Friday at Last…. What a Rollercoaster of a Week

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This week started horribly and went downhill from there. Thursday it slowed down a bit, but today, the ride really got going.

A job opening in the corporate office was posted. It’s a new position and I fit the bill almost perfectly. Decided I couldn’t let an opportunity go to waste, I updated my resume and submitted it last night. Question on my mind is do I tell the boss I applied? After talking it over with Mrs. D and my daughter, we came to the conclusion it was better to wait. If I didn’t get the job offer, then my boss would be none to the wiser.

I was naïve to corporate structure. Got into work and opened up my work email. Bright and early was a response from HR. They wanted to do a phone interview, but before going forward they wanted to confirm I had notified my supervisor of my application. My heart skipped a beat.

A little background on my boss. She’s from New York and Italian to boot. That means she is loud, brash and highly opiniated. Once she sets her mind on something, it takes quite a bit of persuading to get her to change her mind. That being said, she is the best boss I’ve ever had. Detail oriented, smart as a whip and fair minded.

I knew she wouldn’t like me applying for this position, so slowly I went to her office and handed her the job description and said I had applied for it. She gave me a long look and asked why I thought I qualified for the position. Then she stated that she had the right to refuse to let me take the position. I did not know that and my heart skipped another beat.

Remember I had said that this week was stressful. Turns out she has been giving me more and more responsibility because she is grooming me for more of an operational manager role in the company. Here I thought I was just getting dumped on and taken advantage of.

She didn’t want to lose me as she sees me as a terrific asset to the company. I held my ground and told her I wanted to pursue this opportunity because if I didn’t, I would always wonder. She gave her okay for me to interview somewhat reluctantly.

A few hours later, I had the phone interview and it went well. They told me that they would submit my resume and notes they had taken to the Regional Logistics Manager which if I get the job would be my immediate supervisor. It would probably be Monday at the earliest before I heard from him.

Meanwhile at lunch time, my boss came to me and started talking about an incident in the warehouse with the shipping manager. Funny thing is, the whole approach was completely different from what I had experienced before with her. Instead of talking to me as boss to employee, it was more of like peer to peer talk. I thought it was surreal.

Then to top off the day, right after lunch, I get a message that the Regional Logistics Manager wants to schedule a video interview with me. That was quick! I take it as a good sign that my resumes and phone interview impressed him enough that he doesn’t want to waste any time. However, he is going on vacation next week, so the interview will be scheduled for the 16th or 18th.

Time to get a haircut.

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Relief

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This week has been probably one of the worst weeks at work since I was going through chemotherapy. No real reason for it, but it’s been hugely stressful. The past few weeks I’ve been clocking in thirty minutes to an hour early just to try to keep ahead of the work. I told my co-worker that I was seriously considering calling in sick.

This morning, I started to get dressed to get there early as I usually do, but decided that the heck with it. I’m going to be at work on time, not early. I spent the extra hour relaxing and drinking coffee. Then got ready for work and headed out the door.

Holy moly! Traffic is ten times worse at this time. It’s been so long since I left this late to go to work, I had forgotten the huge difference in traffic. Ended up being 10 minutes late to work. Boss asked why I was late and I simply replied, “Traffic”. My co-worker for the first time since he started working there was at work before me. His first thought was that I went ahead and called in sick.

The corporation I work for has this mantra, “A day’s work in a day”. Today, I lived up to that mantra and did my work for the full day and didn’t worry about what I didn’t get done. It’s amazing how a simple change in attitude can make a work day so much less stressful. I felt good about the work I had accomplished and how my day went.

Will I do that tomorrow? Probably not, as I don’t want to go through the traffic mess again to start my day. However instead of being real early, I’ll probably be fifteen to ten minutes early tomorrow.

Weekly Progress Report #48

Success! I managed to write every day this last week. Fantastic writing? Not so much. Getting back into the groove of daily writing will mean some days are going to be meh. I tried a few different styles of writing this week. Mostly to expand my writing. Still haven’t really settled on one genre, but I’m thinking I’ll never be able to be pigeonholed that way. That can be a good thing but also a bad thing. Quite a few authors write in a distinctive style and genre and build up an audience. If they go out of the prescribed style, then it usually isn’t received as well. Building an audience with an eclectic writing style is pretty hard to do. I do love a challenge!

This week, not only am I planning on posting everyday, but also start editing. I’m still not a fan of editing, but it is a necessary evil. I do know if I ever hit it big with my writing, I’m definitely hiring a professional editor. To me that will be money well spent as it will save me hours and hours of going over a manuscript. I’d rather be writing than editing and revising.

Health wise, I’m doing pretty darn good. I have about 80-90% mobility back with my shoulder. My last physical therapy session was last Tuesday. I had been scheduled for 3 more weeks, but my shoulder has responded to the therapy very well. I’m doing daily exercises to get that last bit of mobility back. But found out that I’ll need to continue the exercises probably for the rest of my life to keep the shoulder from freezing up again.

Till next week, time and tide wait for no man.

Doing Some Editing… Sorta

It’s been almost three months since I received feedback on my memoir, “My Cancer Journey”. I’ve not looked at the story or the feedback since my shoulder started hurting me.

First step is to gather all the feedback, copy/paste it into a word document. I’ve got email feedback, Google Docs feedback and even a Messenger feedback. I may have missed one or two, so double-checking. Next step, read the memoir with a notepad handy to write down anything that I need to rewrite.

Then and only then, I’ll read the feedback again. Finally, I’ll make my to-do list to rewrite and edit the story one last time. Then set it aside for a few weeks. Do one final read and correct anything that glares at me. I hate when words glare at me, don’t you?

Final, final step is to research once again how to publish it on Kindle. Then start the laborious process of formatting and checking and re-formatting until it is right.

Final, final, final step is to hit the “publish button”. That’s the scary time. Might have to gird my loins for that. Okay, I have no idea what “gird my loins” really means, but it sounded good.

On to final edits!

Feeling Pretty Good Today

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Saw my physical therapist for the last time today. He said I’ve made remarkable progress. Mostly because I’ve been diligent in doing my daily exercises. My shoulder for the most part feels great. During the day, while at work, I’m back up to almost full speed. I still feel a little twinge or two while working, but it is very manageable.

At night, while sleeping, it’s another story. I’m still waking up in the middle of the night with my shoulder and arm in pain. Some nights are worse than others. It could be because I’m mostly immobile while sleeping in the recliner. My shoulder is trying to freeze back up. With time and a lot of exercise, this will pass.

The last three days, I’ve written a weekly writing challenge every day. Decided to give you all a break tonight. I know I can write better, but it will take a bit of time to get back up to speed. Meanwhile, I’ve been experimenting with different forms of short stories. I have noticed that unless I do a cliffhanger at the end, then the ending is usually weak. I’ll have to work on that in the coming weeks, so bear with me.

My next prompt is a simple one. Unfortunately, I tend to not do well with simple prompts. Too many choices as to where the story could go. Even when I do decide on a direction, odds are that before I’m done, I’m already regretting my choice and have thought of at least three different stories that would probably be better.

How’s your writing going?

Weekly Progress Report #47

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I’m going to start with health news first. My frozen shoulder is thawing out nicely. I’ve been doing daily exercises that are painful, but have increased my range of motion tremendously. I still have a constant pain, but it is much less now. At least now I can sit and write without having to take a break every few minutes.

On to writing progress. This part I’m going to ramble a bit, so feel free to skip it. I’ve been reflecting why my writing has deteriorated since I stopped writing at the end of July. Before I stopped, I used to be able to sit and write a story in about twenty minutes. A few minutes of basic editing and I published. The words flowed and generally the stories were well written. Since I started back up, it has been a completely different story.

I’ve struggled to even come up with a story based on my weekly prompt. When I do have a small germ of an idea, I’ll write a paragraph or two and then go completely blank. The stories don’t flow and I’m not real happy with the quality. It takes me about two hours to come up with a semi-decent story. This has been extremely frustrating to me and part of the reason why I haven’t been able to restart the blog properly.

Last night I had an epiphany. It all makes sense now. I went back to my early stories from last year. Reading through them, the quality is not as good as it was this last spring and early summer. Granted, I was starting out and not as well versed in the art of writing. As I looked at more stories, I could see the progression. Steadily, they were getting better and better. Wow, who would have thought that practice makes perfect? Yes, I know, I’ve been preaching that since I started, but somehow I completely forgot.

My writing skills have become rusty and the only cure is to start over and just write. Quantity over quality right now. I need to trust the process. Instead of bemoaning the lost time, I need to remember always to “Suck it up”, “Deal with it” and “No sympathy”. In order to get back to where I was at, it’s going to require daily writings. More than likely the writings will be dreck at first, but as I get more comfortable with putting words to paper so to speak, the old creative juices will come back and also the quality will naturally increase.

One of the the things I’ve told my children and also others is 80% of the key to success is to show up and suit up. In other words, be there on time and ready to work. 15% is determination to be the best you can be and the other 5% is the talent that you bring to your endeavor. I have a talent for writing, but talent alone will not and cannot be all that there is. Without showing up and writing every day and having that will power to write no matter what, I’ll never get to the level that I was at.

Enough rambling for today. My progress this week is being restarted once again. I have another weekly prompt that I will be writing today. Yes, I’m going to be doubling and tripling the weekly prompts until I get caught up. The goal of 52 prompts in one year is still doable, but will take a lot of work.

Till next week, time and tide wait for no man.

Weekly Progress Report #46

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Zero progress on writing this week. Time for reboot number two, or is it reboot number three?

According to my physical therapist, I’ve been making great progress. My mobility with my shoulder has improved. I’ve been doing the recommended exercises daily. After a pretty painful week and a severe lack of sleep, I can finally feel the progress. The last couple of nights I’ve been able to sleep throughout the night.

I’ve been seeing the physical therapist twice a week, but this week I’m going to drop it down to once a week. $50 co-pay each visit is a pretty hefty hit to the monthly budget.

I’ve pulled a prompt from the bowl of doom and have a few ideas on how to approach it. This evening, I’ll sit down and try to knock it out. Time’s a wasting on getting all my prompts done for the year. Meanwhile, I still have to do final edits on my memoir, but I’m putting that off until I can get caught up on the prompts. Priorities, right?

Till next week, time and tide wait for no man.

One Step Forward, A Gazillion Steps Back

Physical therapy is kicking my butt. I thought I was past the painful part of having a Frozen Shoulder. Now I have the privilege and dubious joy of immense pain every night. I’m getting between 2 to 3 hours of sleep. Then my arm throbs in pain enough to wake me up.

Since I avoid pain medications due to the ill effects on my liver, all I can do is suffer. My physical therapist stated this is normal and usually patients take Tylenol or something similar.

Hopefully this is a short time thing, but until I get past this time of pain, posting will be sporadic yet again.

Weekly Progress Report #45

Slow going this week on writing. I had hoped to do at least two writing challenges. It’s been a struggle as I’m still not in the writing mode. In addition, it is still difficult but not impossible to write. After about five minutes of writing, my right arm starts hurting. Taking frequent breaks causes me to lose my train of thought.

Progress ever so slight is still progress.

I’ve been doing daily exercises for my shoulder. My mobility is increasing a bit. Unfortunately, this has also caused my arm to be throbbing in pain. Especially at night. I get about 2 to 3 hours of sleep and then I’m woken up by the pain. I am definitely tired most of the time.

I’m planning and hoping to do two weekly challenges this week. The first one I think will continue the story of The Moon that I published last week. I left that story in a cliffhanger. Not because I planned on it, but because by the time I got to the end of the story, my mind had gone blank. I couldn’t think of what to write next. Also because I thoroughly enjoy doing cliffhangers, so it seemed like a natural place to stop. I tend to get complaints about “my darn cliffhangers”, but the readers keep on reading regardless. I think that secretly they like my cliffhangers.

Till next week, time and tide wait for no man.

Developing Good Writing Habits

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When I started this blog a year ago, the words flowed and writing daily came naturally. After taking a two month break, I thought it would be easy to get back into the writing habit.

Unfortunately, I’m struggling for a variety of reasons. First, I’m having to carve out a time to write after work. That’s harder than it sounds. I’ve now got daily exercises for my shoulder. That eats into the time I have available.

Speaking of my shoulder, I’m still hurting a bit when I type. I’ve got to take frequent breaks which disrupts the flow of thoughts. I’ve started a story on my weekly writing challenge two or three times and then completely lost where I was going with it after having to take a much needed break. The pain, though less than it was, has also affected my thinking processes. I’m unable to get into the writer’s zone.

So, do I wait until I have completed physical therapy? Or do I press on and try to write every day? My thinking is the latter is preferable. I may be writing dreck for a while until I can get into the groove. I’m also not going to worry about my prompt for the week until I can sit and write for a complete hour. Once I do that, I may be posting multiple short stories during each week until I get caught up.

It’s settled then. For me to develop good writing habits, I need to write everyday. Even if it is complete garbage. Bear with me, it will get better.