State of the Lisa Address

Dear Internet,

TSTBEH and TheBassist have been very concerned about my state of well being now that I’m living alone. Others have also expressed concern so it seemed like a good idea to do an update.

I’ve been busy every day with errands since I’ve been here, so I’m getting out of the house. Today is the first day in over a week I don’t have plans or errands to run so I decided that I’m going to couch all day watching Father Brown, and we all know I have a thing for crime solving priests.

I had a meeting with my business accountant on Saturday and he’s suggesting it would be far easier for me to get a co-working space rather than trying to build out a home office (as you’ll see in a moment, there is no space for me to build out a home office). My talking therapist, Dr. P., is encouraging me to not do home workouts but head to the gym. Originally I was going to sign up for yoga at a local place that Bethums have scouted out for me, but I have to go to the Y so I can get walking AND swimming thrown into the mix.

Those two things are on my agenda this week.

Mentally, I’ve been okay. Thursday night I started crying because the enormity of the situation has finally taken its toll. The tears didn’t last long but knowing I was here alone, without two people who care about me the most. I have friends here, close friends, but it’s not the same.

The interesting thing is that I’ve not been getting myself in knots about any of the messes I’ve gotten myself into. And for that, I am grateful.

I saw my GP last week and she’s upped my dosage of Lamictal, so instead of 25mg three times a day, I’m now taking 50mg in the morning and 25mg in the afternoon, and another 25mg in the evening along with 10mg of Abilify. The ability to feel rational and not overwhelmed emotionally has been fabulous. So far, this has been the best bipolar cocktail I’ve ever been on. If this is what “normal” feels like, I’ll take it.

I’ve been on this particular cocktail since November and this is the longest I’ve felt stable. I had some of the cracks starting to show about three weeks ago which signified that the drugs were starting not to work, which is why I went off to see my GP. I have an appointment with a medicating therapist in February to for her to manage my scripts and see about possibly getting on ADHD drugs (again).

Creatively and productively, I’ve been feeling good. When I’m home, I’ve been working on my book(s) almost none stop. I think I’ve calculated I’ve spent 50-60 hours in designing the cover, editing, and more. Working on the print version has taught me a lot about book design and formatting; I have made numerous mistakes getting it just right but instead of getting super frustrated, I kept chugging along. Hence I know the drugs are working.

Last week I had an interview for an entry level IT position for a local corporate company here in GR. This was approved by everyone (TheBassist, TSTBEH, Dr. P.) because it would get me out of the house, interact with humans, and plus make some extra scratch. My budget right now is super tight but this would give me some breathing room.

With my name being dragged in mud due to the lawsuit, in addition to changing my last name, I’m looking at changing careers. It’s been over a decade since I held a pure IT job, so this look like a good entry point and the money isn’t bad.

The first interviewer said this is the first time in his career he’s interviewed a person with a double master’s for the position. No one asked me with my education and background, WHY I applied until it was time to ask questions of the interviewers. Eight candidates are interviewing for three positions.

So the apartment. Here is a tour.

Front of the building.
Front of the building.

The building was built in 1870 and was used as a hospital in the area and pre-dates other hospitals in Grand Rapids. There are five apartments, which are cobbled together from patient rooms. Though my apartment is #2, #10 and #9 are on my doors. The buzzer doesn’t work and I will have to make arrangements for shipping items, but all and all, the front of the building is gorgeous.

newlivingroom-before
Living room from the front door.
newlivingroom-before2
Living room from Kitchen door.
newlivingroom-after
Living room after.
newlivingroom-after2
Living room from the kitchen door.

The apartment is only 600sqft but it’s cozy enough for my needs. All the mouldings, floors, and appointments are original to the house. The transom windows are adorable but the landlord leaves the lights on in the hallway so light is always shining through the living and bed rooms.

The apartment faces north and west, so I don’t get early morning sun. Even when it’s sunny out, I have to keep the lights on at all times.

mantelofminis
Mantel of MINIs. (11 in total.)

Most of the furniture and accoutrements are from Throbbing Manor, what TSTBEH didn’t want or was going to sell to consignment, so it worked out. The couch, bed, and TV were bought specifically for the apartment. When I move out, TSTBEH is going to take some of the furniture (mainly the TV, bed, and possible one or two pieces of furniture) for Throbbing Cabin, which works out for both of us.

Interesting, neither of us miss Throbbing Manor. Nearly four years and we don’t miss it one bit.

newkitchen-before
New kitchen – before.
newkitchen-after
New kitchen – after.

The kitchen is tiny, there is no getting around that bit. The oven temperature gauge doesn’t work (yes, I know. Go buy a manual one) and the stove is a bit sketchy. Thankfully, I am a grazer which means my meals are simple and not overly complicated. If I need something more substantial, I have instant meals (soups, frozen, packet Indian, etc) at my disposal. I was planning on crockpotting meals and freezing them but I haven’t bought a crockpot yet but that is on the list of things to do.

newbedroom-before
New bedroom – before.
newbedroom-after
Bedroom after.
newbedroom-after2
Bedroom after.

The bedroom is basic and does its job. Teddy enjoys it very much.

viewfrombedroom
View of downtown Grand Rapids from my bedroom window.

I’ve started getting into rituals, which after the last seven months, have been a godsend. I get up in the morning, use the bathroom. Contacts get put in; slippers found and slipped on. I turn the kettle on for tea and refill the humidifier so I don’t strangle myself in my sleep from the dry air. Breakfast is procured and then I check email, Facebook, and Twitter.

I plan the rest of my day, which typically includes appointments and errands. I get dressed and do what I need to do; come home and depant. Then I do the household things and once those are done, work. Work on my writing, work on my books, work on myself.

It’s a quiet life. No drama. After the last seven months, it’s a welcome relief.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2011

Moving Part Deux

Two

Dear Internet,

Well, here we are again: I’m moving. This time Two Men and a Truck put what I pillaged from Throbbing Manor (thanks to the generosity of TSTBEH) into storage for a month while I’m out on the east coast; then they will move me into Valkyrie Estates (name may change) in mid-January. Then, THEN, work will start on my book(s).

My pillaging helps TSTBEH out as he would have had to either donate, sell, or take with him the remaining furniture he decided he did not want after the split. With the exception of a bed, I’ve almost completely furnished Valkyrie Estates. I’ve got a list of smalls I need to pick up when I get back (like laundry soap and toliet paper), but really, that is it.

This manic last two months, easier to give it a simple explanation when the explanation is really much more complicated, has been financially AND mentally expensive. Truth be told, if I wasn’t counting on the settlement from the selling of the house to pay off my debts, I may have reigned the spending in but that’s an excuse for my own folly. I must accept the responsibility of what I have done financially.

It’s now mid-Sunday afternoon and I’m camped out at a hotel. Again. This time the only thing I’m running from is sleeping on an air mattress in a house that is freezing. Between the consignment shop swopping in on Thursday and my movers on Friday, all that is left until Monday is an air mattress, a 50″ TV and related stereo equipment, dining room table and chairs, TSTBEH’s boxes, and the art deco hutch. In 3200 sqft. We attempted to sleep on the air mattress every night until the closing of the house on Tuesday but I just couldn’t do it. I gave in to my inner diva, left late Friday night for a hotel, and here I am.

And yes, I’m keeping track and earning points with all of this hoteling, flying, and other travel.

My entire life is now split between two suitcases and my messenger bag of electronics. There are a few odds and ends in my trunk but my worldly possessions are now in those two suitcases; it’s a freeing feeling and an exhausting one. Now that my mind is finally clearing and I’m starting to put things into better perspective, I want to nest. Now.

I have to learn patience, I have to learn that waiting is okay and things will still be there when I’m done waiting. Not everything is gossamer and clouds but water and dirt. Things are tangible, holdable, and lovable.  These are things I need to remember and need to not forget ever again.

So let’s move on to something other than my mental geographical quandary.

Part of ThePlan is bundling the previous years entries into an ebook volume and publishing it on Kindle and other eRetailers.

Today I finished the first draft of volume 1 and it clocks in at roughly 114 pages.

The plan is to take previous years (beginning, well, at the beginning) of The Lisa Chronicles, bundle them by year into an eBook version and see if I could shill it on Amazon (and maybe Apple) to make some passive income.

The idea was pitched to me about four years ago when a library school friend offered to go through these entries, edit for clarity and grammar, and help me format them for the Kindle. I was a bit trepidatious at first, for I often do not find myself to be that fascinating, I just happen to get into fascinating circumstances. But apparently there is a market for this type of writing and I had oodles of it already written at my disposal.

But I stalled, as I do, on the project when I was working full time; I started nibbling at the idea again when I started planning for my sabbatical. The process seemed simple enough: get the back entries of The Lisa Chronicles up online on EPbaB for completist sake. Then move the content over to Word for formatting and editing. Find a cover. Set a price. Write a forward and a description. Upload and BOOM. Book is on the Amazons.

But it wasn’t that simple, rather, it was much more complex than my simple plan. Two things were happening in parallel. First being I had to set up as a business entity to help with writing off things related to my sabbatical AND to properly handle any income coming in from the sales of the eBooks. Second, that I had to find the content (easy enough as I kept multiple copies), get it on to EPbaB so the archives were complete, then move it to Word. I knew how prolific I am, so I figured I’d break it down by year and each year would be roughly 50 pages of formatted book text.

Did I mention that year one is at 114 rough pages? And only from April to December 1998? So I was obviously wrong in my page prediction.

I consider 1998 to be the very beginning for the sheer amount of content, though I have pieces that were published much earlier. I have gotten 1998 and 1999 into the EPbaB archives, so the first two volumes of the eBook project are going to be easy to do. I’ll have to work in tandem with getting the later content up and editing the current project and writing the fiction book.

I’m going to be a very busy girl.

Getting it up on Kindle was not that difficult: I opted out of the KDP Select option which means the work would have only been sold on Kindle and I opted out of having DRM on the eBooks. I was able to, with the help of TheBassist and cmmrb, figure out the cover design (Amazon has a free cover creator). I have my EIN and LLC name (Skaldic Press), so everything on the business side was ready to go. It was just a matter of getting the content up, formatted, and edited.

So basically the hard part.

You know where you can find me for the next month.

xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 1999, 1998