Things on my Mind Today

First, Happy Monday folks. It’s always energizing to have a whole new week stretching out ahead of us. Makes me feel like I could accomplish a lot. Does it do the same for you?

On this cold and rainy day in my corner of the world, I thought it would be nice to share a photo from a more pleasant time of the year. This is a flower that attracts butterflies, but of course I’ve forgotten the name and wasn’t able to find it online. The closest I came was a Blue Cornflower, but the pictures don’t look exactly like this. Whatever the flower is, I’m always delighted when the plant in my backyard blooms.

Blue flower with thin petals and a yellow center. Wordage in blue: Happy Monday


Some anniversaries are well worth celebrating: Weddings, date of engagements, birthdays, graduations, and so many other happy occasions. The anniversary I’m marking today is not worthy of a celebration. It’s the ninth anniversary of when I first got Ramsay Hunt Syndrome that morphed into a number of other neurological problems including atypical trigeminal neuralgia (TN2).

I remember when this all started in January 2016, and I was so optimistic that with treatment the horrific pain would go away. Thankfully, the level of pain has eased, but it is still significant 24/7. Some of the surgical treatments to deal with the underlying condition have exacerbated the pain, which is not what the doctors were hoping for.

Neither was I.

The TN2, along with the meds I take to try to control it, have affected my brain function, especially in the past couple of years, and a recent bout of Covid hasn’t helped. Now I know what folks have said about the lingering brain fog after other symptoms have cleared up. If you’re dealing with long-Covid brain fog some tips for coping are available on the NHS website (Scotland’s National Health Information Services) More here at the National Institute of Health.

Nobody needs brain fog. It makes it so hard to remember things. All those jokes about walking into a room to get something and forgetting what it was aren’t nearly as amusing as they once were.

And who else will fess up to putting the peanut butter in the refrigerator and the celery in the cabinet after fixing a snack?

Another significant challenge from brain fog is how it affects a person’s ability to work at any job that requires brain acuity and focus. Writing is one of those jobs, and to say this has severely hampered my productivity is an understatement.

A year ago, my publisher asked if I would write another book in the One Small Victory series, and I said, “Yes.” Currently, I’m barely half way in if I want to make this a full novel and two-thirds of the way for a novella of a little over 40,000 words.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that it would take so long to write so little.

Thank goodness my publisher is patient and not pressuring me to finish. I don’t need any more than I’ve already put on myself.

By the way, the reason I’m vague about how long the finished book will be is because I don’t have an outline. Some writers swear by them, but I’ve never found them helpful. A character will pop into my head, like Jenny did in One Small Victory, bringing an idea for a story, and then that character basically dictates how that story will play out.

Outlines were vital for all the nonfiction books I’ve written to organize research and put facts where they needed to be, but fiction is another realm. It’s not about making sure to get the facts in the right place, but to get a story written that immerses the reader in a character’s life and goal.

Sometimes that entails just listening to a character.

That’s all for today folks. Whatever you have planned for the rest of this week, I hope the plans all work out well and aren’t burdensome. Until next time, be safe. Be happy.

5 thoughts on “Things on my Mind Today”

  1. I never use outlines. I just let the characters tell me what they’re thinking or doing. I only write 30,000 to 40,000 word books these days. I don’t like reading long books anymore, so I write according to what I like to read. I have two WIPs in progress, but hit some stumbling blocks on plot and kind of let the books fall to the wayside. I have to stop being lazy and get back to work on them!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Morgan. When I started my current book, I’d planned for it to be a novella around 40,000 words, but need to figure out how much story is left. At mid-points in previous books is when I’d write out a loose outline of events to come in the story, and that’s what needs to happen with this story.
      Good luck with your projects. Sometimes when we’re away from the writing for long periods of time, it’s harder to get back into it.

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