Trouble in Shangri-La

Wednesday morning and out of nowhere, my insomnia returned last night. I am assuming it was an aberration of some sort; too much brain usage yesterday after a long respite or something like that. I don’t feel either sleepy or tired or mentally fatigued or anything this morning, so hopefully I can make it through the day without it being challenging. I also get to leave work early this afternoon because I have a doctor’s appointment. Nothing serious, just the semi-annual check-up/prescription refill once over, and that will get me home much earlier than usual. Maybe I can get some more work done tonight when I get home from work. Stranger things have happened. At the very least, I should be able to get back to reading my book, Sandra SG Wong’s marvelous In the Dark We Forget, which I am enjoying tremendously.

We finished watching Mind Over Murder last night–the final episode finally dropped–and it’s really such a sad story on every level. I don’t know, the more of these documentaries that are made and the more injustices they expose on a far-too-regular basis makes me wonder about the police and the job they are doing. I wouldn’t ever want to be a cop–under any circumstance–but at the same time, yikes. Big time yikes on every level. I mean, as I was watching this last night I was thinking about how in most countries everyone fears the police, who are agents of the state and often above the law…and how this is one of the few countries in the world that celebrates the police, embracing them, when the truth is the Constitution was written to define the rights of citizens to protect us from abuses from agents of the state. There’s some essay forming in my head about this, to be sure.

In other exciting news, I got some ARCS for A Streetcar Named Murder in yesterday’s mail, and the book looks fantastic. I absolutely love the cover, and I appreciate that they drew the cat to resemble Scooter–the cat in the book is also named Scooter, and now that I think about, I think Scotty has a cat named Scooter. That’s me, immortalizing my cat in literature for all time. I am trying to cap my excitement about the book (naturally, I am very excited about it, but trying to rein it in a bit)–and of course, have been having all kinds of Imposter Syndrome thoughts about it not selling and getting bad reviews and so forth–but I am going to just go on being happy right now that the book is finished, for all intents and purposes (still have to proof the pages this weekend) and going to focus on getting the Bouchercon anthology finished as well as getting underway with Mississippi River Mischief. I’m kind of excited to be writing about Scotty again–funny how writing him never feels old to me; I always get a bit happy about going to revisit his world and his circle of family and friends–and writing it also means having to do a bit of travel and research outside of New Orleans, since the book is going to be partially set in a fictitious river or bayou parish. (Which I have cleverly named St. Jeanne d’Arc–although that begs the question of why there isn’t actually a St. Jeanne d’Arc parish in Louisiana…)

A quick glance at my inbox also shows that the edits for my story “Solace in a Dying Hour” have also dropped, so that’s something else to go on the agenda/to-do list for this week. I am really proud of this story, to be honest, and I am really curious to see the edits (one of the co-editors is who I worked with on the Sherlock story “The Affair of the Purloined Rentboy,” and her edits were fucking AMAZING) and see how much more work is needed on the story. I also have until Sunday to decide whether to submit that story I am not sure about anymore to that anthology I wanted to submit it to–that was quite a sentence, wasn’t it?–but I don’t know about it, you know? Although I suppose if it is really horrifically tone deaf and offensive they won’t accept it…but I also don’t want anyone else to read it if it is offensive and tone deaf. Ah, well, I have until the weekend to decide one way or the other.

I also am about half-way finished with getting the copy edits to the contributors to the Bouchercon anthology. I probably won’t get much, if any, of that done today, but stranger things have happened. Maybe when I get home early tonight Scooter won’t be whiny and demanding a lap to fall asleep in…or not.

And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. Have a lovely Wednesday, Constant Reader, and I will talk to you again tomorrow morning.

Sweet Girl

The only reason I know it’s Wednesday is I got a text message confirming that my paycheck was deposited in my checking account, meaning it’s also Pay-the-Bills Day. I did that already over this first cup of coffee–shortly after my daily morning COVID test came back positive again (we are now on Day 5 of this, if the first day doesn’t count; six if it does) and now I am trying to get things done before the daily fatigue sets in. Yesterday was maybe the worst it’s been thus far; I spent most of the day drifting in and out of sleep in my easy chair. I can honestly say I’ve never slept this much in my life in a six day period as I have since last Friday–and yet am still able to fall asleep every night without a problem and don’t want to get up in the morning, and am still fatigued all day and can drift off again in the snap of my fingers. Ironically, I just realized while paying the bills this morning that today is our anniversary; Paul and I have been a couple twenty-seven years today. We obviously don’t make much of it, really–we really aren’t big on holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries as a general rule–as evidenced by the fact that I’d completely forgot about it until writing down the date in my checkbook (and yes, I still use a check register to track my account; many co-workers mock me about this but for fuck’s sake it’s how I learned and I am so fucking paranoid about being overdrawn it’s just easier to keep a running balance and periodically balance it).

And there’s the fatigue. I was wondering how much longer I had before it made its presence known. It’s so weird how it allows me an hour or so every morning, like a tease: today you’re going to feel good even though you still tested positive! PSYCH! Here’s some fatigue for you!

I am going to try to fight through it today to get some things done. If it means ‘get something done then go nap for an hour’ so be it. My house is a disaster area. Laundry and dishes have piled up, and there is mess everywhere I look here in the kitchen. I was so tired yesterday I never even got hungry, so I never made dinner and now that I think about it, I think all I ate yesterday was some coffee cake yesterday morning so I could take my pills. Lack of fuel can certainly play a role in the fatigue, can’t it? It’s so weird, I’ve never experienced anything like this at all. I can actually feel the exhaustion running down my arms and legs until all four limbs, including hands and feet, feel fatigued. Even as I type this the fog is encroaching on my thought processes and making my head feel, for wont of a better phrase, empty and hollow. My eyes are now tired. But…as I remind myself every day as I try to get out of my chair and almost weep from the effort, it could be worse. At least I can breathe, and the slight constriction I felt in my lungs the first few days is now gone. It wasn’t even that bad–the lung thing, I mean; it didn’t hurt or anything or restrict my breathing, I just was aware of it, if that makes sense; kind of like there was a plug or something there in the center of my lungs that I felt whenever I breathed deeply or moved, but was more along the lines of here I am don’t forget you’re sick! rather than Oh my God get me to the emergency room–and I am grateful for that. I feel a little strange complaining about this when it could obviously be ever so much worse; thank goodness for the four inoculations I’ve had.

As I drifted in and out of sleep we watched Mind Over Murder, a documentary series about a bizarre murder case in Beatrice, Nebraska (pronounced b-AT-triss) in which six people confessed to a rape and murder only to be exonerated years later by DNA. (One person never confessed; he was the one who led the charge to get the DNA evidence tested–only to die in a freak accident at work a year and a half after being released.) It’s a very weird story–as true crime stories often are–and it made me start thinking–through the fog–about the Jeff Davis 8, eight women who were murdered in and around Jefferson Davis Parish back in the aughts in similar ways, yet different enough to make it questionable as to whether it was a serial killer or not. I’ve always wanted to write about that case in a fictional novel–it’s the story I keep thinking about bringing Chanse back for–because nothing is as a bizarre as true crime, really.

Anyway, my brain is starting to get cloudier and focus is getting harder. It’s very weird to describe how this feels, really; my legs even as I am sitting here in the chair ache with fatigue, my shoulders feel very tired, and my body is telling me to go lie down again. Should I listen to my body, or fight through it? That’s the worst part of this–trying to decide if pushing through the sickness to get things done is worth risking making it worse, and the last thing I want to do is make this worse. I am really not used to this kind of illness, and I don’t like it–which is a rather silly thing to say; after all, who likes being sick? I am also unused to it. The wearing of masks and constant hand-washing/sanitizing had managed to keep me from getting even a cold over the last two years, so this almost feels like a betrayal of sorts. I have no one to blame but myself, of course. I allowed my diligence to slack off after the fourth vaccination, like a fool; it’s always when you stop being vigilant and become more careless that shit happens, as I well know from a lifetime of experience.

But I am going to try to martial my energy and focus to do some things now, and I know I have some emails that need attention–even though just thinking about doing anything makes me want to weep from exhaustion and frustration. (Usually, too, when I am sick I can read and watch movies and so forth; no such luck with this, which makes it even more frustrating as I feel like I am losing and wasting time.)

And hopefully, tomorrow morning’s test will have only one line.

Stay safe and ever vigilant, Constant Reader.