Flight

Kate:

Flight – Can Bisty come to terms with Dee’s death? The next part of ‘The Gone’.

Originally posted on The Gone:

We start to move away and I can’t help but look behind us. Just moments ago Dee had been fine and now she was nothing more than a broken pile on the floor. I ought to feel something, but I don’t. At one point, when she’d held the knife on Max, I would have killed her myself, yet now that she is dead I don’t feel anything. Not sympathy, not relief, nothing.

“Max?” I call out. He slows and walks beside me. He says nothing but I know he is waiting for me to say something.

“Dee…” I start.

“I had to,” he interrupts. “She was turning and despite everything she didn’t deserve to become on of those things…”

I place a hand on his arm. “I know. I was just worried….”

“What about?”

I sigh and drop my hand. “I felt nothing. I ought to, but…” I shrug.

We…

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Getting back to a normal routine…

I was back to the doctor today. It feels like I have been ill for the last month…

Oh, wait! I have. And I must admit I’m a little grumpy about it. I have missed Christmas parties and meetings, and now that I’m feeling a little more normal my social calendar is clear.

But the doctor didn’t give me a full bill of health. Nope, I have the residues of a chest infection that is making it even painful to breath, and… this one is embarrassing… I have glue ear. Yep, the condition normally associated with pigtails and children and I have got a case. The doctor was very good and kept a straight face, even if he was a little too serious.

So, I’m on the mend and apart from being sulky about not getting to go to a few parties I’m happy. You see, tomorrow I am going to have a go at writing. Up to now I have been pecking at the book between sniffs and coughs, but now I feel almost human.

I am even getting a Christmas-y vibe. And my bad mood is slowly disappearing having be banished by words and cards with far too much glitter.

A Challenge…

The writer’s carnival has posed a challenge:

Every character, every person, everybody has flaws. So the challenge is to show us one of your character’s flaws using no more than three sentences.

So here is my answer…

I stand and look in the mirror, not really seeing what’s there. You see, I know that I’m decent looking, but I see a monster; one eye is larger and lower than the other, my mouth twisted to one side and a pug nose. Except that it is a lie, a phantom created by my own mind to make me believe I am less than others, the reality is that I’m beautiful, I just can’t see it.

Excellent challenge! I may do more…

Forgetting secret Santa…

It was writing group day and I had got ready with cards and a secret Santa present… and then left them on the dinning room table.

I didn’t realise that I had until I got to the house where the meeting/party was. Instantly, I felt guilty. But, you know what, no one minded. When secret Santa was pulled I just didn’t get a present. It wasn’t that bad. I did wonder at what everyone had got, but I wasn’t wracked with guilt. I was sorry that I’d forgotten the present but it wasn’t the big end-all problem I thought it would be.

A lot of the time the Asperger’s can get bad if I fail at something, but the feeling never came. I waited…

Nothing.

Then I realised that it wasn’t going to. The reason? I like the people I meet with and I’m comfortable in their company, so there are no issues. Yes, I forgot but it is no big deal.

That got me thinking about the ghost writing and my own writing. I have been taking on the writing in order to earn some cash, but it is easier if I just do the illustration for others.

Why?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s because my writing feels more like ‘mine’. I think it has to do with me not learning to read until I was 11. I think that because I have only been writing for the last two years it feels new and very personal. It’s harder to hand over the rights to a story than it is for the artwork. It’s as if I’ve become desensitized to doing it for the art.

So from now on, to save my own heart-ache I’m going to be drawing for a living. Anyone want a portrait or pet portrait?

I’m kidding… Unless you do?

But hopefully this will cut down on the stress. And I won’t forget anymore presents. At least today I remembered the cake!

The reality of life…

I have been working hard. I’ve been writing hard, all week. The only problem is that I’ve been working on someone else’s work.

So I finish and I sit back, happy. It’s not a long piece but it is now a cohesive bit of writing. I have converted an adult text to one that can be understood by children. I’ve added illustrations and set it out beautifully so that there are now contents, introduction…. Well, you get the idea.

So I go the the site and sent it to the client. He comes back and says he loves it. I do a little dance.

Then he says, ‘but’…

But!

Then the corrections start. Some are valid and some have very little baring on the piece of work. Still I need the cash so I do it. Then I start to wonder about the contract. The client is asking more than I signed up for.

So I have a look.

Guess what?

I didn’t read the contract before I accepted. The client has changed the price…. I didn’t spot it. So instead of working for a wage, I have just thrown a week into the wind. I am going to get something (if he pays) but it isn’t close to minimum wage.

The moral of this story – always read the contract. ALWAYS!

So the next project has come up, an illustration one. And I read the contract, this time all was fine.

Annoyed though that there is nothing I can do because I accepted the conditions.

Still next week it will all be behind me and I will work on my own writing. For now I’m just going to grin and bare it. My own silly fault.

Technology…

I have dyslexia, it’s fairly bad, but I have a mass of coping strategies in place to make my writing world bearable. Except that there was one area that it was lacking – note taking.

It seems such a small thing. Taking notes. Just sitting in the library and writing down what you learn from the latest dust covered volume. But it is one of the areas I come unstuck. You see I am a slow reader with technical texts, and instead of paraphrasing or itemising what I’m working on, I have to write it out, completely…

Then there is the other problem. Reading my scribbled notes. My writing has always looked good but people who try to read it find out pretty quickly that although it looks good it is virtually unreadable. It’s hard to read handwritten stuff anyway, but my own is really difficult. My trick is to put the first letter in and then the last and a very pretty, but inadequate, squiggly line in the middle.

So I have come to rely on tapping the keys in order to make sense. I have a laptop, but once you add a book or two it is hard to lug around. And I don’t have money for the ultra slim surface or the newer laptops. I’m on the lower edge of the market, as in basement bottom.

Then there is the fact I’m thinking about taking a PhD. I’m not getting any younger and neither is the laptop. It’s ‘n’ sticks and, well, I worry that it isn’t going to last long. So I went to that wonderful market on the ether – ebay.

I like to buy new, mainly for the warranty, but this time I was looking for something that didn’t weigh more than a bag of sugar and was smaller than a file. It had to be cheap so that I wouldn’t worry if I threw it in my bag. And it had to run word or something similar and compatible. So I searched.

And searched.

And I found netbooks… They are obsolete, they are cheap and they run word. I’m saved, I thought. One draw back though. There are masses of them. And the Chinese market has realised that people want them, so they have taken a netbook case and used an Android system in them… That wouldn’t work. I need files to be transferable to the desktop. So I need windows. It had to be one of the old netbooks.

So I bid on a few, all the time keeping in mind how much a reconditioned one costs from a shop. And I got lucky!

I’m now the proud owner of a Compaq mini. It is tiny. But I can work on it and it is light. It can be carried around, and yes, the battery life isn’t great, but I can always get a new battery.

And I can increase the hard drive size with nothing more than an SD card, which can then be plugged straight into the desktop.

Done and dusted.

And finally my notes can be typed, with ‘n’s. I have paid very little so I’m not worried that it will get knocked about a bit, but then it is only a note taker. Although I may do some writing on it…

Everything is transferable.

It has made me think though. You see, up until the moment I clicked on ‘bid now’ I had always relied on others to work out what I needed and to present me with the solution. This is the first time I have identified that the dyslexia is a problem and that it needed a new bit of kit to fix.

I feel like I have past a point that I hadn’t realised existed. I have taken charge of my own disability and found a solution. The satisfaction I’m getting makes me wonder if the university ought to have set aside time to help me understand that dyslexia isn’t a static problem. It bends and flexes as you change. A problem today may not be a problem tomorrow, and the future issues may not even cross your mind today.

I just think that maybe I ought to have been taught how to cope. How to identify the problem and work out the solution. Because the step I have made this week has taken me six months to work out…

Quiet times

Kate:

Quiet times – the next part of ‘The Gone’. Can Bitzy escape?

Originally posted on The Gone:

They won’t attack us,” I say.

Max watches the creatures shuffle from side to side, moving their heads back and forth, noses in the air, scenting.

Not us no,” he says, in such a deep voice it rumbles around the room. He then looks at Dee.

We all look at her.

What?” she asks, her tone scared, but her eyes suggesting she has an upper hand.

We could let them have her,” Colin says.

For a moment I think about it. I really do. And that scares me more than anything. The shot has changed more than my physical appearance; I’m starting to think of Dee as a separate species. I try for sympathy but I come up short. I do know that just handing her over to the monsters would be wrong. “We can’t,” I say.

Why?” Colin asks and I can see that…

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