Yesterday I talked about the nerve wracking experience of submitting to a competition – which by the way I did a few minutes ago. Normally for me nerve wracking means nail biting – literally. I bite my nails.
Or more correctly – I used to bite my nails.
I have no idea at what point I finally stopped biting my nails, but I do seem to have, I have ten actual nails now. Nails that extend beyond the nail bed. See:
Still got ugly hands, but the nails look great. I’m using OPI Nail Envy to help, just in case anyone was wondering.
Now I am not here as a beauty blogger, there are plenty of them around, so I’m not going there.
I’m writing this becuase of what it indicates.
I’ve been biting my nails all my life. I bite for bordom, stress, nervousness, when I’m happy, when I’m sad, basically, any time for any reason. And now I’ve stopped. I can’t tell you when, just that I did, but this is what calm and contentment can do for you.
I’m happy with it. And hopefully I can keep that up because right now it’s not only the one competition entry that I’m nervous about, but an agent submission that I’m waiting to hear about. Keep your fingers crossed for success on all fronts (and your nails unbitten too).
Sleep is something that often eludes me. I consider myself lucky if I get a full six hours a night. But not this weekend.
I had my covid jab on Friday, Friday I was okay, felt like I’d been kicked in the arm because it was so painful, but I wasn’t ill, until Saturday. Saturday I was just wiped out. I got up late, couldn’t concentrate, only managed to read half a chapter of the book I’m reading. In the end I went to bed early – half six in the evening early.
Never have I ever felt so wiped out.
This morning I got up late, I decided I had to go and get a bit of work done in the garden. I spent an hour and a half pottering (pulling out ivy and bagging it up) and then I was exhausted. So I came in, put the roast on, then had to sit down for an hour.
As I write this, it is half seven and I’m pretty much ready to go to bed and sleep another fifteen hours. But I’ve stuff to do, so I’d best get on.
Just to let you now, after my little grumble yesterday, my mood is on the up today. Part of the reason for this is without a doubt, just the erratic alteration of hormones. That said. Other things had a definite uplifting affect.
This first may seem like a odd thing to feel good about, but it brightened my day. I work in the conservatory and it’s usually very cold, but I went in to start work around 08:30. What was lovely, what pleased me was that I didn’t actually have to put the heater on. Small thing, but not having to spend on heating is a good thing to my mind.
Once I settled into work, I saw that at far-too-early-o’clock I had received a message asking if I was free for an editing commission later in the year – I am, and getting work always pleases me. If you’re looking for a structural edit this year, contact me for a quote (see gailbwilliams.co.uk).
Later this morning, I saw a friend had posted a very nice note about my writing, my books both in crime and steampunk. Added to that, other people, most of whom I don’t know, piled in with other compliments on my writing. Apparently, I’m still a little over sensitive today, as those touching thoughts brought tears to my eyes.
Then, I made a phone call to a local gardener. I wasn’t expecting much as we’ve recently had trouble getting tradesmen to the house. However, not only did he turn up when he said he would, he gave us a good price and he started the job straight away. Not only that – he finished it!
I also managed to get a load of tidying up done, which is always good for my mental health.
So this just goes to show that no matter how dark one day might feel, there’ll be light in tomorrow.
Since going self-employed I’ve been generally very happy and upbeat. The last couple of days have changed that.
Before I was published, I was being told how I wasn’t good enough to get published. Now I’m published, I keep hearing how I’m not good enough to sell. That I’m not “in the genre”.
Usually when I hear that sort of thing, I try to stick two fingers up and move on. But I’m struggling to do that at the moment.
I’m feeling like a failure. I know I’m not a best seller, I don’t go easy on my readers, so I don’t get great sales, but I know that, I don’t need some trite, arrogant prima donna rubbing it in. Added to this is the fact that I haven’t heard from the agent I submitted to six weeks ago, so that feels like a rejection. I’ve just finished a novel that I don’t know what to do with – or indeed if it’s worth doing anything with. My editing commissions have dried up, and I failed an assignment on the correspondence course I’m doing. So I’m in a funk.
Oh and just to add insult to injury – I’m back to being anaemic and the iron tablets are upsetting my digestion.
Little wonder I’m feeling down really. Of course, this too will pass.
Today is Blue Monday, the third Monday of January is the glummest day of the year due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, dark days, gloomy weather and the arrival of the dreaded credit-card bills. I suspect that those trying to follow Dry January or Veganuary aren’t helping themselves to a certain extent, self-denial often makes one feel worst. Though alcohol is a depressant, so should be avoided, and I like steak too much to comment on Veganuary.
However, we can all try to make this a less depressing day. Thinking about or doing stuff for others often helps, and though you can’t exactly go round and have a cuppa with your neighbour, you might be able to call them and check they’re okay, have a chat, make sure they aren’t feeling too alone, and in the process ensure that you aren’t feeling too alone either.
Mental health affects us all, I openly admit to suffering depression, it makes life hard sometimes, and I know how lucky I am to have a loving and supportive family. The things that make me feel better, are, usually, simply, and freely, conversations. I like hearing good news from others. If the others don’t have good news, then I’ll listen to that and sympathise, or help if I’m in a position to, even join in the slag-fest if that’s where the conversation goes. I’ll encourage where I can. I’ll use a shoulder when all I can do is cry.
The point I suppose is even when we are blue, we don’t have to paint the town red, we just have to share a moment with the people around us. A wave across the street. A note on social media. A chat on the phone or a message/text. So reach out, you are not alone, please don’t be lonely.
Today has been a good one. Had a nice long lie in. Got up about 11, then at 3 we made time for those special three words.
All Day Breakfast.
Sausage, bacon, black pudding, fried mushrooms, baked bean, and of course toast.
This is not a healthy breakfast, even when it replaces lunch. But it’s not something we do often. In fact the last time we had a full cooked breakfast was September last year. So as a one off treat – it’s fab.
Also though today, I’ve been working on my WIP. This is now coming together nicely. I’ve managed five thousand words today, that’s my best in a long time. And I’m not finished yet.
Started this daily blogging because of feeling low and with lockdown, it was something regular to focus on. I’ve noticed that now I’m feeling mentally better, and I’m back into the swing of writing, that I’m missing days because I’m just so busy that I forget to blog. I’m also finding that after a full day of computer work, I want to turn it off more of the evening.
So, as lockdown starts to lift, which will mean I’ve even more things to do, I am going to keep blogging, but not feel bad if I miss a day or two.
Today has already been busy, I had to go out to take parcels to be returned to Amazon (weird thing is I think the Amazon depot is actually closer to me than the drop off point), and gone to a the supermarket, as well as deciding not to go into another shop because the queue outside in the rain was too long. Got writing, ironing and family stuff to fill the rest of the day with.
I am glad lockdown is starting to ease, but the only place I really want to go is 80 miles away, to visit our son. I’m not sure if things have eased that much, especially since it means crossing the Welsh-English border.
I am looking forward to tonight, though. We’re having chicken wings and homemade pizza and watching “EuroVision”. While I would generally avoid a Will Farrell film like the plague, I’ve heard good things about this one, and am prepared to give it a go. This is also the reason for the early blog today.
Only now am I seeing that I didn’t blog last night, that’s because I’ve been busy and tired. I am finally making some headway with my WIP. I know the story order and I am now moving through it start to finish. By being more logical about what can and can’t happen, what characters would or wouldn’t know at these various points is clearing the path so I can see where I’m going. Also by doing this, I’ve realised that there is a whole new thread that I need to weave in, and it’s a good one.
I think that one of the reasons I’m struggling so much with actually writing this book is because as it’s the series finale it draws together a lot of the threads from the earlier books. I’m conscious that it’s possible that a reader won’t have read those books, which means I have to do a fair amount of explanation. The problem is balancing that with the readers who have read the previous books, who don’t want to be bored.
Luckily, I have two characters who alternated books, so they can ask if something comes up that they don’t know about. I also have a third character who starts the book without his memory, and gradually regains it through the journey of the book, so I have ways to show the past, I just need to avoid data-dumps. They’re boring to read and as bad to write.
So that’s where you’ll find me at the moment, sitting and writing, and it’s great to be back in the swing of things again.
Oh, and on the natural health side. I’ve restarted the multivitamins, minerals and high-level iron, as a result my skin is clearing up again and I’m feeling generally better.
I just said something it never occurred to me I might actually say.
“Macarons are on my bucket list of baking.”
Weird things to say, but, also, it’s true. I like baking, don’t bake often, but I like doing it. Now, macarons are something that I’ve been thinking of making for many years and just never got around to trying. But I will.
Right now I’m watching Bake Off: The Professionals, and I am stunned each week how good those guys are – even the ones who end up going home.
Today’s been better. After all the stir crazy, we managed to go out in the van and park by the shore. Though we couldn’t go far between the many showers, it was good to be away from the house and in more fresh air.
I’d packed a picnic, we had soda cans in the fridge, gala pie, cocktail sausages, apple pies and lots of other good things. So, we had plenty of supplies and were about to stay out for five lovely hours of not being at home. More importantly, we had a toilet in case of getting caught short.
It was definitely a great way to go out in splendid isolation.
The pic is with my hubby, and daughter, and I was trying to wave at the camera, which is the weird hand position, and oh my God the fat! Still, also, the happy.
And what was good, I managed to work out the rubbish in my latest WIP, that’s what the board on my lap is. It’s part of a puzzle board that I was sticking scraps of paper to. The scraps were scene details and I was putting them in an order that makes sense. I also read 35 pages of “The Invisible Man” which I am finding difficult to get through.