Advertisements

routine

Shingles

There is no other title I can give to today’s post. I am in my early fifties, and I have the Zoster Virus, which gives us Shingles. I knew I was at risk; I had Chicken Pox as a kid, the Virus lays dormant, I think at the base of the spine, waiting until it can find the most inconvenient time to emerge. It’s a virus which attacks the nervous system, so the pain is a real deep, nerve pain. The lovely part of it is the awesome rash which appears; It can show up on your torso or your face, usually only on one side, or the other. Mine is on my left torso, down to my hip and butt.

Pain, we’re no stranger to pain down here at The Rusty Prose. The pain is intense, exquisite and all encompassing. Yes, Shingles is inclusive, pain everywhere for everybody. I can’t get comfortable; I can’t sit, I can’t lay down, I can’t stand, and I manage to sleep in chunks of time. I have nerve blockers, which are different than opioids, but they have side effects, for me, I am now flat out tired all the time. I am used to having an underlying fatigue and constant discomfort from my Cancer ordeal, but this is a horse of another colour, a different animal all together. Pain, oh pain. Odes have been written about pain, I think I have another blog post devoted to it, either posted or in a rough draft somewhere.

I’m having a hard time focusing on my tasks at hand, such as writing, blogging, and general upkeep around the place. I am on social media; I think some of my posts were misleading, and some people misunderstood some things I posted or my intent and so some drama ensued, not at all how I like to roll. But, such is life. I had to go about town yesterday for a Dr. Appointment then do a blood test; later I was talking to someone in the parking lot and soon I realized I was almost incoherent. Not quite but getting close to it. This is not a good place to be, unable to focus, unable to communicate properly and besmirching my own reputation online all because my health and my meds have me distracted.

I’ve been off work for one week and today is the first day I’ve had to myself, I don’t need to leave the house so I am devoting some time to my ignored blog. So sorry bloggy woggy, I’ve been neglecting you. I did a thirty day blog challenge which ended two weeks ago, then I took an intentional few days off, was about to get back into it when I got the Shingles. I think it comes on for a week or two before the virus starts to do the nasty on your nervous system; I was noticing something was not quite right, but I was so focus on my thirty day blog challenge that I though I was just over working myself.

I think I have a couple more weeks of this, but now that I’m home, and I am getting used to the pain et al, it’s time to put my focus back to my blog, and to my writing in general. As well as maybe get some housework done and get started or at least prep for a new hobby. I posted something earlier about how writing was a hobby, but now that I am aiming to make writing my side hustle I need a hobby, so I’m looking into model rail. Bu first and foremost, I really need to focus on my health and well being.

Like that old saying goes, if you don’t have your health…

Late Night Writing

I have writer’s block, it’s late in the evening, it has been a long work week at the Salt Mines, and I’ve enjoyed an after work beer. I had today’s blog post all worked out but I changed my mind because it just wasn’t working for me. Instead, I’ll write about one thing or another, sorry, just kidding, I do have another bout of writer’s block, but we won’t let that stop us. Here at The Rusty Prose, we charge through these barriers, we turn road blocks into stepping stones, and we don’t put our wish bone where our back bone ought to be. I plan to accomplish lot of things done, but my system for planning always fails. I set the intent, and in doing so, I manage to get something done. At the very least, my typing has improved.

I, like a lot of people, have many frustrations in my day, mine is my blue collar job and all that it entails, so, I am writing this blog for a number of different reasons; to improve my writing, to compel myself to write on a regular basis, to garner a fan base, and, as an income stream. After I get my act together with this blog, I will get my Patreon page up and running. That would make two revenue streams, then after that maybe look into freelance blogging, as a third revenue stream. The idea is to get away from my penance at the Salt Mines, then move on to my literary fiction, which I quite enjoy writing.

More and more these days, more so now than ever, I have been dreaming, wishing, even pleading to be a stay at home writer, so, in a metaphysical sense, I think something positive is about to happen, or maybe I just have my hopes up. I am starting to feel, and notice, positive changes coming over me for my side hustle endeavor, as well as my day job at the Salt Mines. I do believe that I am turning a corner with both, as though one day this will all take off in a positive direction. I am motivated to stick with it, this blog, and my plans for other revenue streams.

I’ve been told, a few times recently, that I have been inspiring people, on twitter, in real life, and here on my blog. I don’t feel inspiring, but due to my Cancer situation, and my motivation to improve myself, I guess I’ve moved some people. I talk about my schedule, and how I make time to write, I have a blog, I have twitter and I know how to use it. I am networking well, I have my highs and my lows, lately I have been having highs on twitter, but lows on my blog. Today was the worst blog day, I had zero visitors, I’m exhausted and I have writer’s block.

I am in this for the long haul, I have been making some quickie little blog entries, mostly aimed at improving my writing, my prose and my typing. I am certain, that if I keep at this writing and editing and posting often, it will have numerous payoffs. The idea is, after I set myself free from the Salt Mines by supporting myself with three or four revenue streams, then I can, and will, begin working on all my rough wips waiting for my attention.

Interaction

I am an extroverted introvert, I love how that sounds, and what that means is, I am outgoing, can be quite gregarious, can address a crowd, even perform live in one capacity or another, but for a limited time only. I turn into a pumpkin quite early, I need to be away from people. Maybe not all people, the company of one or two more suits me just fine, any more than three can get under my skin. Even three other people is pushing it; I need to be alone for a while to recharge my batteries, or with someone who is patient enough to understand.

I have always been that way, since I was a child, I remember being in large groups of kids and not wanting to be the focus of attention, especially when it came to girls. My parents didn’t want to hear about it, my grandmother, a nurse, picked up on it. One fine day, as a seven year old, I asked her why everybody stares at me, people in cars all look at me as I would walk down the street, she told me to ignore them and to look the other way. I think she picked up on the fact that I’m also agoraphobic, which is another story all together.

I’m so old, I’m from a time when us children would got outside and play on our own or would walk for a mile to get to a friends house. Mostly I would just walk for a mile to nowhere, too many times I’d get to a friends house and there would already be half a dozen people there.

I like conversing with people on a higher level than simple small talk, i.e., the weather, sports scores etc. I find, if I try to go even just a touch deeper than the weather, say politics, business, or finance, most people don’t want to hear about it, so I am left making small talk with a large group of people in most of my day to day interactions either at work, or at school. It’s easy enough to find people with whom I can have a more meaningful connection with, but they don’t all understand the hidden introvert.

I guess that’s the key right there, the introversion is mostly hidden and disguised, and so people are quickly blindsided by an extroverted person shutting down in an instant for seemingly no reason whatsoever. It took me several years for me to realize I was doing that to people, I’m sure I’ve hurt a lot of my friends, acquaintances, and lovers that way. Conversely I’ve been hurt by introverts who don’t understand my extroversion.

It’s not that I don’t like people, though I may have uttered that phrase a number of times in my life, its more that I need to be alone for certain periods of time. I feel, post cancer and chemo, that it’s getting worse. There are other factors involved, those, and the cancer, will be further expanded upon in future blog posts, which you can always read here, at The Rusty Prose. So don’t be offended if one minute, I’m acting like your best friend in the whole wide world and the next minute, I’m contemplating being alone, reading, writing or watching a film or listening to music; you’re more than welcome to come along, just don’t ask me to go out to play with you and all your friends.

My Pet Insomnia

I am a life long insomniac, always have been, always will be. Started as a child; I would lay awake all night, tossing and turning, I did not know it was insomnia, I would complain to my parents but, to no avail. Ironically, if and when I would fall asleep I would inadvertently wet the bed. Hmm, I just went from talking about my insomnia to outing myself as a bed wetter. I loved Sarah Silverman long before she outed herself as a bed wetter. I wonder if she’s also an insomniac.

My insomnia was hard for me to understand as a kid, I would be flat out exhausted, but did not want to go to bed, then, as I would go to bed and snuggle under the covers, I would warm up and, … wait for it, I would wake up. Wide awake, so, I would read until I couldn’t see any more then I would toss and turn until just before dawn, then I’d fall asleep, and promptly wet the bed. Soon enough, everyone in the household would get up, after having a full nights sleep and expect I was the same. Nope. I was unable to get up in the morning, cold, soaking wet, and flat out asleep.

This went on until just before puberty hit, when I finally stopped wetting the bed. I was staying up later I’d watch TV then I’d read a book until late night and sometimes until early early morning. Back then, **old man voice**, we only had a few TV channels to choose from, no VCR yet, and the stations would shut off around Three AM. So I would be tired when I went to bed, I don’t remember having insomnia going through puberty, aside from staying up until Four in the morning.

Insomnia was still there for me as as a young adult entering the blue collar work force, perfect, just perfect. I was staying up too late, usually having beers with buddy, watching the hockey games, then laying awake all night until I would fall asleep, just before my alarm would ring. Not very healthy, but then I started getting jobs which required working graveyard shifts, I did that for many, many a year. Insomnia also works well during the day, especially with lawn mowers, city noises and people. Yep, insomnia was here to stay.

Over the years I would learn different coping methods. A few little changes can help, avoid looking at the clock, or even turning the light on. I know the tendency is to do exactly those two things, then start reading, going on-line or TV time. I’ve read, in a few areas, that it’s best to act as though you’re asleep, keep still, eyes closed, and do your best to not ‘think’. It’s hard to do, but with a little practice one can accomplish these little things.

Then along a came Cancer, Surgery, Chemo, and the whole kerfuffle that came along with them. I would sleep in fifteen-minute chunks, awake for four, then more chunky sleep for four. Those might not be accurate numbers, I’ll have to go through my notes, I may have written that info down.

Now, these days, my insomnia is different, I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, but then I’m awake after a few hours. I have no problem sleeping during the day but I prefer to be a day person right now, it’s working for me, although lately I’ve been wondering if I’d like to go back to being a night person.

A Writer’s life

There is a hashtag, #writerslife, I feel confident enough to use on occasion. Just as everyone is unique, so too, are writers. My #writerslife may differ completely from others. I’m sure Rowling and King have much different lives than York or Payerely, whose lives differ completely from mine. Just as we all have unique experiences, we also have shared experiences. Fears, trepidation’s, as well as times of joy and elation. I use #writerslife, as well as other writers and bloggers hashtags, but I am now living the life, rather than just using the hashtag.

I may be living a writers life, but it’s also a blue collar workers life, a single mans life, and a post Cancer patients life. I think, in this case, a writers life can mean I have to be a writer, but I have to eat, sleep in clean linen, and I have the desire to be covered, cozy and warm, in the cold, wet months so therefore I need to work full time and cram writing into every available minute. And yes, we are prone to run on sentences here at the Rusty Prose. It’s a writers life, in that, in order to be a writer I need to put in the extra effort tantamount to having two jobs.

Another aspect of #writerslife, that I am experiencing, is the self doubt, the subjective view, the thoughts of complete and utter failure. Thoughts of, am I doing the right thing, is this crap, will people ridicule me for this? Don’t worry folks, I’m not being maudlin, these are just fleeting thoughts I’ve had, as I work on ideas; keeps me on my toes in terms of quality, quality of over quantity. I’m not phishing for sympathy, I believe many writers, many of whom are published and accomplished, have had similar thoughts at times.

I am putting words down on paper, into my computer, and onto my blog. I am constantly thinking of my works in progress, though many of them are in one form of limbo or another. I am devoting time on a daily basis to write, I get up earlier and I go to bed later. Right now I am mainly focused on this blog, but have plans to get my other stories up and running, hopefully sooner than later, but I try not to talk about it until I am actually working on them.

Life also has to go on, I have to take breaks, I have to watch my physical health as well as my mental health. I have issues with fatigue as well as insomnia; which, contrary to popular belief, are not related. I may get tired from the insomnia, but the fatigue is something else all together. My non-writerly job takes up a lot of my time and energy, as does my writing, so I try to take it easy when I can, it’s always good to stop and smell the roses, then sit and write a poem about them.

Hobbies

I had mentioned, in an earlier post, about writing as a hobby, which I am currently working into my side hustle, and now wanting to pursue other hobbies. I have a passion for model rail, I like the steam engine era and I prefer wood burning over coal. I am nostalgic, I did grow up near a rail line but they were electric diesel, I’m not that old. I know that once my side hustle gains traction, after a lot of hard work, I will be able to start my model railway.

Writing was my main hobby and interest, with model trains running a close second. I have never had a set up, aside from a brief moment when I was a child, and a few years ago, when I got a cheap set for Christmas, which rekindled my passion for model rail. I did set it up and started to look into getting myself an adult set, I looked into modelling and building the benchwork for the layout, I’ve studied various layouts to see which would suit me best. But, as we all know, life gets in the way of life and so I am now train less, for now.

I have the room for a little N scale set up, I have the plans for my benchwork, I have a good idea for a layout, I just don’t have the time or the cash right now. I have spent the past several months making time for writing and I’m still adjusting to that particular change in my life. Much the same as writing, with the model rail, I will take it in slow baby steps, one day at a time, one step at a time. I know I said I have the room for a layout bench, but I need to de-clutter that area to make the room.

So I guess I can make myself a honey-do list and tick each item off when I have a spare minute.

  • Clear the space
  • plan ahead
  • make a materials list for the benchwork
  • price out the lumber & hardware for the benchwork
  • check and recheck the plans
  • select a small and simple layout
  • buy the supplies
  • build the bench
  • plan ahead for a larger expanded layout
  • buy the track, a small engine and some rolling stock
  • explore the modelling aspect of this hobby

There, I think we’ve simplified this for ourselves down here at The Rusty Prose. As I’ve said, I am currently using as much time as possible for my writing side-hustle, but one must have hobbies and interests, and as I work towards turning one hobby into my day job, I am prepping to create time for my new hobby. As a hobby, model rail is interesting because it covers a wide array of skills, there is carpentry, electrical, engineering, artistic design, realistic scale modelling, as well as research and development.

An Ordeal I would not Wish upon my worst Enemy

I have battled Cancer, I’ve endured Chemotherapy and I’ve suffered the indignities of Surgery and yet I have seen first hand just how fortunate I was to be dealing with my particular ordeal. Cancer was a formidable foe to be certain, warranting the battle of a lifetime. Chemotherapy was an out-worldly experience, one that I would never, ever want to go through again in this lifetime; I found the experience to be horrifying, an encounter which exposed me to be the coward that I am. I had Surgery to reconstruct the humerus on my (left) dominant arm after a cancerous tumor ate into the bone resulting in a fracture. Several horrible elements combined for one hell of an ordeal, though I know for certain many others faced even more horrendous situations and they have a faced it with grace, courage and dignity in their own ways.

One year prior to these events, among other things, I had rekindled my passion for writing and had taken up jotting down notes and ideas on a semi-regular basis. I kept it as a hobby, more or less, writing thoughts and ideas, a little more earnest as time went on, making sure I filled any spare time I had with writing. Soon I was writing on a regular basis, albeit for limited time, again mostly thoughts and ideas, and then short story ideas, and some script and stage play ideas. I submitted a short story based on an actual event, then a short stage play, then a fictional short story, none of which were accepted. I felt as though I was getting somewhere with my writing hobby and was looking for creative writing courses when disaster struck, I broke my writing arm and discovered I had Cancer which turned my life upside down for several years.

I was in no state to write, not of mind or body. Six months after the fracture we got smartphones and so that enabled me to start jotting down ideas, all with my right thumb. When, after a fashion, I could prop myself up I was able to write on paper, again with my non-dominant arm. Not an easy feat, to start to write with ones non-dominant arm, try it for a while. I had the added bonus of dealing with the side effects of the Chemotherapy which gave me a temporary cognitive dysfunction to muddle through. Google ‘Chemo brain’ (or maybe I can link it) for a better idea of what that is, or wait a while because I know I’ll have a whole blog post devoted to chemo brain. It took me well over one full year before I was able to even attempt to write with my left arm again, and I am sure my recovery sped up after that.

Though I survived I don’t like that term, ‘Survivor’ or ‘he was a fighter’, somehow, to me, that implies the poor unfortunate souls who succumbed to this horrid disease were not putting in the same effort; we are all different, our Cancers and treatments differ from person to person. Yes, I survived, a victory for me, but it was a Pyrrhic victory

Working Hard to make Writing my Side Hustle

I am working towards this end. Sorry, this is not a ‘how-to’ blog, right now it’s a ‘how I am currently doing it and here are all my mistakes’ blog. I enjoy writing, as a hobby, and an interest, but now that I am ramping up my writing time, word count and projects, I need to pursue my other interests and hobbies. Soon enough, once I become a millionaire from writing daily fragmented thoughts, I will be able to embrace my other hobbies. So, any minute now, I will become an overnight sensation. As much as I’m happy to have a well paying non-writerly job, I would like to make writing my side hustle.

I am creating a habit of writing daily. I have several writing projects on the go, and now I have this wonderful blog. Thanks to this wonderful blog, I have carved out an extra hour per day, every day, to write. I am currently averaging five hundred words per day in about thirty to forty-five minutes. My typing is improving quite well, though I am making some good spelling mistakes as of late. Writing five hundred words daily has changed my day for me and I feel great that I’m devoting more time to this.

I am a long way from doing anything freelance, so for now I need to take it slow, I am happy enough to keep writing this blog. I am working on a short story that I need to finish the first rewrite. I have a number of Nanowrimo’s sitting in first rough that are on my list of things that need my attention sooner than later. I have a number of poems, two of which I’ve posted on here. Never say never, but I am not yet ready to freelance or anything of the sort, and so, for now, I’m happy with hanging out here at The Rusty Prose.

Life keeps us all busy in one form or another, and I have busied myself right up with tackling all these projects, dealing with a full time non-writerly job, and, of course, life itself. I don’t have kids so I don’t know how parents manage to have any time for themselves. Now that I’ve carved out an extra hour out of my day for writing I’d like to look into carving out more time devoted solely on writing. For now, that will have to be weekends, which are already full and they go by so fast.

I battle fatigue, I work full time, as well as making more time for writing, so I do need to watch that I don’t burn myself out. I have to keep the enjoyment factor in play, the always learning factor is always in play, and, of course, keep on top of the quality. I’ll get my short stories dusted off, edit and rewrite them, then sell them for a million dollars each, that will move this side hustle along pretty good I think. I get tired just thinking of how rich I’ll get with my new side hustle.

My Blog

As I’ve stated, I started this blog as a way to find my voice, but, obviously, that is not the only reason. I like to write and mostly I wrote in my spare time; I needed to ramp that up in terms of making time to write rather than waiting until I had a moment or two here and there. I also needed, or rather, still need to put more words down to get more practice in, as they say in woodworking, to get good you need to make a lot of chips. Well, I suppose this blog is chips.

I will be doing many renovations to The Rusty Prose coming up in the next week or two, I have a long way to go in terms of getting this blog to where I want it. My writing is improving, to a small degree, so my posts will be a little more informative and entertaining. One day, I may even start writing articles and spending more time writing, rewriting, and editing. I’m sure it shows that my posts on here are more like quick sketches, but, again, this is why I started this blog, to grow, learn, and improve.

We were experiencing some strange times today at The Rusty Prose. I don’t mean to boast, but usually my posts will get anywhere from seven to nine views and maybe five to seven likes, but today, for some unknown reason, I had a low traffic day. So, as a matter of course, I googled the whole situation and came up with the fact that I’ve somehow angered the google gods and am being mercilessly punished and will continue to be punished for all eternity. Personally, I think it was a nice day outside and people were just outside enjoying the sunshine.

I’ve added one hour of writing time to my day. That time is spent writing for my blog, I don’t write and post on the same day, I do at least one rewrite and a whole lot of editing. I’m posting these quick and easy posts to get myself used to putting in that time, I also think about my blog quite often during the day, thinking of ways to improve my posts, the renos I want to do to the blog, and basically getting myself established as a writer and a blogger.

I am spending more time writing and thinking of writing, well, writing and blogging. I have a number of other projects and works in process on the go, but right now I’m focusing on life down here at The Rusty Prose. Once I’m established and writing more quality posts focusing more on quality than quantity then I will make time to sit down to my other projects. Some of which will make great blog posts, that’s another factor in keeping this blog, once I get to sit down to my other projects I will use this blog to hold my self accountable and see these works through to completion.