drive.

I wonder if a drive to, say, Palm Springs would be a good idea. I’ll have to think about that. Think about anything except for how depressed I think I am. I’ll see what my new PC thinks about it. I’ll see what my new PC thinks about everything. I certainly hope he’s better than Dr. Aziz. Oh, well, new mattress tomorrow, new PC appointment on Tuesday, new computer sometime next week, and then think about a little trip to clear my mind.

Stubbornness Is Not An Asset

So far in my old age project to write novels, I’ve written three that have been flops. Why is that? I have to admit I’m a pantser. It’s not bad being a pantser, but it’s not an efficient process in building a novel. It’s OK for short stories like I’ve been doing at for the past fifteen and a half years, but pantsing doesn’t translate well into novels.

What’s the solution to this problem? I could just try again, or I could try something else. That something else is doing an outline. I’ve explored this route before, even going so far as to buying Scrivner, watching MasterClass videos by novelists who outline, and reading various books on the subject.

A couple days ago, I came across yWriter as a outlining tool in K. M. Weiland’s e-book Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success, but I think I’m going to try outlining on Word as a first step. We’ll just have to see where this leads.

Honestly, This Has to Change

I had plans for today. I was going to get up at 9:00, have breakfast, get cleaned up, take the Metamucil, and go over to the gym.

In reality, I turned off the alarm. The next thing I new it was significantly past 11:30 and I was still in bed. By the time I got to the kitchen to take my morning meds, it was 12:00 and I had lost the urge to go to the gym. It’s going on 3:00 now and the necessity of going to the gym seems to have been pushed onto a back burner. Maybe tomorrow.

No, honestly, my life has to change. I’m literally stuck in this apartment. I’m not getting out. I think I’ve got PAD because getting up out of bed in the middle of the night or in the morning has become a near impossibility. I’m using the compression stockings, but I don’t think I’m supposed to wear them in bed. Something about blood clots, if I remember right.

So, I guess we’ll try for tomorrow.

On writing, I’m busily rewriting the novel into First Person Present, which was a suggestion from the Jericho Writers analyst.

On reading, I’m close to finishing How Fiction Works by James Wood. I need to get back to reading before going to sleep because I seem to sleep better doing that. Also, I’m going to have to read more during the day.

On life in general, I’ve got an appointment with my shrink on Tuesday morning. I have to remember to tell him I’ve moved my Primary Care over to the Garland clinic. That may affect where I get my mental health appointments.

Getting Some Exercise

I had plans to go to a gym next week and get started on a new exercise program. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get out of the apartment building garage, but with the ice on the streets that might not be doable. That’s right. I’m iced in. Typical North Texas wintery mix storm. Almost an inch of ice covered with sleet and insulated with snow.

Still somewhat laid up with sciatica, but it is getting better. Yesterday I only had one muscle spasm and that was in my right hip. It’s a bit sore this morning, but I’ll put some heat on it later and see what happens.

My biggest problem is getting up in the morning and being able to walk. The pain is excruciating, It’s all I can do to walk out of the bedroom to the chair at the counter. I cannot think about walking into the bathroom to pee. I’ve got a bucket by the bed to take care of that problem. I suppose I could go to the doctor, but what will he do except put me back into physical therapy. My problem is not getting enough exercise. Actually, my problem is not getting any exercise.

So, I sit in the recliner typing this, exercising my fingers wishing I had the means to get to a gym.

Belated New Year’s Message

This certainly hasn’t been a happy New Year for me. It started on my way home from my son’s home where I spent Christmas. I had rented a car from Budget, but unfortunately I didn’t check out its condition. The top half of the driver’s side windshield wiper was separated from the rim. But the real problem was an empty wiper fluid tank. The highways to the airport were covered with a mixture of ice, snow, slush, and sand, which was near impossible with the tools I had to clean the windshield. Luckily traffic was slow, but that meant sitting in the car for an extra amount of time.

Then I got into the terminal where there were tons of people. It took me a while to find the end of my line, but that didn’t mean anything good. The line was so slow. Then a serious problem cropped up. For the past couple years I’ve lost the ability to stand for any extended amount of time. I could see the ticket counter, but I knew I wasn’t going to make it there. Luckily the wheelchair station was between me and the ticket counter. I felt like a fool for having to do it, but I went up and requested assistance and I got it.

My wheelchair went around the main ticket counter to the special ticket counter for employees and disabled. Soon it was at security and going through that was a snap. The guy pushing the wheelchair helped me with my computer bag and hoodie. Didn’t have to remove my shoes. Didn’t have to walk through the scanner. Soon we were on our way to the gate, which happened to be the last gate on the concourse. Lucky I had a wheelchair.

I got home without too much trouble, but I noticed pains in the back of my thighs and calves. I went to the store to get some milk and cantaloupe. The next day I did my laundry. The day after that I was going to go to the Dallas VA Med Center to get my new compression stockings, but as I opened the door to go out, I knew I wasn’t going to make it there and back home. The pain in my back, thighs, knees, calves, and feet was so bad I just went back to bed. I was stuck in my apartment for eleven days. I went out the next day, got my mail and Amazon packages, figured I go to the Med Center the next day. Well, that didn’t happen, but maybe tomorrow.

The answer in simple. It’s the sciatica acting up again. I suppose it might’ve been better if I had asked the guy sitting next to me to let me out to stand up, but I didn’t. He was watching something on his tablet and I didn’t want to disturb him.

I’m thinking if I go to my son’s place another Christmas, I’ll take the train. At least on a train you get to stand up now and then. You even get to walk through cars.

The End of 2021

I almost finished this year’s novel in time to send it off to Jericho Writers for analysis. Actually, I finished the writing, editing, and doing rewrite stuff, but didn’t quite finish the final read through. Just nine chapters to go, but maybe I’ll finish them before bedtime. The problem of an actual final read through remains because the first final read through turned into a editing and rewrite fest. So, the final, final read through will occur over the weekend.

I truly think this year’s novel, The Companion, has a chance of being picked up by a traditional publisher. I went back to the Argottean Empire that was created in stories posted at back in the aughts, of which only three short stories (Annihilation and Sterilization, The Last Watcher, Walkabout) and a novel length story, A Very Schticky Thing To Do, remain from the software change that occurred in 2011. That was after I had that nervous breakdown in Jackson, Tennessee, and ended up in Dallas, Texas, only to be sent to the Texas State Hospital in Terrell for three weeks.

The Companion is about Willi’rs Brixti, a Schtickist high school senior who earns the chance to go to university, something that is a rarity in the empire. He’ll be in a program where he’ll be paired with a Normal at the same university. The story follows Willi from getting his parents to sign the application to being paired with Laury’ol Snank, who is the Viscount Bongos because he’s the son of the Earl of Melder.

The Earl of Melder turns out to be not who he seems and Laury almost dies as a result. Willi on the other hand becomes involved with the ‘xrsc, the pervasive computer systems that exist in the four physical dimensions and two recondite dimensions: here-there and now-then.

On the whole, though, 2021 has been an okay year. I’ve got the IRS Installment Agreement almost paid off. Then I’ll pay off the car. Then it’ll be pay off the credit card. There’ll be a new laptop somewhere in there. Then I’ll save up to move back up to Washington. It was a total mistake moving down to Texas. I could’ve found an apartment if I had looked harder, but I was so delusional that people were watching me because I had tried to become friends with that boy. Oh, well, I’ll only go back to Gold Bar to visit the dogs once I move up there.

Christmas 2021

I flew up to Washington to spend Christmas with my son, Nate, at his home in Gold Bar. I lived with him from October 2011 until September 2021. I left due to mental incident brought on by convincing my psychiatric medication provider I no longer needed to take my mood stabilizer. She actually said, “I like it when my patients can go off medications.”

Crazy people like me are able to live in society by taking various medications to keep them from bouncing off the walls. I look back on my life and can see each point in time when a decision had to be made, but ended up being distorted by either not taking medications (pre-diagnosis) or going off medications. So, now I have to manage my life so that I can move back to Washington. I won’t be living with my son for the simple reason he lives too far from VA medical facilities I need.

Okay, enough of the crazy stuff. For Christmas we spent it with Nate’s semi-official foster family who he lived with after leaving home at 15. There are three brothers and the oldest hosts the party every year. His wife cooks a prime rib roast, lays out hors d’oeuvres, and provides the dinner roles and dessert. The wives of the other two brothers bring the side dishes: green bean casserole, mac and cheese (cottage), and an ever-changing attempt at baked sweet potatoes (never with marshmallows on top). Refreshments are soft drinks.

It’s nice to have some place to go on Christmas. It’s nice to be included. I look forward to going to Christmas dinner there in the future when I move back.

It’s Sunday, and it snowed today. The temp is down in the 20s. This is okay other than I’ll be going back to Texas on Tuesday. That is if Alaska doesn’t cancel my flight because of COVID. It’s supposed to be in the teens when I drive back to the airport to turn in my rental. Hopefully, WADOT will have the roads clear and sanded. The last thing I need is getting in an accident. Oh, well, that’s life.

I Can’t Believe It

I can’t believe I’ve neglected this for so long.

So, I guess this is a new beginning and hopefully this will lead to more entries in the future, the near future to be exact. So, what’s up?

Story-wise, I’m putting the finishing touches on a sci-fi novel that takes place on three planets of a five planet empire. The basis for the novel is a eugenics program that ended a few millennia ago. The final result of the program were deformed stillborn babies throughout all life lines.

There was another result from the program. At the 1768th generation, 76 babies were discovered to have mutations on their sex chromosomes. These babies, and subsequently occurring babies with the mutation, were taken out of the main breeding lines and bred among themselves.

In the course of two millennia, the 1768 generation produced a new species under the genus Homo. This species is noted for the altered functions in producing offspring. The female’s ovaries produce one or more eggs that traverse the fallopian tubes to the top of the cervix. The male’s enters the lower end of the cervix and ejaculates. Sperm and eggs mix and are drawn back into the male’s urethra to an opening above the prostate gland. There the mix enters the male’s uterus. After five to seven months, the baby traverses the birth canal and exits at the perineum.

Probably to confuse the geneticists, the female only produces a eggs in response to sexual arousal. The and the male doesn’t experience a menstrual cycle. The uterus is a small insignificant organ between the urethra and the bowel until it is awakened in response to sexual activity.

This new species is called Homo schticksia (Schtickists) because at an early age, soon after gaining the ability to walk, babies will do pratfalls. After that, in almost quick succession, double takes, silly walks, pirouettes, and silly dancing are added to the child’s repertoire. Speech adds silly songs and silly jokes. At puberty, the male gains the ability to produce brightly-colored, sticky urine they use to express their dissatisfaction with life.

Schtickists are second-class citizens. Their movements, residences, employment, communications, education, etc., are strictly controlled by all government agencies. They can be summarily executed by the police for the slightest offence. If they are involved in an accident and the Schtickist ward at any nearby hospital is full, they will be humanely euthanized.

Times are changing though.

To Be or Not To Be

I feel I have come to a juncture in my life. For many years I have been a writer who has posted all his stories at the story site (GA). In the past couple years, I got it in my head I could be a real writer and get my stuff published like a real author. If anything, it certainly got me to writing some serious shit.

Yesterday, I was thinking about how my life has gone and I had to admit my likelihood of becoming a published writer before my death is about as likely as living to the ripe age of 500. The evidence is quite plain. All you have to do is look at who is being published. I’d guess about 95% of newly published writers are people coming out of creative writing programs at colleges and universities, especially those that grant MFAs.

Where does that leave me?

Well, quite frankly, I’m still publishing short stories at GA by contributing to the anthologies, so it wouldn’t be unrealistic to go back to posting long stories. I could start with “Flight of the Dodo.” While I was publishing that, I could work on new long stories, medium length stories, and short stories.

I’ll have to think about this because this thought pattern could just be a result of a period of depression that I seem to be in at the moment. To think that I get depressed while taking an antidepressant, so much for modern medicine.