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Since it was three weeks since I'd last seen the inside of A&E and the "Oh **** I need to get off this med right now" side effect had tailed off a week after that, I decided at the weekend that it's safe to go to Eastercon. I've been on the current second med before in combination with the primary migraine med (although not at the current high dose of primary) so I know what it normally does by way of side-effects, and while they can be unpleasant after a while they have never made me feel like A&E would be A Really Good Idea. So I should be there after lunch tomorrow.
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The first quarter of 2019 has been "may you live in interesting times" for me. It's involved quite a lot of interesting side effects from trying to adjust my migraine medication. We are now convinced that they were merely side-effects, for values of "merely" including "at least we now know that I have not had a stroke or heart attack". We also know that I definitely have a brain, and that it is the right size and shape, because it has been scanned twice.

All of which is to say why there have been no public posts for a while. I've been *busy*.
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2018 wasn't a lot of fun, for reasons given at length in a locked post, but which can be summarised as I spent it being not well. I'm still not well, but things are slowly getting better.

On the writing front, Loose Id closed its doors after 14 years, leaving many of my titles without a home. My titles at NineStar Press are fine and I'm not having any problems writing new material, but I have to stay off the computer as much as possible for now, which means self-publishing the out of print works won't be practical for a while.

In summary: 2018 sucked, and I am grateful to my immediate management at my day job who did their best to make it suck a little less.

Hello World

Dec. 8th, 2018 03:31 pm
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 Hello World. I am not dead. I do have a new and exciting medical problem, details in a locked post. I am still failing to keep up with Dreamwidth, although for slightly less unpleasant reasons than "looking at a screen bigger than my phone hurts my brain". Ditto doing something about my profic website, ditto any of my WiP that were progressing on electrons rather than dead tree. Even dead tree has been not happening over the last month, which is annoying because The Words Want Out; but some of that is because as has previously been mentioned I get a bit shy about writing the smutty bits when there are small children sitting next to me on the bus and I have run out of not-smutty bits to write, or at least lost track of which not-smutty bits are left to write.

"Screen hurts my brain" is actually still a bit of an issue in that my capacity for looking at a full size screen doesn't greatly exceed my working hours at the day job, but it's slowly getting better and there are workarounds. Unfortunately it's chewing up all the bandwidth I have, which means I have read lots of interesting books and they are not going to get reviewed or logged, not even to my usual lackadaisical standards.

I gather Tumblr has gone the "thanks for building our readership, now take your dirty, dirty porn away from our advertisers" route. This does not affect me because I never managed to wrap my elderly brain around the concept of Tumblr anyway - probably because I'm not a terribly visual person. I suppose my erotica alter ego ought to dig out their Tumblr password for the first time in several months and see if the account still exists. Not quite sure why I grok Twitter but not Tumblr, but there you go.

As anyone who follows my Twitter account has probably realised, I'm still spending too much of my limited screen time on the Cult Pens website. The "but I need it for professional writing purposes!" excuse is wearing a bit thin now, even if there's genuinely a lot of truth in it. I'd better get on and justify it...
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I haven't posted since mid-May. Apparently I haven't read Dreamwidth since shortly after that, since I missed the news about a friend's new job. (Congratulations to that friend. :-)

There are a number of factors in this, not least the ongoing migraine issues which chew up quite a lot of bandwidth and don't leave much for things other than day job. Also, at one point one of the side-effects of the meds and/or migraine was a bout of something close to hypergraphia, which is how I come to have a completed short story, a large chunk of a different short story draft, a bunch of random jottings on story ideas, and an outline and substantial chunk of something that is probably going to be at least novella length, all as a result of the #cockygate nonsense. This lot was mostly written by hand, with fountain pen and ink, and needed/will need to be transcribed onto electrons.

And that was before my Firefox install fell over multiple times, on one occasion taking Edge with it. Those things that require the big screen on the laptop plus a proper keyboard were not happening, and that includes Dreamwidth, both reading and writing. Actually fixing [expletive deleted] Firefox seems to involve removing every trace of it and then doing a fresh install, then waiting for the next time it falls over, so the only two reasons I use it at this point are Containers and NoScript. It makes Edge look stable by comparison.

And at some point I have to face the task of updating my website, so that will consume such spare clock cycles as I have. I shall endeavour to post slightly more frequently than I have of late, but am not making any promises.
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Yes, that means I have a migraine aura and have taken some codeine. Aren't you lucky I'm still sufficiently in contact with reality to be able to make some effort at proof-reading this post? Anyway, this means tonight's word count will be whatever I can write in my little dead tree notebook before I fall over. That may or may not include a review of Writing Faster FTW by LA Witt of the many pseuds. It is good advice, and it is written entertainingly, and even though I already know all the advice in it, I read it all the way through today and found it well worth the £1.26 I paid for it last night.
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Started putting together a market list. Got some very useful preliminary notes back from beta-reader. Still haven't done anything with them yet because I've had a migraine aura on and off all week. Long hours at the day job are not helping.

Not a *bad* migraine. Just right at the level where it's obvious why I will continue to carry around an e-ink Kobo device to read on the bus even though I have both Kobo and Kindle apps on the TFT smartphone. Off to read a book in non-backlit format...
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I've been more or less off the air for the last three months, for a variety of reasons. Those reasons include the purchase and setting up of a shiny new computer, all the better with which to run Dragon. Which is a good thing, because having finally come to the end of a long run of reasons why I don't have time to play with my new toy... my shoulder's gone again. I've been reliant on Dragon to type more than a sentence or two for the last couple of days. I'm also now on enough codeine to be in "hello world, hello sky" mode, which does *wonders* for the concentration needed to use Dragon, let me tell you. This is because without codeine I will be on not enough sleep, ditto.

List of stuff To Do, for triage tomorrow, because PicoWrimo starts tomorrow:
--private commission
--review of Being Small (sorry, Chaz, really wanted to get this done earlier, but wasn't up to it)
--review of feminist historical romance series (is brilliant, lots of you will love it and need to know about it)
--book log
--revise novelette originally written for Dreamspinner anthology, then check current markets it might suit.
--work on one of the novel WIPs
--one or more of the ideas for porn short stories lying around in the ideas file

Any of the above to count towards 150 words a day for PicoWrimo, because it may be entirely random as to what I can focus on well enough to dictate. I suspect mostly porn shorts because I can dump snippets into a text file for later revision without worrying too much if they link up with an existing story.

Also need to
--update website
--check current calls
--send W9 forms to Smashwords
--trawl trunk for stuff to put on Smashwords
--put profic pseud and free pieces on AO3 (per discussion at Absolute Write)
--look over possible story for current Dreamspinner anthology call
--contemplate present to leave under the Gauda Prime tree farm this year
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The last couple of weeks have been a reminder of just how disabled I actually am, because my Dragon headset at work died and it's taken a lot longer than it should to get a replacement. I trundled off to the gym this morning for my regular session trying to rebuild some muscle strength and flexibility (I can shoulder press 5 kg regularly now, yay!), and spent the time on the first machine thinking about my now-urgent need to replace my home computer so it can run Dragon without falling over, and the state of my bank account.

And then on the way to the next machine, thinking about how nice it is to finally be able to regularly walk the length of the gym without hurting, I walked past a guy on one of the cardio machines. It wasn't obvious at first, because it was one with stirrups that cover most of your foot, but then I realised why it looked a little odd. The guy was a blade runner. Double amputee with the running blades we've seen so much of at the last couple of Paralympics.

I'm well aware of just how well off I am compared with some people. But that really does put it into perspective.
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Yes, the last time I posted was last week's picowrimo report. I'm sure I had something vaguely interesting to post last week, but I didn't post it and now I've forgotten what it was. Also, I woke up early yesterday with a bad headache, and while I do not feel wretched right now thanks to the miracle of codeine, you can tell I have migraine by the typos I will edit out of this before posting. Thank god for spoolchuckers.

Anyway... Progress of the total word count is as follows:

Monday, 9133, Tue 9746, Wed 10051, Thur 10402, Fri 11,000 *exactly*, Sat 11361, Sun 12198. I've added another couple of hundred so far this evening, and hope to achieve a few more before my typing ability shuts down completely for the night. I have also spent a lot of time over the last few days reading articles on how to shave *properly*, on account of the other protagonist likes watching his guy shave. Yes, they have his-n-his "getting properly ready to face the day" voyeurism kinks. :-> I'm sure my Google history for the last week must make *fascinating* reading.


Oct. 10th, 2012 09:56 pm
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Well, that's the word count shot for the next few days. This morning's wooziness turned out to be migraine and not lack of sleep. I don't feel that bad as long as I don't have to deal with loud noise, but my typing has gone to pot and holding a train of thought long enough to write the next scene is beyond me at the moment.

And apparently I can't control the mouse. Good thing Dreamwidth has a restore from draft, because I somehow managed to close the DW tab on my browser...
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One of the really annoying things about being dependent on Dragon is that a throat infection means a sudden reduction in the amount of computer work that can be done. Fortunately I'm not completely dependent on Dragon, but for the last few days I've had severely reduced capacity for keyboard work. As in, at best I could just about manage to get through the day job, and on Wednesday I went off and spent the afternoon doing something that kept me off the computer because I was too damned sore to do any more hands-type typing.

It's not just the obvious "can't talk", either. Using Dragon requires more concentration than typing on a keyboard, at least for me, and concentration is also in somewhat short supply at the moment. :-/ So nothing done this week by way of writing other than dealing with the prep work for the new release in two or three weeks' time. The weekend looks to be more of the same. The book log backlog will have to wait another week...
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I wasn't sure yesterday whether I was just knackered because I'd had a very disturbed night's sleep, or whether I had the start of migraine aura. This morning there was no doubt. I actually feel fairly okay, apart from the bit with having the attention span of a drunken goldfish, but I'm also very tired and it would probably be a good idea to go to bed early. I did get a hundred words or so done on Taxman on Sunday night, but nothing last night because I was too tired tonight, and I think I shall skip tonight because I can already see characteristic migraine typos in this post, and it will be a waste of time trying to compose fiction or even book log. Is irritating, because I have stuff I want to get down on electrons...
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Over the course of last month's bank holiday weekend, I had two fillings fall out. I continued to have a bit of pain on one of them, probably due to the nerve taking a while to settle down after two weeks between the filling falling out and being replaced. A couple of days ago the tooth behind it seemed to be aching slightly as well. It now appears that this is because the giant filling in *that* tooth was peeling away and held in place pretty much by capillary force. :-(
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I wonder how many obscene words are in the built-in vocabulary? Because it will probably have learned a few new ones by the end of the week. So far using it to navigate around the desktop has been less than successful, ranging from general flakiness to closing the entire Mozilla when all I wanted it to do was switch to the next tab. Oh, and the microphone randomly switches off in software.

But for the absolute pinnacle of bloody annoyingness, we must go to its refusal to be open at the same time as its PDF manual. I have no idea what the problem is other than that this is the 2008 version of Dragon, and I'm running the latest version of Adobe Reader, so it's possible that something new in Reader isn't compatible.

In spite of all which, I am so glad that I have Dragon, and I am already used to using it, even if I haven't used it for a while and can't remember most of the commands. This entry has taken about 10 minutes to dictate, and a lot of muttering while the microphone was off, but it might well have taken me 10 minutes to type it, given the current state of my hands.


Mar. 11th, 2012 06:07 pm
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The RSI is now sufficiently bad that Dragon is no longer an option. I've spent a lot of the last two days relearning how to use it. When I say "a lot", I mean 15 minutes at a time, and then taking a break. As it points out somewhere in the manual, you can also get RSI of the vocal cords. And it's a good thing that one of the commands I could remember is the one to turn the microphone off for a bit, because with just having got over a sore throat, I need to stop to clear my throat every sentence or two. It's also getting bloody annoying that the microphone doesn't fit properly and keeps drifting out of alignment. It doesn't help that I've acquired reading glasses since I was last using this program regularly.
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Apparently I have not needed to use Dragon since I rebuilt the laptop software install last year. Because I've just had to install it, not having done so at the time...

Probably easier to re-train from scratch than dig out the old training files. But either way, it's a job for tomorrow. It's taken all evening just to install it, register it, and download and install the service pack. Note to self, in future do not wait until you actually need it before installing it.
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Stuff going on at $DAY_JOB has set off the RSI in a bad way. normally i'd switch to dragon, but i also have a throat infection. i can type as long as i keep it brief and avoid the mouse. this is frustrating, as apart from the book there are lj posts i want to write. i think i'm going to have to seriously consider going back to dragon full time at home once i can talk normally again, because the rsi has reached the point of no return on the new damage -- it will now take weeks if not months to recover even when the problem that caused it is fixed. also going to have to seriously consider getting a new workstation at home, because the current one is good enough in normal circumstances but may not give me enough support now. i hate shopping for desks, nothing's ever quite what i need. :-(

need to look up the windows keyboard commands as i haven't had to use them in a long time. this is why i hate websites that insist on using fancy tricks that require a mouse to use the website.
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Been essentially offline for the last week, because I had another week-long migraine, the second in less than a month. Started on Monday evening, by the time I got home from the day job on Tuesday the last thing I wanted to do was look at a monitor. Am not amused, and this will be flagged up at next GP visit as "okay, that wasn't a one-off, do we wait for the third or do something about it now?"

Much better today, but I'm still not fit to spend much time in front of the computer, so I am officially abandoning any notion of the book log for Oct and Nov being more than a list of the books read (with the exception of the LTER book which I owe a review for). Thought about trying to upload a bit more fanfic, but dealing with the email backlog used up my thinking power. Too fuzzy to bother trying to write some WIP longhand, particularly as even yesterday I felt sick simply writing Christmas cards. So spent a lot of the day listening to audiobooks and doing some cross-stitch -- and not any of the more complex ones, either. Backstitch outline on a nearly completed coaster was about my limit.

Really looking forward to having a week off over Christmas/New Year.
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The downside of changing the meds for an entirely different medical issue is that the migraine is back, after a year without it. Started Tuesday, wasn't too bad until this afternoon, but I left work early (thank you, flexitime) and think that I should just step away from the backlit screen for the rest of the evening. Fortunately I have lots of audiobooks in the backlog.


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