A Traitor of the Closest Kind

I have a problem.

My problem is not easily resolved. It is not something I can simply ignore. It is not something that can be repaired without a great deal of effort. It is not something that can be quickly diagnosed. It is not something that is even easy to explain.

My problem is my brain. My brain is broken.

I suppose, perhaps, that the above statement is a little bit dramatic. There’s nothing physiologically wrong with my brain (as far as I know…), but sometimes I genuinely feel as though there is a disconnect in there somewhere, between the “You can relax for a bit” and the “I need you right now!” synapses. Some days I feel as though my brain has packed up and wandered off on a tropical vacation without me, and that’s just rude.

Sometimes my faculties are in top condition. I’ve most often seen these moments occur when it is particularly busy at work. I’ll be the only one there, piles of paperwork on either side of my desk, talking to four different field tech groups on two different radios, running a control panel, and scribbling out the information I’ll need for later on piles of sticky-notes. I’ve had amazing days when (with the field techs as my partners) I commissioned 25+ instruments in one 12-hour shift, as opposed to the approximate average of 5-10 instruments. I’m rushed and doing a dozen things at once, but somehow everything flows and I get it all done, and by the end of it I feel like a million bucks. My brain is giving me a mental two-thumbs-up.

Then there are other times when I wonder if I haven’t suffered some kind of terrible head trauma and I just don’t remember it. These days seem to come when I’m trying to get chores done and errands run. I’ll be trying to work on this blog and I’ll end up reheating my tea six times because I just plain keep forgetting that it’s there (assuming that I get that far…sometimes I won’t even remember to take the tea-bag out). I’ll run out to the post office and drive right past it and be halfway across town before I remember what I was out for in the first place. Worst of all, I’ll be at the grocery store and end up just staring at a wall of soup for, like, five minutes without even actually seeing what I’m looking at; I’ll only realize what I’m doing when I notice another customer looking at me as though I’ve lost my mind.

Which is what seems to actually be happening.

The brain is a muscle, and like any muscle you have to use it unless you want to lose it. If you don’t exercise your brain (like those moments when I’m at work, multitasking like a boss) you start to lose cognitive function and focus (like those moments when I’m drooling like an idiot in front of the Campbell’s). Unfortunately for me, my brain seems to “lose” much more quickly than it “gains”. I turn into a babbling moron after only a few days of extended “mindless” tasks (i.e. the past few days that I’ve been trying to get the house clean), but it seems to take a good week for my brain to return from vacation once I’ve signaled that I need it again (i.e. I’m usually halfway through my 14-day work shift before my coworkers stop commenting on how often I’m reheating my tea).

I blame a number of things for this phenomenon. I blame the fact that I watch more kids’ shows than adult ones these days (listening to Ernie teach my daughter how to count for the three hundredth time can be pretty mind-numbing). I blame the fact that taking Calculus in university seemed to permanently damage my brain for being able to handle complex information. I blame the fact that sometimes my sinuses get so stuffed that I’m surprised there’s not enough pressure on my brain to actually kill me. I blame a lot of things, but mostly I assume that it’s my fault. Somehow, subconsciously, I choose to be a dribbling imbecile some of the time.

Maybe it’s my brain’s secret way of getting some rest and relaxation. If so, my brain is taking way too many siestas.

Get back on that plane and make your way back to my head, you traitorous mass of neurons. I’ve got a lot of writing to do and it’s a hulluva lot harder without you here helping!

Do you ever feel like your brain has just up and left you? Do you have any explanation for these times, or is it completely random? Have you ever caught yourself staring at a wall of soup for minutes on end? Please share!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 15

Sometimes we all need to just take a break, sit back and relax, and try to forget about the chores we have to do, the responsibilities we have, and the numerous things we are trying to accomplish.

Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself this past week.

With that thought in mind, I don’t have a lot to report this week. I decided when I got home from my shift out West that I was in desperate need of a week of doing absolutely nothing, and I’ve pretty much stuck to that.

Health and Body Image Goal

As stated above, there isn’t a lot to report, since I allowed myself to relax after I got home for this turnaround. However, I can mention that I’ve restarted Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution plan as of this past Sunday. More on that in tomorrow’s post, but suffice it to say that my teeth are firmly gritted. I’m gonna get in shape if it kills me, dammit. (And it probably will.)

Editing Goal

Hells yes, I avoided this one while I was relaxing. Something that needs to be done? Yes. Something I enjoy doing? No. With that in mind, I don’t expect to dig up much time for editing in the coming week either, since I’ve fallen drastically behind on my blog posts and need to replenish the supply so I don’t have to worry about it during my next shift out West.

1,000,000 Word Goal

Have I got something to report for this one? Yes. Yes I do. I can report that this has been my worst week yet at 2183 words, all of them blogging words. Something is definitely better than nothing – and you’ll be so kind as to recall that bit about relaxing – but still, I feel a bit bad. Worst week yet. Ick. In addition to that, my lack of writing over the past week has meant that I’m only up to 13060 words for Camp NaNoWriMo. Less than halfway to my goal and less than half the month left. I’d better get back to work, hmmm? Agreed.

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 13

Technology is a wonderful thing, you know? Here I am, on a bus on the way back to camp from a long day at work, and I’m listening to music on my iPhone while typing up an accountability post on my tablet with my bluetooth keyboard. My coworkers are getting a good laugh out of it, but to hell with them. I’m multitasking!

Okay, I may be feeling a bit looney this evening, so let’s get to the important parts so I can get this post scheduled for the morning and enjoy my evening trying to make up for several nights in a row of poor sleep.

Health and Body Image Goal

As has become a tradition, I have to admit that I’ve been a very bad girl this week. Since I arrived at camp for this shift I’ve polished off a fair number of sweets and no fewer than two (large) bags of chips (with cream soda to accompany). I haven’t even been bothering to put together half-decent lunches for myself…I’ve been snagging the pre-portioned containers of spaghetti and ham-and-cheese sandwiches. I’ve been bypassing the salad bar and healthier stir-fry meals daily because, let’s face it, I’m lazy and I have no willpower. Neither have I been getting any kind of exercise because of the aforementioned laziness and because if I want to also get a decent amount of writing in I would have to give up sleep. If you were reading the beginning of this post you know that I’m not sleeping well anyway. Why is that, I wonder? Am I stressed? I might be stressed.

Anyway, I made a decent effort today and ate better at least. I stil had the spaghetti, but I had yogurt and an orange for breakfast and somehow refrained from indulging in the nanaimo squares that I (for some goddamn reason) took to work with me today. Are you proud? You probably shouldn’t be. I don’t deserve pride, dammit! When I can report self-discipline for at least 7 days in a row, then you can be proud. Stow your pride for later.

Editing Goal

It’s not much, but I finally have something to report. That is, I’ve been looking over my previously edited pages, refamiliarizing myself with my manuscript. It’s not editing in the strictest sense, but I’m pretty much caught up, so any day now we should see some real progress, I promise.

1,000,000 Word Goal

As mentioned in my special post on Sunday, I’ve begun participating in Camp NaNoWriMo as of this morning. I’ve set myself a word count goal of 30,000 which, while not as ambitious as I would like to be, will bring me up to 100,000 words so far this year (if I’m successful). For my first day I’ve manged to write a little more than 1000 words so far, which is right on track. Wish me luck, and if you’d like to join me at NaNo Camp (it’s never too late!), take a swing by the website. My username for all NaNo events is Toreshi.

As for my weekly wordcount, I actually had a pretty damn good week, if I do say so myself. Not my best, but much better than the last three weeks (in fact, almost as much as the last three weeks combined). I wrote a total of 7435 words, which came from a combination of scenes for Parallels, a bit of blogging, and a few writing exercises and prompts that I tried out over the last two days. As a matter of fact, one of those prompts may very well turn into a full blown work in progress because it’s been pretty fun to write so far. As much as I would like to plow on and finish Parallels, I’ve been having a major blockage as to where to go next, so I’m thinking I might use Camp NaNo as an excuse to try a few new things, get the juices flowing as it were. Maybe I’ll even share some of what I end up with on Fiction Fragment Fridays. Look forward to it! 🙂

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 5

Tuesday again! That means I’m halfway through my work shift, and that it’s time for me to feel bad about myself again! Huzzah!

First I’d like to mention a mini-goal that I reached yesterday: WordPress informs me that the post I made yesterday was my 200th. Woo hoo! Honestly I’m finding that more than a little difficult to believe…I don’t think I’ve ever stuck with anything so long before, so yay me! Here’s to another hundred posts!

On to making myself feel bad…

Health and Body Image Goal
If you could be legally punished for neglecting to take care of yourself, I’d be put away for life. I’ve been trying to eat decent foods, I will say that, but there’s only so many options at camp and after a while you start to get sick of salads and oranges and whole wheat bagels. Additionally, I’ve found myself completely unwilling to exercise at night. I keep telling myself that it’s going to happen, but it never does. I swear it’s not because I’m lazy. It’s just that I work for 12 hours plus an hour’s worth of bus rides, then I have to eat and shower, an sometimes I have to do my laundry, and… Okay, yeah, I know, I’m making excuses. Shut up. 😦

Editing Goal
And as though I weren’t feeling bad enough as it is, I have to admit that I still haven’t touched my manuscript. I’ve become so obsessed with finishing my current work in progress that I just keep writing and never get around to the editing. The caveat of that, of course, is that I’m going to end up with two manuscripts that need revision and editing. So really, I’m just punishing myself in the long run. Ugh.

1,000,000 Word Goal
Okay, here at least I can feel a little good about myself. This week, mostly between taking commissioning calls at work, I managed to scribble out 2837 words worth of blog entries and 4730 words worth of my work in progress, for a weekly total of 7567 words, my best yet this year. Yay! I may be way behind on the goal, but man, I’ve been writing a heck of a lot more than usual. I may just be a “real” writer after all!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I wrote a ton o blog posts this week but didn’t get around to typing them up, so I better get my butt in gear.

Accountability Tuesdays Week 4

We’ve made it to another Tuesday and that means two things:
1. I’m currently mid-flight on my second of four plane rides that are bringing me back out to Northern Alberta for 14 more straight days of work, and…
2. It’s time to hold myself accountable again. Booooo….

Okay, enought flitting about. Can’t put it off forever.

Health and Body Image Goal
I will say this…my 14 days at home are not good for the waistline. There are just too many opportunities for treats at home, things I can’t have when I’m in camp. Garlic fingers and pizza, fried pepperoni, chocolates and cookies, and way too much soda. It is really quite terrible on the willpower, of which I already have very little. Can you guess where this is headed? I felt pretty decent when I got home for my turnaround,  but after two weeks of fatty snacks and sitting around the house playing with the baby I’m not really in a great way. On that note I’ve got some plans for this shift that involve the use of a set of toning bands and a lot of loose-leaf tea, so here’s hoping for a better outlook next week.

Editing Goal
Should I just hide my head in shame right now and be done with it? You guessed it, I still haven’t so much as glanced at my manuscript yet. I know, I know, I’ve been a very bad author. But, but, my printed copy is in the luggage right under my feet, and I swear it will end up in my hands – along with a good red pen – sometime this week. I promise.

1, 000, 000 Word Goal
I didn’t get as many blog entries written in advance as I was hoping this week, but I still wrote a bit, so let’s count it up. It looks like I only wrote blog posts this week, but I did manage to pluck out 4812 words worth of them. Still not up to snuff, in my opinion, but actually better than I thought I had done, so I guess I’ll give myself a little pat on the back for that. Additionally, since it’s almost the end of the month I thought I would share that I have thus far written a grand total of 20774 words this year. Thats nowhere near the count I need per month to reach my million word goal, but it’s about 20000 words more than I probably would havd written had I not made the goal. So, huzzah, I guess!

Stay tuned for next week’s accountabilities! Maybe I’ll write some love scenes for February. ♥