Thursday, 31 January 2013

January 2013!

Proper happy new year everyone!

I'm going to start by apologising for the useless, whiny and crappy IWSG post I made at the beginning this month (god, that feels like it was ages ago), but as you will know if you read it, I was pathetically ill.  I ended up missing deadlines because it, and the 10 minutes it took me to write that post wiped me out; I had to go and have a lie down afterwards.  I have never had a flu like it before.  Usually flu knocks me down, makes me tired and a bit unhappy for 2 days max, then its just back to cold-like symptoms and I can return to work (although with a pack of tissues and hand sanitizer in my pockets!).  After my initial 2-day sleepy-stint I went back to work only to find I could no longer walk properly and still hurt everywhere.  In the end I had another 3 days off work, stretching the illness out over about a week and half, and even then, I returned to work before all my symptoms abated (I had 3 more days of having to sit on a chair because, despite feeling loads better, I had a perpetually-drunk feeling, and was very dizzy).  I also ended up missing a planned girly film night with some of my lovely ladies :(  So yeah I'm sorry for all the moaning, it was not a particularly supportive post!

But it turns out that I was lucky.  Some of my friends became massively ill, worse so than myself, and one of my friends even contracted Norovirus (she also missed the film night).  Loads of my colleagues were struck down around the same time as me or just after, and I think my attempts to return to work were appreciated.  It actually feels like it was ages ago now, and it feels weird, because even though January started off pretty poo, it seems it was determined to be a pretty good month!  Its been a long month, but January has delivered some good stuff!

Things from this month!

Well, lets see, first of all, I managed to get better just in time for my friend's birthday celebrations in London, where I got to stay in a hotel by myself for the first time evar! :3 Which, of course, meant excitedly taking loads of random photos of my hotel room even though it was just a totally basic Travel Lodge XD

(Which inevitably also meant obligatory "myspace mirror" poses in the bathroom and poses of the favourite teddy bear hogging the bed).

That was a wonderful time, getting to spend time with my friends and celebrate with them, and have a mini adventure.  They were also very poorly, and had barely recovered in time, but they enjoyed themselves also.  We also had "late" Christmas exchanges, and I also gave my friend a drawing I made for his birthday.

That had been something of interest as well.  Although I don't share a lot of my artwork (for fear of it getting stolen- my DA account has...virus issues), I am an artist as well as a writer, and I had been planning on this drawing since just before Christmas.  It is inspired by HR Giger, but turned out more organic in appearance.  I drew it all in just black and white pencil, but had been worrying about not getting it done in time, as I was still ill around the time I needed to get started.  In the week leading up to my friend's birthday, however, I powered through the drawing and the shading; getting totally stuck into a piece of artwork is one my most favourite things in the world, despite the concentration and the challenge of the work; there is something wonderfully relaxing about just getting into it.  I think that coming immediately after such a rough start to the new year was something I really needed.  Its also something that requires a different sort of energy.  You are working hard, but its not intensive, so perfect when recovering from sickies.

That in fact has just reminded me in turn- although I was still very ill on New Year's Eve, our family New Year celebrations were rather lovely.  My aunt and uncle came over and made us all dinner, and then we played charades and had a good old laugh.  It was very toned down and quiet after the previous year, but the intimacy and togetherness was just right.  I became rather emotional as midnight came, and had a big cuddle with everyone, in particular my mum.  It was such a nice way to do it, all together and being grateful for the things we have, and feeling optimistic for the new year (despite the lurgy :P ).

Well, after London, it seemed it was back to the dull life for me, and I instead focused on shopping and spring cleaning.  The former was both a necessity and a pleasure for me; I genuinely needed new things, and loved finding them (especially at bargain I didn't hit the sales, I just found some very good things!).  Spring cleaning was less fun, but extremely satisfying.  For the first time in a million years or so, I actually spring-cleaned my book cases and weeded out a substantial collection for selling and donating.  That was a difficult task, but once again, a necessary one. 

Then we had the snow!

I love the first day of snow (walking in snow only slows me down, and I have a wonderful coat for the snow!), but wasn't it chaos for everyone else?  I was about 5 minutes late for work, and went to apologise to my supervisor- and he was just relieved I turned up because he had no staff!  Madness!  Mind you, I know some people genuinely couldn't get about (my dad spent an hour that morning trying to leave town but gave up), but some people love to take the mick a bit.  For me, its the ice in the following days that are a problem, and it was turning a 20 minute journey into a 40 minute one.  Fortunately, being the only one to turn up in the snow puts you in your boss' good books, even if you are 15 minutes late for work the next shift due to trying to climb uphill in the ice ^^;;

Since then, I've had my review at work, and I've been given nothing but shining praise, nothing negative at all.  I was astounded; while all my reviews at my old job were positive and good, this was a brilliant review, and left me feeling very good about myself :)

Other awesome things have included going with my good friend Alana when she got her raven tattoo last weekend (she accompanied me for my rabbit tattoo), hanging out with my friends, designing tattoos, completing Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (YES!), treating myself to nice things (including new books and strawberries-and-milkshake body butter!), playing with my dolls (yes, I collect dolls <.< )and writing :)


I have had limited internet access this month- of course, when I was poorly, I couldn't sit upright, and then we had a period of a little over a week or so when our PC was deaded and at Computer Hospital (technical terms, thems :P ).  So beside photographing things needlessly, spring cleaning, reading and playing with dolls, I spent a lot more time writing.  For the first time in a couple of months, I was able to work more on my novel (I have only one New Year's resolution- I will finish this novel this year!) and was able to churn out a fair few pages that I was actually happy with.  Then I started working on some other ideas for submissions that are coming up (although sadly, I think my zombie one has been abandoned).

I would say that the last half of 2012 was pretty darn productive in terms of writing, and I was starting to feel like I wasn't doing quite enough (its only January, Laura, sheesh!)...when I had some more developments.

I am ever so happy to announce that my short story "Skin" was accepted by Hic Dragones for their Impossible Spaces Anthology.  "Skin" is a tragic romance of sorts (in a science fiction setting) and was heavily influenced by my long-distance relationship with my fiance, Harry.  I poured a little bit too much heart and soul into that one, and was already dreading rejection, knowing I'd invested so much in it emotionally.  Fortunately that is not the case, and I am ever so pleased.  Great start to 2013!

I also submitted a poem today.  I have not written poetry in years, and this one started out life as rambled scribblings in my Monster High notebook during a quiet moment at work, so I can't be sure if it will impress the publishers and editors (I tend to write rather abstract poetry, with irregular stanzas and very random, occasional, but inconsistent rhyming), but it was fun to do, and was nice to have a go at something slightly different.

So thats my writing news.  A little bit at the end here, about this very old lady...

Her name is Puffin, and she is 18, and I've had her since kitten-hood.  And earlier this week, I became very worried about her, as it became clear that...time is catching up with her.  She's an outside cat (with her own lovely little house we like to call Casa De Puffin), and used to be extremely active, but we've noticed a sharp decline in shenanigans, and a sharp increase in...bumping into things.  We think Puffin's eyesight is going.

I was very upset this week, having to cope with the fact that, at some point, Puffin will leave us.  But I have to say, I'm finding some more peace with that now.  I have a statue of the Egyptian cat goddess, Bast, on my dresser, and...well, I basically told her my feelings and got it all out, then resolved to make Puffin's remaining time with as happy as possible.  She's not in any pain, after all, just getting very old. 

Puffin, I have to say, is super impressed with this; not only was she much livelier today, but she was very happy to be given all her special treats (as I'm deciding to spoil her rotten! :) ) and even seemed to be able to see Dad earlier, and demand more treats XD  Maybe she's not getting old at all, and just trying to trick me into giving her treats? ;) you to bits, you daft fluffy thing.  Stick around for a bit longer, old girl, and have a good time x

So that's January! (Just before midnight, so its still January!)  The month may have had a rocky start, but things have improved wonderfully, and if this is how the rest of the year looks...well...BRING IT ON! :)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group- Just...Failing...

Happy New Year all...although right now I'm quite wretched...this won't be a long post at all...I shouldn't be online at all.  I am so sick.  Its meant to be just some measley flu, but its been going on for over a week.  The muscular aches are gone, but the congestion, head pain, hacking cough, lack of apetite and a bizarre dizzy-shakiness that makes me feel perpetually drunk (minus the fun parts) all lingers.  I had 2days off work last week, and then went back in on Monday (I really shouldn't have).  I felt marginally better yesterday but then I felt worse than ever, so I had to call in again today, and have spent all day in bed.  I REALLY hope it goes away soon...the lack of apetite and the shakiness alone are making normal life impossible (I was sitting on a chair at work the last 2 days and I was unsteady even on that).

Whats really bummed me out is how its just wrecking all my plans.  I missed a deadline because I was too ill to write.  I shouldn't be sitting upright at all.  And I'm really disappointed because I had put a lot of planning work into it.  I also REALLY need to do some artwork in the next and a half, but Im too ill draw.  I need to finish this.

So I'm off to play Sonic while lying down and crying.  Happy New Year everyone *sigh*