Underneath my yellow skin

Free to breathe

I have a problem doing what I need to be doing. In this case, mailing in my absentee ballot. I’m registered to vote and requested my ballot in the beginning of September. I didn’t get my ballot and didn’t get my ballot so I checked the SoS website. It said it was sent September 18th. What??? I only checked my mail once a week (Sunday when I went to put out the trash) and there it was–two weeks after they said they sent it. Which meant it took at least five or six days to get to me–which shouldn’t be the case.

Then, I set it on my counter and didn’t do anything about it for two weeks because that’s how I roll. We had a bit of snow yesterday and it was predicted we’d get 5 – 8 inches today (now downgraded to 4 – 6) and it was getting uncomfortably close to the election for my taste. So, I went to mail it (I don’t trust my mailbox for good reason) and it felt so damn good to be driving with the windows down in 30 degree weather. I felt alive and refreshed; I had forgotten how much I loved doing that.

By the way, voting in my small city is so easy. I just Google candidates for about fifteen minutes and bob’s your uncle. Even for ‘non-partisan’ (yes, in quotes) positions, it’s fairly easy to tell where they stand on issues. If the first thing they mention is taxes, they’re not the candidate for me. If there’s no mention of social justice (especially with the current events being what they are), hard no. If there’s no challenger such as with judges, I don’t vote. I’m not feeling great about this year’s election for many reasons, but I knew I had to vote.

Being in the car with the window down, the brisk wind reddening my cheek, that felt good. Now, I’m on snow watch and it’s coming down hard. I can feel my soul expanding as I watch it fall. Oh, this is another reason I am not good with people. I love winter. I love snow and the cold. When the weather drops below forty, I feel more alive. Other people get SAD in the winter; I get it in the summer. Or rather, I get irrationally angry when the temperature rises about seventy. Put me in zero degrees with my weighted ‘cool’ blanket and a mug of dairy-free hot chocolate with my cat on my lap? Hell to the motherfucking yes!

My sleep has gone to shit again. Not only am I going to bed anywhere from four to six a.m., I’m not able to get more than five or six hours of sleep. Unless I’m sick–then I get seven. I got my blood tested and my levels are normal so it’s not that. Is it the pandemic? Probably. Is it my depression? Most definitely. Is it the cold/sinus issues/allergies I’ve been dealing with? Yeah, sure. I sound defeatist about it because I am defeated. I’ve been working on theseĀ  issues all my life and I had been making headway with them before the pandemic. Up to six hours of sleep. Maybe six-and-a-half on a good day! And I was going to bed around one or two. I was aiming for midnight, but I wasn’t stressing about it. Now, within the past two weeks, it’s all going to hell. Even when I try to go to bed earlier, I just lie awake.

My sinuses have been awful for the last three weeks. I had two days where it seemed as if the issue was clearing up and then bam! It’s back twice as bad. This has been my pattern in the past, but I was hoping to avoid it this year because I haven’t gone outside much at all. It’s really frustrating because I feel as if I work so hard to make progress then lose it all in ten seconds. What’s the point in even trying?

It’s strange to think that we’re coming into the holiday season. IĀ  used to be very negative about it (and have been since I was a teenager), but then I reached neutral in the last year or two. Now, I’m just numb. I’m not negative; I’m not neutral–I just don’t feel as if it’s actually a thing. Thanksgiving? Christmas? What are those? Words that have no meaning in the time of our pandemic. Nothing seems real right now. Oh! Except that I finished the second book of my trilogy about furies, Arch Daemons, and the extinction of the world.

I’m on book three now which is always an interesting time. My way of writing is to plot out the novel in my brain for weeks before actually writing it. That means I was thinking about the third book while finishing up the second book. Which, by the way, went on and on and on. It took a few weeks longer than I expected to finish and I still am not happy with the denouement. I have to let it go for now, however, and look at it with fresh eyes later. As for the third book, I plotted it out while I was writing the second. I have the beginning and the end with only the middle (oh, about 100 pages) to ‘write’. In my head, I mean. I have the whole thing to actually write.

One thing I love about writing is how I’m constantly surprising myself as I go. I have a loose outline when I start with specific things I want to happen. Outside of that, however, I just let it flow however it wants. I like to think I’m the conduit for the stories and not the actual author. This is outside my comfort zone as it’s what might be termed urban fantasy. I’ve dabbled in it before and have another trilogy I’m working on that is also urban fantasy (in the first quarter of the third book), but this has mythology mixed in which has fascinated me since I was a child.

It’s a struggle to write these days. It’s a struggle in general–life, I mean–but I do like that I’m able to produce 2,000 words a day regardless. It’s one of the few things keeping me going these days. I have a goal of finishing the rough draft of the third novel by the end of the year. We’ll see if I actually get there.

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