Gearing Up For Camp NaNo

The Evil Day Job and writing don’t always mix nicely, especially when you work in soul-sucking retail. Sometimes it seems impossible to be able to unplug from work and find time, or energy, to write once you make it home — hopefully in one piece. And other times…it really is impossible.

I am going to hate myself for saying this, but I have begun to associate this work week as a third Christmas. (Easter is the second Christmas when it comes to retail, and actually Back to School could be the third mini Christmas instead, so maybe this is like my fourth Christmas.) Essentially this week is Hell Week when my boss decided it’s a great time to take an eight day vacation — for what I swear is the third time in only a couple months, throw myself and the two other managers under the bus more than once, and leave all of us to pick up her slack the final week before the biggest boss visit of our store’s life.

Thanks, bitch! NOT! I don’t care what’s going on in your life right now, you should definitely be here for this.

I do not get paid enough for this amount of stress, frustration, and responsibility now sitting on my shoulders. I should also not be going into overtime this week, but guess what? All three of us managers left to deal with this bullshit are probably going into overtime, even when we’re technically not allowed.

You know it’s time to find a new job when you’ve got to the point that you really just don’t care anymore. You do what you get done and the rest… “Well, fuck it. It is what is anymore. I don’t care.”

I get it though. You’re the general manager and you’ve adopted an “I can do whatever the hell I want” attitude because of it. Whatever though. I don’t care anymore. I’ll look for a new job unless things start shaping up as fair again, or I’ll leave and laugh while I watch you scramble to fill an already shorthanded position.

Well no wonder I’m going into overtime then when I’m not supposed to!

*Rolls eyes* Idiot…

I shall forego a longer rant about work though and move onto writing. If there’s one thing overtime kills, it’s free time at home and the energy to do anything once you get home. It also doesn’t help when you work so many messed up shifts that you have to choose between eating, sleeping, or getting things done once you finally do get home.

The bad thing about all this happening right now is that it’s the week before Camp NaNo starts for me. By the time Saturday rolls around I’m going to be so fed up and exhausted that I’m going to need all of Saturday just to recover some sanity and motivation — maybe longer than that at this rate, which means I only have Sunday left in my request off days to get a head start on Camp.

I should have taken the first three days of July off for Camp, but then again, even if I did, my boss would be taking away the approved third day just like she took away one of my approved days — approved in FEBRUARY — this week because her life took precedent over mine.

I did not do it for you, bitch, I did it for the two other managers getting stuck with your bullshit too. Don’t you dare thank me for it, or I might just have the balls to finally say to your face I didn’t do it for you. (The other two managers know straight up I did it for them.)

Despite how much hell this week is going to be I did manage to start my Camp NaNo  project on Sunday. For the first time in two months I finally picked up some of my writing and got to work. Since I’m using Camp to work on the concordance and some minor editing of Fated to Darkness, I wanted to get a head start so I could play around with the best way to go about this project.

I’m glad I did get a head start because I spent a good hour and a half just organizing pages in my concordance and figuring out what sections/categories needed added yet, and making lists for what to include in certain categories (like character sheets, and chapter summary information for easy access to arranging plot lines, and so forth).

By the time I did call it quits Sunday night since I had to be at work early Monday morning, I had a better basis for how to do things, started a rough note notebook to keep track of things for said pages above, had managed to get through the Prologue of my story with the minor editing, and created a reference and question Word doc I can consult and use when I begin the major editing.

My hope is by making this Word doc I’ll better be able to organize the notes I left myself in my rough draft. I’ll be able to use it to answer questions of past events or miscellaneous things, or note that I need a character name, or a chapter title, or that this section needs more editing, or that I need to watch my “telling words” in this section, or this scene needs more description, etc. etc. etc.. By transferring and noting where those references and questions are in my rough draft, I should be able to eliminate lots of unnecessary words and some pages so I’m not printing — or paying — as much when I start paper editing the book. (I plan to put the Word doc on a flash drive and take it to an office supply store to print it instead of using all my own paper and ink.)

I think it’s going to work based on how things started out for me, and my hope is to get up to at least Chapter 11, which is about 146 pages, by the end of July. If I want to stick to my original goal of getting through the whole book by November, that gives me four months, and there’s about 40 some chapters in this book. Roughly ten chapters a month, not too bad — I don’t think. By doing it this way I can use the minimal free time of November and December to organize the rough notes I’m putting in the notebook into my concordance, and also print my reference Word doc and the actual book.

(Wait, what free time in November? That’s NaNoWriMo! And the start of the holiday!)

The more I think about this, the scarier it is to see how far I’ve really come. At the same time it’s exciting. It’s hard to believe I’ve really come this far.

Now if only I can figure out how to regain energy and motivation in the face of work’s hell to keep pushing forward this week — I would like to get through Chapter 1 before Camp starts — and in the future at this rate… Music only helps so much sometimes. I need another way. Like maybe taping the logo of my company — or maybe my boss’ face — on my target and practice shooting my bow at it. Bet you I’d hit a bull’s eye…

How do you unplug from work to shake off it’s exhaustion and frustration to be able to focus on writing and/or editing once you’re home?

Sort Of Goals, Holiday Madness, and NaNo Down Spiral

So for awhile I totally forgot it was Tuesday and that I needed a blog post. It doesn’t feel like Tuesday to me. The worst part is I had no idea what I was even going to write about, and honestly, I still don’t really know so this could be a very well bullshitted blog post before my clock ticks down to midnight in 48 minutes and I miss this post.

I told ya’ll to stop back on Tuesday to see if I had any idea on December goals yet. Yeah, well, I still really haven’t gotten a clue on them. Considering it’s the maddened holiday season and I work retail, I’m pretty much going to say my only goals for this month are to survive the next two months (January is inventory and another mess of shit going on at the same time) and to hopefully finished Fated to Darkness finally.

As of right now, the finishing the novel could be stretching it. I forgot how badly the holiday season drains me, especially being an introvert.

I don’t have many days off or downtime in which I can just chill and write without worrying about other things I need to do. I’m pushing more hours this year because of the other store I have to help out since they’re shorthanded. Not to mention corporate is pushing more freight into our store then they were last year so we are busting our asses and still not staying very up to date. We just keep sinking behind.

But, you know, no one wants to work graveyard shifts to get more of a freight crew in to help either… Go figure.

It’s only been about two weeks of the total madness since Black Friday hit, but already I am wearing thin, and one day off at a time is not going to cut it for me to recuperate and push through the next few weeks. And like last year, I could be working seven, eight days straight again with only one day off before who knows what the next round.

I’m working a lot of morning shifts too, which is great for the ability to do some things after work that I can’t do on days I have the long close shifts that take up my entire functional day. But I’m not a morning person, so they are wearing on me that much more by being up early so many days. Ya’ll know by now I’m a total night owl.

Believe it or not, last night I was actually in bed and asleep before midnight. Normally I’m lucky if I’m in bed and asleep before 1am. If that doesn’t say something on how much the madness is taking out of me I don’t know what does.

The other downside to working mornings is by the time I do get home, I don’t want to do anymore work. I just want to sit and relax for at least a little before I have to do it all over again the next day. It kills motivation, and the madness itself just kills energy.

So with the way work is going already, I don’t know if I’m really going to get that novel finished. I would love to, I want to, but if I try for it like I did for NaNo, I could really be burning myself out before January hits and the new inventory madness rears its ugly head. Then I’ll really be a walking zombie by February.

Ahhh… February… Is it February yet?

So really I have no idea what’s happening this month. I’m not even sure if I should bother with the goal plan because I’m pretty sure it won’t happen, but then I’ll get disappointed in myself that I didn’t finish this novel like I wanted to this year…

It’s really just a never ending cycle and the only way to cure it for me is to have a separate NaNo every single month so I can’t just slack off and back out again as I do every single non-NaNo month. Because, you know, it’s been one week since NaNo ended and I haven’t written another word yet. I rest my case.

Running On Fumes

It’s the last day of September? Already? Where has this month gone?! It seriously feels like it just started and already it’s over.

It may feel like it was really short, but in terms of things I had going on and exhaustion, it’s been a really, really long month. Tomorrow is my first free day in which I have nothing I have to do since September 13th… Out of my entire calendar for this month, there are only four blank days in which I had nothing going on, three of which happened in the first week of September. Really, even those blank days were spent working on the publication probably.

No wonder I’m so damn exhausted.

Speaking of exhausted, I was just awake for 29 hours straight (because 5am work starts are cruel and unusual punishment for a night owl) so I’m a walking zombie yet. The so-called nap I took after work hasn’t done me much good because I couldn’t stay asleep. So basically, this blog post could sound a lot like this:

add

So, yeah, if this post sounds as jumpy and sporadic as that saying…you’ve been warned. Daelyn is running on fumes.

Anywho, um… Where was I going with this again?

Not sure why I’m asking that question. If I can’t decipher my own brain you guys sure as hell aren’t going to be able to either. You’d probably run from a single glimpse in my head. I run from it sometimes. (Is that possible?)

Seriously, where was I going with this?

*Retraces steps*

Sporadic and random post, no sleep, exhausted, September ov– OH!

(I think I need a liter of Dr. Pepper instead of just a bottle to wake the hell up at this point. Or I need to go back to bed, but I couldn’t sleep, and sleep brought a really freaky dream that managed to unnerve me sooo… Yeah, I don’t want to sleep right now. Said dream would make a great plot though — and yes, being the writer I am I wrote it down.)

ANYWHO! (Focus, brain! … Nope, it’s laughing at me.)

So I was talking about September being over and normally that means I recap my goals for the month. So in that spectrum… *Ponders, blinks* Um, what were my goals for September? Honestly, I can’t think of them right now. I’ve been so non-stop busy that I haven’t had time for anything other than working my goddamn ass off and working for the publication.

What the hell were my goals for September again?

*Wanders off through the land of blog posts to go find out*

Oh right! Oh… Right… *Cringes*

Er, well, so my goals of September were to complete all my camping journal notes — 3 by the end of the month, write three of the camping entries — one a week, finish all catch up Shards I had to write — I had two left, write 15k on Fated to Darkness, and whatever work popped up for the publication.

And out of those five things I’ve done… *Cringes again* Well, I know I started the camping notes. I got through one and a half, I still had two more to do though. I did get the Shards caught up! Those are all done and I’ve managed to stay up to date with them despite everything going on. I did not get any camping entries written out, and I…did not…write a word on…Fated to Darkness

I know! I know! My characters hate me and feel so neglected and are yelling like crazy. I had so many hopes to have this book finished soon and everything just keeps getting in the way. I’m still struggling with the chapter I’m on, and I’m just so tired. I now have three months to accomplish my goal of finishing the first draft this year, along with the notes. And the holiday season is already beginning in retail, which means… Yeah, I don’t want to think about it. I’m going to go hibernate like a bear with my writing supplies for the next three months so I’ll actually have time to write.

Which… That reminds me of something else that’s been nagging at the back of my head since a certain conversation I had, but…I don’t want to talk about that right now.

So September is over, I failed massively on my goals, and don’t even ask me what my October goals are because I haven’t the foggiest idea. Nor do I have any coherence up in this head of mine right now to figure it out. That post will have to wait till next week, probably Friday because I think I know what Tuesday’s post will be–OH!

That’s what I forgot to mention! The paperback print copy of Paranormal Pleasures is coming out in a couple days! *Happy dance* I’ll do another launch post of that on Tuesday. I can’t wait!

I’ll talk about the launch and anything else regarding it next Tuesday and then hopefully by Friday I’ll have a set of October goals figured out to ramble on about. And don’t forget, this Sunday’s post will begin featuring my short story, Embermyst, from Paranormal Pleasures for all my snippets next month!

Oh, crap, now I realized this publication means I need to create a new page on this blog for Published Works. Great… One more thing to add to the ever growing list that never ends! *Headdesk*

Now I think that was all I wanted to say. I think… If not, oh well, it’ll come to me an hour after I lay back down for sleep tonight and by that point it’ll be screw it. I’m going to go hibernate this weekend now, since, you know, it’s the first time I’ll have two days off in a row in over a month, and the first day I’ve had in two and a half weeks that I have nothing I need to do. (Sort of. Nothing out of the house at least.)

So I wasn’t too sporadic on this post, was I?

*Glances back through*

…Okay, scratch that.

S.O.S! Please Send Energy!

I’ve had absolutely no energy or motivation the past couple days.

Work has killed me the past two weeks with barely any time off. And this week, and next week, isn’t going to be any easier. It’s been one sporadic day off here and there with long shifts and even back to back shifts that really kill me.

I have been drained in more ways than one lately. Mentally from everything going on, emotionally because things aren’t working out very easily and my temper is short, and physically because I am exhausted.

Last week I had finally managed to make that shopping trip for some editing things, but since then I haven’t made a move to work on it.

I’ve gotten myself back into writing more, at least. I was making headway on a 15k deficit. (At least, I think it was 15k before. I forget, the days are blurring together working so much.) Or, I was making headway until yesterday when work really left me drained.

I had gotten myself down to an 11k deficit, and even if I just held at that same deficit on the days I worked, I was happy. It meant I wasn’t falling any further behind.

Except, I was so tired that I didn’t get any writing done yesterday. Everything hurt, I couldn’t focus, I was just ready to collapse. Today I finally had a day off, and I’ve totally blew it.

I’m still exhausted, and being so drained gave me a headache for half of the day. I didn’t want to do any work or running around knowing work was just going to be the same thing the next couple days again.

So, it’s ten o’clock, and I’m only now sitting down to do some things. This post being one of them. I had wanted to get caught up on what is now a 12k deficit — and may be a 13k by the end of the night, depending on what happens. I had hoped for at least three or four thousand words today to put me into single digits on the deficit. I could have made up the rest and made goal for the month if I did that.

But now… I’m not so sure of what’s going to happen.

I hate when I do this, but I need more than one day off to have any motivation. Let alone to have the energy I need. Yeah, I know, I’m still young, I shouldn’t have a problem with that. But when you’re an introvert and you work in retail…

Ha! Forget having energy.

And in retail, from here on out is the holiday season. The madness of so many things going on at once, already getting ready for those Black Friday and Christmas shoppers, has begun. (I don’t want to hear one word about either of those holidays anytime soon!) The end of September, beginning of October is the start of it when things switch so quickly in the store and the amount of product we get becomes never ending. This year is going to be even harder on me since it’s my first holiday season as a manager.

I’m not looking forward to this. I wish I was back on freight crew, but I screwed myself there.

Needless to say, I’m hoping I get some things done bit by bit on the days I work, then hopefully have a productive day Friday when I’m off again. Although, I’ve got two long shifts in the next two days so I might be drained again.

Tomorrow is Mabon, though, so I’m hoping I have some energy for things. Plus, I want to stop at Michael’s and see what goodies they have up for Halloween. Maybe that’ll get my spirits and energy up. It normally does for this girl…

Steamrolling Through The Madness

So, remember on Tuesday I said I was afraid I would be scrambling to keep up to my 1k a day count to keep on par with goal for Camp?

And remember me saying it was going to spiral me further into madness between work and writing?

Yeah…

Things aren’t really happening that way.

I really did light a fire under my ass within the past few days. Because for July 1st and 2nd, my 1k goal for each day turned into me doing 4k for both days.

And I mean over four thousand words a day. Not one, or two, or even three. But four thousand words on both days.

I am freaking ecstatic over those numbers.

I’m currently sitting at 9,281 words written already. My goal was 31k. I’m already one fourth of the way there. In the matter of three days (because yes, I’m becoming a total addict like someone else I know that writes as soon as midnight hits for that day).

Honestly, I feel like I’m dreaming over those numbers. I don’t know where my sudden inspiration or want to write came from, I don’t know what I did to achieve it, but I am certainly not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

I was worried about building a cushion and falling behind on the five day straight work period I have.

Yeah… Turns out, I was worrying about nothing with this streak! I’m on fire!

Not literally, of course.

If I was on fire I’d be running around screaming right now, and then doing stop, drop, and roll. Not writing a blog post.

Can you tell Camp’s madness is already getting to me? Or maybe I’m just slap happy, and sleep deprived. Or all of the above. Who knows? All I know is whatever it is, it’s working for me. Now if only I could figure out what it is, I’d be set!

Anyways, I’m getting totally off topic here…

So yes, I had set my goal to 31k for Camp. However, there has always been that secret wishful part of me — ever since I did my first Camp last July — that wanted to hit that big 50k number. Right now, if I keep the rate up that I’m going at, I honestly know I can hit that goal.

I had wanted to type in the numbers 5-0-0-0-0 when I was creating my novel for Camp under the little goal bubble. It was seriously tempting to say “the hell with it, you only live once,” and go for it.

(Well, technically, that’s not true. As an author — or reader — you live WAY more than one life. That’s beside the point though.)

After my fiasco of a Camp in April though, only managing to do 15k. And I mean barely managing to make that goal in a madness induced last minute week of writing to get there, I was wary of making a really high goal. Afraid that if I made a really high goal like that, I’d end up dropping it again and again and again, back down to some lowly number like 15k. I was even scared to put 31k in that little bubble since I hadn’t managed to keep up with the 1k-A-Day Challenge my friend presented me with at the beginning of this year, six months ago.

Do you see my problem with follow through showing through here?

But now that I literally have a 7k word cushion under me, nearly 10k written in three days, and I’m still on a roll, I’m getting more and more determined and excited to change those little numbers from 31k to 50k. I haven’t done it yet, but it’s tempting.

I think what’s going to happen is I’m going to leave it go for now, see how far I keep going and once I get close to that goal, I’m going to up it to the 50k. My secret goal is to hit 50k or higher, and if I actually do it, I will be the happiest author alive. It’ll be the first real thing I stick to and keep up with.

My only worry in this with having a 7k cushion right now that one day I’ll be thinking, “oh I don’t really need to write, I have a giant cushion, it can wait.” And then a few days later, I’ll come to find I shouldn’t have done that because I’m behind on par again. That is my only worry with having this big a cushion right now, which makes me want to up it to 50k now.

Well, that and burning myself out on writing.

I’m also finding by writing my 1k for the day at midnight before I go to bed, I’m able to keep at it better. I’m a night owl, so this quiet, uninterrupted time is perfect for me to write. By getting that goal then, if not more like I did Tuesday night, it allows me to keep with par, and then go over it by adding more during the day after or before work. I’m finding this system is working. (Until I wear myself thin by needing to be up at early morning hours for work. Eh, that’s where the madness comes from, and where the energy drinks are appreciated.)

No matter what I do though, I am still steam rolling through this Camp and I’m not slowing down any time soon. Hopefully I don’t burn myself out this way, but right now, I’m just too excited to even think that way.

Now if only I knew what got me so organized and on fire for this, I would be really set. Maybe it’s the fact that I actually had some summaries and notes and other things planned out for a few chapters ahead of where I am.

I’ll probably never know.

But at least I’m accomplishing something with my descent into madness, I’m steamrolling along and there’s no sign of me slowing down.

(Now before I really get carried away here and bore all of you, I need to end this post. And sleep, considering I have to be up in less than six hours for work. Oops.)

No Time Like The Present

It’s my first day off work in six days.

Well, really, it’s my only day off before I go back to work for two more days. Only then do I get a three day weekend afterwards. Finally. I’m in desperate need of one.

With the promotion at work starting with some hitches, other stress, and now some sort of allergy/sinus problem for the past few days, life is kicking my butt right now. I haven’t gotten anything done.

And there is a ton I need to be doing.

Not to mention, the characters in my head are consistently nagging at me to go write their story. But with so little time lately, I’m getting nowhere fast.

Already I feel like I’ve wasted almost the entire day away and gotten nothing done. It’s been so long since I had a day to myself that I’ve pretty much blew it and just sat around relaxing.

There’s this whole list of things I need to get done by Friday. Like folding and putting away the laundry that I can’t remember how long it’s been sitting there… Organizing the mess I have that didn’t stay clean for more than one day, again. Set some journaling things up that I do every summer for some activities. Go through the mass of papers I have piling up. Change the sheets on my bed…

You see where I’m going with this. Too much to do. And nothing I actually feel like doing.

I need to change that. I need to get some things done before I go back to work tomorrow. I also want to get some writing back in but we shall see about that.

No time like the present they say, right?

Guess there’s only one way to find out.

I Need A Break

Wow, so again I nearly forgot about posting!

Well, let’s put it this way:

I thought Monday was Tuesday earlier in the week and I ended up putting a post up. And then I realized I was a day early and deleted it. Of course, then when Tuesday came along I completely forgot to write a different post. (Mainly due to the fact I had to work and I had other things going on and… I’m not going to start rambling here.)

Then again today I just nearly forgot. If not for my good friend Paula’s Facebook status about the fact that she should be writing, I would have completely forgotten. (Don’t ask me how that reminded me of this post, I have no idea.)

My brain is just completely lost lately, foggy.

It’s jumping from one thing to the next like it’s a kid hyped up on Kool-Aid. Or I’m flat out forgetting things and can’t think straight to save my life. More than once I’ve nearly screwed up counting change out at work, that’s how out of it I have been. Not to mention I am literally worn out.

Since last Thursday (not yesterday, last week) my work schedule has gone/is going work three days, off a day, work a day, off a day, work three days in a row again, off a day, work a day, off a day, work a day, and then finally (HOPEFULLY!) have two days off in a row next week Thursday.

But, considering my shift got screwed today because a coworker decided to pull a no call, no show, I’m wondering if my hopefully two days off next week is going to become work four days in a row because I am on call for said coworker. If she gets fired or just up and quit, there goes my time off…

I’m worn out. The fact that I haven’t been sleeping well isn’t helping matters either. It’s been constant, crazy work and a multitude of other things going on as well. Hell, I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open writing this and it’s not even that late! (In my books, at least. 3am is late for me now.) With my busy schedule, I haven’t found any time, or focus, to work on writing or getting ready for Camp.

And it’s driving me nuts, and discouraging me again.

*Sigh*

I need a major break. Like, preferably four days off in a row at least to get caught up on things I need to do, including sleep. But I have a bad feeling I’m not going to get that for at least another week and a half, if not longer by the way things have been going.

Work is kicking my ass. Life is kicking my ass. And Friday the 13th is normally lucky for me.

HA! Not this time it wasn’t…

(And I’m too tired to even bother reading back through that to make sure I didn’t make any grammar/spelling mistakes. Or if it even makes sense. *Fingers crossed it isn’t a train wreck*)