Goal Post: Holiday Break is Here (Merry Christmas!)

Well, I made it to holiday break in relatively one piece.  Not that the week didn’t try to take a few chunks out of me.  You can tell since this post is being written today instead of the night before.  So, what happened?

Since it was the last week of school before the break, there was a lot of stuff going on.  My son had plenty of tests and was still doing a little catch up from having flu.  That meant our afternoons were filled with work, so we didn’t get to spend a lot of fun time together before he went to Florida.  On the work side of things, it got rather crazy some days.  People are trying to get tests, assignments, and lessons done before break.  So, there was a sense of time running out along with a countdown to the break, which is hard to fully explain.  It combined with the parenting side of life to leave me drained and going to bed around 9:30 most nights.  Only reason I was awake later was if someone kept messaging me.

It’s currently -10 outside with wind chill.  So, I’m staying inside, but my room still doesn’t have much insulation.  It’s really cold and that makes it hard to focus.  Doesn’t help that I’m having some anxiety issues, which include full body issues.  It’s even taking me a long time to write this because I keep stopping to practically tear at my skin.  Is there anything more useless than scratching?  It’s a reflex, but one that doesn’t do anything to alleviate the issue for more than a few seconds.  I’m going to have to muscle through this if I want to get anything done.

Of course, I didn’t get any writing done until last night.  Started writing Darwin & the Demon Game, which took a while to get into.  My overall goal for the break is to get the first 5 chapters written.  That’s optimistic since I would need 5 days with nothing else going on to do this.  Today is looking iffy due to the itchiness and it already being after 10 AM.  I might get 2 sections instead of 3.  I have a Tuesday appointment that might not cause any issues, but probably will.  Wednesday is probably going to be a wash since that’s when the insulation guys show up.  No writing in my room when they’re doing that and I don’t know if I’ll be able relocate to somewhere else in the house.  If I can get into the 5th chapter then I’ll be happy.

I’m a little bummed in general too.  Went to check out the Legends of Windemere books to see if any reviews turned up.  The later books don’t have many because a lot of people quit the series or did an overall review on the first book.  So, it’s pretty easy to sink those ratings.  Saw that the final book got a 1-star rating with no review attached.  This counts as 21% of the ratings since there’s so few.  Dropped it below 4.0, which is why I really hate how averages works since it would take several 5 stars to undo that damage.  I know these books don’t sell, but it’s still frustrating to see one take a hit like that, especially with no review attached.  Glancing at the other books, looks like most ‘ratings only’ are low stars.  Guess that’s how the business works now.

Right now, the plan is write and stay warm during these cold days.  My son is back Thursday morning, but we haven’t made any solid plans.  Depends on the weather and how much energy we have.  This break and the one in February aren’t that great for events because it gets so cold.  All popular events are inside and tickets go fast.  Doesn’t help that flu, covid, and a respiratory virus are running around, so you don’t want to get sick before school starts again.  Playing catch up with schoolwork isn’t easy once a kid gets to 8th grade, so I think it’s best to be careful.  We have plenty of Lego sets and movies if we get stuck indoors.  Video games too if I can get a replacement Joycon since the right-hand one has a drift issue.  Might have to wander out for that when it isn’t as cold as it is today.

If there was anything else to talk about then I forgot.  Met all the basic goals of this week beyond ‘staying healthy’.  I mean I did, but the itchiness means I didn’t accomplish the mental health victory.  Maybe a warm shower will help out and I can dive into writing once I’m done.  The section I’m going to write is a simple conversation in the prologue to set up the first chapter.  If I can write that in an 1-1.5 hours then it means I have a shot at getting 3 sections done today.  Fingers crossed.

Goals of the week:

  1. Write 5 chapters of Darwin & the Demon Game
  2. March posts schedule if no time to write book.
  3. Time with son when he gets home.
  4. Fix or replace Joycon.
  5. Puzzle time.
  6. Watch more ‘My Hero Academia’.
  7. Bike when possible.
  8. Sleep more
  9. Hydrate with more than hot cocoa.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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12 Responses to Goal Post: Holiday Break is Here (Merry Christmas!)

  1. Staying warm is goal #1 for most of us this week! Hope the itching will let up, too. I go through a lot of lotion at this time of year.


    • The problem is that lotion doesn’t help. The itchiness is part of my panic attacks. Best way to explain it is that my nervous system short circuits due to stress. Not even easily identified stress because it can get set off by me doing anything. I guess I pushed myself too far this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All the best next week.


  3. Elle Knowles says:

    Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays, Charles!


  4. I’ve been victimized by those drive-by star ratings, too. I think it’s atrocious that Amazon lets people do that. I get skin issues every winter. When it’s that cold there is no humidity out west. I have to keep boiling water going all winter just so I don’t claw my skin off. Might be completely unrelated to your issue. You have a nearby ocean that might offer some humidity.


    • I remember when the ‘ratings only’ stuff came about. Authors and top reviewers weren’t happy about it. Said that it meant anyone could do a rating even if they didn’t read the book. Complained about not knowing why they hated the book or if it was just someone playing games. Guess they were right.

      The body itching is a year round thing that stems from my anxiety. If I’m too stressed, it crops up while I try to relax. Not a fun way to start a long break.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Victoria Zigler says:

    Glad you’re doing OK physically (as much as you can be with all the stress) but sorry your anxiety is causing you such serious issues… Hope the itching goes away and your ability to focus returns.

    Been playing catch up, so read your last few weeks’ worth of goal posts. Didn’t comment on them all since I didn’t have a lot to say, and I figured me leaving multiple comments would just make more work for you. So I’m just going to say it here.

    I’m sorry you and your son got sick, but glad it wasn’t Covid. And I’m glad your son did well on his tests.

    Also, that’s great that you managed to get all your books in paperback, even if you aren’t yet seeing any rewards for all your hard work… If nothing else, at least having them available means there’s a chance someone who likes paperbacks more will grab them. Yeah, that probably doesn’t help you much, but that’s how I look at it.

    Hope you and your son enjoyed your Hanukkah celebrations, whatever those might have been. Oh, and I’m relieved for you that you did manage to get the issue where they blocked your card in the middle of you shopping resolved (even if it wasn’t a good experience, especially with it happening when you were at a physical store).

    Good luck with the writing, and I hope you get some rest soon.


    • The itching has gone away, but the cold weather and anxiety are taking a toll. An issue is that I’ll cough or sniffle then my mind jumps to conclusions. Downside of living in such disease-focused times.

      I guess the paperbacks had to be done eventually. The rough part is that some people requested that they be an option. Yet, they haven’t sold. It’s another case of people supporting with words and not actions. Getting tired of that.

      Hanukkah was okay this year. Due to school and Christmas, we only really got the first night to enjoy the holiday. The other nights were rushed or he wasn’t here.

      Good luck with your projects.


      • Victoria Zigler says:

        Yeah, you so much as cough or sneeze once these days and everyone – including you – starts wondering if you have the virus. Definitely not good for anxiety levels.

        Unfortunately, if I had a penny for every person who said they’d buy one of my books and then hasn’t, or even every time certain people had said that and not brought one, I’d be a whole lot richer than I am, that’s for sure. Still, like you said, it had to be done eventually, and if nothing else you can be glad you’ve completed the task. Plus, like I said, at least it then means people do have that option. Nothing you can do if they decide not to make use of it.

        Glad you enjoyed some of Hanukkah at least.


      • Working in a school and having a school age child amplifies things. You see and hear about a lot of disease going around. People going out sick makes you wonder if you caught what they have. So it wears on you even when you enter the break.

        Think the only things harder to get than sales are reviews. All I get are occasional ratings that are usually low.


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