And That’s A Wrap

Finally, the girl can breathe, just a smidgen. Finally, she can go put her feet up and let the swelling go down. Finally, she can take the sleepy sinus meds and slip away for many hours. Finally! I’m so relieved.

I finished the writing on Dec today. All the articles, all the tidbits. Can’t do anything else til I see a first draft. Getting one soon. Stacy’s dropping it off.

Late. I hate being late. And I’m always confused when I’m late, as to what happened, where did it all go wrong. Yes, this time I had some health stuff this past two weeks. Sinus. Arthritis. Bowel. You name it! It came to call in the past couple of weeks. But still . . . that’s not enough. And the time that it went so easy and we were on time, early even, what about that time? What did I do differently? How did I handle that one?

These stories, man. Killers.

And that got me thinking about the process. I must not be acknowledging the time it really takes to go through the process. I must not be realistic about it. So then I’m going through it in my head.

First I get the story, generally somebody puts me onto it, often times they don’t even know what it’s all about because someone has told them about it. So then I have to sit and make a list of questions I need to ask the subject of the story in order to find out what the story is about. Sometimes I need to do research on the Internet in order to write intelligent questions. I need the questions first just in case when I call whoever it is they say they have a few minutes right now and then they’re leaving the country for three months. In case I come up against a now or never situation, it’s good to be prepared. But usually, it’s not now, it’s later. So I call and make an appointment. Then I call back or arrive in the person’s place at the time of the appointment. I ask the questions I have written down. I ask questions I don’t have written down. I take pages and pages of notes.

The next step is transcribing the notes. Depending on the story I may also need to do more research. This time for instance, I had quite a few stories that needed a lot of research because they’re big topics I know nothing about. I’m talking 3-4 hours of online research per story. From the research I will cut and paste up to a dozen pages of pertinent notes into my existing interview notes document. So I end up with a 15-20 page document of random story things that I need to peel back to about a thousand words of coherent smooth flow. This is challenging. This doesn’t happen on the same day I did the initial research.

Then I have to find the lead. The beginning is the most important part, it sets the tone for the whole thing. Oftentimes there are a few ways I could go and I need to find the one that does what I want to do in the best way. Finding the lead is hard. Sometimes no lead readily presents itself and then I’m pulling my hair out and freaking out. Finding the lead is a physically draining dilemma. I can find the lead on a couple of stories in the same day, but I can’t do anything else with that story on the day I find the lead, because I have mush brain on that story. So what I always do is find the leads on all my stories first. Then I go back and finish them one by one.

When I get to this last stage I generally know the information so well and understand where I’m going so the writing goes very quickly, it’s not even like writing at this stage, it’s more like putting the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together. This is the quote that follows the lead, this sentence segues into the next quote, this topic followed by that topic, there’s the ending, delete the flabby unused portion and voila! There’s the story. I can knock off a few of these puppies in a day, once they get to this stage. And there I have it, my lateness clarified. Now I know. Seven days to comfortably get a feature story done. Four features this issue equals 28 days or 5 and a half weeks, plus all the regular articles I write (editor’s note, movie review, wellness article, sammyscope), plus all the editing and blurbs writing, plus all the admin, coordination and correspondence with the contributors, plus the online issues that were coming out every two weeks until I decided I didn’t have time to do the online issue two weeks ago. And then I get sick! Suddenly it all makes sense. Why do I repeatedly set myself up to fail?

And then that part of my brain that truly believes I am Wonder Woman kicks in and says, but wait, you don’t need all those days. You don’t need all those steps and gel time. And outside the heat of the writing, in the quiet time when the stories have been laid to rest, I hear that voice and I think, that’s right! I can take a story from interview to finished in one day! I can totally do that! And the next story I write, I even try to do that. I try to lump steps together, and I get so tired, and I get so stressed, and I don’t get any further ahead, and I have to admit I can’t do it. But by then, it’s too late, because I’ve already committed to write all these stories. So there you go.

I’m an idiot.

Mood: wound up
Drinking: not yet
Listening To: nothing
Hair: neglected

This is the Sound

I am loving the Foo Fighters. Big time. It’s like I put on the iTunes random shuffle and I go off to do dishes or whatever and then I’ll hear this song I don’t recognize but totally love so I look to see who it is and it’s Foo Fighters, every freaking time! I just got a bunch of their stuff the other day.

Today I want to decorate for Christmas. I never wanted to decorate in Sackville. I never even wanted to hang pictures. I only did it (and after I’d already been there a year) because other people seemed to think it was odd to have bare walls. But here I’m all about the Christmas! I want lights! And a tree!

I peppered a steak with numerous spices and put it in the over to slow-cook for supper. The smell!! Oh my God! It’s fabulous. It begs for some pasta and marinara, a nice glass of wine. I have the pasta part anyway. Maybe I can make something happen.

Mood: pretty good
Drinking: water
Listening To: i don’t feel like dancing (remix), scissor sisters
Hair: still short ‘n sassy

Knowing Me, Knowing You

Went to dinner theatre at the Rodd last night for the Mighty Christmas party. Had a great time! It was frigging hilarious because we were front and centre so many at our table had interaction with the actors, who stay in character throughout the evening. One of the night’s highlights happened when our fearless leader, Terry, took the microphone from the pregnant lady and ran around our table leading the mighty crew in a rousing rendition of Rudolph so we could get permission to go to the buffet table. The buffet, by the way, was really good. Rolls with butter, tossed salad, pasta salad, potato salad, coleslaw, whipped mashed potatoes, rice, whipped turnips/squash, roast beef, roast turkey, gravy, and a cranberry chutney or spicy sauce (really yummy!) Dessert was assorted cakes and coffee. The slab I had was marble with an amazing icing. I’m not usually big on the icing thing, but this was damn good! Throw in a couple glasses of wine and you have good times. I didn’t want to go, too much work to do, not feeling it, but now I’m glad I went.

Mood: druggy
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: the more i see you, michael buble
Hair: all over the place in a playful bedhead look

The River is Wild

My mighty river is freezing in. Yesterday I thought I saw ice near the shore in Chatham Head, but I couldn’t be certain. Today there is no doubt. Ice floes throughout. Have the ducks all gone where they’re going yet? This week every morning there have been hundreds boogeying up past my place. But now there’s ice. I wonder if I’ll start seeing the eagles again soon. I haven’t seen them since the ice went out. I’ve been thinking they’ll come back when it returns.

Had bacon, eggs, toast and coffee for breakfast. Woke at 8:20 after only 3 hours sleep. Went to the bathroom but then went back to bed and slept til nearly 10. I needed it. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends all week. And today I only have 2 non-drowsy sinus caps to take, so I can’t rely on drugs to push me through. Plus I’m going out this evening with the mighty crew, don’t want to be dead knackered. So I woke up all stuffed up from lack of meds. I need to somehow make my way to Douglastown this week for a neti pot.

I need to rededicate myself to wellness. I need to do that asap! Because I’ve let it go by the wayside and I’m unwell.

Mood: rough around the edges
Drinking: coffee, italian roast, black
Listening To: fistful of throttle, nathan wiley
Hair: it’s growing on me

The Razor’s Edge

Have I mentioned that I took it upon myself to do away with almost a whole head of hair? Yeah. Chopped it off. Razored throughout. Who knows why I do these things? I’ve never gone this far before. When I turn 40 I’m going to have a mid-life crises and dye it blue/black. I suppose the hair doesn’t really matter. Yeah, it’s pretty effed up, all different lengths. But I think all it needs is the right attitude to carry it off. If I hold my head high, smile with confidence, as if I think my hair looks fabulous, maybe nobody else will notice. Maybe.

I am so frigging sleepy. Got just under 4 hours sleep last night. Moon dreams. Nightmares. Not the truly scary kind where I wake up screaming or crying or both, but the kind where I come to in a rush of breath and immediately realize I’m ok. Those ones aren’t too bad. Got caught up on some housework today. Lord knows it was needed! When I get behind, I get WAY behind. Feeling better now.

Just made a pot of coffee. I am giving myself four hours to complete a certain amount of work and then I can go to bed and watch one of the dvds Stace dropped off earlier. Tomorrow is Sunday! So I’m probably looking at a 7:30 morning, even though I’ve already seen all of this week’s Corrie. Oh well, give me lots of time to frig with my hair before the mighty rodd outing.

Mood: medicated
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: calm like a bomb, rage against the machine
Hair: razored, strawberry blonde

Git ‘er Done!

I stayed up pretty late last night, until about 3:30 or so. I took my last dose of sinus meds around 5:30 but still it didn’t seem to help as far as sleepy went. I had lots of work to do anyway. I watched An Evening with Kevin Smith while I ate a frog and did some transcribing of stories that came in handwritten on looseleaf. Fabulous! Don’t even ask me how I’ve come this far and not seen any of these films. There were quite a few stories I had already heard on Smodcast, which was a bit of a surprise, but lots of giggles regardless. I’m going to watch the newer one from last year sometime this weekend.

The Mighty crew is going to the Christmas Dinner Theatre at the Rodd on Sunday night. It’s out annual staff Xmas gathering. It should be fun. I haven’t been in a few years. The last time we went there was just me, Stacy and Terry. Times have changed! We’ll fill a table now. I think me and Stacy are going to sneak our way into a Christmas party at the Tea House! LOL No seriously, we’ve been talking about it. The Tea House is all decked out and looking mighty cozy and Christmas-like, I can’t think of a better place to get in the spirit. I’m kinda actually getting in the spirit on my own. The other night when me, Stace, and Les were shopping at Jean Coutu they were playing carols over the speakers. Whenever I’m in Jean Coutu I’m reminded of Sackville and I get a little nostalgic. I miss it a lot sometimes. The quaintness, the compactness. Miramichi is much bigger. I need to go downtown and shop around the square, see if I can find some quaintness there. Decorations in the park and such must come soon. Santa Claus parades must happen soonish.

Oh well, enough rambling about stuff. The meds seem to have kicked in so I’m off for another productive day.

Mood: chipper
Drinking: coffee, water
Listening To: 1973, james blunt
Hair: sliced and diced. literally. i totally chopped off my ponytail and then took the razor to my head. seriously. i went from three inches below my shoulders to just below my ears. all by myself!! it’s the drugs man, it’s gotta be the drugs

Merry Happy

Oh boy, how could I have forgotten how lovely non-drowsy sinus meds are?! I’ve been in agony for weeks, months even, and all I needed to do was go buy some drugs. Sheesh! I had not intended to buy a non-drowsy formula. Because my goal was to get some sinus relief, not get that little amphetamine-like energetic loss of appetite buzz that I am highly susceptible to addiction. Sometimes I miss bennies. There. I’ve said it. I mean 10,000 steps happened daily back in those days, I’ll tell ya! Should’ve had a pedometer strapped on, just for fun. I can’t even imagine how many miles I put on regularly. The queen of the 10 minute walk. Ten minutes from Mom’s to M’s. Ten minutes from the club to R’s. Or maybe that was 15, but even then, DAMN! That’s far! Walking from back the clubhouse in Cains River to Mom’s, in cowboy boots. On my feet 24/7 behind the bar, in heeled granny boots. Yeah, sometimes I miss that. Sometimes. And how many steps would that walk from the Anglican Church in the Rapids to home have been?! That’s far! You know, I still love walking, still love being on my feet. Just can’t convince my brain that I should make more time for that. Getting there.

I also bought a mild laxative last night. Been having some issues. But I was thinking the mixture, speed, laxative, you’d think I was trying to quickly shed some pounds. I’m not. But hey, now I have the tools I need for a quick 10 drop in a most unhealthy manner. Or I could just stop eating fried chicken and potato chips. That’s a thought.

Mood: buzzing
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: at the 100th meridian, tragically hip
Hair: currently, it’s kinda like i gave myself a mullet . . . i’m gonna try again, chop more off, i may be in need of emergency hair care from a professional very soon