ritaxis: (hat)
I am writing this month, but I can't do Nanowrimo for reasons. One: I don't seem able to focus on very large projects at this time. I'm just grateful I can write at all! Anything longer than a short tends to get lost in the underbrush of a no-longer-chemo-brain. So I'm writing shorts, cleaning up old stuff, submitting a bit. I decided that since it's really unlikely for me to make enough money to be thrown off of Medi-Cal in the near future, it's dumb not to submit. Actually--did I explain this?--being thrown off Medi-Cal is not the thing I fear. What I'm afraid of is getting put into the grey category where they don't throw you off Medi-Cal but they require you to pay several hundred dollars (for some people, thousands!) before they will pay for anything. It would be better to get thrown all the way off and pay the (newly) normal subsidized premiums and copays, but that doesn't happen immediately. Worse, I have no idea what would trigger which alternative. So, just as in the case of facing up to cancer, etc., I just have to live my life.

I already submitted two things--one at the end of last month, but I'm counting it in this month. That was a near-future sort-of fantasy about a woman who is being moved out of her inundated neighborhood to find that her new neighborhood is pretty watery itself. And also pretty strange. The other is "John Brown's Body," which is ten years old and looks it, but it's going to a reprint market and its datedness might be interesting in the light of how things are working out, politically, these days. I mean it's sort of the opposite to everything!

I wrote a flash piece but my first reader (you know who you are) said what I was feeling--that the story felt like the unshot gun on the mantle. So now it's turning into a novella. I think it's kind of a time paradox story, but maybe not: some mysteries are not to be understood by the author. An old lady returns to the mysterious coastal village she spent a summer in during her childhood, and finds things to be somewhat different from how she remembered them, but some things are entirely too similar. The best part is the setting, of course. I think, despite what I said about my brain not being able to handle longer projects, that this is not too much for me to handle. Again, there are parts of the story that can't decide whether they are near-future sf or fantasy.

During the summer I was working on two short novels, but due to chemotherapy I could only move them forward a bit. One was about girls who save the world by means of their special relationship with crows and pigeons respectively. Honestly, the hardest part of that one is working out a believable mechanism for them to save even a shred of the world. And yet, parts of the world do get saved on a regular basis.

The other is low-fantasy in that it is set in the same fantasy world--but a different corner of it--and it is unlikely that much of the fantasy elements will come to bear on the story. It's an enemies-to-lovers story happening in the interstices of a larger drama of bandit freedom fighters and also referencing the earliest days of the motion picture industry as experienced by eager innovators in other corners of the world. But not our world. Informed by the last years of the Ottoman empire but in no way an analog for it.

On other fronts: I am a third of the way through radiation therapy. The only bothersome effect is my own body's ridiculous response to any postural demand, which is to spasm painfully somewhere. I have to lie in a comfortable position on a well-constructed individualized support for less than half an hour a day, and my body's response to this is to develop stiff painful areas in my neck, back, and arm. Not the side being radiated. The other side. My radiated breast is a little red, and maybe a bit sensitive, but not so as I'd care, especially with this other crap going on.

Continuing with the health care theme, I've restarted physical therapy. I'd gotten de-conditioned and I'd gained weight during chemo, because I spent a lot of the day sleeping or lying in bed reading. Now my energy level is back to its normal (kind of low) levels, and I'm getting more exercise, but there's some damage to undo. Also, I've been using the BiPAP machine for two months and it is not creating as dramatic a difference as one might expect. However, the doctor has some suspicions about my oxygen uptake which we're going to measure next week & discuss next month.

AND last but not least in this theme, today I got cortisone shots in both thumbs to fight severe trigger finger. It's the second round. The first wore off two months ago but the PA's not willing to give me shots more often than every six months. So if this happens again we're looking at surgery. I'm not afraid of surgery. I'm afraid of being the little old lady who collects all the surgeries, and also the fact that I've been enjoying my surgical experiences feels a little perverse to me, so I drag my feet for that reason too.

It's time to go to radiation or I'd expound about Zluta and the state of my house, but that will have to wait for another day, because after radiation Zluta and I will take a walk and after that I will want to clean house a bit before time for dancing.

Oh lumbago

Sep. 25th, 2014 03:32 pm
ritaxis: (hat)
Not of general interest.
seriously, only read the next bit if you're interested in osteoarthritis and old lady health )
On another front, it rained and rained last night. On my laundry, but I note this more as a note of humor than a true complaint, because hey, it rained and rained! We love rain.
ritaxis: (Default)
One thing about microsoft lately is that they update Internet Explorer relentlessly. Almost every week they hit you with new security upgrades and you never know what new problems these will introduce.

Don't talk to me about Firefox, okay? I hate Firefox. It's even more annoying than IE.

Lately IE won't let pages do anything. It's security settings, right? But something in the security settings is not apparently available for tweaking. I know, because I keep tweaking the settings to allow sites to do what they're supposed to do, and IE still won't let them do it. Well, if I go through the brief but tedious rigamarole of assigning every single page and subpage individually to the category of "trusted sites," I can get the internal search engines to work, most of the time, or the little scripty things that every web designer feels they must put at the center of their creation's functionality. But if I try to adjust the regular "internet" setting so that new pages will work like they're supposed to -- no. Whatever it is that makes the difference is not on the available list of things to tweak.

What pisses me off is that just now when I tried to search the University of California site for information about reading classes, I couldn't even get the ordinary table of contents to work until I had declared the site a "trusted site." Of course I trust the University of California. And I had even been there before -- but I had not had to do anything to get it to work last time. And then. It's not over! Every single page had to be declared trusted again -- apparently there are sub-domains or something going on -- and then!!! syndicated Google had to be declared trusted.

on another front, the hip/back pain thing has lasted a week and it's not at all amusing anymore. I have, apparently, two choices: do nothing at all for two days and have a pain-free day on the third day: or have excruciating pain from early in the morning, fading into normalcy by mid-day, and act like a normal person. The only drug available is acetaminophen -- I know, we went into this when I first started my current pain drugs, and theoretically I should be able to add on vicodin or ibuprofen to the gabapentin, but it doesn't seem to work that way when I also have other CNS and inflammation drugs going on at the same time. I'll be seeing the nice doctor man in the morning: meanwhile, I'm just getting on with life. I do, after all, seem to have subtly more energy (answering that question from last week), so I don't see why I shouldn't take advantage of it.

The dried peaches and peach leather came out wonderfully. I didn't expect a whole lot, because usually dried peaches are really not as good as dried apricots, but apparently the thin thin slices and the fact that the peaches were windfalls, not perfect, gave them that little edge. The peach leather is gorgeous.

I don't know how I'm going to get any writing done today. I can't think straight right now. If I start to think about anything, pretty soon I'm thinking about discomfort again. It's getting better, but it's only two hours before I have to be at work.

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