So there are problems to being me.

What? Oh, yeah. Well, the auto-immune is a pain, yes. When your skin decides that it must crawl off your body or make you scratch it off, or whatever. But that’s just a minor inconvenience.

It’s the writing that bugs me.

Question? Is the writing auto-immune? I don’t know. And neither do you. There is in fact a strong possibility, just as they’re finding out that depression is probably a side effect of auto-immune issues, which explains a lot of paternal grandmother’s family history.

At any rate, without auto-immune, I probably would never have written, something that came about through extreme boredom.

Two things go into this, at this time in my life: first, I think that most of the “illnesses” I had in childhood were actually auto-immune attacks. Look, we kept chickens, and they came in the house, and some were my special pets. We also heated the house with burning wood or coal, and oh, yeah, the country was extremely polluted for as few cars as there were on the roads. walking by the side of the main road, early morning, there was a fog of pollution in the air. Then there was the trash intake that burned all the piles of trash from the entire city of Porto, outside, on a hill overlooking the village. Which meant foggy mornings you couldn’t breathe.

I’ve since found that a bad enough allergy attack will turn into an auto-immune attack very quickly. Look, it’s the body aiming wrong, okay?

This explains a childhood in which I had TB UNNOTICED. Not because I was not watched, but because I WAS. It disappeared into the background noise of “always sick” with vaguely respiratory things and tiredness, and–

It explains why so few of my illnesses responded to antibiotics or any other treatment. Which meant the family defaulted to Victorian, pre-antibiotic treatments, and I was kept in bed 9 days out of ten until I was about 10.

It also explains why my mother developed a weird quasi-superstitious relationship with my illnesses, and kept coming up with the most unlikely causes, so that by the time I was ten the only way to have some fun was to be out of mom’s reach. I wasn’t allowed to: not wear a hat, summer or winter; I wasn’t allowed to wear skirts (unless I was at the seaside, my legs must be covered, or I’d get sick); I wasn’t allowed to eat chocolate, or any milk products, or eggs, or– the list went on and on (and had no relation to reality.); I wasn’t allowed to over-exert myself (she had no idea of the mad runs and fake sword fights we had in school) etc. etc. etc.

In her and the family’s and the doctors defense, I also did the same, as did my doctor in the US until about 7 years ago. Most of the “illnesses” he treated me for were massive auto-immune attacks. Which I didn’t find out until we had to move practices, and the next doctor looked at me in the middle of what I thought was pneumonia, gave me prednisone, and I was okay by nighttime.

Anyway, being treated by being sent to bed and told to stay still, and not allowed visitors my age, because they didn’t know what I had and if it was communicable, meant that … well, the room had no window. It was an interior room in a shotgun apartment carved out of grandma’s house. It had no window. I had no amusement. And until I was almost five, I couldn’t read fluently enough to stay with the story, unless it was comics. So I got very bored, and started making up stories. By six, when I could write easily (if not legibly) I started writing them.

Would there have been stories if I weren’t so “sickly”? Probably. Grandma made up stories in her head for fun, but she never did anything with them, till she had a granddaughter to tell them to. And she never wrote them down.

So, yeah, okay.

Would I trade it for being normal if I could?

I don’t know. Do you know what you’d do if you’d been born purple? It’s about on that level.

However, let me tell you something I WOULD like. I now have about 40 novels in my head, some of them part of series.

The problem is that I can only write one at a time.

I’ve learned how to make others shut up (hey, I’m 58. Time to learn something that helps) but ….

But they invade my dreams. They pipe inconveniently in the middle of writing blog posts (sorry it’s so late) and they generally are pains in the fricking a– assets.

I used to have a t-shirt that read “Shut up brain, or I’ll poke you with a qtip again. ” I stopped using it because it weirded people out, but it’s still true.

Sometimes, sometimes I envy the rest of you who are alone, or at least have something approaching silence in your heads.

We’re still looking for a place to buy. The house renovation is much slower than I want it to be. I’m trying to write and there’s these people in my head…..

Okay, by the numbers, send your main character up to get a numbered ticket. If you are a group cast, pick one of you to come and do it, and keep the argument before that to a dull roar. If you don’t send anyone up, you lose your position.

Then go back, and sit quietly. Your number will be called. And someone bar that door, because the last thing I need is more of you coming in.

I said sit down and be quiet. Why do I even have two different worlds with uplifted cats? And who are you? No, don’t TELL me. Sit down and be quiet and wait.

I said be quiet.


24 thoughts on “SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP

  1. We just find out own things to obsess over. I’m currently gently rapping my head on the table over a bonkers computer problem. It should run fine, but it doesn’t, and the software is fighting me tooth and nail to prevent any diagnosis of what could possibly be going wrong.

    I’m almost to that point where I start pulling hardware apart and sending it back to vendors, with or without refunds…

    First world problems for the win 🙂

    1. May not work for you – but I have had success with backing off and thinking “What is the absolutely stupidest simple thing I could have done wrong?”

      Two weeks ago it was a motherboard that I had connected the main 20-pin power cable – but not the two other 8-pin cables. (Which, of course, should have been connected on the motherboard side before I even installed the CPU. Even with the board out of the case, those are extremely difficult to get at around the cooling fan.)

      1. Yeah. I’m probably going to start by uninstalling everything and reinstalling it all using a clean install and see what happens. It’s pretty frustrating, all told, and I think the root problem is the “helper” software the hardware runs through, and I just can’t seem to get it to stop “helping” me…

        1. After Harry Potter, I started calling those “The Dobby Apps.”

          I’m working on killing off the rest of the “helpers” in Windows 10 as I find them. (The bigger project, probably this fall, will be to dig up the C++ V4 code that I obviously wrote a long time ago for incremental backups, update it, and get it running on this machine. Right now, I’m limping along with daily copies to the backup drive and weekly ones to CDRW.)

          1. Yeah. Well, I think I finally found the problem too.

            Apparently Windows has a feature called Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling. It’s supposed to make your computer more responsive!

            What it does, is whenever your GPU is heavily loaded, Windows runs up to it, taps it on the shoulder and asks it can it kindly put down what it’s doing, and move this frame schedule pin from this time slot to another one over there? Thank you!

            And I’m wondering “why am I getting so many display errors, and why is my GPU only 30% utilized?

              1. Yeah. I ran into on a guide for setting up VR for flight sims, actually looking for a different thing. Apparently the Windows Mixed Reality software had a thing where it would try to run DX11 titles in a Dx12 through some sort of compatibility mode, and you had to go into the settings and tell it to Force Dx11 mode to fix it, and I was trying to find out if you could do that in non-WMR headsets, when I ran into that. I think it was Thud’s VR4DCS that had it in its checklist. Since the next step was wipe everything to bare metal and start over, I figured some more time fiddling with the settings couldn’t hurt.

                I’d been fighting with this for almost a week now.

  2. I told stories because the world was too dull and my mind went into far more interesting places. Then, I solved problems, or at least vented frustration with problems into stories (rather than doing antisocial things to bystanders, innocent or otherwise.) By the time I hit grad school, If I went too long without telling stories, they’d invade “the real world,” which is not a good thing when, oh, you are driving in traffic. So I wrote things down. Some of them have footnotes and documentation and are called “history.” Others are fiction, but with a bit of Truth in them. Perhaps. Maybe. 🙂

  3. “Shut up, brain, or I’ll poke you with a q-tip!”?
    I love this shirt.
    I want this shirt.
    I didn’t know it existed until a few paragraphs ago, and I am already plotting to put spending cash aside for this shirt.


  4. $SPOUSE$ has an entire CostCo case of Q-Tips in the hall closet. Do they work for this condition? Please tell me they do…

    After a shower and minimal errands (only 60% of the normal residents are in house this week), I should sit down and work on the one novel of the series that must get out first. Or at least on the story that is a long short/novelette/novella. (I’m pretty sure it’s not going to grow up into another novel, much less a series. Just cursed myself there, didn’t I?)

    But I know that the brain is going to wander off yet again. Into later novels in this series. Into earlier and later series in the same mil-sf world. Into the S&S series. Into the noir fantasy series. Or (Great Ghu, help me!) the harem adventure series. Sigh…

  5. Seven stories. Degree of completeness is inversely proportionate to the order they need to be published in. Boy Howdy! One of these days the log jam will clear and I’ll be publishing as fast as I can make covers. But today I had this idea . . .

    1. I need to be working on the Merchant book. Until I get a huge-for-me public speaking thing done later this week, nope, those brain cells are locked onto “don’t screw up, don’t screw up . . . ” Familiars it is.

  6. I’m writing far too many stories.
    I have to go back and tear apart The Winter Solist AGAIN because I can’t figure out the leap of one portion of the plot.
    I need to get a whole lot of other stuff done, not burn down the EDD office because they Kevorkian disconnect me every time I call them, find an actual job so I can afford to do things that I might actually enjoy and prepare to buy things that are wearing out like a new car and maybe even move into a place of my own.
    I’m already thinking of some other story ideas.
    I’m wishing I could just copy all the things in my brain as a Word doc and download it…

  7. “Sometimes, sometimes I envy the rest of you who are alone, or at least have something approaching silence in your heads.”

    It was a shock to me when I learned that other people don’t have a movie running in their head 24/7.

    Silence? I felt that once, when I was halfway through the second set of Tai Chi in a row and my frigging brain got embarrassed about the constant yapping. It was -amazing-. And then I thought, “Wow, that was amazing!” and the movie started again. 😡

    I’ve heard the silence a few times since then, usually due to extended meditation or sometimes while painting. Turns out painting can be a Zen pursuit. I like the silence. It’s nice. But brief.

    2014 I lost my temper and started writing the movie down. It became a book, which people can buy. Some of those who bought it liked the movie, so I’ve been writing it down ever since. But not because people might buy it. If I write it down, a new movie starts. Watching a new one is better than constantly re-watching the old one.

    Current news on the “strange people wandering into your movie and demanding screen time” front, I feel some people will be soon be showing up, throwing a case of beer on the floor and putting their feet up on the coffee table. I make them bring their own beer these days, there’s so many of them hanging around in here. ~:D

  8. Movies. Yep, I have movies playing in my head. I try to type real fast to get everything down as it’s playing, but I lose track and have to rewind every now and then. I did manage to write an “X does this and Y does that” sort of chapter list for it and that’s helped immensely with pushing forward. I keep reminding myself that I wrote a dissertation because I *had* to. I’m writing this story because I *want* to (yeah, I get the whole I have to write this story, but the diss was an external requirement, not an internal one…huge difference, at least for me).

  9. Seems to be pattern matching with me. Abstract patterns.

    Any sort of mental task, I tend to want things to ‘fit’ and ‘feel right’. One of the issues is that this is intuition, which is the result of training and experience, so my default level of trust in it is wrong for newer sorts of tasks.

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