Well, as it's clear to see here, I utterly failed. Didn't even make 50k, the NaNoWriMo goal for a month. But, as you can see, at the first half of the month I had a pretty good pace, so why did I fail so bad? Well, time to tell you a different story.
Let's start where the string of misses begin. April 14th. April 14th was a friend's wedding, and that was a great night. But that took up all my night, so I didn't have much time to do anything, and writing got pushed back that night by other business I had to deal with. There is one thing I did that night, though: I installed the application f.lux on my computer. It was a little painful to look at the altered screen color temperature at first, actually, but I just ignored that, and got accustomed to it that day.
So then the day moves on to the 15th. On that day, I began the worst migraine of my life. I've got a family history of migraines, and history of them myself, but usually they would last a day or two. This migraine lasted through the next week, until the 23rd, essentially, and over the time my symptoms from it varied: auras with floating blurriness in my vision at one point, feeling of intense pressure behind my right eye at another point, and the pain in my head wandering around my head slowly through the days and varying in intensity. I bascially directly attribute this to f.lux, which, I know, for most people I can understand the principle and benefits for it, but apparently for me it was the trigger for exactly the opposite. I ended up disabling f.lux on the 19th, and the 20th was the first day I woke up without the headache portion of the migraine, although it came later in the day. I got a little written during that time, but things were so much of a haze for me from the migraine that I couldn't focus very much.
It didn't completely subside until the end of the week. The 24th was the first day that I felt fine-ish, except when it got to the end of the day I started getting tired and a headahce. This I simply attributed to cutting back on my caffeine intake that day, which I had started a few days before along with switching to Excederin Migraine for my migraine, so I ignored it. On the 25th, I was so completely tired later in the day that I just had nothing left, and went to bed four hours early. On the 26th, I lasted a little longer, but still went to bed several hours early. Now, I should add that, additionally, because of rapidly swinging temperatures over the last week I had been both extremely cold and warm and sweating with all my covers off, as well as my mattress failing, I hadn't been sleeping well, and woke up aching in my upper back and neck throughout the migraine, so I had chosen to replace my memory foam mattress and ordered a spring mattress. It arrived on the day of the 26th, I unpacked it and slept fine for the first time in several weeks, but I had still gone to bed a couple hours early that day. On the 27th, I had a doctors appointment for my migraine. While I was there, they asked me if I had been sick recently, because I was running a low fever (just a little over 100° F). Since that was kind of an odd statement, I got a new thermometer that day after getting home from work (couldn't find my old one), and, yeah, sure enough, I had a low grade fever. I didn't think much of it and went to bed after getting a little writing done.
Then we come to the morning of the 28th. I woke up at 3:30ish in the morning needing to use the bathroom, and while I was up, I figured I'd check my temperature to see if it had gone down. It had done the opposite, and it did it bad. My temperature was 103.8° F. That was getting into dangerous territory, and I needed to get it addressed. So I went to the emergency room. They checked me in and it was down to 102.7° F, so it had at least subsided slightly. Unfortunately, I still didn't actually have any symptoms of illness, with only a slight headache and my neck and back aching from still having not healed yet from sleeping well enough, so the only thing they had to suspect was, of course, menengitis. They were going to have to do an LP to test for menengitis, and admit me to the hospital if I did.
At this point, it was pretty warm in the room, and with everything going on I had realized of course that my feeling hot over the last few days had probably been this fever. They hadn't had me take off my pants yet, so while I was sitting there on the bed I pulled up my pants legs so they would cool. At this point, I noticed something for the first time: my legs were covered with purple and red splotches. The ER doctor walked in, saw that, and said, right away, "that looks like cellulitis". They tried doing the LP on me, but they couldn't get it successfully, so they had to call someone in from radiology (who hadn't yet arrived for work yet that day, since it was early in the morning) to use the X-ray machine to guide the needle for the LP. So in the mean time, not wanting to wait if it was menengitis and let it progress, they started me on antibiotics.
As my stay in the ER progressed, my temperature dropped more, into the 101 degree range. The radiologist arrived, did the LP very smoothly, and they ran their test. It was excellent news! I didn't have menengitis! So they let me go, writing me up a perscription for more antibiotics, and operating off the diagnosis of cellulitis. I went and dropped off the perscription, went back home and napped for a couple hours, because at this point it was 9 AM and I had been awake for nearly 6 hours. I woke up at 11, and checked my temperature. Completely gone at this point and back to normal. So I went and picked up the antibiotics and went into work. The splotches on my legs receeded, leaving just a sign of a rash or scracthes of some sort.
And that's that. I spent two weeks nearly dead, including almost actually dying, and hardly got any writing done. After that, I had to rush and get a website launched that needed to go up on the 1st, and had work that would have been easily spread over those two weeks had I been able to think clearly enough to realize what all needed to be done, but I was in a haze for a couple weeks and didn't realize what all had to be done until the end, and I had to do it all in a hurry, so I got only a little done the last two weeks.
So I have to finish writing the book here in May, to be ready to start on the next one in June. And, presuming I don't almost die again, it shouild be easier to accomplish at that point. I'll never use f.lux again since it's a migraine trigger for me, and the biggest Pokemon-related stuff in Utah that I have to do a lot of coding work for is at the end of this month, so once that's passed my time is clear for a while.Tue, 03 May 2016 14:00:00 -0500
In the ancient creation myths of people of my society, it was said that the gods came from the sun, created the vastness of the world, and then returned once more to their kingdom to watch over their creation, and rain down fragments of their power to the people to give them life. A legend not passed onto the people of this world, but as the world is about to take its next step into this new era, it reminds me of that old legend.
A long time has passed since people began spreading from the continent of New Ildios. All along the ring of the main continents now are great cities and countries, spreading all along the parts of the land that aren’t desert. But from closer to the equator, the increased solar activity has brought a novel new idea: that energy can be collected and used. With some schools of geomancy solar energy can be converted into elemental magic energy, and from that they’ve developed a new technology, designed to convert that solar energy and channel it, and, with some discoveries from how the Evreux live, they’ve come up with methods of storing it. Its culmination: the mothercrystal.
The first mothercrystal is to be brought online in a few days, the others still in constructions and have form months to years until they’re brought online. Nine in total, one for each element of magic. Light magic can’t be collected in that fashion, ironically enough to our naming of it, and the nine mothercrystals are spread across the lands of the middle continents evenly to not put too much strain on the immediate land around them. The crystals themselves are massive structures, grown to be nearly one hundred stories tall, cover over thirty acres at their base, with miles around them of arranged mirrors pointing sunlight up into the crystal. As it stands now it’s not doing much, but once they come online they should begin glowing brightly with color associated with their element, and stand as a beacon even during the night.
From the mothercrystals, charge will be transferred into smaller crystals and then distributed. The people have leased rail lines from the Evreux to aid with distribution, and the smaller charged crystals will be used all over the world. The intent with this is to allow everyone to be able to use all elements of magic, which should bring people once more to a lifestyle such as was on Aughylia before we were all forced away. It is an incredibly ambitious project, and it still remains to be seen whether or not it will work once this first mothercrystal is ready to be brought online, but I have hopes for it.
As I have worked with the Evreux to learn their language, and they learn ours, I have gained a complete picture of the history of not just our world but the world of Aughylia as well. The truth was even stranger than I expected: the ancient Aughylian Empire, for whom the third planet is named, was in fact a colony themselves, escaping the galactic empire that Menos Cor came from. The Evreux were once a vast society here on Vaudios, but they survived on relatively few food sources, and their primary one was infected with a blight. They launched scientists into space to travel to Aughylia to seek help in solving the blight, when their scientists were stranded as Menos Cor’s forces attacked the first time and destroyed the Aughylian Empire. Without that aid, famine and starvation swept through their people as the crop died. Those that were left dismantled their space program, dismantled their great cities, and scaled back to live more at one with nature, as they believe they were punished for leaving Vaudios and traveling to the stars. Similarly, they believe that same punishment would extend to the other humans born on Vaudios, so if this world ever became great enough to travel to the stars as well they would suffer the same fate.
I don’t particularly share the Evreux’s same outlook, but as I have been working with them they have taught me new skills and magic to work in this new age that the crystals will bring in. They’ve taught me extensive use of electricity to power machines, the key to their underground networks, and technology my world was just barely beginning to discover before we were attacked by Menos Cor. They’ve helped me attune with electricity and fashion a new staff capable of utilizing it, believing that the crystal magic will soon lead to electricity generation and a far more advanced society. Electricity itself, being the pure form that the Lightning element of magic controls and rather dangerous in large amounts, the staff will allow me to handle it at levels that would normally kill a person if it were to discharge into them, to allow me to, as they have strongly suggested I do, interfere and prevent any manned expeditions into space as the technology grows.Sun, 01 May 2016 11:00:00 -0500