I’ve been pretty sick recently. Okay all of 2022, actually. But lately it’s been the flu. She got it from school and passed it on to her family. Mostly me. So yesterday, my day off work, I said, “I’m going to sleep all day and read.”
So after her and the hubs left for school/work, I went back to sleep. At around 10:30 I woke up and stretched, which caused the start of a devil cramp (a persistent muscle cramp in my legs that cannot be easily ended or reversed by stretches, that also hurts like hell).
I already felt like trash, sinus pressure in my head, coughing, etc. and I just wanted to sleep. But I had to get up and walk off this cramp instead of flexing it away and going back to sleep. So yes. I cried.
Eventually it went away and I made a big old cup of ice water and a sandwich and had lunch.
Fast forward to the afternoon (I took another short nap later) and I’ve picked the Kid up from school and we’re doing homework. Now, when she has a bad day her teacher emails me after school. These emails, while greatly appreciated, usually don’t come until too late. IE after we’ve finished homework and she’s gotten her iPad time.
If she’s had a bad day, and we know in advance, we do not let her have iPad time and we have a conversation about her behavior and what can be done.
I did not get the email until after she was in her iPad and we were having dinner. We had the conversation anyway, and I made sure she understood that had I know beforehand about her behavior, she wouldn’t have had her iPad.
But it turns out her bad behavior began at about 10:30. The same time I had a mini emotional breakdown due to a muscle cramp.
Now, she has been sick lately and is on the tail end of getting over the flu (her school excuse had her going back today). So it could be and was still feeling off and needed to transition back into her school routine. in fact this was probably it.
But the exact same time?
Anyway I’ve been thinking about this for some time now, and I’m going to experiment. Today is Tuesday. My least favorite day at work, and I tend to have emotional breakdowns, just not visibly, on these days.
My experiment will be me trying to have the best day ever. Let’s see if she does too.
In which I utilized my Facebook page and #audienceparticipation to create a character and write a short story about her. I really liked this one.
For the first time in a long time she drove home with a smile on her face. Despite the late hour she spent the whole ride home singing along to her car radio—even if it wasn’t her favorite song. And she was happy as could be. It was late, and she was tired and in need of a shower, but she was happy.
She took a sharp curve too fast, and something in her trunk shifted. For a brief moment the old feelings of not being good enough and self consciousness flashed across her face like a dark shadow. But it was brief. “I’ll take care of that garbage tomorrow.” She told herself, and continued loudly singing along.
When she got home, she slammed the car into park and the thing in the trunk shifted again. She blinked at the sound. Then, she turned off the car and went inside.
She sang in the shower—it always seemed to be the last song she heard that got stuck in her head—she belted out the chorus to that catchy pop tune that seemed to be everywhere at the moment, and used her loofa as a microphone. Afterward, instead of laying in bed thinking about all the depressing stuff, she curled up under the covers and pushed all the negative thoughts out of her head. “Tomorrow is a new day,” she told herself. “And I’m going to own it.”
When she woke the next morning she was bright eyed and bushy tailed and still very happy. She made herself a delicious breakfast; there was nothing like a good meal to start your day right. She was feeling so confident that she decided, for the first time in a while, she would dress up for work, and put on some make-up.
Once she was ready, cute dress and “frankly the best make-up look I’ve ever done,” she looked at herself in the full length mirror. “People are going to ask, “why are you so dressed up today” and “what’s with all the makeup?!”” She realized it would draw more attention to her. “I’m going to feel so stupid!” She groaned.
“You can wrap a pig in velvet and throw some lipstick on it but it’ll still be a pig,” she remembered. The darkness of that old depression and low self worth shaded her face once again. But again she froze, and when she looked back up, she smiled at herself in the mirror and said, “You look great today!” And she did.
Once in the car, she pulled out of her parking spot and the thing in her trunk moved again. She paused, then said, “I’ll take care of that later.” And turned her radio up.
Throughout her work day she got complements she’d never gotten from people who she thought didn’t know she existed. They said things like, “you look great today!” And “wow, cute dress!” For the first time in ages she felt confident. “Maybe,” she thought, “I’ll keep this up, I feel so great!”
Toward the end of the day there was free cake and drinks in the cafeteria in celebration of someone’s retirement. She was enjoying cake and conversation—she usually took her cake back to her cubicle— when she over heard people talking.
“No, she never came in to work. I was about to ask you if you’d spoken to her.” A man said.
“I actually haven’t spoken to her since yesterday,” the woman responded.
“I wonder if everything’s okay? She doesn’t usually miss work.” The man said.
“Especially if there’s a chance to make fun of people for eating too much cake!” He laughed.
She just stared at them, a darkness rolling over her face once again.
“HEY!” She heard a voice. She turned toward the sound. “You okay? You zoned out there for a minute,”
“Oh, sorry. Yeah, I’m—actually I’m not feeling well.” She said. “I think I’ll have to sneak out early.” She put her unfinished cake down, and rushed back to her cubical for her purse and keys. As she ran out to her car she felt the lovely veneer of happiness begin to crack.
When she turned the car on, the radio she left loud blasted a song, scaring a tiny scream out of her. She stifled it and turned the radio down. He backed out as the sky darkened with gray storm clouds.
She took a few curves too fast as the heavy droplets of rain slapped her car. The dark gray sky worsened as she drove the unfamiliar roads. She tried to keep singing along to the radio, but kept getting distracted. Instead she tried to focus on the road, and staying safe in the heavy rain.
She hadn’t driven the route in some time, and it was brighter and drier when she had, but she had business to take care of, and she knew she’d be happier once she did.
A few more minutes and a few sharpe curves later and she was at her destination. She backed her car against the cliff and hit the trunk button on her dash, quickly climbing out of the car and into the rain.
She took a deep breath and raised the trunk lid. The tarp had come unwrapped and a lock of perfectly bleached blonde hair and a red-manicured hand peaked out. “No one likes taking out the trash but everyone has to do it sometime.” She told herself.
She reached in and grabbed the corner of the tarp to pull it closer and the head of gorgeous blonde hair rolled forward. For a spilt second the darkness appeared and she thought, “Oh no!” She froze, but then refocused and said aloud, “almost done.”
She pulled and tugged until the blonde object was close, then one last hard tug, and she watched as the object in the trunk rolled down the embankment—hitting a few rocks on the way—and into the the lake below. She looked over the edge just long enough to make sure the object was gone, then she smiled widely and climbed back into her car.
Her cute dress ruined by rain and mud, her make-up smeared and running down her cheeks, she smiled in the rear view mirror and said to herself, “You looked great today.”
She pulled away from the cliff and drove away singing that catchy pop song that was everywhere these days.
I really enjoyed this one and thought I’d share again.
Thanks for reading,
Ten years ago, long before I had a kid and a consistent day schedule, I stayed up late at night to do crazy things like read, play The Sims, and write.
This was all also long before I had any sense. I mean I still don’t, but that’s besides the point.
I have had a rough could of weeks. Between trying to not get my hopes up about working in a classroom-no matter how hard I tried-to my truck stalling dead in the parent pickup line (the same line I decided to check job openings in). Then there was the realization that people much younger than me were creating careers for themselves (that’s my fault), feeling like I’m not good enough at work on a constant basis. Wondering if I matter at all to anyone one or if I’m just a bother. And we cannot forget how depressing it is paying a lot of money for something that is going no where *cough THIS WEBSITE cough*.
Then, three days ago, my tail light turn signal went out (yes the same truck). Now, I thought, “oh this’ll be easy! I’m a girl but I can figure stuff out! I changed a fuse in the thing to make my windshield washer fluid spray again, I can change a bulb in a tail light turn signal!”
I did what any strong, independent, woman who don’t need no man would do. I googled. I found the replacement bulb for my truck, I purchased it and then googled how to change it.
I guess we all know where this is going.
Turns out the tail lights are “after market”. Which means, if you don’t know (and I’m probably wrong) a part or piece not original to the vehicle but made to fit. Or there about.
Anyway, the tail lights, which I now vaguely remember the dealer mentioning to me the day I bought it, are after market, which means the previous owners replaced them, for whatever reason with “upgraded” versions.
These do not have a bulb. These are LED. These have a taillight bulb (I assume that’s what it is) but the turn signal is not lit by a conventional bulb sold at your local big box retailer.
So, after all that has been going on around me, in my head, to me (and let’s be honest around the world) the stress was murdering me.
I promise I’ll get back to the story story in the beginning.
I figure, I’m gonna have to buy a whole new tail light assembly because I could not find a way to break in and change the LED lights in this thing. Aside from a hammer.
My very kind sister offered to have her husband (who does a lot for us including looking at our vehicles (mostly mine) every once in a while. Let’s just say I was a little mean to her and I feel terrible. I’ll get to why I feel worse later.
But anyway, I decided last night that I needed to stress play The Sims. I hadn’t played in a while and there was a house I needed to finish.
So I did what any strong, independent, woman who has depression and is on the verge of a mental breakdown (and is off the next day) would do.
I stayed up until roughly 3am building a house in Sims. This is no ordinary house. The first floor has a kitchen and dining area, a family room, a large patio to the side, and a formal living room. There’s also the elevator, full bathroom, entrance to “garage” and apartment above.
On the second floor there are four bedrooms, each with their own bathrooms. each are uniquely designed with specific interests in mind. The third floor is basically a master suite equipped with everything but a kitchen, I’m realizing now.
Oh and the unfinished basement/dungeon.
It really is my finest work. And my most expensive to date. Each private area has its own computer, there’s a nook between the formal living room and garage that I filled with flowers and plants so that the full picture windows had something pretty to look out at.
I got almost three hours of sleep before I had to get up to get The Kid ready for school, and I went back to sleep after they left. I slept til 10, got up had some food. And ended up taking a 40 minute nap before I had to take The Kid to a doctor appointment.
But guess what
Go ahead and guess.
No really. I’ll wait.
MY TAIL LIGHT TURN SIGNAL WORKS AGAIN. LORT KNOW HOW OR WHY OR FOR HOW LONG. But I’m not currently afraid of getting pulled over. Currently.
Well, I’m writing this with one she open as the other one is done for the night and won’t open. So I’m calling it.
Goodnight and thanks for reading. This one was a real mess.
How I Am feeling now
My truck stalled in the middle of parent pick up. Two other parents got out of their vehicles to help me move it to the side so they could get their kids.
We cannot figure out exactly what’s wrong with it.
The Story So Far
I have a number of social media outlets which I attempt to use for shameless self-promotion and amusement.
(Facebook Group, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, tumblr)
On my Facebook Group, I’ve begun an adventure I may never return from.
A #pretentfantasynovel was started when I decided that I needed to do something to keep my brain from going all mushy.
I rather enjoy polls. They’re only available as a post option in groups, on Facebook. At least on mobile. That’s the number one reason why I’ve kept the group. I get more interaction with people there than I do on my main page, which I’ve had for YEARS.
On my group I irregularly (if you know me then you know) post polls under #pretendfatasynovel topic. Each poll asks you to choose different elements of the story.
The Story So Far
Our main character is a woman who is reluctantly thrown into an adventure she regrets.
Our heroine has a talking animal or animal like sidekick.
This talking sidekick is animal that we’d see in real life. The talking bit is, so far, the only magic part about it!
TBH, those two polls about the animal sidekick are mildly confusing. So we’re going with a non-mythical creature who can talk.
Our main villain is in fact the last person you’d expect. This particular villain is going to be the worst one, but perhaps not the only one? It is a fantasy after all!
Our female hero, with a talking animal companion, who is a normal talking animal, carries a great sword as her weapon of choice! There’s a backstory to this, I just know it!
In every fantasy there’s always a constant background battle shadowing the active plot. Yes, we have a villain, but what’s the motivation? What’s the thing that’s threatening everyone, including the baddie? It’s some task that must be completed to prevent the end of times! We’ll have to find some sort of artifacts and gather them!
But this, the best part of it all. The fact that I got to use the names of all (twelve) of the people who have participated in the polls, with absolutely no promise of an actual story.
At the time of this post, the poll is still open. But I can see, unless a lot of people decide that they need to vote, there’s a clear winner.
Welcome to Arynthel
There will be more polls coming (now on Monday’s and Wednesday’s), including polls to help choose things about characters and other aspects of the story!
I’ll probably continue using the polls throughout the writing of the story.
But the people who have participated regularly in the polls up until this point(I know who they are) will be rewarded for their help. I don’t know if it will be the kind of reward they’d prefer but it’s what I have right now.
I’ll also post updates here on my site for anyone interested who doesn’t follow the polls, or my page. So stay tuned!
Thanks for reading!