Quarantine, Novel Editing, & Stimulus $

Oh man… it’s been a heck of a few weeks, hasn’t it? I’m sure some parts of the world are feeling it worse than here (know for SURE a few are), but it’s still hectic. I didn’t horde up when everyone else was and it appears that’s a mistake. It took me five tries over the past few weeks to get toilet paper. I have pretty severe dietary restrictions due to food allergens and lots of my usual items are sold out, which leaves me trying to figure out how to recreate them by hand. While I’ve made some pretty awesome meals, I’ve also made some pretty terrible ones.

We take drives each Saturday and don’t get out of the car wherever we go. People are everywhere, most of them ignoring social distancing, masks, gloves, etc. It’s insane and it makes me cringe on the regular. I’m working on over 40 days of working from home, no one allowed in my home that isn’t my husband, and my human contact being leaving things at my parent’s door or my neighbor’s and rushing down the driveway to wave at them. I miss my friends in person. I miss hugging my own father. I’m angry near constantly and want to cry almost daily. My anxiety has sky-rocketed. See… I’m in the danger demographic for COVID-19. If I contract it, I’ll probably have to go the hospital and could very well… yeah, I cannot complete that thought. Deep breath. I keep telling myself that and I keep doing therapy over the phone and keep plodding onward. It’s just a rough road.

Editing had become difficult and writing even more so. I’m one of those people who wants to be a perfectionist about everything, but the truth is, I can’t be about this. This quarantine has killed my ability for normalcy and with it my ability to function on all my neat tidy schedules that kept my anxiety in check. I’m free-falling and doing my best, but damn.

Right, so… on positive news, I got my stimulus check. Which means, since I’m fortunate enough to have a job I can still be doing from home, that I had money to spend to help others. The first thing I did was donate to Roadrunner Foodbank, the second was give part of it to a friend who couldn’t make their bills as they live off Veteran’s disability that hinges on if they can go to school or not (which they can’t because… COVID). Then I began stimulating every starving artist I could find. I commissioned my logo (see the book in the header) finally (and have plans to commission my sports logo for the team in my novel!), I placed some money into a Kickstarter that needed help and was failing because of COVID and bad timing. I bought dice from Etsy listings, cream from a farm for my arthritis, a lovely pocketed dice bag from another Etsy listing. I even participated in an auction for a local museum to assist them in funding while their doors are closed (and won 3 items), some merch from the Ice Wolves shop, and bought 3 bottles of wine form a local winery. The only part we’re keeping for ourselves is enough to buy a new dishwasher as ours is about to bite the dust and it’s not something normally within our budget to replace without a loan or credit card.

I changed the layout of the site tonight to go with the new logo and I’m pretty proud of it after a little finagling. I think it looks better than the old one and the background is kind of near and dear to something I’m trying to make peace with about myself at the moment. The logo itself was inspired by the simplicity of a camera logo the artist I commissioned had done, reading rainbow, the fact that I write gay romance, and hell, that my own penname is a shout-out to both a color I like (red) and well… reading. It all felt perfect and I think it is. It’s exactly what I envisioned, so kudos to the artist (Olivia Talei).

So… editing. I never ever thought I’d edit one book so much in my entire life. I’ve written over 800 stories and not once have I edited to this extent. Each section was edited as I re-read to write the following section, then I edited three full times myself before ever handing it over to my first editor. During change-acceptance, I also edited as I went through. Then I handed it off to my secondary editor, and repeated the process of re-editing as I accepted changes. Now I find myself doing yet another edit on the book as I go through my final revisions and some of them are pretty extensive! Chapter one was nearly re-written paragraph by paragraph. It’s the most intense I’ve ever gotten about editing and it’s taking forever.

I finally have some options on what to name the book and have written my foreword and acknowledgements sections. I still do not have a summary or a cover. There’s so much to do when you’re actually serious about it and not just winging it (e.g. not like my past 3 short stories that were published and I am now horribly embarrassed by).

I’m reading 6 books at the same time and have five fanfics open on my phone, all part way through. I game (Dungeons & Dragons) three nights a week now just to try to stay sane and I’ve seriously cleaned my house within an inch of its life… repeatedly. This past week I reorganized my entire at home office, including moving furniture around. I’ve gone so far as to organize cupboards and learn how to bake new things (to a variety of successes and near-failures). I’ve started doing pushups every single day and have literally promised Mario Ferraro (NHL Sharks, anyone?) that I’ll keep doing them just to keep myself going. (He replied, so now I have to, right? Right!) I’ve had to start with wall-versions of pushups but yesterday after basically 2 weeks of daily wall pushups, I did 5 knee-version pushups and then my full wall-version workout. By the end of quarantine, I’d like to be doing 5 regular pushups and then the wall routine. It’s the one thing I can keep doing and I thank that man a million times over for being the encouragement I needed.

I feel like I’m failing at a million things, but at least I feel like I’m accomplishing something there. One small thing is a blessing in the midst of chaos.

So, from me, to you. You can do it, too, even if it’s one tiny thing that someone else might view as worthless. Even if it’s getting up and showering. Even if it’s managing to eat something today… do it. I feel ya, I do. I have anxiety, depression, and a host of other issues, including what might now be arthritis. So let me be your Mario Ferraro. Do one small thing each day that needs to be done, take a moment when it’s complete, and think to yourself: I’ve accomplished this. It means something.

And PS?

Wear your masks, do social distancing, and for the love of all fuck, do not be my neighbors behind me that keep throwing PARTIES or that guy at the bread store today (my first trip to the outside world in 3 weeks that had to include humans) that wasn’t wearing a mask or gloves and refused to remain 6ft from anyone else. Don’t be that guy! Don’t be my party-neighbors! Please be the one who stays inside, only goes out when needed, and maintains social distance, masks, gloves when you do. People like me thank you. ❤

Look at one of the lovely sets of dice I ordered! (See link in post above for the dice store)

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