Monday, May 2, 2016

A to Z Envy

Last month I was reading some of the blogs that were doing the A to Z Blogging Challenge, including that of  Stephanie Faris, whose blog I read already. I'd considered trying  it when it was time to start signing up, but couldn't find any ideas for a theme. And since I ended moving at the beginning of April and being offline for almost a week, I wouldn't have been able to do it.  I'd been aware of this thing for two years now when I saw it on her blog in 2014. At that time, I was working long hours, six days a week at a produce plant, barely getting any sleep and barely getting onto my computer. It was too rough and I left after nearly three weeks. I certainly would not have had time then, but then I was not aware until I saw it on her blog.

On the plus side, I did enjoy reading posts about unsolved mysteries, most of which I did not know about.

Hearing the phrase "A to Z" brought to mind something on a  local classic rock station several years ago.  Every summer they'd do something called A to Z,  playing their song titles alphabetically. I'd try to catch as much of it as I could.  In some years, they'd do "Z to A," playing the titles in reverse alphabetical order.  How fast you can you recite the alphabet backwards?  They haven't done it since 2007 as I recall.

And one of the reading challenges I'm doing this year is Alphabet Soup. The challenge requires reading a book that begins with each letter of the alphabet.  It doesn't have to be done in alphabetical order, though, and I've been counting the first book I've read that begins with each letter. Special exceptions are given for Q, X, and Z, which can appear anywhere in the title since they are such tricky letters. I did find some books that begin with those letters, and I'm only left with N, U, and V.  I've read more then 26 books already, but none beginning with those letters.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Trying to Make Some Decisions

Ok, so I'm almost 100% certain I'm doing a memoir. At least that's what what I said on Facebook the other day when I announced I'd come up with a title. Well, actually, I'd had the idea for a title in mind for some time now, but never shared it until recently.
Novelists: 6 Creative Ways to Name Your Fictional Characters -- You Don't Have To Pull From A Hat

As I've said in previous posts, I am uncertain whether to use real names of others I mention. What could they do to me? Sue me? Deny that they ever did what I said they did? Try to expose me as a liar? But even if I changed the names, would they still be able to determine that it was them I was referring to? I know this is not a source of revenge, but some of the people I mentioned have it coming for what they did to me. Some I don't remember the names of, but many I do.  I mentioned my aunt who died in 2008 and my grandfather who did four years earlier.  I feel it's just too boring without names.
Fact and Fiction
For someone who has read more fiction that nonfiction (though I've gotten more into the latter recently), writing  a memoir seems a bit strange. I'd at times envisioned writing a novel and could easily come up with names (at least in my mind) for characters.  I've had a fascination with the name Bob for years now, and with the name Tina as well, but I know I can't keep using these names :-)  As Amanda Fleet said in her blog:
Names of characters can be tricky! Sometimes I've come up with a name and then had to change it as it stopped feeling 'right' for a character, once I'd done all my character notes. Other times, the name has been just right from the start and the character has followed on easily.
Right now I can't even come up with a fake name for anyone I'd referred to.

Now I need to figure out what was wrong with my printer, which I have not yet attempted to hook up since moving.  I still don't know what is wrong with it.  I want to be able to type and print my story so others can read it, so that I can get some critiques and opinions. I don't foresee getting a new computer anytime soon and don't think a flash drive will work with my old computer. My computer still works OK, but I can't get onto Pinterest anymore since they don't support the browser I'm using. And I'm on the mobile version of Twitter because of my browser.  I want to be able to save my work.  I miss the old days of saving documents onto disks. It was so easy to do.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Quiz: Are You a Hardcover Book or a Paperback Book?

Agree with most of this.

You are an avid reader, and you probably buy a lot of books. And nothing beats an inexpensive paperback you can carry around.
You read whatever you feel like reading. You aren't a snob, and you aren't ashamed of your tastes.

You always have a stack of books to get through, and it seems to be constantly multiplying.
You don't mind waiting for a book you want to come out in paperback. You have plenty to read in the meantime!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Adjusting to Reading Glasses

Even before going to my eye exam yesterday, I'd begun to suspect I was having trouble seeing things up close, having to hold things away to try to read them.  I was told this happens when you hit your 40s.  I was also having trouble reading without a lot of light on or without holding it far from my eyes.

When I went to my exam, the doctor said it was my near vision.  Then I heard what I'd been dreading--I needed glasses.  Specifically, so that I can read and see object up close, and that I needed 1.25 reading glasses.  Either that or I could wear bifocals. He wrote a prescription; unfortunately, my insurance only covered the exam and not glasses.  But he said I could get some cheap reading glasses, so I did just that. I went to the Dollar Tree and found only two pairs of 1.25 reading glasses.  One had wire frames, which I absolutely hate (I've always gotten plastic-frame sunglasses). The only plastic-frame pair was zebra-print, which I like.  I didn't want to pay more, so I got this pair.

Incidentally, I'd told the doctor I wanted to think about wearing bifocals, but have been convinced that reading glasses were the better option.  As someone who never had to wear glasses before, I'm not sure how fast I would get used to wearing glasses all the time, but needed them for reading hasn't been hard so far and I don't think it will be.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Going to be Doctored Out!

How many times a year or month do you see a doctor?  And how many different doctors do you have? I generally go to low-cost clinics in my town so I don't have any one particular doctor I regularly see. Unlike when I was younger and was regularly seen by the same pediatrician, and as teen when I had braces and had a regular orthodontist as well as a general dentist.  But now I see who I can get for whatever reason I need medical services who will take my insurance.  This month alone I have three appointments. And I have to admit going to doctors has often been one source of my anxiety.

It's been years since I've had to view the famous eye chart, but tomorrow I have an eye exam. I've found once you hit your 40s you have to hold small-print out to see it better, something I've been experiencing for some time now.  I only hope I don't need glasses, since my insurance only covers the exam :-)
Snellen eye chart
When was the last time you
saw this famous chart?

Last year I had toothache and went to the county health foundation to see a dentist and found I had three cavities. Before they could drill my cavities, I needed a deep cleaning that took three different visits, and the fillings took three appointments as well.  I had another visit last November and another this coming Monday. I used to be able to walk to the health foundation, but since I moved,  I now have to drive from across town! And get there by 8AM.

Pain-free dentistry can help you get over your fear of the dentist

And on Thursday next week I go behavioral health to see the new psychiatrist. The department has been having trouble keeping doctors and  had one I really liked who was only there temporarily, though I saw him about six times.  The one I saw last month was a telepsychiatry doctor. I was told this one won't be back, but that the new one will also be a telepysch doctor. I'm anxious to see who this new one will be.

My session wasn't anything like this one.

As far as physical exams, I had one last summer at one of the clinics in town just before seeing the doctor who prescribed my Prozac.  The first psychiatrist I'd seen last summer had recommended I get an exam before seeing the next psychiatrist who began the prescription.  The exam included a blood draw, something I hadn't had in years.

I don't think I've ever had this many appointments in one month.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What to Do Next?

Now that I've finished my rough draft, people are telling me to set it aside for a while and then come back to it.  But I'm not sure what to write next if anything.

What would you do?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Growing Up With My Name

I've seen this as a trending topic on Twitter.  This was also something I recalled in writing my rough draft.  And I've seen this meme on Facebook and elsewhere:

Here’s to the kids who never found their name on anything in a souvenir store. #thanks #canadaswonderland #9gag #childhoodtrauma #immigrantparents #italian #european #firstworldproblems #joke #toofunny #idbracelet ⭐#jewellery

I rarely ever found my name on souvenirs like cups and key chains, and rarely met others who had the same name as mine. It seemed like every other girl at school was named Jennifer, Karen, Lisa, Michelle, Julie, Elizabeth and the like.  Even Patty or Christina was more frequently heard than my name was.  I was envious of those with the popular names, always seeing their names these things.  I once used some iron-on letters to put my name on  a sweatshirt sleeve, something that seemed to be popular then, but other kids laughed at me for doing so.

Also, people almost never got the spelling right. This still occurs today, even when they see my name on Facebook. How could they not see it right there?

I'd certainly be wealthy if this were true.

What problems did you face if you did not have a common name? Or if you had one that can be spelled different ways (for example: Catherine, Katherine, Kathryn, and all the other possible spellings)?  Or an unusual spelling of a common one?  I know someone who spells her first name Jennefer and have seen Jesica or Jessika instead of the more common Jessica.  No doubt you've seen the spellings Alison, Allison, or Alyson, but how about Alicyn? It's doubtful these versions of these names ever turn up on souvenirs.