theswordsman's Diaryland Diary


Back off the naughty step

Those rascals at AT&T decided I didn't need the Interwebs on Tuesday. I actually took it pretty well. I ran some errands. Bought a couple of Lotto tickets. Used my last dollar of Food Stamps to get Diet Mountain Dew, since my only requirement for a "good day" right now is cold DMD.

I still did stuff with the computer. I deleted hundreds of screen prints from TV shows and things, and sorted others into folders. I cleaned up my desk top, organized other stuff and de-fragged.

You might recall that I've had two very brief attempts to write fiction. Years ago, someone on Diaryland started a ten minute fiction writing contest. I read the rules, turned down the volume on the TV,started a stopwatch and suddenly there were two characters I'd never known before, in a brand new situation. I asked myself (I guess)what they'd be wearing, and got an answer. When one got sick after a bloody battle, I asked what he'd had for breakfast, and got an answer. It was a pretty special ten minutes for me, and a new experience.

Years later, I guess I had some ideas about a couple of characters that would be in the same novel. I don't know which hand me down computer I was using at the time, but I had a free version of a software suite from Star or something like that, and I decided their word processor was a good place to start fresh as a writer. I sat down and wrote the opening scene, mostly because I sensed that I wouldn't learn any of rest of the story in detail until I'd showed good faith by getting the first bit recorded.

I'm not sure when this was. I guess before the crash. Anyway, at some later point, I tried to find that bit back, without success. Ages after that I stumbled across the file, but had nothing to use to open it. The free software wasn't available any more. I was crushed. Fast forward, and I happened across the file again, and did a serious search for something that could open it. I finally found a way to read it, and turned that into four screen prints.

The plan for some time has been that one day I'd be inspired to find a way to actually sit at the desk, and I'd open the ten minute bit in Word, then type in the stuff from the screen prints as if it was new, and that would lead me to the rest of the story. It worked for the kid in Finding Forrester.

Yesterday I definitely had the time to kill, and the screen prints were right there waiting to be organized. I grabbed the Swiss Ball I got for Christmas and tried that as a seat, and moved the wireless keyboard over.

I don't recall how long ago I stopped using the broken desk chair. I know it's more than a year, possibly much more. But since then, I got a wireless keyboard. I'm sat on the least broken bit of a $20 yard sale couch, and when I want to type something, I hold the keyboard on my chest with my left hand, and type with my right index finger, or for capital letters using the left Shift key, other fingers on that hand. The keyboard is maybe ten inches from my face.

Back to yesterday. I sat down on the red ball, which squished a bit low but kindly didn't explode. I put the keyboard on the little pull out keyboard tray. I opened up the Word document, and the first screen print, and started to type. And I COULD type. I've never ever been able to type without looking. I got by at data entry and things because I could store a lot in my short term memory with one glance, then type like crazy and take another glance. I could also focus for hours, so I'd get a lot of work done without having lightning fingers.

So there I was yesterday, with my car crash jostled brain, and I could read words and my fingers knew how to type them. It wasn't perfect. If I paid attention, or tried to spell in my head, things derailed. Obviously my hand and finger positions aren't consistent yet, with a different keyboard and different body proportions. But I know, for the first time in my life, that my brain and fingers are willing to type that way. My right index finger knows the keyboard really well. It flies across to the correct key without an instant's hesitation. I never even noticed that before - I can type as fast as my right hand can physically move. I'm like freaking Clark Kent or something. Maybe I learned the keys because the thing is right there by my face. I don't think the letters at all, but I see them as my right finger hits.

Anyway, next week will be the five year anniversary of the crash, and yesterday my brain was able to do something it's never done before.

I've got a bit of birthday cash coming in, and had a 25% off code plus free shipping at Vitacost, so I've just ordered Remember! (MAF) for my brain, Sam-e and St. John's Wort for depression, Twinlab ZMA fuel to try to sleep without waking up a hundred times a night, Calcium with Vitamin D, and a cheap multi-vitamin. July should be a good month.

Sunday I cut my hair. Monday morning I washed it. Tuesday I washed it again, and shaved. Then I went to the store looking the least hobo-like I have in a year. In the afternoon I went out and sat in the sun for half an hour. I just sat on the sloping concrete ledge, facing my front door, and let the sun hit my bare arms, lower legs and face. It wasn't a nice park setting like I used to visit, but it was a start, and an additional step. This morning I cleared things away from below the window, and put in the window fan for the first time this year. My breathing had been getting way better since I started having the air conditioning blow down on me throughout the day. I think it was just giving me clean outside air instead of the nastiness of a closed up basement apartment and bedrooms and a bathroom with no windows. With all the rain, I hate to even think what mold and mildew might be like in here. My fan is a double, so I've got one pulling air in and another shooting air out. I set up a spreadsheet with a checklist so I can remember things each day, and build habits, and add more things. It should really pick up momentum once my supplements come in, and when I start exercising.

Time to catch up on TV before all my free time is taken up by important stuff.

11:52 a.m. - Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2011


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Started Monday 4/18/2011

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