Brain Biofeedback

Novelling Can Help Only So Much With PTSD

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Writing is good for me. Writing a novel during NaNoWriMo is exciting and takes me out of the reality of my PTSD and brain injury. But writing can only do so much. And when reality intrudes in the form of a requested conversation with one’s insurance broker, the heart can go a little wonky.

I like my insurance broker; I’ve always enjoyed conversing with him. But I hate insurance companies. My neurodoc asked me when I first began to hate them — apparently “hate” is a clue that insurance companies and any mention of them are a trigger for my PTSD. I had to think about his question. I didn’t hate them after my first encounter with them when I was in a car crash in 1991. I saw them first as a partner to help me get better then later as an adversary.

By the year 2000, insurance companies and their regulations under Ontario law had changed drastically. Instead of a let’s-get-you-better attitude, the person who answered the phone when I called after my 2000 crash, made out like she was taking my claim while giving me the runaround. Just making the claim in 2000 was hell for me. (Making a claim under current Ontario law is much, much worse.)

That’s when I began to hate them.

I suppose I would’ve been all right if I’d spoken to my broker himself, whom I’ve known for decades. But I was put through to a staff member, someone I didn’t know. Not good for someone with a brain injury. We like the familiar. We want to talk to the person we know. Then she was asking me questions in order to update my file. All perfectly reasonable. My traumatized brain thought otherwise. I struggled not to bite her head off as inside I screamed, I want to get off the phone! Now! Somehow I answered her questions and later I spoke to my neurodoc who told me that that call was a huge trigger. Huge!

Oh.

I had dreams that night, and this week, though I was in what I call my happy neutral place, the biofeedback sensors told a different story. My heart rate didn’t even try to sync with my breathing. Instead it trotted along at about 109 then zipped up to as high as 189 and as low as 37, over and over. Geeze.

You know, this is why we have emotions: to tell us how others and events are affecting us. When our affect is flat or our emotions inconsistent or AWOL, we think we’re doing okay. And then wonder why we have physical issues like gaining weight (or losing it). I’m thankful I have the biofeedback and my neurodoc to do a reality check when my emotions aren’t giving me these crucial clues.

Books

NaNoWriMo 2014: Chapter 2 on Twitter

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So far, my Twitter experiment is working out. I write my chapter; go rest, eat, drink; think over whether I should tweet out a few excerpts through my own account; decide yeah, extra work but good for the readers; type out my tweets and my characters tweets into a separate document; think them over: did I miss any necessary detail? Am I being too obtuse (I’ve been accused of that!)? And most importantly: is the character count including hashtags within the 140 limit? Then I go to it and hope for the best.

So here, in case you missed them or are unable to follow me and my growing cadre of characters on Twitter, are today’s tweets of my twovel:



Books

NaNoWriMo 2014 Begins . . . on Twitter

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I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to participate in National Novel Writing Month, which I have since 2009, this year. The thought was disturbing. But my muse came to the rescue. It said: locate a novel on Twitter. Make it a mystery. You figure out the rest. Well, I did. And though I waffled over my initial idea of playing it out on Twitter — should I or shouldn’t I? — and though I began by thinking the entire novel would take place on Twitter and ended by realizing it couldn’t — by the time I began writing Chantie’s story just after midnight on November 1st, I knew I would go ahead.

List of characters, revealed to date:

NaNoWriMo Character Twitter Avatars
NaNoWriMo Character Twitter Avatars

So here’s the deal. [Updated 6 November 2014 with questions for me, below.]

The novel takes place on Twitter, which means the characters will be tweeting at each other, which means they need their own accounts, which means, well, hey you can watch them tweet on Twitter. The only issue is that the novel includes some prose — how much I’ll find out as I write it. That prose will, for the most part, not appear on Twitter. That could make it a little incomprehensible for readers or, I’m hoping, make it more mysterious and set up conversations about what’s happening “behind the scenes.” This idea will certainly make novel writing more challenging for me. I don’t know how Charles Dickens ever got the nerve to serialize his novels as he wrote them, but I’ve always admired him and am now following in his footsteps. Eek!

I wrote the first draft of the final chapter yesterday. That will remain locked up away from prying eyes. Today, I wrote the first chapter of my novel, tentatively titled Chantie. I’m not a big fan of my title; it’ll do though. Anyway, chapter one introduces my main character Chantie Trembel, and I opened it up on Twitter with a few critical tweets giving context:



Questions and Answers
If you have any questions, tweet me!

I was debating about the timeline. I write the novel in 30 days, so should it take place over 30 days? Sort of. Because of the writing process, some of the tweets won’t be in real time. But all the Twitter chats will be done in the time they’re supposed to happen over. Where time is a factor, I will stick as closely as possible to real time.

 

I was thinking of having Bobby follow some of my tweeps, then I began to wonder if he did more than follow, if he interacted with them, how would that work in a published novel with issues of copyright and all? I’d ask before I did that and before I had his character follow anyone as well. But it could be fun!

All tweets by my characters are copyright protected under my name as per Twitter’s terms of service. “5. Your Rights You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services.”

Books

Smashwords Winter/Summer Sale = Free Ebooks

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At one minute past midnight Pacific time on March 2, the special Smashwords Read an Ebook Week promotion catalogue goes live on the Smashwords home page.  Readers can browse the catalogue and search by coupon code levels and categories.  At the stroke of midnight Pacific time at the end of the day on March 8, the catalogue disappears.

The coupon codes only work at Smashwords, not at retailers served by Smashwords.”

I’ve enrolled all my ebooks in this super sale, from anywhere from 50% to 75% off to FREE. Click on the book cover of your choice to get your super-discounted copy and start reading.

Time and Space

Abans Accension Cover Buy This Book 120x180 Shireen Jeejeebhoy Job Cover Buy This Book 120x180 Shireen Jeejeebhoy Lifeliner
A Nibble of Chocolate, Cover Eleven Shorts  1 Buy This Book 120x180 Shireen Jeejeebhoy She Front Cover
Books

Orangeberry Tour of TIME AND SPACE Wraps Up

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It’s hard to fight for home when you’re dumped into an alien future with a pack of three boys gunning for your death.

Today, August 31st, is the last day of the 2013 Orangeberry Book Expo, in which I participated with my time travel novel. Time and Space is in row 7 of their Booths. Click on the cover, and you’ll be taken instantly to the Amazon buy page. One-click shopping! Even after the Expo ends today, Time and Space will remain in the Orangeberry bookstore. Check it and their bookstore out today!

And so ends my book tour of Time and Space. Between my exhaustion trying to keep up with daily life, leaving no room for flogging the life out of my tour, and the gods, the sales dived deep under my expectations. I think I need a new cover. But I’m feeling right out of ideas. Or maybe I could use the same concept but different colours or something. Well, I’ll keep that stuffed down deep in my mind where the creative neurons can chew on it while I take the next nine days off. It’s staycation and digital detox time! For those who’ve yet to come across that nugget of a term, a digital detox is when you go offline and off computer and re-enter the analogue world of papers and pens. I’ll be reading or photographing what passes my fancy.

Except for hosting #ABIchat on Monday, September 2, I’ll be back Monday, September 9. Have a great Labour Day holiday everyone! And enjoy your first week back at work or school. I’ll be thinking of you as I lounge around!

Books

Another Month, Another Giveaway for Time and Space!

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Giveaway time! Enter to win a copy of Time and Space through Goodreads, the website for readers.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Time and Space by Shireen Jeejeebhoy

Time and Space

by Shireen Jeejeebhoy

Giveaway ends August 15, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Books

Time and Space Giveaway!

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You’ve seen the announcement, read the excerpt, checked out my interviews on my writing, and now you can enter my Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of Time and Space. But hurry, it ends July 3rd!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Time and Space by Shireen Jeejeebhoy

Time and Space

by Shireen Jeejeebhoy

Giveaway ends July 03, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Books

Time and Space Goes on a Virtual Book Tour

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New novel, new book tour! I launched Time and Space on 4 June 2013 and sent it off on an Orangeberry book tour at the same time. Today ends the first leg of the book tour, which comprised reviews (to come), guest posts, author interviews, and a #TwitterView!

Day One: Newbie Blast and a Feature on Peace From Pieces.

Day Two: Interview on Mommy Adventures with Ravina.

Day Three: Guest post on How to Research Your Story on Bunny’s Review.

Day Four: More questions for moi on The Reading Cat.

Day Five: Guest post on Finding Your Voice on Blog-A-Licious Authors.

Day Six: Excerpt on Author’s Friend (tis labelled an interview but it’s a sample of the ebook).

Day Seven: #TwitterView!

(If widget showing only questions, click on this link.)


Day Eight: Twitter Blast with @OBBookTours

The next leg of Time and Space‘s Orangeberry Book Tour begins on June 18 with a guest post and will consist of weekly blog stops, with interviews, excerpts, and features!

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords & Kobo

Books

Time and Space Launching

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Time and Space Cover
Time and Space on Sale Now!

It’s hard to believe, but almost two years after I began relearning certain aspects of theoretical physics, general relativity, and time travel, I am now launching the fruits of all that mental labour: my second novel Time and Space.

Faint clicks emanating from behind me, from inside the murkiest of the gloom, send all my nerves on end and shoot my head up, eyes narrowed, darting around, hunting for what caused the sound.

Time and Space is about an ordinary woman turning 40 whose life suddenly undergoes a dramatic change as she’s on her way to her safe, boring job. Three boys kidnap her and take her to their present: a lab in the future. Their prof is not amused. The boys had promised never again to kidnap people from the past, he reminds them. He orders them to leave her where they took the others: her future, their past. The Nasty Time, they call it. But while they leave her alone in order to prep the time travel cube, a bikini-clad girl slips in and tells her how to build a time machine to get back home. But it’s all gibberish to Time, and she doesn’t want to learn . . . until the boys dump her in The Nasty Time. It’s 2411. She’s still turning 40. And she wants to go home.

Time and Space is on book tour now. And you can purchase your ebook copy in ePub or Kindle right now, for only $4.99 and while you’re at your favourite retailer or Amazon Canada, you can add a free copy of my first novel She to your cart. I hope you will enjoy reading Time and Space as much as I enjoyed writing it!