Getting out and about

After some three to four months of not leaving the house alone (and really hardly leaving the house at all) I finally feel functional enough to go out alone on some minor errands and adventures. I can finally get in and out of my own low-to-the-ground car, so yesterday I took River (my car) to the carwash and myself to a coffeeshop to get some NaNoWriMo words done. Today I’m going to go grocery shopping on my own. Strange milestones to be celebrating!

Actually they don’t feel so much celebratory as normal. I expected huge relief every time I could do something again that I couldn’t do before, but the thing is everything is just so normal it doesn’t feel like an achievement so much as the instantly unnoticed everyday. I think the fact that everything has happened very gradually plays into this too; for months everything has just been a millimeter better every day. Yes it was unbelievably frustrating to not be able to do normal things, but I’ve been stepping into my clothing and standing up from cars for, what, at least 25 years, and the few months of struggle are being quickly eclipsed by the normalcy of functionality. It’s not like I can suddenly do anything special. That said, it is, of course, hugely enjoyable to feel free to go out to do at least some minor things, and even more exciting to think that in hopefully another month I will be able to do pretty much anything. A far cry from four months ago thinking everything was getting worse and worse forever and I was dying!

So coffee shops it is! Something in limited supply around here, but not nonexistent. After struggling along through the first 20,000 words or so of my NaNo draft I decided, (correct me if I’m wrong, but I now believe this to be true), that it is actually impossible to write a novel without alcohol or caffeine. So much of the happy inspired writing flow seems to start with sitting down with a hot cup of coffee or cold glass of beer, feeling a bit energized or a bit loose, and getting some ideas frothing. Without these time-honored summoners of the muses, (no alcohol for healthful diet purposes and no caffeine because on prednisone caffeine seems to act like a narcotic for me), I was really finding generating interesting plot to be a slog. So I finally decided to make some concessions and got a bottle of wine and made allowances for decaf. It seems to be doing the trick–after not drinking since last May I find that only a few sips of wine is enough to slightly loosen up my ideas and inner editor, and decaf sort of does something at least, with less of a crash later.

At 30,000 plus words now, so staying on target for 2,000 a day, and with the new beverages in my toolkit I’m hoping for some 5k days to crank the word count up there. I feel like a lot of my plot is still MIA and I’d really like to find it this month so I can enjoy my favorite part of novel writing, (the sorting it all out and making it pretty part), as I continue to exercise-and-eat-meat-and-take-steroids my way back to basic normality.

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