5-7 Days

So, if the nightmares are hormone related like I suspect they will slow down or stop in 5-7 days. That would be good because last night I dreamed Kelly was Clifford the Big Red Dog sized and was trying to kill me because I wouldn’t let her play with her favorite toy.

Goals

My goal for today is to get through half of the editorial changes on Competitive Dreams from the first editor. And get it to the next round of editing by Monday.

Unfortunately, a dream about sharks woke me up about 5 am (it’s now almost 8 am), and I have a bit of a headache. Of course, I woke up 4 times between 10:30 pm and 5 am, so it’s not like I slept the greatest to begin with.

Buried Dreams paperback

I have spent the last 2 days trying to format the Buried Dreams paperback. It has been an absolute fucking nightmare. I swear a lot in this post, just to warn you.

Here’s the issue, there are an “odd” number of pages… meaning I need one blank page towards the beginning of the book so that Chapter 1 starts on the right side of the page. No problem, insert page break and leave page blank.

Done.

What? I inserted a single page break, why are there now 2 – TWO blank pages? Fuck. The chapter starts on a left hand page now…. I need 1 blank page. Just 1.

Open document back up. Remove page break, since Amazon thinks it’s 2 pages. Insert new page break, upload to Amazon again for the paperback preview.

2 blank pages! How!? Why?? It’s 1 page break, not two. Why are there 2 blank pages??? Fine, we’ll stop dealing with “blank pages” I’ll insert a dedication page. Write dedication page. Save, upload.

Great, now the dedication is there but there is 1 blank page!!! And chapter 1 starts on the LEFT SIDE OF THE BOOK AGAIN! How? How is this possible? Fuck. Fine. Open document back up. Insert 1 page break. Single page break inserted, upload to Amazon again.

What the FUCK?! Now it says it can’t accept it because it has 3 blank pages in a row! NO! I inserted 1 page break, that is 1 single blank page, not 3. What the actual fuck!

Open document, delete dedication and leave the page break alone. Upload.

2 blank pages again! 2!!! FINE! Delete page break creating blank page. Upload again.

Fuck… now there are no blank pages again and my first chapter is on the LEFT SIDE again. Headache starting. I quit for today.

Day 2:

I have no blank pages, I need one. Fine. Re-insert dedication because maybe yesterday was a fluke. Upload. ONE blank page, but with the dedication I need NO blank pages. Close and reopen file, insert page break. Re upload to the print book formatter… WTF! Now I have 2 blank pages again. Close again.

Open document, after dedication I insert “This page intentionally left blank” on the “blank page” I’ve been trying to insert and upload it again. “Error: Document contains 3 blank pages in a row.” It can’t. It just absolutely can’t. I have added 2 pages of text and 1 page break… 1 page break does not create 3 blank pages. Decide to try something else.

I insert 2 blank pages in the Word document. Dedication on page 1 of the blank pages. This page intentionally left blank on the backside of the dedication. Upload.

I hate this! I have a single blank page again. But I don’t WANT OR NEED A BLANK PAGE with the other two pages. Chapter 1 starts on the LEFT SIDE OF THE BOOK AGAIN.

Needless to say, the Buried Dreams paperback is not finished or available yet. Monday I uploaded Dysfunctional Dreams and it was fine and it’s available… but I cannot get the front stuff to format correctly so I can offer paperbacks of Buried Dreams and I don’t know what the fuck to do about it.

Age & Sleeping

Update First: The first editor is working on Competitive Dreams with the ending now included.

I know fluctuating hormones can cause nightmares. I haven’t slept well in 2 weeks. I’m waking up a couple times a night because of bad dreams and night sweats. And one night, I kept waking up because of noises. I have also woken up talking in my sleep and Jason has confirmed I’ve sleep talked to him.

However, I decided at 1:21 am, when I woke up last night for yet another bad dream that I’d share a few of them. For the record, I have not watched any horror movies lately or read any of the usual horror books I break out in October because I’m already having bad dreams and I can’t imagine my usual stream of October delights would help.

  • The first night of bad dreams, seemed to be connected to my allergies. I usually dream I am drowning when my head is congested by allergies or a cold. That night though, I dreamed I was being smothered by someone with an unusual surname… So unusual, I suspected it must have been a movie or TV villain and Googled it to check and it turned out to be a real person, an artist that I can honestly say I’ve never heard of. That was around the middle of the month of September, so maybe I’ve been struggling with sleep for close to a month now that I think about it.
  • I was awakened one night because I dreamed someone sent me a huge box of electronics and things, I thought it was a mistake there was no note or anything, but my name was on the box in the ship to section. When I started going through the box in my dream I realized it was the materials to make a bomb and I awoke trying to figure out who would want to frame me for a bombing.
  • Last night, I woke up because I dreamed a friend of Jason and I took over running a prison and we were visiting him for some reason when some of the inmates suddenly became zombies and started attacking the staff. As we tried to escape, we learned zombies were caused by a prion disease and I became angry with the friend for feeding inmates infected meat and while I originally figured it was meat tainted by Mad Cow or Scrapie, he admitted he was feeding them dead inmates.
  • One night, I dreamed about volcanoes and I was trying to get Kelly and Lola away from the lava flow, but they were more interested in trying to chew on the hardening outer layer of the lava. Sadly, no Tommy Lee Jones or Pierce Brosnan showed up to help me escape the flowing lava.
  • I had yet another dream in which I decided to grow corn in my garden and I ended up feeding ergot contaminated corn to my family resulting in one of them going crazy and trying to kill everyone else. This dream sort of makes sense, as ergotism is plot point in a book I’ve been planning (for those who don’t know what ergot is, it’s a fungal parasite that infects cereals [rye, wheat, barley, corn, etc.] and it’s the primary component in the creation of LSD. Ergot poisoning has caused mass hysteria, mass hallucinations, it’s been blamed for a dancing plague that happened in Strasbourg, Germany in the 16th century as well as murders, suicides, and a plethora of other horrible stuff).
  • And of course, I’ve had dreams about the plot of Competitive Dreams where serial killers are competing for victims and prizes – it was oddly carnivalesque where the killers were competing for things like Kewpie dolls and giant stuffed animals and not a cash prize like they did in the book, but it was still not a great dream. In it, I was running a stall that exchanged victim trophies for tickets that could be taken to another booth and the tickets turned in for the prizes.

Of course, this is all made worse by the fact that I am a vivid dreamer. Even a normal or only slightly weird dream can turn bad because of the vivid dreaming component. Vivid dreaming means the senses work in the dream, I smell, taste, and feel in my dreams which is problematic especially when cut off human parts are being given to me like the last dream I described, because decaying flesh has a unique odor and I smell it in my dreams.

Friday I’m going to talk to the doctor about it, because while there was an allergy component to one night of dreams (smothering isn’t much different than drowning), I’m sure hormones account for the majority of the others and I am getting older. I know from health classes and things, many women experience nightmares and night terrors as they age out of their fertility years and this is what I suspect is happening to me. I think this is why I’ve been sleeping lighter as well and hence awakened by noises in the house.

Updates for September 30th

This week, I finished rewriting the ending of Competitive Dreams and sent that section to the first editor. I contacted Covered Creatively a few weeks ago to get the cover for it.

Autumn might actually be coming for me in Mid-Missouri. We had a few days of Fall-like weather last week and then it jumped back into the 90s for 4 days. Today it’s supposed to be much cooler again (mid-80s instead of mid-90s) and I’ve had a sinus headache for 2 days, which isn’t uncommon when the weather changes.

I decided after finishing Competitive Dreams to take some time off. So until the first editor returns the ending with suggestions, I’m offline and not working. Instead I am playing games and crocheting. I have a bunch of projects in progress and I started a new one the other day because Kelly doesn’t have enough sweaters and winter is coming.

I’m freestyling this sweater though, because I had some size 3 yarn I wanted to use for it, but couldn’t find a pattern using the yarn size for a dog her size… they were all for tiny dogs (1-5 pounds or 5-10 pounds – Kelly is 55 pounds) which I understand, larger yarn makes larger stitches and it makes sense to use a size 4 or larger yarn for a sweater in her size. However, my mom has spent the year making afghans for all the great grandkids using Mandala yarn and I love the colors available in Mandala, so I bought some too and Kelly’s sweater is being made out of Mandala (color Unicorn).

I think after 30 years of crocheting and having made 4 other dog sweaters and 4 people sweaters, I can make her a sweater without a pattern. And I’m sure, the first time she wears it, I’ll take plenty of pictures and she’ll love it.

Traveling

We traveled to Springfield, Missouri over the weekend to see friends and family. It’s about a 3 hour drive from our house, we left Friday morning and came back Sunday afternoon.

Today, I should be working my fingers off recreating the lost ending of Competitive Dreams. I admit, I’m not. I slept like the dead last night except for a weird dream about a giant millipede. I also slept an extremely long time for me. Usually pain forces me out of bed after about 7 1/2 hours or so, not this morning though. I slept a great deal for me and only woke up when I did because I set an alarm on Sunday and forgot to turn it off once we got home.

I have basically spent all day staring blankly and thoughtlessly at my laptop screen and I feel sleep deprived still.

Today it’s hot, tomorrow it’s supposed to be lovely and much cooler (a 20 degree drop is expected overnight) with highs in the 90s today and tomorrow in the low 70s. It is my intention to go to bed early tonight and then get up tomorrow morning and work outside all day. I’m hoping going to bed early, getting a good night’s sleep, and then the joy of working outside tomorrow gets the creative juices flowing again. I think I have 2 maybe 3 days more of writing to finish Competitive Dreams, at which point it will get edited by Editor 1 in totality and then go to the next round of editors.

My goal was publication at Halloween, but I have some doubts we can get all the editing completed in time for that due to the missing ending. However, it will release in November if we don’t make Halloween, so you will get a D&R novel before the end of the year.

Stomach Bug & Work

September 5th, I suddenly felt off… I forced myself to eat some dinner, but afterwards I experienced a stomach ache. I haven’t eaten much since then and the one day I got adventurous (Saturday the 11th), I ended up regurgitating it later. I am frenetically trying to write replacement chapters for Competitive Dreams after losing the last 10 chapters of the novel. Last week, I was exceptionally tired and just felt blah all week without appetite. My appetite began to return Saturday, but it’s been hit and miss… meaning while I “feel better” I’m still having some issues with the stomach bug.

I know there’s a stomach bug going around, several people I know have had it over the last month. We even delayed my birthday dinner with friends in the middle of August a few days because our friends were battling it. I’ve found work hard this past week, between being tired and not keeping down most foods (I handle crackers pretty well), I find my attention wandering and I’ve had moments when I look at the book and think “?????”. Also, while I’m not having trouble taking in fluids and staying hydrated, sometimes I randomly get nauseated and just have to stop whatever I’m doing for a while.

I did contact my Angela at Covered Creatively last night to get a cover for Competitive Dreams and I’m working as fast as I can to fix the damaged part of the book. However, I admit this has sidetracked me a bit. However, I’m still aiming for a Halloween release for Competitive Dreams.

The Problem with automatic backups

In July, my laptop was knocked off my bed and the hard drive suffered damage. All the recent files I’d been working on were corrupted including Competitive Dreams. But I did not remember to turn off my automatic backup software and it backed up the damaged Competitive Dreams file. So, I did a file recovery to get the book and it said it was 90,000 words and I was like “awesome!” and sent it for the first round of editing.

Those edits were completed September 4th and since then… I have worked on rewriting the last 10 or chapters because apparently the recovered file was incomplete and I lost the last 10 chapters or roughly 20,000 words of Competitive Dreams.

I started doing automatic backups because I forget to backup consistently and after losing Avenging Reality in February of 2020… I decided I needed to do something about it. Losing Avenging Reality was a software problem, I upgraded the writing program I used and somehow futzed it up and didn’t have a good backup of it. Competitive was lost due to a hardware issue… Sometimes I wonder if all this technology is really making life better.

I ❤️ Murderbot

My best friend made a book recommendation to me recently. I am such a picky reader suggesting books I might like is a crapshoot. Most of the time, I end up hating them.

The suggestion was The Murderbot Diaries… okay, I don’t enjoy a lot of science fiction and I have never enjoyed a space opera but there’s zero sex and romance so I’ll give it a try.

I raced through the 4 novellas and then the novel and then the short story. I love Murderbot. I loved the books so much, I will be buying them. Even better I love the narrator of the Murderbot audiobooks.

Gonna Stop Following the Directions

I woke up Tuesday congested, tired, and generally blah. I spent all morning wondering if I had a cold…

Then as I attempted to eat a bland lunch, it hit me…

The directions on Flonase says 2 squirts in each nostril until symptoms are under control then cut back to 1 spray in each nostril and a couple times a month since I started it, I have woken up sick.

Going through my migraine log, I can see it happens every time it rains… it can rain a little or a lot, but every time we have rain I wake up “sick.” And every time I have increased the Flonase until symptoms get back under control.

Do I need to follow this instruction? Chances of it killing me if I don’t do the “cut back once symptoms are under control” seem small…. What if I just keep using 2 sprays every night? It feels somewhat necessary because I seem to be allergic to rain (most likely it fungal and mold spores released after the rain that bothers me) but it does bother me.