Focus and too much of it

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m a very focused person. Probably not in the way you’re thinking. I’m not particularly goal oriented. If I were, I wouldn’t need my new year’s goals. I’m not going to make any lists of hot up-and-coming business people.

What I do have is an inability to let something go until it’s done or I’ve given up. Currently, I’m fighting with a smart light fixture that refuses to be smart. It’s consumed my thoughts and my actions. So much so, that I couldn’t think of anything else to write.

This focusing is super helpful when I’m working on a project or writing a novel. It pushes me and I can use it to get over the slumps. It isn’t, however, useful when I have no control over the situation. It’s also very unhelpful when I have other things to do.

The satisfaction of being done with the subject of the focus is great and long lasting. But it’s not always fun and can lead to me being grumpy or distracted until I finish or fix the issue.

The Endless Fight by the Awkward Yeti
Mildly relevant in that when I’m very focused, I feel like my brain and heart are fighting.

I’m told this is a trait of both ADHD and Autism. I’ve never been diagnosed with either, but the more I read about it, the more I’m confused and wondering if I may have one, the other, or both.

I’ve developed tricks and habits to make sure the focus isn’t detrimental to my health or those around me, but it’s stressful.

There are different levels of focus, of course. The light fixture thing is something I don’t want to have to worry about any more so it’s more immediate. Writing a book is easier and less frustrating in its pull.

I’m fine and I’m not asking for help. I just needed to vent and let you know that if you feel the same, you’re not alone.

I’ve always been this way, but I’ve started to recognize it more in the past year or so. The lack of commute, activities, and other larger distractions have given me time to be more introspective.

Hopefully that’s a good thing.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Please, sir, I want some vaccine

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The Ontario government said that this week (Week of May 17) the over 30 year olds would be able to book their vaccine.

Unlike most responsible people, I tried first thing at 7am after rolling out of bed. No coffee, no breakfast, not even my morning washroom usage.

Things went fantastically well. (I should have known it was too easy.) I booked an appointment for me and then I tried to book for my wife. She’s only 1.5 years younger so it should have been just as easy… right?

Nope.

She wasn’t eligible. So I tried my info again and I wasn’t eligible.

So now I had an appointment when I wasn’t supposed to and couldn’t get one for my wife.

What do I do? I called the provincial hotline. They were closed. I waited until they were supposed to be open. Sat through 5 minutes of information, pressed the buttons, was put on hold and the system hung up on me. It happened twice more and then I got to talk to a person.

The nice man at the call centre didn’t know how I got an appointment; we think I clicked something that I shouldn’t have. So he cancelled my appointment. I asked when I’d be eligible and he said he didn’t know.

Now I have no appointment and spent a stressful morning.

I’m sure this isn’t an indication of how the rest of the week will go. (Why do I hear boss music?)

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Stand aside Mos Eisley Spaceport, you’ve got some competition. Yes, I mean Facebook, although the internet at large is quite bad.

Please, no advice is required.

Over the past week I’ve been procrastinating taking breaks from editing by reading my news feed. Here’s a short list of things that I’ve read that have made me wonder if Ultron was being too generous:

  • Defending a celebrity who’s been accused of sexual assault with the incel call to arms, “Innocent until proven guilty.”
  • Same person and same post then doing self promotion for their product.
  • People telling disabled people to call ahead or just wait outside because it’s too expensive to make things accessible. (I personally think there should be a government subsidy to make these things accessible and not bankrupt businesses, but I’m a deluded socialist.)
  • That there’s some sort of shame in watching films with Closed Captioning. (I took media communications and I had 4 separate professors; film, music, feminism, and advertising encourage us to use CC as often as possible to catch all the details of what was happening and intended.)
  • Someone posting a poem on a writers group comparing men to vagabond ships and women to the anchors that keep them from straying. (This devolved into him saying I was too argumentative and was headed for divorce, followed by being called a fairy, and being told I was going to hell.)

And that’s not even mentioning all the Anti-vaxx pro-plague comments on every Covid-19 post.

So this week I’ve been called:

  • Anti-Business
  • Communist (Starting to think this isn’t an insult.)
  • Fairy (Definitely not an insult. Fear my sparkling wrath.)
  • Unable to love
  • Headed for divorce (my wife laughed at this. She practically guffawed. It was adorable.)
  • Going to hell
  • Child abuser (because I want my kids immunized)
  • Snowflake
  • Tru-anon cultist
  • MeToo Groupie
  • Anti-law
  • Pitchfork carrying mob
  • A Shill (BTW Big-Pharma, Liberal Party, NDP, Big-Agriculture, #MeToo, and disabled community, I’m still waiting on those e-transfers.)

I’m not saying I’m perfect and always right, but I try to follow simple rules. Listen to the victims, listen to those affected/minorities, listen to science, and listen credible sources.

I’ve been called on internalized toxic opinions and I’m trying to grow.

If your first reaction is to get defensive when someone asks for help, you should maybe check why and re-evaluate your opinion.

It might be time to lessen my social media scrolling for a while and find another way to procrastinate take breaks from editing.

Stay safe and stay kind,

Éric

My Kids are cute…

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

My kids are so freaking cute. Seriously look at this:

I’m not boasting, I’m trying to remind myself.

Pegasus is teething his second set of molars so that means more wake-ups and lots of screaming. Dragon is not dealing well with the lack of routine during March break… Basically the two of them have been screaming and being difficult.

I have a headache, Jen has a headache, the kids ache, and I think we’re all looking forward to getting back to a “regular” routine. Normally, I’d have taken them to the park or shopping or maybe even to a museum but *shrugs* Covid.

Next week, I turn back on my work computer, Dragon and Jen go back to doing school and Pegasus goes back to climbing me and trying to help with my work. It sounds soothing and exausting.

This will pass, every day Pegasus starts to talk more and by Christmas we’ll have mini sentences. Dragon is learning more and more words, letters, and sounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if by this time next year she’s reading. That’ll be nice.

My kids are loud, they are very touchy, and those are things I’ll miss, but sometimes it’s all a little too much. It’s important to remember that they are adorable and I love them lots and lots.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Ups and Downs

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m having a hard week. Winter feels interminable, we’re at the start of the third wave, vaccines are being distributed by a disorganized Flash (from Zootopia, not DC), and people are starting to discuss the possibility that maybe under 10 years of age kids don’t need a vaccine. Thankfully the medical community is pushing for it, but without public and government pushing, how long will it be?

I’m not comfortable exposing my children to Covid. Even though the chances are low that they get any serious side effects, I’m not willing to risk it.

Quarantine has its ups and downs; I’m currently experiencing a down. It’s been a hard week preceded by a hard weekend. Right now I want to curl into a ball and binge-watch Stargate SG1.

With time and patience it’ll get better, but right now I’m angry, frustrated, and just tired. I look forward to watching this thing (gestures around wildly at everything) from the future and being glad it’s over.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make myself another coffee and hope it wakes me up and de-grumps me.

Enjoy this adorable picture of Pegasus stuck inside a chair.

Picture of the almost 20 month Pegasus stuck in a patio chair and giving me an annoyed look.
The chair is a metaphor…

Be safe and be kind,

Éric

Took two days off

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Taking time off while in lockdown is odd. I took two days off cause I was feeling a little frayed and poor work paid for it. Came back to 50+ emails. Poor boss that had to cover for me.

My days consist of watching Adrien while working and doing house stuff. On breaks, I’ll try to write or edit. It’s exhausting.

My two days off were pretty much a writing marathon trying to get chapter 15 of The Untitled Mystery Book Project finished. It was in my head and I needed to get it out.

Unfortunately, I also crashed physically. Full migraine, nausea, aches, and weakness. It’s like I just needed to get that chapter out and then my body said, “You’re not going to rest unless I force you.” So the weekend was painful. I hate migraines, I lost all peripheral vision on my left side for two days and every time the kids shrieked, I just saw red-ish static.

I’m feeling better today and the time off was restful, but taking time off with the kids home and lockdown going on is hard. At least I didn’t have a full social calendar.

It’s also why I forgot to prepare a post for today until just now.

All said and done, what you should take from this is that with me finishing chapter 15 and Jen finishing 16 we’re at 16/26, which is 2 chapters away from the end of the second act and that means we’re 2/3’s done. YAY.

Writing with Jen has been awesome, but that’s another post.

Be safe and be kind,

Éric

Busy busy busy

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m working on a new writing project and it seems to have taken over a large portion of my brain. In order to free up my brainspace I’ve been trying to write. Not easy with all my other responsibilities but I’ll make it work.

It’s really exciting and a little different then what I normally do, but so far it’s great.

Now I really need to go finish the last hundred or so words of this chapter.

Have this cute picture of Dragon building Maleficent the Snowperson.

Be safe and be kind

Éric

My Bucket is Full

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m struggling this week. I know most of us are struggling right now. In my part of the world, we’re in the second wave and I’m not sure people understand what that means.

Bucket

Pegasus is not good at having his sleep cycle disturbed. Last Friday we slept in and didn’t wake him early enough and he refused to nap, then he fell asleep playing (twice) and I was up until 2am with him for the next two nights. We’re just now getting his schedule back in order.

Work has also been super busy and stressful. Report season in fall and spring has stressed me out for over a decade. I should honestly be better at it by now. With the season change comes a new set of allergies and a huge uptick in the pain in my hands.

So I’m feeling like I have a bucket for stress and my bucket is starting to flow over. I’ve started feeling overwhelmed. This morning I got an email and I couldn’t process it. It just went in one ear and out the other. I’ll get back to it later today and try again.

My way of dealing with new stress this week.

Trapped

The stress, the pandemic, politics, pain, allergies, and not-sleeping have me feeling trapped. Not by my life, not by my house, and certainly not my family. I feel trapped in a need to be productive. I’m missing having days were I don’t have to do anything. Where I can wake up and just do whatever I want. Six years ago I decided I wanted to try and roast coffee. I binge watched Gilmore Girls and made buttons. I haven’t had one of those days in a while. It’s part of getting older and having more responsibilities, along with being limited in what I can do because of the pandemic. As the kids get older and don’t need naps, and there’s a vaccine, I’ll be able to just spontaneously decide to take a day off and go to a museum or to a park with them, that’ll be nice.

Grief

My mom’s mother died when my mom was 5. Every chance we got we’d come to Ottawa to visit my grandmother’s siblings that acted like grandparents. I found out that the last of that generation passed away on Monday at 85.

My last phone call with her she sounded tired but hopeful. Because of health issues and the pandemic, she never met Pegasus but met Dragon a few times. She was a fantastic painter, wonderful hugger, terrible cook, and lovely person. I’m going to miss her.

Hope

My bucket is full but I’ll scoop it out, or drink from it, or something… (this metaphor seems to be getting away from me.) The point is, I’ll be okay. The nights will start freezing away the allergens, the weather with stabilize as much as it ever does, work will become less hectic, the stress will abate. It’s just a matter of dealing with it and taking deep breaths.

I have toddler, child, and wife hugs to keep me going, coffee to roast, and more pumpkin things to bake.

I’ll be okay but I’m struggling.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

I’m tired Pegasus

Hello Imaginary Friends,

I’m writing this Monday early in the morning. Pegasus refused to nap and then fell asleep at 8pm. He woke up at 9pm and hasn’t shown any indication of fatigue yet… It’s now 2am.

Pegasus tried to write this post since he doesn’t speak yet, writing proved difficult.

I’ll need a lot of coffee when I wake up.

Here’s to hoping I don’t see 3am.

Be kind and be safe,

Éric

The State of my Writing

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve been home since June 2019 and the day to day routine of family, house, freelance, etc. haven’t lent themselves to writing much. Now since March I’ve also been working from home for my day job and things haven’t improved on that front. I’ve managed to write the serial stories and a little bit in two novels.

Me trying to write when only 1 of the kids is awake.

More and more it’s looking like I’m not going to make my self-imposed deadline of September for the next Elizabeth book. This will probably mean I’ll break my yearly publishing streak. I have a contract for 2021 but no book for 2022 and I’m pretty sure if I don’t submit a novel by end of year my publisher will be out of release spots (if they aren’t already).

Imposter Syndrome by Fowl Language comics

It feels like failure. I hate how much I’m struggling. I’m not struggling with the story or the writing, but with finding time to write. It takes me a little while to get into the zone and I can’t stand writing for only 15 minutes. I have to find a way to give myself the time. As the pandemic becomes normal and we start homeschooling, I’m hoping I’ll find a spot in my busy schedule.

I’m not looking for advice, just wanted to complain. I know it’s a common problem with us writer types and despite the voice yelling at me to give up and that its proof I suck, I’ll get back to it. I always do. Writing is part of me and I love doing it; I’d do it even if I couldn’t publish. I just have to remember that and find the time to enjoy doing it.

If you’d like to lift my spirits please feel free to order one of my books from the publisher, your favourite ebook store, or my website.

If you want to make me giddy with happiness leave a review on those sites and Goodreads.

Thank you for all your support and I hope your creative juices flow… well that sounded dirty.

Good luck and stay safe,

Éric