(This is not even remotely an April Fool’s* post, I just happen to be writing it on April 1, so don’t worry.)
So a week with the new site seems to be going well. Everything’s faster, I can smoothly run malware scans, and everything appears to be fine. I’d attributed so many previous problems just to my website–that my theme was slow, that I created problems when I tweaked some of the files, but it looks like it was all previous host issues.
When I wrote to them, by the way, about canceling my account, I got multiple emails back, the last one clearly having read my complaints, the previous ticket chain, and said my email would be used going forward to teach about customer service, blah blah. Do I believe it? No. But at least my complaint was escalated to some supervisors seeing it and maybe, just maybe, the next person will be taken a little more seriously when they say they’re going to leave.
Changing hosts was something on my massive mental to-do list.
I like lists. I feel good when I cross things off of them. Although I don’t have ADHD, I do have some things in common when it comes to organization and struggling with executive dysfunction, which is common with bipolar disorder as well. I make a monthly work to-do list, and then have a weekly calendar where I break it down (only a few days ahead, I can’t overplan). I also do lists when housework piles up.**
For me, the benefit of a list is that it both gives actionable steps I can follow that are less daunting and more manageable than a large task, and because crossing items off gives me some tangible sense that I’ve done something. It’s very challenging when you face a large, overwhelming task and seem to be making no movement.
My kittens are almost seven weeks old now, so no more bottle (although they look for one), and they use the litter and eat on their own. The last few weeks have been trying to regain some semblance of order in my home and life, and catching up with my work schedule while trying to avoid burnout.
So everywhere around me is something to do. Beyond the usual daily tasks are the larger ones–literally everywhere I look, I see something I think I have to put on the list.
Tonight I did that list. Household chores that I’ve been avoiding, or that I forget about as soon as I’m in a different room. If I can tackle a couple a day, that should help.
I have a second foster, Libby, who’s been here since last fall. She’s the unique young cat who has had weird, early onset illnesses since she was three months old, and I’ve been at my wit’s end trying to get it sorted out. Her story is less inspiring and cutesy and fun to talk about compared to my boys, but her life isn’t worth any less, no matter the long-term headache.
A huge problem, though, has been that I have limited, varying mental spoons to work with having bipolar disorder. Taking the initiative to clean is tough for me. Following through without getting distracted is tough for me. Depending on where my mood is, sometimes it’s downright impossible (if you don’t know chronic depression, basically it feels like the floor is lava and some things are impossible to make yourself do).
Basically, if I have three spoons to go towards cleaning, one goes to litter boxes, one goes dishes, one goes to other misc stuff–getting the garbage out on Wednesday, doing a load of laundry, running the vacuum over the floor, cleaning the bathroom.
With Libby, she ends up taking a whole spoon of her own, sometimes two when she’s going through weeks of fecal incontinence. Doing litter boxes is non-negotiable, but that leaves the dishes piling up, laundry piling up, etc. If I try to do more, I have to take spoons from another area–from work, for example, which I can’t afford to do.
It’s not sustainable for me. We’re trying to get her diagnosed so she has a hope of being adopted, because I am exhausted with trying to deal with this. A good number of things on the massive to-do list are there because I just haven’t gotten to them with her.
I can’t fault her for it–she’s like the babies, she’s not doing anything intentionally. But my kingdom for a biweekly housekeeper at this point.
Livi 5 is back in progress–it was derailed when I took on the kittens. Want an idea of why? Here you go:
I still have a lot of freelance work so I write a couple thousand words usually at night, but I’m at about 48K of the zero draft (which will be…100K, maybe? I’ve skipped some scenes and a lot of the description, so it’ll probably be 110K-115K when I fill stuff in later). I should be done next month, but…
Well, April never goes well for me. For a lot of reasons–personal ones I won’t get into–in addition to Sophie dying April of last year (I can’t believe it’s been a year without her). April 30th is a very dark anniversary for me, and this year it will mark being alive for four more years than I particularly wanted to be. Or want to be, still. I’ve gotten that far one day at a time–sometimes one minute at a time–and if nothing else, at least I’ve been here to save some kittens. I am not presently in danger, but there remains a ticking clock over my head; while that worries some people who care about me, it personally helps me to remember that being here is a choice and one day I will have had enough and that’s okay–it’ll be a relief.
That day is not today, though–I have stories to write.
Like Livi 5. If the zero draft is completed in May, I will probably set Shiva’s Bow–Livi 4–to come out around August, and the fifth book toward the end of the year or early next (depending on how revisions go).
Those book sales in January got a lot of new eyes on the series who seem to dig the books, and my genuine thanks to everyone who has come on board with Livi and co. And new Patrons, as well, which has been amazing and makes a big difference for me–I’m better able to prioritize those stories because of Patreon. (Which has it’s problems–I’ll speak more about them later, and oh yeah, have to add to the to-do list “duplicate content on Gumroad as an alternative”).
Preliminary research has started for Livi 6, but I will probably switch gears for a few months because I’ll need the break.
Anyway, having made it this far, would you like to see covers of the first six books line up all pretty? Here you go:
With the site more reliable now, I will probably be blogging a bit more often–about what, I’m not sure, but personal stuff dispersed amongst the book news.
Don’t forget the new Livi novella is coming in three more weeks!
*Please consider the whole basis of April Fool’s pranks. I absolutely used to love the day because I hated my sort-of stepfather when I was a tween, and I enjoyed “pranking” him–my pranks were obnoxious and troublesome and I maintain he deserved it. But they are not kind to people you love–to abuse their trust and laugh at them for believing you. In particular, jokes about diagnoses, coming out, pregnancy, and other things are particularly cruel. Someone you know might well have had a terrible diagnosis the same time you’re making a joke. Someone you know might well be struggling to come out and fearing the fall out as you’re making a joke of it. Many people silently deal with the devastation of infertility and miscarriage. These things are not jokes.
**I realize I might benefit from a bullet journal but I am tired and I don’t like learning to do new things.