Camp NaNoWriMo: April 9th 2014

Le gasp!

Yes, you see right! I’m actually posting something!

Heh. Things have been semi crazy/busy here lately (as in the last few months), and most of my posting energy has been devoted to the tagAught blog. Plus, I haven’t really had that much energy to write.

But you’re not here to read my ramblings – that’s another post. Nope, today is about Camp NaNoWriMo!

I was working on Camp NaNoWriMo in April of last year, doing a story called It Came From the Library.

When a sophomore mage decides to resurrect a sabretoothed cat through a summoning spell to get a better grade for his current term’s Paleo-biology course, things go wrong.

And then they go spectacularly wrong.

It’s left up to the mage responsible for the mess, and the cousin of his best friend, as well as a Homicide detective investigating the suspicious deaths of too many people, to fix things – before the city becomes overrun with creatures from the Paleocene to the Middle Pleistocene epochs.

It Came From the Library synopsis, April 2013, from the Camp NaNoWriMo site

The summary has changed slightly – the sophomore mage in question is not a protagonist, and may even be killed early on in the novel – but other than that, there we go!

Anyway, I got about 17K words into in last year. And given that my actual protagonist (“the cousin of his best friend”) is autistic (though not diagnosed as such), April seems to be the appropriate month to work on it, given that everything is about Autism Awareness (which a lot of us feel should be “Autism Acceptance”) this month. So that’s what I’m going to be doing.

My current goal on Camp NaNo is 50K words, but I might decrease that as the month goes on, simply because I started rather late, and I do have other things I’ve got to work on this month. But I figured that I might as well devote some of my spare time to working on adding to ICFtL. πŸ™‚

The link to my page on Camp NaNoWriMo (under TrudyG) is on the links page (big surprise, that! ;)).

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New Year: 2014

So, it’s the new year. Happy 2014, everyone!

And yes, I know – I haven’t updated since the end of November. There are a few reasons for this.

See reasons, and blog stats!

tag’s Haven: #AutismPositivity2013 Day!

I have now posted my Autism Positivity Day 2013 blog post on My Other Blog. Please, please go over and read it (if you haven’t already, that is!); and if you feel you can, please contribute. We need to get a more positive image of autism out there to the world.

Thanks!

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Autism Positivity Day 2013

Tuesday April 30, 2013 is Autism Positivity Day 2013 (read about it from the link). I will be posting my own flash blog entry on My Other Blog, but I wanted to notify as many people as possible about it, and I think I’ll either re-blog my entry here, or I’ll at least post a link to it.

Check out the plans!

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Welcome: New Blog Site

First of all, welcome, everyone, to the new site for tag’s Haven. I’d like to thank you all for following me here. Please, feel free to subscribe to my posts – the link is in the sidebar, just under my recent posts.

For those who are new and have followed a link here, Be Welcome! This is the blog where I talk about my life in general, moan and vent about the weather, and pre-publish my fanfic to get comments on it in order to improve it further before it goes to FFNet and tag’s Library for the wide world to see. πŸ˜‰ (If you want to see the fanfic I’ve put up, links to all of it are available through the Fanfic page, as well as a bit of a summary.)

Over the next little while I’m going to be wandering around the ‘Net, changing the URLs of my blog everywhere I’ve put it up. But there is news, for anyone interested… see below. (Also, question re fic. Sorry, RK fans, not quite ready for updates yet, but have been reviewing and doing a bit more writing….)

Continue for more about me, my family, and fic….

World Autism Awareness Day

Well, it’s a bit late in the day for this, but I’d still like to draw attention to the fact that today is World Autism Awareness Day.

Asperger’s Syndrome, which I have, is basically High Functioning Autism – the only difference in diagnosis involves an advanced vocabulary. I’ve been becoming more aware of the details of dealing with autism since I moved to Newfoundland in August, and as such, more aware of how it’s affected my life in a number of subtle and not-so-subtle ways. For instance, I can’t tolerate spice in my food, and get headaches from even the mildest sunlight: heightened senses – or, rather, problems with controlling sensory input – are one of the symptoms of autism.

The main website that deals with the World Autism Awareness Day is at Autism Speaks. You can also find some very basic information on the history of WAAD at Wikipedia. [Edited: Sat. April 20/13] Sorry, but I can no longer recommend Autism Speaks as being anything but bad for autistics. Please see posts on tagAught’s blog, especially “Autism Speaks, I Want to Say” for more details.

And it turns out April is Autism Awareness Month. So maybe I’ll find out more this month, as well as get some support. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please!

‘Later, all!
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“BiMonthly” Personal Update: Sat. Dec. 10/11

(Okay, so it’s Sunday. It was still Saturday when I wrote this.)

Hey, all.

So… I have apologies to make to everyone. I am terribly sorry that I’ve ended up getting so far behind on my weekly updates. It’s just… well, first I was busy working on getting ready for NaNoWriMo, then November hit and suddenly my stress levels went through the roof. Fans, picture a Sentinel starting to come online without a Guide. That’s what it felt like. My senses were starting to overwhelm me (random note: “whelm” means to cover with water, according to the Scrabble dictionary), particularly sight and hearing, and particularly at work. I’ve been wearing my yellow sunglasses and a bright pink (Fighting Breast Cancer pink) visor to work every day, to try to control the headaches from the CRT screens and the fluorescent lighting. And the noise… don’t get me started. Over the past week and a half or so, I’ve been using an earplug in my left ear (I keep the phone headset on my right) at work. It helps somewhat, but….

I ended up taking a week off work, doctor’s note included, at the end of November to the beginning of December, because my stress level was so high (taking sick days off work due to headaches and nausea, most of which could be put down to stress, and the rest of which could be put down to my senses, which contributed to the stress). It helped a huge amount, though my stress level still isn’t down where I’d like it to be. So, thanks to my lovely training supervisor (who is no longer my supervisor, except in a general sense during the late nights – I got moved to a new team at the beginning of December), I met with the scheduler, and I’ve cut back to 4 days a week, starting today – Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – with slightly reduced hours and generally ending my shift at midnight (on the weekdays) or before 11 (on the weekends). (Except on the weekend after Christmas, which is bound to be busy – but given I’ve actually got Christmas Eve and Christmas off, I am not going to complain about that.)

On a lighter, better note, Imber is improving by leaps and bounds! She regularly comes up to the main floor of the house – she’s even been known to do so when I’m sleeping in my room – and while she still growls and snarls at Thor, the two of them spent last night in an uneasy truce (punctuated occasionally by said growls and snarls) on my bed. In fact, she is up here in the living room, where I’m typing this out, draped over my forearms asking for scritches, and generally making it hard to write. (Scratch that – Dad just came up, and made a remark, “Look at that baby!” and Imber rolled forward onto the arm of the chair. She doesn’t mind the other animals – except Thor – seeing her lying on her back, but Dad is a different matter. Not that she dislikes him, she’s just wary of someone so tall.)

So, back to the somewhat gloomy, but getting hopeful stuff: We’re looking to get me a local psychologist (though I’ve still got Dr. Garling on consult for a bit, in case it doesn’t work out) and I’ve got an appointment just before Christmas at the START Clinic, recommended to me by my Aspie friend (whom I’ve only seen once this past month! *pouts*), which will hopefully lead to a semi-rapid official diagnosis of Asperger’s. (The alternative is waiting 1-2 years to see a qualified psychiatrist, then waiting more time for the team to be assembled to render the diagnosis….) I’m also seeing an occupational therapist who has a very good method for working on getting me to focus on dealing with feeling unwell, and who is trying to get a consult with a specialist in sensory over-stimulation. (No guarantees on that one, but it’s worth a try!) Hoping the combination of these factors will get things resolved with reasonable rapidity – or at least get things on the road to being resolved. Dealing with mental health is, unfortunately, a years-long process.

Family news is, unfortunately, not as good. A few of you already know this (my family, namely), but my “adopted” aunt Gloria was admitted to hospital on Monday. She’s been fighting cancer (uterine and stomach, I believe) for several years, and it’s gotten fairly bad. They don’t think that she’ll live to see Christmas. She’s going to be going into Palliative Care as soon as there’s a bed free. Mom flew down to Toronto on Thursday, staying with Daphne’s friend, to see her, and is currently on her flight back here.

Hm. What other good news do I have to break the gloom?

Well, Daphne’s got her audiology hours finished, is waiting impatiently on the Praxis scores (they were supposed to be up last week), and has only her final anatomy exam, on Tuesday, to complete her anatomy course. She’s got paying work for the rest of the time she’s here in St. John’s, at least. I’ve had two interviews for more clerical type jobs (one with RONA, one with the Canadian Red Cross), and continue to send out resumes. Even with the problems I’ve been having, I’ve been able to continue to enjoy Scrabble Wednesdays, and this past week spent Tuesday evening (before and during making dinner) making cookies for the group. They were much appreciated by the family, at least, as well as the one member of the Scrabble group who decided to start nibbling before I had to leave at 12:30, and I found even the burnt ones quite addictive.

A wonderful link from my aunt:
Man With Autism Absolutely Stuns an Entire Crowd

Also, a Happy Belated Birthday to .

Thanks for your patience and continuing friendship, everyone.

‘Later, all!
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Weekly Update: Friday Oct. 14/11

Okay, gang, here’s my weekly update! A bit later than usual, since my computer was being slow before I left for work today. Put it behind an LJ cut because of the length.

Lots of interesting things this week, plus, work!

Weekly Update: Friday Oct. 07/11

So, this past week.

Well, turns out that Dad got cashews when he went shopping last Friday, so my friend and I had Oriental Chicken with cashews. Was good, and there were a couple of servings left over for lunch this past week.

The weekend was fairly quiet – nothing much happened, really. I read a bit, relaxed, did nothing much… it was nice. Mom and I did go out shopping for a rain jacket and shoes on Sunday – found a really nice, light jacket and a pair of good, black shoes with velcro “laces” – I’m a match for Julia now! *G*

Not a lot happened Monday – just went to work/class, did a few things there (though not much, because we’ve had ID troubles all week – see more on that below), and started learning the basics of the Loyalty program. Got 92.5% on my final Wireless test – yay!

Tuesday… well, Tuesday during the day was pretty much the same as Monday. Tuesday night, however, I found a link to CBC’s Canada Writes contest and decided that there was no way I wasn’t going to participate. Actually started writing the story I plan to enter today.

Wednesday again, went much the same. Did okay on my Loyalty test (86.something%) and got my schedule for the next couple of weeks. Sort of. Again, see below for details on what’s been going on with that. But I was due to be working the floor Friday and Saturday from 3:30pm to midnight, and next week Tuesday through Friday, same thing (though I had put in a shift request form to get Tuesdays off, because I have the Asperger’s Group meetings the second Tuesday of every month), and the week after Monday through Friday, same thing.

Wednesday night I had my phone appointment with Dr. Garling. It went well – I was able to tell him all about what happened last week (the bad and the good things) and how I handled the bad things, and we were able to discuss the books I found (ref. Update Fri. Sept 23rd). It went well.

Yesterday… ah, yesterday.

First of all, yesterday was cold. Today was worse, but yeah, winter weather is starting to hit.

Secondly, I (well, Mom, but that should hopefully be fixed now) got an email to say that the Asperger’s Group meeting this coming week would be Wednesday, rather than Tuesday. Hmph. As Dad pointed out, changing schedules like that is not the best thing to do to anyone with an Autism Spectrum Disorder… and it also screwed up my next week’s schedule (which has thankfully been ironed out, because I told Heather – our trainer – about it as soon as I got in to work). I wrote an email back about that (not the ASD stuff, but the work stuff), because this coming week we’re going to be discussing relationships – friendships and dating – and it’s an important topic, one I really, really don’t want to miss.

So, then, on to work.

We were due in at work at 4:30 to get certified, and then go on the floor. We got in there… and discovered that A) Adam, the only male left in our group of 4 students, had evidently decided not to come back; and B) we didn’t have our IDs set up for the live environment system, meaning we couldn’t go on the phones. So no certification, and no floor work.

So we shadowed (listened to other people taking calls) for a few hours, then had a “huddle” – an hour-long meeting – with our new supervisor, who seems very nice. Then we were free to leave, so Dad came and got me and drove me home at about 8:30 or thereabouts. *shrugs* We were also told to come back for 5:30 tonight, rather than our scheduled 3:30, because our supervisor wasn’t going to be in until 5. That was fine, a bit more time before I had to face the phones.

So, I get into work today to discover that Suze – the other newbie in our class – was shadowing. News? Our IDs still aren’t live. *sighs heavily* Which means that really, all we can do is shadow. So we shadow for about 2-1/2 hours, then have another hour-long huddle, and head back home after that. We were informed there was really no point in coming in tomorrow (Saturday) because the Rogers guys (it’s Rogers Wireless we’re working for, so they’re the ones who have to set up our IDs in the live environment, because they’re Rogers programs, not Sykes) aren’t working the weekend – or Monday, seeing as it’s Thanksgiving.

We were told that we could come in for about 3 hours (minimum) on Monday to do some more shadowing, and both Suze and I are going to do that – go in at 1 and shadow for a few hours.

Other than that… the plan is that we’re having family Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday (Tony, Anna and Julia will be coming over, I believe) – with pumpkin pie as an option for dessert, yum! (I love pumpkin pie with – or even without! – whipped cream….) Tomorrow I think I’m going to make another try at the Margaret Mews Library, now that I know exactly where it is. Hopefully it won’t be too cold out (though compared to Toronto’s winter weather, St. John’s is mild – there’s windchill, yes, but it’s rarely below -10Β°C, if that), and there might be sun. (Hey, it was sunny today while some light rain and hail were coming down!)

The rest of the week – well, I’ve mentioned that I’ll be working Monday for a few hours. We really, really hope that our IDs will be live by 3:30 on Tuesday, and I’ll be working Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in the afternoon and night. Despite the fact I’m uncertain about my ability to bridge for renewals and upgrades, I’m rather looking forward to getting on the floor and starting to answer calls myself.

Anyway, to those of you in Canada, I really hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. To those outside, have a wonderful weekend, and a good week to come!

‘Later, all!
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Weekly Update: Friday Sept. 30/11

So, it turns out that Tony and Anna had a couch-surfer from New Zealand this past weekend, so on Friday night, we looked after Julia while they took him downtown to be Screeched In. I slept well Friday night – I even slept in! – and woke up to Julia and Mom in the morning.

Had a good, relaxing Saturday. Not much happened; I read a bit, relaxed, read fic… and in the evening, went to see “Dying Hard”, my cousin Mikaela’s show.

Gods. I sent out the link to my review on Sunday, but… man. The show was intense. I really enjoyed it.

Sunday was mostly quiet, but I ended up meeting the guy from the Asperger’s group that I clicked with. (It turned out I’d been waiting for him to contact me, and he’d been waiting for me to contact him – but he had my phone number, and only Daphne had his info.) We met up at Tim Horton’s at 3:30, and before we knew it, it was 6:30! Had to call Mom and Dad as we were leaving to let them know I hadn’t disappeared. The two of us just have so many similar experiences and manifestations….

Monday morning, I discovered that the cocker, Quixote, had peed behind Imber’s litter box. (It was definitely a dog, and Sancho won’t walk on the laminate that is the floor of my “main suite”.) Turns out he’s also done some peeing on the floor of the den, which he knew he wasn’t allowed to do – and it wasn’t kidney problems, he was choosing to do it. As a result, Monday afternoon, Mom and Dad went to the vet and had Don Quixote de la Rancho put down. Sancho and the parents miss him, but they’re adjusting.

Had an issue at the end of work that upset me Monday evening, but was able to talk it out with Mom and Dad. However, I was really upset and crying, and I woke up Tuesday morning with a sore throat.

Aside from getting 96% on the weekly assessment test on Tuesday, nothing much happened Tuesday and Wednesday. Just went to work, came home, and crashed early because I wasn’t feeling too well. Took a few cups of hot lemon and honey Wednesday and Thursday.

Yesterday (Thursday) I was feeling even worse (still just the sore throat, luckily), so grabbed some Strepsils, and took a drink of cranberry cocktail to help with the throat. It’s still sore today, but much better than it was yesterday morning.

Yesterday I also had coffee/tea (well, hot chocolate) at Timmy’s with the guy from the Asperger’s group again – though this time I set my watch alarm so I wouldn’t be late for dinner – and he’s coming over tonight for dinner. *shrugs* We’ve just clicked so well….

Today was fine – somewhat warm and muggy, though. Work went fairly well, and going to have Oriental Chicken and Cashews with rice (and without cashews) for dinner and chat some more. Watch us still be chatting when Mom and Dad get home from dinner out!

Weekly Update – Friday Sept. 23/11

Because this past week was so busy, and I recorded most things, I’m going to put it behind an LJ Cut.

Continue reading

Weekly Update – Friday Sept. 16/11

Well, it’s been an exciting and surprising quick week for me this week. Third week of training for work (three more to go, and we’re down to six people, from eight), and we had our first weekly assessment on Tuesday. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and the whole class passed. I was the only one to get 100%, so that was a nice bit.

Imber’s been getting braver; she’s starting to go up to the den on her own, rather than waiting for me to coax her. Sancho (the mutt) chased Imber on Wednesday when she had gone up there. *sighs* Imber also has it out for Mouse; for some reason, she seems to dislike Mouse intensely.

In terms of physical health, I seem to be doing well overall. I suspect I’ve lost a bit more weight over the last week, though I don’t have a scale to confirm that. I’ve also felt more energy (especially Tuesday and Wednesday!), so clearly the iron pills are working. Only thing really bothering me (in part because Sykes is a scent-free workplace) is my buggered up right knee and the occasional headache (note that they’re not as frequent). I plan to go to physio for my knee – the doctor’s given me a referral – I’m just waiting for my health insurance to kick in. (Not until 3 months at work, unfortunately!)

Speaking of insurance, I have got on the NLPDP (Newf & Labrador Prescription Drug Plan) but they won’t shell out at all for my anti-depressant (which is one of the two drugs that costs a few hundred dollars for 2-3 months’ worth). They’ll do it if used for neuropathic pain in diabetic patients, but not as an anti-depressant. *sigh*

However, in terms of mental and emotional health… well, honestly, I’m doing a lot better than I have been in a while. One of the reasons I was so pumped up Tuesday and Wednesday was the fact that… well, first of all, the assessment test at work. Secondly, Tuesday night was my first meeting of the Adult Aspergers Support Group – and it went wonderfully. It was… I don’t know how to describe it in short form. It was like meeting someone you’ve known for ages without realizing it. It was seriously relaxing. So I was right bouncy Tuesday and Wednesday.

Other than that… well, we’re suffering the ravages of the approaching Hurricane Maria right now. It made landfall at St. Mary’s Bay at 3:30 our time, and Mom figures it’ll hit here within the half hour (it’s currently ten to five here). The winds following it, though, are due to be the worst of it. Steady winds of 95 km/h with gusts of up to 130 km/h, and the soil here has been softened by the rain we’ve been receiving since the middle of last night (though not as much as they were predicting, because apparently the hurricane is travelling north faster than they thought, and the faster it is, the less rain it drops on the areas it goes over), so there’s concern about the trees. That’s why I’m sending this so early, so that if the power does go out, at least you’ll have received my update on time. It’s fairly important to me to make this as regular as possible.

Anyway, that was my week. How have you been? I very eagerly await the news from you.

‘Later all,
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Rant (Because I Need To)

*sigh* I know I haven’t posted since the end of NaNo (which means you didn’t hear about the birth of my first nephew, Dec. 19th!), but right now, I need to rant, and I can’t chat to anyone about it. So if you want to read my rantings about today at work and the cleaners and people who can’t listen to directions, click on the link. Otherwise, hope you’re having a good winter!

Work, the Cleaners and Everything